Following Films is your daily source of movie news, reviews and interviews. With episodes of War Machine Vs War Horse, True Bromance Film Podcast, Pop Culture Case Study, Projecting Film, Original Remake, Hydrate Level Four, Reviews from Britt and the Following Films Podcast we cover everything from the art house to the grindhouse.
Peter is joined by some friends to give their initial thoughts right after watching the movie. A non spoiler recommendation is given in the first few minutes and more details of the movie is discussed after the trailer. Follow our sister shows for more in depth reviews!
On this episode we attempt to recreate favorite movie moments in podcast form by looking at films where characters recreate movie moments. SON OF RAMBOW and BE KIND REWIND provided a great opportunity for a guest appearance by David from THAT MOMENT IN to talk about what he looks for in film and how he talks about the art form. Before that, we love similar moments in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, but have different reactions to this new release as a whole.
No contemporary filmmaker has chronicled the messy human experience with the eye and ear of a comedic cultural anthropologist like JUDD APATOW. Hits as varied as those he’s directed, like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and those he’s produced, like Superbad and Bridesmaids, are all unified by their honest, unflinching, comic look at how complicated it is to grow up in the modern world.
Apatow has also built a history of helping break distinctive new comedy voices into the mainstream, from Seth Rogen to Lena Dunham, among many others. Now, in his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow again brings a portrait of an unforgettable character, and a portrayal by a breakout new comedy star, together in a film written by and starring AMY SCHUMER (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) as a woman who lives her life without apologies, even when maybe she should apologize.
U n d o u b t e d ly, S c h u m e r h a s b e e n s t e a d i ly achieving cultural notoriety of her own. From her brutally honest turns at the mic at awards shows and comedy clubs to the clips of her series that go viral the moment they’re posted online—see such instant classics as “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup,” “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” and “Last F**kable Day”—the unapologetic comic channels the relatable frustrations of her professional and romantic experiences and skewers laughable societal hypocrisies. Blending confessional comedy, gender politics and uproarious observation, Schumer has audiences loving the relatable truths she delivers in such a deceptively effortless manner.
Alongside Apatow, Schumer now takes her undeniable talents to the big screen in her feature-film starring debut. Together, they welcome us inside the mind and heart of a Trainwreck.
Since she was a little girl, it’s been drilled into Amy’s (Schumer) head by her rapscallion of a father (COLIN QUINN of HBO’s Girls) that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo— enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment—but in actuality, she’s kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (BILL HADER of The Skeleton Twins), Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.
The comedy, from a script written by Trainwreck co- producer Schumer, co-stars BRIE LARSON (21 Jump Street) as Kim, Amy’s younger sister, who just wishes she would settle down; WWE powerhouse JOHN CENA (upcoming Sisters) as Steven, Amy’s well-meaning boyfriend, who is unaware of her wandering eye; VANESSA BAYER (TV’s Saturday Night Live) as Nikki, her best friend in partying and co-worker at S’Nuff magazine; MIKE BIRBIGLIA (The Fault in Our Stars) as Tom, Kim’s patient—and rather boring—husband; EZRA MILLER (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Donald, a particularly curious intern at S’Nuff; DAVE ATTELL (TV’s Louie) as Noam, the crack-wise homeless man outside Amy’s apartment; Oscar® winner TILDA SWINTON (Michael Clayton) as Dianna, Amy and Nikki’s take-no-prisoners editor; and NBA superstar LEBRON JAMES as King James himself, Aaron’s best friend and unlikely source of romantic inspiration.
Apatow produces Trainwreck through his Apatow Productions banner alongside BARRY MENDEL (Bridesmaids, This Is 40). They lead a talented behind- the-scenes team that includes cinematographer JODY LEE LIPES (Girls and Martha Marcy May Marlene), production designer KEVIN THOMPSON (Michael Clayton, Stranger Than Fiction), editors WILLIAM KERR (Bridesmaids, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and PAUL ZUCKER (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, This Is 40), costume designer LEESA EVANS (Bridesmaids, Neighbors) and composer JON BRION (Magnolia, This Is 40).
DAVID HOUSEHOLTER (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Bad Teacher) serves as the film’s executive producer.
Most documentaries are so focused on capturing "true" moments they seem to forget some of the basic language of cinema and strictly conform to the language of documentary film making. While Giger's welt does capture plenty of private, intimate moments it remembers that documentaries are still films and thereby a visual medium. This story is told with a visual flare that is seldom seen in films of its kind. When was the last time you saw crane shots and aerial photography juxtaposed with Cinema Vertie?
Giger's Welt gives us an inside look at an artist who has created imagery that has terrified audiences for close to 40 years. How is Ridley Scott's Alien 36 years old? Seriously? Sweet Jesus, I feel old. Anyway, where was I? Ok... H.R. Giger is most remembered for his design of the Xenomorph but his work has been used in Sci Fi, Horror, Tattoos, Fetish Art and most corners of pop culture, or more accurately pop sub culture for the last 50 years.
You are certainly familiar with the man's work but if you are like me I assume you know very little about the man. Other than the ability to immediately identify one of his works and my fear of saying his name out loud I never really considered the man behind the nightmare. If you told me he had been working out of a mental institution since the late 1960's, I wouldn't have been surprised. You could have said that he was a teacher from Estonia who worked in secrecy and that would have made sense. I would've never guessed that he was a quite and kind man who reflected an inner turmoil through his art that was strikingly personal. His work always felt so cold and detached that I never considered it was made with heart, I always assumed it came from a place of sexual repression and anger.
I was wrong about the man and his art. Belinda Sallin gives us a beautifully made portrait of a complicated man whose work is as stunning as it is frighting. The film will be released in theaters May 15, 2015 (to see if it will be playing near you click here) and will be released on VOD August 18, 2015. Do yourself a favor and check this film out.
A caravan of crazy roams the desert, leaving in its wake a
chaotic free-for-all of frantic neuroses. There’s no way to soft sell this
review, so let’s just get to it. The latest “Mad Max” is an assortment of
cockamamie pandemonium that leaps from one lurid explosion to the next in a
momentum-less rush to keep viewers from noticing a script spread thin on
character development or anything else of valuable dimension. The plot is straightforward
and difficult to explain at the same time. This is mostly because it is so heavily
mired in a barrage of convoluted eccentricity that hinders any chance to
decipher a coherent explanation for any of its on-screen happenings.
The gist is this: Max (Tom Hardy), a near mute, is captured
by a group of crazy people who are chasing after Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the
commander of a war rig who’s taken off with their leader’s enslaved harem. Max
winds up helping them and in the gang’s ensuing escape across the desert, they
must face off against a bevy of circus acrobats, explosions and a heavy metal
guitarist. Yes, you read that last part correctly. To say this entire movie is
a constant flood of reefer madness would be an understatement. As a result, there’s
no heart to any of its machinations. No reason to care or be absorbed into this
monstrous dystopia. What compels these characters to even bother trying to
survive this nightmare is unclear.
This wacky exhibition in no way bothers to explain why
viewers should even care about these characters in the first place, outside of
the derivative reasons. The ensemble does nothing to awaken any sympathy or
offer an impetus to care about what will become of them. There’s an aching
feeling we’re just supposed to care because the movie says so and that’s never
a good reason. For all of the universal praise being heaped on “Fury Road” for
its portrayal of females, the question lingers as to why. Besides boasting a
heavy female presence, what exactly makes this movie any more of an achievement
for women than “Edge of Tomorrow”? A movie that featured a strong lead female
character, superiorly fleshed out and executed. If what makes “Fury Road”
better is the amount of female characters that is a solely surface achievement.
The determination and wherewithal Furiosa displays is
commendable, however the people she is expending these characteristics on;
don’t behave worthy of it. They’re entitlement to be rescued and do nothing to
speed along this process themselves is a jolting indictment that doesn’t earn
them any points. In the end, its protagonists are consumed in a tossup of “who
cares?” indifference and wonderment as to why Furiosa especially, cares so
deeply about this particular band of ladies, for their depth is as elusive as a
This brings us to the titular character of Max, who is
really just there to supply the namesake of the film and give support to
everyone else. It’s not Hardy’s fault that Max Rockatansky doesn’t work. He can
convey a character with few words (“Lawless”) or many (“Locke”) so the issue
doesn’t necessarily lie in the limited scripting, it’s in the lack of character
development. As with Theron’s half-baked heroine, hardly anything is explained
about Max. For instance, the backstory question of why he is haunted by the
apparition of a little girl and at the most inopportune times is left
mind-bendingly unexplained for first timers to the franchise. You keep waiting
for this character to get one moment of glory, only to see it constantly swiped
away and abandoned as a plot point, leaving his arc intensely dissatisfying.
Charlize Theron conveys the much bandied about Furiosa with
a power closely reminiscent of her breakthrough role in “Mighty Joe Young”.
She’s compelling, compassionate and strong and her extreme makeover for the
role shows a dedication that is impressive. Why Theron can’t apparently be
taken “seriously” in her natural state of being and still play a kick-ass
heroine comes with its own undertones of problematic rationale.
The villains are inconsequential as they too, are portrayed
with zero depth. The movie sadly relies on the grotesque imagery of Immortan
Joe’s physical appearance to back up most of its propaganda for his evilness. Interspersed
in an effort to leave no stone unturned is a religious plot component that
harkens to the Norse mythos and castigates religious extremism. Why in a post
apocalyptic future the religion of the Vikings is all that survives is a
curious suggestion, as is the implication that the only people with religious
ideals are crazed lunatics. To be fair, you won’t find a middle of the road
depiction of anything in “Fury Road”. This film is as extreme as one can get,
so off the wall in its high velocity craziness that it practically combusts in
the commotion. Director George Miller has crafted a post apocalyptic vision
that is a cacophony of colorful cinematography and unrivaled outlandish antics.
Many have said it’s brilliant; I just call it “mad”. Rating: 2/10
In this episode, Dave discusses an underrated teen comedy in Easy A. Things get a tad serious during Fangirl Fixation with Britt. Just add alcohol, I guess. Dave dives into the psychological literature on rumors to discuss how realistic or not the rumors in Easy A are presented. Enjoy!
Peter and Phoenix review Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon in celebration of it's 30th anniversary!
[01:40:50] Peter later interviews the creator of The Last Dragon Fan Site,
Craig Sutton. He tells stories of meeting some of the cast and some of
behind-the-scene stories of rewrites and additions to the original
script. Craig also talks about his site and some of the things it
offers! Follow Craig on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
On this episode we are joined by Nick Antosca, writer on the critically acclaimed television series HANNIBAL, to talk about FRIDAY THE 13th, a film he knows a little something about as he is the writer behind the upcoming reboot of the series. The other movie we will be pairing up with that horror classic is another favorite of the genre in ON GOLDEN POND. Keep listening to the episode to see if Mr. Antosca will be taking over the reboot of that particular property.
This odd double feature of Film Families on the Lake has been inspired by Sarah Adina Smith's new film THE MIDNIGHT SWIM, who was nice enough to talk with us about the inspiration for the script and the filmmaking techniques she used to put audiences in a character's head.