We bring our month of Joe Dante films to a close with probably one of the weaker films in his arsenal: Burying the Ex. Despite the letdown, there’s still a lot to like here. Anton Yelchin, may he rest in peace, brings energy and nuance to a character that’s difficult to love, and Alexandra Daddario and Ashley Greene steal the show with characters that are awesome, three-dimensional, and written well. It’s the little things that bring the movie down like the brother and some awkward plotting and logic. Is it worth the watch? We give you the scoop.
This week we talk about a film that no one really saw: Matinee, starring John Goodman as a William Castle / Alfred Hitchcock hybrid who brings his B-movie “Mant!” to a small theater in Key West, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What ensues is a fun, if a bit subdued, romp through B-movie nostalgia featuring the usual Dante players as well as a fun performance from Cathy Moriarty – who you may or may not know as the villain from Casper (1995). There’s also a greaser who writes poetry who terrorizes the protagonists dressed up as an ant, and Goodman’s monologue about the “first monster movie” provides a wonderful thesis for the film.
We continue our month of Joe Dante with a look at perhaps one of the zanier films in his filmography – Gremlins 2: The New Batch. There’s so much to love here, from the wonderful puppet design to the brilliant and comedic turn from Christopher Lee. Dante even got Chuck Jones to do the intro to the film, which should tell you everything else you need to know.
We also briefly discuss his film Small Soldiers and get into some of the hype surrounding that film. There’s a lot of discussion packed into this episode so be sure to keep your Mogwai hidden away in a cool, dry place (preferably with Rambo playing on a nearby TV) before settling down to listen to this week’s episode.
We’ve tweaked our podcast formula a bit and are proud to present to you the first episode of BEHIND THE HYPE which looks back through a filmmaker’s career to examine their early or more obscure works. Every month we’ll tackle a different filmmaker, covering at least four of their movies.
This month we’re delving into the career of Joe Dante with his first film Hollywood Boulevard, from 1976. We also briefly discuss the short “French Ventriloquist’s Dummy” from the 1987 film Amazon Women on the Moon.