Episode 137 – Straight Outta Compton, Poltergeist (2015), Ted 2; reviews: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything

In this episode, we watch all new trailers for the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, the Poltergeist remake, and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2. Plus we finish up our reviews of Oscar Best Pictures nominees with a look at The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything. All that plus What We’re Watching.

Questions or comments on the show? E-mail us at trailerpodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @TrailerPodcast or on Facebook at facebook.com/trailerpodcast.

What We’re Watching…

– Dustin: Better Call Saul (Mondays on AMC)
– Cody: Oscar nominated short films (Fandango / check local listings)
– Andy: The Fall, Season 2  / Ida  

Full trailers…

Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures) — RED BAND — in theaters August 14, 2015

Poltergeist (2015) (20th Century Fox) — in theaters July 24, 2015

Ted 2 (Universal Pictures) — in theaters June 26, 2015

Episode 87 – A Million Ways to Die in the West, Enemy, Pompeii; review: Nebraska; remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

In this episode, we remember the work of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed last weekend. We also watch trailers for Seth MacFarlane’s new comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, Jake Gyllenhaal in the psychological thriller Enemy, and the upcoming action film Pompeii. Plus we review Alexander Payne’s Oscar nominee for Best Picture, Nebraska, and we talk about What We’re Watching.

Questions or comments on the show? E-mail us at trailerpodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @TrailerPodcast.

What We’re Watching…

– Andy: Mitt  
– Dustin: The Talented Mr. Ripley    
– Cody: Philomena  (now in theaters)

Full trailers…

A Million Ways to Die in the West (Universal Pictures) Red Band — in theaters May 30, 2014

Enemy (A24 Films)– coming soon

Pompeii (Sony Pictures)– in theaters February 21, 2014

‘Ted’ and ‘The Artist’: Two love letters to filmmaking

What do Best Picture winner The Artist and the new raunchy comedy Ted have in common? Maybe more than you’d think.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a movie about a foul mouthed, pot smoking teddy bear is on the same artistic level as the first silent film to win the top Oscar in 83 years. I’m not leading the charge for Ted to be nominated for Best Picture this year.

I watched both movies this weekend. The Artist is new on DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand, and Ted was released in theaters Friday. I’m not going to get deep into the stories because there are plenty of other reviews out there that do that. After seeing both movies, though, I realized that each one in its own way is a tribute to film itself.

In the The Artist, popular silent film actor George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) finds himself becoming obsolete with the advent of talkies. Valentin is a handsome, rugged movie star largely popular for his looks and swagger, much like a Douglas Fairbanks or a Rudolph Valentino. His leading lady, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), is a gal with spunk–or least that’s what I imagine a stereotypical, fast-talking film producer from the 1930s saying. The entire film is a tribute to the silent film era, and it captures the magic that many of the best films of that time had.

On its surface, Ted is a movie about a talking teddy bear and his 35-year-old slacker best friend John (Mark Walhberg). It takes a little bit of time to adjust to the world Seth MacFarlane creates, where a talking teddy bear is regarded by others as nonchalantly as, oh, a talking dog in Family Guy.

But if you’re a fan of Family Guy like me, you know Seth MacFarlane not only likes to make fun of popular culture but also pays tribute to it. Scenes like the epic fights between Peter and the giant chicken are as much homages to fight scenes from action movies as they are parodies of them.

MacFarlane does much the same thing with Ted, his first live action feature film. You get the sense that he just loves movies. If he can find a way to work in an epic fight scene, a climactic car chase or a dramatic, nail-biting showdown at a popular sports venue, he’s going to do it.

Obviously these two movies are very different, and I was a little worried after watching and enjoying The Artist first that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy Ted as much. But if you watch each movie for what it is, you can appreciate what each is trying to accomplish. In my opinion, they both succeed.