Cinecast Episode 359 – Downtown China

 
Not sure even where to start with the monologue this week. Let’s see, there’s The Bay-Man’s fourth installment in the giant robots fiasco; which inexplicably is really easy to get worked up about. It’s not really worthy of hate, nothing to love, yet so easy to rant about. There’s a “sick, twisted desire” to torture ourselves over this movie – plus always an opportunity to delve into Andrew’s sordid history with the franchise.

Before all of this is Bong Joon-Ho’s English language debut with Snowpiercer and it’s overly satirical view of our apocalyptic, dystopian future on a crazy train. And Chris Evans is there. And protein bars made of shitty CGI.

The 1984 project continues with Val Kilmer’s first starring role in Top Secret!. He sings, dances, talks backwards, bar fights underwater and delivers punchlines that will be stolen by countless films for the next thirty years.

The Watch List sees Kurt wrapping up Breaking Bad, Andrew living in Tiny Houses, and Matt enjoying Disney’s Amblin knock-off currently playing in theaters. It’s a 150 minute power rant. LATRINE!

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


 
 

 
 

 
 


~ TECHNICAL NOTES ~

Opening Quote:
Ed Harris
in
Apollo 13

Closing Bumper Music:
“Crazy Train”
by
Ozzy

RSS Feeds: show content

About the Hosts: show content

Time Tracks for This Episode: show content

 
 


~ IN-HOUSE BUSINESS ~

– NEW! Off the Record (w/James Gillham) Podcast
– NEW! Cabin in the Woods Podcast
– NEW! High and Low Brow Podcast

 
 


~ MAIN REVIEW(S) ~

IMDb | LetterBoxd | Rotten Tomatoes

 
 
 

IMDb | LetterBoxd | Rotten Tomatoes

 
 


~ 1984 PROJECT ~

 
 


~ THE WATCH LIST ~

Kurt
– “Breaking Bad” (s5)

Matt
Earth to Echo

Andrew
Tiny: A Story About Living Small
Sorceror

 
 


~ OTHER STUFF MENTIONED ~

Bayhem
– Andrew’s Transformers Reviews: part one | part three
Top Secret article
Comedy + Time = Absurd

 
 


~ NEXT WEEK’S POTENTIAL REVIEW(S) ~

1984 Project: Razorback


– Third Person
– Life Itself
– Tammy
– Deliver Us from Evil


 
 


~ COMMENTS or QUESTIONS? ~

Leave thoughts in comment section below, or feel free to contact us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew.james@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

Voice Mail: 612-367-ROW3

We’ll call you!:

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Andrew James
Guest

Yup, my suspicions of TAMMY seem to be true. Reviews are abysmal and shredding of the film. I think I’ll be skipping it for the Ebert documentary.

ultimolee
Guest

Opening:
In-house business: 1:55
Snowpiercer [SPOILERS]: 7:15
Transformers: Age of Extinction [SPOILERS] 48:00
The 1984 Project: Top Secret 1:22:06
Watch List: 1:46:29
Next Week: 2:25:57
Outro music: 2:34:24

Sean Kelly
Guest

You really needed someone to give a positive counter-point of Transformers: Age of Extinction (i.e. Me).

Matt Gamble
Guest

No we do not. This isn’t FOX News where we make it seem like this is an even debate. It isn’t. We won.

Sean Kelly
Guest

I really need to continue BREAKING BAD. I’m only about two thirds through Season 2.

Jonathan
Guest

Get on that, Sean. You don’t know what you’re missing!!

Rick Vance
Guest

I don’t think the Transformers like Superman so I don’t think there will be a big backlash about violence and destruction in a robot war.

Also Andrew your description of Michael Bay making movies is EXACTLY why I like him.

Concept, do the design and the shots, then put the scipt on top. This is also called The Marvel Method (comics).

Finally I think it is a crime that Bay is not doing the live action GI Joe instead of Transformers is proof there is something wrong with our world.

I haven’t seen 4 because I have heard from enough people that it feels like Bay is bored.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Yeah, I consider myself a fan of Michael Bay. He knows how to blow up stuff real good. I watched BAD BOYS II for the first time last week, which is probably Bay’s most over-the-top and violent film (and I had quite a bit of fun watching it).

Also, Kurt’s blind dislike of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman somewhat annoys me, since I haven’t seen a film (or television series) that they have written that I have disliked. Also, I’m sure Kurt’s going to like WATCHMEN less once he finds out they did an uncredited rewrite.

Also, Kurt’s somewhat incorrect calling Michael Bay an “R rated director making PG-13 films.” While I agree that Bay’s best stuff is rated R, he has only directed a total of 4 R-rated films (Bad Boys, The Rock, Bad Boys II and Pain & Gain). The other 6 are PG-13.

Jonathan
Guest

I really liked Bad Boys and The Rock back when they were new… but I was also, like, ten or eleven then. Upon rewatching them as an adult, they cause severe mushing of my brain.

Kurt
Guest

I hope everyone wakes up to the fact that THE ROCK is not as good as people think it is.

The only BAY film I can stomach is THE ISLAND, and that, only barely. (I still consider this amazing, as it is directed by Bay, scripted by Orci/Kurtzman, and I can still manage to watch it and not want to punch people in the face….That being said, THE ISLAND is certainly a not a movie I watch very often….)

Sean Kelly
Guest

I’m a big fan of The Rock. It’s probably the Michael Bay film I’ve watched the most, which included seeing it theatrically for the first time at the Lightbox a couple years ago.

Kurt
Guest

IF you take out the Transformer’s Franchise, then Bay is certainly an “R” director for the majority of his films. I think I make that distinction, because he made his name with the BAD BOYS movies which are unabashedly Rated R.

schizopolis
Guest

Gamble, Tilda Swinton’s character in Snowpiercer couldn’t have been a child on the train. The train is only 17-18 yrs old. Maybe, she knew those hand gestures because she was the teacher before Allison Pill.

Robert Reineke
Guest

It’s possible that Tilda’s hand gestures mean that he was exploiting children long before the train and it just carried over.

Either way, it’s more interesting to consider that as a possibility, delivered visually, than if they just spelled it out via exposition.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Yeah, there is something to the gestures as Harris did them himself. You could certainly conclude that it is meant as a visual metaphor for exploitation and manipulation of any kind on the train. It’s certainly something I’ll pay more attention to on rewatch.

Kurt
Guest

Tangentially related: the guy in the food car also foreshadows the exploitation of the children due to automation failure; he has to do a lot of the protein block manufacturing by manual processes due to things breaking down.

I still think it was a missed opportunity with the protein blocks in terms of what they were made of, they should have been reprocessed waste from the front sections, a la, the Re-Burger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkTG6sGX-Ic

Kurt
Guest

Schizopolis is right, now that I have a moment to think about it, there are several explicit references that put the train at only 18 years in post-apocalyptic service, and Ed Harris implies that the parts that he needs the children for only failed recently.

Either way, her hand gestures are a very nice visual cue, even if they do not have the poetic resonance that Gamble concluded.

schizopolis
Guest

I think Ed Harris’ hand gestures were just a sign of him teaching the children how to do that job efficiently. Whereas I believe Swinton’s hand gestures in the classroom were propaganda signs she probably used to teach the children showing allegiance to Wilford. Gotta indoctrinate them early! It’s funny, I would not have figured it out if i didn’t see the Pervert’s Guide to Ideology on Netflix beforehand lol

Kurt
Guest

That’s a damn good doc!

Sean Kelly
Guest

SNOWPIERCER finally opened in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and I went to see it this evening, before returning to this episode to listen to the review.

I can definitely say that I liked the film, though I agree that STOKER was the best of the Korean English debuts.

It’s really sad thinking about how SNOWPIERCER was originally going to get a wide release, but got an arthouse dump instead, because Harvey Weinstein wanted the film 20 minutes shorter and Bong Joon-ho refused to re-edit. At least the film ended up at the Lightbox in Toronto, which is probably the best place it could screen (and it was a pretty decent crowd for a Monday evening).

Looking at Box Office Mojo, the film peaked at 356 screens about 2 weeks ago (last weekend it was at 211 screens). The total domestic gross is currently $3.5 million, which is only 4% of the worldwide gross.

So numbers-wise, SNOWPIERCER will probably be seen as a flop in North America.

Sean Kelly
Guest

BTW, Bong Joon-ho is listed as Joon-ho Bong on IMDB because of the way the site sorts names.

Chinese and Korean names (in which the surnames are said first) are reversed on IMDB, so they are displayed in the first name, last name order IMDB sorts by.

Matt Gamble
Guest

It got an arthouse dump because it was going to VOD two weeks into release and the vast majority of exhibitors will not show movies that play on VOD.

Robert Reineke
Guest
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