Ep. 132 – Ready or Not, American Factory, and the rise of Disney Plus

August 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review “Ready or Not” as well as “American Factory,” the first Netflix film from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company.

They also talk Disney+ programming reviews, and the likely divorce of Disney and Sony and the fate of “Spider-Man” in the MCU.

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Ep. 113 – Avengers: Infinity War (SPOILERS start at 10:02)

April 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Podcast

The CineSnob Podcast RETURNS to discuss the biggest superhero movie ever, “Avengers: Infinity War!”

WARNING: Cody and Jerrod talk spoilers starting a 10:02, so tread carefully, true believers!

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Ep. 103 – Top 5 movies of the year so far, home video reviews of The Circle, Unforgettable, and Kong: Skull Island, and a preview of Fathom Events this week

August 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod run down their top 5 movies of 2017 so far. They also preview a pair of Fathom Events, “Batman and Harley Quinn” and “Rifftrax Live – Doctor Who: The Five Doctors,” and Cody reviews home video releases for “The Circle,” “Unforgettable,” and “Kong: Skull Island.”

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Ep. 101 – Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick, Baby Driver, Blu-ray released for 3 Generations and The LEGO Batman Movie, and a recap of Jaws on the Water

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick, Baby Driver, new home video releases for 3 Generations and The LEGO Batman Movie, and talk about the experience that is Jaws on the Water.

[00:00-17:51] Intro/birthday meals/Jaws on the Water

[17:51-31:40] Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming

[31:40-44:44] Review –  The Big Sick

[44:44-56:34] Review – Baby Driver

[56:34-1:12:43] No Ticket Required: 3 Generations and The LEGO Batman Movie

[1:12:43-1:18:10] Wrap up/tease

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Selenis Leyva – Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

After a handful of seasons as a recurring character and then a series regular on “Orange is the New Black,” Selenis Leyva – the half-Cuban, half-Dominican actress who plays inmate Gloria Mendoza on the Netflix original series – is starting to turn more heads, and has found herself in one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer.

While her role in the newest Marvel Studios film “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a small one, Leyva is not taking anything for granted. She realizes movies like this don’t come too often, and takes pride in the fact that filmmakers saw something in her that resonated with their vision for the reboot of the franchise.

In “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Leyva plays Ms. Warren, a high school physics teacher whose student, Peter Parker (Tom Holland), is coming to terms with the responsibilities he has adopted as superhero Spider-Man, which include battling a villain known as the Vulture (Michael Keaton) as he tries to annihilate the world. In the original comic, Ms. Warren is actually portrayed as a male science teacher.

Easily the funniest of all the Spider-Man films, “Homecoming” also feels more genuine than the others for the simple fact that Holland, despite being 21 years old, portrays Spider-Man as a real teenager with real teenage problems. Holland is not some actor in his late 20s, as was the case in past movies starring Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and it shows.

The authenticity of the film is strong, especially during Peter’s interactions with his fellow students at school, a setting that is important in keeping with Peter’s boyish character makeup. As Peter’s teacher, Leyva adds to that sense of community. She is someone looking out for the best interests of her students. In one particularly funny scene, Ms. Warren catches Peter’s nerdy best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) secretly hacking away in a computer lab during the homecoming dance. When she asks Ned what he is doing, he makes up the worst possible lie any kid could give an adult in that situation.

During a recent interview with me, we asked Leyva about her new film and if she feels “OITNB” has given her more opportunities as an actress. We also discussed the latest season of “OITNB” and how her character has evolved over the last five years.

Do you think OITNB has opened more doors for you in Hollywood?

Absolutely! “OITNB” has propelled my career and given me a wonderful platform so people could pay attention. I’m still the same actress that I was before “Orange,” but now people are more interested in me because of the platform that I have. Now with this movie, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” I certainly feel an even a bigger platform has opened for me. I’m so happy and fortunate that Marvel and Sony decided to open up the possibility of this character being a Latina woman. It’s such a wonderful cast. It’s really, truly diverse.

What was your relationship like with Marvel growing up?

What kid doesn’t obsess over Marvel and superheroes? For me, it was huge. I have to tell you, my family is very excited that I’m a part of this film. They think I’m cool! It’s like I have street cred now.

Would you like to see a Latina superhero movie happen?

I know that’s next. I think that’s what we’re winding ourselves up for. We’re seeing it with African-American superheroes. It would be nice to see a Latina superhero. Latin women are strong and fierce and devoted and have superhuman strength already. When I was little, I always thought my mother was a superhero with everything that she did. She always had everything in control. I had a superhero mom.

How did you prepare for your more emotional scenes during Season 5 of “OITNB?”

I focused on the moment. Gloria has been such a huge part of my life for the last five years. I love her and I’ve grown to really feel for her. The actress in me really takes her story line to heart. It was really easy for me to go there as a mother myself and feel the character’s pain. What I’ve always wanted to do as an actress, no matter what role I played, is to be authentic, to be real and to be natural. This season, I was able to showcase a little bit more of my talents on the show. I’m really grateful for it and feel really fortunate that it was such a strong character.

Since snacks play such an important role in Season 5, what snacks do you prefers the most: Hot Cheetos or Takis?

Oh my God! I was all about Cheetos, but after shooting Season 5, my daughter got me into Takis. They’re amazing! They burn you. They stain you even more than Cheetos. But I have to tell you, putting them together is a good combination – Hot Cheetos and Takis. You just made my mouth water.

How do you feel Gloria has changed in Season 5?

We’re showing a more vulnerable side of Gloria. Gloria has been the one that takes care of everyone. She’s strong. We’ve already seen her be sassy. We’ve seen that side of her. I love the fact [the writers] peeled all that back and exposed her the way they did this season. As an actress, I felt so fortunate to be able to go to different places with the character since Season 1. She fell apart this season because she was focused so much on her personal life, but I have a feeling we’re going to go back to a more ferocious Gloria Mendoza.

When do you start shooting Season 6 and what are you looking forward to the most?

There is no start date [for filming] right now, but I know it’s going to be somewhere between the last week of July and sometime in August. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens after the chaos of Season 5 and having all these key characters in a dangerous position. People are getting on buses and we don’t know if we’ll ever see them again. We don’t know what happens when all those men with guns go through those doors. I can tell you that [show creator] Jenji Kohan is not afraid to get really down and dirty. So, I have a feeling Season 6 is going to start with a bang!

Chris Silcox – Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Interviews

As a student at Churchill High School in San Antonio in the early 2000s, Chris Silcox could never have imagined the time he spent on stage with the drama department would lead him to an unconventional career in Hollywood.

In the new Marvel Studios reboot “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which opens at theaters this Friday, Silcox was hired as one of three stunt doubles for actor Tom Holland, who portrays teenager Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man). The job sent Silcox traveling between Atlanta, New York City and Berlin for nearly three months last summer.

“It was one of the craziest and best things that has ever happened to me,” Silcox, 30, told me during a phone interview this past weekend while on a promotional tour for the film in Seoul, South Korea. “I got really lucky.”

After graduating from Churchill in 2004, Silcox, who was born and raised in San Antonio and practiced gymnastics at Alamo Gymnastics Center, studied acting and theater at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also competed in NCAA gymnastics while attending college. Silcox always knew he wanted to be an actor, but didn’t know where his path would lead him to reach that goal.

His career after college began when he landed a gig as an acrobat with Cirque du Soleil, where he worked for the next four years. When one of his Cirque tours ended in Los Angeles one year, Silcox decided to stay in the city and see if he could somehow break into the film industry.

“I really didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said. “It was an uphill battle, but slowly I started getting work as an actor and a stunt performer.”

Then one day last year, Silcox received a random email from a man named George Cottle, who asked him for his clothing measurements, but offered no other information about the request. The mysterious nature of the email deterred Silcox from offering up the personal information so easily.

“I wrote him back and asked, ‘Why’ and ‘For what movie,’ and he wrote me back and said, ‘Nevermind,’” Silcox said. “Then I Googled him.”

Cottle turned out to be a stunt coordinator and stunt performer for several high-profile films, including “The Dark Knight,” “Inception” and “Kong: Skull Island.” His filmography also listed him as the stunt coordinator for the upcoming blockbuster “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

“I wrote him back and profusely apologized and told him that I loved all of his films,” Silcox said. “He thanked me and said they were sending 12 people in for a fitting to see who was the best size to be a stunt double for actor Tom Holland.”

After the fitting, Silcox and two other stuntmen were chosen for the job. The next thing he knew, Silcox was on the set with the entire stunt crew rehearsing for the new film. Jumping onto a lamppost, getting hit by a bus and getting dragged across the street were standard duties for him most days.

“We were given storyboards and had to figure out how to get stunts done,” Silcox said. “It was like a stunt academy. I got dropped on my head and my back and punched in the stomach. It was so much fun!”

Although Silcox admits it is a bit difficult to know exactly which Spider-Man he is in the final version of the movie since he “did a bit of everything during filming,” he knows he had his hand in every action scene, even if it was pulling the wires his stunt colleagues, and even Holland himself, swung from.

“Whichever one of us is on screen, the others are behind him pulling him into the air,” he said. “It’s a funny industry.”

As much fun as he had hanging upside down in a harness in front of a green screen, Silcox said one of the most surreal moments working on the movie was the first time he tried on an official Spider-Man suit during production. It was then when Silcox felt like he was “a real superhero – like a god.”

“It was unimaginably cool,” he said. “All you want to do is jump around and climb up walls and save damsels in distress. It was fucking epic.”

With “Spider-Man: Homecoming” behind him, Silcox is now anticipating the release of his next film this Christmas, “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman. The musical drama tells the story of P.T. Barnum, the founder of the now-defunct Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the film, Silcox works as a stuntman, but is also credited with a role as a circus performer.

Until then, Silcox is waiting patiently in the wings ready to swing in to save the day if called upon.

“We’ll see if Spidey or L.A. have anything else in store for me,” he said.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Directed by: Jon Watts (“Cop Car”)
Written by: Jonathan Goldstein (“Horrbile Bosses”) & John Francis Daley (“Vacation”) and Jon Watts (“Cop Car”) & Christopher Ford (“Cop Car”) and Chris McKenna (“The LEGO Batman Movie”) & Erik Sommers (“The LEGO Batman Movie”)

No one wanted this, the third different Spider-Man film franchise from Sony in 15 years. Most of us liked the first two films starring Tobey Maguire from director Sam Raimi. I guess someone liked enough of Marc Webb’s first film in the 2012 reboot starring Andrew Garfield and a pre-Oscar Emma Stone to warrant the sequel that killed that franchise.

Spider-Man’s origin story, like Batman’s, should be etched in stone somewhere on a list called “Things We Never Need to See Depicted On Screen Again.”

But of course, in this golden age of comic book films, the most popular, kid-friendly hero can’t stay benched. Marvel came a-calling, offering Sony a deal they couldn’t refuse: let Spider-Man (which the studio has the film rights to) join Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and we’ll let you borrow elements for the MCU for stand-alone Spider-Man films, which sputtered out after “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” just as Marvel was kicking things into overdrive. This marriage begat the latest film featuring the wise-cracking web slinger, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Picking up just after the events of 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” which is recounted by Peter Parker (Tom Holland) via social media videos, “Homecoming” focuses on Peter’s high school life while he awaits another call from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to join up once again with the Avengers. Meanwhile, Peter dons his Stark-made Spidey suit—filled with tech, natch—to stop petty crime around New York. When Peter runs across some criminals using salvaged Chitauri tech, he inadvertently stumbles into the path of arms dealer Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a once-honest man driven to the underworld when the government and Stark muscle him out of the salvage business. All this while he’s trying to win the affection of cute older girl Liz (Laura Harrier).

I don’t know  that “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the best Spider-Man movie—a distinction that still belongs to Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2”—but it’s certainly the most fun. The movie is a genuine laugh riot at times, shamelessly aping the ‘80s output of John Hughes to mine hilarity from teenage awkwardness. Holland’s Peter feels like the first real “teenaged” Spider-Man we’ve ever gotten, and his clumsy pining over Liz and his nerdy goings on with best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) are fun enough even without the web swinging. Alas, this is Marvel movie, though, and previous viewing of damn near everything that came before it, though not absolutely required, is highly advised. Though not as hefty a presence as marketing may have implied, Tony Stark hangs heavy over the film, especially in the suit, which at times makes Spider-Man seem more like a kid version of Iron Man that swings from webs instead of flying than the webhead everyone loves (also, where’s the spider sense, or the super strength?)

Still, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” almost improbably, delivers an essential, delightful version of a movie no one wanted in the first place.