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GTGC #238 Raw

October 18th, 2017

Welcome back to your favorite film analysis podcast, the GenreCast from GoodTrash Media. This week, our Shocktober marathon of one-word titled films continues with a look at the French/Belgium production, Raw. 

It Gets Raw

Every Shocktober sees at least one artsy horror film rear its head. When the time came, we decided to tackle this foreign production that has been making waves since its festival run. Raw, or Grave, is a horror-thriller from director Julia Ducournau. Justine (Marillier) is a vegetarian and first-year student at veterinary school. She must undergo a series of hazing rituals from older students—including her sister, Alexia (Rumpf). Justine is forced to eat meat—after which, the hunger for flesh only grows.

Raw is a tough watch. But, it offers a lot to digest. The film is multilayered. We don't even get to hit everything, to our chagrin. We do talk vegetarianism, sexual awakenings and we carefully tread into discussing eating disorders. However, we wish we could have hit on hazing and bullying in the digital age, general desire and more. Spoiler alert, we may have liked this one quite a bit.

As always, before we get down to analysis, we give quick reviews and play a game. This week, we talk about "Memorable Body Horror Sequences". It felt like a fitting pairing. After all of this though, we decide whether Raw is shelve-able, or if it is simply scrap-able.

So, how do you like your meal? Well done or still bleeding? Tune in and then let us know!

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GTGC #237 Saw

October 14th, 2017

Your favorite film analysis podcast continues the 6th annual Shocktober marathon with James Wan's breakout hit, Saw. 

We Play a Game with Saw

In 2004, James Wan hit with a bang. The director worked with Leigh Whannell to put together one of the most important horror movies of the 2000s. With Saw as a diving board, James Wan has gone on to greater depths than anyone could have imagined—Insidious, The Conjuring, Fast 7 and the upcoming Aquaman. But, does Saw itself stand the test of time?

Saw tells the story of Adam (Whannell) and Dr. Gordon (Elwes), the latest captors of the Jigsaw Killer (Bell). The men wake in a room, tethered to the wall. Over the course of the narrative, they must work together to uncover their connection and figure out if they can win Jigsaw's game.

For better or for worse, Saw is one of the most successful and influential horror franchises of all time. Spawning seven sequels, with the 8th entry (Jigsaw) on the way, it reframed audience expectations for horror franchises. On this week's show, the gang discuss the history and importance of the Saw franchise. The questions of Jigsaw's motives also come up, as well as a discussion of the film as a cultural reaction to the rise of public awareness to torture in American military tactics.

We also discuss our Favorite Resilient Prisoners and Captives in the game, and of course we render the verdict. Is this movie worthy of the shelf? Or, is it simply trash.

Listen now or not—the choice is yours.

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GTGC #236 The Craft

October 5th, 2017

The season of the witch is upon us as Shocktober 6 gets underway. Your favorite film analysis podcast starts Shocktober off right with The Craft.

The Craft Puts a Spell on Us

It is our favorite time of year, dear listener. The leaves are turning and the potions are a brewing. Black cats are crossing our path and horror films are screening 24/7. It's the 6th annual Shocktober marathon! We decided to kick it off with a 90s cult classic, The Craft.

This 1996 horror film features four trod upon high school girls who look to witchcraft to solve their problems. It's like an after-school drug PSA, but with witches. When new girl Sarah (Robin Tunney) arrives in LA, she discovers herself torn between the outcasts (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True) and the cool kid (Skeet Ulrich). After being slighted by Chris, she finds herself drawn into the magical circle that the girls have developed, and soon their magic grows—3 times 3.

The Craft has seemingly come up a lot in the social conscious over the past year, as many begin revisiting its legacy. We thought it was an appropriate way to kick off our annual scary movie marathon. On this episode, we talk about the portrayal of people groups and subcultures, and how even problematic portrayals can be the kick off for more nuanced and accurate portrayals down the road. We also discuss feminism in the film, and whether it is truly at the forefront or just a guise. We go down this rabbit trail after having read this article by Michelle Lopes.

In the spirit of cult cinema, we each picked out Top 3 90s Cult Classics. What are some of yours? Let us know on Twitter, or in the comments below.

Well, the witching hour is upon us. Have we cast a spell on you? Or do we need to find a new familiar?

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GTGC #235 Fallen

September 29th, 2017

The sun sets on #ABWD as we discuss Denzel's supernatural thriller Fallen (1998). And though our time with Denzel draws to an end, we use this opportunity to kickstart Shocktober!

We've Fallen and We Can't Get Up

On this week's episode of the GenreCast from GoodTrash Media, your film analysis friends discuss FallenFallen quietly crosses genres, moving from procedural to supernatural thriller to suspense over the course of two hours. It is the story of Detective John Hobbes (Washington)—who is coming off the capture of a notorious serial killer (Koreas). However, after Reese's execution, the string of murders continues. Hobbes must figure out if there is a copycat on the loose, or if something more sinister is taking place.

Fallen is a movie that has come up time and time again, usually from Dustin. We also knew it was perfect for the GenreCast, and it worked as a bridge into Shocktober—which kicks off next week. Before we analyze Fallen, we rank the movies of #ABWD. Some of the movies from this marathon were first time watches for the hosts, so we took this time to reflection the Denzel stories we've watched over the last few weeks (including Devil in a Blue Dress). 

Our analysis of Fallen sees a discussion of the apocalyptic thriller that ran rampant through the late 90s. We also discuss the idea of the unreliable narrator and the narrative constructs of Fallen, and whether they work through the end. Arthur also has a lot to say about the intertextuality of the film and how that works in the film's favor at the end.

Now, let us tell you about the time we almost lost a podcast.

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GTGC #234 The Book of Eli

September 22nd, 2017

Welcome back to your favorite film analysis podcast, the GenreCast from GoodTrash Media. This week, the Denzel train keeps rolling as we wander the desert in The Book of Eli. 

We Read from the Book of Eli 

As #ABWD continues, we move into the Old Man Action Hero phase of Denzel's career. Some would argue that the phase begins with Man on Fire, and they wouldn't be wrong. But, we already talked about a Tony Scott film, and The Book of Eli is the definition of a GoodTrash film. The story centers on Eli (Washington) who is trekking across a post-apocalyptic America. He feels he has been supernaturally tasked to deliver a book to the West Coast. With the help of Solara (Kunis), Eli takes on raiders, cannibals and the power-hungry Carnegie (Oldman) on his journey in the wilderness.

This week, Arthur, Dalton and Dustin gather around to discuss the appeal of the Old Man Action cycle. There is an in-depth discussion of the evolution of the cycle as well as thoughts as to why it appeals to audiences. Dalton brings up formalist questions about color palette and visual style. And then, Dustin takes the discussion in the natural direction you would expect—theology. He brings up the mixed signals of the films narrative, and examines why it is a damaging tool for churches to use if not approached in the right context or discussion.

So there you have it, dear listener. We only have one week left with Denzel, but the GenreCast has miles to go before it sleeps. We will continue on the path of righteousness, will you join us? Remember, you must walk by faith—not by sight.. or sound.

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GTGC #233 American Gangster

September 15th, 2017

Hello and welcome back to your favorite film analysis podcast as we continue our Denzel Watch-a-thon with the 2008 gangster biopic, American Gangster.

First You Get the Money, then the Power, then you watch American Gangster

American Gangster

On this week's show, the gang gather around to talk about Ridley Scott's Godfather-esque gangster drama. Based on a true story, American Gangster tells us about Frank Lucas (Washington). Frank starts as a driver/collector-of-debts for local crime boss Bumpy Johnson. After Bumpy passes away, Frank looks to make a mark on Harlem. He soon moves into the Heroin business and creates a drug dynasty, and—according to the film—he becomes something of a folk hero. Frank's story is paralleled with the story of Richie Roberts. Richie is the head of a narcotics drug force trying to stop the use of heroin in New Jersey/New York.

Having discussed Denzel's work with Tony Scott, the gang thought it appropriate to talk about the collaboration with Ridley—Tony's brother. While Dalton and Arthur had previously seen American Gangster, this was Dustin's first watch. Throughout the show, they discuss the differences between the theatrical and director's cuts of the film. There is also much discussion about adaptation—specifically in regards to adaptation of true events. The hosts also question the approach of making Frank into a folk hero, as the film does.

But, before all of that analysis, the gang plays a game. In honor of the marathon, the hosts rundown their Top 3 Denzel Movies that Missed the #ABWD Cut. And when it is all said and done, they decide whether it is shelvable or simply trash—the results may surprise you.

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GTGC #232 Training Day

September 8th, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a moment nearly 5 years in the making. After countless jokes and memes, Dustin and Dalton finally sit down to talk about Training Day on your favorite film analysis podcast.

King Kong has nothing on Training Day

That's right, as #ABWD continues it has seemingly all lead to this. Training Day is important as it marks the first pairing between Washington and Fuqua. But, it is also important as it marks Denzel's Best Performance in a Lead Role win. After the win, many considered the win to be an acknowledgement of Denzel's career post Glory. But, in some ways that downplays his performance in Training Day.

Washington plays Detective Alonzo Harris, a narcotics officer who is deep undercover. Told over the course of one day, Harris is set to show Jake Hoyt (Hawke) the ropes of narco. It is a day that will test both men. A day to see what is good, what is bad and what appears in shades of grey.

As many long time listeners know, and fans of The People's History of FilmTraining Day is a very personal film for Dalton. And it rightfully takes its place among the great Denzel performances, and the GoodTrash reading list.

Before we analyze Training Day, we go through the usual routine. We talk about our initial thoughts, play a game and of course we decide whether it goes in the trash or on the shelf. But you probably already know the answer to that.

So get ready and dive on in, besides its not like we have a gun pointed at your head.

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GTGC #231 He Got Game

August 30th, 2017

Welcome to another edition of your favorite film analysis podcast, the GenreCast from GoodTrash Media. We continue #ABWD with Denzel's third collaboration with director Spike Lee, He Got Game. 

We find out that Denzel, well, He Got Game

 

It is important to note that collaboration is important to Denzel's career. 18 movies in Denzel's filmography come from the combined efforts of 5 directors—Edward Zwick, Tony Scott, Antoine Fuqua, Jonathan Demme and Spike Lee. He Got Game is the third film in the Lee and Washington lineup. It follows Mo Better Blues and Malcolm X. He Got Game is a look into the life of Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen). Jesus is an all-star high school basketball star. He is also the number one recruit in the nation.  Jake (Washington) is a convicted murderer, and the father of Jesus. They don't have the best relationship. Jake is let out for a few days to persuade Jesus to sign with the Governor's alma mater in exchange of a shortened sentence.

The gang have a good discussion in regards to He Got Game. Race, coding, exploitation of athletes and sports are all key topics of discussion. But, before they talk all of that analysis, they play a game. This week, the game is an examination of Athletes turned Actors. Each host highlights some of their favorite athletes to make the jump to Hollywood.

Once it is all said and done though, everyone decides whether He Got Game is trash, or deserving of a spot on the shelf.

So, get in the paint and drive it to the net. We don't record any bricks here at the GenreCast.

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GTGC #230 Crimson Tide

August 23rd, 2017

As #ABWD continues, the GenreCast gets around the table to ponder the ethical questions of war. Your favorite film analysis podcast goes deep into a film that we weren't expecting to be so fun. In our journey through Denzel's career, we go back to 1995. The film? Denzel's first team up with long-time collaborator Tony Scott, Crimson Tide. 

We Dive Deep into Crimson Tide

Denzel has collaborated with several directors on multiple films. Spike Lee and Antoine Fuqua are probably the most notable, but Denzel worked with the late Tony Scott more than any other director. Denzel first worked with Scott on Crimson Tide. The two would work together on four more films—Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstoppable. 

Crimson Tide is a action/suspense film taking place on a submarine—the U.S.S. Alabama. Denzel once again plays a military man, this time a Navy Lieutenant Commander, Ron Hunter. Assigned to the Alabama, Hunter works with Captain Frank Ramsey as America enters into a conflict with Russia.  However, while at sea, communication falters and the Alabama loses an important transmission. Afterwards, two conflicting ideologies clash as nuclear war looms.

But before we can get into the heavy analysis, we have to play our game. The game of the week looks at Actor Match Ups. The idea is to highlight two strong actors who go head to head or have to work together.

So, fall in and get ready to submerge into Crimson Tide with us.

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GTGC #229 The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

August 16th, 2017

In the year of our Lord, 2004, the world was beginning to turn on the War in Iraq, shadowy organizations were seemingly taking over politics, and the late, great Jonathan Demme released his vision for The Manchurian Candidate. 

We Vote for the Manchurian Candidate

Manchurian Candidate

Welcome back to your favorite film analysis podcast, the GenreCast from GoodTrash Media. This week, on the GoodTrash GenreCast, we kick off our Denzel Watch-a-thon, #ABWD—Always Be Watching Denzel. On our Devil in a Blue Dress episode, we realized the GenreCast has long overlooked Denzel. However, we are in the process of remedying that. Over the next few weeks, we will look at films from each part of Denzel's career. We will also look at many of his long time collaborations—Fuqua, Lee, Scott—and we begin with Jonathan Demme.

The Manchurian Candidate is based on the 1959 Richard Condon novel of the same name. In 1962, John Frankenheimer directed a version starring Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh. Demme's version follows the same basic plot, but updates it for a modern setting. The film tells the tale of Major Bennett Marco (Washington) and Senator Raymond Shaw (Schreiber) who served together in the Gulf War. Shaw won the Medal of Honor for his heroic exploits, but Marco came home with nightmares. Marco begins to unveil a conspiracy that will rattle the political world.

The gang gets together this week to look back at this somewhat overlooked Denzel piece from 2004. After their reviews, the hosts play the weekly game. This week, the game is a discussion of underrated films from great directors. Finally, the team get down to analysis and talk about the timeliness of the film, the political discourse at work and whether the film works as strongly against capitalism as last week's film, Robocop.

So, dear listener, tune in now to find out which of our hosts is a sleeper cell, and which ones are just sleepy.

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