Cinecast Episode 409 – Territorial Bubble

Talking VOD this week with Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah starring Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine. While not deep, there’s stuff to chew on in this minimalist tale of drama. From there, we move on to Noah Baumbach’s latest – despite evidence to the contrary, Andrew did not walk out and so was able to fairly criticize the film. We also have a capsule review for Robert Eggers’ The Witch as well as some Banksy stuff, some Tarantino stuff, some Lee Marvin stuff, some Bruce Greenwood stuff, some skate boarding stuff, some hacker stuff and some mediocre horror stuff. It’s a lot of stuff shoved into 409. She’s real fine.

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






Z for Zachariah spoilers ends @XXX
See comments for more time track listings – thanks to Ultimolee for the extra elbow grease!



Z for Zachariah



Mistress America
– “Mr. Robot” (season 1)
Good Kill
The Man Who Never Was

The Witch
Prime Cut
Death Proof

Would You Rather
How to Sell a Banksy
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography



show content


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Hey Andrew, what is the mars movie you always defend on the show is it- Mission to Mars our Red Planet?

I wanna watch one, I get them confused.


Andrew likes Mission to Mars
I like Red Planet.

All will be explained on GET YOUR CAST TO MARS!

Andrew James

And for the record, I like most of Red Planet too. I’m just not that into the “fight the robot dog” for the final 25 minutes.

mike rot

Red Planet is dumb fun, Mission to Mars is just dumb.

Andrew James

Prize for best use of a Van Halen song (also coincidentally my favorite Van Halen song).


Looking forward to finally watching Mr. Robot. It’s finally premiering on Showcase (our cable version of Showtime) in Canada tomorrow.

Ultimo Lee

The Cinecast “It’ll make you feel a little dirty….but in a good way” – Variety

In-house business: 00:12
Z for Zachariah [Spoilers] 7:41
The Watch List: 26:48
Next Week: 1:40:20
End: 1:45:15
I first watched Prime Cut the same week i watched Paul Schrader’s Hardcore, lots of showers needed to get that dirt off 😀


Mr. Robot is my favorite tv show of 2015. I really dug True Detective S2, but I think the first season of Mr. Robot is up there with the best of television dramas. The pilot episode is like a 90 minute film. It heavily borrows from Fight Club, American Psycho, Breaking Bad, Fincher and Kubrick, but in the best way possible. Christian Slater is basically playing an older version of his characters from Heathers and Pump Up the Volume and he’s not even the best character on the show. All the characters are fantastic, even the secondary ones. I’ve rewatched every episode and catch new things. I can’t recommend it enough.

Andrew, I hope stuck around for the post-credits scene during the finale.

Andrew James

Indeed I did! I think that opening title shot was my favorite of the season as well.

Glad more people are seeing this show. It’s an underrated gem if 2015 to be sure.

And yeah, the cinematic influences are crazy. Beside what you mentioned, there is Matrix, Pulp Fiction and Soderbergh stuff in there as well.


I watched the Mr Robot pilot and was hooked within 5 minutes. Thank you Andrew.

I think maybe the reason that it’s not a water cooler show might be because of the title.

There are an overwhelming number of new TV shows to choose from, plus there are the shows I actually watch, regular cinema attendance, work, videogames, social life, keeping fit and as yet unwatched TV and film blu ray purchases to devour my precious time.

Ridiculous things like the title of a show might colour me against it, faced with such limited viewing time for new shows. I thought that the show was a Chappie / Short Circuit wannabe based on the title.

Because of the drain on my time from the above mentioned and other activities I am not motivated to investigate a show beyond a cursory level and rely on buzz / recommendations to steer me to good new shows.

I think that the title is way more significant in generating initial interest in a show or film than it’s given credit for.

Once you’re hooked on a show, I find, the title is irrelevant, e.g. Sean on Filmjunk recommended Breaking Bad several series in and I watched it and was hooked, though not as quickly as I was with shows like Dexter, The Brink or Mr Robot.

Andrew James

Totally agree with you Gerry. My friend was trying to get me to watch this for weeks. He kept saying, “You need to watch ‘Mr. Robot’,” but he didn’t really elaborate. So I thought for a long time it was an animated comedy for some reason.

And yeah, once you’re watching it doesn’t really matter (except for those awesome opening title shots). Or unless you’re this guy:



Finally finished Mr Robot. What a great show. I thought it was devolving into hackee of the week briefly, but then it ups it’s cohesive whole game.

Great writing, a sympathetic and genuinely brilliant protagonist who, despite his social debility, could figure out how to psychologically manipulate people, until … and great acting, from Rami Malek to Carly Chaikin to pretty well everyone in it, plus I liked the off kilter framing.

The title now makes sense, though they might as well have called it Mr Rosebud.

I’m looking forward to the personal details getting explained in season 2, rather than the macro hacking stuff. e.g. what was Elliot’s fathers secret and does Elliot actually have a son? And lots more from the beautiful but creepyish Swedish (?) woman please.

It has the most enjoyable music soundtrack to a series in years and yet no album. How frustrating.

Andrew James

I’m so happy people are starting to catch up with this thing. I bet by the premiere of season 2, this is all people will be talking about. Not that a show needs buzz or popularity to be good, but as I said in the show, I like the weekly “water cooler” talk.

As for soundtrack, there are a few Mr. Robot playlists on Spotify. The most popular seems to be this one:


Only on episode 3: watching this in the weekly bite installments on Show Case for now. I love the idea that after he completes his hacking profiles of each subject he then burns a backup disc copy and labels them after a famous album. Clever character touch.

Jim Laczkowski

I adore Mr. Robot. That finale had a monologue from Slater that was TOTALLY a nod to Pump Up The Volume. I wanted to applaud. I’m an awesome show


You certainly are, Jim! Well at least your podcast is!

Jim Laczkowski

Clearly that was a narcissistic typo of the highest order. It should read “It’s an awesome show.” But thanks for the kind thoughts, devolutionary!

Thomas Wishloff

I was in on the Mr. Robot thing, and then you said Sam Esmail and I was immediately unenthused. I hated his film Comet so much.

Andrew James

I can see this guy not working for certain things. But I think for this role he’s perfect. Weird and creepy but kinda sweet and sympathetic at the same time.


I liked it overall, but Margot Robbie was way too hot to be the last girl on Earth. I agree all three looked like movie stars and not like real people (not to mention people in a post-apocalyptic scenario).
It might sound stupid but even things like her legs perfectly shaven, while she drives that tractor in her blouse and shorts…I don’t know, I didn’t believe none of this stuff. I didn’t believe any of them struggled a bit in this supposedly dog-eat-dog environment…
Also, the cinematography–while certainly gorgeous to look at– was way too glossy and post card like.
In the end–it was just Meh for me.
It started out great and rapidly deteriorated once Pine’s character appeared.

Andrew James

I stand by my original statement in The Cinecast though. In the movies I’ve seen, Margot Robbie looks like this:

In Z for Z, she looks like this (there’s a difference):

Not saying she isn’t still very pretty, but there is quite a difference. If I didn’t already know she was in the movie, it would’ve taken me some time to figure out it was her.


Andrew, I agree, they tried to make her look somewhat ‘average’ but I still found her too attractive for the part. It wouldn’t normally bother me but the two male characters are good looking as well. I understand I’m probably required to suspend my disbelief — on account of this being just a movie and all — but I don’t want to. The truly great films don’t require that from me. Just imagine in Rocky, if a gorgeous Margot Robbie-like actress was cast as Adrian instead of Talia Shire…

Robert Reineke

“It started out great and rapidly deteriorated once Pine’s character appeared.”

So you’re saying it’s like The World, the Flesh, and the Devil.

Sean Kelly

Since Grindhouse was considered a box office disappointment, Death Proof was released on its own internationally (and even played Cannes).

La Menthe

Just listened to the podcast, and must say that I find myself disappointed once again when hearing you talk about Good Kill, without ever talking about (or criticizing the film for moving past) the fact that the drone assasination program is the most extensive worldwide terrorism camapaign (from Yemen to Pakistan) the world have ever seen. This is the drone assassination campaign which officially is aimed at killing people who the Obama administration believes might (yes, “might”) someday intend to harm the U.S., and killing anyone else who happens to be nearby.

Both of you are well educated and smart enough to know these things, and information about the drone warfare and its civilin victims is easily accesible online. Especially considering how Kurt talks about some material from the film that are “official documents that can be found”.

Instead, you discuss the film on its own merits: the fact that it is “modern warfare”, the psychological complexity of the main character (somehow his problems are more important than the surviving victims of drone terrorism — mothers who are afraid to send thier children to school, or recurring anxiety attacks, nightmares and flashbacks of victims who get no psychological care at all) and all the other bullshit that serves the average consumer with a partisan view on the matter, and that avoids the real issues and questions in favor of a discussion within certain political restraints. As a result, any real question you try to bring up, like the fact that the drone warfare campaign is in fact terrorism, automatically removes you from the discussion.

What’s next? A WW2 movie about a German guard in a concentration camp, and all the psychological issues he has to go through?


Andrew James

Fair criticism I suppose. On the other hand, we do tend to review films on their own merit. This film looks at one thing and we review that film – not the film you or we think it should be. I think it’s fair to say that you think the film would be better if they tackled some of the issues you’re talking about. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that this film is bad on what it is trying to do.

And I think Hawke’s character is turning into the person he is, precisely for all of those reasons you mentioned. All of that morally offensive stuff is in there when the CIA takes over and clearly all of the people in the booth are having problems with it – but continue to coldly follow orders. They’re like robots forcibly being reprogrammed. The movie is actually saying a lot (about the drone program, about the military, about the preciousness of life, about the callousness of taking lives, about pre-retaliation, about human emotional conflicts, etc.) without actually saying it.

Sure the movie’s premise is overly-simplified for the sake of showing us this character – but frankly does a good job at showing us (and making us feel about) the moral ambiguity of the entire program. Getting into super deep, political stuff within the gov’t and attacking the Obama admin would just bog down the film in my opinion. And it’s kind of needless in this case. The movie pretty handily actually gets the audience to start thinking about this stuff on our own.

As for your last sentence, check out the movie I mentioned in episode 408 called “Conspiracy.” It’s on HBO GO/NOW and is a metting between top ranking Nazi officials planning the holocaust. There are people in that room that clearly are opposed, but can’t really do much about it. And yeah, you kind of feel for this people in a way. It’s a monster of a movie (starring Branagh, Tucci, Firth, Owen Teale, Tom Hiddleston).