Sordid Cinema Podcast
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 #547: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #547: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

May 1, 2020

This week on the Sordid Cinema podcast, we discuss The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Peter Greenaway’s most successful film and some would argue his true masterpiece— although not to the taste of the average cinema goer.

 

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #546: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

Sordid Cinema Podcast #546: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

April 23, 2020

This week the hosts of the Sordid Cinema Podcast take a look at Mel Gibson’s 2004 monster hit, The Passion of the Christ. While the film is known primarily for its extreme level of violence and the controversies surrounding its release, does the film actually accomplish what it sets out to do? Is there a point to all the suffering? Rick and Patrick try to get to the heart of the matter, doing our best to remember the Stations of the Cross while debating the artistic merits of Gibson’s context-reliant storytelling. The Passion may be hard to enjoy, but there’s no doubt it’s a film that offers plenty to talk about.

As usual, we discuss our favorite scenes, wistfully mention a few things we might have changed, and wonder if this violent biblical epic will stand the test of time.

For all this and more, have a listen!

 

 

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #545: ‘The Fog’ Deserves to be Seen

Sordid Cinema Podcast #545: ‘The Fog’ Deserves to be Seen

April 14, 2020

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Goomba Stomp writer Marty Allen to discuss one of John Carpenter’s lesser-cited horror classics, 1908’s The Fog. Though it may not have had the impact of such genre masterpieces as Halloween or The Thing, this low-budget story of a group of ghostly lepers who assail a small coastal town contains many of the director's stylistic hallmarks, as well as his usual efficiency. Sure, the third act may suffer a bit from a lack of inspiration, but what comes before is rock-solid filmmaking that should appeal to anyone that loves well-crafted suspense and horror.

So just how well does The Fog hold up for modern audiences? Who (or what) is the film’s MVP? Where does it stand in Carpenter’s filmography? We dive into the production, gush over the camerawork, break down why this screenplay works, and even pick a few nits. For all this and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast #544: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #544: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

April 1, 2020

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Podcast Review

This week’s show sees Patrick picking another western, but this one is a little more talkie and a little less shooty. John Ford’s 1962 adaptation of The Man Who Shot Liverty Valance centers on a classic genre theme of civilization vs. frontier law. While Ford may be an acquired taste for some, the hosts discuss the fascinating philosophical conflicts at play while praising many (though not all) of the performances, as well as note the uniqueness of the (mostly) action-free film. With Monument Valley never making an appearance, is there enough to look at? Does this slower western still hold up today? Why, oh why, did Ford leave in that classroom scene?

For all this and more, have a listen!

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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 #542: ‘The Quick and the Dead’ is the Sam Raimi show

Sordid Cinema Podcast #542: ‘The Quick and the Dead’ is the Sam Raimi show

March 14, 2020

Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead Podcast Review

1995’s The Quick and the Dead showed that director of The Evil DeadDarkman, and Army of Darkness wouldn’t hold back his off-kilter, kinetic style for a western, and the result is thrilling for Sam Raimi fans. While certain aspects (i.e., the script) may not shine in this tale of Sharon Stone’s mysterious gunfighter entering a quickdraw competition in order to enact revenge on the despotic mayor of the small town of Redemption, Raimi ensures that there is always something crazy and meaningful to look at. This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary by discussing how the director shapes and enhances the boilerplate story with his unique visuals and panache.

Along the way, the hosts also marvel at the distinct performances by an incredible cast that features a stoic Stone, a deliciously evil Gene Hackman, a badass Russell Crowe, and a young Leonardo DiCaprio, among many others. They also decide which gunfight is the best, pick their favorite and least favorite scenes, and wonder if this version of Raimi still holds up with 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 #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

Sordid Cinema Podcast #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

February 23, 2020

Witness 1985 Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick get their city hands dirty with 1985’s Witness, directed by Peter Weir. The story of a little Amish boy who watches a grisly murder take place in a train station bathroom manages to combine a subdued-but-tense police thriller with an exceptionally grounded love story between detective John Book (Harrison Fords, in his only Oscar-nominated role) and the boy’s mother, Rachel (played by Kelly McGillis), along with a theme contrasting pacifism and the use of deadly force. The guys discuss how Weir expertly maintains restraint, often opting for subtle facial expressions over dialogue, and plenty of quiet moments abound. The director also once again makes the presence of the land deeply felt, creating an absorbing environment complemented by an otherworldly score by Maurice Jarre.

With so many great scenes, how can we choose the best? What might Rick and Patrick change about this nearly flawless film? Along the way in answering these questions and more, the guys dive into the production history, as well as talk about how this film fits in with Peter Weir’s filmography. Have a listen!

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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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