The Wolverine: Rampant Cinemania Episode 13


This Week: Albert Cantu, Andrew King, Gabriel Vogel, Joe Holley

Show Notes

The World’s End 0:43 – 3:22

Lay the Favorite 3:22 – 6:24

The Conjuring 6:24 – 8:36

R.I.P.D. 8:36 – 11:56

The Late Quartet 11:56 – 14:25

The Master 14:25 – 15:55

The Way Way Back 15:55 – 19:42

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 19:42 – 21:02

Hard Eight (Sydney) 21:02 – 23:30

The Wolverine 23:30 – 50:43

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Joe’s Top 5 Films of the 21st Century

These films were selected because of their cinematic significance, watchability, skill of production/direction, and strength of the cast. We’d love to hear your opinions as well!

5. The Master (2012)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s unquestionable skill as a director shines in 2012’s The Master. From its compelling visual style, to its remarkable performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, to the enigmatic yet fascinating storytelling, every moment of this film brings something new to the table. It’s most certainly the type of film that requires multiple watches: and I’ll be more than happy to do so.

4. No Country For Old Men (2007)

2007’s No Country For Old Men presents the viewer with something few have been able to achieve in cinema: true suspense. Tension is, for most of these films, the reason they’ve earned their places on this list, and no film is a better example of it than this. Arguably one of the greatest villain performances in recent cinema comes from Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh, the relentless assassin who often embodies Death itself. Themes of fate, absurdity, and greed are all explored in what will surely become an American landmark in cinema.

3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)

While all of the credit for the creation of Lord of the Rings goes deservedly to legendary fantasy novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, there’s no doubt that Peter Jackson’s film adaptation set the standard for the modern epic film. In many ways, Lord of the Rings became to mainstream audiences in the 2000’s what Star Wars did for the 1980’s: defining the hero epic for a whole generation of people, young and old. And Jackson’s unwavering faith to canon will leave even the most hardcore of Hobbits satisfied. The cast is overall excellent and Jackson’s three year struggle to adapt the classic novels resulted in smashing success, both in the box office and in cinematic quality.

2. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

Few war movies have broken new ground in terms of storytelling since the landmark Saving Private Ryan. But in 2006, Clint Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima brought Americans a new perspective: that of the enemy. The heart wrenching tale of several Japanese soldiers and their struggles between their strict code of honor and their desire to survive the horrors of Iwo Jima and return to their homes, the exceptional acting and fantastic direction by Eastwood make this, together with its companion film Flags of Our Fathers, the must-see war movie of the modern century.

1. There Will Be Blood (2007)

What can I say about 2007’s There Will Be Blood that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over? It’s little surprise that Paul Thomas Anderson makes this list twice, and that he’s achieved my utmost respect as the director of what I firmly believe to be the most fully realized film in twenty years. There Will Be Blood is one of the few films I’ve seen that I would call a masterpiece without hesitation. Daniel Day Lewis’ greatest performance of his utterly remarkable career comes as Daniel Plainview, one of the most compelling and definitively human characters in recent film. So much is told in the film’s opening sequence without dialogue that the first time we hear Plainview speak, it’s almost shocking. Every second is calculated, planned, and executed in utmost style; there are moments of directorial brilliance that still bring me something new with every watch. Truly, There Will Be Blood is a landmark in modern filmmaking, and for that, it has earned its place as my top film of this century.

Andrew’s Top 10 Movies of 2012

10. Safety Not Guaranteed


The sweetest movie about time travel you will ever see, Safety Not Guaranteed is quirky comedy full of cynicism and sharp wit. While not necessarily a deep film, Safety Not Guaranteed might be this year’s perfect date movie, right next to Moonrise Kingdom.

9. Cloud Atlas

I’ll admit it this movie has a lot of problems.  However it is hard to not praise this movie for its ambition and epic scope.  Spanning hundreds of years and telling six different stories of six different genres, all three directors do an admirable job of trying to connect these stories through a theme of repetition and change.  While it does not always come together perfectly, and although some of the segments of this movie are just not very good, as a whole this movie really works for it, and its strengths overcome its faults.

8. Looper


This movie is just cool, and without a doubt my favorite action movie this year. It is exactly the kind of slick and stylish action I wanted from director Rian Johnson’s sci-fi time travel flick.  This movie also featured what was likely my favorite scene of the year, and without spoiling the film for those who haven’t seen it, it was the scene involving Paul Dano’s character that was absolutely terrifying to watch. It is a great movie for Rian Johnson’s entry into mainstream film making, and I look forward to seeing what he will go onto do with big budget movies.

7. Cabin in the Woods


Both a love letter to and criticism of horror as a genre, Cabin in the Woods is a film made for horror fans. While paying homage to the great horror films like Evil Dead, this movie is a smart and very funny way to poke fun at some of the worse troupes of the horror genre.  However, it is the sheer carnage of the third act that really makes this movie great for me, as it offers so much for both the die-hard horror fan and casual movie goer to love.

6. Silver Linings Playbook


This is just a movie that makes me happy to watch.  Full of wonderful awkward humor and plenty of lovably dysfunctional characters, Silver Linings Playbook would be a hard movie to hate. While this movie by no means reinvents the wheel as far as the romantic comedy is concerned, it is an exceptional example of how good writing is what really makes the movie.  In addition, this is a movie full of excellent acting by the entire ensemble, although I was particularly impressed with Bradley Cooper in this film.

5. End of Watch


Both a buddy cop movie and a solid action movie in its own right, End of Watch is very personal look at what it is like to be a police officer in one of the most dangerous parts of the country.  What makes this movie special, and one of my favorites this year, is the relationship between the two lead actors that they were able to build in this film.  It is one of the most believable and realistic partnerships I have ever seen in this kind of movie, and it’s because of this fact that film is so effective.

4. Seven Psychopaths


This is my kind of movie, combining genre deconstruction with Martin McDonagh’s trademark dark humor, making this one of my favorite movies of the year.  Wickedly funny even after multiple viewings (as I have seen this movie quite a few times in theaters), this movie brings great comedic performances out of both Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, who is amazing in this movie. This movie has a truly all-star cast and plenty of the violence you would expect from the director of In Bruges, and yet it still manages to have something to say, about both this genre of film and the way filmmakers tend to approach it.

3. Django Unchained


Though it is a little too long for its own good, Django Unchained was likely my best movie going experience of the year. Tarantino delivers yet another wonderful pulpy movie, full of hugely satisfying bloodshed, as well as some really fantastic moments of humor, due in large part to world’s greatest German, Christoph Waltz.  While it is hard to say I wholeheartedly enjoyed this movie, due to a few extremely brutal depictions of slavery related horrors, it is still a very fun movie and one I will surely watch again.

2. The Master


Perhaps the most perplexing movie of the year, I left the theater completely baffled after my first viewing of this film.  I am a huge P.T. Anderson fan, and while I will not pretend to understand everything going on in this movie, Anderson does succeed at crafting a visually dynamic and engrossing movie. It is a hard movie to explain, or even recommend, but worth seeing at the very least for the Oscar worthy performances from both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

1. Oslo August 31st

Oslo August 31st

The story of a recovering drug addict as he wanders through the city of Oslo, Oslo August 31st is a personal and unique account of what it is like to deal with the lasting effects of addiction.  I’ve always been interested in addiction as a subject for film, and for me, this movie is an exceptionally example of how well film as a medium can deal with this subject material.  Overall a wonderful foreign film, however it would by no means be considered an uplifting movie.  It is now available on Netflix and I would highly encourage you to watch it if you are at all intrigued.

Honorable Mentions

I would like to use this space to give credit to a few movies that didn’t quite make the cut, but are worth mentioning.  While I personally didn’t add the movie to my list, Life of Pi is certainly one of the most memorable and captivating movies I saw all year and definitely deserves praise for its visual style, as this may be the most visually appealing movie this year.  I would also like to mention the film Klown, for being one of the most humorous and profoundly inappropriate films of the year.  Other honorable mentions include Bernie, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Dredd 3D, Monsieur Lazhar, Chronicle and Sleepwalk with Me.

Gabriel’s Favorite Films of 2012 (So Far)

As the third illustrious member of our merry crew, I’m expected to give you lovely people my three favorite movies of the year, and being the responsible man that I am I’m going to do exactly that. So prepare your minds for some genuine cinematic excellence, and remember to leave all of your comments below.

3. The Cabin in the Woods

There are few films I can say just fill me with pure joy. They reduce me to a state of unadulterated glee from which nothing can take me. Cabin in the Woods is one of these films. It may at first seem like a generic slasher flick, but in reality, it’s one of the most imaginative, creative, and brilliant horror film I’ve seen in years. There’s little more I can say other than that I left the theatre with a smile plastered to my face and in utter awe.

2. Monsieur Lazhar

Monsieur Lazhar is a film about death and the ways we deal with it. It shows us a fourth grade class dealing with the cryptic suicide of their homeroom teacher, and Bachir Lazhar, who takes it upon himself to replace that said teacher. At first glance this may seem like the typical teacher-saves-troubled-kids movie, but it’s much more than that. There is an irrefutable emotional reality here that gives it a profundity found in very few films. I just couldn’t help but be drawn into this touching and beautiful portrait of grief.

1. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

I will not deny the fact that this is a difficult film. At a goliath two and a half hours, it’s hard to imagine how this movie could be worth it. But, I assure you that this will be hands down the greatest experience you will have all year. Under the guise of a conventional police procedural this is actually a remarkable exploration of truth and perception in the face of a morally gray world. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the director, gives us a film that, on a purely visual level, may even surpass Prometheus. Sure it’s challenging, it’s slow, it’s long, it’s obtuse, but I do not doubt for a moment that the reward is worth the challenge. So if you feel up to it you won’t be disappointed, and if you don’t, well, you’re missing something truly amazing.

Most Anticipated: The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson ranks among my favorite directors of all time. For a reason look no further than his incredible filmography. He’s responsible for masterpieces such as There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love, and Boogie Nights, and now he wants to make a film about Scientology. Not to mention that he’s casting Philip Seymour Hoffman as a pseudo-L. Ron Hubbard. So, in summation, P. T. Anderson: please take my money now.