Under the Banner of Heaven Series-Premiere Recap: What We Find Broken

Based on Jon Krakauer’s 2003 book, Under the Banner of Heaven is the true-crime story of a double murder in Utah in 1984, perpetrated by one of Mormonism’s many fundamentalist splinter groups, that’s juxtaposed with the early frontier-justice days of the LDS Church. For your humble recapper, a lapsed Mormon born and raised in Provo, Utah, this miniseries is sure to be one helluva prolonged “TRIGGERED” meme, so let’s get right to it, eh, brothers and sisters?

[Movie Review] BLOODY ORANGES

“The old world is dying, the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” This is more or less the central thesis of BLOODY ORANGES, the new French end-times black comedy/satirical thriller from director Jean-Christophe Meurisse. It’s a quote from Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, popping up on the screen at the halfway mark when things go from absurd to absurdly violent in a kaleidoscopic slow-burn trip through the banal collapse of western civilization in the foul year of our lord 2020.

Tokyo Vice Recap: Choose the Right

Damn, welcome to episodes four and five of Tokyo Vice, where everything heats up. We last saw Jake Adelstein in the custody of the yakuza in the final moments of “Read the Air,” seemingly ready to break the next barrier and get closer to what’s really happening. We also left Sato at his own crossroads — in deep shit with Hitoshi Ishida (Shun Sugata), head of the Chihara-kai crime family, for beating the hell out of a fellow yakuza — offering up a hot tip that will hopefully prove his loyalty.

Tokyo Vice Series-Premiere Recap: What Really Happens

Thirty seconds into Tokyo Vice — Michael Mann’s dank-ass return to the collective, vice-coated neon-TV dreamscape — and dudes are strappin’ on their bullet … uh, knife-proof vests under dark suits and lacquered hair, to which I say: Hell yeah. The pair of lonely dudes in question are expat reporter Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) and Tokyo PD detective Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe), and together, they’re taking on the yakuza.

13 horror movies to watch while high

Jerry Garcia's favorite movie was Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, a 1948 comedy/horror mashup that he says gave him "a general fascination with the bizarre" that would fuel his music career. "There are things in this world that are really weird. I don't think I knew that before I saw that movie, that there are things that are really weird, and there are people who are concerned with them," Garcia said in "The Movie That Changed My Life" in 1995. "That became important to me, and I guess I thought to myself, on some level, I think I want to be concerned with things that are weird. […] It seems like fun."

review: Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is a shrewd, artful horror sequel

Hey hey, goin’ a bit off the usual script this week. Haven’t done a straight review of a new release on here before (I think the closest we ever got was our rapid-fire convo about Mank) but I saw the new Candyman over the weekend and for various reasons — chief among them my nagging sense of conflict with the calcifying critical consensus — I feel compelled to get my full two-cents out there in the ether.

The best summer movies to watch while high

It's summer y'all, which means it's time to cozy up with some sungrown bud and indulge in the great tradition of summer movie watching. Whether you're hitting the vape and venturing into a cool, dark theater to escape the heat, catching a cult classic at a retro summer evening drive-in, or just throwing a classic summer comedy on your TV at home while nursing an indica from your favorite bong, there's no summer-movie experience you can't successfully augment with a little cannabis.

7 best strains for watching movies, according to entertainment industry insiders

If you've spent any amount of time smoking weed and watching movies, you already know the two activities make an ideal pair. You might say film is the most psychotropic art form, engaging multiple senses and modes of thinking and feeling at once for an experience that, at its best, you can intuit sensorily as well as emotionally. The late filmmaker and legendary stoner Robert Altman once described the ultimate cinematic experience as such on The Dick Cavett Show in 1972.

Is 1981 the Most Underrated Movie Year Ever?

1981: it’s the witching hour in America. A recession is in full bloom and Ronald Reagan’s promise to “make America great again” remains, for good or ill, unfulfilled. Strung out between the aching, post-’60s come-down nihilism of the late ’70s and the neoconservative free-market mass-consumption orgy of the Reagan era, the masses occupy a strange, pre-apocalyptic no-man’s-land moment in American culture, and so do the movies.

cutting room: Tenet is a Love Letter to Bond Movies

Most of Nolan’s movies I like more than I dislike, but I also get turned off by the fussiness and preciousness with which Nolan approaches his concepts and how his films often feel like looking at an MC Escher drawing with someone behind you demanding you see something more profound than what’s actually there. Fortunately, I mostly found Tenet to be a stylish thrill ride that wasn’t begging me to revere it more than it deserved or even care about understanding it that deeply. And I think what makes that possible is that it’s a loving, Byzantine monument to James Bond movies first, and a Chris Nolan joint second.

plug: Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story (2020)

It’s hard to remember a time when Disney wasn’t the behemoth media/entertainment empire it is now. But in 1981, the company was a whole different, non-Earth crushing animal. It was on the verge of being bought off and broken up, in fact. And in this transitional period, a small band of folks at Disney Records put together a sci-fi stadium rock band called Halyx. Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story is a new documentary that uncovers this fascinating piece of forgotten pop history...

[Movie Review] UNHINGED

If this were a normal, non-pandemic summer, UNHINGED would’ve been exactly the type of B-movie I’d relish seeing at a theater on a hot afternoon – popcorn, maybe a hot dog and a soda in hand, in the company of strangers as ever-so-momentarily carefree as I. So it feels super weird to have watched this strange and scruffy Russell Crowe B-thriller from home on a screener, days before it’s supposed to be the movie that “reopens theaters” in the U.S. All this is to say, be careful out there
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