An event is coming! Another event is coming! Summer is here and we all know what that means: Blockbuster movies. 2017 has more franchise and sequel flicks coming out than any other year in history, so we thought we’d celebrate that absolute glut of cinema by actually celebrating the highest achievers in the medium. So, this July, be on the lookout for 30 reviews of 30 films by 29 directors from the Criterion Collection. We’re so excited about the foreign, silent, and black and white films that will be dropping on you that we even had to do a draft so we could each claim the reviews we wanted to do. Check out the podcast, the tentative schedule is after the break.
What is The Matrix? We know the answer to that question now, but do you know its real source? One of the Wachowskis’ biggest inspirations was a 1995 film called Ghost in the Shell, one of the first anime movies to find success in the United States. Tragically, now that movie risks being lumped in with a bunch of half-cooked Scarlett Johansson sci fi action flicks, like Lucy, The Island, or We Bought a Zoo, thanks to a modern, live action remake. But maybe the remake, despite all the controversy surrounding it, isn’t that bad? Maybe the original isn’t that good? Let’s find out this week, on Good Movie/Bad Movie!
After 16 years and eight movies, pretty much everyone is in on the joke when it comes to the Fast and Furious series. We all know the first four fluctuated between kinetic messes and charming absurdity, and that the fifth through seventh are insanely entertaining. But eight is a lot of movies, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rarefied air the franchise is now breathing. This is how many Harry Potter movies there are (not counting Fantastic Beasts). This is double Hunger Games. We’re talking James Bond, infinite franchise territory. With that in mind, I’ve been looking for the right James Bond movie to compare F8 to, and despite the icy connection to Die Another Day, I think it’s Spectre.
It has never been easy being The Wolverine. When we first met Hugh Jackman’s take on the character in X-Men, 17 years and 10 movies ago, Logan was a cage fighter who explained to a runaway little girl that it hurt to use his claws “every time.” He’s lost several loves of his life, some under pretty brutal circumstances. And let’s not forget all the pain and suffering caused by his involvement in the Weapon X program… Even though he forgot it, because it gave him amnesia. Old man Logan’s been through a lot, and now it’s time for him, and this version of the franchise, to finally come to an end.
No one really knows how the game is played. The art of the trade, how the sausage gets made. We just assume that it happens but no one else is in the room where it happens. In this case, I’m not talking about the post-Revolutionary War American government, but actually the dirty work of pitching movies. This week, the four of us try to come up with some really good ideas for ways Hollywood could cash in on the recent success of musicals like La La Land. What’s our name, man? Pitching Tents, our name is Pitching Tents, and there’s a million things we haven’t done, just you wait, just you wait.
What would it take for you to risk it all? Would you gamble with your life for riches? To save a loved one? Maybe you’d only do it if you had nothing else to lose? This week on GMBM, we talk about two films that present two very different groups that go on suicide missions. One is the band of down-on-their-luck losers in 1977’s Sorcerer, a forgotten classic. The other is the band of goofy misfits from 2016’s Suicide Squad, the third critical failure in a row from DC’s Extended Universe. Check this pod to find out which one we loved and which we hated!
I saw the first John Wick after letting all the hype get to me. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking that it had a delightfully simple premise, but didn’t really care. But it seemed like everyone, from smart film critics to action movie buffs to idiots on the street, loved it, so I went and saw it. And I thought it was OK. I liked the world and the characters and the production but didn’t love it.
John Wick: Chapter 2 doubles down on all of that: it shows us more of the world, introduces new characters and brings back the ones I cared about, and features a greater variety of locations and types of action set pieces. And I thought it was OK. If someone tells you they liked the first one and not the second, I could not guess to tell you why, unless they just didn’t want more of the same. It makes me wonder if I like action movies at all.