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Taylor Gaines and a rotating cast of co-hosts talk "Survivor," Television, Movies, Podcasts, and the Latest in Pop Culture.

Tag: Sicario

Denis 2049: Link Roundup

If you missed any of our series on Denis Villeneuve, you can find links to all of our podcasts and writings in this post.

Without further ado:

Podcast Episodes

1) Director Deliberations (52:39)

2) August 32nd On Earth (38:55)

3) Maelstrom (27:13) 

4) Polytechnique (44:22)

5) Incendies (42:24)

6) Prisoners (54:06)

7) Enemy (52:50)

8) Sicario (49:55)

9) Arrival (1:02:35)

10) Bonus: Blade Runner (30:06)

 

11) Blade Runner 2049 (1:01:02)

Fireside Chats

1) August 32nd On Earth

Taylor: I’ve never seen a premise quite like this before. Does this happen often? Have any of your friends ever approached you asking to help them conceive a child in the desert? Would you do this for any of your friends?

Sam: The short answer is yes, of course I would take my friend to the desert to impregnate her. But only if we were married … (Keep reading here…)

2) Maelstrom

Taylor: Um, Sam? This movie was in French. I don’t speak French.

Sam: I speak French just fine, but remember, Taylor, this movie is French-Canadian. And in that field I can only speculate. (Keep reading here…)

3) Polytechnique

Taylor: I felt like I was witnessing something impossible, the act of witnessing it ensuring that I couldn’t deny what was happening right in front of me. A contradiction that I can’t justify but won’t back down from. It was surreal. I don’t think I’ve ever been so compelled and disturbed and haunted by a movie all at once.

Sam: “Polytechnique” is one of those movies – “Schindler’s List,” “Manchester by the Sea,” Villeneuve’s own “Prisoners” – that gladly asks you to pay money to get punched in the throat. It hurts to watch this movie. It’s gut-wrenching and brutal and the longest 80-minute movie I’ve ever seen.

I loved it. (Keep reading here…)

4) Incendies

Sam: It represents what he thinks about what he’s portraying. He believes, I think, that the world is dark and terrible, but not without hope, love and people fighting break cycles of anger and the systems that oppress them. Or, I don’t know, maybe he’s just into incest.

Taylor: I think this is a really good point. He often presents worlds that make no sense, that would make anyone question their existence and purpose and whether anything really matters. By the end, though, nearly without fail, he presents them with a way forward. A way to keep going. It may not be definitive or solve everything (or anything!), but it shows some optimism. And that gives me some hope, too. (Keep reading here…)

5) Prisoners

Taylor: This is such an obnoxiously bad opinion that I don’t even know where to start. Maybe he just wanted people to think, “Wow, what a bold take! He must know something I don’t!” If I was younger, I might have fallen for this, but facts are facts. If you think “Prisoners” is Denis’ seventh-best movie, you should not be allowed into the theater for “Blade Runner 2049.”

Sam: If Melissa Leo and her whack-ass husband kidnapped me, pumped me with some psychedelic Welch’s grape juice, put me in a basement, and said, “Here you go, finish this book of puzzles and you can go home,” and the last page said, “Explain how ‘Prisoners’ is Denis’ seventh-best movie,” I’d happily rot under that 1972 Chevy Vega.

And that’s really what “Prisoners” is about, isn’t it? (Keep reading here…)

6) Enemy

Sam: …let’s try on a couple:

  • Spider Number One: The spider on the plate. At the beginning of the movie, Actor Gyllenhaal goes to the strangest speakeasy in Toronto, in which women step on spiders served on stainless-steel, beautifully-crafted serving dishes. If this isn’t symbolic of the existential threat posed by women taking over the culinary industry, I don’t know what is.
  • Spider Number Two: The spider with long legs walking slowly over the city, careful not to step on any of the sharp buildings. This is clearly Denis’ ode to waking up in the middle of the night and gingerly walking to the bathroom when you can’t see what’s on the floor.

What spiders am I missing?

Taylor: You left out a hugely important spider.

Wife Spider. (Keep reading here…)

7) Sicario

You won’t believe who we got to write this one for us. Go read it.

8) Arrival 

Taylor: Tell me I’m wrong.

Sam: You’re wrong.

Taylor: Okay. Good talk.

Sam: No, listen. Renner is…(Keep reading here…)

9) Blade Runner 2049

Taylor: Your well-founded concerns about the LAPD looking the other way on serious child labor crimes while also sending officers to other states notwithstanding (though, trust me, I also find this deeply concerning), I think it’s time we get to the nitty-gritty: Tell me your thoughts on Jared Leto, and give me your guess for what planet his character is from in this movie.

*dives into bunker, covers ears*

Sam: I don’t want to guess irresponsibly about the behind-the-scenes decisions that led to casting Leto as the titular villain (maybe Denis was trying to impress his 14-year-old stepdaughter?), so I won’t get into the why on Earth was this decision made discussion but will try to only discuss his on-field performance.

I’ll start by trying to answer your question: I have no idea what planet Wallace is from, but I’m guessing it’s a world a lot like Earth except that it is inhabited by blind humanoids who are deeply philosophical, malicious, and don’t read scripts. Leto for sure showed up on set without having seen the original “Blade Runner” or having read anything but his own lines.

He definitely thinks…(Keep reading here…)

Fireside Chats: ‘Sicario’

For each movie in the “Denis 2049” series, Taylor and Sam will sit down and bounce some thoughts off each other, off-mic. Their brilliant minds will unleash many words. Make of them what you will. This time: “Sicario” (hijacked!).

Dear TS,

No prep, no outlines, just pen to paper. I respect that. I’m also a genius, and that’s what it takes to understand the modern-day “No Country For Old Men”/“There Will Be Blood” masterpiece that is “Sicario,” so I’m just gonna jump right in and defend you against all the BS criticism.

This is a tale of men (and women, but mostly men cause women are weak) fighting to make our streets safe but more importantly getting revenge for specific personal sins against themselves. Women can come along to watch for “equality” to tell us what they think we’re doing wrong and when they tell us what they think we’re doing wrong we tell them to go to hell cause they don’t know what they’re talking about.

You know what they say about life: Everything is personal, and men are strong. This is a movie for wolves, not sheep. Have you ever smelled a burning sheep? I have.

This is the best movie of at least the last two centuries. The only issue I have with is the line, “Time to meet God.” That’s dumb because there is no God and also time is a flat circle, but I guess that is what also makes it brilliant since it’s working on so many different levels like that.

Anyway, I was almost as impressed with this movie as I was with “True Detective” Season Two.

Love you bro,

Nic Pizzolatto

Hey Nic,

It’s me, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and creator of “Sicario,” Taylor Sheridan.

Thanks for reaching out and writing that letter. You and I are my two biggest influences, so it means a lot to me that you’d think to write me about how good “Sicario” was.

I’m actually writing a second one now! It’ll have less women and even more of what you loved about “No Country For Old Men”: Josh Brolin and other people getting shot in and near Mexico. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) it’ll be my “True Detective” Season Two.

“Time to meet God” was actually my proudest moment writing “Sicario.” I tried to make Benicio del Toro (I think that was the character’s name, I haven’t seen the movie) as compelling and subtle as I could, you know? So to me, that line in a weird way kinda says, “I’m about to kill you.” Did you pick up on that? Cause right after he says that line, he kills them! Get it?

Man, I really hope we can work together in the future. Maybe we could work on a “Prisoners” sequel together. It would be so dark and violent the original would look like a Paul Dano rom-com. Or we could do a “There Will Be Blood” sequel so dark and violent the original would look like a Paul Dano rom-com!

Love,

Taylor

Look T,

I admire your work almost as much as my own, but there’s something you gotta know about me. I work alone.

That’s why I write complicated male characters who prefer to work alone and get wet on a series of bad habits once in a while. It comes from a real place, man. That’s what makes it work.

I tried working with a partner once – some asshole who had a girly first name and a last name of like a bombing site – that did not work out. The show we put out was the worst thing I’ve ever made.

You’re a writer. Think about the word writer, Sher. It’s a singular word. There can’t be two writers. That doesn’t make sense.

But I like you. Watching short YouTube clips of some of your work has made me think that we might really get along in a deeper way than anything I’ve ever experienced. Instead, I’ll have to just tell you a secret. Nobody knows this. I’ve already written Seasons 3 through 22 of “True Detective.” HBO just sucks.

Your “Sicario” sequel sounds sick as hell, bro. I’m all for less women, too, but make sure the ones you do have are basically dudes and/or topless randomly. See, the thing you need to learn is that women can be cool, you just have to remember they suck at everything. It’s science. (That’s what Season 6 of “True Detective” is about.)

Thanks for liking Season Two, by the way. It’s nice to hear the opinion of someone I respect other than myself. I’m glad you understood the point cause I’m sick of explaining it.

God, I’m a genius. Well, not God, but you know what I mean.

Love,

Nic

Nic,

It’s okay if you want to work alone. I get it! I love working alone, too! It’s all I ever do.

My first acting project was on a show I started called “Walker, Texas Ranger” where me and Chuck Norris walk around Texas beating up bank robbers and kidnappers and Satan worshippers. It’s actually where I came up with the idea for “Hell or High Water.” There was a scene in the only episode I was onscreen for where they were like, “Hey, Taylor, in this scene we want you to talk to this guy or shake hands with this guy or something,” and I was like, “Whoa, wait a second. I work alone.” So that’s when I invented the green screen.

So maybe we could just work together through green screen?

Let me just pitch you my idea for “There Will Be Blood Two: Sangre.” (Sangre is Spanish for “blood,” according to Google Translate. [I wrote half of “Sicario” by just typing different names of drugs into Google Translate.]) Anyway, let me just pitch this and you can tell me if you want to help out.

Okay, so the original was pretty good. It had troubled powerful men with gristly voices. It had Paul Dano. It had Paul Dano playing his own twin! I didn’t understand most of it, but it was great.

My only problem is this, Nic. Where’s the blood? I was promised one simple thing going into this movie: Blood. It will be there. That’s literally what it says on the poster! I’m a big fan of posters saying what the movie is about (that’s why I loved “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” so much). But there wasn’t that much blood!

So my idea is to basically do the same thing as “TWBB1,” but instead of Daniel-Day Lewis as an oil tycoon, I’m thinking JOSH BROLIN, and he’s gonna play an FBI agent who’s seen some stuff but still has a sense of humor.

Let me know if you’re interested. By the way, what did you think of “Sons of Anarchy”? I was in that (tons of green screen).

Love,

Taylor

“Taylor,”

Who is this? I’m busy.

Nic Pizzolatto

Next up: “Arrival.”

Denis 2049: ‘Sicario’

On this episode, Taylor Gaines and Sam Hensel break down Denis Villeneuve’s “most fun” movie, 2015’s “Sicario.” They talk about Villy’s most intense action sequence yet, Emily Blunt’s and Benicio Del Toro’s greatness, and the Taylor Sheridan of it all. Plus, they ask the most important question of our time: How did Jim from “The Office” wind up with Emily Blunt? All that and more, right here.

Next time: “Arrival

You can find all of our previous podcasts on our website, OnTheIslandPodcast.com and on iTunes. Subscribe, rate, and review!

As always, thanks to Levi Bradford for the theme song. You can find his music at poblano.bandcamp.com.

You can find the companion written piece here.

(Now On The Island!)

Vote Villeneuve 2049

On Tuesday, Taylor and Sam argued over which movie director should be the subject of their upcoming podcast series. In the series, they will examine each movie in the filmography of a prominent director. When the dust settled, two men remained: Guillermo del Toro and Denis Villeneuve. Next Tuesday, we’ll be holding a live Twitter vote to determine the winner and subject of the series. Today, we are publishing Taylor’s and Sam’s arguments for why you should vote for their chosen director. First up: Taylor on Villeneuve. (Update: Sam’s is here.)

The argument for Denis Villeneuve is two minutes and 22 seconds long.

Sure, I could spend my time telling you why watching the movies of a man who decided to make two “Hellboy” movies is a bad idea. Or I could tell you why we’d be wasting our time with a filmmaker who saw “Pinocchio” and thought, “You know what? That story should be darker.” I could even tell you why you should never trust the judgment of a man who thinks “The Strain” is good television.

But I won’t do that.

I could also spend my time telling you why Villeneuve is the right choice. For many reasons. I could tell you that “Arrival” is secretly the best movie of the last year. I could tell you that watching “Prisoners” will make you feel things you never thought a movie could make you feel. I could point out that you’d actually be doing Sam a favor by picking Villeneuve because his all-time favorite actor Jake Gyllenhaal is in two of his movies.

But I won’t do that either.

For now, I will simply show you a video that is two minutes and 22 seconds long and highlight some of the moments within.

Please begin.

This is the trailer for Villeneuve’s upcoming film, “Blade Runner 2049.” It comes out October 6.

This is Ryan Gosling. He plays Sebastian. Years after the world has fallen into complete disarray due to a nuclear apocalypse, he still likes to visit the piano bar he used to own. He doggedly holds out hope that he will run into his old flame, Mia, again, and that they can rekindle their romance. “Blade Runner 2049” takes place several years after the events of the first movie, but fans hope it will provide all the answers to their burning questions. Will John Legend make an appearance? It’s too soon to say.

The trailer also reveals that “Blade Runner 2049” takes place in the same expanded universe as “The Prestige,” a theory many had been bandying about online for years.

That’s enough about the plot for now, though. I’d like to talk about wonder.

Denis Villeneuve is the kind of director that makes you audibly gasp when you’re watching his movies in the theater. The world his camera captures is more beautiful than the one we actually inhabit. Even when it’s eye is trained on a post-apocalyptic society. Every shot in this trailer is magnificent, and I would like to build a home inside each of them and live out the rest of my days traveling between each one. That’s wonder.

I mean, c’mon.

That feeling you get when Mackenzie Davis struts onto the screen like she owns the god damn world is called joy. One of our best television actors (“Halt and Catch Fire”, “Black Mirror”) is getting her chance to rule the big screen, and she is not taking that lightly.

If you aren’t sold yet, think about this.

Harrison Ford is 75 years old. When he moves around on screen, he looks every bit his age. But when Villeneuve, in his infinite wisdom, saw Harrison Ford on set, he said, “You know what, I know what this movie’s missing. We need a man who looks like he hasn’t run in 25 years to run from a collapsing building or something.”

This moment in the trailer is funny, and if you don’t want to see Harrison Ford trying to run in a movie, I’m not sure what I can do for you.

There are so many questions. Why is Ryan Gosling so angry? Whose blood is that? Is he a robot? Is Harrison Ford a robot? Will any of Guillermo del Toro’s movies be half as good as this single second of the “Blade Runner 2049” trailer? Will that guy from “Suicide Squad” completely ruin the movie? Am I contractually obligated to mention him by name *cough* Jared Leto? Is Tom Hardy in this movie? Is Denis Villeneuve the best filmmaker currently working in Hollywood?

If you want answers, you know what to do.

Vote Villeneuve.

Follow us @fauxworthypod, and check in on Tuesday for the live vote. The winner will be the subject for the podcast series. “Blade Runner 2049” comes out October 6. “The Shape of Water” comes out December 8. 

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