Monday, August 29, 2011

Series One Final Scoreboard

All apologies for the radio silence as we wrapped up the show dear listeners. I dare say that when we set out to map our course for the first summer of joint podcasting, neither Simon nor I factored in details like vacations or website redesigns.

But you have stuck with us, and for that we thank you. We will both be cross-posting material to this space as the months go on, especially since many of the directors we mentioned in Series One have films on the horizon ("Paging Mr. Fincher!").

But for the matter at hand, the final scoreboard, which includes the results from rounds eleven and twelve. Here's how it all shook down...

Winner! Rachel Thuro 203 (+44)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 156 (+27)
Courtney Small 90 (+15)
Andrew Buckle 79 (+0)
Duke 32 (0)
Alison 28 (0)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Joel Burman 15 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Congratulations Rachel on dominating the trivia during Series One!

As mentioned during the final moments of Episode Twelve we know for certain that we want to do a Series Two, we just aren't completely set on when, so please keep an eye either on this space, or our respective blogs for details.

We're also open to suggestions on which directors we should cover, so if you want to make a request, email it in and we'll take it under advisement.

Last but not least, please consider one of two small favours now that series one is complete. Please think about spreading the word, since series one's seven hour runtime makes for pretty decent listening to a newcomer over the course of a week or two. Likewise, please consider dropping a rating and/or comment on iTunes which might get us a slightly higher profile.

For now though, thanks so much for making Series One a success - you'll be hearing from us again soon.

sincerely,

Simon & Hatter

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Film Locker #12: Roman Polanski

Apologies for a another week with no content, but between Simon's French adventures, and my work launching a new website, it was a bad choice of week to close up shop on Series One.

However, I'm happy to report that we're signing off with a high note since episode 12 brought about some of the best conversation Simon and I have had all summer long. So without further ado, I give you the Series One Finale - The Roman Polanski episode with feature conversation on his 1975 classic, CHINATOWN.



If you've come with us this far, and enjoyed what we've offered up this summer, perhaps you'd be so kind as to spread the word. The Film Locker was designed as a capsule, so rather than finding out about a podcast and realizing that there are dozens or hundreds of back episodes to dig through, that a new listener could have something maleable...like being handed a twelve-episode HBO series on dvd.

(Not that we fancy ourselves akin to The Sopranos...though in our more deluded moments, we do tangent into Wire-like delusions of grandeur).

One last thing, this show has gone far better than we thought it might (we swore we'd have only two listeners)...so to everybody who gave us six minutes or six hours, thank you and check back now and then for news on series two.

As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Film Locker #11: Guillermo del Toro

A few apologies before getting to episode eleven. First and foremost for its late arrival, and then of course for the slight hiss that can be heard when Hatter is talking.

We should have everything sorted out for the final spin next week...but for now, here's the penultimate talk focusing on Guillermo del Toro and his masterpiece, PAN'S LABYRINTH



As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, August 12, 2011

(Belated) Episode 10 Scoreboard



Sorry for the late report on this round folks...all I can say is that when your computer goes into the shop all hell can break loose.

Things still really aren't over, but at this late stage it's safe to say that it's a two horse race. Simon and I both want to thank everyone who participated in the trivia for Series One. If it wasn't for you - we'd swear we were recording these for ourselves!

Here are the results after nine rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 159 (+24)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 129 (+10)
Andrew Buckle 79 (+0)
Courtney Small 75 (+15)
Duke 32 (0)
Alison 28 (0)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Joel Burman 15 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Hatter's Questions:
BROKEBACK and TRAFFIC are two of the very few films to get Best Director but not Best Picture.

Lee is a die-hard fan of The Calgary Flames.

Lee felt Anne Hathaway would be a good fit to play Jane Austen in BECOMING JANE.

Simon's Questions:
Bergman's VIRGIN SPRING was influential in Lee becoming a filmmaker.

Lee has headed up the jury of the Venice Film Festival.

Lee has become a naturalized citizen of The U.S.A.

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 11)

Apologies for the lack of content this week folks. You see, it turns out neithe Simon nor I have much Ang Lee material in our back pages. Ordinarily, this discovery would have sparked one or both of us to write something new...but unfortunately, we both found ourselves otherwise occupied over the last seven.

Thus, my one post on one of the most underseen Ang Lee films will have to do.

The scoreboard is coming this afternoon, but for now on with the show! We have two left before we close up shop on series one, and in both cases they centre on directors that spawn great conversation. Here's a clue for the penultimate choice...


C: You're getting older, and you'll see that life isn't like your fairy tales. The world is a cruel place. And you'll learn that, even if it hurts...Magic does not exist. Not for you, me or anyone else

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Little More Lust, Little Less Caution


In thinking about this week's director, I wonder if I should take my own advice and watch one of Ang Lee's films again. You see, I watched LUST, CAUTION back during the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival...early on a Sunday morning...where "half awake" would be a generous way to describe my mental state.

Along with being in a better mindset, my taste has changed in the last four years - so perhaps if I were to give it a rent now, I'd find that the pace and tone are in fact more in line with what I want in a film.

For better or worse, here's what I wrote back then...

Ang Lee's movies are some of the most consistently best-looking films, and just about every time I watched one for the first time there was at least one "that's a great shot" moment. I didn't get that with LUST, CAUTION, so while it is shot well, it didn't strike me as visually interesting as some of Lee's other films like BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN or THE ICE STORM. That said, I did enjoy the scenes that involved the four women conversing over their game of mah-jongg. It reminded me a lot of the scenes in EAT, DRINK, MAN, WOMAN where the characters talk passionately as they cook...

Check out the full post here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Film Locker #10: Ang Lee

Ever get the feeling you're forgetting something? That's this week's Film Locker. Apologies for the slightly later than usual posting time folks but it's been busy times for Simon and I lately. Hopefully our discussion made things worth the wait, as we have a director whose filmography is short but distinguished for your today.

It's Ang Lee's turn in the spotlight during episode ten, with special emphasis on his 2000 modern classic CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.



As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, August 5, 2011

Episode 9 Scoreboard

The all star continues her dominance, but the lead remains a tight one.

Rachel Thuro got in first again with Episode 9 trivia (which continues to stupify me given how inconvenient a time these episodes post for her. But Rhys stays in close with a second place pickup again this week. Three episodes left, the win still very much to be determined.

Here are the results after nine rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 135 (+24)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 119 (+18)
Andrew Buckle 79 (+10)
Courtney Small 60 (0)
Duke 32 (0)
Alison 28 (+6)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Joel Burman 15 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Hatter's Questions:
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE won all but two of the Oscars it was nominated for.

Naomi Harris has been cast as Moneypenny in Bond 23.

Robert Carlyle's character in THE BEACH is named after Daffy Duck.

Simon's Questions:
ALIEN LOVE TRIANGLE was supposed to be part of a trilogy with MIMIC and THE IMPOSTER.

Jim Cartwright wrote the scripts for Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise

John Murphy has worked with Danny Boyle 5 times

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?" (Simon reviews TRAINSPOTTING)

Next up - the already discussed Trainspotting. I wrote this a while ago when I even managed to garner enough attention to have it put onto a different website too.

At the time of writing, the use of music was prevalent in my mind as the soundtrack was released across two volumes and I had managed to hunt down both volumes - all with brilliant tracks on (well... say 60% at least). My full analysis include connections to the music and drug-movies of the time too because, I believe, Trainspotting came at a point whereby this was the indie-filmmakign thing to do ... just ask Doug Liman and Tom Twyker...

"Based amongst the Edinburgh clubbing, drug scene, Boyle did state that he wanted the music to have a timeless quality to it - and so we have everything from Iggy Pop and Lou Reed through Pulp and Blur and out to Underworld and Leftfield spaning a time period from the 70's through to the 90's. A real fantastic selection of music. I could do a whole blog on the music alone. The use of Lust for Life by Iggy Pop is interesting as it is shown at start (Danny Boyles running-through-the-streets, fast-paced start ... we see it again in Slumdog Millionnaire, even Millions has the two kids running around the house being built around them during the opening credits) and also shown midway through, but with a different tone. What began as sneak-theives and petty-theft becomes, by the second time we see the same sequence with the same music, a sad situation, whereby we feel pity and hopelessness. They still can't kick the habit."

For the full review, click here

"I need to die misunderstood" (Simon reviews SHALLOW GRAVE)

So, in more depth, an analysis of Danny Boyle's feature debut. Way back before Ewan McGregor was a Jedi and before Christopher Eccleston was Doctor Who, they both appeared in this film and - influenced by the Coen's Blood Simple with a touch of Hitchcock's Psycho ...

"Its a bit strange because it destroys every ounce of good in each character - but they are a bit annoying anyway - but they become completely destroyed over the film. The first act sets all this up with chopping up the body finishing this section, the 'centre piece' is each character getting more a more confused (except Alex who just watches daytime TV and doesn't really give a shit) - David goes completely insane and begins to become a peeping-Norman Bates character. I reckon Psycho was an influence because, alongside the peeping holes thing, there is a shot which looks just like the Janet Leigh shot after the camera zooms out from the eye in the bathroom, post murder."

Just click here for the full analysis ...

Monday, August 1, 2011

FROM START TO FINISH (Simon reflect's on Danny Boyle's Back-Catalogue)

Well, if you haven't had enough after listening to the podcast, now is your chance to truly immerse yourself in what he has directed so far. I wrote this a little while back, so there is very little coverage on 127 Hours but this extensive coverage includes discussion on some of his lesser known films - Millions, Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Naked in Paradise. It was broken into four sections -


Plenty more to come! So Check back during the week for more analysis and discussion!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Film Locker #9: Danny Boyle

Y'all must have known this was coming. The man who is far & away Simon's favorite director is on tap today, and the discussion would test Simon's editing skills once again (this conversation went on for quite some time). Get ready for the Danny Boyle chapter of the locker, with feature discussion on his 1996 masterpiece TRAINSPOTTING.



As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 29, 2011

Episode 8 Scoreboard

She opened the door a crack two weeks ago - has she slammed it shut for good this round?

Our series one all-star Rachel Thuro was top dog for Episode 8 trivia. Is it enough to propel her to the win once-and-for all? Four more chances at big points still loom, beginning tomorrow morning with Episode 9 kicking off the final quarter.

Here are the results after eight rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 111 (+20)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 101 (+12)
Andrew Buckle 69 (0)
Courtney Small 60 (+12)
Duke 32 (0)
Alison 22 (+4)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Joel Burman 15 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Hatter's Questions:
Oscar nominees cast in PUBLIC ENEMIES include Marion Cotillard, Carie Mulligan, Johnny Depp, and Christian Bale.

Van Zandt's muscle in HEAT is played by rocker Henry Rollins.

THE INSIDER concludes with Al Pacino's character Lowel Bergman breaking the story of Unibomber Ted Kaczynski's arrest.

Simon's Questions:
DR. STRANGELOVE was the film that sparked Mann's interest in becoming a filmmaker.

Michael Mann earned his graduate degree from London Film School.

The first film to include digital exterior shots was COLLATERAL in 2004.

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"It's that or we both better go do something else" (Simon reviews HEAT)

Woah! And you thought we'd forgotten about Michael Mann. Not just yet ...

Saved the best till last...

"I think it would be great to dwell on that perfect sequence in the coffee house between McCauley and Hanna. It establishes so much without making anything too obvious. Vincent stating his stance "I will put you down", while McCauley doesn't even flinch to state where he stands that if Hanna gets in his way, he "will not hesitate ... not for a second". Its all over-the-shoulder shots, subjecting us to the intense stare of McCauley and the pseudo-laid back approach by Hanna. We feel every line, and are aware of the importance of every line stated. For many months now I have been collected older issues of Sight and Sound that regularly turn up at Kentish Town Oxfam (50p a pop is worth every penny!) and in one issue dated March 1996, there is an analysis of this sequence as we see Michael Mann's script notes on the sequence. The article notes how both characters are aware of the nature of time as luck and that life is short. Mann notes that Hanna, as a hunter, darts his eyes around getting every scrap of information on McCauley while they are together. Fascinating insight details that I would recommend anyone interested in the sequence."

You can read much more detail and insight onto the same subject by clicking here.

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 9)

Been a quiet week in this space. Apologise for that to the fourteen of you who follow it. The reasons for the tumbleweeds are twofold:

First, both Simon and I have had busy weeks socially (There's only so many hours in the day to blog, right?)

Second, neither Simon nor I have a whole lot of content written about Mr. Mann to cross-post!

Next week should bring more of what your used to, and of course the scoreboard will drop tomorrow afternoon. For the time being though, here's a clue to who is coming next...



SB: "Y'know, for a vegetarian...you're a fuckin' evil shot"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Bye-bye, blackbird" (Simon reviews PUBLIC ENEMIES)

Had enough Public Enemies? I think not! In fairness, neither of us chose this film for our top shelf choice and it sure-as-hell wasn't our Michael-Mann focus point.

But it is a brilliant film to extrapolate and discuss - so much so, that though Hatter reviewed it, so did I analyse a few factors to it. I started off one paragraph by mentioning the free paper the 'Metro' as it compared the film to the Michael-Mann bomb Miami Vice -

"Metro (a local free tabloid paper here in London - and Birmingham and Manchester ...) released a review today saying that the film was akin to 'Miami Vice'. This is absolutely untrue - while you struggled to follow the convuluted plot about drugs and 'the underground' and truth and fiction and what not in 'Miami Vice', the simple plot in 'Public Enemies' gives Mann space to focus on the characters themselves. In a nutshell - its Purvis trying to catch Dillinger - but the anti-hero edge to Dillinger, the persona Depp creates, makes you root for him - even though you know Billie's prophesizing his death is true, you cannot help but be upset at the expected showdown"Metro (a local free tabloid paper here in London - and Birmingham and Manchester ...) released a review today saying that the film was akin to 'Miami Vice'. This is absolutely untrue - while you struggled to follow the convuluted plot about drugs and 'the underground' and truth and fiction and what not in 'Miami Vice', the simple plot in 'Public Enemies' gives Mann space to focus on the characters themselves. In a nutshell - its Purvis trying to catch Dillinger - but the anti-hero edge to Dillinger, the persona Depp creates, makes you root for him - even though you know Billie's prophesizing his death is true, you cannot help but be upset at the expected showdown"
Read the full analysis by popping over to Screen Insight by clicking here!


For the full review, just
click here

Monday, July 25, 2011

"What keeps you up nights, Mr. Dillinger?" (Hatter reviews PUBLIC ENEMIES)

I remember the pre-publicity for this. How could they get it wrong - depression-era Gangster film, Johny Depp playing Dillinger, Michael Mann direction. It was a sure-fire hit. All the pictures looked stunning and it was merely a question of whether the film would pay off on release. Then the reviews came in ... mixed.
 
Hatter wrote - "However, patience is a virtue, and patient audiences will be rewarded as the second half of this movie really takes off. From the moment of the Dillinger/Nelson heist, director Michael Mann shifts the movie into a higher gear, and suddenly decides to deliver on the sexiness of the story. One of the highlights is an explosive gunfight at a rural Wisconsin Inn, which evokes memories of the downtown L.A. shootout in HEAT. Interestingly, it’s the last pure action scene in the movie. The rest of the way, Mann goes cat-and-mouse and lets the intriguing nature of the manhunt entertain the audience"

Suffice to say, it was not as good as we expected and - in the first instance, Hatter wrote his semi-positive review. For the full review... just click here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Film Locker #8: Michael Mann

You ready for action? Good - because we have a modern master of shoot-em-up comin' at you today by way of Michael Mann. Mann has one of the shorter filmographies of our directors to date - and his last two films are especially tough sells - but when it comes to great human drama, action, and heist...there's little out there that can top HEAT.

Make sure you email the filmlocker [at] hotmail.com to enter the competition because that points race has gone neck-and-neck. At press time (10am EST on Saturday) nobody has emailed answers yet. 24 points worth of cheddar for the taking folks: Who wants it?

You can also email in if you want to simply expand on stuff we're talking about - we will endeavour to email you back!


Finally, the blog itself is filmlocker.blogspot.com and it has access to lots more reading material on the directors we have discussed. Not sure how much new material we'll have on Mann this week, but do check in.



And, as usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 22, 2011

Episode 7 Scoreboard

Behind the scenes note about recording The Film Locker:

Because of the time difference between Toronto and London, there are only so many windows of time that we can use to record the show. As such, we've been rolling very early on Sunday mornings (as in 7 or 8am). I say this, because being up early is the only reason I can offer for three questions out of six calling for the same answer.

Oops.

But ladies and gentlemen, we officially have ourselves a game! Rhys has all but closed the gap between himself and Mrs. Thuro, with young Andy Buckle within striking distance too. Four episodes left, and it's anybody's prize right now.

Here are the results after seven rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 91 (+6)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 89 (+24)
Andrew Buckle 69 (+5)
Courtney Small 48 (+10)
Duke 32 (0)
Alison 18 (0)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Joel Burman 15 (+15)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Hatter's Questions:
Fincher's most nominated film is THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, with 13

Fincher's best box office performer is THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, which took in $127M

PANIC ROOM is the last Fincher film to come from an original script.

Simon's Questions:
Elliot Goldenthal composed the score to ALIEN 3.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON had Fincher's highest budget with $150M.

The most recent video Fincher directed was "Only" by Nine Inch Nails.

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 8)

In some ways, I'm sorry to see this week end as Fincher seemed to be our most popular episode yet (take that declaration with a grain of salt). But time marches on and this week we move into the final quarter of the series.

Some clues about who we'll be talking about this weekend...


DC: You recognize the MO?

VH: M.O.? Is that they're good... Once it escalated into a murder one beef for all of 'em after they killed the first two guards, they didn't hesitate. Pop guard number three because... what difference does it make? Why leave a living witness? Drop of a hat these guys will rock and roll...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"...And He Still Has Hell to Look Forward To" (Hatter Talks SE7EN)

This one is a tad redundant, because in many ways I said most of what I needed to say about SE7EN during the Fincher episode. Still, it might make for a good read.

A few months ago I was taking part in a series that was slowly going through the 1001 Essential Films list and posting about them. This post came from that series, where I mulled over the film fifteen years after its release, and considered its status as an "essential" film.

The events of SE7EN do indeed feel like a slow descent into hell. Perhaps the hardest things about this journey is where it leaves us. The case builds to it's painful conclusion...and then ends after a quick nod. The film kicks us as hard as it can square in the gut. Then as we're left on our hands and knees puking in the gutter, the film basically walks away and waves goodbye, leaving us to try and collect ourselves as best we can...

Check out the full post here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"I'm Seven...But I Look a Lot Older" (Simon reviews THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON)

We didn't really plan it this way (perhaps I did subliminally), but Simon and I spent a lot of time during the podcast talking about THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.

This is the Fincher film that seems to get wailed on the most these days. Truthfully I wasn't totally fussed about it when I first saw it either, but subsequent watches have led to me appreciating it an awful lot more.

Simon, on the other hand, remains unconvinced...

This is really quite a film. The special effects are flawless - and showing the range of ages of Benjamin and Daisy does look quite smooth and in no way affects the watching-of-the-film. Basically, these groundbreaking effects, do not interrupt the narrative. The narrative has enough problems...

Check out his entire review here.

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

Sometimes it doesn't take much to make a pair of podcasters smile. You see we try to reach a broad audience...not wanting to seem too elitest, or too lowbrow...whether or not we find this sweet spot is a question I can't answer.

But then we get emailed a photo like this, where we learn that our audience skews a bit younger than we first thought...



That'd be young Mia, daughter of faithful listener Rachel Thuro. Seems as though this cherub saw her mom listening to The Film Locker on her iPod and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

As it turns out, Mia was unimpressed with our handiwork. She's not a fan of David Fincher and thinks Simon and I are plebes for going seven episodes without even hinting at The French New Wave.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Know What's Cooler Than a Million Dollars?" (Hatter Settles The Social Network/Citizen Kane Debate)


I took some flak earlier this year when I stuck my neck out and made a declaration. So what better way to celebrate the David Fincher episode than by going back to that glorious debate.

Some of you might recall, that last autumn when THE SOCIAL NETWORK was setting the moviegoing world on fire to a certain extent, there were some who had the audacity to call it "CITIZEN KANE for a New Generation".

That's heresey for a film lover like me, and it prompted me to take a long hard look at both films...

Kane’s fate is far more tragic. As the newsreel tells us, the man outlived his power. At his peak, he was raking in a fortune, ran a news syndicate that was influential, and stood on a political precipice that included him being poised to be governor, with the American presidency within sight. He lost it all, because for Kane power wasn’t enough. He always felt some gaping hole that only love could fill, but it had to be love on his terms...

Check out the full post here.

"She Just Up And Ran Away" (Simon reviews WHO IS IT? Music Video)

I am a huge, self-confessed, Michael Jackson fan. I have all his albums and DVD's - even that special box set with DVD on one side and the original single on the other side. He was a God among men. I even had tickets to the This Is It concert at the O2 before he died. Though I didn't pay £75 for a ticket stub - I got a refund. I'm not a complete mug.

At any rate, Michael Jackson's music videos attracted the best in the industry - not only do we note David Fincher with Who Is It? but also Martin Scorsese working on Bad (the full length version) and Spike Lee on the two versions of They Don't Really Care About Us. Because he worked with the best, often his music videos had much more depth than many people thought. I wrote it a while back - so some of the statements are false (namely my, at-the-time, lack of knowledge of Cronenberg), but I still manage to mention the director within the conetxt of MJ's video:

"I'm going to mention two directors whom I know little of - David Lynch and David Cronenberg. The shiny cars, the shiny walls, the mysterious hooded woman ... am I right? I watched Cronenberg's 'Crash' years ago and - obviously - due to the nature of the film (eroticism and cars) it relied heavily on the metallic sheen of vehicles, so this did seem to recall that but 'Crash' ... Throughout the video, we often see a face emerge from flat, clean surfaces and this is completely surreal so that might be the link - Lynch and his Surrealism."

You can read the entire post by clicking here

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Film Locker #7: David Fincher

Fincher. Good ol' Fincher. There is always time to discuss David Fincher. Hatter and I were aware that we didn't want to have shows about 'the obvious' directors - cancelling out Spielberg, Nolan and Hitchcock - in the hope that we would discuss them on a separate series. But Fincher was a must.

Obviously, email the filmlocker [at] hotmail.com to enter the competition because, now half-way through, there is indeed a tight race with many new folks taking part! You can also email in if you want to simply expand on stuff we're talking about - we will endeavour to email you back!

Finally, the blog itself is filmlocker.blogspot.com and it has access to lots more reading material on the directors we have discussed. This next week, keep your eyes peeled for in depth reviews of The Social Network from Hatter and a discussion on Finchers music video 'Who is it?' for Michael Jackson...



And, as usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 15, 2011

Episode 6 Scoreboard


And with that, the race is on! Mrs. Thuro doesn't know her Almodovar, thus Rhys and Buckle both make big gains and come within striking distance of the Trivia Queen of Series One.

Also quite happy to welcome Allison the Nerd Vampire to the game who made an impressive showing for her first entry by being the second person to email in!

It's anybody's ballgame right now, and something tells me next week's episode will egg on the race even more with a director our listeners know a bit more intimately.

Here are the results after six rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 85 (0)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 65 (+10)
Andrew Buckle 64 (+20)
Courtney Small 38 (+6)
Duke 32 (+0)
Alison 18 (+18)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Simon's Questions:
Prior to directing, Almodovar worked for twelve years as an assistant at Telefonica (a Spanish phone company).

CARNE TREMULA was the last film that Almodovar acted in.

BAD EDUCATION was the last Almodovar film adapted from a book.

Hatter's Questions:
The silent film in TALK TO HER is called AMANTE MEGUANTE aka THE SHRINKING LOVER.

ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER ends with a stage curtain coming down; TALK TO HER begins with that same curtain going up.

"Volver" means "Return"

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 7)

We officially begin the back six of the show this weekend, and I think i speak for Simon when I express how thankful we are that the show has been as modestly successful as it has in the first half.

We weren't sure how well this whole caper would work when we first set out to do it this spring - for many reasons - but the small-but-loyal listenership we've built has really been encouraging...both within this podcast, and what Simon and I each do elsewhere.

So again, thanks. Now let's close the book on Almodovar and move on to Episode 7...an installment I believe will be one of our more popular shows.

A pair of clues for what's to come on Saturday morning...


J: Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Without fear I'm capable of anything" (Simon reviews BAD EDUCATION)

This is my personal favourite film of Pedro's! I believe that when Almodovar is on fire is when he is tackling subject he has a close association to and understanding - in this case it is an understanding of cinema, relationships and experience of a Catholic school.

The film plays with what is fiction and what could be fact - the idea that you never fully understand a situation unless you are directly involved yourself. The attractive young male is very different to the drug-abusing transvestite ... and it changes your perception on the events. Hidden identity is at the core of the film - and how people hide behind masks to give the impression they are something they are not.

"everyone seems to be playing a role: Father Manola and his 'hidden side' abusing children, Juan pretending to be his brother, Ignacio himself, - as a transexual - in an excpetionally false feminine look. These multiple characters make the film irresitably intricate - multiple levels and understandings behind each characters - nobodys motives are clear."


Just look at the visual splendour it is steeped in - the picture I chose alone shows how incredibly talented Almodovar is. If you want to read more, just click here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Ghosts don't cry" (Simon reviews VOLVER)

One film I feel we did not discuss enough was Volver and Broken Embraces. Broken Embraces specifically as it has a great duality alongside Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

At any rate, Volver is a great film and, akin to Talk to Her, it is a much more restrained Almodóvar. Rather than focussing on identity and sexuality, it focusses on death, mourning and explicit highlights the celebration of death according to Spanish custom. 

I wrote:

"As Almodóvar is dealing with such a sensitive subject, it is no suprised that the comedic and bizarre elements are not seen - and, other than Paco's brief perversions - there is no overt-sexual scenes or sexuality-issues raised. So, though restrained for Almodóvar the colours still reek of pastels and calmness. Nothing too bold and nothing too cold - pastelly-blue's and pinks all over the place"


To view much more of the post, just click here

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Film Locker #6: Pedro Almodovar

We inject some foreign flair into the locker this week with the very best from Spain: Pedro Almodovar. Feature discussion this week zeroes in on one of Hatter's all-time favorite films - HABLA CON ELLA aka TALK TO HER


As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 8, 2011

Episode 5 Scoreboard

Looks like there are quite a few Kubrick fans in our listener base. I for one found that a little bit surprising as I was under the impression that Stan the Man had a lot of haters out there who found him to be overhyped. I guess anyone who thinks that way either isn't in our meagre listener base, or gave this episode a skip.

To the scoreboard before we put Kubrick to bed.

Mrs. Thuro is officially the one to beat in this little competition as she puts up monster numbers again this week and increases her lead. Can she be stopped? or should I start asking her which dvd she wants? Here's the way it all shook down this week, with the points pickup in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 85 (+24)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 55 (+5)
Andrew Buckle 44 (+12)
Duke 32 (+15)
Courtney Small 30 (+5)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Jess Rogers 4 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Simon's Questions:
Peter Sellers, Kirk Douglas, and Frank Silvera make the most appearances in Kubrick's films.

The reasearch for the abandonned NAPOLEON project became BARRY LYNDON.

Peter Sellers played three different roles in DR. STRANGELOVE.

Hatter's Questions:
During a scene in the 1996 film TWISTER, a tornado rips through a drive-in theatre's showing of THE SHINING.

Up until recently, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE was banned in The UK.

Every Stanley Kubrick film involves a scene inside a bathroom.

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

"No horsing around on the airplane!" (Simon reviews DR STRANGELOVE)

As a very recent post on both the Classic Columb of Man I Love Films and, additionally, on my own blog this is the last Kubrick review before the scoreboard comes out...

I have recently gone through a James Bond phase and, I think, Stanley Kubrick clearly knew Ken Adams expansive sets and grand ideas suited his satirical comedy Dr Strangelove exceptionally well by choosing him to design, amongst other things, the board room. Which - if you watch X-Men: First Class very closely, you will see the same room again as the US military base... it seems Dr Strangelove and Dr No clearly represent the sixties exceptionally well...

"One thing which is brilliant about this film is the iconic image of the sixties it portrays. The film is shot entirely in black and white (except for A-bomb videos) giving the film a classical pseudo-importance. The comedy of the time is exemplified in casting Peter Sellers - an actor who, additionally in '63, had starred in iconic 60's film The Pink Panther opposite David Niven and Robert Wagner. Peter Sellers also manages to play multiple roles in the guise of Mandrake (the employee of General Ripper) the President of the United States and playing Dr Strangelove himself. These three roles - the creator (Strangelove), the decider (POTUS) and the everyday man (Mandrake) - present completely differeing opinions and feelings, with positions that are completely opposite to each other."

If you want to read more - click here!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 6)

Coulda swore our Kubrick episode would have drawn out a few haters! I guess there are more fans of Big Stan in our listener base than I thought. Thanks for listening thus far everybody, here's a clue to what awaits you for the halfway mark of series one...



Nothing is simple. I'm a ballet teacher, and nothing is simple

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Sir, main level please." (Simon reviews 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

I know that this film divides people and I believe that the attitudes towards Tree of Life at the moment may be a good comparison. Both are primarily Art - 2001  is definately not the Transformers 3 of the time. Mister Hatter managed to watch a cinema screening and, alongside the British Film Critic Barry Norman, this is generally seen as the way to watch the film.


I managed to watch it for the first time a while back and, keeping it contemporary, I managed to link the film with ... Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...


"Strangely enough, having watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull only recently, it is a similar theme: we can search and crave for all the knowledge in the world; we could know everything. But it is the journey in finding, bit by bit, this knowledge that is the beauty of being human. This constant question-asking is important - the answers not-so-much."


If you think this is crazy talk, then you need to read the rest so - if you want to finish the review - click here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Hey Joe, what do you know?" (HATTER reviews A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)

For 12 years, Stanley Kubrick worked on this project. Originally intended to be released much earlier, originally it was Joseph Mazello (the lad in Jurassic Park who has only recently starred in The Social Network and The Pacific HBO TV-Series) who was due to play 'David'.

As part of the 1001 Film To See Before You Die, Hatter reviewed the title noting the following:

"Sadly this team effort is not without questions, as Kubrick unfortunately passed away before the project went ahead. Thus understanding exactly where Kubrick's ideas end and Spielberg's begin is foggy at best, and might even contribute to what doesn't work with this film (more on that later). That said, it is amazing to see touchstones of two geniuses in the same film. Only in A.I. can we get silhouettes against the moon and the chin-down-eyes-up glares"

He expanded further on Kubrick's trademarks that feature - and what Spielberg may have interpretted badly in his full review, which you can see by clicking here 

Monday, July 4, 2011

"... the first and the last word out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir" Simon reviews FULL METAL JACKET)

The one genre Kubrick has dabbled in a couple of times is the 'war' genre - with both Full Metal Jacket and Paths of Glory. You could argue that Spartacus has a war-like element to it. The thing is with Full Metal Jacket is how it also delves into the psychology of war too.

Many moons ago, I wrote a little review about the film writing:

"On his head is a symbol or peace and, next to it, the words "born to kill". This complete conflict, two polar-opposite attitudes to war, is what roots itself in the themes of this film  - these two stances are what makes men so conflicting in their stance towards war and violence. They can make a man go mad."


Its an incredible film, and the full write-up goes into much more depth - so if you want to read more - click here

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Film Locker #5: Stanley Kubrick


After a week spent discussing the new school, we go back to the classics with a man some of you love, and some of you love to hate: Stanley Kubrick. Feature discussion this week centres on what we believe is "Kubrick 101" - his 1980 horror classic THE SHINING.




As usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 1, 2011

Episode 4 Scoreboard

The woman who sits atop the scoreboard gave our listeners a whopping three days to jump in and play catch-up...but even with the leeway, Mrs. Thuro came up big once again.

The results after four rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 61 (+24)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 50 (+15)
Andrew Buckle 32 (+8)
Courtney Small 25 (0)
Shane McNeil 18 (0)
Duke 17 (+5)
Jess Rogers 4 (+4)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Hatter's Questions:
Joel Coen is married to Frances McDormand

The Coen Brothers edit under the pseudonym "Roderick Jaynes"

Blood Simple was remade by Chinese director Zhang Yimou in 2009 and retitled A WOMAN, A GUN, AND A NOODLE SHOP.

Simon's Questions:
BLOOD SIMPLE is The Coen Brothers lowest grossing feature.

Joel Coen was assistant editor on Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD

Roger Deakins will be the director of photography for the upcoming James Bond film.

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Further On Up the Road (Looking Towards Episode 5)

Hope y'all enjoyed The Coen Brothers conversation this week, and judging by the late-but-large amount of feedback we received, it seems as though you have.

I, for one, will be interested in hearing the reaction to our next director as he too is quite a polarizing entity in the world of cinema. Here's a clue as to who's on tap...



Well, you know...when something happens, you can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things that ( certain people ) can see. Just like they can see things that haven't happened yet. Well, sometimes they can see things that happened a long time ago. I think a lot of things happened right here in this particular hotel over the years. And not all of 'em was good...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Oh You Betcha Yah..." (Simon Reviews FARGO)

What is the best Coen Brothers film? One could make a case for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN...certainly MILLER'S CROSSING is up for discussion...some might even suggest THE BIG LEBOWSKI (though I wouldn't).

For my money, I think it's hard to top FARGO - even though, as I mentioned in the show, I didn't like it at first go. Simon reviewed it for Screen Insight a while back, here's a taste of what he thought...


Frances McDormand's 'Marge' is such a force that as soon as we see her and 'Norm' wake up to the call of a homicide, it is she who is the centre of the story. Everything else turns to dust. Her idiosyncrasies and mannerisms, "yah" simply make every sequence amazing to watch. She notes on the documentary that she can only do 'Madge' when in the wig - which doesn't surprise me. Something so fluid can't be turned on and off - you have to physically become the character...

The full post can be found here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"I Do Not Know This Man" (Hatter Reviews TRUE GRIT)

Talking about The Coen Brothers proved to be a tricky task. They have so many truly great films that one could easily dedicate an entire twelve part series to them alone! But in the effort to keep things succint, Simon and I were forced to skim past some of their titles.

Such as TRUE GRIT.

But thankfully, both he and I have done a lot of writing on the Coens over the years, so we have them covered with the written word.

Here's a taste of what I thought of their western remake last year...


TRUE GRIT feels like a sermon about cowardice and consequences. The movie begins with a quote, pointing out that the lowest form of cowards are the ones that run when nobody is there to chase them. What sort of fate should befall such a person? Do they deserve the mercy and luxury of the law? It wouldn't seem so if even a fourteen-year-old can grasp the gutlessness of the action. No. In the society TRUE GRIT inhabits, such lack of spine merits bounty hunters, vigilante justice, and retribution...

The full post can be found here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Episode 3 Scoreboard


Sorry for the late reply on Cronenberg Trivia, but if Reel Insight can tack on their scoring update - so can we!

And as of posting time (11am EST on Monday 6/27) nobody has sent in submissions for Coens trivia! A potential 24 points are still up for grabs - who wants it?

Here are the results after three rounds, with everyone's point pickup for this episode listed in parenthesis...

Rachel Thuro 37 (+5)
Rhys Bendeix-Lewis 35 (+10)
Courtney Small 25 (+15)
Andrew Buckle 24 (+24)
Shane McNeil 18 (+6)
Duke 12 (0)
Andrew Robinson 3 (0)

Just a quick reminder about the scoring structure - The first person to email their answers is awarded 4 points per correct answer. The second emailed response gets 3 points per correct answer. The third gets 2 points per correct answer. Everyone after that who emails in before 5pm EST the following Friday gets 1 point per.

So, as evidenced by Mr. Buckle this week, just because you are late getting into the game, doesn't mean you can't do some immediate damage on the scoreboard!

Hatter's Questions

What film does Cronenberg play a gas clerk worker calling customers? LAST NIGHT

Which is based on a graphic novel? A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Name the bad Whose lead singer is featured in VIDEODROME? Blondie

Simon's Questions:

How Many Fly Films? 5 - THE FLY (1958), RETURN OF THE FLY (1959), CURSE OF THE FLY (1965), THE FLY (1986), THE FLY II (1989)

Which Actor has Cronenberg worked with the most? Viggo Mortensen

Who has composed the music to the vast majority of David Cronenberg films? Howard Shore

Entries for Trivia close at noon EST on the Friday after the show; please email all answers to filmlocker@hotmail.com. The prize dvd/blu-ray can be worth a maximum $30 USD on Amazon.com

FROM START TO FINISH: (Simon covers The Coen's Back Catalogue)

The Coen's, for me, marked a success in how I chose to watch their entire back-catalogue and succeeded - whilst my ongoing attempts at watching the back-catalogue's of Woody Allen (so-o-o many films!) and Steven Spielberg (damn you Always!) continue.

It was due to this success that I chronicled the Coen's collection on my blog, analysing each and every film I watched and commenting on them. It was broken into four parts - and preceded True Grit and delves a little deeper into what reoccurs in their films - and what is unique about each one.

As a taste:

"Blood Simple brings together a simple story set in Texas about infidelity and murder. Influenced by genre cinema - namely Film Noir and, to some extent, Horror. Cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld even worked on the film - to go on to direct features such as Get Shorty and Men in Black. Even the awkward murder-gone-wrong, a huge centre-point to the story, is something that became a recurring theme - though clearly inspired by Hitchcock, whereby it was always a nightmare to dispose of bodies and even commit the murder itself in classics such as Rope and Frenzy."

And here are the links to each post -

The Complete Collection: The Coen Brothers (Part 1) - Blood Simple and Raising Arizona

The Complete Collection: The Coen Brothers (Part 2) - Miller's Crossing through to The Big Lebowski

The Complete Collection: The Coen Brothers (Part 3) - O Brother Where Art Thou through to The Ladykiller's

The Complete Collection: The Coen Brothers (Part 4) - No Country for Old Men to True Grit

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Film Locker #4: Joel and Ethan Coen and 'No Country for Old Men'


Having spent two weeks covering film directors who may be a little off the beaten track, we regain the road by moving to younger and hipper folk in Joel and Ethan Coen. Having both watched both back-catalogues, Hatter and I argue it out with our favourites and not-so-favourite films with an in-depth analysis of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

We go through our top-of-the-shelf choices and choose two films that reflect the diversity of the Coen's style with a nice little musical treat tp finish the episode!

On a sidenote, results for Episode 3 will be released soon so - don't let this stop you from entering this weeks competition!


And, as usual, it is already up on itunes and can be found easily on podomatic - so, please do try and write reviews and support us if you can! We have the ol' RSS feed and 2.0 RSS and, if you link in different ways, we also have it on Google and Yahoo

Large Association of Movie Blogs