Ep. 52 – Inside Out, Dope, Brad Pitt movie headed to Netflix for $60m, and Tom Hanks to play Captain Sully for Clint Eastwood

June 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net review “Inside Out” and “Dope.” They also discuss Brad Pitt’s new film that Netflix paid $60 million for and Tom Hanks being cast as Captain Sully for Clint Eastwood’s biopic.

[0:00-9:28] Intro, hipster, and Daisy Dukes talk
[9:28-26:10] Brad Pitt movie financed by Netflix for $60m
[26:10-40:33] Tom Hanks to play Captain “Sully” Sullenburger for Clint Eastwood
[40:33-1:05:41] Inside Out
[1:05:41-1:18:49] Dope
[1:18:49-1:27:50] Teases for next week and close

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Dope

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Cody, Reviews

Starring: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons
Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa (“Our Family Wedding”)
Written by: Rick Famuyiwa (“Our Family Wedding”)

Rather than set his movie in the culture of hip-hop during the 90s, writer and director Rick Famuyiwa did a smart thing and made his characters fascinated with 90’s culture. Something about seeing a teenager in a modern setting with a hi-top fade and terrible fluorescent clothing is amusing and also serves as a nice bit of nostalgia for those who feel like they grew up in the wrong era. In “Dope,” Famuyiwa creates a love-letter to the 90’s era, wrapped up in a story of teenagers in over their heads.

Growing up in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles, self-described nerd Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a good student trying to get into Harvard. But when he gets caught up in trying to chase a girl in his social life, him and his friends find themselves way over their head when Malcolm’s backpack is used as a hiding spot for some dangerous items. Confused, scared, and with a lot on his plate, Malcolm must do things he never dreamed of to get himself out of the jam.

As a coming-of-age, slice of culture film about nerdy teenagers in a rough neighborhood, the early moments of “Dope” flourish. Hilarious lines about liking white stuff like “Donald Glover,” and especially the secondary character performance of actor Tony Revolori, really hit. These characters are a lot of fun to be around. Shortly after, however, “Dope” gets a little too ambitious and complex and as a result loses a lot of its focus.

It’s simply a classic case of overstuffing. Our main characters are given far too many character quirks and side plots that never seem to have much of a payoff. Elements such as them being in a band, for example, has no real reason to exist. Beyond that, the film’s narrative takes it down different paths that stretch it way too thin.

As the teens find themselves in a deeper hole, the jump that the audience is supposed to make is a little extreme as the film shifts into its drug dealing story. These scenes feel like almost an entirely different movie with different characters. Even within these moments, segments take weird detours, bringing in oddly placed social media aspects that don’t make a lot of sense. Mix these complexities with an ending that feels rushed and tied together with a pretty bow and you have a film that, despite its good qualities, feels haphazardly thrown together and confused.

As a side note, “Dope” spends a pretty significant amount of time devoted to Bitcoin, which ends up being a rather huge part of the plot. Unfortunately, it misses on the seemingly gargantuan task of explaining just what the hell Bitcoin actually is. Let’s face it. Does anyone really know?

“Dope” is a film with a serious identity crisis. At times, it tries to be way too many things at once, and unfortunately, does none of them exceedingly well. But give credit where credit is due. It’s occasionally quite funny, and frequently entertaining, if not a bit messy and about half an hour too long. There is, admittedly, a lot of charisma between its cast members though despite these things, “Dope” just barely misses the mark.

Blake Anderson – Dope

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Interviews

In “Dope,” actor Blake Anderson, best know for his hilarious role on the TV show “Workaholics,” plays Will, a computer hacker/“motivated stoner” who helps the film’s three main characters — all of whom are obsessed with 90s hip-hop culture — set up a drug operation online where purchases can be made using bitcoins.

During an interview with me this past week, Anderson talked about what he was doing in the 90s, whether “Dope” has something complex to say about race in America today, and what popular movie franchise he hopes to land a role in soon.

This film focus a lot of the 90s culture. What were you doing in the 90s as a young man?

I was watching a lot of Nickelodeon — “Rugrats,” “Doug,” “All Real Monsters,” you name it. Nickelodeon was basically on TV nonstop.

It’s not like that at your house today?

I don’t know if it has the same programming as I remember back then. They might have a throwback channel. If they did, I’d probably still be “stuck on the dial” as they used to say.

Your character gets a bit controversial because he wants to say the N word in the film. How did you handle that part of your role?

I didn’t think too much about it. I don’t use that word in my everyday use. I listen to a lot of hip-hop, so I’m not afraid of the word. I just don’t personally use it.

When the word is used in hip-hop, do you just consider it part of the culture?

Yeah, I rock that stuff, for sure. You just know not to say it as a white dude. I’m not trying to get slapped in the face as you can see in the movie. That’s why I don’t use the word.

Do you think a film like “Dope” has a message about race it’s trying to convey to audiences?

I feel like I’m getting my Barack Obama on tackling race issues over here. There will always be race issues in the United States of America. But I think the important thing is that we’re all here doing our thing. We might as well get along. Our differences are what make us awesome. USA all the way! Get along, damn it!

“Dope” is an independent film, so I would say it’s pretty courageous to come out during the summer against some of these major blockbusters. What would you tell moviegoers to get them to go see “Dope” and not “Jurassic World” for the tenth time?

Well, “Dope” is a good movie. It’s a fun adventure. And there is a message that is very important. It’s a human message. It’s not a reptilian message. Dinosaurs are dead. Get. Over. It. OK? We’re living here and now. Come on!

You do great work on the TV show “Workaholics.” Is film something you’d like to do more of or is TV where you want to be right now?

I had a lot of fun on this movie. I can only hope to do more. It would be great to have more fun. It’s a different pace working in movies. But it is cool when you get the right project. I’m glad that I started with “Dope.” It’s a great jumping off point. I really hope to do more in the future.

Going back to hip-hop really quick, you’re a big fan of rapper Lil B, right?

Yeah, I am.

Do you really think he thinks he can put curses on people?

I mean, you saw what happen to [the] Houston [Rockets], man [during the 2015 NBA Playoffs]. Just acknowledge that you’re doing the “cooking dance.” Lil B all the way, man. BasedGod. That’s what’s up.

Are you an NBA fan? Do you follow one of the California teams?

Absolutely. I grew up on the East Bay. The fact that the [Golden State] Warriors won [the NBA Championship] last night is why I’m still drunk talking to you right now.

Were you running in the streets? Flipping over cars?

(Laughs) I tried to flip a car, but living in L.A. I didn’t have a lot of people helping me. Trust me. I tried to flip some neighbors’ cars.

I’m talking to you from San Antonio, so even though we’re depressed we didn’t repeat this year, we’re happy for Golden State because of Steve Kerr.

He acknowledged that. I didn’t realize how many legendary coaches Steve Kerr got to play with. Phil Jackson. [Gregg] Popovich. It’s pretty cool. The Spurs are a hell of a dynasty. They’re a great team. It’s too bad the [L.A.] Clippers didn’t make it farther after they beat them. That was a big mountain to climb for them.

Do you think the Warriors have what it takes to keep this run going for a few more years?

They could! They’re young. If they stay together and keep up with that energy, it could happen. I believe it. They’re deep. That’s what’s cool about them. The whole team deserved that win last night. For the Cavs, it was just basically LeBron.

“Dope” is going to be at the theater at the same time as your “Workaholics” co-star Adam DeVine’s movie “Pitch Perfect 2.” Have you started trash talking yet?

Man, it’s going down. “Dope” is about to beat “Pitch Perfect 2” at the box office. So, watch me man! Yeah, I don’t know if that is possible. They have like a “Twilight” following. You can’t beat a cappella movies! It’s impossible!

Maybe you should start working on your singing voice.

Yeah, I’m trying to get into “Pitch Perfect 3.” (Singing) Pa pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa!

Fat Amy (actress Rebel Wilson’s character) could possibly use another love interest for Part 3, so maybe you can fill that role.

Absolutely. I’m down to eat a bunch of bagels and be Fat Blake. I’ll do it. I’ll put on weight for a role. Trust me. I’ll eat Reuben sandwiches…at night.