Episodes

Episode #147 – Devil’s Pass / Awards Floptacular

In which Dan makes the mistake of thinking that, because Renny Harlin directed Devil’s Pass, it would be crazy and weird, rather than draggy and significantly more boring than reading the Wikipedia page about the real Dyatlov Pass incident. Then, we forgo letters and recommendations to offer a condensed version of our usual Awards Floptacular, because no one (including us) really cared much about the Awards Floptacular anyway.

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Hot hypothermia action.

Hot hypothermia action.

Wikipedia synopsis for Devil’s Pass

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March 8th, 2014

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Wildride says:

    You can never tell a complete story as found footage because, to be found footage, it first has to be lost footage. If the camera doesn’t cut out at the climax, before the denouement and ending, then it’s just a normal movie (usually filmed in an awkward way). Like Cloverfield, to me, looks like someone overfilmed a subplot from a monster movie, ran out of money to make the main plot, and just released the subplot as if it were a movie. All found footage movies are like that.

    Now, if you took something like found footage, and put it into a larger movie where the characters stumble across the footage and it advances the plot towards a solution, that would be different. It would probably be about a 30 second clip, or maybe a five minute flashback (although you’d probably only use a bit of found footage to just introduce the flashback and then film it normally).

    No matter what, the only way you can justify a film made entirely of protagonist filmed footage is for said protagonist to permanently lose control of the camera before the end of the story, which means you’ll never get the end of the story without going outside the conceit of it being found footage.

    • Lisa R. says:

      “Now, if you took something like found footage, and put it into a larger movie where the characters stumble across the footage and it advances the plot towards a solution, that would be different. It would probably be about a 30 second clip, or maybe a five minute flashback (although you’d probably only use a bit of found footage to just introduce the flashback and then film it normally).”

      There’s a movie called Mortal Remains which I saw on its first festival circuit last year that does exactly this. It’s presented as a documentary about two childhood friends going in search of a forgotten horror film director and his legendary last work, and the format works beautifully.

    • Leroy Grey says:

      Does “Chronicle” fit your description of a functional found footage film? (Can you say that three times fast?)

      • Wildride says:

        Imagine an alternate movie of Chronicle where, after this incident has taken place, someone is investigating just what happened and they find a tape which gives them key clues to piece it together. The “found footage” would just be a more visual way to present some important exposition.

        As it is, Chronicle isn’t a found footage movie. I don’t think we’re expected to believe that one of the monks found the tape outside their monastery and then went around collecting security camera footage and video blogs, etc to reconstruct the story. This is just a normal movie but using odd camera work. It’s still an omniscient point of view. A key element of found footage is the notion that we are only aware of the story element from the footage because a third party later found and reviewed the tape of it.

        I wouldn’t describe it as a complete story, either, but that’s a choice, not a limitation of the format. A complete story would’ve resolved what that thing was that gave them their powers, and not just lampshaded the fact that didn’t do that in the coda.

        It’s certainly better than a strict found footage movie could be but, to be honest, I didn’t find the gimmick added anything to the movie, and if anything was a distraction.

    • DennisMM says:

      “Cannibal Holocaust.”

  2. Heather says:

    I read the Wikipedia article and it was kind of sad that 9 people did really die in 1959 and this crappy movie is the best they could get.

    I do like a podcast on a crummy movie more, but I do kind of miss the rewards like “Special Achievement in Hats” for The Roommate or “Most Confusing Use of Olivia Wilde” for Timecode, but I could see why this Oscars show in particular would be so hard. Usually there is something to mock i.e. reuniting the cast of “Chicago,” but this one was so blah. It’s like a car trip where you went without incident either fun or annoying. You don’t remember it. I didn’t care for pizza bit so it got on my nerve since it kept going and was pretty much it beyond “HEROES” montages, but it wasn’t really confusing or mock worthy either. I felt that the press was WAY too into mocking John Travolta for a flub of the name of somebody most folks had never heard before (honestly for a second I thought “Is that Adele’s real last name?”), but it really wasn’t half that funny as people wanted it to be. It wasn’t a bad Oscars which in a way made it all the worst I guess.

  3. J. Thunder says:

    Since the Oscars did get the highest ratings for an entertainment show since Friends’ finale, I doubt ABC will move the show to a pretaped Internet broadcast anytime soon. If it was pretaped, we would be deprived of spontaneous moments like the David Niven streaker or that crazy lady who bumrushed a dude’s speech for Best Catering Short Film Subject. Besides, I wouldn’t want the winners to be leaked on TMZ or Huffington Post a half hour before the show is presented. I wish the Honorary tributes would air during the broadcast in place of the dumb thematic montages. At the very least, ABC should make those tributes available on the web.

  4. As Eliot described the one good part of the movie, in which the characters find a tape that shows what they’re doing right now, it sounded to me a lot like the scene in Spaceballs where they watch Spaceballs: The Movie, and fast forward the tape until they get to “now.” I guess what I’m saying is, it would have been hard for me to find that moment particularly creepy or Lovecraftian, since I would have wondered if they had ripped it off from Mel Brooks.

  5. Vincent Salamanca says:

    Just show notes (while making delicious gluten free noodles).

    Stuart’s top 5 (yes 4 movies….) :
    – The Place Beyond the Pines
    – The World’s End
    – NINJA II : Shadow Of A Tear
    – You’re Next

    Dan’s top 3:
    – Inside Llewyn Davis
    – The Wolf of Wall Street
    – Blue Is the Warmest Color ^^

    Just realize it’s all on the wiki so well take a look at the wiki…(and no Gravity is not THAT great of a movie..)

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  7. Jacob (redacted) says:

    I know i am a little late to this discussion but the movie “Lunopolis” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1539313/) is kind of what Elliot is talking about in the episode a combo of some shaky cam found footage and documentary style interviews then video from other sources like security cams and such.

  8. B. Jackson says:

    That early cut of The Philadelphia Story – would it have helped or hurt Katherine Hepburn’s “box office poison” tag from around that time?

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