FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #202 – “Knock at the Cabin” (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Poster for "Knock at the Cabin"

This week, Daniel is out sick, and Glenn makes a solo journey (and a bite-sized review) of Knock at the Cabin, the latest dire and sincere world of director M. Night Shyamalan, as an adaptation of a Paul G. Tremblay novel. Tune in next week when Daniel will be back to review Aftersun and a new streaming selection (10:55).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

Listen above, or download: Knock at the Cabin (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #201 – “Avatar: The Way of Water” (dir. James Cameron), “Triangle of Sadness” (dir. Ruben Östlund), “Tár” (dir. Todd Field)

Poster for "Avatar: The Way of Water"

This week on the FilmWonk Podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture back to into the vast natural and technological ecosystem that is James Cameron‘s imagination, with Avatar: The Way of Water, a film we could hardly believe we were watching until the first frame actually appeared. Glenn also shares his spoiler-free thoughts on the myriad delights of Todd Field‘s Tár, a film which only feels impenetrable from the outside, and by design. And then we return to Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund‘s satirical Triangle of Sadness, which perhaps sails slightly off course but largely maintains its focus on razor-sharp satire of the privileged few (01:38:22).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Triangle of Sadness): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Avatar: The Way of Water): 8 out of 10

Still from "Triangle of Sadness"

Show notes:

Listen above, or download: Tár, Triangle of Sadness, Avatar: The Way of Water (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #200 – “Athena” (dir. Romain Gavras), “Careless Crime” (dir. Shahram Mokri), “Saloum” (dir. Jean Luc Herbulot)

Poster for "Athena"

This week, on the 🎇200th Episode🎇 of the FilmWonk Podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture out into the world to check out a trio of dramas with an accidental common theme of violent revolution. First, we visit Athena (new on Netflix from director Romain Gavras), in which a Parisian tower block is under police siege and burning for answers and justice following the murder of a 13-year-old boy by three unknown men wearing police uniforms. Then we return to the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey world of Iranian director Shahram Mokri (who directed previous FilmWonk favorite Fish & Cat) for a Mobius strip of interconnected timelines all intersecting with the Cinema Rex fire, a real-life arson and disaster which caused hundreds of deaths and led (among other events) to the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 – that film is Careless Crime, and it is newly available for rent. And finally, we head to the watery delta of Saloum for an absolutely raucous African neo-Western (called a “southern” by its Congolese director Jean Luc Herbulot), as a trio of badass, Senegalese mercenaries hide out amid a thwarted escape from a military coup, navigating the strange and violent waters of a mysterious river town (new on Shudder) (01:24:21).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Careless Crime"

FilmWonk rating (Athena): 7/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (Careless Crime): 6 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Saloum): 8.5 out of 10

Still from "Saloum"

Show notes:

  • [02:32] Review: Athena
  • [25:01] Spoilers: Athena
  • [36:02] Review: Careless Crime
  • [58:59] Review: Saloum
  • [01:12:24] Spoilers: Saloum
  • Netflix released an amazing featurette on YouTube about the making of Athena – well worth a watch if you want to see how its many elaborate tracking shots, stunts, and pyrotechnics came together.
  • Thank you for listening.

Listen above, or download: Athena, Careless Crime, Saloum (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #199 – “Three Thousand Years of Longing” (dir. George Miller), “Prey” (dir. Dan Trachtenberg)

Poster for "Three Thousand Years of Longing"

This week, Glenn and Daniel check out Prey, a taut new actioner streaming on Hulu featuring the Predator doing what it does best: being hunted on Earth in a film somewhere at the intersection of war, historical drama, and slasher flick. And then we venture into the colorful world of George Miller and much of his team from Mad Max: Fury Road, bringing to life an epic, supernatural romance and an unpretentious look at the nature of humanity (57:35).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Prey): 6.5/10 (Daniel), 7/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (Three Thousand Years of Longing): 7/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Still from "Prey" (2022 film)

Show notes:

  • [02:08] Review: Prey
  • [26:47] Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing
  • [43:31] Spoilers: Three Thousand Years of Longing
  • The book we mentioned was Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan, and it is an excellent oral history which is well worth a read or a listen (with interviews brought to life by a full cast of voice actors).

Listen above, or download: Prey, Three Thousand Years of Longing (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #198 – “Don’t Make Me Go” (dir. Hannah Marks)

Poster for "Don't Make Me Go"

This week, Glenn and Daniel once again return to the streaming world following a months-long, baby-induced hiatus with a film purpose-built to tug at fresh parental heartstrings, Don’t Make Me Go, from director Hannah Marks, new on Prime Video (39:18).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6.5 out of 10

Show notes:

Listen above, or download: Don’t Make Me Go (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #197 – “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (dir. Tom Gormican), “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” (dir. Radu Jude)

This week, Glenn and Daniel consider watching a fourth-wall prodding, self-aware film in which Nicolas Cage plays dueling versions of himself, gradually crafting a screenplay and over-the-top conclusion to the very film that we’re watching. But enough about Adaptation. On to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. And then we check out an epistemological discourse on the multifaceted foundations of fascist thought, punctuated with fucking, because it’s time to watch a Radu Jude film, which regrettably felt like a pandemic-laden, stream-of-consciousness retread of I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians. (28:11).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn): 5 out of 10

Still from "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" (2021 film)

Show notes:

  • [00:59] Review: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
  • [17:54] Review: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  • We misstated the number of COVID-19 deaths per capita in Romania, which, as of this writing, is higher than the per-capita rate in the United States. See Statista for comparison. As an absolute rate, the US death rate (which stands at 989,000) is much higher than that of Romania. Not something we’re inclined to brag about in any case.

Listen above, or download: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #196 – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (dir. Daniels), “Deep Water” (dir. Adrian Lyne)

Poster for "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

This week, Glenn and Daniel wade into the dark, twisted, and borderline satirical look at marriage from Unfaithful director Adrian Lyne, Deep Water. But first, they follow Swiss Army Man directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan into their multiverse-spanning sci-fi epic/intimate family drama, Everything Everywhere All at Once (54:44).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Everything Everywhere All at Once): 9/10 (Glenn), 6/10 (Daniel)
FilmWonk rating (Deep Water): 7.5 out of 10

Still from "Deep Water"

Show notes:

  • [01:58] Review: Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • [29:03] Review: Deep Water
  • [42:10] Spoilers: Deep Water

Listen above, or download: Everything Everywhere All at Once, Deep Water (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #195 – “The Batman” (dir. Matt Reeves), “Cyrano” (dir. Joe Wright)

Poster for "The Batman" (2022 film)

This week, Glenn and Daniel check out director Matt Reeves and lead Robert Pattinson‘s take on the Caped Crusader, the fourth in our jaded millennial lives, and find it largely acceptable. Then we check out a musical take on the fictionalized life of Cyrano de Bergerac, from director Joe Wright, adapted from the stage musical by Erica Schmidt, which Daniel thought was solidly fine, and which changed Glenn’s life forever as musicals sometimes do (1:08:53).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Batman): 7.5 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Cyrano): 8.5/10 (Glenn), 6.5/10 (Daniel)

Still from "Cyrano" (2022 film)

Show notes:

  • [02:16] Review: The Batman
  • [23:58] Spoilers: The Batman
  • [43:34] Review: Cyrano
  • The Cyrano soundtrack and score, which Glenn estimated at “probably 90 minutes of music”, clocks in at 1h18m, and has only continued to grow on him since the podcast recording.
  • We referred to a blooper edit of the trial of Tyrion Lannister. Remember it?

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #194 – “Kimi” (dir. Steven Soderbergh), “Blacklight” (dir. Mark Williams), “I Want You Back” (dir. Jason Orley)

Poster for "Kimi" (2022 film)

This week, Glenn and Daniel check out a pair of thrillers, starting with Blacklight, a Liam Neeson thriller currently only in theaters, which provoked rare agreement that it is one of the worst movies we’ve ever reviewed on the podcast. Then we found a breath of fresh air with Steven Soderbergh‘s Seattle-set (and Seattle-shot) thriller, Kimi, a thoroughly modern take on a Hitchcockian thriller set in the modern, tech-infused, poverty-laden corporate surveillance state in which we live, new on HBO Max.

Finally, speaking of Hitchcock, we concluded with the Strangers on a Train of romantic comedies, in which a thoroughly charming Jenny Slate and Charlie Day play a pair of new acquaintances who each conspire to undo the other’s recent breakup, with the messy and enjoyable I Want You Back, new on Prime Video (51:42).

Still from "Blacklight" (2022 film)

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Kimi): 8 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Blacklight): 2 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (I Want You Back): 7.5 out of 10

Still from "I Want You Back"

Show notes:

  • [02:41] Review: Kimi/Blacklight
  • [33:18] Review: I Want You Back
  • Glenn just wrote a 10YA re-evaluation of Liam Neeson in The Grey, a film that improved with age, which made Blacklight even harder to stomach.
  • Kimi prompted us to look up what happened to the Arkansas first-degree murder case that hinged on evience obtained from an Amazon Echo device – the case was eventually dropped due to what prosecutors declared was insufficient evidence to support a murder charge.
  • Derek DelGaudio has a small and important role in Kimi, which gave us a chance to plug his excellent 2021 Hulu special, “Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself.

Listen above, or download: Kimi, Blacklight, I Want You Back (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #193 – “A Hero” (dir. Asghar Farhadi), “The Lost Daughter” (dir. Maggie Gyllenhaal)

Poster for "A Hero" (2021 Asghar Farhadi film)

This week, Glenn and Daniel return to the elaborate moral maze of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with A Hero (now streaming on Prime Video). They debate what’s right and wrong, and whether moral complexity that feels calculated can still effectively serve a good story. Then they venture into the rich narrative world of novelist Elena Ferrante, as adapted by first-time director Maggie Gyllenhaal, with The Lost Daughter (now streaming on Netflix), for a different sort of moral complexity, examining the role of women who find themselves unsuited for motherhood (01:13:35).

Still from "The Lost Daughter"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (A Hero): 7.5 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (The Lost Daughter): 6/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [01:37] Review: A Hero
  • [17:24] Spoilers: A Hero
  • [38:05] Review: The Lost Daughter
  • [52:51] Spoilers: The Lost Daughter
  • CORRECTION: We misstated a couple of details about A Hero. It was filmed in the Iranian city of Shiraz, not Tehran. And while the film was selected to compete for the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, it actually won the Grand Prix, which is considered the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme D’Or.
  • We referred back to a review of a previous festival selection, Glory, a Bulgarian political satire about a character who finds a bag of money on the railroad tracks, which came to mind while watching A Hero. As of this writing, Glory is available for streaming on Tubi.
  • We also referenced Foxcatcher, The Green Knight, and A Bigger Splash.
  • We referenced film critic Alissa Wilkinson‘s excellent write-up of The Lost Daughter over at Vox – check it out here: “Untangling Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter“.
  • At Daniel’s request, I also read Armond White‘s awful review of the film (which has an equally awful headline) at National Review, which I will not link here, but you’re welcome to google if you want to welcome that into your life.

Listen above, or download: A Hero, The Lost Daughter (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)