This week, we review a pair of movies about race, violence and oppression in America — its history in the case of Nate Parker’s rousing historical epic The Birth of a Nation, and its legacy in the case of Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, equal parts bawdy battle of the sexes and anguished cry for peace. Plus Danny lets us know what he made of Snowden, Oliver Stone’s Hollywoodified recounting of the adventures of swashbuckling dork Edward Snowden.
With the help of Film Chat pal Dougal MacQueen, we also discuss whether the name of Bad Santa’s director is an anti-Trump rallying cry, we recoil in horror at the revelations about the making of Last Tango In Paris, and we we listen to Richard E Grant tell us all about his perfume.
It's a diverse week on film chat as we discuss 3 films of disparate genres, tones, languages and quality.
Firstly Danny reviews A United Kingdom, a film which indulges David Oyelowo's two favourite pastimes, namely giving inspiring speeches and crying. Coincidentally watching the film allowed Danny's to indulge in two of his favourite past times, namely watching films and talking about them at length.
Then they both review The Wailing, a Korean horror film which generated numerous reactions from them, namely the laughing, the crying and the being scared shitless. And finally Danny reviews the new film by the Dardenne Brothers, namely The Unknown Girl.
PLUS a discussion of a upcoming Houdini biopic, we wonder what Borat would do in 2016 and an exclusive interview with two luminaries of the Belgium art house scene.
Harry Potter is back! At least, in franchise form. JK Rowling and director David Yates have extended the cinematic Potterverse by just a smidge with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a Hogwarts textbook turned glittering 1920s-set romp. Sam's review will help you decide whether its mix of jolly magical critters, delightfully stereotypical culture clashes, and Nazi analogues is for you.
Danny also reviews Paterson, in which rising star Adam Driver fully embraces the spirit of nominative determinism by playing a damn driver - a bus driver, to be exact. The unhurried, reflective film has set critics raving, but features no wizards or dragons. If Jim Jarmusch is hoping to launch a 15-film extended universe franchise with this, well, all we can say is good luck mate.
Also! We discuss listener suggestions to improve classic films, for example making 12 Angry Men's 12 men angrier and Jaws friendlier to sharks; we look forward to Adam McKay teaching us a thing or two about Dick with his upcoming Cheney biopic; and we get into a long brainy chinwag about the wokeness of Harry Potter and whether you can retcon diversity.
This week we review two zoological themed films involving death, betrayal and men of varying attractiveness.
First of Danny reviews Paul Schrader's Dog Eat Dog, a crime film in which Nicholas Cage and Willem Dafoe compete to see who can look more haggard and wearing. Then Sam reviews Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals in which sexy people look sexy while dressed sexily. I hear it's pretty sexy.
Plus we discuss the comic book reboot we're all champing at the bit to see and have an exclusive interview with French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve.
This week, we review Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi head-scratcher Arrival, in which humanity is thrown into a tizzy by the sudden appearance of twelve massive, featureless grey shells with aliens inside them. The film acts as a timely plea for global cooperation, although in light of recent events we spent most of it wishing the shells would spray some kind of deadly virus into our atmosphere and put us all out of our misery.
Meanwhile, Danny recalls a time of classier would-be tyrants as he reviews Abel Gance's 1927 silent epic Napoleon. It charts the rise of a charismatic man of the people with an unwavering commitment to the revolution, all his own hair, and normal-sized hands over five and a half hours of pure utopian escapism.
We also talk about Al Capone's nicknames, Michael Stipe's resemblance to a serial killer, Shia LaBeouf's rapping ability, and one of cinema's greatest elephant sex scenes.
On this episode Sam reviews Doctor Strange, the latest offering from Marvel in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays a man with a PHD in kicking ass and traversing the astral plane.
Meanwhile Danny fills us in on two new release which he originally saw at the London Film Festival. The disarmingly sincere Ethel and Ernest (he went in scornful, he came out tearful) and Werner Herzogs latest doc Lo and Behold, which sees the German Auteur successfully interviewing people weirder than him.
Plus they wonder if there has ever been a more creatively daring premise than the one behind the upcoming animation The Boss Baby, lament how Hollywood sexism is preventing us from getting more Hilary Swank films and learn about the role Ice Cube was born to play.
EPISODE 92 OUT NOW!!!
What would you rather see, Jeremy Corbyn's favourite film or Ian Duncan Smith's least favourite film? Don't worry you don't have to choose you just have to go see I, Daniel Blake - Ken Loach's brilliant, powerful film about the failures of the welfare state. We spent most of the review just crying and applauding, but apparently Katie's edited that out and just kept the bits where we talked.
Meanwhile, Danny reviews Queen of Katwe, the Ugandan set drama starring Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo. If you like chess, poverty and inspiration (and why wouldn't you) then this is the movie for you.
PLUS we discuss YouTube's plans to muscle in on the TV market, examine the new Star Wars: Rogue One trailer in absurd depths, and wonder whether Danny Elfman is a racist.
This week Danny learns that being young in America can be a profound, thrilling, dangerous, heartbreaking and uplifting experience if Andrea Arnold's latest film American Honey is anything to go by. While Sam learns that being Black in America sucks if Ava Duvernay's documentary 13th is anything to go by.
They also discuss the latest Disney Animations that are being prepped for live action remakes. (Perhaps they could do a live action version of Oliver and Company where they're victorian urchins instead of dogs? Just a thought.) And Danny gives the latest lowdown on everything that's been happening at the London Film Festival and tells you which upcoming films are total pantyhose.
Whilst Sam is away, we thought it best to offer up a platter of classic Film Chat moments to chuckle at nostalgically!
The best of all the songs, some Oscarworthy acting and some very silly giggle fits about Christopher Lee's age....