FDR: American Badass

The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  There are two films in particular that I thought about while watching Hyde Park on Hudson, the new historical film about an alleged love affair between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (Laura Linney). Three films if you count Rushmore, due to the reunion of Murray and Olivia Williams, who plays First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and the much-talked-about scene depicting a handjob in a car (not a bloody Jaguar, unfortunately), but I don’t consider this one to be an ingredient in the same way. The two that I do think of as more content-based precursors are Dave and The King’s Speech. Regarding the former, I’m surely highlighting the wrong film as an earlier instance of a leader and his wife who are all but legally separated behind closed doors, the wife fully aware of the husband’s mistresses. But Dave does involve the POTUS and First Lady, and Williams’s Eleanor did remind me at times of Sigourney Weaver’s character in the 1993 doppelganger comedy. There are very likely other dramas of adulterous true stories that relate more to the overall plot of Hyde Park. I haven’t seen the JFK-mistress movie An American Affair, which might more closely fit. But given that I really despised every moment […]

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Cloud Atlas

The first thirty minutes of hanging out in line or around the Alamo Drafthouse on Day One of Fantastic Fest is reserved for excited greetings, hugs you only get one week out of the year and a discussion of what’s been going on with family. It’s a community coming together just like any other, and that means baby photos and inside jokes. The week after those thirty minutes features a lot of topics, but it’s anchored by discussion about what the secret screenings will be. Amid conversations about how fast Donnie Yen really is and what sex with an octopus might yield, the active guessing of the unnamed movies perforates, growing in waves of disinformation and speculation as the time slot grows closer. The thrill of waiting in a packed theater (with a bucket of beer), filled with anticipation (and a bucket of beer from earlier) is one of the unique emotions the festival offers, and a big part of that is trying to fit uneven puzzle pieces together. This is pure speculation – borne from my years of experience with Fantastic Fest and a look at the forthcoming release calendar – so take it only as that. We already know what movies will be there, but here are 10 that just might show up in a TBA slot.

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Holy cigarette filter-chomping hell. FDR: American Badass! is attempting to win every award for low budget insanity ever made. It’s an obvious money grab in response to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, but whereas that gem sought to preserve a bit of history, FDR: AB! takes history, injects it with polio, glues 8 pounds of fur to it and lights it on fire. There is nothing about this trailer that doesn’t live up to the Badass pedigree. It all screams “Success!” Explosions, Werewolf Hitler, Barry Bostwick taking it all exactly as seriously as it needs to be taken. Of course, it was all directed by Garrett Brawith, the guy who played Jeffrey Dahmer in Diary of a Serial Killer. Plus, Kevin Sorbo playing Abraham Lincoln. Figure that one out. Werewolf Nazis, people. It’s people in werewolf costumes in Nazi uniforms. Enjoy!

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, the editor of The New Ledger and podcast host of Coffee and Markets Ben Domenech brings his velvety voice to the show to suggest that John Lithgow play a werewolf-hunting FDR, question the Spider-Man casting, and create a list of movie characters that should run for office (we’d totally vote for Judy Dench’s M). Plus, we find time to review Megamind, Due Date, and implore you to see Four Lions. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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There are few sentences in this world that I’ve wanted to write more than that one, and the chance to do so was created by Production Weekly claiming that: “Move over Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter here comes FDR: American Badass – Franklin Roosevelt vs. Werewolves – filming next month in LA.” Who in the? For a production that’s starting next month, there’s no other information about it anywhere, which means it might just be some sort of Asylum knock off. But that’s ridiculous. Asylum would never have an American icon in a wheelchair battling giant wolf-men. Oh, no wait. That’s exactly what they’d do. I’m only on board if it ends with him sending his wife to be ambassador to the Werewolf-led United Nations. Or if Polio somehow causes people to turn into werewolves. Either way.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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