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)

Advertisements

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)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #119 – “Victoria & Abdul” (dir. Stephen Frears), “Blood Leaves Its Trail” (dir. Iffat Fatima) (#Tasveer)

Poster for "Victoria & Abdul"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel check out a documentary from the upcoming 2017 Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, followed by an untold historical tale of royal friendship (43:18).

May contain NSFW language.



Blood Leaves Its Trail will be playing at the 2017 Tasveer South Asian Film Festival on Monday, Oct. 9th at UW Bothell. Tickets are available here.

FilmWonk rating (Blood Leaves Its Trail): 6 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Victoria & Abdul): 7/10 (Glenn), 8/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [00:29] Review: Blood Leaves Its Trail
  • [15:21] Review: Victoria & Abdul
  • Music for this episode is the tracks, “Munshi Mania” and “Victoria & Abdul” from the original score to Victoria & Abdul, by Thomas Newman.
  • We did review The King’s Speech on the podcast, all the way back in Episode 8, in 2011 – but Daniel actually was around for that one. The lone episode without a Daniel is Episode 10, wherein Glenn and guest Nick reviewed Thor. Different sorts of thrones and powers in that film.
  • The story of how journalist and author Shrabani Basu uncovered the story of the Munshi is a pretty fascinating one – check it out at The Telegraph here.
  • Daniel notes correctly that the “royal assent” is still the [largely ceremonial] last step of a bill before it becomes law, after it passes both houses of Parliament. Assent has not been withheld since 1707 by Queen Anne, which means that in the entirety of Queen Victoria’s reign, she did not veto a single bill.
  • CORRECTION: The Suez Canal opened in 1869, so it actually was operational by the time of this film’s events, and made for a shorter journey between India and England that did not require a trip around the Cape of Good Hope.

Listen above, or download: Victoria & Abdul, Blood Leaves Its Trail (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #118 – “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” (dir. Matthew Vaughn)

Poster for "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel dive into a second chapter in a silly spy saga that doubles down on every one of the first film’s impulses, for weal or woe: the elegant masculine paradigm, the awesomely kinetic and well-shot fights, the ridiculous Dr. Evil-caliber villainy, and the shoddy, one-dimensional female characters saddled with menial tasks in place of depth. Come see where we landed on the only spy film this year that is, and we quote, “Longer than f*cking Dunkirk“. (38:12).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “My Generation (“Battle Royale” Remix)” by The Who, as remixed by Apashe, from the film’s second trailer. We might’ve used “My Way“, but that vile fuckhead Joe Arpaio has forever sullied it for us.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #117 – “It” (dir. Andrés Muschietti)

Poster for "It" (2017 film)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel conquer their well-earned fears of a half-hearted Stephen King adaptation and venture down to the sewer with all their friends, and it’s quite fun. Because everything floats down there. EVERYTHING (36:52).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Six Different Ways” by The Cure, and “Pennywise’s Tower” composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, from the film’s soundtrack and score.
  • The sci-fi short story we referenced, “The Jaunt”, is quite good. While you can find the full text online with minimal googling, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Skeleton Crew, as the entire short story collection is pretty enjoyable (and also contains the short story version of The Mist). On the podcast, I did confuse it with Different Seasons (which contains the source novellas for The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, and Apt Pupil, which is also worth a read.
  • Curiously, a 2015 io9 article reported that Muschetti would be directing a feature film version of The Jaunt, but it appears to be in development hell. It does seem like the sort of movie that would take…longer than you think.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #116 – “Crown Heights” (dir. Matt Ruskin)

Poster for "Crown Heights"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel take in a tale of justice for a man wrongly convicted that greatly exceeded their expectations – both in storytelling, and in the acting prowess of former NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha – a set of words that we never expected to say aloud (39:12).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and “River” by Leon Bridges, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • You can check out the episode of This American Life that the film was based on here.
  • You just got Nnamdi’d.
  • We correctly summarized the current legal state of Adnan Syed‘s case – as of this writing, he is still in prison, awaiting a new trial that was ordered back in July 2016, and was denied bail back in December.
  • CORRECTION: We referred to Colin being sentenced for murder despite not being ID’d as the shooter as a form of legal fiction – this was intended to be a reference to the felony murder rule (which is either a form of legal fiction or strict liability depending on your perspective), but it’s not really applicable to this case, as Warner was not convicted under this rule – he was wrongly convicted on a standard second-degree murder charge.
  • The New York State Board of Parole is indeed composed of political appointees – up to 19 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate for a six-year term. Each parole hearing is overseen by a panel of 2-3 members.

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