Caless Davis is a Seattle-based film critic and contributor to the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He loves any discussion of film and meeting new people to engage in film discussions on any subject. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Episode 134: Bohemian Rhapsody

This week, Patrick is joined by M.J. Smith of the Reel Perspective Podcast to discuss the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic starring Rami Malek. Did the film rock them and have them screaming “Mamma Mia”, or it just another one that bites the dust? The two have a wonderful conversation about this energetic, entertaining film.


Bohemian Rhapsody Review – 0:02:07

The Connecting Point – 1:19:57

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Music: Going Higher –

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Episode 130: A Star is Born

This week, Feelin’ Film contributor Jeremy Calcara joins us to discuss the a tale as old as time. No, not BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but rather the fifth iteration of A STAR IS BORN. This beautifully tragic musical journey is one full of emotions that we enjoyed unpacking together and we hope that you enjoy as well.

* We apologize for the slight audio issues in this episode. Unfortunately the bandwidth gremlins got us for a portion of it.

What We’ve Been Up To  0:01:09

(Jeremy – The Good Place)
(Patrick – Magic For Humans)
(Aaron – Private Life, Venom, Free Solo)

A Star is Born Review – 0:12:33

The Connecting Point – 1:21:29


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Music: Going Higher –

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Episode 129: Hearts Beat Loud

It’s feeling like music appreciation week around Feelin’ Film and as part of that we are discussing Brett Haley’s heartwarming new film that has become one of our favorites of 2018. We are big fans of its simple, subtle, completely satisfying storytelling and wonderful father/daughter and romantic relationships. Oh, and the music is incredible, too. Get ready to hear us gush.

What We’ve Been Up To 0:01:30

(Aaron – Avatar: The Last Airbender)
(Patrick – Manifest)

Hearts Beat Loud Review – 0:14:38

The Connecting Point – 1:01:35


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Music: Going Higher –

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MOVIE REVIEW: A Star is Born

Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

You Should Be Watching: August 2-8

Welcome to You Should Be Watching, my weekly opportunity to introduce you to a variety of great films, gems of the past and present, available for you to stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime, FilmStruck, and anywhere else streams are found.

Before I get to the highlights, a bit of news. Arthur Gordon, a fellow member of the Feelin’ Film Discussion Group on Facebook brought it to my awareness that an increasingly large number of films from indie darling studio A24 have shown up on Netflix. A bit of research has revealed that in fact, 29 of them, a full third, are now streaming on the service. Apparently, Netflix has been nabbing them as they leave Amazon Prime, which is good news for those who either don’t have Amazon Prime or hadn’t gotten a chance to see those titles yet.

This week I’m recommending a first visit or revisit to an 80s time-travel comedy cult classic, a fictional drama from the aforementioned A24 studio that offers a surprisingly emotional and heartfelt peek into the life of real-life author David Foster Wallace, and a simple yet brilliant and timeless film from a master Japanese filmmaker that drives to the heart of the father-daughter relationship.

Among the films leaving this week and in the near future from FilmStruck are a collection of titles from Luis Buñuel as well as classics such as Lumet’s Network, Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria and PTA’s Magnolia. Also, Warrior is exiting Amazon Prime August 4.

It’s a new month, so there are a host of great titles that have just been added to all streaming services, everything from old classics like Beau Geste and Touch of Evil to modern hits like the first 2/3 of The Dark Knight trilogy and Children of Men.



Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure


Year: 1989

Director: Stephen Herek

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy, Music

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Dan Shor, Hal Landon Jr., Amy Stock-Poynton, Terry Camilleri, Tony Steedman, Rod Loomis, Bernie Casey, Al Leong, Jane Wiedlin, Robert V. Barron, Clifford David, J. Patrick McNamara, Frazier Bain, Diane Franklin, Kimberley Kates, William Robbins, Steve Shepherd, Anne Machette, Traci Dawn Davis


With the recent news that the duo of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are planning to once again joining forces to bring a third Bill and Ted movie to the big screen and with the sequel being added to FilmStruck to create one of the wildest double features the service has yet produced, now’s a great time to take a trip back to 1989 and Bill and Ted’s first, most excellent adventure. Back to when they were just two unmotivated high schoolers from San Dimas, California who are about to find out that the fate of the world rests on them passing their history class and Ted not getting shipped off to military school.

Despite the film being purely a product of its time, it remains endlessly entertaining and has earned its place as a cult favorite. Bill and Ted have the kind of charismatic chemistry with one another that you can’t help but feel good about, and the fact that they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed only adds to their charm and hilarity, especially once it comes to interacting with historical characters such as Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Socrates. The jokes never feel mean spirited, though. George Carlin’s presence as the level-headed straight man who needs them to succeed at their mission further elevates the comedy as well as the drama.


The End of the Tour

Year: 2015

Director: James Ponsoldt

Genre: Biography, Drama

Cast: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston, Mickey Sumner, Becky Ann Baker, Dan John Miller, Stephanie Cotton, Noel Fletcher, Ben Phelps, Punnavith Koy


A film that draws an incredible depth of emotion, even for those with no familiarity with David Foster Wallace or his bestselling 1,000+ page novel, Infinite Jest. Donald Margulies’ script along with James Ponsoldt’s direction provides a unique peek into Wallace’s life through the experience of former Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky. We open on Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) discovering that Wallace has committed suicide. We are then brought back to those final days of Wallace’s book tour when Lipsky had the opportunity to interview him for Rolling Stone.

Jason Segel’s performance as Wallace is career-defining. His appearance, mannerisms, soft-spokenness, and abundance of thought-provoking observations and self-awareness make clear that we along with Lipsky are experiencing an encounter with a specific and unique individual. Eisenberg himself is also workmanlike in his performance, subtly revealing the young Lipsky’s fragility and determination. Through their interactions together, Wallace comes across much like Solomon of old, incredibly aware of all the ways we make life meaningless, but still unable to resist its seemingly harmless pleasures and addictions.


Late Spring


Year: 1949

Director: Yasujirō Ozu

Genre: Drama

Cast: Chishū Ryū, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura, Hohi Aoki, Jun Usami, Kuniko Miyake, Masao Mishima, Yoshiko Tsubouchi, Yôko Katsuragi, Toyo Takahashi, Jun Tanizaki, Ichirô Shimizu, Youko Benisawa, Manzaburo Umewaka


Simple, quiet, intimate, human, brilliant. Yasujirō Ozu’s no-frills approach tells a story that drives at the heart of the relationship between fathers and their daughters through the seasons of life, the sacrifices made and the need to move on. Here we have a young woman, Noriko, played by the captivating Setsuko Hara, who is happy and content to stay home and live with her widower father Shukichi (Chishū Ryū) while he and everyone else are trying to convince her to get married. Being in a post-WWII society where arranged marriages are still common and with Noriko having a friend who married for love and still ended up getting divorced, it’s hard to fault Noriko for just wanting things to stay the same. But we all know life doesn’t work that way.

Ozu deploys a consistency and stability in his camera angles and perspectives. While his style is unique, it does not offer many surprises. His focus is on the characters and the framing which help to relay the emotion of the story he’s telling. And that story packs a wallop of a punch by the time it reaches its conclusion.



LAST CHANCE (last date to watch)


August 4
13 Assassins (2010)

August 15
The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)



August 4
Warrior (2011)



August 3
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Marty (1955)
The Mission (1986)
Network (1976)

August 4
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
The Phantom of Liberty (1974)

August 10
Altered States (1980)
The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
Dogtooth (2009)
Falling Down (1993)
Magnolia (1999)
Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Them! (1954)

August 12
The Last House on the Left (1972)

August 17
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)
The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)
Escape from New York (1981)
The Falls (1980)
Hairspray (1988)
A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)

August 20
Frances Ha (2012)



August 31
Across the Universe (2007)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The ’Burbs (1989)
Clue (1985)
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Event Horizon (1997)
Hellboy (2004)
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989)
Primal Fear (1996)
Rain Man (1988)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Trainspotting (1996)




The Aviator (2004)
Batman Begins (2005)
Cinderella Man (2005)
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Clerks (1994)
Constantine (2005)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
The Game (1997)
Gran Torino (2008)
Haider (2014)
Hardcore Henry (2015)
Her (2013)
The Informant! (2009)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Out of Sight (1998)
PK (2014)
Serenity (2005)
Song of the Sea (2014)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Touch of Evil (1958)



Beau Geste (1939)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Children of Men (2006)
Cold War (2018)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Freedom Writers (2007)
Frequency (2000)
High Noon (1952)
Hoosiers (1986)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Joe (2013)
The Soloist (2009)
Training Day (2001)
United 93 (2006)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Watchmen (2009)



Deathtrap (1982)
Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
The Lusty Men (1952)
Out of the Past (1947)
Tootsie (1982)
The Wind Journeys (2009)



Before We Vanish (2017)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Cold War (2018)
The Elephant Man (1980)
High Noon (1952)
Hoosiers (1986)
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The Hurricane (1999)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Joe (2013)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Lost in Translation (2003)
The Nasty Girl (1990)
Point Break (1991)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Usual Suspects (1995)




August 3
Like Father – NETFLIX FILM (2018)

August 5
Paid In Full (2002)


Jacob Neff is a film enthusiast living east of Sacramento. In addition to his contributions as an admin of the Feelin’ Film Facebook group and website, he is an active participant in the Letterboxd community, where his film reviews can be found. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with his latest thoughts and shared content.

Episode 109: Score: A Film Music Documentary

Joining us for Episode 109 is a special first time guest – soundtrack superfan, and film music reporter and media reporter, Benson Farris. We discuss first-time director Matt Schrader’s Score: A Film Music Documentary, which was shot over a 2 1/2-year period after raising more than $160,000 through two crowd-funding campaigns. Matt has said, “I’ve always been a big fan of movie music, and as I realized a lot of people love film scores, I knew there would be an audience for this film,” and you can consider us and this episode proof that he’s correct. If you love film music already, this is an episode for you. And if you don’t, listen to this one and you might just change your mind.

Score: A Film Music Documentary Review – 0:02:17

The Connecting Point – 0:40:37


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Music: Going Higher –

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Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

MOVIE REVIEW: Lu Over the Wall


1 Hour and 52 Minutes (PG)

Lu Over the Wall is the newest animated feature from visionary anime director Masaaki Yuasa, and tells the story of a small fishing village that is impacted by the appearance of a mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school band. It’s a twist on the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid and features elements that will remind viewers of other films, too – specifically Miyazaki’s Ponyo, Best Picture winner The Shape of Water, and the under-seen musical hit Sing Street. Yes, it’s a little bit insane. But while these references seem similar on the surface, Yuasa’s film forges its own path and becomes some entirely unique.

The biggest thing that sets Yuasa apart from other anime giants like Miyazaki, Shinkai, and Takahata is the animation style. Visually striking and lavishly colorful in the present, it melts into an older style of animation when characters recall the past. The animation is also very busy and moves fast. At times it can be so frantic that it’s hard to follow and feels like you’re staring into a rapidly spinning kaleidoscope. Always, though, it provokes a sense of joy and wonder. Full of character designs like you’ve never seen before (mer-dogs!), if it doesn’t give you a headache the art style will most certainly captivate you and hold your attention.

As for the story, Lu’s friendship with Kai and his middle-school rock band Siren is at the center of the narrative. In this world, mermaids are attracted to music. Naturally, not everyone in the village likes mermaids. While some want to use their existence for profit in the tourist industry, others want to kill them all, and a select religious few wish to live in harmony alongside them. The conflict arises out of these differing opinions, but relational issues exists between Lu and her bandmates as well. This is where the heart of the film lies and the way it tackles feelings of depression, friendship, love, and chasing dreams is beautifully woven into this fantastical tale. That being said, for the most part it keeps things light, but there are elements of the plot that deal with some tougher emotions. In trying to juggle quite a few sideplots the film does seem to get away from Yuasa and perhaps go on a bit long.


Lu Over the Wall is a great reminder of why we watch movies. Yuasa is a director willing to take chances and it is exciting to participate in a cinematic experience like that. This is a beautiful film, overflowing with cuteness, and filled with solid positive messages. It is also a musical that will have you humming along and tapping your feet whether you fully follow the plot or not. Unforgettable animation is rare, but Lu Over the Wall is just that and therefore is a must-see experience.


Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

MOVIE REVIEW: Song to Song

Song to Song (2017)

Song to Song is the latest film from auteur Terrence Malick, one of Hollywood’s most reclusive and polarizing directors. It’s story follows a young guitarist named Faye (Rooney Mara) who begins an affair with hotshot record producer Cook (Michael Fassbender), secretly hoping that his name and influence will result in a boon to her career. Soon after, she meets BV (Ryan Gosling), a singer-songwriter working with Cook, and begins a relationship with him that blossoms into something more real than anything Cook could ever provide. Over the course of the film these three interact to varying degrees. We see romance, love gained, love lost, fear, jealousy, lies, depression, and a wealth of poor choices. It is a powerful look at the pitfalls which can come with power and fame, and the dangers of building your life around those who have it. In the end, though, the film offers a sense of hope and understanding that is profoundly moving.

It has been written that Song to Song is narratively sparse, but I must wholeheartedly disagree. In fact, I consider the film to have one of the best scripts of the year. Malick’s style can be jarring at times, certainly, as he aggressively cuts between perspective and time with no explanation whatsoever, but I never found the film difficult to follow.  Whereas most films feature lengthy scenes to progress plot, what Malick does is utilize brief moments with perfectly spoken dialogue to convey where on the emotional journey a character is at a given time. These emotional changes from scene to scene serve as markers that move the story forward. When combined with the incredible, masterful cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, this creates a film that viewers can connect with and relate to, recalling fleeting memories from their own past. You won’t have to have walked the exact path of the characters in Song to Song to resonate with their experiences.

The title of Song to Song couldn’t be more appropriate. Malick’s film flows like a record as it takes you on this realistic life journey. It begins with the powerful electronic beats of South African hip hop group Die Antwood and ends with an orchestral composition from classical composer Claude Debussy. It is incredible just how well the soundtrack transitions between musical styles, all of which seem to perfectly compliment the particular scene in which they appear. And like a soundtrack, the visual cuts and editing style of Song to Song are reminiscent of listening to a soundtrack, sometimes skipping ahead… from song to song.

Where the film truly develops into something special, though, is in its final 10-20 minutes. Here the film comes together and pays off the journey by offering hope. Forgiveness and mercy are learned, and love is finally understood. The language used even evokes the well-known Biblical parable of the prodigal son. It could as much reference the return to a commitment of faith as that of a realized devotion to true love. It is in this redemption that we see the state of happiness we endlessly search for can be achieved, it just may not look like we thought it would.


For those willing to meet Malick halfway and open themselves to engaging with the film, Song to Song offers an emotionally visceral experience. Its dialogue is lyrical poetry that works perfectly in concert with Lubezki’s stunning cinematography, an expertly balanced soundtrack, and fine acting performances all around. This may be some of the least abstract and aimless work Malick has ever produced, while also being among his best. Song to Song is a film that needs to be more than just seen, it demands to be felt.


Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on how his expectations influenced his experience. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

MOVIE REVIEW: Saturday Night Fever

Growing up on Buffalo’s west side in the 70’s was an unique experience. Mine was a predominantly Italian neighborhood, and many nights the aroma of home cooked pasta sauce permeated the air as we sucked the last flickers of daylight out of a pickup game of baseball in the telephone company parking lot. December 1977 was my eleventh year of existence, and my affinity for the flicks was still in its infancy. My attention was beginning to turn toward the fairer sex, and many evenings were spent torn between organizing my baseball cards and staring longingly at a copy of 16 Magazine with Kristy McNichol on the cover. December 1977 is also significant for me in that it gave us one of the seminal 70’s films, Saturday Night Fever.

Being eleven, I wasn’t able to see Saturday Night Fever on the big screen, and quite frankly, I can’t truly recall when I did first catch it. Perhaps on HBO at a friends house, or on VHS at some point, but regardless, I remember the film attaching itself to my developing cinephilia like a tick on the underside of a neighborhood stray. I was enamored with the coolness of Tony Manero (John Travolta), strutting down the street in his polyester finest, tearing up dance floors with a confidence of someone who knew exactly where he was supposed to be. I became infatuated with the alluring Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney), with her seductive dance moves and affinity to know just about every celebrity, even Paul Anka! And I couldn’t get enough of the music. The disco era gets a lot of hate, but for us that were kids caught smack dab in that awkward transition between the 70’s and 80’s, it remains a part of who we are. The falsetto pipes of Barry Gibb and his brothers transcend time, along with the film that launched them into orbit. The Bee Gees defined the sound of the era, and remain the gold standard for anyone lucky enough to have waltzed across a lighted dance floor under a revolving, sparkling orb.

Another drawback of being so young was my inability to partake in the forbidden rituals that took place within the confines of the local discotheques. My impression of what happened behind those glowing doors of debauchery were formed from films like Saturday Night Fever, or from that older kid in school who told tall tales of how he knows someone who gets him in and gets him free drinks. In hindsight, he was full of bullshit, but back then, he was a god. But not all was lost. Us kids had our own escape- the roller rink- a carpet walled palace where all of our favorite tunes blared forth from behind a little booth inhabited by the one guy who could make or break your night with the timing of the infamous “couples only” skate. Get caught in line for pizza or in the bathroom at an inopportune time, and the chance to roll-sway awkwardly with your school crush could go up in a blaze of regret. Damn you, roller rink pizza and your alluring cheesy goodness! But one time- a time I remember like yesterday- when I was standing just off the rink as that sudden announcement was made, Beth Lorenz grabbed my hand and led me out onto the floor. For the next three minutes, which felt dreamlike, I was consumed in a haze of dreamlike wonder that would sustain itself for days. For that brief moment in time, it was me, Beth, and the brothers Gibb, rolling in unison to “More Than a Woman”. And. Nothing. Else. Mattered.

Why do I bring this up? This December marks the fortieth anniversary of this transcendent film, and a local theater here in my hometown (South Portland, ME.) just showed it on the big screen for one night only. To be able to revisit a film I hold so dearly (it’s a top ten of all time) in a format I never got to enjoy all those years ago, well, it was a moment I couldn’t pass up. It was a Wednesday night, not a typically boisterous evening in southern Maine, so the twelve people in the theater wasn’t a big surprise. Aside from a couple of old cougar ladies whose loins still clearly burned for 70’s era John Travolta, the mood was mostly subdued. But even if the theater had been sold out, once the screen lit up with that Brooklyn backdrop and The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” pulsing in my ear holes, I had left this mortal plane- seduced by the magic of the 70’s era style and the music that defined the time.

Most people saw Saturday Night Fever for the dancing, but there was a lot more to this film when the story took a breather from the dance floor. There is an authenticity to these characters. Tony’s lower-middle class family, arguing over the amount of pork chops on the dinner table, or moping around upon learning that Father Frank Jr. is leaving the church, are sincere moments, both funny and tragic with a squeeze of melodrama. Tony’s friends- the womanizing, hot headed Brooklyn punks who spend their nights riding the coattails of Tony’s popularity, or scuffling with the crosstown rival gang, the Barracudas, lend themselves as societal foils to Tony’s growth as a person. And the tragedy of Annette (Donna Pescow), the girl infatuated with Tony who can’t get out of the way of her own insecurities. She could have been used as nothing more than a slutty female cliche, but her story is handled in a way that makes us feel sorry for her.

And then there is Stephanie, the outwardly confident career woman who likes to remind Tony of all the positive things going on her life, all of the people she’s met, and how he has no direction in life. What we find in her is a vulnerability- a need to convince herself and those around her that she’s got everything under control, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Her relationship with Tony eventually leads to those walls coming down, while at the same time, Tony strives for improvement. They are different people by the end of the film.

It’s important to remember the era when the film was made. I never fault any work of art taken in context with the social norms from which is was born. Racial slurs and misogyny are on full display, and watching it on screen today can be uncomfortable, as it should. Some difficult sexual scenes, pushing the envelope just far enough to cause unease, also resonate in a way that makes you feel like they shouldn’t have gone there. But I can see the impact of these scenes as necessities in the growth of the character arcs. None of it feels cheap or gratuitous.

But what of my experience? Well, finally getting to enjoy Saturday Night Fever with all of the bells and whistles that the theater experience provides was everything I could have hoped for. It was transportive. As Tony and Stephanie locked hands in the dance studio, spinning, laughing, one with the world as Barry and the boys crooned from the turntable speakers, I found myself forty years in the past, in the same roller rink that I called home most Saturday nights, skating in unison with Beth Lorenz one more time.