FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #126 – “Fifty Shades Freed” (dir. James Foley), “The Cloverfield Paradox” (dir. Julius Onah)

Poster for "Fifty Shades Freed"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel take two trips down memory lane – one to the tail-end of the Fifty Shades franchise, which feels like it began a million years ago in 2011, and the other to the site code-named Cloverfield (formerly Central Park), which made a surprise return to Netflix right after the big game this week (47:51).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "The Cloverfield Paradox"

FilmWonk rating (Fifty Shades Freed): 5/10 (Daniel), 3/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (The Cloverfield Paradox): 5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:59] Review: Fifty Shades Freed
  • [12:46] Spoilers: Fifty Shades Freed
  • [26:14] Review: The Cloverfield Paradox
  • [38:23] Spoilers: The Cloverfield Paradox
  • Music for this episode is “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding and “For You”, by Rita Ora and Liam Payne, from the soundtrack to Fifty Shades Freed.
  • With all appropriate awkwardness, Glenn made a vague reference to an MTV dating and/or karaoke show from the 1990s. The two most likely culprits are either Say What? Karaoke or Singled Out, but…we can’t be sure.

Listen above, or download: Fifty Shades Freed, The Cloverfield Paradox (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #125 – “I, Tonya” (dir. Craig Gillespie), “Call Me By Your Name” (dir. Luca Guadagnino)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel didn’t even realize that these other jamokes were involved in the story of I, Tonya, which forces them to reexamine a half-remembered media narrative from when they were single-digits old. Special guest Erika Spoden ventures back in time with us, stopping off at a ’90s figure-skating scandal, and continuing with an ’80s romance in Northern Italy, with Call Me By Your Name (59:45).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Call Me By Your Name): 4/10 (Daniel), 7/10 (Erika), 8/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (I, Tonya): 8/10 (Glenn), 9/10 (Daniel, Erika)

Show notes:

  • [01:54] Review: Call Me By Your Name
  • [11:57] Spoilers: Call Me By Your Name
  • [27:18] Review: I, Tonya
  • [39:20] Spoilers: I, Tonya
  • Music for this episode is “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens, from the soundtrack to Call Me By Your Name, and “Goodbye Stranger“, by Supertramp, from the soundtrack to I, Tonya.

Listen above, or download: I Tonya, Call Me By Your Name (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #124 – “Molly’s Game” (dir. Aaron Sorkin)

On a very special Christmas podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture into the plot-complex and dialogue-rich directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game, based on the memoir by Molly Bloom, who ran a series of high-stakes underground poker games for a flurry of the rich and powerful before being pulled into legal peril. This film contains four outstanding performances – the two you’d expect, plus Cera and Costner. If you’ve got some time off this holiday, be sure to check it out (35:23).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is “Velvet Noose” by Thunderpussy and “C’est Si Bon“, performed by Eartha Kitt, from the film’s soundtrack.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #123 – “The Shape of Water” (dir. Guillermo del Toro), “Colossal” (dir. Nacho Vigalondo)

Poster for "The Shape of Water"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel flash back to Nacho Vigalondo‘s latest high-concept sci-fi bout, wherein Anne Hathaway is a drunkard in physical charge of a kaiju. Then we jump forward into Guillermo del Toro’s monster fairy tale, The Shape of Water, to see whether love can be what you wish between a woman and a fish (45:37).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Colossal"

FilmWonk rating (Colossal): 8 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (The Shape of Water): 7.5/10 (Glenn), 6/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [02:15] Review: Colossal
  • [07:40] Spoilers: Colossal
  • [18:53] Review: The Shape of Water
  • [31:50] Spoilers: The Shape of Water
  • Music for this episode is “Shake Sugaree” by Elizabeth Cotten & Brenda Evans, from the soundtrack to Colossal, and “You’ll Never Know“, as performed by Renée Fleming and arranged by Alexandre Desplat, from the soundtrack to The Shape of Water.
  • For our thoughts on a previous Vigalondo film, check out Glenn’s review of Extraterrestrial.
  • For the article we referenced, see, “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield” which has apparently gotten stranger, legally speaking.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #122 – “Justice League” (dir. Zack Snyder)

Poster for "Justice League"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel take in the loud desperation of Justice League (47:36).

FilmWonk rating: 4.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is Sigrid‘s cover of the Leonard Cohen song, “Everybody Knows”, from the Justice League soundtrack.
  • The piece we mentioned is called, “Stop trying to make Justice League about Marvel vs DC”, by Julia Alexander at Polygon (not Tasha Robinson from The Dissolve – just happened to see it on her Twitter feed).
  • For the costume comparison of the Amazons in Wonder Woman vs. Justice League, see director/animator Leigh Lahav‘s post on Facebook. Subsequent to the recording of this episode, we heard from Samantha Jo, an actress and stuntwoman who played Euboea in both films, who has come out with a statement of support for the costume variations and her on-set experience. And here is the primer from costumer Amanda Weaver on the costuming inspirations for Wonder Woman. I don’t think we’re going to resolve this question here, but we would encourage you to read up and draw your own conclusions. Thanks to Madonna K. for sharing these with us.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #121 – “Una” (dir. Benedict Andrews)

Poster for "Una"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel, along with returning guest Erika, dive into a difficult and timely film (43:59).

Content warning: This drama depicts an illegal, predatory sexual relationship between an adult and a minor child, as well as explicit discussion of that relationship many years after it is over. Our review contains candid discussion of the film and its handling of this subject matter. Listener discretion is advised.

FilmWonk rating: 8/10 (Erika), 7/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is selections from the film’s score by Jed Kerzel.
  • We briefly chatted about the 2005 film Hard Candy, and I described it as an entertaining thriller, but essentially a vigilante fantasy. Since this episode was recorded, actress Ellen Page (who portrayed a 14-year-old in the film, but was 17 when it was filmed) released a Facebook post describing her own experiences with sexual harassment on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand and elsewhere. It’s well worth a read.
  • Also worth a read:
  • CORRECTION: We slightly understated the grossness of Woody Allen‘s new film, A Rainy Day in New York, which features a sexual relationship between a 44-year-old actor (played by Jude Law) and a 15-year-old actress (played by 19-year-old Elle Fanning). We incorrectly gave the fictional actress’ age as 17. The release date on this one is TBD, but we’ll go ahead and say now that we do not plan to review it.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #120 – “Thor: Ragnarok” (dir. Taika Waititi)

Poster for "Thor: Ragnarok"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel return to the final space-jaunt before Avengers: Infinity War, celebrate an awesome new character who’s also a failure of LGBTQ representation, and ponder what makes “essential Marvel” (43:22).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks, “Planet Sakaar” and “What Heroes Do” from the original score to Thor: Ragnarok, by Mark Mothersbaugh.
  • CORRECTION: Sorry Spidey. The last MCU film that we reviewed was Spider-Man: Homecoming. But that one took place on Earth and we both loved it, so it wasn’t the first comparison that jumped to mind.
  • The TVTropes page that we referred to in consideration of Valkyrie’s proposed LGBTQ backstory is called “Bury Your Gays” – we also referred to the trope known as “Fridged“, a term popularized by comic book writer Gail Simone, a reference to a dubious storyline in Green Lantern, in which the villain leaves the corpse of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, stuffed into a refrigerator for him to find.
  • We were not able to find a definite answer on whether Thanos “court[ing] Death” could be a reference to Hela (Cate Blanchett), but there has been speculation along those lines.
  • What we derisively referred to as “the Power Glove” is, of course, the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • We fudged the release dates a bit – Black Panther is February 26, 2018 (in just 3 months!), Avengers: Infinity War is May 4, 2018, and the untitled Avengers sequel to that film is scheduled for May 3, 2019.

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