Leaping out of a moving aircraft with a Union Jack adorning their parachutes, before safely landing in the driver’s seat of their sub-aquatic Aston Martin, it’s your podcast hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes. Spinning around on his high-backed leather chair with a pussy in his lap, it’s our special guest Paul Field, joining Owen and Steve for a special spy triple bill episode!
Your official (not “official” official) 17th best podcast, Failed Critics, as designated by New Media Europe’s ‘Best UK Podcast of 2016’ award. Voting closed on Monday 30th May, with The Failed Critics Podcast ranked 17th out of 100 based on the number of Facebook votes we received. Thank you so much to anybody who helped us achieve this high a position by taking a few seconds to vote.
On this week’s episode, we draft in Underground Nights‘ very own Paul Field to help us run through a triple-bill of movie stars, where he and hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes each pick three actors whom they consider to be the very definition of the very subjective term ‘film star’.
Before all of that, Owen barely has chance to make himself comfortable before reviewing the new Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows after seeing it earlier that afternoon. Meanwhile, Paul introduces us to Victoria, a German film shot entirely in one take, and Steve catches up on some Shane Black with The Long Kiss Goodnight.
The news this week has the trio mulling over Tom Hiddleston’s imminent appointment as James Bond, as well as John Carpenter’s fabled return to the Halloween franchise. This, following a shambolic quiz that hopefully won’t sound as shambolic post-edit as it did pre-edit.
Join us again next week where we’ll be reviewing both Warcraft and The Nice Guys.
Site editor James Diamond picks his favourite films on free-to-air UK television this week.
Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell reunite for the sequel to the groundbreaking original. This film is a funnier, and less ‘nasty’ movie than Evil Dead, and for me is the best of the trilogy.
Tuesday 20th August – Crank (ITV4, 10pm)
A little like this month’s Pain & Gain, Crank is a film you need to watch having left your morals and conscience at the door. It’s an exploitation film featuring racial stereotypes, an unhealthy view of women, and a protagonist named Chev Chelios (The Stath in fine form). If you can get past that though, it’s simply one of the most relentless and entertaining action films of the last ten years.
Wednesday 21st August – The Social Network (Film4, 9pm)
Directed by David Fincher from a script by Aaron Sorkin, everything about this ‘biopic’ of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is stylish and brilliantly realised. Great central performances from Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer keep the audience engaged in what is essentially a film about computer programmers squabbling. Gripping stuff.
Thursday 22nd August – The Imposter (Channel 4, 9pm)
This earned bronze in Best of 2012 choices, and here’s what I had to say about it:
“This is one of those documentaries that hammers home the cliché that truth really is stranger than fiction. It tells us the story of a young French man who impersonated a missing 13-year-old boy from Texas, ensconcing himself within the family home and their community with tall tales of being trafficked by the military. What makes this film more than a weird Channel 5 documentary is its innovative use of recreated flashbacks and, most importantly, interviews with the people at the centre of this strange situation – including the con-man himself. A true story that plays out like a Coen Brothers thriller, this film really has everything.”
Friday 23rd August – Pan’s Labyrinth (Film4, 1am)
Quite simply one of the finest films of the last decade, and an example of what Guillermo del Torro is capable of with the right script (I’m looking at you, Pacific Rim).
Saturday 24th August – The Long Kiss Goodnight (Watch, 10pm)
One of the great forgotten action thrillers of the nineties, this was written by Shane Black at the height of his powers and earning potential. The film’s underwhelming box office performance had a huge effect on him though, and he didn’t have another script produced for nine years (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which he directed himself). Geena Davis stars as a housewife with no memory of her Jason Bourne-esque former secret agent career, until her life is threatened. It is also director Reny Harlin, and co-star Samuel Jackson’e favourite film of their long careers.
Sunday 25th August – Stand By Me (Five, 3.55pm)
Rob Reiner’s adaptation of Stephen King’s short story is perfect Sunday afternoon viewing with the family. A coming of age story that hits all the right notes of rebellion and nostalgia and still fits into a sub-90 minute running time. Great stuff.