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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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GTGC #228 Robocop (1987)

August 9th, 2017

In 1987, capitalist greed was soaring high—enter Paul Verhoeven and Robocop. 30 years later, not much has actually changed, probably the scariest thing about this movie.

Dead or Alive, it's Robocop

Robocop

Paul Verhoeven's Robocop is a simple, promising story. Tragically struck down by a violent crime lord, Alex Murphy is on his death bed. This tragedy is seen as a corporate triumph as Murphy's remains are used for the first Robocop prototype. Designed to serve and protect, Robocop patrols the streets of Detroit. Everything goes smoothly, until the memories become the ghost in the machine.

Arthur returns to discuss the Verhoeven classic. The gang has seen the film before. But now, after 30 years, does it still hold up? During quick reviews, the gang debate the technical merits of the film. But, the analysis for this film is ripe. The obvious discourse is the commentary on capitalism. But, this analysis goes much deeper. Questions of personhood, and a debate of whether Robocop serves a messianic role conclude the analysis section.

But, before the analysis, a game is played. This week, the hosts talk about their favorite Super Cops. A good time is had by all. But the ultimate question is, will Dalton every truly admit his mistakes? He has 20 seconds to comply.

 

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GTGC #227 The Cell

August 2nd, 2017

This week, the GenreCast goes deep inside the mind of a monster. They also discuss the Tarsem Singh film The Cell. 

Trapped inside The Cell

The Cell is a sci-fi/horror/thriller-infused procedural which sees psychologist Catherine Deane (Lopez) recruited to literally go inside the mind of the comatose serial killer, Carl Stargher (D'Onofrio). With Stargher's latest victim's life on the line, Deane and FBI agent Peter Novak (Vaughn) must race the clock and search Stargher's subconscious for clues.

Arthur returns this week to join Dalton and Dustin in their discussion of this genre work from 2000. For this week's game, the gang decide to discuss their favorite cinematic technology—inspired by the machine Catherine Deane uses in the film.

As the hosts break down the film, they discuss the problematic failings of the narrative. They also analyze the character portrayed by Vince Vaughn, as well as the idea of sympathy for the devil. There is also a discussion of the tropes being used as well as the intertextuality of the artwork that inspired sequences of the film.

If you think you're ready to go inside the mind of Dalton, strap in and hit play!

 

 

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