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73 - The Fly (1986)

The 80s: when the dumbest scientist in the universe could develop world-changing technology and the one female journalist in the US couldn’t see the flashing red flags all around him. Oh, and also when all David Cronenberg had to do to wow critics was zoom-in on gross stuff. Listen to Alex and Julio talk about THE FLY, a vehicle for Jeff Goldblum to show off his nerdy sex appeal and for Geena Davis to show off her tolerance for abuse! America has come a long way, hasn’t it?


72 - The Boy Next Door

On the surface: a slick attempt to bring back adult erotic thrillers to the mainstream. Deeper down: THE BOY NEXT DOOR actually tried to reinforce traditional family values by showing Jennifer Lopez she should forgive her cheating husband instead of hooking up with her psycho neighbor. As is usually the case, America wasn’t ready for this. Listen to Alex and Julio as they praise everything this sexy J-Lo vehicle gets right and easily forgive the few things it gets wrong - just like she...


Bonus! - Our Fourth Anniversary!

Four years of doing this show. Holy cow. Join us in this birthday celebration as we hand out our annual awards: The Embries and The Rousies! Also, The Gad. And a new addition to the Contrarians Awards Family, The Ruffalo! Don’t worry, we explain it all in the episode. It’s a fun walk down memory lane, and the last year worth of Contrarians episodes!* *The Summer of Travolta isn’t included in the festivities** because it had its own awards ceremony in the Travolties episode. **That said,...


71 - The Kids Are All Right (and Halloween 2018)

Sooner or later, somebody was going to try to demystify gay women in a mainstream movie. Sooner or later, straight white men were going to pay for all the stuff they’d gotten away with since the dawn of time. So 2010 saw the arrival of THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, a movie that’s a little too overzealous in how it depicts that lesbians “can screw up too” and very overzealous in how it nails Mark Ruffalo to a cross. Listen to Alex and Julio as they navigate the dangerous waters of comedic #MenToo...


Bonus! - Halloween 5 Commentary

This Halloween you get a very special treat: our very first commentary track! Listen to Alex, Julio and returning guest Reid Lansford (from the Other Worlds Austin Film Festival) talk all through HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS. Fire up your Halloween 5 copy, sync up and enjoy!


70 - The Mummy (1999)

How do you feel about a Mummy Movie that features The Sandman more than the expected “man wrapped in bandages”? Do you think Brendan Fraser was an Indiana Jones knock-off or a worthy heir to Harrison Ford’s adventuring roles? Is Stephen Sommers’ movie too dumb to be fun or too fun to be dumb? It’s our seventh Gray Area episode and just as 1999’s THE MUMMY split the Tomatometer, so it has split The Contrarians as well! Julio will be on the offensive and Alex on the defense as they discuss...


69 - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

There was a Buffy movie before there was a Buffy TV show, and to say something got lost in the translation is an understatement. Listen to Alex and Julio as they mourn all the cool things the vampire slayer left behind as Joss Whedon sold out to get some sweet small screen money: an effortlessly cool Watcher like Donald Sutherland, actual creepy vampires like Pee Wee Herman and Roy Batty and, oh my god, the hotness of Prime Time Luke Perry. How do you let a 90210 star slip through the...


68 - Donnie Brasco

Like a direct-to-video project accidentally getting theatrical release, DONNIE BRASCO rolled into movie theaters as a gangster movie that couldn’t afford proper gangsters. Listen to Alex and Julio as they discuss what happens when Johnny Depp is asked to play a normal person, what happens when Al Pacino tries to imitate Robert DeNiro and what happens when your screenwriter is a little too proud of all those cool mobster words he learned during his research. Also, the role of Nagging Wife...


Bonus! - The Travolties

One Travolta, thirteen movies and a whole bunch of made-up awards. It's The Travolties!!!! Listen as Alex and Julio recap The Summer Of Travolta while doling out recognition to the best and the worst of the past four months. Also: a "Where is Travolta now?" segment, the promised "Travolta Taco Bell Menu" and more!


67 - Be Cool

Is there anything cooler than being meta? Yes: being John Travolta and being meta at the same time. Alex and Julio arrive at the last stop in The Summer of Travolta as they contend with a sequel that wasn't content to be a sequel. BE COOL is a sequel about sequels. And understanding that is what makes the difference between actually being cool and being someone who gave this movie a bad rating in the Tomatometer. Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace get together on the dance floor, for crying out...


66 - Get Shorty

What did John Travolta do as soon as he rose from the dead like a Brooklyn Phoenix in the mid 90s? He made a movie that was all about him bullying his way through Hollywood. Listen to Alex and Julio begin to close the book on The Summer of Travolta as they discuss how uncomfortable it is to watch Gene Hackman try to be funny, compare Rene Russo's character to Princess Peach, criticize Danny DeVito's lackadaisical work ethic and are appalled at how quickly the movie disposes of Napoleon...


65 - Swordfish

Improbable Smarts VS Impossible Coolness: Dawn of Hackers. My god, the early 2000s were the coolest time to be alive. Need proof? Check out this untold tale of the X-men, where Wolverine and Storm form an uneasy alliance with John Travolta. Three incredibly attractive people helping each other crack codes, steal from the government and sunbathe in the nude. So how come critics hated it? Listen to Alex and Julio do their best to redeem this forgotten treasure from the beginning of the...


64 - Blow Out

It's hard to take Brian De Palma's BLOW OUT seriously, mainly because it tries to convince you that a hunk like John Travolta belongs behind the camera, not in front of one. Also because it casts the silly guy from THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN as a supposedly creepy serial killer. And finally because it's a De Palma movie, which means it's more interested in ripping off Hitchcock than in telling a coherent story around fully fleshed out characters. Listen to Alex and Julio as they wonder why...


Bonus! - Saturday Night Fever

There isn't a purer Travolta than SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER Travolta and what that means for the Italian American community might not be the same as for other Americans out there. Listen to Alex and Julio cope with the worst behavior exhibited in the Summer of Travolta so far: racism, misogyny, showing off on the dance floor - you name it, he's guilty of it. All this, and a pointless Fran Drescher cameo to boot! Why does the Tomatometer love this movie so much?!?


63 - Basic

What's better than a movie twist? How about A BILLION movie twists? Alex and Julio discuss BASIC, the military thriller which not only reunited John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, but also allowed director John McTiernan to out-Shyamalan M. Night Shyamalan. Listen as The Contrarians drool over Travolta's impressive physique, decide Giovanni Ribisi is the new Marlon Brando, applaud Sam Jackson's choice of death scream and, more importantly, explain the plot of the film to all of you. This...


62 - Face/Off

Don't just turn your brain off for FACE/OFF - take your brain out and smash it with a mallet. The Travolta/Cage vehicle may rank high on the Tomatometer but it's way down when it comes to IQ tests. Listen to Alex and Julio as they weave in and out of all the plotholes director John Woo scattered throughout the film! Ponder if we really needed a Travolta/Cage overacting competition! Worry for Joan Allen's sanity! Also, in Real Talk: the results of our first ever poll! Find out what's the...


Bonus! - Grease

The biggest musical in John Travolta's career features the oldest seniors in town teaching youngsters everywhere that all you have to do to win the one you love is change absolutely everything about you. Listen to Alex and Julio unpack GREASE, a movie that's all about bullying, body shaming, deceiving, conniving and lots of unprotected sex! And people in their mid-thirties acting like teenagers.


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 you...


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...