The Screen Watchers Guild Podcast #143: Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Matthew Vaughn’s latest film Kingsman is ultra-violent, crazy, and fun. So basically, it’s a Matthew Vaughn movie. Starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, and Samuel L. Jackson, Kingsman is a bananas film to say the least.

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The Screen Watchers Guild Podcast #142: The 2015 Academy Awards …Awards

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The 3rd Annual Academy Awards …Awards has arrived! We go over our favorite moments of the night as well as, well, the box thing. Yeah, the box thing. Enjoy our recap of the Oscars!

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The Screen Watchers Guild Podcast #141: A Most Violent Year

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A Most Violent Year stars Oscar nominees Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, except they aren’t nominated for this film. Is it a snub? Is the movie as a whole being snubbed? Is the movie good? Questions are not good for descriptions. Check out our review.

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The Screen Watchers Guild Podcast #140: Strictly News 02.13.2015: Spider-Man Edition

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The day has arrived! Spider-Man to return to the Marvel fold and a new age has dawned, or risen, which one comes first? We discuss who should play Peter Parker/Miles Morales, who should direct, and Paul randomly talks about the multi-verse theory.

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The Screen Watchers Guild Podcast #139: American Sniper

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Depending on who you talk to, American Sniper is either a propaganda film or the greatest thing ever made about an American. We tend to see a little more down the middle. We look at Clint Eastwood’s latest film starring Bradley Cooper as a film first… and then some of the more controversial aspects of the adaptation of Chris Kyle’s book.

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Marvel’s Daredevil – Teaser Trailer Review & Discussion

We go over the new Netflix original series, Daredevil. Based on the Marvel property, we see the first live action version of Matt Murdock since Ben Affleck in the film from 2003. We also decided to check out that trailer.

An Analysis on Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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WARNING: SPOILERS

I wanted to try and really make sense of this film that I loved so much. While there are many unknown aspects of the film, including what Alejandro G. Iñárritu actually intended everything to mean, the reason this film enticed me so is because of the analysis that is possible with a movie like this. So here’s my best shot:

“What we talk about when we talk about love.” is the through line for the entire movie. Love is fame and adoration to Riggin, so much so that clinging to the old fame of Birdman has left him with a broken relationship with his daughter and ex-wife. His daughter says “You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter.” Which is what Riggin is terrified of. So he wants the respect of a real artist, a real “actor”. He’s then given a few examples, the younger Leslie (Naomi Watts) who hopes her first big play won’t flop, the method actor Mike played by Edward Norton who can’t even get it up because he’s so into the craft it has destroyed him, and Laura (Andrea Riseborough) who is the latest in broken relationships in Riggin’s life. His daughter is attracted to the serious actor that he wishes he could be.

To me, the hard cut is when the old Riggin dies. Not literally, but figuratively. The death of his ego that wanted to be validated and loved.

In the hospital bed, he is treated with word of great success. His play is a hit, he’s a sensation. Fame has returned and is bigger than ever. His response is lukewarm at best. In his brush with death, his visions of the band playing and the characters from Grauman’s Chinese Theater who represent the blockbuster entertainment at a base level flash before his eyes before he sees the jellyfish. The same jellyfish that stung him and ruined his previous suicide attempt. This is a reminder of that, that the “quiet dignity” of death isn’t a quite dignity at all. He was flailing like a fool trying to get the jelly fish off of him in the beach, causing an embarrassing moment out of something peaceful. The gun misses and he’s reminded of that.

The bandage, which looks like Birdman’s mask, is now on his face. Earlier in the play, his character tells a story of a man in an accident that couldn’t see through his eye holes and see his beautiful wife. When his daughter Sam brings him the flowers (something she couldn’t do in person in the beginning of the film), he laughs, because he can’t smell the flowers. The flowers represent life, and he couldn’t enjoy the life that he had right in front of him because he had the Birdman mask on all along. He holds his daughter like a child, and that coupled with his new found friendship with his ex-wife, he is now at peace.

He goes in the bathroom and sees Birdman on the toilet. He removes the mask and as he’s leaving Birdman says “Goodbye, fuck you” to Riggin. He has now let go of Birdman and goes back to his room. At this point the surreal begins again, as the sweeping score that happens during most of the flying scenes begins to play. He looks up, smiles, and begins to soar. He is now able to leave behind the old part of his ruined life and begin anew. Same looks down, expecting to see her father splattered on the floor, but her eyes dart back and forth, indicating she can’t find him. She then looks up and smiles, because unexpectedly, her father is now soaring. She can now “look up” at her father.

He recognizes love in the end. What we talk about when we talk about love….

-Paul Ponte