FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #143 – “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (dir. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), “The Front Runner” (dir. Jason Reitman)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (with special guest Erika Spoden) check out the new Western anthology from the Coen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and see whether the true grit of a singing cowboy can stand up against the OTP of Math Chicken and Mamma Owl. Confused? Check it out on Netflix, then come back and listen we drill into all six segments. But first, Glenn and Daniel check out their second Jason Reitman film of this year, The Front Runner, and question how a political drama that ticks so many boxes of personal interest for the both of us can feel like it has so little to say (01:23:21).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (The Front Runner): 6/10 (Daniel), 4/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs): 9/10 (Erika), 4/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • [02:21] Review: The Front Runner
  • [24:38] Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • [37:29] Spoilers: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Little Joe The Wrangler (Çurly Joe)” performed by Tim Blake Nelson and “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”, performed by Nelson and Willie Watson (of Old Crow Medicine Show), from the soundtrack for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
  • The loosely similar political film Glenn was thinking of during our Front Runner discussion was The Ides of March, directed by and starring George Clooney, and co-written by Clooney, Grant Heslov, and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. Check out the trailer here.
  • The article we referenced was, “The Blinding Whiteness of The Coen Brothers Wild West”, by Nick Martin of Splinter.

Listen above, or download: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Front Runner (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #140 – “Five Fingers for Marseilles” (dir. Michael Matthews), “Tully” (dir. Jason Reitman)

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (with special guest Erika Spoden) venture back to another strong Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody team-up from earlier in the year, Tully, a harrowing newborn parenting drama that has unique resonance for one of us at the moment. But first we check out Five Fingers for Marseilles, a South African team’s unique and pulpy take on the American Western genre, out now in limited release in US theaters (67:11).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Five Fingers for Marseilles): 5/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Erika), 7.5/10 (Glenn)
FilmWonk rating (Tully): 9 out of 10

Show notes:

  • [01:37] Review: Five Fingers for Marseilles
  • [21:05] Spoilers: Five Fingers for Marseilles
  • [35:08] Review: Tully
  • [49:50] Spoilers: Tully
  • Music for this episode is the tracks “Tiergarten” by Rufus Wainwright and “Blue” by The Jayhawks, from the soundtrack for Tully.

Listen above, or download: Five Fingers for Marseilles, Tully (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #68 – “The Lazarus Effect” (dir. David Gelb) (spoiler-edition)

Poster for "The Lazarus Effect"

This week, Glenn wishes The Lazarus Effect would’ve just let him rest in peace, while Daniel offers a tepid, contrarian defense, and spoils The Ring for some reason (19:33).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 5.5/10 (Daniel); 2.5/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!, which is better than the movie deserves. I also just noticed George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley are wearing a “CHOOSE LIFE” t-shirt in the video, which is apropos.
  • The horror flick from 2013 that I plugged was indeed Sinister, not Insidious – although they do share a producer. Another fine horror flick I didn’t think of was last year’s Oculus.
  • We mention one our early podcast review of Frozen (the Adam Green horror film, not the Disney film) – check that out here.
  • We were actually drinking Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky bourbon. Solid. They didn’t pay us for the plug; we just like bourbon.

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

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #22 – “Safety Not Guaranteed” (dir. Colin Trevorrow), “The Imposter” (dir. Bart Layton) (SIFF)

Poster for "Safety Not Guaranteed"

As SIFF continues, Glenn and Daniel check out the highly anticipated time travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, which comes home to Seattle along with much of its cast and crew. Then they jump out of their seats and run to the next auditorium to pose as film critics in a packed screening of Bart Layton‘s utterly fascinating documentary/thriller, The Imposter.

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Safety Not Guaranteed): 6/10
FilmWonk rating (The Imposter): 9/10

Show notes:

  • (00:00) Review: Safety Not Guaranteed
  • (06:45) Spoilers: Safety Not Guaranteed (although we somewhat spoil the Jake Johnson subplot starting at 05:38)
  • (13:22) Review: The Imposter
  • (19:56) Spoilers: The Imposter
  • Correction: I mistakenly refer to Colin Trevorrow as a first-time director. In fact, he has a few prior credits, including this amusing short from 2002.
  • For some reason, there’s a vague spoiler for the 7th season finale of House (at 08:12). Thanks for that, Daniel.
  • But later, Daniel redeems himself by mentioning the Ninja Kitty video, which is definitely worth watching.
  • Nerd quibble: Aragorn decapitated an Uruk-hai, not a Nazgul.
  • Unfortunately, there was no trailer available for The Imposter, so we included a brief clip from the SXSW interview with director Bart Layton, available in its entirety here.
  • We refer to the Taylor University van crash case, in which a college student named Whitney Cerak was misidentified as another student who died (even mistaken by the victim’s family).
  • I was referring to this guy in this movie. Kudos to anyone who got this utterly pointless reference.

Listen above, or download: Safety Not Guaranteed/The Imposter (right-click, save as).