Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 009: Life of Pi (2012)

For our review of Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” Movie Podcast Weekly is proud to feature special guests DAVE EATON, frontman of The Dave Eaton Element and host of the All About Autism Podcast, and NATALIE PYLES, host of Podcasting Revolution.

I. Intro
II. Mini Reviews:
Jason: Grizzly (1976), Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), Red State (2011)
Karl: Van Helsing (2004), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Nobody’s Fool (1994)
Natalie Pyles: Ben and Kate (TV), Nashville (TV)
Dave Eaton: A Christmas Carol (2009), 30 Rock (TV)
III. Feature Review: LIFE OF PI
Ratings and Recommendations for LIFE OF PI
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Natalie Pyles = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy It! )
Dave Eaton = 7 ( Theater / Rental )


IV. Trailer Talk:
Life of Pi
Now You See Me
Parental Guidance
V. Wrap-Up

NEXT WEEK’S MOVIE: Killing Them Softly with special guests Rob Booker of The Traders Podcast

Notes for this episode:
“I’m always going to be the best, no matter what.” — Usain Bolt, August 5, 2012

Links for this episode:

Dave’s show: All About Autism Podcast

Dave’s band: The Dave Eaton Element

Dave on Twitter: @EatonElement

Dave’s Music Video: Brief Relief

Natalie’s show: Podcasting Revolution

Follow Movie Podcast Weekly on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly

We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave Eaton himself for the use of his music for our theme song.

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Thank you for listening, and join us again next Monday for Movie Podcast Weekly.

5 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 009: Life of Pi (2012)

  1. An interesting episode. Really enjoyed the varying points of view. I agree with Karl on Planes, Trains… must be viewed every year. Interesting to hear Dave’s review of A Christmas Carol. Haven’t heard a good review of that before. Especially calling it better than the Muppets Christmas Carol (my personal favorite). I will have to give it a try with the kids this holiday season.

    Jason, I can’t believe you trashed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and you like Van Helsing! Van Helsing is FAR worse than that other film, or they are at least on an equal playing field. The difference is, ALVH has a great director working behind the scenes whereas Van Helsing has one of the worst hacks in Hollywood running the show. He already ruined The Mummy for generation to come (not to mention GI Joe), did he have to spoil one of the coolest vampire hunters EVER?!

    Jason, knowing you to be a fan of good film criticism, I thought you might appreciate this Life of Pi piece from @devincf–fascinating stuff:

  2. Oh, Jason, I liked Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene a lot better than you too. Really loved the way it was shot aesthetically (and the story behind the production, from Jeff Goldsmith’s podcast). The “Maggie Gyllenhaal look-alike” is actually a younger sister of the Olsen Twins, BTW. Loved her in this. I also thought she was great in Silent House this year.

  3. Hi Josh,
    OK. I’m hearing so many bad things about “Van Helsing” (2004), I’m going to have to revisit it soon. I’m digging myself a hole, I fear. It’s just that, I only saw the film once — when it was released in theaters — and I remember liking it. Of course, that was before I started watching films critically, so anything prior to 2005, I was strictly seeing through the eyes of a true movie-lover.

    But still, the critic in me today can confidently say that “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (2012) is not a good movie. I sort of hated it, actually… First of all, why did it have to be Lincoln? There was no real case (despite any ridiculous graphic novels) to make Abraham Lincoln a vampire killer. Plus, it’s not like Benjamin Walker bears any striking resemblance… See instead: Daniel Day-Lewis. The vampires in that movie are somewhat frightening, but it’s too much of a CGI fest, which takes it over into the unbearably ridiculous territory. I guess I expected better from the director of “Night Watch” (2004) and “Day Watch” (2006).

    I will totally agree with you that Stephen Sommers is a hack. He destroyed “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (2009), as far as I’m concerned, though I will say that “The Mummy” (1999) is fun to watch; its first sequel is passable, too.

    I am a huge fan of Devin Faraci (thanks to our friends at The /Filmcast). Thanks for the article. It’s so interesting that he draws parallels between “Life of Pi” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962), because I knew a movie critic in Wheeling, W.V., who drew some convincing parallels between “The Dark Knight” and “Liberty Valance” ! It was pretty amazing, actually. So, I wonder if that means we could make connections between “Life of Pi” and “The Dark Knight”? It stands to reason…

    “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (2011) could have been (nay, should have been!) so killer-good, but I think it lost heart… I didn’t need or expect a horror film (because the story is frightening enough), but I would have liked to have seen more “crazy,” such as we see in the film’s most chilling scene involving a home invasion… Wow. It’s almost worth renting the movie just to see that one scene at about 80 minutes in, but not quite. But yes, Elizabeth Olsen is quite spectacular. I still need to see “Silent House” (and I will because of her).

    Thanks for your thoughts, Josh.

  4. So diplomatic, Jason. I love ya.

    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is not a film worth defending on almost any level. I was just surprised that you seemed to like “Van Helsing” better. The films are probably equally bad. But, in my opinion, “VH” edges “ALVH” out on the crap-o-meter for the simple fact that a flick about a bada** hero–named after the greatest vampire slayer of all time–going around fighting monsters should/could have been a much better film. And probably would have been in better hands.

    On the flip side, a movie about one of America’s greatest political leaders hunting the undead should have been ridiculous. And actually, that movie’s biggest problem is that Timur Bekmambetov rarely embraces the camp and plays things a little too straight–it isn’t ridiculous enough! The title, alone, is funny. In true Bob Weinsteinian fashion, that’s enough reason to make the movie. And the novel that the film is based on is actually quite an interesting (and Dracula-esque) piece of storytelling. From Wikipedia: “The epistolary-style book is written as a biography of Abraham Lincoln, based on ‘secret diaries’ kept by the 16th President of the United States and given to the author by a vampire named Henry Sturges.” Potentially, pretty awesome.

    Personally, I actually really enjoyed the use of Abraham Lincoln as the titular vampire hunter. It is fun (and feels a little transgressive) to re-imagine such a revered figure in such a light. The only thing I can imagine enjoying more is “Joseph Smith: Time Traveler” (copyright Icarus A&E 2012).

    Comparing young Benjamin Walker to one of the greatest actors of ours or any generation is hardly fair. He holds his own. Especially when you consider that he was cast as the young Lincoln to mirror Spielberg’s original casting of Liam Neeson in “Lincoln” he comes off even better. Benjamin Walker is a stellar young Liam Neeson (as he proved pasaably in Kinsey, but improved upon here).

    Of course, I know that “ALVH” is a silly, messy, often-boring action movie when it should have been a ludicrously campy horror comedy with blood-letting of “The Man with the Iron Fist proportions.” It wasn’t. Still, I found it mildly entertaining–which is more than I expected.

    Now, Stepehen Summers may think it is fun to take some of our most revered horror characters in the Universal Monsters (or childhood characters, in the case of GI Joe) and re-imagine the as fodder for CGI adventure-fests. But I find it more than a little transgressive.

    I see your point on “Martha,” but I liked the understated nature of the film. I tend to prefer that in movies (as you can tell with my adoration of ALVH 😉 ) But I also like that the seemingly scrambled storytelling mirrors her mindset. And I love the overall look and tone.

    Faraci is great. Like you, even when I vehemently disagree with his analysis, I respect it.

  5. Good reviews. I always love to hear you guys. Such good dynamic between you all. Although apparently I need to repent and buy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. So sorry Karl.
    After seeing the trailers a few times for Life of Pi I can’t believe that the tiger is digital. I mean I had a hard time believing that the sceens were shot with a real tiger so what else could it have been. Amazing digital sceens! at least in the trailers.
    And I like Karl didn’t finish Van Helsing because it was just a horrible movie.

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