Saturday, March 10, 2018

268 Baby Driver

Again keeping up with our recent endeavor into current movie reviews (possibly with cult potential), Matt and Mark review the car chase heist film Baby Driver. Not quite a musical, it insinuates a musical element in the movie like another actor. The cast is ridiculously good, with the currently maligned Kevin Spacey, Oscar worthy Jamie Foxx, and lovably evil John Hamm dealing the bad guy goods. With a truly three dimensional main character, Baby Driver builds out a Ansel Elgots Baby with a great deal of humanity. It's a fun flick. Check it out.

Download: 268 Baby Driver

Monday, February 19, 2018

267 Marathon Man

Mark and Matt review the 1976 thriller Marathon Man. While not a particular strong movie or a well-plotted film, Marathon Man holds its own as well as any thriller of its genre, so much so that's it's remained a cult favorite for over 40 years. With Dustin Hoffman and Roy Schieder in their prime, backed up by the lethal paranoid presence of Sir Laurence Olivier, MM indulges the 70's aesthetic or "je ne sais quoi" of the era. That and everyone hates Nazis, so seeing a Nazi get what's coming to him is always a crowd pleasing claptrap.

Download: 267 Marathon Man

Monday, February 5, 2018

266 Blade Runner 2049

In the year 2049!... Matt and Mark break with tradition this go 'round and review the recent release Blade Runner 2049. Like the Roman Empire before it, Los Angeles 2049 is dependent on slave labor to maintain its tenuous expanse. And as a result, this society suffers from the endemic sickness that comes with the inhumanity of such practice. Whether it's your lawn mower, a pet, or in the case of 2049, a replicant/simulacrum, how you use (or abuse) owned property reflects on your own humanity. Is Joi real? Does it matter? While yelling profanity and vulgarity at your home Alexa Echo may seem fun, its cruel intentions degrade your own humanity just by the practice. While the Deckard plot moves the film through its scenes, this is really the story of Gosling's 'K' and his evolution. 2049 is derivative by definition, but it is a true homage to the original, handled deftly and with care.

Download: 266 Blade Runner 2049

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)