Movie Review: Godzilla (1954) – Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films 1

Godzilla (1954)

Premise: American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

1954’s Godzilla is the beginning of film’s most massively iconic movie monster. It’s an introduction like no other as it focuses on the human reaction to Godzilla’s presence and destruction. With a slow build toward the rampage, the film explores real pathos in its characters. Godzilla creates the monster as an antagonist in a way that brings the fear of nuclear arms, humanity’s race toward self-destruction, and the horror of creating that which you can’t control to the forefront of its story. Continue reading

Movie Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Premise: After waking up convinced that she is going to die tomorrow, Amy’s carefully mended life begins to unravel. As her delusions of certain death become contagious to those around her, Amy and her friends’ lives spiral out of control in a tantalizing descent into madness.

She Dies Tomorrow, the latest from filmmaker Amy Seimetz, offers a unique exploration of existential anxiety by personifying depression as a contagion that’s easily spread. It’s a film that takes its subject matter seriously and eschews any subtlety or subtext with it. Instead, the specter of impending death and anxiety takes the forefront and drives what very little plot is in the movie. In a strange way, this approach actually works to the film’s benefit some of the time. Unfortunately, at other points, She Dies Tomorrow feels too meandering for its own good.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 321 – Extended Potpourri – Midway, The Gentlemen, The War of the Worlds, The Vast of Night, Inside Out, Popstar, and Alfred Hitchcock

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OV321 – Extended Potpourri – Midway, The Gentlemen, The War of the Worlds, The Vast of Night, inside Out, Popstar, and Alfred Hitchcock

This week, Tiny returns to The Obsessive Viewer for an extended potpourri wherein we discuss several movies (as well as book tangents) and touch on some entertainment news that has popped up recently.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 086 – OV B-Roll – “All the Things He Can’t Afford” – The Twilight Zone, They Came Together, Alexander Hamilton – July 29, 2020

Runtime: 1:24:22

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Ben’s Column: Yes, God Yes (2020) Review

Premise: After an innocent AOL chat turns racy, a Catholic teenager in the early 00s discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her new urges in the face of eternal damnation.

Think back to your early high school days and how sex and sexuality felt ever-present in daily life. Then, if you weren’t already, imagine those same feelings in the setting of a Catholic school, where you’re taught to mostly repress or ignore those feelings. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. So is masturbation. What do you do when your body and society are telling you one thing and the church is telling you another? Oh, and if you go against what they’re teaching, you’ll spend the afterlife in eternal damnation. Continue reading

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 320 – Relic (2020) and The Rental (2020) – Mike’s Post-Surgery Viewing, Friday the 13th Blu-Ray Announcement, and Horror Conventions in a Pandemic

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OV320 – Relic (2020) and The Rental (2020) – Mike’s Post-Surgery Viewing, Friday the 13th Blu-Ray Announcement, and Horror Conventions in a Pandemic

This week, Mike joins me to review IFC Midnight’s new releases Relic and The Rental. We also chat about Mike’s recovery from nose surgery, the newly announced Scream Factory Friday the 13th Blu-ray collection, and the ill-advised Days of the Dead convention.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 085 – OV B-Roll – “The Other Other C Word” – Internet Arguments, Spanish Love Songs, Ignorance, Complicity, and Aliens – July 15, 2020

Runtime: 1:55:50 Continue reading

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 319 – Roger Ebert’s Great Movies Part 1: Duck Soup (1933) and After Hours (1985) – The Painter and the Thief, 13 Reasons Why, and Sunshine – Guest: Ben Sears

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OV319 – Roger Ebert’s Great Movies Part 1: Duck Soup (1933) and After Hours (1985) – The Painter and the Thief, 13 Reasons Why, and Sunshine – Guest: Ben Sears

In our inaugural Ebert’s Great Movies Review Series episode, our contributor and friend Ben Sears joins me to discuss the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup (1933) and Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985) from Ebert’s “Great Movies” list. For Potpourri, we discuss the documentary The Painter and the Thief and the first handful of episodes from 13 Reasons Why’s final season.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 084 – OV B-Roll – “Money Movers and Channel Selectors” – A Pizza Cameo, School vs Prison, 365 Days of Tom Hanks, Weird School Movies, and Saved by the Bell – July 13, 2020

Runtime: 1:47:14 Continue reading

Ben’s Column: Greyhound (2020) Review

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Greyhound (2020)

Premise: Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.

Throughout the running time of Greyhound, we learn more about Captain Ernie Krause’s (Tom Hanks) leadership skills, but shockingly little about his life outside the titular naval destroyer. The mission is simple: guide a fleet of Allied supply ships across the vast Atlantic Ocean, and sink as many Nazi U-boats as possible. The fleet remains unprotected from air cover for over 50 hours over the ocean, and this provides the ticking clock conceit to the film. Greyhound bears a striking similarity to last year’s 1917, in that there’s a clear endpoint objective at stake, and the characters we spend the most time with are frustratingly opaque. But whereas 1917 took time to reflect and add at least a little characterization between its video game-like checkpoints, Greyhound only stops and pauses for a scant few moments. Continue reading

Movie Review: Relic (2020)

Relic (2020)

Premise: A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.

Relic, the feature debut from writer/director Natalie Erika James, takes the fragility and fear of caring for a mentally ailing loved one and packages it into an overall enticing thriller with the effectiveness and confidence of a seasoned filmmaker. By focusing on the struggles of caring for a relative, Relic allows its audience to grow attached to its characters before suddenly ratcheting up the tension and suspense in more conventional ways. And although James deftly guides the audience through the family drama at Relic‘s center, the conventional feel of the climax does leave a bit to be desired before successfully ending the film on a disturbing and thought-provoking note.

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Ben’s Column: Homemade Season One Review

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Homemade: Season One (2020)

Premise: Confined at home as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, filmmakers created personal, moving stories that capture our shared experience of life in quarantine. Continue reading

Movie Review: Irresistible (2020)

Irresistible (2020)

Premise: A Democratic strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.

By transposing a high stakes political arena onto a small town rural America setting, Jon Stewart’s Irresistible takes a relatively low key approach to its ribbing of the world of campaign finance. It is not simply a “fish out of water” story. Nor does it attempt to romanticize the quaint small town it occupies. Instead, Stewart uses this juxtaposition to call attention to the absurdity of campaign fundraising in a fairly unique manner. And although the approach is surprisingly refreshing in this era of fourth wall breaking Adam McKay political and socio-economic commentary films, Irresistible falters a bit on the road to its message.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 318 – The Vast of Night & The King of Staten Island – Da 5 Bloods, The Wrong Missy, and AMC Theaters’ Reopening Plans – Guest: Ben Sears

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OV318 – The Vast of Night & The King of Staten Island – Da 5 Bloods, The Wrong Missy, and AMC Theaters’ Reopening Plans – Guest: Ben Sears

This week, our contributor and friend Ben joins me to review the retro sci-fi film, The Vast of Night and the new Judd Apatow film The King of Staten Island. We also talk about drive-in movies and AMC’s plans to reopen. For Potpourri, we discuss the Netflix films Da 5 Bloods and The Wrong Missy.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 074 – OV B-Roll – “Matt & Ben’s Three-Way” – Streaming Downloads, HBOMax Offerings, Another Movie and Meal Hypothetical – June 18, 2020

Runtime: 1:55:11 Continue reading

Ben’s Column: Da 5 Bloods (2020) Movie Review

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Premise: Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide. Continue reading

Movie Review: 7500 (2020)

7500 (2020)

Premise: A pilot’s aircraft is hijacked by terrorists.

Patrick Vollrath’s 7500 is a tense and claustrophobic thriller about an airplane hijacking and the pilot’s efforts to keep control and guide the passengers to safety. Taking place almost entirely within the cockpit, 7500 quickly becomes a showcase of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ability to command the screen with an intense and introspective performance. It is also an exercise in low-budget filmmaking and storytelling that utilizes limited set space.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 317 – Becky (2020) & Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street – Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, and Scott Pilgrim

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OV317 – Becky (2020) & Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street – Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, and Scott Pilgrim

This week, Mike joins me to review the new thriller on VOD, Becky and the Shudder exclusive documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 070 – OV B-Roll – “Goopy Lovefest” – Behind the Podcast Curtains, Dream Me-Time Double Features, That 70’s Show, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – June 11, 2020

Runtime: 1:46:32 Continue reading

Ben’s Column: Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (2020) Movie Review

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (2020)

Premise: A look at the final moments of a Las Vegas dive bar called ‘The Roaring 20s’.

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,

And they’re always glad you came;

You want to be where you can see,

Our troubles are all the same;

You want to be where everybody knows your name. Continue reading