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Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.
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R&R Salutes Bill Murray

September 16, 2010 By: Category: Friends

Painting by Candace Jean

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to our friends at R & R Gallery for their write-up in the LA Times today. They’re having an art show dedicated to Bill Murray this weekend which is a brilliant idea and I so, so wish I could be there. If you’re in LA, get there early ’cause this shit is gonna be PAAAAACKED.

Details:
Mr. Bill Murray Opening
Friday, Sept. 17
7pm-midnight

R&R Gallery
929 E. Second St., Suite 106
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Update:
And now they’re on TV! Nice work, dudes!

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

The Awkward Movie Challenge: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

December 01, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, The Awkward Movie Challenge

movie-challenge-header

According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their weekly semi-regular feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.

Jeffrey:

life_aquatic-posterIt’s difficult for me to understand why so many people have such animosity for Wes Anderson. Read the comments on any review of The Fantastic Mr. Fox and you’ll find half a dozen variations on the phrase, “He hasn’t done anything worthwhile since The Royal Tenenbaums.” For those of you keeping score at home, the “nothing worthwhile” in this comment refers to two movies (out of a five film career): The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited. I’ll agree, The Darjeeling Limited was a waste of everyone’s time and should promptly be forgotten. But this is only because Anderson ignored the first rule of filmmaking in the official Filmmakers Guide to Making Films: do not let Jason Schwartzman collaborate on your screenplay. Anderson can be forgiven for making this rookie mistake because from what I hear, he ripped up his Filmmakers Guide to Making Films years ago and replaced it with lollipops.

Anderson’s greatest claim to fame may be his introduction of the word “whimsical” to the handbook of movie reviewers’ derogatives. I’m not sure how he came to embody the essence of whimsy, because a surface glance at any of his films reveals a deep undercurrent of sadness. Bottle Rocket ends with one of the main characters getting sent to prison. In Rushmore, no one ends up particularly happy. Hackman dies in The Royal Tenenbaums and Luke Wilson engages in one of the gnarliest suicide attempts I’ve ever seen captured on film. In The Darjeeling Limited, everyone’s an asshole and the movie sucks. The only one that actually fits the characterization of pure whimsy to me is The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and that’s garnering Anderson some of the biggest raves of his career. So go figure.
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The Awkward Movie Challenge: Ghostbusters

August 05, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, The Awkward Movie Challenge

movie-challenge-header

According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their weekly feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.

ghostbusters_posterJeffrey:

2009 is a spectacular year for 25th anniversaries, because 1984 was a spectacular year for movies. Besides Purple Rain, which we discussed last week, it is also the year that brought us Ghostbusters and Gremlins (to be discussed next week). In fact, not only did the last two movies come out in the same year, they came out on the same damn day: June 8, 1984. What a glorious, glorious day to be a 9 year old boy, which is what I was, at the movie theater, trying to decide which one I should see first.

In addition to Purple Rain, Ghostbusters, and Gremlins 1984 also brought us Footloose (February 17), Repo Man and This is Spinal Tap (March 2), Splash (March 9), Police Academy (March 23), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (May 1), 16 Candles (May 4), Bachelor Party (June 19), The Karate Kid (June 22), Revenge of the Nerds (July 20), The Terminator (October 26), A Nightmare on Elm Street and Stop Making Sense (November 16), and the top-grossing film of the year, Beverly Hills Cop (December 5). Not to mention The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (August 15), both Breakin’ (May 4) and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (December 21), The Neverending Story (July 20), Romancing the Stone (March 30), and Tim Burton’s first major(ish) effort, Frankenweenie (December 1). Nearly every month of 1984 saw the release of an iconic film that has lived on in cinematic history. Was it the best year for film ever? I have no idea. I just spent 30 minutes on IMDB looking up those dates and I’m not venturing back in for a comparison. But in terms of quality mainstream Hollywood movies that have stood the test of time, I doubt you’re going to find too many years to rival that one.

Now, please note that I use the phrase “stood the test of time” loosely. Very few of these movies stand the test of time in the way that, say, The Godfather or Chinatown stands the test of time. But there is undoubtedly something compelling about them that keeps us watching. Is it mere nostalgia? Or are these movies actually good? In some cases, there’s no question: Stop Making Sense is one of the best music documentaries of all time, and This Is Spinal Tap is the movie that both defined the mockumentary genre and surpasses pretty much every effort since. In other cases, the quality of the film is so overshadowed by its place in culture that it becomes very difficult to look at it with fresh eyes.

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