BSD #16: ‘Shaun of the Dead’

Your Netflix may recognize them as “Hey, it’s basically everybody from ‘Spaced’ and ‘Black Books.'”

The Blast Shields Down Film Review Society continues Season 2 with another horror-romance, Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. It’s your classic love triangle between Shaun (Simon Pegg), his girlfriend (Kate Ashfield), and his best mate (Nick Frost). Well, and her roommate’s (Lucy Davis) boyfriend (Dylan Moran). Oh, and Shaun’s mom (Penelope Wilton), who’s married to Bill Nighy, but not really because Bill Nighy is a well-respected actor who is merely playing her husband …. Really, it doesn’t matter, because they’re about to let a zombie apocalypse sort the whole thing out.

When listening to this episode, be sure that it’s somewhere safe, somewhere secure, and somewhere you can smoke because …

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”perspective-left” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#d80001″ ]WARNING! Blast Shields Down film reviews are bursting with ghastly language, brain-destroying opinions, and spoilers that will sent you into the streets with a cricket bat.[/dropshadowbox]

BSD #15: ‘Let the Right One In’

“You’ve got red on you.”

The Blast Shield Down Film Review Society has reconvened for Season 2, and we’re jumping out of the gate with a Halloween-themed month of October* with the 2008 Nordic vampire flick, Let the Right One In. And, brother, this movie has it all: vampires, vaginal scars, subtle commentary on Swedish socialism in the 1980s, unpronounceable names, and a kid who can’t tread water without drinking half the pool.

Kåre Hedebrant stars as Oskar, a lonely kid who makes the acquaintance of Eli, the new girl next door played by Lina Leandersson, who doesn’t need a jacket or shoes to go outside in a Scandinavian winter. Unlike a certain other movie vampire, Eli doesn’t go to school to date insecure teens, but instead teaches Oskar how to fight back against Nordic Billy Zabka and his gang of Scut Farkuses.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”perspective-left” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#fa4b00″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]WARNING: Blast Shields Down movie reviews contain spooky spoilers, scary language, and horrifying opinions! Beware![/dropshadowbox]

Coming Up: Shaun of the Dead!

*It was either this or baseball movies, and we promised ourselves that we weren’t going to cry at Field of Dreams again.

BSD Half-Show 5: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Continuing our Summer of Movie Blockbusters, the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society presents another spoiler-free half-episode* dedicated to Christopher Nolan’s final Batman installment,** The Dark Knight Rises. And never have our opinions been so across the board, from Hubie‘s full-on love to Duncan‘s uvulating hatred and with me somewhere in the middle.

The one thing we agree on? That it’s hard to follow your trilogy’s Empire with Jedi. Also, it’s really, really hard to talk about a Nolan film without feeling like you’re spoiling something.

*Yes, there will eventually be a new full, spoilerific episode on True Grit.

**Although he is rumored to be producing the upcoming Batman reboot that will tie-in with an eventual Justice League movie.

BSD Half-Show 3: ‘Prometheus’

The summer movie season continues, and the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society is hunting xenomorphs in our latest spoiler-free half episode about Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. How do the Blasters rate the movie that’s kind of a prequel to Alien, but only for, like, one scene? You’ll have to listen to find out!

(But, seriously, you should probably go see it just so you can get a better idea of what true 3D looks like, unlike the spate of conversions that get thrown into the multiplex these days.)

Also: Hear Hubie give the Internet’s shortest review of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows.

And … if you’re wondering what happened to Episodes 14.5 and 15, 14.5 was a half-show about Marvel’s The Avengers (that I could not sit in on), and 15 is our upcoming full, spoilerific review of the Coen brother’s remake of True Grit.

BSD #14: ‘Serenity’

You knew Serenity would show up on the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society podcast at some point, and it finally did for episode 14. Hubie hosts as we fight a losing battle over who loved Firefly the most, whether this movie wrapped the series up well enough, and if Joss Whedon is as godly as his most strident fans attest. (At least one of us believes he was more hit-or-miss in his earlier career and less the whipping boy for the Hollywood machine than everyone claims.)

Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the crew of his Firefly-class smuggling ship, Serenity, discover that one of their passengers, a whispy barefoot lunatic (Summer Glau), is actually a government-programmed killing machine. When dumping River and her brother, Simon (Sean Maher), doesn’t work as well as planned, Mal and the gang resolve to survive long enough to find out what the Alliance is up to.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down movie reviews aim to misbehave, what with their naughty ‘guage, ‘furiatin’ opins, and shiny spoilers. Listener discretion would be advisable.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you. If we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

BSD Half-Show 1: ‘The Hunger Games’

Trying something new, the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society conducts an impromptu spoiler-free half episode on The Hunger Games. Not content to merely see each other at recordings, the Blasters went as a group to see Katniss and Kompany kill each other for glorious benefit future society and, amazingly, manage not to descend into our own bloodbath afterward.

Duncan read the books, Hubie and I have not, and Dajuan couldn’t make it and was sorely missed. We discuss:

  • Why The Hunger Games is destined to be the next major franchise (in spite of quality).
  • Whether Jennifer Lawrence works as a sixteen-year-old or not.
  • Shaky-cams.
  • The surprising lack of hunger or suspense — but mostly hunger — in The Hunger Games.

But, that’s not all! Hubie briefly lights on Being Human (UK), and we give a brief yea or nay to John Carter.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of terrifying language and opinions that have not been obscured with cheap camera effects. Listener discretion is advised.

So, what do you think? Should we continue this for the summer movie season? And what about a name? BSD Escape Pod Edition? BSD Captain’s Yacht? BSD [something else because you’re more creative than us]? Let us know in the comments below.

BSD #13: ‘Memento’

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 flapping Polaroids
I avoided it because of hype, but Memento lives up to it.

For episode 13, Duncan hosts an Dajuan-less show as the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society gets down and dirty with Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a man who is searching for the man who raped and killed his wife. Just to gum up the film noir works, Leonard can’t produce long-term memories since her death, suffering from a form of amnesia that doctors refer to as Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates Disease. The film follows Leonard’s memory spurts from blackout to blackout backwards. Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) co-star, helping Leonard’s search … or are they?

It’s a mind-flayer of a movie, and it leads the Blasters to discuss amnesia as a plot device, revenge, how Chris Nolan is fixing American cinema, and whether Lenny has problems beyond anterograde amnesia. And, if we can teach you anything, why you should never attack a guy in the shower. Those reasons have nothing to do with the warning for every BSD episode:

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, spoilers, and … Wait, did I mention there are spoilers? Listener discretion is advised.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you, and if we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

Fun Fact: Hubie broke a chair right before this show … and Dajuan missed it! (Pictures of the furniture carnage — or furnage — may or may not exist.)

BSD #12: ‘This is Spinal Tap’

My Rating: 9 out of 11 unplayed guitars
An ageless comedy about rockers facing the inevitability of aging

It didn’t quite make it to being Episode 11, but the Blast Shields Down Film Society rocks out to 1984’s This is Spinal Tap. I host the discussion as we delve into the band’s fictional history and our own brief flirtations with rock godliness. (Don’t worry, it’s not an hour of us talking about our bands.) Topics range from the sexy mystique of rockers, group dynamics, sexism vs. sexiness, and the state of music today when compared to this time capsule from the days of head-banging and stuffed spandex.

Rob Reiner directs and plays documentarian to David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer respectively) as Spinal Tap, a British metal band that has launched a U.S. tour in a last ditch effort at the rock and roll lifestyle. In the process, the band experiences setbacks including a controversial album cover, on stage mishaps, a controlling girlfriend, and spontaneously combusting drummers, leading to what could be their final breakup.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, terrible British accents, and spoilers. Listener discretion is advised because we intimidate listeners with the armadillos in our trousers.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you, and if we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

BSD #11: ‘Inside Man’

My Review: 3 4* out of 5 replaced slurs in a cop’s speech
A bit heavy-handed at times, but very compelling and incredibly funny
*See my note at the end why I’ve changed the score

Dajuan hosts Blast Shields Down Episode 11: Spike Lee’s Inside Man, starring Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, the Von Trapp dad and Duncan‘s true cinematic love, Jodie Foster. (This is only the beginning of our ribbing him about it. Jodie Foster’s been in a lot of films, you guys, and she keeps popping up in our picks.)

Clive Owen plays Dalton Russell, a bank robber who is explaining how he has pulled off the perfect bank robbery. NYPD Detective Keith Frazier, played by Denzel Washington, is determined not to let that happen. And Jodie Foster tries to cover up the real goal of the heist, documents that implicate the bank’s owner (Von Trapp, or Christopher Plummer) having stolen Jewish diamonds during the Holocaust. And, hey, look who else shows up:

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (who you may remember from Episode 3: Children of Men)
  • Willem Dafoe
  • Spike Lee’s boxcart
  • And …

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, and spoilers, all just waiting to be uncovered with the perfect plan … or by listening through the links below.

Continue reading BSD #11: ‘Inside Man’

BSD #10: ‘Ink’

My Rating: 3.5 beats out of 4
What if your high school production of Godspell knew kung fu?

It’s Episode 10 of Blast Shields Down, and Duncan tries to keep us in line while we discuss obscure indie film, Ink. Good and evil, in the forms of the Storytellers who bring good dreams and Incubi who truck in bad dreams, fight over the soul of a little girl who has been kidnapped by a mysterious wanderer named Ink.

Topics range from how more money may or may not have helped, whether bad dreams are bad, and how a single Craftsman toolbox can destroy the suspension of disbelief, no matter how many polyvinyl sheets you hang up.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are nightmarishly full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, and spoilers. But we’re not evil … yet.

Continue reading BSD #10: ‘Ink’