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Columbia

#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

Casualties of War | Brian De Palma

February 2, 2019
casualties

In taking on the horrors of Vietnam, Brian De Palma’s Casualties of War may be said to mark a departure for the American director of such baroque Hitchcockian exercises as Body Double and Obsession. With a script by David Rabe (best known for three plays based on his experience in Vietnam), Casualties of War is based on a book of the same name by Daniel Lang, and concerns what is now referred to as the incident on Hill 92: The 1966 kidnap, gang rape, and…

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#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Comanche Station | Budd Boetticher

January 12, 2019
Comanche

The decade of the Great Depression saw a slump in high-end Western productions. This indigenous genre had been immensely popular with audiences of the two previous decades yet became relegated to a genus of the ‘B’ movie with the advent of sound. Randolph Scott started his vocation in Westerns during this period, starring mostly in low-budget adaptations of Zane Grey novels; finally, in ’36, he moved up to ‘A’ productions, with the genre itself in close pursuit. Scott would go on…

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#KickingtheCanon by George McCann Music

Bruce Springsteen | Nebraska

September 27, 2018
Bruce-Springsteen

When asked why he murdered ten people over an eight-day period, the unnamed narrator of Bruce Springsteen’s epic “Nebraska” replies, “Well, sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.” In many ways, that statement sums up the central theme of Springsteen’s sixth album: 1982’s Nebraska is a a study of people, mainly poor folks, on the…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Ghostbusters | Paul Feig

July 14, 2016
Ghostbusters

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: the new Ghostbusters remake/reboot/whatever isn’t a bad movie because it stars four women instead of four men. It isn’t bad because it somehow tarnishes the legacy of an alleged 80s classic either (honestly, there isn’t much to tarnish; Ivan Reitman’s 1984 film is merely fine). It’s bad because Paul Feig directed it. Feig is quite evidently good at collecting some very talented performers and getting them to improv a bunch of one-liners while…

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#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

The Age of Innocence | Martin Scorsese

July 16, 2015
ageofinnocence-3899426875-1521491679155

There is a remarkable shot late in The Age of Innocence when the narrator (Joanne Woodward) describes a room in Newland Archer’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) New York City home as “the room in which most of the real things in his life had happened.” As the camera moves around the space, it quickly becomes clear why this sentence switches suddenly to the past tense…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Chappie | Neill Blomkamp

March 5, 2015
Chappie (2015)

Chappie opens with documentary-style footage of artificial intelligence experts discussing the apparently paradigm-shifting events of the film about to begin, before shifting to faux news clips describing the privatization of Johannesburg’s police force and its extensive use of autonomous humanoid law enforcement drones called scouts. Later, a scientist installs an experimental A.I. program (a file hilariously labelled “consciousness.dat”) onto one of those droids, resulting in an incredibly…

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by Steve Carlson Film

The Other Guys | Adam McKay

October 5, 2010
The Other Guys (2010)

Will Ferrell is a very funny guy who has been accused of doing a certain type, a type he falls into easily, too often. I prefer to think of his as a coherent body of work. Whether macho man or milquetoast, Ferrell’s characters are tied to each other by the carefully-arranged and precise lives they lead, and by their adverse reaction to shifts in those lives. The slightest upset can send them off into fits of howling anger or surrealistic…

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