Wednesday, May 4, 2016

F This Movie! - The Year So Far (2016)

Patrick and JB reflect on the first months of 2016 and JB tries to start some trouble.



Download this episode here. (94.9 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Midnight Special (2016), Elvis & Nixon (2016), Keanu (2016), Freaks of Nature (2015), Ava's Possessions (2016), Harvest Lake (2016), High-Rise (2016)

41 comments:

  1. Thanks for the B-day love, Patrick! Yeah. High Rise was, ummm, challenging to say the least.

    Not a full on regular size bug movie, but I would include Argento's Phenomena.

    I too was diggin' Midnight Special. I really liked Take Shelter and MS shows ambitious growth while maintaining the same kind of "quietness" that Nichols uses.

    I agree, Ava's Possession had such an awesome premise and started off so strong, much like it looked pretty good, but it completely falls apart for me.

    If were talking strictly studio films, I haven't seen that many but I have also not been that interested in many so I would have to agree with JB that it's been a bad year. If we're talking smaller studio and indie, it's been a pretty great year so far! I already have at least 5 or 6 films that will be tough to be knocked out of my top ten by the end of the year. Way too early to tell, though.

    The Witch IS one of the scariest movies ever made. It is also one of the best Horror films ever made. It is very much a Horror film and if you look into the meticulous research and detail that Robert Eggers put into this movie, it's completely committed and I feel it is such a great accomplishment that it will be respected more and more through time.

    Darling is my second favorite film of the year despite committing one of the top 5 Horror sins, which says a lot. Lauren Ashley Carter is my woman of the year :)

    Rollercoaster was shot at Kings Dominion, the amusement park closest to me that I went to as a kid all the time. I love watching that movie because it brings back so many memories.

    Good podcast all around guys!

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    1. Are ants bugs cuz I really like Phase IV? Happy birthday to my good buddy, Chaybee! You look great for a 60 year old! Could you guys follow High Rise cuz I had no idea what was going on? I thought people were dead then they weren't. People were having weird dress up parties. I think someone ate a dog. I'm trying to watch The Boy and Clown, tonight. Clown is finally on Netflix! Chaybee, your complete series of Matlock is in the mail!

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    2. Haha! Thanks, man. I was following High Rise I just didn't want to be following it. BTW, stay far far far away from The Boy. It's barely even a movie. It's probably the worst I've seen this year. Maybe even worse than Hangman which is woeful.

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    3. The wife wants to watch The Boy so I have no choice. 20 minutes in to Clown and I am fully on board. I can't remember if you liked it or not.

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    4. I really liked Clown, a lot surprisingly. I was in the same boat with the Boy, hang in there :)

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    5. I thought Clown was fantastic! Beautifully shot, funny, scary and well acted. You're gonna think I'm crazy but I didn't hate The Boy. It was harmless and dumb but I've seen much worse. Batman v Supermoper was THE worst movie of the year. The director of Da Boy's name is William Brent so he can't be all that bad. I liked it better than High Rise:)

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    6. Right on, man. I'm happy you were fine with it as I do not wish for my friends to suffer as I did watching it.

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    7. Also, I'm with you guys on The VVVVitch. I like it but don't love it. I didn't love Big Lebowski the first time I saw but now it's one of my favorites. The Final Girls was the same thing. Now I've seen it 10 times and I kind of want to watch it right now.

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    8. Also, I'm with you guys on The VVVVitch. I like it but don't love it. I didn't love Big Lebowski the first time I saw but now it's one of my favorites. The Final Girls was the same thing. Now I've seen it 10 times and I kind of want to watch it right now.

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  2. My top 10 for the year is in rough shape so far. 10 Cloverfield Lane is solidly in there, and I'd say Zootopia likely makes it. Civil War and Green Room are still TBD. Deadpool could slide in as an honorable mention. That's about it so far. I know it isn't a summer movie, but I'm rooting for Rouge One.

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    1. "Rouge One: Battle of the Blush." Sorry, couldn't help myself...

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  3. Best movie released in 2016 I've seen so far? Pee-wee's Big Holiday.

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    1. I am really interested to know what about PWBH strikes you as the best movie of this year? I really enjoyed several scenes and I liked the familiar feel, but as a whole it really struck me as hollow. This is a movie that I wish more people discussed when it was released, because I would really love to like it.

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    2. My statement isn't so much that Big Holiday is that incredible, but that the 2016 movies I've seen have largely been terrible (e.g. Criminal, The Boss, The Brothers Grimsby, Gods of Egypt, Meet the Blacks, The Huntsman, The Perfect Match, Zoolander 2, I Saw the Light, Holidays, The Bronze, Demolition, Batman v Superman, etc. [However, When I mentioned Pee-wee as my fave so far, I'd forgotten about Hardcore Henry, which I think is going to be a real cult classic.]) I've been relatively tepid on some of the more well-received things I've seen too (10 Cloverfield, Darling, The Witch, Eye in the Sky, Midnight Special.) That being said, I loooove Pee-wee. With Pee-wee, you get to have your cake and eat it too. He somehow epitomizes both innocence and cynicism, enthusiasm and disgust, the old-fashioned and the cutting edge. He is exactly the entertainer you would expect of a man who tried to hide that he was a heavy smoker because he didn't want to negatively influence children, but also dated a porn star (despite being gay.) I loved him when I was 5 years old, and love him even more now, but for completely different reasons, and Big Holiday played to and exemplified his strengths and style of humor in a way Big Top Pee-wee didn't manage to.

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  4. I love Hail Ceaser. I'm completely with Patrick on that one.

    I know how 'scary' a movie is is completely subjective. But for me personally, The Witch might be the scariest experience I've ever had in a movie theater. I don't understand how anyone could think it's not a horror movie. As far as comparing how good it is with those other two, I'd put it behind The Babadook and in front of It Follows.

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  5. I think if a child wants to see an R rated movie, in particular a horror movie, they should. I think back to the horror movies I watched as a kid and how they actually scared the hell out of me. I'm grateful for those moments and I miss being scared.

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    1. Thumbs up to that. For example, I was a Lamberto Bava and Fulci fan as a kid without even knowing it because I was watching every Horror film I could get my hands on at the video store.

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  6. I respect Patrick for recognizing his inconsistency on the debate about a professional's personal life. Many people won't, and everyone is inconsistent on that. Perhaps this is cynical, but I think it is mostly due to how easy the business/person is to boycott. Take this whole Target controversy. Millions have signed an online pledge to boycott Target. Because of the existence of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and even Amazon, Target is just about the easiest thing in the world to boycott. No one needs Target, as there are tons of other options. Chick-Fil-A is the same. A chicken sandwich is incredibly easy to get somewhere else. Woody Allen and Jeepers Creepers are different. You boycott them, and you cannot get those movies anymore. For big fans of them, that's harder. I think people like the stand on principle, but that often changes if it gets hard. Yikes, cynical much? Sorry folks.

    As far as Cosby goes, I think it's more of a gut reaction not to watch him anymore because he was always the nice family man. Woody Allen usually plays a loser. It just feels different.

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  7. I don't think the Witch looks down on the family at all, nor do I think it's really anti-religion. I think it's an interesting view on how people, inherently flawed, try to stay pure in the face of their own flaws. The father is the most morally righteous and strict character, but he also makes the most mistakes, wonderfully represented by a pile of wood. I think it also touches on a lot of childhood fears (witches, fear of the unknown), and a lot of adult fears (that you might not be able to be the person you want to be, or may not be able to provide). Is it super scary? I don't think so. But I think it's really thick with atmosphere and dread, probably my second favorite movie so far.

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    1. For those who have seen the film, this is one of the best interviews with Eggers I have read. Enjoy and be enlightened. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/02/23/the_witch_director_robert_eggers_on_the_real_history_behind_the_movie_s.html

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    2. Not sure why it spaced it out that way, sorry.

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  8. Michael GiammarinoMay 4, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    I'm with Patrick on just about everything he said this week.
    I liked The Witch. I found it provocative and unsettling, but never really scary. I think it might play better in a dark living room on a stormy night than it did for me in the theater. I will definitely be adding it to my collection. I think we can attribute its marketing and the critical praise it's gotten as a truly scary film on the festival circuit. It played to enthusiastic crowds -- at Fantastic Fest, I think -- and I think the crowd was sufficiently worked up for the movie when they saw it, so it had the desired effect.
    I loved Hail, Caesar! I had fun with it and I think it had to do with the way it looked at old Hollywood. I think this movie and Alden's performance in it will net him the role of young Han Solo.
    Freaks of Nature. What an odd movie. I've been holding off buying it because I have so many more worthy titles to pick up first. But I need to get it just to show friends it's real. (Oh, and Harvest Lake is officially on my To Watch list.)
    Yes, Deadpool is a movie. But it's an anomaly within the comic book subgenre, a total grindhouse exploitation movie, right down to the look, tone and editing. This would have played perfectly in the drive-ins of the 1980s. It even has Leslie Uggams, the star of Poor Pretty Eddie, playing Deadpool's roommate!
    Now, on to the Woody Allen/Roman Polanski/Victor Salva topic. If I only watched films made by directors who never did something I found morally reprehensible, I wouldn't watch very many movies. If movies are like offspring, I tend to feel if I take my opinion of a human being put on their art/offspring, then it's like blaming a son for the sins of their father, and I can't do that. I do find it a little odd (and perhaps hypocritical) that Mia Farrow has decided to stand on Roman Polanski's side while at the same time demonizing Woody. Woody may have fallen in love with and married Soon-Yi, but anything else (the allegations of molestation of their other daughter) is completely unfounded and unsubstantiated, but what Roman did is literal fact. I don't get her reasoning on that one. Kind of hypocritical, if you ask me.


    Oh, and JB. You're not the only one who canoodles The Digital Bits. Nice shout out.

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    1. I've always thought that festivals can really skew film opinions. For example, you sit through 4 films that are dreck and then one come along that is decent to good; that would make that film almost incredible at that point. I don't agree that is the case with the Witch, but maybe. That was the case for me with The Babadook which I still feel is way overrated. The Witch to me feels so classy, so well crafted, so committed and so amazingly executed that I would expect people to NOT like it. Especially those who were expecting to see what they watched in the trailer. Trailers are infomercials designed to get you in no matter what; "buy the product". I hate them. I never watched a trailer for the Witch and I am so happy I didn't.

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  9. Michael GiammarinoMay 4, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    I watched all the trailers for The Witch. It never ruined my viewing experience; I just shifted the way I was taking the movie in. A quarter way through, I wasn't rallying against how the movie was sold to me vs the movie I was watching. It's just hyperbolic exploitation marketing, and I understand their need to do it. I started to keep an eye on the people in the screening with me, trying to gauge their response to it. Nobody at my screening turned on the film voicetrously. Nobody laughed at it, no one mocked it. I guess they deserve some credit for that. They did leave the movie confused, however.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoMay 4, 2016 at 9:57 PM

      I would add I understand why someone would hate how trailers tend to cheat and spoil the movie. I can't not watch trailers. I admire people who can avoid them. I also don't mind spoilers, in any form. Ultimately, for me, it's all about context.

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    2. I'm guessing they were bored. That seems to be the consensus. Or, they were deceived, Ugh, looking at you, JB

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    3. Hey, btw, welcome back Giammarino! I was waiting for your thoughts on JB's Pulp Fiction write up.

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    4. Michael GiammarinoMay 4, 2016 at 10:38 PM

      Thank you!
      I dug JB's piece. I liked his comparison to Bollywood.

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  10. Long time listener, first time commenter...woo! I am so, so glad that Patrick enjoyed Green Room. My husband and I saw it this past Sunday and absolutely loved it. It gave me the same gut punch and excitement that Ex Machina did around this time last year. Favorite movie of the year thus far.

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  11. I am not the first here to defend The Witch, but I wanted to take something JB said and address specifically, which I didn't see in any of the previous comments. The film does show a title card at the end that says the film came from actual accounts of the time. I had heard that, too, before I saw it (on Killer POV, I think). However, the subtitle "A New England Folktale" tells me, from the start, that what we are watching is not trying to be historical, but accurate, and I think that's a huge difference.
    Minor spoilers for The Witch:
    I can't claim to know what Eggers' opinion on the family are, but here's what I think. I couldn't keep myself from watching it in the context of our current political climate. There will always be fundamentalists, but what we have now is a large amount of people detaching themselves from society, isolating themselves physically and philosophically. Homeschooling has increased dramatically over the past decade, a common reason for which is "political agendas" seeping into public education (in other words, secularism, multiculturalism, and other things that prevent us from viewing the world from a tiny little window). I saw the family of the film fitting kind of into that mold--I mean, the Puritans were too liberal for them, for Christ's sake. This isolation, this extremism, caused their son to eroticize his sister, the entire family to fall apart, and literally demonize their daughter. Does this mean the film hates the family? I don't think so. I don't think it is ever called into question that the father is trying to do the right thing. What I think it suggests is that the definition of the right thing is easily skewed when you isolate yourself from the world.
    I think a more interesting question to ask is what is the film's opinion on witches? Are we supposed to shake our head at Thomasin for joining the very people that killed her family? Or celebrate the fact that she has become elevated? Perhaps it was the only remaining option. I only saw it the night it opened, but I can't wait to watch it again to try to answer that very question.

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  12. I would put Everybody Wants Some on the list of good but not great.

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    1. I think it suffers a bit from people comparing it to Dazed and Confused. Taken on it's own, I liked it quite a bit and much like what Patrick said about Hail, Caesar I think Everybody Wants some is a movie that will benefit a lot from people watching it again down the road and reevaluating it.

      My favorite movie so far this year is Sing Street, but I also really liked The Witch, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Everybody Wants Some. I though Green Room was pretty good (although I don't love it as much as a lot of other people do. Zootopia and Deadpool were both entertaining. Haven't watched Darling yet but I thought Hush was pretty well done.

      Overall I'm pretty happy with the first part of the year. It's the summer that's looking underwhelming to me so far.

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    2. I would agree. I think the first part of this year was pretty strong with some interesting and solid movies.

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  13. I'm glad that a previous commenter mentioned Phase IV. It was the first great horror film I could think of that features real-sized insects and I kept waiting for one of you to bring it up.

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    1. Phase IV is gorgeous and mesmerizing. I don't know how they did what they did in that movie but I loved it. Nigel Davenport is my hero.

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  14. It doesn't look like anyone else went back to last year to check if JB was as happy as he remembered. Turns out no, you said the state of our union was not good. You invented the western "Violetta" because of how much you didn't like the real movies that were out. However, last year you remembered that the previous year's movies were good, so I wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    Moral of the story: cheer up! By this time next year you'll be fondly remembering Midnight Special and talking about how happy you were with early 2016's movies.

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  15. The issue with Victor Salva is the consistent and lingering shots of shirtless teenage boys in his movies. When the sickness is so evident in his work he can never again be above suspicion. I refuse to watch any of his movies anymore and I kinda liked the first Jeepers Creepers (seen before I knew his story and still reeked of a homoeroticism that was uncomfortable in a fantasy horror movie).

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  16. The comment about Deadpool being promising but then being "standard"....

    Its budget was cut and cut and cut....and this is a Fox movie that had a hard time getting made. They also could have been hearing about what was going on over on the set of Fantastic Four. If they played it a little safer than they should have, it might be understandable.

    The Woody Allen thing.... 1) in retrospect, the final credits of What's Up, Tiger Lily makes you wonder... 2) it won't take 50 years....just try bringing up the pedophilia accusations about Michael Jackson and see people's reactions.

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  17. In the bug movie discussion The Andromeda Strain from 1971 was mentioned. That´s one of my most beloved science thrillers.
    At 131 minutes it may be a bit overlong, but it is creepy and scary and suspenseful, filled with good character actors and well directed by Robert Wise. I highly recommend this movie.
    Stay away as far as possible from the very dumb 2008 mini-series.

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  18. Good episode. I appreciated the thoughtful way you guy dealt with the Woody Allen question, an issue that seems to bring up a lot of ire wherever I see it discussed.

    I have some friends who completely compartmentalize the personal lives (and the possible and established crimes) of actors or filmmakers from their work, and others who will boycott someone's work if they make just one off-color comment in an interview, a stance which makes me suspect eventually they'll have trouble finding anything to watch safely. I find most people fall somewhere in between the two extremes.

    The problem even applies to some of the all-time greats. Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Hitchcock, John Wayne; all of them have had some pretty heavy accusations laid against them or expressed political stances that are tough to accept. Do you think the passage of time eases the discomfort of watching their work given that context?

    Also, I think JB needs to do an entire episode in his elderly moviegoer voice.

    Now, to pre-order Rollercoaster on blu-ray!

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  19. PHAVE IV! PHASE IV! PHASE IV! That is a bug movie worth watching! Not entirely successful - but the best of all bug movies.

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