Minisode 057: Ratatouille

We’re catching up with November’s Donor Pick, a film all about cooking, and in this conversation we talk Pixar mythology, empathetic villains, and film criticism.


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Minisode 055: A Private War & Interview with Matthew Heineman

A Private War serves as an incredible testament to the legacy of celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin, but also pays respect to her by re-telling the stories she so passionately dedicated her life to sharing with the world. It takes Colvin’s words off the page and lets us experience just why her work was so important, making this one of 2018’s most essential films. In this special minisode, Aaron interviews Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award winning director Matthew Heineman about his first narrative feature film, followed by a discussion with Feelin’ Film contributor Don Shanahan.

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Minisode 054: The Monster Squad

Thanks to a Patron vote in October, we take on THE MONSTER SQUAD, a 1987 film that attempts to pay a loving homage to the classic Universal Studios monsters, while altering their designs just enough to avoid infringing on any copyrights. This is a film that oozes geek-love for its subject matter and we thoroughly enjoy discussing why that is.

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Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

 

Minisode 052: A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Interview with Mark O’Connell

For this September Donor Pick episode we are sticking with our 2018 #SciFiSeptember theme and covering the Steven Spielberg science fiction film our listeners chose. We’re joined by Mark O’Connell, author of Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg, and Us, both for our discussion of the film and for an insightful interview about his written work.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence Review  0:01:05

Interview with Mark1:04:10


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Now Available: September 11, 2018

Welcome to Now Available, where we’ll give you a quick review of a film we didn’t cover when it was released in theaters that’s releasing for home viewing this week, along with a list of everything else and where you can see our coverage on it. 

Superfly, Director X’s sleek remake of 1972’s Super Fly, tells us the story of Priest Youngblood (Trevor Jackson), an Atlanta cocaine dealer and career criminal. Wanting to get out of the game, he creates the perfect plan for one last big score to set him up for life so he can live in peace. As anyone who has ever seen a movie before could probably assume, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Complications put Priest at odds with his partner, fellow dealers, his supplier and the law. Can all of the loose ends be tied up in time for him to make his escape unscathed, or will he find himself sucked right back into the only world he’s ever known?

There is a lot to like about Director X’s remake of the classic blaxploitation film. He expertly updates the story for modern audiences with updated wardrobes, cars and music. In a nice touch, a few of the songs on the soundtrack are the same as in the original, but are remixed by rapper/singer/producer Future. The movie is sleek, stylish and while I found thought it started off a little slow, it expertly ratchets up the tension when the time is right. I had never watched a blaxploitation movie prior to seeing this film, but watching the original and other classics like Shaft afterward, I found it’s pacing to be quite consistent, though with a longer runtime, with the best that the genre has to offer. It also has a subversive sense of humor, with scenes of vengeful wish fulfillment involving dirty cops getting beat to a pulp and, in my favorite set piece, a car chase that ends with the creative demise of a confederate statue. Trevor Jackson shines as Priest, the calm, cool and collected career dealer who harbors secret dreams of another life. The rest of the cast is good, with a few brief appearances by Michael K. Williams being the highlight. Unfortunately, a long scene of sexuality that was completely superfluous made the film feel a lot cheaper than it would have otherwise. It’s easier to forgive these depictions of male wish fulfillment in the films from the 70’s that influenced this one because they’re quite literally of a different time. I don’t believe that this type of sex for the sake of showing skin sits as well with the modern audience. That scene, combined with a story that holds your attention but ultimately feels hollow, keeps the film from being something I’d recommend to others, unless I knew they were fans of the genre.

In the end, Director X’s SuperFly is a solid reimagining of the classic film for modern audiences. There is a good chance, though, that you’ll forget it pretty quickly after the credits roll.

Buy It, Rent It, Wait for Netflix or Skip It?

Wait for Netflix.

Also available this week:

Ocean’s 8- Aaron was a pretty big fan of this fiercely female heist film. See his thoughts here.

Hearts Beat Loud- There’s a good chance you’ll see this film on at least a couple of Feelin’ Film contributors’ top ten lists at the end of the year. Listen to Patrick talk about his love for the movie in the “What We’ve Been Up To” portion of episode 115 of the podcast here and be sure to subscribe to the Podcast because a full episode on this gem is coming in early October!

Other New Releases: Distorted, Watcher in the Woods


Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Minisode 050: The Hunt for Red October

To celebrate the upcoming new Jack Ryan series on Amazon, we decided to cover one of the character’s films. Our donors voted and overwhelmingly chose The Hunt For Red October, and we are so glad they did. 


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Connecting With Classics 008: Lawrence of Arabia

For this month, we’ve chosen to close out the dog days of summer with a classic worthy of the sweltering heat August is known for. 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia is an AFI Top 10 entry which turned 56 years old this year. The longest days of summer brought out one of the longest films we’ll watch for our podcast.  If you have yet to watch this, set aside the time and then join us for some history and conversation about this epic. 

One of the goals for “Connecting With Classics” is listener participation. We will be hosting prize drawings for a poster of the Connecting With Classics movie of their choice plus podcast swag and more at the end of each calendar year. Entries into the drawing can be earned for every episode by watching the film and posting your own review or thoughts about the podcast episode in the comments section of the episode announcement post in our Feelin’ Film Facebook Discussion Group. For listeners who do not wish to be a part of the discussion group, emailing reviews to feelinfilm@gmail.com will also be accepted. 

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Now Available: August 28, 2018

Welcome to Now Available, where we’ll give you a quick review of a film we didn’t cover when it was released in theaters that’s releasing for home viewing this week, along with a list of everything else and where you can see our coverage on it. 

Xavier Beauvois’ The Guardians is a war film that never shows us the battlefield. Rather than giving us glimpses of the horrors on the front, it tells the story of the women who were left behind. Beginning in 1915, the film’s setting is the farm of Hortense Sandrail (Nathalie Baye), the hard working mother of three who is left to control the family farm when her two sons and son-in-law are called away to fight for France in World War 1. Together with her daughter Solange (Laura Smet), their new hired hand Francine (Iris Bry) and the help of the community, the family works to survive the harsh realities of farm life in the early twentieth century.  

The Guardians is a tale of two halves. The IMDb summary of the film “Women are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War,” only describes the first hour of the movie, and that part is absolutely sublime. Beauvois’ portrait of the French countryside is gorgeous. As someone who was born and raised in the Great Plains, I’m always excited when the beauty of a field ripe for harvest catches the eye of an artist like it has here. His naturalistic style set against this backdrop makes the first half of the film, based on the Ernest Pérochon novel of the same name, feel more like actual footage than scripted drama. Our three main players, Baye, Smet and Bry are fantastic, perfectly balancing a look of constant exhaustion with an air of confident resolve. It’s really breathtaking. Unfortunately, once the men return, the film turns into a disappointing melodrama featuring classical soap opera tropes like unfounded gossip, illicit affairs and pregnancies to bog down the proceedings. It’s a pretty disappointing end to a film that started out as engaging and as beautiful as anything I’ve seen yet in 2018.

The Guardians is part love letter to the French countryside and part tepid melodrama. Fortunately the former is captivating enough to not be soiled by the latter. Ultimately it’s worth watching as an uplifting picture of families working together to survive on the home front during wartime.

Buy It, Rent It, Wait for Netflix or Skip It?

Wait for Netflix.

Also available this week:

American Animals- Aaron had the opportunity to sit down and chat with director Bart Layton in this minisode you don’t want to miss.

RBG- Read Aaron’s review of the distinguished Supreme Court judge here.

Tag- This summer’s most surprising comedy is now available to watch at home. See what Aaron thought right here.

Upgrade- Darkly fun and very unexpected, here are my thoughts on this sleeper hit.

Book Club- There is nothing remotely original about this little story, but the cast is so amazing that I didn’t really even care.

Other New Releases: Mary Shelley, A Kid Like Jake, Woman Walks Ahead


Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Now Available: August 21, 2018

Welcome to Now Available, where we’ll give you a quick review of a film we didn’t cover when it was released in theaters that’s releasing for home viewing this week, along with a list of everything else and where you can see our coverage on it. 

When a corporate mega-park moves in across town, the run-down, play-at-your-own-risk Action Point amusement park is in dire financial trouble. The park’s oddball owner D.C. (Johnny Knoxville), his daughter and his ragtag staff (including Jackass’ Chris Pontius) must find a way to keep the doors open. Complicating matters are lawyers and lawmakers who are fed up with the lack of safety protocols at the once proud establishment.

Don’t let that description fool you. Tim Kirkby’s Action Point is nothing but MTV’s Jackass repackaged with a flimsy plot to attempt to sell the antics of Knoxville and his friends once again. At Feelin’ Film, we like to try to look positively at movies, but I really have nothing good to say about this one at all. It’s dull, amateurish and more than just a little tired. Johnny Knoxville is an enigma to me. He has charisma to spare and has proven himself to be an adept comedic actor in the past. But instead of using that talent, he’s been content to churn out lowest common denominator dreck for almost 20 years at this point. If there’s one bright spot, it’s that it performed more poorly at the box office than any Knoxville starring films to date, so maybe as a culture we’re learning to stay away.

Action Point is a tired and laugh-less comedy from the guy who brought you Jackass. It’s one of the worst movies of the year.

Buy It, Rent It, Wait for Netflix or Skip It?

Skip It.

Also available this week:

Deadpool 2- I was a pretty big fan of this one when it was released back in May and after watching it again this week, I still am. Read my review here.

First Reformed- One of the favorites of the year so far for a few of our contributors, listen to Don and Aaron share their thoughts about it here.

Show Dogs- Despite starring one of my personal favorite comedic actors in Will Arnett and having the vocal talents of people like Stanley Tucci, this so called family comedy failed make me laugh and was offensive enough that I won’t show it to my family.

Other New Releases: God’s Not Dead 3, Black Water


Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Now Available: August 14, 2018

Welcome to Now Available, where we’ll give you a quick review of a film we didn’t cover when it was released in theaters that’s releasing for home viewing this week, along with a list of everything else and where you can see our coverage on it. 

To the majority of his loved ones, Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan) is an aspiring photographer who makes a living running a small parking valet service with his buddy Derek (Carlito Olivero). What they don’t know is that Sean supplements his suspiciously abundant income by using the garage door openers of the cars that he’s supposed to be parking to break into the homes of his customers while they eat. It’s a solid scam that works because Sean and Derek only take a little from each person, leaving the bigger ticket items in favor of smaller pieces that the victims won’t miss. It works, that is, until Sean discovers a young woman chained up in the office of one of the homes he’s robbing. Does risk getting caught while he takes the time to set her free or leave her there, saving his own bacon but leaving him to live with the inner turmoil that decision would generate?

Dean Devlin’s Bad Samaritan is in the running for the 2018 most surprising movie of the year. It’s tight, it’s tense, and I had never even heard of it until I checked the DVD release schedule. While a lot of the edge of your seat action borders on cheap set-ups guaranteed to make the audience uncomfortable (even the worst thrillers can generate tension by having characters be snooping around somewhere they shouldn’t, unaware of how much time they have to escape), the film dares to go add depth by asking moral questions about what what we as humans owe to each other. Would you be willing to do the right thing when the decision to do so could cost you everything? One gets the feeling that the filmmakers are working through this question themselves in the making of this movie. The performances are solid. Robert Sheehan shines as a man dealing with intense inner conflict. David Tennant is creepy as hell as the mysterious stranger hiding a terrible secret. To say much more would be to ruin the surprises along the way, and that’s most of the fun. Suffice it to say that Sean’s decisions place him in some intriguing scenarios that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Bad Samaritan is a solid thriller that makes up for it’s times of generic, manufactured tension with good performances and its thought provoking moral quandaries. It’s the leader in the clubhouse for my most surprising movie of 2018.

Buy It, Rent It, Wait for Netflix or Skip It?

Rent It.

Also available this week:

Infinity War- We’re a movie podcast, so obviously we did an episode about the biggest movie of 2018 and maybe the millennium. Check that one out here. And don’t forget to check out Aaron’s review.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties- There are some people out there who get John Cameron Mitchell’s movies. If you’re one of them, give this one a shot. Apparently I’m not, because much like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I just thought this was freaking weird.

Other New Releases: Furlough, Higher Power, Shock and Awe and The Yellow Birds


Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.