Episode 226: Hugh Grant: Beyond Thunderdome

Ben Adams, Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather overthink Cloud Atlas.

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Further Reading

Rejected Titles for this Episode

  • “How I Met Your Mother Of All Earthquakes”
  • “Hard R Umbrella Impalement Sequence”
  • “He’s on a ledge! That totally raises the stakes.”
  • “Tur-robot-ducken”
  • “Cable: Live at the Acropolis”
  • “Objectification Oriented Programming”
  • “import (holocaust);”
  • “A Good Teaching Moment from the Studios”
  • “Maybe Ryan Reynolds is Available for Green Lantern 2”
  • “Chekov’s Birthmark”
  • “Google German Ron Paul”

15 Comments on “Episode 226: Hugh Grant: Beyond Thunderdome”

  1. Nick Nutter #

    Glenn Close in Damages made me think of her time on The Shield, then got me thinking about Forest Whitaker on The Shield. He was on The Shield the same year he won the Best Actor Oscar for Last King Of Scotland. (Then again, looking at his filmography, Repo Men is the only thing I remember him being in since…)

    Also, Korean Hugo Weaving.

     
  2. Chris #

    Brandon Routh is actually regular costar on a sitcom right now. I’m pretty sure he’s on Partners, although it may be The New Normal. Either way, he plays a gay gentleman in a relationship with one of the main characters. I’m 99% sure it is Partners, a show I’ve heard is horrible and was perhaps the worst new sitcom this season.

    Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the San Andreas Fault stretches up through the San Francisco area, and was responsible for the 1989 earthquake there and the last “big one” on the fault in 1906. Although, it is true that when they say the fault is “due” they are usually talking to the southern portion of it, down toward Los Angeles.

    Speaking of Los Angeles, while I have dealt with a couple very minor earthquakes since I moved here, for every one of those there are two instances in which helicopters circle overhead for long periods of time. I say that in part because it is happening right now, at about 1:30 AM, and it has been occurring for over an hour. Bright lights, big city.

    The Wachowskis are the one hittiest one hit wonder directors I can think of. In my opinion, of course. Perhaps you love Speed Racer.

     
    • Matthew Belinkie #

      I actually do think Speed Racer is much better than people give it credit for. At the very least, the races themselves are gorgeous, thrilling, and well-choreographed. They really are unlike anything you’ve seen before.

      And John Goodman (as Speed’s dad) escalates it to another level. There’s a great scene late in the movie where Speed is about to leave home, and Goodman sits him down to give him a heart-to-heart. At the beginning of the film, we saw Speed’s older brother leave home under similar circumstances, and Pops pretty much disowned him for betraying the family business. This is what Pops tells Speed: “I let him think that a stupid motor company meant more to me than he did. You’ll never know how much I regret that mistake. It’s enough I’ll never make it again. Speed, I understand that every child has to leave home. But I want you to know, that door is always open. You can always come back. ‘Cause I love you.”

      It may not look like much on paper, but Goodman just KILLS it. I’m not gonna lie – I got misty-eyed the first time I saw that.

      Anyway, Speed Racer is highly recommended in my book!

       
      • Howard #

        I’m also in favor of Speed Racer as an underappreciated film. The last race genuinely gave me chills, Goodman and Susan Sarandan are great as Speed’s parents, and Christina Ricci’s female lead is neither offensive or useless (though to be fair, I think the movie fails the Bechdel test). Even the plot’s not horrible – nobody’s going to mistake it for Citizen Kane, but it’s got a kind of Occupy vibe.

         
  3. Emil #

    Guys, guys! You forgot the classic action movie slash weather condition: Rainbo!

     
    • Matthew Wrather #

      I want to implement a +1 button on the site just so I can promote your comment.

       
  4. Howard #

    The German segment of this podcast may be the funniest thing you’ve ever done.

    I’ve read Cloud Atlas, and I’ll vouch for the book’s quality. I also won’t be watching the movie (in theaters, anyway) because of the weirdness with the actors using makeup to look like other races. It definitely sounds like the efforts to make the movie easier to understand have made it more problematic.

     
  5. The Eye Collector #

    I haven’t finished listening to the podcast yet, but had to come by and implore you to do the Sondheim episode – I would listen to that SO HARD. I actually wrote on Into the Woods at university, for an essay on fairytales and satire. Oh, and I just remembered I also wrote about Sweeney Todd, Dickens and Victorian morality tales – totally forgot about that… To clarify, I was an English major and as I recall neither of my tutors were particularly impressed. I even like Sondheim’s quite awful efforts. Merrily We Roll Along, anyone?

    Finally, Mr Fenzel, while I don’t dispute the fact that Company has problems I’d say it’s definitely worth more than the sum of its parts. More than anything I just think it’s incredibly insightful on the topic of what it’s like to cultivate friendships as an adult, especially when a lot of your friends are couples and you’re single. I watched the production with Neil Patrick Harris in a cinema on a Sunday afternoon completely on my own (no-one else in the whole screen) and I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences I’ve ever had. I’ll admit to crying at the end, but contend it was largely to do with my being a sucker for a beautifully resolved chord.

     
  6. Gab #

    I’ve heard two reasons why lead film actors take television roles. The first is sort of what Belinkie was getting at, that they just weren’t able to get the big roles or paychecks they were hoping for, but they got offered a starring role in a recurring show, so they took that. The second is that a regular show provides a regular paycheck and consistent filming schedule, a continuity very different from and thus more enticing to some people than doing film. The guy starring in the new American adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes novels took the role because while he loves doing British theater and film, it’s a regular gig, and he has a wife and kids to be with and help take care of, for example.

    BATMAN: I’m pretty sure they’ll introduce Batman in the Justice League movie and then give him his own spinoff film. Smart move, imo.

    Okay, Green Lantern wasn’t extremely terrible- certainly better than Daredevil. It suffered from a weak script and unconvincing character development. And while I think most of the cast did what they could with their bad lines, I was thoroughly disappointed in Blake Lively’s performance- she made the terrible lines even worse.

    Lee, I think the lack of Binders Full of Women was a result of assumed crowding- I need two hands to count the friends of mine that had contemplated it, but decided not to do it because they assumed a bunch of other women would. (Although then there were four different Doctors and companions at the party I attended…)

    I’ll be in class tonight, so no candy passing-out (I had no kiddoes last year, anyway, so I’m guessing it won’t make much difference), but I’m totally going in costume. I wonder how many people will “get it.”

    Gosh, I envisioned a bunch of different Hugo Weaving characters dancing Gangam Style in a line as Wrather and Fenzel were singing.

     
    • Matthew Wrather #

      Seriously, all of you! TV is not the entertainment ghetto it used to be. And Features has become kind of a wasteland. It’s not just paying off that fifth mortgage; I think a lot of people with serious movie careers look at the landscape and realize they’d rather be in something like Boardwalk Empire than something like Battleship.

       
      • Gab #

        I think a lot of people with serious movie careers look at the landscape and realize they’d rather be in something like Boardwalk Empire than something like Battleship.

        That’s exactly what I meant with the second reason I gave. I didn’t mean to make it sound like they’re settling for TV and think it sucks.

         
      • Howard #

        People talk about the level of TV rising, but it’s really a couple specific types of TV. It’s the kind of very creator-driven series that get the critical acclaim – your premium hour-long cable dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, comedies like Louie and what was once NBC’s Thursday lineup, etc. Movies are so collaboratively made, and have so much more money at stake, that I think it’s harder for a single person to exert as much influence on the creative vision per the auteur model of Hollywood. But those series aren’t exactly doing gangbusters in the ratings, which is why they are (for the most part) on cable networks. When Homeland gets 2 million viewers on Showtime, it’s a huge coup. When Community gets 4 million viewers on NBC, it’s a disaster.

        Since Lost ended, I don’t think any network drama has gotten the critical acclaim (and cultural awareness) that the cable dramas enjoy. Comedies are doing better, with NBC’s lineup and shows like Modern Family, New Girl, and Happy Endings. Maybe 22 episodes is just too much to ask of a premium drama.

         
  7. Jasin #

    I listen to the podcast when im cycling to and from work.

    Belinke- i want you to know that i laughed so hard i almost fell off and crashed when you said “Tur-robot-ducken”. Almost got me killed!