Uncut Gems Podcast (August 2022 Round-Up)

This year we decided to devote the month of August to none other than John Woo with a particular focus on his Hollywood movies. In fact, the idea to do this stemmed from the fact that one of our hosts is a massive fan/apologist of John Woo and he also happen to have his birthday in August. And if you pouch your lips just the right way, you will easily pronounce the word August as “A-Woo-gust”; this stuff just writes itself.

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Is Jordan Peele The M. Night Shyamalan of This Decade?

Despite a relentless marketing campaign running up to its long-awaited release, Nope came and went. Sure, it endeared a good cross-section of the critically-inclined viewership (here’s my take on this movie), but it somehow failed to leave a lasting mark on general audiences, thus disappearing from the collective cultural consciousness within a span of a few short weeks, and at this point it might be a good idea to ask why that is.

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Nope (2022)

Universal

One data point is just what it is – a data point. Two data points are the minimum requirement to form a line. And for some reason it seems that quite a lot of critics and casual moviegoers alike decided that two data points are sufficient to form a trend, which is a big no-no for anyone even vaguely aware of how statistics operates as a science. So, in a way, Jordan Peele’s Nope has inadvertently fallen prey to the general public’s lack of awareness that extrapolating from small data sets is at best loaded with uncertainty and most likely completely useless. Because this movie is pretty damn solid, to say the least. 

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Bullet Train (2022)

Columbia/Sony

There is no debate: Bullet Train is a movie bound to endear a very particular (and sizeable) demographic of movie-goers. What is more, this specific group of film enthusiasts will be there for anything and everything this film has to offer. They’ll laugh uproariously at its abundance of snarky comedy, they’ll react accordingly to the film’s omnipresent slapstick humour, as they will to its overall tongue-in-cheek tone, or its hyper stylized aesthetic and flamboyant fight choreography.  

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Uncut Gems Podcast in 2022, so far

I haven’t posted about Uncut Gems Podcast in here in a long while, which is mostly a result of the show finding its permanent new home at its own dedicated website HQ (uncutgemspodcast.com); and I do believe I may have mentioned it before (here) when I was still grappling with massive changes to my schedule (with which I am still grappling, in case you haven’t noticed). However, I thought I might as well going forward re-introduce some form of coverage for the show, especially because working on it has become my main focus this year and – owing to the show still being extremely niche and tiny – any and all coverage could potentially make a difference.

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PIRANHA 2, Italian Horror Movies and the Case of Sequel Superiority

Columbia Pictures

One of the age-old pub quiz questions from the movie trivia pool is the famous “name a sequel better than the original”.

Aliens“, shouts Billy.

T2“, adds Chris.

“I got it, by the way. I got it! The Godfather Part II“, adds Nancy while imitating the smug sense of superiority oozing from Timothy Olyphant’s character of Mickey in Scream 2, from which she just quoted.

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Ambulance (2022)

Universal Pictures

If you were taken into a screening blindfolded and asked to definitively say – in the absence of opening credits – who directed the movie based solely on what it looked like, how many minutes would it take you to identify a Michael Bay movie? One? Two? Under a minute? Fair enough, the jig would be up the minute you saw a car transform, but I think a statistical audience member who doesn’t skip his blockbusters would likely identify a Bay-directed effort rather quickly just by putting together the confluence of hard and fast cuts, the golden hour sheen, canted angles, orbiting shots and era-appropriate pop/rap music blaring through the speakers.  

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X (2022)

A24

Ti West and Rob Zombie are two sides of the same coin. Although superficially their movies do not look alike at all, their connected at the hip because both filmmakers through their work express similar emotions; only differently. And X might be the definitive lynchpin between them.  

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