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Episode 205 - Cellular (w/ Ike Barinholtz, Erin Gibson)

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Ike Barinholtz (The Oath) and Erin Gibson (Throwing Shade) join Paul and Jason to discuss the 2004 thriller Cellular starring Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, and Jason Statham. They talk about William H. Macy’s amazing performance, Kim Basinger’s character naming her son Ricky Martin, and the makers of the movie not knowing how cellphones work. Plus, everyone has some fun with their new favorite character “Jason Statham Angeleno.”

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Going  say it again before I even listen to the episode - Kim Basinger is literally phoning it in for this movie. 

 

COME ON!

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I agree that everyone is in a different movie. Probably because none of them met each other. I kept wondering why they didn’t reveal Statham & co were cops earlier, because then Jessica Martin could say DON’T go to the cops. It would make a bit more sense. Of course,  we’d miss the riveting stairwell scene where he is losing the signal. 

Macy was great though. My FAVORITE thing was that after he shoots the female cop, by distracting her by kicking over the fish tank. The next time we see him, he’s in the back of an ambulance and he has saved the fish in a tiny glass. I really wish he carried the fish around for the rest of the movie. 

Funny this dropped today since it was recorded in Nov. Last night on “The Good Place” (which Jason was on) they mentioned torturing Shakespeare by telling him the plot of the Entourage movie and I thought, “hey didn’t Ike Barinholtz want to talk about Entourage? Maybe HDTGM should do that one...”

Is it bad enough to torture Willy Shakes? (I only saw a couple episodes of the show and I hated all the characters but Shakespeare might be kind of into the sex stuff.) 

Edited by Elektra Boogaloo
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This movie should have been five minutes long. The phone would display the phone number from the incoming call. Even if they get disconnected, it saves the last 50 calls. Chris Evans could have told the police that a woman was kidnapped and being held at the home with that phone number. The cops could confirm the owner of the phone number with the phone company then search the place.

Also, the crooked police officer hiding out in Kim Basinger's house puts on an accent which is what tips of William H Macy. Why? That seems like a really pointless way to draw attention to yourself.

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A couple of years ago, I did a deep dive into the Jason Statham filmography. If  you want to see a worse movie t hat is also more boring and yet somehow stranger, I would recommend LONDON, which came out a year after Cellular. Why would I bring up this Jason Statham movie? Because it ALSO stars Chris Evans, Jessica Biel, and Jason Statham. It doesn't take place in London, Jessica Biel's name is London. Statham plays a coked up banker who, despite being like 50 years older than Evans, is friends with him. 
 

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re: the idea that Kim Basinger or her husband would be involved in the crime and yet they turned out to be totally innocent, the original script did call for Kim's character to be involved.

Larry Cohen, screenwriter of the 2002 thriller film Phone Booth, conceived of Cellular while working for Sony Pictures. It followed a 30- or 40-year-old man named Theo Novak who obtains a call from a woman named Lenore, who tells him that she and her husband have been abducted in a safehouse by a group of bank robbers. It is then revealed that Novak is an art thief who becomes wracked with guilt after unsuccessfully rescuing a friend from committing suicide in the past; he agrees to make a detour from a criminal undertaking and rescue Lenore. During the rescue Novak is unsuccessful, but later discovers a conspiracy involving Lenore and her accomplices over another crime they are involved with—ultimately, Novak gains the upper hand, killing Lenore and her accomplices and obtains their loot in the process, which leaves him therefore a wealthy man.

Fast & Furious writer Chris Morgan was brought on by Dean Devlin to rewrite the script. Morgan wanted to tell a story of a normal person who does something heroic, but he also wanted to incorporate humor, specifically humor similar to that in Indiana Jones. 

"I'm a big fan of situational humor and I feel like comedy plays best when it's the right thing at the right time and not just somebody trying to make a joke. For example, in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones is faced with fighting the swordsman and he just pulls out a gun and shoots him. That’s not really a joke, but it got a huge laugh. That's the kind of humor we tried to work."


Also, re: LORD OF THE RINGS, Return of the King came out in December of 2003 and won Best Picture a couple of months later. Fellowship Of The Ring came out in 2001. 

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Am I mis-remembering or does Chris Evans ask LA-local Jason Statham for a number to reach him on before he heads to the pier?

But.... he's already talking to him ON THE PHONE.  WHAT???

 

Chris Evans seems constantly surprised about traffic in LA too which I like. Because if there's one thing everyone knows about LA it's that it rarely if ever has traffic problems.

 

Also some great little moments - William H. Macy saves the goldfish after the shoot out in the house.

Kim Basinger does the classic movie trope of checking the sunblind for the car keys and then they're just left sitting by the gear stick!

And finally why do they need Macy to ID the kid - Statham saw him with his own eyes, didn't he?

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, EvRobert said:

re: the idea that Kim Basinger or her husband would be involved in the crime and yet they turned out to be totally innocent, the original script did call for Kim's character to be involved.

Larry Cohen, screenwriter of the 2002 thriller film Phone Booth, conceived of Cellular while working for Sony Pictures. It followed a 30- or 40-year-old man named Theo Novak who obtains a call from a woman named Lenore, who tells him that she and her husband have been abducted in a safehouse by a group of bank robbers. It is then revealed that Novak is an art thief who becomes wracked with guilt after unsuccessfully rescuing a friend from committing suicide in the past; he agrees to make a detour from a criminal undertaking and rescue Lenore. During the rescue Novak is unsuccessful, but later discovers a conspiracy involving Lenore and her accomplices over another crime they are involved with—ultimately, Novak gains the upper hand, killing Lenore and her accomplices and obtains their loot in the process, which leaves him therefore a wealthy man.

This sounds like a much worse movie. It's weird because I've seen this before and I still thought Kim Basinger was in on it for most of the movie.

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3 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

This sounds like a much worse movie. It's weird because I've seen this before and I still thought Kim Basinger was in on it for most of the movie.

I had the same point, "that sounds like another criminal screws criminal screws criminal" movie. I mean it potentially COULD have worked, it all depends on who was cast. 

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I also thought KB was in her attic for about half of the movie and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just give an address. Then I thought she was in on it. I definitely thought the husband HAD to be a bad guy. Nope, everyone is good except 99% of the police force, apparently.

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22 minutes ago, EvRobert said:

I had the same point, "that sounds like another criminal screws criminal screws criminal" movie. I mean it potentially COULD have worked, it all depends on who was cast. 

I think it just becomes one of those crazy twist then another twist then another twist crime movies. Certainly could work but something about him being an art thief throws me. Maybe it's just movie stereotypes but it seems like a totally different type of crime even though it's still just breaking and entering and theft. It seems like it doesn't fit with any other type of crime genre film. 

10 minutes ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I also thought KB was in her attic for about half of the movie and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just give an address. Then I thought she was in on it. I definitely thought the husband HAD to be a bad guy. Nope, everyone is good except 99% of the police force, apparently.

Everyone being cops was really dumb to me. Six (?) cops knew about a broad day light murder on the streets and they all covered it up? With kidnapping? Just make them drug dealers or something. Maybe have one cop whose in on it but the situation spiraled out of control and keeps getting worse.

Also, why didn't Kim Basinger's husband go to the cops in a different precinct? Give it to the news?

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5 hours ago, grudlian. said:

Also, why didn't Kim Basinger's husband go to the cops in a different precinct? Give it to the news?

The husband was a real zero. Like somehow he got away from all those cops, immediately put the evidence in a safe deposit box. Then... just went home and pretended like everything was fine? He said his name loudly SECONDS before he saw the cops. Or they could just figure out who the realtor was. He never thought "maybe they'll go to my house?"

Also he didn't do any fighting and, like, I'm used to husbands and/or fathers in movies having to really step up. Like if this was TAKEN? Liam Neeson would never.

At least call the FBI if you know there are crooked cops after you. Geez.

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Jason says he wants procedural where the cop is an average guy going about his day and is about to retire but has a nagging feeling about this. That's Robert Duval in Falling Down.

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41 minutes ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

The husband was a real zero. Like somehow he got away from all those cops, immediately put the evidence in a safe deposit box. Then... just went home and pretended like everything was fine? He said his name loudly SECONDS before he saw the cops. Or they could just figure out who the realtor was. He never thought "maybe they'll go to my house?"

Also he didn't do any fighting and, like, I'm used to husbands and/or fathers in movies having to really step up. Like if this was TAKEN? Liam Neeson would never.

Yeah. The dad was a real idiot. He did probably the worst thing he could have done. He didn't tell anyone he got this footage. Not even his family. It would have been safer for him to just give notable LA resident Jason Statham the phone. They would have probably left him alone.

I like that the dad didn't really fight them though. He saw police officers murder a guy and steal his drugs. They are basically Training Day without Denzel's charisma. I'm not fighting them. At most, I'd unsuccessfully try to fend them off before they either beat me up or killed me. I'd probably do whatever they asked.

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5 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I also thought KB was in her attic for about half of the movie and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just give an address. Then I thought she was in on it. I definitely thought the husband HAD to be a bad guy. Nope, everyone is good except 99% of the police force, apparently.

 

7 hours ago, EvRobert said:

re: the idea that Kim Basinger or her husband would be involved in the crime and yet they turned out to be totally innocent, the original script did call for Kim's character to be involved.

Larry Cohen, screenwriter of the 2002 thriller film Phone Booth, conceived of Cellular while working for Sony Pictures. It followed a 30- or 40-year-old man named Theo Novak who obtains a call from a woman named Lenore, who tells him that she and her husband have been abducted in a safehouse by a group of bank robbers. It is then revealed that Novak is an art thief who becomes wracked with guilt after unsuccessfully rescuing a friend from committing suicide in the past; he agrees to make a detour from a criminal undertaking and rescue Lenore. During the rescue Novak is unsuccessful, but later discovers a conspiracy involving Lenore and her accomplices over another crime they are involved with—ultimately, Novak gains the upper hand, killing Lenore and her accomplices and obtains their loot in the process, which leaves him therefore a wealthy man.

Fast & Furious writer Chris Morgan was brought on by Dean Devlin to rewrite the script. Morgan wanted to tell a story of a normal person who does something heroic, but he also wanted to incorporate humor, specifically humor similar to that in Indiana Jones. 

"I'm a big fan of situational humor and I feel like comedy plays best when it's the right thing at the right time and not just somebody trying to make a joke. For example, in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones is faced with fighting the swordsman and he just pulls out a gun and shoots him. That’s not really a joke, but it got a huge laugh. That's the kind of humor we tried to work."


Also, re: LORD OF THE RINGS, Return of the King came out in December of 2003 and won Best Picture a couple of months later. Fellowship Of The Ring came out in 2001. 

I was hoping Kim Basinger was going to be the involved ala The Usual Suspects or Wild Things.  Why did I think this?  Because Kim Basinger's is supposed to be a teacher?  I have never seen a teacher wear fish net stockings.  Dead giveaway!

 

Also When Jason Statham puts his belt around Kim Basinger he never actually strangled her with it.  She freaked out but he never choked her.  I was confused why he gave up so quickly on torturing her and moved onto plan B of kidnapping Ricky Martin.  

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I had to search out the script to find out if the nipples scene was actually something that someone sat down and wrote.  Thankfully it appears no one did because that isn't in the script http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/cellular.pdf .  But then that means that is something they found on the day?  That really isn't any better.

Although Noah Emmerich was a dick to William H. Macy about his day spa I thought he was being sincere about trying to get him to join his squad.  Did Noah think the one missing piece from his corrupt vice squad was a clean cop who'd never seen any action and was on the verge of retirement?

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6 hours ago, SideofMcG said:

Am I mis-remembering or does Chris Evans ask LA-local Jason Statham for a number to reach him on before he heads to the pier?

But.... he's already talking to him ON THE PHONE.  WHAT???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Evans knows he's been calling a landline because KB says that she has put the phone back together. The line he calls back (KB's) is then presumably a landline even though Statham either has it call forwarded or is using a cordless phone. Don't forget that, for whatever reason, this house has a phone that has several connecting lines which was shown when Dmitri (?) finds out KB is on the house line.

I'm more concerned with Ryan parking wherever the hell he wants (at the pier, in front of the police station, RIGHT IN FRONT of the packed cell phone store,etc.)

Also, is the kidnapper's house the same one that John Stamos lived in "Never Too Young to Die"? Same wooden staircases and sparse interior.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, ChunkStyle said:

I had to search out the script to find out if the nipples scene was actually something that someone sat down and wrote.  Thankfully it appears no one did because that isn't in the script http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/cellular.pdf .  But then that means that is something they found on the day?  That really isn't any better.

Although Noah Emmerich was a dick to William H. Macy about his day spa I thought he was being sincere about trying to get him to join his squad.  Did Noah think the one missing piece from his corrupt vice squad was a clean cop who'd never seen any action and was on the verge of retirement?

I thought he was offering William H. Macy a spot on his squad but that Macy knew about it (perhaps they had a group that beat up some drug runners). Later when Macy starts shooting at Emmerich, he seems to have forgotten that Emmerich has a goon squad.

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2 hours ago, The_Other_MikeD said:

Chris Evans knows he's been calling a landline because KB says that she has put the phone back together. The line he calls back (KB's) is then presumably a landline even though Statham either has it call forwarded or is using a cordless phone. Don't forget that, for whatever reason, this house has a phone that has several connecting lines which was shown when Dmitri (?) finds out KB is on the house line.

 

 

 

Oh that makes sense kinda. Even though it was not clear to me at all!

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I'm confused as to how WHM didn't recognize that female cop hiding out in KB's house. I understand that the LAPD must be large and not everyone could possibly know everyone, however he seems to know Emmerich and everyone on the fourth floor. That would be her department, no? Didn't they all work together or were they a little more spread throughout LAPD in order to cover all bases? It just doesn't make sense to me that Emmerich would continuously offer a job to WHM and WHM have no clue who is on his squad.

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I honestly just want to see a sitcom about ex cop  WHM running a spa. Make it the next Mike Schur project and a B99 spinoff! Perhaps it's co-owned by one Adrian Pimento?

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There’s an obvious reason why the always fabulous Noah Emmerich took this shitty role:

The movie’s executive producer and head of New Line Cinema is none other than......

Toby Emmerich! His brother!

Research!

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