David, Devindra, and Jeff discuss Jude Law’s hairline, praise The Man in the High Castle, and wonder if Indiana Jones should become like the Bond franchise. Also, Jeff explains where he’s been the past few weeks. Read about the reaction American Sniper is provoking and check out Dave’s thoughts on Zero Dark Thirty.
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Posted on Friday, January 23rd, 2015 by David Chen
A Most Violent Year is a slow burn of a film, primarily centered around a simple land deal that entrepreneur Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is trying to put together to sustain and grow his young oil business. Yet somehow, writer/director J.C. Chandor is able to up the stakes until they are almost unbearably tense. What hangs in the balance is not merely Morales’ business and the future of his family, but also his sense of self, his moral center. If you extrapolate it further, the film becomes and indictment of American capitalism, in the same way that films like Nightcrawler did in 2014.
With some beautiful cinematography from Bradford Young and some dynamite performances from the leads, A Most Violent Year manages to be haunting, wistful, and unforgettable. Hit the jump to see my full video review of the film.
Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by David Chen
David and Devindra discuss this year’s Oscar nominations. Devindra tries to argue Mulder wasn’t that crazy. David goes on a massive rant about Ultraviolet. Matt Singer joins us from ScreenCrush. Be sure to check out Matt’s review of Blackhat, and listen to the SVUvie awards.
Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015 by David Chen
Michael Mann’s Blackhat is an early contender for one of the worst films of 2015. It plays out like a really bad, excruciatingly boring parody of Mann’s films. The plot is paper thin, the relationships are completely implausible, and the dialogue is laughable, to the extent that much of my audience found the film unintentionally hilarious.
Sure Blackhat has some of Mann’s trademark flourishes, including a couple thrilling shootouts and some gorgeous cinematography of exotic locales. But there are so many elements that are truly terrible that they overshadow anything good about the movie. Hit the jump to see my full video review of Blackhat.
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I first learned about director (and /Filmcast listener) Ben Aston when he wrote me an email a year ago asking me to check out one of his short films. Since then he’s put out two more short films, both of which have gone on to play at prestigious film festivals all around the world. His latest short film, He Took His Skin Off For Me, blew me away and represents an exponential step in his growth as a filmmaker.
Hit the jump to see Aston’s films, and to listen to a podcast interview I did with him about finding success as a maker of film shorts. We discuss the sacrifices Aston has had to make for his art, as well as practical tips to get a short film seen.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 by David Chen
David and Devindra chat about this year’s Golden Globe winners and report back on all the films and TV shows they watched over the break. Special guest Alan Scherstuhl joins us from The Village Voice and The Village Voice Film Club. Be sure to check out Ben Aston’s Russian Roulette, how Selma is like a horror film, and what matters in Selma.
Posted on Saturday, January 10th, 2015 by David Chen