FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #115 – “Patti Cake$” (dir. Geremy Jasper), “The Trip to Spain” (dir. Michael Winterbottom)

Poster for "Patti Cake$"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel refer to The Trip to Spain as “Entourage-lite”, in what is inexplicably a positive review, as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon take in their third pastoral outing of visual, culinary, and improvised comedic indulgence. And then they check out Patti Cake$, the most delightful and original coming-of-age tale we’ve seen since Dope, featuring an unlikely hero (Danielle Macdonald) and her gang of misfits trying to make it in the New Jersey rap scene. This was a fun week. Join us for it! (29:51)

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "The Trip to Spain"

FilmWonk rating (The Trip to Spain): 6 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Patti Cake$): 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [00:36] Review: The Trip to Spain
  • [10:53] Review: Patti Cake$
  • Music for this episode is the track, “PBNJ” and “Tuff Love“, as performed by the cast of Patti Cake$.
  • Seriously, I know none of you saw Philomena. And it is quite good. Check it out before it leaves Netflix this month.

Listen above, or download: Patti Cake$, The Trip to Spain (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #114 – “Wind River” (dir. Taylor Sheridan), “Sicario” (dir. Denis Villeneuve)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel a contentious ride into Taylor Sheridan‘s directorial debut (Update: nope!), Wind River, as well as a trip down memory lane in Sheridan’s prior filmography, including Denis Villeneuve outstanding 2015 drug war drama,
Sicario (43:01).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Sicario): 8 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Wind River): 6.5/10 (Glenn), 3/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [00:33] Review: Sicario
  • [08:23] Review: Wind River
  • [24:00] Spoilers: Wind River
  • Music for this episode is the track, “Convoy“, from the Sicario score by Jóhann Jóhannsson, and the track, “Bad News“, from the Wind River score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
  • CORRECTION: In our discussion of Sicario, we referred to a report from a few months ago by the International Institute for Strategic Studies that named the Mexican drug war the second-deadliest conflict in the world in 2016. The Institute has since cited a methodological flaw in this calculation, and issued a retraction, although they still expect the conflict to be in the top ten. The Mexican government released its own response as well.
  • As out-of-touch, big city film critics, we were admittedly rather ignorant if an agency of US Fish and Wildlife Services existed to cull predator species. The answer is emphatically yes – it’s called…Wildlife Services. Its deeds are outlined in this NatGeo article:

    “Since 2000, the agency has killed at least two million mammals and 15 million birds. Although it’s main focus is predator control in the West, Wildlife Services also does things like bird control nationwide at airports to prevent crashes and feral pig control in the South.”

  • We referred to a Kroll Show sketch called “Dead Girl Town“. Click and enjoy.
  • Graham Greene wasn’t on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, but he was in Dances With Wolves, in which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #113 – “Atomic Blonde” (dir. David Leitch)

Poster for "Atomic Blonde"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel have a grand ol’ spy romp with Charlize Theron. It’s not complicated, but it is fun – and it succeeds on soundtrack where Baby Driver failed with us (22:20).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Major Tom (Völlig Losgelöst)” by Peter Schilling, and a new, dour version of “99 Luftballons” by Kaleida, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • CORRECTION: We lamented Theron’s relative lack of starring roles – of course, she was the sole lead in Æon Flux and Monster, the latter to great critical acclaim.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #112 – “Valerian” (dir. Luc Besson), “City of Ghosts” (dir. Matthew Heineman)

Poster for "Valerian"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel address an age-old question – is Fifth Element and Lucy director Luc Besson still a master of sci-fi, and can strong worldbuilding (and one surprising gem of a performance) make up for dubious screenwriting. Come along and find out, but first, check out an important documentary about the worst excesses of ISIS in Syria, and the brave men and women who risk their lives to reveal them to the world (56:31).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "City of Ghosts" (2017 documentary film)

FilmWonk rating (City of Ghosts): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Valerian): 6.5/10 (Glenn), 7/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [01:52] Review: City of Ghosts
  • [23:06] Review: Valerian
  • [37:41] Spoilers: Valerian
  • Music for this episode is the track, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, from the Valerian soundtrack.
  • Full disclosure, the “back of the envelope” calculation of Alpha’s escape velocity from Earth was done with some assistance from computational knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha, which revealed – assuming a consistent velocity over 600 years (for the sake of simplicity) – that the station was going too slow (relative to the Earth) by a factor of 187.8 to escape Earth’s gravity. And yes, this was just me being nerdy. Not an actual complaint.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #111 – “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (dir. Jon Watts)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel get reacquainted with their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and their friendly Keatonesque Bird-Man, and are rather pleased about it (45:16).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode comes from a pair of Spider-Man TV series theme songs. The first is the classic 1967 animated series theme, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and music by Bob Harris. The second is a slick reimagining of the same from composer Michael Giacchino, from the film’s original score.
  • Glenn also appears this week on our podcast nemesis, The Spoilers : Wayne & Daryl, to discuss Spider-Man, comedians as villains, the oeuvre of Kevin Smith, and anything else that strikes our fancy. Consider yourselves spoiler-warned.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #110 – “A Ghost Story” (dir. David Lowery), “I, Daniel Blake” (dir. Ken Loach)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel check out a rallying cry for the British working class with Ken Loach‘s new film, I, Daniel Blake, then check out a shriek of impending doom from David Lowery, A Ghost Story, a film in which a goofy game of supernatural dress-up is just the thin veil covering intense trepidation about the whole of human existence. Three points if you guess which film caused an actual panic attack (56:50).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "I, Daniel Blake"

FilmWonk rating (I, Daniel Blake): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (A Ghost Story): 9.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:54] Review: I, Daniel Blake
  • [21:21] Spoilers: I, Daniel Blake
  • [34:27] Review: A Ghost Story
  • [41:58] Spoilers: A Ghost Story
  • Music for this episode is the track, “I Get Overwhelmed” by Dark Rooms from the soundtrack/trailer to A Ghost Story.
  • In assessing the labyrinthine bureaucracy depicted in I, Daniel Blake, we referred to the game, “Papers, Please“, from indie developer Lucas Pope – highly recommended.

Listen above, or download: I,
Daniel Blake; A Ghost Story
(right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #109 – “Baby Driver” (dir. Edgar Wright)

Poster for "Baby Driver"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel return to the stylish world of writer/director Edgar Wright, and find it strangely exhausting this time around. Can an array of fun gangster performances overcome an oppressive soundtrack and wasted, one-dimensional female leads? We’ll struggle to find out (27:52).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “B-A-B-Y” by Carla Thomas, and “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, from the film’s soundtrack.

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