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Gone With the Wind with Eric Nagurney
We knew what we were getting into, kind of, but neither myself nor Eric Nagurney had seen a single frame of Gone with the Wind in our lives, so it was a fresh assault of whitewashed Confederate history, treacly matte paintings, Broadway-style overacting, and whiplashing tonal shifts that lasted FAR longer than even what "4-hour-movie" implies. We hated it. Listen closely, and you'll hear our sanity leave the room at about the 15-minute mark. This isn't a BAD movie. On a technical level it...
On the Waterfront with Pat Dean
A movie that most people know only as a line -- "I coulda been a contender" -- has surprising twists and wrinkles that make it an unusual watch 50+ years later. Fortunately, I have Pat Dean as a co-pilot, and we dig deep into the subtext and meaning of this labor drama while also taking detours to make sure we're okay, we're doing fine, we're not too lonely. It's a surprisingly revealing and tender episode surrounding an even more surprisingly brutal and bleak film. Check it out, and also...
Million Dollar Baby with Pat Sirois
This movie goes in fits and starts. The beginning is cartoon-ish and slow, the middle is full of some of the rawest boxing footage I've ever seen in a film, and the last half hour is a torturous drag through depressingville. Pat Sirois and I try to keep our sanity with all the emotional whiplash, and figure out a couple of True Facts about Clint Eastwood's inner life along the way. This episode is narrated by Morgan Freeman. Find more Pat on Lie, Cheat, and Steal - his weird crime podcast...
The Sting with Lisa Friedrich
Lisa and I scratch our heads through one of the most complicated con movies I've ever seen, stuffed with ancillary characters and antiquated references. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are both compelling to watch -- and Redford does A LOT of sprinting in this movie if that's your thing -- but the real stars are the women. Eileen Brennan brings a casual vamp's charm to the rogue's gallery of con men, and Dimitra Arliss coyly plays a diner waitress who's much more than she appears. Other...
The Great Ziegfeld with Rachel Hall
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. was still very much a contemporary force in American entertainment when this was made. His late wife Billie Burke even had a hand in the casting of this movie, which was an enormous artistic and financial success for MGM. But what does that all add up to now? This three-hour biopic serves mainly to highlight two things -- that Ziegfeld was a "special effects" genius in his day (costumes and staging) to a degree that still astonishes today, and that his life was a...
Rocky with Mike MacRae
Unless you've actually watched it recently, I guarantee this movie is NOT what you think it is. The star-spangled sequels are so ingrained in our minds that it's weird to revisit the grimy impoverished underdog story that kicked off the mega-franchise. Mike MacRae had never seen the movie, and I THOUGHT I had but it was very different from my memories, so who knows? We both "dinged" along as iconic moments came up, then guffawed in bafflement at the weird scenes nobody talks about anymore:...
It Happened One Night with Micheal Foulk
The hitchhiker's guide to the gal, you see.
West Side Story with Chris Cubas
This is easily the most famous and beloved movie we've tackled so far, and it's great! The songs are amazing, the costumes are beautiful, the dancing is quirky and fun, and the plot is ... well. Half of it is great, and surprisingly timely. Chris Cubas (Canceled) and I really enjoyed the Sharks vs Jets plotline and characters. The other half is a limp and hasty romance that's modeled on the dumber aspects of Romeo & Juliet with none of the redeeming qualities of Shakespeare's irony-laden...
Around the World in 80 Days with Melody Shifflet
The only reason this movie is remembered at all is the Disney remake from 2004 starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan -- and that movie was a huge flop. Based on a Jules Verne story, this film is adapted to be 1,000% more British, with a wealthy eccentric and miniature sidekick "racing" around the world at a snail's pace to settle a pointless bet with a drawing room full of loathsome bankers. David Niven and some circus performer named Cantinflas (an enormously popular Mexican film star and...
You Can't Take It With You with Ralph Hardesty
Every once in a while, the Academy really gets it right. This Frank Capra movie is waaaay less famous than some of his other, schmaltzier efforts like It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Arsenic and Old Lace, but in my opinion it tops them all with a madcap style that will be recognizable to fans of Frasier as "screwball play gets adapted as blunt social commentary plus a little sex." What elevates this above the rest is the performance of -- not Jimmy Stewart or...
Out of Africa with Ky Krebs
Ky Krebs and I were all ready to bless the rains down in Africa until this movie bored us nearly to death with its endless picnic sequences and abominably tone-deaf Colonizers. There's simply no way to watch this earnestly in a post-Black Panther world, so we chose to moan and groan and yell at the screen for ... 2 hours and 40 minutes? It was too much. Enjoy the increasingly nasty take-down after the movie and please check out Ky's new album on iTunes (it's self-titled) or his podcast...
Midnight Cowboy with Katie Pengra
I couldn't have asked for a better / worse choice to start the show with. The illustrious Katie Pengra -- who co-hosts a killer Oscar party every year in Austin at Haymaker with her husband -- graciously agrees to sit her pregnant butt down for this trippy and grim journey through a whole lotta nothing. The movie is famous for 1) a Dustin Hoffman line, 2) being an X-rated Best Picture winner ... for a while (it's now officially R), and 3) supposedly lots of sex. There's isn't that much...
Rebecca, with ... nobody!
A pilot episode in which I ramble a bit about what the podcast will be about, watch one of my favorite old movies while drinking beer and eating potato chips, then try to explain why I always root for the "bad" guys in this one. A great undiscovered treasure of queer cinema (I think), and full of some truly wicked women (in a good way). This is a half-sized episode and my allergies made me talk weird so ... maybe don't listen?