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Films vs. Movies #110: Moving Day

It’s moving day for Jim and James, as well as for columnist Don J. Morgan. “It was a childhood dream of mine to do a strip such as this one, and fulfilling that dream has been a blast. James, Jim, Cool Hand Luke and all the other characters have really become a part of me. That’s why I do not want this ride to end. I’m continuing their adventures on a new website…”Read more

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Bombast #130

Through the run of the column, you can trace my slow-dawning realization that the life of a workaday critic that I’d been preparing myself for was no longer an option, at least not in the form that I’d envisioned it, and that I was not a special exception immune to the insidious forces far larger than myself that were at work, spoiling far more than my own petty ambitions. Revisiting my inaugural column, I was already referring to the question of “What the Internet Hath Wrought?”, and more than anything else the search for an answer to this question provides Bombast’s throughline.Read more

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Docutopia: What I Learned From Covering Docs

After writing 89 of these doc-focused articles, I’ve grown to appreciate the form even more, and remain dedicated to exploring its many facets, shapes and styles. It’s an exciting time for docs and I consider myself fortunate to have taken part in the critical dialogue surrounding them. Here, for me, are the top takeaways from my time on the documentary film beat.Read more

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Docutopia: The Ambiguous Realities of Actress and Approaching the Elephant

While Actress is a self-conscious hybrid doc that blurs the line between staginess and spontaneity (pushing it far afield from the direct cinema tradition), Approaching the Elephant is a more traditional observational film that, except for one visual element, straightforwardly represents the reality it encounters. While the former grants us extreme access to its central character’s subjectivity, the latter gives us none.Read more

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Films vs. Movies #109: It’s the Oscars!

James and Jim celebrate all that is dependable and familiar (and really, really long) about Oscar night. Read more

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Bombast #129

Neeson is 61 now, and viable as an action star in a way that eludes his tanned leather, HGH-augmented, Expendable contemporaries, who have tended to embrace the self-parody ever implicit in their personae. He lends even the most preposterous material a certain gravity and veracity, for he has the grimly tenacious air of a working-class dad who hasn’t made much time for the gym because he’s been punching the clock for forty-five years at some shit job, and as a result is made of knotted steel. Read more

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