Goodbye Mailbox: A Short List of my Favorite Sketches from The State

state1Over the last year, I have written a number of articles about the music I’ve spent my life listening to, poking and prodding and digging around to see how it all affected me, how it made me grow as a person, how it helped me, defined me, or influenced my life and personality. There was a lot to sift through, but it was a joy to revisit and re-experience it all again. And now that musical nostalgia highway has got me thinking about other aspects of me that the pop culture I grew up with molded like so much clay. Like my sense of humor. Where did that come from?

Thank God for VOD! – ABC’s of Death 2

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

abcsofdeathABC’s of Death 2

A hairy and half-naked man running down the street, eyes aglaze, mouth frothing, attacking innocent bystanders! A new castaway coming between two men stranded on an island! A group of ungrateful family members pining away for their inheritance from their defiant benefactor! Granddad on grandson violence! Monsters! Jilted lovers! Deranged babysitters! Guns! Robots! Badgers! There are 26 new ways to die in the latest installment of the horror anthology series The ABC’s of Death, and they’re delightful. Part two finds a brand new group of directors from all over the world being assigned a letter from the alphabet, and then just going nuts from there. The first film was a lot of fun, though sometimes cringe-worthy, and the sequel keeps up the pace, at times even upping the ante.

Thank God for VOD! – They Came Together

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

theycametogetherThey Came Together

And just when you thought I was all horror flicks, thrillers, blood and guts, and social commentary, here I come at you with a romantic comedy. A romcom. Or, in this instance, all of the tropes and beats of a romantic comedy completely ripped to pieces and then reassembled with a knowing smile and a wink by a killer ensemble cast and the comedic genius of a bunch of former members of The State*. They Came Together is a romantic comedy, but it’s a hyper-self-aware romantic comedy that bleeds absurdity and goes so far with its poking as to surpass satire. It’s an odd and hilarious film.

Joup Movie Review: ‘Boyhood’ Richard Linklater, 2014

boyhood

I feel a Hipsterish cringe as Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ sounds out over the opening shot of a cloud strewn blue sky, before I remember that I secretly think this is a beautiful song. For a long time, I didn’t even hate Coldplay, I was above all that, they were just an Indie ‘In’ for those younger than me. Of course in recent years I’ve found their self important, remedial plinkety-plonking bombast grossly offensive, but that’s just an irrelevant by-product of experience and the slow creeping cynicism that heralds the beginning of the inevitable rendezvous with decrepitude. As Coldplay serenade the theater, you’ll have to forego a certain amount of cynicism. We’re looking down on 5 year old Mason, unfettered by such trivialities, lying on his back on serene grass musing on the incongruous blue above as it becomes clear that this musical cue is a signifier for this place in time, 2002.

Underrated: Joe Dante’s “The ‘Burbs”

burbs“I want to kill everyone. Satan is good. Satan is our pal.”

Like so many others, I first saw The ‘Burbs, Joe Dante’s brilliant comedic ode to suburban rut and paranoia on cable when I was a kid. To say the movie has stuck to me like some lost, drunken night’s tattoo is to understate its impact. It’s a film I have gone back to time and time again over the last 25 years, be it via a worn and fuzzy VHS copy recorded off of HBO when I was in grade school, or the DVD copy I scored years later. I never grow tired of it. The story, the scenes, the dialog are so engrained within my psyche, that quoting lines from the thing has become a kind of litmus test as to whether or not we can be friends (see also The Monster Squad).

Thank God for VOD! – Almost Human

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

almosthumanAlmost Human

I’m actually a little late on writing about Joe Begos’ directorial debut feature length film Almost Human. Late, in that I actually watched this movie almost two months ago, and late, in that the film is actually getting its DVD/Blu Ray release this week (I think). So, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of my initial concept for these Thank God for VOD! columns. That being said, who cares? The movie is a whole lot of fun, and you shouldn’t let my tardiness in writing about it keep you from giving it a view.

Thank God for VOD! – Cheap Thrills

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

cheapthrillsCheap Thrills

What would you do for money? Would you do something stupid? Something dangerous? What if it was a lot of money? Would you do something humiliating? Something debasing? What if you really needed that money? Would you do something illegal? Something unconscionable?

E.L. Katz’s debut feature Cheap Thrills answers all those questions and more with gusto and a wicked, black smile.

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