Guest Hosting on The Director’s Club Podcast [Danny Boyle]

Andrew had the pleasure of guest hosting on the all new, inaugural edition of The Director’s Club Podcast this week! Jim and Patrick have retired from this particular game and Brad and Al have filled the shoes; and filled them wonderfully. And there are not many better ways to kick off the next generation of the podcast than with Mr. Danny Boyle.

Danny Boyle is my go-to name when someone asks me who my favorite director is. I always say, “well, besides the obvious: Coens, Tartantino, Kubrick, et. al., Danny Boyle is near the top of that list.” And the great thing about Boyle is, he started strong and aside from slight missteps here and there, only gets better as his filmography goes along.

Andrew, Brad and Al debate some merits and demerits of the dreaded Boyle Third-act syndrome, dig into why Ewan McGregor is better than Leonardo DiCaprio, have a love-in with the genre-hopping, look at some of the many infuences clearly indicated in Boyle’s work and discuss many of the recurring themes that blanket most of his films.

And we don’t stop at movies either. Boyle directed a sensational Olympic Opening Ceremony as well as some stage work with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller. Yes, there’s a lot to get into here, my little droogies, and this episode will take nearly four hours to cover it all. So strap on the ear-goggles and get ready to go – – we’ll find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, visit the dregs of Scotland, defeat a worldwide(?) infection of rage, visit a secret marijuana island, a contestant on a game show, travel to the heart of our solar system and even get a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of heaven – and Dan Hedaya is there!

Mamo 438: Oscars So What?


Mamo’s annual Oscar night party is here! As usual, we scatter a series of short minisodes across the evening, collected here in omnibus format – it’s like watching the show with us in real time, only without the 4 hour exhaustion factor, or any farting. Joined by a veritable galaxy of guest stars, it’s the one night of Mamo you don’t want to miss! Except that you did miss it, if you’re downloading this and listening to it after the fact. Well done genius.

Trailer: The Revenant

Bears, Hypothermia, Buried Alive and Tom Hardy, O My! Leonardo DiCaprio goes full on Grizzly Adams in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s long take snow-caked visceral revenge western. We were teased earlier this year with the bleak gorgeous images and ambitious shot-length strategy of the film earlier this year, but this new trailer offers a lot more Tom Hardy, who plays the villain of the piece, and a fair bit more of the plot of the film.

After being left for dead and buried alive after a bear attack, Hugh Glass (A Grizzly Adams bearded Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks out the sonuvabitch (Tom Hardy) who also had a hand in murdering his son. Vengeance and long-take action sequences ensue.

The whole thing looks to be gloriously next-level-big-canvas epic, as Alejandro González Iñárritu continues his mission (along with his Mexican cohort, Alfonso Cuaron) to re-evaluate film grammar and the long take the digital age of cinema.

Trailer: The Audition


OK, this looks like too much fun: A movie where Scorsese invites his two muses, DeNiro and DiCaprio, to the gambling city of Macau Manila and then pits them against each other for winning a part in an upcoming Scorsese movie. This high concept is something that Lars Von Trier would dream up, and then make it mean-spirited. Alas, it’s a piece of advertainment, a short film, and not a bonafide feature. Too bad. (Also: Note the Brad Pitt cameo in the trailer.)

Trailer: The Wolf of Wall Street

This might just be the sharpest cut trailer of 2013. Martin Scorsese’s latest film has a driving rhythm, singing with Matthew McConaughey, and what looks to be Leonardo DiCaprio at his ‘playboy of excess’ best (Catch Me if You Can, The Great Gatsby). The Wolf of Wall Street tells the story of a New York stockbroker, who refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, the corporate banking world and mob infiltration. The film also features Oscar nominee Jonah Hill and Oscar Winner Jean Dujardin are on support here as well, also what looks to be the tossing of lobsters, $100 bills and dwarves. Shot digitally in New York and New Jersey, it feels fresh, exciting and funny; something that is rather surprising for another look at the ongoing American fiscal crisis.

Review: Django Unchained


After watching Jamie Foxx boldly strut on a chestnut mare with circular-lensed shades through the sunny Mississippi countryside, I find it almost impossible to imagine Wil Smith doing the same without bringing the bulk of Quentin Tarantino’s Western/Southern enterprise crashing down. There is a steely gravitas to Foxx (see also Jarhead, Miami Vice) that works when he evolves to cowboy super-shooter (and instrument of revenge), but more importantly, there is a generous yet unassuming vulnerability when he plays off Christoph Waltz that makes the picture decidedly human amongst all the heroic bloodshed, sweaty mandingo wrestling, horse murder, and flowery language. The look and tone of the film is as grab bag as the range of its cinematic influences. Moments that recall John Ford’s Monument Valley grandeur and snowy echoes of Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence sit uneasily against the farcical parody of Birth of A Nation‘s ride of the Klan (feat. Jonah Hill!) or a man being violently torn apart by dogs. Django Unchained may feel like a 10 hour HBO miniseries crushed down to just under 3 hours, but it is a cornucopia of delights and it does what its director does best. That is to say, let great actors have memorable scenes of dialogue (or silence) together, whilst setting the non-acting scenes to exceptionally curated music.

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Django Unchained Poster

So the folks over at Yahoo! gave us this wee teaser of a poster today. Normally we’d wait for Friday to post something like this, but quite honestly this poster leaves a little bit to be desired on the imagination front and really isn’t worthy of the prestige that is our Friday One-Sheet posts. But it does promise us one thing: blood. Lots of it. And to tell the truth, I could care less how uninspired this poster may be. This is my #1 most anticipated film for the rest of the year. If it’s Tarantino, I’m in. End of story.

Quentin is a Rambunctious Sort Ain’t He? [Django Unchained Trailer]

There are about 4 or 5 film makers (probably less) living today that are batting 1.000 in their film making career. These are the sorts that don’t even need a trailer. I’d walk into this movie blind without question. Sure Leo, Christoph Waltz and Jaimie Foxx do their fair share of awesome as well, but when you tuck QT behind the camera, you’re guaranteed a wild, hootin’ hollerin’ good time at the movies… with a slice of perfection riding side-saddle.

Sure I would’ve preferred some Will Smith in here to see what would happen, but you don’t really need to check out this trailer to know you’re going to the movie opening night do you? Of course you don’t. But what the hell, pull the trigger anyway. Cause it’s a helluva tease for Christmas time!

Leonardo’s got a Hammer. The Maid has a bow on her head. Django Unchained Pictures.

I‘m quite excited to see Quentin Tarantino do his Blaxploitation/Spaghetti Western mashup, Django Unchained. It has been somewhat obvious that he has been working towards this point for years and while the hoity-toity of film critics lament that Tarantino is not the ‘populist art-house’ filmmaker they wanted him to be after the one-two punch of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, I am pretty happy that he finds ways to make arty-genre films (my personal sweet spot). There isn’t quite a trailer to be seen at the moment, but Entertainment Weekly has a few stills to give you a hint of what the picture is going to look like. Jamie Foxx is looking charmingly grizzled and bad-ass. And Christoph Waltz in a duster! In a word: Awesome.

Cinecast Episode 235 – Clint’s Notes

Our quickest show in some time: Gamble mangled his ankle and is on the DL and Kurt is suffering from an energy sapping cold. But we soldier on folks, we soldier on. Like good little Cineastes, we check out the yearly offering from Clint Eastwood. This time it is a puffy Leonardo DiCaprio making out with the man in the bad latex, Armie Hammer (sans CGI twin) across the annals of twentieth century America in J. Edgar **SPOILERS**. This segues into our first “VS.” segment, where we debate “Eastwood the Actor” vs. “Eastwood the Director”, and struggle with the thin line in between those distinctions. We also check back in with quality Brit-Creature-Feature Attack The Block **SPOILERS**. In The Watch List we get our music on with Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café de flore. A little bit of philosophical waxing on the nature of the Space and Time rounds out the show.

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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