Episode 23 – The Shape of Water

We continue our abbreviated 2018 Academy Award Best Picture series with The Shape of Water, joined by our guests from our first two episodes, Adam and Ally. We try to interpret the meaning behind the character’s behavior, the creature design and the color scheme, but it appears that Guillermo del Toro has already told the whole world all of these things already. We break down all the Academy Award nominated performances. And we ask ourselves the important questions such as “What does it take to establish emotional intelligence?” and “What’s the worst thing you can encase in Jell-O”?

Clarifications:

According to Adam G.: “A feral animal is one that lives in the wild but either was once domesticated or is descended from domesticated animals”. So yes, you can have a feral turtle!

We know you are all clamoring to hear about the history of Jell-O, so here you go!

Alright, alright, just kidding. Here’s that article on fish dildos you’ve probably already seen. (We clearly show a sense of taste and restraint within the episode that doesn’t extend to the show-notes.)

I really can’t find out whether Sally Hawkins sings “You’ll Never Know” in that black and white musical interlude. The soundtrack has that song attributed to Renee Fleming, but I don’t think it’s the same version as is in that scene. In any case, it would only make Ally’s argument about “voice actors not singing Disney songs” even stronger.

The amphibian creature from Hellboy was called Abe Sapien.

Movies We Reference:

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Turbo Kid (2015)

The Orphanage (2007)

Cabin in the Woods (2012)

 

 

 

Episode 22 – Lady Bird

In honor of the 2018 Oscar nominations, we hit the theater to watch the multiply nominated coming-of-age tale Lady Bird (2017). We recount how the film reflects our own high school experience, how Greta Gerwig manages to stuff so much into such a small run time, and why Laurie Metcalf is the best ever. We do stop short of singing Dave Matthews Band lyrics, but just barely.

Clarifications:

I don’t think it’s clear from the beginning that I had already seen this movie but Jessica hadn’t, in case you’re wondering if we strayed from the conceit of the show. Technically this episode still fits, right? We got to discuss a great movie, so I say “yes”!

We suggest that the movie does not explicitly tell us that it takes place in 2002. However, Ladybird says that “the only interesting thing about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome.” We regret the error.

The Joan Didion quote that begins the movie is as follows: “Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.

I don’t actually hate “Crash Into Me” by the Dave Matthews Band. I really don’t! Kara and I listened to the album after we came back from the theater. I call it “lame” within the context of the movie and we get sidetracked from talking about the triumphant moment where Lady Bird professes her love for the song. LISTEN.

I realize I just wrote a paragraph preemptively defending myself against folks who might get the wrong impression that I don’t like Dave Matthews Band… life is strange, isn’t it?

Also, here’s the AV Club article I mention in reference to the same song. And they talk about what the song is really about… so you can feel weird the next time you sing along.

I wished we would have talked just a little more about Greta Gerwig, but c’est la vie. I’m sure at least one future episode will give us the chance.

Lady Bird‘s Rotten Tomatoes record was just beaten by Paddington 2. Which means I have to see Paddington 2 now? But that means I have to see Paddington first! Man, I live such a difficult life!

Movies We Reference:

Frances Ha (2012)

Rushmore (1998)

The Way Way Back (2013)

Episode 21 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

We’re back from our holiday hiatus, and Charlie has brought his mom, Marcy Wallace on the show to talk about Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Turns out it’s easy to get caught up in the details if you’re re-watching this one. But in between Jessica and Charlie’s plot quibbles, we get Marcy’s opinion on whether this holds up as an action/adventure flick today. Choose wisely, sit back, and take a listen (ha, GET IT?).

Clarifications:

The younger hand/arm of Henry Jones Sr. is played by Alex Hyde-White, who plays Reed Richards in the storied 1994 movie The Fantastic Four. Which I know, because I had to watch it for the Merry Marvel Movie March our sister podcast is doing. Check that out here!

The Monkey King is apparently a mythological Chinese figure, whose integration into the script might have been slightly less hilarious than we thought when we recorded this.

I quickly began to wonder whether there would have been suitable torch alternatives when this movie took place. Wikipedia has the answer, as always! Indy was indeed being reckless.

Marcy forgot to mention that the “smile for the camera” moments of the movie really reminded her of Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. This isn’t too surprising actually, since Indiana Jones draws a lot of inspiration from 1930’s matinee serials and movies of that period.

Notes regarding Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, from our EP:

  1. “Poorly received” is probably not quite right. Overall, critics and fans still seem positive about it, and the main drawback seems to be its failure to live up to its predecessor.
  2. Adam thinks it has the best soundtrack.
  3. Adam thinks Short Round was at least better than Shia LaBeouf.
  4. Willie Scott is the name of the character everyone loves to hate.

Also, The Goonies is technically directed by Richard Donner, although Spielberg had his hands all over it so it doesn’t undermine anything we say.

Adam’s main problem with the choice of Grail is that technically the cup didn’t belong to Jesus at all. It’s not like the Last Supper took place at Jesus’s house, so there’s no reason to think it would have anything to do with him being a carpenter. Guess Indy just got lucky!

From the moment we first see the tank, to when we realize Indy has NOT fallen over the cliff, about 16 minutes has elapsed. Quite a bit of the film!

Indy murders a lot of people in this one, but he’s not alone. I won’t spoil the actual body count for you, but here’s the video proof!

Movies We Reference:

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Odd Thomas (2013)

Lost in Translation (2003)

Local Hero (1983)

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)

 

Episode 20 – Sixteen Candles


Eric Mackie joins us to visit the 1984 John Hughes film Sixteen Candles for the first time. He’s a little surprised to find it’s not quite like the other John Hughes movies he’s familiar with. Jessica finds the good parts in this movie, but Charlie seems unable to look past the parts of the movie that haven’t “aged well”. But we all agree that the kid brother should have gotten his own movie.

Clarifications:

When reviewing the episode, EP Adam mentioned that I seemed angry the whole time. I kinda was. Certain scenes reminded me very much of current events and I think that comes through a bit in my faint praise. I probably didn’t give this movie a fair shake on its non-offensive points, but I will point out that I’m not alone in this. If I can find the TV edit Jessica talks about maybe I’ll give it another chance.

Here’s the article by David Blum which coined the term “Brat Pack”, and answers some questions we didn’t quite know the answers to while recording. Surprisingly included in The Pack: Nicolas Cage!

Also found this cringe-worthy moment where an interviewer tries to get Gedde Watanabe to do his Sixteen Candles lines in the accent, complete with inverted screen for when he’s hanging upside down from the bed. I don’t envy Mr. Watanabe, I’m pretty sure he gets asked to do this all the time.

Things We Reference:

“Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap

“I Can’t Go On” by Bayside

The Sure Thing (1985)

American Vandal (2017)

Everything by John Hughes

Episode 19 – Jaws

This week Jessica is in the hot seat, since she had never seen the 1975 summer blockbuster Jaws, with special contributor Kara Hulce. We talk about whether the slower pacing of the film works, if the animatronics hold up, and we get a little confused about who the shark ate and when. Boy, that shark sure does eat a lot of people…

Clarifications:

This article says John Williams had scored 25 Spielberg films as of its publish date (2012). So there’s more now, you can do the math yourself. I say my guess of 25 was pretty darn good. Although, the upcoming Ready, Player One is notable in that John Williams will NOT score it.

Finding Nemo theory confirmed (well, as much as a wiki confirms anything…)

Not a lot of additional material for you this week, except that Adam also thought it was weird that Jaws was considered a horror film. By the same token, couldn’t Jurassic Park be considered horror?? Just think about THAT for a minute.

And here’s your exploding whale, about 2 minutes in.

Movies We Reference:

The Goonies (1985)

Tremors (1990)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Poltergeist (1982)

Bridge of Spies (2015)

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)