Mini-sode: CastAway the first

March 25, 2010

CastAway1 (right click and “save as” for download)

Post! Check out the very first episode in the Casta cannon to run at half capacity. Chris M is out and about on his travels and so left me in charge to fend for myself. The result is typically lengthy, sprawling and littered with swearwords, but all in all I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a hoot! Listen in for reviews of I Love You Phillip Morris and Nowhere Boy plus me and my SPECIAL GUEST witter on about recent casting decisions, Kick Ass’s buzz and our least favourite character in 24. Oh, and there’s some incest in there too.

Check back next week for another instalment of the CASTAways!


Episode 14 – Tango & Cast

March 20, 2010

Tango & Cast (right click as “save as” for download)

It’s all about brotherly love this episode – the last before Chrazza Mazza’s month long absence. Keep tuned for reviews of Green Zone, Alice in Wonderland,  Exit through the Gift Shop, Crazy Heart and a special not so secret review of Scorsese’s new mental ’em up Shutter Island – also Ceedub finally puts hit foot down and makes Cee-em censor himself. Good times!

Tag Team Review – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

March 14, 2010

Now that the formality of Awards season is out of the way, it’s back to business as usual at Casta Towers and what better way to hit the ground running than by treating our loyal fan base to another classic JOINT REVIEW!

We’ll be back in audio form at the end of the week but until then here’s what we both had to say about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:

First up, Mr Wakeman.

Don’t tell the other Chris but I think we’ve got a film on our hands here that proves a point he has long made…that a film is likely to be held in higher regard if it is foreign language.

Right first things first, the film itself; Great entertainment from beginning to end. Dragon Tattoo runs in at two and a half hours and trust me, you won’t feel a second of it. The dual narratives of Mikael and Lisbeth which run through the opening hour until their paths collide are expertly handled by director Niels Arden Oplev so that each time you rejoin one story from the other you aren’t disappointed as can so often be the case, you are as gripped and intrigued by each of their journies (in startlingly different ways too).

The film wears its mystery thriller jacket to great effect, skipping through the classic beats of the genre with ease and finesse until the final revelations act to wrap the whole thing up in a neat little package so that we can all go home knowing whodunit and why. Who would want it any other way? Our attention is constantly validated and backsides will move further and further towards the edge of the seat as each finely performed minute goes by; isn’t that the benchmark of all good thrillers?

BUT: At the end of the day a neat little thriller is really all Dragon Tattoo has to offer. One particular aspect of the ending is so glaringly obvious from the beginning of the film that it’s almost a shock in itself to see one character’s look of surprise on their face when the truth is finally revealed – as if the possibility had never crossed their mind.

Dragon Tattoo has kicked ass throughout Europe and rightly so, it deserves to do just as well here and in America and I’m sure it won’t surprise anybody to learn that a Hollywood remake is already on the cards, so go and check out the original while you still can. But when all is said and done are all the 5 star reviews and magazine articles merely a result of the fact that this film is Swedish and comes with the fetishised ardour of subtitles? Yes, it is impressive that something so glossy and accessible has come from Europe and not America, but get over it.

This is not Film of Year material. It’s just damn good cinema. And you should definitely go and see it.

Happy now? Good, I’m glad.

Love you!


Stop! Madden time!

Okay so we’ve got a bit of a problem on our hands and, quite unsurprisingly for a classic complainer like me, it only took me until the second Tag Team review to identify it. The problem then is this:

What the hell do we do when we actually agree on something?

Now I know this isn’t going to be a major issue as time progresses being as it’s rare that Brother Wakeman and I completely agree on something. Thinking back, it has happened a couple of times in the past  and when it did I resorted to inadvertently slandering him and sulking in a corner. Unfortunately that doesnt work quite as well in a written format as it does when we’re in confabulatio (Latin!) so I guess I’d better actually write something.

Congratulations Wazza; quite like the seasoned carpenter who can hammer with his eyes closed, you hit the nail square on the head. Everything Chris says above is absolutely bob on and from beginning to end I had a great time – in spite of the niggles. If you want to know exactly what I thought of the film, stop reading here and go back to the top and read Ceedub’s comments again, imagining them spoken with a more beardy voice (and with a hell of a lot more swearing), if you want to know why I thought what I did, then really it’s as simple as the  fact that I knew nothing about it and was pleasantly surprised, the fact that it’s the first of a trilogy and doesn’t rub your face in it, the fact that the separate plot threads come together in a satisfying manner that doesn’t feel contrived at all, the fact that the interactions between characters feel organic & natural and the fact that the suspense and mystery is handled masterfully throughout. I had a great time with this film but can still see the qualms that my esteemed colleague levels at it and for a nitpicker like me to  enjoy it despite those should go some way to speak for its quality.

Whilst I have you held captive and have a chance to say it, I just wanted to express that there’s something inherently worrying about the fact that Hollywood has already conveyed a desire to remake this film in English – much like how there’s something particularly French about A Prophet, or particularly Korean about Old Boy, there is definitely a lot of Sweden in this movie and, from what I understand, the other two stories in the trilogy. That’s not just to say that they’d struggle finding a new loaction or reworking the references so that they made sense to an English audience – it’s the fact that the crux of the trilogy’s whole narrative pertains fundamentally to idioms of Swedish identity and the concerns buried deep in the Swedish Pysche  – so much so that any kind of remake would lose a large part of what it is that makes this film great. Besides, even if to combat this the remake was set in Sweden, with Swedish characters and the only real difference came in the fact that it was in the English language, then it would just scream of redundancy. It’d be far easier just to record an English dub for the existing film and be done with it. Curse you Hollywood Machine!

Oh and also, the trilogy of films have all already been out in Sweden – in fact this first effort was released over a year ago there and more than ten months ago in France, Italy and Spain, which makes me wonder why we waited so long for some English subs… Anywho, on that note I think it’s high time for me to get off my soapbox, but just one last thing before I do – go and see this film if you get the chance. It’s great.

Madden out!

The Acastemy Awards 2010

March 12, 2010

The Acastemy Awards (right click and “Save as” for download)

Awards season is over people and well, we wouldn’t be much of a movie podcast if we didn’t stick our two penneth in would we? So hey, shut up and listen to us! Yeah!

We’ll be back with a proper episode next week.

Project 365 – ON HIATUS!

March 9, 2010

Hiatus Chris? Surely not! Is this all going to fizzle out like everything else you do? What are you playing at?!


Okay so at the moment I’m around twice as far ahead in my goal of watching 365 films this year as I need to be at this point in time. The two main reasons for starting the project in the first place were:

1. To catch up on all those “classic” films I really should have seen by now.

2. The challenge.

See the thing is, whilst I’ve very much been sticking to point one, point two hasn’t really come into it and as of yet there hasn’t been any challenge involved at all. As alluded to in our most recent episode, the malaise has kicked in and I certainly feel that in a lot of cases, I’m watching films just for the sake of crossing another one off the list and that was never really the point.

So here’s where the additional challenge comes in… In 2004 there was a TV show released which a few of the more eagle eyed listeners (ooh we’re multi sensory!) out there might have noticed. This show was Lost. I never started watching Lost – in fact I always said that I’d watch it all when it’s finished – that way I wouldn’t have to have the annoyance of finding out exactly nothing every episode then waiting a week just to find out nothing again. Well very recently I was kindly reminded of the fact that Lost has very nearly finished now and that’s where the idea of this challenge hit me.

Watch all of Lost in time to watch the series finale.

The series finale is on the 23rd of May and a quick bit of maths reveals the fact that there are 120 episodes to watch leading up to the finale (including all the others in Season 6). Each episode is around forty two minutes long which means that in seventy six days, I need to watch eighty four hours of Lost – an average of sixty six minutes a day until then. This might sound pretty easy – especially when you consider how much time I spent watching film in the first two months – but when you factor in my three week holiday to Canada in a fortnight, having to keep up with current cinema releases for Casta and the inevitable lull in interest following the same characters for such an extended period, I think I’m on for a fair old challenge!

So in the meantime I’ll keep watching films but just not quite as avariciously as before – I won’t be doing my weekly updates, I might just do them every time I hit twelve films or something. Hopefully then I’ll come back to 365 after Lost is finished with renewed interest and a greater appetite for a more difficult challenge.

Wish me luck!


March 9, 2010

The people have spoken! The word is good! That word?!


That’s right fact fans, it was a double whammy win for Mazza’s film of choice that came out trumps when our titans clashed®Clash of the Titans both in our mega poll and at the Razzies over the weekend.

Transformers 2 managed to walk away with Razzies for the worst film, worst director and worst original screenplay. Shocking stuff. But that’s not to say that GI Joe was without its own embarrassment as our own ever delightful Sienna Miller picked up worst supporting actress (despite being totally hot).

I know what you’re all screaming! Forget the Razzies! What was the final tally of the poll? Well it was close at the end but GI Joe picked up 51.5% of the votes with Transformers putting up a good last minute performance and closing the gap impressively, but ultimately falling short at the finish.

And now to say a few words – Mister Christopher Wakeman:

Honestly, I didn’t think it would be that close! I thought GI Joe was going to walk this and in a way I’m really proud of Transformers 2 and want to thank all of its fans for turning up and showing your support – we nearly did it! This is the equivalent of any of other tennis player in the world (with the exception of Nadal) making it into a 5th set against Roger Federer… at the end of the day the Fed-meister is always going to win.

I will continue to stand by ROTF as FOR ME it still stands above GI JOE as the more entertaining of the two films. I wish I could tell you exactly why – a sense of allegiance to both Michael Bay and robots? Stubbornness? A little from column A, a little from column B – but at the end of the day I am man enough to admit that the people have spoken and in conclusion… it appears both films both suck balls.

On a final note I would like to say that whilst I appreciate Chris 1’s reference to the Razzie victory, I in no way shape or form respect the opinion of the voters in that ceremony. I think the idea of celebrating the worst of cinema year-on-year is a good thing, but what is the point in even paying reference to movies starring Myley Cyrus or The Jonas Brothers even in an ironic awards show? It is cynicism gone mad and there is far more crap out there to lambast, like ROFT and The Rise of Cobra. Also, how did Knowing and The Ugly Truth avoid nominations for 2010?

Big Hugs as always,

Wakeman out!

And for his rebuttal, our glorious and heraldic winner: Mister Christoper Madden (who spelled his name incorrectly, then left the error in for posterity).

Firstly I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those who voted along with me. Together we managed to prove that just under half of the Casta audience and exactly half of the Casta board have shocking taste in film, whilst just over half of the Casta audience and again exactly half of the Casta board have equally shocking taste in film.

Seriously though I think this exercise was a great idea and, potentially more than anything else we’ve done to date, serves as a perfect representation of exactly why we started Casta in the first place. Sure neither of these films was brilliant in any regard and, as proved over the last few weeks, neither of them are going to pick up any credible awards – but cinema and movies in general shouldn’t be about awards or box office takings, at the end of the day it all comes down to entertainment and-  shocking as they both might be – I feel safe in saying that these two giant waste of spaces put together probably entertained more people worldwide over the last year than anything bar Avatar. Sure they’re stupid but life’s too short to take everything seriously.

I honestly believe we need more films about giant robots and men in accelerator suits fighting ninjas in jets being chased by super 4x4s with rocket launchers filled with nano machine bio weapons who are busy blowing up the Eiffel Tower (SPOILER ALERT!) and of course, more Brendan Fraser.

Madden out!

Episode 13 – My Name is Khast

March 6, 2010

My Name is Khast (right click and “save as” for direct download)

This episode we’re defying everything from standard naming conventions to show structure! Listen in for reviews of My Name is Khan, The Lovely Bones, Solomon Kane, From Paris with Love & A Single Man, the debut of our new quiz thing as well as proof that we both need singing lessons…