Friday, February 27, 2009

[PODCAST] Slumdogs and Fockers


On this week’s episode of The Movie Show, Joe and Mike put the Oscars to bed, ponder why anyone would want to make another film in the ‘Meet the Whatever’ series, and mull over Mike’s various casting opportunities in Marvel’s upcoming Thor movie.

And because all of last week’s movies looked terrible and/or starred Tyler Perry, Joe and Mike dipped into the video stores this week to review the DVD’s for Choke and My Name is Bruce.

(NOTE: Due to a major technical glitch at WUAG’s studios, we were unable to podcast last week’s show. Our apologies.)

Stream it! Or subscribe!

Better yet, why don't you check out our page at the iTunes Store?

Midnight Madness is goin' Greene (plus a video interview with N&R's Joe Killian)


Just because we're showing bad movies at "Midnight Madness: Beer and a Bad Movie" doesn't mean the people who attend have to drink bad beer, too. Matter of fact, at all four of the "Midnight Madness" screenings, we'll be serving Natty' Greene's seasonal Wildflower Witbier. With the Carousel being Greensboro's theater and Natty Greene's being Greensboro's beer, the two companies practically go together like Chinese food and chocolate pudding, or peanut butter and ladies.

I got a chance to try the Witbier myself, and have to say it was a fantastic summer beer. Would go great with an orange slice. Can't wait to enjoy it with a room full of screaming movie fans.

And while we're on the subject of Midnight Madness, here's an interview I did on the subject with Joe Killian from N&R's Culture Shock blog. You've probably seen Joe a few times on the comment board. He's got some interesting plans in the works for the online division of his paper, and I imagine we'll be reading - and seeing - more from him in the near future.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The High's and Lows of the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Slumdog Millionaire might not have been my favorite movie of the year, but I'll take it as the winner of Best Picture over Benjamin Gump any day.

Several media outlets are calling this year's Oscars 'weird,' what with all the Bollywood song and dance numbers, the fact that non-comedian host Hugh Jackman was something of a non-presence for most of the night, and the pretentious way in which all the acting awards were presented by an intergalactic tribunal of previous winners. That said, there were still a few reasons to stay up until midnight.

When Best Supporting Actor winner Heath Ledger's family accepted the award on his behalf for The Dark Knight, there wasn't a dry eye in the Kodak theatre.

And while accepting their awards for Vicky Christina Barcelona and The Reader both Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet gave emotional speeches that were also gracious at the same time.

Here are a few high and low points for last night's awards show...


- Man on Wire star Philippe Petit giving a shout out to fellow nominee Werner Herzog and performing a magic trick before balancing the Best Documentary trophy that his movie won on his chin.

-Tina Fey and Steve Martin presenting Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. There were more laughs in the five minutes they were on-stage than Hugh Jackman could muster during the sparse moments he decided to grace the audience with song and dance numbers. Matter of fact, most of the people who walked on the Kodak stage this year were funnier than Jackman. Even the recipients of technical awards like Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Design were funnier to the point that I wish they had been hosting instead of Jackman. My hope is that the Academy will spring for comedian again next year. Recent hosts Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, or even the re-animated corpse of Billy Crystal would suffice.

-Sean Penn giving a shout out to his friend Mickey Rourke, after beating him out for the Best Actor award for Milk.

-Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle filling in for the absent Jack Nicholson. The two look very similar to each other, and there were just as many cheesy grins.

-Academy president Sid Ganis bidding adieu to his presidency by NOT making a speech. Thank God.

- And while he was fairly ho-hum for the most part, Hugh Jackman's German techno riff on The Reader was pretty funny. In the song, he jokes about having not seen the film, and the best part of it is that neither did most of America.


-Best Original Song. Without the nominations that Bruce Springsteen and Jon Brion should have gotten for The Wrestler and Synecdoche, New York, the presentation of nominees was bizarre and ho-hum. First off, they nominated two songs from Slumdog Millionaire and that song Peter Gabriel wrote for WALL-E, which is so bland that having it performed by John Legend couldn't obscure that fact. Second, I know Hollywood is currently trying to court India as both a source of funding and revenue for their films, but they should have at least tried to make it seem less obvious. Because of my radio show, all three of the nominated songs are in my iPod, but I promise you they won't be by the end of this year.

-TV host Bill Maher presenting Best Documentary. Not only did he fail his very meager task by ripping the envelope and seeing the winner's name before announcing this year's nominated films, but instead of being funny, he launched into yet another of his trademark bigoted tirades against religion. He also jabbed at the Academy for not nominating his "documentary" Religulous and railed against viewers for not seeing his film because of it's 'controversial' subject matter. It's funny how a guy who prides himself on being non-religious can't stop preaching. Oh, and Bill, I got a couple more reasons why your film didn't get nominated: 1) You being smug in front of the camera while making fun of the nice people who agree to be interviewed by you for 90 minutes isn't a documentary. 2) Regardless of what you might want to call your movie, it wasn't very good.

Would even agree that it was on par with your last movie:

- Jackman's second musical number. The first one was kinda funny, but when Jackman put on a top hat and grabbed a cane tossed by Brad Pitt in order to do a second musical number, it became obvious that the boy from Oz was a one-trick pony. Even worse was the way in which this musical tribute to musicals (nearly as absurd as last year's editing montage salute to editing) used the mild box-office success of Mama Mia! and High School Musical 3 as proof that the 'musical is back.' Having seen both of these films, Hugh, I can assure you that it's not.

-The way in which Best Actor, Actress, and the Supporting Oscars were presented. What happened to the clips? It was spacey, weird, and the only thing that kept this year's show needlessly long. The whole thing reminded me of the opening to Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. I kept expecting each winner to be launched into the Phantom Zone after accepting their trophy.

See what I mean?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trailer Park

We'll be talking about these trailers on tonight's show, so check them out and play along!

The Taking of Pelham 123

Having just seen the 1974 original in 35mm at the North Carolina Museum of Art, this trailer looks like a total dud. Considering that this is essentially a remake to a classic film directed by Tony Scott, a man who somehow manages to get worse and worse with each film, this was a time when I had hoped Hollywood might surprise me with something that looked like it might actually be kinda good. Sadly, this does not look like one of those times. You're better off watching Walter Matthau make with both the jokes and the tough-guy dialogue in the original film, online.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Michael Bay and his shrapnel-bots continue to crap on what could have been a decent action-adventure movie. Star Shia LaBeouf injured his hand while making this film. Doesn't seem worth it.

-and in case you missed it-

Inglorious Basterds

This movie stands no chance of making any money from German audiences, but I cannot wait to see it. I love Eli Roth's sadistic grin he flashes at the 1:06 mark.

TIME Magazine: 'Watchmen' EXISTS.


Those who listen to our show know that I at least pray Zack Snyder's adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen will be a good, faithful adaptation. Co-host Mike in the other hand, is not even that hopeful. And while one could rightfully accuse him of wanting to spear this film without giving it a chance, he has every right to do so.

Mike grew up with the Watchmen. He read the book at the public library in his teens and considers it not only one of the greatest comic books ever made, but one of the greatest literary works as well. I love Watchmen, I think it's a fantastic read, but my history and devotion to the book doesn't rival Mike's by even half. I read the book in my 20's, not my teens. Plus I've only read it twice - nowhere near the number of times Mike has.

That said,Time Magazine writer Matt Selman ran an interesting piece on his 'Nerd Blog' describing his experience as he watched the film during a special critic's screening. Because of a press embargo, he was prohibited from 'reviewing' the film in any way. Instead, he related the "experience of seeing a piece of literature with which I have an intense personal connection LITERALLY COME TO LIFE."

Selman adds:

Sitting in that screening room and watching the visual world of the Watchmen movie unfold was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had. Not film experiences. Just EXPERIENCES. I don't think I realized how close I was to the original book until I saw such a loving, detail-rich, almost obsessive recreation of that universe. It had my heart pounding and head swimming.

Like Mike, Selman is a long-term Watchmen fan. He first read the book in his teens, and re-read it many times after that. So his expectations for Snyder's movie were very high. Knowing this, combined with the praise Selman has for the film - not as a movie, but as an 'experience' - has certainly elevated my hopes.

What will Mike think of the film? Time will only tell.

You can read the rest of Sellman's piece here.

In other news, I recently began to read Watchmen for a third time, this being the last time I will be able to read this seminal work purely without the nagging comparisons - both good or bad - to the film. Moore and Gibbons did such a great job of making such a complex, moving, and character-driven story seem so effortless, that if Snyder's movie does in fact suck, I'll probably be depressed until June.

We've got a few special Watchmen-related features coming in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 12, 2009



Get ready to shout, laugh, riff, and howl at the movie screen!

Every Friday night in March, join us at the Carousel Luxury Cinemas for MIDNIGHT MADNESS: BEER AND A BAD MOVIE!, a month-long film series dedicated to movies that are so bad, they become good again. We've got everything from no budget horror and drama, all-girl gangs, and yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Tickets are just five bucks each. However, the best part is that with each ticket, you will also get THREE FREE BEERS! (or popcorn and soda for those under 21)!

All hecklers and MST3K wannabes are welcome. There will also be drinking games during the screenings as well as zany retro trailers, contests, and odd prizes for those who attend.



A magically undead grandpa, little people in horrible monster costumes, and a triple-decker bologna sandwich provide the basic ingredients for what many feel is the "best-worst movie" of all time.


The midnight movie sensation from Hollywood finally makes its way to Greensboro. Of course the acting, directing, and script are completely awful, but you'll laugh yourself stupid because of it.

MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, MARCH 20 - No Retreat, No Surrender (The Director's Cut)

When your greatest enemy is played by a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, your only hope is to learn martial arts from Bruce Lee's ghost!

MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, MARCH 27 - Switchblade Sisters

An all-girl gang of teenage hellcats slice, shoot, and destroy an entire city in this Tarantino-approved B-movie riff on Shakespeare's "Othello."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tarantino's 'Basterds' teaser!

On August 21st, history gets a huge kick to the pants in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. Check out the video below to see the more talented half of Brangelina, the director of Cabin Fever, and Neal Schweiber from TV's Freaks and Geeks as they conspire to mutilate, disembowel, and torture the freedom-hating forces of Adolf Hitler and his soulless Nat-zee minions. I can't wait.

While the trailer itself seems a little low on style, this teaser does a good job of letting viewers know where this film is headed. Inglorious Basterds - and the 'e' is intentional, not a typo on my part, folks - isn't about WW2. It's about Tarantino's WW2. The movie won't be an easy sell, but I am curious to see what the audiences at Cannes have to say about the film.

What do you guys think?

The Mixed Tape Film Series presents "Oldboy"


From the creatively unparalleled world of the South Korean film industry comes Oldboy, a story of love, revenge, and madness. Director Chan-wook Park has style to spare in this story of Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi), a man who finds himself imprisoned inside a small hotel room. Deprived of human contact for 15 years, when he finally wakes up on a rooftop, he befriends a beautiful woman (Dae-han Ji) and goes on a suicide mission to uncover the identities of his mysterious captors. The plot twists like a beheaded cobra, leading us to a bold and shocking conclusion that will no doubt be revised when Steven Spielberg and Will Smith film their gutless American remake in the months ahead.

This movie might be the newest title in the Mixed Tape FIlm Series, but it is also one of the best. Come see the film that is destined to become a cult classic for years to come.

The movie screens on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 and 10 p.m. at the Carousel Luxury Cinema on 1305 Battleground Avenue.

Tickets $4 (or $2 w. college I.D.). Beer $1. Pizza $1. Gourmet Cookies $1.


Q. Is this movie based on the Japanese manga of the same name?

A. Yes.

Q. Does that mean the movie is Japanese instead of South Korean?

A. No, it's still South Korean, just based on a Japanese funnybook.

Q. Is Oldboy one of the greatest films of this decade?

A. Easily.

Q. How many cool kid points will I get if I go see Oldboy?

A. I don't believe in cool kid points, but to humor you, I'll say more than 100.

Q. Will magic rainbows of awesome explode from out of my skull if I see this movie?

A. I've yet to witness that happening to anybody yet, but if it could happen to someone, it would have to be while they were watching this film.

Q. Sweet.

A. Is that a question?

[PODCAST] Explosions and Handbags




On this week’s episode of the Movie Show, Mike draws a psychological connection between explosions and handbags. Joe spots both a director and an upcoming movie to look out for in the future. And Greensboro documentarian Brett Ingram stops by to talk about the outsider clay aninamtor Bruce Bickford.

News stories include the latest from Johnny Depp, DC Comics, Brett Ratner, Sex and the City, Dreamworks, and Disney. Plus the guys review Coraline, Push, and Taken.

Stream it! Or subscribe!

Better yet, why don't you check out our page at the iTunes Store?

Tarantino's 'Inglorious' Poster

With the trailer set to drop online in a little while, I thought it would be a good idea to whet your appetite with the new poster for Inglorious Basterds, the new Quentin Tarantino film set to debut at Cannes this year. I have to say, I've read the entire script - I couldn't help myself - and if Quentin shot even a quarter of what he wrote in that draft, we are in for a history-trumping mindwarp of a film.

Every time I read or see movies about World War II, I am filled with this intense thirst to go back in time and give those Nazi bastards major punishment for all the things they have done, and that's exactly what Quentin is up to in this film. Historians will shake their heads, critics might even hate this film, but so long as the man holds his camera steady and gets Sally Menke to edit it well, the fans of badass cinema will not be disappointed.


Stay tuned. We'll have the trailer up and running as soon as it's available.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

AICN: Bale outburst was blown way out of proportion.

So yesterday, I posted a quick story on the leaked audio recording of Christian Bale's highly profane tirade on the set of Terminator: Salvation. The incident, which is said to have happened in July, involved the famous actor scolding director of photography (or DP) Shane Hurlbut for botching a take by walking on-stage during the middle of an important scene.

Well according to Harry Knowles from Aint-It-Cool-News, this story "isn't news," meaning the kind of information that affects the making - or unmaking - of actual movies.

I disagree, since we will definitely see a shift in the publicity scheme for T4 that could affect the film's actual box-office as well as the two future sequels that were planned to follow. I know if I were apart of such an embarassing media debachle, and the studio made no effort to find or punish the person responsible for leaking the audio clip to the press, not only would I decline all promotional interviews for the film, but I would also walk away from the franchise outright.

Plus there's the fact that Christian Bale is one of the most talented actors of his generation, and any developments that might prevent him from getting work in the future are very important to me.

But when Harry finally decides to get off his moral high horse, he actually relays some important information regarding the story. Apparently, it wasn't so clear cut as everyone was making it out to be.

1) Apparently Hurlbut has a reputation for being a 'tweaker' -- not a meth-head, but a person in Hollywood who's equally annoying. Apparently a tweaker is a young DP who constantly tweaks his lights during the middle of a take - huge no-no with actors, especially when they are in the middle of a very important scene.

2) The scene Bale and Bryce Dallas Howard were filming was confirmed to be the most important and emotionally demanding one of the entire film.

3) Bale had already warned Hurlbut several times to stop distracting him by walking on-stage and adjusting lights during the middle of his takes.

4) The audio clip, which has now appeared on every major news media outlet, was probably leaked by the producers to shame Bale publicly.

Why would a studio do that? We may never know, but filmmaking is a collaborative effort between a lot of different people with various jobs, all of whom should be respected to some degree. If the guy who played Batman asked me just once to respect him by giving him my lunch money, I would at least consider it.

And if he asked me several times to stop interrupting his performances by adjusting my lights during the middle of a take, you better believe that I would comply.

You can read the rest of Harry's story here.

Mike's future wife rocks the, er, mic.

(If Mike sees this picture, that guy on the left is a dead man)

Everyone who listens to our show on a regular basis is well aware of the fact that co-host Mike Compton has a major fanboy crush on Juno, Snow Angels, and The Wackness star Olivia Thrilby. Why recently, He even started buying what he was told are Thrilby's actual hair clippings on Ebay which he rubs in his face so he can smell her essence before bedtime.

Anyway, it looks like Thrilby will be playing a supporting role in yet another indie film, this one titled Breaking Upwards. The movie is hitting the festival circuit, and in a brilliant stroke of self-promotion, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, the directors and stars behind the movie, cut this humorous rap video with a guest appearance by none other than the future Mrs. Compton herself.

A provoking essay on 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

Mixed Tape volunteer Alicia Sowisdral wrote such a thoughtful essay for the issue of CineZine we'll be handing out at tonight's screening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., that I thought I would share it with all of you online.



Not Your Average High School Sex Comedy

By Alicia Sowisdral

It wasn't until 10 years after its original release that I first saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I was twelve years old in my neighbor's basement as I sat with my friends, the group of us enthralled by what was happening on the screen. It wouldn't be until years later – after viewing countless films where women's libidos are irrelevant, and their sexuality defined only in response to that of the male characters – that I would realize how powerful the images in this film are. I am thinking specifically of the inclusion of female sexuality and the candid, hilarious way characters participate in this.

In seventh grade it was as simple as mocking Phoebe Cates's lunchroom tutorial, innocently handling carrots as if we knew something about male anatomy. But it was the image of Jennifer Jason Leigh, lying exposed on the couch post-intercourse that has remained embedded in my mind. Stacy's unglamorous, and practically unemotional, sexual encounters transcend the typical teen romp. They offer instead a real and raw interpretation of teen sexuality.

But the most fascinating aspect of this "reality" is the decision by director Amy Heckerling and screenwriter Cameron Crowe to include a character that chooses to have an abortion.

I am so tired of seeing pregnancy in films and television saving the day and making everything as it should be, giving female characters a sense of purpose. Leaving abortion to be dealt with the way it often is by the media – a life-altering, guilt-inducing decision that women should be ashamed of – most filmmakers play it "safe," tiptoeing around an issue that is highly relevant in women's lives. And for fear of making a (gasp) controversial political statement, instead audiences are reminded, however subversively, that giving birth is the right thing to do. Motherhood is, after all, the primary role of women.

Unexpected pregnancy is frequent on film (Juno, Nine Months, Parenthood), but the possibility of having an abortion is presented less as a viable option and more as something to choose against. In the rare cases where it is included, it is highly shameful and unsafe (Dirty Dancing, If These Walls Could Talk), and the woman is irrevocably "changed" (read: depressed or dead). The beauty of Fast Times is that it leaves the shame out of sex and sexual related choices.

Perhaps it is the way Stacy becomes impregnated, a quick one-two thrust from an older guy in her parents' pool house, that makes her choice to have an abortion easier for the audience to deal with. I mean, honestly, would you have had Damone's baby? Heckerling and Crowe, working for first time in both of their given roles, should be commended not only for including abortion but for doing so in a way that many women experience it – an uncomfortable reality, yet a smart choice. For the freedom of filmmaking, the pride of women and the validity of a movement, this was and remains a revolutionary act.

Alicia earned a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies at UNCG, and has written for several publications including GoTriad and Yes! Weekly


I have to agree with Alicia that Fast Times at Ridgemont High really is the only mainstream high school sex comedy that treats women like actual characters. In so many movies like Porky's and American Pie, they're nothing more than air-headed targets - or worse, receptacles - for the desires of the male characters.

The other day, my wife and I were watching this ridiculous T & 80's high school film called My Tutor, wherein a group of women do aerobics for nearly three minutes. Who were these women? The movie never really says because none of them are actual characters in the story. My guess is that they were just there to do aerobics.

Yes, Fast Times at Ridgemont High has plenty of jokes, some rather hilarious ones. Then on top of that, it actually addresses sexuality with some degree of seriousness. Sex is not always a punchline involving bodily fluids or pastries. And even if you don't personally believe in abortion, you have to respect the film for not blinding itself to the fact that it's out there and it's happening.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

[PODCAST] Joe Scott talks the Mixed Tape Film Series on NPR

Because of a live performance by hip-hop artist Brother Reade at WUAG’s studios, there will not be a new episode of The Movie Show this week. Instead, we bring you the following interview that Joe Scott recorded with Winston-Salem movie geek and NPR radio host Bradley George about the Mixed Tape Film Series.

(Bradley "Not Brad" George)

The interview appeared on Triad Arts Up Close on WFDD 88.5, which you can learn more about at

Stream it!

Or if you would like to subscribe to Bradley's Triad Arts Up Close podcast, simply click here or better yet, check out his show's iTunes page.

(NOTE: During the clip, George bills me as the "creator" of the Mixed Tape Series, which was a something of error on my part. And so that I don't become a complete and total Stan Lee, the co-creators of the Mixed Tape Film Series are Mike Compton, Jack Bonney, Rob McHone at the Carousel, and yes, me.)

Christian Bale pulls a David O. Russell.

Since they do it so eloquently, I'll let those hard-hitting reporters from The Today Show explain the situation:

(NOTE: I'll bet you at least of the anchors on this show has ripped into a crew member. Maybe not like Bale did, but still.)

If you want to hear the rest of Bale's rant, you can check it out here. Apparently, Shane Hurlbut, director of photography on Terminator: Salvation, botched a take between Bale and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard. The scene was apparently a very difficult and emotional one to film and Bale went off the deep end.

I guess now the question is, will it hurt his career? It certainly could. Something similar happened to former Batman actor Val Kilmer, who grew quite the rep for being eccentric and difficult to work with. And while he was one of the most talented actors to come out of the 80's and 90's, if he's got a movie in the works, chances are it's going to be straight-to-DVD.

Then again, maybe it's not too late for Bale. After all, this guy still has a new movie in the works: