TravisSMcClain's comments

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TravisSMcClain

Häxan, but about baseball. Fascinating subject and thesis, but devoid of any supporting details, context, or any meaningful elaboration. Trippy as hell, though, and worth the nine minutes.
2 months 3 weeks ago
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TravisSMcClain

Good God, Taylor Hackford is a dick. He's so obsessed with giving the di-rec-tor exclusive credit for a film that he denies even sharing the word itself with other departments, and belittles the very idea of recognizing casting directors with an Academy Award, despite that job being the only one on a film acknowledged in the main credits not to receive an Oscar, and despite the Emmy's giving proper recognition.

The documentary itself is a bit perfunctory, but because its subject is so rarely discussed, and because Marion Dougherty's career covered so much film history, there are scores of neat little anecdotes, it's engaging from start to finish.
3 years 10 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

As best I understand it, only some excerpts still exist. (Available from the Library of Congress digital library.) I'm checking this for those excerpts since that's the best I can manage to see.
6 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Other movies based on DC Comics you might consider adding:

Superman and the Mole Men
Batman: The Movie (1966)
Constantine
Swamp Thing
The Return of Swamp Thing
Steel
V for Vendetta
The Losers [Vertigo]

There were also a few serials:
Batman
Batman and Robin
Superman
Atom Man vs. Superman
Adventures of Captain Marvel

as well as the following serials based on now-obscure DC characters:

Hop Harrigan
The Vigilante
Spy Smasher [Fawcett Comics]
Congo Bill
Blackhawk [Quality Comics]
7 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Some others that you might consider adding:

American Splendor
Blade: Trinity
Captain America (1990)
Constantine
Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Ghost World
The Green Hornet (originally a radio show, like The Shadow)
A History of Violence
Men in Black
Men in Black II
Men in Black III
Mystery Men
Persepolis
Steel
Supergirl
Swamp Thing
The Return of Swamp Thing
Tank Girl
TMNT
7 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Currently available to stream from Brown Bag Films here: http://www.youtube.com/user/brownbagfilms#p/a/F6159A176BFE4170/2/6dMOk4EQybQ
7 years 11 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I just discovered that someone has already checked Skyfall, the James Bond movie that is currently being filmed. It appears as "Bond 23" on the site and is checked by user: GNAguirre. WTF?!
8 years ago
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TravisSMcClain

All I knew about this one going into it was that the cover art showing two mostly nude girls lying together was plastered all over the HuluPlus Criterion page every time I signed in and that was, eventually, enough to get me to take a chance on it. The premise sounds like it should have been a letter to Penthouse: three teen girls sneak away from their boarding school/summer camp/it doesn't matter in a boat and head to an island, and then have coming-of-age erotic experiences.

There are plenty of threads that could have become interesting character developments, but they all come and go abruptly and it becomes obvious after a while that the film was largely just a pretext for photographer-cum-director David Hamilton to get young women naked on camera. It's a shame the story is so disjointed and thin, because the cast is fine and the Mediterranean environment is inviting. I really wanted to get lost in this movie, and instead I discovered that it was the movie itself that got lost.
8 years 4 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I just finished watching this and I don't really get the love for it. Its plot twists felt familiar to me, and I thought the big reveal was pretty obvious; I'd cottoned to it about thirty minutes in. I'm fairly disappointed, really, after years of hearing how great and unique it was.

Likable cast, though, and a few gems in the dialog.
8 years 5 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I liked it, actually. I've been a Lantern fan for about 20 years, though. It was fun getting to see Mogo outside of a comic book, and a nice example of the strengths of animation. You couldn't tell his story in live action; it just wouldn't work, no matter how sophisticated the CGI. Here, though, I thought it largely worked (though I'm not really in love with the climax of the whole thing).

I also really liked the stories about Laira and Kilowog.

If I had one complaint, it's that the voice cast was pretty underwhelming for one of the DCU animated features.

If I had one fanboy complaint, it's that they didn't include G'nort.
8 years 5 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

You know, if I stand back and look at it, I find it a fairly predictable story that, at times, relies on perfunctory moments to advance the narrative.

Yet, none of that matters because nearly every individual scene rang very true for me. I easily identified with the plight of Robbie, the son; I once had a fairly remarkable "crash & burn" incident of my own over a girl in middle school. I was never a ladies man, and so part of me easily empathized with how lost Cal was; I can't imagine how I would react if my wife left me, but I suspect I wouldn't be nearly as functional as Cal. That scene where Cal and Robbie play catch was perfect. It's the kind of thing I would like to believe I might have written, if I had the talent.

I rarely laughed even though I found several moments quite funny. The dramatic portions of the film hit way too close to home for me and I freely admit I have no objectivity about this movie. But then, maybe that's a sign of success in itself.
8 years 5 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Seemed to have trouble deciding when it wanted to be a frat comedy and when it wanted to be a male bonding movie. A lot of the humor revolving around Rob Corddry felt a little forced and didn't really do much for me. Sadly, another instance where the trailers really gave away the entire plot and best comedy bits. I felt like the rest of the movie didn't really offer any surprises.

Likable enough for what it is, though.
8 years 6 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Just two weeks ago, I was rather pleased to have been asked to submit an editorial to the IFC.com blog, which I did. Then this morning I streamed Dreams with Sharp Teeth and Harlan Ellison's tirade about how pinhead amateurs giving away their writing undermines real, professional writers made me feel guilty. The more I watched of the film, the worse I felt about my own feeble writing to the point of contemplating deleting my entire blog.
8 years 6 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I liked the premise, thought they did a terrific job creating the environment of that version of Detroit and I liked the cast (particularly Kurtwood Smith and Nancy Allen). The story is much more simplistic than I had hoped, though, and I was disappointed that the finale devolves into a generic 80s action flick complete with the protagonist becoming an anti-hero. Seriously, he can just disregard his programming--and more importantly, the law--to become a summary executioner and we're supposed to cheer this?
8 years 6 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I finally saw this just now (theatrical cut, for whatever that counts). I was very impressed with the production design; it has certainly withstood the test of time so far and I concur with those who feel it rivals or bests its modern competitors. I also thought Rutger Hauer was terrific. Otherwise, I was fairly underwhelmed. The theme of exploring mortality was interesting, but I didn't feel there was anything new here that I hadn't already read or seen elsewhere.
8 years 6 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I gotta say, that was a brilliant scheme and well executed. I mean, stranding the passengers and making off in the engine car was definitely the way to go. It's a real treat to view these shorts and features that were produced more than a century ago. It makes me wonder whether my ancestors saw it, and if so what they thought of it.
8 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

The love story was pretty simple and obvious, but I enjoyed watching Jane interact with the others at the hotel and I adored the environment of Venice. This was an instance where I wasn't so concerned about what actually happened; I just enjoyed "being" there. Story-wise, it's a step down from Brief Encounter, also helmed by Lean, but Summertime is lighter and I got lost in it very early and easily.
8 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

My synopsis: Maverick (from Top Gun) is recruited into the Men in Black to fight Gozer (from Ghostbusters). Not as good as I'd hoped, but better than I had feared. Its chief problem is that most of the scenes and dialog are rather perfunctory, rather than organically exploring the characters and situations. Still, I was entertained and left with a mostly positive feeling.
8 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Just saw this tonight and loved it. The X-Men have always been an allegory for minority rights, adaptable to different eras. Xavier and Magneto were really Dr. King and Malcolm, and I think that comes through here. Loved that even though it's set in 1962 that the allegory was clearly for LGBT rights; nice way to emphasize the value of the X-Men as a tool for social commentary transcendent of era.

Within the film, I thought they were quite right to build around Mystique and make her the point-of-view character; it was easy to sympathize with her and it humanized the story. (Plus as a fellow Louisvillian, I have to sing the praises of Jennifer Lawrence!) Even when I knew what plot points to anticipate, I thought they did a fine job introducing most of them organically.

Nicely done all around, and I really do hope we see more "tests" in that decade as President Kennedy alluded to in his closing remarks.
8 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Reminded me of "The Clock King" episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Predictable, but had some nice moments along the line. Anything that gets Sarah Chalke acting like a drunken slut can't be all bad, right?
8 years 7 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

The art shown above is currently for Comic Book: The Movie (2004) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361462/combined, not this one.
8 years 8 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Any chance that the pre-DVD era Criterion titles will be collected in a separate list? Many have been included in the current, formalized DVD series but there are numerous titles from the LaserDisc era that have yet to appear in the Criterion Collection on DVD. It seems to me that even if they're not part of the current numbering system, they were still at one time selected for recognition by Criterion, ergo worthy of recognition here.
8 years 8 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I was given to understand this was some kind of sexploitation movie, but it really isn't. The beginning has several moments that made be feel that's how it was going to pan out, but then about a third of the way into it, it became a dramedy. I liked it just fine, but it wasn't at all what I expected.
8 years 9 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

I didn't find it "terrible." Predictable, yes, and I had a sense that it didn't explore the full potential of the story, but it wasn't "terrible." I really liked Shannyn Sossamon in this as Mikal.
8 years 9 months ago
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TravisSMcClain

Finally just saw this. Holy damn, is it entertaining! I laughed often and hard, and that's rare for me, even when I think a movie is funny.
8 years 9 months ago

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