Colonia — Trailer Rewind

Colonia The Next Reel

“Anyone can torture, but to break a person without harming physically, that's an art."

We’re keeping with The Next Reel 2017 theme of “Let’s Scare JJ.” Prisoners tortured in secret underground tunnels! A power-crazed cult leader! But even more frightening - it really happened! This month we rewind to Chile in 1973 for Colonia, starring Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, and Michael Nyqvist for a film based on true events at Colonia Dignidad. 

We discuss the challenge of basing a film on true events while attempting to balance a suspenseful thriller with a love story. Overall it's the performances that drive this film and will keep you engaged as this film plays out the 132 days inside the compound as Lena (Watson) and Daniel (Bruhl) attempt to escape. We agree that it’s not likely to be a film we remember. Which is a shame because we agree that it’s an interesting story that people should be aware of. 

For a special double-feature check out April’s Filmboard for The Circle, also starring Emma Watson in a story about a mysterious cult-like organization.

Film Sundries

The Lobster

“A wolf and a penguin could never live together, nor could a camel and a hippopotamus. That would be absurd."

In a world where being a couple is a legal requirement, one man dares to be alone. When society puts pressure on him he flees to the woods and discovers a possible soulmate. But now that he has accepted exile in the forest he must risk everything for his partner. If he fails he may end up an animal. This Valentine’s Day, grab a loved one and learn why Colin Farrell is The Lobster

Film Sundries

The Two Faces of January — Trailer Rewind

". . . another victim of the cruel tricks gods play on men”

It’s back to 2014 again for JJ and Steve as they dig into The Two Faces of January, Andy’s pick from February 2014. Adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith, this thriller set in the early 60’s looks and sounds like a classic Hitchcock film. JJ and Steve dig into the difference between the appearance and the substance of the story, the challenges of identifying who the two faces are, and wonder whether the novel may sufficiently fill in some gaps in the film.

There are many mysteries that are unearthed in The Two Faces of January but will the answers leave you feeling satisfied?

Film Sundries

Odd Thomas — Trailer Rewind

"I may see dead people, but, by God, I do something about it."

Mining book series for films is an all to frequent occurrence. Some are able to successfully make the transition from page to screen, while others struggle. The Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz would seem an ideal source to tap for a film adaptation.

This month JJ and Steve visit Pico Mundo to solve a mystery with Odd Thomas in a very special Anton Yelchin memorial Trailer Rewind episode. They discuss the unique tone of the film and how it balances the horror, mystery, and comedy components of the story to create an enjoyable and light film. They talk about the mixed strengths of the cast and special effects and how they create a world that’s grounded in reality yet is infused with elements of an idealized small town.

It’s a quirky film that’s ripe for viewing as a Halloween treat for teens.

Film Sundries

No, No, Wait! Hear Me Out!: Josie and the Pussycats

"Du Jour means teamwork!"

You know the feeling. You have a ridiculous internal affair with a movie. You’ve seen it a dozen times. You laugh at all the right places and cry when it ends. But alas, you are alone. Your friends don’t understand you. They shun you. They malign your tastes. You suffer in silence. 

It is in that spirit that Tommy Handsome brings you No, No, Wait! Hear Me Out! The latest Next Reel Short is a chance to right a wrong in the world by building a case that a movie you think you’re supposed to hate actually has some value. This month, it’s Josie and the Pussycats, Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan directing. This B-list film about a C-list comic book band actually offers some A-list comedy, says Tommy. Starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid, Alan Cumming, and Parker Posey, this cast manages to deliver a level of insight into consumer culture that punches well above its weight. 

So join us on this maiden voyage of No, No, Wait! Hear Me Out! and let your shame drift, drift away with three… small… words… 

Film Sundries

Trailer Rewind: Cake

"Tell me a story where everything works out in the end for the evil witch."

Steve and JJ are going to have their pain killer laden cake and spoil it for you too. This was Pete’s trailer pick from January 2, 2015. Pete talked about the cast and said Jennifer Aniston stood a chance for an Oscar for this film. Andy agreed that she looked amazing in this trailer and agreed that this looked like an opportunity for her to show that she is capable of powerful performances.

Film Sundries

The Scores of John Carpenter

It was a dark and stormy . . . actually, it was a sunny June Sunday evening when Andy and Steve decided to celebrate the joys of fatherhood with John Carpenter, the Master of Horror. On Father’s Day 2016, these two bold men decided to forego the company of their wives and children and settled in for an evening of sonic chills.

Carpenter is in the middle of a worldwide tour, performing selections from the scores of his films and themes from his recent albums, Lost Themes and Lost Themes II. Listen in as Andy and Steve describe their experience and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Carpenter’s compositions.



Creativity — Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento

Whether you’re a creative person, or someone who cringes at the thought of art, you’re going to find something to enjoy about this month’s three of a kind. The creative process gets dissected to look at the heart of Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, and the passion that goes into creativity. Then we bloody our knuckles against the brutally percussive story of Whiplash. Finally, we loose our heads on a journey to make an album with Frank as we look at how these three films explore the risks and rewards that are part of the creative process.

Film Sundries

Trailer Rewind: Mr. Nobody

"Why am I me and not somebody else?"

Are you ready to rewind time with this month’s trailer rewind? JJ and Steve tackle Mr. Nobody, Pete’s trailer pick from November 2013. They discuss this film’s long road to a U.S release, the challenges of discussing a film loaded with metaphor and multiple storylines across different timelines, as well as the right audience for this film. 

Film Sundries

Trailer Rewind: The Nice Guys

"So you're telling me you made a porno where the plot is the point?"

A trailer rewind for a film that’s still in theaters!?! What’s going on? We finish up our Andy trailer pick trilogy and add a bonus episode to the Shane Black series. As a special treat Andy joins Steve to discuss The Nice Guys, his trailer pick from December 11, 2015. Andy and Steve discuss the strengths of the film and how it fits in with the themes that have been part of Shane Black’s films. Catch this one before it leaves theaters before you listen because they spoil this 70’s detective story.

Film Sundries

Trailer Rewind: Comet

The Next Reel Shorts Trailer Rewind Comet

"See? This is why I hate time. I can't enjoy my sesame chicken because of that."

This month’s Trailer Rewind is Andy’s pick from our Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore episode in December 2014. Justin and Steve look at what made this Andy’s pick and delve into whether this film has a science fiction element to it or not. Listen in to find out if this romantic drama starring Justin Long and Emmy Rossum is out of this world or crashes and burns.

Film Sundries


The Next Reel Mindbenders

The Next Reel was born out of “Movies We Like” and in this new TNR Short JJ and Tommy Handsome talk about one of our favorite movie gimmicks, tricks, twists, archetypes or whatever you want to call it — it includes all those stories that make you question the reality that’s portrayed to you on the screen. What do you believe? Does it matter? Do you like to question it ... or do you like cheeseburgers? Consider the source and listen to Mindbender. 

Film Sundries

Who Are You? — Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento

This month we get to meet Truman, Teddy, and Rhoda, three people who, to put it simply, have issues they need to deal with. You may think you know yourself and what you are or aren’t capable of, but you’re probably wrong. Our three heroes learn a lot about themselves, so much that they may even wish they could forget it. The Truman Show, Shutter Island, and Another Earth are three films that will give you plenty to think about, and perhaps even cause you to learn something about yourself.

Film Sundaries

Trailer Rewind: Young Ones

"I never saw this land when it was green."

The Next Reel Trailer Rewind Young Ones

Today we bring you a new TNR Short: Trailer RewindJustin and Steve took on the task of watching Young Ones, Andy’s trailer pick from our For A Few Dollars More episode back in August 2014. Listen in to find out if this sci-fi western is a flick to pick, or a pic to flick.

Film Sundries

Ambition — Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento

The Next Reel Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento Ambition

This month’s three of a kind takes on music, magic, and a great meal. Amadeus, The Prestige, and Big Night are three films that explore characters with a single-minded focus that drives them toward success but at a tremendous cost. Ambition, tenacity, and a spirit that never gives up can be the keys to success, but what happens if that energy is misguided or directed toward a selfish goal?

Links & Notes

Behind the Sites with Matthew Buchanan of

The Next Reel Matthew Buchanan Letterboxd

As part of our ongoing series on the people behind the sites and services that serve the film-loving community, today we’re talking to Matthew Buchanan, co-founder of Letterboxd has become an indispensable service for film journalists, diarists, and fans, marked by a beautiful design and just the right mix of social connectivity. Matthew and team have created a robust community in Letterboxd, one that stands out on the Internet not only in calibre of discussion, but in kindness of its members.


The Quiet Fandom of Jamie Benning: Filmumentaries

As a part of our series on the movie sites we love, today we’re talking about one of our favorite movie projects. Jamie Benning has become, through great effort and time, custodian to the behind the scenes media of our most iconic films of the 70’s and 80s through his ultimate fan creations: Filmumentaries. In addition to his feature filmumentaries on the original Star Wars trilogy, Raiders, and Jaws, he’s released a series of shorts furthering his contribution to the body of film analysis, and cementing his position as primary source for schleps like us.



Guardians — Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento

three of a kind the next reel steve sarmento

The three family action films, Legend of the Guardians, Rise of the Guardians, and Guardians of the Galaxy, aren’t just for kids. These movies give parents the opportunity to discuss the difference between heroes and guardians and how even the most ordinary can make a difference for someone else.

Nathan Chase & Jeremy Thompson from

As a part of our series on the movie sites we love, you’d probably guess that we couldn’t go very far without talking to Nathan Chase and Jeremy Thompson, the team behind Over the years, Flickchart has become central to our own ranking of films we review on this show, and offers a fun — if enormously frustrating at times — paradigm for stack ranking our favorites. It’s at once a service and an addiction, and we’re thrilled to be able to sit down with Nathan and Jeremy to hear how it all came to be. We talk about the origins of the site and founding philosophy. We explore the technical underpinnings of the site and how the technology has had to scale to keep up with growth and complexity. Most importantly, we get to hear a little bit about Flickchart 2.0, and get a firm non-committal committal of a specific though frustratingly vague launch date … No, we can’t wait to get our hands on it either.

Links & Notes

The Great Teen Movie — Three of a Kind with Steve Sarmento

3 of a kind with Steve Sarmento The Next Reel Teen Movie

From Sutter and Aimee in James Ponsoldt’s 'The Spectacular Now' to Joe, Patrick, and Biaggio in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 'The Kings of Summer' to Greg and Rachel in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,' the last two years have been a boon to those of us of a certain age with a hankering to rekindle the spirit of the great teen movie of our youth. But this batch is different, not better or worse, but certainly of a different age, for a different age.

This week on TNRShorts, Steve Sarmento ties the three together in his new column, Three of a Kind — three films with a common thread, and a trip back to high school.