Cinecast Episode 311 – As The Furious Turns

A the fifth Fast and Furious sequel speeds into the multiplex, Kurt and Andrew go deep into the nuance and complex character interactions that have defined the last 12 years of this franchise. OK, not so much. Instead we ask questions about Spanish airport design, what becomes of the 100 commuter funerals after the credits roll, and just how well one can control London surveillance cameras these days. It’s easy to pick on the story inanities of the Furious Franchise, but we do take time to admire the 2nd unit elements of the film, and the editing of parallel action which are excellent. Andrew talks the new Arrested Development season up on Netflix, Kurt is all over the map in trying to parse the motivation and execution of Ridley Scott’s Director’s Cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Frank Capra gets some show time with Arsenic & Old Lace and the cultural impact of It’s A Wonderful Life.

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 ~

Comix Asylum
– Kurt’s kids talk Jaws
Screener Series kind-of re-launches with The Prestige.

OPENING QUOTE:
Bruce Dern
in
Thumb Tripping

CLOSING BUMPER MUSIC:
“My Way Or The Highway”
by
Limp Bizkit

 


 

~ REVIEWS ~

Fast & Furious 6

 


 

~ THE WATCH LIST ~

Kurt
Kingdom of Heaven
Contact
Arsenic and Old Lace

Andrew
– “Arrested Development” (s4)

 


 

~ NEXT WEEK’S REVIEW(S) ~


– Now You See Me
– Behind the Candelabra
– Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
– Frances Ha

 


 

~ COMMENTS or QUESTIONS? ~

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

 

Andrew James
Podcaster. Tech junkie. Movie lover. Student. Also, beer.

37 Comments

  1. re: Arrested Development: The last one I watched was the GOB episode which I think was ep. 7 which has been my favourite so far. The GOB, second Michael episode and the Tobias episode are the best ones so far, and the Lindsay one is the worst episode of the entire series to date.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said Andrew but still find this season to be fine. I did not create the massive expectations others did, knew about the format change a while back and adjusted accordingly that this entire season would be essentially one long puzzle-box episode that may end up thus playing better on rewatch once you see how it fits together. Kind of like how a lot of season 3 plays better once you know the MR F secret.

    And I can already see the puzzle-box coming together, so I’m patiently enjoying it. it doesn’t have the immediate gratification the original episodes did but I can’t call myself disappointed either.

    Reply
    • We watched a couple more after this recording last night. They do get a bit better. The puzzle pieces and callbacks start to fall into place and it’s kind of neat but it’s also a little gimmicky.

      I still would like an episode or two with everyone playing off of each other.

      Reply
      • The reason that didn’t happen is scheduling apparently. There’s apparently a lot of green screen happening as certain characters never were available at the same time. Keep an eye out for shot/reverse shots that look suspicious.

        Reply
    • I’m still in the middle of Season 2, so I don’t expect to see the new episodes for a while. However, I will say that Ed Helms previously appeared on the show (in season 2 as a matter of fact). I don’t know if it’s the same character.

      Reply
    • I won’t purposely “skip” it, but if it’s between that and the four other I mentioned it has to take back seat unfortunately.

      And remember, while I loved Away from Her, I hated Take This Waltz.

      Reply
      • While I think you’re dead wrong about TTW, I do believe certain life experiences will dictate the extent to which one enjoys it. Stories We Tell is far far more universal.

        if anything, Stories might make you appreciate TTW more, so double win.

        Reply
        • I’d highly recommend Stories We Tell — Jim and I saw it at the Film Critics Festival here and talked about it for a while on the Director’s Club Podcast. Sarah Polley was actually there to present the film and did a great q&a afterwords. And because I’m a shameless self-promoter, I asked her if the use of Anna Karenina as a prop in one of interviews was intentional; she said she had no idea it was there, but its inclusion is somewhat serendipitous. I also asked what her mother would have thought of the film, and she answered that trying to figure that precise perspective out was what drove her to make the flick.

          In any event, it’s one of the best films you’ll see this year.

          Reply
    • I should note that that Kurt was a few months off when he mentioned when Stories We Tell opened in Canada. The film’s main release was in October, but it had multiple re-releases (including a screening in January for Canada’s Top Ten – which is when I saw it).

      Reply
  2. I couldn’t really care less about the FAST & FURIOUS series. FAST FIVE was the only film I saw and I really only went more for the cinema it was playing at than the film itself (though I remember kind of liking it). I skipped FURIOUS 6 for THE HANGOVER PART III (a decision I don’t regret, despite the fact that I seem to be the only one I know who liked the film) and I doubt I’ll have the time (or money) to catch up with it.

    In a similar fashion, I will be picking AFTER EARTH this weekend instead of NOW YOU SEE ME (even though I’m interested in both). There was a time when I considered M. Night Shyamalan one of my favourite directors and I’m curious if the Will Smith factor can rejuvenate a career that was almost destroyed by the THE LAST AIRBENDER (a film that even I wasn’t the most crazy about). In other words, AFTER EARTH will give me more to write about in my review.

    Reply
    • I was there. I am confused, has this come out yet? I am pretty sure it is not out in Toronto. Dying to rewatch (actually watched it twice at the festival).

      Reply
  3. As a long time fan of the Fast & Furious franchise, I agree with Andrew about the film rewarding the loyal fans who are truly attached to these characters. Sure the dialogue in Furious 6 is cheesy but it fits well with what has been established since the very first film. In fact, I actually felt a little sad when Gisele died as I loved the arc with her and Han. Plus, I would rather see Jordana Brewster removed from the series anyways. Regardless, I was happy that the series finally explained why Han is so sullen in most of Tokyo Drift.

    Andrew – you need to watch all 15 episodes of Arrested Development, some of the best gags occur in the latter episodes. I rather enjoyed the new format for season 4 overall. I think the series will play much better upon repeat viewing, especially once you know how the puzzle pieces fit together.

    In regards to Kurt’s Screening Series, Gymkata has yet to be opened…just saying.

    Reply
    • **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER** **SPOILER**

      I have to agree with Courtney on the death of Giselle. I can’t remember if I said as much on the show, but I too was a little sad when she left (of course they never actually show her body so…). But yeah, she’s been a character in three movies now and watching that relationship grow with Han has been fun and even endearing. So to someone who’s never seen any previous FF movies, it’s just the hot chick dying in the end. To us, it’s an “important” story arc that’s been in the making for 5 years.

      Reply
      • I think they do enough in this movie to earn it. From the parts where they talk about each other to all the glances, their introduction, to the bit on the motorcycles.

        They build it sufficiently.

        Reply
    • Almost done with Arrested Development. Agreed that it’s worth sitting through all the episodes to see the puzzle pieces fit together. However, I’m realizing that it still isn’t all that funny; it’s just clever storytelling and watching little call backs from earlier episodes fall into place.

      It’s neat to watch episode 11 and see things and say to yourself, “oh yeah, I remember that bit from episode 4. So that’s how it all fits in.” But ultimately this will be totally forgettable.

      And I guess the actor who plays Buster must be really busy with other things (or he doesn’t care or he already has a lot of money) as he has had almost zero screen time in the entire season.

      Reply
  4. So here is the thing everything everyone I have heard say about Furious 6 is accurate. It is melodramatic, it is operatic, it is completely 100 percent sincere, (there is not a bone of irony in this movie) and the action is unbelievably well done.

    I would not change an ounce of this movie for I think all those things working on those levels creates the perfect representation of what serialized action storytelling is at its best. To use a reference that some of the people here should get this movie franchise is “Okay, suckers – you’ve taken yer BEST SHOT!” he says. “Now it’s MY turn!” era Claremont/Byrne X-Men

    It is the best example of what made Superhero comic do well when they did.

    Reply
    • Totally. Which is why it’s difficult for me to listen to people rip on FF6 without having seen the previous installments. FF5 is the exact same thing as 6. Pandering to the max.

      And while the RowThree community always seems to think pandering is bad, I’ve always said it’s a good thing in most cases. Here is the perfect example. I WANT to see The Rock and Vin Diesel fight each other. I WANT to see Rodriguez vs. Carrano.

      Reply
      • I have barely seen the others in the franchise (1 and 3) so I may end up going backwards I am not sure yet.

        Part of me thinks that the big screen was a large part of the appeal and missing that will not have the same effect. The sound too especially.

        Reply
  5. I am kinda sad that you have lost your interest in Giant Robots fighting Monsters (which are clearly Lovecraftian in nature hence where they come from and who DelToro poached to design them). That is exactly the kind of movie that belongs in the summer on a huge screen.

    What I have learned about myself recently is that film to me is more about the melding of audio and visual in general and script is not something that will give a movie without those other two things working well a pass. I’d rather you tell the movie visually then you tell it in a really nice piece of writing (see also Prometheus).

    Reply
    • I hear you on this RICK, but the poorly voice-over and editing in marketing materials seem to take the fun (for me) out of Pacific Rim. I no longer know where the balance is…

      Reply
      • See that line you guys both rolled your eyes at is exactly the kind of thing I expected someone to say in a movie about what this one is about.

        Reply
    • I would strongly strongly disagree. What makes movies that I would otherwise not enjoy (Iron Man 3, Avengers) work so well is the script and the characterization. Admittedly, Transformers 3 was alright for me mostly because of just making “shit look cool and blow up real good.” But mostly, big audio and visual is far from the main draw on these types of films.

      Sure I want it to look good in the end, but what made the final sequence in Avengers so great was only 40% visual. The rest was great because it gets all of these characters working together as one that we’ve watched slowly come together over the past 90 minutes (or humorous character beats – Hulk smashes Loki, Capt. America with Police guy, etc.). Same with Iron Man 3. It wasn’t all the iron suits flying around that was great; it was Cheadle and Downey Jr having a buddy cop moment with great dialogue.

      So there is nothing in the Pacific Rim trailer that gets me excited. Big vs bigger and louder just isn’t enough for me anymore. In the end, there could be more to it to get me interested (I had zero interest in IM3 until I found out it was Shane Black writing) but as of now the marketing has me saying no-go.

      Plus I’m not really a fan of anything Del Toro has done for Hollywood. He should stick to more interesting idea-driven, Spanish films. Those seem to be his bread and butter.

      Reply
      • Who am I kidding, of course I’ll go to this, and I hope to be surprised, but the marketing (perhaps wisely) has set my expectations low.

        Reply
  6. I tried with all my might, with every sinew, to loathe Fast 2 Furious 5 Part 6, but even as I sat there with tightly folded arms, huffing and rolling my damn eyes it was pummelling me into submission.
    I think it works simply because the ridiculous and noisy action set pieces are comprehensible and properly thrilling, and the ridiculous Slab Bulkhead type characters are actually likable. Plus it’s like Justin Lin is the last director who seems to know how big action blockbusters work, and how to film them.
    Fast 6 is what the last Expendables and Die Hard movies promised but comprehensively failed to be.

    Reply
  7. Andrew, why is there Limp Bizkit music playing in this Cinecast episode? I know it douchy to call out people on their musical selection… but Limp Bizkit is punching it, man. Unless you are purposely going for a “brosky” vibe with the Fast 6 episode.

    Reply

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