The RotCast Episode #42 – Drag Me To Up


The terrifying trio is back together again, spewing our opinions on Pixar’s latest Up (in 3D!) and Raimi’s return to horror Drag Me To Hell. Also, we somehow find the time to discuss racial issues for 20 minutes and James plays referee during a heated Andrea -vs- Dave debate on the celluloid classic Twilight.

~~ Show Notes ~~
00:00:00 – Intro (possibly NSFW)
• We plan to record during the Orlando Magic playoff game

00:05:15 – Pixar’s Up (light spoilers)
• We celebrate the Magic’s win over LeBron
• Andrea synopsizes Up
• Dave dislikes the film, Andrea and James disagree
• Why is Pixar is “The Best” ?
• 3D UP -vs- other 3D films
• Final thoughts on Up

00:46:27 – Drag Me To Hell (light spoilers)
• Dave defends his position on Up
• We discuss Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell
• DMTH callbacks to Evil Dead
• PG13 Horror film budgets
• Rude theater audiences ruin Andrea’s DMTH experience
• What Raimi does better than his horror peers
• Quick Spider-Man 3 chat
• Final thoughts on DMTH
• Roger Ebert’s 1967 review of Night of the Living Dead (read it)

01:28:33 – Whatcha’ Been Watchin?
• Racial stereotypes, non-English speaking Americans, etc
• Dave & Andrea’s thoughts on Broken Lizard’s Club Dread
• Andrea’s fondness for Jane Austen movies
• James falls asleep during The International
• James’ thoughts on The Girlfriend Experience
• Andrea and Dave get into a heated argument over the merits of Twilight
• The few films we are still looking forward to this Summer

02:09:30 – Goodbyes

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22 Responses to The RotCast Episode #42 – Drag Me To Up

  1. Dave says:

    You got this up fast. For the record, I think this is our weakest show yet. You’ve been warned.

  2. Goon says:

    Arguing that Dug’s presence is a lack of faith in the Russel character…

    is fucking ridiculous.

    By that standard when Tolkien added Gimli its because of no faith in the Hobbits. I suppose Wizard of Oz loses focus of the star of the picture too then by adding characters?
    Jeez man, adding characters along the way of a movie is pretty standard.

  3. James says:

    @Goon: Doug the dog takes over almost all of the comedy relief once he is introduced… that was my point. Adding new characters isn’t the issue, introducing characters mid-film that actually ADD SOMETHING is. Doug added nothing but cheap laughs IMO, whereas the laughs with Russell in the first half of the film were creative and well-earned.

    Your Gimli and Oz comparisons don’t hold up for me because the additional characters introduced later in those stories added something to the existing characters, not replaced them.

  4. Goon says:

    not to start a politics war…

    I really dont like libertarianism, at least certain ‘kinds’ of it, because like the right and the left, there is a lot of variations to be had. I mean Rush Limbaugh gets called a libertarian sometimes even. It’s one of the least consistent labels out there, so I apologize if a lot of this doesn’t apply to anything you believe. Some of my friends who have the most similar ideology to me label themselves as ‘libertarians’ – i actually think its because of that ‘worlds smallest quiz’ thing though which is heavily weighted and designed to recruit more libertarians.

    I can’t stand a lot of economic libertarianism, in the extremes that they dont understand the progressive tax structure, dont understand why that gold standard dream is impratical and flat out moot, and to me ultimately trust corporations more than government, which is just trading a faulty democracy in exchange for a corrupt dictatorship. The belief that you can vote for your dollar, or trust the market to sort things out without regulations/etc, is something i find even more naive than believing you can win a war against drugs or terrorism. I think its just as faulty and idealistically ill conceived as communism.

    I probably fall more on the liberal side, and have things that usually get identified as ‘libertarian’ – I’m a big Bill Hicks guy and minus the truther crap love Jesse Ventura, but Ron Paul is an embarrassing twat and the ‘movement’ wasn’t really about him. Every time he had a chance to speak he just complained about what they weren’t talking about instead of making real points.

    The Alex Jones-ish libertarians are retarded and conspiracy theorists drive me up the wall, and especially on the internet a lot of libertarians come across to me as the most obnoxious blowhards with no sense of pragmatism and every sense of tongue-lashing smug superiority. And they can’t finish any rant without some nationalism, which makes me puke. I hate seeing the word “freedom” so often bandied about as if there is never any responsibility towards each other, and seeing the terms “reason” and “rational” abused and retconned into the ideology.

    Every political ideology has its elements that if you count yourself among, you have to apologize and bend over backwards for. Among the left I can’t deal with hippies and a lot of the Adbusters-ish activist community who have no sense of humor and every sense of scorn.

    Basically I find myself without a real community politically, but I can deal with being called a ‘liberal’ because the baggage that comes with it doesnt bother me as much as anything else I could be labeled.

    End rant.

    And to end with a snarky joke in response to the Canada aside :)

  5. Goon says:

    I don’t feel Dug replaced anyone at all, but I was glad to see him come in since I didnt care much for Russell. Russell still had plenty of opportunities for comic relief as the story continued. I also realize that Russells’ role was to play plucky and eager to help as much as possible until Carl warmed up to him and thus was able to discuss things a little more important – family matters. As well, this change comes around the time that Russell is more concerned with Kevin than with impressing Carl.

    And after that we’re into the action sequences, where Dug is a better player for the comic relief than the kid, who plays the hero in peril role, likely so the kids can identify with him and the parents can worry for him.

    I’m not saying the script is perfect at all, but the more i think about it its a lot better constructed than you guys give it credit for, and i think your assumptions that the whole thing would be one long journey may have corrupted your sense of pacing. I will say though, that their trudge through the jungle during the first half wasn’t so fantastic, and if anyones going to be pulled out of the movie, its there.

    And when you’re gone, well most people are gone, adn they’re not going to be back.

  6. Dave says:

    Alright, everything I had to say on the matter is in the show, I have nothing to add at all here. Empty comment.

  7. Goon says:

    It’s as simple as this – almost all political talk from someone I know… gets me frustrated, and not in the “WHY DONT YOU SEE THE TRUTH YOU FOOL!” way, but in the sense that I feel I must invoke my own license to vent, and it won’t clear my head until I hit “post” and deal with whatever consequences come of it.

  8. Dave says:

    Actually, I can’t let this one go:

    “I can deal with being called a ‘liberal’ because the baggage that comes with it doesnt bother me as much as anything else I could be labeled.”

    Never pegged you for tolerating being called soft and ineffectual. ;p

  9. Dave says:

    Look, I ain’t saying you can’t post whatever here. James has a very, ahem, liberal attitude when it comes to comments, far more than some soft skulled conservatives from Hamilton. But some of what you said was clearly inflammatory and the issue on the show was of racial integration, not the idiosyncrasies of the Libertarian party.

    Some of what you said I agree with 100%, while some looked trollish. That is all.

  10. Goon says:

    I don’t troll but I don’t censor myself either, and thats often not to my benefit. Exaggerate frustrations? Maybe.

    It’s not that anything you said on the show enraged me. At most it was like the cupcake wrapper that fell off the trash can that made you realize its time to empty your garbage. I’d say “last straw” but that would make me look like a bigger dickhead and its not an accurate appraisal of my feelings towards anything you guys said.

  11. Goon says:

    On topic though about non-English speaking people:

    I hate saying it bugs me, but it does bug me. I’m not like the StormTroopers of Death singing “Speak english or die”, but as someone who still works retail a couple hours a week at a wine store for extra cash, I have my Clerks-ish beefs and trying to smile through someone who doesnt understand English and treats you like the bad guy for not being able to help, drives me up the wall.

    The worst customers at the store – and keep in mind this is a wine store selling Ontario wine – really are the European customers. They indeed are snobs. Ontario wine is not usually considered the best in the world, though becasue of our local climate the higher end stuff can be very very good. I’ll drink whatever.

    But Europeans on vacation will literally come into our store to berate our local wine and just barrage insults on it for several minutes, and I’m just supposed to take it. This happens REGULARLY, and I’m not kidding, and I think I take some of it back out on Henrik as if he was doing it. Only one time have I ever sort of fought back, and I knew it was pointless becuase I dont care if what I’m selling is good, I just work there.

    “So you just come into the store and insult our wine to my face?”
    “No, its not about you sir personally, its just that you should know you are not selling good wine, because I don’t think you Canadians understand what good wine is.”

    I indicated to him that he was being pretty rude and putting me in a spot having to sit there as if I’m supposed to either debate or bow down to a lecture, and he started bending over backwards as if we were buddies, realizing he was the bad tourist. I loved watching him squirm.

  12. James says:

    You might say I have a very *libertarian* attitude when it comes to comments. The only thing I would comment on regarding your political statements Goon would be your attitude towards Ron Paul. He’s right, generally. Just because he looks and sounds like loon doesn’t change that fact. I’m more embarrassed by politicians with good haircuts who sound great but talk about nothing.

    That being said, I wish there was a libertarian (or like minded individual) in politics with good hair that sounds great. Maybe then we could drive the conversation towards things that really matter.

    I think we might have to agree to disagree on Doug the dog. I thought it was cheesy, and very “Dreamworks-esque”… and unnecessary given the Russel character in the first half. But I still liked the film, quite a bit, even though it had some flaws.

  13. Goon says:

    I initially liked Ron Paul, but the more I got to know about him, the less I agreed with his views and the less I liked him personally – and the more he spoke, the less I believed in him as a person capable of rallying the public around an idea. Any idea. Like it or not my views on Paul aren’t from ignorance, and I felt at one point his followers were treating him even more like a savior figure than Obama’s were. More than anything I’m glad to be rid of “RON PAUL 08″ comments spamming every comments thread everywhere.

    I still dont see whats so specifically Dreamworksesque about the dogs, given Pixars record of things talking that can’t talk. I laughed my ass off at the dog who had the squeaky toy to fire his guns. If I had to have Russel as the sole comic relief and no dogs, I couldnt see myself liking this movie. that kid was not endearing at all.

  14. Dave says:

    “the less I believed in him as a person capable of rallying the public around an idea. Any idea. Like it or not my views on Paul aren’t from ignorance, and I felt at one point his followers were treating him even more like a savior figure than Obama’s were. More than anything I’m glad to be rid of “RON PAUL 08″ comments spamming every comments thread everywhere.”

    I supported Dr. Paul’s campaign, and yet I find nothing in those statements to be inaccurate or grossly exaggerated. None of this changes the fact that I fall in line with his rhetoric more than I do, say, Tim Geithner’s.

    Anyways. . . . .

    I think Kevin was supposed to be the comic relief, but then she turned into a martyr-esque creature. It’s like Up wanted to be everything to everyone and in that it lost me. But hey, at least Sean @ Filmjunk feels the same way.

  15. Dave says:

    On language barriers (more):

    Living in Orlando means a unilingual person will often come across a language barrier. I worked a little bit in landscaping here and it seemed to me like the only one in that company who spoke fluent English was the owner (read into that as you will). It seems to me that the ability for a community to successfully blend rests upon the shoulders of its educational system, and Florida’s has been woefully inadequate since the Jeb! days of yore. Our current governor is seen as the more progressive of conservatives, baffling liberals with his pro-environment rhetoric and angering conservatives with his soft stance on social issues. Yet for all Charlie Crist’s praise (look to see that name on a more national level in the years to come) he is, in reality, an empty suit looking solely to further his career one photo op at a time. As a result our schools still fail and our communities become more segregated by language. When we get to Summer Heights High on The Rotcast I’ll go further into how schools continue to fail children.

  16. Goon says:

    I wasn’t overly enthralled with Kevin, at least to start. I was okay with him eventually when it became apparent he was driving the plot. Initially it just seemed like a useless wacky character.

    I think one of my big issues with Ron Paul’s campaign was not even Paul’s problem. It’s that so many of his internet fanboys (and yes, I would use that term in many cases) were organizing as if they were sending a petition to George Lucas to release Episode 1 without Jar Jar. They were overestimating their numbers and anytime he did poorly it was some ‘conspiracy’ and they were holding back the real numbers, or some other excuse, and they were all so certain he was goin to win anyways. I think the fact that they were so deluded that they sincerely believed that he was going to win, even in New Hampshire, was weird. They spent all their hours setting up fake chatrooms under fake Romney or Huckabee domains that they looked past actual on-the-ground operations and GOTV organizations.

    I mean they raised this shit ton of money, and they organized like absolute idiots, and did nothing useful with it. It was a pretty pathetic spectacle, and I don’t think its inflammatory to say so.

    I worked for a man who could barely speak any English at a Greek-run restaurant in St. Catharines. He was comical though, he’d dash into the back in a hurry whenever more than a half dozen people were in the store and ruin whatever we were making and thought he was helping, literally shoving us aside and sticking his hands in the salad bowl and tossing it all over the floor, flipping burgers and butterflied chickens onto the floor, picking it up off the floor, flipping again, same result. Pretty nasty. Kind of irrelevant but something I’ll never forget. He called me “Ko Hay”

  17. Goon says:

    I think if you wanted to talk about schools, at some point you need to check out THE CLASS, the Cannes winner from last year, which I saw back in January with Kurt Halfyard.

  18. Dave says:

    I think we could also talk about season 4 of The Wire. Jonah from Summer Heights High will be more than adequate for what we’ll talk about.

  19. Goon says:

    Season 4 = best season

  20. Dave says:

    Alright so there’s this love fest going on for Up over at Row Three, so let me *reiterate* my stance:

    I can perfectly understand why people like this film so much. That’s fine. For me there was just more that didn’t work than did. And that’s fine in my book too. I don’t get this “If you didn’t like it, you’re an asshole of the first degree” attitude. It reeks of organized religion.

  21. Grundy says:

    Damn you Orlando! Now to derail the conversations at hand.

    Drag Me to Hell was delightful, and in my view very much reminded me of EC Comics /Tales from the Crypt. Also, that little jig during the possession scene was just pure fried-gold.

    Oh, and Within the Woods has never been officially released, because thinks it too shitty to be put out, though it’s floating around online in horrible quality.

    Spider-Man 3, Peter strutting down the street and dancing = awesome fucking shit.

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