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Entries categorized as “The Fourth Wall” 41 results

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: 13th

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the NetFlix documentary 13th.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Kevin:

Truth can be a murky concept. Truth when it comes to politics? Well, lots of folks might chuckle at that association, right? Back in the '90s, I enjoyed Michael Moore's political documentaries (particularly his first, Roger & Me), until I realized that I was really only getting a slice of the story... namely, the slice that supported his anti-corporate polemics. Moore was a very funny filmmaker in those days, and offered up plenty of clever critiques of American culture in general. Was it fair to call Corporate America on the carpet for its misdeeds? Absolutely. Were the issues discussed in his work much more nuanced than he led people to believe? Again, absolutely .

One complicating factor is that we all bring our own biases and backgrounds into political discussions. My worldview and set of experiences might be dramatically different than someone else's. When it comes to turning a critical eye on a non-political movie like The Rider , this difference may not matter much -- how many of us know anything about horses, rodeo, and living in the Dakotas? But I'm a student of history and government, and thus I'm going to be much more guarded when it comes to political arguments that someone else is selling me.

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Share July 25, 2018 http://chrp.at/19db Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Tully

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the movie Tully.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

WARNING: Major Spoilers Ahead…!

Clarence:

Marlo (Charlize Theron) is far from loving life. She and her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) are parents of two children with another one almost due. Ron has checked out on the domestic front, Marlo’s son is having developmental problems at school and is looking at expulsion, and there’s general sense that Marlo’s existence is not the one she wanted, which she might be able to do something about if she could find 10 minutes to get some sleep.

After Marlo gives birth to #3, she begins behaving in ways that suggest postpartum depression. Her wealthy brother Craig (Mark Duplass) offers to pay for a night nanny to help her out. Marlo resists at first, but soon Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a twentysomething free spirit whose youthful energy is matched by her earthly wisdom, appears at Marlo’s door, ready and willing to assist. In every way, Tully is exactly what Marlo needs. Whether tending to the newborn, baking cupcakes for school, or jumpstarting Marlo and Drew’s love life, Tully is perfect. Maybe too perfect...

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Share June 15, 2018 http://chrp.at/18KB Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Kevin:

One popular storytelling recipe:

1) Start with one seemingly perfect, well-to-do family.

2) Add one shady interloper.

3) Stir slowly.

It's certainly a formula tried and true in genres ranging from comedy (What About Bob?) to thrillers (Cape Fear). I suspect that part of the trope's appeal stems from the jealousy that we tend to have of pristine families who appear to have it all. And so, we wonder: how much stress can we inject into these households before even fundamentally serene people start to crack? 

Steven and Anna Murphy (Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman) live in a beautiful home in a gorgeous neighborhood. He's a heart surgeon of some renown, and together they're the parents of two cheerful kids, Kim and Bob. When Martin (Barry Keoghan), a socially awkward high-schooler, shows up during one of Steven's shifts, we're originally led to believe that he's simply an overzealous kid eager to ingratiate himself with a star physician. Soon afterwards, however, we discover that they share a dark history... one in which Martin holds Steven accountable for a personal tragedy. And in retribution, Martin calmly lays out the parameters for their new relationship with a chilling succinctness. 

Unless Steven makes restitution for what Martin perceives as a gross injustice, Bad Things will start happening to Steven's family. And indeed they do. His children start to lose the use of their legs. Then their appetites. Much like what was said of Arnold's T-800 in The Terminator, Martin can't be reasoned with or bargained with, and he doesn't feel remorse for the children that soon suffer his wrath. He also doesn't want any money -- his required "restitution" is the sacrifice of a family member.

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Share May 30, 2018 http://chrp.at/19Dm Share on Facebook Tweet This!

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Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the sci-fi classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Clarence:

Even after over 60 years, 13 movies, 7 television series, and a galaxy of non-canon books, comics and Internet fan fiction, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), remains THE Star Trek story in many fans' minds. The story is actually pretty basic: take one iconic starship captain (William Shatner) and pit him and his crew in a pitched battle against a quintessential nemesis (Ricardo Montalbán) who's seeking ultimate payback for a past defeat and exile. Many lives are in the balance, and before it's over, there will be tragedy on both sides.

It’s been more than 30 years since the release of Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan, and it remains a jewel in the crown of science-fiction cinema, cementing one of the first mega-successful attempts at adapting a TV show into a film. Of course, the main pull quote from that film, Captain Kirk’s rage-filled retort to his arch-enemy (“KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!”) has been parodied and referenced in other movies and TV shows ad infinitum. But there’s so much more.

The general consensus is that of all the Star Trek movies, Khan is the best. I feel in this regard the public's view is spot on, even when comparing it to the stunning special effects of the recently rebooted Trek (alternate) universe. This movie carries a resonance that isn’t there with most, if not all, of the other Star Trek films. And I think it does so for these reasons:

It’s an all-around great storyKhan isn't just about spaceships waging battle. Just as important are the themes of friendship, revenge, aging, and past mistakes coming back to bite you in the ass. It helps that the cast had a few years to work together on the TV series so they could get to know the characters and build relationships that they could carry to the big screen.

It’s Shakespeare in space. The most successful lead actors in the Star Trek franchise tend to be the ones who have a lot of experience performing Shakespeare, where the ability to generate powerful emotions while standing next to cardboard cutout scenery is a must. Subtlety and irony is not what’s required in a space opera. William Shatner and Ricardo Montalbán understood this and set the tone perfectly.

You don’t need to be a Trekkie to follow what’s going on. Other movies in the Star Trek franchise require more than a little background knowledge to fully appreciate the current story being told. An audience member doesn’t have to know that Khan is basically a sequel to an original Star Trek episode (“Space Seed,” Season 1, Ep. 22) in order to understand what’s going on. A cursory knowledge of what Star Trek is is all that’s required.

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Share April 30, 2018 http://chrp.at/19Je Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: star trek

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Last Seduction

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the film The Last Seduction.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Shawna Kaiser.

Kevin:

Hang on to your heart, your wallet, and your life -- if Bridget Gregory of The Last Seduction is in town, all three are at risk. Was it a victory for feminism to see a female cinema protagonist that was as ruthless as any male to grace the screen? Let's discuss...

-----

In the annals of Neo-noir, The Last Seduction may have traveled one of the oddest paths to glory. First aired by HBO in 1994 before the channel garnered its current status as a purveyor of high-brow television, Seduction was originally pitched as a throwaway "skin-e-max" (in the words of screenwriter Steve Barancik) flick. Lo and behold, a quality piece of cinema emerged, powered by a stunning performance from lead Linda Fiorentino as the aforementioned Ms. Gregory. The film was then ushered into the box office for a brief run (grossing over $5 million) and garnered a four-star review from Roger Ebert, who listed the movie on his Top 10 list for the year. However, despite generating serious Oscar buzz, Fiorentino was ruled ineligible by the Academy because the film had aired on cable before arriving in theaters. 

The plot in a nutshell: Bridget is married to Clay (Bill Pullman), a shady would-be doctor who's dealing drugs in order to pay back a loan shark. After a big score, the couple quarrel; Clay hits Bridget, and she decides to hightail out of NYC -- with their $700,000. Bridget bunkers down in a suburb of Buffalo until her divorce goes through, while Clay (now in serious physical danger from Mr. Loan Shark) hires private eye Harlan (Bill Nunn) to find his wife and recover the loot.

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Share April 25, 2018 http://chrp.at/197l Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: The Fourth Wall

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