Tag Archives: movie review

The Boomstick Film Club: Safety Last!

Watch it with us: Filmstruck or iTunes

In addition to my usual indie discoveries, I’m going to start tackling some classics here. Not that they need me to bring attention to them, but when a film endures this long, it’s usually because there’s a lot to talk about. I tried to go see a Harold Lloyd movie at the Film Forum a few years ago but was stymied because, I shit you not, the theater caught on fire about twenty minutes in and had to be evacuated. So Safety Last! was my maiden voyage with Mr. Lloyd, and what a treat it turned out to be. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, this is a perfect place to start. Continue reading

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The Boomstick Film Club: The Scapegoat

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

The trope of the doppelgänger is a perennial favorite in the thriller and horror genres. There’s something fascinating and terrifying about the idea of a total stranger walking around with your face. We think of our bodies as synonymous with our personalities or souls, so the idea of two identical bodies with vastly different souls is fertile ground for horror and suspense. The Scapegoat was adapted by television director Charles Sturridge from a Daphne du Maurier novel that explores the same territory as The Prince and the Pauper: two physically identical men who trade lives and pretend to be each other; only here, the consequences are far more serious.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Ava’s Possessions

avas-possessions

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

Horror comedies and demon possession movies are both having a moment, but Ava’s Possessions is the first film I’ve heard of that combines these genres. Director Jordan Galland’s 2015 indie is an amusing genre mashup, but it also uses possession and exorcism as metaphors for mental illness and addiction, presenting horror not as a one-time event but as an ongoing challenge.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Taxi

jafar-panahi-taxi

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

At first glance, Taxi seems like nothing more than a lighthearted, sometimes darkly funny mockumentary about daily life in Tehran. Director Jafar Panahi drives a taxi around the city and picks up friends, family members, and total strangers, filming their interactions on a mounted dashcam. But in the context of Panahi’s troubled past, the film takes on a larger significance.

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The Boomstick Film Club: The Guest

The Guest

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

I’m not going to spoil anything important about the fantastic Adam Wingard film The Guest. But if you want the optimum first viewing experience, stop reading right here and go watch it right now. Are you back? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

The Peterson family is mourning the recent death of their oldest son, Caleb, a soldier who was killed in combat. One day a stranger named David (Dan Stevens) knocks on their door, claiming to have served in the same unit as Caleb. He has nowhere else to go so they invite him to stay the night. Gradually David gets to know all four family members and manages to charm them while raising more and more questions, with us and with them, about who he is and where he came from. The Petersons’ 20-year-old daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) is the first to realize David is not who he says he is, but by then he has his hooks into every member of the family, including her.

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The Boomstick Film Club: Look Who’s Back

Look Who's Back

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

If Look Who’s Back had been released in any other year, it would have been a clever, amusing cautionary tale positing an answer to the age-old question: what would happen if Hitler was magically transported, unchanged and unharmed, to modern-day Europe? How would we respond to him now that we know what he’s capable of? And it’s certainly a clever, amusing film. But since it was just released in the US by Netflix in early April, it also reads as an eerily prescient political allegory.

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