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61 - Look Who's Talking Too

Possibly John Travolta's greatest challenge: playing a man who isn't happy to be in a relationship with Kirstie Alley. As the Summer of Travolta rolls on, Alex and Julio go deep into the Tomatometer abyss and retrieve a film that might hold the key to whatever's going on in Roseanne Barr's head. LOOK WHO'S TALKING TOO features terrible parenting, a wise black baby, Gilbert Gottfried being Gilbert Gottfried, and the Man Of The Hour, John Travolta, dancing to an Elvis song. What more could...


60 - Phenomenon

Is PHENOMENON a brilliantly low-key push-back against standard superhero movies? Or is it a boring John Travolta vehicle featuring the most unremarkable person to ever get superpowers? Is it a mistake or a masterstroke to have Travolta play the nicest guy since George Bailey? That scene where Kyra Sedgwick shaves him: romantic and sexy or awkward and creepy? And is that really Robert Duvall's butt? It's The Contrarians' sixth Grey Area Episode, which means the Tomatometer is split in half...


Bonus! - Hairspray (2007)

What's more passive-aggressive racist than a movie full of white people whitesplaining racism while they keep black people away from the spotlight? In this bonus late night, long distance recording, Alex and Julio reckon with the musical adaptation of HAIRSPRAY, a film that tries to fight segregation by focusing on the love story between two super white kids. This new installment of The Summer of Travolta asks the question: should a (re)established male movie star be taking a prominent...


59 - Pulp Fiction

Why should we care for a bunch of despicable criminals? "Because they're cool!", says Quentin Tarantino. John Travolta's comeback vehicle gets The Contrarians Treatment as Alex and Julio wonder why Uma Thurman speaks like Juno McGuff, why Tarantino wouldn't cast an actual actor to play Jimmy and, more importantly, what gives Travolta those time-traveling regenerative powers. And are Bruce Willis' terrible breakfast habits to blame for everything? Why can't we get a whole movie about Eric...


58 - Battlefield Earth

The Summer of Travolta begins!!! Oh, and how. Listen to Alex and Julio as they plumb the depths of the Tomatometer and discover a misunderstood epic fantasy that could have, and should have, been a game-changer. John Travolta's passion project is an ode to human resourcefulness and resilience. More subtly, it's also a visual poem about the plight of both, blue and white collar workers. And, almost imperceptibly, it's a generous Barry Pepper vehicle as well!


57 - Chasing Amy

The year was 1997 and a young white man cracked the code. Kevin Smith decided to tell the rest of us what gay women were all about. The nerve of this guy, right? Well, critics and audiences ate it up, and CHASING AMY holds a sweet 88% on the Tomatometer. Listen to the horrified Alex and Julio as they discuss how Smith got away with mansplaining lesbians, how an actual love story between Ben Affleck and Jason Lee would've been more interesting, and how the world "problematic" apparently...


Bonus! - Man on the Moon

It's Wrestlemania time, which means we are due for another Bonus Wrestlemania Episode! So Alex and Julio go Full Kaufman by picking a movie that waits about an hour to get to its big wrestling set piece: Jerry Lawler beating the hell out of Jim Carrey. It's a Rotten-Tomatoes-endorsed Possessed-Carrey vehicle about the Ultimate Troll, and the joke is on us, the audience! Listen as The Contrarians wrestle (get it?) with how empty the movie made them feel and also with what it's like to see...


56 - Catch and Release

Behold: a movie that shows you how to grieve the right way. Sussanah Grant’s CATCH AND RELEASE may look like an average rom-com vehicle full of beautiful charismatic people – and oh god are they all gorgeous -- but underneath it all lies enough pain and confusion to create a thousand ugly crying faces. Listen to Alex and Julio swoon for Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant, marvel at a rare Kevin Smith performance written and directed by someone other than himself, and confirm that...


55 - Fantastic Mr. Fox

What the cuss is this? An alleged kid's movie featuring broken marriages, rabid dogs, mutilated tails and... SMOKING?!?!?! Listen to Alex and Julio as they quickly realize stop-motion Wes Anderson is just as pretentious as live-action Wes Anderson but looks worse. FANTASTIC MR. FOX may have an all-star cast, but is it worth it when you can't really see their beautiful faces? And don't get us started on the plot holes... Also: we reveal the line-up for the SUMMER OF TRAVOLTA event!


54 - Tank Girl

YEEEAAAH, TANK GIRL!!!! Lost among the myriad of failed adaptations in the 1990s lies a fantastic Looney-Toonish feminist manifesto that clearly scared too many people in Hollywood. Listen to Alex and Julio as they discuss Lori Petty's powerhouse performance as a female Bugs Bunny superhero, Malcolm McDowell's prescient take on a future American president and Naomi Watts' heartbreaking film debut in The States. All this and Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo too! Not enough for you? We'll also...


53 - American Hustle

Christian Bale's combover. Amy Adams' accent. Bradley Cooper's perm. Jennifer Lawrence singing "Live or Let Die". Yes, on paper, AMERICAN HUSTLE is a comedy. On the screen? It's an experience so excruciating, Alex and Julio needed help from Down Under to get through it. Chas Fisher, host of the podcast DRAFT ZERO, returns to the show to discuss David O. Russell's lack of regard for sensible storytelling, wonder what dark secrets Russell knows about all these talented actors and, of course,...


52 - Righteous Kill

Pacino. DeNiro. Sharing the screen for a full 90 minutes, because Jon Avnet is fifteen times the director Michael Mann is. RIGHTEOUS KILL has it all: slick violence, slicker sex and the slickest final twist this side of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It also has a dismal 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes, proving once again that you can't trust that website for nothing. Listen to Alex and Julio marvel at Pacino's hair, argue about whether this Carla Gugino performance tops the one she gave in...


51 - Sing Street

Behold: an Irish film that's too scared to go Full Irish. No real heavy drinking, no real swearing, no real violence. Only lots of 80s musical numbers and one of those girl-totally-takes-advantage-of-boy love stories. Recently appointed Austin Critic, Eddie Strait, returns to the podcast to join Alex and Julio in dissecting SING STREET - and long for the days of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS and its sequel.


Bonus! - 200 Cigarettes

MTV was way ahead of their time when they cast a bunch of future Oscar nominees, future Oscar winners and all around future superstars to travel back in time and celebrate New Year's Eve in The 80s. Critics and audiences dismissed them as a bunch of nobodies who didn't even know how to party - now we can appreciate them as complex individuals who share the same issues we people from the 2000s suffer from. Listen to Alex and Julio untangle the multiple storylines that make up 200 CIGARETTES...


Bonus! - Mixed Nuts

Steve Martin, Rita Wilson and a buffet of past and future comedy stars, all directed by Nora Ephron in a Christmas tale set around a crisis hotline. What's not to love there??? And yet, MIXED NUTS got the cruelest Rotten Tomatoes treatment and stands at a miserable 7%. Were the suicide jokes too much for Early-90s America? Or was it the foxtrot dance number between Martin and a transvestite Liev Schreiber? And what about young Adam Sandler and his ukulele? Alex and Julio are joined by...


50 - Cloud Atlas

How much Tom Hanks is too much? Is there a justification to white-face Halle Berry and Asian-face Jim Sturgess? Did The Wachowskis peak with SPEED RACER? And who's that other guy listed in the directing credits? Alex and Julio celebrate their 50-episode milestone by battling it out on their fifth Gray Area Episode! Is CLOUD ATLAS an overstuffed mess or is it a clever labyrinth of themes and transitions? One thing's for sure: it will take you less time to listen to this podcast than it'd...


49 - Big

What's the deal with Tom Hanks in BIG? He doesn't behave like an adult, but he doesn't behave like a kid either! Could it be that maybe Penny Marshall, an adult woman, had no idea what thirteen year old boys were really like? What's Hanks' excuse though? And will we stop beating around the bush and address the incredibly inappropriate elephant in the room? The one that hooks up with a teenage elephant? Special guest Lillian Mattis joins Alex and Julio in the final installment of the Female...


Bonus! - Home for the Holidays

The equivalent of somebody killing the mood by telling a joke that starts somewhat humorous and ends awkwardly personal and with no punchline, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is Jodie Foster's attempt at directing a comedy. Listen to Alex and Julio celebrate Thanksgiving by squirming through a movie that miscasts Steve Guttenberg as a grump, Dylan McDermott as someone who's supposed to be charismatic, and a coked-out Robert Downey Jr. as someone who's not supposed to be coked-out. Not even the...


48 - Loser

As much a time-traveling machine to the year 2000 as it is an inspiring tale of resilience in the face of the worst New York Higher Education can offer, LOSER doesn't deserve its bad rep. Neither does its star, Jason Biggs, who has proved in the years since that his can-do attitude isn't something he saves only for when the camera is rolling. And then there's Amy Heckerling, delivering a masterful spiritual sequence to her big hit FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and being as misunderstood by...


Bonus! - Third anniversary

Three years! Almost 50 movies, not counting bonus episodes. And, once again, Alex in Julio hand out the prestigious Embryies and Caanies (named after Ethan Embry and Scott Caan) as well as an exciting new award created this year: THE GAD. Eligible movies: THAT THING YOU DO!, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, THE PLAYER, REINDEER GAMES, ENTOURAGE, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, A CHORUS LINE, GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING, THIS IS 40, JUNO, THIS MEANS WAR, THE WILD BUNCH, AEON FLUX, GLOW...