Episode 29 – Alphaville (w. Adam Gobeski)

We remain perplexed by the 1965 French New Wave film Alphaville but manage to make some sense of it with our Executive Producer Adam Gobeski. We find out that Jessica is much less likely to be executed in this dystopian sci-fi universe. And what amazing executions those are! We touch on what Jean-Luc Godard really intended for the viewer to feel while watching this bizarre film, and we attempt to answer some of the riddles contained within! Time is a circle – but what KIND of circle is it?!

Clarifications:

Yeah, if you’ve seen Alphaville, you really need to watch the video for Linger by The Cranberries. It’s spot on.

The band Alphaville had a couple hits, including “Big in Japan” and “Forever Young”.  Did they do more with the name than Jean-Luc Godard? That’s up to you to decide!

Of course you should listen to our Hulk episode of The Gobeski/Wallace Report to hear us talk about Ang Lee’s take on how a comic book movie should be made. He really goes for it!

Movies We Reference:

Hulk (2003)

TRON (1982)

TRON: Legacy (2010)

The Artist (2011)

Before the Revolution (1964)

Episode 28 – The Social Network

Bryan from The SilverScreen Redemption podcast talks with Charlie about why he originally missed out on the 2010 David Fincher film The Social Network. We discuss Mark Zuckerberg’s real personality vs how he’s portrayed in the film. Is he really an asshole, or is he just trying really hard to be one? And Bryan can’t help but pitch a ripped-from-the-headlines sequel which sounds genuinely intriguing.

Clarifications:

EP Adam pointed out that Andrew Garfield had previously been in Doctor Who and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, a movie I saw but barely remember. Still, The Social Network was probably his breakout role…

Bryan refers to the Clint Eastwood/Justin Timberlake film Trouble with the Curve, but I cut the part where we eventually come up with the name. So there you go!

Also, we also failed to come up with the name of the “Greg Kinnear/windshield wiper” movie. It is called Flash of Genius.

Parks and Recreation started in 2009, and Rashida Jones was in it right from the start. But I guess much of the world hadn’t caught on to that wonderful show and actor yet!

Things We Reference:

Megamind (2010)

Trouble with the Curve (2012)

Flash of Genius (2008)

Big Fish (2003)

Silicon Valley (2014-Present)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Episode 27 – The Big Chill

We sit down and get all teary-eyed with Dan Hess and review the movie that spawned a Baby Boomer nostalgia revolution, 1983’s The Big Chill. We talk about that High Fidelity quote that causes Millennials like us to go into this movie blind. And the world has come a long way with regards to surrogacy, but we struggle to get into the free-love spirit. Is it just a case respectful relationship between three friends? Jessica and Dan have some strong thoughts.

Clarifications:

We neglected to have a Baby Boomer on the show, and thus you are left solely with the opinions of Millennials. We just don’t connect with the free love style of the 60’s, and that can make it a little more difficult to get on board with much of the movie. Hopefully it doesn’t come across as too judgey, but part of the show is about recording our real reactions, and those are certainly in the episode!

Lawrence Kasdan also wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Storywhich I failed to mention during the show. But, you know, here’s his IMDb page if you want to know more. Huh, his real life wife is named “Meg”. Hmm…

The song Dan talks about is not called “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”. It is called “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night. Dan wants you to know that as a music aficionado, he immediately knew he was in error and also knew Adam would catch that when reviewing the episode and comment on it. And in that regard, Dan was correct.

This article on MovieFone about The Big Chill and Baby Boomer nostalgia may be the one to which Dan is referring.

Not sure exactly which Kevin Kline movies we could use for Dan’s next appearance. There is Sophie’s Choice, which would make the themes we discussed in this episode seem like a carnival ride in comparison. Contact us if you have thoughts!

Other Things We Reference:

High Fidelity (2000)

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Young Adult (2011)

The Sandlot (1993)

Episode 26 – On Golden Pond

Jessica introduces Charlie to one of her favorite films, 1981’s acting tour-de-force On Golden Pond. They discuss the deliberate casting, knockout performances and the one and only Dabney Coleman. Listen to find out Jessica’s least favorite 80’s slang term, and the one aspect of the movie Charlie hate hate hated.

Clarifications:

OMG there’s a sequel to On Golden Pond coming out… maybe? It depends somewhat on being able to film it in New Hampshire, which does not have the same tax incentives for movie productions that other states have. Why those crotchety old tax-payers of New England won’t shell out money for the sake of people from California, I don’t understand!

Dabney was the 8,737th most popular baby name for girls in the U.S. in 2017 according to babycenter.com. For boys, it was 18,185th.

Hey kids, here’s some info on filmstrip projectors. Yes, we sometimes had to use these to “learn” in school. Don’t laugh too derisively – one day your children will laugh at you for having used iPads.

Oscar nominations we forgot to mention were for Best Sound Editing, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture. Eh, probably didn’t deserve to win any of those. It’s no wonder we forgot to mention them in the episode!

Roger Ebert gave this movie 4 stars, despite having many of the same complaints about the film that we do. It just goes to show that sometimes the good outweighs the bad, and you have to rate with your heart. Also, Roger Ebert was great.

Things We Reference:

Away From Her (2006)

Parenthood (TV series, 2010-2015)

This Is Us (TV series, 2016-present)

Episode 25 – Solaris

Billy and Topher from We Watched a Thing get up bright and early in Australia to talk about the 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky masterpiece Solaris. We wax philosophical about time, space, memory and wedding hangovers. We also get into all of the obstacles Tarkovsky had to hurdle in order to create this film, and whether that’s what made him the groundbreaking artist he was. If you’re into Alex Garland’s new movie Annihilation, make sure to listen!

Clarifications:

Boy, it sure would have been great to talk about this movie’s connection to Alex Garland’s Annihilation! However, it hadn’t been released yet in the U.S. when we recorded this, and I’m not sure we had any idea of the very clear inspiration Solaris had on the new film. Plus, it would have been bad form to bring it up to our Australian friends, who only just now got it on Netflix. My feelings on Annihilation were mixed and I’m still kind of grappling with them. I’ll make sure to update you all with a review after I get a chance to watch it again.

Thanks a TON to Billy and Topher for being on the show. Hopefully you can’t tell, but our connection was severed in the middle of recording several times, and once the power went out to their entire building! Luckily, they had enough batteries on hand and good enough cell reception to continue the recording, like professionals. Again, that podcast is We Watched a Thingand is well worth your time!

Want to play the unrelated Atari 2600 game Solaris? Here’s a link! Although you may need to read some instructions first

I tried a quick Google search to determine why Solaris is split into two parts. I was not able to figure that out. I did find that some versions for home release have the cut at different locations. Are you a Tarkovsky scholar? If so, please contact us and clue us in!

Adam had a great comment that he thought of after the recording in regards to Tarkovsky and his representation of works of art within his filmography:

“OK, having thought about it for a while, here’s my take on why classical paintings and music show up, despite Tarkovsky’s insistence that cinema is a separate art form: there’s a difference between making references and pointing out the past and creating new paintings and music within your film.  When you reference the past, as with the paintings and the Bach, you’re drawing a specific link to the past that the audience can reflect upon, because they presumably have already experienced these works and they can think about what those works mean to them and how they tie in with the themes Tarkovsky brings up.  New music, by contrast, doesn’t have that same association, and so that leads to a distraction from the visual art of cinema, because now you’re also experiencing a piece of music you’ve never heard before. Tarkovsky hated Fellini’s idea that each frame of film should be like a painting, perfectly composed, because that’s not what film is for — that’s what painting is for, and they’re not the same thing.”

Adam and I had a long argument about whether Kris Kelvin’s jacket in the beginning of the film is blue (Adam) or purple (Charlie). We think this may also have to do with remastering of the film, or screen calibrations, but I do think it is also perception related. Asking three other test subjects proved inconclusive. Is it because Russian has a larger range of words for the color blue, and the associated linguistic implications? Nope, but I thought that it was a fun idea! Adam, being a linguist, takes issue with that paper though. Ask him about it next time you see him!

Movies We Reference:

Stalker (1979)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Wit (2001)

Sphere (1998)

Under the Skin (2013)

The Fountain (2006)

 

Episode 24 – Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Co-host of the podcasts Adam Sandler Please Stop and Mistakes Were Made Robert Bacon joins us to reminisce about the 1993 Disney film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993). Despite some misgivings we all find it IMPOSSIBLE to not like this film. We talk animal actors, and HUMAN actors! Plus, we develop several sequels and spin-offs we’d like to see made.

Clarifications:

DC’s Batdog (more frequently referred to as Bat-Hound) is actually named “Ace”. Not sure why the movie didn’t take the opportunity to point this out!

Don Ameche actually attended the University of Wisconsin, like we did! And his son won the Heisman trophy while here as well. Don passed away in 1993, just slightly less than a year after this movie was released. So that’s the Don Ameche trivia I forgot to bring up in the show.

Movies We Reference:

Going Overboard (1989)

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (2015)

I, Tonya (2017)

The Brave Little Toaster (1987)

A Stupid and Futile Gesture (2018)

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