On this episode Martin Scorsese once again puts his faith in film with new release SILENCE but we look at how that faith may have changed during his career by going back to his earlier work in MEAN STREETS and BRINGING OUT THE DEAD. In the former, Harvey Keitel tries to carry himself as a man of honor and reconcile his life between the church and the streets, while in the latter Nicolas Cage finds himself burned out and questioning himself professionally and personally as a paramedic who can not truly save anyone. All of this and our Top Ten Films of 2016 which may see SILENCE honored once again in this podcast, or it will have to settle for our attempt to match its exhausting runtime with our longest episode ever.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
For new release 20th CENTURY WOMEN we take a closer look at Annette Bening's career (something the Academy should have done) by discussing a double feature where this great actress takes on the challenges of motherhood. In Stephen Frears' THE GRIFTERS Bening must deal with Anjelica Huston blocking her con artist plans for Huston's son played by John Cusack. And in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT Bening herself finds her relationship with Julianne Moore challenged when Mark Ruffalo becomes a complicated third party to their non-traditional family. For these films on two people battling for the love of others I invite on returning guests Dave Hart of Pop Culture Case Study and Dwight Hurst of The Broken Brain to battle for mine.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The episode the Internet demanded: Hot lesbian action! Other than cynically abusing search engines with this description, we are inspired by a very good film from 2016, which is new to Amazon streaming, THE HANDMAIDEN from director Park Chan-Wook. Avoiding being simply simple pleasures for simple podcasters, this great film provides a fun and thrilling caper, much like The Wachowskis debut film from 1996 BOUND and not so much like Atom Egoyan's CHLOE. Yes, this is the episode where returning guest and fellow Julianne Moore fan club member Dwight Hurst of The Broken Brain podcast may actually vote against one of her films.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
On this episode we celebrate the Best Picture Oscar nomination for HIDDEN FIGURES and more importantly the power of cinema to bring attention to people cast aside by history. In our selected double feature we look at two other characters who stand beside history through choices they make and choices that they are not given. In THE REMAINS OF THE DAY Anthony Hopkins gives himself completely to his role as a butler to a man conspiring with Nazis, removing any trace of personal belief in politics or the pursuit of love for Emma Thompson. And in another 2016 Best Picture nominee, FENCES, Denzel Washington takes out the limited options of his professional life in 1950s Pittsburgh on his son and wife.
Monday, January 23, 2017
On this episode we take a DETOUR from the season's Oscar bait for a genre film reminiscent of 90s films such as RUN LOLA RUN and GO. In all three films the narrative is split among different choices the characters make. Lola must decide between violence or gambling to solve her boyfriend's financial problem, while the actors of GO clearly decided this was the best PULP FICTION-like script to come their way in 1998.
ALSO we make the choice to rebrand this podcast as a DAWSON'S CREEK recap show. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
On this episode we answer the call of A MONSTER CALLS... and based on its box office earnings, we were the only ones. Thankfully you can listen to our advice as the hosts of the podcast Joy Sandwich, Jess and Non, join the show to steer you and your children to better monsters to befriend in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.
ALSO: Co-host Ben Zuk briefly educates the listeners on the possibilities of procreation for the character of Ripley in the ALIEN franchise.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
On this episode we sing, dance, and dream about Hollywood making films about the dream of being able to sing and dance in Hollywood. Thankfully new release LA LA LAND is here to claim that prize and many more. But will it claim the heart of both hosts on this podcast? And can this film compete with two genuine classics in SWINGERS and MULHOLLAND DRIVE? In one film we find creative and romantic failures being cushioned by a support system of friends, and in the other a cautionary tale of putting all your dreams and love into one safety net.
More importantly, both films teach us that eating out in L.A. can get loud and scary very quickly.
Monday, January 9, 2017
For new release JACKIE we take the power of looking at how the powerful respond to death in Robert Altman's COOKIE'S FORTUNE and Stephen Frears THE QUEEN. In the former, Glenn Close covers up a family suicide to protect her perceived honor in small town Mississippi, while Helen Mirren debates the appropriate response from the British monarchy in the wake of Princess Diana's death. All of this and a thirty second review of WHY HIM? Which is what's really important currently in cinema.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Inspired by one of this year's Best Picture frontrunners MANCHESTER BY THE SEA we track down the other brothers in HUD and RAIN MAN for perhaps the biggest battle in War Machine vs. War Horse history: Paul Newman vs. Tom Cruise. From the podcast Pop Culture Case Study, Dave Hart helps us diagnose the black sheep of these respective film families while hosts Ben Zuk and Michael Denniston debate the likeability of gingers on screen.