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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #10!

It’s time for the Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Ronan Doyle and Jay Coyle to discuss the week in film. Because Varda season never ends, both Ronan and Jay have a new film to discuss from the legendary French director. Meanwhile, in film news, we mark the passing of veteran Irish character actor Pat Laffan, study the recent funding decisions of the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, discuss the opening of applications to the WRAP fund, navigate the line-up of the Belfast Film Festival, and discuss the availability of Ross Whitaker’s Katie on Netflix.

The top ten:

  1. Cold Pursuit
  2. A Dog’s Way Home
  3. The Hole in the Ground
  4. The Aftermath
  5. Fighting With My Family
  6. How to Train Your Dragon III: The Hidden World
  7. Green Book
  8. Instant Family
  9. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  10. Captain Marvel

New releases:

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Non-Review Review: Triple Frontier

Triple Frontier feels very much like a J.C. Chandor grab bag. And that’s no bad thing of itself.

The film runs on a variety of different concepts and ideas that run through Chandor’s other films. On a purely plotting level, the idea of a story about five guys trapped alone in the wilderness trying to survive on hostile terrain evokes the survival drama of All is Lost, albeit with more men carrying more weapons. The thematic underpinnings of the story, particularly its preoccupations with the dangers of greed and the consequences of unchecked avarice, resonate with Chandor’s earlier work like Margin Call or A Most Violent Year. There is a sense in which Triple Frontier feels of a piece with the body of work that Chandor is building for himself.

Even more broadly, Triple Frontier feels like the kind of older sort of film that rarely gets made in the current studio system; an ensemble cast dropped into a fairly standard premise, anchored in the recognisability of the actors rather than the familiarity of the intellectual property. Triple Frontier is a film build around the closest thing that modern Hollywood has to star wattage. The film reunites Chandor with Oscar Isaac, who anchored A Most Violent Year and the secondary lead role is given over to Ben Affleck, who is arguably one of the rare remaining movie stars. There is no small irony in the fact that Triple Frontier should end up on Netflix, despite being the sort of mid-budget, actor-driven, basic-concept action thriller that studios used to churn out on a regular basis.

Triple Frontier is perhaps Chandor’s weakest film. It lacks the raw urgency of Margin Call, the desperate intimacy of All is Lost and the claustrophobic anxiety of A Most Violent Year. However, it is still a well-constructed survival parable driven by a likable cast and confident director with a clear affection for an older style of Hollywood film-making.

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