The Pick: White House Down

The election may be over, but we could still be heading toward a disastrous future in which only a muscley, tank-topped Channing Tatum can save us. Still, whatever the future holds, we can all agree we’ll be having a much more normal president in two months, and White House Down is a suitable, mind-numbing way of turning the page on the past four years. Hey, we’re even getting a new president with a “J” first name, just like our man James Sawyer and countless other movie presidents.

On this episode, we do a bit of a dive into the history of black presidents on-screen as well as some of our former presidents’ most notable pets. It’s kind of a weird one, but maybe it’s appropriate for the weird final days of a very weird presidency. Continue reading

Switchin’ Up Positions For A New Year

Ariana Grande – Positions

If there’s one good thing to come out of 2020 (other than the obvious one that happened a couple weeks ago), it’s that there’s been a lot of unexpected album releases. Some of these have been albums that were long in production (Run The Jewels’ RTJ4, Fiona Apple’s Fetch The Bolt Cutters) and some of them have been surprisingly great albums that were recorded on a whim during quarantine (Taylor Swift’s Folklore, Fleet Foxes’ Shore). Either way, the surplus of albums from prominent artists in 2020 clearly seems to be born out of the fact that musicians are stuck at home with nothing better to do than record songs as well as a need to communicate with listeners. Now, I’m not sure that the world needed another Ariana Grande album in 2020 after she put out two of the better pop albums of the 2010s in the last two consecutive years, but it’s still another welcome surprise. Continue reading

Letters For Two

Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You

It’s hard to say why my first instinct last Thursday night, when the vote counts started to turn in Joe Biden’s favor, was to put on my headphones and go for a walk while listening to Bruce Springsteen. Though I have a few theories. For one, his latest album Letter To You had just been released, so The Boss has been at the forefront of my mind lately. Also, Bruce and Biden are both seasoned veterans of their trades from the tri-state area that have very storied and successful careers, and yet still somehow manage to retain their working-class roots. But most of all, Bruce is just one of those artists that brings me some level of comfort in times of uncertainty. Yet most of his songs, no matter how anthemic, always seem to have a level of overcoming darkness, which has not only been on the edge of town the past 4 years, but has threatened to swallow it up completely. Continue reading

Horrorble: Dolittle

Dolittle

Are movie stars a thing anymore? One of the consequences of cinema’s shift to the global market and franchise filmmaking is a decline in movies built around their casts. I mean sure, we still have A-list actors, but I think it’s hard to say they compare to the classic Hollywood idea of a “star.” Just look at one of the highest-grossing box office stars of all time, Robert Downey Jr. He was the highest paid actor in the world between 2013 and 2015 and should be one of the most recognizable people on the planet, having starred in the highest-grossing film ever made as recently as last year. But were people showing up Avengers Endgame to see Robert Downey Jr. or Tony Stark? How many people are out there who have Iron Man tattoos but haven’t even heard of Zodiac, Chaplin, or Weird Science? And will those same people show up to watch him get farted on by CGI animals? The answer is: I don’t know. Because this narrative, like so much of 2020, has been thrown off completely thanks to the global pandemic. The state of the industry back in January has already become irrelevant. Case in point: while it would be nice to call Dolittle a commercial disappointment, it likely will remain the sixth highest-grossing film of 2020.

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The Pick: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Well, we’ve just about reached the end of Shocktober, which also means we’ve reached the end of our string of Halloween-themed picks. With Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we go out with a movie that’s… memorable, at the very least. Much like last week’s look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula, we dive a bit into the fact that this is thought to be one of the more faithful adaptations of a highly influential horror novel, and yet still manages to have a lot of weird stuff in it. Also, John manages to plug Steakout, a movie we were all involved with and you might as well check out on Amazon Prime. It’s not like you’ve got any elaborate Halloween plans this year. Continue reading

Shocktober Day 29: A Creepshow Animated Special

A Creepshow Animated Special (2020)

There’s been a change of plans. I was supposed to review an episode of Riverdale but after watching five minutes and being totally lost I bailed. Then I decided to watch the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and did and was ready to review it. Then I found out Shudder was releasing a surprise animated episode of Creepshow on October 29th and it was a no brainer.

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Shocktober Day 28: The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special

The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special

Airdate: October 28, 2017

Whoops. I did not realize I was supposed to post this yesterday, but can you blame me? Days don’t matter, though I suppose it was nice to have something this month that imposed on the three of us what day it was. Which is a sentence that would make zero sense in a year that wasn’t 2020. Anyways, perhaps I’m stalling because it’s just hard to feel any particularly strong feelings about The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special, a full-length special centered around the perplexing character that was featured in a pretty solid SNL sketch from 2016. It says something that David S. Pumpkins is a character that doesn’t quite have enough legs to fill 21-minutes, but that’s what happens when you have a character where nobody ever really knows what his deal is.

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