Monthly Archives: September 2014

Trailer Park: Inherent Vice

Screen shot 2014-09-29 at 9.14.52 PM

The trailer for Inherent Vice, the latest Paul Thomas Anderson joint, was just released. Let’s see if it meets all of the criteria on the PTA checklist:

  • Southern California? Check
  • Ambient score? Check
  • Insanely detailed period piece details? Check
  • Promise of random, brutal violence? Check

Okay, now we’re talking.

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As Saturday Night Live Turns 40, Things Are Looking Up


Image via

Saturday Night Live is a New York institution. You can complain all you want about its current quality, but it’s not going anywhere.

SNL also holds a unique place in the world of comedy in that it is more like a sports team than a television show. Like any team, it depends on the efforts of everybody involved, as opposed to just one person. Despite this, it is devastating whenever a power player leaves. To me, Bill Hader leaving SNL was just as big a loss as Derek Jeter leaving the Yankees. By the way, did you know Jeter is leaving the Yankees? They should do a few stories about it on the news.

Anyway, like any good New York team, be it the Giants or the Knicks, SNL went through a bit of a rough patch. Every year seems to be a rebuilding year for SNL, but this year Lorne Michaels really seems to be taking it seriously. Multiple people were fired and Weekend Update replaced an anchor. Based on the season premiere, hosted by Chris Pratt, these gambles will pay off in a big way.

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Ten Movie Themed College Courses That Should Exist


Scandinavian Studies 101 (Left) and American History From WWII-Present (Right). Image via Hollywood Reporter

Earlier today, news got out that a new course is being taught at University of Baltimore which centers around Marvel movies. It was hailed as the first of its kind, unless you count the Marvel class taught by my friend (Professor of Comics on the podcast) at Syracuse last year. I get it, once Upstate New York gets a show as good as The Wire made about it, then people will remember it exists.

As somebody who mainly occupied the communications and liberal arts buildings, I have taken some odd college courses. I once took a philosophy class where two people argued whether or not a cat had a tail or not for 45 minutes. For some reason, I never dropped it.

Besides that, I typically liked the classes that some might consider “BS.” I liked to learn about history and even write an essay. One of the best classes I took in college was about horror movies. Now, I’m a horror convert.

Making a class about blockbusters might seem odd, but Marvel has such a big impact on modern movies that it’s about time we got past the spandex and Stan Lee cameos and tried to figure it all out. This inspired me. I decided to think about some other film-related courses I would like colleges to adopt.

So without further adieu, here are some movie themed college courses that should exist:

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Kevin Smith’s Glory Days: Ranking the Films of the View Askewniverse


Just another day at the mall. Image via DVD Active

So, I saw Tusk, Kevin Smith’s latest film, the other day. Needless to say, I was not a big fan.

Sure, it showed that Kevin Smith is still a deeply ambitious director. Yet, it lacked everything that once made him one of my heroes. This inspired me to go back and take another look at the View Askewniverse. This is the name of Kevin Smith’s earlier films that all took place in the same New Jersey town, making him the John Hughes of the Garden State. All of the film’s contained interlocking and recurring characters.

For the most part, each View Askew film could be viewed individually without knowing the joke and still be enjoyable. The references to his other films served as a nice bonus for dedicated fans. This is the opposite of Tusk, which seemed like it was made for dedicated Smodcast fans.

Here is a look back and official ranking of the films that made up the View Askewniverse. With this, I hope to go back to a simpler time in Smith’s career, and also answer the question as to why he has become such a cult icon:

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Movie Review: Tusk


Help! I’m stuck in a bad Kevin Smith movie! Image via Bloody Disgusting

Oh Kevin Smith, why hath thou foresaken us?

Tusk, the latest Kevin Smith joint, has received a lot of hype both for its weird premise and the weird way in which the story was first conceived. Like the scientific experiment seen onscreen, Tusk is equal parts bizarre and inexplicable. But most of all, it never justifies its reason for existence.

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Movie Review: The Skeleton Twins


“Hey Kristen…do you think the seat between us is symbolism for the distance in our relationship.” “Sure Bill.” Image via IFC

For a film starring a guy known for his Alan Alda impression and a girl known for her awkward stammering, The Skeleton Twins sure is sad. In fact, the biggest laugh you will get out of The Skeleton Twins is from a joke about a famous dead dog.

The Skeleton Twins checks off a myraid of indie movie cliches, from white people being sad underwater, to white people being sad while sticking their head out of a car window. A good alternate title for this film would be Little Miss Zoloft.

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Movie Review: The Drop


Here we are again, in another rough and tumble neighborhood where everybody steals from each other, and nobody ever gets out. We have heard this story before and it can basically take place anywhere because, well, America is filled with a lot of crappy places.

The Drop is a slick and entertaining, yet typical, crime thriller. Boston writer Dennis Lehane takes his talents to the streets of Brooklyn. Bob (Tom Hardy) works at a bar that criminals from all walks of life use as a “drop bar.” This is a place where money constantly changes hands. Or that is what I think. There’s a lot of accents in play here.

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Movie Review: Frank

Maggie Hyllenhall, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson in Frank

Well would you look at that: an indie film about the creative mind that doesn’t come from such a dark place.

Frank opens as Jon Burroughs (Domhnall Gleeson) walks down the beach of his quaint British hometown and constructs lyrics in his head based on everything he sees. Most of the stuff he comes up with is terrible. Then again, when you try and create stuff, a majority of the stuff that you come up with is going to be crap.

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