Podcast: 'Hotel Transylvania', 'Looper' and 'Won't Back Down' Reviews, Oscar Talk and More

Three reviews, Oscar talk and your questions

Rope of Silicon PodcastWelcome to the Friday edition of the RopeofSilicon podcast and this week we have three reviews for you including Hotel Transylvania, Won't Back Down and Looper as well as our first solid Good Comment segment in a while, plenty of listener questions, Oscar conversation, listener questions, Over/Unders, Buy or Sell, Watch This or Watch That and even some television conversation.

Once again, we didn't get into the Fall Box Office Challenge as there are still only two releases on the board, but it should pick up soon enough. I have updated the numbers and have them below, but it won't really be until October that things are really going to start picking up.

As always, I have broken down this episode on a minute-by-minute basis if you would like to skip ahead and below I have featured the information on how to download the podcast, find us on iTunes or merely just listen in your browser.

  • 00:00-3:09 - Introduction and Hobbit tickets for sale!
  • 3:10-6:52 - A personal story
  • 6:53-16:16 - Good Comments
  • 16:17-19:11 - Hotel Transylvania review (read Laremy's here)
  • 19:12-23:25 - Won't Back Down review (read mine here)
  • 23:26-24:10 - [Listener Question] Should actors be able to win Oscars for amazing performances in not-so-great movies? [G-Man]
  • 24:11-27:01 - Looper review (read mine here)
  • 27:02-33:50 - [Listener Question] As I keep thinking about The Master, it has dawned on me how experimental the film really is. It completely goes against the typical rules of filmmaking, with typical narrative structure, character development, etc. all being avoided. Would you agree with this statement, and if so, do you appreciate the film more or less because of this? [Criterion10]
  • 33:51-36:54 - [Listener Question] With Annapurna Pictures, Megan Ellison is hoping to create smart, original, director driven pictures. Do you think that this company will slowly become an inmportant studio (either independent or major)? [Criterion10]
  • 36:55-37:43 - [Listener Question] Have either of you been particularly interested in seeing a specific nude scene in a movie? [Good Grief]
  • 37:44-39:40 - Random aside and Oscar talk
  • 39:41-42:26 - [Listener Question] Do you think an animated picture has ever deserved to win Best Picture in its year? [Bustray]
  • 42:27-43:59 - [Listener Question] Let's, for a moment, imagine a scenario in which most/all of the Best Picture nominees aren't released in the last few months but dispersed more evenly over the course of an entire year with Les Mis, for example, being released in March. Is it still certain to win Best Picture or would it be a case of "out of sight, out of mind" and some other movie, perhaps one less deserving but released closer to the actual ceremony, takes the little golden statue? [the colleague]
  • 44:00-46:54 - [Listener Question] There always seems to be discussion about whether or not a superhero movie or sci-fi flick could be a factor in any of the big Oscar races. But what about a James Bond film? Do you think Skyfall could find a place in any of the top-line categories (Picture, Director, Writing, Acting) this year? Could Deakins finally receive his long overdue Cinematography Oscar? I think Song and some of the technical awards are certainly feasible when it comes to nominations, but outside of those, will Skyfall be pigeonholed as a Bond/spy film and miss out on the big awards even if it's really great? [Jordan B]
  • 46:55-53:01 - Over / Under
    • 2.5 years till the acting categories open up to 6 nominations [Aleonardis]
    • $300 million worldwide for Life of Pi [Cordia]
    • $25 million opening domestic weekend for Sinister given the glowing reviews and time of year [G-Man]
    • 70 percent RottenTomatoes score for The Master if someone not named Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed the exact same film. (currently at 84 percent) [G-Man]
    • $16 million opening weekend for Argo [Bustray]
    • $100 million domestic total for Silver Linings Playbook [Bustray]
    • 11 Academy Award nominations for Argo [Cap'n Geech]
  • 53:02-57:31 - Buy or Sell
    • Dan was robbed.
    • Anthony Hopkins will bomb as Hitchcock
    • Warner Bros. does the right thing and makes the new Batman trilogy without going back to the origin of Batman again.
    • Rian Johnson follows the Chris Nolan route and the studio gives him a franchise to reboot.
    • Pacific Rim becomes a surprise smash in 2013, grossing over $1 billion worldwide
    • Brad will see Pitch Perfect if it gets positive reactions from people he trust like Dredd 3D
    • Moonrise Kingdom gets Best Picture nominated.
    • Skyfall has an outside shot of getting a Best Picture nod
    • An Open Road Films movie gets an Oscar nomination this year (The Grey, End of Watch)
    • An NC-17 rated movie will win Best Picture before a G rated movie
  • 57:32-1:01:05 - Watch This or Watch That
    • The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) or The Queen (Helen Mirren)
    • Black Swan (Natalie Portman) or Monster's Ball (Halle Berry)
    • The Blind Side (Sandra Bullock) or Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts)
    • The Reader (Kate Winslet) or The Hours (Nicole Kidman)
    • La vie en Rose (Marion Cotillard) or Monster (Charlize Theron)
    • Walk the Line (Reese Witherspoon) or Shakespeare in Love (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • 1:01:06-1:02:55 - [Listener Question] Any thoughts on the banning of the sale of large non-diet soft drinks in NYC movie theaters? [G-Man]
  • 1:02:56-1:05:43 - [Listener Question] Have you or are you planning on checking out any of the new fall TV shows? "Last Resort" seems to have potential from what I've heard. [Bob Phelan]
  • 1:05:44-1:08:05 - Len Wiseman is rebooting The Mummy
  • 1:08:06-1:08:44 - [Listener Question] Which sequel are you looking forward to most: Kick Ass 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or X-Men: Days of Future Past? [Chris]
  • 1:08:45-1:10:43 - [Listener Question] If you could pick any 3 films to get a full restoration and IMAX re-release 'ala' Raiders of the Lost Ark what would they be? [Capn Geech]
  • 1:10:44-1:12:51 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:12:52-1:18:00 - Closing

Finally, I do have one quick request. If you could give us a review on iTunes it would be greatly appreciated.

You can listen below, on Stitcher, download the audio by right-clicking here and saving it to your computer or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It's up to you.

NOTE: Apple's iTunes randomly checks for updated episodes, so sometimes the latest episode may not be immediately available in iTunes.

You can find Laremy's writing here on RopeofSilicon.com and also at Film.com and on Twitter at @Laremy.

Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft
Brad vs. Laremy

Laremy's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
The MasterSep 14$35m$6.5m-$80.9m
LooperSep 28$30m$0
Taken 2Oct 5$80m$0
Cloud AtlasOct 26$100m$0
Wreck-It RalphNov 2$150m$0
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2Nov 16$131.5m$0
Red DawnNov 21$75m$0
Life of PiNov 21$100m$0
Django UnchainedDec 25$0
Les MiserablesDec 25$0
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Resident Evil: RetributionSep 14$65m$138.6m-$23.8m
ArgoOct 12$0
Paranormal Activity 4Oct 19$0
Alex CrossOct 19$40m$0
FlightNov 2$50m$0
SkyfallNov 9$150m$0
LincolnNov 9$50m$0
Anna KareninaNov 16$0
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyDec 14$0
The ImpossibleDec 21$0

The Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft competition involved both Brad and Laremy "drafting" ten films each in hopes of scoring the largest net total by taking a film's worldwide gross subtracting two-and-a-half-times the reported budget. The film must be released between the months of September-December 2012. The draft took place on August 28 during the RopeofSilicon Podcast which you can listen to right here.

Listed above is all the most recent data as of this post. Budgetary information is not necessarily accurate and will most likely not be accurate until closer to or after each film's release.


  • Good Grief

    Oh no! You took all the context out of my listener question! I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I hope it doesn't sound as though I came across as some bizarre pervert who's waaaay too interest in you your taste in naked ladies, haha.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Nope, I mentioned the full reasoning.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

    Watch This or Watch That (Best Picture Oscar winners vs. losers edition final one):

    2006: The Departed or Little Miss Sunshine
    2005: Crash or Brokeback Mountain
    2004: Million Dollar Baby or The Aviator
    2003: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King or Mystic River
    2002: Chicago or The Pianist
    2001: A Beautiful Mind or The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
    2000: Gladiator or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

  • http://cineenuruguay.blogspot.com/ Driver

    Congratulations on the engagement Brad!

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

      I second that. :)

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler


        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mason%20Williamson/ Mason Williamson

          Fourth :D

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ben/ Ben


    • John Debono

      79th !!!

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

        80th! Congrats Brad.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    Listener Questions:

    1. Why is it considered a bad thing when movies are referred to as "Oscar bait"? I always see people calling movies like Lincoln and Les Miserables "Oscar bait". This usually happens with dramas, biopics, or period pieces. Whenever I see that term, I always get so confused. Do you think that's a legitimate criticism? Are there movies that are actually trying to win an Oscar?

    2. Who would you like to see host the Oscars this year?


    1. 150 minutes for Django Unchained. (Both Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were 154 minutes and Inglorious Basterds was 152 minutes.)

    2. 85% Rotten Tomatoes rating for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (Fellowship is at 92%, Two Towers is at 96%, and Return of the King is at 94%.)

    Watch This or Watch That:

    1. Vertigo or Rear Window

    2. Goldfinger or From Russia with Love

    3. Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace

    4. Ghostbusters or Gremlins

    5. Ghostbusters 2 or Gremlins 2

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ben/ Ben


    Since we of course know you do not watch trailers because you do not want to be spoiled of anything. Is there anything you do like to know before going into any film or ideally would you like to know absolutely nothing?

    Is there any TRUE STORIES that have not been turn into a film that you would like to see?

    This is a question more for the listeners but.....

    I work as a PA and sometimes an AC ( usually on commercials and music videos, some TV) and I was wondering if any of the RoS listeners also work in production on any sort?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/seanfast/ Sean Fast

    Im running chrome and something in this page breaks my browser. I have a scroll bar but no scroll thingy to move up and down. Anyone else?

  • Susan

    Bizarre hypothetical question...

    Would you rather live in a world where there are movies sequels or no movie sequels? Would the forced originality outweigh losing movies like The Road Warrior, Evil Dead 2 and all of the Bonds basically?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JonSullivan/ Jon Sullivan

      If there's anything that could prevent the world from having to experience all of the "Madea" sequels, I'd sacrifice "The Empire Strikes Back" for that.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JonSullivan/ Jon Sullivan

    Watch This or Watch That

    "Winter's Bone" or "Black Swan" (Best Picture Nominees)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    Buy or Sell:
    Brad and Laremy both cry during Les Mis (not a spoiler-it should be assumed to be sad if the title is The Miserables Ones)

    Michael Bolton comes after Laremy for his comments on Erin Brockovich (I want to see if Laremy gets the joke, too)

    Watch This or Watch That:
    Philadelphia or Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks' Best Actor awards)
    And one since we haven't played the painful game in a while, for Laremy...
    watch The Shaggy Dog once, or watch Babel every time he is happy for the rest of his life

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

    Agreed that Skyfall won't contend for any major categories regardless of quality, but I currently have the film penciled in for 5 total nominations: Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Score, and Song. Could it possibly also score an editing nod, (ala Bourne Ultimatum in 2007)?


    94% RT Score for Skyfall (Casino Royale was 94%)
    $15 million domestic for Hitchcock
    $50 million domestic for Zero Dark Thirty
    5.5 Oscar nominations for Silver Linings Playbook
    2.5 more collaborations between Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz

    Buy or Sell

    Martin Scorsese wins a 2nd Best Director trophy.
    Tom Cruise never wins an Oscar.

    Watch this or Watch That (Best Actor Winners Edition)

    Milk (Sean Penn) or Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
    Mystic River (Sean Penn) or Training Day (Denzel Washington)
    Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) or American Beauty (Kevin Spacey)
    Rain Man (Dustin Hoffman) or My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) or Amadeus (F. Murray Abraham)
    Raging Bull (Robert De Niro) or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Jack Nicholson)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    Do you think it's a bit of a double standard that that Won't Back Down gets so much heat from critics for exaggerating a union boss as greedy and selfish, but few are upset when CEO's, Stockbrokers, etc. are given the same treatment?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      That's kinda like complaining about how Hitler got such a bad rap and no one criticized Winston Churchill. One was a shit head, the other was a mostly decent dude who tried to do some good things. In America, there is an obsession with wealth and status. It's been ingrained in this country's psyche since its inception. Today, it's worse than ever. We have a situation now where the poorest people in the country are fighting as hard as they can to protect the wealthiest 1%'s interests. Labor unions were established to protect the rights of the workers. Corporations represent the antithesis of this. They exist to do one thing and one thing only: generate profit, no matter what. They have no social consciousness. To suggest that unions and corporations are two sides of the same coin is downright laughable.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

        I'm not complaining about corporations getting a bad rap. I'm just saying that if the plot calls for the union to be the bad guy, then that's ok, even if it doesn't accurately portray union members. Likewise, I think it's ok for Corporations to be the villains when the plot requires, even though not every rich person is a heartless bastard who only cares about themselves.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    The Master's box office prospects: I don't think it will make more money than TWBB. TWBB had the Daniel Day-Lewis thing going for it. Jaoquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are not household names. Also, the average moviegoer who somehow stumbles into this movie will hate it and trash it to their friends. Don't expect this to do any business outside of the art house.

    On the Dec. 25th release date: Releasing a potential Oscar contender on this date makes no sense to me. In fact, releasing anything other than a nice, family friendly movie on this day makes no sense to me. If you're a studio executive whose trying to go for a big Oscar push, why release a film on this day? There is no perfect formula to winning an Oscar, but there are certain things you can do to better your chances. Buzz is everything, and buzz needs time. What helps build buzz? Reviews, awards and box office. Studios usually show movies to critics 2 or 3 weeks before they're released. Many critics withhold their reviews until the day before the movie comes out. So if you've got a film coming out on Dec. 25th, you're shortening the review buzz by a substantial margin. There are several critics circles who hand out their awards before December. By releasing a film so late in the year, you're completely taking it out of the running. And box office? There's usually so many movies competing against each other on Christmas day that no 1 film wins by a huge percentage. If I was Tarantino, I'd be pissed.

    On Laremy's foreign vs. domestic rational: When speculating about a films box office prospects, I've heard Laremy discuss how an overtly American film would play overseas. I really don't think that has any effect whatsoever on box office. For example, when speaking about The Expendables 2, Laremy thought it wouldn't perform as well internationally as it would here. As of now, Exp2 has only made $83 million here, but it's made over $200 million internationally. You could argue that The Avengers is one of the most American films ever made and it did huge numbers overseas. It's globalization Laremy.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

      Les Mis isn't the most family friendly, but it is pretty close. The themes fit pretty well

  • Adu

    Congrats on your engagement brad.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    Cogratulations with the engagement Brad!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    What about Javier Bardem for best supporting?

  • Matt

    Cogratulations on your engagement Brad!

    Some questions:

    1) Are there any films that you saw as a kid or teenager which you watch now and cannot tell if you like it because it is a legitimately good film or you're just blinded by your memories from the past? For example, when I was a 13 year old I saw "Cruel Intentions" with my friends and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having just re-watched it, I actually enjoyed the film quite a bit, but I know there are some horrible moments in it and most of the performances seemed pretty terrible. Yet, I completely enjoyed it and want to watch it again. Any films like this for you?
    2) Are there any actors on TV shows who may have starred in a few films but you feel could be/should have been much bigger in Hollywood? My personal opinion: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristen Bell (who, admittedly, picked truly terrible film projects but is wonderful in "Veronica Mars"), Claire Danes and Lena Headey, off the top of my head.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

      I, too enjoyed Cruel Intentions a lot when I was around 12 and I like it more now than before. I agree some of the performances are bad but Sarah Michelle Gellar (who I liked as an actor back in the day) was terrific here and I completely agree with you, it's sad she didn't picked more good movies, she was talented and beautiful (she still is). Same with Claire Danes, who's a brilliant actor. Only good roles she picked: Romeo + Juliet, Little Women, Brokedown Palace & The Rainmaker which were all in the 90's.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Brian/ Brian

    Congrats Brad

    -3 countries get nuked in Laremy's favorite new show, Last Resort, before it is cancelled. (Spoiler: 1 was nuked in the pilot, but not by the main submarine)

    Watch This or Watch That: (Alternate Versions Edition)
    -Anna Kareninia (2012 w/ Keira Knightley) or Anna Kareninia (1948 w/ Vivien Leigh)
    -Wuthering Heights (2012 directed by Andrea Arnold) or Wuthering Heights (1939 w/ Laurence Olivier)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

    Congratulations from me as well, Brad. :-)

    - If you could get one well-known person from the movie business (director, actor, screenwriter, etc.) to appear on the podcast, who would it be?

    Watch This or Watch That:
    - The Number 23 or Mr. Popper's Penguins
    - Couples Retreat or Forgetting Sarah Marshall

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    with the current oscar field as it is, do you think there are any favorites that you have seen that will end up with alsmost nothing?
    and do you think there could be a surprise, for example Looper to get a BP nomination


    75 million for looper domestic
    222 million worldwide for Frankenweenie
    1 BILLION for Breaking dawn part 2.
    2.5 oscar nominations for amour
    750 million worldwide for wreck it ralph


    Les Miserable will not be the movie with the most oscar nominations
    The Master will not be nominated for Best Picture.
    Inside Llewyn Davis will be released in 2012

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    Brad, best of luck on the engagement!

    See, I still disagree about The Master. The way that the story is told is rather unusual and experimental. Not much of a development occurs, characters do not change and their characters in general are rather difficult and complex to understand. Scenes occur that appear as if they serve no purpose to the plot and have to relevance to the film as it moves forward. The entire ending of the film is essentially an anti-climax. I still think that the film has many flaws, but I certainly would not call it a typical film.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jeffrey/ Jeffrey

    If I could pick 3 films to get a full restoration and IMAX re-release I would have to go with:
    1) 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2) Blade Runner
    3) The Godfather

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    Congrats on the engagement, Bradley!


    Do some critics give high or low ratings to movies just to fit in with their peers? Do you think most critics rate movies in terms of enjoyment or in terms of technical quality of a film? (I ask because I personally have no idea how some of these silly, boring, yet technically well-made movies like Tree of Life are running at 84% on RT)

    Watch This / Watch That (Writer-Edition):

    Sorkin - A Few Good Men vs. The Social Network

    Zaillian - Gangs of New York vs. Moneyball

    Wilder - Sunset Blvd. vs. Double Indemnity

    Crowe - Jerry Maguire vs. Almost Famous

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

    Congrats on the engagement, Brad!