Podcast Sept 14 – The Predator, The Nun and White Boy Rick

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before….The Predator, the Nun and White Boy Rick walk into a bar…ah, you have? I see. Then you know the punchline is that these are three of the new films in theatres this week.

Even The Nun is a week late for us, as Cory captured the ghostly phenom last night. First, he reviews the latest entry in the Predator series, appropriately named…..The PredatorThis film is directed by Shane Black and features Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook and Sterling K. Brown, as well as Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane and Keegan-Michael Key. Phew, what a cast.

After those two films, we move up to Detroit in the 1980s and breakout star Richie Merritt in White Boy Rickwhich details life growing up in the inner city as drugs and violence encroach on young man’s journey. His father is played by Matthew McConaughey, still trying to prove to us the Oscar wasn’t a fluke.

Beyond that, Cory listens to Tristan discuss mumblecore indie Duck Butterfeaturing Alia Shawkat and Laia Costa, as well as his first time witnessing the fantasy epic Labyrinthwhich stars David Bowie in his most iconic role alongside a nubile Jennifer Connelly. For those that lamented The Happytime Murders, it’s time to take a step back and revisit his father’s classic.

All this, and well….just take a listen, remembering to comment responsibly:

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Music to Your Ears: Eminem, Alkaline Trio and Paul McCartney

I somehow missed a week, Labor Day and the start of the NFL season threw me for a loop. Let’s take a glance at the latest two weeks, chock full of melodic, delightful oddities:

Eminem – Kamikaze

A surprise debut on the final Friday in August, this unsettlingly strange Labor Day rap album became more laborious as it went along. I used to think of Eminem as a malcontent intent on spreading venom that turned up as daisies at the end of the day. He always seemed to want to push the latest divisive sentiment, a shock jock stuck in a white rapper’s body. Coming out of Detroit, he always dreamt he was destined for something greater than his upbringing. Now that he’s achieved all that, even on the back of tracks that weren’t up to true rap standards, what can he lose? Kamikaze has been controversial for all the typical reasons, which makes it all the more boring when you realize the content isn’t even approachable to the outlier listener. In my hot take opinion, Eminem is long past his expiration date.

Key Tracks: Lucky You / Not Alike / Good Guy

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Good Sports: NFL 2018 Playoff Predictions

So as the Raiders-Rams game dwindles in the late hours of Monday night, I’ll quickly spin my thoughts on the other end of the 2018 season. Last season, I chose Green Bay over Oakland, and Aaron Rodgers fell apart physically while Derek Carr fell apart mentally. In 2016, I went with Cincinnati over Green Bay and watched Andy Dalton stumble in the postseason as usual. 2015, in the very first Good Sports article, I thought Arizona would dismantle Pittsburgh in a revenge Super Bowl, but instead both teams lost to the eventual NFC and AFC winners, Carolina and Denver (who went on to win overall). At least I was closest that first year. What do we have in store for us this time?

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Podcast Sept 10 – Operation Finale, Searching, Like Father and The Last Movie Star

We here at Interjections have yet another beloved actor to discuss in the wake of their passing, this past week’s star being Burt Reynolds.

Cory and Tristan start off discussing the career of the man who loved Sally Field and segue into what became his final film, and strange retrospective of his life, The Last Movie Star.

From there, they begin on the latest releases, including multi-screen marvel Searching, starring John Cho as a father hoping that social media will assist him in finding his missing daughter. From there Cory also highlights a genre mash-up of aliens, criminals and little brothers in Kin.

The strangest entry of the week has to be the twelfth entry in the Puppet Master series, with The Littlest Reich debuting earlier this April and starring Thomas Lennon. The true kicker here is that it’s written by talented writer/director S. Craig Zahler.

Next we discuss the chemistry between Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as they head off to a Destination WeddingTristan brings up the past by viewing two Gene Simmons films from the mid-80s, where he stars as a villain against John Stamos and Tom Selleck in Never Too Young to Die and Runaway respectively.

Next the pair discuss a film they actually both saw, last week’s historical viewpoint Operation Finale, where Oscar Isaac brings along the Mossad to try and kidnap Ben Kingsley’s Adolph Eichmann, returning him to trial in Israel.

Tristan goes over a handful of recent films starring top-flight actresses, including Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in the repressive Orthodox Jewish drama DisobedienceMargot Robbie in the abysmally unfortunate Tarantino knockoff Terminal and Jessica Chastain as painter Catherine Weldon, who heads off to Dakota territory to paint Sitting Bull in Woman Walks Ahead.

Finally Tristan discusses two of his most anticipated films of last year and this year with the Blue Sky animated frolic Ferdinand and the Netflix father-daughter reunion Like Father, starring Kelsey Grammer and Kristen Bell.

With this double dose of discussion, we’d love if you listen to all of it! Tune in below, and don’t forget to comment responsibly:

Reynolds Wrap

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With or without his trademark mustache, Burt Reynolds was a demigod on two legs and four wheels. His most crowd-pleasing sleeper was ‘Smokey & The Bandit’ but Burt was more prolific than just vehicular mayhem and Southern-fried charm. For every ‘The Longest Yard’ and ‘Deliverance’, there was a relatively minor entry in Burt’s dilating filmography. While I consider myself a Reynolds-phile, there are several titles I have neglected to see heretofore. Since his recent passing cast such a wide pallor over my fondness for his legacy, I’ve decided to hydroplane over his blockbusters and throttle through his lesser-known pictures.

Navajo Joe (1965)

For some reason, Burt was typecast as a Native American in his early career from Gunsmoke to this spaghetti western. While he was quite swarthy at the time, his looks are distinctly WASP-y. Sergio Corbucci doesn’t dawdle with superfluous runtime before a group of desperadoes remorselessly slaughter Navajo Joe’s (Reynolds) tribe wholesale. A scalping of a Native woman is particularly grisly. As with most Dino De Laurentiis productions, the film is boldly lurid on a wide canvass. Genre plagiarist Quentin Tarantino even purloined some of the musical cues for Kill Bill and for good reason, the score is sensationally thunderous.

As Joe, Reynolds is nearly apparitional as a majority of the flick hinges on the outlaws. He looms over the hillside and vanishes after extracting vengeance. The dubbing is venial since Burt is just looping himself. The film itself is unrelentingly grungy, sharply lean and viciously wanton (various horses are visibly injured for a stagecoach stunt and later a tree branch topples onto one). Burt is more virile than ever and he looks athletically possessed when he bounding over horses and firing rifles at his enemies. This is truly an unsung gem in Burt’s catalogue.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Heat (1986)

Based on a novel by William Goldman, the wunderkind behind ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’, ‘Heat’ was a downswing for Burt after the colossal box-office dud that was ‘City Heat’. Originally earmarked for ambient-floor-noise auteur Robert Altman, the film vacillated between two other directors and the end result is a disjointed, capricious adaptation in the guise of a burnished character study. The shortcomings are not the screenplay which is chock-full of quotable colloquy (“I’m not a virgin except in my heart.”) that doesn’t falter into the Goldman quagmire of being too overripe and quippy.

The phlegmatic direction by either Dick Richards and Jerry Jameson is the reason for the film’s perdition. The quizzical introduction to Nick Escalante’s (Reynolds) “chaperone” occupation limps along without energy. The few action scenes are irrevocably hamstrung by jarringly feckless slow-motion and conspicuous stunt doubles (Burt’s akimbo kick into an overhead light is obviously not the 50-year-old Reynolds). Additionally, DeMarco (Neill Barry), the avaricious, misogynistic villain, is a sniveling, skinny underachiever who poses no threat to Nick. Equally dispiriting is the anticlimactic comeuppance for DeMarco.

Rating: 2.25 out of 5

City Heat (1984)

Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were peers from their contract-player days and it was only a matter of time before the two machismo juggernauts would join each other for a dual vanity project. Of the pair, Reynolds is the more daffy but the picture is oddly mirthless and stillborn despite the pedigree of the stars and director Richard Benjamin. Burt is too overcranked with his Mel Blanc reactions while the more low-key Eastwood can easily elicit a snicker from an eyebrow twitch when his coffee is accidentally splattered during a thug confrontation.

Speaking of the tussle quotient, in lieu of a rapturous storyline, the film is a Sisyphean string of fist fights and brawls (one of which was the catalyst for Burt’s jaw to be wired shut and a subsequent weight loss). What exactly is side-splitting about a multitude of glanced punches? Somehow, the 1933 period environment is strictly insular and cloistral with the studio backlot shrinking the milieu.

Perhaps a backlash of ego, Eastwood and Reynolds hardly share the frame together. They investigate the murder of Murphy’s (Reynolds) partner on parallel treks that scarcely intersect. While the film is scandalously bereft of chortles, it won’t trigger vehement hatred because of the jovial aura underneath the hapless flotsam. One peculiar sidenote is Reynolds is masticating on a matchstick at one point which could be the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s eccentricities in the mammoth guilty pleasure ‘Cobra’.

Rating: 1.75 out of 5

Good Sports: AFC West

At long last, we’re here! The final division of the NFL 2018 season. Let’s start with the last team to get a game:

Oakland Raiders

 

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Derek Carr must be so hungry for his first real chance at the postseason. He sniffed it in 2016 before going down in December and missing what might have been his best run. Now that he might have a fully healthy season, he can try to shake the rust off and reacquaint himself with Amari Cooper and welcome Jordy Nelson into the Oakland system. Jared Cook comes over from Green Bay, while the team has enlisted Doug Martin to back-up the flighty Marshawn Lynch. The pieces are there, it’s just a question of whether we’ll see the Derek Carr of his rookie season, or the Derek Carr of his disappointing 2017.

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Good Sports: NFC West

We’re so close I can taste it – my team exists in this division, but won’t be doing too well this go-around. Let’s take a look:

Seattle Seahawks

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I love my Rainy City boys, but they aren’t going to win this division. Maybe it’s just my nature, but at the hint of trouble – the downswing in sports that happens to every franchise, I have no faith. Despite having a quarterback on the fringe of elite status, the entire offensive line is virtually departed or retired. Russell Wilson has a lot riding on this season, as it could be the beginning of a handful of seasons where they reside at the bottom of the standings. Can he outlast that, will Seattle get better quick? The best answer to that question, in immediate fashion, is Chris Carson. The fifth-round pick from the 2018 draft was expected to be a filler at training camp while Rashaad Penny would be the future for the team, a next Marshawn Lynch. Doug Baldwin is still around, and will keep Russell honest, but they can’t do everything themselves. Without a revitalized o-line or defense, will they survive?

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