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PATREON MOVIE DISCUSSION: This movie was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard!  Melvin and Stephen discuss not just one of Stephen's favorite movies but his absolute favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life!Topics:(PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 27-minutes celebrating the holiday season, from busy shopping to exciting gift giving, and everything in between (PATREON EXCLUSIVE)Summarizing It's a Wonderful Life because most summaries just summarize the last 20-minutes of the movie.Melvin, "[It's a Wonderful Life is] a very good depiction of a conflicted man."It's a Wonderful Life is Stephen's favorite movie, period. When he first watched it, he felt it depicted God in a way that he yearned for in film.Melvin ponders how we transform movies into something more when we recognize they're our favorites.What Melvin enjoyed about the movie was how it depicted the unique positives to community cohesiveness, including how that social construct is developed often through one man's kindness.A brief meditation on how It's a Wonderful Life has been misrepresentative of Christianity and God, including the cultural, spiritual belief that people have specific guardian angels.Discussing what we think keeps this movie in the public conscience. Stephen thinks it's the film's benevolence. Melvin thinks it's the depiction of a conflicted everyman.It's a Wonderful Life is very grounded, and the addition of the fantastical is almost a wish-fulfillment version of very realistic wants we often have in real life.In It's a Wonderful Life there's an evil man who enjoys being evil and a conflicted man who sees it costs something to do good.Recommendations:Drag Me to Hell (2009) (Movie)You Can't Take It with You (1938) (Movie)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION:  Melanie Dejesus joins Stephen and Melvin to talk about another Criterion Collection entry, In the Mood for Love. Often considered in competition for Wong Kar-Wai's best film against Chungking Express, the three discuss its themes of unfulfilled romance and intimacy, as well as meditations on time. Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 25-minutes talking about foreign movies we recommend, from kung-fu flicks to zombie horror! (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Melanie immediately caught on to the film's usage of music and loved how it balanced its romance and friendship between Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan.Melvin felt the film cleverly depicted scenes as dreamy, which is amplified with the aforementioned soundtrack including multicultural music.Stephen, "I think more than anything, it's the way the movie looks, sounds, and feels that really connects with me."Our two leads are simultaneously emotionally complex and emotionally immature.Discussing the developed motif for the song "Yumeji's theme", which plays several times within In the Mood for Love.In the Mood for Love displays a very dynamic and extensive image of the allure toward a lifestyle that cannot and will not fulfill someone's lost desires.In the Mood for Love is also the kind of movie that is both extremely interpretable and also clear about its themes.A discussion on non-sexual, intimate co-ed relationships in a religious culture that often separates or discourages co-ed relationships, despite living in a post-sexual revolution world where an individual's sexuality may not be heteronormative.In the Mood for Love also has a strong through-line about time and transition, and the fleeting nature of present or potential joy.Recommendations: Quarantine (2008)[REC] (2007) with qualifiersIp Man FranchiseSupport the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION:  Melvin & Dan can only agree on one thing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is, in fact, a Marvel movie. To focus their attention, Melvin proposes four ambitions that he feels will make-or-break the film for audience members. Topics:(PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 44-minutes discussing Kevin Conroy's passing, Video Rental store nostalgia, and media curation (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Reflecting on Black Panther's immense cultural impact and success. Reminiscing on the intended plans for King T'Challa in the MCU post-Endgame. Melvin liked that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a somewhat self-serious profile as opposed to the more flippant, light sensibilities of other Marvel fare. However, Melvin has four headers - ambitions - that he observed within Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that he felt prevented him from "buying in" to the fiction of the film but may actually be beneficial qualities to certain audience members. His first point covers the film's global stage for a political drama between potentially warring counties. His second point covers the personal character stories within the film. A brief aside from the points, Melvin and Daniel agree: the suits at the end of the movie aren't that good. Melvin's third point has to do with the film's metatextual pairing of T'Challa's fictional death and Chadwick Boseman's real-life death. Melvin's final point covers what he would consider inefficient pacing, such as scenes clearly setting up future movies, or scenes having only one purpose at a time rather than being dynamic in detail. Recommendations: Galatians: An Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul (Book) Amy (2015) (Documentary) The Decade-Long Quest For Shadow of the Colossus' Last Secret (YouTube) Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
TV-SHOW DISCUSSION:  Marvel couldn't get through one more show without fans going nuts, and Melvin & Dan are here to parse through the mire. We get through what makes She-Hulk: Attorney at Law extremely fun and a breath of the fresh air, as well as what makes its ending both clever and dull. Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 33-minutes discussing Phase 4 Marvel, it's ups and downs, the overwhelming content-drip of borderline week-to-week Marvel content and wanting more creativity from Marvel despite knowing its still, you know, Marvel. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Daniel details the conception of She-Hulk as a Marvel comic character in the late 70s/early 80s.Daniel, "She-Hulk is, other than WandaVision, one of the only one of these [Marvel shows] to take advantage of the fact that it is a streaming show."Although anyone could have predicted the negative response to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, it was funny to see how the show, episode after episode, would almost commentate on the live-responses it was actively receiving.The CGI in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was a big worry for many, but it looks alright throughout the show. Even so, it seems people are really pining for something real with their film and television, and Marvel continues to frustrate its audience with disorienting or cartoonish CGI.Talking the official return of Daredevil!And finally, a long discussion on the confused feelings Melvin & Dan have with the final episode of the show.There aren't a lot of fourth wall breaks throughout She-Hulk: Attorney at Law so it can make the intense fourth wall break during the final episode extremely jarring.In terms of power levels, thanks to She-Hulk's fourth wall break, does this mean She-Hulk is the most powerful figure in the MCU over Kang the Conqueror and the Celestials?At the end of the day, the stuff that works really well with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the more grounded, legal procedural stuff than either the standard superhero or the wacko fourth wall breaking stuff, and a second season capitalizing on a week-to-week court-room drama with superheroes could be far more rewarding to watch than this first season's strange content amalgamation.Recommendations: Using justwatch.com to search where movies and shows are streaming. Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas (Book)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
Black Adam - Rentable

Black Adam - Rentable

2022-11-0101:07:27

MOVIE DISCUSSION: Melvin & Dan discuss the latest entry in the troubled, frustrating, and extremely strange DC Universe. This time it features fan-and-mom favorite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson donning a cool black suit and looking maliciously confused. Neat!  Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 35-minutes talking about Walter Hamada stepping down from the DCU, James Gunn replacing him, and the lack of cultural permanence DC has compared to Marvel, or even Horror/Slasher icons. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Daniel briefly details the 15-year journey Dwayne Johnson took to get Black Adam made, featuring himself in the titular role. Melvin & Dan agree: The first half of the film is pretty dang fun, albeit nothing new. Despite a marginally enjoyable experience, Melvin feels like it's "a movie that I'm already tired of seeing", one that has been made for the last decade and a half. Every two years the DCU has shifted and turned and changed its mind; do we really care anymore? Does it matter? Why even bother speculating? Black Adam's trailer, its opening exposition drop, and its plotline all tell a different story about Black Adam's origin, which is obviously cleared up by the film as it unfolds but makes the experience of watching the movie extremely confusing. Apparently, parts of Black Adam were "Rated R" worthy, and the current product in theaters is a trimmed edit to reach a PG-13. Melvin wonders which scenes were different. Apart from Black Adam feeling like most mid-Marvel flicks, it's also a superhero film releasing after Marvel had, like, 5-7 film and TV projects. The Superhero genre is feeling especially tired in 2022. Discussing Darren Mooney's Escapist Review of Black Adam where he felt the film was functionally worse than Morbius for various reasons. Melvin proposes that HBOmax start putting up the R-rated cuts of DC flicks since they can't seem to decide what they want with their DC films. Recommendations: Wendell & Wild (2022) (Movie) Emily the Criminal (2022) (Movie) Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
LET'S TALK:  (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 17-minutes discussing Halloween Halloween Halloween! (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) When Melvin saw Halloween Ends, he wasn't sure if he liked or disliked the movie. Mostly, it left him confused. So, he embarked on a journey: rewatching all three David Gordon Green Halloween flicks and seeing how they stand up. In doing so, his opinion on Halloween Ends has completely changed, and both he and Daniel discuss the experience of having their opinions change on movies, media, and life in general, and how the practice of mulling over and meditating on media is a helpful, often good practice. Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
PATREON MOVIE DISCUSSION:  This movie was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard!  Frank Peretti's film adaption of Hangman's Curse arrived with an official youth devotional. Or, at least, Melvin's DVD copy did. In part two of their Hangman's Curse discussion, Melvin, Dan, and special guest Melanie Dejesus (from Melvin's church) spend time working through the official Hangman's Curse devotional guide questions, including what makes some of them so problematic. But, before they get into the spicey stuff, the three laugh over 20-year-old IMDB reviews.  Topics: Melvin feels the Online Christian Review complex is very "team jersey", in that they often celebrate and 5-star films that are otherwise quite bad or uninspired despite containing all they need: the "Christian" tag in the marketing field. Thus, he reads a few silly reviews that celebrate Hangman's Curse for being good actually. Melvin, Dan, and Melanie spend time talking about the positive and negative critical phrase, "It is/isn't realistic." and how that's sort of a silly criticism at times for movies, which aren't real to begin with. Unlike Dan's DVD which arrived barely intact, and Melanie's DVD which was new, Melvin's DVD of Hangman's Curse arrived with an official devotional partnered with the film specific for youth small groups for Christians and non-Christians alike. He summarized interesting parts into a few points. The devotional occasionally references scripture, which Melvin summarizes to save time. In addition to scripture, the angle of the Devotional is very "Assemblies of God", which means it focuses heavy on "words of death" and "words of life", among other nuanced AG Pentacostal ideologies. Daniel shares further insight here. Due to the film's subject matter, the official devotional talks about topics like bullying and suicide. Our discussion cautions heavily against what's included. Unlike the film, the devotional sure has a climax that leaves each member flabbergasted.Christian movies and stories created to be used as "ice breakers" for small groups often don't turn out very well, and at other times end up causing more damage in their depictions of various difficult topics. Ultimately, nothing competes with a genuine relationship cultivated to foster healthy discussion. SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE: 988Recommendations: Spy x Family (Show)The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) (Movie)Bring It On: Cheer or Die (2022) (Movie)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
PATREON MOVIE DISCUSSION: This movie was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard!  Frank Peretti's Hangman's Curse was the first of his books to finally reach the silver screen, and Melanie Dejesus from Melvin's church joins him and Daniel on this first of two episodes where the three work through this weird amalgamation of teen scream and early 2000's "cool" Christian media.  Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 33-minute discussion of "cool" Christian media, the mid-90s to mid-00's craze of music, clothing, and all things "cool" in the western Christian world (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Melvin proposes, since no one on the planet has seen Hangman's Curse other than Melvin' sister, that the three detail the entirety of the film from start to finish. Daniel, a self-described Frank Peretti novel-fan, details Peretti's style and talent when it comes to literature. Melvin starts describing the opening 5-minutes of the film and all three members of the show levy criticisms. Melvin also confesses that, technically speaking, Hangman's Curse is the first horror movie he remembers watching... and scaring him as a kid. The faith-based Christian theming in the film is extremely awkward and often surprising as it's almost never-expected.One can practically feel Hangman's Curse pleading to have something horrific, shocking, dramatic, or scary happen on screen, anything to bring some life to an otherwise sluggishly paced snooze-fest.As the film continued, a lightbulb went off over Daniel's head, "Wait a minute... this should have been a TV-Show!"Hangman's Curse would have been benefitted by the Hollywood "Christianity" flair of gadgets with crucifixes, weird prayers for protection, the sort of thing we're used to with the Conjuring Universe.Frank Peretti plays a full-fledged non-cameo character in Hangman's Curse, a performance that is, at the very least, memorable.Coming in at 106 minutes, Hangman's Curse truly pushes the boundaries of patience, while also including many scenes that are obvious chaff. What's nearly 2 hours could have been a 45-minute TV-Special.Passively, the Assemblies of God influence of the film is apparent through its depiction and development of the "goth" subculture within the narrative, including a few other nods and references that otherwise might be missed.SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE: 988Recommendations: Spy x Family (Show)The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) (Movie)Bring It On: Cheer or Die (2022) (Movie)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
Halloween Ends - Bonkers

Halloween Ends - Bonkers

2022-10-1801:19:30

MOVIE DISCUSSION: Remember that wild Halloween Kills episode from last year? Melvin & Dan are ready to rock your world with a roaring sequel episode on Halloween Ends, a finale so bonkers it blows our minds!  Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 34-minutes talking about Werewolf by Night, the borderline TV-MA Marvel special on Disney Plus! (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Melvin and Daniel talk around the movie before actually getting into specifics, because that's what Halloween Ends has done to your hosts. Spoilers from the get-go, as Melvin and Daniel realize they can't discuss the movie much without getting into specifics. Daniel clocked it; it takes 40 minutes before Michael Myers even shows up in Halloween Ends. You practically forget it's a Halloween movie by this point. Daniel, "This really feels like a strange episode, a Halloween-themed episode of Twin Peaks." In isolation, a lot of the new ideas throughout Halloween Ends are neat, but the way all of them are used and balanced here is very poor. Melvin & Daniel agree: the diner scene is when the movie starts to lose them. There's actually a lot to appreciate and enjoy about Halloween Ends, including its general mood and atmosphere. Unlike most movies, all three of these Halloween features are exceptional at capturing atmosphere and look very sleek. As movie lovers, how we enjoy movies becomes much more complicated, as even the worst movies like Halloween Ends can become more enjoyable than the most competent ones. Melvin suspects the marketing, and the fact that this is a "trilogy finale" and not just another sequel with the expectation of another sequel soon after really impacts the reception and enjoyment of Halloween Ends. Melvin & Dan suspect Halloween Ends will earn a strange reevaluation as a black sheep in the Halloween franchise, largely due to its extremely strange ideas. Discussion: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer (Book) Significant Other (2022) (Movie) Book of Deuteronomy: New International Commentary on the Old Testament by Peter C. Craigie (Book) Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION: Melvin is joined by Stephen and Shirleon again to discuss the much-awaited sequel to the Halloween cult-classic, Hocus Pocus 2! Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 37-minutes discussing the Avatar Remaster, as well as Cameron's Avatar in general. Also, a reappraisal of our interests in a sequel. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Brief introduction to Hocus Pocus 2 before realizing we want to talk about the cultural impact of the first Hocus Pocus. Melvin doesn't remember much from Hocus Pocus other than the film being congested with sexual frustration, an extremely weird trait to be had in a PG flick, but not unexpected for a Michael Eisner era Disney production. As for Hocus Pocus 2, Melvin felt the slapstick gags were very successful and the film contained a myriad of clever yet simple jokes. Mary's Roombas in Hocus Pocus 2 are the comedic antithesis to Thor's goats in Thor: Love and Thunder. Despite some successful comedy, Hocus Pocus 2's ending truly contains some ridiculous nonsense, and all three of us have individual gripes to share.For Melvin, the ending fails because it converts the Sanderson Sister's from slapstick villains into bizarre, unfun sympathetic figures. For Shirleon, the drama wasn't earned for the finale, nor did the visuals come together in a convincing manner. For Stephen, "I guess I've kind of been sandbagging here. I hated this thing from the first shot." There's a mutual irritation over the continued misrepresentation of puritanism in fiction. Hocus Pocus 2 is conscientiously releasing during a time when Wickenism and the witchy-aesthetic is culturally in full-swing. Disney has produced a lot of content lately that has perturbed the cultural christian crowd. What's a healthy response, or at least filter, to apply when watching content that isn't just alternative, but also rated PG? At the end of the day, this routine, cyclical, tired conversation is benefited by one response: pray for wisdom. Certain topics do not produce binary, eternal answers. In this case, wisdom is needed in balancing the myriad of influences that come not only in filmmaking but living in a complex multicultural environment. Recommendations:  Betrayal at The House on The Hill (Board Game)The Munsters (2022) (Movie)The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor (Book)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION: Stephen and Melvin are joined by Shirleon to discuss the highly revered classic vampire film Nosferatu, a film with a 100-year legacy! Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 30-minutes talking about our October/Halloween plans, from movies to habits! (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Nosferatu is a very simple movie about a vampire, a man, and his wife.This was Shirleon's second time watching Nosferatu. The first time was great. The second time... not so much.Stephen observed how Nosferatu can feel slow and boring for a modern audience, yet also feels Nosferatu is an effective film overall.Melvin had a unique experience in which he was confronted with his mortality. Why? Because everyone involved in Nosferatu, from its conception, plagiarism, and preservation is dead.Nosferatu is shot during a time when movies were "plays on film", and thus didn't contain the same freedoms and creativities we are now accustomed to movies that separate themselves from the stage.Count Orlock is grotesquely charismatic, parading the film with a transfixing nature.Discussing the hardship of film preservation and audience engagement for a film that is both pre-talkie and had a court case resulting in the destruction of all original film negatives.Back in the days of yore, black and white films could be colored by painting on the film itself, and musicians could perform original music for the film based upon their talents and interpretations. With this in mind, the concept of preserving the "original experience" of older films becomes far more complicated, as it cuts down as deep as regional and local creativity.Nosferatu seems to present a message around the overbearing presence of predator vs prey, from not only a man vs man angle (Hutter vs Orlock) but also man vs nature (the town vs the plague). Primarily, it seems Nosferatu is expressing a horror unique to nature.Despite Count Orlock's diabolical design, there is still an expressionistic depiction of sensuality throughout Nosferatu.Recommendations:Frankenstein (1931) (Movie), or any other classic Universal Monsters movie.Absentia (2011) (Movie)And I Darken by Kiersten White (Book)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
PATREON MOVIE DISCUSSION:  This movie was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard!  If you've seen The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor or Midnight Mass, you've seen director Mike Flanagan's work! However, for this episode we're traveling back to 2013 to discuss one of his earliest projects, Oculus!  Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 40-minutes talking about the complicated dynamics of modern movie watching like watching on airplanes, cell phones, the gym, or doing dishes. Also, the concept of director, producer, editor, or alternative cuts to movies. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Daniel has watched more Mike Flanagan projects than Melvin. Melvin is curious if he's noticed a style or focus of Flanagan across each project. Oculus is a fairly simple visual experience of reliving family trauma, but there isn't a whole lot else going on from start to finish. The concept of cursed objects, things or tools having an effect on life in malicious ways not intended, is extremely cool. Despite this, the mirror as a cursed object has little presence. Most every criticism Melvin and Daniel levy at the film feel sourced in young, undeveloped directing talent, which Mike Flanagan has likely improved since working on this 2013 film. Melvin has extreme criticisms for both the original score and the cinematography for the film, finding both to be wholly uninspired. Daniel, "[Oculus] moved between being kind of interesting and then being just kind of unpleasant because of the subject matter."Discussing the "unreliable narrator" aspect of the film's second and third act, which people will either love or hate about Oculus.The world of film, especially horror, uses poor mental health for its complicating incident, or to add flavor to its storyline. How do we feel about that?Recommendations:  Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily DevotionsCheck out the Shout! Factory catalog and maybe buy a Collector's Edition of your favorite movie!The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Movie)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION:  Melvin & Dan talk about one of Mel's favorite movies, The Blackcoat's Daughter, perhaps the most painstakingly slow burning, brooding mood slashers ever made. Also, Melvin gets really honest about why he loves The Blackcoat's Daughter so much. Topics: Melvin has wanted Daniel to watch The Blackcoat's Daughter since they started the podcast. Finally, it happened. The Blackcoat's Daughter shows various aspects of alienation, loneliness, and general social dysfunction despite its small cast. Despite The Blackcoat's Daughter being set at a spiritually indistinguishable denominational school, an aesthetic choice likely chosen to add flavor to the horror, Melvin finds himself deeply connecting with the general atmosphere present within the film. The structure of The Blackcoat's Daughter is extremely subtle, with even its timeline giving small yet pivotal narrative clues. Daniel read that Ozgood Perkins wanted the film to be about loneliness, which as stated before clearly comes through the film. The Blackcoat's Daughter lends itself well to rewatching, both in shedding light on the narrative, and introducing more curiosities. When either a secular or religious person has no support system, they are prone to fill the void of community, companionship, and intimacy with risky and dangerous solutions often because those are easier or simpler to implement than an entire social structure. Melvin feels The Blackcoat's Daughter displays a convincing, gentle, yet clear perspective as to why one may be attracted to evil, and he feels the film can help bring a sense of clarity and compassion toward an otherwise contentious subject matter.There's a really strong dream-like logic to The Blackcoat's Daughter in which things don't necessarily make real-world sense but heavily improve the film's overall tone.Daniel, "Helping somebody who's [overtly] choosing something other than God; that's a tough one. Because there's something about the thing they're choosing that calls to them uniquely."Melvin, "In terms of [The Blackcoat's Daughter], a resolution to loneliness is companionship. But learning... learning to be a good friend is hard."Recommendations: Global Impact Bible: ESVFind and visit your local pop-up Spirit Halloween!Young Justice (Show) & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Show)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION:  Stephen McFerron, new contributor to Cinematic Doctrine (read him here!), joins Melvin again to discuss a pivotal film in the art-house canon: The Seventh Seal!  Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 50-minutes of Melvin and Stephen detailing their lifelong journey through movies, from the extremely good to the horrendously terrible, and everything in between (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Being our second Criterion-themed episode in a row, Melvin and Stephen joyfully discuss the Criterion Collection. The Seventh Seal is a movie that is intrinsically focused on and explores facets of death.The Seventh Seal's tone is very challenging as it expertly switches between extremely clever comedy and absolutely petrifying horror. Stephen, "The Seventh Seal puts a weight on death that is actually... actually makes the viewer try to grapple with the idea that they're going to die one day, too." A unique, tender tragedy to The Seventh Seal is the lament regarding the want to believe in something, although not believing in it. Melvin feels this is adjacent to the lament unique to faith, that one believes something they cannot see, but yearns earnestly to see it true. Stephen shares what it is about the end of the movie that convinced him to watch it over and over. Talking about the pseudo-communion scene between Antonius Block, Jof, Mia, Jöns, and the Girl. Is there room for frustration and doubt in the Christian life? At the time of watching The Seventh Seal and recording for this episode, Melvin was in the midst of the Book of Job, so he turns there for some insight. Recommendations: The Book of Job (Bible)Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special (Comedy Special)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION: Stephen McFerron, Cinematic Doctrine's newest contributor (read him here!), joins Melvin to discuss Stalker, the popular Andrei Tarkovsky science-fiction classic! Topics:Introducing Stalker is equally simple (three men travel through a zone to find a room that grants one's greatest desire) and complex (constant philosophical debate, ruminations upon the terror of desire, and the intimidating presence of The Zone).Stephen, "I think it's about evangelism and the Christian walk - to some degree."Stalker is not only literally long, coming in at 162-minutes, it also can feel long with exceedingly drawn-out sequences, but Melvin feels these moments imitate the mundane periods in our life that help us think.The Zone that our characters traverse is not only depicted like a character itself, but a deity as well.The Zone demands respect if what it has to offer is to be obtained, something one may consider is similar to God Himself.Spiritualism and Christianity were largely prohibited in Russian film and art during 1979, and yet Tarkovsky cleverly depicts Christian symbolism, strife, and meditations throughout Stalker's runtime.One of Melvin's favorite aspects of Stalker is the two brief reprieves where characters sit down and talk directly to the audience, exposing their soul through poetic raison d'être.Melvin, "Stalker really wrestles with the concept, "You may think you know what you want, but what you want may not be what you wanted.""Evangelism is often a painfully slow, seemingly fruitless process. And yet it often helps orient the evangelist to God first and foremost, despite its subject being the Godless.Getting into the final monologue of the film delivered by the Stalker's wife, which kills Melvin.Sometimes with evangelistic pursuits we neglect to focus on one of our most rewarding responsibilities: the family.God permeates not just the spectacular but also the mundane. Is that not also joyful?Melvin believes there's a severe criticism of industrialization through a particular B-theme of Stalker.It seems there's a perpetual frustration between Russian artists and the Russian government. Stalker definitely includes some of that cultural tension.Recommendations:The Criterion Channel (Streaming Service)Elden Ring (Game)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
PATREON TV-SHOW DISCUSSION: This TV-Show was selected by our Patreon Supporters over at the Cinematic Doctrine Patreon. Support as little as $3 a month and have your voice heard!  Melvin & Dan put on some no-slips and get to work talking about The Bear! Corner! Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 37-minutes of various topics: She-Hulk Episode 1 Twitter response, Warner Bros. can only afford to release two movies this year, and that nonsensical MoviePass revival (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) The Bear is mercifully efficient and accurately represents kitchen work. Melvin feels The Bear's realistic depiction of work-space experience and people relationships might actually so relatable that it becomes difficult to watch. Daniel has worked with coworkers just like some of the characters in The Bear.Melvin has an affinity and yearning for structure, so seeing a healthy and positive depiction of work and hierarchy in The Bear is greatly appreciated.Melvin jokingly says, "This is the most loving show I've seen... and I've seen The Chosen!" which heads into a retrospective on how Melvin & Dan have grown less fond of The Chosen since reviewing it in 2021.Talking about what makes Richard such a great, compelling character.The Bear has a really understated and kind way of depicting redemption and change, two things that require strong perseverance.Melvin kept thinking of both a Biblical and Cultural Christian perspective of The Bear's depiction of relationship strife and reconciliation, and how a Biblical approach to these issues will likely look different than a cultural Christian one.Recommendations: ESV Student Study BibleJoe Pera Talks With You (Show)Only Murders in the Building (again) (Show)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
LET'S TALK:  Earlier this month we reported the cancelation of Batgirl, Scoob! 2, and much more. These projects, both nearly complete, got the unceremonious axe, but they would be far from the first. Since then, several other projects have been either canceled or removed outright from HBOmax despite being originals to the streaming service. This leads Melvin and Daniel down a frustrating discussion about whether anyone will ever willingly work with Warner Bros. Discovery in the future, the moral quandary of piracy, and so much more.  Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION: Hulu continues to put out bangers, and Melvin & Dan discuss Not Okay, one of its latest successes! Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) Discussing They/Them, the controversial and questionable slasher set at a gay conversion camp, as well as some new Ezra Miller/Flash/Warner Brothers news. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) When Melvin first learned about Not Okay's description, he immediately knew he wanted to watch it. Melvin felt Not Okay had some influence from Friday the 13th: Part V: A New Beginning. Yes, he explains. Zoey Deutch and Dylan O'Brien were both in The Outfit, another movie from 2022. Melvin gives a mini review for that, while asserting the quality of their chemistry. Part of why Melvin texted Daniel about covering Not Okay is specifically to compare it to Dear Evan Hansen, so the two begin detailing key differences in quality and character between the two. By making the film more realistic and sensible, Not Okay succeeds in making its lead character both appropriately despicable and frustratingly sympathetic, both qualities that Dear Evan Hansen never achieves in its bizarro world depiction of horrible events. Daniel, "If you told me this was made as a response to [Dear Evan Hansen], I would believe you." The final sequence is the primary standout of Not Okay. Recommendations:Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts by Philip Graham Ryken (Book)Joining Letterboxd.com so you can track movies, write reviews, follow other users, and make lists!Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible by Dan G. McCartney and Charles Clayton (Book)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
MOVIE DISCUSSION: Melvin & Dan talk about the latest Predator movie, Prey, that probably should have been in theaters, right?Topics: (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 50-minutes talking about the benefits to physical media over streaming, and the exciting world of special features w/ examples. (PATREON EXCLUSIVE)Immediate disappointment that Prey was not in theaters.Jacob Knight on Letterboxd writes that Predator is at its best when it just embraces its "Pro Wrestling" aesthetic.Predator has always been more enjoyable when it's simple. This is why Predators can feel pretty fun at times, and why Prey feels great all the time.Melvin & Dan want to see the Predator dropped into other time periods: pirates, samurai, ancient Greece. All sorts of weird, high concept stuff!Amber Midthunder was very pleased to see the depictions of Native Americans in Prey was not hyper spiritual and shamanistic.There's a cultural, current fascination with "simple" movies; movies with high concepts that are easy to explain and easier to understand.Dakota Beavers, really the only other character in the movie, who also has no other credits on IMDB, was also pretty great!As far as we can tell, all the Native American characters have Native American heritage, which is really great!Ranking the Predator movies.Recommendations:  Blue Letter Bible & NET Bible (Apps)Look for Independent Theaters nearby for fun community events!10 Cloverfield Lane (Movie)Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
LET'S TALK:  On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022, the news broke that Batgirl, an upcoming DC film featuring the continued return of Michael Keaton's Batman as an old, weathered, matured Bruce Wayne training a young Barbara Gordon, was canceled. But that's not all; the film was nearly complete, virtually gold by the time the axe came down. Along with its death came the cancelation of Scoob! 2, and several other upcoming properties deemed unworthy. This news also comes with expected, wild changes to what's considered many cinephile's #1 streaming service: HBOmax. With the finalized merge between Discovery and Warner Brothers, things sure are changing, and Melvin and Daniel felt so affected by the news that they put together this surprise, impromptu episode so they could complain about it. Due to the quick nature of this episode's recording and scheduling, the episode also hasn't been edited. All coughs, squeaks, and sound distractions are included. How ASMR of us! Despite this, we're sure the content is still worthwhile. Please enjoy!Support the showSupport on Patreon for Unique Perks! Early access to uncut episodes Vote on a movie/show we review Social Links: Twitter Website Facebook Group
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