Staff August 15, 2014
In theaters and/or On Demand now, you can check out new films by Alex Gibney, Michael Winterbottom, Woody Allen, and Joe Swanberg. Last year, you could also check out one or more new films by Gibney, Winterbottom, Allen, and Swanberg, and the year before that, too. This week’s podcast delves into the work habits of our most prolific filmmakers: Are they that inspired, or is something lost by working too fast? This week also sees the release of yet another YA adaptation, this one Lois Lowry’s 1993 YA standard The Giver. Though the film breaks from the book, Hollywood has been conservative about staying faithful to popular texts. But at what cost? The Expendables 3 inspires a game this week about its mostly ancient action stars, and we wrap it up as always with our quick-fire recommendation segment, 30 Seconds To Sell.
Staff August 01, 2014
Guardians Of The Galaxy opens in theaters this weekend, Marvel True Believers, and we all enjoyed it so much that we sat down to an enthusiastic (and spoiler-free) conversation about what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and where we hope the only partly fleshed-out Phase Three will go, now that Marvel has successfully taken the action off Earth and opened up a bigger, more complicated world. Joining us for the conversation: Eisner-nominated comics critic Oliver Sava. Our second segment also brings in a guest: L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson, discussing her new book Tom Cruise: Anatomy Of An Actor, and how writing it turned her from a dubious Cruise detractor to a fan of his work ethic and ambition. The Movie Game Movie Game stumped some of the participants and led to a brief shouting match; we welcome your feedback over whether the rules of the game (so to speak) were fair play. And we brought in some enthusiastic new blood with our first all-intern edition of 30 Seconds To Sell.
Speaking of feedback, we’re looking to launch a feedback and discussion segment on the podcast. Anything on the site, or in the broader field of movies—anything you’d discuss in The Dissolve's comments—is fair game. Email us at email@example.com to kick off a conversation.
Staff July 18, 2014
This week, it’s APES APES APES APES, as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes prompts our resident Planet Of The Apes superfans to look back on the long-running series, from its grim, heady 1970s longueurs to all the tie-in products that kept kids absorbed between films that likely went over their heads. Sex Tape has us talking about America’s awful record with sex comedies for or about adults, and wondering why it’s so hard for sex comedies to talk about sex in a remotely mature way. (Hee hee, “so hard.”) Our game this week, In A World, asks contestants to identify films by listening to trailer snippets—which in one case, happened in literally two seconds. And we close, as always, with our competitive-recommendation segment, 30 Seconds To Sell.
Staff July 03, 2014
With the flourish of Scary Movie sequels and Friedberg/Seltzer productions like Meet The Spartans and Date Movie, the spoof hit rock bottom a few years ago, but our Movie Of The Week discussion of Airplane! and David Wain’s new rom-com riff They Came Together inspire a fresh look at the art of film comedy’s least respected subgenre. Another near-future MOTW (and Greatest Blockbuster poll winner), Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, has earned praise for keeping the shark off screen until the final third, but we question whether the decision to withhold information from an audience is always the right one. The game this week is “Oh, Roger,” which digs into the reviews, positive and negative, where Roger Ebert broke radically from consensus. And finally, Tasha Robinson and Nathan Rabin square off in the recommendation octagon that is 30 Seconds To Sell.
Staff June 20, 2014
On this week’s podcast, the release of Clint Eastwood’s version of Broadway’s mega-hit Jersey Boys gets us talking about how fidelity, staginess, and Gerard Butler affect our appreciation, or lack thereof, for stage-to-screen musical adaptations. Crash writer-director Paul Haggis returns to the hyperlink-cinema well for Third Person, which gets us talking about what we call everything-is-connected movies: From Nashville to Short Cuts to Babel, the films that sprawl across a scene or a theme, linking disparate characters in sometimes-hokey ways. Our game this week, Name That Tune Without That Tune, proved unexpectedly rough; we hope you’ll do better, or at least leave the podcast humming along. And we wrap this time out with a record-breaking 30 Seconds To Sell.