FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #169 – “The Vast of Night” (dir. Andrew Patterson), “Holy Motors” (dir. Leos Carax)

Poster for "The Vast of Night"

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel head back in time to the age of radio to check out the outstanding small-town sci-fi drama debut from director Andrew Patterson, The Vast of Night (which premieres on Amazon Prime today), and then come almost all the way back to the present day with Leos Carax‘s delightfully wacky 2012 film Holy Motors (54:03).

Still from "Holy Motors"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Vast of Night): 8/10 (Daniel), 9/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (Holy Motors): 6/10 (Daniel), 7.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:14] Review: The Vast of Night
  • [17:19] Spoilers: The Vast of Night
  • [33:42] Review: Holy Motors
  • Music for this episode can be heard on the AM radio.
  • We mentioned a pair of audio drama podcasts as points of tonal comparison for The Vast of Night:
    • The Message by Mac Rogers (made for the former GE Podcast Theater; shares a feed with another excellent audio drama, LifeAfter)
    • Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  • Daniel chose Holy Motors from an excellent list from David Sims at The Atlantic, which we may be revisiting again.

Listen above, or download: The Vast of Night, Holy Motors (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #168 – “The Lovebirds” (dir. Michael Showalter), “The Platform” (dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

Poster for "The Lovebirds"

[CW: This episode contains discussion of disturbing violent and sexual content.]

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel see a parade of talents converge in the delightful new romantic action comedy The Lovebirds, and then descend into the depths of allegorical hell with The Platform. And like Orpheus and Eurydice, we kinda like each other after the experience, but only one of us will make it out again (01:00:51).

Still from "The Platform"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Lovebirds): 7.5 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (The Platform): 5/10 (Daniel), 8.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:01] Review: The Lovebirds
  • [11:53] Spoilers: The Lovebirds
  • [21:17] Review: The Platform
  • [37:04] Spoilers: The Platform
  • Music for this episode is a bit peckish.

Listen above, or download: The Lovebirds, The Platform (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #167 – “Bad Education” (dir. Cory Finley), “Gunpowder Heart” (dir. Camila Urrutia), “NT Live: Frankenstein” (dir. Danny Boyle)

Poster for "Bad Education"

[CW: This episode contains discussion of sexual violence.]

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (with special guest Erika Spoden) are a bit more playful than usual. That’s to say, we’re reviewing a play – specifically, the National Theatre of Great Britain’s 2011 performance of Frankenstein, adapted for the stage by Nick Dear, and directed by Danny Boyle, as recently made available on YouTube for free (you can donate to NT here!), and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature (as there were two cast versions available!). Then we venture down to Guatemala for a revenge thriller from the SXSW collection on Amazon Prime, Gunpowder Heart from director Camila Urrutia. And finally, we check out a new tale of small-town corruption from HBO Films, Bad Education (01:33:30).

Poster for "National Theatre At Home: Frankenstein"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (NT: Frankenstein): 8/10 (Glenn, Daniel), 9/10 (Erika)
FilmWonk rating (Gunpowder Heart): 6.5/10 (Daniel), 7/10 (Glenn, Erika)
FilmWonk rating (Bad Education): 8.5/10 (Glenn, Erika), 8/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [00:00:30] Review: National Theatre Live presents: Frankenstein
  • [00:24:06] Review: Gunpowder Heart
  • [00:37:44] Spoilers: Gunpowder Heart
  • [00:54:19] Review: Bad Education
  • [01:11:58] Spoilers: Bad Education
  • Music for this episode was working in the lab, late one night.
  • Check out Lisa Liebman‘s article in Vulture about the real people behind then story of Bad Education.

Listen above, or download: NT Live: Frankenstein, Gunpowder Heart, Bad Education (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #166 – “Tigertail” (dir. Alan Yang), “Red Rover” (dir. Shane Belcourt)

Poster for "Tigertail"

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel head north of the border and into the quixotic dream of a crowdfunded mission to Mars with Shane Belcourt‘s Red Rover (which is available for streaming Tuesday, May 12), and then check out Master of None co-creator Alan Yang‘s fictionalized take on his parents’ immigrant story from Taiwan, with Tigertail, newly available on Netflix (49:30).

Still from "Red Rover" (2018 film)

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Tigertail): 6/10 (Glenn), 4/10 (Daniel)
FilmWonk rating (Red Rover): 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:17] Review: Tigertail
  • [26:08] Review: Red Rover
  • [41:48] Spoilers: Red Rover
  • The language that is referred to in the Tigertail subtitles as Taiwanese [and it appears in brackets, while Mandarin Chinese appears without them] is also known as Taiwanese Hokkien, and while we picked up on a bit of the linguistic and political subtext in the film, the reality was obviously a bit more complex than could be conveyed in a film in which it was a minor detail.
  • Check out the article from Matter that we excerpted in brief:
    All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go” by Elmo Keep

Listen above, or download: Tigertail, Red Rover (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #165 – “Birds of Prey” (dir. Cathy Yan), “Same Boat” (dir. Chris Roberti), “The Way Back” (dir. Gavin O’Connor)

Poster for "Birds of Prey"

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture back in time with director Chris Roberti to a time when we could all gather aboard a cruise ship and secretly shoot a romantic comedy about time-traveling assassins, with Same Boat, which hits VOD on Tuesday 4/7. We also catch up with Birds of Prey, an impressive return to the brightest and most colorful parts of the DCEU after a whole lot of grimdark, and actor Ben Affleck‘s spotty attempt to do the same, with The Way Back (01:06:21).

Still from "The Way Back"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Birds of Prey): 7/10 (Glenn), 5/10 (Daniel)
FilmWonk rating (Same Boat): 7.5/10 (Glenn), 7/10 (Daniel)
FilmWonk rating (The Way Back): 4 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [02:38] Review: Birds of Prey
  • [22:46] Review: Same Boat
  • [34:13] Spoilers: Same Boat
  • [47:04] Review: The Way Back
  • There is a super-quick spoiler section at the end of the episode for The Way Back. You’ll know it when it comes.
  • Music for this episode is a song that I’ve always maintained is about time-traveling assassins, plus a Barracuda.
  • We mentioned Mick LaSalle‘s scathing review of Birds of Prey from the San Francisco Chronicle – to varying degrees, we did not agree!
  • Stay tuned at the end for an audio artifact that occurred during a break in recording that sounded suspiciously like Daniel threatening to cut off Glenn’s face.

Listen above, or download: Birds of Prey, Same Boat, The Way Back (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #164 – "Blow the Man Down" (dir. Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy), "Lady Macbeth" (dir. William Oldroyd)

Poster for "Blow the Man Down"

On this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture back in time to before The Incident when were all still able to go outside, to see Florence Pugh‘s starmaking debut in the uneven Lady Macbeth. Then they check out what will probably be the first of many streaming selections, a seaside crime caper new this weekend on Amazon Prime, Blow the Man Down (57:36).

Still from "Lady Macbeth" (2016 film)

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Blow the Man Down): 7.5/10 (Glenn), 5/10 (Daniel)
FilmWonk rating (Lady Macbeth): 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [02:46] Review: Lady Macbeth
  • [13:32] Spoilers: Lady Macbeth
  • [38:53] Review: Blow the Man Down
  • [53:28] Spoilers: Blow the Man Down
  • Music for this episode is a pair of shanties.

Listen above, or download: Blow the Man Down, Lady Macbeth (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #163 – “Onward” (dir. Dan Scanlon)

Poster for "Onward"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel roll for initiative with Pixar’s latest foray into the fantastical, Onward (23:51).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6/10 (Glenn), 8/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is magic.
  • Stay tuned afterward for an adorable interview.

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