Join Chris, Allan and Raghav as we round up a few reviews of films that are out or are due out soon such as Now You See Me, Before Midnight, Much Ado About Nothing and Stories We Tell. We also discuss some movie news and the sad passing of James Gandolfini. I also recomend The Poughkeepsie Tapes. A title that I have difficulty even saying but i’m sure we’ll do a feature on it on the podcast soon. Chris won’t here next week as he is off to a certain music festival in Somerset. So next week maybe Chrisless. Who knows see then to know for sure.
Watch James Gandolfini’s appearance in Sesame Street here
One late night after a recording, Chris and Scott decided to watch Dredd together and talk about League of Gentlemen, Game of Thrones and Steven Seagal and perhaps a little bit about the film itself. Watch, listen and enjoy our irrelevant ramblings as we sit through a highly enjoyable action film..
This is another spoiler filled episode where we talk about a little known indie flick called Man of Steel. In this one I am joined by Martian Deer and two of my regular team members Raghav and Allan. As you can tell this is all spoilerific so please if you have not see the film do not listen, but do come back once you’ve seen the film.
Superman returns yet again in an epic action packed and long over due reboot on the franchise. Taken under the wing of Christopher Nolan fresh of working on his excellent Dark Knight trilogy and co written with David S. Goyer, Man of Steel is a darker and much more serious than previous incarnations of the worlds most famous superhero. Gone are the memories of Richard Pryor as a comedy side kick and ridding the world with nuclear missiles. This is the new superman film for the our time and given a modern make over in the same vein as Nolan’s Batman. So what can I say about Man of Steel. For one thing, this Zach Snyder baby. It echo’s Nolan’s touch but it is very much a Zack Snyder film with its grungy look and hard-core CGI heavy action set pieces.
To say that’s its full of CGI is not a criticism. I may very much prefer practical effects but when your lead character has to fly around spaceships and buildings exploding everywhere, it’s kind of hard to do that for real. Being a very much visual director, Snyder does a great job with the exciting and epic on a grand scale. Epic is the word to describe Man of Steel, kicking things off in the doomed planet of Krypton which feels like a mini sci-fi epic itself, setting the back story of General Zod and Jor El as he sends his newly born son Kal El (that’s superman for those who don’t know) to earth as the planet sets a course for distraction. From then it very much falls in the structure of Batman Begins with flash backs to times when Clark (that’s superman’s earth name as if you didn’t know) being raised by the Kents, as the older Clark searches for his origin and a sense of purpose. That is until Zod arrives on Earth and threatens to destroy it.
The cast is spot on. Henry Cavill looks the part as well as nailing a conflicted Clark with trust issues. Amy Adams is solid as brassy reporter Lois Lane and Michael Shannon is fantastic as demented general and the same can be said for Antje Traue, almost stealing the film as Faora-Ul. Far from the Zod that we know that’s obsessed with ruling and people kneeling, his take believes in what he’s doing is for the greater good even if it means mass genocide. However roles of the Martha and Jonathan Kent are nothing short of perfection. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane give the right amount of heart and warmth that its impossible to envision their roles any different, in fact you are left wanting more. Hans Zimmer score almost steels the entire film. It was a near impossible task to follow a theme as iconic of John Williams but Zimmer does it with a very simplistic and beautiful piano keys that builds up into a big fan fare that you’ll be humming out of the cinema.
If Man of Steel has a kryptonite it’s the relentless pace that it travels in. We don’t get to stop and savour the life lessons on the Kent farm and a pre-superman Clark oil rig rescue feels rushed and any sense of poignancy is lost. In fact this is a film where I wouldn’t mind being longer as its so jam-packed that the two hours 25 minute running time feels condensed. It also lacks some humour too. In an attempt to move away from campiness, everything feels very stone faced and a side from an odd moment, a little bit of wit would have helped to slow the action down. Regardless to say, after listening to the fans who wanted a superman film with plenty of action, Snyder has delivered..
A brand new podcast after having a week off so there was lots to discuss. After Earth, The Iceman, Hangover part 3, The Purge and plenty of trailer talk. This is also the last podcast with film of the week. Don’t worry… its only being moved to its own sperate podcast but for this week its the orginal animated….. (and good) Transformers film from the 80’s. Join Chris, Raghav, Scott and Allan as we ramble on about who we would fight and just what Scott has against The Impossible.
You can watch The Transformers: The Movie right below here.
The purge has a nice set up for what is essentially a home invasion film. Set in an alternative future where america has sets a side 12 hours of every year for crime is illegal. That mean it’s perfectly alright to kill your boss or your neighbour who you hate all year round and nothing will become of it. It’s an odd ball theory that is explained as purely releasing the beast. Ethan Hawke plays a home sacristy sales man who has done well in life due to the annual purge but when his son lets in a stranger asking for help outside, it attracts attention from the wrong crowd outside who want kill the man who is hiding in their own home. There are things to like about The Purge as it was straight up violent B-Movie with a different twist to a premise we’ve all seen before. It also has ideas as well. How would society act if such a thing existed. Would it turn us all in psychopaths if we know there would be any repercussions.
It’s a fun tense ride with plenty of hard edge violence to keep you distracted from the weakness of its own convictions. By the time the story reaches its climax, it all starts to fall apart as it attempts to put too many ideas and views across that over egg the pudding. While sticking in confounds of a disposable 85 minute thriller, it aspires to be something it’s not and trips up by not being sure what exactly it has to say. While watching Hawke is decent of a strict business type who is all for the event but stays locked up in his house as Rhys Wakefield is perfectly creepy as the nameless leader of preppy rich kids wanting to extract violence for their own sick pleasures. While entertaining on while watching it fades the memory fairly quickly. However due the 3 million budget and the runaway success at the box office, a sequel is more than likely on its way..
WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS for Star Trek into Darkness and POSSIBLE SPOILERS for Man of Steel.
Sorry about the week off but we are back with a Superman retrospective on the films series. This includes Superman 1, 2, 3, 4 and Returns in a lead up to Man of Steel which will be getting a spoiler podcast treatment next week. Joining me as we talk about many things about Sups including singing, Richard Pryor, character changes and is superman a dick in certain films. Joining me to talk about the worlds most famous superhero is Martin Deer, Mike Wright and Bastnerds regular Allan Wood. Sadly Mike had to leave half way through, but either way enjoy as we argue and distory our own childhood memories. Enjoy.
Behind the Candelabra is the last film from Steven Soderbergh, or at least till he decides to make films again. It’s a biopic of pianist Liberace starring Michael Douglas and it’s almost as bonkers as it sounds. Based on the memoir of Scott Thorson, Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace, it focuses on his relationship the legend. Of course the source martial is one-sided and the film feels that way for the most part has portraying Liberace as an ageing flamboyant show man jumping to one new young gay man play with and drop for a younger one. So with that in mind, it’s quite well-balanced considering.
The tone of the film is balances itself between a straight up biopic and a satire and the jokes are what make Behind the Candelabra fly. The humour is very character driven with observational gags thrown in. With all the glitz and glam of Liberace’s lifestyle, the comedy lands in such a subtle way that it complements with each other quite well. Oddly enough Douglas is an inspired choice to play Liberace by taking the bull by its horns and just going for it and its a real achievement that he is completely convincing as the man himself. Damon gives a sold as our eyes of the film playing Scott seduced and taken under Liberace’s wing and ends with drug addiction and plastic surgery.
For the most part, Liberace doesn’t come off so well and it feels that the film attempts to make up for that towards the end, one of which is a glossy dreamy end sequence that does seem the cap the film off perfectly. Pact with a great cast featuring Dan Aykroyd as his lawyer, Rob Lowe as a plastic surgeon is hilarious and the sight of Scott Bakula spending half of his time wearing a speedo and porn mustache and a drink in his hand. It is a nice point for Soderbergh to end on, but something tells me it wont be the last time we’ll see a new film from him at some point. Haywire 2 anyone?.
So….. What can I say said for The Hangover part 3? One thing that I can say is that it seems Todd Philips has taken on board some of the criticisms of part 2 which only recycled the first film again. This time he has gone a different route, taking the form of a dark buy yet light hearted romp. That might be a polite way of saying that The Hangover part 3 isn’t funny, well it isn’t but that seems down to the lack of actual jokes. This time there is no wedding, no stag do and no hangover. Instead Alan (Zach Galifianakis) goes off his medication and needs to go to rehab with the help from the Wolfpack Phil (Bradley Cooper) Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) who get kidnaped by drug dealer Marshall (John Goodman) who wants the guys to track down Chow (Ken Jeong) who has possession of half the gold he stole years ago. Needless to say, chaos ensues, sadly without the hilarity.
On the plus side, the third part of this tale seems to be the last with everything becoming full circle so I guess this is the last time we see the Wolfpack (even though box office might dictate otherwise). What we might see is Todd Philips stretch himself to action caper type films as this feels like an exercise in flexing those muscles rather than delivering a close to the bone comedy like that first one. This make for a very uneven trilogy as I don’t know how I felt with this last instalment. I found myself not caring for anyone and was complexly unengaged with the story while finding it valve watchable. It had its moments, sure with a break in to Caesars Palace via roof top is quite tense and anytime Goodman is on-screen is always a good thing, but the best way I can describe it is to shrug my shoulders and say “it’s alright” and then that seems generous. Galifianakis and Helms do their useral stick with Cooper clearly just picking up the pay check and getting it out-of-the-way as to go on to bigger and better things, as is Heather Graham who has a role that is just shoe horrid in with no real purpose for anything. If this proves one thing, is that a little bit of Chow goes a long way and this features a lot more than I could bear to stomach. It’s not a good sign when you have more sympathy for the films villein rather than the anti-hero. If I am honest, I was rooting for Goodman.
In the end, I found The Hangover part 3 a numb experience. It at least tries to be different and except for maybe one or two tense moments, left me cold. It’s not so bad that by watching it cause offence to the senses, it just starts, then it ends and then you walk home and thats all you can take from it.
A bit of a rondom one this week, Chris, Scott and Raghav kick things off with some chat. We are then joined my a milkshake drinking Kat Moir as we chin wag some what over Fight Club. Ian pops in the latter half to spread his words of wisdom. Warning this podcast contains spoilers and irrelevant chat. Enjoy.
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