FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #83 – “Hail, Caesar!” (dir. Joel and Ethan Coen)

Poster for "Hail, Caesar!"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel fight their initial impulse to embrace yet another Hollywood love letter to the motion picture, and instead enjoy the Coen Bros‘ vigorous cinematic hate-fuck Hail, Caesar! Gene Autry and Kirk Douglas will be rolling in their graves…with laughter (33:53).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is the “The Merry Widow Waltz” by Franz Lehár and “Echelon Song” by A.V. Alexandrov and Osip Kolychev, as performed by The Red Army Choir, both from the film’s soundtrack.
  • Glenn: Hugo was my #1 of 2011 (not 2009), and The Artist was #5 in the same year. Birdman was my #1 of 2014. Like Hollywood, it appears I’m a big ol’ sucker for movies about movies.
  • Cinema attendance has indeed been on the decline since the 1940s, and home televisions are largely credited with this decline. In 1930, more than 65% of the US population went to the movies every week. It dropped to around 10% in the 1960s, and has stayed at about that level since.
  • CORRECTION: We briefly implied that we stand with Rand. We do not. We regret the error.
  • CORRECTION: In the description above, we jokingly implied that Kirk Douglas is dead. He’s alive and kicking, and his son got him a bitchin’ 99th birthday gift.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #82 – “The Hateful Eight” (dir. Quentin Tarantino), “Concussion” (dir. Peter Landesman)

Teaser Poster for "The Hateful Eight"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel strike down upon Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight with great vengeance and furious anger, but you will know that their name is FilmWonk, when they spend twice as long talking about Peter Landesman‘s Concussion. Note that given the fact-based narrative, we’re not too shy about spoiling the real-life NFL player deaths depicted in the film (55:16).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Concussion" featuring Will Smith

FilmWonk rating (The Hateful Eight): 3 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Concussion): 6.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [02:07] Review: The Hateful Eight
  • [13:11] Spoilers: The Hateful Eight
  • [23:23] Review: Concussion
  • Check out Glenn’s combined review of Concussion and Spotlight here.
  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Apple Blossom” by The White Stripes, and “There Won’t Be Many Coming Home” by Roy Orbison, both from The Hateful Eight soundtrack.
  • Daniel called back to a film we saw at the closing night of the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival, called “Story of My Death”. We didn’t feel that film merited a full review, but you can check out the blurb we posted on our Facebook page.
  • We briefly discussed the 2007 double-murder-suicide of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and his family – from what we’ve been able to find, concussion-related dementia was not considered as a possible factor in this incident by the police and medical examiner. Their focus was on drugs, including the possibility of steroid abuse. Subsequently, Benoit’s family sent his brain to be examined by the real-life Dr. Julian Bailes (Baldwin’s character in the film), who determined that it did have concussion-related neurological damage.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #81 – “Sisters” (dir. Jason Moore), “Star Wars VII” (dir. J.J. Abrams)

Poster for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel watch two ladies of television in a venue where they can prolifically swear, and then they swear prolifically at the Internet for betraying them with Star Wars spoilers. Rest assured that our spoilers will come with a warning, and the promise of swift retribution! (41:59).

May contain NSFW language.

Still from "Sisters"

FilmWonk rating (Sisters): 6.5 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Star Wars: Episode VII): 7.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:36] Review: Sisters
  • [13:14] Review: Star Wars: Episode VII
  • [29:41] Spoilers: Star Wars: Episode VII
  • Music for tonight’s episode is the “Cantina Band” from Star Wars – Episode VI: A New Hope. Which you already knew, c’mon. Also, “Duel of the Fates“, the only good thing to emerge from Star Wars: Episode I.
  • Andy Serkis‘ character does indeed have a stupid, unmemorable name, and that stupid name is “Snoke”. Not Skorp, Skorn, or Snorp. We regret the error.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #80 – “Steve Jobs” (dir. Danny Boyle)

Poster for "Steve Jobs"

In this week’s revolutionary podcast, Glenn and Daniel change everything forever (32:29).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6/10 (Daniel); 7.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is two tracks from Bob Dylan that appear on the film’s soundtrack, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’” and “Shelter From the Storm“.
  • You’ve probably either seen the original, or one of its many parodies: Ridley Scott‘s “1984” Apple Macintosh Super Bowl ad.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #79 – “Everest” (dir. Baltasar Kormákur)

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel climb the mountain of conflict as they bicker on how well Everest stacks up to its IMAX and geographical namesakes. Strap on your oxygen tanks and tune in – your survival may depend on it! (37:05)

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 6/10 (Daniel); 7.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • The fact-checking website we referred to is known as History vs. Hollywood, and features quite an impressive entry on this film.
  • The world record holder for summitting Mount Everest the most times is Apa Sherpa, at 21 times. We were definitely talking out of our butts a bit on this subject – check out a complete list of the records on Wikipedia.
  • A helicopter has indeed landed on the summit of Mt. Everest – on May 14, 2005, French pilot Didier Delsalle landed an AStar helicopter at the summit, and remained there for approximately 4 minutes before taking off again. The helicopter had several unnecessary items (such as passenger seats) removed to reduce weight, but was otherwise just a stock AStar model. You can view video of this world record landing here. The search result page that contains that video has quite an impressive array of high-altitude rescue landings, and confirm that this film portrayed such flights with an impressive degree of realism.
  • CORRECTION: We conflated a pair of related conditions – high-altitude hypoxia, and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), both physiological effects of high altitude and failure to acclimatize, but with different effects.
  • CORRECTION: We referred to a USAF helicopter crashing on Mt. Baker during a rescue – the incident actually occurred on Mt. Hood, and was televised live throughout the region. Video is available here. While several climbers were killed from the initial fall into a crevasse which had prompted the rescue, none of the helicopter’s five crewmembers died in the crash.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #78 – “The Visit” (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Poster for "The Visit"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel reflect on another mediocre genre thriller. That’s three times in a row I’ve used that first sentence. M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Visit may be regarded as a return to form for the director, but the “found footage” form is one that systematically works against his previous strengths. (25:16).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 4 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Everyday” by Buddy Holly, a cover version of which appears in the film’s trailer.
  • Regarding The Happening, the insect-suicide inducing parasite that we referred to was actually a confusion of two different ones. The first is a fungus called Dicrocoelium dendriticum, which triggers an ant (by way of vomit from a land snail!) to crawl up to the top of a stalk of grass at night, in order for it to be eaten by a cow. The other is Schistocephalus solidus which is even more sinister – this one triggers a stickleback fish to seek out warmer waters so it will grow bigger, then become bolder and more solitary so it will be eaten by a sea-bird. io9 has a good round-up of these and ten other parasites that effectively zombify their hosts. Sweet dreams!

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #77 – “The Transporter Refueled” (dir. Camille Delamarre)

Poster for "The Transporter Refueled"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel reflect on another mediocre genre thriller. It’s pretty sad that I didn’t need to rewrite that first sentence. Ed Skrein and Ed Skrein’s Tough-Guy Voice star in an unnecessary reboot of the Transporter series. (32:42).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 3 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is the track “How You Like Me Now?” by The Heavy, from the film’s trailer. Again.
  • As we mentioned, check out the Planet Money podcast explaining why it felt so unrealistic to us to see money transfer quickly in this movie, and why it kinda works in Europe.
  • Here’s the door-kick fight-scene we referred to in the original film The Transporter (which was from 2002, not 2007). Man that movie was fun. Here’s another one!
  • Ed Skrein did indeed play Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones, until he was replaced by a nearly indistinguishable actor.
    Daario Naharis Comparison

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