Sunday, September 22, 2013

Random Double Features: The Man With No Name and the Kid With No Shame

Welcome to another edition of Random Double Features, where a friend makes a random selection of two films from my library and then I sit down and watch them. Then I come back here and let you know if there's any way the two can be tied together.

An old theatre school buddy, Mary Beth, picked our latest Double Feature: A Fistful of Dollars and Scott Pilgrim vs The World.  On the face of things, they couldn't be more different; one is a Spaghetti Western released nearly 50 years ago and one is a comedy set in Canada made by a Brit and is one of the most 21st Century films around. But, when I watched them, I was actually surprised by how well they fit together.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BBC Announces 50th Anniversary Plans for Doctor Who....after, you know, somebody leaked them anyway.

Proving once again that while the Doctor can keep his secrets pretty damn effectively, the BBC has more leaks than faucet repaired by a blind three-legged hedgehog, the BBC has officially announced their full run down of all their celebratory programming for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary......hours after someone else leaked the whole damn thing.

Not to be undone, the Beeb confirmed that the title of the 50th Anniversary story will be "The Day of the Doctor." The special will run 75 minutes, and will feature a team up between the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and his predecessor, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). They also released this sweet-ass poster. Take a look at all the photo-shopped goodness below.

The special will costar Jenna Coleman as current companion Clara, Billie Piper (returning as the Tenth Doctor's companion Rose) and John Hurt. who Hurt plays exactly forms the central mystery of the special as in last season's final episode it was revealed (SPOILERS FOLLOW UNTIL END OF PARAGRAPH DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YA) that he is some sort of version of the Doctor who, according to the Eleventh Doctor "broke the promise."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Random Double Feature: Close Encounters With Catholic Priests

In my last post, I announced a new feature here at the Report; the Random Double Feature. By clicking on this link, through the magic of the Interwebs, you can discover how I arrived at this new feature, but suffice to say, I'm having friends randomly select movies from my library to create impromptu double features, watching them, and then trying to find some sort of connective tissue between the two. It could be trivial in nature, though I hope that sometimes we'll find some sort of surprising thematic connection.

For our first instalment, my friend James selected Close Encounters of the Third Kind and I Confess. Both are films directed by master filmmakers; Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock. I watched Close Encounters first, so let's start there.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was Spielberg's first film since his incredible success with Jaws in 1975. Though the film had been in development with Columbia Pictures prior to Jaws' release, the blockbuster success of that film meant Spielberg could pretty much do whatever he wanted with this Close Encounters. In fact, to date it's the only film credited as "Written and Directed by Steven Spielberg", making it the single work that is probably the least diluted from his original vision. I can't believe I even have to summarize this film, but here goes: it's they story of Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) an average guy living in Indiana whose life is changed when he witnesses alien spacecrafts flying around the countryside. The film then follows his growing obsession with uncovering the meaning of what he saw and his efforts to see the aliens again, as well being the story of a woman (Melinda Dillon) whose son was abducted by the aliens, and an international team of scientists, led by a Frenchman named Lacombe (Francois Truffaut) who are trying to make contact with the visitors.