Colin Wessman

The Pick: The Green Mile

Hanksgiving continues with what might be Tom Hanks’ longest movie (don’t quote me on that), The Green Mile. We dive into its Steven King origins and how director Frank Darabont has been one of King’s more successful adaptors, even if he can’t seem to get a movie made these days. We also have a little bit of Tom Hanks trivia to take the place of John’s Rogue’s Gallery after sprinkling plenty of Green Mile trivia throughout the podcast, which includes imagining a considerably worse film that starred John Travolta and Shaq. Continue reading

The Pick: The ‘Burbs

Happy Hanksgiving, everyone!

That’s right. Throughout the month of November, we’ll exclusively be reviewing Tom Hanks movies on The Pick, since why not spend some time with America’s Dad before you’re forced to do the same with your own family in a few weeks? We start things off with The ‘Burbs, a movie that came at the end of Hanks’ shaggy ’80s, where he was still finding his footing as a leading man. We talk about the “hang-out” quality of the movie, as well as our various ideas that could’ve made it a little better, which includes giant two-headed dogs, an underground society of mole people, and recasting that includes George Wendt and Ray Charles. Continue reading

The Pick: Dune (2021)

Well, it finally happened. We’ve finally arrived at the release of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, a film we’ve been waiting for ever since the three of us (plus Matt Carstens) did a Dune book club during the early days of the pandemic and then did an episode of The Pick talking about the book in relation to the 1984 version of Dune. Matt joins us for an in-depth discussion covering this new Dune as we once again get into how this movie compares to the book while also learning to let go and accept the movie as its own thing. Also, we forgo our Little Picks with a little discussion of No Time To Die, which we were planning on doing a full podcast on, but it just kinda got away from us.

Shocktober: Raw

Shocktober: Raw (2016)

I chose this movie basically to see whether I would want to check out Titane, the other recently released Julia Ducournau film, before the end of the year. While I don’t regret seeing Raw, it pretty definitively gives me my verdict that I do not want to see Titane. Raw is a movie that is certainly effective and pushes your buttons in all sorts of ways, but it’s just not what I want out of a movie. I mentioned in my review of Goodnight Mommy that there was a specific scene in which I had to put my hands over my eyes, and I probably spent a quarter of Raw’s running time doing that. I know that’s a pretty pathetic thing for a grown man to be doing, but Jesus Christ this movie got under my sweet delicious skin. Continue reading

Shocktober: Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy (2014)

I really had no idea that we’d end up reviewing two movies this Shocktober by the directing team of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, since when I picked to review Goodnight Mommy, I didn’t even know who they were. I also can’t even remember why I picked this movie, but it probably was because it was on the better-reviewed side of our options and it’s often fun to go into a movie knowing as little as possible about it. Well, unless it’s The Nightingale, which I’ve avoided seeing since it sounds like I knew a lot more about it than Sean did before watching it. Anyways, despite being an Austrian production that didn’t get a huge release in the States, Goodnight Mommy feels very akin to the types of arthouse horror movies put out by A24, as it starts out very slow and contemplative before it gradually gets more and more nuts, until you’re left wondering what the hell you just watched by its conclusion. Continue reading

Shocktober: Eve’s Bayou

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

There wasn’t a lot I knew about Eve’s Bayou going into it, other than that it was Roger Ebert’s favorite film of 1997. For a long time, this seemed a bit odd, since it’s been a fairly obscure little movie for most of its existence, though its status as a major studio film directed by a Black woman has made it more and more of a vital rarety over the years. It’s another movie that doesn’t quite fit into the horror genre, but also is just as hard to pin to any other genre. It has the feel of a straightforward family drama, but by throwing in elements like voodoo and predestined murder it has a slightly sinister edge to it. So in that regard, it’s easy to see why it was such a hard movie for people (other than Roger Ebert) to make sense of at the time, but remains a hauntingly assured debut from Kasi Lemmons.

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Shocktober: Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary (1989)

I’m sure there is a pretty large portion of film fans that are, like myself, only familiar with Stephen King through his movie adaptations. This is not due to a lack of curiosity, since I probably should get around to reading one of his books eventually. But since the horror genre is one I’m more than happy to spend time with for an hour or two in the form of a film, I guess I’m just a little less inclined to embrace the time commitment that comes with reading a novel in the same vein.

Also, it’s very easy to get acquainted with the world of Stephen King through his movie adaptations, since it’s hard to think of an author who has been adapted more, especially during the 80s, 90s, and briefly in the 2010s. I realize that it’s a little belittling to start this review off talking about a movie’s male originator, since the aim of this Shocktober was to highlight women directors. And though director Mary Lambert certainly is responsible for the movie’s effectiveness, it’s hard not for this to feel like one of King’s adaptations that he had the most sway over. Continue reading