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
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)
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)
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)
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).
Music for this episode comes from Hans Zimmer‘s original score to The Dark Knight Rises, including the tracks “Despair” and “Rise”.
Special thanks to James for contributing to this episode! Find out about his new sci-fi web series (in which Glenn plays a bear-alien named Uzor) at MasterOfOrionSeries.com.
I resisted the temptation to read this before we recorded, but here’s an excellent rundown from the folks at /Film of everything that bothered them about the film. We touched on several of these points, but there are a couple that I flat-out disagree with (most notably a major scene between Bruce and Alfred, which I thought was brilliantly written and acted). But if there’s one thing this film valuably inspires, it’s diversity of opinion, at least in terms of which storytelling issues people hate the most, so it’s well worth reading.
CORRECTION: I incorrectly stated that Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming film, Pacific Rim, is “an adaptation of something” – it is an original work (albeit an obvious homage to Japanese monster films). Either way, we’re stoked.
Listen above, or download: The Dark Knight Rises (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser).
As SIFF continues, Glenn and Daniel check out the highly anticipated time travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, which comes home to Seattle along with much of its cast and crew. Then they jump out of their seats and run to the next auditorium to pose as film critics in a packed screening of Bart Layton‘s utterly fascinating documentary/thriller, The Imposter.
May contain NSFW language.
FilmWonk rating (Safety Not Guaranteed): 6/10
FilmWonk rating (The Imposter): 9/10
(00:00) Review: Safety Not Guaranteed
(06:45) Spoilers: Safety Not Guaranteed (although we somewhat spoil the Jake Johnson subplot starting at 05:38)
As the Seattle International Film Festival continues, Glenn and Daniel give a quick review of a harrowing drama from the co-founder of…Homestar Runner? Okay! A warning for the spoiler-averse… As this is based on true events (and sticks largely to the real-life story), we aren’t shy about spoilers, but we do give a warning before revealing the film’s ending.
Contains NSFW language and some disturbing content.
FilmWonk rating: 7/10 (Glenn), 8/10 (Daniel)
Once again – due to to the quick turnaround for SIFF content, this podcast was recorded without our usual setup – but the audio quality is solid! I have it on good authority that a modern automobile makes an excellent recording booth.
This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel never let go of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic sea epic, Titanic. Can a romance founded on chemistry, infidelity, and bad dialogue possibly stand the test of time? Find out below! Additionally, you’ll hear our windswept heroes expound on Avatar and the lamentable state of 3D cinema (50:19).
May contain NSFW language.
FilmWonk rating: 8/10 (Glenn), 9/10 (Daniel)
Music for this episode comes from James Horner’s soundtrack sequel Back to Titanic, including the tracks “Titanic Suite” and I Salonisti’s arrangement of “Nearer My God to Thee”, which they play in the film.
Daniel called it – the old couple below decks that we see holding each other in bed as the water rises around them are indeed Isidor and Ida Straus (the co-owner of Macy’s Department Stores and his wife). There was a deleted scene in which Ida refuses to board the lifeboat without her husband.
Per Daniel’s recommendation, check out Encyclopedia Titanica, a fantastic trove of knowledge for all things Titanic.
Listen above, or download: Titanic (right-click, save as).
This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel review last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film (and nominee for Best Original Screenplay), A Separation. This complex and riveting film is one part legal thriller, two parts family drama, and three parts tense moral ambiguity – listen to us try to unpack its various dimensions below (while also trying feebly to remember the name of Iran’s currency!) (40:34).
May contain NSFW language.
FilmWonk rating: 9/10
Music for this episode comes from Sattar Oraki’s original score for the film.
This episode contains vague spoilers for the 2003 film Confidence.
Sarina Farhadi, who plays Termeh, is indeed the daughter of writer/director Asghar Farhadi.
In case our profound (and admitted) ignorance didn’t make this clear, the Iranian unit of currency is neither the ducat (which is European) nor the shekel (which is…Hebrew, whoops) – it’s the rial, named for a currency that originated in Portugal.
Listen above, or download: A Separation (right-click, save as).
This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel dial down the cynicism just a bit and ruminate on the nature of patriotism, warrior culture, and propaganda as a neutral descriptor in their discussion of Act of Valor, a new action film featuring real-life US Navy SEALs. (32:33)
May contain NSFW language. Act of Valor will be in theaters this Friday, February 24th.
FilmWonk rating: 7/10
“Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” We mention this rather poignant quote/poem by Tecumseh, which makes a truncated appearance in the film’s voiceover. It can be read in its entirety here.
I briefly (and halfheartedly) tried to source some music from Nathan Furst’s original score for the film, but much like the score itself, I lost interest in my search rather quickly. As such, this week’s music comes from Hans Zimmer’s original score for The Rock, which seems apropos for this film.
We refer to an interrogation scene that takes place halfway through the film, and due to the secrecy surrounding the SEAL cast of this film, we were unsure about the cast and scripting of this scene. The answers, according to The Washington Post: Yep, he’s a real SEAL, and the scene was entirely improvised. Bravo, sir.
Listen above, or download: Act of Valor (right-click, save as).
This week, we took a cue from the movie studios and decided to cram one too many films into the same day. First, we delve into the dark and depraved world of David Fincher’s fresh adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Then, we’ll examine the maturation of Diablo Cody in her new collaboration with director Jason Reitman, Young Adult. (44:42)
Please note that per usual, this podcast may contain NSFW language. Additionally, due to the subject matter of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, our review contains some rather frank discussion of rape and associated social issues. We understand these matters are delicate, and we recommend that any sensitive listeners skip past the spoiler section of this review (see the show notes for timing).
FilmWonk rating (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo): 7/10 FilmWonk rating (Young Adult): 8.5/10
(0:00) Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
(11:55) Spoilers: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo(warning: disturbing content)
(24:07) Review: Young Adult
(36:21) Spoilers: Young Adult
Minor spoiler: Near the end of the Dragon Tattoo review, we allude to a certain character stealing a substantial amount of money. From the book, the actual amount was around $260 million USD, which was worth about 2.5 billion Swedish kronor when the book was written. In the film (according to Wikipedia), the amount is 32 billion Euros (~$41 billion USD).
We mention the actor who plays Lisbeth Salander’s guardian. This actor is Yorick van Wageningen, whom we may have recognized from his small part as “The Guv” in The Chronicles of Riddick.
For the record, there is no Mercury, MN.
Music for tonight’s episode is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ version of “Immigrant Song” (performed by Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), from the soundtrack to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.