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)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #76 – “Self/less” (dir. Tarsem Singh)

Poster for "Self/less"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel reflect on another mediocre genre thriller. It’s really been a rough week, for Ryan Reynolds and us alike (31:28).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 2 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is the track “No Limit (Sencit Remix)” by Wiz Khalifa, from the film’s trailer.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #75 – “Minions” (dir. Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin)

Poster for "Minions"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel had an intense, lengthy, thematically trenchant discussion about Minions. Then some villainous hackers struck and we lost most of it. So here are some highlights! (03:03).

This show may contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: N/A

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “My Generation” by The Who.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #74 – “Jurassic World”, “Sleeping With Other People” (#SIFF2015 review)

Poster for "Jurassic World"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel tackle their final #SIFF2015 selection, Sleeping With Other People, the upcoming sex-comedy-cum-romantic-drama from Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), who’s reminding us more and more of early Kevin Smith. But first, we tackle director Colin Trevorrow‘s long-awaited return to the highly lucrative land of the dinosaurs with Jurassic World, a film that vastly exceeded our trailer-expectations (54:44).

This show may contain NSFW language.

Still from "Sleeping With Other People"

FilmWonk rating (Jurassic World): 8/10
FilmWonk rating (Sleeping With Other People): 7.5/10 (Glenn), 1000000/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • (02:01) Review: Jurassic World
  • (19:36) Spoilers: Jurassic World
  • (37:58) Review: Sleeping With Other People
  • As of this writing, Sleeping With Other People is scheduled for release on August 21, 2015, via IFC Films (likely VOD and limited theatrical).
  • Music for tonight’s episode is John Williams’ classic track from the original score to Jurassic Park, entitled “Journey to the Island“, as well as David Bowie‘s “Modern Love“, from the soundtrack to Sleeping With Other People.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #73 – “The Chinese Mayor”, “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” (#SIFF2015 review)

Poster for "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel are back at SIFF to review a fascinating documentary about Chinese politics which, as of this recording, you can watch on YouTube right now. No, seriously – go watch it, then listen to our take on it. We follow that up with a documentary on the 2012 shooting death of Jordan Davis, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets (45:53).

This show may contain NSFW language.

Post for "The Chinese Mayor"

FilmWonk rating (The Chinese Mayor): 6.5/10
FilmWonk rating (3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets): 8/10

Show notes:

  • Per usual, these SIFF-centric episodes are cut and posted quickly, so expect a bit less polish than usual.

Listen above, or download: The Chinese Mayor, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)