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Ben’s Column: The Killing of Two Lovers (2021) – Review

With a title like The Killing of Two Lovers, you’d be forgiven if you were to go into it expecting a more violent drama. But director, screenwriter, and editor Robert Machoian has more on his mind than surface-level passion. Namely the slow and painful disintegration of a marriage, and everyone that gets sucked into its wake. Machoian’s film uses many impressive tricks and techniques to sell the ideas he’s working towards, but the film could ultimately be polished more in its shadings of some of the secondary characters.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 343 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 8 – The Circus (1928), The Searchers (1956), and Paths of Glory (1957) – The Last Dance, Small Axe, and Indy Film Fest 2021: Welcome to Monterey (2021), and Comedy Shorts Block

In this episode, Ben, Tiny, and I continue our series reviewing the films from Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list. In this edition, we cover Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus, John Ford’s The Searchers, and Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory.

Ben Sears' Columns 0

Ben’s Column: Stowaway (2021) – Review

Calling Stowaway a sci-fi film feels a little disingenuous. Yes, the film is set in space and involves a voyage to Mars, but the setting feels almost perfunctory: the mission at hand is more about survival than science. Director Joe Penna, whose feature debut dealt with Mads Mikkelsen stranded in the arctic, was a solid, assured tale of man versus nature. For his follow-up, he expands the cast and jettisons them into the void of space, while still grounding his characters in reality and not resulting to formulaic plot points.

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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 341 – Q: Into the Storm (2021) – Shang-Chi Trailer, Voyagers, Infinite Train, Invincible, Promising Young Woman, and Matt Returns to the Theater

In this episode, Tiny, Ben, and I review Q: Into the Storm. We also discuss the new Shang-Chi trailer, my return to the movie theater, and round out the episode with a potpourri section in which we talk about Voyagers, Promising Young Woman, Infinite Train, and Invincible.

Ben Sears' Columns 0

Ben’s Column: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – Review

The internet can, on very rare occasions, be used as a force for good in the world. In 2017, Disney pulled the insufferable short film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure from Coco’s screenings after audiences voiced their overwhelmingly negative reactions. In 2019, Paramount re-tooled Sonic the Hedgehog after fans recoiled in horror at the reveal of the titular character’s look. And now, 4 years after its initial release, Warner Bros. has caved to its fans and released the long-fabled “Snyder cut” of Justice League.

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Ben’s Column: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021) – Review

Filmmakers tend to take on projects in familiar genres for one of two reasons: One could be to explore a previously untapped or underutilized element of the genre. The other could be to put their own personal spin on the material. Martin Scorcese explored the long-lasting effects of the typically short-lived life of crime in The Irishman. Ryan Coogler imprinted the Black experience on Black Panther. Even last year, the time-loop genre went through a reinvention of sorts with Palm Springs. I’m not saying that the release of The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is hindered by its proximity to Palm Springs; rather, it’s that it has hardly anything new to say, in a genre with fairly limited breathing room to begin with.