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The Earn This Podcast, Episode 21: Reviewing Zootopia

Download link (you may have to right click and “Save As”) Dan and Kevin of Taestful Reviews check in on the latest animated hit, Zootopia, praising its themes and evaluating its place in recent animated canon. Notes/corrections: We couldn’t remember the name of the studio behind the upcoming The Secret Life of Pets — it’s Illumination…

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Brian’s Year of Free Movies (2015) – The Bottom 5

In my last post, I discussed my picks for the Top 10 films from my “year of free movies” screened at the University Mall Theatres in Fairfax. Now we dive to the bottom of the barrel to explore the opposite extreme. Partly because I’m a positive person (but mostly because I have a whole other…

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Dan’s Top 100 Everything: #6 The Simpsons

“Television: Teacher, mother, secret lover!” – Homer Simpson, “Treehouse of Horror V” There are about fifteen reasons it feels impossible for me to write about The Simpsons in any objective, cohesive manner. It’s the greatest TV show of all time, and also the most formative on my life outlook. It’s responsible for some of my…

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Brian’s Year of Free Movies (2015) – The Top 10

This past year, I spent a lot of time at the movie theater. I helped Kickstart a project by a local second-run cinema, and in return got free movie tickets for all of 2015. While I never actually wrote any reviews up until now, I did keep a record of everything I saw. And since Oscar…

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Songs of the Summer Mixtape Draft, Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 Dan (Feb. 2016) Dear Colton, How time flies! Six months ago, in the middle of the July heat, we brainstormed the idea of a Billboard-based summer mixtape fantasy draft. One month, thirty songs, and 12,000 words later, we sent our mixtapes out to judges for assessment. Another two months…

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First Impressions Review: The Life of Pablo by Kanye West

The most important thing to remember when thinking about TLOP and the insane lead up to its release is the one thing that’s remained constant throughout the rapper’s whole career: Kanye West is full of contradictions. It might be infuriating, but it’s true: The moment you think you can generalize something about Kanye, he’ll swerve. How…

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Songs of the Summer Mixtape Draft, Part 2

Read Part 1 Dan We’re halfway through our summer songs fantasy draft, and I have to say my thoughts on my roster are a mixture of delight and disappointment. Curiously, it seems our early picks were the least competitive, most strident with each other: You certainly could have waited several rounds to nab “Let Me…

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I Played 365 Board Games in 2015

In 2015, I played 365 board games, and kept fairly detailed logs of what I played, when I played, who I played with, who won (when relevant), and how much I liked the game. I usually get about this far in the explanation before people start bombarding me with questions, so I suppose I should…

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The Earn This Podcast, Episode 20: Reviewing The Martian

Download link (you may have to right click and “Save As”) Shortly after The Martian debuted, I sat down with my buddy Matt to talk about the film: what works and what is underwhelming. Given its recent Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture (!) — here’s our discussion. Notes/corrections: “In space, no one can hear you scream”…

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It’s Oscar Time! Can Leo Lose Again?

The Oscar nominations were announced today, and even though people trust the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only slightly more than Congress, this day always excites me.  The full list can be found here.  Now, ten thoughts on the nominations in what’s been a weird year for mainstream movies: 1) It’s understandable that Leonardo DiCaprio’s…