Esteemed listener, this is our first show dedicated exclusively to a movie review so don’t freak out if you notice anything different, it will be a consistent thing from here on out, promise. The director’s bio was glossed over intentionally, he’s very prolific in England but virtually unknown stateside. My desensitized and ignorant American mind fails to grasp why an Englishman changes his name from John Clarke to Bryan Forbes. It’s like “upgrading” the paint job on your car from vanilla to light beige. Couldn’t find an explanation for that so I can only assume the surname “Forbes” implies nobility, which is forever dangled in front of the British proletariat.
To give you a tease on what you missed out on, Lord Forbes’ prolific work includes dull movie titles such as, “The Whisperers,” “The Wrong Box,” “Séance on a Wet Afternoon,” “I was Monty’s Double,” and let us never forget the imperialist and xenophobic, “Restless Natives.” These titles scream at me to be ignored. He was given the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his drudging perseverance in advancing England’s brand of sedatives.
There was a bit of a debate during the podcast about which movie was superior. Ryan and Wilk thought the 1975 version was superior to the 2004 version. I gathered they liked Forbes’ movie because it brought them a sense of nostalgia for the malaise of a decade they were born in? Being born in 1977 as well, I enjoy reminiscing when “Rocky” hit the theaters. Oh, and Katherine Ross’ anorexic figure seems to get their blood up? Purism? No other reason was really given by those guys. I could not appreciate the glacial pace and the sparse script of Forbes’ version. His film tried to closely mimic the book, so it had all the suspense of rolling your grocery cart to the checkout line, or seeing “One Direction” live, lip syncing their hits. I argued the 2004 version had an excellent cast who nailed a fast and witty script. The 2004 screenplay took a more explicit angle on the underlying satire Levin conveyed in his book. This led to an enjoyable film. Also, the movie took a risk with an alternate ending that could be seen as politically incorrect which I find daring.
Speaking of “suspense,” I believe we came to a realization that we were actually reviewing a story that could legitimately and exclusively be categorized as such. Our NDIOS modus operandi is horror and sci-fi, and for this gaffe I apologize. Maybe this will open the floodgates next year to timeless boring suspense classics such as, “The Long Goodbye,” “The Fallen Idol,” and “Mystic River”? Or, if anyone in the British islands is inclined, they can do a film adaptation of a Cambridge Microbiologist’s observational dissertation describing the slow decay of his teeth. American Michael Crichton and his “Andromeda Strain” took a worthy shot, but there must be millions of zombie English courtesans out there who can top it. Let’s go blokes!
Hold onto your hats voyeurs, this season just got started! My hope is it will not continue to be like watching a sloth take his entire nap in a tree.
WRITTEN FILM REVIEWS:
Film: “The Stepford Wives (2004)” by Frank Oz (Nicole Kidman)
Ryan: 2 1/2 Stars “…ultimately I think there is something missing from it”…”
Wilk: 2 1/2 Stars “…It’s the kind of movie you watch on an airplane…”
Rick: 4 Stars “…Loved it…packed full of great dialog…”
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Film: “The Stepford Wives (1975)” by Bryan Forbes (Katharine Ross)
Ryan: 3 1/2 Stars “…I did really like it…”
Wilk: 4 1/2 Stars “…If you love 70’s horror…it’s everything you want…”
Rick: 1 1/2 Stars “…it kinda put me to sleep…it just wasn’t for me…”
On the show Wilk mentioned that The Simpsons had made reference to The Stepford Wives. One such reference was in the episode “You Only Move Twice” (from: http://simpsonsgifs.tumblr.com/post/628842768/autovac-is-on-dirt-patrol?is_related_post=1):
Also on this episode Rick and Wilk made reference to the fact that director, Frank Oz, has played a police officer in two iconic comedy films: “Trading Places” and “The Blues Brothers”.
(From Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/24752161@N05/5730556361)
(From Vine: https://vine.co/v/hxlznzQTpOF)
* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.