Ep. 127 – Dark Phoenix, I Am Mother

June 10, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review Fox’s X-Men swan song DARK PHOENIX and the Netflix sci-fi thriller I AM MOTHER.

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Dark Phoenix

June 5, 2019 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
Directed by: Simon Kinberg (debut)
Written by: Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Apocalypse”)

Here we are at the presumptive end of Fox’s X-Men series, and it all seems to be happening with a relative whimper. What started 19 years ago as part of the Big Bang of modern superhero movies draws to a close with a shrug in “Dark Phoenix,” the latest (and final?) film in the longest-running comic-book movie franchise ever—so far, anyway.

While all eight of the X-movies proper maintain a loose continuity with their immediate neighbors, the series has always been ready to throw it out the window at a moment’s notice. Which means to say, if the gist of “Dark Phoenix” seems a little familiar, it’s because this same storyline—based on a classic comic book arc—was sort of done back in 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

Following the world-shattering events of the franchise low point “X-Men: Apocalypse,” things seem … sort of normal? It’s 1992 and the newly-launched Space Shuttle Endeavour has suffered some sort of problem on its maiden voyage by way of a mysterious solar flare. It’s up to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his X-Men to save the day. Led by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, who proves in this film to be completely over playing the blue-faced mutant) and Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), the team flies into space to save the astronauts. In the process, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) gets caught in the explosion and the mysterious solar flare enters her body, sending her power off the charts.

Meanwhile, some aliens that are also after the power in the flare land on earth and mimic the humans they kill. One takes the shape of a woman (Jessica Chastain) and seeks out Jean, who has now discovered Charles has lied to her about her past, sending her over the edge.

In the age of world domination by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first-cousin-once-removed X-movies come across as downright cheapo and quaint. I mean, they’re full of physical stunts and JLaw is just wearing blue makeup and an unconvincing wig to play a shapeshifter, and Hoult has fake blue fur glued to his face. The goddamn Black Panther’s suit is CGI, even though there’s a real one on set! All in all, “Dark Phoenix” is entirely perfunctory, with confusing fight choreography, confounding character arcs, and completely unearned sentimentality. And even still, there are at least two worse X-Men adjacent movies. Now that Fox has been absorbed into Disney, all signs point to this being the wrap on a series that laid the groundwork for where the genre is today and created a bonafide movie star in Hugh Jackman. Thanks for your service, X-Men. We’ll see you in MCU phase 5, probably.

Ep. 126 – Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rocketman, Running With Beto

June 4, 2019 by  
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On this episode of The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, ROCKETMAN, and the HBO documentary RUNNING WITH BETO.

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Ep. 125 – Aladdin, Booksmart, and a recap of the San Antonio Symphony’s John Williams concert

May 28, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review the live-action “Aladdin,” Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut “Booksmart,” and Cody discusses his experience at the San Antonio Symphony’s performance of John Williams classics.

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Re: MCU – Ep. 2 – The Incredible Hulk

May 24, 2019 by  
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In this episode of Re: MCU, Cody and Jerrod from CineSnob.net discuss the mostly forgotten and least essential movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: THE INCREDIBLE HULK, starring Edward Norton.

Ep. 124 – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Hail Satan?, and positive discussion of Robert Pattinson as the new Batman

May 20, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” and “Hail Satan?”

They also discuss the rumored casting of Robert Pattinson as the new Batman, and what he would bring to the role.

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Ep. 123 – Avengers: Engame spoiler-filled dissection

April 26, 2019 by  
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SPOILER ALERT! This episode of The CineSnob Podcast is a long, lengthy discussion about every aspect of “Avengers: Endgame” and should NOT be listened to unless you have seen the movie.

For real, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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Bonus Episode 15: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Martin Kove, Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald and Jon Hurwitz of “Cobra Kai”

April 24, 2019 by  
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In this bonus episode of The CineSnob Podcast, Jerrod chats with the cast and creators of the YouTube Premium series “Cobra Kai” ahead of the premiere of season 2 at SXSW in Austin last month.

The conversation on the sophomore season of the “Karate Kid” sequel features stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and Martin Kove, along with creators Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald and Jon Hurwitz.

All episodes of season 1 and 2 of “Cobra Kai” are now streaming on YouTube Premium.

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Ep. 122 – Shazam!, Unicorn Store, and the runtime of Avengers: Endgame

April 8, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod dive into “Shazam!” and “Unicorn Store.” They also discuss the 3 hour runtime of “Avengers: Endgame” and the controversial practice of splitting movies in two.

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Ep. 121 – Us, and a quick recap of SXSW

March 25, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review the latest from Jordan Peele, “Us,” and the fellows talk about their time at South by Southwest.

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Ep. 120 – Captain Marvel, Leaving Neverland

March 9, 2019 by  
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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review the 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and first with a female lead, “Captain Marvel.” They also take a deep dive into the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” and what it means for the legacy of a dead entertainer now considered monstrous by part of the populace.

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Captain Marvel

March 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”)
Written by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”)  & Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Tomb Raider”)

The 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a milestone that’s been a long time coming—the first movie in the decade-old series with a female lead character. The idea that it’s taken nearly two dozen Marvel movies for that to happen—especially when struggling rival DC turned out the wonderful “Wonder Woman” two summers ago—is, seemingly, a point of embarrassment for the company, and they’ve worked to make it right with the lead up to “Captain Marvel.” The campaigns prominently feature the word “her” dissolving into the work “hero,” for example. The importance for representation in these films, especially as these comic-book movies have taken over the world and the audience becomes everyone alive, can’t be overstated. Alas, despite the best (yet belated) intentions of overlord Kevin Feige, the final product that is “Captain Marvel,” from the script to the pacing, do a disservice to what should have been a triumphant moment for the franchise.

Following in the footsteps of other cosmic adventures like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” the film opens with Vers (Brie Larson) combat training with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) on the Kree home planet of Hala Yon-Rogg is attempting to teach Vers discipline in order to control the mysterious power she possesses to shoot beams of energy from her hands. Yes, the movie drops you right in to that. Anyway, both Vers and Yon-Rogg are part of Starforce, a group of elite warriors who battle the Skrull, shape-shifting goblin-looking creatures the Kree see as terrorists. When a mission to rescue a spy goes awry, Vers finds herself in the clutches of Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn, who is great) who reactivates lost memories of a past life in her head. Vers manages to escape, and ends up crash landing in a Blockbuster Video on Earth, circa 1995. Her arrival is greeted by Agent of SHIELD Nick Fury (a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson, having a blast), who Vers—a.k.a. Carol Danvers–teams up with to find a scientist who developed a light speed engine (Annette Benning) and discover who she really is.

Despite being Marvel’s most powerful superhero—and being portrayed by Oscar winner Larson—the screenplay never fully develops Carol as a character. We’re told she’s a badass fighter pilot, for example, but that part of her story cobbled together from mind-bending flashbacks that don’t offer a clear picture of her skill. Instead they just show she climbed into a plane and sometimes flew one. Also, as a member of Starforce, she’s apparently the only one with the power to fire energy beams—but how does this affect her relationship with, well, anyone?

The screenplay, credited in part to directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, seems to envision Carol as a female version of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, only it doesn’t offer half of the characterization “GOTG” gave its lead. Instead, Carol is sort of an empty vessel, and the heavy lifting of the emotional beats—like her finally throwing off the oppression of strong men in her life—is left to female-driven ‘90s pop songs. Needle drops from No Doubt, Garbage and Elastica aren’t anything to complain about, but when that’s all the female empowerment you’re lending to your first female superhero star, then you’re letting your audience down.

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