Cinecast Episode 134: The Asymptote of Mainstream

Episode 134:
So much for the Gabba Gamble being around to rescue the show. With Andrew recuperating from Lollapalooza it’s up to Kurt and Marina to keep the show on the road. Starting with Chan-Wook Park’s uncategorizable Thirst along to Near Dark, Innocent Blood and vampires in general, eventually landing in romantic comedy territory with a revisit to (500) Days of Summer and a quick tour 1980s John Hughes. There are some DVD picks in there as well. And, of course, it would not be a Cinecast without a few tangents. The sound quality is a bit tinny, so apologies and some *Fist Shaking at Skype.*

Enjoy.

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http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_09/episode134.mp3

COVERED IN TODAY’S SHOW:
Thirst
(500) Days of Summer (Marina’s review)
The Great Silence
Paper Rock Scissors: Way of the Tosser
The Room
Trouble The Water (Rot’s Review)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

DVD picks:
The Ninth Gate
Lone Wolf & Cub Collection
The Class
Andrew’s Review
Alien Tresspass (Blu-Ray)

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Goon
Guest

Direct link no worky. [*ED Note*: fixed now, enjoy]

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Just a quick note that Dead Channel's programmer is Bruce Fletcher. Totally brain cramp on my part while recording.

J.D.
Guest

Thanks for the good discussion about "Thirst". I think that the difficulty with 1st part of the film is because he based the entire subsequent acts on Emile Zola's novel "Therese Raquin" but he had to fit in the priest-who-gets-an-infection-and-becomes-a-vampire story line into the movie first.

After that setup, the movie is heavily based on "Therese Raquin" but with wacky vampires thrown in. (I'LL BE PURPOSEFULLY VAGUE HERE DUE TO POTENTIAL SPOILERS.) Mother with spoiled, sickly, son – arranged marriage – mother runs a shop – the boat trip – guilt and visions after boat trip – playing table games with family members – paralysis of character with only eye movement (I could go on.)

This all being said I enjoyed the film and the Zola novel is definitely not funny as this movie is. I was definitely not prepared to laugh as much as I did during the film.(It calls to mind the current best seller that I have yet to read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".)

This was the 1st movie I've seen by Park Chan-wook and was a movie outside of my normal movie going choices. I'm pretty proud of myself for taking a chance on it as I enjoyed it.

Goon
Guest

Saw 500 Days of Summer. I'd give it a 4/5 and don't see the negativity that has propped up from some people. While I could nitpick a few things (the younger sister element of the story, for example) as a whole I thought any of the quirky elements served the film greatly, and weren't just there for the sake of quirk but instead to make an observational point. I could relate to a lot of the things going on, I thought ol' Jogolev did a pretty great job and even liked Zoobot, who I'm normally not so keen on as an actress.

Kurt
Guest

Zoobot! Awesome. I don't get the hate on Zooey, maybe it is the overexposure, or the fact that she has yet to really stray outside of her comfort zone. But she is good at what she does.

Yea, I dug the movie a heckuvalot more than I was lead to believe I would. Very happy I indugled it on a whim last friday.

Goon
Guest

She seriously hasn't really been tested.

Reminds me, I also rewatched Hitchhikers Guide. I barely liked it the first time but have to say on each rewatch I like it more and more. It's a rare 'grower film' – funny that at the first time it felt too fast paced and skipping over things from one to the next, but on rewatches it feels more settled in. I suppose more distance from reading the books, from comparing the two head to head, watching it as its own incarnation, helps a lot.

Kurt
Guest

I was a fan of Hitchhikers the first time around. I understood that faithfulness to the book was impossible, and I liked what they did with tone and whatnot. The acting talent in there is unreal, and the film doesn't rely too much of SFX. It was fun and entertaining.

I bought it on DVD with plans to watch it every now and again.

Kurt
Guest

(I'm only a casual fan of the books, I've read the first one a couple times, but the sequels are seriously diminishing returns. So I think Hitchiker's Movie plays best to simply a person casually aware of the books (i.e. read 'em once). If you are an uberfan, you are bound to demand fidelity which is impossible. If you are ignorant of them, the tone of the film will likely be baffling.

Oh, and I liked the goofy dolphin number, although I wonder how it will play Post-TheCove.

Matt Gamble
Guest

If you're an uberfan then you should know that fidelity is contradictory to the series. The radio plays, BBC series, books and audio series are all different. Its one of the things Adams prided the series on, reinventing the whole thing with each new incarnation.

Kurt
Guest

Well, I'm not an Uberfan (although I have seen the TV show. It's fun in a cardboard and bubblegum sort of way), so that type of mistake was an honest one.

rot
Guest

Regarding Trouble the Water and the rap scene, in my theater the audience broke into applause and cheers, and yes goose bumps absolutely. It was my favorite moment in a theater last year.

Kurt, I am lending you When the Levees Broke, you need to see it. in exchange for The Room. 🙂

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Done and Done, sir.

Goon
Guest

for Marina:

"When you're goin on a date, you put on a shirt! And you ride your bike, to the DAY AY ATE"

You're the voice.

Goon
Guest

yeah based on a movie you said you like in the podcast, you should have 😛

here's a music cue (ignore the image)

http://yourethevoice.ytmnd.com

dan
Guest

I never really understood the fuss about Zooey Deschenel. Sure she's cute and doe-eyed as fuck, but I find her somewhat annoying. I saw her on Top Chef Masters a couple weeks ago, and she had the most pretentious diet ever (vegan, no soy, gluten-free–I'm not even sure if she was allergic to gluten) and had the hipsterest enterouge you could ever imagine. Turnoffs. Plus, she was in Yes Man, a flaming pile of a movie. I was corralled into seeing it in the theater with some non-discerning relatives, and I wanted to commit harakiri about 20 minutes in to the movie.

Goon
Guest

Found a copy of the Room which I'll check out tout de suite. Its also playing at the Bloor at midnight next week.

Goon
Guest

Kurt, Ponyo (English dub, they did a good job though) is playing at the AMC right by your work. Saw it this morning, and it was quite good, enjoyable as always from Miyazaki. I liked Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away much more, but still definitely something to go check out.

Dave
Guest

"Found a copy of the Room"

Do you mean this movie:

http://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax/room

which is what should have been linked to in the show notes.

Goon
Guest

thats the one Dave, but the copy i have is sans commentary

Rick
Guest

The microphone tapper needs to take a course in brain use. Where's Christian Bale when you need him?

Rick
Guest

How has nobody mentioned this? I had to turn it off 1 hour in. SOOOO annoying.

Dave
Guest

Good luck, Goon.

Oh hai, Denny!

Kurt
Guest

@Goon, brought the kiddies to see Ponyo Saturday Morning. It was fabulous, and a radically different take on the LITTLE MERMAIN Thingy. Still loving Miyazaki very much.

Goon
Guest

have to say this particular Miyazaki movie makes me realize that if North American animated movies had the same non sequitor approach to storytelling, it would probably get shit on. That sort of thing is sort of expected and accepted from Japanese animation – sure its because they can do it well – but also because everyone just agrees the people making this thing are fucked in the head. If a North American has a similar sensibility then the story criticisms and token film phrases come out to attack the number of things that happen in this kind of movie where the answer to every 'why' is 'just because'

I mean seriously, when you think of all these things – the parenting decisions of the mom going through that storm just to get to the house, and then leaving the kids behind to go back into that storm… that Ponyo just decides that she loves this kid even though she's stuck in a bucket and the boy had to date been doing a sub par job watching over her.

Miyazaki can find a way around all of this, but Dreamworks can't get their film seen no matter how strong the reviews are, because apparently – everybody was kung fu fighting. You can't tell me that song is worse than the crappy song in Ponyo's end credits 😛

Rusty James
Guest

How 'bout putting up a District 9 thread so we can banter.

Goon
Guest

I'm assuming theres going to be a R3view team thread in the next couple days.

Andrew rated D9 on Flixster, so since it will upset him and he's just say 'i stand by what i wrote but not the rating', I'll get the obvious and now cliched retort out of the way now.

Transformers – 3.5/5, District 9 – 3/5

Rusty James
Guest

@ I’m assuming theres going to be a R3view team thread in the next couple days.

I assume so as well, and am looking forward to it. but in the mean time it would be nice to have a thread.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Goon, I more than completely agree that the pop-tart post-produced closing-credits song in PONYO is worse than KungFu Fighting to sell KFP.

I also agree that the 'moon' element and baffling parental choices by Saskei's mom in Ponyo would never fly in North America, but yea, I guess 25 years of Miyazaki I don't seem to take that to task.

Ponyo's dad also felt a lot like Howl. Liam Neeson was grating doing the voice work, I could picture him in the sound booth half falling asleep.

I still adore the movie, and I adore how it never talks down to the kids (if anything it sets the highest expectation of kid (Saskei) confidence and competence. I adore how the Queen of the Sea was portrayed (sure Cate Blanchette, post-Rings is glaring obvious, but it still works perfectly). I really loved the old ladies at the home, (Lily Tomlin, Cloris Leachman, Betty White) and wish there were more of them. I also liked how the sea and underwater was envisioned.

I think there is a masters thesis in adaptation looking at Disney's The Little Mermaid vs. Ghibli's Ponyo as both are adapted (freely) from the Hans Christien Anderson story.

I liked Ponyo better than FINDING NEMO, by a small stride or two.

Goon
Guest

Well I'd say Nemo and Ponyo are apples and oranges, its only that logo design and poster uniting them to me 😛

But I like Nemo more, especially as a depiction of a family.

Tina Fey's reading also was detached from time to time, but I think a lot of that happens when the English is well.. unnatural, and when you're recording so many very very short sentences. Most of the dialogue is very terse. Ponyo speaks in Ralph Wiggumish non sequitor soundbites.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Tina Fey was 'mom' in the film? I thought she was great!

Well, the poster and the fact that there is a lot of 'under-water animation. What I'm saying is that I liked Miyazaki's vision of a magical underwater kingdom over the Pixar version of a talking-fish underwater kingdom.

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