Emerging from the smoke and rising high above the city grime, it’s episode 20 of Movie Mastication!
We’re in a celebratory mood this month with a review of “Godzilla” and some infantile chatter about movies we loved when we were kids.
We also have an interview at 37:20 with writer/producer/director Jack Thomas Smith, chatting to us about his latest release, controversial assembled footage film “Infliction”.
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In our second instalment for this month, and post-Oscars 2014, the MM team discuss Best Picture winner, “12 Years A Slave”. The Spoiler puts Jody and Rock to shame and fills us in on her viewing of all of this year’s nominees for Best Picture. And, as always, you can look forward to our One-Minute Movie Reviews and WatchedList. So kick back and relax; it’s only one year until the next Oscars!
It’s April Insanity, with not one but two episodes of the Movie Mastication podcast this month. On this episode we talk about one of the big losers from this year’s list of Oscar nominees, “American Hustle”. Sequels take centre stage in this month’s general discussion, and we ponder, like the rest of the world, whether Hollywood is out of ideas. Our very special guest is Robbie Williams, here to take you on a tour of the northern beaches classic “BMX Bandits” and beyond. Let him entertain you!
The MM team is back for 2014! We kick off the new year with a review of the long-awaited sequel to “Anchorman”, the cleverly titled “Anchorman 2″. Plus, One-minute Movie Reviews are back for another year, as is our ever-popular WatchedList segment. And In lieu of our “This Month” discussion, we have a chat about the year’s coming releases, in between mouthfuls of lemon meringue pie. Yep, it’s another lip-smacking episode!
by Jody B. Movie
These aren’t my choices for the best horror movies ever (although some that I do consider the best are included); they’re the movies that I go back to again and again, like a pair of comfy blood-soaked slippers, and never seem to tire of watching. Here, I try to explain why…
10. Grave Encounters
This is not a great movie. I bought it at a bargain price and on a first watch thought I’d totally wasted 10 bucks on another fofoo (found footage) movie that I was either going to pass on to a friend or leave to gather dust on my DVD shelf. But later that same day, I found myself watching it again, and again the next day. The acting’s okay, the story’s unoriginal; the only thing I can put it down to is the setting. Call me crazy but I love movies set in abandoned insane asylums. It has some good scares and manages to make a bath tub spooky. And I have to admit, I cared about the characters. The crew of the reality spooks show won me over.
9. Dawn of the Dead
I’m going out on a limb here. Much as I love the original Romero classic, it’s the remake directed by Zac Snyder that I go back to again and again. Forgive me. Same scenario as the original: a bunch of people, in danger of being snacked on by friends and neighbours, take refuge in a shopping mall. But this one has Canadian indie goddess Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames and a bunch of other above-average actors.
Fairly under-appreciated in its day, Slither’s main appeal for me is that it stars Nathan Fillion, king of the uber-dry quip, and the great Michael Rooker, who manages to elevate anything he appears in. Call it an homage if you want, but the smart, funny script gives Slither its own style and makes it a re-watch of the highest calibre.
7. The Mist
The pairing of author Stephen King and director Frank Darabont is a match made in horror movie heaven. Darabont gives the audience a very faithful retelling of the King novella: a story of small-town residents stuck inside a grocery store, forced to defend themselves against terrifying creatures from another dimension. It’s popcorn horror at its entertaining best, but also manages to say something about mob mentality and what makes us “civilised”.
6. Evil Dead 2
Evil Dead 2 was definitely a “gateway” movie for me. High on the gore factor, but done so hilariously, it’s the movie where I learnt not to watch the gooey stuff between my fingers because I was holding my stomach from laughing so much. Bruce Campbell as Ash delivers the still-quotable one-liners in between the dismemberment and chaos, and Sam Raimi’s oft-replicated low-ground shots are still as thrilling now as they were when I laughed and gagged my way through the movie first time around.
5. Sean of the Dead
Edgar Wright’s loving take on the zombie movie never grows tired for me. With enough blood and intestines to satisfy the biggest gore-hound, it also has a touching story of mateship and sacrifice at its core. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are totally convincing as friends who face the zombie apocalypse and learn some of life’s important lessons as they shoot and hack their way through the undead.
4. Lake Mungo
The story of Alice Palmer’s drowning death is told through a combination of documentary-style interviews and found footage. The performances in Lake Mungo, particulary from Rosie Traynor and David Pledger as Alice’s grieving parents, totally immersed me in the Palmer family’s feelings of loss. The sense of grief combined with what Alice’s brother captures on camera after her death has created a true Australian horror gem.
3. The Thing
Isolated location: check. Scary-arse creature from outer space: check. A bunch of guys thrown together under the most stressful circumstances, who don’t really trust each other, and can’t tell which one of them is the creature until it starts ripping them apart, but then they do a test to try and identify which of them is the thing, but it’s still really hard to kill it: check. Kurt Russell with a cool beard: check.
2. The Blair Witch Project
Famous at the time of its release for its successful use of viral marketing, the movie itself holds up all these years down the track and never stops creeping me out, no matter how many times I watch it. It wasn’t the first fofoo film, and it probably won’t be the last, but it’s the one that’s left the most lasting impression on me. Now, whenever I meet someone named Joshua, I want to scream, “Tell me where you are, Josh” and extract one of their teeth.
1. Session 9
Director Brad Anderson filmed in and around the Danvers State Mental Hospital, using it to its creepiest advantage. A sense of foreboding is created, even in the daytime scenes, and the tension slowly rises as an asbestos clear-up crew is eaten away by mistrust and paranoia. Atmospheric, spine-tingling and mesmerising – even David Caruso is good!
It’s all about family on this month’s episode as we hit the lowest of the low-brow with a review of “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”. We try to elevate the tone of the podcast with some discussion on our favourite films about fathers and sons and mothers and daughters but hit another rough spot with our One-Minute Movie Reviews.
Jackass has its contenders but this month’s YouSUCKTube ain’t one ‘em: check out the video here
It’s all doom and gloom in this month’s episode as we discuss the loneliness of space in our review of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” and have a deep, dark discussion on bleak movies. We lighten the mood just a touch with our one-minute movie reviews, and can guarantee some laughs in the second installment of our newest segment, YouSUCKTube.
By the way, here’s the link to YouSUCKTube’s world’s worst cover band doing Sweet Child Of Mine for those that have a sick desire to endure the whole 6 minutes or so. Enjoy!
Woody Allen’s latest finds him back on American soil and in familiar territory with the story of two very different sisters. Told through flashback, Jasmine’s life in New York with rich husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) reveals a woman revelling in the high life: shallow, self-centred and determined to hold on to what she has at just about any cost. Sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is living a very different life in LA with husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), poor but happy. But when Sally and Augie reveal they’ve come into some money, Jasmine wants to help.
In “Blue Jasmine” Woody Allen does what he’s done so well in earlier movies like “Hannah and Her Sisters” and the straight drama of “Interiors”: tell stories of fractured family relationships and the high cost that our choices can reap. Allen’s very human take on family is that it’s not a haven but a minefield of emotions.
Allen has always had a knack for bringing together interesting ensemble casts. “Blue Jasmine” sees smaller roles from Andrew Dice Clay, Louie CK, and Michael Stuhlbarg, but they all make their mark, particularly Dice Clay as the embittered Augie. Bobby Cannavale, as Ginger’s boyfriend Chili, is a stand-out as the unlikely voice of reason and the only truly authentic representation of love in the film. But at the centre is Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Jasmine. Left reeling from her new role as a penniless woman, Jasmine sways between self-pity and self-indulgence to a determination to adapt to and make a success of her new life in LA. Blanchett is wonderful. She brings to Jasmine a frailty that evokes sympathy and a hardness and snobbery that doesn’t.
In Allen’s 1989 film “Crimes and Misdemeanours” he tells two stories – one comedic, one dramatic – eventually intertwining them to leave the characters and the audience pondering whether bad deeds go unpunished and whether love counts for anything. “Blue Jasmine” takes these ideas, reveals some answers, and proves that Woody Allen’s best movies are not yet behind him.
Jody B Movie
Jodie Foster takes centre stage in this month’s episode as the MM team discuss recent release “Elysium” and then takes a look back at her multi-faceted movie career. The One-Minute Movie Review segment spawns three minutes’ worth of talk about some bad, bad movies.
Watchedlist is a mixed bag of recent releases (“The Conjuring”, “This is the End” and “Pacific Rim”), semi-recent releases (“ATM”, “Mama”, “Shame” and “50/50”) and some old favourites (“Young Frankenstein”, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “The Company of Wolves”).
This episode also sees the introduction to our newest segment, YouSuckTube, where we scour the Internet for the worst that’s out there (it’s easier than you think).
In times of great boredom I am drawn to escape the tissue of lies that is my benign corporate existence and I achieve this by seeing anything and everything I can at the cinema.
While many podcast reviewers would tend to be a little more discerning, I love to see possible stinkers with a glint of youthful optimism; in the hope that someone, somewhere, thought it was a turd worth polishing.
With this in mind I fronted up to Fast and the Furious 6 with two car enthusiast friends in it for the automotive eye candy. I have casually watched the series and in all honestly, it hasn’t exactly got me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next instalment. I’m not above watching the stunt driving and Vin Diesel’s ever-expanding chest and karate move repertoire in awe, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t always wanted to own a fully sick Skyline, but in terms of memorable narrative and deep characterisation, it all tends to blur into one muscle-bound twin turbo candied turd. Or so I thought.
Fast and the Furious 6 gave me the shock of my life in more ways than one – firstly, while my viewing of the previous 5 instalments was casual at best, I found myself remembering enough intricate details to appreciate the near-flawless insertion of Fast 6 and the various subplots intertwining with the overall series picture, and Michelle Rodriguez returning to kick some serious ass. Vin Diesel remains a mostly soulless oil painting, especially under the depth of Jordana Brewster and even Dwayne Johnson.
Perhaps the main surprise was the utilisation of the female cast within the film, something not expected in a series that has mainly drawn a young male fanbase lured to the promise of fast cars and faster women. Women performed combat, espionage and tricky driving roles equal to the men, taking the same falls, kicks, punches and untimely deaths. Despite the obligatory romantic subplot, the film did not have the premise reliant on hero worship and damsel rescue that forms the backbone of so many examples of the action blockbuster.
Justin Lin, this is the best one yet and I unashamedly look forward to the next. However, do something about the never-ending runway yeah?