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Alcohollywood's spinoff mini-cast On Tap returns! Every so often, we'll be providing you with exclusive interviews, reviews and festival coverage alongside the regular podcast. Hope you enjoy!
To kick off our (semi-) inaugural installment, Clint reviews Leigh Whannell's upcoming sci-fi thriller Upgrade. After losing his wife and the use of his limbs after a tragic attack, a man (Logan Marshall-Green) equips himself with an experimental technological upgrade to regain the ability to walk - using his newfound powers to track down the men who killed his wife. It's lean, bloody and immensely entertaining, with more than a few neat tricks to spice up its bone-crunching action and enticingly rendered near-future world.
Along the way, Clint sits down with Whannell to discuss the conception of the film's cyberpunk world, choreographing intricate fight scenes, and finding the perfect voice for Upgrade's all-powerful technology. Take a listen!
(To read Clint's full review of Upgrade, head over to Consequence of Sound.)
For this episode, we crashed Hotel Moxy in downtown Chicago for their inaugural Moxy SoundOff Podcast Series, trapping ourselves in a little glass booth for the entertainment of our live audience. Since this live podcast took place in a hotel, and we've already done The Shining, we decided to tackle the second-greatest movie set in a hotel - Dunston Checks In!
This kiddie caper set in an art-deco Manhattan hotel stars Jason Alexander as your classic overworked '90s dad, who must suddenly contend with a jewel-thief orangutan loose in his hotel. Luckily, his adorable kids (including Eric Lloyd from The Santa Clause) have already befriended Dunston, and they set out to stop his former master (Rupert Everett) from... stealing stuff, I think?
To our great shock and horror, we ended up liking Dunston Checks In a lot more than we expected. Come listen to our astonished, modest praise of this slapsticky kid's flick, and check out our custom cocktail and drinking game here!
What does it take to change the essence of a man? This week, we find out (along with regular guest Derek Jarvis) as we dive into Steven Seagal's eco-friendly auteur explosion-fest, On Deadly Ground!
Seagal's sole director credit, On Deadly Ground features He of the Ponytail as oil-fire specialist/secret military badass Forrest Taft, a fixer for evil petroleum exec Michael Jennings (Michael Caine, doing his damndest to sound American) in the Alaskan oil fields. After he uncovers a conspiracy to knowingly allow their new super-rig to blow up just so they can keep the rights to Native American land, Taft teams up with perpetually useless Native representative Masu (Joan Chen) to bludgeon, explode, and gun down every single one of Jennings' mercenaries - you know, for Mother Earth.
On Deadly Ground is suffused with a healthy dose of Steven Seagal earnestness, gross native mysticism, and a hamfisted environmental message that would make Greenpeace execs wrinkle their nose. (Don't forget the incredible non sequitur bar fight that suddenly turns into a treatise on toxic masculinity.)
It's a crazy, crazy ride, so take a listen and check out our custom cocktail and drinking game!
Jared's been zapped into another dimension, so Jon Espino of The Young Folks and HollywoodChicago.com joins Clint to investigate the mysteries of Netflix's Super Bowl-marketed sci-fi disaster The Cloverfield Paradox!
A previously-unrelated sci-fi thriller given the J.J. Abrams treatment, The Cloverfield Paradox turns Julius Onah's The God Particle into a confusing, meandering installment of Paramount's favorite clearinghouse for original sci-fi movies!
Here, the crew of the Cloverfield Station (Daniel Bruhl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Ortiz, Chris O'Down, David Oyelowo, Ziyi Zhang, Aksel Hennie) run a Large Hadron Collider in space to solve the world's energy crisis. Once they fire it up, though, they find themselves in another reality with the Earth gone, a mysterious visitor (Elizabeth Debicki) stuck in the wall, and all kinds of crazy dimension-warping shenanigans.
That sounds really cool, right? Unfortunately, it becomes a boring slog of flat characters, confusing technobabble and some arbitrary connections to the rest of the otherwise-solid Cloverfield universe. Still, Clint and Jon soldier on for your pleasure - listen and check out our custom cocktail and drinking game!
Danger, Will Robinson! With Netflix's reboot of Lost in Space coming out today, we (along with Lauren Faits, co-host of She-Ra: Progressive of Power) decided to talk about the first time the classic sci-fi show got revamped: the 1998 film Lost in Space!
Reverse-engineering the campy 60s TV show into a four-quadrant CG blockbuster, Lost in Space sees the Space Family Robinson (William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, Jack Johnson) hurtled into unknown space along with their Robot and cocky pilot Don West (Matt LeBlanc) after traitorous Dr. Smith (Gary Oldman) sabotages the ship. It's got everything you expect from the 90s - shitty techno remixes of the original theme, annoying CG space monkeys and pre-Youtube teen vlogging!
Clint thinks it has its charms (including Oldman, the bubbly, neon-soaked production design and the rousing Western-tinged score by Bruce Broughton); Jared and Lauren are...less than convinced by the hokey script and flat performances.
Does it deserve its status as the film that finally sunk Titanic from its 15-week reign at the box office? Or should we just wait for the Netflix show instead? Find out, along with our custom cocktail and drinking game!
Somebody once told us to watch the 2001 ensemble road comedy Rat Race - we ain't the sharpest tools in the shed, so we did it (along with our very own all-star, Theo Estes)!
The latest in a long tradition of star-studded broad comedies featuring groups of A-list actors on a wacky cross-country race, like It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Cannonball Run, Rat Race follows a half dozen strangers (including Whoopi Goldberg, Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Rowan Atkinson) who are tapped by a wealthy benefactor (John Cleese) to race from Las Vegas to Silver City, New Mexico, where $2 million awaits them. From there, it's a madcap chase to the finish line as they run into murderous taxi drivers, cows on hot-air balloons, and charter buses full of Lucille Ball cosplayers.
Between Smash Mouth cameos, tongue studs and Mr. Bean in a motion picture, Rat Race is early-aughts as hell, but there are a few charms here and there. But hey, you never know if you don't go, and you'll never shine if you don't glow - so listen to our podcast, and check out our custom cocktail and drinking rules below!
Erin go bragh, faithful listeners! This week, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day with our very own St. Patrick MacDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, as we down a pint and fight some beasties with the Irish horror comedy Grabbers!
When a sleepy Irish town is beset by extraterrestrial octopods with a thirst for blood, the town must rally around an alcoholic local cop (Richard Coyle) and his straight-laced partner (Ruth Bradley) to fight them off the only way they know how - by getting piss drunk!
Much like previous podcast subject Attack the Block, Grabbers is deeply indebted to the droll horror-comedy humor of Edgar Wright, and manages to find its own charms within that level of sincere imitation. Check out our thoughts, along with our custom cocktail and drinking game, below!
It's Oscar season once again, and like we do every year, we do a deep dive into one of the Best Picture nominees! This time around, Michael Snydel of The Film Stage joins Clint (who's a little stuffy this episode, apologies in advance!) and Jared to talk about Guillermo del Toro's nomination-sweeping fantasy love story The Shape of Water!
Set in a Cold War-era America filtered through del Toro's intricate dark-fantasy lens, The Shape of Water follows Eliza, a lovesick mute girl (Sally Hawkins) who falls for an man-like fish creature (Doug Jones) imprisoned in an American military research facility by the evil Strickland (Michael Shannon). Along with her band of outsiders and misfits, Eliza schemes to break the fishman out of the facility and get him home.
Opinions vary on whether this is one of del Toro's mythic masterpieces or a flawed blend of mish-mashed tones and influences, but it makes for an intriguing discussion all the same. Check out our episode, as well as our custom cocktail and drinking game!
Happy Valentine's Day, sweethearts! Tighten your straps and practice your safe words, because we're getting kinky with 2015's Fifty Shades of Grey!
The lovely Katie Rife (The AV Club) joins us to discuss Sam Taylor-Johnson's joyless adaptation of EL James' dangerously unsexy
Twilight fanfiction novels detailing the dom/sub love affair between clumsy ingenue Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and brooding baby-billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). In between, we discuss issues of kink, consent, the dark underbelly of Christian and Ana's relationship, and the film's troubling absence of dong. Also, some fun Mad Libs of one of the book's steamier segments!
Enjoy our episode, along with our custom cocktail and drinking game below!
The Alcohollywood podcast is back after a month hiatus! We're moving to new episodes every two weeks, but we'll still bring you all the goodies you've come to expect.
For this episode, we usher in 2018 with the found-footage horror flick Apollo 18, about a group of NASA astronauts at the height of the Cold War launching a clandestine moon mission to spy on the Russkies. What they find, however, is more than they expected... and, given the film's found-footage conceit, kinda hard to see. Join us (along with returning guest Nick Freed) as we plant our flag in this forgotten relic of the post-Paranormal Activity era, and see if it's got the right stuff. Check out our custom cocktail and drinking game below!