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)

Episode 8 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

We discuss the “hardships” of being an 80’s teenager in the northern suburbs of Chicago in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), with our guest Kara Hulce. Kara is quick to point out that Ferris isn’t really that great of a person, and that even in 1986, Charlie Sheen doles out pretty bad advice. Will Jessica and Kara remain friends after Kara’s scathing analysis of one of Jessica’s favorite films??

Clarifications:

Our EP Adam was quick to point out that Alan Ruck was the captain of the Enterprise in Star Trek: Generations (which in his mind, supersedes his role as Cameron). This is not surprising. I gave Adam the DVD for Ferris as a birthday present years ago, and let’s just say he’s fairly aligned with Kara’s take on the film.

Adam also points out that despite Jessica’s criticism of Kara, it was not possible for Kara to have watched Ferris for the first six months of her life, since the movie wasn’t out yet. All blame after that falls squarely on her.

Turns out the trading floor in Chicago has actually shut down sometime since 1986, although there is no “smoking crater” anywhere in downtown Chicago, as Charlie suggests.

In 1986, Louie Anderson had not yet hit it big in Coming to America, Family Feud or Life with Louie. So, at the point he shows up in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, he’s essentially an unknown. I highly recommend watching him the the FX series Baskets, if you get a chance, if you’ve been wondering where he’s been for the last 15 years or so.

The Von Steuben Day Parade always falls on a Saturday, which makes this scene IMPLAUSIBLE. My whole world is shattered now. Also, since it is always the closest Saturday to September 17th, this means Ferris has likely had 9 absences in only 3 weeks of class.

Kara mentions a couple of articles she discovered when descending the “Ferris Bueller Rabbit Hole”. Here’s the one defending Jeanie, and here’s the reddit post that compares this movie to Fight Club. I sometimes wonder if I should quit my job and write think pieces about iconic 80’s films; God willing, someday maybe my work would be mentioned in a podcast!

Episode 7 – They Live

Good friend and John Carpenter fan Justin Sills joins us after his first time watching They Live (1988). We talk about the director’s unique style, the best improvised lines and the brilliance of Keith David. And what They Live discussion could be complete without the wrestling moves of the late, great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper? We also dive into what makes a bad action movie… well… GOOD.

Clarifications:

Somehow we get through the whole thing without acknowledging the recent death of Roddy Piper. It was a sad day, and it inspired me to watch this movie for the second time (the third was for this podcast). He will be missed.

Adam G. chastised us for our dismissiveness towards “wrestling acting”, AKA, kayfabe. It’s actually an interesting art, though I will still insist that in this case, it translates strangely to film. And it’s brought us such celebrities as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Governor Jesse Ventura and… President Trump. Hmm…

Here’s the required link to the extended fight sequence in They Live. And here’s the comparison to the South Park fight scene. There’s a cut conversation in this episode about the South Park documentary 6 Days to Air. It’s a pretty interesting watch, especially if you stupidly think Trey and Matt’s job is easy. Or if you like hearing Bill Hader go into laughing fits.

There’s another cut conversation about Shepard Fairey too. TL;DR, he made that Obama poster and he likes this movie too!

And finally, both Justin and Adam referred me to this article about the last frontier for Blockbuster Video. Would you give up fast internet speeds for the ability to browse physical copies of new releases on a Friday night? For those of us who have nostalgia for our childhood movie nights, it’s a tough call!

And also:

Next Episode: I dunno. Either The Godfather (1972) or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) maybe? We’ll keep you posted!

Episode 6 – The Big Lebowski

Go fix yourself a White Russian, we’ll wait, because we’re watching The Big Lebowski (1998) with our good friend Jessica. Besides, you wouldn’t want us to drink alone, would you? We talk a LOT about the characters in this film, which makes sense, because it is a Coen brothers film after all. We also marvel over the best performance of John Goodman’s career. And what’s up with those dream sequences? If that’s what acid flashbacks are about, sign me up! Well, minus all nihilists with gigantic scissors…

Clarifications:

So the Jesus Quintana spin-off we mention is apparently called Going Places,  but will not involve the Coen brothers, although they have “given their blessing”. I’m sure John Turturro is talented enough to pull off the acting/writing/directing thing. But The Jesus without Joel and Ethan…? We’ll have to wait and see!

Jessica is referring to Lebowski’s in Glasgow (and Edinburgh!). Their “About” page says that “The Dude may have grown up a bit and settled in the suburbs, but they’re he’s bringing the party wherever he goes.” I call B.S. on that. I think the Dude is right where we left him, hanging out with Walter at some old bowling alley in L.A. Despite that nonsense they wrote, I would still stop in to Lebowski’s for a White Russian, I must admit.

The author of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia is James Ellroy, in case you were wondering.

And Also:

Next episode: They Live (1988)

Episode 5 – Nebraska

Grab your truck and air compressor, ’cause in this episode we review the 2013 Alexander Payne film Nebraska with our guest Patrick Hill. We discuss Payne’s portrayal of the Midwest, June Squibb’s “breakout” performance and several characters’ hair. And does Bruce Dern’s character Woody have dementia or is he just deluded? Plus, Patrick is the first guest to recommend an EXPERIENCE rather than a movie or TV show!

Clarifications:

Adam wants to point out that Will Forte was also in “Flight of the Conchords”, so I should have remembered him from that. For shame!

Here’s a link to an article about cars that can go over 200 mph. I don’t think any of the character’s in the film owned an Aston Martin though.

And also:

Next episode: The Big Lebowski (1998)

 

Episode 4 – The Apartment

We keep chugging along, episode-wise, by watching “The Apartment”(1960), starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine with our guest Megan Henecke. This movie really makes us wonder whether all 50’s and 60’s office parties were like orgies, between this and Mad Men… We discuss the rampant sexism contained in the film; but how much was an intentional commentary and how much was just a product of the times? And we talk at length about the Fred MacMurray villain that Megan refers to as “worse villain than Bane”. Plus, we identify a couple of minor characters that deserve their own movies.

A new trailer for The Dark Tower came out this week, and Kara’s super excited. I’m just confused. But Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey? Here’s what I say to that:

Speaking of money, around 18:50 or so, Megan says she couldn’t find how much Lemmon and MacLaine made for this film. As it turns out, both were paid the same amount, $175,000. So there was definitely some equity in that regard (thanks to Adam for digging that up).