Cinecast Episode 126 – See You at the Party Richter!

Episode 126:
Not the brightest week for film this summer with The Taking Pelham 1-2-3, The Land of the Lost, The Hangover, Away We Go and Departures.

A few tangents, a fair bit of negativity and surliness, some vague sifting through the sparse DVD releases which is heaven for BluRay and Criterion enthusiasts, but rather dire for everyone else.

The Show Notes have left the building in the short term. Bear with us.

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Total Recall

COVERED IN TODAY’S SHOW:
The Taking of Pelham 123 (Andrew’s review)
The Hangover (Andrew’s review)
Land of the Lost
Total Recall
Departures
– foreign language awards
Away We Go (Rot’s review)

DVD picks:
The Perfect Sleep (viral video at Where the Long Tail Ends)

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Matt Gamble
Guest

I think we might have gotten away with cribbing from Film Junk if Andrew hadn't gone into a 20 minute story about how he got drunk, trashed his car and ruined two friendships. I think that might be a bit of a giveaway.

Shannon the Movie Mo
Guest

OMG Awesome pic there. LOVE IT!

I haven't seen any of the films yet so I'll be listening to this one later but I'll be looking forward to it!

rot
Guest

Love the new image, you should do a bunch of different movie posters and rotate them.

Jonathan
Admin

Yeah, that new image rocks.

rot
Guest

The film Matt envisions as the better Away We Go, where things are consistent and tonally structured and character development is something earned through actions and not by association, you have a million of those films to lavish your attention. Away We Go shows no ambition to be that, consider how much this film deviates from your typical structure with a crisis in the middle leading to resolution with the couple… Andrew is wrong about everything being different kinds of quirkiness in this film, that too, is not seeing the film for what it is and struggling to categorize it. Montreal and Miami are not quirk, nor the final scene. Its confrontational as a movie because it is indifferent to your ideas of what ought to happen, and how it ought to structure itself.

Kurt talks about Mendes and I am convinced he choose this project and choose to do it this particular way because he took to heart the criticisms of his stagy aesthetic in films past and wanted to do something that broke free of it. This is riffing it aesthetically, I barely noticed anything visually. Had this been done stagy and beautiful it would of conflicted with the spirit of the script which is constantly propelling forward. I think of it as indifference or grunge, not sloppiness.

You either do a film in accordance with a vocabulary of a set structure and tone that Matt can check off on his inventory list of demands, or you deliberately break all the rules in a Godardian way and draw attention to yourself that way, but that too is falling into a groove, because now there is this whole subset of films that are characterized by their deviations from the norm, like Goths dressing a like. The sophistication of Eggers and this film I believe is that it chooses neither clique to co-exist in, it could give a shit about your inventory list of requirements to tell a story… it possesses an aesthetic of indifference, and follows its muse wherever it takes it, with whatever tone feels right, and whatever is left in its wake as a movie is justified by where it gets to.

The issue of poverty in the film, really Matt? and thats your Deus ex Machina? Had you followed the logic of what the characters say and feel it is pretty damn obvious why that consideration had not been made long ago for Verona. This is a film about finding a place to belong, its not monetary, its spiritual, emotional maturity they are longing for.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

As I said. I'm very much looking forward to this one, simply becuase it seems to be a deviation for Mendes and a splitting point here at R3.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

OMG, Away we Go has one of those 'Michael Douglas in a suit with slicked back hair in a Gigantic Vermont Home, content and good looking?'

/The-only-thing-I-didn't-like-about-WonderBoys

rot
Guest

Away We Go Spoilers below!!!

Completely disagree Andrew, the whole impetus of the story is not we need a better house, it was to find some semblance of normalcy and be around people that are loving. Did they at some point go, hey condos are cheap in Florida lets live there? No… they went where they went BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE! There are no people in the final location. The final scene is not a solution to monetary woes that the whole story has been about, it is the end point of a story the develops throughout about the meaning of parents, the meaning of a loving family that Verona comes to terms with and only by the end finally does she realize she has the strength to go back. There is no deus ex machina about that, there is no WTF moment to be had by that, hell the house is mentioned halfway through the movie… the wonder of the moment is not "damn thats a big ass house", its this is a return to home, to a childhood home and in this new light its beautiful, its right. I can't believe you didn't get that Andrew, I mean honestly, did you think they were sitting there looking out into the distance all happy because of the acreage? Talk about missing the point entirely.

rot
Guest

and Matt film criticism should listen to what the film aspires to and rate it according to how well it measures up to that, not to some idea of how film in general should operate.

Your criticisms of Away We Go hinge upon some 'logic' that is nowhere aspired to in the film, THAT is bad criticism.

financial stability is not the theme.

owning property is not the goal.

Montreal and Madison would not exist in the same film if the ambition was to keep tonal structure.

The lack of a three part narrative structure to the couple's plight is not accidental.

Now whether thats your cup of tea is different matter, but don't make it like the film is failing at something it is not trying to do.

rot
Guest

I caught the advanced screening of The Hurt Locker and I really liked it. The film is sticking in my head too but for some reason every time I try and write a review for it nothing comes out. This is a star making role for Jeremy Renner, who has always been in good films but this is his Steve McQueen moment. The film is one intense set-piece after the other with a pretty awesome ending.

labby
Guest

Another great show guys! I have to agree with the dissenting voices on Away We Go. For the most part, I thought it was harmless hipster snarkiness with some cute jokes. But the ending, omg, "Let's lie down on this trampoline and recite the lessons we learned over the course of our journey to each other." Really? Really? And the Fruit Tree MONOLOGUE! Ugh. I was agog. Mendes actually had the audacity after that monologue to button the scene with a cut of a close up of a smiling (and obviously understanding and knowing) Jim. Blech. I think Mister Mendes and I need to take a break from each other 🙂

rot
Guest

not surprising I guess, but I loved the trampoline scene, it felt entirely earned.

Goon
Guest

rot did exactly what Matt said he would do. And I didnt read it either :/

I'm with Matt on Land of the Lost, but I dont think it was better than Talladega Nights or even Blades of Glory. I think the Will Farrell riffing adlibbing style comedy works better on those sports type movies rather than something that is still sort of action/adventure. Which is what made Semi Pro all that more of a spectacular failure.

I also think from that discussion on comedy I realize the only comedies Kurt sees every year in theater is the one Pixar movie and one or maybe two of the Juno-esque fall features. And every 3 years or so a Wes Anderson movie. I hate to say that it seems so 'out of balance', because I can't hate on someone for overall preferring dramas or documentaries or any genre, but I tend to wonder if avoiding comedies contributes to Kurt's drama outlook where he's the "Down" person rather than the "Up" person; why Kurt always backs off from "feel good" movies like Lars and the Real Girl turns out to be.

Goon
Guest

Matt btw, with every appearance more and more is casting himself as the villain of the crew.

Goon
Guest

Looks like Year One is a big bomb from the credits. Seriously Kurt, you're better off hitting the Hangover or renting Kung Fu Panda*

*Obligatory reference

rot
Guest

"rot did exactly what Matt said he would do."

you mean point to examples from the film to make a clear case that Matt is dreaming up some expectation of a film that was never there in the movie to begin with? Yeah I am bad at that.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer evaluating films by what they strive to do not by some random personal tick that if I say it enough times I can convince myself it is a failing of the film.

I might as well say Schindler's List sucks because it wasn't in colour

Pineapple Express sucks because of holes in its plot that don't jive with my sense of realism

Mulholland Dr sucks because it is not coherent

Kurt
Guest

Goon: On comedies. I think I tried to get into my lack of enthusiasm and question the reasoning for skipping the bulk of Studio comedies for the past decade on the show. This includes the current "A" list, yet getting long-in-tooth SNL alumni (Farrel, Sandler, Fey) and Galifiankis and Carell and even Jodi Hill (although the latter appeals to me the most).

I tend to catch some of them on DVD or occassionally on airplanes, or not at all. I did enjoy The Pineapple Express and small doses of Tropic Thunder. And every other year The Coens put out a comedy/genre riff (I'm a fan of both their Lady Killers update and Intolerable Cruelty for what it is worth). And I like me some Stephen Chow and Alex de La Iglasias (Ferpect Crime!). And David Mamet Christopher Guest satires are generally must-sees for me. Big broad maistream comedies with too many pratfalls or broad spoofs of recent films do not appeal to me. I have little to no taste for FRAT/College/Teen Comedies (although props to Fast Times at Ridgemount High and Up The Creek). I tend to enjoy slapstick in horror-splatter comedies like The Evil Dead sequels and Early Peter Jackson movies.

I love S.O.B. but loathe the whole Pink Panther series.

I also dug Observe & Report and look forward to catching up with Eastbound & Down and FootFist Way at some point.

Black Dynamite was so fabulous we watched it twice on the same weekend.

Dunno if that answered your question.

Here are some of my favourite comedies both recently and of yesteryear:

Big Trouble in Little China

Raising Arizona

A Fish Called Wanda

American Movie

Any and all Monty Python

Dr. Strangelove

The 'Burbs (Anything by Joe Dante actually)

Ghostbusters

Bottle Rocket

High Fidelity

Sullivan's Travels

Without a Clue

The Evil Dead II & III

Modern Times

The General

7 Chances

Clerks

The Big Lebowski

The Hudsucker Proxy

State & Main

Office Space

American Movie

Brazil

Time Bandits

Romancing the Stone

Duck Soup (although not all Marx Brothers)

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

Tapeheads

Smiley Face

Brain Candy

I heart Huckabees (And Flirting with Disaster)

even Young Frankenstein (and 12 Chairs and Spaceballs and the original Producers)

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Quick Change

Planes Trains & Automobiles

Scrooged

Fletch (and its sequel)

Goon
Guest

"you mean point to examples from the film…"

I didnt read past the first sentence here either btw. 😛 – no I mean you wrote a massively long comment addressing him that he said in advance on the podcast he would never read or reply to.

You dont need to prove to me you like comedies Kurt, I was not attacking your sense of humor. I generally think your sense of humor is fine. But based on a lot of the things you find funny on the show, theres a number of the supposed low brow comedies you'd probably like, but you don't really get on the boat to find out…

I've as a listener have had enough tabs on what you go see to know you'll go see a lot of the action or horror movies that you know in advance will probably be crap, but you seem to need so much more certainty with comedies to take a leap.

And I wonder if its because you think if a comedy fails, there's nothing else going on to talk about or appreciate filmwise. I dont know about you, but i find even a failed comedy just as interesting to take apart and examine as a failed drama, I can have hours long conversations about why and when someone like Myers or Carvey fell apart, who the next person will be to embarass themselves in that Love Guru sort of way, the effects of aging on public perception and having to trod through several years of crap before getting a chance to be edgy again…

I watched fucking Bride Wars last week, and even though it was just terrible, just terrible, I had more to discuss about why it didnt work then I did about my middling feelings towards Snow Angels. The Film Junk episode where they're ripping on the House Bunny is one of their best episodes.

I guess I just wish you guys saw more comedies to mix things up, and because humor is so subjective… and because so much humor these days is so racy, I love the cases where people do or don't get obvious jokes becuase they're so focused on taking things out of the context to the words used. See Film Junk for a mini-debate I'm in about the word 'Faggot' in the Hangover.

rot
Guest

Gamble adds great O'Reilly colour… wouldn't want him to bother engaging in a discussion, better to say something inflammatory and plug his ears to criticism.

was that short enough for you Goon?

Goon
Guest

I read it.

I suggest you record yourself reading your response to him, send it to Kurt, and next time Gamble is on the show Kurt can hit play on the computer, and you can listen to Gamble rage in the background. Would that be satisfying enough?

Goon
Guest

And for the record, I didnt read it because I haven't seen Away We Go, won't see it anytime soon (I absolutely loathe Maya Rudolph – she is a black hole of comedy), and when I do I want any argument I read to be fresh.

rot
Guest

you loathe Maya Rudolph? You must be a minority of one, I can't imagine loathing her… and she is playing it straight in Away We Go, I am trying to think if she has any comedic lines, I don't think so.

and to answer your question, no that wouldn't be satisfying… any egging on I am doing is to try and get discussion going, I am not terribly interested in the "everyone else is full of shit and I am right" angle of talking about films. Although I am starting to see the futility with attempting to engage Matt in discussion, I think his mind is firmly made up.

Goon
Guest

There is absolutely no shortage of people who loathe Maya Rudolph. Do you watch SNL regularly? Of all performers with obnoxious characters, she has the most obnoxious ones of them all, she has a Canadian-ish ironic disconnect with the audience in every sketch as if she's on Air Farce that I absolutely loathe, she insists on doing a "funny voice" that isn't funny for every character and does this as well in Idiocracy. On a shallow level I don't like looking at her either, but that doesn't have anything to do with how awful she is. I found Molly Shannon annoying on SNL too but in movies I've found her quite easy to deal with, even good. Rudolph? I am yet to be convinced, and not willing to plop down money to find out. Not yet.

She had a major character in Anchorman that was entirely cut out because it was that unfunny. I've seen all those deleted scenes. They were right to do so. Awful. Just awful.

She and Fallon are my least favorite SNL Cast members ever. Even Chris Kattan managed to have a couple things that were funny. And Victoria Jackson is an even worse person in real life than she is as a performer, but at least she had a funny voice and the Toonces sketches.

Goon
Guest

As for Matt, I don't think even if he DID read your post that he'd respond. Typing a fan letter to Britney Spears is more likely to get a response 😛

rot
Guest

its because she's black isn't it?

Admittedly I don't watch much SNL but when I have seen her on it I liked her. In Away We Go she is the straight person, she is the emotional core… and I don't think you will like that either.

I am going out on a limb here, but I am pretty sure you will hate Away We Go. We are like polar opposites on so much. In fact, I suspect Kurt won't like it either, but he could surprise me.

rot
Guest

There are those who get on the field and tussle, those who quip from the sidelines, and those who run out like a raving lunatic streaker.

I guess I need to keep track who is who here.

Goon
Guest

"its because she’s black isn’t it?"

You can't be serious.

I'm pretty sure she's actually multiracial though, like Rashida Jones, who actually is very very funny. if she was in this movie I'd have seen it by now, she and Krasinski had good chemistry on the Office.

I just think she sucks that large, and often wonder if she only gets some of these roles because she's dating PT Anderson. Mendes and Anderson are very good friends last I heard. It explains how she ended up in Prairie Home Companion, thats for sure.

Yeah, I actually do think she may be boosted by her relationship similarly to how other directors stick their wives in their movies, whether they are good or bad. Rachel Weisz, Christine Taylor, Leslie Mann – you can't tell me they havent landed roles they probably would not have otherwise had 🙂

Goon
Guest

Tell me: Does Maya Rudolph sing in Away We Go? That's another thing that drives me nuts. On SNL she'd have to force her way into singing during every episode, her Whitney Houston impression/character was the shits.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I heart Toonces. That is all.

rot
Guest

Andrew was arguing about how great a performance she has in Away We Go, and I don't think that is entirely true. It isn't so much a great acting performance so much as having some quality that appears innate to her, its her aura that I find appealing in the film, kind of like Faye Wong in Chungking Express… was it a great performance, no, but something about her elevated everything.

If you have this racial issue with Maya Rudolph than I doubt you will see it the same way 🙂

I just find it odd that you said you don't like looking at her. To me she has this natural goofy beauty to her, although in this film she is looking pretty haggard.

rot
Guest

she does voices, no singing, I don't think.

Goon
Guest

No rot, it's because her face is ugly. Very very ugly. If you're serious about this stuff that's strange, but I'm hoping you're just in for some Gamble Approved Ace Trolling.

Goon
Guest

"I am going out on a limb here, but I am pretty sure you will hate Away We Go. We are like polar opposites on so much."

Not completely, but I sense that just like our Winterbottom picks are ranked in reverse order, we could very well be the same on Mendes.

rot
Guest

not only do we disagree on comedy, on high art, but yeah looks like beauty can be added to that list. I think Maya is beautiful in a natural way.

Oh and I just rewatched Away We Go, feel even stronger about it 4.5/5 and the best film of the year thus far.

spoiler below:

Andrew, you must have been drunk during the podcast because if you could fall for Gamble's argument about the ending and how it pertains to the theme of the story, you are nuts. It is said over and over what their motivations are and its not have a house, and certainly not that house considering the baggage.

Reconfirmed my love for both the characters of Burt and Verona, seriously, I just want to hug them and be their friends, I can't remember feeling that so strongly before with fictional characters… but also… Rudolph and Krasinski they were awesome, they really sold the movie for me.

Goon
Guest

I found your flixster page and it says we're "66 -best friends"

I think you're focusing too much on the extreme differences

rot
Guest

then I guess eventually we will hit upon a film we both agree on here? But I'm pretty sure Away We Go won't be that film, or maybe it will, who knows.

I see it as an anti-film-geek film, not to say everyone who dislikes it is a film geek, there are many ways to dislike it, but one way to dislike it is to have a grand idea of what film ought to do, how it should be structured, what needs to happen to characters, the argument of blanket naturalism, the sneer of anything remotely quirky (the Juno reflex), this general perception that what you are watching is a film first and needs to be evaluated that way, and a story with uninhibited things to say, second.

The people I have seen the film with who haven't the foggiest idea what naturalistic writing is or the minutiae of tone and genre is have loved the movie, and are completely baffled when I explain the criticisms that occur on here. And to be honest, they are baffling. In fact, worse, they are the cinematic equivalent of racial profiling. You think you know how this subset is supposed to work and when it deviates from your bias you see it as a fault of the film, when it is a personal tick of your own.

One can love or hate a film for whatever reason, but don't suppose those feelings are legitimized in the construct of the film unless you are genuinely acknowledging the unique aspirations of the film in your criticisms, unless you see it as an individual.

Goon
Guest

"You think you know how this subset is supposed to work and when it deviates from your bias you see it as a fault of the film, when it is a personal tick of your own."

I think you really need to get off this trip of telling other people why they don't like something/dictating their experience.

Mike Rot
Member

to carry the analogy, if a person is making racist remarks about an individual I should either say nothing or respect their right of expression?

If I see someone vehemently perpetuating the argument that a film is flawed because of prejudices about how a film ought to work, that bear no ostensive evidence in the film itself, thats the same thing. Its disparaging, and no I won't sit back quietly.

Mike Rot
Member

btw I make a distinction between people just bullshitting, and people who draw a line in the sand and say "this is so". Its the "this is so" people I am taking to task. If "this is so" show it to me.

Mike Rot
Member

and Goon, I am not telling anyone why they like what they like, if we are talking about Matt, he said it, my source material is what he said, if I misinterpreted what he said, he can correct me.

He said the ending of Away We Go is a deus ex machina because of a theme in the film that doesn't exist in the film.

Goon
Guest

I dont know if you can see how you come across, but pretty often I see a lot of hard assertions or declarations about other peoples opinions, or clearly subjective topics, that would be easier to swallow with the words "I think.." in front of them.

Mike Rot
Member

I push as hard forward as the person pushing back to me. I notice you brought this up in the Henrik Perdition debate too… there is something in common with these two debates… in both I have been personally challenged, there, a moron for what I thought, and here, offensive for what I think. I like to communicate in the same tone as the person I am communicating with.

If you noticed, or I guess you didn't, Jandy and I had a very civilized back and forth about the minutiae of Away We Go.

Goon
Guest

I'm not trying to say your posts are thoughtless btw, you put a lot of work into them. We're all guilty of being the Film Bully or rephrasing the other persons argument wrong from time to time, and maybe its just a 'styles clash' thing for me, but often it feels like you are intentionally making accusations against the other persons entire way of thinking rather than their specific arguments. That is what I saw in the quote I used.

Mike Rot
Member

admittedly I do try and provoke more in cases like now when Gamble in true O'Reilly fashion cuts off my mic in the discussion. I will say something inflammatory to get something started, but what you quoted wasn't one of them. That was meant as a general statement about a kind of critiquing, although looking back at the post I can see how it could be misconstrued as specifically about the naysayers of the movie on this site. It wasn't meant to be, well, about Matt, yes, but I meant it more broadly by anyone who fits that criteria.

I notice I get challenged for setting criteria in the first place a lot, and the running logic is everyone can say whatever they want free for-all. And that is the valid default, bullshit away, but like I said, when a line is drawn and the opinion is not squaring up with stuff in the film and I can make a credible argument that someone is disparaging film for things it never intended on being, than I feel entirely entitled to counter it.

actually we were on the same side once with Benjamin Button, I remember because we were both saying that the fairy tale aspect of the film disputed any call for realism that people like Kurt were suggesting was missing, and therefore was a failing of the film. That is a personal tick, and should be distinguished from something that can be genuinely debated about a film.

agree, disagree?

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