059 – 2014 CARS+ Convention Day 1

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Conventions are so cool. Getting together with a bunch of like-minded people to exchange ideas and experiences? Nothing better. Mix the socializing with some fascinating panels and exhibitors, and you find yourself drinking a pretty satisfying cocktail. That is, if you have a vested interest in the convention’s topic. I won’t say outright what my investment level is in the CARS+ convention, but it is a great opportunity to expose myself to new perspectives. Plus, it was free.

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058 – Fantastic Four (2014) #1

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Family. Whether it is the one you are born into (a la Arrested Development) or the one you create (see: the Fast and Furious franchise), it is forever. You can try to extricate yourself from your family, but it won’t work; you’ll always get sucked back in. The Fantastic Four are the first family of comics, and Marvel Comics is never going to let you emancipate yourself.

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057 – Sightseers (2012)

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Any relationship, whether friendly or romantic, progresses along roughly the same path. Things start off strong – something that has come to be called the “honeymoon period” (so-named for the 1986 film Haunted Honeymoon, starring Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner). This is the exciting time when partners are still discovering things about each other and how they fit together. This indeterminate length of time is characterized by passion and happiness, but it cannot last forever. Eventually all of the good surprises are out in the open, and all that reamins are the less-than-savory details. Ben Wheatley’s 2012 film Sightseers follows a couple (Alice Lowe and Steve Oram) as they dive into this phase of their relationship during a holiday getaway.

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056 – The Dissolve

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The advancements of the internet over the last 20 years have allowed for a lot of things: easier consumerism (maybe too easy), the proliferation of independent media (music, web series, etc), lots and lots of porn. But the greatest boon of the digital age has been the connections that have been forged over the World Wide Web. We’re not just talking about online dating (or the more anonymous sex options), though that has certainly been a phenomenon worthy of review; we’re looking more at the smaller “geek” communities that have been able to find one another like never before. One of the groups that did not necessarily need the internet to bond was film nerds. Nevertheless, they have benefited greatly from the successes of the internet, specially in the form of The Dissolve – a website for film nerds, by film nerds.

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055 – Harold Ramis (1944 – 2014)

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The word “review” is going to get stretched (and pretty much abandoned entirely) here. I’m not interested in reviewing a man’s career on the day of his death. Besides, even if I did there would only be positive things to say. Instead I just want to take a moment to appreciate Mr. Ramis for all of his amazing contributions to the comedic film community – and comedy in general.

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053 – Life Itself (2014)

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It is 2:20 am as I begin writing this review. I have no doubt the time will play a part in how short this review is, but the main reason this will be an abbreviated entry into my personal canon is because I have no place trying to write eloquently about the man who so expertly did what I stumble aimlessly through on this blog. Life Itself is a documentary about Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, and it is the best movie I’ve seen in 2014 (sorry The Lego Movie).

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