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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or…the Boosh!

“We were going to do [a tour of America],” Noel Fielding admitted to an enthused, sold-out crowd last weekend at the 92Y Tribeca in NYC. “But then my hat caught fire.” Fielding’s voice during the last bit softened into the feigned shyness typified by the London hipsters and rockstars The Mighty Boosh has expertly razzed through the aughts onward.

There was a waft of irony to their appearance in the city, since fans had come to the venue, not to see The Boosh perform, but to watch a new doc entitled Journey of the Childmen about their 2008/2009 tour in the UK. Tickets for two exclusive screenings actually sold out before it was announced online that The Boosh would be attending. Their presence resulted in a unique pop culture snapshot; here was a dedicated fanbase and two of the most original British comedians working today, all parties aware of the gap in mainstream crossover awareness outside the screening room. And in minutes, the former would be watching the latter perform to a 12,000 person arena many miles away.

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This article concludes /Film’s recaps and discussions for the third season of Breaking Bad. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recap and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.

The season three finale, “Full Measures,” differed from those of previous seasons with a grisly cliffhanger that incidentally and tragically pushed one main character over the point of no return. Or did it? In recent days, the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, has given three candid and revealing interviews wherein he’s cleared up a number of viewers’ apparent confusion over the very last scene. He’s done so in good humor, but I can’t recall a previous highly anticipated finale that needed the showmaker to later vouch his intent—and in Gilligan’s case he helmed the episode (his sole directorial effort of the season.) The initial confusion was due to the aim of a gun, which appeared to tilt to the right of the target before the trigger went off. And I’m guessing the immediate cut to black that followed only amplified some viewers’ doubts. “SMDH.” – David Chase.

Gilligan, who is refreshingly and perhaps too open about Breaking Bad‘s creative process, also stated that the writing team didn’t map the season’s arc at start, unlike they’ve done in the past. This revelation confirmed observations about the season’s touch-and-go feel cited in the previous recap with guest Sven Barth. After the jump, I address personal questions about the finale, where the show and characters are possibly headed, and analyze Gilligan’s post-ep comments. Thanks to the /Film commenters who left insightful and spirited opinions over the past dozen BB posts. Let us know what you thought of the finale and of the questions posed below.

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Before you ditch that crummy summer job and toss your cheesy pirate uniform and fish sticks out the window, borrow some $10s from the register and treat yourself to something nice. Like, say, this new tee from NYC’s Acapulco Gold, which salutes talented actress Phoebe Cates and the wet-hottest moment in ’80s teen cinema. Printed on 100% cotton and made in the USA, part of us—guess the part—wishes the print ran a second longer.

The shirt is available directly from AG or at Turntable Lab in classic black, white, or red, men’s sizes medium to X-large. For the purpose of this article, /Film received the red one. Here’s a review: Looks great in a bathroom mirror. Too great. Pics of each color after the jump. And I’ve attached the little seen intro to Fast Times, the failed Fast Times at Ridgemont High TV series starring Patrick Dempsey and Ski School‘s affable Dean Cameron as Spicoli.

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/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recaps and for the comments section. For previous recaps, click here. Note: I skipped over episodes “Fly” and “Abiquiu” due to traveling (one leg of which sent me to Puerto Rico for the return of Kenny Powers).

This week, we discuss the shocking semi-finale “Half Measures” and the season’s flaws with the culture writer, white rapper, and L.A. personality known as Sven Barth. A discerning barbarian of boob tube and skateboard culture, Barth’s creative endeavors span the single “Baby I’m Black” and the cooking series The Shredding Chef on Fuel TV.

Hunter Stephenson: Okay Sven. I think we both agree Breaking Bad is superior to most TV series currently going. But I want to ask you: is the third season where the show went from being a great series to a good if uneven one? When the Cousins exited—empty characters hyped as a death rattle but comparable to a violent psych-out—I was hopeful the season would upswing. Instead, we got Rian Johnson‘s episode “Fly,” which was the best ep of the season but it also inadvertently juxtaposed how little time and writing was spent in other eps, before and after, on rewarding character development. The writers focused so intently this season on viewers’ anticipation of bad shit happening and murderous voodoo tension that Walt and Jesse often registered more like pawns of doom than people. “Fly” explored and deepened their individual personalities and psyches, and reexamined their flesh and blood bond. Nevermind that it was executed, due to sheer genius or budget restraints, in a one-room setting. Am I being too critical, or do you agree?

Sven Barth: I’ll start by saying Breaking Bad is, without a doubt, one of the best cable shows of the past few years. But to me, this season continues to have several problems not present in one and two. I was still excited to watch each episode but Jesse in particular became closer and closer to a mall-type caricature as the season marched on. And yeah, “Fly” was excellent. It hearkened back to the season two episode, “4 Days Out” about the RV battery. “Fly” exemplified why I got addicted to this show from day one, back when I was tuning in because I was invested in the characters foremost, sudden thrills second. Walt’s and Jesse’s day-to-day was more tangible, convincing. Now that they’re certified bad guys, that’s missing.

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/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recaps and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.

The calamitous, nail biter episodes that were “Sunset” and “One Minute” were followed by two quieter if unsettling installments. The first, “I See You,” focused on the mortality and health of several characters, and the latest, “Kafkaesque,” naturally dove into the resulting problem of money and insurance—the serpentine topics at the series’ core. The salad days of stashing illegal monies behind air vents and under the kitchen sink are long gone for our beloved meth-slinging duo. Their conversations and the scope of their operation have expanded into the tens of millions, if not more, and in this ep we see how differently they continue to (forever) handle greed, contentment, and “taxes, yo.”

Their cash problems lie not only in finding and purchasing physical space needed for money laundering, but mental space as well. It’s the latter here that unleashes a whopper of a lie. Taking the lie into context, an unrelated scene where Walter informs Gus that he wants to “Lay the cards on the table,” bites with considerable irony. After the jump, we welcome your comments in anticipation of Sunday’s episode, “Fly.” Don’t miss it, it’s the best and easily the most creatively daring of the season (and some fans will say ever), directed by no less a talent than Rian Johnson (Brick).

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/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recaps and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.

In movies, when bank robbers and gangsters grumble, “I’m never going back to jail, they’ll have to kill me,” the statement does not uniformly rule out visiting peers who are incarcerated. On the other side of the glass, a visit can be a sobering reminder against surrender, and a satisfying reassurance of dominance to the criminal mind—”Better him than me”—all the while keeping the enemy close. Walter White has never served a prison sentence, but he’s weathered a death sentence as a patient confined to a hospital. The time served there, the loss of freedom and control over his life, forever skewed his outlook on mortality and morality. The hospital is a sort of prison in Walter’s psyche, and in season three, he seems to gain an introspective satisfaction in visiting others there—standing over their beds, his hand—or in the enemy’s case his eyes—on theirs.

Episode seven, and especially episode eight, entitled “I See You” (a play on the acronym for “intensive care unit”) demonstrate how smoothly Walt operates in this setting when he’s not the patient. “I hide in plain site, same as you,” Gus Fring tells him. And in this episode, Walt is never far from a character who is bruised, bloodied, unconscious, emotionally scarred or confused, characters snagged directly or indirectly in the wrath of Walt’s crimes, and thus weaker than him. The hospital scenes in “I See You” are an affirmation for Walt of a reality in which he’s the patriarch of survival, his facade the armor.

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On the heels of their previously announced action-comedy, 30 Minutes or Less, from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, actors Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari are attached to star in a second planned comedy feature, this one currently untitled. Specifics about the project were not revealed in today’s press release, but it originates from a pitch credited to Ansari and 30 Rock writer Matt Hubbard. The screenplay will be penned by Harris Wittels, who’s worked as a writer on The Sarah Silverman Program and Aziz’s Parks & Rec. Wittels tweeted the news hours ago adding, “Sweet Titties!” Dear readers, don’t you agree?

More details as we get them. The project will be produced under the Rough House Pictures banner founded by those protectors of the greater good, McBride, Jody Hill, and David Gordon Green. Two other films are currently growing in RHP’s greenhouse, including Hill’s L.A.P.I. and a biopic on modern teen outlaw, Colton Harris Moore, with Green circling to direct. RHP is also producing Eastbound & Down‘s second season, which is set in Mexico and now shooting (steroids?) down in Puerto Rico. Speaking of which, it may be a coincidence (then again, maybe not): Will Ferrell has stepped into the public eye of late for charity as a sketchy Venezuelan baseball pitcher named Rojo Johnson. Check it out…

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or…GAH, bugs!

When I learned of Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a documentary on the profitable Japanese subculture and love of insect collecting, my inner capitalist gave a high five to my slouching indie purist. A press release for the film highlighted a $57 rainbow beetle, the film’s website teased the recent $90,000 sale of a single specimen. Those nuts. I envisioned the film as an educational PBS special. Lots of well narrated close-ups on creepy-crawlies inside plastic containers, stacked high and labeled brightly, in bustling specialty shops. And the film begins like so.

At start, we see a young Japanese boy in a shop captivated by a “Kokasasu beetle!” and he shouts “Oh…I want it!” A hovering guardian suggests he’s likely short on cash. He counts his change, eventually settling on a beetle $10 cheaper. Later we see a group of young Japanese bug enthusiasts at home, referring to their hefty pet horn beetles as “kids” and dropping them into a “cage” to battle. Satisfied for a moment, they quickly stomp upstairs to examine more “kids,” and bypass the family dog. The dog looks bewildered. Outdated. But cute market-centric scenes like these make up only a small part of the film. Unexpectedly meditative and adorably hypnotic, Beetle Queen aspires to link the broad presence of bugs in Japanese culture from their role in popular video games to ancient religion; connecting fireflies to symbols of unrequited romance, dragonflies to symbols of the samurai.
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