Lego Movie (Screengrab)

The Lego Movie is probably the most fun I’ve had at the movies since seeing Pacific Rim last summer. Writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have taken a film that could have been a shameless, lifeless tie-in and infused it with so much life that it’s bursting at the seams with jokes, movie references, colorful set pieces, hilarious dialogue, and even characters from other universes.

Hit the jump for my full video review. Read More »

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The recent, tragic passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman prompted me to look back at some of his most memorable work. One of his films that I’ve always wanted to delve more deeply into is Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman‘s meditation on mortality and creativity. While I admired much about what the film is trying to do and say – and Hoffman is tremendous in it – I found that even after repeated viewings, many of the film’s meanings and themes eluded me (despite already having recorded a lengthy podcast episode on the topic 4 years ago). I was fortunate to team up with someone way more knowledgeable than me to create a video essay about Synecdoche: Amy Nicholson from LA Weekly and the Village Voice podcast.

In the below video essay, Amy and I discuss the meaning of certain elements in the film, such as the burning house, Caden’s ailing health, Violet’s poisonous tattoos, and the fluidity of time. We chatted for so long that I had to break our conversation up into two separate parts, making this part 1 of a 2-part video essay (part 2 will come next week). Check it out after the jump.
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Dave and Devindra aren’t fans of Quentin Tarantino’s legal actions, discuss what e-mail filters to set up in the event of an internet mob attack, picture what Speed would look like inside a concert hall, and try to get excited about the next M. Night Shyamalan movie. Amy Nicholson joins us from LA Weekly and the Voice Film Club. Be sure to read why Philip Seymour Hoffman is us and read the sad story of Lindsey Stone.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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The Tobolowsky Files Ep. 62 – Notes from the Frontier

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What could possibly go wrong when the sun is always shining? We test the limits. Part 2 of Stephen and Ann in Finland.

The Tobolowsky Files is a podcast from the people who brought you the /Filmcast, featuring a series of stories about life, love, and the entertainment industry, as told by legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky. You can e-mail Stephen at stephentobolowsky(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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Watch This: Edgar Wright Explores the Art of Close-Ups

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The first time I saw Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, I was blown away by the close-ups. They seemed to bombard me at every turn in the film, their rapid-fire nature grabbing me by the metaphorical collar and pulling me face first into the next scene. Wright went on to make several more films which make ingenious use of the close-up, and I became so intrigued by these shots. What was Wright’s purpose for them in each film? Why did he seem to employ them so copiously? How did he fit them into his shooting schedule?

Edgar Wright generously agreed to chat with me at length on this topic. I edited our conversation into a video essay exploring the art of close-ups. Check it out after the jump and be sure to pick up Edgar’s The World’s End on Blu-Ray when you get the chance.
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/Filmcast Ep. 257 – Fruitvale Station

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Dave and Devindra get a rundown on the best of Sundance from Germain Lussier, discuss the documentary Mitt on Netflix, and grapple with how Fruitvale Station blurs the line between fact and fiction. Be sure to check out Jessica Testa’s piece on Jodon Romero and Slate’s breakdown of the facts behind Fruitvale.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Dave and Devindra do a cost-benefit analysis of Netflix disc plans, discuss their favorite Oscar pics, and comment on Armond White’s expulsion from the NYFCC. Laremy Legel joins us for this episode. Be sure to check out Laremy’s newest book, See Change: How Studios Abandoned Women to Focus on Sequels and Superheroes – And Why It’s Ruining Cinema.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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I was really looking forward to seeing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, out in theaters this weekend. I’ve been a fan of the Jack Ryan character in his film incarnations over the years, and I was curious to see what actor/director Kenneth Branagh would do with a spy thriller in the wake of his relatively successful Thor directing job. I’m sad to say that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an aggressively average film. Everything about it is generic and bland: the script, the acting, the plot, and the action.

Check out my full video review after the jump.

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