Spoiler-Free! Fresh off a record-breaking night at the Golden Globes, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is shaping up to be an award season powerhouse. A successful musical is no easy feat. Were Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling able to sing and dance themselves into Jay and Cybill’s hearts and dreams? Was there a good balance between big musical numbers and well-developed characters and story? Was that J.K. Simmons? We answer these questions and more as we head to the sunshine coast for episode 87 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
Spoiler-Free! It was a dark time for the rebellion. With the Empire’s forces massing and threatening to bring destruction on a scale never seen before….but enough about President-Elect Trump. Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, takes us through the events that transpired just before the opening scene of 1977’s Star Wars (A New Hope). How well does the film ingratiate itself into the existing Star Wars universe? Was the talented and diverse cast (Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker) able to create a loveable and memorable group of rebels? Where does this film rank among the other Star Wars films? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 86 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
SPOILER-FREE! In episode 85 we review a pair of films set during the Second World War. Allied certainly has the talent to be a great film. Helmed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump), and starring a-listers Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, expectations for this romantic thriller were very high. Did the film deliver on its potential? Hacksaw Ridge marks Mel Gibson’s return to the Director’s chair for the first time in close to a decade. Is it time to forgive him? Does this film make it easier to do so? Does Andrew Garfield prove himself a serious force to be reckoned with come Oscar time? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 85 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
Spoiler-free! In episode 84, we review two of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange combines one of the most popular actors in the world (Benedict Cumberbatch), with an intriguing character, surrounded by a solid cast (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton), within the unstoppable juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Can it live up to the very high (in our case, very, very high) expectations? Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is already garnering strong Oscar buzz. Do Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker deliver the anti-Independence Day that hardcore Sci-Fi have been waiting for? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 84 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
Spoiler-free! In episode 83, we take a detour into the dark and disturbing underbelly of the America psyche with two powerful films. David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water (Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham) takes us through the backroads of Texas and the growing divide between corporate interests and the will of the people. Oliver Stone’s Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicholas Cage) raises similar questions about the abuses of power and privacy perpetrated by the US government own their people. (A special “Hello” to our good friends at all of the intelligence gathering agencies reading this post! Hope you have a great day!) So….how fucked are we? Come join the circle and find out in episode 83 of The Smoking Screen Podcast!