Podcast: Reviewing 'Life of Pi,' 'Red Dawn' and 'Rise of the Guardians'

And we finally hit two hours and we did it all for you

Rope of Silicon PodcastSome of you asked for it and now you finally got it, a two hour podcast is here to hopefully satisfy your ear hole desires as we are only bringing you one podcast this Thanksgiving week. In today's episode we offer up three reviews for Life of Pi, Red Dawn and Rise of the Guardians. We also discuss Lincoln a little further, question what exactly constitutes a "performance", play some Over/Under, Guess that Title, Buy or Sell and answer as many of your questions as we could possibly fit into this two hour episode.

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.

  • 00:00-00:44 - Introduction
  • 00:45-2:22 - Show notes
  • 2:23-11:43 - [Listener Question] I would love to see you guys do an actor/actress draft because I think I remember you doing one for directors a while back and I personally find segments like that monstrously entertaining. [Smart Film]
  • 11:44-21:25 - Laremy talked Lincoln on the Slashfilmcast
  • 21:25-30:00 - What constitutes a "performance"?
  • 30:01-41:28 - Life of Pi review (read mine here)
  • 41:29-48:12 - Rise of the Guardians review (read mine here)
  • 48:13-1:00:29 - Red Dawn review (read mine here)
  • 1:00:30-1:15:40 - Over / Under
    • 7 more colleges switch conferences by the end of 2013 [Bob Phelan]
    • 5 years until Roger Deakins wins an Oscar [Gotham City 151]
    • 4,800 Hz for the pitch of Michael Sheen's squeal in 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' [Gotham City 151]
    • 7.5 pounds of food Brad and Laremy eat combined on Thanksgiving [Gotham City 151]
    • 12 years until David O. Russell wins a Best Director Oscar [Xarnis]
    • 22 years until the Marvel franchise is rebooted [Xarnis]
    • $29 million opening for Life of Pi [Cordia]
    • $100 million domestic for Silver Linings Playbook [Cordia]
    • $195 million opening for The Hobbit [Cordia]
    • 15 years till Christian Bale Retires [JN Films]
  • 1:15:41-1:22:28 - Guess the movie based on the foreign title
    • A Ticket for 2
    • Who's the Crazy One Here?
    • Winter for Two
  • 1:22:29-1:33:29 - Buy or Sell
    • Christopher Nolan's next film doesn't have multiple ways to look at the ending
    • Facebook will not be the most used social network in 5 years
    • We will see a Lance Armstrong biopic in the next 3 years
    • One/both of you will at some point refer to Star Wars as a nonology once the new trilogy gets released
    • With only the movies that have been released now eligible, Lincoln wins Best Picture
    • The Twilight series will be re-released in 3D
    • In 20 years, movies will only get R ratings and no NC-17 ratings.
    • Brad will somehow lose the Fall 2012 movie box office draft.
    • Spielberg will make two more bad movies after Lincoln before he makes another good one.
    • The podcast gets new intro music before episode 150.
    • Brad makes another guest appearance on the Frotcast.
    • The French Connection makes another appearance.
    • Les Miserables actually ends up being a film you cheer for to win Best Picture.
    • Jessica Chastain wins an Oscar before Amy Adams
    • The Hobbit per screen average gross will be higher in the higher frame rate
    • Les Miserables makes more money than any other movie ever did opening on Christmas Day (Sherlock Holmes - $24,608,941)
  • 1:33:30-1:35:32 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:35:33-1:40:24 - [Listener Question] With all the superhero movies out there, what is your favorite super hero, and why? and do the recent movies about superhero's influenced you opinion on this, maybe because The Dark Knight was so good you will like Batman more as a superhero? [Cordia]
  • 1:40:25-1:41:29 - [Listener Question] As critics, do you guys ever miss the rush of seeing a movie for the first time with friends on opening night? If so, how do you make up for that? [Susan]
  • 1:41:30-1:44:58 - [Listener Question] Brad and Laremy, what are your top 5 psychological thriller movies? [Nav]
  • 1:44:59-1:47:19 - [Listener Question] Just for fun if Hollywood was to make a movie about the Petraeus Scandal which actors would you guys choose to play Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, John R. Allen and Jill Kelley. [Fan]
  • 1:47:20-1:49:57 - [Listener Question] I've been writing reviews for just over a year now and still find it hard to put my own personality into my writing, how difficult is it for you guys and how long did it take for your style as a writer to develop? [SeenSome]
  • 1:49:58-1:54:23 - [Listener Question] Which kind of reviews appeal to you more? Roger Ebert-style reviews that sound more conversational or a more formal review, like those found on Hollywood Reporter or Variety? [SeenSome]
  • 1:54:24-1:55:40 - [Listener Question] Laremy, just because I find your fear of horror films endlessly fascinating...would you rather watch a bad horror film that is mildly scary, and almost impossible to sit though because it is so poorly executed...or an extremely well done one, that is terrifying? [Jamie]
  • 1:55:41-1:57:46 - [Listener Question] When I watched THE A-TEAM a few years ago here in Germany, the audience burst out laughing and hollering at one specific scene that surely isn't funny to the rest of the world. The scene in question was an establishing helicopter shot of a German city where the team just landed. The text below the shot said "Frankfurt". The funny bit was that it obviously wasn't Frankfurt but Cologne, picturing the famous Cologne dome prominently (Cologne and Frankfurt are two of the biggest cities in Germany). Now, to make comparison: it's as if they'd shown the Seattle Space Needle and written "Chicago" below. In a globalized market, with Germany being one of the biggest, how in the heck can something like that slip by in in a multi-million blockbuster movie without fact checking?! [Lukas Mix]
  • 1:57:47-2:00:00 - 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$16.3m-$71.1m
LooperSep 28$30m$162m$87m
Taken 2Oct 5$45m$352.2m$239.7m
Cloud AtlasOct 26$100m$44.4m-$205.5m
Wreck-It RalphNov 2$165m$159.3m-$253.1m
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2Nov 16$120m$350.7m-$50.7m
Red DawnNov 21$75m$0
Life of PiNov 21$100m$0
Django UnchainedDec 25$0
Les MiserablesDec 25$61m$0
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Resident Evil: RetributionSep 14$65m$221.8m$59.3m
ArgoOct 12$44.5m$132.8m$21.5m
Paranormal Activity 4Oct 19$5m$135.5m$123m
Alex CrossOct 19$23m$25.2m-$32.2m
FlightNov 2$31m$64.4m-$13m
SkyfallNov 9$200m$672.8m$172.8m
LincolnNov 9$65m$24.9m-$137.5m
Anna KareninaNov 16$50m$10.9m-$114m
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyDec 14$150m$0
The ImpossibleDec 21$45m$48.5m-$64m

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.

  • Frank

    Question: Now that you've seen all the animated movies of 2012 have been seen, do you consider this one of the worst years for animation?


    A- grade for Les Miserables when you guys review it

    8 nominees for Best Picture

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

    Quick question: as for the Wolverines scene, Brad, did you hate that in the original, never see it, or just think it didn't work in this version?

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

      It's just flat out terrible here, the moment in the original was fine.

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

    Buy or Sell: Gangnam Style will be features prominently in a movie in 2013

  • adu

    Buy or Sell: There will be no other Tolkein book-to-movie adaptations (post Hobbit trilogy) for the next 40 years.

  • Justin Golding

    Buy or sell:

    Brad and Laremy are invited to go on the slashfilmcast as a team?
    The Avengers 2 is RDJ's last time as Iron Man?
    Jane Foster is killed off in Thor 2?
    Only God Forgives wins the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival?

  • Jesse3232

    Buy or Sell

    Django Unchained will be Brad's favorite movie of the year (Inglourious Basterds was #2 in 2009)

  • Susan

    Who would you consider the most underrated director working today? I'm curious not merely on big names alone, but on smaller scale filmmakers who you two might think deserve to be mentioned along with the best working today (Kelly Reichardt, Ramin Bahrani are my go to answers).

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    I was yelling at my radio when Laremy couldn't guess the film whose foreign title was "The 8th Passenger."

    However, he redemmed himself by giving some love to Zodiac. It's easily one of my favorite films of all time!

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.


      Gosh, now I just look like a douche.

  • Snicket

    Woohoo the podcast finally broke 2 hours!!

    I would like to see Laremy ask Brad some movie titles and see if he can guess them easier. Some of them seem near Impossable to guess.

  • http://shloggshorrorblog.blogspot.com/ Shloggs

    I could listen to you guys shoot the shinola for 2 hours anytime. Brad and Laremy on movies is my favorite podcast for many reasons. The main one being the remarkable balance you consistently strike between genuinely humorous banter and credible, in-depth discussion on a variety of topics. You're like the South Park of movie podcasts. Whatever stance you take, be it political, social or film based, you guys are generally correct, at least from my perspective. You both dissect a myriad of issues from a reasonable, well thought out perspective and articulate yourselves in a genial, charismatic fashion that is compulsively listenable.

    So yeah, thanks so much for the site and the podcast. Definitely something I'm thankful for.

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

      The "South Park of movie podcasts". Now that is a compliment! Thanks for the kind words.

  • Stephen

    Brad's impression of Josh Peck was priceless!

    • Stephen

      Also, the random statement of "turkey rhymes with jerky" during the over/unders made me laugh as well. Very funny episode!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

    I saw Life of Pi with some friends on Wednesday morning and I absolutely hated it. It's a total style over substance film and that is something I hate. I didn't see the film in 3D but I don't think it would have helped. It was amazingly slow and I was so bored. The visuals are fantastic but for me that didn't help at all. I consider my self a lover of good cinema and interesting, deep cinema. Like I love 2001: A Space Odyssey. But I just feel like there is nothing under the surface in Life of Pi. After a first viewing of 2001, I was extremely bored but I didn't understand anything. I understood all the implications of Life of Pi. I think that the American public is going to hate this movie except for a select few. Everyone I saw the film hated it, on varying degrees of hate. I was very disappointed.

    Skyfall I loved though. I've seen it twice now. Great podcast, best around.

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

    really good idea for Batman Brad, mail it too WB and ask some $ so we can do the box-office draft

  • http://www.seensome.com SeenSome

    Thanks for getting around to my questions, any feedback you have on writing and running a site is much appreciated and I'm sure any budding critics out there would agree.

    I'm glad to know it isn't just me who is taking a while to find a distinct voice. I often feel I have more interesting and entertaining things to say than what actually goes in my review and the end result is just bland and generic. I made the choice when I started seensome.com to avoid writing reviews in first person but now feel like making that switch as I could get across my passion and personality a bit more.

    It would be interesting to hear how you started RoS and how you first started to draw in readers? At the moment I just post my reviews on Twitter, Reddit and IMDb but feel there are probably better avenues for getting my work out there. I haven't been around long enough or amassed enough reviews for RT yet.

  • jamie


    you guys didn't get to any watch this/that's last time, so i'll just reprint mine from last week, if you guys have time!

    watch this or that (robert deniro)

    mean streets vs this boys life
    godfather 2 vs goodfellas
    taxi driver vs raging bull
    deer hunter vs untouchables
    midnight run vs cape fear
    heat vs silver linings

  • http://kaisaccofilm.tumblr.com/ Kai Sacco

    [Listener Question] If you guys were forced to choose, which film would you nominate for Best Picture: The Dark Knight Rises or Skyfall?

    • http://kaisaccofilm.tumblr.com/ Kai Sacco

      [Listener Question] Will a movie ever reach $1,000,000,000 domestically (not counting those adjusted for inflation)? Avatar currently holds the top spot with $760,507,625.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/chewbaca38/ Baca


    Ever since the start of this current 3D fad I have had many complaints including the usual ones about it being unnecessary. For me, the largest issue with the format is that it affects the aging of the movie. In the Brothers Bloom commentary track Rian Johnson talks about how he likes to cram everything he can naturally can fit into a single shot as the film will get 99% of its total viewings on home video where it can be dissected and observed more closely. I thought about this issue when I saw Life of Pi, which was a movie in that nearly all of my enjoyment came out of watching it on a massive screen with the best 3D I have ever seen. I did not think the story being told would warrant multiple viewings while the visuals can not be fully appreciated. Once people forget the theatrical experience it had, its reputation could lessen over time. Do you feel like 3D and other technical gimmicks have taken away from filmmakers' (and studios) desires to focus on great storytelling, and instead create products designed with only a month long theatrical run in mind?

  • Bob

    "An alien bursts out of John Hurt's chest in this alien film about aliens".

    Ah, good stuff.

    Reminds me of that Simpsons bit:
    "I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city,
    keeping its speed over fifty. And if its speed dropped, the bus
    would explode! I think it was called... "The bus that couldn't slow

    • http://www.theoriolereport.com Bob Phelan

      I thought I was the only one... Its not every day you see two people with such an original name.

      I have a great question I wanted to ask (would've been my first!) as I was listening to the episode earlier in the day but now I can't remember it... this isn't it but:

      Any chance Dave Chen comes on the podcast for a therapy session with Brad as mediator?

  • http://www.theoriolereport.com Bob Phelan

    Operation Kino had an interesting topic discussion about the stress of being the resident movie expert in your family, especially around the holidays, and how do you handle that responsibility. Do you recommend the movies that you think are best or the movies that you think they would enjoy the most? Your thoughts?

    Over/under: 5.5 movies in your 2012 top 10 that were released in the final two months of the year

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

    The movie I'm most excited to see this year (besides Life of Pi and The Hobbit) is Killing Them Softly, but how come the oscar-love is so quiet with this one? I mean No Country For Old Men won and that was a pretty sick movie, what makes this one so different?


    Only one of you have Les Miserables in your Top 7.

  • rafael


    The Coen Brothers will make a 3D movie in 5 years.
    Listeners of the Brad and Laremy podcast come from 30 different countries (I'm from Holland).
    3 acting noms for Les Miserables.

    Buy or Sell:

    Joe Whright will direct a James Bond movie
    Kristen Steward wins an oscar before Robert Pattinson gets nominated
    Laremy will shoot Brad, if Brad is attacked by a group of zombies and turns into an aggressive, flesh-eating zombie himself

    Would you rather:

    Would you rather be a Jurymember at the Cannes filmfestival or have a one year Academy membership which includes voting for the oscars and attending the ceremony and party’s

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

    That's what I call a packed episode. Very nicely done, guys. Goose as the 8th passenger sounds like a hilarious movie mash-up I'd like to see.

    - Reading Laremy's Red Dawn review was a lot of fun. Consider the following excerpt: "Red Dawn is that “tipping point,” heralding a bright new era of innovation, even as 2012's version of Red Dawn is over there in the darkened corner, finger blasting various farm animals." In the past you've both said it's sometimes easier to write a review for a movie you hated, opposed to the one you loved. I'm sure you both have reviews you feel really good about, i.e. where you've "crushed it." Taking that into consideration, would majority of them be about good movies or the bad ones? Feel free to cite some examples.

    - 6.5 translated movie titles Laremy is able to guess without a single hint from Brad by the end of the year

    - one or both of you will shed a few tears during screening of Les Miserables
    - Gravity will be often compared to Life of Pi [visually beautiful movies, small number of actors, relatively similar budget (supposedly $80 mil. vs. Pi's $120 mil.), similar release dates (October 18th for Gravity, if Wikipedia is to be trusted), both from great directors, both will be somewhat divisive, etc.]

    Would You Rather:
    - watch a solidly made, mostly unfunny comedy or a badly made movie that is unintentionally hilarious
    - be the original screenwriter on a certain movie or be the screenwriter called in to do rewrites (for example, Jon Spaihts or Damon Lindelof on Prometheus)?

    Watch This or Watch That (Minimum or No Gore Horrors):
    - The Exorcist or The Shining
    - The Orphanage or The Devil's Backbone
    - The Others or The Sixth Sense

  • Trishana

    Would you rather:
    only be allowed to watch the first 20 minutes of a movie or the last 20 minutes of a movie?

    Buy or Sell:
    Laremy gets invited back to the slashfilmcast as a guest.

    Do you think that film critics actually influence what the general public watches at the theater? Even for a film like Twilight, critics could've said Breaking Dawn was complete shit and it would still be a box office success. What do you think make some films that are terrible a box office success? Is it the actors, delusion that the story is good etc.?

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

    Whenever Brad is quiet and only Laremy is speaking, you can hear Brad's nostrils whistling lol

  • Disco Paco

    Watch This or Watch That Stranded Edition:

    Life of Pi vs 127 Hours
    Life of Pi vs Castaway
    Castaway vs 127 Hours

    Question: If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language which would it be? Here's the kicker though: It only works with movies. You can't speak it and you don't understand it in real life except when watching foreign films. So what I'm basically asking is which country's foreign cinema would you like to be connected to more tightly? You would not only understand the language but all the cultural nuances of a native. For me it's a toughie. It comes down to Japanese, French or Italian Cinema as they have the quantity and quality (imho). At the end I'd think I'd come down and choose French. Truffaut, Truffaut!

  • Disco Paco


    Do big blockbuster films do well because of magnificent visuals or because they are easily digestible topics? If it's the former then shouldn't Life of Pi kick butt in the box office? It is in the top 5 most visually arresting films I've seen in my life but the story can be a little bit challenging for mainstream audiences (faith heavy and perhaps questioned, long periods without talking, no "bad guy" or female lead... overall lack of formulaic summer blockbuster type of plot).

    The fact that Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas cost around $100 - $120 million to produce would you say that no movie should cost more than that? They've been the most impressive visually of the year. Huge scale movies too.

  • dj

    Ok so I work at a movie theatre and silver linings got pulled like last minute,so is this not a good sign especially because all on tv and everywhere it says now playing. Even on our movie theatre website,just to emphasize how last minute, is the brain dead marketing to blame for this?

  • dj

    Also Lincoln was packed/sold out each showing and got a standing ovation each time which surprised me. I guess lincoln is really connecting with audiences

  • JC

    Good news for Laremy in the box office challenge. Life of Pi only cost $85 mil. "...sources at the studio said the film ended up with an $85 million pricetag..." Source: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/11/23/how-ang-lee-saved-life-of-pi/

  • Disco Paco

    Watch this, watch that "unusual visionary" edition:
    Would you rather pop in a Blu Ray from

    Terry Gilliam or Tim Burton
    Jean Pierre Jeneut or Tarsem Singh
    David Lynch or David Cronenberg
    Guillermo Del Toro or Tarsem Singh

    Which one of these directors' filmography do you enjoy the most (and why)?


    • Disco Paco

      Scratch that last one. It should have read Del Toro or Guy Ritchie

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace


    --I recently read a piece by Matt Singer for Indiewire. He talked about judging "The Dark Knight Rises" on the small screen as opposed to the big screen, months after the hype had died down and perhaps with perspective now. Is this the best way to discuss movies? With Brad's movie club, the answer might be yes, but with the requirements of keeping a web site's traffic high, the answer might also be no. What say you? Do you really need to talk about movies the week of their release? Laremy has said multiple times on the podcast that theaters are anti-consumer, so by talking about movies during their theatrical runs, aren't you just feeding into the marketing machine yourselves?

    --Returning to your 'Life of Pi' discussion, what are your thoughts about my following theory: asking what story do you prefer is the basis of religion and faith. In 'Life of Pi,' the Canadian writer has to decide what he'd like to believe. His options are a story that affirms that humans ARE alone and that it's dog-eat-dog, as well as a story that alternately affirms the existence of God, even if only by inference. In Christianity, for example, the same two options also exist, particularly when it comes to what story you're going to believe about Genesis and the origins of the Earth. Which story do you prefer, the one that says Earth came to be because of a random big bang and that we're generally all alone and nothing awaits us after death, OR, do you prefer the one where God created everything and guides us but yet still allows for horrors like slavery and the Holocaust? Knowingly or not, when Pi asks this question of which story do you prefer to the Canadian writer, he's asking the basic question underneath all religion, regardless if it's the Book of Genesis or not. What say you?


    --Laremy watches more screeners from now until the end of the year than actually stepping foot into a theater.

    Watch This or Watch That

    --movies in theaters only and never able to watch anything at home or online ever again OR television shows only and no movies ever again either in theaters, on cable or online

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

    170 million worldwide for Zero Dark Thirty
    12 oscar noms for Les Miserables
    1 billion worldwide for skyfall
    2.5 more Thor movies after Thor 2
    1.6 billion worldwide for the Hobbit

    There will be an other movie about Facebook than the social network in 10 years
    Someone who listens to the podcast will make the Box-office draft possible on the site
    a movie about sports wins best picture before 2020
    Only god forgives premieres at the Cannes film festival 2013
    Brad and Laremy agree 2012 was a better year for movies than 2011

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

    * * * Watch This / Watch That * * *

    "Vertigo" or "Rear Window"

    "Tree of Life" or "Life of Pi"

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/cmh_580/ Chad

    Hey! I'm still here!!! I'm just a little behind on my podcasting... (obviously) I can't miss an episode though!

    I appreciate the constant mentions on the podcast :D