Binge Buddies is on hiatus for now, but in the meantime come take a listen to a podcast we recommend: Afterthoughts. In it, hosts Kelly DeWitte and her husband Joel catch up on movies, T.V. shows, and books. We thought we would share their most recent episode on the book and film “The Secret,” which joins them with special guests Alex & Beth Orona. Enjoy!
Unfortunately we’ve got a bit of a downgrade this week as we talk about Mortal Engines for our month of Hugo Weaving. There are things to like here, the setting being the chief among them. It’s an interesting world with some equally interesting lore, and it all looks absolutely gorgeous. Where the film loses us is with everything else. The plot is bland and at times nonsensical, and no one is giving much in the way of their performance. Hugo Weaving has almost nothing to work with here with his first draft villain Valentine, and line reads that should play with gravitas just fall flat. The leads have no chemistry, which makes the eventual “falling in love” that’s required of all YA feel like it comes out of left field. We discuss plenty more about it, but you’ll have to listen to find out what we say.
Remember, remember! The Fifth of November…for it is the beginning of Hugo Weaving Month here at Behind the Hype. To kick things off we’re starting with the flawed V For Vendetta, which boasts great performances from Weaving and others (see: Creedy), while not necessarily aging all that well. It’s tough to root for a a character who gaslights and tortures the female protagonist (Evey, played by Natalie Portman) in a movie with already so few women in it. Doesn’t help either that the character of Evey is so passive. That said, the Wachowskis wrote the script and you can feel their hand in a lot of what transpires onscreen.
We decided to wrap up our Jamie Lee Curtis retrospective by reviewing the classic horror film Prom Night, the film that has inspired many horror movies since it was released and continues to inspire today. What did we think about it? Well, perhaps we should have watched Terror Train instead? There’s some interesting stuff in Prom Night to be sure, but so much of it is either boring or just doesn’t work or is just plain confusing. We even brought in our pal Matt Dykes to help us work through this thing and he had similar problems.
But hey, if there’s anything we learned from this it is that Jamie Lee Curtis is a cinematic treasure. If nothing else, watch the movie for her…and then watch Terror Train.
We continue our Jamie Lee Curtis retrospective with Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, her celebrated return to both the horror genre and this franchise in particular. We have a lot to say about the film as it’s quite flawed and makes some odd choices throughout. The body count is low, and the mask changes partway through the film into something you might find at a pop up Halloween store. The film introduces Josh Hartnett and his messy hair baggy clothes combo to the world, and we see a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt get a skate to the face. Everything with Jamie Lee Curtis is quite good and she makes a traumatized Laurie Strode believable. Worth watching? Listen to find out.
We’re traveling back in time to 1994 to talk about True Lies, James Cameron’s take on Bond starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and our lady of the month Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s quite the adventure, filled to the brim with action, humor, and fun performances from everyone involved. The only weak link is Tom Arnold, but he manages to hold on to the harrier jet, as it were.
To assist us in our review of such a classic film we invited our pal Matt Dykes onto the show to give us his perspective.
October has arrived, and we decided it would be a great idea to do a retrospective on the top scream queen herself – Jamie Lee Curtis. We start the month with her most recent turn in the Rian Johnson film Knives Out. It’s a tightly-paced and well-written whodunnit with really fun performances. And even though Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t have as much screen time as we would have liked, she commands every moment and makes this a great way to start our month.
We made it to the end of our very enlightening Eve Stewart retrospective and to celebrate we’re discussing the divisive Tom Hooper spectacle Cats. There’s a lot to love in this film, and there’s a lot to hate, and really it boils down to how easy it is for you to get past Rebel Wilson and James Corden’s abysmal performances. Production design here is stellar – big surprise – but Tom Hooper tries his best to focus on other things. Bad Hooper. Bad. All that said, is the film worth watching? Hit that play button and we’ll tell you.
Thank you for your patience! This week we’re back to talk about De-Lovely, the next film in our Eve Stewart retrospective. It’s about the musical icon Cole Porter, played with zest by Kevin Kline, as he re-lives the best and worst of his life at the behest of the angel Gabriel (Jonathan Pryce). The film features songs written by Cole Porter, all sung by popular modern musicians. But the question remains: is the film any good?
It’s…charming, but never quite reaches “great.” The real MVP of the film is Eve Stewart and her production design. It’s breathtaking, and quickly overshadows everything else in the film. Join us, won’t you?
The next film in our Eve Stewart retrospective is the Gore Verbinski horror thriller A Cure For Wellness, starring Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, and Jason Isaacs. The film is a clunky mess, suffering from logic problems as well as a problematic third act. What saves it for us is Stewart’s exceptional production design, which gives the film an atmosphere and mood that makes us want to keep watching despite the significant script problems. We go into all of this and more in the episode, so don’t wait another minute to hit that play button on your podcast player of choice.