Episode 18 – Birdman

Your hosts welcome Doug Gobeski to the studio to dig deep on Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014). It won the Oscar for Best Picture, and was co-written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu. So why doesn’t it get traction with half the user reviews on the internet? And what does the movie have to say about art vs entertainment? And, dare I ask, what do we talk about when we talk about love??

Clarifications:

We get through the entire episode without mentioning the name of the director/co-writer of the film, Alejandro González Iñárritu. That’s probably because we spent time beforehand practicing and discussing how to pronounce his name, and then just forgot! We regret the omission.

Adam points out that Best Picture doesn’t mean much to him. I’m not sure I fully buy that, but I think we can all agree that Crash (2004) is a horrible movie and if you like it you are a horrible person.

The “one shot” movie Doug is referring to is called Russian Ark (2002).

So our discussion about the intent of the film is pretty clearly addressed in this Deadline interview. But it’s nice that we seemed to have figured out some of it on our own! It’s a good read, do it!

And please also read Beginners, which was the title of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love before Raymond Carver’s editor changed it. And then imagine how it could possibly be adapted for the stage…

Movies We Reference:

Batman (1989)

Batman Returns (1992)

Unbreakable (2000)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The Other Guys (2010)

Death of a Salesman (1985)

Episode 17 – The Shawshank Redemption

We welcome our first sibling to the podcast, Lesley Wallace, to talk about The Shawshank Redemption (1994)! Despite the near constant airing on TNT, Lesley had never managed to watch this, well, except the ending. But it still managed to hold a few surprises, including some of the bushiest eyebrows in cinema. So get busy living, get busy dying, or get busy listening to this episode (the third one sounds the easiest to me)!

Clarifications:

Here’s that Vanity Fair article I talk about in the episode. Lots of good stuff in there! In fact, most of my facts were referenced from here, so the show notes are going to be a bit light today…

Apparently, most people don’t quite know the breadth of Stephen King’s literary career, and there’s an anecdote about a run in with a lady in this interview by Neil Gaiman which makes it worth the read by itself.

Here’s a clip from the unfortunately named Cougar Town where you can get “the full Shawshank experience”.

And we’ll end with Will Forte making things awkward, which he excels at.

Movies We Reference:

Working Girl (1988)

Clueless (1995)

The Big Sick (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Episode 16 – Blade Runner

Charlie and guest host Adam Gobeski watch the 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner with guest Paul Wilcox. We give you the low-down on the different versions of the film (we watched “The Final Cut”) and probe the philosophical implications of having a race of slave robots. Of course, we address THE BIG QUESTION that’s open to interpretation, and much like Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford, we don’t agree! And it would be impossible to get these three together without at least ONE Tim and Eric reference…

Clarifications:

First and foremost, if you have not seen Blade Runner 2049, GO SEE BLADE RUNNER 2049! I have seen it twice already, so you are already well behind in this competition!! Well, I mean see it AFTER you’ve watched the original and listened to this podcast episode. One has to have priorities.

There are quite a few different versions of the film, and here’s the wiki page if you think our discussion isn’t exhaustive enough.

Adam was worried someone out there wouldn’t know who Data from Star Trek: TNG is, so if you are one of those unfortunate folks, read here and here.

Adam talks about the scene where Roy dies, then Deckard cuts in with narration in the original movie version. Here’s that, in case you prefer it when movies beat you over the head with explanation.

Good news: Denis Villenueve has somewhat confirmed that the version of Blade Runner 2049 in the theater currently is the final version. Way to ruin our joke with your own joke, Denis!

We talk about William Sanderson, and the first reference is to his role in the TV show Newhart, which we fail to mention. The second is to this Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! sketch title “H’amb”. We think it’s really funny, but your mileage may vary.

Philip K. Dick is one of those writers you have to know about when you talk about movies, and here’s a good article about why.

Adventure Time reference incoming…

Adam mentions the similarity of music from Blade Runner and Doctor Who, here’s an example of what he’s talking about.

And the a capella version of the Blade Runner theme. Pretty frickin’ sweet.

The eminent film critic Roger Ebert gave Blade Runner three reviews. You can read them here [1, 2, 3]

Movies We Reference:

Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007)

Ex Machina (2014)

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Episode 15 – Fantastic Mr. Fox

Jessica and Charlie welcome our guest Arnoldo Lopez for our FIRST animated feature review, Wes Anderson’s delightfully quirky Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Does this really fit in to Anderson’s catalog, or is it a digression? And what’s the deal with the big black wolf? And the most important question: Does this movie ruin Adam’s childhood??

Clarifications:

In addition to this SNL video where Ryan Gosling slightly redeems himself, there’s also another where they poke fun at Avatar! Now I KNOW they’re listening to us!

Adam actually had a pretty decent joke that I did not use: “If you wanted to recommend a cartoon from 2009, why not just pick Avatar?” Next time, buddy! Also, Adam doesn’t hate Wes Anderson per se (he likes The Royal Tenenbaums for instance). But he does think the director is overrated, hence the “clarification”.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Roald Dahl’s books, you are probably at least familiar with the movies based on them, such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and The BFG. We somehow didn’t touch on that much in the show. Also, that Fantastic Mr. Fox is a movie by an American director, based on a book by a Welsh man, and somehow the heroes have American accents and the villains have English accents…? C’mon Wes, that’s a lazy trope!

Hey, speaking of Kris Kristofferson, our sister podcast The Gobeski/Wallace Report will be reviewing the 1998 movie Blade soon! I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for either show to review Convoy though…

I cut a short segment in the episode where we talk about musical sequences in Wes Anderson movies, and Arnoldo talks a bit about Seu Jorge’s contribution to The Life Aquatic soundtrack. Seriously, check it out. Good stuff, and free streaming if you have Amazon Prime.

Movies We Reference:

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Matilda (1996)

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Love and Mercy (2014)

The Great Escape (1963)

Episode 14 – Forbidden Planet

Author Amber Elby joins Charlie and guest co-host and Executive Producer Adam Gobeski  to watch Forbidden Planet (1956). We marvel at the production design (and a young Leslie Nielsen), discuss the film’s nods to The Tempest, and argue which one of us has the highest IQ. Okay, we didn’t do that last one, but honestly – who DOES that???

Clarifications:

Amber Elby’s new novel Cauldron’s Bubble can be found on Amazon right now, in digital and paperback form. I’ve read it; it’s really quite wonderful and seems like a great way to introduce kids to Shakespeare. And hell, I’m 35 without any kids and I still got a kick out of it.

Amber talks a bit about Return to the Forbidden Planet which apparently is an Olivier Award winning play. On a related note, I just learned there is such a thing as an Olivier Award! Also, the part of Robby the Robot (Ariel) is played on roller skates, so it’s got that too.

I’m sure everyone was super excited because we talked about Black Mirror, but Adam points out that of course, Star Trek did it first (sort of).

Both Amber and Adam could not find any evidence that the Michael Crichton drew any inspiration from Forbidden Planet when he wrote Sphere, so the jury’s still out. We will make sure to give you updates on this in coming episodes!!!!

Adam and Amber had a fun email exchange arguing about whether The Tempest is actually a “well-regarded” Shakespeare play. I would call them nerds, but I run a movie podcast. The back-and-forth is lengthy and I won’t post it here, but when an author starts talking about those “f***ing Victorians”, you know you’ve hit a nerve!

Adam once refers to Robby’s “motive”. He actually means “alibi”. We regret the error!

In our ongoing conversations about discontinued media, Adam mentions CEDs. Here’s what those are. The more you know!

And here’s a link to BritBox, for those of you who want to watch the Doctor Who episodes Adam mentioned.

Movies We Reference:

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril (1972)

Hamlet (1948)

Sphere (1998)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Solaris (1972)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Scotland, Pa. (2001)

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

George Lucas in Love (1999)

 

Episode 13 – The Graduate

Dustin Jacqmin joins us to talk about his namesake Dustin Hoffman as we review The Graduate (1967). Is Benjamin the biggest jerk in movie history? Is Elaine just as crazy as he is? The repeated theme of alienation plays well with the kids, but how about us adults? And what conversation could be complete without discussing the amazing soundtrack? No conversation I’d want to be a part of, that’s for sure!

Clarifications:

Ah yes, Garden State, the movie everyone loves to hate! I honestly won’t jump on that bandwagon, but then again I haven’t seen it in 13 years…

Yes, the name Dustin had a definite peak after this film was released, just look at the data!

Our EP definitely wants me to point out that when we say that no one stands on a moving walkway with a blank expression on their face, we are wrong. This is almost exclusively what people do, to his chagrin.

Is it possible the famous ending of the film may have had the wrong background music? I submit Exhibit A!

Here’s some links to April, Come She Will, Mrs. Robinson and The Sound of Silence. S&G forever!!!

Movies/TV We Reference:

The Office (2001)

High Fidelity (2000)

Harold and Maude (1971)

Episode 12 – His Girl Friday

This week the tables are turned and Charlie hadn’t seen the quintessential screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940). We discuss how the movie was affected by the Hollywood Production code, the dark undertones of the movie, and how we love Cary Grant (because who doesn’t?). The BBC Culture just listed it as the #14 comedy of all time. Charlie’s brain wasn’t fast enough to process all the witty banter, but otherwise he agrees!

 

Clarifications:

This is the first guest-less episode, but I’m sure there will be more. Are there any movies you would like to subject us to? Contact us at cinematicrespect@gmail.com!

Here’s some info about the Motion Picture Production Code. Yes, it’s just wikipedia, but this seems legit to me! I’ll probably try to read a book on it soon, so I’ll let you know when I’m a bit more literate on the subject.

Ack, we completely forgot to discuss what the title His Girl Friday actually means! It’s a reference to Robinson Crusoe, who had a native manservant named Friday. In one of the clips we play, Hildy says that Walter had treated her like an assistant. So hence, she was “His Girl Friday”. Pretty deep dig on the title there, and a bit insulting towards Hildy, depending on whose point of view the title references. The much more appropriate title Newsies would unfortunately sit on the shelf for another 52 years.

Adam has confirmed it: Charlie only gets one recommendation per episode. I’m glad I stayed in line!

 

Movies We Reference:

The Philadephia Story (1940)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Charade (1963)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Blow-Up (1966)

 

Next Episode:

The Graduate (1967)

Episode 11 – La La Land

In episode 11, we review the upbeat, colorful, almost-Best-Picture-winner La La Land (2016) with the less than impressed Brianne Gobeski. Why did we invite a guest on who was well-versed in musical theater and movies instead of someone who would blindly fawn over Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone?? She won’t give the movie a free pass, and neither will we! And speaking of the leads, we do a little fantasy re-casting (and some stunt casting)! And as always, our EP Adam is lurking in the shadows and shows up to give his unadulterated opinion as well!

Clarifications:

The intro and outro this time around is “Compulsion” (Sonny Rollins, feat Charlie Parker and Miles Davis). See, I’ve got jazz cred! Just like Ryan Gosling in the movie. But seriously, I think I’ve been beaten to the punch writing think-pieces about jazz-splaining.

How did we never discuss the Oscar Best Picture fiasco from February in this episode? Well, it’s old news and it’s boring! Make a passing reference and move on, that’s my motto! Plus, I’m still a little salty about Lin Manuel missing out on his EGOT.

Oh, Will Arnett could have been the lead in La La Land, I guarantee it.

Here’s that nerdy article I refer to in the episode that talks about the type of film used, the crane shots, etc. Also, the term I was searching for was “whip pan” (which allowed them to cut the multiple shots together).

If you aren’t sure of the movies that La La Land visually references, watch this video, so you can know exactly what films you’d rather be seeing instead!

OK, but in all honesty it’s been weeks since I watched this and the songs are STILL stuck in my head. Plus, I don’t really think that Ryan Gosling is overrated (Place Beyond the Pines, Drive, etc). You’ll have to accept this episode note as my apology, Ryan, if you’re out there…

Here’s Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine in Into The Woods (2014), if you don’t believe Brianne. Also, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

Movies We Recommend:

Labyrinth (1986)

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

White Christmas (1954)

Top Hat (1935)

Shall We Dance (1937)

 

Episode 10 – The Godfather

Our friends Schmelvie joins us this episode to watch the 1972 masterpiece The Godfather. We go in depth with character analysis, discuss production and sound design, overall color palette choices and perhaps one of cinema’s most iconic scenes. Oh, and also how Fredo is a loser and no one loves him. Poor Fredo!

Clarifications:

Firstly, I’ll apologize for my pronunciation of “Corleone”. It’s really Cor-lee-oh-neigh, not however I say it multiple times. And speaking of “neigh”, there’s also no horse head talk in this entire episode! Just warning you up front, so you are not disappointed that we don’t discuss the ACTUAL HORSE HEAD they used in the film. Because who would be interested in the REAL HORSE’S HEAD THEY GOT FROM A DOG FOOD FACTORY?

I still cannot think of an instance in this movie where Don Vito Corleone orders a hit on someone else. Please feel free to correct me by emailing cinematicrespect@gmail.com!

Here’s a link to the Italian restaurant assassination scene we discuss at length. And of course, it is quite violent, so don’t let your kids watch!

Here’s a wikipedia article discussing influential gangster films, many of which predate The Godfather, although they were mainly in the 1930’s. I actually did mention Scarface (1932) in the recording, but that led to a discussion about the 1983 version of Scarface which was too off topic to include in the final version. I’m just saying this to point out that I came up with one, so you all know I’m super smart with movies and stuff.

The movie takes place between 1945 and 1955, pretty much as Jessica says. The years just flew by!

While Brando did put cotton balls in his mouth during his original script reading, this was later replaced with a mouthpiece for that full-blown bulldog effect.

Fun fact: Cabaret actually holds the record for most Oscars won by a film that did not also win best pictures, picking up 8 statues. That is no consolation to Al Pacino however, who has nothing to show for his work in The Godfather. Except his whole career, I guess. But besides that, nothing!

And Also:

Next episode: La La Land (2016)

Episode 9 – A Fish Called Wanda

Longtime friends Dan and Michelle Hess join us to talk about the hilarious 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda. We talk about the pitch perfect script and performances, the unexpected cultural sensitivity, and how you can never have too many Monty Pythonites. Oh, and Dan tells a story about the movie that may have started Charlie’s passion for film criticism: the 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Last Action Hero!

Clarifications:

Let there be no mistake: it is pronounced “Cleeze”. You can find the evidence here, here and here (and be entertained in the process!).

The Nietzsche quote from Kevin Kline’s Otto about animals being “God’s second blunder” is indeed incorrect. He’s probably referring to the philosopher calling women “God’s second mistake”, or possibly “God’s first mistake: to man these other animals were not entertaining – he sought dominion over them; he did not want to be an animal himself.” Or probably both. I had to look all this up, so I’m feeling a bit like Wanda right now 🙁

Apparently, Kevin Kline beat out Alec Guinness, Martin Landau, River Pheonix and Dean Stockwell at the Oscars in 1989. And here’s his acceptance speech. Not quite what I was hoping, too sincere!

And wait, the guy who died of a heart attack while in hilarious laughing fits while watching this movie is only #9 on this list of movie-related deaths??!! Bizarre!

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children is still going strong, read up on it a bit!

And I want to point out that the High Fidelity line about “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was a disqualification because of obviousness, not because they hated that movie. I guess we’ll never know what Nick Hornby thought of that flick!

And Also:

Next episode: The Godfather (1972)