Cinecast Episode 307 – Don’t Be A Don’ter

This week sees the absence of Matt Gamble but that doesn’t stop us for going on far longer than probably needs be about another fantastic episode in the saga of Westeros. We take a step back from our initial anticipation of a Michael Bay film and remind ourselves to keep calm and carry on. The Watch List this week takes us to HotDocs and Jurassic Park. Again. Though not much new in the message, we take a quick look at Soderbergh’s thoughts on the state of cinema and decide that yes, you are probably part of the problem. All this and more in this episode in the classic banter style of the RowThree Cinecasts of yore.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


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Full show notes are under the seats…

 


 

~ IN-HOUSE BUSINESS ~

– Soderbergh’s State of Cinema address

OPENING QUOTE:
Mark Wahlberg
in
I Heart Huckabees

CLOSING BUMPER MUSIC:
“I’m Big”
by
Steve Jablonsky

 


 

~ MAIN REVIEW ~

Pain and Gain

 


 

~ GAME OF THRONES RECAP ~

– season 3, episode 5
– Theme music performed by Break of Reality

 


 

~ THE WATCH LIST ~

Kurt

– HotDocs
The Expedition to the End of the World | (poster)
Maidentrip
When I Walk
Downloaded
Valentine Road
Sick Birds Die Easy

Andrew
– “Jurassic Park” (novel)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park III

 


 

~ NEXT WEEK’S REVIEW(S) ~


– Mud
– Kon-Tiki
– Blancanieves

 


 

~ COMMENTS or QUESTIONS? ~

feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew.james@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

 

Cinecast Cinecast
Hosted by Andrew James, Kurt Halfyard, Matt Gamble and the occasional guest.

20 Comments

  1. In full disclosure, I recommended When I Walk because I felt it was everything a documentary on MS should not be. I felt the guy came off as a massively narcissistic jerk (granted, I haven’t met him, so he may be very nice in person) — particularly in the scene where he and his wife were walking down the street and he keeps trying to scoot ahead to avoid her and the scene where he’s chewing her out for being too slow when they’re editing and in the scene where they go to India and he’s walking by the group of people sitting on the wall overlooking the water — it looks totally staged just to get a reaction from each one, and the second someone stares at him, the camera zooms in. And also the scene early on in his illness where he’s lamenting to the camera that he can no longer bang hot women and go out clubbing.

    In addition to that, using cartoons to depict what MS does to someone felt very out of place (aside from the overuse of cartoons) — degenerative diseases are horrible, horrible things, and to portray white blood cells as little smiley faces that munch on the brain seemed tasteless.

    And then there’s the three or four time lapse shots of him staring at the camera as a load of people walk by. Come on. Or where he and his mother go through the neighborhood to film graffiti, and he can’t help but wedge himself into the camera by scooting across each work they shoot. Or, as you mentioned, the many, many shots of him undergoing alternative treatments — that and the sequence where he gets people together to create a wheelchair-accessible app (and I guess a lot of others) feel like padding to get the flick to feature length.

    So, yeah, I intensely disliked the film, but I thought it was totally worth seeing as a sort of blueprint for how not to make a doc like this. Or, in other words, this seemed to me the exact representation of the kind of doc Jay rails on, “about the guy who has AIDS or whatever, that looks like shit and wins awards and no one has the balls to say sucks.” (And I’m paraphrasing, but I think that’s pretty close).

    Reply
  2. And for Andrew: Crichton was paid about $1.5 million to adapt the book Jurassic Park into a screenplay, and I think that’s why it’s fairly faithful to the book, though *SPOILER* almost all the secondary characters’ deaths are reversed.*SPOILER*

    Sphere, the book, I never liked, but everyone else seems to, so it’s probably worth checking out, though Rising Sun and Disclosure are two of my favorites — I think anything from the middle of his career — from The Great Train Robbery to Disclosure is the best stuff. The Great Train Robbery is also a very fun flick, directed by Crichton himself, and starring Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. It winks to the camera a lot, but is very worth the watch.

    Reply
    • “Bring me a Dead Cat!” – I am a big fan of the Connery/Sutherland THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. Disclosure is more fun to laugh at than actually enjoy.

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      • YES! Donald Sutherland is fantastic in it as well — the sequence where they get the final two keys in the train station is one of my favorites in any movie.

        And I’m with you on Disclosure, especially where Demi Moore types in the line “Kill them all,” as though it’s an actual DOS command, and the less said about the practicality of the virtual reality file storage, probably the better.

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        • I was a huge Crichton fan, I think I have read everything except the posthumous book. Don’t listen to Nat, Sphere is great, but that said, I also think the film is great (rewatched last year on blu-ray, holds up).

          The Andromeda Strain was lesser Crichton. Rising Sun was one of my favorites too. His travelogue book Travels is actually my favorite thing he wrote, he lived a fascinating life.

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          • Ditto on Travels — and Pirate Latitudes is really good, too. To be fair, I did say that Sphere was worth a read. And I should probably reread it.

  3. Kurt described me as ‘through the moon’ on Pain & Gain in the last episode. That’s not accurate, but I did like it more than both of you.

    In a nutshell for me it’s just compulsively watchable, and very funny, partially by design, and partially by accident. So as much as I loved the experience of it, there’s only so much credit I can give it. All the racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynist crap would have been in whatever Michael Bay movie he was making, but it just so happens that for me in this film… Bay’s plastic vacuousness is so legit, and confined mostly to the supporting players whilst Wahlberg and Rock provide the mix of goofiness and actual shading, that it plays so much more joyously than in Spring Breakers where Franco is no more to me than an SNL character and everyone else is an amorphous blob of blonde bimbo, neither of which entertained me for a single second.

    The difference between the two films to me is like this. Give the assignment of saying “Make a movie about human pieces of garbage…”. You hand one to an actual piece of shit and it will be hypocritical and sleazy, but it takes a duck to know a duck. You hand one to Korine, or to Tim Robbins in Bob Roberts (which for the record, I love), and maybe you get some objectivity and more intellectual commentary, but you also run the risk of losing your authenticity and then you end up looking like some pretentious elitist. To me, the way Korine shoots his ass shaking montages is the closest thing to any authenticity in that film.. but it’s all filler. Everything else to me is lazy generic clowning and it doesnt matter to me how well he shoots it (Which for the record, I didn’t care much for.)

    With Pain and Gain, it’s at least a really fun story with fun characters, that yes, contains it’s own sequel, but in ‘based on a true story’ movies I never feel bogged down by length because I’m never expecting a tighter structure. And I really thought it was hilarious, in a have your cake and eat it too way. When it was legitimately funny, I was happy. When the humor was terrible, I found its unfunniness funny, accidentally working in the context of the story and how horrible everyone is supposed to be.

    So I’m going to bat for Bay, but with asterisks. I only go more full force to bat for Bay to a number of very hypocritical reviewers out there who are attacking Bay for making a comedy out of a horrific true story when they rubber stamped Bernie last year.

    Reply
  4. So a correction.

    You and Kurt were both half right about where Robb Stark is going. He is going back to the Twins where the Frey’s and his promised wife live to gather their troops up with his own and then marching to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters.

    Reply
  5. Agreed about Jon Snow’s storyline being the least interesting in the Game of Thrones. By a Westeros mile. Such a deathly earnest character, and Kit Harington is too limited an actor to bring anything but the one pained expression to the role. He drains the energy from every scene, so thank the seven hells for Ygritte – without her the beyond the wall scenes are real go-and-grab-a-drink moments; just so drab and flat and the don’t affect the overall ‘game’.

    I would also get a kick out of seeing a Lannister (which is what Joffrey actually is, of course) on the throne at the end, though I’d prefer Cersei. That might be because she’s my favourite character, though, but yeah.
    Otherwise Daenerys, as she’s the most interesting out of the main contenders to the Iron Throne. Or Robb Stark, I suppose, but… the Starks are boring.

    Expedition to the End of the World was on TV in the UK a few months ago, and, yes, it is superb.

    Reply
  6. The jokes made against heavy set women in Pain & Gain were all done in the voice over by Lugo who we know from his prior scenes that he would look down on them.

    That is why Pain & Gain worked everything was true to the world and characters itself while still being everything I enjoy about Michael Bay films on top of that. Sure there was no Terminator homages this time around but there was character and actors who could sell this material as well as Martin Lawrence could in the Bad Boys films.

    This is the Michael Bay movie that I can see being one that people go back to and discover much much later. I am actually kinda surprised that Kurt didn’t like it considering how much it skewers the American Dream.

    Reply
    • I have no idea. Moving Pictures on a Screen. Great Entertainment. Sounds like a movie to me. :)

      (in reality, often when I say, ‘in the movie’ it is more like a comma to gather my thoughts before pushing onward)

      Reply
  7. When it is all said and done, I would have seen a total of 37 Hot Docs films (8 films pre-screened and 29 during the festival). I’m thinking about sending a listener interaction e-mail with my personal festival highs and lows (which will probably have some crossover with Kurt’s – i.e. I was with Kurt seeing Valentine Road and saw Maidentrip based on his recommendation).

    Reply
  8. Being a tech guy, I was attracted to many of the computer docs at Hot Docs.

    I liked Downloaded, though I agree that it doesn’t really give any new information.

    There was another doc called Terms and Conditions May Apply, which is pretty much saying “privacy is dead and Big Brother is watching” and gives some, very extreme, example of people getting the attention of the authorities after posting the wrong thing on Facebook or Twitter.

    Also, despite its availablity online, Hot Docs had the official Canadian premiere of The Pirate Bay: Away from Keyboard. I didn’t hate it as much as Andrew, but still thought that the people involved with The Pirate Bay have a very askew viewpoint of the Internet.

    Reply
  9. That 8 page GQ Bay interview is full of some solid gold.

    “Bay: Some nights I sleep like a baby. Other nights it’s, Oh God, I just came up with a bomb shot.”

    Reply

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