Episode 250: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

We discuss arguably the greatest Batman animated film of all-time, and one where the duality of Bruce Wayne/Batman is fully explored in addition to a uniquely sweet, impactful, and tragic romance for the character.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Spoiler Review – 07:48

The Connecting Point – 47:10

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Episode 247: Rear Window

For August’s Donor Pick, we tackle the classic Hitchcock thriller about voyeurism that leads to all sorts of conversation on the ethics of spying plus some thoughts on what we can learn about how to pursue romantic relationships.

Rear Window Spoiler Review – 0:07:39

The Connecting Point – 0:58:51

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Episode 246: Shutter Island

For the second episode of our Leonardo DiCaprio two-week special, we bring in Zoheb Ali from the appropriately named Midnight Double Feature Podcast to discuss the leading man’s turn in Scorsese’s adaptation of a mysterious novel.

Shutter Island Spoiler Review – 0:08:50

The Connecting Point -1:29:47

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Episode 244: The Talented Mr. Ripley

This week Caless Davis is back on the show to talk about one of his favorite films. Arguably Matt Damon’s best performance is given in this twisty thriller about identity theft set in 1950s Italy and its commentary on class offers plenty for us to discuss.

The Talented Mr. Ripley Spoiler Review – 0:15:57

The Connecting Point – 1:21:19

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Episode 240: Furious 7

It’s the last ride in our Fast and Furious summer as we discuss the most emotional film in the franchise. With multiple scenes getting us teary-eyed and possibly more action than any other entry, this total package was a joy to revisit and ends our series of episodes on a high.

Furious 7 Spoiler Review – 0:07:52

The Connecting Point – 1:20:19

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Episode 239: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

The outlier in the franchise, featuring virtually none of the series’ regulars and focused entirely on a different style of racing, is often considered lesser than by fans. But should it be? We make the case for why Tokyo Drift is likely way better than you remember and a valuable story in the Fast Saga.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Spoiler Review – 0:10:06

The Connecting Point – 1:04:57

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Rental

Rating: R / Runtime: 1 hour and 28 minutes

The shift in technology has made the world more connected but has rendered the concept of privacy obsolete. There is no place on Earth that can remain hidden from the all-seeing eye of a camera, cell phone, drone, or other tools of video surveillance. Forgive the paranoia afflicted prose of these opening sentences but it would be a lie to sugarcoat the truth. Outside of birthday party recollections and vacation memories, the idea of recording can carry a dark undercurrent of sadism when left in the hands of unsavory characters. “Somebody’s Watching Me” is not just a slice of 80s pop music cheese; it’s the spine chilling predicament of four friends embarking on a mini weekend getaway in sunny California. 

Dave Franco’s directorial debut, “The Rental,” sticks a flag in the ever-increasing field of thrillers dealing with the negatives of technology gone awry. What was supposed to be a vacation in the space of a luxurious beachfront house filled with smiles, drug experimentation, and couples bonding closer gets turned sour into a game of survival. Survival not consisting of just life or death but also the ability to keep secrets and deception from reaching the surface. Charlie (Dan Stevens), Michelle (Allison Brie), Mina (Shelia Vand), and Josh (Jeremy White) represent our group under the watchful eye of a mysterious peeping tom who stalks and lurks unknowingly. Unfortunately, only one character (Josh) out of the four subjects has their own personality, fears, and desires fleshed out while the others are simply empty vessels.

Notwithstanding the lack of interesting characters, the story plays out like a kid not knowing their limitations when it comes to eating candy. Franco has a road ahead of him that could lead to a competent career behind the camera but he has some lessons to learn. His handling of the narrative elements is to carry different subplots that could all work as one film on their own; instead, they are jumbled together leading to an illogical cinematic clutter. One subplot provides the stakes of keeping a love affair hidden while the other wrinkle follows the predicament of the homeowner himself that feels untrustworthy. One of these plots could have carried all the way home but this is a case of doing too much when simple would work better. 

Good can be found in the short 88-minute runtime, specifically when the characters are forced out of their cocoon of comfort having to match wits with the unseen villain in new major twists. The main thing that decreases the level of enjoyment is found with character flaws that reek of a lack of common sense. There is nothing worse in a horror film than being treated to a lack of character intelligence. People still not realizing that they can’t commit perfect murders or solve uncomfortable dilemmas by calling for help is laughable in the bad sense of the word. By the end, it is not a shocking conclusion that lies waiting for the characters.

“The Rental” is a horror/thriller mashup that carries the ethos of a decent film but exits the room with a mark of incompletion. 

Rating:


Caless Davis is a Seattle-based film critic and contributor to the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He loves any discussion of film and meeting new people to engage in film discussions on any subject. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Episode 237: Fast and Furious 6

The one with the infinite runway and probably the best villain.

Fast and Furious 6 Spoiler Review – 0:06:49

The Connecting Point – 1:10:04

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Episode 236: The Rock

“Welcome to The Rock.”

The Rock Spoiler Review – 0:17:01

The Connecting Point – 1:01:22

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Episode 235: Fast Five

The franchise goes international for this next entry, the one that is usually regarded by fans as the best, and we do not disagree. It’s time for us to gush about one of the most perfect action films ever made. We love it. It’s in the Trophy Room. Listen and find out why. Salute, mi familia.

Fast Five Spoiler Review – 0:04:27

The Connecting Point – 1:23:01

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