Author Archives: Matt Hurt

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 330 – Love and Monsters (2020) – Songbird trailer, I Think You Should Leave, Aunty Donna, The Return of LOSTPoint

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OV330 – Love and Monsters (2020) – Songbird trailer, I Think You Should Leave, Aunty Donna, The Return of LOSTPoint

In this episode, Kyrsten and I review the new monster-pocalypse Dylan O’Brien film, Love and Monsters! We also catch up on some things we’ve been watching, discuss the potential tastelessness of the upcoming COVID-themed thriller, Songbird, and finally return to our LOSTPoint series where we watch episodes of LOST and the Canadian police show Flashpoint.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 099 – OV B-Roll – “Matt’s Ice Cream & Hot Chocolate Buffet and Kitty Emporium” – Trump’s Ghost Campaign, Restaurants in 2020, Hard Candy, and True Crime Podcasts – Nov 15, 2020

Runtime: 1:52:12

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 329 – The Friday the 13th Franchise (1980-2009)

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OV329 – The Friday the 13th Franchise (1980-2009)

In honor of Mike’s birthday coinciding with Friday the 13th, he and I cracked open the new Scream Factory Friday the 13th blu-ray collection and shared our thoughts on the franchise title by title.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 098 – OV B-Roll – “The Erosion of Truth” – Liberal Patreon Tiers, Mike’s Band’s Patreon, The Haunting of Bly Manor – Nov 9, 2020

Runtime: 2:39:27

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 328 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 4: Rear Window (1954) & Vertigo (1958) – Heartland Film Fest Hitchcock Night, Awards Season 2020, Picture Character, Sophie Jones, and The Outside Story

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OV328 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 4: Rear Window (1954) & Vertigo (1958) – Heartland Film Fest Hitchcock Night, Awards Season 2020, Picture Character, Sophie Jones, and The Outside Story

In this episode, Ben and I continue our journey through Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list with a special Heartland Film Festival edition of our review series. We discuss two Hitchcock films on the list that were part of Heartland’s lineup of special drive-in screenings. First, we review 1954’s Rear Window and then follow it with 1958’s Vertigo.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 096 – OV B-Roll – “Carving Out Time to B Positive” – Criterion Shopping, Patreon Restructuring, Time (2020), B Positive, TV Homes – Nov 10, 2020

Runtime: 1:33:29

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 327 – HIFF2020: 76 Days (2020), In Case of Emergency (2020), Belly of the Beast (2020), and When My Time Comes (2020)

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OV327 – HIFF2020: 76 Days (2020), In Case of Emergency (2020), Belly of the Beast (2020), and When My Time Comes (2020)

Recorded October 15, 2020: In this episode, Tiny and I review some of the stuff we watched at the 29th Annual Heartland Film Festival! We covered the documentaries 76 Days, In Case of Emergency, Belly of the Beast, and When My Time Comes. We also touch on The Comey Rule, All In: The Fight for Democracy, and more.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 095 – OV B-Roll – “I Real Good Kitty” – Friday the 13th, Kyle Rittenhouse, Gun Rights, Trick ‘r Treat, Halloween(x3), Apostle, and Drive in Movies – Oct 15, 2020

Runtime: 1:17:52

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Movie Review: Fail Safe (1964)

Fail Safe (1964)

Premise: A technical malfunction sends American planes to Moscow to deliver a nuclear attack. Can all-out war be averted?

Sidney Lumet’s classic political thriller Fail Safe is a masterpiece of tension and horrific verisimilitude. The film boasts a remarkable cast of characters played to wonderful effect by talented actors like Henry Fonda, Fritz Weaver, and Walter Matthau, to name a few. What is most striking (no pun intended) about Fail Safe is the manner in which the events and philosophical debates play out. Fail Safe uses an intense situation as a backdrop to address the fear of communism and “the other” head on. It also works overtime to depict a world where the people in charge of nuclear superpowers are human and fallible creatures. This creates an immersion like no other and a sense of unease that still hits home decades after its release.
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Movie Review: Totally Under Control (2020)

Totally Under Control (2020)

Premise: An in-depth look at how the United States government handled the response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the early months of the pandemic.

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney’s “shot in secret” film about the Trump administration’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps one of the most important documentaries to come out in the months since the outbreak and the weeks before the 2020 election. Totally Under Control does not aim to present a clear Republicans vs Democrats narrative of the way the US bungled its pandemic response. Instead, Gibney and his team present a compelling and infuriating view of Donald Trump’s antagonistic relationship to science. Totally Under Control paints a vivid picture of how the anti-science views of the Trump administration has contributed to the deaths of over 214,000 Americans and climbing. Continue reading

HIFF2020: 76 Days (2020)

76days_digitalposter

4 stars

76 Days (2020)

Documentary Feature/Finalist
Director: Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous
Screenwriter: Hao Wu
Producers: Hao Wu, Jean Tsien
Executive Producers: Bryn Mooser, Roberto Grande, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Naja Pham Lockwood

Premise: On January 23rd, 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, to combat the emerging COVID-19 outbreak. Set deep inside the frontlines of the crisis, “76 Days” tells indelible human stories of the healthcare workers and patients who struggle to survive the pandemic with resilience and dignity.

As we live through a crisis that seems to only be exacerbated by misinformation and vitriolic political spats spilling out from social media and onto the streets, it is far too easy to lose perspective. Fortunately, 76 Days provides perspective a lot of people desperately need in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a harrowing documentary that will refocus your attention past the asinine entitlement of anti-maskers and the ludicrously dangerous contingent of Americans who cry hoax at every mention of the disease that has killed over 214,000 Americans as of this writing. What 76 Days achieves through its fly on the wall documenting is to put human faces on the superheroic actions of healthcare workers. It does so with dignity and grace as we watch medical staff in a Wuhan hospital try to stem the flood of horror at their doorstep and the emotional toll it takes on them.
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HIFF2020: Song Without a Name (2019)

song-without-a-name_poster

4 stars

Song Without a Name (2019)

Narrative Feature/Finalist
Director: Melina León
Screenwriters: Melina León, Michael J. White
Cast: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas

Premise: Based on harrowing true events, “Song Without A Name” tells the story of Georgina, an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a downtown Lima clinic – and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions – suggesting deep, rotting corruption in Peru.

Song Without a Name, the gorgeously shot debut feature from Melina León, tells the heart wrenching story of a mother searching for her newborn baby and the journalist who’s determined to help her. Set among the turbulence of armed conflict in late 1980s Peru, the film is harrowing in the way it compartmentalizes its drama into the character of Georgina and establishes the horrific journey she has ahead of her. Lonely journalist Pedro also has his own painful arc to contend with as he works to uncover what happened to Georgina’s child. The two characters’ arc intertwine and land a little differently, but the message and tragedy of Song Without a Name plays on.
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HIFF2020: All for My Mother (2019)

all for my mother

3.5 stars

All for My Mother (2019)

Narrative Feature/US Premiere
Director: Małgorzata Imielska
Screenwriter: Małgorzata Imielska
Cast: Zofia Domalik, Maria Sobocińska, Jowita Budnik

Premise: Olka is seventeen years old. For years, she had been looking for her mother. Her constant escapes from the orphanage landed her in a reformatory. She only wants her mother back.

All for My Mother, Małgorzata Imielska’s debut feature out of Poland, is largely comprised of hardships and trauma that befall the lead character Olka. Through her experience in a reformatory with other troubled teens who wish her harm, to a temporary stay with a couple who aren’t as warm and welcoming as they seem, Olka has one simple goal in mind: to reunite with her mother. That’s all she consciously desires, yet it’s not what she truly needs or yearns for beneath the surface. What Olka truly craves is acceptance and a sense of belonging. She is desperate for the stability of family and the journey she finds herself on makes for a heartbreaking and emotional ride. It’s a ride that includes frequent stops as the path she follows becomes more bleak and dour the further she goes.
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HIFF2020: In Case of Emergency (2020)

in case of emergency poster

3.5 stars

In Case of Emergency (2020)

Documentary Feature
Director: Carolyn Jones
Cast: Cathlyn Robinson, Galina Chavez, Jennifer Hanks, Sheryl Hurst, Rabih Saad

Premise: Follows emergency nurses and their patients in seven unique settings across the U.S from urban to rural, shedding light on some of the biggest health care crises facing Americans today

The type of person who works in the chaotic and unpredictable world of Emergency Department medical care has long been something I’ve deeply admired. I simply don’t know how people can harness the amount of emotional strength and the resilience it takes to thrive in that environment day after day. Carolyn Jones’ documentary In Case of Emergency showcases that strength and resilience while also humanizing the profession. Continue reading

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 326 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 3: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) & 8 1/2 (1963) – Heartland Film Festival 2020 Preview, and Extended Patreon Clip (Feels Good Man & Possessor)

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OV326 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 3: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) & 8 1/2 (1963) – Heartland Film Festival 2020 Preview, and Extended Patreon Clip (Feels Good Man & Possessor)

Recorded September 22, 2020: In the latest installment of our Ebert’s Great Movies Review Series, our newly promoted recurring co-host Ben Sears joins me to discuss the classic horror/German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2020) and the Frederico Fellini film 8 ½ (1963) from Ebert’s “Great Movies” list. We also chat about the upcoming Heartland Film Festival.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 092 – OV B-Roll – “Whole Foods Hot Chocolate and Oatmilk” – Class Action Park (2020), Possessor (2020), HIFF2020 Screenings, Ted Lasso, and Hoops – Sept 22, 2020

Runtime: 1:33:29

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Movie Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Premise: What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest—including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale—were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.

Kicking off this crazy and horrid year’s awards season offerings is writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s solid historical courtroom drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7. In telling the story of the notorious trial following riots that broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Sorkin holds a mirror to our country’s continuing fight for social justice while keeping his camera focused on the historical struggle he’s depicting. Chicago 7 has a lot to say and is a confident entry in Sorkin’s still young directorial career. However, while it is a marked improvement over his directorial debut Molly’s Game, Sorkin seems to still be finding his footing behind the camera.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 325 – The Social Dilemma (2020) & The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) – RIP Chadwick Boseman, The Batman, Dune, The Great Hack, The Social Network

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OV325 – The Social Dilemma (2020) & The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) – RIP Chadwick Boseman, The Batman, Dune, The Great Hack, The Social Network

In this episode, Tiny and I review the newly released documentary The Social Dilemma and McG’s sequel The Babysitter: Killer Queen. We also discuss Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing and his legacy, COVID-19 check-ins, The Batman and Dune trailers and more.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 091 – OV B-Roll – “Contactless Delivery” – Da 5 Bloods, The Boys Season 2, Sorkin – Sept 16, 2020

Runtime: 2:08:45

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Movie Review: Rodan (1956)

Rodan (1956)

Premise: A large mining accident sets loose prehistoric insects and giant pterosaurs on Japan.

Ishiro Honda’s Rodan certainly lacks some of the character and subtext from some of his other Kaiju films. But that’s not to say it is a bad film by any means. The rise of the pterodactyl-esque creatures and giant insects to wreak havoc on the citizens of Japan make for an engaging monster movie with some surprising (or not so surprising, given Honda’s pedigree) imagery. With each act of Rodan offering nearly its own movie premise, this creature feature is one that offers plenty of action, if nothing else. Continue reading

Movie Review: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) – Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films 4

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Premise: A typhoon washes ashore a gigantic egg. It’s soon claimed by greedy entrepreneurs who refuse to return it to its rightful owner, Mothra. Soon Godzilla arises near Nagoya, washed ashore by the same typhoon.

In the aftermath of an intense typhoon, an enormous egg and a strange, radioactive piece of debris are discovered. Capturing the attention of Japanese citizens, the objects naturally kick off a tale of greed and a gargantuan fight of finders vs keepers. It all leads to a fight for the ages as Godzilla takes on Mothra!
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