Absolutely no one can touch The Thin White Duke at his peak.


1976 rehearsal of Panic in Detroit. In Black and White. As it should be.

A Group of Films I Didn’t Dig Enough to Discuss on the Podcast


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Felony


Directed by Matthew Saville,  Written by Joel Edgerton, Starring Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Roberts and Melissa George

Synopsis - Three male detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident that leaves a child in a coma. One is guilty of a crime, one will try to cover it up, and the other attempts to expose it. How far will these men go to both disguise and unravel the truth?


Thoughts -    Tom Wilkinson kills as an old school Detective with a long cemented, warped moral code. The rest of the film is pretty conventional stuff. Enjoyable at times, but it just doesn’t stand out. You felt very little of the anguish that was needed from Edgerton’s character. The moral questioning is there, but the feeling really isn’t. 

 My Rating : 6/10



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A Walk Among the Tombstones


Directed and Written by Scott Frank, Starring Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Astro, David Harbour and Adam David Thompson

Synopsis - Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.


Thoughts -    By turning the action down a bit, as compared to recent Neeson films, A Walk Among the Tombstones seems a step up overall. It’s more than watchable. Neeson is tough, funny and thoughtful. And tortured. Obviously tortured. It’s a worn story and at times a gruesome film. Outside of Neeson, the acting, characters and motivations become less solid. One big disappointment is that the opening scene set in the smoky bar, eight years before the rest of the film, which looks great, is never matched for the next 110 minutes. The film peaks less than two minutes in. 


 My Rating : 6/10




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Tracks


Directed by John Curran, Written by Marion Nelson, Starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver

Synopsis - A young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.


Thoughts -    I saw this 13 months ago. Ideally, I’d see it again, and offer some fresh thoughts. Unfortunately, it was my least favorite film at Telluride 2013, and I’m not up for sitting through what I felt was a relatively pointless drag. Wasikowska is the reason you’d see it and she is really good. Her character and her motivations? Not very interesting or worth celebration. The trek is impressive, but I left the theater without any real idea why she made it, what she gained, and why I should care? The drama is thin, the supporting characters annoying and the film rather dull. The camels are cool. 


 My Rating : 4/10

The Drop


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The Drop


Directed by Michael R. Roskam, Written by Dennis Lehane, Starring Tom Hardy, James Gandofini, Noomi Rapace, Matthias Shoenaerts and John Ortiz

Synopsis - Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.


Thoughts -  The Drop is definitely not doing anything new, but it was refreshing seeing this type of neighborhood crime film, with a fantastic cast and well drawn characters, getting a real theatrical release. I want more! 

I really need to talk through this Tom Hardy performance though. Brandoesque in the best and worst ways. 

Hear my thoughts as part of our discussion at the 1:10:16 mark of Episode 80. You can find the podcast at Flicksation.com or on iTunes. (I’m Ian in case you didn’t know)


 My Rating : 7/10

Night Moves


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Night Moves


Directed by Kelly Reichardt, Written by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard

Synopsis - Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.


Thoughts -  Don’t watch a Kelly Reichardt film while tired. 

So minimalist, quiet and slow. This can be said about all of Reichardt’s films, but some of them have Michelle Williams and some don’t. At this point, Williams appears to be the key piece in my enjoyment. 

I just didn’t find this group of very dim, short or no sighted characters or their actions interesting, entertaining or insightful. It left me often somewhere between bewildered and bored. Maybe it was too subtle. Maybe I was too tired. Maybe I just want to be on the side of the Environmentalists. 

Hear my thoughts as part of our discussion at the 48:26 mark of Episode 80. You can find the podcast at Flicksation.com or on iTunes. (I’m Ian in case you didn’t know)


 My Rating : 5/10

The German Doctor


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The German Doctor


An Argentine Film Directed and Written by Lucia Puenzo, Starring Alex Brendemuhl, Diego Peretti, Natalie Oreiro and Florencia Bado

Synopsis - The true story of an Argentine family who lived with Josef Mengele without knowing his true identity, and of a girl who fell in love with one of the biggest criminals of all time.


Thoughts -    There’s a far better version of this film yet to be made. Also a far worse one that really delves into the gore and tries to turn it into entertainment. Some kind of happy medium might have made this the kind of thriller you’d hope.

The German Doctor is a little flat, but I liked how much of the horror was just hinted at. Oddly, reading this Doctor’s Wikipedia page will probably creep you out more than this film. 

I didn’t cover this film on the Podcast. 


 My Rating : 6/10

Life of Crime


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Life of Crime


Directed and Written by Daniel Schechter, Starring John Hawkes, Yassin Bey, Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins and Isla Fisher

Synopsis - Two common criminals get more than they bargained for after kidnapping the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer who shows no interest in paying the $1 million dollar ransom for her safe return.


Thoughts -    Going into this with Jackie Brown on the mind, in any way, is the wrong mindset. Still, it’s a mildly entertaining, pretty basic, Direct to DVD type crime film, with some pretty high profile talent. And a clever enough finish.

Someone stumbling across Life of Crime will probably feel alright about their experience, while anyone seeking it out will end up a bit disappointed. 

I didn’t cover this film on the Podcast. 


 My Rating : 5/10

Starred Up


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Starred Up


Directed by David Mackenzie Written by Jonathan Asser, Starring Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend

Synopsis - A troubled and explosively violent teenager is transferred to adult prison where he finally meets his match - a man who also happens to be his father.


Thoughts -  Jack O’Connell is going to be a star. He may never give a better performance than this very physical and playful one. Reminiscent of Tom Hardy exploding onto the scene in Bronson, but O’Connell may be bringing a little more humanity. As great as O’Connell is, the rest of the film’s elements are right up there with him. A must watch film. Ben Mendelsohn should star in everything, always. 

Hear my thoughts as part of our discussion at the 5:26 mark of Episode 80. You can find the podcast at Flicksation.com or on iTunes. (I’m Ian in case you didn’t know)


 My Rating : 8/10

Frank


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Frank


Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal

Synopsis - Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.


Thoughts -  Frank is a worthwhile, sometimes inspired, quirky indie comedy.It still felt like a missed opportunity to really get into the deep sadness at the core and creative drain of mental illness. I’m glad it exists, with Fassbender at the center, and it’s worth a viewing.  

Hear my thoughts as part of our discussion at the 22:44 mark of Episode 80. You can find the podcast at Flicksation.com or on iTunes. (I’m Ian in case you didn’t know)


 My Rating : 7/10

Flicksation Episode 80 is Available and the Best Show of its Generation


      

      


On Episode 80 we talked Michael Fassbender’s paper mache head in Frank, Tom Hardy’s real good looking dog in The Drop, Jack O’Connell’s hand sanitizer bath in Starred Up and Jesse Eisenberg’s bad party etiquette in Night Moves.



Robert and I touched on our trip to the Telluride Film Festival and we all gave our “Co-Starred Up” film picks. (I went with The Third Man


If interested, the links are below.

The Flicksation Facebook Page (Like Us)

The Flicksation Website (Follow us on Tumblr)

The Flicksation Podcast (iTunes)

You can listen on the website, but I urge you to subscribe to the podcast through the iTunes Store. Just search The Flicksation Podcast.

Ralph Steadman is the best. 


Ralph Steadman is the best.