Transcript: The Fabelmans (2022)

Transcript of 70mm’s The Fabelmans (2022) Episode.

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers just like you. Every Monday I chat about recently watched movies with my close friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY Spielberg’s Duel opened in more theaters than this movie.

SLIM And our spiritual advisor and movie insider, Protolexus.

PROTO Now you know what, I’m gonna see enough Mads on the Letterboxd Twitter account that I don’t even have to watch this trailer. I’m gonna see 600 times in the next six months.

SLIM Our feature discussion later in the show closes out movies about movies month, and it’s Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. Is this the autobiographical movie we’ve been waiting decades for? Or is it a nice looking plotless future Oscar winner? Let’s find out together.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Indiana Jones 5.

DANNY

Oh my God,

SLIM And the Dial of Destiny.

DANNY What a name.

SLIM As of recording the trailer just dropped, fever pitch in the chat. It’s official, the trailer is out, not in 4k. It’s only 1080P. Very pixelated in some moments. I thought it was a low quality trailer, video quality wise.

DANNY It’s gotta be on purpose.

SLIM It could be on purpose. How did you feel? First trailer is out. You probably watched it right?

DANNY I watched it a few times on the computer then I had to pull it up on my TV to watch it. I’m very excited. I think it looks like a lot of fun. I think the most excited part of that I got excited was the de aging of Harrison. He looked amazing. I thought that that was impressive. Really well done for at least for the trailer. We’ll see when it’s in full full view, as they say on the big screen. But I had a good time. The music sucked. I will say, whatever they chose.

SLIM You didn’t like the little medley, the Indiana Jones medley?

DANNY No, no, no, no. I need the John Williams fanfare in my face. Just put it on my face.

PROTO I actually didn’t watch the trailer. Okay, I had no interest in watching the trailer there. You know, I mean, what’s uh, what am I going to see in this trailer changed in his day job? Let me guess. You know, we get maybe some like, Indiana Jones silhouette. He’s we get a cut of him. You know, entering a room. There’s some kind of chase on a street. Mads Mikkelsen looking like a 45 year old dad appearing on screen for a minute. Now you know what, I’m gonna see enough Mads on the Letterboxd Twitter account, that I don’t even have to watch this trailer. I’m gonna see it. I’m gonna see it 600 times in the next six months. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM I thought you muted Mads on Twitter. I thought we solve this issue.

PROTO I did, but they have ways of getting around my mutes. [Slim & Danny laugh] I don’t like it.

SLIM If you could only imagine the DMs PRoto sends about Mads Mikkelsen on social media, you would die inside. Much like Proto dies when he sees a picture of Mads in his Twitter feed.

DANNY How about you slim? What’d you think?

SLIM I thought it was okay. I thought the de-aging stuff looked insane. Yeah, of course it was also only for maybe 1/20 of a second. It could have been a still image for all I know. But mangled said that it was like allegedly the DJing scene is is like a flashback that ties into the storyline. It’s it opens the movie. There was one scene if we can all be honest with each other. There was one scene that looked like it should not have been in the trailer. It’s when Indiana Indiana Jones is on a horse and the horse like jumps up and kind of like he at Indiana Indiana is forced to like kind of like readjust.

DANNY That’s not Harrison.

SLIM It’s not Harrison. You can tell they it would have looked better if they just put a cardboard mask on the stump man on the horse was maybe the worst CGI in the history of at Lucasfilm movie and it has no no idea why I have no idea why it’s in the trailer. Get it out of here.

DANNY They’re calling this the teaser, okay?

SLIM It’s gonna tease me out the door!

DANNY This is the teaser.

SLIM If the movie looks like that then we’re in trouble.

DANNY Some festival they’re out right now CCXPX Film Festival something like that. So we’ll get a full trailer eventually.

SLIM Yeah, maybe it was a rush job.

DANNY Probably get a full trailer in front of Avatar 2. Just to lengthen that movie longer.

SLIM Oh my god.

DANNY Just to lengthen that movie even longer.

SLIM Can we just say that that’s going to be episode 150 of 70mm… Avatar 2.

DANNY Good lord.

PROTO If people don’t think we’ve been planning this for three years…

SLIM Three years of planning has gotten us to this moment we made this podcast to talk about avatar two through six and we’ll get there boy movies about movies want to ends tonight with The Fabelmans, opened in 50 theaters across the United States of America, it’s gonna be on video on demand in two weeks. [Danny laughs] Maybe the most disturbing theatrical rollout I’ve ever seen. God, if you weren’t in a major metropolitan city city, good luck trying to get your hands on some Fabelman tickets. But that’s later in the show.

DANNY Spielberg’s Duel opened and more theaters in this movie. [Slim laughs]

SLIM So, use the chapters in your app to skip ahead of that discussion. Unless you’re in Spotify, there’s no chapters to be used for some reason. Gosh, what should we talk about first? Should we talk about Danny watching Willow this week?

DANNY Let’s talk about Willow real quick. Watched a Willow because the TV show is starting on Disney plus two episodes have dropped. I love the movie. The movie is a great four star good time. Val Kilmer is hilarious in it so I fired up the TV show today and turn it off after 10 minutes because credibly bad.

PROTO Noo!

SLIM Noo! Oh my —

DANNY I didn’t even make it to see Willow in this. It looked like a CW — Andor ruined me for Disney plus television. This was I couldn’t I couldn’t finish it. It was like a bad CW rom com in the first 10 minutes and I was out. So I was done.

PROTO Did you did you get domed? Is that what happened?

DANNY I don’t know if there’s a dome but it just looked terrible. I was done.

SLIM I don’t even know how to move on from this.

DANNY Here’s how we move on. I added a new movie to my top four.

SLIM What? Oh my god, I’m looking at it right now, I didn’t even realize.

DANNY Casey and I watched Singin’ in the Rain last night and it might be one of my favorite movies ever. I had to move it up to the top four. I had an incredible time watching this film. I cannot believe — we won’t even go there.

SLIM Democracy at its finest losing the vote.

DANNY I’m not gonna go there.

SLIM I’ll go there, but we can move on now.

DANNY But I will say this movie surprised me Jean Kelly. Is is astonishing in this film. I couldn’t get over the moves he was doing dancing wise and I one of the things I loved about this film is it felt it didn’t take itself too seriously. When I thought about like an old musical dance routine this movie was hilarious. It was like it almost like was making fun of itself at times. And I had an incredible time watching it. I just didn’t want to stop Gene Kelly. Call me.

PROTO This picture of Gene Kelly and his profile picture on Letterboxd. Are you kidding me?

DANNY That’s what it looks like the whole movie, he breaks the fourth wall in this movie like there’s something about it. Casey just said, “Gene call us.” [Slim & Danny laugh] Yeah, I was in love in love with this film. I was just blown away by it. The sets, the dance numbers, the comedy, the acting the this the just about the filming of these movies and I had a great time. Incredible time.

SLIM I had a mental image of Casey in bed reading someone’s letterbox review to both you and Gene Kelly.

DANNY Casey was watching me watch the movie. That’s what it was.

SLIM You were little Sammy Fabelman in the theater seeing those trains.

DANNY It was a great time, and the stream. The stream on HBO Max is so good for this film.

SLIM It’s a very clean transfer probably no matter what version you get. And I always bring up the scene when I talk about Singin’ in the Rain, but that ballet dream sequence.

DANNY Oh my god…

SLIM Oh my god the fabric is is insane.

DANNY How did they not tangle themself with that.

SLIM Also his his posture. He has like a dancer’s posture. He knows what he’s doing over there with his cheeks his bad guy the arch his arms, his ceps. Yeah, it’s an easy five star movie. Wish we could have done it.

DANNY Now we’ll never do it.

SLIM Proto, when was the last time you saw Singin’ in the Rain? Have you ever seen it?

PROTO I’ve never seen it. Never seen it somehow, I have avoided it.

SLIM But the patrons didn’t want it. The patrons wanted Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. We had a great time to on that.

DANNY We did have a great time.

SLIM We had a fantastic time. I will say that the 4k box set collector’s edition on Amazon for 70 bucks. There’s a lot of goodies in there. Did you see that?

DANNY For what? Singin’ in the Rain?

SLIM Singin’ in the Rain.

DANNY I didn’t look. Casey would’ve smack my phone out of my heads real quick.

SLIM I mean, there’s some like really like movie theater almost like postcards in there. Ooh, the lobby car. Yeah, there’s Oh, my God was a hardcover book included too. So what could have been, you know, maybe one day in the future? Who knows? But rest in peace Willow the television series.

DANNY Hannah brings up Moses Supposes that dance sequence with him and his writing partner, whatever. What an incredible tap routine. I don’t think I’ve ever said that in a lot of my life.

SLIM Can you imagine doing those routines?

DANNY My body would snap in half.

SLIM Like 30 times to get it right. You know, they’re they’re all pretty much just like one takes. It’s nuts. Maybe another five star movie Conan the Barbarian, Proto watched.

DANNY Oh, let’s talk about it.

PROTO Yeah, I did get to it. A week or so ago, well, a couple of members a month ago at this point, our dear producer Dale Minch. We were talking about movies. He mentioned Conan the Barbarian. And you know, Dale’s. You never steered me wrong, right? No, he would never. And I remember, you know, he was raving about Beastmaster. And I watched that as a four four star movie great movie. Great time. And this felt like a similar vein. You know, Conan the Barbarian. It’s from the 80s. You know, like a campy fantasy movie says all right, and I looked on looked online and you get the you can get the set of Conan the Barbarian and Conan The Conqueror, the sequel? For like 11 bucks the blue rush. I mean, how can you not so I just pulled the trigger right there and then trigger. And yeah, so I watched that this week, and this is a pretty bad movie. Yeah, I think it’s in my memory. It’s the worst Arnold performance that I’ve seen. My god, he’s just he’s just Nolan on the scenery. And as he’s, you know, his line delivery is from the pit of hell. But I can say it has his best use of grunt grunting the Arnold grunt there’s a scene like his first his first like fight scene. He grunts from like, I’m not kidding. It’s like three minutes straight. It’s pretty incredible. But the most the terrible most terrible thing about this this this movie is just so boring. I actually started it once. And like got a half hour in and then like, stepped away for a couple of weeks. And I came back and I was I couldn’t remember how Forex I couldn’t remember how much I bought so I just started overthinking was like 15 minutes, but I watched like, almost like 45 minutes of it. So I’m like, you know, it’s so it was kind of it was it was a rough viewing. There’s some great sex scenes though. I mean, some great you know, flesh on flesh action. I was impressed by Arnold’s performance in those scenes for sure. And there’s some great wig work fantastic wig work and this just you know it looks like someone you know cut off the head of a mop and then just like stuck it on people’s heads with a piece of bourbon. So there’s that um but yeah, I gave it two stars. It is a disappointment.

SLIM This comment thread and I just posted in chat. KK putting, “This one hurts.” And then you replied, “You are in pain? But imagine me watching Conan” [Slim laughs] I was cracking up at my desk reading that conversation. I do want to say hello to James who became our latest intern today. In fact, on our Patreon he got access to uncut episodes the VHS village discord where you can listen along live and the interns get access to protos audio dispatches produces his own audio series. Just for interns. I think we might be close to the next episode of the Proto audio dispatch.

PROTO If I didn’t get sick for a whole week that episode would be out now, but I can tell you right now that we are so close to episode three coming out. It is right around the corner.

SLIM We might have also just solidified a date for our next audio commentary episode, I did kind of secretly rebrand our watchalongs to audio commentary just because I like the way that sounds better. So we have made a decision on what our next audio commentary is. It’s time to end this once and for all, and maybe interns understanding what that means. So we’re so close. That’s all we can say right now.

DANNY Can taste it.

SLIM We can taste the closeness right now.

DANNY Ew.

SLIM We mentioned it in the indoor episode, which we dropped shock drop into our Amazon the other day. But Danny launched a Kickstarter for some Universal monster character pins on Kickstarter. And you’re — I think we’re like 100 bucks away from unlocking the first secret pin. Is that true?

DANNY Oh, maybe? Yeah.

SLIM I just looked at like an hour ago.

DANNY Secret pins, we’re almost there.

SLIM Can you give us a hint? Is it Indiana Jones?

DANNY No. That’s a — I should’ve just done Indiana Jones.

SLIM Have you ever done an Indy pin?

DANNY I did Indiana Jones in Carbonite as a pin once, which was great.

SLIM Speaking of which, maybe top five, top three art you’ve done for this show is The Empire Strikes Back still to this day.

DANNY You still love that one!

SLIM I don’t know what it is about the design of that artwork but just tops in my book. Every week we give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro, gets rid of ads, access to some year end stats and see where your movies or streaming get notified when they if they’re on your watch list and they hit that service. Justin Bower tweeted “Great episode need the art of the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” So you just won a free year of Letterboxd Pro, congratulations it’s there for all to enjoy. Unreal art. Do I want to talk about any movies? We’re running late here.

DANNY Please.

SLIM I saw The Whale.

DANNY Oh…

SLIM Brendan Fraser, the return.

DANNY Be careful. Tread lightly. The King has returned.

SLIM The King is back. I love Brendan Fraser. Brendan Fraser is fantastic in it. I wish him the best. I went to the bourse Theatre in Philadelphia was a press screening.

DANNY That sounds like a fancy theater.

SLIM It’s a nice theater. But this is the second blast I was at this theater was for men. Remember that movie? From our sweet boy who did annihilation they might talk for. But I remember at the men screening. Like someone fell asleep in the first 20 minutes and was actively snoring. And when we sat down to watch the whale it started again. So I think there is some like Philadelphia critic who is maybe older and just it sounded like an older snore like an old man snore. Wow. But it happened like literally again. I don’t know if like critic buddies like nudge him at some point during the screening. But I didn’t love the well I didn’t like it. Really? I think there’s there’s a lot of like, negativity about the story and because he plays like a morbidly obese character trying to make amends with Sadie sink from Stranger Things. And it’s really like a it’s based on a play I think so it’s literally just takes place in his house. All the characters come to and fro his house. I didn’t just I just didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like some of the cast. So nothing really connected with me. But I thought the ending was great. I thought the last like 1520 minutes. I felt like it was all building around the ending of the movie. And everything before that was just kind of superfluous leading to that so but I mean there’s like a ton of positive buzz for Brendon, which is deserved. And it’s like his comeback so to speak. So I’m glad that that’s happening but didn’t like it.

PROTO Yeah, I’m always curious, curious, like, it’s fun being on Letterboxd with movies like this where you’re getting the critics reviews coming in first or people who have like access early film festivals is that 3.9 Right now on Letterboxd. So it comes out on next week? December 9. So it’d be just curious to see what the larger audience response to it is.

SLIM Yeah, I don’t know. I was trying to like I was looking at Aronofsky’s filmography forgotten he didn’t know with Russell Crowe either. I’m seeing them awesome. It was good. Yeah.

DANNY It was a good movie. Let me Jennifer Connelly on it.

SLIM And this my watch list because it’s a 2.6 on Letterboxd, Noah. Believe it or not.

DANNY There’s some definite he made some very bold choices yeah bold choices with the biblical story.

PROTO “That’s not how it is in the Bible!” [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Let’s see some villager ratings, Brandon two stars, Proto does not have a rating or a log.

DANNY No, this is way before Letterboxd for me.

SLIM This is BLB. Let’s see. other villagers that have this log. Not really. It’s this is yeah, this is maybe BLB for most people. All we need to get into this main event. We need to wrap up movies about movies month. Raving success, big success. We had to go to theaters to see this thing. I couldn’t take notes during this thing. You know how difficult that is to sit down and realize you forgot to take notes three days ago movie that your’re about to talk about?

DANNY We’ll get through this.

SLIM Oh boy. Proto, what’s Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans about?

PROTO The Fabelmans are a family of six. The oldest child Sam has a fascination with movies and shooting movies of his own. We follow the Fabelmans as they travel across the country as Mr. Fabelmans career in computers takes them from New Jersey to Arizona and ultimately to California. As Sam grows up his ambitions to shoot movies grows until he is recruiting 40 friends for an entire day shoot and discovering techniques to take his movies to the next level. All the while, Sam must come to terms with the fact that life ain’t like it is in the movies. The Fabelmans.

SLIM Producer pleased with himself that that outro here in his voice enough. The Fabelmans the one movie Steven Spielberg wanted to make after all these years, allegedly. Right? I think the story was like if I think COVID forced him to think like what movie would I just want to make and that be it if I had to guess he’s been trying to make this for years. It feels like West Side Story just came out. Right? Like last year. I feel like so recent last year is crazy that West Side Story and this are out anuses last year. Oh yeah, it was during COVID. So maybe there was some some of those delays. So delays probably worked on West Side Story a long time ago. But yeah, this movie. The only thing I knew ahead of time about this movie is like in the Letterboxd Slack people were talking about The Fabelans being an Oscar like it’s going to be in the Oscar picture. Spielberg doing like an semi sort of biography about himself. Yeah, and that has like Oscar written all over it. So Proto, did you hear anything ahead of time, like in just poking around Letterboxd or reading anything about this movie in the last year or so?

PROTO No, no, I didn’t really know much about it. I was kind of just I guess confused by the title. Fable means because doesn’t really give you anything. Yeah, I don’t even really know if I watched the trailer. No, I did. I watched a trailer but I feel like the trailer didn’t really give me much. So yeah, I wasn’t really following along with what was going on with this.

SLIM Yeah, the title doesn’t give you anything. I’m not sure if I love the title. We’ll get into huh? Danny, what about you? Were you were you writing the buzz wave for your boy. Berg.

DANNY I have my my hand on the pulse of Steven Spielberg cinematography,

SLIM Steven Spielberg fans for life.com Yeah, that’s my city’s website.

DANNY Um, I feel like I’ve heard about this film right after west side because I was like, Well, what’s next and then it was like the rare not the rare like the one the preview image on letterbox of this film is coming out the fable mins but knowing that it was him talking about His coming of age story, I was very excited about it. And then just knowing that this will probably be the last time him and John Williams works to work together there’s this was this is it for him them two together. So it’s kind of closing that chapter in their life. And yeah, this is this was very excited to for me.

SLIM John Wayne’s hot off the heels of the Kenobi score

DANNY Enough.

SLIM Let’s start out with our resident Spielberg expert. He followed his career for decades. Huge inspiration. I’m already predicting a five star from Danny just putting it out here. Five bang. So usually in this segment, each host jots down three things that we want to talk about for this discussion, and then we’ll go roundtable for anything left and give our letterboxed ratings. And like I said earlier, I wasn’t taking notes in this theater, like an idiot should I probably should have but off the cuff teeny. What’s your number one note that you want to talk about first?

DANNY My number one note is actually about. Gabrielle LaBelle. I I was actually pleasantly surprised with his performance as young Stephen, Sammy Spielberg. And I found so many moments of kind of not like losing myself, but I felt like I was actually watching Spielberg. I felt his performance was very captivating for me. And I just I just was very impressed one of his first rolls ever to be cast in a Spielberg movie to play Spielberg? In Spielberg’s most personal movie, I mean, that kind of weight for this kid had to have been a lot, but I think he nailed it. There were so many moments in this film where I was just impressed with his performance, the him falling in love with film filming the the war movie with his buddies. Even like the prom stuff in the prom, the skip day, and there’s something about his performance where I thought, I really felt like I was watching Spielberg like this was this. He felt like he embodied it quite well. And for me that I felt like he was the standout for this.

SLIM What if it was Timothée Chalamet?

DANNY Okay.

SLIM Sorry. I’m just having fun tonight.

DANNY You have no notes, so you have to keep riffing. [Slim laughs]

SLIM This is me killing time. No, I thought he was very good. And I looked at his filmography. Last thing. There’s only like three things, but one of them is The Predator. Yeah, believe it or not, which, again, I don’t know how to get into. But yeah, I thought he was well cast. At first, I felt like I couldn’t see the character throughout the entire, like ensemble cast, like and then I was like, Well, who is this guy? Why didn’t they cast a more of a name? But as the movie progressed, I thought he was a great fit. As Sammy Fabelman, Stevie Spielberg, Proto, what do you think?

PROTO I felt like he, he looked the part really well. I actually thought the younger actor Oh, played the when he was a young kid. There were some moments where I was like, is this like, CGI, like, on his face to look like Steven Spielberg? Because he looked a lot like him to me. I would say I didn’t I don’t think I really loved the performance though. In general, who played Sam? But I feel like that’s maybe like a larger issue I have just with like the story itself. And, and the actors in general and the parts but well, we can get into that.

SLIM I actually have no idea what young Steven Spielberg likes. I think the youngest one was the was an amazing actor, the little kid like when they first take little Sammy Stevie to the theater. And he was like, looking at the theater. He’s got like, his eyes are glued, his life is opened up to this kind of new thing. And then also when that kid shows, Mitzi, the movie he made and he’s like, sitting next to her, you know, he’s got like, the film on his hand, the projection on his hand and then the wall. I thought that was really well done stuff. I mean, kid actors, it’s hard to get them to not look like kid actors. I thought he did. Yeah, for sure. But let’s get into some of what Porter was teasing out. Perhaps with that, or unless you have a different number one that you want to start with Berto?

PROTO Um Well, let’s start with the good I guess the my first point is I love anything where they’re showing someone working with film. The scenes where Sam is in his room editing the different movies together. I could watch an hour of just that of someone like the sound of the real spinning of him putting the tape into the machine and cutting it you know, taping it to the table. All of that stuff. I just love they reminds me of recently watching blowout, which has like also amazing scenes with someone editing film. So I just love those parts. I felt like the part that when he is realizing about the relationship between his mother and Seth Rogen, his character Benny that yeah, you know, like Steven was just like, going going hard with the camera rotate. Family like you couldn’t get enough. I think we went around him like six or seven times easily the camera but I just I love those scenes.

SLIM I mean, how insane was the lighting in that scene? Like that’s shadows on Sammy editing holy. That was maybe one of the top three scenes of the entire movie for sure. And also like film editing. Are we the laziest generation in history? I mean, out there we have to be I’ve talked at length about how I would be a corpse if I didn’t have Apple Maps. If I was 20 minutes away from my house. I mean, he’s cutting film. He’s putting he’s taping it to the table the wall. I would have never probably done any of that stuff. I don’t know hooking holes in it for gunshots, like that’s yeah, insane. I love the reaction to seeing that Have their minds were blown about how he got out. So cool. I loved when his dad asked him in the car. I thought that was a cool moment.

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers just like you. Every Monday I chat about recently watched movies with my close friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY Spielberg’s Duel opened in more theaters than this movie.

SLIM And our spiritual advisor and movie insider, Protolexus.

PROTO Now you know what, I’m gonna see enough Mads on the Letterboxd Twitter account that I don’t even have to watch this trailer. I’m gonna see 600 times in the next six months.

SLIM Our feature discussion later in the show closes out movies about movies month, and it’s Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. Is this the autobiographical movie we’ve been waiting decades for? Or is it a nice looking plotless future Oscar winner? Let’s find out together.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Indiana Jones 5.

DANNY

Oh my God,

SLIM And the Dial of Destiny.

DANNY What a name.

SLIM As of recording the trailer just dropped, fever pitch in the chat. It’s official, the trailer is out, not in 4k. It’s only 1080P. Very pixelated in some moments. I thought it was a low quality trailer, video quality wise.

DANNY It’s gotta be on purpose.

SLIM It could be on purpose. How did you feel? First trailer is out. You probably watched it right?

DANNY I watched it a few times on the computer then I had to pull it up on my TV to watch it. I’m very excited. I think it looks like a lot of fun. I think the most excited part of that I got excited was the de aging of Harrison. He looked amazing. I thought that that was impressive. Really well done for at least for the trailer. We’ll see when it’s in full full view, as they say on the big screen. But I had a good time. The music sucked. I will say, whatever they chose.

SLIM You didn’t like the little medley, the Indiana Jones medley?

DANNY No, no, no, no. I need the John Williams fanfare in my face. Just put it on my face.

PROTO I actually didn’t watch the trailer. Okay, I had no interest in watching the trailer there. You know, I mean, what’s uh, what am I going to see in this trailer changed in his day job? Let me guess. You know, we get maybe some like, Indiana Jones silhouette. He’s we get a cut of him. You know, entering a room. There’s some kind of chase on a street. Mads Mikkelsen looking like a 45 year old dad appearing on screen for a minute. Now you know what, I’m gonna see enough Mads on the Letterboxd Twitter account, that I don’t even have to watch this trailer. I’m gonna see it. I’m gonna see it 600 times in the next six months. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM I thought you muted Mads on Twitter. I thought we solve this issue.

PROTO I did, but they have ways of getting around my mutes. [Slim & Danny laugh] I don’t like it.

SLIM If you could only imagine the DMs PRoto sends about Mads Mikkelsen on social media, you would die inside. Much like Proto dies when he sees a picture of Mads in his Twitter feed.

DANNY How about you slim? What’d you think?

SLIM I thought it was okay. I thought the de-aging stuff looked insane. Yeah, of course it was also only for maybe 1/20 of a second. It could have been a still image for all I know. But mangled said that it was like allegedly the DJing scene is is like a flashback that ties into the storyline. It’s it opens the movie. There was one scene if we can all be honest with each other. There was one scene that looked like it should not have been in the trailer. It’s when Indiana Indiana Jones is on a horse and the horse like jumps up and kind of like he at Indiana Indiana is forced to like kind of like readjust.

DANNY That’s not Harrison.

SLIM It’s not Harrison. You can tell they it would have looked better if they just put a cardboard mask on the stump man on the horse was maybe the worst CGI in the history of at Lucasfilm movie and it has no no idea why I have no idea why it’s in the trailer. Get it out of here.

DANNY They’re calling this the teaser, okay?

SLIM It’s gonna tease me out the door!

DANNY This is the teaser.

SLIM If the movie looks like that then we’re in trouble.

DANNY Some festival they’re out right now CCXPX Film Festival something like that. So we’ll get a full trailer eventually.

SLIM Yeah, maybe it was a rush job.

DANNY Probably get a full trailer in front of Avatar 2. Just to lengthen that movie longer.

SLIM Oh my god.

DANNY Just to lengthen that movie even longer.

SLIM Can we just say that that’s going to be episode 150 of 70mm… Avatar 2.

DANNY Good lord.

PROTO If people don’t think we’ve been planning this for three years…

SLIM Three years of planning has gotten us to this moment we made this podcast to talk about avatar two through six and we’ll get there boy movies about movies want to ends tonight with The Fabelmans, opened in 50 theaters across the United States of America, it’s gonna be on video on demand in two weeks. [Danny laughs] Maybe the most disturbing theatrical rollout I’ve ever seen. God, if you weren’t in a major metropolitan city city, good luck trying to get your hands on some Fabelman tickets. But that’s later in the show.

DANNY Spielberg’s Duel opened and more theaters in this movie. [Slim laughs]

SLIM So, use the chapters in your app to skip ahead of that discussion. Unless you’re in Spotify, there’s no chapters to be used for some reason. Gosh, what should we talk about first? Should we talk about Danny watching Willow this week?

DANNY Let’s talk about Willow real quick. Watched a Willow because the TV show is starting on Disney plus two episodes have dropped. I love the movie. The movie is a great four star good time. Val Kilmer is hilarious in it so I fired up the TV show today and turn it off after 10 minutes because credibly bad.

PROTO Noo!

SLIM Noo! Oh my —

DANNY I didn’t even make it to see Willow in this. It looked like a CW — Andor ruined me for Disney plus television. This was I couldn’t I couldn’t finish it. It was like a bad CW rom com in the first 10 minutes and I was out. So I was done.

PROTO Did you did you get domed? Is that what happened?

DANNY I don’t know if there’s a dome but it just looked terrible. I was done.

SLIM I don’t even know how to move on from this.

DANNY Here’s how we move on. I added a new movie to my top four.

SLIM What? Oh my god, I’m looking at it right now, I didn’t even realize.

DANNY Casey and I watched Singin’ in the Rain last night and it might be one of my favorite movies ever. I had to move it up to the top four. I had an incredible time watching this film. I cannot believe — we won’t even go there.

SLIM Democracy at its finest losing the vote.

DANNY I’m not gonna go there.

SLIM I’ll go there, but we can move on now.

DANNY But I will say this movie surprised me Jean Kelly. Is is astonishing in this film. I couldn’t get over the moves he was doing dancing wise and I one of the things I loved about this film is it felt it didn’t take itself too seriously. When I thought about like an old musical dance routine this movie was hilarious. It was like it almost like was making fun of itself at times. And I had an incredible time watching it. I just didn’t want to stop Gene Kelly. Call me.

PROTO This picture of Gene Kelly and his profile picture on Letterboxd. Are you kidding me?

DANNY That’s what it looks like the whole movie, he breaks the fourth wall in this movie like there’s something about it. Casey just said, “Gene call us.” [Slim & Danny laugh] Yeah, I was in love in love with this film. I was just blown away by it. The sets, the dance numbers, the comedy, the acting the this the just about the filming of these movies and I had a great time. Incredible time.

SLIM I had a mental image of Casey in bed reading someone’s letterbox review to both you and Gene Kelly.

DANNY Casey was watching me watch the movie. That’s what it was.

SLIM You were little Sammy Fabelman in the theater seeing those trains.

DANNY It was a great time, and the stream. The stream on HBO Max is so good for this film.

SLIM It’s a very clean transfer probably no matter what version you get. And I always bring up the scene when I talk about Singin’ in the Rain, but that ballet dream sequence.

DANNY Oh my god…

SLIM Oh my god the fabric is is insane.

DANNY How did they not tangle themself with that.

SLIM Also his his posture. He has like a dancer’s posture. He knows what he’s doing over there with his cheeks his bad guy the arch his arms, his ceps. Yeah, it’s an easy five star movie. Wish we could have done it.

DANNY Now we’ll never do it.

SLIM Proto, when was the last time you saw Singin’ in the Rain? Have you ever seen it?

PROTO I’ve never seen it. Never seen it somehow, I have avoided it.

SLIM But the patrons didn’t want it. The patrons wanted Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. We had a great time to on that.

DANNY We did have a great time.

SLIM We had a fantastic time. I will say that the 4k box set collector’s edition on Amazon for 70 bucks. There’s a lot of goodies in there. Did you see that?

DANNY For what? Singin’ in the Rain?

SLIM Singin’ in the Rain.

DANNY I didn’t look. Casey would’ve smack my phone out of my heads real quick.

SLIM I mean, there’s some like really like movie theater almost like postcards in there. Ooh, the lobby car. Yeah, there’s Oh, my God was a hardcover book included too. So what could have been, you know, maybe one day in the future? Who knows? But rest in peace Willow the television series.

DANNY Hannah brings up Moses Supposes that dance sequence with him and his writing partner, whatever. What an incredible tap routine. I don’t think I’ve ever said that in a lot of my life.

SLIM Can you imagine doing those routines?

DANNY My body would snap in half.

SLIM Like 30 times to get it right. You know, they’re they’re all pretty much just like one takes. It’s nuts. Maybe another five star movie Conan the Barbarian, Proto watched.

DANNY Oh, let’s talk about it.

PROTO Yeah, I did get to it. A week or so ago, well, a couple of members a month ago at this point, our dear producer Dale Minch. We were talking about movies. He mentioned Conan the Barbarian. And you know, Dale’s. You never steered me wrong, right? No, he would never. And I remember, you know, he was raving about Beastmaster. And I watched that as a four four star movie great movie. Great time. And this felt like a similar vein. You know, Conan the Barbarian. It’s from the 80s. You know, like a campy fantasy movie says all right, and I looked on looked online and you get the you can get the set of Conan the Barbarian and Conan The Conqueror, the sequel? For like 11 bucks the blue rush. I mean, how can you not so I just pulled the trigger right there and then trigger. And yeah, so I watched that this week, and this is a pretty bad movie. Yeah, I think it’s in my memory. It’s the worst Arnold performance that I’ve seen. My god, he’s just he’s just Nolan on the scenery. And as he’s, you know, his line delivery is from the pit of hell. But I can say it has his best use of grunt grunting the Arnold grunt there’s a scene like his first his first like fight scene. He grunts from like, I’m not kidding. It’s like three minutes straight. It’s pretty incredible. But the most the terrible most terrible thing about this this this movie is just so boring. I actually started it once. And like got a half hour in and then like, stepped away for a couple of weeks. And I came back and I was I couldn’t remember how Forex I couldn’t remember how much I bought so I just started overthinking was like 15 minutes, but I watched like, almost like 45 minutes of it. So I’m like, you know, it’s so it was kind of it was it was a rough viewing. There’s some great sex scenes though. I mean, some great you know, flesh on flesh action. I was impressed by Arnold’s performance in those scenes for sure. And there’s some great wig work fantastic wig work and this just you know it looks like someone you know cut off the head of a mop and then just like stuck it on people’s heads with a piece of bourbon. So there’s that um but yeah, I gave it two stars. It is a disappointment.

SLIM This comment thread and I just posted in chat. KK putting, “This one hurts.” And then you replied, “You are in pain? But imagine me watching Conan” [Slim laughs] I was cracking up at my desk reading that conversation. I do want to say hello to James who became our latest intern today. In fact, on our Patreon he got access to uncut episodes the VHS village discord where you can listen along live and the interns get access to protos audio dispatches produces his own audio series. Just for interns. I think we might be close to the next episode of the Proto audio dispatch.

PROTO If I didn’t get sick for a whole week that episode would be out now, but I can tell you right now that we are so close to episode three coming out. It is right around the corner.

SLIM We might have also just solidified a date for our next audio commentary episode, I did kind of secretly rebrand our watchalongs to audio commentary just because I like the way that sounds better. So we have made a decision on what our next audio commentary is. It’s time to end this once and for all, and maybe interns understanding what that means. So we’re so close. That’s all we can say right now.

DANNY Can taste it.

SLIM We can taste the closeness right now.

DANNY Ew.

SLIM We mentioned it in the indoor episode, which we dropped shock drop into our Amazon the other day. But Danny launched a Kickstarter for some Universal monster character pins on Kickstarter. And you’re — I think we’re like 100 bucks away from unlocking the first secret pin. Is that true?

DANNY Oh, maybe? Yeah.

SLIM I just looked at like an hour ago.

DANNY Secret pins, we’re almost there.

SLIM Can you give us a hint? Is it Indiana Jones?

DANNY No. That’s a — I should’ve just done Indiana Jones.

SLIM Have you ever done an Indy pin?

DANNY I did Indiana Jones in Carbonite as a pin once, which was great.

SLIM Speaking of which, maybe top five, top three art you’ve done for this show is The Empire Strikes Back still to this day.

DANNY You still love that one!

SLIM I don’t know what it is about the design of that artwork but just tops in my book. Every week we give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro, gets rid of ads, access to some year end stats and see where your movies or streaming get notified when they if they’re on your watch list and they hit that service. Justin Bower tweeted “Great episode need the art of the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” So you just won a free year of Letterboxd Pro, congratulations it’s there for all to enjoy. Unreal art. Do I want to talk about any movies? We’re running late here.

DANNY Please.

SLIM I saw The Whale.

DANNY Oh…

SLIM Brendan Fraser, the return.

DANNY Be careful. Tread lightly. The King has returned.

SLIM The King is back. I love Brendan Fraser. Brendan Fraser is fantastic in it. I wish him the best. I went to the bourse Theatre in Philadelphia was a press screening.

DANNY That sounds like a fancy theater.

SLIM It’s a nice theater. But this is the second blast I was at this theater was for men. Remember that movie? From our sweet boy who did annihilation they might talk for. But I remember at the men screening. Like someone fell asleep in the first 20 minutes and was actively snoring. And when we sat down to watch the whale it started again. So I think there is some like Philadelphia critic who is maybe older and just it sounded like an older snore like an old man snore. Wow. But it happened like literally again. I don’t know if like critic buddies like nudge him at some point during the screening. But I didn’t love the well I didn’t like it. Really? I think there’s there’s a lot of like, negativity about the story and because he plays like a morbidly obese character trying to make amends with Sadie sink from Stranger Things. And it’s really like a it’s based on a play I think so it’s literally just takes place in his house. All the characters come to and fro his house. I didn’t just I just didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like some of the cast. So nothing really connected with me. But I thought the ending was great. I thought the last like 1520 minutes. I felt like it was all building around the ending of the movie. And everything before that was just kind of superfluous leading to that so but I mean there’s like a ton of positive buzz for Brendon, which is deserved. And it’s like his comeback so to speak. So I’m glad that that’s happening but didn’t like it.

PROTO Yeah, I’m always curious, curious, like, it’s fun being on Letterboxd with movies like this where you’re getting the critics reviews coming in first or people who have like access early film festivals is that 3.9 Right now on Letterboxd. So it comes out on next week? December 9. So it’d be just curious to see what the larger audience response to it is.

SLIM Yeah, I don’t know. I was trying to like I was looking at Aronofsky’s filmography forgotten he didn’t know with Russell Crowe either. I’m seeing them awesome. It was good. Yeah.

DANNY It was a good movie. Let me Jennifer Connelly on it.

SLIM And this my watch list because it’s a 2.6 on Letterboxd, Noah. Believe it or not.

DANNY There’s some definite he made some very bold choices yeah bold choices with the biblical story.

PROTO “That’s not how it is in the Bible!” [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Let’s see some villager ratings, Brandon two stars, Proto does not have a rating or a log.

DANNY No, this is way before Letterboxd for me.

SLIM This is BLB. Let’s see. other villagers that have this log. Not really. It’s this is yeah, this is maybe BLB for most people. All we need to get into this main event. We need to wrap up movies about movies month. Raving success, big success. We had to go to theaters to see this thing. I couldn’t take notes during this thing. You know how difficult that is to sit down and realize you forgot to take notes three days ago movie that your’re about to talk about?

DANNY We’ll get through this.

SLIM Oh boy. Proto, what’s Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans about?

PROTO The Fabelmans are a family of six. The oldest child Sam has a fascination with movies and shooting movies of his own. We follow the Fabelmans as they travel across the country as Mr. Fabelmans career in computers takes them from New Jersey to Arizona and ultimately to California. As Sam grows up his ambitions to shoot movies grows until he is recruiting 40 friends for an entire day shoot and discovering techniques to take his movies to the next level. All the while, Sam must come to terms with the fact that life ain’t like it is in the movies. The Fabelmans.

SLIM Producer pleased with himself that that outro here in his voice enough. The Fabelmans the one movie Steven Spielberg wanted to make after all these years, allegedly. Right? I think the story was like if I think COVID forced him to think like what movie would I just want to make and that be it if I had to guess he’s been trying to make this for years. It feels like West Side Story just came out. Right? Like last year. I feel like so recent last year is crazy that West Side Story and this are out anuses last year. Oh yeah, it was during COVID. So maybe there was some some of those delays. So delays probably worked on West Side Story a long time ago. But yeah, this movie. The only thing I knew ahead of time about this movie is like in the Letterboxd Slack people were talking about The Fabelans being an Oscar like it’s going to be in the Oscar picture. Spielberg doing like an semi sort of biography about himself. Yeah, and that has like Oscar written all over it. So Proto, did you hear anything ahead of time, like in just poking around Letterboxd or reading anything about this movie in the last year or so?

PROTO No, no, I didn’t really know much about it. I was kind of just I guess confused by the title. Fable means because doesn’t really give you anything. Yeah, I don’t even really know if I watched the trailer. No, I did. I watched a trailer but I feel like the trailer didn’t really give me much. So yeah, I wasn’t really following along with what was going on with this.

SLIM Yeah, the title doesn’t give you anything. I’m not sure if I love the title. We’ll get into huh? Danny, what about you? Were you were you writing the buzz wave for your boy. Berg.

DANNY I have my my hand on the pulse of Steven Spielberg cinematography,

SLIM Steven Spielberg fans for life.com Yeah, that’s my city’s website.

DANNY Um, I feel like I’ve heard about this film right after west side because I was like, Well, what’s next and then it was like the rare not the rare like the one the preview image on letterbox of this film is coming out the fable mins but knowing that it was him talking about His coming of age story, I was very excited about it. And then just knowing that this will probably be the last time him and John Williams works to work together there’s this was this is it for him them two together. So it’s kind of closing that chapter in their life. And yeah, this is this was very excited to for me.

SLIM John Wayne’s hot off the heels of the Kenobi score

DANNY Enough.

SLIM Let’s start out with our resident Spielberg expert. He followed his career for decades. Huge inspiration. I’m already predicting a five star from Danny just putting it out here. Five bang. So usually in this segment, each host jots down three things that we want to talk about for this discussion, and then we’ll go roundtable for anything left and give our letterboxed ratings. And like I said earlier, I wasn’t taking notes in this theater, like an idiot should I probably should have but off the cuff teeny. What’s your number one note that you want to talk about first?

DANNY My number one note is actually about. Gabrielle LaBelle. I I was actually pleasantly surprised with his performance as young Stephen, Sammy Spielberg. And I found so many moments of kind of not like losing myself, but I felt like I was actually watching Spielberg. I felt his performance was very captivating for me. And I just I just was very impressed one of his first rolls ever to be cast in a Spielberg movie to play Spielberg? In Spielberg’s most personal movie, I mean, that kind of weight for this kid had to have been a lot, but I think he nailed it. There were so many moments in this film where I was just impressed with his performance, the him falling in love with film filming the the war movie with his buddies. Even like the prom stuff in the prom, the skip day, and there’s something about his performance where I thought, I really felt like I was watching Spielberg like this was this. He felt like he embodied it quite well. And for me that I felt like he was the standout for this.

SLIM What if it was Timothée Chalamet?

DANNY Okay.

SLIM Sorry. I’m just having fun tonight.

DANNY You have no notes, so you have to keep riffing. [Slim laughs]

SLIM This is me killing time. No, I thought he was very good. And I looked at his filmography. Last thing. There’s only like three things, but one of them is The Predator. Yeah, believe it or not, which, again, I don’t know how to get into. But yeah, I thought he was well cast. At first, I felt like I couldn’t see the character throughout the entire, like ensemble cast, like and then I was like, Well, who is this guy? Why didn’t they cast a more of a name? But as the movie progressed, I thought he was a great fit. As Sammy Fabelman, Stevie Spielberg, Proto, what do you think?

PROTO I felt like he, he looked the part really well. I actually thought the younger actor Oh, played the when he was a young kid. There were some moments where I was like, is this like, CGI, like, on his face to look like Steven Spielberg? Because he looked a lot like him to me. I would say I didn’t I don’t think I really loved the performance though. In general, who played Sam? But I feel like that’s maybe like a larger issue I have just with like the story itself. And, and the actors in general and the parts but well, we can get into that.

SLIM I actually have no idea what young Steven Spielberg likes. I think the youngest one was the was an amazing actor, the little kid like when they first take little Sammy Stevie to the theater. And he was like, looking at the theater. He’s got like, his eyes are glued, his life is opened up to this kind of new thing. And then also when that kid shows, Mitzi, the movie he made and he’s like, sitting next to her, you know, he’s got like, the film on his hand, the projection on his hand and then the wall. I thought that was really well done stuff. I mean, kid actors, it’s hard to get them to not look like kid actors. I thought he did. Yeah, for sure. But let’s get into some of what Porter was teasing out. Perhaps with that, or unless you have a different number one that you want to start with Berto?

PROTO Um Well, let’s start with the good I guess the my first point is I love anything where they’re showing someone working with film. The scenes where Sam is in his room editing the different movies together. I could watch an hour of just that of someone like the sound of the real spinning of him putting the tape into the machine and cutting it you know, taping it to the table. All of that stuff. I just love they reminds me of recently watching blowout, which has like also amazing scenes with someone editing film. So I just love those parts. I felt like the part that when he is realizing about the relationship between his mother and Seth Rogen, his character Benny that yeah, you know, like Steven was just like, going going hard with the camera rotate. Family like you couldn’t get enough. I think we went around him like six or seven times easily the camera but I just I love those scenes.

SLIM I mean, how insane was the lighting in that scene? Like that’s shadows on Sammy editing holy. That was maybe one of the top three scenes of the entire movie for sure. And also like film editing. Are we the laziest generation in history? I mean, out there we have to be I’ve talked at length about how I would be a corpse if I didn’t have Apple Maps. If I was 20 minutes away from my house. I mean, he’s cutting film. He’s putting he’s taping it to the table the wall. I would have never probably done any of that stuff. I don’t know hooking holes in it for gunshots, like that’s yeah, insane. I love the reaction to seeing that Have their minds were blown about how he got out. So cool. I loved when his dad asked him in the car. I thought that was a cool moment.

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A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.

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