Oscars 2017 Podcast – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis do an early morning post-Oscars review of this year’s ceremony. The highs, the lows, the biggest gaffe in Oscar history, we chat all about it here. Jimmy Kimmel did a great job, the Celebrity Zoo was a bizarre misfire, and damn… that ending.  May all Oscars be this exciting!

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Electric Shadows Oscars 2017 Blog-along

01.31 – Welcome to the first Electric Shadows Oscars blog-along.  A stream of consciousness over the next 4hrs+ at the spectacle of Hollywood’s biggest night.  Currently Justin Timberlake is singing a selection of songs and celebs are looking awkward (see: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman).  Interesting start… should have been The Lonely Island doing Humble or Incredible Thoughts.

01.36 – First political joke.  Jimmy Kimmell says we are being watched by hundreds of countries that now hate us. Funny joke about Mel Gibson, “you’re looking great, I think the Scientology is working.”  Reference to Matt Damon passing up Manchester by the Sea to star in his “Chinese ponytail film” The Great Wall, a film which went on to lose $80m dollars.

Kimmell’s opening monologue genuinely funny...

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Blu-Ray Review: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Writer: Ranald MacDougall

Cast: Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett, Jo Ann Marlowe

Cert: PG

Running time: 111mins

Year: 1945


Film: medium_5 

Extras:


What’s the story: A murder investigation delves deep into the life of Mildred Pierce, a woman who has struggled for years to provide a better life for her children.

What’s the verdict: An irresistible puzzle, wrapped inside in a 1940s Woman’s Film and garbed in film noir finery, Mildred Pierce may be 77 years old, but she’s aging beautifully.

Based on the novel by James M. Cain, famed for works such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, and directed by Casablanca helmer Michael Curtiz, the movie nonetheless belongs to Joan Crawford.

Curtiz hated the idea of casti...

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A Cure for Wellness

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (screenplay), Gore Verbinski & Justin Haythe (story)

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Harry Groener

Cert: 18

Running time: 146 minutes

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: When the CEO of a major New York finance company flees to a mysterious Swiss health spa, upcoming employee Lockhart is sent to retrieve him. But, he soon realises unhealthy happenings are occurring.

What’s the verdict: Make time to spend a penny before watching Gore Verbinski’s wannabe horror epic. Water flows, drips, gushes and is gulped during the undisciplined 146-minute running time, meaning you are likely to be dashing for the porcelain throne come the closing credits.

Closing credits which arrive, if memory serves, after roughly thirty-nine false endings.

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Blu-Ray Review: Cul-de-Sac

Welcome to Cinematic Greens

#5 – Cul-de-Sac (1966)

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach

Cast: Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran

Cert: 15

Running time: 112mins

Year: 1966


Accolades:
1966 Berlin International Film Festival
Golden Bear

Contemporary review:
“Pleasence, in a role that requires him to run sideways most of the time with his head at a crooked angle, is hilarious and frightening as a man going mad, and the film has an eerie appeal.” –
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times, 1967

Electric Shadows rating:
Criterion Extras:


What’s the story: Two gangsters, one badly wounded, arrive at remote castle on Holy Island in Northumberland, England...

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The Founder

Director: John Lee Hancock

Writer: Robert Siegel

Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern

Cert: 12

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: In 1950s America, fifty-something milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc (Keaton) convinces the McDonald brothers to allow him to franchise their burger restaurant across America. But, Dick and Mac McDonald (Offerman & Lynch) soon realise Ray’s ambition may be difficult to contain.

What’s the verdict: Birdman was tiresome Hollywood self-congratulation. But, one positive that emerged from the navel gazing was the revitalisation of Michael Keaton’s career. With Spotlight and now The Founder, Keaton is again becoming one of Tinseltown’s most exciting faces.

He clearly knows a juicy role when he sees it, sink...

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Moonlight (2016)

Director: Barry Jenkins

Writer: Barry Jenkins (screenplay), Tarell Alvin McCraney (story)

Cast: Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome

Cert: 15

Running time: 111mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: The life of Chiron, a black man from a rough area of 1980s Miami, is charted through three key stages of his life, from childhood to teenage years and full adulthood.

What’s the verdict: Moonlight and La La Land could not be more different. Moonlight is a coming-of-age story about the struggles of a young black man growing up ostracised and gay and saddled with an abusive crack-addicted mother in a deprived area of Miami...

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John Wick: Chapter 2

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Riccardo Scarmarcio, Common, Claudia Gerini, Ruby Rose, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, Laurence Fishburne, Franco Nero

Cert: 15

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: Former retired hitman John Wick (Reeves) is forced to honour an old debt to a powerful Camorra mobster, setting off a violent chain of events and a contract placed on Wick’s life.

What’s the verdict: Ironic that the filmmakers have christened this sequel “Chapter 2”. If the John Wick saga were a book, it wouldn’t fill the morning commute.

Picking up shortly after where 2014’s John Wick (presumably to be retconned “Chapter 1”) left off, our monosyllabic button man is tying up loose ends with a cameo’ing Peter Stormare...

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2017 Movie Kickstart – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis look through films that have kicked off 2017: T2 Trainspotting, Assassin’s Creed, Jackie, Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge and Silence. And Rogue One! And there’s some La La Land talk. It’s been a while since the last Electric Shadows Podcast, so we’ve given you a supersized start to the year. Enjoy!

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Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Writer: Noah Oppenheim

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch, Caspar Phillipson

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Weeks after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a journalist (Crudup) is granted an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy (Portman), who recalls moments of her life as First Lady.

What’s the verdict: From the opening close-up of Natalie Portman’s pinched, pale face and the strings of Mica Levi’s woozy score, it is clear Jackie aims for something beyond a standard soup-to-nuts biopic.

Director Pablo Larraín (who had a better 2016 than most with this and Neruda) and writer Noah Oppenheim (a long way from his scripts for Allegiant and The Maze Runner) con...

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