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Annie Hall with Bonnie Ambers

I've hated Woody Allen my whole life. Anytime I told people that, they'd ask if I'd seen this movie. I'd say no. They'd tell me to see this movie and then decide. So now I saw the movie. He still sucks, maybe even harder than ever. I capture Woody Allen agnostic Bonnie Ambers and bring her over to the right side of history with nary a push. Woody is disgusting in this movie, and if it weren't for Diane Keaton's incredible, luminous performance, would likely be a footnote in history.


Ordinary People with John Rabon

What do you get when you cross no plot with no music and a very small cast of characters all acting against type? You get paint drying. Robert Redford's directorial debut was impressive to somebody the year it came out, but in retrospect it drags like a student film and is full of inexplicably blank moments. The movie attempts to be "subtle" but goes to far and is flat-out dull. Check out John Rabon and I trying to keep our sanity as the movie drags on and on and on...


Gladiator with Brendan K. O'Grady

Gladiator is an okay 90-minute acton movie stretched out to epic proportions and shot in an epic style without any epic content. The story and the stakes are strangely small -- one dude wants revenge on another dude, but first he has to show off how invincible he is. There is also a woman who both men pursue for the simple reason that she is the only woman -- even though dude one is married and dude two is her brother. Also, dogs and tigers. It's just a sports movie pretending to be...


Titanic with Ky Krebs

Titanic is a movie that seared itself so deeply into the world consciousness, it hardly seems worth revisiting. But it turns out there was a reason it blew away all records and became the biggest movie of all time (at the time): it's pretty damn good. Tune in as Ky Krebs watches for the first time and we rediscover the love and tragedy of James Cameron's most obvious, but still best, movie.


The Sound of Music with my kids

We're about a third of the way through this project, it's Christmas season, and I'm stuck at home recovering from a major surgery, so I decided to abandon the "random order with random friends" part and watch the ONLY Best Picture winner that's fully suitable for young children, 1965's "The Sound of Music." As a bonus, my kids have seen this several times in school and other places, but I've really, truly, never watched this movie. Tune in as they guide me through and also introduce me to...


Mutiny on the Bounty with Derek Kopswa

Based on a true story that's been told a hundred different ways, this 1935 version stars Clark Gable and presents the infamous mutiny as a battle between nice and mean. Gable's (comically American) Fletcher Christian believes the crew of the HMS Bounty should be treated with carrots, but Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh treats them with sticks. Also keelhauls, starvation, and all other manner of verbal and physical abuse. During the return voyage from Tahiti, Christian takes over the ship,...


In the Heat of the Night with Rob Gagnon

A fascinating look at the hard-headed racism of the 1960s South. Unflinching, unrelenting, but also grounded in enough reality to avoid being a mere polemic, this film basically tortures Sidney Poitier's Detective Tibbs as he tries to solve a high-profile murder case in a low-profile Mississippi town. Poitier's performance is majestic -- assured, but nuanced enough to allow his character to make mistakes, get scared, get confused, and still come across as the most competent cop in the state....


The Lost Weekend with Allen Edwin Butt

The most depressing Billy Wilder film for sure. This trudge through the story of one man's recidivist bender exposes the impossibility of living with alcoholism, and walks Ray Milland right up to the brink of suicide. Frightening -- indeed it's shot and scored like a horror film -- and bleak, the film has a mesmerizing power despite its downbeat story arc. The ending rings false, but was likely necessary for audiences to swallow what they just saw. Just because it's an old movie, don't take...


All About Eve with Cassidy Wienecke

If you like intelligent verbal sparring, overly dramatic personalities, sizzling put-downs, Shakespearean plotting, gorgeous outfits, wisecracking sidekicks, high-falutin' accents, drunks, intense bathroom conversations, facial masks, or just movies in general, then this is the flick for you.


Chariots of Fire with Cara McConnell

Normally I write a summary but this movie is so boring it doesn't deserve one. It's about the 1924 Olympics, specifically Great Britain's track team, which did okay. Finland won more track medals that year but sure, let's learn about this team. The movie beat Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'm dead.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Aaron Brooks

Everything about this movie is crazy, and not necessarily in a fun way. Like a lot of '70s movies, it focuses on an oddball group of people just kind of .... hanging out. Aaron and I get frustrated trying to make sense of it, which may be the point, but leads to a very unsatisfying experience, especially compared to the movie it beat for the award that year: Jaws. Still, the acting is top-notch and there are some iconic scenes for a reason. Dive in, cuckoos.


The Apartment with Ella Gale

Quite possibly the perfect movie. A rare comedy winner starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, this screwball-ish comedy with a dramatic heart explores the absurd distance between loneliness and privacy in a world that still maintains a paper-thin Victorian morality atop a fully horny modern reality. The acting is superb, but this is a writer's movie first and foremost, stuffed with tense scenes, perfectly witty lines, dense layering, and huge laughs. The only reason the entire movie...


Silence of the Lambs with Nikita Redkar

This movie didn't just win Best Picture, it won ALL the major Oscars, and it's easy to see why. Tense and gripping throughout, with some of the most incredible acting performances ever. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins perfectly convey a grounded reality within the high camp of Thomas Harris's shock-based plot. Jonathan Demme also deserves a lot of credit for making the movie feel coherent as it careened between moments of intimate terror and grotesque violence. But the real surprise is that...


How Green Was My Valley with Nick Saverino

This endless dirge of Welsh coal miners singing hymns is a great movie to watch if you want to fall asleep. Plotless and devoid of any tension, the movie feels like a book someone forced you to read in middle school. It's honestly a miracle Nick and I didn't give up halfway through. Featuring "Miracle on 34th Street"'s Maureen O'Hara and future non-boring director John Ford at the helm, the film must have struck a chord in late-Depression America because it beat "Citizen Kane" for the...


American Beauty with Vanessa Gonzalez

This movie is something else. It's played as a quirky slice-of-mid-life-crisis with wacky scenarios interspersed between hot-button topics, and I guess that's exactly what it was in the late '90s, but NOW, in 2018, knowing what we know about its star and speaking how we speak about victims of sexual assault, it's a horror movie that has romantic comedy lighting for some offensive reason. Kevin Spacey plays a manipulative self-centered pedophile who destroys his family and neighbors in...


The Artist with Avery Moore

Say, fellas, I got an idea! What if we take a vaguely creepy story about a vain and jealous man who will destroy himself and everyone around him in a tantrum the minute he's not universally adored, then remove all the dialogue and replace it with sweet music so nobody notices? What's that? We'll need a dog to complete the illusion that he's not a piece of shit? And set the story in Hollywood so the industry will give it awards? Done! Send screeners to the Academy immediately. Sincerely,...


Platoon with Duncan Carson

Oliver Stone's Mary Sue autobiography about being a rich kid voluntarily joining up to fight in America's Dumbest War. The movie throws 75 characters at the screen, then adds 75,000 explodey noises in for good measure, but somehow Oscar-winning screenwriter Stone still can't cover up the clunkiest dialogue he's ever written. The movie is effective in its realism. Unfortunately, that means suffering through the reality of an obnoxious war full of half-crazed, leaderless, extremely un-woke...


Ben-Hur with Andrew Horneman

This movie is EPIC. It defines epic. And it clearly influenced both George Lucas and John Williams, because some of the scenes and score clips are obvious precursors to the Star Wars saga. But is it fun to watch? It was with Andrew, who developed an insta-crush on Charlton Heston's body that sustained him for almost the entire 3 hours and 45 minutes. For me? Well, it's a lot of men, manning around, plus 250% of your recommended daily allowance of Jesus. The movie still holds the record for...


Shakespeare in Love with Brooke Cartus

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, this is the Shakespeare movie for you. Stuffed with super obvious callbacks and sitcom plotting, this soft rock movie somehow captured the Academy's heart in a year stuffed with Big Important Dramas. Gwyneth Paltrow got an award for having boobs. Judi Dench got an award for having a face. Tom Stoppard got an award for copy-pasting. And Harvey Weinstein got an award for doing things we'd still rather not think about. Join Brooke and me...


Rain Man with Christina Parrish

This movie is authenticity-adjacent. A weirdly world-music-infused score backdrops the story of an all-American road trip with a bad car salesman (played by human-adjacent Tom Cruise) and a quirky superhero (Dustin Hoffman doing an SNL sketch character). At times, the script gestures towards meaning, but for the most part this is "It Happened One Night" with an idiot savant instead of an heiress. Christina Parrish and I tear our hair out trying not to make inappropriate jokes (and, in the...