Five Films to Watch After Happy Death Day

If you know me, you know I absolutely loved Happy Death Day, a slasher film that came out this past October. You also probably know how much the film was inspired by the 1984 comedy classic Groundhog Day, and that I simply love that premise when it’s used in other films and entertainment. Happy Death Day is out on Blu-ray and DVD today, so I couldn’t help but to revisit the film and others like it.

Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: The Next Generation used the premise to incredibly great effect, bringing us two of the finest episodes during the ’90s. In fact, the time loop episode of TNG – “Cause and Effect” – aired a year before Groundhog Day hit theatres. Maybe I’ll end up stuck in my own time loop until I figure out the origin of this premise.

Anyway, before my day runs out, here are the five films that best utilize this classic trope:

1) Source Code – 2011

Army pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) awakens to find himself part of a top secret project being experimented now – the day a commuter train into Chicago exploded inexplicably, killing everyone aboard. We follow him as he is forced to relive the increasingly brief window of the past in order to discover the culprit and where they planted the bomb on the train. Stevens finds himself in someone else’s body with partial amnesia. His only contact from home is Colleen (Vera Farmiga), a voice in his head he can only see when he returns from each “leap to the past”. Setting right things which once went wrong, Stevens leaps back to the beginning of the day, hoping each time that he will figure out their problem, as well as his own. Why is he stuck in this experiment? Can he save the people aboard this train, including Sean Fentress, the man he’s leapt into? While this may sound familiar just because of the Groundhog Day situation, it also sounds eerily reminiscent of another favorite show of mine, Quantum Leap. Director Duncan Jones even finds the chance to sneak a Scott Bakula cameo in there, so keep an ear out for him. Including incredible supporting work from Jeffrey Wright as the scientist bent on manipulating the Source Code machine he’s developed, as well as Michelle Monaghan as Sean’s love interest (who Stevens of course romances), this is one of the sharpest sci-fi films of the last decade, let alone one of my favorites of all time. You’re in for a treat of the senses if you rent this next.

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Podcast January 13 – Phantom Thread and The Commuter

Our next podcast needs no introduction, but I suppose technically you want to know what we talked about, right?

Phantom Thread expanded slightly wider and Cory was able to see Daniel Day-Lewis’s potential final performance, while also taking in the first new film of 2018 – Liam Neeson’s newest January “thriller” The Commuter. He also caught up with Tristan by seeing recent awards darling The Florida Project.

Tristan caught up with Cory as well by seeing the number two on Cory’s best of 2017 list, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and another great summer release, A Ghost Story. He also saw an older flick, Michael Douglas cop thriller Black Rain.

Finally, Cory discusses the newest Netflix acquisition, David Letterman’s return – My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, a series of interviews led by the thrilling ex-late night host.

Join us as we talk about the highlights of our week, below:

Remember, always comment responsibly!

Review: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Episode 1)

In the format of his friend Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Car Getting Coffee, ex-talk show impresario David Letterman is chronicling his post-fame exploits. With the guerilla-style camera tilting up to his desk, Letterman fields a phone call with President Barack Obama to be the inaugural guest on his latest Netflix interview venture. When David politely exchanges goodbyes and hangs up the phone, we see the haggard look of tentative disappointment on his beard-encrusted mug as he immediately jumps to the conclusion that Obama is too preoccupied for his formal, no-frills chat.

Low and behold, Letterman managed to ensnare Obama for an interview in what appears to be a community theater hall that might be the minor venue for a local talent show or bake-sale fundraiser. Best of all, the audience is completely oblivious as to who the guest will be which piques and counterbalances the show’s lean production (two black leather chairs against the backdrop of curtain pulleys).

Strangely, it is quite apropos for Obama to be David’s contemporary since, as Dave winks, they both “left long-term jobs.” Letterman’s line of questions are more about demystifying the cloak-and-dagger secrecy of the White House and how one re-acclimates back to being an American citizen rather than the Alpha and Omega of our government.

Obama is cordial and immensely aboveboard as always about the transition to civilian life but what makes the confab so arresting is how he flips the dynamic and asks Letterman about his journeys after his CBS exile (pilgrimages to Japan and Newfoundland). Even better is how Letterman jokingly retreats from Obama’s curiosity back to his inquisition.

Along with the lighthearted banter (ex. Obama quips about Letterman’s staff along with his “biblical beard”), Obama candidly addresses the economic crisis and two wars he had to juggle when entering the Oval Office. Since they’re tackling provocative issues about social media news feeds, the au courant political climate and Obama’s childhood in Indonesia, the conversation is scintillating. It’s a bit jarring when Letterman pleats the insular format and retraces the Selma march with organizer John Lewis. Much like Letterman’s daily show, the most captivating episodes will hinge on the most captivating of guests in the long run and with an elocutionist like Obama by his side, the biplay is uncommonly strong.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Music to Your Ears – Justin Timberlake, The Vaccines, I’m With Her

I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the outcome to our first annual Music to Your Ears single bracket, and here we are:

The Killers “Run for Cover” wins Best Song of the Year over Haim’s “Want You Back!

Thanks all who voted this year, and hopefully we’ll be back again next December even bigger and better than before!

Now, without further adieu, are the first new singles of 2018:

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Podcast January 6 – The Florida Project and Bright, plus Most Anticipated

Cory and Tristan usher in the new year with a collection of late-end 2017 films, including:

Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Florida Project
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Bright
I Love You, Daddy
Mr. Roosevelt

Their discussion also features two new television premieres – LA to Vegas and 9-1-1. They cap off their day with a brief recap of their most anticipated films of 2018.

Listen in below, and remember to comment responsibly!

Good Sports – NFL Playoffs

I almost spent the first week of 2018 thinking I didn’t have to discuss any matters of music or sports until mid-January. Silly me, the playoffs are starting in the National Football League! How could I be so careless? Well, maybe it’s because it’s the New York Giants had their worst regular season (3-13) since before I was born (1983, 3-12-1). Maybe it’s because the chance at another championship slipped through the heavily injured Seattle Seahawks’ hands.

Whatever it was, I’m here to tell you what I think will happen this weekend and beyond as we throttle forward towards destiny at the 52nd Super Bowl:

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Most Anticipated for 2018 (Tristan Edition)

Cory posted his top ten most anticipated of the year yesterday, and here are mine:

10) First Man (10/12)

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If you know me, you know I love astronaut stories. Apollo 13 stands as one of the best films from the ’90s and I raved about last year’s Eugene Cernan documentary The Last Man on the Moon. So when they announced that this biopic would be directed by Damien Chazelle, fresh off the success of La La Land, I was already sold. Throw in his new muse Ryan Gosling as the titular moon lander Neil Armstrong and I’m there on opening night. This could be dry, as many historical dramas are, but I’m a sucker for this stuff. Besides, Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin could steal the show.

9) Tag (6/15)

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Last July, Jeremy Renner broke his arms during a stunt shooting a new film. It must have been something involving the Avengers, no? Well, guess again – it was this strange comedy from newcomer director Jeff Tomsic and featuring an all-star cast including Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Ed Helms, Hannibel Burress, Jake Johnson, Leslie Bibb and Jon Hamm. If you’re excited about the impending Game Night, I’m pretty sure this has the same tone. All that’s known so far of the plot is that a group of old classmate friends get together once a year for a massive game of tag that continually escalates, so much so that this edition has them traveling cross-country in a mad, mad, mad, mad rush to win. This could be a lot of fun, though I tend to have a bad nose for comedy, so we’ll see.

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