Monthly Archives: October 2011

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 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

Director Spotlight: Red State

I’ve been a fan of Kevin Smith since Clerks. I saw that movie in my early 20s on VHS and I can remember laughing from start to finish. I have memorized most of the dialogue of Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back and Clerks 2 because I’ve seen them so many times. I followed Smith’s career through his successes and failures. Before I really understood how a director made movies, I followed his movies because they were honest, and even in their grossest moments, from the heart. When you watch a Kevin Smith movie you can see that he has poured his heart into almost every scene. With the exception of Jersey Girl, I have seen every Kevin Smith movie released in the theaters. His recent misadventures with Southwest Airlines, the media and Bruce Willis’ ego (Copout) might have brought more attention to his antics away from the director’s chair, but they haven’t diminished his talents as a filmmaker.

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Paranormal Activity 3

When we last left our extended family of paranormal activitiers, we discovered that the activity in part 1 was caused by the activity in part 2, and the demon-possessed Katie had upped her body count to at least three before stealing her sister Kristi’s baby and spiriting off to parts unknown. Wisely (or so I thought), rather than showing “The Further Adventures of Possessed Katie” (shot, presumably, thru gas station security cameras and whatnot), Paranormal Activity 3 decides instead to delve even further into the past, to offer us what I hoped to be a seamless, well-integrated story of how it all really began. No brainer, right? Right?

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Ask the Advocates Episode 13: Robocop vs. Timecop

In this edition the time jumping, counter straddling Timecop goes toe to toe with the machine powered officer from Motor City, Robocop.  Mike and Rene settle this age old debate in under 12 minutes.

Submit your questions today.

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Episode 91: Ides of March

This episode Rene and Mike take a look at George Clooney’s latest directorial and actorial (not a real word, right?) opus Ides of March.

Give us a listen because we make up cool words like actorial.

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The Thing (2011)

About a year ago, two things (no pun intended) happened that connect me to this month’s The Thing. First, I was at a panel at New York Comic Con where the cast and director of The Thing talked about the movie. They explained how and why the movie wasn’t a remake and how much they respected what John Carpenter had done with his version of the story. Secondly, I reviewed John Carpenter’s The Thing (https://damrb.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/director-spotlight-john-carpenters-the-thing) for our John Carpenter Director’s Spotlight. I’m a big fan of Carpenter’s movie and the story it was originally based on. Carpenter’s The Thing is a remake of 1951’s The Thing From Another World, which itself is based on a classic science fiction novella called Who Goes There?. They all basically tell the same story, an alien creature crash lands in the Antarctic and is discovered by scientists. Each version of the story adds it’s own unique vision and The Thing stands in good company.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Comics has been on quite a roll with their movies this year (Thor, X-Men: First Class) and Captain America: The First Avenger keeps that streak going. Directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji) and starring Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America and the great Hugo Weaving as his arch-villain the Red Skull, Captain America is a great thrill ride of a movie. It’s a comic book movie with the patented silliness that comes with the genre, but the movie is done with such style that you just go along for the ride regardless of how silly everything is.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Attack the Block

A gang of inner city youths do battle with an invading alien in this South London-based sci-fi film, which kept me entertained from beginning to end.

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Director Spotlight: Clerks 2

I’m disgusted and I’m repulsed and I… I can’t look away – Becky

Full disclosure time; the original Clerks is one of my most memorable movie experiences.  I was working in a video store when I came across it, and it  made my experiences in retail, somehow, bearable.  So when I heard that Kevin Smith was making a sequel, I knew I had to see it.  And since it got him a standing ovation at the Cannes film festival, I had high expectations.  Clerks 2 blew them all away.

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The Skin I Live In

Antonio Banderas is one of those actors who are so good that people often just take him for granted. With his Hollywood success of the 90s and afterwards, people also forget, or just overlook, his beginnings in the scrappy, indie-ish Spanish cinema of Pedro Almodóvar, another artist who has seen much international acclaim in the last 20 years, but who, luckily, people do not yet seem to take for granted (at least, I don’t). Their early collaborations were key in shaping and defining both their styles and careers for their international success which was to follow, from the dark-sexy Matador, to the wacky-sexy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, to the…complicated-sexy (and still-debated) Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Now, 21 years since they last worked together, would the magic still be there, or would they simply be two international superstars, working together but not together. Do they, in other words, still have use for one another?

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Ask the Advocates Episode 12: Most Underrated Actors

On this edition Mike and Rene discuss who they believe to be the most underrated actors.

Submit your questions today.

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Episode 90: 50/50

This week blog contributor Nick Woods hits the big league as he joins Mike in a discussion on the latest from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, 50/50.

Give us a listen because this episode is long overdue.

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The Three Musketeers (2011) 3D

Giving Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel a steampunky twist, complete with flying ships and Indiana Jones-esqe booby traps, this new version of The Three Musketeers is a fast-paced ride, though some of the cast do get lost in the background along the way.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, fails to sail into new territory as it simply treads the water of the previous installments. Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow was initially rivaled by Captain Barbossa the undead pirate, then came Davy Jones the undead pirate, and now we have Captain Blackbeard the (yeah, you guessed it) undead pirate. With so many undead menaces lurking around, is there a chance that the fourth go around has breathed new life into the franchise? Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Bad Teacher

My seventh grade math teacher, to whom I shall refer as “Miss K.” It’s not that Miss K was a bad teacher, she just wasn’t very good at her job. She was a neat-freak to the point of psychosis, her particular pet peeve those little paper chads that fell to the floor whenever you ripped a page out of a spiral notebook. She HATED those things, to the point where spiral notebooks were banned from her classroom. Period. She didn’t ban ripping pages out of one, she didn’t ban using them, SHE BANNED THE NOTEBOOKS THEMSELVES – we weren’t even allowed to have one in our backpack in her classroom.

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Director Spotlight: Jersey Girl

Isn’t that cute? It’s 8 o’clock and you both get a bottle.

Kevin Smith…what can I say about the man?!  In the 90’s, Smith hit Hollywood by storm with his “Askewniverse” series of films that I adore.  My first film that I saw of his was 1995’s Mallrats.  I was floored with his tongue-in-cheek humour which promptly has me viewing 92’s Clerks and one of my favorites 1997’s Chasing Amy.  Smith’s style of filming was an indie hit.  It wasn’t till 2004’s Jersey Girl that he kind of hit a wall when he so-called tried going more Hollywood by breaking his indie style and going a new direction.  With that said, that’s the film I’m going to discuss here.

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The Cottage

Half bungled kidnap movie, half comedy horror, The Cottage is out-and-out fun, with a surprisingly good showing from Ellison as Tracey, the extremely foul-mouthed daughter of a gangster kidnapped by David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) and taken to a remote cottage where the two brothers plan to hide out and wait for their ransom money to arrive.

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Retro Review: Scream 4 (w/ brief thoughts of 50/50 and Moneyball)

Due to hectic scheduling we couldn’t get a fresh episode out so we are releasing a Retro Episode featuring Mike and Joe doing Scream 4 that hit dvd last week however  Mike does give a very brief review of 50/50 and Moneyball at the top of the show.

Give us a listen because we’re always better the second time around.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 11: Favorite Non-Superhero Comic Book Movie

On this edition Mike and Rene talk comic book films, minus the tights and capes.

Submit your questions today.

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Real Steel

Watch as many movies in a year as I do and you inevitably run into a few titles where you find yourself having to constantly repeat “no, really!” when explaining to someone that you liked them. Last year alone there was The Losers, The A-Team, The Other Guys. Now welcome 2011’s entry to the club: Real Steel. I liked Real Steel. No, really! And despite everything you’ve seen in the trailers, it’s less “Rock ‘Em Sock ’Em” than it is Rocky. Except…you know, with robots. Call it “The Sweet Science Fiction”, if you must.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Horrible Bosses

Following in the footsteps of successful R-rated comedies of late, Horrible Bosses pieces together the slimmest of stories, hoping to ride the coattails of its actors and improvisation to a profitable box office. Gathered for your amusement are Jason Bateman (the everywhere-these-days straight man), Jason Sudeikis (continuing his role from Hall Pass), and Charlie Day (the manic, hamster-ish fellow from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), a group of long-term buddies intent on ending their occupational miseries by ending their bosses.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Green Lantern

No film is perfect and even the really good ones are missing something. Green Lantern is missing quite a few things, which in the end are really the factors that keep it from being an interstellar hit. The one truly unforgivable thing is there was no rendition of (and there are quite a few to choose from) “You Light Up My Life”. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Chasing Amy

See that man right there? He the Devil, understand? Never take your eye off the man.

The first film in our Kevin Smith spotlight is Chasing Amy, one of Smith’s most lauded and well received films.  The movie tells the story of Holden McNeil, played by Ben Affleck and Alyssa Jones, played by Joey Lauren Adams, and the romance that could never be, but somehow was. Alyssa is a lesbian, so right off the bat you can see the complication.  Interestingly enough, the complications don’t stop there as the revelations keep coming.     Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Kevin Smith

How does one man get so funny?  Hard work mutha*&^%$, that’s how.  With almost twenty years in the industry, Smith has been one of the more polarizing directors to come on the scene in a long time.  With Red State hitting DVD and Blu-Ray this month,we will be featuring Kevin Smith as our director spotlight for October.  So, come share a moment with us, and follow along with the spotlight:

Week 1: Chasing Amy

Week 2: Jersey Girl

Week 3: Clerks 2

Week 4: Red State

50/50

When you say the words, “50/50 chance of survival” out loud it doesn’t sound entirely hopeless. Then you start to think, “70/30 or even 60/40 would certainly put my mind a little more at ease.” Ultimately, can any set of numbers or odds help an individual come to terms with  what they’re facing? That is the question that the latest Joesph Gordon Levitt film aims to answer. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Advocates Episode 10: Best Sci-Fi Film of the 80’s

In this episode Rene and Mike discuss what they feel were the best films of the 1980s.

Submit your questions today.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 9: Best Badass Female

In this episode Rene and Mike discuss the baddest of the badass females in film.

Thanks go out  to listener Callum Reavey for the question.

Submit your questions today.

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Tucker & Dale vs Evil

If there has been one genre that Hollywood has been unable to really churn out lately it’s solid original comedy. This year it seemed the only comedy that was liked by both critics and mainstream audiences was Bridesmaids, other than that we’ve had a string of mildly amusing, but sadly forgettable films. Romantic comedies have also been big this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits, but again not really general comedies. In unfortunately limited release comes a solid entry into the lacking comedy genre this weekend with first time writer-director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson bringing us Tucker & Dale vs Evil and just in time for Halloween.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 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

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 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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