Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 106: Gone Girl (2014) and Cold in July (2014) and A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2014) and The Two Faces of January (2014)

Episode 106

This episode is dedicated to our friend Anthony Bruno.

Episode 106 is 3 hours and 32 minutes of good times. (But in case we get too long-winded on any portion — such as our specialty segments — we’ve included the time stamps for your convenience.) Jason, Andy and Josh are joined by special guest film critic Cody Clark to help us review Gone Girl (with a spoiler section after the end credits) and Cold in July and A Fantastic Fear of Everything and The Two Faces of January.

Is there a 2014 movie that you’ve been wondering about that we haven’t covered yet? Let us know in the comments which 2014 movies you’d still like to hear us review before the end of the year. Thanks for listening!

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Josh — along with frequent guests. We give you our verdicts on at least one new movie release from the current year that’s currently playing in theaters or on VOD, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. And we usually provide specialized genre recommendations. New episodes release every single Tuesday. Join us!


I. Introduction
— Welcome guest Cody Clark

[ 0:02:29 ] II. Mini Reviews
Cody Clark: Pain & Gain, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp
Andy: Quickdraw Season 2 on Hulu, Veep Season 1, Gross Pointe Blank, Bullhead, Filth, The Call, Joshua (2007)
Josh: Survivor (TV), Lost (TV), From Dusk Till Dawn (TV), Mulaney (TV), Arrow (TV)
Jason: You can write a letter to Elsa (or any Disney character), and supposedly receive a photo in return at this address:

ATTN: Your favorite Disney character
Walt Disney Communications
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

— Watch the teaser trailer for American Sniper
— Hilarious tweet from Jeff Hammer @StreamsOfBlood
Sherlock Holmes silent film discovered
September 2014 box office the lowest in 6 years
— Voicemail from David in the UK regarding “Blue Ruin”
— Horror Movie Podcast, Ep. 027: Halloween 1 through 3

III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
— Gone Girl
— Annabelle
— The Good Lie
— Men, Women & Children [ Limited ]
— Bang Bang
— Haider
— Left Behind
— The Blue Room [ Limited ]
— The Hero of Color City [ Limited ]


[ 1:10:44 ] IV. Feature Review: COLD IN JULY (2014)
Jason = 5.5 ( Rental )

[ 1:18:31 ] V. Feature Review: A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (2014)
Jason = 7 ( Stream it on Netflix!)
Andy = 6 ( Stream it on Netflix! )
Josh = 9 ( Buy it! )
Cody Clark = 6.5 ( Stream it on Netflix! )

[ 1:40:05 ] VI. Feature Review: THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY (2014)
Jason = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

[ 1:49:46 ] VII. Feature Review: GONE GIRL (2014)
Jason = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Andy = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Karl = 7 ( Rental )
Josh = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Cody Clark = 10 ( Theater / High-priority Rental )

VIII. Specialty Segments:


Last week’s movie: The Usual Suspects (1995) = 10 ( Buy it! )


S: What the hell is this?
C: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.

– One entry per listener per week; Entries must be received before the episode discussing the film posts (typically the following Tuesday at 8 a.m.)
– No using the Internet or other reference material to look it up (honor system)
– 3 winners will be selected each month and will receive their choice from Josh’s collection of used and new films.
– Entries are made by e-mailing us at with the subject line “What’s the Name of that one movie?” or tweeting @MovieCastWeekly “What’s the name of that one movie?: (your answer)”

[ 2:33:56 ] JAY OF THE DEAD’S “1970s HORROR-THON”:
The Toolbox Murders (1978) = 6 ( Rental )
— And be sure to check out Horror Movie Podcast’s “Halloween Extravaganza” each Friday in October! Here is our first show of this five-part series: Halloween 1 through 3

— Josh recaps the first two episodes of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur (Blood vs. Water 2) with fellow Survivor Super-Fan Cody Clark and they reveal their Survivor Fantasy League scores (hosted by the Survivor Fans Podcast). Catch-up with Josh and Cody on this season of Survivor with free episodes on!

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

[ 3:10:40 ] X. SPOILER SECTION: Gone Girl



Josh’s comedy album recommendations:
John Mulaney: New in Town
Pete Holmes: Nice Try the Devil

Cody’s humor piece about Kirby Heyborne:
The Skinny:

Josh’s links:

Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast

Contact MPW:
E-mail us:
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

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Right-click to download the MPW 100 Rap

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

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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Thanks for listening, and join us again next Tuesday for Movie Podcast Weekly.

60 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 106: Gone Girl (2014) and Cold in July (2014) and A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2014) and The Two Faces of January (2014)

  1. Yes! I’ve really been looking forward to the coverage of “Gone Girl” and “A Fantastic Fear of Everything”!

    Also, Andy does deserve credit for bringing up “Blue Ruin” in his mini-reviews on episode .104. The resultant discussion was what really got me interested in the film. Besides if a movie is good enough to impress the resident narcoleptic then I’m convinced.

    P.S. Not sure why it sounds like I’m breathing so heavily in my voicemail. Maybe that’s why I keep getting all these restraining orders….

    • Oh man, I go calling Andy “the resident narcoleptic” and then in this episode he sounds horribly ill and now I feel like a real jerk. I hope you’re okay Andy!

    • Blue ruin is definitely something to note for – it is hard to imagine how a movie made with three thousand dollars budget can keep you on the edge of the chair that much!

      Well the movie was not made with $3000 but you get the point.

      • Totally agree Que. I don’t know the budget but I’ve heard it was pretty low and it’s just testament to the fact that you can throw as much money as you want at any big major studio production but if the talent isn’t there then you may as well be spending that money on ramen noodles.

        “Blue Ruin” was one of the best looking films I’ve seen in recent memory. It was also surprisingly bloody and the gore seemed to be mainly executed with superb practical effects. If they can do that on this kind of budget why do I find myself vomiting up Sega Saturn pixels after most huge budget CGI fest blockbusters?

    • That’s wonderful that Andy is getting credit for something on the podcast. Just remember that if you’d listened to Josh & Jason, you’d have had this wonderous experience 21 weeks earlier and if you’d given proper preferencial listening to Josh, you have heard about Blue Ruin–on this very podcast–THIRTY FOUR bloody episodes earlier!!! Just saying.

      • I’m on the Josh boat (usually), but I have to admit that I only got to see Blue Ruin until after Jay begged people to watch it. So I guess the credit goes to the Jay/Josh one-two punch duo. It’s really hard for me to go out and watch new movies when they come out because I’m constantly playing catchup and since I have a really wide range of things that I like, a lot of stuff slips through the cracks. I’m hoping that after my October horror marathon I can go on a catchup marathon of 2014 movies that I’ve missed so far.

        But Jay, I’m with you on Armageddon all the way, man! As far as entertainment value goes, it’s number one baby!

      • Well three of my most highly rated movies that I’ve seen this year have been thanks to your recommendations Josh (The Act of Killing, Marwencol and The Imposter) so I’m gonna let Andy have this one.

          • He deserves the recognition for bringing it up, but the ensuing discussion involving Jay and yourself was what really convinced me. I’m really not sure why it didn’t capture my attention until then. I think there’ve been a lot of “blue” movies recently (Blue is the Warmest Color, Blue Jasmine etc.)and dumb as it sounds that may have caused me to tune out a bit.

  2. Gone Girl – 8.5/10 See it in Theatre for in-interrupted viewing experience (movie is rather long) and high priority rental.

    I am happily married now, from dating til now totally 10 years with my wife and never had a single argument (try to top this, boys :oP ) and this movie was enjoyed by both of us. I am normally a bitter marker, known for never give 10/10 to any movie – and as cool as “The equalizer ” was last weekend, I didn’t feel the strong urge to email Jay as I did after Gone Girl.

    This movie totally took me out of nitty picking habbit of mine – the camera work, the personality development, the editing and blah blah blah, those Josh stuff – and throw me into the experience bucket. i was going with the film every step, and by the 2 hour mark, i told my wife that “I wish this movie never ends!”

    It is hard to go deep discussion over this movie without involving spoilers – not like you can have a spoiler section for the message board. But I don’t think this movie will impact on your marriage (well if you have a flaky one, then even the postman can pull the pin) and it actually would enhance it by letting you know how well you are actually doing. :)

    to Jason – I watched Blue Ruin that week when josh recommended to you, and the Equaliser last weekend when it just came out.
    the Equaliser – 8/10 In Theatre/HP rental, very strong action ride with less cheese, more spice.

    • Have you really never given a movie a 10/10 Que? Or are you just being hyperbolic?

      Either way your endorsement of “Gone Girl” is thoroughly convincing!

      • Well, I used to love “natural born killer” and “schindler’s list” unconditionally – but that was back to the days back when i was yonger version of me. When comes to the movie rating, i tend to remove my personal involvement – movies like “A.I.” brought me to wet eyes (just about) but it won’t be getting a highest rating.

        I guess as a man mature, I have a sharper taste to find things i disagree over in movies… love them and hate them just like in a marriage stereotype.


        • I think that’s a pretty respectable approach to take Que. It’s good practice to not be blinded by the mythology of our own ratings and to acknowledge the organic changing of our individual tastes. It could also be viewed as a particularly optimistic outlook. Maybe your 10/10 movie just hasn’t been made yet!

    • That’s interesting and maybe explains why they had to put stuffing in her cheeks to match. I’m positive, though. I’ve now seen the film twice and it’s unmistakable.

  3. A few notes as I’m listening:

    Firstly, I definitely back up Josh and Jason when it comes to the video for “There There” by Radiohead. Amazing song and awesome video. I’m pretty sure I recall Thom Yorke saying that the stop motion approach was inspired by the beautiful 1970’s children’s show “Bagpuss” by Oliver Postgate. Not sure if it ever gained much popularity in the states but I’d definitely recommend it to you guys with little kids. The closest a TV show has ever come to being a soft, warm blanket while it’s cold and rainy outside.

    It’s also interesting that Michel Gondry was brought up in the “A Fantastic Fear of Everything” discussion as he also directed a Radiohead video. “Knives Out” I believe.

    Also it was good to hear that Josh is a fan of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Strangers on a Train”. Those are two excellent films right there!

    • Two of my favorites, David. Especially Ripley. Seriously one of my favorite movies of all time. The landscape, the performances. The tone is perfect. It’s a true masterpiece.

      • I agree. And it’s one of those movies that seems very strangely underrated to me. I guess it’s got a good score on Rotten Tomatoes and such but it’s not a film that I hear get the recognition that I think it deserves. In fact now I’m tempted to give it a rewatch.

        • Also, nice bit on trivia about Gondry. I didn’t realize or remember that he’d worked with Radioheard, but I absolutely love his music videos. His Director’s Label DVD set is incredible. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it. Probably my favorite of the series, although I also recommend the Spike Jonze and Anthon Corbijn collections very highly.

          I have never seen or even heard of “Bagpuss” but it is going on the top of my list after that description, television as a soft, warm blanket on a rainy day.

          • I’ll definitely have to check those out. I’m a big fan of the Corbijn music videos I’ve seen too. In fact it’s be interesting to hear you guys do a top ten music videos segment sometime. They count as movies right?

            And I hope you/your kids enjoy “Bagpuss” it’s dated and rather homespun (practically the whole series was made by two guys in a shed) but to me that just adds to its fuzzy charm.

          • Also this actually spurred me to go on an a bout of Anton Corbijn research and he’s done even more great music videos than I first thought. He did one of my favourite Mercury Rev videos and apparently (according to wikipedia atleast) he did a video for At the Drive-In which I’d be really interested to see!

  4. OMG Josh thank you for admitting that you like Arrow! I usually don’t feel guilt about the movies and shows that I watch, but I have to say that Arrow is a pretty damn guilty pleasure. I’m totally hooked and I don’t quite know why. There are so many things I hate about this show, but I can’t stop watching it. It is as cheesy as can be times ten. I disagree that the supporting cast is weak. I think Arrow’s sidekicks are pretty fun and the rest of the cast ranges from just ok to annoying. I particularly hate the cop, Arrow’s main love interest, and Arrow’s sister. They’re terrible characters and they’re played by actors whose looks and personalities just clash with me. I just finished season one, and season two just came out on Netflix, so Lost will have to take a backseat for now. I’m curious to know what you’ll think of the rest of the season. I think it has its ups and downs, but it ends with a pretty big bang. Also, what do you think of the flashback scenes? I liked that aspect at first, but it becomes really annoying by the end of the season. Anyway I had the intention of keeping this to myself, but thanks to Josh, I can now tell the world that I like Arrow :/

    • That’s hilarious, Juan. We have the exact opposite taste in actors, I guess. My favorite actors are the cop and the sister–by far.

      I don’t like the girlfriend and I despise the best friend and the best friend’s dad.

      That’s okay, we can be ARROW buddies anyway. I’m totally hooked as well. I’m a little over halfway right now.

      If you don’t like the flashbacks, you may have trouble with LOST, because those are half the show and the ARROW flashbacks seem extremely heavily influenced by LOST. I think the island is one of the most interesting aspects, to be honest.

      The worst part about the show is how many episodes there are. I don’t think they had enough story to fill 23 episodes so the characters (like the sister) just go back and forth and back and forth like a soap opera. That’s the stuff I hate. This is like 1/4 soap opera, 1/4 superhero, 1/2 cop show. I’d like to spend all of my time crime-fighting or back on the island.

      • Josh, I think a big part of the reason why I hate those characters is the soap opera angle in which they’re played. I just hate that the cop is ALWAYS at Oliver’s house like he has nothing better to do. It makes the city look so small. And yes, the back and forth attitudes of everyone are extremely annoying. One day we get an emotional resolve and the next things are back to normal because everyone changed their minds. The sister is the guiltiest of this offense. Drives me crazy!

        As far as the flashbacks go, they’re not bad. But like you said, they didn’t have enough material for 23 episodes so they feel really drawn out at times. The thing that I appreciate is the progression of Oliver’s skills and the contrast of where he started versus where he is now. That’s pretty cool.

        I also like how his scarred-up body is a reminder of what he’s been through both physically and emotionally, but I do not need to see him shirtless in every episode haha. And now it’s tangent time! Speaking of scars, I once attended a James O’Barr panel at a convention and he talked about his version of Batman that he pitched to DC. In his version Batman is Batman all the time. There is no Bruce Wayne, because he is disfigured beyond recognition. He is literally a monster that’s been beaten to a pulp over time and can no longer live the life of a normal human. I thought that was a great idea! Of course, it never got the green light. I’m not sure if anyone has tackled that approach in the comics. Willis?

        • Yeah, I love seeing the training, I love the scars, I love how badass Stephen Amell is compared to most actors in roles like these. The guy is insane:

          Your comment reminded me of something else that bugs me about the show … when it comes to the cop always being at the Queens’ house … what’s the deal with everyone in the world just walking into that house like it’s the coffee shop from Friends (note, I’ve never actually seen Friends). Even Seinfeld had to buzz people into his apartment building. It is ridiculous that you have this incredible mansion (which I’m pretty sure is the mansion from the Liam Neeson remake of The Haunting, BTW), complete with post-military bodyguards, and people are just wandering in all of the time. So silly. Very soap-opera-like.

          Still, it is a strong show and I want it to keep going strong just so that Stephen Amell gets to play Green Arrow in the Justice League movies, if nothing else.

  5. As long as we’re making embarrassing admissions about television shows that we watch, here’s how much I fell in love with Nathan Fillion in “Firefly” (which I am not ashamed of liking in the least): I have seen every episode of “Castle.” I don’t really love it, and I kinda think that anyone who says they do at this point is lying, but danged if I can look away. It’s almost hypnotic. The storytelling is predictable as (heck) and the ratio of Freak of the Week episodes to Through Story episodes is positively maddening. And yet, here I am in Season 7 watching Castle cope with (no joke) amnesia (!!) resulting from his strange disappearance (blatantly ripped off from “Alias”) at the end of Season 6. Blah.

      • But Firefly is awesome right Josh? Right?!

        Cody, seeing that you like Firefly, are you also a fan of Whedon’s other work? I’m a huge Buffy/Angel fan and although I didn’t love Dollhouse, I thought it had some pretty neat ideas. Josh, do you still hate Sarah Michelle Gellar? Did you ever get into Buffy?

    • I like beans and rice, Cody. But have you tried Mexican rice with fried plantain? There’s also refried beans with fried plantains which people seem to love, but I’m not a huge fan of that. Anyone else?

      • I like plantain okay, but I can’t eat that anymore either. I had a Brazillian dessert once that was plantain deep fried, then topped with cinnamon and sugar. That was amazing too!

    • Unfortunately it’s incredibly hard to find decent Mexican food here. There used to be what I can only guess was a fairly authentic restaurant in my town where I had “Frijole Borrachos” which were amazing but it’s since changed to a more tex-mex style place where it’s all just burgers with guacamole slapped on them. Every now and then I’ll cook up a mean three-bean Chili and have that with rice though.

      • Yeah, I’m not sure I’ll ever eat Mexican food outside of the Western United States again. Every time I have, I’ve regretted it. The WORST places I’ve had Mexican food are Holland (I don’t know what I was thinking), New York, and Hawaii. The best Mexican food outside of Mexico is … basically every street corner in Southern California, but all over the West. Utah has really good Mexican food. Texas, Nevada, Arizona. The Mexican food in New Mexico insane. It is that kind of Tex-Mex thing and isn’t traditional Mexican food, but it still has a 100+ year history and is really quality stuff tied to the land and the people. True Tex-Mex is actually very good, but you only get the real stuff out here. My favorite “authentic” Mexican food is definitely molé poblano. Luckily, there is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Salt Lake City call The Red Iguana that serves about a dozen different flavors of molé and they are all incredible:

        • As is obvious I’m not very well versed in Mexican food and it’s various off-shoots but I didn’t mean to sound disparaging of Tex-Mex as a cuisine in it’s own right. In fact I probably shouldn’t have used that term, really I was referring to the generic, homogenised food served by so many places here that purport to be “Mexican” restaurants. The kind of places where the guacamole comes out of a jar and the majority of the menu is just common items with “Mexicano” prefixed. “Mexicano Burger”, “Mexicano Hot Dog”, “Mexicano Fried Chicken”, “Mexicano Swedish Meatballs”. Way too many of those places here and some of them the food is even pretty good just NOT Mexican as I see it.

          And man that molé menu looks amazing. Those dishes must be bursting with flavour!

          I’m getting mighty hungry now.

          Haha, this is gonna blow Jays food-tangent-hating mind!

          • No, you’re right to think that way. Most of what we know as Tex-Mex, even out here in the West, is just code for Americanized (or homogenized) crap. It wasn’t until I went to New Mexico for the first time that I found out it was a legitimate style of food with its own rich history and savory flavors.

            The best part of this chain of posts is that I’m pretty sure cody was kidding, if not making fun of us for the noodles.

  6. I love how the Movie Podcast Weekly’s comment board has become a haven for food enthusiasts all over the world. I think in honor of this new trend, you guys should put together your top ten favorite movies about food. Jay, you can’t beat us, so you might as well join us. Tell us some of your favorite dishes from your hometown.

    • I think somewhere along the way the movie circuit in my brain got crossed with the food circuit. The two things seem intrinsically linked. I always like to eat good food while I’m watching a good movie and as lame an admission as it might be I sometimes even plan my meal based on the movie I’m going to watch; If I’m watching “Goodfellas” I want a delicious pasta sauce, or if it’s some 80’s horror movie where the babysitter orders pizza then I’ll find myself doing the same. I think I need help.

      • Oh no! I think that’s why Jay hates the food talk so much. Josh, please help him (and David) if you can. Just kidding David, that’s actually pretty cool. I like pairing my beers with my movies, but I’m not cool enough to do it with food. Actually, speaking of beers, I paired one of the most brutal beers I’ve ever had with “Halloween”. It is called Outer Darkness and it’s a Russian Imperial Stout as dark as Michael Myer’s eyes and soul. Super, super tasty. I had been aging it for a while too. Anyway I couldn’t finish it in one sitting, so I watched “Halloween II” just so I could finish the bottle. Good times!

        • That stout sounds great. I’m making a list of these beer recommendations Juan and when I’m through in York next I’ll see if I can find any of them.

          I went the very lazy route and just had a Wychwood Pumpking beer while watching Halloween.

          Also have you tried the Odell Brewing Companies Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout? I had one a few weeks ago and it was very chocolatey indeed.

          • I adore Chocolate stouts! I’m not that familiar with Odell but I’ve had a few of their beers and they’ve all been pretty good. Well here are a few of my absolute favorites:

            Cherry Funk by Prairie Artisan Ales — Magnificent sour ale.

            Blaecorn Unidragon by Clown Shoes — Incredible Russian imperial stout.

            120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head — I’m not fond of IPAs, but this one is out of this world.

            Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale by Brouwerij Van Steenberge — I’ve been getting into sours lately and this one might possibly be my favorite so far. So tasty!

            Crème Brûlée by Southern Tier Brewing Company — Ridiculously tasty stout. It’s like having a liquid dessert.

            St. Vain Tripel Ale by Left Hand Brewing Company — Left Hand is super solid and this one is one of my favorites by them. It’s a Belgian Tripel.

            Clementine by Clown Shoes — I love witbiers during the summer. This one is a favorite of mine.

            Hibiscus Summer Wit by Buffalo Bayou Brewing — Super tasty witbier. Very sour!

            Ola Dubh 16 Year Special Reserve by Harviestoun Brewery — I believe you’ve had this one, so you know it’s good.

            (512) Pecan Porter by (512) Brewing Company — A really light, highly enjoyable porter. Perfect if you want to drink more than the usual.

            Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout by Great Divide — This one is in my top 5 stouts for sure. It’s so rich!

            Pumpkinator by Saint Arnold — Probably my favorite imperial stout. It’s super complex and not for the faint of heart.

            Rare Vos by Ommegang — A very rich, very interesting amber ale. I haven’t had it in a while. Perhaps it’s time to revisit it.

            Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout by Samuel Smith — I’ve tried many of the Samuel Smith’s line of beers and I’m very fond of the stouts, fruit beer and their Taddy porter. Good stuff all around.

            Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to give you a long list in case you didn’t find many of these. I’m not sure how limited or wide the selection is. In my case, the European imports are pretty limited, sadly.

            Josh, it’s never too late to get into beer. I just got into craft beers about four years ago and I haven’t looked back since. The beer is definitely pricier than your usual bud light, but it’s definitely worth every penny.

            David, I’d like to see your list too.

          • Juan this list is great. I’m nowhere near the Stout aficionado that you are (I tend more towards ales and craft lagers) so it’s great to have some insightful recommendations in that area. I have had the Ola Dubh 16 year reserve (and the 12 year I believe) and I thought both were excellent. Also it was awesome to see a Sam Smith’s beer on your list. Being North Yorkshire based they’re a local brewery for me and I enjoy several of their beers. If you ever visit England I’d also recommend visiting one of the many Sam Smith owned pubs. They’re fiercely independent, only selling their own brand of everything (even peanuts) and are incredibly well priced. In a city like York or Leeds where the average price of a pint is almost £4.00 you can go to a Sam Smith pub and get a pint of one of their beers for as little as £1.20. Amazing.

            Anyway, these are all going on my Christmas beer list. The shop in York that I frequent is small but they have a good amount of beers from all over the world so there’s a good chance I’ll be able to find a at least a few of your recommendations.

            As for a list of my own, that might take some thinking about!

  7. So as to not dismay Jason too much I have some thoughts regarding movies (as opposed to thoughts regarding food and beer):

    So Cody made some comments in the “Gone Girl” discussion regarding his stance that the classification of a movie as horror shouldn’t be dictated entirely by only those who watch a lot of horror movies. I find this a really interesting point and I think it speaks to a wider issue in the horror community regarding genre classification. Horror is easily my favourite genre of film and is swiftly becoming one of my favourite genres of literature but I honestly cannot get my head around the militancy of the horror community when it comes to whether or not certain films should/shouldn’t be classed as horror. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration and respect for the camaraderie, dedication and sincerity of the horror community and I totally understand not wanting the genre to become diluted or bastardised but sometimes the closemindedness gets rather irksome to me. It reminds me of those few folks you always find in the local punk scene who refuse to acknowledge a band if they use more than 3 chords or have a keyboardist or don’t have the right hairstyles or something. Being that dogmatic and restrictive is like the least punk thing ever man. You’re missing the point.

    I mean let’s face it, as horror fans we have to put up with some pretty crappy stuff a lot of the time so personally if there’s a genuinely good movie out there with even the most remote elements of horror then I want to know about it. Yes I’m a true horror fan and yes I love the genre but good god would I rather watch something like “Se7en” or “Misery” or potentially “Gone Girl” than have to see another hollow, cash-grab remake or endure the coma of the latest “Paraplegic Activity” nowt-fest.

    I’m with you Cody.

    • I agree with you 100%, David, and I also really enjoyed what Cody had to say.

      Jason and I come at it from a slightly different place as podcast hosts. You may or may not be aware that we previously podcasted on a Horror Network called Horror Palace, run by BillChete. There was a huge amount of the support and camaraderie when we were podcasting there, but also a strong, hard-line approach to what was an wasn’t horror. MISERY … for most of that crowd, not horror. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS … for most of that crowd, not horror. And they would let us know very vocally. That network and those shows were so popular, and so much MORE popular than any other horror podcasting endeavors on the web, I think we were honestly a little intimidated to not give the fans what they wanted. It got to the point where I would feel nervous if I would bring up a non-horror movie as a reference. That just got beat into us over there.

      The thing is, Jay, Doc and I aren’t really like that. We’re all big horror fans, but we’re also cinephiles in general, so there is a lot more conversation to be had if we can break out of those constrictions of the horror community. When Jason approached me and Kyle about doing HMP, I was adamant that I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed like we were before. I saw this as an opportunity to create a community of like-minded horror fans that were more interested in (pseudo) intellectual conversation, the dissecting of themes, technical aspects, film history etc than simply tallying boobs and body-counts. Still, old habits die hard and even though we’ve found a (admittedly smaller) audience that enjoys what we enjoy, we still find ourselves slipping into that old horror-podcasting mindset of “Oh, the horror fans aren’t going to like this…” which I actually reject on an intellectual level. It’s just hard to remember emotionally.

      To combat this, I have emphasized something I heard Jay do first which was to explore a gradient of genre classification in our review summaries, ie: ALIENS is first an action film, second a sci fi film, and third a horror film.

      So, anyway, I was really happy with Cody’s comments and I was very pleased to read yours as well. Thanks for sharing that. I will try not to put too much stock in that etherial notion of the “average horror fan” as I often do. Like I said on this episode, me and Jason and Andy are all horror fans and we enjoyed this movie, so we shouldn’t be telling other horror fans to be weary. I’d just say, the more overt horror aspects don’t show up until the last 1/4 of the film. And, I’d also say, this is much less a horror film than either SE7EN or MISERY, since you bring those up.

      GONE GIRL is first a crime thriller/procedural and second a relationship drama with strong revenge film elements, some graphic violence, and some minor thematic horror elements.

      • Josh, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed and insightful reply.

        I feel like there are so many facets to this whole issue that I’d love to see you broach it on Horror Movie Podcast at some point (though I do understand that you guys probably have a bunch more pertinent stuff to cover over there). I’d love to hear a debate about why something like “Silence of the Lambs” is/isn’t horror (or indeed what its varying classifications on Jays genre gradient scale might be and why). I’ve heard people argue that that movie in particular isn’t horror because it involves too many elements of a police procedural but I’ve always felt that that’s just the context around which the horror manifests. Using that same logic couldn’t the horror credentials of “Scream” be brought into question by its highschool drama elements? At what point of dilution does a film stop being 100% horror? If “Silence of the Lambs” is a Psychological Thriller/Horror/Police Procedural why should the notable horror elements (An antagonist who wants to make a suit out of women’s skin, a guy strung up with his guts hanging out, a character wearing a man’s torn off face as a disguise etc.) be cancelled out by the elements from other genres. Aren’t most horror films essentially compounds often containing characteristics from external genres? A lot of Slasher movies owe as much to the Mystery genre as they do anything else.

        I always guessed that films like “Silence of the Lambs” were distanced from the horror genre by snobby critics who didn’t wish to heap acclaim on something considered in their community as exploitative and lowly, so it just seems really regressive to me that rather than rail against that attitude and proudly hold “Silence of the Lambs” up as an example of how the horror genre can be very well executed, the horror community would instead reject it based on some nebulous and futile notion that we should only talk about/enjoy films that are 100% hardcore, unadulterated horror. Shouldn’t true horror fans want the genre to be at its best rather than insular and stagnant? And isn’t horror at its best when it’s pushing boundaries, defying convention and taking us by surprise?

        There seems to be this idea that all we want in our horror films are boobs and gore (Character development, atmosphere, intelligent writing, artistic filmmaking be damned!) but personally I think (or maybe hope) that’s a myth and not a particularly constructive one. Maybe that’s the sort of thinking that leads to something like “Texas Chainsaw 3D” where we have a huge gaping anachronistic plot hole that shows a total lack of respect for the audience and the infamous “get ’em cuz!” dialogue that shows a total lack of respect for the characters.

        All that said though; I do like some of my horror films to be kind of dumb and goofy and exploitative but I just think that when discussing the genre there’s room for considering more divergent/less conventional material. Why the need to be restrictive and elitist? And hey maybe I’m totally wrong in my outlook but I think it’s at least worthy of intelligent discussion. Anyway, sorry for the rambling and probably nonsensical essay. It’s just something that’s been on my mind a lot lately.

        P.S. I’ve probably said it before but the reason that HMP is my favourite podcast is that all the hosts approach the genre with such open-mindedness and analytical intent. I really can’t stress how much I appreciate that stuff.

        • Thanks, David. Much appreciated. I agree with the majority of what you had to say. It was very eloquently put.

          For me, I guess I’m practicing avoidence on the issue. I feel I’m pretty inclusive when it comes to horror. I, for one, don’t believe those non-horror-genre elements “cancel-out” the horror elements, they just let the audience know how much of each genre a film has. Based on your break-down of Silence of the Lambs, I’d say it has quite a lot of horror. Maybe 1/2 the film. maybe more. Gone Girl, in my opinion, has very little of what I consider to be horror. Maybe 1/4, tops. I think that descriptive sort of classification is very useful for an audience.

          We actually discuss this topic in a round about way quite often on HMP. I think the most recent discussion was on The Sacrament, where I took the more hard-line stance. If you’ve never heard HMP episode 1, I think you’d enjoy our discussion on this topic.

          • I agree that the descriptive classifications that you guys often use are very useful for letting the audience know what they’re getting. I don’t want to come across like I don’t appreciate that you have to be considerate of the audience you cater to; I understand that lots of horror fans do just want their movie recommendations to fit neatly into the genre they love and I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, I think I just sometimes feel disenfranchised when I see the “Don’t cover any movies that are anything other than strictly 100% horror” attitude. Partly because often those fringe movies are the ones that capture my interest the most but mainly because I don’t know how anybody can accurately determine such a subjective and indefinite classification.

            I also don’t want to seem as though I’m not acknowledging how much you guys have already touched on this issue over at HMP. I’ve listened to all of the episodes over there and you definitely have dealt with it on several occasions (and probably more than I recall; my memory ain’t what it once was). I think really I’m hoping for a tidal shift in the perceived attitude of the stereotypical horror fan but maybe that’s a vain hope.

            I have to say that “The Sacrament” episode was probably one of the rare times that I’ve come down totally on Jay’s side in a debate. I did understand where you were coming from though and I also appreciated that the discussion was much improved by your opposing stance. Those are the kind of discussions I want to hear all horror fans having on all the horror podcasts!

          • No, I hear you on all of those points.

            Also, understand that my initial reasoning for NOT wanting to cover The Sacrement was that I thought it was on the smaller percentage end of straight horror and I was afraid Jay was going to penalize the film for that. He often counts his perceptions or expectations going in–from the trailer or poster or even title–against the movie.

            We had battled over Black Rock (which I thought was a fun movie, but he disliked) mostly because he was upset that it wasn’t what (he thought) was advertised in the trailer. Another more recent example was the poster for The Two Faces of January. You may remember that he said the “look” on Kirsten Dunst’s face on the poster had set up false expectations for the tone of the film. I watched the movie this week and quite enjoyed it, expectation duly lowered.

            So, anyway, The Sacrament was a rare exception. I was saying it wasn’t horror, initially, to protect it from Jason. I wanted to cover it as a thriller on MPW. Most of the rest (as I remember it) was just me being a dick, having some fun with Jason about those Wes Craven and James Woo non-horror films.

            I agree with your points. I just don’t see a sea-change coming. In fact, we had another internal debate for an upcoming themed episode of HMP where Jay didn’t want to review what I saw as the thematically-best films bc they were less horror than some other options. Round and round we go!

          • Yeah, I actually kind of forgot that that was the basis of your argument. I think I was kind of baffled by that because I initially found it so odd that Jay might lower his rating of a movie simply based on it not falling totally in line with some presumed conventions. Being in the position where I don’t have to worry about potentially steering any folks totally wrong with a recommendation, it can be hard to relate to the way that podcast hosts might shift their rating depending on the audience that the particular podcast is tailored towards. This is another issue which is intriguing to me because on one hand I think a rating of 8/10 is a rating of 8/10 whether it’s a horror movie or not but I get that on a genre specific podcast a rating might need to reflect how compatible the film is with the target audience. Ultimately this is a problem inherent in giving a number rating to any kind of art I guess.

            Ultimately Jay can be unfair, especially with his prescient deductions based on terrible spoofs yet to be made, so I do understand that you just wanted “The Sacrament” to be reviewed without any prejudice but I also understood Jay’s argument that it was relevant via context. Either way I’m glad that you guys had that argument and it’s one I’d like to hear more. Maybe if you guys are butting-heads over why a movie should/shouldn’t qualify for a themed episode you should record that discussion and offer it in a bonus episode or save it for a clip-show or something. I’m a fan of full disclosure when it comes to this stuff.

          • I hear ya.

            BTW, you’ll definitely hear me mention those films during the episode. We just won’t be dedicating full reviews to them.

            I don’t know that we’re looking to record any more conversations, but you’re welcome to glance through the email exchange! Haha. I promise, it’s not that interesting or we’d save it for the show.

          • Haha, I think I’m coming across as a jerk who just wants to bear witness to you and Jay going at each others throats!

            I’ll pass on your email disclosure offer as I certainly do trust you guys to be vocal about your opinions and include all the interesting bits of debate.

            Also it’s good to know that you’ve got more themed episodes in the works. They’re my favourites. In fact I just re-listened to the Proto-Slasher one the other day and boy is that a great episode!

      • I’m going back and listening to some of these old MPWs that occurred before I discovered you guys, and although I realize that no one has commented here in a year and a half, I felt compelled to respond to your (and the rest of the crew’s) take on Gone Girl.


        Josh, you mention noticing the tonal shift midway through the film, but it seems you (and the others) didn’t quite put your fingers on (at least at the time this podcast was taped) exactly what Fincher and Flynn were doing. Then again, having read and heard many audience member responses, it seems a lot of other people couldn’t see it either, which, I suppose, begs the question of whether Fincher and Flynn were truly successful.

        The movie (as well as the book) veers heavily into a satire about marriage the moment the reveal is made of Amy being alive and faking the diary. I (and one or two others in my movie theater) burst out laughing at the extended montage of Amy methodically throwing frilly pens out her car window while she details her insanely elaborate plan to send her husband to the gas chamber just for being a cheating, lazy schlub. Since I found the scene so damn funny – and knew immediately the movie was heading straight into satire – it’s a bit hard for me to grasp why everyone else didn’t recognize it as well, but it seems many people just weren’t expecting (or couldn’t accept) that the *real* twist in a murder mystery was a genre shift from crime thriller into nothing less than a satirical farce.

        If, by now, you haven’t re-watched the film and recognized what is actually happening in the second half of the film (viewed as satirical farce, many of the over-the-top scenes are just hilarious – e.g. the scene in the hospital room packed with fifty law enforcement personnel hanging on Amy’s every word), or if you haven’t read something which gave the twist away (e.g. Fincher’s interview where he compares the tone he was going for in the film to National Lampoon’s classic 1977 satirical record album, “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick”), then I highly recommend going back and watching it again with this in mind – everything in the latter half of the film: the tonal shift, the growing exaggeration in scene after scene, Nick’s insane desire to stay with Amy, etc. – will snap perfectly into place.

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