The Shattered Lens Live Tweets Christmas

Happy holidays!

Today was Christmas and, as you can see, even the TSL cats got into it:

This year, Christmas was, for many of us, a bit more low-key than usual.¬† That’s understandable, of course.¬† For instance, I’m used to having a big family gathering for Christmas.¬† Usually, on this day, I would be catching up with aunts and uncles and cousins from all over the country.¬† The morning would be spent at one house and the afternoon at another and the evening and yet another.¬† That didn’t happen this year, for obvious reasons.¬† That said, my sisters and I were still able to keep a few our traditions alive.

For instance, I kept alive the tradition of waking up early and then wondering why everyone else was still asleep:

Every year, I make it a point to go for a drive on Christmas Day.¬† It may sound like a minor thing but it’s something that I always look forward to.

And finally, there were the most important traditions.¬† Like this one about watching certain movies over the course of the day.¬† I’m happy to say that I not only watched A Christmas Story this morning (before we even unwrapped presents, if you need an example of just how early I woke up compared to everyone else) but that it was also the 800th films that I’ve watched this year.

After A Christmas Story, it was time to rewatch It’s A Wonderful Life on E!¬† I also watched the 1983 Tom Cruise football film, All The Right Moves before joining my family in observing one of the greatest of all Christmas traditions:

Everyone celebrated Christmas in their own way.¬† Here’s a few thoughts from the TSL crew:

To be honest, that’s what I always thought Boxing Day was but apparently, it’s a shopping holiday.¬† That’s pretty nice since I was already planning on shopping tomorrow anyways.

Anyway, Happy Holidays, everyone!  I hope it was a good one without any fear.  Another year over and a new one just begun.

Finally, Let’s Celebrate Christmas With The Greatest Movie Ever Made!

Hi, everyone!

Well, Christmas is coming to a close. ¬†Right now, my sisters and I are currently watching Die Hard. ¬†That’s a huge Bowman family tradition but it’s also one that we usually reserve for the end of the holiday.

So, with Christmas coming to a close, it’s time for a TSL tradition! ¬†It’s time to watch Treevenge! ¬†This is the short film about sentient Christmas trees that TSL founder Arleigh Sandoc has declared to be “the greatest movie ever made.” ¬†Watching Treevenge is something we do every year at the TSL Bunker so sit back and enjoy some Christmas horror!

Thank you for sticking with us over the course of this long and difficult year.  We look forward to continuing to hopefully keep you entertained over the next year as well!

Happy holidays to all of you.  Thank you for reading.

Here’s The Trailer For Coming 2 America!

Yes, you may have noticed that we’re a few days late in sharing this one. ¬†Sorry, about that. ¬†The holidays have been crazy!

Anyway, here’s the trailer for Coming 2 America! ¬†Eddie Murphy made quite a comeback last year with Dolemite Is My Name. ¬†A lot of people — myself included — felt that he at least deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance. ¬†I doubt he’ll get a nomination for Coming 2 America but, still, it’ll be interesting to see if audiences flock to a sequel to a film that was made several decades ago. ¬†I can say that people on twitter certainly do seem to be excited about the film. ¬†I haven’t seen the original film so I can’t judge the trailer one way or the other, beyond saying that this looks like the type of comedy that will actually probably play better on a streaming platform than on the big screen. ¬†It’s easy to imagine someone unwinding from a long day by watching this film in their living room. ¬†That’s not a bad thing, either. ¬†One of the best things that any movie can do is provide an easy and convenient escape from every day life.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The New WandaVision Teaser!

Today, Marvel Studios decided to say “Merry Christmas” by releasing a new teaser for WandaVision!

And here it is!

WandaVision will premiere on Disney+ on January 15th! ¬†Personally, I’m looking forward to it but then again, I look forward to anything that features Paul Bettany. ¬†Plus, Wanda was the Avenger to whom I most related. ¬†Let’s just hope things work out for the best for those two. ¬†They deserve a little happiness!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Humphrey Bogart Edition

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today is not just Christmas! ¬†It is also Humphrey Bogart’s birthday! ¬†Bogart was born 121 years ago, today! ¬†And that means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Dead End (1937, dir by William Wyler)

Casablanca (1943, dir by Michael Curtiz)

The Big Sleep (1946, dir by Howard Hawks)

The African Queen (1951, dir by John Huston)

AMV Of The Day: Jingle Bell Rock

It’s been a while since we’ve done an AMV of the Day and the holiday season seems like the perfect time to rectify that.¬† Enjoy!

Anime: Toradora ,K-On ,Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo ,Acchi Kocchi ,Clannad ,Squid Girl , Hyouka , Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu ,Tamako Market, Modern Magic Made Simple, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

Song: Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

Creator: imGeorge96

(As always, please consider subscribing to this creator’s YouTube channel!)

Past AMVs of the Day

The Films of 2020: The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (dir by Jon Dower)

The story of D.B. Cooper has always fascinated me.

D.B. Cooper is the name assigned to a man who, in 1971, hijacked an airplane, demanded $200,000, and then jumped off the plane after he got the money.  Reportedly, he was well-dressed and unfailingly polite during the entire hijacking.  When he jumped off the plane, he was about 10,000 feet over the Washington wilderness.  After he jumped, no further trace was found of him.  Nearly 50 years after the incident, the identity and the location of D.B. Cooper remains a mystery.

It’s been said that, even though Cooper had a parachute with him when he jumped, there’s no way that he could have survived the fall.¬† And yet, no body has ever been found.¬† (Of course, finding a body in the wilderness is not as easy as some people tend to assume.)¬† Nine years after the the skyjacking, some of the money that Cooper received was found on the banks of the Columbia River, which was several miles away from the area that Cooper jumped over.¬† Did Cooper survive the jump and lose the money?¬† No one can say for sure.

Over the years, many people have come forward to say that they know the identity of D.B. Cooper.  Many distant fathers and secretive boyfriends and long lost friends have been accused of being D.B. Cooper.  Some of those suspects are more likely than others.  Even John List, the murderer who inspired the Stepfather films, was suspected at one point.

D.B. Cooper remains a fascinating character precisely because he’s never been captured and the mystery itself will probably never be solved.¬† Because he remains an enigma, it’s easy to project your own pet obsessions on him and his story.¬† Myself, I always imagine D.B. Cooper as being some sort of clever, fun-loving international rogue, even though there’s not really any evidence to back that up.¬† But, the fact of the matter is that I have a weakness for clever, fun-loving international rogues so, of course, that’s who I’m going to imagine D.B. to be.

The Mystery of D.B. Cooper is a documentary that takes a look at both Cooper’s crime and his subsequent fame.¬† Both a flight attendant and the pilot of Cooper’s flight are interviewed and they both provide vivid memories of both the skyjacking and D.B. Cooper himself.¬† (They both describe Cooper as being well-spoken and polite.¬† The flight attendant even says that he seemed like a rather nice man.)¬† We also get plenty of contemporary news footage of the subsequent search for D.B. Cooper.¬† One man says that he likes Cooper because Cooper fought the system.¬† Another one says that he admires Cooper for having a plan and sticking to it.

Meanwhile, in the present day, we are introduced to several different people who are all convinced that someone from their life was D.B. Cooper.¬† To me, this is the most interesting part of the documentary.¬† Some of the people are more convincing than others.¬† The friends of Barbara Drayton talk about how she always claimed that she disguised herself as a man so that she could get revenge on the airline.¬† The ex-wife of Duane Webber talks about how he always said he injured his knee jumping out of a plane.¬† L.D. Cooper’s niece makes a somewhat compelling that her uncle could have been D.B. Cooper, though one can’t help but wonder if she would feel the same if the man’s name as L.D. Smith.¬† Perhaps the most convincing argument is the one that Richard Floyd, who was captured after skyjacking another plane and who was subsequently killed by the FBI after he escaped custody, was also D.B. Cooper.

In the end, though, the documentary is less about who D.B. Cooper was and more about what he means to people and why he remains an obsession for many.¬† It’s a fascinating look at a cultural phenomena and one to keep an eye out for.

And, if you’re reading and you are D.B. Cooper — way to go and Merry Christmas!

The Films of 2020: The Rhythm Section (dir by Reed Madrano)

When The Rhythm Section opens, Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) is a drug addicted prostitute who lives in a run-down London flat.¬† However, just three years earlier, Stephanie was a happy, middle-class college student who was close to her family and seemed to a very bright future ahead of her.¬† That all changed when her entire family was killed in a plane crash.¬† Stephanie was supposed to be on that flight but she had to cancel at the last minute.¬† Her seat was given to another man, a man with a wife and two children.¬† He was also killed when the plane was destroyed.¬† So, now, wracked with survivor’s guilt, Stephanie is process of destroying herself.

One night, she is hired by a man named Keith Proctor (Raza Jaffrey).¬† Proctor explains that he’s a reporter and that the crash that killed Stephanie’s family wasn’t an accident.¬† It was a terrorist bombing, one that was covered up by the British government.¬† The man who built the bomb — Reza (Tawfeek Barhom) — is still walking free on the streets of London.¬† Working with two enigmatic government agents (played by Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown), Stephanie sets out to get revenge on the men who killed her family.

It took a while for The Rhythm Section to finally get released.¬† Filming started in 2017, with the idea that the film would be released in February of 2019.¬† Then the release date got moved back to November of 2019, which briefly led to the film being the center of some Oscar speculation.¬† I know that I was certainly guilty of looking at that new release date and thinking, “I guess they’re going to try to push Blake Lively for best actress.”¬† (Oscar speculation is frequently a very silly sport.)¬† However, the release then got pushed back a second time, to January of 2020.¬† January was traditionally where the studios dump the films in which they don’t have much faith.¬† When the film was finally released on January 31st, it was dismissed by critics and ignored by audiences, the majority of whom didn’t realize that it would be one of the last major studio films to get a wide theatrical release in 2020.

And look, I can understand why the studio didn’t have faith in The Rhythm Section.¬† I can also understand why critics didn’t go for it and why audiences didn’t recommend it.¬† It’s not a crowd pleaser.¬† It’s a rather dark and cynical film, one that suggests that revenge comes with a deep emotional and mental cost.¬† Unlike a lot of female-centered action films, there’s no big crowd pleasing moments.¬† Instead, the whole thing feels rather grimy and icky.¬† Beyond that, The Rhythm Section is an oddly paced movie.¬† Some of the action scenes are good but then there are other scenes that just seem to drag on beyond their expiration date.

With all that in mind, I still kind of liked The Rhythm Section.¬† This is certainly Blake Lively’s best film performance and she gets good support from Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown.¬† What I especially appreciated about The Rhythm Section is that Stephanie never becomes some sort of master assassin.¬† With one notable exception, Stephanie is always a nervous assassin and often, her successes (and her failures) have more to do with luck than with any sort of special skill set.¬† The Rhythm Section is not some sort of overly stylish kill fest like Atomic Blonde or Red Sparrow.¬† Instead, it’s a film that suggests that death is never beautiful and I appreciated that.¬† It’s not a particularly fun theme but it is an honest one.¬† It also means that I, as a viewer, could relate to Stephanie in a way that I never can with other cinematic assassins.¬† At its most effective, the film put me right into Stephanie’s mind as she tried to figure out how to get revenge without losing her own life.

Flaws and all, The Rhythm Section deserved a little more attention than it was given.