Film Junk Podcast Episode #308: Mr. Nobody

0:00 – Intro
5:10 – Headlines: Roseanne Reality Show and New Beavis and Butthead Show, Robocop Statue in Detroit, Shane Black Confirmed for Iron Man 3, Disney Announces Cars Spin-Off Called Planes, 2011 Breaks Record for Most Sequels in a Year
29:00 – Review: Mr. Nobody
1:12:45 – Trailer Trash: Apollo 18, Dead Island
1:28:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Dogtooth, Pleasantville, Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II, Uncle Buck, Dial M for Murder, I Confess, Lifeboat, Foreign Correspondent, The Wrong Man, Suspicion, Megamind, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Superman, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, I Knew It Was You, Runaway Train
2:16:55 – Junk Mail: Film Junk Artwork Contest, Takashi Miike, Gates of Heaven, Arsenic and Old Lace, Directors We Wish Were Making Different Kinds of Movies, Machine Girl and Man v. Food, Name That Movie and Visually Amazing Films That Are Just Okay, Shutter Island Shutout at the Oscars and Sequel Titles
2:59:15 – This Week’s DVD Releases
3:02:55 – Outro

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  • I’d much prefer to do a Southland Tales / Synecdoche, NY episode of The Movie Club Podcast over Mr. Nobody / Enter the Void.

  • And incidentally I’ve also been meaning to watch Don’t Look Now since it’s on Netflix and it’s expiring in a week or so.

  • Dave

    Footarded. Add that one to the vocabulary. I don’t know how I’ll use it, but I’ll try.

  • On board for “Foot Retarded” becoming an official word.

    As for the Movie Club end-of-the-year podcast, I think instead Jay and Kurt should keep debating it in the comments here and then commission Rip Torn and a drunken Brian Cox to read them, followed by a cage-match fight to death between the two to decide who’s right. I’d gladly donate $20 for that shit.

  • I love the idea of retrospectively judging the Oscars and hope you guys do something interesting with it. Perhaps go through the last 10 years. For the films without 10 nominees you could select five other pictures when The Christopher Nolan Rule was not in effect. It will be a great part of next weeks show.

    This also fits in well with Jay’s delightful rant about films that should not be nominated or win, without any justification for what the replacement should be. It is so very true. Even looking at the 2001 Oscars this is true. People can easily say A Beautiful Mind was not worthy, but considering the other nominees that year, no massive oversight seems to have occurred.

    By actually having a look at this retrospectively it will provide a lot of perspective to that argument.

  • kyri

    Actually Pacino played a “Gay” guy in Serpico that was before DogDay Afternoon.

    (also a Pacino classic)

  • It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but I’m fairly certain Serpico is not a gay character.

  • dirrrtyfrank

    The irony of “Footarded” is that in My Left Foot, he actually a genius of the foot.

  • Aaron

    Retrospectively looking back at the Oscars sounds like a lot of fun. I’d also suggest compiling top ten lists from whatever year(s) you end up choosing.

    In regards to Hitchcock films, Foreign Correspondent is back on Netflix Instant Watch in the US, as well as Dial M for Murder, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, among other things.

    If anyone is so inclined, you can go back and read my Flix Picks review of Foreign Correspondent at http://www.filmjunk.com/2010/10/28/flix-picks-foreign-correspondent/

  • dirrrtyfrank

    Also, to give credit, I first heard the retro-active Oscar idea on the Bill Simmons Podcast.

  • Fatbologna

    No, Serpico wasn’t gay, he was just mocked by his fellow officers for living in Greenwich Village, a well-know “homo-hostspot” of the 70s.

  • Actually I think Bill Simmons stole it from Matt Damon because he was talking about it last year in interviews about the Oscars.

  • KeithTalent

    Nah, Sports Guy talked about it a few years ago I’m pretty sure.

    I like the idea though; would be interesting to hear your takes on it.

  • I’d rather you guys review movies that spark debate, rather than forcing yourself to review whatever the the big release is that weekend.

    Great listen. keep up it up

  • Kurt

    Sean, DON’T LOOK NOW is a masterpiece. Do check it out ASAP, i can bring my DVD along when next we cross pathes if you miss the Netflix Window.

    And for those wondering, here is my review after the 2nd theatrical visit (once during TIFF, once during its 6 day release in Toronto) — http://twitchfilm.com/reviews/2010/07/review-sort-of-mr-nobody.php

  • kyri

    I think It is vague on purpose and the film strongly implies that he was Gay but I don’t remember clearly either, maybe I was misled because Pacino’s performance was really toned down..
    Great Film either way.
    And great Soundtrack as well.

  • Fatbologna

    @Kyri,

    Yo, I read the book. He ain’t gay! Maybe you’re thinking Cruising. He wasn’t gay in that either but it did get a little, how you say, touch-and-go towards the end there.

    Sean,
    DON’T LOOK NOW is indeed amazing. Watch it quick!

  • kyri

    It’s so sad to revisit this movies I just checked Pacino’s upcoming films in Wikipedia, man what a Disaster.
    I think I am going to cast him as a pimp, I am quite positive I can afford him.. :p

  • alechs

    While I liked Mr. Nobody the first time I watched it (I did not know anything about string-theory… so I guess that might be part of the charm) I am finding Film Junk’s complete trashing of the film very entertaining to listen to. There is no defense against that type of righteous anger.

  • Jonny Ashley

    Hilarious episode.

    I listened to the Movie Club Podcast episode of Vistor Q/Irreversible just after sending in the question about Takashi Miike, and wish I had included it in the discussion.

    Jay: I have hated every Takashi Miike movie I’ve seen except for Gozu. Gozu is what Vistor Q would have been if the entire movie was about lactating breast milk. It’s awesome.

  • Kasper

    Best episode in months. Good job guys!

  • Antho42

    Audition is Miike’s masterpiece(haven’t seen 13 Assassins).

    In terms of the Movie Club Podcast, the best match would probably be Mr.Nobody/Southland Tales. The core members of the Movie Club Podcast all like Dogtooth, and Enter the Void is too shallow for a good conversation. Southland Tales is Kurt’s Lady in the Water.

  • Colin

    The thing about Southland Tales is that, after you watch it a few times, you realize it actually makes sense and is fairly clever.

    I doubt this will happen with Mr. Nobody… not that I’ll ever be compelled to watch it again.

    Also, I’m of the mindset that Lady in the Water is a watchable movie… but I also thought that The Happening was watchable, so what the fuck do I know?

  • Antho42

    The Happening is an interesting film. Heck, I wouldn’t mine if more blockbusters had the same weird vibe.

  • Antho42

    A lot better than the safe, glossy tripe that is sold these days.

  • Jonny Ashley

    Willing to rewatch Audition, but could you give me a starting point on what you like about it? Maybe I came into it from the wrong perspective, but Miike’s films all tend to make me feel that way.
    I had the impression that I was supposed to be surprised that the girl was a psycho killer. I got the impression that it was supposed to be a big Shyamalyan-type twist. But the girl was so boring leading up to the last 20 minutes that I was thinking the whole time, Geez, there better be something fucking interesting about this girl after 95 minutes of nothing happening.

  • Sven

    Fantastic Episode, and a classic review of Mr. Nobody.

    I’d second that suggestion of a Synecdoche, NY episode for the Movie Club. I loved the film and I think I remember that after the lukewarm review you gave the film initially Jay seemed to have liked it more after revisiting it.

    By the way, someone brought this up already, but why not stick to this routine of reviewing movies that just hit DVD in weeks that nothing interesting comes to the theatre (I Love You Phillip Morris, Get Low, Leaves Of Grass, Please Give)? These last few episodes were great.

  • I recently rewatched some old Bevis and Butthead on the Netflix. I remember laughing my preteen ass off to that shit. Time has not been good to the show. King of the Hill is way better.

  • Goon

    somebody should count how many analogies were made during the review. I think it may be some kind of record.

  • You guys should review Drive Angry next

  • Jay Hayabusa

    Mr. Nobody was released in Paris, France last year. Went to see on a whim. By the end i was alone with another sad fellow. The film started with about 40 people in seats. Thinking back, not sure why i stayed :)

  • Wow. Never seen any of the Superman movies? I’m jealous. II and III are pretty awesome movies. But just stop there; you’ll be glad you did.

  • Epic disagree on great directors “dipping their toes” into comic book films. I AM willing to write off Aronofsky’s version of Wolverine. Just like I’m not bothering with Gondry’s Green Hornet. I don’t think the director has a whole lot of say in these things. It’s going to have to stick to conventions for the most part.

    Some might argue back with the Nolan Batman films, but really go back and watch TDK. Take out Ledger’s performance and the movie really isn’t all that good or interesting.

    How about Sam Raimi? He wasted at least 7 years on the Spiderman movies which are boring pieces of shit and then he comes out and makes something awesome like Drag Me to Hell.

    I don’t think these lame comic book super hero movies “taint” the directors’ other works, but it just seems like a waste of time when they could be doing something much more interesting. Aronofsky goes from The Fountain, Wrestler, Black Swan to do a Woverine movie? Really? I’ll still love those earlier movies, but unless he really breaks the mold, goes against the grain of what the studio surely wants him to do and pisses off all of the hard core fans, I seriously doubt Wolverine will be worth the time of day.

  • Another fantastic episode. Also @Andrew James, I’d argue that Aaron Eckhart was a large factor in the quality of TDK, not as big as Ledger obviously, but he pulled his weight for sure. The plot overall was solid, and saying without Ledger it isn’t good isn’t fair because he’s such an integral part of the plot, there is no TDK without him.

    Anyway, my friends and I recently started a film podcast, and if anyone wants to check it out, feel free. Any feedback and interaction would be greatly appreciated:

    http://www.we-rate-stuff.com/2011/02/wrs-presents-projection-room-e04.html

  • Goon

    “…and pisses off all of the hard core fans”

    This is necessary to make a good Wolverine because…. why exactly? There’s scores of quality Wolverine source material that the two are far from mutually exclusive.

  • Heaven’s Smile

    Jay & Frank bashing Mr. Nobody at the beginning of the review was like them fingercuffing an ugly chick, donkey-punching her and giving daps at the same time. Sweet!

  • patrik

    @Fatbologna

    I agree with you. Fuck Jared Leto in his stupid eyes. With a sword.

  • patrik

    @Andrew James I agree on TDK, it is a bit overrated.. It´s very good but nowhere near the level that most people seem to hold it to. Disagree on Raimi though Spiderman 1 & 2 are awesome and I don´t think Aronofsky would do it unless he gets a lot of control.

  • nullnullschmidt

    The more you dislike the movie the longer you talk about it. Great review. Phantastic chemistry.

  • “How about Sam Raimi? He wasted at least 7 years on the Spiderman movies which are boring pieces of shit and then he comes out and makes something awesome like Drag Me to Hell.”

    @Andrew James: Woah, woah, woah. Andrew, you’re not applying this to Spiderman 2 are you? The first and third are nothing spectacular, albeit I still like them for what they are. Spiderman 2, however, is a masterpiece! The Hospital scene alone is Raimi at his best, but the whole fucking movie is extraordinarily well-done and never boring. It’s probably my favorite comic book movie. It’s a toss-up between Spiderman 2 and Superman 2 for me. In fact, I definitely would watch Spiderman 2, over Drag Me To Hell any day (although I love both of them). Don’t be hating on Raimi’s foray into comic-books. He did an excellent job despite faltering with the 3rd one.

  • I wish the person who emailed asking for visually stunning films akin to The Fall didn’t include the derailing question about Dogtooth’s Oscar prospects, because I really want the Film Junk guys to give us their lists!

  • Hey Jim,

    Yeah I find all three Spiderman movies to be pretty boring. Now to be fair (or not fair I guess) I’ve only seen the movies one time each; in the theater. I almost dozed off in part one and part three was just schlocky. I do agree that two is the best one but I think it was really only because of Alfred Molina. To be honest though, they’re all so spectacularly unmemorable that I might be willing to give at least part two another look – but only under the right circumstances (like if I’m at someone’s house and they happen to turn to it).

    Not sure why everyone holds those movies in such high regard. To me they follow the same formula as every other super hero film. The main character farts around for an hour and a half contemplating his existence and the reason for his angst while neat-o special effects prove that it looks cool (for a while) when a blue and red blur swings through the city. Then the evil villain (or in the case of part three, all six villains) finally rears his ugly head after plotting the entire film, by dangling the damsel in distress from a tall building. Spiderman kicks some ass, fin.

    Snooze.

  • And again, if people like these movies, good for you. My point is I hate it when these really interesting directors do something ultimately formulaic when they could be doing something fresh and interesting.

    I mean I admit I’m curious to see what Fincher does with Dragon Tattoo. But not at the expense of him not doing another Fight Club or Social Network. Where would the world be if P.T. Anderson passed on the Boogie Nights project to direct a film about Silver Surfer or some such nonsense? Up shit creek that’s where.

  • Henrik

    Taking bait…

    “The main character farts around for an hour and a half contemplating his existence”

    This is not inherently uninteresting Andrew. Just because you don’t relate to Spider-Man (fuck knows what you relate to, other than american heroes who kill themselves to preserve democracy and freedom), doesn’t mean his struggle to cope with his life is objectively less interesting.

  • Xidor

    I had a chance to see Dial M for Murder in 3D at a London 3D classic horror movie festival and it was excellent. There were no 3D gimmicks and was done very subtlety. The fact that it only really takes place in the apartment makes you feel like you are really there.

  • Yeah that’s weird. I had no idea “Dial M for Murder” was in 3D. The movie itself is fantastic and I can’t see how it could possibly benefit from the “three dimesnsions” – still, I guess I’d be curious to see how Hitchcock handled it.

    Was “The Birds” in 3D as well?

    PS – I thought “Lifeboat” was kind of mediocre.

  • Two further litmus test movies I’d be curious that the FJ crew liked or disliked based on Mr. Nobody (not Forest Gump, The Fall or Southland Tales all interesting comparisons)

    Jeux D’enfants (Love me if you Dare) – Yann Samuel 2004
    Big Fish – Tim Burton 2003

    ‘Overstuffed’ trying to have its cake and eat it too style films with a fair bit of ‘melodrama’

  • I remember liking Big Fish, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. It did seem a bit sappy, but the whole fairy tale thing worked for me.

  • Mr. Nobody is a fairy tale of sorts. I treated it as a large ‘what if’ Not a ‘realistic movie about character depth and whatnot (for the record, I think Forest Gump and Benjamin Button are aiming more for ‘serious characters’ and ‘realistic’ whereas Mr. Nobody ain’t)

  • @Andrew: Give Spiderman 2 another look. I feel like it was the best amagalm of superhero movie and Sam Raimi’s stylistic confidence behind the camera. I’m a Raimi apologist. Even a movie like Quick and The Dead is spectacular for some of the over-the-top cinematography. Guys like Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi have a control over the camera unlike many filmmakers I know – guys who have fun keeping things moving. I can’t say I defend a lot of Tony Scott’s choices but I will stand by most of Raimi’s work simply because of his wacked-out POV shots, fast zooms, and camera tilts. If you watch that hospital scene in Spiderman 2, and aren’t AMAZED by how it’s put together, then you need to make sure your brain hasn’t even been eaten by a deadite. Spiderman 2 and Drag Me To Hell, have moments that recall the glory days of Evil Dead-era Raimi. The latter, more obviously so.

    Spiderman 2 may have similar archetypes that you find lifeless, and plot elements of the superhero genre which may have been played out, but Raimi turns them into gold mainly due to his energy and flourish as a director (JK Simmons helps in the same way as well). I don’t know what went wrong with Part 3, but Spiderman 2 should be held in high regard as one of the very best comic books movies… even better than The Dark Knight.