Wonder Woman

As a group, we here at COtR have been fairly split on the post Dark Knight films that make up the DC Extended Universe. On the high end of the spectrum we have moderate acceptance of a movie, while the low end as been a visceral hatred that rivals the feelings towards The Phantom Menace. Could Wonder Woman be the beacon of light the DCEU needs to find its way back to a place of respectability? Can Wonder Woman step out of the grim shadows cast by Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad? If you have seen anything about this movie, you probably already know the answers to these questions, but here are our opinions on the subject anyway. 

 

Enjoy!

Baby Driver

We were able to attend an advance screening of the new Edgar Wright film, Baby Driver. Normally we don't like to give away too much about what we thought of a movie in the blurb, in case someone accidentally listens to the show, but for this movie, we are making an exception. There are a lot of movies out in the theaters this summer, and this one could easily be missed amidst the never-ending parade of billion dollar franchises and ill-advised reboots. Baby Driver manages to be effortlessly cool and fun in a time when movies seem to be in short supply of both. If you've ever complained about the lack of options at the movies, it is your responsibility to see Baby Driver, so that movies like it can continue to be made. 

 

Enjoy!

Rewind: 1987

The gang gets together to reminisce over our favorite movies of 1987. There will always be something magical about this particular era of films. A time when we didn't care what critics thought about anything, and still many years away from a time when our own cynical outlook may have prevented us from enjoying some of these classics. Special thanks to Zachary Huffman for joining us for this show. He is now all too aware of just how exhaustingly nerdy it is to sit around a table and talk about movies for 90 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

Free Fire / Fate of the Furious

This week, we took a look at the kind of action movie you can make for $10 million and the kind that you can make for $250 million. There may have been a couple of issues that forced us to record half of this show a 2nd time, but dare I say the show is better for this mistake? Probably not, but I still think we recovered nicely. This is also the show where we reveal that we are masters...MASTERS of the art of impersonations. 

 

Enjoy!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Three years ago, Ryan and I were both a little underwhelmed by the first entry into the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Three years later, and one of Marvel's most successful properties couldn't care less what a few middle aged men in middle America think about the juggernaut they've created. Still, we have plenty to say, good and bad, and since we have all this recording equipment, we might as well make a show. 

 

Enjoy!

Power Rangers

The Power Rangers really seemed to mean a lot to plenty of people out there. Was this movie for them, or was it for a new generation of kids? Did the Power Rangers movie fulfill the promise of having an openly gay superhero? Did it spend more time talking about Krispy Kreme then it does actually showing us the Power Rangers? The answers to these questions and more in this week's episode of Coming Off the Reels.

 

Enjoy!

John Wick 2/Logan

John Wick 2 and Logan go together like peanut butter and jelly...like biscuits and gravy...like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. These two blood-soaked films show that style, substance, and a hard R rating, can still find an audience in a world where too many films are watered down to try and appeal to the largest audience possible. Then again, someone brought a baby to our screening of Logan, so maybe it is a movie for everyone. Spoiler alert, the baby seemed to hate Logan, and we seemed to hate the parents who brought a baby to a late show of an R rated film. Also, Drew sings poorly, and everyone gangs up on Sean for his thoughts on Ruby Rose's character in JW2. So pretty much what always happens. 

 

Enjoy!

john-wick-chapter-2-nycc-poster-204249.jpg

Rewind: 1986

We aren't just about new movies here at COTR, sometimes we like to look back to a simpler time, when movies and our palates were far less sophisticated. Ryan, Roy, Sean and myself all made a list of out 5 favorite movies from 1986, along with our least favorite movie from that year. We also each watched something for the first time, something that maybe we should have watched in the last 30 years, but just couldn't get around to it. We will of course be reviewing new movies in the future, but occasionally it is just as much fun to look back. 

 

Enjoy!

Welcome Back!

We are back baby, and this time we really want to make it work. I know we’ve said that before, but this time we really mean it. We’ve grown up a lot since the last time, and now we feel like we’ve really got our shit together. I know last time we really let you down. Sure, at first we tried to be a part of your life, but eventually we would just show up on special occasions, maybe a podcast around the Oscars or something and then we left completely for awhile, but this time we really want to be there for you. I know that a lot of people go through these kinds of problems, but maybe I have a solution. How would you feel if we brought it a couple of new people, to maybe spice things up a little? That way if one of us has a headache, or just isn't in the mood, someone else can tag in, and we can all walk away happy. 

 

So welcome to Coming Off the Reels…let’s say 12.0. This ever changing podcast will hopefully show up a bit more regularly than it did in the past. Sometimes we will talk about new movies, other times we may be revisiting a random year from the past or a specific theme. We will just kind of make this up as we go. And if no one ever listens to a single podcast, then we will just be a group of people who sit around, have a few drinks, and talk about the movies that make them happy, and that is not a wasted endeavor. 

 

Wish us luck.

 

Love Always,

 

Coming Off the Reels

Sound of My Voice

I remember the first time I saw the trailer for Melancholia, I thought, “Looks like an interesting concept for a low-key sci-fi film.  And then, I remember seeing a trailer for Another Earth and thinking, “Damn, seems a lot like the concept for Melancholia.”  I was so wrong on so many levels.

But that’s another conversation for another time.  What’s important is that my initial curiosity for Melancholia piqued my curiosity for Another Earth.  I ended up seeing Another Earth way before Melancholia and loved it.  A scant year after Another Earth was released, Sound of My Voice came out.  And while the film certainly didn’t share the same plot threads as the other two films, it still gave off an eerily similar vibe; science fiction-y, low-key, ambient, atmospheric, and, once again, starring Brit Marling.

The story revolves around journalist Peter Aitken (Christopher Denham), a fledgling journalist trying to get a big break by infiltrating an underground cult with the help of his girlfriend Lorna Michaelson (Nicole Vicius).

Getting to the cult meetings involves thorough showering, dressing in white gowns, strange meeting places, blindfolded van rides, and some of the most intricate secret handshakes known to man.  The cult leader, Maggie (Brit Marling) claims she woke up one day in a tub in an abandoned apartment where she had been magically transported from the future.  The year 2054, to be exact.

She promises that she will take them back with her if they all jump through the many hoops she puts in front of them, including blind faith in her extraordinary claims, eating and regurgitating fruit, days of starvation, and eating worms.  Just to name a few.

As the time to make the journey to 2054 comes nearer and nearer Peter and Lorna start to wonder about each other, adding an interesting layer to the film.  Each of them, at one point or another, believes the other may actually be falling under Maggie’s spell.  And all of this, of course, is shrouded in mystery.  IS she telling the truth?  IS she making it all up for some more sinister reason?

I enjoyed this film on a number of levels.  First off, I like Brit Marling, although I could see how some might not.  She is an interesting actress.  In both films she plays a similar character; a somewhat lethargic, doe-eyed lead who, despite her languor, still manages to be enigmatically charismatic.  In that way, in particular, she is the perfect lead for the film.

In addition to excellent casting, the film works well on a number of other levels.  The way Peter sometimes seems to lead Lorna parallels the way Maggie leads the cult.  Peter, who starts out the most incredulous of the group, is often times seen wearing a gown that is a slightly different shade than the rest of the group.  A nice color scheme to reflect his skepticism.

The dialogue.  While some of it does seem ridiculous, one must suspend their disbelief to some degree.  For example, the idea behind eating and then regurgitating the fruit — that they were purging themselves of previous wrongs done by them and to them in order to purify themselves – seems a little silly, especially since it just HAPPENS to coincide with the day that Peter ingests a tiny microphone so he can get audio of the cult.  Mmmmm….contrived.

But, then again, it is a cult, and I would rather the filmmakers take a stab at creating a personality rather than what I saw in the woefully overrated Martha Marcy May Marlene where the main reason we seemed to be given as to why the members were wooed to joining was because the leader (John Hawkes) knew how to play guitar.

By and large, though, the script is well written, dialogue and all.  There are a lot of loose ends at the end of the film, A LOT, but the film is short, under 90 minutes, and I enjoyed it enough I would consider watching it again to see if I could piece the puzzle together.

Written by Ryan Venson

Best of 2014 Part Two

Part Two of our Best of 2014 list, AKA the part where we're a bit more inebriated, a bit more incoherent, and a bit more loud.  Also Drew and Ryan rant about Guardians of the Galaxy being overrated, and everybody thinks Ryan is crazy because he tries to parallel best picture nominee The Grand Budapest Hotel to Deuce Bigelow. I was going to put a Deuce Bigelow poster on here, but could not bring myself to do it because it's one of the worst films ever.  So, also, Nightcrawler is discussed.

Best of 2014 Part One

whip-7
whip-7

After a long layoff.......about a year and a half, give or take.....we decided to overdo it a bit.  Collecting two enthusiastic friends (Sean McClain and Roy King), we each meticulously created a top 10 list.  With an honorable mention.  And some films we didn't like too much.  And some disappointments.  Then we added booze to the mix.  This all led to about a three hour recording, which we've decided to parse in to two separate podcasts.  That way after you finish the first part and your ears hurt from all of our tomfoolery, you can claim you didn't know about the second part.

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01-best-new-superhero-movies-2014-2015-i-frankestein
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2 Guns/The Conjuring/The Kill List

2 guns
2 guns

We are all over the map this time. Action movie with A-List actors and big explosions...check. Successful horror movie that is bound to be a franchise...check. Low budget British mystery/thriller with accents so thick subtitles are required...got it. Differing opinions on one or more of today's movies...you betcha'! Picture of Burt Reynolds laying naked on a bearskin rug...er...sure thing. Anything for our 2 fans.  

conjuring
conjuring
burt reynolds
burt reynolds

Mud and This is the End

theend_poster
theend_poster
mud-movie-poster
mud-movie-poster

Drew and I pride ourselves on tying the two films in our podcasts together even with the most tenuous parallels. Mud is an "Indie" film about two young boys living on a river (presumably the Mississippi) in Arkansas who stumble upon a fugitive named Mud living in a deserted boat in the woods.  Mud claims his crime was one of passion, to defend the woman he loves, and implores the boys to help him escape his predicament.

This is the End, meanwhile, is a rollicking, often vulgar comedy about the end of the world starring a bunch of fairly well-know to not-so-well-known actors playing themselves.

Are they both side-splittingly funny?  Are they both about the power of love?  Do they both have great performances from Jonah Hill?  Guess you'll just have to listen.

Aftershock/John Dies at the End

Aftershock
Aftershock

Tired of how we are always talking about movies that people have heard of? Well this episode is just for you. How unknown are these movies? Ryan and I saw Aftershock on opening weekend, and during that weekend it made $40,000 total. Just how little is that for a movie to make? Well that same weekend, Silver Linings Playbook, having been released six months before, and and having already been released on blu ray and dvd two weeks before, still managed to make three times as much as Aftershock that weekend. We work tirelessly to find you the real hidden gems. You're welcome. John Dies at the End...well...what can I say about a movie like this? It really just needs to be experienced. I just don't have the words right now, and yet somehow we thought it would make a perfect movie to talk about while we drink and record it for all of you. I'm sorry.

Sound of My Voice

Starring: Christopher DenhamNicole ViciusBrit Marling Directed by: Zal Batmanglij

I remember the first time I saw the trailer for Melancholia, I thought, “Looks like an interesting concept for a low-key sci-fi film.  And then, I remember seeing a trailer for Another Earth and thinking, “Damn, seems a lot like the concept for Melancholia.”  I was so wrong on so many levels.

But that’s another conversation for another time.  What’s important is that my initial curiosity for Melancholia piqued my curiosity for Another Earth.  I ended up seeing Another Earth way before Melancholia and loved it.  A scant year after Another Earth was released, Sound of My Voice came out.  And while the film certainly didn’t share the same plot threads as the other two films, it still gave off an eerily similar vibe; science fiction-y, low-key, ambient, atmospheric, and, once again, starring Brit Marling.

The story revolves around journalist Peter Aitken (Christopher Denham), a fledgling journalist trying to get a big break by infiltrating an underground cult with the help of his girlfriend Lorna Michaelson (Nicole Vicius).

Getting to the cult meetings involves thorough showering, dressing in white gowns, strange meeting places, blindfolded van rides, and some of the most intricate secret handshakes known to man.  The cult leader, Maggie (Brit Marling) claims she woke up one day in a tub in an abandoned apartment where she had been magically transported from the future.  The year 2054, to be exact.

She promises that she will take them back with her if they all jump through the many hoops she puts in front of them, including blind faith in her extraordinary claims, eating and regurgitating fruit, days of starvation, and eating worms.  Just to name a few.

As the time to make the journey to 2054 comes nearer and nearer Peter and Lorna start to wonder about each other, adding an interesting layer to the film.  Each of them, at one point or another, believes the other may actually be falling under Maggie’s spell.  And all of this, of course, is shrouded in mystery.  IS she telling the truth?  IS she making it all up for some more sinister reason?

I enjoyed this film on a number of levels.  First off, I like Brit Marling, although I could see how some might not.  She is an interesting actress.  In both films she plays a similar character; a somewhat lethargic, doe-eyed lead who, despite her languor, still manages to be enigmatically charismatic.  In that way, in particular, she is the perfect lead for the film.

In addition to excellent casting, the film works well on a number of other levels.  The way Peter sometimes seems to lead Lorna parallels the way Maggie leads the cult.  Peter, who starts out the most incredulous of the group, is often times seen wearing a gown that is a slightly different shade than the rest of the group.  A nice color scheme to reflect his skepticism.

The dialogue.  While some of it does seem ridiculous, one must suspend their disbelief to some degree.  For example, the idea behind eating and then regurgitating the fruit -- that they were purging themselves of previous wrongs done by them and to them in order to purify themselves – seems a little silly, especially since it just HAPPENS to coincide with the day that Peter ingests a tiny microphone so he can get audio of the cult.  Mmmmm….contrived.

But, then again, it is a cult, and I would rather the filmmakers take a stab at creating a personality rather than what I saw in the woefully overrated Martha Marcy May Marlene where the main reason we seemed to be given as to why the members were wooed to joining was because the leader (John Hawkes) knew how to play guitar.

By and large, though, the script is well written, dialogue and all.  There are a lot of loose ends at the end of the film, A LOT, but the film is short, under 90 minutes, and I enjoyed it enough I would consider watching it again to see if I could piece the puzzle together.

Written by Ryan Venson

Killing Them Softly and Looper

It's getting near Christmas, so we though not only would we finally record a new podcast, our gift to you, but that we would also fill it with seasonal films.  Which is exactly why we reviewed Looper -- a futuristic, time-travelling sci-fi film about hitmen hired to kill their future selves -- and Killing Them Softly -- a gritty, violent, hard-hitting picture centered around a New Orleans mob.So pull up a chair, warm your chestnuts, and spike your egg-nog!   Christmas season is here!

Killing_Them_Softly_poster
Killing_Them_Softly_poster
looper
looper