Ep. 12 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Into the Storm, I Origins, Ida, and Netflix picks of the week

August 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net review “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Into the Storm,” “I Origins,” and “Ida.” They also discuss the colorization of Alexander Payne’s black and white film “Nebraska,” the upcoming female-led movie based in the “Spider-Man” franchise, and give their recommendations for Netflix instant streaming.

[00:00–01:49] Intro and toast talk.
[01:49-14:30] Epix releasing a colorized version of Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” against his wishes.
[14:30–26:17] Sony releasing a female-led movie set within the “Spider-Man” franchise.
[26:17-33:54] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
[33:54-39:15] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Spoiler Talk
[39:15-48:05] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wrap-up
[48:05-55:47] Into the Storm
[55:47-1:04:15] I Origins
[1:04:15-1:12:59] Ida
[1:12:59-1:34:03] No Ticket Required – Netflix recommendations and Cody’s Blockbuster case collection
[1:34:03-1:36:34] Teases for next week and close.

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Nebraska

December 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Directed by: Alexander Payne (“The Descendents”)
Written by: Bob Nelson (debut)

Director and two-time Oscar-winning writer Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) takes audiences back on the road in the touching and subtly comical father/son film “Nebraska.” From a narrative perspective, it might not have the same stability like Payne’s other road-trip movies “Sideways” and “About Schmidt,” but Payne has made one of his most well-refined  and charming films to date, which should be enough to get his followers into art-house theater seats any day of the week.

In “Nebraska,” Payne and first-time screenwriter Bob Nelson follow Woody Grant (Bruce Dern in an Oscar-worthy performance), a stubborn, ornery old man living in Montana who is convinced he has hit the jackpot when a Publisher’s Clearing House-type letter comes in the mail for him letting him know he has won a million dollars. Of course, it’s all a marketing ploy to get recipients to buy magazine subscriptions, but Woody is certain his luck is real and decides he will walk to Nebraska to claim his prize even if it’s the last thing he does.

Worried about his father’s safety and health, Woody’s son David (Will Forte in a strong breakout role) reluctantly agrees to drive him to the Cornhusker State much to the chagrin of his mother, Woody’s scene-stealing wife Kate (June Squibb), who’s at her wit’s end with her irrational hubby. Along the way, Woody and David meet up with family members who find out about Woody’s good fortune and want a slice of the imaginary pie.

It all makes for some tender and intimate dynamics between well-written characters pulled straight out of the American Midwest. This is especially true with the delicate relationship between Woody and David. Payne paints a picture of a father and son with so many unspoken issues keeping them from truly knowing one another, so when that door is open for David to genuinely ask his father questions about his life, it’s extremely poignant and heartbreaking.

So much of “Nebraska” is about lost dreams and the desire to leave something substantial behind when your time in this world is over. It’s about simple pleasures and knowing you have done your best despite the forks in the road that lead you astray. Payne has captured something special in Woody and David that very few films do when it comes to portraying real family situations. There is a sadness in “Nebraska” that lingers even in the most hopeful scenes. But with Payne behind the wheel, we can all feel confident he’s pointing us in the right direction.

The Descendants

November 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Cody, Reviews

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges
Directed by: Alexander Payne (“Sideways”)
Written by: Alexander Payne (“Sideways”), Nat Faxon (debut), Jim Rash (debut)

With the beautiful scenery of Hawaii as backdrop, Matt King (George Clooney) describes how people assume just because he lives in the island paradise, he is on vacation all the time. Truth is, he hasn’t golfed in years and his problems are no different than anyone living on the mainland.  Although his problems are plentiful, none is greater than struggling to care for his comatose wife.  This crisis becomes the center of “The Descendants,” a story about a father struggling to hold onto everything, including his family.

After his wife is left gravely injured in a boating accident, Matt is thrust into taking care of his two daughters; the younger Scottie (Amara Miller) who is lost without her mother, and the older Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) who is off to college and acting out against everyone.  As Matt pries further into why Alexandra is so mad at her mother, he discovers that his wife might have been cheating on him. While trying to find out information on the man who slept with his wife, Matt must also deal with pressure from his extended family as he negotiates a deal to sell a huge mass of land that was bequeathed to his family from their Hawaiian ancestors.

Clooney is brilliant in his role, but what else is new? It’s truly astonishing how effortless Clooney emotes and delivers his lines with such great personality and wit. He will without question carry on his tradition of bi-annual acting Oscar nominations with his performance. For the supporting roles, director Alexander  Payne decided to fill out the rest of his cast with a melting pot of veteran and novice actors. While every cast member does a really great job, none are better than Woodley. Best known for her role on the ABC Family show “The Secret Life of The American Teenager,” Woodley plays the role of a foul-mouthed rebellious teenager to perfection. Although frustrated with her father for numerous reasons, her character Alexandra slowly grasps the situation at hand and attempts to mature, something that Woodley approaches at the level of a far more experienced actor.

After a seven-year absence, Payne returns with one of his more accessible films to date. The script he co-wrote is darkly funny with some very devastating one-liners that are delivered with perfection by Clooney. A good portion of the comedy also comes from Alexandra’s dopey free-spirit friend Sid, played by newcomer and Austin,Texas native Nick Krause. Although Payne does a good job at balancing comedy and drama, the film skews far more dramatically than one might think. This happens to be a great thing, as the more dramatic scenes are among the best in the film.

While the final act of the film is just a touch predictable, it carries extreme power. Anchored by a stellar performance from one of the most consistent actors in Hollywood, “The Descendants” is a fantastic and sometimes heartbreaking portrayal of a father struggling with responsibilities he’s not prepared for and trying to confront and make peace with the past.