It's been a quiet last week or two here at Cinematic Borealis, as I'm gearing up towards a move to New York City. That's right, this little Alaska blog is going to go big-time, which means more reviews! More entertainment articles! More cutting-edge criticism! Exciting times!
... except, until things settle down, I will probably only update infrequently here. So that kind of sucks.
But what doesn't suck is the awesome people at Paracinema! I will continue to provide at least one article a week over there, because honestly, I care more about the success of their magazine than I do the success of my blog.
Suck it, readers.
You can read this week's newest piece on Sean Bean and the art of dying like a supreme bad-ass at their website. Fair warning - there are about a billion spoilers to be had, so don't read it if you want to be surprised by Sean Bean movies. Ain't going to happen.
Get it? Anyways, in true Joe Posnanski fashion, here is a list of articles that will be coming up in the next couple of days. A review of Amazon.com's streaming video service; a review of Super 8; an article on self-destructive Netflix cycles; my worst customer interactions while working at a movie theater, as a hat tip to the Alamo Drafthouse; and, if I get really ambitious, a longer piece talking about data transfer and streaming video in relation to cord-cutting. Should be a busy next couple of weeks.
I would like to claim that my recent absence from regular posting has something to do with real-world affairs, or that I am out of town to accept the Alaska Blogger Of The Year award - that'd be kind of neat if we actually had one of those - but the truth is, my normal writing time has been the subject of a hostile takeover by Justified, the FX television series that combines the modern and the gunslinging west in one delightful package. If television was currently suffering from a lack of Shakespearean westerns by the loss of Deadwood, then Justified seem prepared to fill the void.
Justified is an amazing series - cast well, directed well, all from the brain of Graham Yost, who is one of my favorite television auteurs in the business - and while I could probably write an entire post about the show, my real goal here today is to talk about the incomparable Walton Goggins and his production company, Ginny Mule Pictures.
In keeping with CB's new mission statement to focus a bit more on VOD and streaming video options, I'm going to try and do a run-down of the various different streaming video sites available to everyone. As we are all intimately familiar with Netflix by now, I may not talk about them, but I will outline websites such as MUBI and Green Cine. Enjoy!
For those of you who do not remember, ATZ Reviews are reviews that take place in the Alaska Time Zone. This series provides reviews of "new releases," or movies that are considered new releases when we get them. Granted, a movie like X-Men is going to open everywhere all at once, but that doesn't mean I get a chance to review it right away.
X-Men: First Class
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Ashley Miller, Zack Stenz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Sorry about the lack of content the last two days. My friend bought me Season One of Justified over the weekend, and the time I would normally spend working on this has been filled with Timothy Olyphant drawling and shooting first. Don't worry, each and every time it's.... Justified.
Yesterday, I filled out an application for an arts grant for Cinematic Borealis. As part of the process, I was asked to provide an in-depth description of the content and focus of the blog.
Initially, I stared at the screen blankly for several minutes while trying to place Cinematic Borealis in the grand scheme of things. For the first month or so of CB's existence, I simply wrote about whatever struck my fancy. Watched something on Netflix? Write a review! New Michael Fassbender movie? Talk about the production! While people who knew what interested me would be able to see the common thread between these articles, to the casual observer it may have seemed spastic, like a kid with ADHD at a Blockbuster.
(To be fair, I have spent most of my life being the spastic kid at the video store, so this was not entirely off-base.)
And yet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have been trending towards a topic of discussion over the past few weeks. More after the jump!
Here in the Cinematic Borealis household, we rely on Netflix for all of our movie and television-related goodness. I have parted ways with cable and our local video stores - although Blockbuster IS sending me nasty letters about a late fee that I seem to have forgotten to pay - and am completely and utterly reliant upon my AppleTV and Netflix account to get me through those cold Alaskan evenings. This likely explains my interest in future of Video-On-Demand, as I stand to be more affected by the changes in technology than most.
At any rate, in looking through some of my favorite series on Netflix Instant, I realized that I could easily pick out my favorite episodes of each. It makes for a bit of a chaotic viewing schedule, but if you find yourself in the mood to re-watch one single episode of any of these old classics, here are my recommendations.
When I was younger, I was a regular reader of Fire Joe Morgan. The blog - run by Parks and Recreation creator and The Office writer Michael Schur - had one simple idea: take bad sportswriting to task. FJM would post an article that they vehemently disagreed with and, line by line, break down the reasons why the article was ridiculous. Due to the quality of the writing - and the fact that many sports fans were frustrated with the pompous attitude of national sportswriters - FJM became a cult icon for many sports fans, myself included.
While I don't have the flair for writing that Schur has, I do find myself vehemently disagreeing with one article in particular, and can resist the urge to FJM no longer. About a month ago, with the financing of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), several directors published an open letter to the studios regarding Video-On-Demand (VOD) services. The letter, spear-headed by directors like James Cameron, basically takes the studios to task for offering movies that are in theaters via DirecTV. A full run-down of the VOD service and its concerns can be viewed here, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.
The transcript of the letter is also available courtesy of the The Hollywood Reporter. No pictures today, kids, we need to get our rant on.