FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #48 – “Blended” (dir. Frank Coraci)

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This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take a break from their SIFF coverage to revisit some old cinematic friends from their teenage years, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who regroup for a zany family rom-com set in South Africa. Sure. Why not?

Several reasons, as it turns out (24:56).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 4 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode includes the track “Hasa Diga Eebowai“, from the original cast recording of “Book of Mormon: The Musical”, and “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King”.
  • We speculated about the security arrangements at Sun City, and apparently it does have armed guards (who engaged in a shootout with heavily armed casino robbers in 2010). I’m sure they’re at least as well-armed as Disneyland must be. A 2005 review in The Independent referred to Sun City as “South Africa-lite“, which was pretty much our assessment as well.
  • Correction: Sandler’s age as of this writing is 47, not 50.

Listen above, or download: Blended (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #47 – “The Double” (dir. Richard Ayoade) (SIFF)

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This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel bring the first of many live dispatches from the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival, starting with Richard Ayoade‘s new film, The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, and Wallace Shawn. (15:10).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 5.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • It’s festival time! That means we’ll be seeing a lot of films and our SIFF dispatches will be recorded and posted quickly – which unfortunately means the audio quality will be just a bit less polished than usual.

Listen above, or download: The Double (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #46 – “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ (dir. Marc Webb)

Poster for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

This week on the podcast, Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone do whatever a spider can, and Glenn and Daniel are unimpressed. Listen below to hear why Glenn posted on Facebook that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is “a tedious, exploitative, and aggressively stupid piece of disposable, commercial tripe” (45:05).

This episode contains even more NSFW language than usual. We were not happy campers with this film.

FilmWonk rating: 3 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode comes from a pair of Spider-Man TV series theme songs. The first is the classic 1967 animated series theme, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and music by Bob Harris. The second is from the 1994 Fox Kids’ animated series, with music by Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
  • We didn’t realize when we compared this to Michael Bay‘s Transformers films that TASM2 was cowritten by none other than Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, also the screenwriters behind Transformers and Transformers 2. They also cowrote last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, which had many issues in common with this film in terms of insubstantial spectacle. We’re big fans of these guys from Alias and Fringe, but it may be time for them to return to TV for a while.
  • We compared the final battle with Electro to Animusic, a series of MIDI-visualization videos produced since the mid-1990s. There are plenty of them on YouTube… Here’s an example.
  • Indian Spider-Man is a real thing.
  • Matt Singer from The Dissolve and Drew McWeeny from HitFix both liked this movie better than we did, but they wrote a pair of excellent thinkpieces about what an empty spectacle like this film means for the future of cinema:

Listen above, or download: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #45 – (TV Edition) “How I Met Your Mother” Series and Finale

New to the series? Check out our HIMYM Episode Skip List here!

In this special TV edition of the FilmWonk Podcast, Glenn and Daniel take a deep dive into one of their favorite sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, which recently concluded its ninth and final season on CBS. And we had plenty to say about that ending. Spoilers for the entire series run will begin after about the 10 minute mark (55:15).

May contain some NSFW language.

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode comes from several original songs from the series run, including:
  • Topics covered:
    • The structure of Season 9, and the distant origins of the main event.
      • SPOILERY CORRECTION: We slightly flubbed the order of events on this. At the beginning of Season 6, Ted was revealed to be attending a wedding where he would meet The Mother. At the end of Season 6, Barney is revealed to be the groom. At the end of Season 7, Robin is revealed to be the bride. In Season 8, Robin is revealed to be having second thoughts, and Ted decides to move to Chicago.

    • Robin’s career vs. happiness
    • The “Urkelizing” of Barney Stinson
    • Our alternate structure for Season 9, assuming we keep the same ending.
    • Running gags/jokes/mythology
    • How well will the show hold up over time?

  • Correction: The final season was 24 episodes, not 22.
  • Correction: We made a pithy (and inaccurate) reference to Ted…mingling…with the Mother’s old roommate, Cindy. They had one date, which ended badly – while they made amends in a later episode, nothing further happened between them.
  • We referred to Cristin Milioti‘s lovely rendition of “La Vie En Rose” – we didn’t include it on the podcast, but it is available on YouTube as of this writing.
  • The long-term bet between Lily and Marshall was as follows: Marshall bet that Ted would end up with Robin. In the final episode, he is shown to pay off Lily on the day of Ted’s wedding to the mother, indicating that he lost the bet. Presumably, a refund might ensue sometime in 2030.

Listen above, or download: How I Met Your Mother (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #44 – “Divergent” (dir. Neil Burger)

Poster for "Divergent"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take another angry departure from their original screening plans to check out the latest pretender to the Hunger Games throne, Divergent. Will Shailene Woodley prove a worthy contender, or will she be taken out with slings and arrows in the first round? Find out below (37:40).

May contain some NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Beating Heart” by Ellie Goulding
  • and “I Won’t Let You Go” by Snow Patrol, both from the film’s soundtrack.

  • CORRECTION: It is Lake Michigan, but the Chicago pier in question is called “Navy Pier”, not “Fisherman’s Wharf” (the latter of which is in San Francisco).
  • Yep, there will be a Divergent sequel. It was greenlit after one day in theaters.

Listen above, or download: Divergent (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #43 – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (dir. Wes Anderson)

Poster for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take a deep dive into historical whimsy in Wes Anderson‘s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel (34:00).

May contain some NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode was the track Canto at Gabelmeister’s Peak, from the film’s original score by Alexandre Desplat.
  • Correction: The conversation between Jude Law and F. Murray Abraham takes place in the 1960s, not the 1980s.
  • We referred to the historic Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. as a visual reference for this film. According to Wikipedia, two real hotels in Hungary and the Czech Republic were influences, as well as archive images from the Library of Congress.
  • Alas, my epidemiological French vocabulary isn’t what it used to be… Grippe is the French word for influenza, not measles.
  • The term “bellhop” does indeed come from a slightly demeaning etymology. “Hop to it, I rang a bell” is an accurate summary of its origins.

Listen above, or download: The Grand Budapest Hotel (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #42 – “3 Days to Kill” (dir. McG)

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel bear witness to Luc Besson’s latest take on “An Aging American Action Star in Paris”, featuring Kevin Costner in 3 Days to Kill.

Spoiler alert: We’re not shy about our disdain for this film, and we are a bit more lax than usual about concealing plot details.

Check out our discussion below (28:58).

May contain some NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 2.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode features Edith Piaf‘s “Non, je ne regrette rien”, and MC Solaar‘s “Sauvez le monde”.
  • Sarah Silverman was indeed credited as “Raving Bitch” in the 2000 Christopher McQuarrie film, The Way of the Gun. She appears directly below another actress credited as “Sloppy Prostitute”.
  • We also referred to a 2002 film featuring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock working for the “Dumb CIA”- that film was Bad Company, directed by Joel Schumacher (not Besson).
  • I couldn’t find a French legal citation, but I was able to find several references to the French squatters law, all quite similar in that they suggest that squatters cannot be evicted in winter. More info on EU squatting law here.

Listen above, or download: 3 Days to Kill (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

Movies, Podcasts, Kevin Costner, 3 Days to Kill, Luc Besson, McG, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld