2016 Archives - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
16Jan/180

Mafia 3 (2016)

Enjoy the piece? Please share this article on your platform of choice using the buttons above!

If this is your first time reading Pixels in Praxis or are averse to spoilers, check out our FAQ before proceeding.

Start with his name, "Lincoln Clay."  First name borrowed from the President known for freeing slaves via legislature and the Emancipation Proclamation, last a tip of the hat to Cassius Clay - better known as Muhammad Ali - the greatest sportsman in history with a rich legacy of fighting for Civil Rights.  Neither had it easy, and on name alone the player character of Mafia 3 has mighty expectations to bear on his shoulders.  Whether developers Hangar 13 bothered to think this far with his name or not is irrelevant, this is his name and this is what it invokes.

Had Hangar 13 bothered with nuance in respect to Mafia 3's player character it might have had something interesting on its hands.  Instead, Mafia 3 goes about treating Lincoln and his surroundings with the vaguest understanding of what life was like in the 1960s for black Americans.  Hangar 13 gets the vernacular down just fine with plenty of moments where Lincoln is referred to or calls others the n-word.  But this is like a suburban white kid rapping along with Public Enemy, the energy comes from saying the word instead of understanding the political, social, and economic conditions that make it such a violent slur.

1Jan/180

The Best and Worst of 2017 (+ 2016): Aftershock

Enjoy the piece? Please share this article on your platform of choice using the buttons above!

Hard to know where to start after a year as burdened with pain and loss as 2017.  So, let's hop to the beginning.  I was locked in a corporate position leeching off my empathy and hard-work, slowly losing my will to get up in the morning, and having full breakdowns with no immediate cure.

Therapy, slowly altered medications, and giving a long angry, "Ciao," to the insurance industry have left me in a sturdier if still uncertain position looking toward the future.  It's sometimes hard to feel like there is much of a future with some of the best films of 2017 embracing a frozen portrait instead of gradual evolution.  Some films, like It, brought me so close to the trauma I worked hard to make peace with that they seemed impossible to finish.  But here I am in 2018, healthier than I've been in almost five years, with a light wallet and full heart.

I rebooted Can't Stop the Movies in March and it's been a rewarding, if tumultuous, journey to get back to where the site was at its prime.  I'm still nowhere close to the audience we had but, consarnit, I'm going to get there.  Since I missed almost an entire year of film review this list contains every 2016 and 2017 film I've written or podcasted about since rebooting back in March.

Here's to 2017, a year of great and painful change, and thank you all for your support as I regain my place in this world of criticism.

Filed under: 2016, 2017 Continue reading
28Dec/170

That Dragon, Edith Finch, and playing through grief

Enjoy the piece? Please share this article on your platform of choice using the buttons above!

If this is your first time reading Pixels in Praxis or are averse to spoilers, check out our FAQ before proceeding.

My dalmatian, Beau, was the stinky angel of support during the worst years of my life.  He was hit by a car when he was younger, never fixed, and was a constant source of flatulence.  Eventually he needed to lose weight and went to my grandma's for the summer.  When we arrived he was the healthiest I ever saw him, he ran and ran, then collapsed from a heart attack.  I held him, feeling all the warmth leave his frame, and I wanted to hide from my shame.  I couldn't shake the thought I killed him with my presence, and my grandma's prayers for Beau to be okay didn't help as I sat on the bed failing to disassociate myself from that awful feeling running down my arms, chest, and face of Beau's heat fading away.

Playing 2016's That Dragon, Cancer unearthed that feeling of life slipping away.  I got no respite from any of its chapters, and the moments when baby Joel - diagnosed with cancer at barely a year old - wasn't crying were filled with anxious parents, doctors, and other loved ones chiming in with their feelings.  Their words aren't always of despair or helplessness as there are spiritual and emotional comforts communicated in text, voice, or polygonal frames.  But they served as cold comfort to the tears I could not stop as Joel screamed or his parents, Ryan and Amy, let their doubts and faith spill out onto the canvas of the videogame.

4Dec/170

Changing Reels Episode 32 – Hush

Enjoy the piece? Please share this article on your platform of choice using the buttons above!

We are joined once again by film critic Kristen Lopez to discuss the representation of disability in cinema. This time we dive into the horror genre with Mike Flanagan’s 2016 thriller Hush. The film focuses on a writer who is deaf whose solitary life in the woods is disrupted by a masked killer. We also take a moment to dive into our two short film picks (available online for free): Rob Savage’s Dawn of the Deaf and Charlotte Wells’ Laps.

Show notes:

If you like what you hear, or want to offer some constructive criticism, please take a moment to rate our show on iTunes! If you have a comment on this episode, or want to suggest a film for us to discuss, feel free to contact us via twitter (@ChangingReelsAC), follow us on Facebook and reach out to us by email (Changing.Reels.AC@gmail.com). You can also hear our show on SoundCloud or Stitcher!

If you enjoy my writing or podcast work, please consider becoming a monthly Patron or sending a one-time contribution! Every bit helps keep Can't Stop the Movies running and moving toward making it my day job.

Filed under: 2016, Podcasts No Comments
1Nov/170

Changing Reels Episode 30 – Train to Busan

Enjoy the piece? Please share this article on your platform of choice using the buttons above!

A neglectful father attempts to reconnect with his young daughter by accompanying her on a train ride to see his ex-wife. What starts off as a simple journey soon turns into a harrowing fight for survival as a zombie virus rapidly spreads across South Korea. This week film critic and Blood in the Snow Film Festival programmer Caroyln Mauricette joins us to discuss Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan, one of the best zombie films in the last decade. We also take time to highlight our short film picks: Waterborne by Ryan Coonan and Paranoia by Sandeepan Chanda, Nitesh Mishra, Amrita Mukhopadhyay, and Sunil Kumar Yadav.

Show notes:

If you like what you hear, or want to offer some constructive criticism, please take a moment to rate our show on iTunes! If you have a comment on this episode, or want to suggest a film for us to discuss, feel free to contact us via twitter (@ChangingReelsAC), follow us on Facebook and reach out to us by email (Changing.Reels.AC@gmail.com). You can also hear our show on SoundCloud or Stitcher!

If you enjoy my writing or podcast work, please consider becoming a monthly Patron or sending a one-time contribution! Every bit helps keep Can't Stop the Movies running and moving toward making it my day job.

Filed under: 2016, Podcasts No Comments