Episode 44 – Serenity (w. Jill Dickinson)

Charlie, Adam, and Amber welcome guest Jill Dickinson to the podcast to geek out over the 2005 sci-fi film Serenity! We’re all familiar with the short-lived TV series Firefly… but what if you weren’t? Would the movie still work? If there aren’t any cows, is this really a western? And there’s no avoiding those shocking deaths! Also: more Star Trek and Moana than you’d expect!

Clarifications:

Make sure to check out the party Jill mentions at Hole in the Wall in Austin on March 13, and at Valhalla on March 14, courtesy Chicken Ranch Records!

We had a short segment about Joss Whedon’s behavior IRL, and how that undercuts his feminist messaging in his work. We ultimately cut it, but if you are not already aware, you should be.

Adam talks about Kris Straub and his disdain for the linguistic style of Firefly. It’s somewhere in the web comic Starslip Crisis. Find it yourself (you’ll have fun in the process).

As Adam mentions, Nathan Fillion starred in the fan film based on the video game Uncharted.

Things We Reference:

Sex and the City 2 (2010)

South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (1999)

Tangled: The Series (2017-Present)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The Naked Gun (1988)

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Firefly (2002-2003)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Metropolis (1927)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Moana (2016)

The Rookie (2018-Present)

Castle (2009-2016)

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog (2008)

Big Mouth (2017)

FlashForward (2009)

Veronica Mars (2014)

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993)

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Episode 43 – Goodfellas (w. Ric Vega, Wes Richerson, and Doug Gobeski)

Doug Gobeski brings in his friends Ric and Wes after their first viewing of the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. We talk voiceover, tracking shots, and prison attire. The movie was criticized for extreme depictions of violence at the time, but how does it look in 2019? And we discuss how this all ties in to the gangsters that have appeared in pop culture since. Hopefully you’ll find it funny, in an amusing sort of way!

Clarifications:

Apparently some people just don’t get this movie, at least according to the…*checks notes*… New York Post. Well, both Jessica and the screenwriter have something to say about that.

Additionally, Frank Silvero’s lawsuit against The Simpsons was eventually thrown out. Why he didnt just get a recurring role on The Sopranos like everyone else, I just don’t know.

Things We Reference:

Atlanta (2016-Present)

You (2018)

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu (2019)

Upgrade (2018)

The King of Comedy (1982)

All the Light We Cannot See (2014)

Bird Box (2018)

King of the Hill (1997-2010)

Episode 42 – The Greatest Showman (w. Kelly Fulcher)

Amber Elby appoints herself Ringmaster in order to compel Charlie, Adam, and guest Kelly Fulcher to watch the 2017 film The Greatest Showman. We discuss the right way to create fantasy/historical fiction, the overt critical meta-commentary, and *swoon* Zac Efron. Will the grouchy first-timers dig in their heels and hate on this popular musical, or will Amber whip them into line like so many CGI lions?

Clarifications:

You can see what our guest Kelly Fulcher is up to via A Choired Taste and the Tempe Community Chorus!

Amber would like to point out that she would rather have chosen Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny as her recommended modern musical. It’s a bold choice, if nothing else…

We did also discuss whether to allow animated films in the “musical” category, but that discussion is cut for time. It really widens the field but a couple of us objected to that!

Also on the cutting room floor: everyone liked Zac Efron and we talked about High School Musical for a bit longer than was warranted. Well, more specifically High School Musical 2, which Kelly assures us is the best of the series.

Adam recommends Paint Your Wagon within the show and would love you to check out this clip of Lee Marvin’s performance.

Things We Reference:

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)

La La Land (2016)

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Enchanted (2007)

Once (2007)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Mary Poppins (1964)

The Master (2012)

She’s All That (1999)

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Crash (2004)

Venom (2018)

Dick (1999)

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Blue Valentine (2010)

Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Paint Your Wagon (1969)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Episode 41 – La Belle et la Bête (w. Brianne Gobeski)

Actor Brianne Gobeski joins us once again to discuss the 1946 French classic La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast). For those of you who think this is similar to the Disney versions, think again: nary a singing candelabra to be found! No conversation about this movie could be complete without mentioning the unique production design and the creepy beast makeup. And do we really get the happy ending we expect here, or is Belle doomed to a boring, menial existence?

Clarifications:

Brianne Gobeski is starring in Disaster at Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale Arizona, go see it if you’re in the area!

Adam found out after the episode that the “drunk driving” section at the beginning of the film was out of necessity: the cobblestones were so uneven that the actors lifting the carriage wobbled as they walked. The drunkenness was added as a way to explain their instability!

Adam makes a quick Simpsons reference (“When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?”), and here’s the clip that explains it if for some reason you don’t know what he’s talking about.

The BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

Things We Reference:

Labyrinth (1986)

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

Snowpiercer (2013)

Babes in Toyland (1934)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Seven Samurai (1954)

Waterworld (1995)

Metropolis (1927)

Orphée (1950)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

City of Angels (1998)

Ghost Rider (2007)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Into the Woods (2014)

Your Name (2016)

Wings of Desire (1987)

 

Episode 40 – Network (w. Doug Gobeski and Amber Elby)

Before 24-hour cable news networks and politically polarizing punditry, there was the 1976 film Network, which we investigate with guests Doug Gobeski and author Amber Elby. How do we see the movie today when so many of its predictions have come true? Is there any way to remake or update this movie? What’s the whole point of that love story between Faye Dunaway and William Holden? Doug knows, and he’s got evidence!

Clarifications:

It’s strange that we NEVER mention director Sidney Lumet or screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky by name in the episode, both prolific, successful and extremely talented folks. Which is too bad, because I looked up how to pronounce BOTH names before we recorded!

Of course, we speculate a lot about how this might have been viewed in the 70’s without having someone on the show who might have actually seen it in the 70’s. It’s always tough to prepare an episode with that sort of diligence, so you’ll have to forgive us. Are you one of those people? Let us know what you thought about Network on Twitter!

We were able to confirm the story about George Clooney showing Network to some younger folks via this Deadline article. This was in preparation for his planned live television staging of Network, which never materialized in part because of what he learned!

And you can buy Amber Elby’s first novel Cauldron’s Bubble and second novel Double, Double Toil on Amazon right now, and you really should!

Things We Mention:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Moonraker (1979)

The Lawnmower Man (1992)

RoboCop (1987)

Spring Forward (1999)

“The Newsroom” (2012-2014)

Episode 39 – Blade Runner 2049 (w. Paul Wilcox)

One year after discussing the original film, Charlie, Adam and Paul Wilcox are back together to discuss Blade Runner 2049 (2017).  We praise the cinematography, the characterization, and the score. And we revisit those age-old questions: “What makes us human?” and “How close is too close to your 4K TV?”

Clarifications:

If you are interested in watching the short films which were commissioned for Blade Runner 2049, here they are:

Black Out 2022

2036: Nexus Dawn

2048: Nowhere to Run

In the most recent edition of “We’re All Gonna Die Sooner Than We’d Like”: Insect Disappearance!

And in contrast, a video of Ryan Gosling with Harrison Ford, and another where Gosling talks about… cellophane…

Oh, and to make sure you’re getting that full 4K experience visit this website. Don’t let unscrupulous Blu-ray distributors steal your precious resolution!!

Things We Reference:

Blade Runner (1982)

Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Ghostbusters (2016)

TRON: Legacy (2010)

Nier Automata (2017)

First Man (2018)

Dredd (2012)

“Cowboy Bebop” (1998)

The Nice Guys (2016)

 

 

Episode 38 – Rashomon (w. Amber Elby)

Charlie, Adam and Amber Elby all play the guest AND host role to talk about Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 narrative game-changer Rashomon. We discuss the beautiful cinematography, the shifting perspectives of the story, and the creepy-as-hell ghost medium. But is there any one true interpretation of Rashomon? Yes, duh! Take a listen if you want to know what REALLY happened…

Clarifications:

Amber Elby’s new book Double Double Toil will be available October 1st, but you can get the first novel in the Netherfeld Trilogy series Cauldron’s Bubble on Amazon right now!

Here’s a little Wikipedia for you about the very excellent video game Deus Ex.

Charlie admits to watching Rashomon on an iPad. Sometimes you’re busy on the go and can’t get in front of your flatscreen. Charlie’s pretty sure if he could summon Akira Kurosawa via ghost medium, the famed director would forgive him.

If you’re interested in knowing Donald Ritchie’s taste in film, here’s his part of the 2002 Sight and Sound list.

And as it turns out, Shakespeare IS big in Japan!

If you want the watch The Tale as Charlie suggests, it’s also available to stream on Amazon if you can’t see it on HBO.

Here is the episode of The Gobeski/Wallace Report where Adam interviews Charlie about Cinematic Respect. Learn how the sausage gets made!!

Things We Reference:

The Tale (2018)

Throne of Blood (1957)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Quills (2000)

Metropolis (1927)

“Battlestar Galactica” (2004)

Yojimbo (1961)

 

Episode 37 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (w. Adam and Ally)

Seasoned guests Adam and Ally are back in the studio to talk about 1969’s Robert Redford/Paul Newman vehicle Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. As it turns out, we were all a bit perplexed by the film and what, if anything, it was trying to say. Or is it just a fun Western romp that we shouldn’t think too hard about? At least we can agree on two things: it was a lot of fun, and it was definitely NOT Smokey and the Bandit.

Clarifications:

At first it appears that we simply fail to discuss Burt Bacharach’s Oscar winning score and original song. The truth is, we bashed it into oblivion but really failed to say anything of substance about it (and that sort of stuff often hits the cutting room floor). But Adam and Ally are on the record as having really hated it, and we were all put off by the “anachronism for anachronism’s sake” feel of the “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” sequence. There was no clear reason for that particular score, though the scene was clearly some sort of “Garden of Eden” reference complete with apple chomping. If you’ve got some theories about why the modern 60’s score was implemented, please, let us know!

(Though I do admit I have a special place in my heart for another of Burt Bacharach’s original movie songs, “Beware of the Blob”.)

And somehow with all this Robert Redford talk, we completely forgot to mention anything about his Sundance Resort, or the Sundance film festival, or his Sundance Theaters which are named after his character! It’s only a slight stretch to say those things might not exist but for this film!

Things We Reference:

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Episode 36 – All the President’s Men (w. Taylor Anderson)

We welcome history major and film lover Taylor Anderson to the show to talk about the perennial and undeniably essential 1976 movie All the President’s Men. Of course, we recorded on the same day that a guilty plea and a conviction rocked the current president’s administration, so our conversation takes on a sudden urgency. The parallels are uncanny! But before we get to politics we discuss Robert Redford’s push to make the film, the historical accuracy of the script and set design, sound design and the mesmerizing shot construction. Let’s put our nose to the grindstone, shall we?

Clarifications:

We’ve got a larger than usual set of shownotes, so we don’t want to bury this plug for Tommy Oler’s show Let’s Write an Episode…! If you love 90’s television, writing, performance or are even just a fan of humor in general you need to check this show out!

There’s a lot in the Vanity Fair article that we mention in the show, and a lot we don’t! It’s really a fascinating read. Also, this article from The Washingtonian is a must. Some of our corrections are based on facts from those articles, so consider this our citation.

Robert Redford was considering other actors for the role of Bob Woodward, but Warner Bros chairman Ted Ashley insisted Redford star because, well, money.

It should also be noted that the library scene is indeed set in the real Library of Congress. They were begrudgingly given access to shoot in the Reading Room.

In the episode we suggest that it might be unusual for a movie to come out so quickly after historical events have transpired. EP Adam doesn’t agree and mentions that Zero Dark Thirty is an example – Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 and the film was released in 2012!

Not familiar with the Bay of Pigs fiasco? A primer.

And the definition of “Burglary 2” for those of you who are really diving into the weeds while listening to this episode.

We may have at some point said that Nixon was impeached. He wasn’t. It was a foregone conclusion when he resigned however.  Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton must be feeling pretty lonely (for now…)

BTW, Nixon’s approval ratings were still somehow at 24% when he resigned. Is 24% bottoming out…? And speaking of approval ratings, Robert Mueller’s jumped by 11 points… in a Fox News poll!

Towards the end of the show, Taylor confuses Michael Cohen’s guilty plea with Paul Manafort’s multiple convictions, though their roles/former jobs are correctly attributed.

Things We Reference:

The Apartment (1960)

The Post (2017)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Spy Game (2001)

The West Wing” (1999-2006)

Dick (1999)

 

Episode 35 – Bringing Up Baby (w. Lee from Faking Movies)

We’re reviewing another Cary Grant/Howard Hawks collaboration, 1938’s screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, with our guest Lee from the podcast Faking Movies. It really is strange that this movie wasn’t a traditional box office success, what with Katharine Hepburn and TWO leopards! We talk about the tightly packed script, wacky characters, and crippling production delays. And just like Cary Grant, we eventually just give ourselves over to the craziness! Join us, will you?

Clarifications:

If you like this episode, listen to when we discussed His Girl Friday!

So how is Katharine Hepburn stealing all those cars? Here’s a primer for you! (TL;DR, there is a dashboard-mounted starter button!)

We all speculate a bit about why this movie under-performed at the box office and wondered why the poor and middle class would want to watch a bunch of rich folk be silly. We suggested the reasons may be aspirational, or the need for pure escapism. That bears out a bit, as there is a long tradition of Depression-era comedies about the well-to-do. Evidence: the highest grossing film of 1938 was You Can’t Take It With You.

Things We Reference:

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Frasier (1993-2004)

Charade (1963)