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About Beltmann

  • Rank
    More Like the Moon
  • Birthday 06/19/1974

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    Southeast Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Movies, literature, history, sports

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  1. I'm having a complicated reaction to this album that seems to be rooted in competing sensors and expectations. Most of all, I respond to Wilco's multifaceted muse; I love both chaotic and folksy Wilco, so I'm prepared to follow the band wherever it wants to take me. Still, let me confess that after years of virus and dreary politics, and two brilliant yet relatively pensive albums, what I most wanted from new Wilco was a return to robust rock. And given Jeff's long months playing acoustic versions of his songs on the Tweedy Show, and his expressed desire to emerge from lockdown ready to b
  2. Yes! I said the same to my wife yesterday while listening in the car.
  3. I'm still in disbelief. I never met Dave in person, but his presence here and elsewhere on social media made him, to me at least, a larger-than-life member of our community. His absence leaves a gaping hole.
  4. Has film discourse really devolved to, you must think "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is a perfect masterpiece or you hate art? Only slightly less exhausting than reading online reactions to the sci-fi black comedy is the experience of watching the movie, which I found simultaneously exhilarating and deflating. There’s no question that this fiercely original movie should be widely celebrated, but set aside for a moment the wild comic invention, the philosophical musings, the rich romanticism, and Michelle Yeoh’s shaded, career-defining performance as a Chinese-American who harnesses the ab
  5. On a basic story level, both VFW and Old Henry present variations on the action convention of a small band of men defending against siege that John Carpenter (and Howard Hawks) efficiently perfected. In the case of VFW, that means an aging squadron of Vietnam veterans protecting a ramshackle bar against marauding mutant junkies and dealers. The movie doesn’t pretend to have any aspirations beyond generic exploitation, but at least it has a capable cast that includes Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Martin Kove, Fred Williamson, and George Wendt. Much better is Old Henry, a Western abo
  6. Benedetta has been received (and marketed) as “Paul Verhoeven’s nunsploitation movie,” and it’s hard to deny its willful embrace of iconoclasm, sacrilege, and, at times, a pervy male gaze. Still, by pulling viewers into a 17th-century Italian convent aiming to keep both the devil and the plague at bay, Verhoeven seems most interested in exploring power hierarchies and the intermingling of religion, corruption, and delusion. He also asks sincere questions about what it means to be a person of faith. It’s a showy, unruly melding of the sensational and the intellectual, and I kind of loved it.
  7. Seen rather than heard. Fun sidebar in the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly.
  8. Did you like it, Boss_Tweedy? I know many top critics, including those with whom I'm usually in sync, are hive-dumping on Belfast. But I've seen it twice now and am eager to stand up for it. It's not a deep movie (if you're looking for a historical, analytical look at the Troubles, you won't find it), but it has plenty of other virtues, including a generous catalog of impressionistic, bittersweet vibes from a child's point-of-view that are, cumulatively, very moving. Personal anecdote: In December I took my 13-year-old son to see Belfast, unsure about whether he would enjoy it
  9. The uproar around the Spidey snubbing seems misguided, I think. First, it's silly to complain about the Oscars, which have never been a reliable barometer of artistic merit. It's all a fool's errand. Second, the griping is predicated on the specious notion that box-office hits should automatically be considered artistic triumphs and the false premise that the Oscars aren't populist enough (a stronger case could be made that the Oscars are too middle-brow, routinely overlooking the best, most artistically rewarding fare). Third, it presumes that awards ceremonies ought to cater to populism, to
  10. There’s nothing especially wrong with HBO's new techno-thriller Kimi except that it confirms my nagging suspicion that Steven Soderbergh has given himself over to making watchable yet overly modest, undercooked home movies. He’s stopped making great movies in favor of “neat!” movies. This is a depressing development.
  11. Recently I watched two very tense dramas that use real-time to their advantage. First, the nerve-racking, single-take drama "Boiling Point" stars Stephen Graham as the chef at a posh British restaurant who is dealing with professional and personal woes. Even more breathtaking, though, is “The Killing Kenneth Chamberlain,” which chronicles, detail by detail, the real-life story of an elderly black man who was killed by police performing a welfare check. I’m not sure how this riveting, real-time suspense drama fraught with hot-button topicality was so criminally overlooked, especially since it c
  12. Followup: I guess at one time I had set YouTube TV to record the movie if it ever aired, because the TCM broadcast was saved to my DVR list! Sweet.
  13. This weekend I caught two theatrical releases. Parallel Mothers, which stars Penélope Cruz as a middle-aged single mother who forms a close bond with an adolescent single mother while also grappling with the legacy of the Spanish Civil War, offers many of the usual pleasures of a Pedro Almodóvar movie. I think it's one of his best. Meanwhile, the lazy Rifkin's Festival is one of Woody Allen's worst. (And I say that as someone who has liked his late-career output more than most.)
  14. Ugh, wish I had seen your post in time! I've been trying to see that movie for a long time.
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