Film Junk Podcast Episode #484: The Equalizer


0:00 – Intro
11:58 – Review: The Equalizer
35:38 – Headlines: Star Wars VII Chrome Stormtrooper Helmet, Blackhat Trailer
48:38 – Prescribing Frank: The Night of the Hunter, Playtime
1:23:13 – Other Stuff We Watched: Revenge of the Nerds, Noah, Macbeth, Looking For Richard, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Death Spa
1:47:39 – Junk Mail: Shedding Light on Frank’s “Questionable” Rewatches, Frank’s Mom Comes To His Defense, Does a Rating Last Forever?, Moments of Pure Cinematic Bliss
2:14:00 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray

Film Junk Podcast Episode #484: The Equalizer by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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  • Essie

    Thanks so much for the show, guys. It was great to hear Dax back!

    The section where you discuss Playtime and Night of the Hunter was a nice change of pace from the regular main reviews where you focus on the kinda dull releases of today. I think Frank started out his thoughts on Playtime by saying “there might be things I didn’t get…”, I think that is clear after hearing the following conversation.

    Tati’s films are certainly extremely dense but I also find them at the same time immensely rewarding. If you don’t get the commentary on technology and modernization I think there are surely enough beautifully constructed comedic ‘set pieces’ to soak up.

    Going forward I think the films Frank should be prescribed should be maybe more American and less about themes or filmmaking.

    One thing that bugs me though is the idea that if Frank doesn’t like a film nobody else can like it without being influenced by an outside factor. There are a multitude of reasons why Playtime is a masterpiece and the fact that it’s old, French, and on criterion don’t rank among them.

    Thanks again for the show.

  • devolutionary

    Jay is the “whitest” rapper possible!

  • Sam

    I know Jay didn’t want any listener suggestions, but if they do kind of want to stick towards some foreign films for Frank, maybe a few films by Jean-Pierre Melville might appeal to Frank. Jay has compared Melville to Tarantino in the past and Frank loves some QT, and Melville’s style has influenced a lot Western crime films as well.

    There’s two or three Melville films I could think of that might appeal to Frank.

  • Jay Cheel

    Army of Shadows might be a good choice. Although Frank might suggest that’s just the Criterionitis speaking.

  • devolutionary

    I still need to see that one (been on my short list for over a year). Le Samourai is the only Melville I’ve seen, but it’s pretty great.

  • Sam

    I love Le Samourai. That, Army of Shadows and Le Cercle Rouge are the main three I’d have in mind for Frank or even Bob le Flambeur as well, but of course all four are on Criterion.

  • Indianamcclain

    i kinda agree with Frank about Playtime. There were moments that were really enjoyable, but there are other moments that were boring.

  • yonato

    The autotune-rap in the beginning is pure gold. Laughing so hard right now

  • T. Heilman

    I love Night of the Hunter (it’s on my top 100), but on a first time watch it can be difficult to digest, particularly the staginess of the sets and their subsequent artificiality. It requires a viewer apply a storybook aspect to the proceedings.
    The book by Davis Grubb is fantastic and by virtue of its medium does not have this issue.
    While no fan of remakes, a case could be made for a new adaptation of this (ignoring the Richard Chamberlain t.v. movie). The Coen Brothers would nail the depression era Southern setting and the river chase. Though no one could touch Mitchum’s Harry Powell (compare True Grit’s Jeff Bridges’ Cogburn character to John Wayne’s- no contest, the Duke is monumental), other aspects could be given a more naturalistic spin.

  • Colin

    Pretty sure Frank would find Le Samourai as dull as he found Playtime… given his opinions on other slower, contemplative, plotless films (i.e. Lost in Translation) I think Frank needs to be prescribed something a bit more kinetic.

  • MattTO

    Jumping into non-narrative driven films is hard to do. I think liking films like Playtime, or even some of the documentaries Jay’s spoken about like Sweetgrass, might not ever be in the cards for certain people. For instance, I found Playtime difficult/frustrating for a lot of the same reasons Frank talked about and I’m not sure it’s the kind of film I’d ever list as something I enjoy watching. That said, I certainly appreciate it’s impact on film, its ideas, and how it’ll probably change my perspective on movies, in some way, going forward. In the end isn’t that the goal of pushing yourself to watch films that are outside of your comfort zone, regardless of whether you like them?

    With that said, I don’t know exactly where you go next with the “prescribing” films stuff. If “Criterionitis” claims are just going to become the new go-to thing for giving an older movie a bad grade then I’d say to just forget about the whole thing. I think it’s a really useless concept that just frustrates discussion and doesn’t mean anything.

  • Andrew James

    In regards to Equalizer, his age is kind of the point. I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s based on a TV show in which the main character is retired.

  • devolutionary

    In lieu of Gone Girl (and next week’s podcast), you can stream the full score at NPR. I definitely got a bit of a Badelamenti/Twin Peaks vibe with much of the soundtrack.

  • Claudius

    Prescribing Frank is the best thing since Psychoanalyzing Frank!
    Endlessly fascinating human subject.

  • Maik

    I would really want to challenge Frank just a little bit.
    How about “Stranger by the lake” and “Blue is the warmest color”!

  • Maureen W.

    How about films by John Huston? Artistic yet not “artsy”. Also, there’s two foreign directors I think you guys might enjoy that I’ve never heard anyone on the show discuss: Fassbinder and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

  • FDB

    That’s not a bad suggestion, and Wise Blood is even vaguely connected to The Master, which might be a selling point.

  • timmm

    To me Jay´s world-famous digestive issues are synonymous to the baby from “Under your skin”. It siiting there alone on the beach/the absense of Cheel´s constant diarrhea is devastatingly heartbreaking to me, but Jay/Dax etc.don´t care at all. They are clearly lacking empathy.

  • Essie

    Jay has talked about World on a Wire before. I think Sean would really be into Fassbinder’s stuff. I know when Kieslowski’s Decalogue was brought up in a junk mail they had never heard of it so seemingly they haven’t heard of him. Jay might really dig his work.

  • Kasper

    Prescribing Frank was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to based on the two movies he had watched.

  • kyri

    I like the Glossary..
    but, what we really need is a Wikipedia page,

    How is it that so many newbie podcasts are able to have one but not filmjunk. This is absolute rubbish.

  • Army of Shadows is out of print, so it should definitely be that one.

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    Wasn’t “Poltergeist” the first Frank prescription? Luckily it no longer takes as many spoonfuls of Jay sugar to help the medicine go down.

  • Falsk

    So make one?

  • Sean

    I believe some people tried to make one in the past and it got deleted almost immediately. Apparently we’re not big enough to be immortalized in Wikipedia. I don’t really understand what the criteria is for inclusion.

  • Falsk

    Oh, really? That’s so bizarre… I wonder if you need a certain amount of references… ?

  • Primal

    Frank, If you’re going to accuse people of Criterionitis, don’t make things up to describe it. It came across as condescending to say to any film fan. I’d like to never see this term in the FJ Glossary unless it has a super clear definition =)

  • kyri

    ..yeah.., I just created one for Cheel and a useless prick just came and deleted it almost immediately .

  • kyri

    so I challenged the deletion, and a super awesome guy named Paul Erik came and agreed so Jay now is officially @ wikipedia .. Now, I will let that sit for a while and then strike again by adding Film junk into the list of film podcast wiki page.. and then… hopefully we can go about to create the wiki site.. do you guys have links to some of your awards or anything that could be used as a reference? ..these guys love references..

  • kyri

    I’ve looked into the wiki history of other podCasts, it seems that almost all of them were nominated for deletion, The difference between you and them is that the deletion was declined because “some of the producers already had wikipedia pages”

  • Kasper

    Will you keep editing the wiki for Jay? I would say it would be useful regarding Beauty Day to mention the Genie nomination and the Golden Eye nomination at Zurich Film Festival at the very least. I don’t know how the Wikipedia system works, but it would suck if it was possible for another drive-by deletion to occur.

  • MisterQuigley

    The vibe was awesome. Thanks boys! And Frank too…

  • Nicky

    It’s time for the King of Conspiracy to step in.

  • Bob

    Hearing about Frank’s shelf of unwatched Criterion films, while he criticises others for perhaps being influenced to add half star to their rating, is the most pathetic moment in 400+ episodes.

    Makes me wonder if Frank prefers collecting rather than watching films.

  • Bandit Manatee

    Looks like we got ourselves a good ol’ fashioned wikipedia edit war. Yeehaw!

  • Sean
  • One of the moments on film that really gets me going is the part in The Stand at the beginning where the song Don’t Fear The Reaper starts playing. I just love the way that sets the mood of the film (even though it’s not the original version of the song, it’s well done).

  • pcch7

    Frank could not be more wrong regarding Chloe Grace Moretz, she’s really good imo and her career is definitely not in danger. As for the movie, I thought it was alright but the Seagal vision was stupid.