Dec 03 2018

Episode 124 – This is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal TapWe are sticking with comedy for just a bit longer as we watch the classic heavy metal mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap! Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer play the members of a rock band whose popularity is on something of a downward slide. Rob Reiner is the director of a film that is mostly improvised and still manages to have a story arc. It’s a super funny movie and Allison Anderson joins us to see it for the first time!

Next up, we are going to try to find someone who has never seen The Princess Bride!

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
This Is Spinal Tap poster Rating: 8.0/10 (N/A votes)
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner
Stars: Rob Reiner, Kimberly Stringer, Chazz Dominguez, Shari Hall
Runtime: 82 min
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy, Music
Released: 02 Mar 1984
Plot: Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Nov 15 2018

Episode 123 – Clue

ClueThis episode, we take a look at the best film ever based on a board game (and it isn’t close) – Clue! The movie has a stellar comedic cast and while it was something of a box office failure, it has become a huge success on home video.  Tom S Tea joins us to watch the film for the first time and they enjoy this delightfully campy romp through a mansion filled with multiple endings and a stellar comedic cast! We hope you enjoy figuring out whodunnit with us!

Next up, we follow Michael McKean to This is Spinal Tap!

Clue (1985)
Clue poster Rating: 7.3/10 (67,052 votes)
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Writer: John Landis (story), Jonathan Lynn (story), Jonathan Lynn (screenplay)
Stars: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd
Runtime: 94 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Released: 13 Dec 1985
Plot: Six guests are invited to a strange house and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.

Nov 01 2018

Episode 122 – Young Frankenstein

Young FrankensteinJust in time for the day after Halloween! We finish off our trip through the films that are arguably Mel Brooks’ best with Young Frankenstein! This satirical homage to the classic Universal horror movies (but especially Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein) may be one of Brooks’ least madcap films but it is still a comedic masterpiece. Gene Wilder heads up a stellar cast that really chews scenery in black and white!

Next up, we’ll follow Madeline Kahn to Clue!

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Young Frankenstein poster Rating: 8.0/10 (130,274 votes)
Director: Mel Brooks
Writer: Gene Wilder (screen story and screenplay), Mel Brooks (screen story and screenplay), Mary Shelley (based on characters in the novel "Frankenstein" by)
Stars: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn
Runtime: 106 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy
Released: 15 Dec 1974
Plot: An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Oct 15 2018

Episode 121 – Blazing Saddles

Blazing SaddlesOur Mel Brooks series continues with his parody of the Western Genre – Blazing Saddles! Alison Anderson joins us for her first viewing of a film that took on racism head on in the 1970’s. When it comes to addressing racism, the film still really does a good job. When it comes to…other things, it might not have fared so well. Still, for the most part it holds up fabulously and is still wickedly funny.

From here, we are going to watch one more Mel Brooks film – Young Frankenstein.

Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blazing Saddles poster Rating: 7.8/10 (111,939 votes)
Director: Mel Brooks
Writer: Mel Brooks (screenplay), Norman Steinberg (screenplay), Andrew Bergman (screenplay), Richard Pryor (screenplay), Alan Uger (screenplay), Andrew Bergman (story)
Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman
Runtime: 93 min
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy, Western
Released: 07 Feb 1974
Plot: In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Sep 15 2018

Episode 120 – The Producers (2005)

The Producers (2005)Having just watched The Producers (1967) by Mel Brooks, we follow up by watching The Producers (2005) by Mel Brooks! This musical adaptation of the original film that was not quite a musical once again features “Springtime for Hitler” but it also has a whole lot of other songs along with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, who reprise their roles from the Broadway production. For this episode, Melissa is our noob who has never seen the film before and Barb Lind acts as our expert while Tim misses his first Reel Education podcast!

Next up, we will continue to delve into the Mel Brooks Filmography with Blazing Saddles!

The Producers (2005)
The Producers poster Rating: 6.4/10 (37,855 votes)
Director: Susan Stroman
Writer: Mel Brooks (screenplay), Thomas Meehan (screenplay), Mel Brooks, Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Mel Brooks
Stars: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell
Runtime: 134 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Released: 25 Dec 2005
Plot: After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck Producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show.

Sep 01 2018

Episode 119 – The Producers (1967)

The ProducersThis week, we begin working through a series of films by Mel Brooks. We start with our look at his first film, a movie Roger Ebert called “one of the funniest films ever made,” The Producers (1967)! Barb Lind joins us to discuss this film that dares to take on Hitler with comedy. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are the stars in what would later become a broadway musical that was adapted into a different film! That we will watch next!

Next up: The Producers (2005)!

The Producers (1967)
The Producers poster Rating: 7.7/10 (45,307 votes)
Director: Mel Brooks
Writer: Mel Brooks
Stars: Estelle Winwood, Renée Taylor, David Patch, William Hickey
Runtime: 88 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy, Music
Released: 10 Nov 1968
Plot: Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

 

Aug 15 2018

Episode 118 – Schindler’s List

Schindler's ListFor a podcast that tries to blend movie education with comedy – this episode creates a bit of a puzzler. We are watching Schindler’s List. Steven Spielberg’s undisputed masterpiece about the holocaust as seen through the eyes of a man who tried to prevent a tiny part of it is a sobering cinematic work. And yet it is certainly one of the best films made by him or any other director. Kelvin Hatle joins us to see the film for the first time and we spend quite a bit of time discussing the impact afterward.

Next up, we are going to see how another famous director takes a look at Nazis when we watch Mel Brooks’ The Producers!

Schindler's List (1993)
Schindler's List poster Rating: 8.9/10 (1,040,910 votes)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Thomas Keneally (book), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall
Runtime: 195 min
Rated: R
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Released: 04 Feb 1994
Plot: In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Aug 01 2018

Episode 117 – Jurassic Park

Jurassic ParkThis week’s theme is DINOSAURS! We bring new viewer Stephan Zvan to watch Jurassic Park with our friend and Dinosaur Expert, Matt Kessen. Spielberg’s most successful movie gets the Reel Education treatment as we consider the parts that have aged extremely well (the special effects) and the parts that haven’t (creeper Jeff Goldblum). All in all, this is a really great suspense film that features goddamn dinosaurs! We hope you enjoy watching the movie and our conversation that centers around the dinosaurs. Because we spend much time discussing dinosaurs.

Next up, we are going to watch the other film Steven Spielberg released in 1993 – Schindler’s List!

Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park poster Rating: 8.1/10 (751,491 votes)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Michael Crichton (novel), Michael Crichton (screenplay), David Koepp (screenplay)
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Runtime: 127 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Released: 11 Jun 1993
Plot: During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Jul 16 2018

Episode 116 – Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's ElevenThis week, we are joined by Heather Rand-McKay to watch Ocean’s Eleven (2001)! But she isn’t our only special guest. Patricia Wick joins us in the movie expert chair! We do take some time to talk about the original Ocean’s 11 (1960) and do our best to discourage anyone who wishes to watch the movie because it is super boring. You might like it, though. We know a few people who do. Maybe that’s you. We watched this version because we like movies that are fun to watch. Go Las Vegas!

Next up, we are going to watch Jurassic Park!

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Ocean's Eleven poster Rating: 7.8/10 (461,535 votes)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell, Harry Brown, Charles Lederer, Ted Griffin (screenplay)
Stars: George Clooney, Cecelia Ann Birt, Paul L. Nolan, Carol Florence
Runtime: 116 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Released: 07 Dec 2001
Plot: Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Jul 01 2018

Episode 115 – Westworld

WestworldOur latest episode takes a look at Michael Crichton’s Westworld. Tim’s son Alex joins us for this movie about a futuristic theme park where nothing could possibly go wrong but, due to exceptionally bad design flaws, things do! Yul Brynner stars as a gunslinger who seems to have tired of constantly being beaten by rich tourists with no shooting skills. We enjoyed the movie but it has a few plot holes and we make sure to discuss the most glaring.

Next up, we are going to watch Ocean’s Eleven (2001)!

Westworld (1973)
Westworld poster Rating: 7.0/10 (45,121 votes)
Director: Michael Crichton
Writer: Michael Crichton
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Norman Bartold
Runtime: 88 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Western
Released: 08 Dec 1973
Plot: A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

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