FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #182 – “Voyagers” (dir. Neil Burger), “Short Term 12” (dir. Destin Daniel Cretton)

Poster for "Voyagers" (2021 film)

CW: This episode contains discussions of sexual assault, physical and sexual abuse, self-harm, and suicide.

This week, Glenn and Daniel see how the young people are doing, starting with Neil Burger‘s half-baked Lord of the Flies non-adaptation, Voyagers, whose cast is let down by material that seems unwilling to commit to its most interesting ideas. And then we check out director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s film Short Term 12, whose cast – including Brie Larson, Lakeith Stanfield and Rami Malek, could fill an entire shelf with all the awards they’ve earned in the 8 years since this film was released. It is also a film whose dark and harrowing subject matter doesn’t preclude a persistent feeling of sweetness and warmth that says to its audience: Look how well we can take care of each other when we try (01:22:22).

Still from "Short Term 12"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Voyagers): 4.5 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Short Term 12): 8/10 (Daniel), 9/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:28] Review: Voyagers
  • [18:26] Spoilers: Voyagers
  • [38:05] Review: Short Term 12
  • [01:03:20] Spoilers: Short Term 12
  • See Glenn’s review of Passengers, which we referenced during our discussion of Voyagers.

Listen above, or download: Voyagers, Short Term 12 (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #117 – “It” (dir. Andrés Muschietti)

Poster for "It" (2017 film)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel conquer their well-earned fears of a half-hearted Stephen King adaptation and venture down to the sewer with all their friends, and it’s quite fun. Because everything floats down there. EVERYTHING (36:52).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Six Different Ways” by The Cure, and “Pennywise’s Tower” composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, from the film’s soundtrack and score.
  • The sci-fi short story we referenced, “The Jaunt”, is quite good. While you can find the full text online with minimal googling, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Skeleton Crew, as the entire short story collection is pretty enjoyable (and also contains the short story version of The Mist). On the podcast, I did confuse it with Different Seasons (which contains the source novellas for The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, and Apt Pupil, which is also worth a read.
  • Curiously, a 2015 io9 article reported that Muschetti would be directing a feature film version of The Jaunt, but it appears to be in development hell. It does seem like the sort of movie that would take…longer than you think.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #116 – “Crown Heights” (dir. Matt Ruskin)

Poster for "Crown Heights"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel take in a tale of justice for a man wrongly convicted that greatly exceeded their expectations – both in storytelling, and in the acting prowess of former NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha – a set of words that we never expected to say aloud (39:12).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the tracks “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and “River” by Leon Bridges, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • You can check out the episode of This American Life that the film was based on here.
  • You just got Nnamdi’d.
  • We correctly summarized the current legal state of Adnan Syed‘s case – as of this writing, he is still in prison, awaiting a new trial that was ordered back in July 2016, and was denied bail back in December.
  • CORRECTION: We referred to Colin being sentenced for murder despite not being ID’d as the shooter as a form of legal fiction – this was intended to be a reference to the felony murder rule (which is either a form of legal fiction or strict liability depending on your perspective), but it’s not really applicable to this case, as Warner was not convicted under this rule – he was wrongly convicted on a standard second-degree murder charge.
  • The New York State Board of Parole is indeed composed of political appointees – up to 19 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate for a six-year term. Each parole hearing is overseen by a panel of 2-3 members.

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