FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #35 – “The Bling Ring” (dir. Sofia Coppola)

Poster for "The Bling Ring"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel find out how the other half lives, when the other half is a bunch of bored, extremely wealthy teenage criminals. If there’s one thing our intrepid heroes love, it’s a pleasant surprise, and Sofia Coppola‘s audacious examination of celebrity worship dovetailing into grand larceny definitely qualifies (36:39).

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 7.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode comes from the film’s soundtrack, including the tracks “Bad Girls” by M.I.A., and “Gucci Bag” by Reema Major.
  • We refer to an episode of the Slate Lexicon Valley podcast, an absolute must for language nerds. Check out the episode, which is entitled “Undocumented Illegals“.
  • In case you’re curious which film we were planning to see before the cell phone incident, I won’t promote it by mentioning its title here (and I’ve redacted it from the podcast), but the offending studio was Fox Searchlight.
  • The real-life players and criminal proceedings surrounding the Bling Ring are summarized on Wikipedia.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #34 – “Man of Steel” (dir. Zach Snyder)

Poster for "Man of Steel"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel dive back into the rough-and-tumble world of Zach Snyder and Superman – two characters whose prior installments have given us a healthy dose of skepticism. Can the stewardship of Christopher Nolan bring all the brooding angst and box-office domination that this franchise needs? Find out after the jump (45:48).

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the rather ironically-titled “What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?“, from Hans Zimmer’s enjoyable and epic score.
  • Pa Kent’s first name is Jonathan. I don’t believe this was ever mentioned in the film.
  • Adam Quigley‘s “Antisocial Commentary” defense of Sucker Punch can be found on here on YouTube.
  • The good folks at BuzzFeed hired a consulting firm to estimate the costs and casualties – both direct and indirect – of Superman and Zod’s fight at the end of the film. The results: 129,000 dead, minimum. I misstated a couple of these figures on the podcast, so be sure to check it out for all the details.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #33 – “Stoker” (dir. Park Chan-wook)

Poster for "Stoker"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take a dour and disturbing journey into director Park Chan-wook‘s first English-language film, starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, and Nicole Kidman. Can this bizarre, gothic fairytale rise to the levels of disturbing sophistication of Park’s beloved Vengeance trilogy? Listen below and find out! (34:48)

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 7.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the track “Uncle Charlie”, from Clint Mansell‘s original score.
  • Minor correction: When this film was shooting (September 2011), Wasikowska was 21 years old.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #32 – “Warm Bodies” (dir. Jonathan Levine)

Poster for "Warm Bodies"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel check out the latest bizarre genre blend from writer/director Jonathan Levine, Warm Bodies. Can Nicholas Hoult leverage all of his acting prowess from the second series of Skins as a disaffected romantic zombie? Can Rob Corddry exhibit some alarmingly effective dramatic work with less than a dozen words of dialogue? Can a truly disgusting romantic premise wildly succeed? Find out below! (25:31)

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode comes from the Warm Bodies soundtrack, including Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From the Storm” and M83′s “Midnight City“.
  • The zombie augmented-reality running game that Daniel referred to was called Zombies, Run!.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #31 – “Zero Dark Thirty” (dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

Poster for "Zero Dark Thirty"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take an understandably spoiler-filled look at director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal‘s triumphant followup to The Hurt Locker, featuring a performance from Jessica Chastain that makes or breaks the film to an exceptional degree. (30:45)

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 9 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the track “Flight to Compound“, from Alexandre Desplat‘s score.
  • The European Court of Human Rights does consider sleep deprivation to be “a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment” (and thus a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights), but not precisely torture, as it does not “occasion suffering of the particular intensity and cruelty implied by the word torture”. According to memos released by the CIA, sleep deprivation is a technique that was used in post-9/11 detainee interrogations, and whether or not it constitutes torture is still controversial.
  • We refer back to our podcast of Act of Valor from last year. Check it out!
  • As promised, I did look into whether or not the audio recordings of 911 calls from September 11th were genuine or reenactments produced for the film. I have been unable to find definitive word on this (I’m sure the director’s commentary on the DVD will settle the issue eventually), but in the course of searching, I found many 9/11 recordings and transcripts that were as disturbing or more so than the ones featured at the beginning of Zero Dark Thirty. I will not link to them here, and I would encourage you not to seek them out.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #30 – “Promised Land” (dir. Gus Van Sant), “Django Unchained” (dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Poster for "Django Unchained"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel take on a surprising double-header. First comes Promised Land, a reunion between Matt Damon and Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), along with newcomer John Krasinski (from “The Office”), featuring salesmen trying to convince a small town to let them drill for natural gas in their backyards (a process known as fracking). Then comes Django Unchained, an escaped-slave revenge romp from Quentin Tarantino starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The biggest surprise? After declaring Inglourious Basterds the FilmWonk favorite of 2009, we had a very different experience with Tarantino’s latest (1:09:22).

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating (Promised Land): 7.5/10
FilmWonk rating (Django Unchained): 4/10

Show notes:

  • (0:00) Review: Promised Land
  • (13:06) Spoilers: Promised Land
  • (26:00) Review: Django Unchained
  • (46:01) Spoilers: Django Unchained
  • Music for this episode comes from Luis Bacalov‘s original theme song to the 1966 Sergio Corbucci film Django, which also appears in Tarantino’s film.
  • While we certainly don’t attempt to settle the fracking issue on this podcast, you can read more about it here.
  • CORRECTION (from Glenn): Upon reflection, I must retract my comment about Spike Lee. While he did attack Django Unchained for depicting slavery in the context of a spaghetti western, and has criticized Tarantino about his use of racial epithets previously (NSFW), he has not (to our knowledge) ever stated that Tarantino’s race is a factor in his ability to make a film about slavery. Read his exact position (in brief) on Twitter. We apologize for the error.
  • While Glenn adored Inglourious Basterds, Daniel was definitely not a fan. Revise history in his presence at your own peril!

Listen above, or download: Promised Land/Django Unchained (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser).

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #29 – “Life of Pi” (dir. Ang Lee)

Poster for "Life of Pi"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel bask in the unfilmable visual splendor and existential complexity of Life of Pi, the new film that proves that director Ang Lee is not a man to be tied down in a single genre (32:45).

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 8/10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode comes from Mychael Danna’s score for the film (track “The Second Story“).
  • We compare this film to both Avatar and Cloud Atlas – check out our word on those films as well!
  • Point of interest – Piscine Molotor is a real swimming complex…but it’s no longer open.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #28 – “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ (dir. Bill Condon)

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel are joined by returning guest/fiancee Sarah, who will help weigh in on the final chapter of the glorious Twilight Saga. Will love conquer all? Will a werewolf win the capricious heart of a newborn child? Will Michael Sheen once again prove that he best understands what sort of movie he’s in? Listen below and find out! (48:07)

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 4/10 (but we actually rather enjoyed it!), 6/10 (Sarah)

Show notes:

  • We had an issue with the audio quality in this episode – it was recorded near a computer whose fan was a bit loud. It sounded quiet when we were recording in person, but was picked up significantly due to the placement and angle of the microphone. I’ve applied several noise filters that have eliminated most of the sound, but it will still be faintly audible throughout the episode. Sorry for the issue, and enjoy the show!
  • Music for this episode is Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years“, from the soundtrack to Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (another version appears in the soundtrack to this film).
  • Read the review in which I first became a Kristen Stewart apologist – also the first review ever on this blog! (Adventureland)
  • For my only other word on Twilight, you can also check out my review of Chris WeitzNew Moon.

Listen above, or download: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser).

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #27 – “Cloud Atlas” (dir. The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer)

Poster for "Cloud Atlas"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel explore the sprawling epic from Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis, Cloud Atlas, based on the novel by David Mitchell. And while everything might be connected, only one of us connected with this film – tune in below to find out why! (55:03)

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 9/10 (Glenn), 4/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • The sequences in Cloud Atlas are named and directed as follows:

    • The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing (Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski)

    • Letters from Zedelghem (Directed by Tom Tykwer)

    • Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery (Directed by Tom Tykwer)

    • The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish (Directed by Tom Tykwer)

    • An Orison of Sonmi-451 (Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski)

    • Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After (Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski)

  • CORRECTION: I mistakenly stated that The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer were directors of photography on this film – they were not. The film’s cinematographers were Frank Griebe (who likely worked with Tom Tykwer, based on his filmography) and John Toll.
  • Music for this episode comes from the film’s magnificent, sprawling score, written by director Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil, with assistance from Gene Pritsker and Gabriel Mournsey on various tracks.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #26 – “The Master” (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Poster for "The Master"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel purge their inner demons reviewing Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Laura Dern (25:33).

May contain some NSFW language.


FilmWonk rating: 6/10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is Ella Fitzgerald singing “Get Thee Behind Me Satan“, from the soundtrack to The Master.
  • Check out my review of Rian Johnson’s Looper here.

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