Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’20: Pottersville

When it came to may attention that there was an 85 minute Christmas film starring Michael Shannon, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, Ron Perlman, Ian McShane and Christina Hendricks, and that it had a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, I knew that I had to see it, and quick. In fact, it is how I opened my 2020 Exploratory Christmas Endeavor. It was not, however, the first movie I wrote about for my Exploratory Christmas Endeavor, because despite its being only 85 minutes long, it was so bad that I managed to watch an entire other, better movie before finishing this one.

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Season 3 Episode 7: ‘By the Way, Woody Allen is Innocent’ & In The Mood For Love

I give up trying to figure out episode numbers for this “season”. I may have to go back at some point and just re-number them all from scratch.

This episode’s first half will be a GBU test of loyalty, I’m sure, because the issue of the accusation against legendary director Woody Allen is something that everyone thinks they know about, and if they think they do, they don’t want to be on the wrong side of it. But I encourage you to approach this essay (documentary) by Ricky Worley with an open mind.

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Season 3, Episode 6: Candid Podcast: The Return of Adam

Something interesting happened this year, dear listener. I never directly addressed it on the show, because it seemed in poor taste to make personal issues public, but Adam and I–longtime viewers will recognize–had a falling out in 2017, which is why in late 2018 when the show returned, I was the sole host, with a rotation of guests and Adam was nowhere to be found. I understood that the lack of clarity about that may have been frustrating for some folks. I also understand that people have different takes on which version of the show was better.

This will be an interesting listen for people, I think, as Adam and I go some way toward illuminating the matter and our reconciliation. The show will, however, maintain its current shape, with me and a rotation of co-hosts, of whom Adam will now return as one.

Regarding the show’s immediate future, I am planning on my annual Christmas episode, as well as a mini-series about Neon Genesis Evangelion, given that the 4th Rebuild of Evangelion movie is due to finally release (after 8 years) in January of 2021. The first episode of these, featuring two entirely new co-hosts, will be out soon. Before that, there will also be a long-overdue and well over-stuffed episode with Adam in the co-host’s seat. That should go up shortly after this one does.

Season 3, Episode 4: Audition (Spooktacular 2020)

Well, here we are, back for a new round of Spooktacular podcasting! We couldn’t fit in both of the movies we really wanted to, so stay tuned for Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue in the next couple of days.

Takashi Miike’s Audition and Perfect Blue were suggestions from listener Eric, the first listener to ever write in to the show (which you can do as well by e-mailing me at Audition wound up being pretty divisive, and I think we forgot to actually talk about the plot for possibly the first time ever on the show. Whoops! Maybe we try and do a better job of it on the Perfect Blue episode!

I said I would plug Jon’s Twitch presence where he DJs, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do:

Did you all know that you can’t embed Twitch clips without a plugin? Did you know that even the $50/year WordPress plan doesn’t support plugins? You need the business plan.

2020, am I right?

Hey. I just got a really encouraging piece of fan mail. But because I never check my e-mail, it’s been sitting there since August.

Anyway, I’ve been super busy between school and work, and my recent revelation that I’ve got undiagnosed ADHD at least gives me something on which to blame the constant haze in which I live. But that shouldn’t stop me from recording the show.

Especially with October mere hours away.

So for now, enjoy a re-post from the GBU archives, of The Wrestler, and try not to think about how the entire country is collapsing while I reassemble the studio and prepare for some recording during the spookiest month of the spookiest year in all of human history.

Yes, God, Yes

Yes, God, Yes (2019) - IMDb

I need to stop getting suckered by movie marketing. This film isn’t the comedy I thought it would be.

In fact, it is nearly as frustrating a thing to watch as is the time of life it portrays. I believe that is on purpose. This film features a low hum of constant conflict, sometimes punctuated by moments of acute conflict that actually move the plot forward. Most of the time, you will be watching close-ups of Natalia Dyer’s face, screwed up in inner conflict, while the people around her drag her and her reputation through the mud, and while it is very effective, I just think it could have used a few more jokes.

I am glad that American popular media is beginning to shrug off the ancient taboo about women’s sexuality. That is an act of growing up we and our movies have needed to make for a long time. Spiritually, I’m 100% on board with this film. I do not regret watching it. But I have no interest in a repeat viewing. It doesn’t have enough moments of impact, the ending doesn’t feel especially victorious. Perhaps it would resonate more with me, and get by on that fact alone, if I were a woman, or a Catholic, who had lived through something like this, but I am just viewing it as something of an outsider, and I found myself disappointed.

It is also frustrating that they cast a man to play the priest who looks so much like Dillon Francis, instead of casting Dillon Francis. You expect me to believe Dillon Francis was too busy? Because I don’t.


Bad Education

Really wonderful acting from everyone involved here, and that is the highlight of the film for me. That said, for a film about the greatest school theft in American history, it never feels particularly explosive or exciting. The fact that the bad actors will be caught is a foregone conclusion and there is never a sense that the school reporters will be in any danger for their meddling. While this isn’t exactly a knock against the movie, it does combine with the drab, “inside of schools” look of the whole film to make the entire thing feel a little flat. That is, it feels like less than the sum of its parts.

Still, it is a pretty easy one to recommend.

7/10 GOOD