On this episode, reviews of the latest from iconic directors Darren Aronofsky and Wes Anderson—“Noah” and The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
But first, it’s news from around the filmosphere, with news about the Michael Bay reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the newest big screen iteration of “The Jungle Book,” and Aaron McGruder’s exit from “The Boondocks.”
Robert Kahne welcomes new guest host Pam Newman, as I continue work abroad.
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Special thanks to house band Discount Guns.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer (5:45)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a cultural phenomenon who have been featured in nearly every medium possible. From the original comic book in the early 1980s to the seminal television show in the late 1980s, to the three feature films in the 1990s, to the several attempts to reboot the television show in the 2000s—there are several different “TMNT”s that Americans of different ages call their own.
Michael Bay (“Transformers”) has been attached to a film about these Ninja Turtles for a while, and we now have a trailer.
After seeing it, there are many feelings.
The Jungle Book (13:57)
Andy Serkis is best known for his portrayal of CGI characters such as “Gollum from Lord” of the Rings and Cesar from “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” But now he is slated to direct a live-action version of “The Jungle Book.” The Rudyard Kipling book “Mowgli” was made into a Disney Animated Feature in the 1960s as well as a live action feature in the 1990s. Serkis gave an interview about the film, where he talked about being excited to be attached, and said, “What I love about the screen adaptation by Steve and Callie Kloves is it’s very truthful to the original book; it doesn’t shy away from its darkness. The jungle is a Garden of Eden and a wonderful place for Mowgli to grow up in, but also is a place of fear and a place of threat.”
Serkis directed in the second unit on the latest ”Hobbit” films.
The Boondocks (18:09)
Aaron McGruder started “The Boondocks” 20 years ago as a comic strip. It was introduced to many through the Adult Swim cartoon featuring the brothers Huey and Riley. The cartoon and comic strip have been a unique voice exploring African American culture and American politics. The show is set to return this year for its fourth season, but it was recently revealed that McGruder would not return with it. Instead, he is focusing on his half-hour live action show “Black Jesus,” which explores a modern day Jesus Christ living in Compton, Calif. Can “The Boondocks” be “The Boondocks” without McGruder around?
Noah is the newest film by Darren Aronofsky, director of film such as “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler,” and “Requiem for a Dream.” This film takes on perhaps Aronofsky’s most ambitious source material yet: The Bible. Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson; this film takes liberty with much of the story as it’s written in the Book of Genesis, but hews rather closely to the plot and theme presented in the Torah. This film has been controversial since it was announced, and now that the film is in theaters, voices have only been amplified.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (39:15)
Wes Anderson is known for films such as “The Royal Tennenbaums,” “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” Each of his films features similar actors, with the repeating cast growing each iteration. This film features Anderson vets Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, and Adrien Brody in starring roles and several others in cameos. It also features newcomers Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolorio in central roles. This film is a caper set in a fictional Eastern European country on the brink of World War II, where the concierge of a fancy hotel has been willed a very expensive painting of Boy With Apple.