Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: THE MACHINE

The_Machine_350“The Machine, Dan? The Machine? Surely you must mean Ex Machina, the dark, sensual drama about a young programmer falling into the thrall of an eerily human-like android, the film that grabbed so much attention earlier this year. That’s the film you’re talking about, right?”

No, no I’m actually talking about The Machine, another film entirely. But in an curious way, I’m talking about Ex Machina as well, because it turns out there are some interesting parallels between the two films, in sufficient quantity that I think it’s well-worth discussion. Click on the player to hear my review, or right-click the link to download.



Journey_to_the_Seventh_Planet_tumblr_mzjw35QKAQ1qkcj94o1_1280_350You know, we’ve always considered as our prime mission an elevation of the level of discourse in movie podcasts. Much like Cahiers du Cinema, we seek to enshrine the world of film as a true art form, analyzing the efforts its creators invest in fulfilling their unique visions,  and exploring how the results serve to elevate humanity’s understanding of itself and the universe.

And then a film comes along that features a group of astronauts on a mission to discover if there’s life on Uranus, and all that goes out the window. A Danish/American co-production starring that ambulatory hunk o’ granite, John Agar, Journey to the Seventh Planet is a film whose supreme silliness only starts with the sophomoric opportunities offered by its central premise. Come join the Temple of Bad team of Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale, and Orenthal Hawkins as they take on a tale that isn’t satisfied with giving film-goers a giant, mutant, cyclopean rat when a giant, mutant, and quite noisy, spider, plus a bevy of women in filmy negligees, can be thrown in as well. Click the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.


MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION: Test of Digitally Delivered Entertainment News

Okay, so this “update” about MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is a little late, but lateness isn’t really an issue here, and there’s a reason for that.

Having not fired up my non-linear editor (NLE) since moving to Philly, I wanted to shake off the cobwebs with a little finger exercise that’d take me through most of the processes I typically use in editing a video. I started thinking about where digital content delivery is going — the Playstations, the Rokus, your various and sundry iPhones — and wondering what would it be like if you could sit down after a hard day and summon up a short, customized news update about the stuff you’re interested in, delivered with a unique style and tone that doesn’t have to cater to a broad audience. What would that look like?

This two-minute report is my attempt to find out.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: SELF/LESS & JELLYFISH EYES & A HARD DAY

Jellyfish Eyes 1_350This is a real “watch this, not that,” segment this time. Self/less was the “serious” opening last weekend — directed by overt stylist Tarsem Singh, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley — and the worst sin that could be leveled at it was that it was kind of stoopid. But then, the weekend also saw the debut of a couple of more compelling releases: Jellyfish Eyes, a family film send-up directed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami; and the delirious Korean noir comedy A Hard Day. Only thing to do is to give ’em all their due and leave it to my listeners’ good judgement. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.


Scott Eastwood Cools Down While Heating Things Up for Davidoff [Paid Video]

“What makes the ocean makes the man,” says Scott Eastwood in this paid video for Davidoff Cool Water (I could be wrong, but the product’s probably not a beverage). And judging by the visuals here, it also makes most women, a quite a few men, feel that certain, special feeling in that certain, special place. Check the spot out below — they’ve also got a hashtag if you’ve just gotta say something about it: #WhatMakesTheOcean.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: THE MIDNIGHT SWIM

Midnight_Swim_08_350You can be forgiven. If your first thought when you hear the phrase, “found-footage mockumentary” is a sincere wish that somebody should have released a Web virus long ago to wipe every copy of The Blair Witch Project off every server on Earth, that’s certainly understandable. So I’m aware of the risk I’m taking by going on record to say that The Midnight Swim — a moody, enigmatic found-footage ghost story about three sisters discovering the ominous mystery surrounding the lake that claimed their mother’s life — demonstrates there’s still something new and moving to be discovered in this debased genre. Click on the player to hear my review for WBAI 99.5FM’s Hour of the Wolf, or right-click the link to download.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: INSIDE OUT

inside-out-d150_20mcs.sel16.171_350Okay, right, yeah, sure, sure: Inside Out is a wall-to-wall wonder, good news for anyone who despaired that the animation studio, Pixar — after numerous missteps — had lost its mojo, and who, frankly, would’ve rejoiced in any glimmer of the ol’ Pixar verve now. It’s better than that, far better. But while you’re alternating between laughter and tears (’cause that’s what Pixar does), you may not realize how much of a tightrope walk this metaphorical tour of a young girl’s psyche is. I explore the challenges faced by the film’s creators in my review for Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf. Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.


A TRIBUTE TO CHRISTOPHER LEE – The Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast

Christopher-Lee-dracula_350No life is forever, not even that of the man who played immortal vampires, mouldering corpses, and psychotic satanists. Christopher Lee had so permanently placed his mark on the world of fantastic film that his death this past week sent a shock wave through film fandom, so assured were we that he’d always be around to bring his wit, gravity, and class to the likes of Dracula, Saruman and Kharis.

In the wake of his loss, Cinefantastique contributors Ted Newsom, Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons got together to reminisce about encounters with the legendary actor, share some famous and not-so-famous anecdotes about his work and life, and evaluate his contribution to the worlds of horror and fantasy. Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: JURASSIC WORLD

JSW_Raptor1Sht16_NoBill_RGB_0416_1_rgb_350Seriously critiquing a film that in its first weekend has managed to gross over a half-billion dollars worldwide is not unlike trying to hand-feed a pork chop to a velociraptor — risks are involved. Nevertheless, there are moments in Jurassic World where it’s clear the makers intended something more ambitious than just giving the audience their anticipated, 3D dino rampage, so it only makes sense to dig a bit deeper and determine whether the message transcends its medium. I endeavor to do that in my review for Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf; click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.


Hour of the Wolf Catch-Up: REALITY

CATCH-UP THURSDAY! Bringing you the Hour of the Wolf review segments that were not posted on their air dates.

From 4/16/15:It’s the movie about the dream about the film about the movie about the dream. Here’s my review of Quentin Dupieux’s surreal comedy, Reality.

Annnnnnd, that catches us up. Thanks for playing!

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