150 – First Dates

who's got sick photoshop skills? this guy

who’s got sick photoshop skills? this guy

Ahh summer. As the air gets too hot to do much of anything and the sun burns your skin for stepping out of the shade, what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with romance? A date was had this evening. By me. But this review isn’t about that particular date – that wouldn’t be fair.

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149 – Blowup (1966)

blowup

Another day, another film out of Roger Ebert’s The Great Movies. But this one is a little different. I actually saw Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up for the first time a little over a month ago, in the middle of April. It is rare for me to rewatch a movie so quickly, but I liked it well enough the first time. Might as well check it out again.

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148 – The Big Sleep (1946)

the big sleep

After my brain failed me at the movie theater last night, I took solace in the idea that I could return to Roger Ebert’s compilation of The Great Movies. The next film on the alphabetical list is 1946’s The Big Sleep, directed by Howard Hawks and written by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthman. But upon seeing the almost two-hour runtime, I realized watching and reviewing the film would interfere with my own big sleep (not theĀ big sleep referenced by the title, just my shot at a full eight hours). So – much like the scholars have always espoused – I put off for tomorrow what I technically could have done today. Well, just like that, tomorrow has arrived and so has The Big Sleep.

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147 – Forgetfulness

oh, to be a fly on the wall during this photo shoot

oh, to be a fly on the wall during this photo shoot

This space should have been filled by a review of Jim Mickle’s new film, Cold in July. Based on the trailer, it stars Michael C. Hall (Dexter‘s Dexter) as a meek family man who kills a home invader and struggles with the aftermath, including torment at the hands of the invader’s father (Sam Shepard). I was super pumped, especially to see Shepard in a more substantial role after a few notable supporting turns last year in Mud, Out of the Furnace, and August: Osage County. Plus it’s playing at the Sundance, which has begun a new $5 Tuesdays program, as we all know. So I pull into the parking garage in time to miss the previews (I hate previews, but that’s another blog post entirely), get up to the theater, and realize I forgot my wallet. Well there goes any semblance of an enjoyable evening.

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146 – Memorial Day

memorial day

Memorial Day was established to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military. That is an important concept, and while many people can and do commemorate the holiday in the intended manner, the day’s meaning often gets buried under trips to the beach and poolside barbecues. I regret to announce that I am a member of the foolish multitudes who has lost sight of Memorial Day’s purpose.

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145 – X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

x-men days of future past

This is a big summer for comic book movies – though it seems more and more like every summer is a big summer for the genre. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (fine) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (not-so-fine) have already seen release, while Marvel Studios’ great experiment Guardians of the Galaxy is forthcoming. But tucked into Memorial Day weekend is a new entry in a franchise that a lot of people may have forgotten about. X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only the latest installment in the adventures of the merry mutants, it is also the return of director Bryan Singer to series. Singer, screenwriter Simon Kinberg, and everyone else involved produce a movie that is everything a summer blockbuster should be.

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144 – Closing the Bee

the bee

When Fraggled Productions’ run of Urinetown closed in October 2012, I was incredibly excited to see what would happen next. Now – a year and a half later – the musical follow-up, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, just had its final show. It has been a long process (or at least it has felt like it), but it has been an extremely fun one.

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