Colin Wessman

The Pick: Candyman

Don’t say his name 5 times, but feel free to listen to this podcast 5 times (you know, in case you miss some of the nuances). In lieu of the Candyman remake that came out last week, we’re taking a look at the original 1992 film while also offering a few thoughts on how the two movies compare. We also get a bit into the character’s background and how it’s kind of a miracle how effective this character is (even if his mythology is inherently a little inconsistent). Also, if that isn’t scary enough, John offers his take on a mutant hybrid of a snack concocted by Pringles and Wendy’s. Continue reading

Polar Sour

Lorde – Solar Power

In two separate assessments of albums released earlier this year, I both raised the theory that making more than one album with Jack Antonoff producing might be a bad idea, and that Lorde’s Solar Power would be the deciding factor of whether his status as pop’s favorite producer has run its course. While I harbor no grudges against Antonoff, as he’s produced some albums that I love (including Lorde’s Melodrama), Solar Power makes it apparent that both these fears have been confirmed. While Antonoff was able to create fantastic results by teaming up with modern pop’s biggest female stars, including Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and St. Vincent, each of the follow-ups to those albums, which Antonoff also produced, have been less exciting. Granted, none of those albums were complete busts by any measure, but they all feel a little soulless, and Solar Power might be the most blatant example. Continue reading

The Pick: The Talented Mr. Ripley

As another strange Summer comes to a close, we take a trip to Italy by talking about 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. We do a bit of a deep dive into the many past (and future) adaptations of author Patricia Highsmith’s most famous creation as well as a brief look at Highsmith’s career. This conversation goes in a lot of different directions and we spend a surprising amount of time talking about Chris Kattan. How do we get there? Well, you’ll just have to listen and find out. Continue reading

The Pick: The Suicide Squad

We’ve reassembled the squad for the first episode of The Pick of 2021! Hopefully this will be another fun and fruitful run of episodes that will see us continue to do what we do best — forcing each other to watch movies and then talk about them. This episode sees us diving into a recent release that probably would’ve been more fun to watch in a theater than on HBO Max, but that’s the reality of living in a world that can’t quite return to normal. Also, each one of us offers some decidedly musical Little Picks, which marks the return of John exploring McDonald’s recent trend of half-baked promotional meals endorsed by pop stars. Continue reading

Criterion Month Day 31: Space Jam: A New Legacy

Space Jam: A New Legacy

I wrote this review shortly after Space Jam: A New Legacy came out, but refrained from posting it and disrupting the posterity of Criterion Month. While the film world has already moved on from Space Jam to that beach that makes you old, it still felt appropriate to end Criterion Month with the kind of movie that’s a vital reminder that taking a break from cinematic trash for a month can be a very good thing indeed.

When you spend as much time sifting through the world as pop culture as we do, sometimes you get certain movies or TV shows or franchises attached to you as being specifically “yours”. I had this with Space Jam in recent years, receiving multiple birthday or Christmas gifts from friends consisting of Space Jam merch. Now, one has to ask how a film that was relatively successful 25 years ago and has had no direct sequels, spin-offs, or reboots could garner a veritable amount of merch so long after the fact. I think a lot of this had to do with a mix of millennial nostalgia, half-irony, the ‘90s being a golden age of basketball, and the fact that it was the most successful re-introduction of the Looney Tunes into the zeitgeist in recent memory. Whether any of this has to do with the quality of Space Jam as a film is a little beside the point, though I am not one of those people who will tell you that of course Space Jam: A New Legacy is bad because the original Space Jam is bad. Continue reading

Criterion Month Day 29: Old Joy

Old Joy (2006)

So after reviewing movies of various lengths and ambitions this year, I’m bringing it home with a review of a movie that is decidedly small. Kelly Reichardt has made a singular career out of crafting these very intimate, contemplative films that rarely have a ton of conflict or innate drama. Of the films of hers I’ve seen, Old Joy seems like the purest distillation of this, as there’s not a ton that happens (even for the indie road movie genre), but then again, nothing really needs to. Like much of Reichardt’s oeuvre, the film’s unassuming nature is like a warm bath compared to the overstimulated nature of today’s media, or should I say it’s like a dip in a hot spring? Continue reading

Criterion Month Day 26: Beau Travail

Beau Travail (1999)

Ah, the plight of a film watched late in Criterion Month, when we’re all a little burned out from watching arty, cerebral movies. This makes it especially hard to write about a film as layered and exquisitely made as Beau Travail, which leaves as much to chew on as any film I watched during this year’s Criterion Month. So much so that despite how much I enjoyed my viewing of it, I didn’t zero in that much on one aspect most people seem to talk about in regards to Beau Travail (its portrayal of repressed homosexuality). Though that’s just one aspect of what’s remarkable about the film, as everything is done with so much confidence, and yet there are so many things left unspoken by the film’s end that it leaves you lingering in its dusty doorway, looking for answers. Continue reading