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)

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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)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #136 – “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (dir. J.A. Bayona)

This week, Glenn and Daniel take a frustrating slog back to Jurassic World, and the whole thing blows up in their faces (46:38).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 4 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the track, “Jurassic Park” by “Weird Al” Yankovic.
  • Lest you think we’re just dino-haters, be sure to check out our glowing review of Jurassic World.
  • Tangent: The movie we mentioned starring Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick featuring a fake exotic animal feast was The Freshman, from 1990, and it was written and directed by Andrew Bergman, who had an eclectic film career, including a story credit for Blazing Saddles, and subsequently writing/directing the 1996 erotic comedy, Striptease.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #135 – “Tag” (dir. Jeff Tomsic), “Bodied” (dir. Joseph Kahn) (SIFF)

Poster for "Tag" (2018 film)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel make their final review from the Seattle International Film Festival, and it’s a doozy, in the form of Bodied, Joseph Kahn‘s masterpiece about racism, sensitivity, political correctness, all through the lens of competitive rap battles, which will be premiering on YouTube later this year. And they follow it up with an extremely straightforward action-comedy about a group of grown men playing Tag, whose insistence that it’s based on a true story might be its greatest liability (57:56).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Bodied" (2017 film)

FilmWonk rating (Bodied): 9 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Tag): 6 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:51] Review: Bodied
  • [20:09] Spoilers: Bodied
  • [36:48] Review: Tag
  • [47:14] Spoilers: Tag
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by The Crash Test Dummies, from the Tag soundtrack, and “Opus, Pt. 2 Aka Crown” by Brain and Melissa, from the original score for Bodied.
  • We looked up the production timetables for Avengers: Infinity War and Tag, and the timing doesn’t really work out for Renner’s Tag injury to have anything to do with his absence from Infinity War. Tag filmed from June-July 2017, and Infinity War filmed from January-July of the same year. So Renner’s Marvel absence would presumably have been part of the plan by the time his injury occurred.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #134 – “Ocean’s 8” (dir. Gary Ross), “Pig” (dir. Mani Haghighi) (SIFF)

Poster for "Ocean's 8"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel are back at the 44th Seattle International Film Festival to check out Pig, an Iranian farce from Mani Haghighi that lives up its trailer’s promise of being “Iran like you’ve never seen it before”. Do not miss this. Then they head to the multiplex to see whether Sandra Bullock and crew can pull off a slick heist film with Ocean’s 8, and proceed to disagree over whether or not that’s a good thing (48:21).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Pig" ("Khook") (2018, Iran)

FilmWonk rating (Pig): 8 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Ocean’s 8): 5/10 (Daniel), 6.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:02] Review: Pig
  • [17:47] Spoilers: Pig
  • [24:21] Review: Ocean’s 8
  • [39:30] Spoilers: Ocean’s 8
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt from the trailer for Ocean’s 8, and “Ma Baker” by Boney M., from the international trailer for Pig.
  • Check out the excellent international trailer for Pig.
  • In case anyone was curious like we were, if any of the Ocean’s 8 characters is caught with any part of the Toussaint necklace, each individual piece would exceed a value of $1 million, which, per New York Penal Law § 155.42, would constitute grand larceny in the first degree, a Class B Felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
  • We slightly misremembered the sole female member of the ensemble in Ocean’s Thirteen – it wasn’t Helen Mirren, but rather Ellen Barkin. And this was after both Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones had declined to return for bit parts.
  • On the [slightly spoilery] subject of whether a 3D printer exists that can produce flawless jewelry replicas, some design folks weigh in on that question at Refinery29 here.

Listen above, or download: Pig, Ocean’s 8 (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #133 – “American Animals” (dir. Bart Layton), “The Bold, The Corrupt, and the Beautiful” (dir. Yang Ya-che) (SIFF)

***CW: This episode contains discussion of sexual violence.***

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel head back to the Seattle International Film Festival to check out the new heist film from director Bart Layton, who wowed them back in 2012 with The Imposter, with special guest Erika Spoden. Then they venture to Taiwan to check out The Bold, The Corrupt, and the Beautiful, a stunning gangster film that somehow merited comparisons to both The Godfather and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (01:15:32).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (American Animals): 6/10 (Daniel), 7/10 (Erika & Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful): 8.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [02:28] Review: American Animals
  • [23:35] Spoilers: American Animals
  • [41:23] Review: The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful
  • [58:03] Spoilers: The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley and “Crucify Your Mind” by Rodriguez, from the soundtrack for American Animals.
  • The Transy Book Heist, the real-life basis for American Animals, is chronicled in detail in a 2015 Vanity Fair article.
  • Check out the excellent trailer for The Bold, The Corrupt, and the Beautiful.
  • The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful was nominated for 7 Golden Horse Awards and won three, including Best Actress for Kara Hui, Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Chen, and Best Picture. It also picked up the Audience Choice Award for the festival.

Listen above, or download: American Animals, The Bold The Corrupt and the Beautiful (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)