Sunday, January 29, 2012

Episode 16: The Grey

  • 0:00 - Spoiler Alert, Dio - Lock Up The Wolves
  • 0:30 - Intro, "The Grey" discussion (spoilers from 4:10-6:15)
  • 8:49 - What Chris Watched (Scrubs, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest)
  • 11:59 - What Matt Watched (Alien)
  • 13:50 - What Kat Watched (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Workaholics)
  • 16:07 - Announcements & Outro
  • 16:37 - Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London

Review: The Grey (2012), dir. Joe Carnahan

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

My mantra is to “always judge a movie on its own merits.” This means that I try to always judge a movie based not on what I was expecting, but what I got. Nowhere was this more difficult than with Joe Carnahan’s The Grey. I was expecting “Liam Neeson Fights Motherfucking Wolves.” What I got was more along the lines of the book The Terror by Dan Simmons. The Grey is a movie about survival, and has barely anything to do with wolf fights.

The Grey is a potent and affective drama much of the time. There is actually some emotion here, and despite the fact that a lot of the dramatic moments feel a little too heavy-handed, these moments nonetheless make the characters of The Grey feel real. In fact, the only thing holding The Grey back from true greatness is how pretentious it is. Many movies are pretentious of course, but it doesn’t matter if the movie is flawless (i.e. There Will Be Blood). The Grey is just a little too aware of how “serious” it is.

And yet, some sequences are so effectively tense and frightening that it elevates these thrilling sequences above those in many other movies that are classified as thrillers. So there it is: The Grey is a good drama that thinks it’s a great drama, but it is a much better thriller than many movies that are actually thrillers!

I am aware that many people left the theater feeling cheated; in fact, I know this because in my theater somebody said “what?” when the credits started to roll. I once again beg people to judge the movies based on what they are, and not what the trailers say you will get; otherwise, you will always be disappointed.

A little afterthought: my favorite moment of the film is a quick shot of blood slowly filling a paw-print. So grisly and so beautiful. There are times when The Grey feels downright visually poetic.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Episode 15: Haywire

  • 0:00 - Ted Nugent - Fist Fightin' Son of a Gun
  • 0:30 - Intro, "Haywire" discussion
  • 9:55 - What Chris Watched (The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest)
  • 11:50 - Celluloid Freaks Awards discussion
  • 14:30 - What Matt Watched (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Descendants, Blade Runner, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
  • 25:35 - Next week on Celluloid Freaks & Outro
  • 26:47 - Elton John - Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Next Episode Will Appear In...

...two days. Being a shiftworker like I am, I have a very hectic schedule. Because of this schedule, I can't always go right to editing and posting an episode the second I finish it. Some episodes take longer to edit than others, also. This can be due to sound issues more than anything. While I'm sorry I can't always post an episode the Sunday we record it, I will surely always let you all know if it will take longer than a day or two. I had hoped to have it finished by tonight but life & work got in the way this time. Rest assured that I will have Episode 15: Haywire up and posted by the time Thursday is out (Eastern time).

Until then, please enjoy the previous episodes that I have posted, perhaps relisten to:

Episode 0: Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz (guest Dr. Karen Oughton)
Bonus Episode: Planes, Trains & Automobiles... and other BS (guest Matt "Saint Mort" Kelly)

See ya soon!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Episode 14: The Adventures of Tintin

  • 0:00 - Spoiler warning, AC/DC - Thunderstruck
  • 0:30 - Intro, "The Adventures of Tintin" discussion
  • 12:55 - What Chris Watched (Moneyball)
  • 14:09 - What Matt Watched (War Horse, Troll Hunter, Tangled)
  • 22:25 - The Celluloid Freaks Awards nominees
  • 31:52 - Letter from a listener
  • 33:00 - Outro, Pride & Glory - Horse Called War

Review: The Adventures of Tintin (2011), dir. Steven Spielberg

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

There is no reason for this movie to exist outside of some well-done visuals, and only some of the visuals are notable. Tintin is a reporter of notoriety who stumbles upon a model ship/replica at the exact same time as a shady character (voiced by an always reliable Daniel Craig) and the FBI agent on his tail. Coincidences are never a good place to start a mystery. In fact, coincidences have no place in a fictional mystery story because they take the fun out of them. Mysteries are like puzzles wherein every piece has its place, and one should never be solved (or even started) because of happenstance.

However, that is only a minor nitpick. The real problem with The Adventures of Tintin is that it isn’t entertaining. All humor falls flat (Simon Pegg & Nick Frost, playing two policemen, give it their best shot), and all of the action sequences, rather than being thrilling, just waste time until they are done. Much of this movie is padding just like with the action sequences (a pickpocket as a plot device serves only to make the movie run a little longer).

Tintin isn’t a bad movie by any means; it just doesn’t have anything interesting to keep one attached to the screen and invested in the outcome of the mystery. It is interesting to look at and there are a few sequences that are somewhat well-executed, but it is an overall bland movie.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Celluloid Freaks Awards

The Celluloid Freaks Awards are here! We will announce the winners sometime soon, but here are the nominees (in alphabetical order):

Best release of 2011:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Muppets
The People vs. George Lucas
Super 8

Worst release of 2011:
Green Lantern
Killer Elite
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Season of the Witch
Tower Heist

What movies do you think should have been considered for either category? Which would you vote for?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Episode 13: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The audio quality of the episode is not up to standard because I had to edit it from the 32kbps MP3 backup that gets made simultaneously with the WAV recordings. It's times like these that I'm glad I have it set to record a backup file because this episode could have been lost entirely. 

Also, because even recording this episode was such a chore, and then spending so much time thinking the episode was lost before finding the MP3 backup worked at the last minute, I've decided not to write a written review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The production of this episode ate up enough of my time.

  • 0:00 - Disclaimer and spoiler warnings
  • 0:30 - Led Zeppelin - The Immigrant Song
  • 1:00 - Intro, MINOR SPOILERS, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" discussion
  • 14:53 - What Kat Watched (Little Miss Sunshine, New Years Eve)
  • 19:09 - What Matt Watched (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Drive, Warrior)
  • 23:16 - What Chris Watched (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [original Swedish film], Jurassic Park)
  • 24:30 - Enya creeps me out & outro
  • 25:03 - Led Zeppelin - The Immigrant Song (live)
  • 25:33 - MAJOR SPOILERS: extended "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" discussion