eXistenZ (1999)

eXistenZ is destined to always be second choice. Looking for a David Cronenberg film that eroticises the unerotic? Your first choice is Crash; eXistenZ comes a distant second. Looking for a film that cursorily engages with videogaming culture before becoming a philosophical treatise on the nature of reality? The Matrix does that better than eXistenZ,…

Introducing ccpopculture’s Ranking System

I’ve been considering introducing some kind of star ratings or rankings over here for quite a while now, but it seemed like my 300th post was a good time to roll out a ratings system for ccpopculture. Details: The ranks are, appropriately enough, on a scale from 0 to 200. At this stage it applies…

Slacker (1991)

Midway through Slacker’s loose collection of mostly-unrelated vignettes, a girl wanders into a dusty bookstore and idly peruses a paperback pertaining to JFK’s assassination.  As she flips through the pages, another customer sidles up to her and reveals himself as a classmate of hers (almost every character in Slacker is a university student), and discusses…

Debuts Blogathon: Chopper (2000)

Over the last two weeks, Chris from Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop and Mark from three rows back have been running an impressive Blogathon focused around debut films. Debut films have a special appeal, demonstrating a fresh, often rough-edged take on cinema, and much of the focus of the Debuts Blogathon has considered not just the…

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

It’s surprising that it took five live action films before Wes Anderson tried his hand at animation; the hand-made, stop motion animation that enables this Roald Dahl adaptation is a perfect match for the gentle, whimsical nature of the director’s films. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a Wes Anderson film through-and-through, whether it’s the wistful, pastoral…

Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee” (Season 5, Episode 13)

“To’hajiilee” is an example of how Breaking Bad plays its audience like a musical instrument. The bulk of the episode stretches its viewers taut like a finely-tuned violin, ratcheting up the tension inexorably, whether it’s subtle bits of (potential) foreshadowing like Saul wearing pink (and a bullet-proof vest), Pinkman enacting a fugazi portrait of death…

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)

“Human life was cheap. Film was cheap. It was a great place to make a picture.” Machete Maidens Unleashed! is Mark Hartley’s follow-up to his debut, Not Quite Hollywood, which was an oral history of Australian exploitation (“Ozploitation”) films. Similarly, Machete Maidens is an entertaining romp through B-movie history, now focusing on films made in…

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks (2013)

Trent Reznor has always thrived on the uneasy border between pop and industrial music, his best work demonstrating his commingled talents for evoking sinister atmosphere and writing taut, catchy tunes. The former felt increasingly left by the wayside prior to Nine Inch Nails’ recently-aborted hiatus; both Year Zero and With Teeth hewed closer to pop…