Manage episode 371150182 series 1784147
This week, Matt Goldberg (formerly of Turner Classic Movies, currently of the Substack Commentary Track) joins us for the mighty return of... gasp.... John Travolta in a good role?
First, we cover Jackie Earle Haley's directorial debut, Criminal Activities, a messy but ultimately interesting Tarantino riff in which a group of down-and-out high school buddies (Michael Pitt, Christopher Abbott, Rob Brown, Dan Stevens) ends up inadvertently in debt to a cheeky, Macbeth-quoting mob boss (Travolta, having a grand old time). They can get out from under his thumb, if they do one big job for him -- kidnap the failson (Edi Gathegi) of his mob rival. Twists, turns, and darkly comic antics ensue, as a deeply-overqualified cast leans into the film's innate goofiness.
On the other side of the coin comes Oliver Stone's poorly-aged, deadly serious, self-righteous political biopic Snowden, charting the life of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, doing his best Elizabeth Holmes impression) as he goes from dull intelligence agent to dull whistleblower. Cage shows up for a few minutes as Snowden's jaded mentor, but otherwise it's two-plus hours of Stone's overwrought self-insistence that what you're watching is The Most Groundbreaking, Earth-Shattering Discovery About Government Surveillance Ever. (The government's spying on us all the time? The hell you say?!)Pledge to our Patreon at patreon.com/travoltacage Follow us on Twitter @travoltacage Email us questions at firstname.lastname@example.org Podcast theme by Jon Biegen Podcast logo by Felipe Sobreiro