On this episode of the podcast, we speed through brief reviews of 18 summer movies, including the new film by M. Night Shyamalan called The Happening.
Like the wheels of a big rig, each of these films has a different size, shape, color, and decibel level. Some are clearly overinflated, some might benefit from an injection of air, and some have nails driven into them by rivals who are sick and tired of a driver who lets his speed fluctuate so wildly. Some are shaded by mud flaps with shapely women silhouetted in chrome, others by Yosemite Sam who urges you and yours to call an 800 number if you see the driver texting from the wheel, immediately, using your mobile carefully as you try to draft off of this erratic mofo. Some, frankly, have been reduced to flayed strips of rubber and stirred with unlucky, misshapen armadillos on the shoulder, but not by the likes of us.
Eighteen wheels from a thirty-ought-six, comin' straight at ya. Eighteen full and considered film reviews, conceived not at all hastily but presented as though they were, an illusion accomplished not with mirrors but by speaking at double the accepted conversational rate. Consider yourself forewarned.
Subscribe in iTunes and you'll get a program with the following chapter stops built-in for easy jumping, complete with links to the appropriate trailers:
1:35 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Spielberg)
10:07 The Happening (Shyamalan)
15:09 Kung Fu Panda (Foshko)
17:01 My Winnipeg (Maddin)
20:06 Mongol (Bodrov)
22:54 War, Inc. (Seftel)
24:49 Roman de gare (Lelouch)
28:37 Speed Racer (Wachowski & Wachowski)
31:03 Iron Man (Favreau)
35:21 Redbelt (Mamet)
38:24 Shotgun Stories (Nichols)
41:34 Son of Rambow (Jennings)
43:50 Reprise (Trier)
46:08 Three Films by Rivette, Breillat, and Assayas
49:47 Young@Heart (Walker)
55:18 Stuck (Gordon)
57:20 "The end is important in all things"
- Here are my written reviews of The Happening, Mongol, Indiana Jones, Speed Racer, Redbelt, and Son of Rambow at Paste. I also mentioned The Ruins.
- And here's J. Robert Parks on Kung Fu Panda, The Happening, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones.
- An ambiguous bit: I mentioned that I liked the way Son of Rambow studies contrasts, not just the one that develops between the two leads — a young tough reminiscent of The Butcher Boy and a skinny kid from a strict, religious family — but also the one between them and the zippered hipster who drops in from Europe. In the podcast I mentioned that this French kid is an injection of "new wave" into a tweed and bricks setting. Just to clarify: I meant Flock of Seagulls new wave, not Godard/Truffaut new wave. Confusing, because later, when talking about Reprise and The Duchess of Langeais, we did nod to the other vague.
- Guy Maddin told me at the end of our chat last year that he hoped his next film would really jump start Winnipeg tourism.
- This is episode 18. Kind of blows your mind, doesn't it?