Skip to content

The MFF Podcast #329: The Prophecy, Angel Fights and Viggo Devil

December 5, 2020

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Nathan discuss the 1995 thriller The Prophecy. Directed by Gregory Widen, and starring Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, and Viggo Mortensen, The Prophecy focuses on the devil, a few angels, and some humans attempting to find an evil soul that might turn the tide of a centuries long battle. In this episode, they discuss whispering devils, Walken telling people to be quiet, and angel fights. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

Sound of Metal: An Excellent Film That Features an Award-Worthy Performance From Riz Ahmed

December 4, 2020

If you’re looking for an excellent film featuring an Oscar-worthy performance from Riz Ahmed, look no further than the Sound of Metal. Directed and written by former concert photographer Darius Marder (he also wrote The Place Beyond the Pines), Sound of Metal focuses on a drummer named Ruben (Riz Ahmed) losing his hearing while on tour with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). This sudden loss of hearing leads him to stay at a deaf community led by Joe (Paul Raci), where he learns to accept the loss of his hearing, while also attempting to not fall back on prior addictions.

The film starts out with a lived-in authenticity as Ruben and Lou play various venues around the United States. Ruben is the drummer, and Lou plays guitar and sings in their band Blackgammon. Their mode of transportation is a surprisingly nice Airstream RV, that puts to shame the majority of the beaten up vans that pulled up to the venues I worked in over the years. Ruben is loaded up with cockroach, underwear and “Scumbag” tattoos that seem homemade, while Lou has dyed eyebrows and a laid-back style that compliments Ruben’s almost manic demeanor. When he starts losing his hearing, his four years of sobriety are put to the test when he’s separated from Lou, and forced to stay at a deaf community where he works with children and learns to be at peace with his life.

Shot over the period of four weeks, and led by an excellent and committed performance from Riz Ahmed, who learned to play the drums, and use American sign language (Cooke also learned how to play the guitar), the film hits hard, and looks excellent. The cinematography by Daniël Bouquet is wonderful, as the handheld camera work, and strategic static shots allow the performances to thrive. The sound design is also excellent, as the film relies on silence, and sudden bursts of sound that provide a contrast to the lack of sound. The film took years to get off the ground, as Marder suffered from constant setbacks and cast changes that delayed the production. In the end, the delays might have helped as the added time helped everything feel lived in and authentic. It’s also neat that the Sound of Metal is dedicated to Marder’s grandmother, who went deaf, and after reading several interviews, I learned that he relied on the deaf community to make it as authentic as possible. The end product is wonderful, and I love the film and the performances.

Watch Sound of Metal before you think about putting together any “best of ” lists!

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast: Episode 22: Petty Sea Creatures, Bathroom Love and Chuck Finley

December 3, 2020

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpreakerSpotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Amazon, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Please make sure to rate, review, share, and subscribe!

Jay and Mark are joined by Rob and Duff (of the Titanic Minute podcast) to discuss “Obstacles,” the 22nd chapter on the Deep Blue Sea DVD. In this episode, they discuss bathroom love, petty sea creatures, and pizza DVDs. Enjoy!

Make sure to follow Rob (@rmlumley), Duff (@TheSixFinger), The Titanic Minute (@TitanicMinute), Tombstone Minute (@TombstoneMinute) and A Free Podcast (@AFreePodcast) on Twitter.

Listen on Spotify!

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast – Chapter 21: Cheeky Zippers, Bionic Strut Muffins and Baking

December 1, 2020

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpreakerSpotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Amazon, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Please make sure to rate, review, share, and subscribe!

Jay and Mark are joined by Megan Hofmeyer (of the Movies, Films and Flix podcast) to discuss “All Relative,” the 21st chapter on the Deep Blue Sea DVD. They also wonder how Preacher would do if he entered the Great British Bake Off, and if Preacher Scoggins could star in Tango & Cash. In this episode, they discuss hallway scenes, deep squats, and cheeky zippers. Enjoy!

Please rate, review, share and subscribe to the podcast!

The MFF Podcast #328: Face/Off, John Woo and Evil Smoking

December 1, 2020

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re discussing the beautiful 1997 action film Face/Off. Directed by John Woo, and starring Nicolas Cage, John Travolta and Joan Allen, this insane film features face swapping, bombs with insanely long timers, and glorious overacting. We love this film, and had a great researching the production and talking about why it’s so popular with critics and audiences. In this episode, we discuss John Woo’s brilliance, boat fights, and John Travolta smoking cigarettes’ like an evil person.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

Pieces of a Woman: An Excellent Film That Explores Grief, Loss and Sadness

December 1, 2020

Thoughts – Adapted from their 2018 stage play, Director Kornél Mundruzcó and writer Kata Wéber make an excellent English language debut with Pieces of a Woman. Grade – A

Releasing on Netflix in January 2021, the film focuses on the fallout of a complicated home birth that ends tragically. The majority of the press will be focused on the super intricate 22-minute single take shot that kicks off the film, but, after those harrowing 22 minutes, get ready for a story rarely seen on screen. What makes Pieces of a Woman work so well are the quieter moments that showcase the excellent performances from Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Sarah Snook, Ben Safdie and Iliza Shlesinger.

Filmed with a fly on the wall sensibility, the cinematography by Benjamin Loeb (who also shot Mandy, one of my favorite movies of recent memory), allows us to watch as Martha (Kirby) attempts to go about her life after the tragedy. The film always shows, and rarely tells as she attempts to go back to work, deal with a grief-stricken mother, and cope with a marriage that is falling apart, as Sean (LaBeouf) , her husband, falls back into addiction. The experience is often harrowing, but it’s also rewarding as Mundruzcó and Wéber allow the performances to breathe with long static shots, and show us just enough to prove that they respect the viewers, and their ability to put all the pieces together. For instance, Martha’s decision to have her child be used for medical research, shocks her mother and husband, however, it’s clear (without her saying) that she wants the loss to mean something, and that means providing something that could help children in the future. 

While the examination of grief and sadness will alienate viewers looking for a casual viewing experience, Pieces of a Woman is worth watching because it’s something people rarely see. Also, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments enrich the film, and if you aren’t watching closely, you might confuse the experience as empty (several critics have done this), which is sad because it’s loaded with excellent moments and depth. 

Watching excellent actors inhabiting a wonderfully shot world is always a good thing. I appreciated the uncomfortable moments, and the descent into grief felt earned and real. The movie doesn’t make it easy, and it rarely explores the inner feelings of the characters, and because of that, we were given something exciting and unique. 

Make sure to catch Pieces of a Woman when it is released on Netflix!

John’s Horror Corner: The Bride (1985), an iteration of Frankenstein that is more romantic gothic fantasy than horror.

November 30, 2020

MY CALL: A lovely romantic fantasy about the curious and kind-hearted creations of Doctor Frankenstein. MOVIES LIKE The Bride: If it’s more horror you seek with your fantasy, then Crimson Peak (2015), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), Victor Frankenstein (2015) or Viy: Forbidden Empire (2014). For higher fantasy, then Willow (1988), Ladyhawke (1985), Legend (1985), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) or The Brothers Grimm (2005).

The scale of this endeavor is impressive from its very outset as Doctor Frankenstein (Sting; Dune) prepares to bring life to a bride for his first creation (Clancy Brown; Highlander, Pet Sematary II). From the pulleys and fulcrums to formaldehyde specimen vessels and engine-like turbines, his vaulted laboratory is an impressive sight. And when the lightning strikes, his new creation, mummified in bandages, begins to twitch and moan.

Now denied his bride and recently exiled from castle Frankenstein by his possessive creator, Viktor (i.e., Frankenstein’s monster) befriends a diminutive man on his was to the circus of Budapest who teaches him his self-worth. Meanwhile, the Doctor tutors his latest creation Eva (Jennifer Beals; Flashdance, The Book of Eli, Swamp Thing, The Grudge 2) in the ways of speech, etiquette, and how to comprehend the world around her by which she is childishly bedazzled.

So as Eva is taught in the ways of elegant finery by the Doctor, Viktor hones his friendship and future with Renaldo. It seems that Viktor, in fact, was freed from his prison of castle Frankenstein, and Eva found herself its newest heavily judged tenant. And as Eva learns more about being human, she likewise finds more reasons to question her creator’s motives and her own true origins. Villainy is abundant as well in the form of controlling jealousy. Whether the Doctor’s lies to mask Eva’s past, or the circus owner’s intentions for his newest hires.

This film comes with much unexpected kindness to soften and humanize Viktor. His friendship and encouragement from Renaldo warmly prepares him for the world. He is so pure and warm, even the shady roadside vendor couldn’t bring himself to take advantage of such a well-intentioned man. As Viktor hopes to earn the means to win the hand of his created love, Eva is courted, coveted, sheltered and manipulated by would-be suitors.

The set design and wardrobe are bold for a 1985. Big laboratory designs, regal attire and explosions grace our eyes along with an impressive cast including Cary Elwes (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Saw, Stranger Things), Timothy Spall (Gothic, Dream Demon, Wake Wood) and Guy Rolfe (Dolls, Puppet Master 3-5).

Director Franc Roddam’s take on the gothic Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is anything but horror. Rather this finds itself comfortably in the ranks of a rather grounded romantic fantasy. The film moves at a slow but pleasant pace with nothing more to prove than its own humanity. A very pleasant and recommended watch for fans of low fantasy.

John’s Horror Corner: Inferno (1980), another of Argento’s ‘style over substance’ classics about a witch.

November 29, 2020

MY CALL:  Despite being a practically witchless witch movie with clunky storytelling, much of Argento’s unique style reserves a place in the halls of classic horror film appreciation. As far as “witch movies” go, I’d consider this the weakest of his Three Mothers trilogy. MOVIES LIKE Suspiria: Well, there’s the original Suspiria (1977) and its stylish remake Suspiria (2018). Following Suspiria (1977), Inferno is the second installment of Dario Argento’s witch trilogy of The Three Mothers. The third and final installment is Mother of Tears (2007).

Writer and director Dario Argento (Phenomena, Suspiria, Mother of Tears) considered this to be among his most “sincere and pure” films and in interviews he had explained this was a more difficult film to make as it demanded more of his creative energy. In this film’s opening scene the movie refers directly to Argento’s own witch trilogy as we are introduced to a book: The Three Mothers. And we learn that the three mothers resided in Rome, New York and Freiberg, Germany.

Guided by the mystical writings of The Three Mothers book, Rose (Irene Miracle; Watchers 2, Puppet Master) investigates the whereabouts of a key in the basement of an old building in New York. She is led to a flooded subbasement chamber complete with a mangled dead body, some very provocative shots of Rose soaked in her transparent blouse and, potentially, yet more unanswered questions and secrets. Oh… and gorgeous sets on the verge of fantasy.

Meanwhile in Rome, her brother Mark (Leigh McCloskey) is haunted by dream-like visions of a beautiful woman and her cat, and his classmate Sarah (Eleonora Giorgi) stumbles across another copy of The Three Mothers book and a disfigured alchemist’s lair.

Some bloody but weak stabby murders (admittedly more provocative when the year of release is considered) and other hokey antics make up what today’s standards man consider very basic death scenes. The mass cat attack was just awful garbage. Although it was laughably enjoyable seeing the production assistant’s hands at the edge of the frame literally throwing cats abusively at our victim. And on the topic of cats, this is definitely NOT a film for cat lovers for other reasons I won’t explain here.

As interesting as the plot seems in the beginning of the movie, the story progresses at a slow, clunky, ill-informed pace. Likewise, tension fails to mount as the story advances. Rather it’s most interesting, mysterious and dreadful in the first 20 minutes. We eventually wander into the style of “lair” set design and lighting you may recall from Suspiria (1977). But this lovely lair brings no satisfaction in the form of finale.

It’s truly inexplicable at times. For example, a food truck owner seemingly runs to save someone’s life… and then kills them. No explanation; no connection to anything else in this movie. I’m definitely not impressed by the lackluster witch reveal at the end, which fell completely flat. Our witch was unceremoniously boring and lacked menace. Basically, she was just a storytelling device to such degree that this “witch movie” hardly felt to have contained a witch at all. Meh… as far as “witch movies” go, I’d consider this the weakest of his Three Mothers trilogy. So, much as with Suspiria (1977) (and so many other Argento classics), style over substance is the name of the game.

The MFF Podcast #327: Sonic the Hedgehog, Austrian Goat Milk, and Robot Loving Scientists

November 26, 2020

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re discussing the 2020 film Sonic the Hedgehog. Directed by Jeff Fowler, and starring Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Maddie Wachowski and Ben Schwartz, this videogame adaptation is a lot of fun and features an award-worthy performance by Jim Carrey. It also might be one of the most likable films of recent memory, and it’s a joy to see Jim Carrey in fine form as the villainous Dr. Robotnik. In this episode, we discuss the excellence of Jim Carrey, road trips, and the redemption of Farmer Joe. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

Vampires vs. the Bronx: An Excellent Vampire Film That Tells a New Story and Respects its Predecessors

November 25, 2020

Grade – 4.5 stakes out of 5.

Vampires vs. the Bronx is an absolute blast, and if you’re looking for a fun film about vampires infiltrating the Bronx (or just a fun film), you should watch it. What makes the film work so well is how it blends Blade, F.W. Murnau and Lost Boys references, with fresh storytelling that is very engaging. Director/Writer Osmany Rodriguez deserves a lot of credit giving the world a likable film that hopefully, will build a loyal fanbase.

Vampires vs. the Bronx tells the story of what happens when gentrifying vampires move into the Bronx, and start killing its residents, so they can have their own New York hive surrounded by upscale yogurt, smoothie and coffee shops. Standing in their way is a trio of kids who learn to battle them by watching Blade, and using common vampire lore they’ve learned from movies (love it). Miguel (Miguel Martinez), Bobby (Gerald Jones III) and Luis (Gregory Diaz IV), are three likable kids who begin to realize something is amiss as local business owners keep disappearing after selling their business to a shady businessman played by the always excellent Shea Whigham.

I love that Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold) is in the film.

Eventually, they see a man drained of his blood, and struggle to convince the Bronx residents that vampires are taking over their borough. The rest of the film has real consequences, as Miguel, Bobby and Luis learn that getting involved with murderous immortals causes ripple effects that end with blond people drinking blood. I’d love to say more, but I watched the film knowing nothing about it, and loved the surprises, scares, and Easter eggs.

Make sure to watch Vampire vs. the Bronx before you put your year end lists together. It’s a lot of fun!

%d bloggers like this: