Monthly Archives: April 2011

Lebowski Fest Coverage

To round out Lebowski Week we are posting our video footage, on our Libsyn feed, from Lebowski Fest, which will also close out our Coen Brothers Spotlight.

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Scream 4

Looking back, it’s hard to believe it has been 15 years since the original Scream came out. 11 years since the previous installment.  I loved the first one back in ’96 and really enjoyed the sequel in ’97.  The third film was by far the weakest and now Scream 4 (or Scre4m as it’s spelled on some posters) doesn’t alter that fact whatsoever.  Scream 3 is still the low man on the totem pole.

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Lebowski 3-2-1

As part of our spotlight, and trip to Lebowski Fest, Joe, Rene, and myself have collaborated on a 3-2-1 list which covers our: 3 favorite quotes, 2 favorite scenes, and 1 favorite character.   Check out our lists, listen to our Lebowski Fest episode, and then watch for our first ever video podcast of our time at Lebowski Fest.   Read the rest of this entry

Super

Followers of geek news sites or “news of the weird” sections of papers may have noticed that incidents of real-life masked vigilantism have been on the rise in recent years. The idea of anonymous “everymen” out there, fed up with an ineffective law enforcement and judicial system, taking matters into their own hands and answering to no one is something that most everyone has probably thought of at one time or another, but not something that anybody actually wants, especially considering that anybody who would actually go and do this would no doubt be somewhat mentally unstable to begin with.

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Lebowski Week

In honor of our visit to Lebowski Fest in Columbus, Ohio, we are dedicating the final week of our Coen Brothers Spotlight to the Dude and friends.  The week starts with this week’s episode, which is our coverage of Lebowski Fest, then a midweek Lebowski themed 3-2-1 posting, and a special video episode to round out the week.

So if you like the Dude’s style, or even the occasional acid flashback, check out our homage to all things Lebowski.  And say what you like about the tenets of Devil’s Advocacy, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

Follow the links below to our Lebowski Fest episode, recorded at the event in Columbus, Ohio:

iTunes Feed:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=343227972

RSS Feed:

http://pamp47.libsyn.com/rss

Episode 68: Scream 4

This week Mike and Joe head out to the cinema to catch the latest Wes Craven scarefest, Scream 4. Did the film deliver the promised scares?  Did it breath new life into the franchise?  Did Mike jump into Joe’s lap at the scary moments?  Listen to find out.

Give us a listen so you can hear Mike contradict himself, yet again, in the ongoing horror debate.

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Director Spotlight: The Ladykillers

Despite the misconception there are really three Coens.  There’s the “playing it straight” Coens, the “quirky” Coens, and the “so freakishly bizarre that a word has not yet been invented to attribute to that style of film making” Coens.  I tend towards the latter, but the two former are just as good.  The Ladykillers, a remake of the 1955 comedy of the same name, is one of those rare treasures that manages to incorporate elements of all three, making for a well rounded flick.

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Fast Five

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and a group of cast members from the previous movies in the Fast And The Furious franchise return, in a film that really bares little resemblance to the previous entries in the series. Don’t get me wrong, the ridiculous stunts, implausible plot lines and cheesy dialogue that from the earlier films is all present, but about halfway into the film I started to get the feeling that I was watching a tough guy Ocean’s Eleven rather than the street racing action film I had thought I was going to see. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 66: Limitless

This week Mike and Rene reach their limit as they discuss Bradley Cooper’s latest film Limitless.  They discuss dangling plot threads, ADHD filmmaking, and what the anti-drug people should be saying about this film.

Give us a listen because we excel without the use of mind altering drugs…most of the time.

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Rio

As I sit here thinking how to make this review of the latest animated film to hit theaters, Rio,  relevant to the adult readers I’m hoping we get, or hoping we get in the future,  I actually thought about inserting Duran Duran lyrics in here. I truly did.  Then I realized, I am better than that.  Not by much, but I am.  And, so is the animated selection in question. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech tells the story of King George the VI and his battle with his stammer and lack of confidence stemming from it.

Colin Firth plays King George the VI in the latter part of the film, but initially he is struggling simply to be the Duke of York.  With a debilitating speech impediment, the Duke finds being in the public eye difficult.  Firth portrays this struggle with amazing proficiency and intensity.  Geoffrey Rush plays his speech therapist Lionel Logue, who uses some unorthodox methods to help the Duke find his way verbally.  For a man near sixty, Rush plays Logue with an amazing amount of enthusiasm and animation, so much so that he puts his younger co-stars to shame. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Gulliver’s Travels

Director Rob Letterman, who up until now had only done animated films like Shark Tale and Monsters vs Aliens, makes his live action debut with Gulliver’s Travels.  The pairing makes sense for two reasons: first of all this take on the 1726 novel by Jonathan Swift looks like live action animation and secondly, there is so much CGI in this movie, it may as well have been fully animated.

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Director Spotlight: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

“For that you traded your ever lasting soul?……Well, I wasn’t using it.”

Continuing our look at the movies of The Coen Brothers this month, this week we’re looking at 2000’s O, Brother Where Art Thou. I am a big fan of The Coen Brothers and I had never seen this movie. I am not too sure why I had never gotten around to seeing this until now. I think it might be because in my head I thought of this as a different movie. To me it was always a musical and I really can’t stand movie musicals. I think the only musical I actually like is Spinal Tap.

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Your Highness

Every now and then, I am pleasantly surprised at the movies. And, every now and then, I am devastatingly disappointed at the movies. I know I am biased to stoner movies and silly comedies. I really wanted to like this movie. I am a big fan of everyone involved in this. On paper and in the trailers for Your Highness, the movie looked funny and, you know, good. But, once again, Hollywood does the “let’s put the best parts in the trailer” move and they got me.  With Your Highness, I was shocked and awed by how awfully terrible this movie is. Your Highness is 2011’s worst movie by a mile.

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Hanna

If you happened to catch last year’s Dogtooth you understand what kind of affect raising a child in an extremely sheltered way can have. Director Joe Wright’snewest film Hanna is a movie that looks at this aspect but takes it in another direction, think more James Bond and less psychotic brainwashing. Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a teenager who grew up in a Finland forest along with her father Erik, played by Eric Bana. Hanna is taught to hunt, to survive on her own, and try to appear to be a normal 16-year-old to whomever she may run into, no matter what language they speak. The two aren’t living in the forest hunting wild game because they enjoy the taste of reindeer. Erik and Hanna are in training, training for an inevitable showdown with CIA agent Marissa played by Cate Blanchett. An electronic beacon is eventually triggered that tells the CIA where the two are hiding and the hunt is on. But who’s hunting who here?

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

This week Toor hits Mike with a Stupify spell, which actually has the reverse effect somehow, as they discuss the latest Harry Potter film. They get into what constitutes a saga, allusions to the holocaust, and the pedigree that goes into making these films.

Give us a listen or we’ll summon He Who Shall Not Be Named…or Jonathan as we like to call him.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/pamp47/Episode_49_Harry_Potter.mp3

Director Spotlight: Raising Arizona

“It ain’t Ozzie and Harriet” – H.I. McDunnough

Raising Arizona is the strangest kidnapping movie I’ve ever seen, and the funniest.

H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) is a failure of a criminal.  After multiple arrests following a string of failed convenience store robberies, he proposes to one of the corrections officers in the prison, and upon his next release marries her and settles down.  Having married, H.I’s wife Edwina (Holly Hunter) has decided that the next natural step is to have a child.

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Source Code (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Sci-fi in Hollywood in the last few decades has for the most part descended into a circular, self-fulfilling argument for factory-produced garbage. Studios produce multi-million dollar projects involving nothing more than wisecracking robots, CGI explosions, and hot girls in short skirts swinging samurai swords, and people go to see them because there’s nothing else out there. Studios make back their investments to justify another round of wisecracking robots, explosions, short skirts, and swords, and people go to see them because there’s nothing else out there. Luckily, we have moviemakers like Duncan Jones to help us prove the case that there’s plenty of “something else” out there. Source Code is exactly the sort of thoughtful, provocative, naturalistic, and rewarding hard sci-fi for which fans always cry out, and which actually do exist out there in the world, as long as you’re willing to look for it.

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Hop

Finally, the definitive film about the Easter Bunny has arrived. For years Santa Claus has been featured again and again, while the Easter Bunny, languishes in misery over his lack of recognition. Now, he can be proud of how he is portrayed on film, and the pains the filmmakers went through to show audiences just how arduous the Easter Bunny’s job can be. Read the rest of this entry

Source Code

Source Code is the latest film from Duncan Jones, the up-and-coming director who you may remember from 2009’s wonderful sci-fi thriller Moon. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens, a US Air force pilot who finds himself part of a military experiment that allows for transferring the mind of a living person into the mind of a deceased person. The process is limited though, it only allows the living person to experience the last eight minutes of the deceased’s life before death. Colter is tasked with experiencing the repeated last eight minutes of the life of a schoolteacher who died aboard a train headed to Chicago. I won’t attempt to explain the quantum physics aspect of the story but he essentially is allowed to freely act as this person in an alternate timeline but returns to the real world upon death. Along for the ride is co-worker Christina Warren, played by Michelle Monaghan. Colter’s mission is to find a bomber who was aboard the train in the past and is believed to be planning to detonate a large bomb in downtown Chicago in the real world close future. Confused? Well imagine if Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day was aware that he would be reliving Groundhog Day and was actually a soldier looking for a suspected terrorist bomber. Got it?

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Episode 65: Sucker Punch

This week’s episode on Sucker Punch is a two-parter.  In this first part, Toor, Joe, and Mike P. saw the film and talked about it at their local IHOP.  They discuss suckers, punches, and sexy time with orcs and goblins.

In part two, Jonathan, Rene and Mike P are going over it with a fine tooth comb.  They discuss soundtracks, escapism, and stalker Superman.

Give us a listen because hopefully you can explain the film to us based on our poor understanding.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Little Fockers

Returning for another go-around are the Fockers and the Byrnes in Little Fockers. Yes they are back. Director Paul Weitz takes over for Jay Roach and decides to bring the families back for another installment of films that brought us 2000’s Meet The Parents and 2004’s Meet The Fockers.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: TRON: Legacy

People who go see a film like TRON: Legacy and then complain that there isn’t enough story or character development are the same people who claim to read Playboy for the articles. Now, that was a bit facetious, but in reality what were people expecting? The first TRON was all about the visuals. The first had the intrigue that goes with that new territory, but it’s not new anymore, so we’re left with amazing visuals. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Miller’s Crossing

Miller’s Crossing is the third film directed by the Coens, and tells the story of warring gangsters in 1920’s America, with Gabriel Byrne’s Tom Reagan as the main protagonist of the piece, right hand man of Leo (Albert Finney), an irish gangster who runs the unnamed town in which the film is set. Tom is caught in the middle of a brewing gang war between Leo and Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito), who wants Leo to hand over Bernie Bernbaum (Jon Turturro), a two-bit swindler cutting in on his gambling action. Leo is protecting Bernbaum, who is the brother of Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), who he is in love with, and he has promised her that he would look out for Bernie. Seeing the danger of protecting Bernbaum, Tom tries to convince his boss to give up Bernie before an all-out bloodbath breaks out.

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