Film Critic A.O. Scott

Eddie Huang talks to film critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times.

Scott talks about his history with New York, saying that “I’ve lived in Brooklyn for a long time, more than twenty years… family roots go back three generations.” He calls Spike Lee “one of the great sons of Brooklyn,” and discusses his place in the ongoing discussion about gentrification, saying that “there’s very little discussion of the social and economic violence that drives some of it.” He also acknowledges that “anyone who is likely to be talking about this issue is implicated.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Captain America directors Joe and Anthony Russo

Cinema Royale talks to Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Marvel’s new film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which the hosts classify as a “paranoid government thriller conspiracy film.”

The Russos talk about their love for filmmaking, saying that “we have very eclectic taste, we like all the genres… big films, small films, commercials, everything, it’s all film for us,” and calling a large action film “something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.” They “identify what it is we like about certain movies” and use them as influences, citing The French Connection as an inspiration for the way they film car chases.

Listen to the full episode here.

Funny women of film

Betty Jo Tucker talks about famous female comedians, including Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Debbie Reynolds, and Gilda Radner.

Of Tina Fey, she commends “her ability as a performer” and says that “she also is a great writer… the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live.” They go on to call her “self-deprecating” and claim that “she doesn’t seem to know how much of a comedy genius she is,” which they concede adds to her “charm.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Jason Bateman interview

Cinema Royale talks to Jason Bateman, director and star of the new movie Bad Words.

Bateman talks about setting boundaries for his rough, foulmouthed character, saying that certain lines “might seem completely acceptable on the page, and then you show up on the set, [and you realize] there’s no way you’re going to get away with saying something like that… you just have to hope that your meter is consistent with the majority of the audience. If you feel like it’s gone too far, you need to dial it back.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Divergent reviewed

RU Instant Reaction Review reviews Divergent, the new movie based on Veronica Roth’s series of young adult dystopian sci-fi novels.

The critics describe the film as “one of those vehicles that is clearly built for an audience that has read the book,” as well as wanting to “obviously wanting to fill the niche that The Hunger Games… and these other dystopian teen films do.” They were”confused by a few things, not having known the source materials,” but found it overall “kind of fun” but nonetheless “choppy and uneven.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Noah reviewed

ScreenPicks reviews Noah, the new biblical epic directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins. The film has proved controversial due to its religious themes. The critics call it “bizarre, as Darren Aronofsky can be”,” but concede that it’s “told in a fairly straightforward way” and remains mainly faithful to its source. They also praise Crowe’s performance, as well as his onscreen chemistry with Connelly, and question whether the film could lead to more mainstream biblical films.

Listen to the full episode here.

Eddie Huang on Carmelo Anthony

Eddie Huang talks about Carmelo Anthony’s ten years in the NBA and line of sneakers, saying that “‘Melo shoes are broke shoes,” calling it tacky an “ugly-ass shoe” but conceding that it’s “excellent” in terms of comfort and optimal for playing basketball, if not as streetwear.

Huang and cohost Elene Bergeron also discuss cultural blind spots, Huang confessing that, despite being a fan of Nas, he did not listen to Illmatic “until my senior year of high school.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Grand Budapest Hotel reviewed

Cinema Royale talks about Wes Anderson’s new movie Grand Budapest Hotel.

The critics “really enjoyed” the film, despite “not really being a Wes Anderson fan” and understanding his “detractors.” They say that “there’s an element to this movie about history… the characters are all intentionally choosing to invent, basically, a world.” They compare the characters’ willingness to “inject a little bit of nostalgia” into their lives to Anderson’s process behind making the film itself.

Listen to the full episode here.