Sordid Cinema Podcast
Sordid Cinema Podcast #558: ‘Frailty’ Remains a Solid Horror Mystery

Sordid Cinema Podcast #558: ‘Frailty’ Remains a Solid Horror Mystery

October 26, 2020

Frailty Podcast Review

The late Bill Paxton’s 2001 directorial debut Frailty may have passed by unnoticed at the box office, but over time this low-budget, atmospheric horror film has maintained a steady appreciation. This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Montreal-based film writer and professor Matthew Hays to break down just what makes this underseen gem so good, as well as dive into its themes of religious piety and family dynamics. The story of a man who believes he has been chosen by God to destroy demons living as humans on earth delves into dark places, as this good-natured mechanic also turns his mission into a family affair – even as one of his sons thinks his father may be going insane.

From strong performances to an interesting script with an unreliable narrator, Frailty consistently engages the audience and is sure to surprise them as well with its many (too many?) twists. Join us as we sort out all the plot details and ponder the mysteries. How well does Frailty handle the supernatural elements? Would the film have worked even better with more ambiguity, or is the clarity of vision one of its strengths? For all this and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast #549: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a Fantastic Sci-Fi Directorial Debut

Sordid Cinema Podcast #549: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a Fantastic Sci-Fi Directorial Debut

June 2, 2020

This week we take a break from reviving older classics to take a look at a recently released indie sci-fi gem called The Vast of Night. The film (now available on Amazon Prime) depicts a fateful evening in a small town in 1950s New Mexico as they host a rival high school basketball team for the big game, but also may be getting some visitors from even further out of town. It’s up to a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ to uncover the truth. Rick and Patrick are once again joined by critic Stephen Silver to discuss the many things that director Andrew Patterson does right in his feature debut, from virtuoso camerawork to the fantastic rhythm he develops using editing. We also praise the engaging performances of the film’s two leads, who anchor the entire production.

The Vast of Night promises sci-fi creeps along the lines of The Twilight Zone, but does it deliver on this? Do all the stylistic approaches work in supporting the story and tone? And just why is that basketball game so important?

For all this and more, have a listen to our breakdown of this wonderful little film!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #548: ‘The Mist’ Contains Monster Movie Greatness

Sordid Cinema Podcast #548: ‘The Mist’ Contains Monster Movie Greatness

May 26, 2020

Frank Darabont’s The Mist Podcast Review

Though its ending may leave some viewers in a daze, Frank Darabont’s 2007 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Mist, is clearly old-fashioned monster moviemaking at its best. This week, Rick and Patrick are joined by artist Dan Bransfield to talk about what makes this simple story of a group of small-towners stuck in a grocery store during the onset of a foggy inter-dimensional invasion such a delightful throwback to B-movie horror.

With a cast of characters (many of whom played by Darabont regulars) that efficiently portray the ugly breakdown of community during a crisis, and a host of mysterious creatures representing the external threat that acts as the catalyst, The Mist is filled with tense moments and fascinating threads (even if some of them seem to go nowhere). Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things we might change if we had the chance (child actors or executions of twist endings), but there’s more than enough to love here to recommend for genre fans. What are our favorite scenes? Who is the film’s MVP? Will The Mist stand the test of time?

For a little debate on these questions and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast #543: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

Sordid Cinema Podcast #543: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

March 23, 2020

12 Monkeys Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we discuss Terry Gilliam’s 1995 sci-fi masterwork 12 Monkeys, which mixes time travel with paranoia set against the backdrop of a dystopian future that both has happened, and is yet to come. Joining Rick and Patrick is film critic and Goomba Stomp writer Stephen Silver, who helps us dive into the intricacies and nuance of this Bruce Willis-led thriller. Along the way, we praise the structure of a script that juggles numerous elements that all pay off handsomely in a pitch-perfect end, debate about which performance really stands out among the cast (for both the right and possibly wrong reasons), and look into some of the history of the film, including the inspiration taken from the 1962 French short La Jetée.

What are our favorite moments? What would we change if we could go back in time? Does 12 Monkeys ultimately still hold up to modern audiences? For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #541: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

Sordid Cinema Podcast #541: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

March 2, 2020

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by former Sound on Sight/Sordid Cinema Podcast co-host Simon Howell to talk about Terry Gilliam’s 1985 ambitious dark satire, Brazil. From its incredible vision and art design to the cavalcade of quirky supporting performances by the likes of Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, and Jim Broadbent (among others), there’s plenty to gush over. Sure, the romantic subplot is a bit of a dud (despite some Freudian overtones), but Gilliam’s story of a low-level government employee who meets the literal girl of his dreams while trying to escape a monotonous life of over-complicated machinery and stacks of paperwork resulting from a totalitarian authority is still just as potent and refreshingly unique today as it was back then.

Join us as we discuss just what makes Brazil so special even to this day, marvel over the inventive and often seamless practical effects, suggest some alternative ways to implement the character of Jill Layton, and rank where this entry stands in Gilliam’s filmography. For those dreaming of movies that escape the standard story formula and aesthetic, it doesn’t get much better than this. Have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast #539: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

Sordid Cinema Podcast #539: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

February 17, 2020

Color Out of Space Podcast Review

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Goomba Stomp writer and H.P. Lovecraft fan Thomas O’Connor to discuss Richard Stanley’s directorial return to the big screen with Color Out of Space. This story of a rural Massachusetts family who starts a descent into madness after a meteorite plummets onto their property stars Nicolas Cage, who gives another wacky performance that helps sell the sci-fi craziness. Though there is some agreement as to the film’s flaws, the guys talk about the difficulty in adapting Lovecraft, as well as how much Stanley and Cage get right in the attempt. And no, we don’t forget the llamas.

So what scenes really stand out for us? What would we change? Will Color Out of Space stand the test of time, or will its colorful dread fade away? For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #529: ‘Logan Lucky’ and ‘Split’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #529: ‘Logan Lucky’ and ‘Split’

September 17, 2017

This week on the Sordid Cinema podcast, Thomas O’Connor joins Patrick Murphy and Simon Howell to discuss Steven Soderbergh's out-of-retirement heist flick, Logan Lucky. In the second half of the show, we dig into M. Night Shyamalan’s Split.

Sordid Cinema Podcast #525: ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #525: ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’

August 20, 2017

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Simon, Patrick and guest Molly Faust review Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. 

Sordid Cinema Podcast #524: ‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ and the Evolution of the Hollywood Blockbuster

Sordid Cinema Podcast #524: ‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ and the Evolution of the Hollywood Blockbuster

July 20, 2017

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, we review War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, directed by Matt Reeves. Some of us believe this is the best summer blockbuster in years, a smart, thoughtful, confrontational war pic. A few of us, however, believe the film is burdened by a problematic screenplay. Joining us to discuss the latest installment in the Planet of the Apes series is former co-host Edgar Chaput of Cut Print Film, who recently wrote an epic retrospective of the franchise which you can find here. Also joining us is our former colleague Bill Mesce, author of The Rules of Screenwriting, an insider’s look at the craft and business of screenwriting that explores some of the popular myths while demonstrating how little relevance these rules have to actual filmmaking. All this and more.

Sordid Cinema Podcast #523: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Spoilers, Easter Eggs, and A Passionate Debate

Sordid Cinema Podcast #523: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Spoilers, Easter Eggs, and A Passionate Debate

July 12, 2017

Coming after three spectacular films directed by Sam Raimi, and two disappointing films directed by Marc Webb, director John Watts (Cop Car) takes a stab at bringing everyone’s favourite Marvel character back to the big screen one more time. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not this new solo outing is what our friendly neighborhood web-slinger deserves or is just another by-the-numbers superhero film? Joining us this week to discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming is Goomba Stomp’s Xbox Editor, Tim Maison.

 

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