“Spotlight” is an Oscar-winning film about journalism, about spiritualism, about the power of institutions, and about priests molesting children.
That least piece of the equation might be enough to turn people away, but I can tell you two things that might change your mind if you’ve been delaying seeing the movie:
1. This movie doesn’t actually show any of these acts, nor does it very much “hint” at them with visual tricks like closed doors, creepy touches, etc. The victims in the film are largely adults, dealing with the abuse that occurred years prior. In short, the content of the film is itself digestible.
2. The actors (mostly) keep their performances reserved, while the writing and direction are intelligent in their handling of such a sensitive topic. The characters here are not cartoons, nor is the film particularly “preachy” in its intentions. It’s more concerned with telling a story, and doing it respectfully.
That the film succeeds in these matters is to its credit and makes it a worthwhile winner of 2015’s best picture (and a movie I would recommend to anyone).
Continue reading Pursuit of Crappiness podcast Episode 4: Spotlight
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is the kind of spectacle that blows up your brain (figuratively) and leaves you an exhausted husk, ready for a nice relaxing stack of tax forms. There’s little patience left for stimuli in the wake of such a film … and this is why it might be easy to dismiss it as a vacuous joyride with little messaging of importance beneath the glossy, absurd exterior.
Indeed, the film is shot gloriously. The visuals are often striking, many times disturbing or graphic, and the pace of the film is completely manic. So it’s a difficult film to process, even on the most basic of “Did I like it?” levels.
On the other hand, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the environmental messaging is not obvious in retrospect, and I’m likewise not going to tell you that the themes invoking feminism are hidden purposefully. They’re right there, plain as day. But the visceral thrills certainly distract.
This is a movie that grows in importance the longer you think on it.
Continue reading Pursuit of Crappiness podcast Episode 3: Mad Max: Fury Road
We take a crack at the 2016 Academy Awards in this week’s podcast on “The Pursuit of Crappiness,” as I’m once again joined by my wife, Cait, and this week we welcome good friend Sherri Tarr.
Buckle up for Episode No. 2, in which we offer differing opinions on the general worthiness of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the performances of the year which sometimes include Brie Larson and sometimes don’t, Chris Rock’s helming of the spectacle that is an awards show when it is almost entirely white, and our own individual picks for best film of the year (Spoiler: we all liked “Spotlight”).
Continue reading Pursuit of Crappiness podcast Episode 2: Oscars 2016
Today I launch my first ever podcast, “The Pursuit of Crappiness,” a (hopefully weekly) pop culture show focusing on movies in particular. Here you’ll hear fans of movies wax poetic about their favorite films, or just films of general importance, popularity, or critical acclaim.
Or we’ll wing it and depart from that completely. We have the freedom to do what we want, woohoo!
Continue reading Pursuit of Crappiness podcast Episode 1: The Third Man