Latest Reviews / Posts

2018/11: Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968)

2018/11: Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968)

2018/11: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

2018/11: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

2018/11: Down by Law (1986)

2018/11: Down by Law (1986)

2018/11: A Time to Kill (1996)

2018/11: A Time to Kill (1996)

2018/11: Myra Breckinridge (1970)

2018/11: Myra Breckinridge (1970)

2018/11: Reprise (2006)

2018/11: Reprise (2006)

2018/11: Friday the 13th (2009)

2018/11: Friday the 13th (2009)

PopGap Diary: November 2018

PopGap Diary: November 2018

PopGap Diary: Octoblur  2018

PopGap Diary: Octoblur 2018

PopGap Diary: September 2018

PopGap Diary: September 2018

PopGap Diary: August 2018

PopGap Diary: August 2018

Movie Challenge: A Living on the Edge Triple Feature

Movie Challenge: A Living on the Edge Triple Feature

Directors Binge: Ron Howard, Eat My Dust!

Directors Binge: Ron Howard, Eat My Dust!

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise (1974-2018)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise (1974-2018)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish (1974)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish (1974)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 2 (1982)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 2 (1982)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 3 (1985)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 3 (1985)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish (2018)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish (2018)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Bonus! Cellat (1975) and Death Sentence (2007)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Bonus! Cellat (1975) and Death Sentence (2007)

Movie Challenge: Don't Look Back (2009)

Movie Challenge: Don't Look Back (2009)

Classics Revisited: Animal House (1978)

Classics Revisited: Animal House (1978)

Five-Star Movies: Vertigo (1958)

Five-Star Movies: Vertigo (1958)

What is a MEDIA LIFE CRISIS?

POPGAP: A PURSUIT.

As I stood on the precipice of my mid-life crisis, I, naturally, thought about movies. How do men in movies address that awful twinge which affects so many of us around this age? That yearning that, somehow, we are neglecting who we are, or that what we do is not what we want to do?

In the movies, they buy slick cars, they screw around on their wives, they stay out all night at the mercy of urban hellscapes, they indulge in (often) criminal adventures...

None of that sounded like fun. I like to stay home.

Naturally, I thought about movies. At the age of 14 I began compiling my own Leonard Maltin-style movie guide. At 18 I studied film in college. At 20 I was attending critics' screenings and film festivals for my college newspaper. At 27 I was reviewing two DVDs a week for a popular website. At 40 I was... I was watching a lot of crap, completely out-of-touch with my pursuit of art.

PopGap is a self-correction. It's a form of disciplining myself to continue seeking out THE GREAT MOVIES. Fill in the gaps. Stop the rot. Treat the best of pop culture like it matters, because it does, even when it stinks.

PopGap isn't only about movies, except when it is. Movies are what I know. For other people, it can be about music, books, art, TV, whatever slice of pop culture excites you, and making sure that it continues to excite you by exploring its high points, its dark corners, its weird diversions, as well as its most popular expressions.

MEDIALIFECRISIS on INSTAGRAM

medialifecrisis

medialifecrisis

And I revisit an Octoblur 2014 favorite, #SpiderBaby #OrTheMaddestStoryEverTold (1968) by #JackHill. Subversive and perverse under its #AddamsFamily facade - one of the best horror ensembles of the 1960s. https://buff.ly/2T6I47H
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I also rewatched a favorite: #ForgettingSarahMarshall (2008) by #NicholasStoller. As part of this review, I rank 33 #JuddApatow productions and defend his work against reductive "bro movie" categorization. He's an important and timely humanist filmmaker. https://buff.ly/2T6I47H
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New reviews added to Nov. PopGap Diary, starting w/ #DownByLaw (1986) by #JimJarmusch. I struggle w/Jarmusch movies, despite great cinematography and #TomWaits. This is my favorite so far but that's faint praise and my own shortcoming. https://buff.ly/2T6I47H
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A rough two months for my movie challenge assignments continues w/the 1996 #JohnGrisham courtroom absurdity of #ATimeToKill by "All-Time Worst Director" front-runner #JoelSchumacher. Only highlight for me is Crisco-slathered #AshleyJudd - More here: https://buff.ly/2T6I47H
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Another non-horror #moviechallenge entry from October was cult bomb #MyraBreckinridge (1970) by #MichaelSarne -- a joylessly zany transsexual rage comedy starring #RaquelWelch #RexReed #JohnHuston #MaeWest and #FarahFawcett -- succeeds in provoking everything except laughter. https://buff.ly/2T6I47H
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Catching-up on #moviechallenge watches last month that didn't fit horror theme. First is #Reprise (2006) the feature debut of Norwegian director #JoachimTrier. It's more ambitious and insightful than its characters are interesting. Nov. reviews: https://buff.ly/2T6I47H

PopGap Special Report: Our Favorite Movie Books

The Top 20 Movies of All-Time

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#2: The Godfather (1972)

#2: The Godfather (1972)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#3: West Side Story (1961)

#3: West Side Story (1961)

Dir: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
#4: Manhattan (1979)

#4: Manhattan (1979)

Dir: Woody Allen
#5: The Graduate (1967)

#5: The Graduate (1967)

Dir: Mike Nichols
#6: Tootsie (1982)

#6: Tootsie (1982)

Dir: Sydney Pollack
#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Dir: Irvin Kershner
#9: Star Wars (1977)

#9: Star Wars (1977)

Dir: George Lucas
#10: The Exorcist (1973)

#10: The Exorcist (1973)

Dir: William Friedkin
#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Dir: Peter Jackson
#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

Dir: Martin Scorsese
#13: Annie Hall (1977)

#13: Annie Hall (1977)

Dir: Woody Allen
#14: Vertigo (1958)

#14: Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Dir: Steven Spielberg
#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

#20: Zodiac (2007)

Dir: David Fincher