Sordid Cinema Podcast

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #589: A Quiet Place: Part II Feels More Like A Video Game Sequel

July 30th, 2021

Quiet Place: Part II Review

New movie! Remember new movies? Those still come out on occasion. Simon decided it was time to treat the Sordid Cinema audience to something a little more contemporary than usual, so it’s time to dissect John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place: Part II, which swaps out Office Jim in favor of a very haunted Cillian Murphy. We take this as an opportunity to look at the Quiet Place Cinematic Universe and ponder its future as one of the few major movie series (soon to have its own spinoff!) to not be based on pre-existing intellectual property. Also discussed: the influence of video games, the blessing of short runtimes, and the enduring appeal of family stories set in apocalyptic hellscapes.

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #588: Sleepaway Camp Serves A Helping Of Summer Slaughter

July 27th, 2021

Sleepaway Camp Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Ricky D, Patrick Murphy, and Simon Howell travel back to 1983 and review Richard Hiltzik’s deeply gay-coded Sleepaway Camp. The crew discusses the many different interpretations of the film and breaks down the very famous theory citing two killers, not one. Meanwhile, Ricky explains why Ricky is one of his all-time favourite characters in a slasher film. Of course, we couldn’t review the seminal 80s classic without addressing the controversial, shocking, and some would say brilliant twist ending. All this and more!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #587: Is Babe: Pig in the City A George Miller Masterpiece?

July 19th, 2021

Babe: Pig in the City Podcast Review

Originally dismissed by most critics and audiences as too dour and scary for children, George Miller’s Babe: Pig in the City holds up today as a beautiful, haunting portrait of the toll an urban existence can take on both human and hog. This week, the Sordid Cinema Podcast dives into the anachronistic, unwelcoming canals of this fantastical Metropolis, looking for a little decency in a cinematic world of cynicism. Join Rick, Simon, and Patrick as we break down Babe’s almost-certain annihilation at the hands of a pit bull, marvel at the incredible effects and ability of the star animals to hit their marks, and have a good laugh at Ferdinand the Duck’s expense.

So what exactly is ‘sordid’ about Babe: Pig in the City? One of our hosts was (at first) asking that same question – until a certain stretch where George Miller puts audiences through the emotional wringer. Though the story revolves around a talking sheep-pig on a wholesome mission to save his farm, there are moments of dread, suspense, action, and horror as a little pig’s innocence and empathy are tested. There is also a bizarre cameo by Mickey Rooney, a drug bust at an airport, a Thunderdome-like ballroom sequence, and a monkey with a gun. Thank you, Pig, for delivering this crazy feast for the eyes and ears, and for more on Babe: Pig in the City, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast Rewind: Is Terminator 2: Judgment Day Better or Worse than Terminator

July 18th, 2021

Terminator 2 Review

In 1984, director James Cameron created the Terminator franchise. His film of the same name explored a war between humanity and sentient machines, in which victory could only be assured by sending a naked bodybuilder back in time. Seven years later, he returned with Terminator 2: Judgement Day, replacing the original film’s lean, gritty action with the pyrotechnics of a swollen Meatloaf video. On episode #120 of the Sordid Cinema Podcast, the Sordid Cinema crew reviewed the entire grim sci-fi action series powered by the uncanny casting of Austrian muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger as an unstoppable, monotonous killing machine. What follows is the portion of that episode in which we reviewed Terminator 2 just months before Cameron made his return to the big screen with his long-awaited return to sci-fi, Avatar. Present on this episode is hosts Ricky D, Simon Howell, Al Kratina, and Ali McKinnon. Enjoy!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #586: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

July 13th, 2021

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Review

 

When is a direct-to-video beat-’em-up also a brutally dark meditation on mortality, identity, and the cyclical nature of violence? When it’s John Hyams’ Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning! This hyperviolent action-horror-sci-fi hybrid divides us: is it a schlocky Z-grade knockoff or a compelling concoction all its own? The always-welcome JCVD and Dolph Lundgren are along for the ride as we hash it out. 

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #585: Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy is One of the Most Underrated Comedies of the ‘90s.

July 9th, 2021

The Cable Guy Review

He came…He saw…He tormented…

There are plenty of overnight success stories in Hollywood, but none quite like Jim Carey’s rise to fame. After a stint on In Living Color, Carey transitioned to the big screen with Ace Ventura, which became a sleeper hit in the spring of 1994, grossing more than $100 million on a $15 million budget. Carrey followed that up with blockbusters like The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls— all within a span of two years, helping him become the biggest box office draw in Hollywood. From there, the rubber-faced comic was hired to star in the 1996 black comedy The Cable Guy directed by Ben Stiller and co-starring Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black. The film opened to a respectable $20 million but ultimately became a box office bomb, weighed down by toxic word of mouth from critics who called it a complete misfire. The bigger story, however, was how much money Carey was paid— the actor received $20 million from Columbia Pictures, as well as a 15% backend, and critics couldn’t wrap their head around why a studio would pay so much for any actor to star in a comedy. 25 years later, however, The Cable Guy has found a huge cult following and is now considered one of the best dark comedies of its time— a multi-faceted parody built around a multitude of movie and television-inspired set pieces and references along with an incredible performance by Jim Carey. And not only was The Cable Guy slightly ahead of its time, with its prophetic look on the future and the internet at large— but The Cable Guy was arguably the flashpoint for the next big generation of comedy, paving the way for the next generation of comedies. On this episode on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, we dive deep into what makes the film special, even after all these years.

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #584: Pull the Wool From Your Eyes to See The Parallax View

July 1st, 2021

Powerful organizations shrouded in secrecy, pulling strings from the shadows, snuffing out all who would dare expose the truth to an unsuspecting populace… It’s hard not to love conspiracy thrillers, and 1970s movie theaters were chock full of them. This week, the Sordid Cinema crew is taking a look at one of the best, the second in director Alan Pakula’s ‘Paranoia’ trilogy, The Parallax View. Clearly taking inspiration from real-life political assassinations, the story features an intrepid reporter investigating a shadowy corporation that appears to be recruiting and training deadly operatives to ‘remove’ political obstacles. But don’t worry about getting bogged down in plot details — there are too many car chases, bar fights, bomb threats, and boat explosions to distract from what’s really happening.

Join Rick, Simon, and Patrick as they explain just what makes The Parallax View such a solid thriller, including the masterful cinematography, excellent staging, and overall likability of star Warren Beatty (even if someone thinks he should have been replaced). But can you trust a film that doesn’t answer all the questions? We may never know exactly what’s goin on, but there’s a lot of fun in trying to figure it out. For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #583: Johnnie To’s Drug War

June 22nd, 2021

Drug War (2012) Review

Do you love crime movies but wish they’d just jettison all that junk you don’t really need? You know, love interests? Backstories? Metaphors? Who needs ’em? Johnnie To sure didn’t when he put together 2013’s grim, single-minded Drug War, a movie all three of us found something (or several somethings) to enthuse about. We get into Chinese politics, the (possible) effects of snorting heroin, and consider it as the dark, lower-key anti-mirror of John Woo’s Hard Boiled.

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #582: ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ is an Action Relic Only Gaining in Value With Time

June 10th, 2021

Raiders of the Lost Arc Review

It’s a movie celebrating how they used to make ’em — and yet, they don’t make ’em like Raiders of the Lost Ark anymore. Steven Spielberg’s action masterpiece has aged easily as well as the most valuable cinematic artifacts, showcasing the thrilling combination of a brisk script, daring stunt work, and crisp staging. Oh, and can we forget Harrison Ford’s iconic portrayal of Indiana Jones? Good luck to the next guy who tries to don the fedora. Yes, it’s a film filled to the brim with excellence, from Douglas Slocombe’s searing desert cinematography to Karen Allen’s turn as a feisty boozer with a mean right fist to whoever was in charge of those melting/exploding Nazi heads.

This week sees Rick, Simon, and Patrick put Indy through the wringer once again, as we take a look at what makes Raiders of the Lost Ark so great. Turns out that giant boulder booby traps, ancient tombs filled with deadly snakes, and 1920s circus strong men are just a small part of it. And how does the story structure compare to the James Bond franchise? What are our favorite moments? How can one possibly pick an MVP from such a sterling list of contributors? What — if any — changes would we make to Indiana Jones’ greatest adventure? For all this and more (including finding out which one of us nerds still has an original action figure), have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast Rewind: J.J. Abrams’ Super 8: Personal Filmmaking or Simply Pastiche?

June 7th, 2021

Super 8 Review

After a year of anticipation through teasers, images, and speculation, J. J. Abrams’s third feature Super 8 (featuring his first original screenplay) was released in 2011 to much an overwhelming amount of hype. Fans expected big things while critics seemed out to tear it apart— and it didn’t take long before the film became a source of fierce debate. In episode #276 of the Sordid Cinema Podcast (then called Sound On Sight) Ricky D, Justine Smith and Simon Howell sat down to discuss the sci-fi thriller and settle the score. Or at least they tried. What follows is our review of Super 8 recorded way back on June 11, 2011.

 

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