How Does This Hold Up? is a series where Alex and a guest check out a movie they haven’t seen in ages or that they’ve always been meaning to watch. They’ll compare the experience of watching these movies now to when they first saw or heard of them and explore the differences there-in.
Mad Men will begin airing its final episodes on April 5th. Both of us Beans have been fans of the series since it premiered way back in 2007, so we’re going to re-watch one season per week before the final season begins. Each of us will put together their own reflection about what makes each season special, and what aspects stick out on the umpteenth viewing. [Read more…]
The writers here at the Addison Recorder have decided to explore our new found love for the best show in recorded history, Scandal. Instead of writing an article or two, we have decided to rebrand ourselves as the “Scandal-son Recorder.” We hope you revel in our new found shared devotion. [Read more…]
This is a guest post from Luke DeSmet, a friend of The Recorder.
In the week after Parks and Recreation aired its series finale, the emotional high faded and my focus shifted to a television landscape still littered with great comedy, including daring and original work like Broad City and Man Seeking Woman. But so far time has not afforded me any critical distance: I love this show, and feel the need to express what an unambiguously positive time I have had with it. This is a show I want to celebrate, not critique. Its impact on television comedy has been overwhelmingly positive, filling our screens with more likeable, human, and even unapologetically decent folks who still manage to be hilarious. Originally presented as The Office transposed into small town government and as a natural extension of the trend of cringe humor, Parks found its feet in its second season and transformed itself into something clear-eyed and earnest while never sacrificing its alt-comedy edge, pulling comedy back from a ledge of cynicism and irony that had become boringly routine.
It took me a month to read all of A Brief History of Seven Killings. That’s not unprecedented, but it is a break from my regular reading habits. I tend to move from title to title with great frequency and if a book is taking me longer than two weeks the odds are good that it will get set aside. Sometimes a book is just too long to devour in that amount of time, but usually it indicates a waning interest on my part. So, it’s a strong compliment when I say that Marlon James’s epic new crime novel/mini-history/literary tour-de-force tested my reading resolve, but never broke it. [Read more…]
The Addison Recorder has a lot of movie nerds on staff. Not all of us, of course, but enough to make the others bend to our will. So in anticipation of this week’s Oscar ceremony the staff is going to do their Will/Should/Dream winners picks for the category we care most about with some brief accompanying comments. The cinema nerds will have seen enough (or feel self-righteous enough) to really make it seem like their opinions have weight. The others have said they are throwing darts. Either process is as valid as actual Oscar voters filling out a ballot proclaiming one work of art objectively better than another.
Also, sometimes Alex can’t help himself and has to respond to the other writers. It’s just something Alex does when shaken. [Read more…]
Just like last year, I am going to make my best guess about what will win at the Oscars this weekend. I’ll provide commentary for the major categories and then just highlight my predicted winners on the rest of the ballot.
Most dedicated moviegoers can agree that the Oscars are the film industry’s most high-profile and solipsistic exercise in self-promotion. Their whole existence is transparently crass and has been from the start. They were initially conceived of as a marketing ploy by industry bigwigs. The annual awards, are a reward for “merit” after a race dominated by tens of millions of dollars in “campaign spending.” Perhaps worst of all, they have given rise to a whole industry devoted to awards-centered navel gazing that takes up nearly half the year. Even if one did ignore all of those sins and just viewed them as a reflection of the taste of Hollywood’s elites then…ye gods. Every year they find new ways to ignore great movies and reward bland or mendacious crap. To view them with disdain is probably the only rational reaction.
And yet, I think the Oscars really do mean something and hold an important place in our cinematic culture. Almost in spite of themselves, the Oscars matter. The more easily defensible reason to love the Oscars is because they encourage the general public to engage with the quality of movies. The Oscars taste may tend towards middlebrow melodramas and biopics, but they still ask anyone watching to ask what movie they preferred and why. Actual critical analysis, of course, should not be based around a horse race mentality. And it’s even more reductive to presume that there can even be a “best” movie. Personal opinions and judgments cannot be reconciled with a term that absolute. [Read more…]
I wrote a 500-word preview article that set up the Super Bowl. Then our website ate it and will not let me have it back. This sums up my relationship with American football this season. Fuck it. I don’t care enough to do all that again. My time will be better spent playing FIFA on the Xbox and anticipating Saturday’s showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City. So you get my bulleted thoughts and then we will hear from any other Recorder folks who want to weigh in. [Read more…]
Selma, the new biopic about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a great film about one of the greatest Americans who has ever lived. It focuses on King’s efforts to organize the 1965 marches from Selma to Birmingham in Alabama in protest of that state’s suppression of African Americans’ right to vote. The film is a well-staged and emotionally overwhelming recreation of that tumultuous moment in American history. It is also, in ways both stirring and sad, a film full of relevance to American life in 2015. It should be seen by everyone. [Read more…]