The Lobster (2016)

brooke Finally, a movie where single people can feel at ease in the world, because at least here they won’t be forced to transform into animals if they stay single too long.
That conceit was all I knew about The Lobster going in, but there’s a lot more to it.

casey I really liked about 2/3 of this one. Its world has a quirky totalitarian vibe and its characters a deadpan awkwardness that I enjoyed. The last act didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked, but it’s a unique experience if nothing else. Read More

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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (2016)

casey It has been 48 hours since we saw Eight Days a Week and I’ve been humming Beatles songs more or less nonstop since then.

brooke And I’ve been outright singing them.
(as you know, since we live together and stuff)
I certainly didn’t need any kind of rekindling of my love for The Beatles, but this documentary definitely stoked the flames of my undying love for this band.

casey I don’t know that I have a lot to say about the film, except that you’ll probably love it in about the same proportions as you love the music–in particular, the early 60s tunes when the Beatles were touring the world and permanently damaging the high-register vocal chords of teenage girls everywhere. I like The Beatles, and I liked this movie. Read More

Swiss Army Man (2016)

brooke First things first–people kept calling this the “farting corpse” movie at Sundance but I had no idea what a vital point the farting is to the story.
Also there’s a joke about butt plugs, so you know it’s good.

casey Swiss Army Man is weird. Very weird. I’m not sure I liked it, but there’s definitely more to it than flatulence.

brooke The movie tells the story of Hank (Paul Dano), who, when the movie opens, is stranded on a desert island. He’s just about to give up hope and hang himself when he sees that a corpse has washed up on the beach nearby. This dead body, played by Daniel Radcliffe, has the ability to propel himself across the water, jet ski style, with his flatulence, which Hank uses to ride to the shore of a remote mainland forest. Then the body starts to talk (his name is Manny), although he doesn’t remember much about being alive. Hank starts carrying Manny around and finds that Manny has a number of abilities he can use to survive (hence the film’s title). As they become friends, Hank also teaches Manny about the intricacies of fitting in by reenacting scenes from his life. Read More

Where to Invade Next? (2016)

casey I think we can agree that Michael Moore has managed to invade the most crucial place of all…our hearts.

brooke Right? How does he know just what’s going to get me right in the socialist corner of my ticker?

casey Truth is, this one is no classic, but it’s not bad. The conceit of Where to Invade Next is that Moore has been commissioned by the US government to “invade” other countries and claim their best parts for ourselves. This leads to a series of vignettes that amount to “Hey, check out what this country does! Wouldn’t it be cool if America did that?” We get a glimpse of Italy’s relaxed labor laws, Finland’s public education system, Iceland’s more rigorous bank regulations, and so on. Read More

Cabiria (1914)

brooke This movie. It was long, it was crazy, and it was epic but not really in the slang way.

casey I thought I had a decent grasp on Roman history, but Cabiria has a bewildering amount of of ancient names and cities that years of casual podcast listening did not prepare me for. Still, at its heart this Italian silent movie tells a simple story: a young Roman girl separated from her parents, raised as a slave to a Carthaginian noblewoman, and eventually rescued by a heroic Roman soldier Fulvius Axilla and his loyal, uh, “servant,” Maciste. Read More