Tuesday, January 23, 2018

265 The Usual Suspects

This week Matt and Mark get it together to review the classic The Usual Suspects. A plot intensive illusion, it leads the viewer along with its narrative with the classic "Just the Facts!" detective boilerplate. But at it's center is a deception, a ruse perpetrated by an unreliable narrator, for this film is a long-con and it's not only playing the characters, it's playing you the viewer. While Verbal and Kayser Sose are possibly one-in-the-same, neither one are confirmed real. The Usual Suspects deals in perception as a tool of social currency, exploiting our confidence. In classic Phillip K Dickian fashion, TUS plays on this theme and it plays it well. A film like no other, it is a hard-boiled crime drama mired in its tropes, but at the same time, it is something else.

Download: 265 The Usual Suspects

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

264 Ronin

This week Matt and Mark review the bombastic (and slightly silly) Frankenheimer actioner Ronin! More like a tabletop RPG come to life, Ronin deftly utilizes a McGuffin plot in which to thread its Mamet enhanced characters. For whatever reason, we forgive it its military-grade body count and implausible set pieces. Why? Because its a fun film. Unlike most action drivel, Ronin's interstitial scenes have lives of their own and not just a scaffold to tie the car chases together.

Download: 264 Ronin

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

263 Yojimbo

Time for a little "Fist Full of Akira Kurosawa" with our review of his classic Ronin Samurai film Yojimbo. Weighing heavy with the archetype of the Western Genre, Kurosawa reinterprets the dynamic in 19th Century feudal Japan. While its debatable such a small Japanese village could harbor rival gangs of such murderous intent, the true enigma of the film is the mysterious Ronin Sanjuro. His motivations are mercurial, his turned conscience uncharacteristic. While a great film, its biggest fault may be Kurosawa's need of the film's amoral anti-hero to forcible assume a typical High Noon archetype. But whatever, Sanjuro's a cinematic badass, and that's pretty cool.

Download: 263 Yojimbo 

Friday, December 29, 2017

262 Clash of the Titans (1982)

Matt and Mark get around to cranking out another podcast with our review of Ray Harryhausen's classic stop-motion masterstroke Clash of the Titans. An end of an era, Clash attempts the high concept marketing of Star Wars but using the public domain creatures of Greek Myth. Despite the clunkiness of the composite special effects, Harryhausen brings real menace to the likes of Calibos and Medusa. With the venerable chops of Laurence Olivier and Burgess Meredith, Clash delivers its epic suite of Saturday matinee melodrama. Perhaps not timeless, it is a classic.

Download: 262 Clash of the Titans (1981)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

261 Holy Motors

Matt and Mark review the 2012 French film "Holy Motors" this go around. A very Jodorosky-esque film, its filled with cut-up non-sequiturs loosely tied together by a vaguely metaphoric limousine and it's enigmatic passenger. Perhaps too reference heavy for average American Joe, Holy Motors nods to all that is cinema, providing a meta-landscape where its denizens are in fact incarnations of film themselves. Beyond it's context-free acting indulgences, Holy Motors is a striking film to look at and absorb. But if you're looking for anything resembling a plot, move along.

Download: 261 Holy Motors 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

260 Phantasm

A flying metal baseball with razor blades, shrunken human undead slaves, a portal to another planet.... all typical horror move tropes, right? While in essence a typical horror flick, complete with your menacing preternatural bad guy, Phantasm throws in some "special sauce" that breaks the mold of your typical archetypes. What Phantasm doesn't show you is almost as brilliant as what it portrays. From it's subtle hints of weirdness, the viewer is left to build out a conspiratorial world of interplanetary servitude. While a little discombobulated, we as the viewer don't seem to mind.

Download:  260 Phantasm

Thursday, November 9, 2017

259 Blown Away (1993)

Matt and Mark review a lesser known offering from the 80's child actor duo The Coreys Haim and Feldman. Set to get on our Samurai Cop/The Room bad movie mojo, we find ourselves oddly enjoying 1992's Blown Away. Yes! Nicoel Eggert is naked a lot in the movie, but the plot does keep you kind of guessing and there is a bit of attention getting intrigue. It fails in its ending, but that's a common sin among stronger fair. Mark and Matt admittedly didn't mind this film. It's not bad and watchable. So as sad and tragic as the true life stories of both Fledman and Haim, you have to give them an 'A' for effort here.

Download: 259 Blown Away (1993)