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The Taylor Sheridan Episode – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

Taylor Sheridan

In what is somehow our second longest episode to date, we decided to take a look at the quickly-escalating career of writer/director Taylor Sheridan, in honor of this summer’s controversial new release Sicario: Day of the Soldado. We discuss the themes, politics, and marketing tactics of the new release, as well as our predictions for the planned third installment. We were all surprised to find out how much we geek out over Sheridan’s stories, and we hope that you’ll give it a listen, whether you’ve seen the movies or not. Enjoy!

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia!

SHOW NOTES:

Go on…The Taylor Sheridan Episode – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

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Cinemaholics Review: A Quiet Place and Blockers

quiet place

Special guest Rebecca Pahle came on the show this week to help us break the silence on A Quiet Place, a new horror film that’s impressing at the box office and earned an A- from me in my review. Directed by perennial camera-shrugger John Krasinski (AKA Jim Halpert and that guy you actually recognize in the indie movie you’re watching), A Quiet Place is sure to take some moviegoers by surprise with its tense, emotional storytelling, and with Krasinski starring alongside real-life wife Emily Blunt, it’s safe to say this is a film worth talking loudly about.

Later in the show, we reviewed Blockers, a new teen comedy starring Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz. I shared my thoughts on King in the Wilderness, a new Martin Luther King Jr. documentary on HBO. Will finally saw Isle of Dogs and Unsane. And Maveryke caught Wind River, a 2017 movie that just hit Netflix streaming.

Question for you: How would you survive in a world where you can’t make a sound?

Go on…Cinemaholics Review: A Quiet Place and Blockers

‘A Quiet Place’ Is Scary For Kids, But Terrifying For Adults

QUIET PLACE

I don’t have children, so I have to imagine the new film A Quiet Place is far more frightening for a parent than it could hope to be for someone like me. It’s probably more impactful, too.

In A Quiet Place, most of the world has been eradicated. A young family of survivors has to live as silently as possible to avoid the blind, super-hearing creatures who prey upon anything making a sound. Danger is everywhere. The family can’t escape these bulletproof nightmares.

So the family perseveres by creating strict, logical rules. They communicate with lights and sign language. They walk barefoot. They make soundproof trails and play board games with cloth materials. The message is quiet, but it’s clear. To parents in any context, the world is a scary place, and every family has a set of idiosyncratic methods for raising their children. In this case, it’s playing a high-stakes version of “the quiet game.”

Go on…‘A Quiet Place’ Is Scary For Kids, But Terrifying For Adults

Review: ‘Sicario’ Proves that Even Bleak Movies Should Look Amazing

sicario review

Sicario was directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Taylor Sheridan. It stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Daniel Kaluuya.

The movie centers around a government task force that attempts to take down the head of a Mexican drug cartel with an unorthodox strategy. Emily Blunt plays Kate, a seasoned FBI agent with a strict code of morality. She has to team up with other agents who are a bit more loose with the rules.

One of these agents is Alejandro, played by Del Toro, whose mysterious and apparently violent past puts him at odds with Kate throughout the film. Matt, played by Brolin, is their sarcastic, always-a-step-ahead leader who persists on keeping Kate in the dark about what’s really going on. 

This movie has a very simple premise paired with a high level of intensity. Your mind won’t be blown by anything that happens, but you’ll still enjoy the ride. This is because Villeneuve teamed up with cinematographer Roger Deakins (who is also working on the Blade Runner sequel) to make this otherwise straightforward thriller into a beautiful work of film.

sicario review

The attention to detail is certainly the best aspect of Sicario, followed closely by Del Toro’s incredible performance. Every set piece is brilliantly shot with an authentic sense of lighting and sound effects. When a silenced weapon is shot in a hallway, you see and hear the shells scatter on the floor. Scenes taking place at night actually have shadows and lighting that isn’t glossed to spoon-feed you the reactions of the actors. You have to guess at times what’s going on behind the dark.

All of this sets Sicario up to be a memorable action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it delivers that promise well. Unfortunately, a few hefty flaws hold this movie back from being a true masterpiece. The main one is that the story itself is incredibly one-note.

The movie begins with high stakes. And every big set piece that follows somewhat fails to elevate the intensity. Sicario essentially builds up to a bombastic third act that never happens. Though the third act is still great, it’s only about as interesting as the first two. I found myself caring less and less about the fate of certain characters because I’d grown used to seeing them in these perilous situations, and the writing wasn’t strong enough to keep me invested in anyone but Del Toro.

sicario review

While Blunt’s performance is impressive, her character slowly becomes difficult to understand or connect with. This isn’t a problem early in the film when we’re experiencing the confusion of the situation through her eyes. Her naiveté is excusable, then.

But once the third act comes along, Kate’s increasingly bizarre decisions and lack of tact for an FBI agent make it hard for you to care about her arc, mostly because it doesn’t grow her. She actually becomes less dynamic.

Several other characters in the film do little to propel the plot forward, and I believe this movie could have done a better job at cutting the fat and focusing on characters who seemed more interesting, including a group of “cowboy” agents who didn’t get enough screen time.

That said, and I can’t say this enough, Del Toro alone is worth the price of admission for this film, as his lines are easily the most memorable in the entire movie. Everything he says and does steals the show from everyone else onscreen, and I’ll be watching the movie again just to relive one of his final scenes in the movie.

sicario review

Grade: A-

I recommend this movie to anyone who loves superb cinematography and interesting action thrillers. But if you’re expecting something as subversive as Prisoners or Enemy (Villeneuve’s last two films), you may not get exactly what you want out of Sicario. At the very least, however, you’ll get to see Benicio Del Toro make his case for a “Best Supporting Actor” nomination.

If you’ve seen Sicario, let me know what you think in the comments, and be sure to check out this week’s podcast, where we discuss the film in more detail.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Trailer Breakdown: Edge of Tomorrow

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.47.49 AM

I originally wrote this post on Moviepilot.

Summing this movie trailer up in one sentence is ridiculously doable. Unfortunately, I want you to actually read this before you click away and do something productive, so let’s get started on breaking down Edge of Tomorrow.

Our star is none other than Tom Cruise, Scientology’s favorite son (or sun?) and Emily Blunt. In other words, I’m halfway excited about the casting here.

Let’s check out the trailer first and discuss:

Go on…Trailer Breakdown: Edge of Tomorrow

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