The name’s Critics. Failed Critics. Should you expect us to die during our James Bond special episode? No, you should expect us to talk!
And that’s exactly what we do for about 90 minutes, as hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by special guests Tony Black (from Pick A Flick) and Brian Plank. The main review this week is of course the latest adventures of Britain’s (worst kept) secret agent in SPECTRE. Sam Mendes is back in the director’s seat after his record breaking success with Skyfall, and Daniel Craig faces yet more peril with the rise of a shady organisation threatening the safety of the British people.
To tie into the release of SPECTRE, we have a miniature version of our Corridor of Praise episodes as we induct 007 himself. Starting with Ian Fleming’s original novels, right through to Daniel Craig emerging from the sea in Speedo swimming trunks, we cover the character’s history from beginning to the modern day.
There’s also time for us to squeeze in Owen’s review of the Columbo TV movie that Steve made him watch after last week’s quiz, before this weeks Bond-themed quiz takes place. We also react to a few news items that have crossed our paths over the last seven days, including: Indiana Jones 5 and potential re-casting issues; why the Steve Jobs movie is tanking in the US; and one of Hollywood’s Golden Age actresses, Maureen O’Hara, passing away.
Join us again next week where we’ll have more guests, more films and less Columbo.
What else are you going to do on a Wednesday afternoon? Sit in your fucking armchair, listening to Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review? Then go and spunk your wages on Twilight DVDs and merchandise? Fuck that for a laugh. We know what we’d rather do! An entire podcast dedicated to Danny Dyer. Love it!
That’s right. In this episode, the Failed Critics will be honouring the work of Britain’s most unappreciated actor, Danny Dyer, by inducting him into our illustrious Corridor of Praise and dedicating a special one-off two-hour long episode to discussion about his career and influence.
Luckily, Steve Norman and Owen Hughes don’t have to do this on their own and are joined by some very special guests this week. We were accompanied by both Failed Critics regular Paul Field, who has recently re-watched Dyer’s entire filmography, and the hilarious professional stand-up comedian James Mullinger, co-author of the book ‘The Films of Danny Dyer‘ – and co-star of Dyer’s in the 2013 revenge thriller Vendetta! Together, we take a look at Danny’s early career in films like Human Traffic, Borstal Boy and Mean Machine, through to his work with Nick Love on Goodbye Charlie Bright, The Football Factory and The Business, all the way up to his Revolver period and current gig on Eastenders. We reveal what our initial opinion of Danny Dyer was and how that might have changed over the years, we wonder what tastes like chicken and have a short quiz that’s as shambolic as ever.
We’ve even included an interview with film producer Jonathan Sothcott who, as well as working with James on their book, has also worked with Danny Dyer on numerous occasions for productions such as Devil’s Playground and Danny Dyer’s Football Foul Ups. (Stick around for a post-credits stinger this week where Jonathan sheds some light on just what the Hell a ‘slice’ is!)
We’ll be back to our usual format next week as Mike Shawcross rounds up this upcoming weekend’s FrightFest, and Andrew Brooker joins us to review new releases Straight Outta Compton and Hitman: Agent 47.
Welcome to the latest episode of the Failed Critics Corridor of Praise podcast. Originally, the CoP was set up to honour the work of icons and legends of the film world who have been overlooked by the academy and other major award ceremonies. Therefore, our sixth inductee – and long overdue as it may be – is the Muscles from Brussels himself, Mr Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg; otherwise known to you and me as Jean-Claude Van Damme!
A professional karate and kickboxing champion in his youth, including being named a former Mr Belgium, JCVD moved to America in 1982 with dreams of making it as an action film star. After a succession of minor roles as an extra, including a credited role as ‘Gay Karate Man’ in Monaco Fever, his first big break came in 1986 playing the leg splitting, spinning heel kicking ‘Ivan the Russian’ in Karate Kid knock-off No Retreat, No Surrender. This was eventually followed by two of his most successful box office hits (and frequently named as fan favourites of course) in 1988’s Bloodsport and 1989’s Kickboxer.
Achieving his dream of becoming one of the most globally well known action film stars of his time during the early to mid 90’s, a series of personal problems thereafter resulted in the slow decline of his box office pull. Nevertheless, after starring in over 45 feature films as varied as DreamWorks animation Kung Fu Panda 2 and futuristic Albert Pyun b-movie Cyborg, we still love him and as such are honouring the good man with his induction to our illustrious Corridor of Praise. To help Steve and Owen immortalise the greatest living Belgian, beaming in all the way from Norway are self-confessed Van Damme-nuts Hollie and Richard Trondsen.
This week sees us welcome Matt Lambourne back to the podcast to help us induct the Dutch maestro Paul Verhoeven, director of Robocop, Total Recall, and err…Showgirls, into our Corridor of Praise. We also get Steve’s review of the highly anticipated documentary Next Goal Wins.
Elsewhere we’ve got Owen talking about the Saw film series, the team’s thoughts on the Star Wars casting and Justice League movie confirmation news, and the longest and most interminable quiz yet.
Join us next week for more of the usual nonsense, plus reviews of Bad Neighbours and Pompeii.
Welcome to a mini-edition of the Failed Critics Podcast, and in this special episode we pay tribute to the latest inductee into our Corridor of Praise, the Japanese masters of animation Studio Ghibli.
James, Owen, and Gerry discuss their favourite Ghibli films, as well as discussing the history of the studio, and it’s impact on opening new eyes to world cinema, as well as exploring its influence over Disney and Pixar.
Today we are honouring one of the single greatest film directors to have ever picked up a camera. A man who not only created some incredible films, but who changed the world of film-making on a stylistic and technical level over and over again.
When we set up our Corridor of Praise, one of the entry requirements was that any inductees must not have won an Oscar in their main category, and the fact that tonight’s subject never received an Oscar for direction is a travesty. Still, the Academy’s loss is our gain, as it means we get to devote a whole episode to my favourite director, and I think probably the podcast’s overall favourite director.
Jack Nicholson said “Everyone sort of acknowledges he’s ‘the man’, and I still feel that underrates him”.
Martin Scorsese thinks that “One of his pictures is worth 10 of someone else’s”
Eight of his 13 films are in the IMDB Top 250, and TEN of them are in the Sight and Sound Top 250 poll published last year.
Welcome to the Failed Critics Corridor of Praise, Mr Stanley Kubrick.
On this week’s podcast we review Zero Dark Thirty, Flight, Hyde Park on Hudson, and The Possession We also induct the second member of our Corridor of Praise. Let’s hand over to Gerry to introduce him…
Murzzuschlag, Austria. The Second World War is ending. Aurelia Jadrny, a clerk in her early twenties whose husband was killed just eight months after their wedding, is working at her desk when she spots a tall, good looking man in his late thirties walking past. He’s wearing the uniform of the gendarmerie, Austria’s rural police, and she likes a man in uniform. Over time, they talk through the window – she works out when his shift is so she’s always at her desk. His name is Gustav and when they marry late in 1945 he is thirty eight, she is twenty three. He is assigned to Thal, a tiny village, and they live in a simple stone house at the top of a hill, 100 yards from a ruined old castle, on the single unpaved road in the village. There is no plumbing, no shower, no flushing toilet, and the nearest well is a quarter of a mile away. They make do, scraping by on his meagre wage through hard work and thrift – an ethic they will instil in their children.
They quickly have a son, Meinhard, and struggle along despite the widespread famine in newly-occupied Austria. In 1947, with the famine ongoing and at its worst, they have another son. In this small, impoverished stone house in rural Austria, one of the 20th Century’s greatest stars has just been born. Gustav and Aurelia name him Arnold, and their big, broad genetics and hard working nature will combine to make Arnold Schwarzenegger one of the most influential men in modern American culture.
Both boys are encouraged by their father to frequently take part in sport, particularly football. As the children grow up, they start to do sit ups to earn their breakfast as well as doing a lot of chores. At 15, Arnold decides to take up weightlifting over football, attending a gym in nearby Graz. The dedication his harsh father has drilled into him leads him to break into the gym when it is closed on weekends. At 18, he serves in the army as part of his military service. During basic training, he goes AWOL to take part in the Junior Mr Europe bodybuilding contest – the week he spends in military prison is made worthwhile by him winning the competition. In 1966, he takes a plane for the first time to go to London for the Mr Universe competition. He comes second but a judge spots his potential and invites him to live with his family in London to train him. A year later, age 20 and with a slowly improving grasp of English, Arnold wins the Mr Universe title – the first of three. He moves to Munich and goes to business school, recognising that his Mr Universe titles are the way to achieve his long-held ambition of moving to the US.
In 1968 he moves to LA, training at Gold’s Gym and embarking on the path to being an American legend. He wins the first of seven Mr Olympia titles in 1970, but his brother Meinhard dies in a drink driving accident in 1971 followed by his father a year later. Arnold doesn’t attend his funeral, and by this stage he’s had his first film role in Hercules in New York…
We’d like to welcome you all to the first ever Failed Critics Corridor of Praise induction. The C.O.P. has been set up to honour the work of those legends of the movie world who have either never sought the acceptance of the Academy, or who have been shunned by those bestowers of baubles.
In this podcast we are honouring the first recipient of our recorded adoration.
He has a career spanning six decades, and his films have grossed over $6b worldwide. At one point 4 of the top 6 grossing films of all time featured him, and in 1997 Empire magazine named him as their No.1 movie star of all time.
As well as the iconic roles he is known for, and that we will no doubt discuss shortly – he has appeared in films as diverse as What Lies Beneath, Working Girl, and The Fugitive Of course I am talking about the one, the only, Jack Ryan…Indiana Jones…Han Solo himself. Harrison Ford!
Also in this week’s podcast we review The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Rise of the Guardians, Room 237, and Miracle on 34th Street.