Cinecast Episode 128 – Percolating

Episode 128:
It’s time to get some stuff straightened out. Of course in person we’re much more civil, but we take our time hashing out the details of film marketing as well getting pretty deep into Pontypool spoiler territory with a lengthy conversation ranging from Neal Stephenson to 19th century philosophy. More Soderbergh chat with The Girlfriend Experience and of course some DVD talk and an all new “on the road” bit of anti-joy. And bask in our lengthy 3 syllable review of Transformers 2.
As always, thank you SO MUCH for listening.

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

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COVERED IN TODAY’S SHOW:

Pontypool (spoiler version)
Spoilers in trailers/film marketing
“On the Road”: Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
The Girlfriend Experience
Vampire’s Kiss
– – Finite focus post

DVD picks:
Do the Right Thing
Tokyo!
Se7en

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Rusty James
Guest

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

IFC's 50 best trailers: http://www.ifc.com/news/2009/06/50-greatest-trail

But here is that Citizen Kane one. Wow!

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And Their #1 is the Alien Full Trailer and it's a doozy if you can Play it Loud:

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

And what Might Be the most SPOILERIFIC Trailer of all time. This is practically the entire movie in fast-forward, stopping only to linger on Rebecca Romijn-Stamos partly nude at those points during the film:

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

In anticipation of Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES, check this Roger Corman production out:

"She Lived Life The Hard Way. Now She's Ready To Give Lessons. Lady in Red"

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<img src=&quotcomment image" alt="ladyinred" title="ladyinred" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15511" />

Gary
Guest

Have to agree with Matt about DO THE RIGHT THING! Someone needs to sit Andrew down like a CLOCKWORK ORANGE and force him to watch it right now.

And also agree that THE LIMEY and OUT OF SIGHT are so amazingly good in every way that I can watch them over and over. I love his films but those 2 are my all-time Soderbergh favorites! Can't wait to pick up GFE on blu-ray — loved the film as well.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Dang. I've been confused with Gamble. How did that happen?

😉

Gary
Guest

Doh! Sorry Kurt. It had to be the fact that your film taste was so spot on with mine about Soderbergh that I forgot who stayed and who left! But it was Andrew that hasn't seen DO THE RIGHT THING right??

Mike Rot
Member

Andrew hasn't seen Do The Right Thing?! That it is on blu-ray now is glorious news. Must buy.

Mike Rot
Member

Fishing with John is great but Do The Right Thing is better

Ross Miller
Guest

You guys talked for 45 minutes about Pontypool and I didn't get a name-drop?! I went into an older post and commented after seeing it at the EIFF (although Kurt ALMOST mentioned me when he mentioned it showed there), sparking renewed discussion about it.

I'm suing! Who do I write to?

^_^

Mike Rot
Member

The Opening Credits of Do The Right Thing, excuse the crummy image quality from youtube

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Ashley
Guest

I just happened to watch sex, lies, and videotape yesterday. What exactly do you mean that it hasn't aged very well? I'm not too familiar with Soderberg's other work, so was this comment compared to his other films? Apart from the fashion, I didn't notice anything that made it look too 80s.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I just felt that SL&V 'voyeurism and filming' just doesn't seem as fresh today as it did in the early 1990s. I can't quite put my finger on it, but when I watched it a year ago, I was rather ho-hum on that film. I find a lot of Soderbergh's later 'small' films to resonate more, or are more vibrant, or natural.

Ashley
Guest

Maybe it was the huge camera and tapes that made it feel so old! Perhaps if he'd recorded straight to his laptop with live Internet feed it would have been a whole other movie. 🙂

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

No, it is more than simply aesthetics. Something feels profoundly off in that picture, and not in a good way. I should probably revisit it again to really nail down the specifics here, but my last viewing the whole endeavor left me flat, not stimulated. Mentally, that is.

Ashley
Guest

Haha, I get what you're saying. It's a really odd movie, I just pulled it to watch because I'm about to lend it to a friend and I told him if he likes he can keep it, so I just wanted to give it one more go. I think the part I like most is the diversity of the actors, they've all gone on to have such varied careers, it's fun to see them all together at the very beginning.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Wait, you haven't seen Running Man, Andrew? How is that even physically possible? That should be #2 in your queue after Do The Right Thing.

Ross Miller
Guest

I haven't seen The Running Man yet either, Matt. I've been meaning to for a while but just haven't had the chance for whatever reason. Although I HAVE seen Do The Right Thing, so at least that's something.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I'll have to listen to the tail end of the Cinecast again, because when Kurt says that Maria Conchita Alonso is in Running Man you say you haven't seen it. You might have been responding to another movie he listed before it though, and Kurt was just rudely stepping on your response, like he does.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Not yet. I'll listen for it tonight once I get home.

Goon
Guest

Re: Zach and Miri and the 'someone you know' porn thing. I've actually experienced this little thing, as a person I hung out with frequently in high school ended up as a male anchor on the Naked News website. of course it got circulated, and now everyone who sort of knew this guy has now seen his cock.

Goon
Guest

certainly a great episode even without it (everyone got their links in without monologuing) there is no Transformers 2 review in this ep, despite advertised.

White Rabbits on the bumper – a hell of a grower of an album. at parts reminds me of Spoon, but not really in that particular track.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

The transformers 2 thing is kind of a joke. The word transformers is mentioned nonchalantly only a single time in the podcast, we consider that our contemptuous review of a topic talked waaaay too much about on the internets, We hope the film just goes away.

Goon
Guest

Both of the Toronto alt weekly critics pretty much savaged Moon. Is there anything in the movie that could be considered so divisive, or are these just the vast minority?

rot
Guest

@John

yes but in a given year there are a handful of films that percolate to the top and that garner a lot of attention and are talked about in every film circle, and Do The Right Thing was that in 1989. Like Kurt said, it was nominated, which really I find stunning, what happened to THAT Academy and how do we get it back?

Perhaps Andrew wasn't much of a cinephile in 1989?

and John you haven't seen Rachel Getting Married, which considering it was virtually the number 1 film of Row Three for last year, thats an impressive omission.

John Allison
Editor

hehe I will get to RGM coming up. Tonight I'm actually thinking I will finally sit down with Grave of the Fireflies. I'm not sure if I'm in the right mood or not yet but it seems like it might happen tonight.

Goon
Guest

I didnt see DTRT until about two years ago, and appropriately, watched it on the hottest day of the summer.

It's very intelligent and still controversial, and I think a person can reasonably have a lot of troubles with how characters are portrayed and still think its a fine film. it's that good.

rot
Guest

Yes watch DTRT on a hot day with an ice cold Millers in waiting.

The ending still pisses me off everytime I see it, and I have some real problems with Spike's politics in general, but I still love him as a director, love that he wears his heart on his sleeve.

rot
Guest

Best Spike Lee joints:

1) Do The Right Thing

2) When the Levees Broke

3) 25th Hour

4) Crooklyn

5) Malcolm X

6) Bamboozled

7) Clockers

8) Inside Man

9) Jungle Fever

10) Summer of Sam

Miracle at St. Anna, however, was an abomination.

Goon
Guest

even though I havent seen all of the ones on that list rot, we now have a director I can agree the rank list of.

Kurt
Guest

What, no love for Girl 8?

(I'm kidding of course.)

I'd rank Summer of Sam a little higher, and I've not seen Levees or Bamboozled yet.

rot
Guest

I think I am the only person here who has seen When The Levees Broke… any chance I get I talk it up and no one responds… the film is a masterpiece, one of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen. I am psyched that the Wire guys are taking up elements depicted in the doc with their latest show about ninth ward musicians post-Katrina. Wendell Pierce, a.k.a. Bunk, is one of the testimonials in Levees, one of many heartbreaking stories.

I really need to rewatch Bamboozled, only seen it once but it has stuck with me.

Goon
Guest

I've seen When the Levees Broke but I havent seen the additional part that was made for the DVD.

The first half of the doc is better than the second, IMO

Matt Gamble
Guest

Perhaps Andrew wasn’t much of a cinephile in 1989?

He was what, 13? 14 tops? I think it is safe to say Do the Right Thing isn't going to appeal to many people at that age, nor is the film really aspiring to reach them.

Running Man would be far more surprising as not only is the film aiming straight for his demographic, but it was at a time when every new Schwarzenegger film was a must-see event. Plus it practically was on a loop on HBO for ages. Do the Right Thing never had that kind of pop culture push.

I think Andrew's personal politics might play some of a role into not having watched it before now. Lee is certainly divisive, and plenty of people don't exactly jump at the chance to watch his films. That and their always seems to be films you just haven't gotten around too, no matter how many you've seen.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Both of the Toronto alt weekly critics pretty much savaged Moon. Is there anything in the movie that could be considered so divisive, or are these just the vast minority?

Is there any online links to them so I can read them? I know Hoberman complained that the film doesn't really go anywhere, which is a fair criticism, but I'd argue that MOON isn't trying to explain what is going on rather then letting the viewer stew on it and figure things out themselves.

I think it is fair to say that MOON is probably too subtle, as their are details I know I missed, and plenty of details I know others missed. That can give the initial illusion that the film simply doesn't know where it is going.

Its the kind of film where you sit and bounce ideas and viewpoints off of one another while talking about it afterward (Cache is a recent example of this IMO), then let the conversation simmer before you really start to grasp how complex and open ended the film is. You also need to stay engaged with it, and maybe it isn't the best at making sure the audience is always with it. I could see how people might label it as snobby for that as well.

There was a pretty big group at the press screening I invited Andrew to, and I don't think anyone there thought negatively about it. It seemed the general consensus was it was good to great, with me being one of the biggest cheerleaders of it.

Henrik
Guest

Do The Right Thing is complex. I'm surprised Goon enjoyed it! The only major problem with it is that Spike Lee acts in a major role. Even though you grow accepting of it, it's very distracting and it's obvious he's a poor actor. Oh, and the title sequence is boring.

Kurt
Guest

The title sequence is DO The Right Thing is one of the great 'ease you into the film' sequences. Classic. I wouldn't call it boring at all.

Goon
Guest

he whines when he's made an adjective but his first post in several days goes and makes digs in the second sentence.

welcommen

rot
Guest

I first saw Do The Right Thing when I was 15 I am guessing, whenever it made it to video. I liked movies then, what movies ever made it to rural Ontario, and I really have no idea what compelled me to rent this movie, maybe it was the nomination. I can genuinely say seeing that film changed me, it changed the way I looked at movies, its when I noticed there could be something more than mindless entertainment, that it could provoke you into thought.

the youtube clip of the opening sequence is above… it is awesome. I became an overnight fan of Public Enemy.

rot
Guest

@Goon To me there is not a bad act in Levees, I watched the four hours in one non-stop sitting at TIFF and it is truly the fastest four hours I have spent in a theater.

I should compile a post of the films that make me the angriest about the state of the world, this would be high on that list. Irrespective of Lee's politics, Post-Katrina was an utter disgrace on all levels, and racism and class-ism had to have played a part in the disregard for human life shown in the aftermath. Its easy to get defensive and say that's ridiculous and Lee is injecting his politics into a story, but listening to the testimonials, reading the people for who they appear to be, these are not actors, these are guileless folk who are telling their stories, and it gets at the heart of the problem that no amount of white-washing can erase.

Henrik
Guest

"makes digs in the second sentence."

I was joking… That's why I shouted it :/.

I didn't like the Public Enemy song, and the title sequence with the weird colors and stuff had me grueling the film. It looked like a film school student testing out equipment on his girlfriends bad dancing.

Kurt
Guest

So you dislike the opening credits to A CLOCKWORK ORANGE too (like a graphics arts student testing out colour backgrounds) or Lady in the Water (like a bad children's lit student testing out animation software).

Opening credit sequences often are high artifice as a way of conditioning the viewer and easing them into the experience of what the movie has to offer. I think DtRT does this magnificently with that opening sequence.

(And if you shouted your 'joke' above, it did not get published as block capitals)

Henrik
Guest

No but it has an exclamantion mark. Used to signify shouting or yelling. WRITING LIKE THIS IS JUST OBNOXIOUS.

"So you dislike the opening credits to A CLOCKWORK ORANGE too (like a graphics arts student testing out colour backgrounds) or Lady in the Water (like a bad children’s lit student testing out animation software)."

Now if Goon were here, he would scold you for your fallacies and horrible debating. I like both of those title sequences, and I disagree with what you have to say about them.

I'm not sure the title sequence puts me in the right mood for the movie. In the Public Enemy song the sympathies are quite obvious, and I thought in DtRT, that the major strength of the film was that sympathy lies with nobody and everybody.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Henrik, you don't need BLOCK CAPITALS to be obnoxious. On this we agree!

On the title sequence, I found Do The Right Things opening credits to be highly effective, and the artificiality was pretty clearly intended, so comparing it to 'amateur' seemed a little strange. Hence my calling out two other very artificial credit sequences to films I was pretty sure you liked.

In terms of the effectiveness of the song choice and dance, I think it is aiming as much for mood as in specifically fitting the point of the film. The song calls for action, the movie gives you action of sorts (The Trash Can). It seems apropos of what Spike was getting at.

"Power" as the song refers to a pretty ethereal and elusive concept in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood in DtRT.

But I will agree with the statement that "the major strength of the film was that sympathy lies with nobody and everybody."

rot
Guest

two greatly aloof questions from the 1989 Cannes Press conference for DtRT on the blu-ray:

"but where are all the drugs?"

"what solutions to racism is the film offering?"

Rusty James
Guest

Unfortunately Rot, it's not necessary to go all the way back to 1989 to find clueless critics.

20 years later here's Kyle Smith to tell us how the the real cold blooded criminal is Mookie:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06202009/postopinion/

Henrik
Guest

Well, I definitely felt what Mookie did was wrong and immoral as well, but I completely understood why he did it, and the character made sense. That's why the film is good. If he is a cold blooded criminal, which he might be, I don't see how that is a weakness. Maybe I am being racist in saying that his character made sense? I mean Radio Raheem, as far as I can remember, was a pretty despicable person, but since he was black, I understand black people being outraged when he is killed.

rot
Guest

Like Henrik seems to be saying, Kyle Smith is not appreciating that Mookie is not a hero in the movie. Which is brilliant, and in the Cannes conference he talks about the final scene where Sal throws the $200 dollars at him, and if Mookie was this dignified hero he would have walked away, but he didn't… he took the money. We have identified with this character throughout the film and in the end he turns out to be as flawed as everyone else. He embodies the Malcolm X quote, and by extension Lee's perspective, but he doesn't make it heroic… it comes off as a built up tension that went off, but the ending doesn't congratulate the behavior, it actually if anything shows how petty Mookie is, and Sal seems more sympathetic by comparison.

rot
Guest

I can't believe the "where are the drugs" comment that even Kyle is bringing up… I never once thought it was striving for verite realism, this is a staged narrative about racism, its like Our Town in Bed-Sty. His focus was how races relate to one another, it was not to document the every detail of a neighborhood. He has every right to stylize the neighborhood, its capturing this hyper-reality to fit the style he is shooting in.

Shannon the Movie Mo
Guest

Loved the discussion on spoilers and trailers guys – that was really interesting to listen too. Of course, I stopped it and then finished listening too it after I'd seen Moon.

Showing something that is in the first act doesn't mean it isn't a spoiler – it certainly can be. I liked it, a lot but it would have been much more enjoyable without the reveal in the trailer.

Great mention of the Quarantine poster/trailer. That just killed me. And I do think that can be a spoiler because you are waiting for that moment throughout the film.

Henrik
Guest

I just rewatched Do The Right Thing. It's even more powerful than I remembered, definitely a great film. The opening credits go on for too long, and nobody in there is a decent person except for The Mayor and Sal. Highly interesting and stimulating, of course it offers no solution, it feels like it is just telling it as it is.

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