Monthly Archives: August 2011

Episode 85: Fright Night

Mike and Mike meet up on Fright Night this week to discuss vampires, CGI blood, and dweeb love.

Give us a listen because unlike vampires, we don’t suck.

Sorry for the technical difficulties.  Skype reared its ugly head and may soon be kicked to the curb.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 3: First Movie Going Experience

This week Jonathan, Mike and Mike discuss their earliest movie going experiences.

Submit your questions today.

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Conan The Barbarian 3D

Surprisingly entertaining in the face of one-dimensional characters and a plot stuffed full of clichés, I enjoyed this new interpretation of Robert E. Howard’s sword-wielding warrior, though I was left rather unsatisfied by the whole experience.

The first twenty minutes or so, showcasing Conan’s “he was born on the battlefield” bloody entry into the violent world of Hyboria, and his life as a young Cimmerian, feature the closest thing the film comes to actual character development.

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Blitz DVD

A word of advice, girls. If you’re picking the wrong fight…at least pick the right weapon.

Honestly up to a week ago I never heard of Blitz till a television commercial announced the movie coming out on DVD. As an avid Jason Statham fan and action junkie there was no reason for me not to give this film a viewing. Really, was there any other reason after seeing Statham beat the tar out of a few carjackers?! Of course not.

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Actor Spotlight: The Queen

It’s always seemed to me that most high-profile, biographical/historical movies are more concerned with recreating the people and events than they are with actually making an interesting movie, relying perhaps on the cache and fascination of the real-life events to let the filmmakers off that particular hook. And fittingly, most discussion surrounding said movies seems concerned only with the actual events and people involved, with any talk of the movie itself confined almost exclusively to how close the script is to what really happened, how close the actors’ makeup and mannerisms resemble their real-life counterparts, and how well the production design recreates the actual setting and era depicted.

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Fright Night (Devil’s Advocate Review)

“I may not be drunk enough for this” – Peter Vincent

Fright Night, a remake of the 80’s horror film of the same name, aspires to be a blend of Rear Window and Dracula. But the best parts of this movie are used sparingly, giving us far less Rear Window, and more tween drama.

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Episode 84: The Chicago Comic-Con Confabs

This week we are on the scene at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Convention discussing the best and worst of this summer’s geek related films.

Give us a listen because we saw 20 Slave Leias and only 2 were guys.

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Fright Night

Tom Holland’s original Fright Night from 1985 is a movie that I’ve always loved and, as confirmed by a recent DVD viewing, still very much do. It manages to be both fun (and more than a little campy) at the same time it presents itself as a credible, even frightening horror film. It has, even to this day, some of the best vampire (and vampire-death) affects I’ve seen in movies (achieved, not for nothing, using “simple” makeup, costumes, prosthetics, puppets, and lots of stage blood – take that, billion-dollar CGI houses!). Of course, I had the knee-jerk negative reaction to news of a remake, but the casting announcements (David Tennant! Colin Farrell! Toni Collette!) were very interesting and not only gave me hope that it could be good, but as the release date neared actually got me quite excited to see it. And after last weekend’s viewing, I can finally and wholeheartedly confirm that it wasn’t completely awful.

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Actor Spotlight: The Madness of King George

From Director Nicholas Hynter The Madness of King George is the 1994 adaption of the play by the same name. The film was also written by the same playwright, Alan Bennett and stars Nigel Hawthorne as King George III and Helen Mirren as Queen Charlotte, both of which were nominated for best actor and actress in 1995. The film is about George III and his fall from being the King of England during the 18th century.

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30 Minutes or Less

After seeing 30 Minutes or Less, one can clearly see all the contention built of its parallels to another, more tragic story are just coincidence. Not to say 30 is drastically different, but there is no evidence the filmmakers thought that hard about the connection.  They really didn’t seem to think too much about anything in this case.

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Ask the Advocates Episodes 1 & 2: Favorite Trilogy & Morgan Freeman role

In Episode 1, Mike and Rene discuss their favorite trilogies in the innaugural episode.

In Episode 2, Joe and Mike field a question from listener Callum Reavey about their favorite Morgan Freeman role.

Submit Your Questions Today.

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Episode 83: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This week Jonathan and Mike discuss Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  Did they go bananas for it?  Was it a barrel of monkeys?  Should I stop now?

Give us a listen before those maniacs blow it up!!!

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The Change-Up

Finally caught up with The Change-Up, while up in the…something that rhymes with up. Director David Dobkin developed, directed, and distributed (that last one is likely untrue, I just wanted the alliteration) the film, with stars Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, and Leslie Mann.  How does The Change-Up measure up?   Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Priest

Looking at the cast list for Priest you start to notice a trend. The main character is called “Priest”, the villain “Black Hat”, and there are also characters called “Priestess” and “Salesman”. They all sound like generic background extras from other films, this should give you some insight on how this film turned out.

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Actor Spotlight: Excalibur

I remember my first joust. It looks far worse than it feels!

When it comes to viewing (and reviewing) older movies, one has to realize how the industry is so much different nowadays. For example it’s been 30 years since Excalibur was made and while visually it was ahead of its time in some aspects, it is far from what Hollywood puts on the silver screen currently. So basically, you have to watch it on a curve so to speak.

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Crazy, Stupid, Love

Love can be a noun or a verb.  It’s never typically used as an adjective.  I never find myself saying, “That fruit smoothie was certainly love.”  That said, I actually struggled with the title, Crazy, Stupid, Love, knowing full well that you really only need to separate the Crazy and Stupid with a comma, since those are the modifiers (i.e. adjectives) and love is the concept (i.e. noun). Then it hit me.  They’re not describing love as anything.  It’s just playing word association.   In order to be in love, you must be a) Crazy and/or b) Stupid.  Or maybe love makes you those two things.  In this Steve Carrell vehicle, the latter is almost certainly true.   Read the rest of this entry

Episode 82: Captain America

This week Mike C, Jonathan M, Rene A, and Mike P talks some Captain America.

This is the first in a two part episode, covering the super soldier serum, who has the best Avengers lead in, and dying a virgin.

This second part of the Captain America episode features a 3-2-1 list of Marvel movie favorites and bombs. Oh and Joe joined us as well.

Plus as an added bonus, a couple Devils talk trailers in a separate bonus episode discussing The Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spider-Man, & Avengers.

Give us a listen because it’s better than watching Howard the Duck.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

During one of our mini-episodes of the Devil’s Advocates podcast, I was complaining about how filmmakers now have such great technology at their disposal and make horrible movies with all of that technology. In the last five years, we have been inundated with movies like Avatar, The Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans and a whole lot of other horrible movies that were just excuses to show off special-effects. I used the example of Raiders of the Lost Ark to show how a movie could be made thirty years ago with some of the simplest movie making techniques (matte paintings, puppets and miniature sets) and still be better than most of what Hollywood keeps putting into the movie theaters now.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: 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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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 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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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Paul

You’d have to search pretty hard to find a single person-of-a-certain-age in the Western world who has escaped childhood without having seen E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or a single Star Wars movie at least once. If you were young, receptive, and imaginative enough the first time you saw them, some of their images and themes (and the emotions they evoked) probably will stay with you forever, whether you like it or not. Such is the power of sci-fi, particularly of sci-fi movies: their pervasiveness in our lives, popular culture, and collective memory make us feel that we’re not alone, not only in terms of extraterrestrial life, but for the even stranger creatures that walk the earth – us, each alone, wondering if there’s anyone else who feels the same way and remembers the same things that we do. If you need proof that you’re not alone, here come Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and the movie Paul.

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Actor Spotlight: The Long Good Friday

The Long Good Friday, is the first film in our Helen Mirren spotlight.  We get to see Mirren after her bright career in television and before her breakout role in Excalibur.   Playing opposite of a Pre-Who Framed Roger Rabbit Bob Hoskins, Mirren exudes in her thirties what the late teen/early twenty something crowd wishes they had more of.  Demure sensuality. Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren, at the age of 66, was recently bestowed the title of Best Body.  Now, this we knew, which is why we decided to make her our spotlight for August weeks ago.  Then again, we’re typically ahead of the curve…or should I say curves?  August is typically pretty hot and we’re hoping that this spotlight can keep up.  Below is a list of the films to be reviewed, so all interested parties can play along at home.

The Long Good Friday

Excalibur

The Madness of King George

The Queen

Cowboys & Aliens

Take one part James Bond, one part Indiana Jones and mix in some cowboys and throw in some aliens with a side of Olivia Wilde sex appeal and you get the latest Jon Favreau directed movie.

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Episode 81A: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

This is the first part of our two part Harry Potter 7.2 discussion.

In this installment Toor and Mike talk about making fans happy, standout performances, and Voldemort’s drink preferences.

(Editorial Note: Episode 81B was lost in recording due to technical difficulties)

Give us a listen and learn the Engorgio spell, which might benefit some of our male listeners.

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Another Earth

Imagine, if you will, that one day astronomers discover another blue planet in the sky which appears identical to ours, with all our same atmospheric and environmental conditions, which has all the signs of being able to sustain life, and is approaching, quickly. For young Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), however, the day takes on significantly different meaning, as in a moment of drunk-and-distracted driving, she accidentally kills the family of John Burroughs (William Mapother) and puts the talented composer and college professor in a coma. Cut to four years later, with the still-approaching “Earth 2” now dominating the sky, Rhoda returns home from prison, completely adrift, grasping at…anything, whether it’s a new beginning (she enters an online contest to be the first private citizen to be flown to Earth 2), or just forgiveness from Burroughs who, unaware of her true identity, allows her to enter into his life and confidence.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 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