Breaking Bad: S5E10 “Buried”

The tenth episode of the final season of Breaking Bad sets up the Whites vs. the Schraders, while Jesse remains mute and Lydia makes waves in the meth world.

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Breaking Bad: S5E9 “Blood Money”

And we’re back. Breaking Bad returned this week after a year-long mid-season break, and we’ve got the last word in recaps for the first episode (of the second half, making it episode 9 of the season), “Blood Money.” But warning, spoilers ahead…tread lightly.

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When The Sky Falls: Opportunity Amid Hollywood’s Looming Implosion

“Cinema is dead,” or so the frequent pronouncement goes. It seems that each decade brings at least a few grouchy filmmakers to decry the state of cinema, but it’s hard to take them seriously. Lately, though, some of the complaints about Hollywood have gone beyond noted cranks like Peter Greenaway and Jean-Luc Godard and come from more levelheaded thinkers. Major filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg are having a harder time realizing their visions, and to some, the future of movies looks awfully grim. But too many people have taken Soderbergh and Spielberg’s talks and filtered it through a “the sky is falling!” mentality. Rather, it’s time to consider whether the Hollywood model really is breaking down, and what this might actually mean to filmmakers old and new alike.

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Review in Haiku

Film reviews, in Haikus. Review in Haiku is written by Tony Russo, designed by Blake J. Graham, and updated regularly. Images are also available on imgur.

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Baz-tardization: When Style Overwhelms Story

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Baz Luhrmann knows exactly what he wants when he makes a film. Luhrmann is, to some extent, the Michael Bay of melodrama, someone who takes well-worn archetypes and clichés and cranks them up past broadness and into comic overdrive, all while throwing it all out in an unprecedented quickness that borders on hyperactivity. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Luhrmann’s best work (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge!) has a giddy quality to it where the silliness stops being assaultive and veers towards transcendence.

Luhrmann has always been a polarizing director, but his most divisive works, by far, are his two adaptations, 1996’s Romeo + Juliet and 2013’s The Great Gatsby. All of Luhrmann’s films feel excessive and absurd, but with Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge!, at least he’s being excessive and absurd with his own material—Strictly Ballroom is based on a play Luhrmann helped develop in the 80s, while Moulin Rouge! takes a famous location and one real character (Toulouse-Lautrec) but otherwise invents a new story. With his two major adaptations, he works with material by of two of the greatest writers who ever lived. Slavish devotees to the “the book is always better” argument pull out their sacrificial knives for Luhrmann, but his films do (at least superficially) follow the text rather closely. Besides, storytellers must change things up if they’re going to make the story their own.

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It’s (Still) Alive! Frankenstein and Our Fears

One can argue that a horror movie tells more about the time it was made in than almost any other genre: it tells us, in any given time, what we were once afraid of. James Whale’s two most famous films, Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), were not the first Hollywood horror films ever made, but they are perhaps the point at which the genre truly formed its own entity rather than as a branch of movements like German Expressionism. In collaboration with Universal Pictures, Fathom Events re-released the films in select theaters on October 24th. In celebration of the horror movie, Airspace film writer Max O’Connell take another look at the two masterworks that started it all, and how it kept going.

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The Threat on Our Galaxy Far, Far Away

“I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime,” said George Lucas in a statement confirming the sale of Lucasfilm Ltd. to the Walt Disney Company for $4.05 billion in cash and stock—a statement that is sending shockwaves of panic through the community of the Star Wars faithful. Lucas is passing the Star Wars brand along to a “new generation of filmmakers” and Disney intends to pick up where Lucasfilm left off with a release of Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015.

The deal means Disney now controls all of Lucasfilm’s assets, which include the Star Wars franchise, the Indiana Jones franchise, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound. Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of the Lucasfilm division and report to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. This puts Lucasfilm next to the animation group Pixar, superhero-centric Marvel Entertainment, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise on Disney’s shelf of massive brands.

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Empathy, World-Building, and Loneliness: A Critical Look At Louie’s Third Season

By all standards, 2012 has been a banner year for Louis C.K. He won two Emmys for both his critically acclaimed show Louie and his comedy special Live at the Beacon Theatre, which was produced and sold exclusively by C.K. through his website. The DIY success of Beacon Theatre has prompted other comedians, such as Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, and Rob Delaney, to release their own specials under the same business model. And, most recently, C.K. used his clout to sell comedian Tig Notaro’s widely acclaimed set at the Largo comedy club, recorded just a day after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This year solidified Louis C.K.’s ascent to America’s foremost comedic voice becoming widely recognized by the culture as one of the most innovative, unique voices working today.

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The Master: A Look Back on the Works of PT Anderson, Pt. II

“Of all the big releases of 2012, perhaps no art house movie is more highly anticipated than Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master. The film spent the past weekend breaking limited release box office records, and it’s not without reason. PTA, as he’s so lovingly referred to as, has made only five other films since his debut in 1996, but nearly everything he’s made has been an unimpeachable masterpiece, and his 2007 film There Will Be Blood was the most frequently picked film for the top of “best of the decade” lists . He has become the modern day Kubrick or Scorsese, his initials shorthand for cinematic greatness in his time. But while PTA’s first five films are all recognizably his, there’s been a noticeable shift in style and tone over the course of his filmography.”

In his second essay on PT Anderson, film tastemaker Max O’Connell takes us through the recurring themes of PTA’s first five films.

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The Master: A Look Back on the Works of PT Anderson, Pt. I

“Of all the big releases of 2012, perhaps no art house movie is more highly anticipated than Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master. The film spent the past weekend breaking limited release box office records, and it’s not without reason. PTA, as he’s so lovingly referred to as, has made only five other films since his debut in 1996, but nearly everything he’s made has been an unimpeachable masterpiece, and his 2007 film There Will Be Blood was the most frequently picked film for the top of “best of the decade” lists . He has become the modern day Kubrick or Scorsese, his initials shorthand for cinematic greatness in his time. But while PTA’s first five films are all recognizably his, there’s been a noticeable shift in style and tone over the course of his filmography.”

Film tastemaker Max O’Connell takes us through the influences and art of Paul Thomas Anderson.

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Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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