Category: Podcast

Episode 72 – King Kong

, with special guest:

King KongWe remain in the jungle for a third straight episode as we watch King Kong!  We begin in an actual jungle and then transition to a concrete one!  Given the time period, we are treated to more racism and sexism but also a monster movie that will, from that point on, be the movie against which all other giant monster movies will be measured.  Including the remakes of this film.  You owe it to yourself to start with the original.  We make sure to provide constant musical tribute to special effects wizard Willis O’Brien.

Next up, we are watching 8 1/2!

King Kong (1933)
King Kong poster Rating: 7.9/10 (73,583 votes)
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Writer: James Ashmore Creelman (screen play), Ruth Rose (screen play), Merian C. Cooper (from an idea conceived by), Edgar Wallace (from an idea conceived by)
Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher
Runtime: 100 min
Rated: Passed
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
Released: 07 Apr 1933
Plot: A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Episode 71 – Tarzan

, with special guest:

Tarzan the Ape ManThis episode, we return to the jungle with a look back at the quintessential Tarzan film – Tarzan the Ape Man! Featuring Johnny Weismuller and his abs (also Maureen O’Sullivan), the film is basically about Africa killing all sorts of African American extras while most of the white people survive.  There are lions and elephants and hippos and crocodiles (even though they are alligators) and more!  Enjoy this classic trip down movie racism lane!*

Next up, we’ll be watching the original King Kong!

Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
Tarzan the Ape Man poster Rating: 7.2/10 (6,434 votes)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Writer: Edgar Rice Burroughs (based upon the characters created by), Cyril Hume (adaptation), Ivor Novello (dialogue)
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith, Maureen O'Sullivan
Runtime: 100 min
Rated: Passed
Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance
Released: 02 Apr 1932
Plot: A trader and his daughter set off in search of the fabled graveyard of the elephants in deepest Africa, only to encounter a wild man raised by apes.

*Note: The book is EVEN MORE racist!

Episode 70 – Fitzcarraldo

FitzcarraldoWe continue down the Werner Herzog rabbit hole this week to watch Fitzcarraldo!  A movie that was years in the making, this is one of those films where the story of the making of the movie is possibly more interesting than the film itself.  Don’t let that statement fool you, though, the movie is a spectacular journey into the Amazon jungle and one man’s madness.  Or, if you include Werner Herzog, possibly two men.  If you want to move a boat over a mountain, sometimes you have to make a movie.

Our next film will keep us in the jungle as we watch Tarzan the Ape Man!

Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Fitzcarraldo poster Rating: 8.1/10 (27,384 votes)
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy, Miguel Ángel Fuentes
Runtime: 158 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Released: 10 Oct 1982
Plot: The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.

Episode 69 – Grizzly Man

, with special guest:

Grizzly ManIt is time to dive into the works of Werner Herzog with the documentary film Grizzly Man!  Herzog tells the story of naturalist Timothy Treadwell who researched grizzly bears up until one of them decided he looked like a tasty morsel.  Using mostly Treadwell’s old footage, the film is less about his death than it is about the effect his obsession had on himself and those around him.  Pat Wick joins us as stunt Jena even though she has seen the film and Tim has not!

Since we watched one film by Herzog, how about another?  Our next film will be Fitzcarraldo!

Grizzly Man (2005)
Grizzly Man poster Rating: 7.8/10 (48,093 votes)
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter, Val Dexter, Sam Egli
Runtime: 103 min
Rated: R
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Released: 02 Sep 2005
Plot: A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Episode 68 – All the President’s Men

, with special guest:

All the President's MenAfter watching Spotlight on our last episode, we decided to take a look at another “Newspaper Journalist Thriller” so we watched All the President’s Men!  The film stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the reporters who broke the Watergate story.  If you aren’t familiar with Watergate, it is the scandal that ensured every succeeding scandal ended in the word “gate.”  This film is a true classic about two guys digging until they finally found the truth.  Definitely worth the watch!

Our next film will be Grizzly Man!

All the President's Men (1976)
All the President's Men poster Rating: 8.0/10 (91,330 votes)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Writer: Carl Bernstein (book), Bob Woodward (book), William Goldman (screenplay)
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam
Runtime: 138 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Thriller
Released: 09 Apr 1976
Plot: "The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Episode 67 – Spotlight

, with special guest:

SpotlightAs has become an annual tradition, we are watching this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner.  For 2016, most people assumed the award would go to Revenant.  However, Oscar voters surprised everyone by selecting Spotlight instead.  The film is representative of a dying genre as newspaper journalism is a dying medium.  Fine performances anchor this movie that is disturbing not so much because of how the story is told but because so much of the story is true.

Our next film will be All the President’s Men!

Spotlight (2015)
Spotlight poster Rating: 8.1/10 (363,894 votes)
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writer: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber
Runtime: 129 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released: 20 Nov 2015
Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Episode 66 – Stagecoach

, with special guest:

StagecoachWe take a trip down Western lane with the John Wayne/John Ford classic, Stagecoach!  This film basically made a superstar out of Wayne and defined the western genre for the next several decades.  It features Ford’s favorite location – monument valley – as well as his favorite actor.  In addition to Wayne, the movie also stars a lot of very well known character actors including Andy Devine and John Carradine.  Interesting trivia: Wayne was not the first billed actor in this film.  That was Claire Trevor!

Our next movie will be the 2016 Best Picture winner, Spotlight!

Stagecoach (1939)
Stagecoach poster Rating: 7.9/10 (38,083 votes)
Director: John Ford
Writer: Ernest Haycox (original story), Dudley Nichols (screen play)
Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine
Runtime: 96 min
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western
Released: 03 Mar 1939
Plot: A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Episode 65 – La Belle et la Bete

, with special guest:

La belle et la beteThis episode, we watch the classic French film “La belle et la bete” (Beauty and the Beast). Jean Cocteau’s artistic rending of the classic French fairy tale is a clear influence of the adaptations that followed up to and including the well known Disney version. We talk a lot about the artistry of the film as well as the clear influences on other works.  We also spend some time looking at the production filmed in post WWII France.

For our next episode, we will be watching Stagecoach!

Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Beauty and the Beast poster Rating: 8.0/10 (22,262 votes)
Director: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Writer: Jean Cocteau (dialogue), Jean Cocteau (screenplay), Jean Cocteau (story), Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (story)
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon
Runtime: 93 min
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Released: 23 Dec 1947
Plot: A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Episode 64 – The Phantom of the Opera

, with special guest:

Phantom of the OperaOne episode later than promised, we watch the 1925/1929 version of The Phantom of the Opera!  Why do we list two dates?  You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out!  Not only do we discuss this fine silent film, Tim also spends a not insignificant amount of time ranting about the 2004 musical.  If you happened to like the 2004 musical, you may want to skip past that part of the podcast because he will destroy your dreams.  Aside from Tim’s epic hatred of the musical, we do talk about some of the color processing involved in the film, Lon Chaney’s makeup, and a lot of other things that involve the film we actually watched.

Our next film will be La Belle et la Bette!

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Phantom of the Opera poster Rating: 7.7/10 (15,008 votes)
Director: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick
Writer: Gaston Leroux (from the 1910 celebrated novel by)
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe
Runtime: 93 min
Rated: Passed
Genre: Horror
Released: 15 Nov 1925
Plot: A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Episode 63 – The Hateful Eight

, with special guest:

The Hateful Eight

Those of you who listened to our last episode may have noticed we said this episode would be about The Phantom of the Opera.  Surprise!  With The Hateful Eight leaving theaters soon, we decided we should shuffle off to the movie theater and check out Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering.  Melissa actually saw the film in 70mm glory while Tim and Jena got to see the digital print from the front row.  We’ll talk about the film and a lot of the social implications contained in the film.  Somehow, we fail to talk about the score.  But it was really good.

Our next movie will, for totally sure, be The Phantom of the Opera!

The Hateful Eight (2015)
The Hateful Eight poster Rating: 7.8/10 (435,766 votes)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins
Runtime: 168 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Western
Released: 30 Dec 2015
Plot: In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.