FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #143 – “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (dir. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), “The Front Runner” (dir. Jason Reitman)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (with special guest Erika Spoden) check out the new Western anthology from the Coen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and see whether the true grit of a singing cowboy can stand up against the OTP of Math Chicken and Mamma Owl. Confused? Check it out on Netflix, then come back and listen we drill into all six segments. But first, Glenn and Daniel check out their second Jason Reitman film of this year, The Front Runner, and question how a political drama that ticks so many boxes of personal interest for the both of us can feel like it has so little to say (01:23:21).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Front Runner): 6/10 (Daniel), 4/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs): 9/10 (Erika), 4/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:21] Review: The Front Runner
  • [24:38] Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • [37:29] Spoilers: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Little Joe The Wrangler (Çurly Joe)” performed by Tim Blake Nelson and “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”, performed by Nelson and Willie Watson (of Old Crow Medicine Show), from the soundtrack for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
  • The loosely similar political film Glenn was thinking of during our Front Runner discussion was The Ides of March, directed by and starring George Clooney, and co-written by Clooney, Grant Heslov, and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. Check out the trailer here.
  • The article we referenced was, “The Blinding Whiteness of The Coen Brothers Wild West”, by Nick Martin of Splinter.

Listen above, or download: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Front Runner (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #142 – “22 July” (dir. Paul Greengrass)

This week, Glenn and Daniel take a harrowing journey with Paul Greengrass into yet another hyperrealistic human tragedy, with 22 July, a film about the 2011 Norway attacks and the legal aftermath. This film is as effective as it is upsetting, and if you’re mentally prepared, you can watch it right now on Netflix (37:54).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • There is no music in this episode – including some of the score didn’t really feel appropriate, so we’ve just included a snippet of the trailer.
  • We make reference to Glenn’s 2010 review of Uwe Boll‘s Rampage – check it out here.

Listen above, or download: 22 July (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #141 – “Smallfoot” (dir. Karey Kirkpatrick)

Poster for "Smallfoot"

This week, Glenn and Daniel are joined by a special guest…Glenn’s toddler son who’s never seen a movie in theaters before. And so we gamble, maximizing our chances of making it through tantrum-free with a bucket of popcorn and a 90-minute animated musical about yetis and…atheism? The kid made it through unscathed, and we had more to say than expected (31:07)!

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks, “Wonderful Life” by Zendaya and “Let it Lie” by Common, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • We actually have reviewed another animated film since our fake-review of Minions – we reviewed (and loved) Moana in 2016.
  • Glenn’s current play count on “Rewrite the Stars” is 55, although the true number is probably higher, since he started off binging the soundtrack on YouTube. (GB note: Hell, I’m listening to it as I type this. And I regret nothing!)
  • Stick around at the end.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #140 – “Five Fingers for Marseilles” (dir. Michael Matthews), “Tully” (dir. Jason Reitman)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (with special guest Erika Spoden) venture back to another strong Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody team-up from earlier in the year, Tully, a harrowing newborn parenting drama that has unique resonance for one of us at the moment. But first we check out Five Fingers for Marseilles, a South African team’s unique and pulpy take on the American Western genre, out now in limited release in US theaters (67:11).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Five Fingers for Marseilles): 5/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Erika), 7.5/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (Tully): 9 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:37] Review: Five Fingers for Marseilles
  • [21:05] Spoilers: Five Fingers for Marseilles
  • [35:08] Review: Tully
  • [49:50] Spoilers: Tully
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Tiergarten” by Rufus Wainwright and “Blue” by The Jayhawks, from the soundtrack for Tully.

Listen above, or download: Five Fingers for Marseilles, Tully (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #139 – “Crazy Rich Asians” (dir. Jon M. Chu)

Poster for "Crazy Rich Asians" 2018 film

This week, Glenn and Daniel are joined by special guest Cheryl Hou to review Crazy Rich Asians, the first American studio film in 25 years to feature a predominantly Asian and Asian-American cast. Be warned: This film will be compared to both Love Actually and Fifty Shades, emerging mostly unscathed from the experience (71:37).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7/10 (Glenn), 5/10 (Daniel), 7.5/10 (Cheryl)

Show notes:

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #138 – “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (dir. Christopher McQuarrie)

This week, Glenn and Daniel watch as the Mission: Impossible franchise proves once again to be the best in the genre, as returning director Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise continue to top themselves (40:40).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks, “Your Mission” and “Scalper and Hammer”, from the film’s original score by Lorne Balfe.
  • You can view the 360-degree VR featurette for the helicopter sequence of Mission: Impossible – Fallout on YouTube, but beware, it contains at least one pretty major spoiler.
  • If you wish to avoid spoilers for this film, you can read Rooney Mara‘s interview at The Cut, and learn that she really did learn to eat pie for A Ghost Story, just as Cruise learned to fly a helicopter for this film.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #137 – “The Equalizer 2” (dir. Antoine Fuqua)

This week, Glenn and Daniel enlist Denzel Washington‘s help to actuate some pneumatic valves for the second time, in The Equalizer 2, the rare sequel which improves significantly on what it follows (36:10).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the track, “In the Name of Love” by Jacob Banks.
  • The word we couldn’t think of: The skull cap, common in Muslim-majority countries, that McCall wears on the train in Turkey is known as a taqiyah.

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