Sunday, December 02, 2007

Podcast Review: Filmspotting Offers Movie Reviews and More

It would be easy to say that the movie review podcast Filmspotting is a thinking man's Ebert & Roeper, but that might make it seem pretentious. Rather, it's a more thoughtful, in-depth look at current movies, but with extra features for movie fans.

Adam Kempenaar and Matty Robinson's podcast takes the format Siskel & Ebert established many years ago--two critics with different backgrounds and opinions offering their takes on movies--and gives it a more detailed treatment, and while these two critics are considerable younger than Ebert and his co-host Roeper, they have a decent grasp of cinema history, and a good handle on film history in the last 20 years or so.

Kempenaar and Robinson discuss two or three main movies each week on the show, but the "extras" in the show are what make it really enjoyable. They usually have a "Top 5" list that ties into one of the main films under discussion (top 5 films about brothers, etc.) They also have an ongoing series of "marathons," in which they decide on a genre or subject to tackle--Westerns, silent films, documentaties, etc.--and choose a half-dozen or so films in that genre to review, considering one per week. (Following the death of Ingmar Bergman they embarked on a Bergman marathon, still in progress at this time.)

Filmspotting also includes other fun features, including "massacre theater," in which the hosts read lines of dialogue from a well-known movie and challenge listeners to identify the film, with the chance to win a DVD of their choice. Feedback from listeners is another regular feature, and Filmspotting also includes snippets of several songs from a particular independent musician each week--a good chance to discover some new or lesser-known musical talent, such as Alejandro Escovedo or Calexico.

Filmspotting is a very enjoyable podcast for movie watchers of all interests and backgrounds.

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