Archives For movies

This week, in a classic display of masochism, I decided to watch and review the final instalment in The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2. Of course, I wasn’t going to do it alone, so I enlisted the help of Joanna Robinson (@quityourjrob) from Pajiba and The Station Agents podcast.

Together, Joanna and I dissect everything that is awful about the franchise and this film, as well as the moments that surprised us and in some cases shocked us. In about an hour of discussion we cover it all, from our fascination with RPatz, to our love of Michael Sheen and Lee Pace, to the depressing influence of the series on a generation of young girls, and even the terrifying pitfalls of CGI babies.

I won’t lie, I had fun watching the movie, though maybe not for the reasons the makers intended, and I think it provided for some good podcast fodder. Because bashing awful movies is always fun, no?

Anyway, sit back and enjoy the episode.

If you have any feedback on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, this episode, or the show in general, don’t hesitate to email me at coreyatad@gmail.com.

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Note: In the episode, Joanna references this article from Pajiba featuring some of the best disdainful quotes from the biggest Twilight hater of them all, Mr. RPatz himself.

 

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There have recently been a spate of articles and blog posts discussing whether certain movies require multiple viewings. It’s all spurred by Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, a film that many critics and cinephiles have claimed requires multiple viewings in order to reveal its many layers and ultimate meanings. Dana Stevens wrote about watching the film three times, and how that made the experience of The Master a more complete one. Stephanie Zacharek wrote a piece at the AV Club questioning the notion that certain films require multiple viewings as well as the notion that certain film are more self-evidently deserving of such treatment. Today, Ryan McNeil wrote a post comparing re-watching movies to listening to a song over and over before finally falling in love with it.

I saw The Master twice. I’m biased immediately. In fact, I watch lots of movies twice, sometimes three times, sometimes even more, often seeing films multiple times in theatres. I also saw Looper twice. I saw The Dark Knight Rises five times, including three times in 15/70mm IMAX. I saw Paranorman twice, Brave twice, Prometheus twice, Moonrise Kingdom three times, The Avengers twice, Monsieur Lazhar twice, 21 Jump Street three times, The Cabin in the Woods twice, and that’s all re-watches in theatres and only this year so far. (To be fair, I work at a theatre, so most of these re-watches were free.) But why would I watch these movies so many times? What do I get out of re-watches? Click to read more.

Another week, another justAtadcast. The reason, of course, is that the Fall season is really getting kicked off and almost every week there are great movies to talk about. Heck, this week alone there were two movies worth discussing. One was Pitch Perfect, which while fairly lightweight is also a ton of fun. If you’d like, you can read my review of that film over at Dork Shelf. The other film, the one that could inspire almost endless dialogue, and the topic of this week’s episode is Rian Johnson’s new time travel flick, Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt.

This week on The justAtadcast, I invited on two internet friends, cinephiles and writers. Kevin Ketchum (@Kevin_Ketchum) writes for Next Projection. Sam Fragoso (@SamFragoso) writes at his own site, Duke and the Movies, as well as Fan the Fire Magazine. We jumped right in to a lengthy discussion of the ins and outs of Looper. It’s another long episode, but Looper is a film that calls for that sort of discussion. We get into everything from the time travel mechanics, to the thematic weight of the film, as well as Rian Johnson’s style and his brilliant casting. We hope you enjoy the discussion.

If you have any feedback on Looper, this episode, or the show in general, don’t hesitate to email me at coreyatad@gmail.com.

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It’s been a while since the last episode of the justAtadcast, but fear not, the show has returned for the Fall/Awards season. There are tons of great or potentially great films coming out in the next several months and I’m looking forward to podcasting about many of them. First up is also the first major film of Awards Season: Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

This week on The justAtadcast, I invited on two writers and cinephiles I’ve gotten to know over Twitter. Daniel Carlson (@danielwcarlson) is Managing Editor at Pajiba and collates all his writing at his personal website. Kristen Sales tweets @salesonfilm and occasionally writes around the web. Together, we three dived right into The Master. The discussion is long—over 75 minutes—and we get pretty in-depth. It’s a spoiler-filled conversation about the film, but if you’ve seen the film and are itching to hear more dissection and theorizing about Paul Thomas Andersons’ latest, I think you’ve come to the right place. We had a lot of fun talking about the film, and hopefully you’ll enjoy listening.

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TIFF’12: The Great Wrap-Up

September 18, 2012 — 6 Comments

Another year, another TIFF. The first movie I ever saw at the Toronto International Festival was Juno in 2007. It was the only film I saw that year, and my friend and I chose it completely on a whim, not knowing anything about it until we got to a wifi hotspot to check it out. The next year, 2008, I saw ten films, including Synecdoche, New York and Slumdog Millionaire. Each year since, I’ve pretty much gone “full TIFF” and seen as many films as I could fit in. This year, 2012, I broke my record from 2009 for the number of films I watched. It was also the most exhausting year of TIFF for me, not only because of the number of films, but because I squeezed that higher number into fewer days.

Seeing so many films in so few days has its advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious are the disadvantages. I’m sure anyone who has seriously done a film festival has been subsequently asked by others, “can you even remember all the films you watch?” Well, yes. Yes, I can. But there is a kernel of truth to the question/accusation. Ask me which films I saw at TIFF’12 and I’m going to start drawing blanks. Remind me of a specific film and it’ll all come back to me, but when I consider them all in a group it’s difficult to separate one from the other. The other major disadvantage is the exhaustion. Watching twenty or thirty or fifty films in a little over a week sometimes sounds to people like an easy vacation. Sit back, in the dark, watch movies. Only, at a festival you aren’t usually there to watch films passively. The mind is constantly working and processing and that’s tiring, especially when hours get thrown out of whack and it becomes so hard to find time for a meal that you sometimes forget to eat at all. Watching a silly movie like Ghost Graduation might be okay when you’re exhausted, but what about when it’s a new Terrence Malick film? Was my reaction to that film too heavily influenced by the fact that I’d rather have been sleeping? It’s hard to say.

Still, the advantages are there. Seeing films with like-minded people is one of the best things about the experience. For the most part, the people who come to a movie at the festival WANT to be watching a movie at the festival. These aren’t the chatters or texters or other sorts of assholes who regular ruin the moviegoing experience. At TIFF, generally, it’s an appreciative audience of fellow film lovers. They’re respectful to the films and to the people around them. There’s also something to be said for being in a cinematic state of mind. Normally, throughout the year, I intersperse movies amongst all sorts of other things. During the festival it’s all movies all the time. My brain is set to movie-mode. That’s what I’m built to think about and process and enjoy. I could never do that year round, but for about eleven days per year it certainly works. And none of that touches on the chance to see films that either may never be released or may be months or years away from coming out. I saw The Loved Ones at Midnight Madness back in 2009, and it only got a release in the US this Summer, and is finally coming out on DVD here this month.

But enough thoughts about film festivals in general; let’s talk TIFF’12! CLick to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 9

September 17, 2012 — 3 Comments

Finally! I have come to it. The end of TIFF’12. Okay, so there were actually two more days. But I skipped them! Including Day 9, I saw 29 films and a special live event. That’s 30 ticketed events in 9 days. I know some people who do more than that, but those people are crazy and my load just about killed me. But before I could officially call it quits, I did have to, you know, watch some more movies.

For my last day at TIFF I decided to go all out. I had four tickets, plus I planned on rushing one of two possible movies. It would be a long day, beginning with a movie at 11am and ending with a movie starting at midnight. I was also pretty confident that my line-up of films would be stronger than the last couple of days. As it turns out, I was right. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 8

September 17, 2012 — 3 Comments

Ah, what a pleasure it is to only start my day in the evening. Of course, that didn’t stop me from waking up early for no reason and being extremely exhausted throughout the day, but at least I could sit around and do nothing until 6pm. I’d considered heading down to check out the new Barry Levinson horror film, The Bay, but despite the solid word-of-mouth I just didn’t feel like sitting through a found footage movie.

I won’t make any bones about it. The back half of my TIFF’12 experience was not as great as the front. I mean, sure, I was still having a blast, but the films were mostly not as good. I attribute this to my front-loading  the films I most wanted to see in the hopes that I’d add in several films with great word-of-mouth for later. I did do that, but I was also still adding in random films that fit my schedule and looked decent. Either way, my Day 8 started very well, but took a sour turn. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 7

September 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

I had to wake up early for Day 7, not because I had a movie to see, but because I wanted to head down to the festival box office to exchange some of my back-half vouchers for tickets. I went ahead and did that, but then had nothing left to do, so I decided, to throw in an extra screening for the morning.

It’s not always easy choosing a random option at the last minute, especially since many screenings are already “rush line only.” I didn’t have too many screenings to choose from, and ultimately I settled on something with a director I didn’t care for, but a cast I loved. Continue Reading…

TIFF’12: Day 0

September 5, 2012 — 2 Comments

It’s that crazy time of year again. The Toronto International Film Festival is upon us. For those who read this site but somehow don’t know, along with Cannes and Sundance, TIFF is considered one of the Top 3 film festivals in the world. Hundreds of films play the festival each year, from tiny foreign films to ambitious experiments to American indies to big Hollywood films looking for prestige and an Oscar bump. For ten days at the beginning of September, the cinematic world descends on Toronto, and lucky for me, it’s my hometown.

TIFF is a great time of year for me on two levels. The first is obvious: so many great films! The festival can be exhausting, but running around the city catching all kinds of movies is a joy. Adding to it all is the atmosphere. The people you meet in line and the energy in the auditoriums as the lights dim. For those ten days, it feels like I’ve found kindred spirits in everyone around me. It’s so easy to strike up conversations with strangers. “So, what have you seen so far?” Simple as that. Meeting folks from all over the country and the world. Talking movies with like-minded people. Getting recommendations on films to seek out in the remaining days. It all adds up to a wonderful experience.

I’ll be covering TIFF’12 here on my blog. One post per day and then a wrap-up at the end of it all. Come back for the reviews, as well as my general thoughts about the festival. There’s also a chance I’ll drop a few mini-podcast episodes with friends I pull from various screenings. We’ll see about that one. And don’t forget, you can follow my TIFF’12 adventure in real-time by following me on Twitter @CoreyAtad.

Finally, just so you all can get an idea of what I’ll be seeing at TIFF this year, I’ll post my tentative schedule. Keep in mind, this is genuinely tentative. A few films might change, and I’ll definitely be seeing more films than the ones I’ve listed here. For a more accurate, up-to-date list you can always check out my schedule on tiffr. In the meantime, though, head on past the break to check out what I’ve got on tap so far for TIFF’12. Click to see the schedule.

The “big” new movie this week was the spin-off/sequel/thing, The Bourne Legacy. Matt Damon replaced by Jeremy Renner. Jason Bourne replaced by Aaron Cross. David Strathairn replaced by Ed Norton. Creativity replaced by chems. Great replaced by boring. You can read my review of the film, but why would you do that when I recorded a whole new podcast episode about it?

This week on The justAtadcast, I invited on a couple fellow Toronto bloggers/podcasters. From the great website The Matinee, host of the Matineecast, Ryan McNeil attempts to bring some positivity to the discussion. On the other end, Matt Brown, co-host of the Mamo podcast and writer at The Substream, brings the cold truth. The episode was recorded at a Starbucks in downtown Toronto, so it sounds a little noisy in the background but it makes for a pretty nice atmosphere. This is what we in the industry call “going full Mamo.” You might say it’s never a good idea to “go full Mamo,” but I think the results were pretty damn good. Nice energy, good conversation, people drinking coffee, what more could you want in a podcast episode? So listen and enjoy!

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