Wednesday, January 18, 2017

229 Leon: The Professional

Continuing our May/December movie review marathon this week, we review the 1994 debut of Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional. When a precocious hard scrabble 12 year old Matilda meets up with the emotionally stunted hitman Leon, a unique chemistry forms. Matt and Mark discuss the primary argument of why Besson chose a 12 year old for the lead role. Despite Ebert's nebulous and inconclusive derision, the film flat out wouldn't work as well if Matilda were older. Also of note, is Oldman's chthonic maniac portrayal of DEA agent Stan. OIdman at his finest.

Download: 229 Leon: The Professional

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

228 Harold and Maude

This week we kick off a loosely defined "May/December" movie marathon with the seminal cult classic Harold and Maude from 1971. Unlike Ebert, we refrain from drunkenly urinating over this film. With a simple straightforward message, its characters are as a result... simple. While the film does have its plausibility problems, its uniqueness and quirkiness set it apart from both black comedies and romantic comedies.

Download: 228 Harold and Maude    

Monday, January 2, 2017

227 Valhalla Rising

This week we review a contemporary companion film of El Topo with Refn's arthouse adventure drama Valhalla Rising. Matt prattles on about possible meaning while Mark gets to the heart of what makes this evocative film intriguing; dudes, violence, vikings, gladiators, general badassery, and no chicks! (except as the reward of pillage and conquest). The beauty of the Scottish Highlands is on full display in this film and Refn delivers. Believe me, there's nothing quite so satisfying as standing in the highlands, longsword in hand, surveying the great mountainous expanse.

Download: 227 Valhalla Rising

Thursday, December 29, 2016

226 El Topo

Matt and Mark finally review the midnight movie classic El Topo by Alexandro Jodorowsky. A Deepak Chopra myth salad of religious symbolism, Matt chooses to not take the ride while Mark extracts the essential parable of the film. While the stylistic surrealism is intriguing and evocative, the Spaghetti Western set dressings and overwrought violence cater to a more specific crowd. An allegorical trip through misguided purpose and failed redemption, there's something here here. To soak up the strangeness no doubt requires multiple watchings, an investment perhaps a certain few are willing to make.

Download: 226 El Topo  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service

It's Christmas time! And this week we review a Bond film with a waft of Yule-tide dressing (a Christmas tree here, a wreath there...), and the only George Lazenby Bond film in the canon:  On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In the shadow of the Connery purists, OHMSS is a solid Bond film with worthy set pieces and a perfect villain played by Telly Sevalas. The Piz Gloria, with it's loungy interiors and Alpine vistas is a madmen's redoubt where we could only hope to sip a Martini and woo a harem of international beauties.

Download: 225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

224 Withnail and I

Matt admits failure this week when we review Withnail and I, the beloved British cult film from 1987. Without the benefit of repeat watchings and dialogue insight, the witty writing and conversations were lost with Matt's virgin viewing.  Mark luckily picked up the major slack. A tiny slice of the 60's, Withnail and I indulge the youthful abandon aesthetic of the time. So, we apologize in advance to the devoted Withnailers for our review. We tried.

Download: 224 Withnail and I

Monday, November 28, 2016

223 Computer Chess

This week Matt and Mark review the 2013 film Computer Chess. Like Terminator's man-vs-machine themes (without time travel and plasma-rifle wielding cyborg killers), Computer Chess is an idiosyncratic look at humanity's constant yearning to recreate itself. When we finally stumble upon the holy grail of Vinge's Singularity, mid-80's nerd competitions in a nondescript Holiday Inn will usurp Newton's Apple as the defining moment of human progress.

Download:  223 Computer Chess