Ben Around

I'm Ben Flanagan. I'm in Tuscaloosa, AL. Don't you know where that is?

Thoughts on entertainment, sports, stuff and etc.
Jul 21
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Jul 19
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Aspect Radio #103: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Boyhood’s Oscar Chances, Universal Monsters

Ben and Corey talk “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” their favorite movie of the summer, plus its chances of reigning supreme at the box office during a weekend with weak competition.

The guys also offer praise to motion capture pioneer Andy Serkis, who steps his game up here and paves the way for other talented actors who similarly embrace digital performance.

Plus, the guys catch up on some movie news and other industry notes like Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” Oscar chances, Universal’s revival of its Monster Movie Library, the future of “Ant Man,” a “Shining” prequel possibility, the “Pacific Rim” sequel announcement and much more.



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Music heard in AR #103:
Busta Rhymes - “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”

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Jul 11
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Jul 02
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Aspect Radio #102: Best of 2014 So Far

Ben and Corey list their favorite films from 2014 so far, and they definitely aren’t disappointed with the output through June.

Fantastic new films from Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, James Gray, plus strong work from new directors like Jeremy Saulnier set a great standard for the rest of the year.

Wonder Mill Films’ Ben Stark also shares his favorite of the year so far. Learn more about his latest film “Dead Saturday,” co-starring Oscar nominee Eric Roberts and currently in pre-production.



CLICK HERE TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD!!!

You can follow the show on Twitter, or email any feedback to AspectRadioShow@gmail.com.

Please “Like” us on Facebook! We’re also on iTunes. We’d really appreciate a rating and review!

Thanks for listening!!!

Music heard in AR #102:
Öse Schuppel - “s’Rothe-Zäuerli”
Alexandre Desplat - “Mr. Moustafa”

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Jun 16
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The Hollies - “The Air That I Breathe” (sound familiar?)

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Jun 05
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Cool poster, bro.

Cool poster, bro.

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Jun 04
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Comedy Shelf of Shame: Meatballs (1979)

Shelf of Shame Comedy

MEATBALLS (1979)
Ivan Reitman’s Canadian summer camp comedy is the perfect movie to watch at the start of this season and a great way to understand why Bill Murray would become such a champion of the genre. Murray is ALWAYS on in this movie, almost mugging a little too hard and never settling down for an honest moment, but the movie wouldn’t survive without it. I’d say it sacrifices story for antics and vignettes, but it isn’t really reaching for anything beyond making you laugh here and there. But it definitely has heart, thanks mostly to the good nature of Murray’s Tripper Harrison, especially when he spends time with shy outcast Chris Makepeace and encourages him to run the camp Olympiad (also another great example of the nurturing and irreverent 1970s when adults could harmlessly joke around with kids: “Let’s go get laid before the race.”). The structure definitely reminds me of “Caddyshack” in that we’re stuck in this place for an hour and a half and we could wind up with nearly any character at any moment, and story only surfaces when it reminds itself it’s a movie after all. But this doesn’t have nearly as many memorable characters, nor does it give them opportunities to become that. Still, a harmless and fun time. Best just to see unfiltered Murray charisma and potential.

Grade: B-

Does it belong to your Shelf of Shame? Only if it’s a “Bill Murray Essentials” project. This is by no means a disappointment, but I wouldn’t call it essential comedy viewing. Up next: Midnight Run (1988)

  • SOME LIKE IT HOT (greatest comedy ever? need to see more Billy Wilder)
  • MEATBALLS (set Bill Murray’s film career in motion, created a legend)
  • A SHOT IN THE DARK (many including my dad call the best Pink Panther)
  • SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (need to see more Preston Sturges)
  • MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (seen the other Python, gotta complete it)
  • EDDIE MURPHY RAW (is this the best standup movie ever?)
  • MIDNIGHT RUN (always stared at me in video stores)
  • THE APARTMENT (again with the Wilder, plus a best picture winner I haven’t seen)
  • WITHNAIL & I (gotta represent the cult classics, one I just keep hearing about)
  • SILVER STREAK (always wanted to see a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder flick)
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Jun 01
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Gary Shorelle (as “Ricky Nelson”) - “Waitin’ in School” (from “Pulp Fiction,” during the Jack Rabbit Slim’s sequence). Love this version.

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May 31
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Took photos at the Showdown in T-Town Arm Wrestling Tournament in Tuscaloosa last night. See the full gallery.

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May 30
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Shot photos at the Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder Soundtrack of the Summer Tour show at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater last night. See the full gallery!

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May 28
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The Echo Friendly - “There’s Part of Me Nobody Sees But You”

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May 26
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How has John Slattery never won an Emmy or anything for playing Roger Sterling? Dude is brilliant.

How has John Slattery never won an Emmy or anything for playing Roger Sterling? Dude is brilliant.

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May 20
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Comedy Shelf of Shame: Silver Streak (1976)



SILVER STREAK (1976)

Fun action/comedy blending exciting set pieces with planes, trains and automobiles. Mostly a showcase for Gene Wilder, especially during the first hour when it goes for more of a Hitchcockian vibe. Richard Pryor only comes more than an hour into it, when it devolves almost entirely into pure action territory, albeit with a thrilling speeding train climax. Hops from light romance to mistaken identity thriller to disaster movie blockbuster in two hours. Highlight is Wilder and Jill Clayburgh’s terrific chemistry during the opening act. I do wish we got more time with Wilder and Pryor on screen together, but maybe I’ll get that in “Stir Crazy” and/or “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” (both on Netflix Instant).

Grade: B-

Does it belong on YOUR Shelf of Shame? No. You’ll have a good time, but I wouldn’t call this an essential comedy by any stretch. My goal was to finally fit in one Wilder/Pryor flick, so mission accomplished, but I could have gone with any of them to get it done.

  • SOME LIKE IT HOT (greatest comedy ever? need to see more Billy Wilder)
  • MEATBALLS (set Bill Murray’s film career in motion, created a legend)
  • A SHOT IN THE DARK (many including my dad call the best Pink Panther)
  • SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (need to see more Preston Sturges)
  • MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (seen the other Python, gotta complete it)
  • EDDIE MURPHY RAW (is this the best standup movie ever?)
  • MIDNIGHT RUN (always stared at me in video stores)
  • THE APARTMENT (again with the Wilder, plus a best picture winner I haven’t seen)
  • WITHNAIL & I (gotta represent the cult classics, one I just keep hearing about)
  • SILVER STREAK (always wanted to see a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder flick)
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May 19
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Gordon Willis, 1931-2014. Master cinematographer. RIP.

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May 12
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Wye Oak - “I Hope You Die” (as heard in camera test for “Blue Ruin”)

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