Titanic (1997)

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It’s the 20th anniversary of James Cameron’s tour de force romance-on-the-high-seas-gone-wrong Titanic, a film so big it made people briefly think James Cameron wasn’t crazy (he is).

I’m joined by Mike from Commentary Track Stars and Great Shot Kid and Mehul from the Internet! They love this movie, which more than makes up for the fact I think it’s flabby and stilted until shit gets real and a little movie star named Ice Berg shows up. We compare it to Cameron’s other movies, other water and ship movies, other romances movies, Stanley Kubrick movies, and Back to the Future. We praise the acting, the set design, the concept of limitations, and heroes of the actual, for-real tragedy that Cameron tacked an Aladdin-style street-rat-and-the-princess romance onto. We complain about the acting, the early CGI, the ham-handed dialog, and the nudity (Mike & Mehul; not me, I assure you).

We’re watching the disk and Netflix and iTunes versions and stay in sync. Start after the logos on the countdown.

Commando (1985)

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CommandoWatch along with Jimmy and me as we hark back to 1985 with our mullets and parachute pants and feast our eyes on Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime fighting bad guys and rescuing damsels and also being rescued by damsels.

We try to figure out who the real commando is. We count how many times “John Matrix” should have died (5). We laud the roles given to the female characters, even if they’re ludicrous and superfluous. We wax poetic about ’80s character actors and their credits. We applaud the ticking clock (a beeping watch) and the conspicuous lack of cell phones. And we duck and cover when all hell breaks loose at Harold Lloyd’s Victor Maitland’s Arius’s house. (Beverly Hills Cop was not filmed at the Lloyd mansion, but Young Lady Chatterley II was, and I highly recommend it for the scenery.)

I identify all the cars. Jimmy becomes confused by a sex position he’s never seen (he didn’t see Young Lady Chatterley II). I reveal my secret weakness (low-oxygen environments). Jimmy casts Schwarzenegger and Stallone as Holmes and Watson (and immediately disavows it). I reveal why I washed out of commando school (poor sense of smell). Jimmy repeatedly points out who’s not being nice (almost everyone). I insult the Scottish people by comparing them to the Amish (send your angry cards and letters to Tysto c/o Donald Trump, White House, America). And Jimmy insults the Scottish people by claiming Scotland has less history than the US (send your angry cards and letters to Jimmy B c/o Donald Trump, White House, America).

We’re watching the Blu-ray and Amazon Prime Video and stay in sync. Start after the 20th Century Fox logo on the countdown.

Star Trek 51 “By Any Other Name”

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Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Any day aboard the Enterprise, another fake distress call. What are you gonna do? The money is running out, and sets are thin, but the crew makes the most of what they’ve got. Olly and I discuss the big ideas (not killing everyone and taking their stuff!), the futuristic fashions (backless coveralls! combovers!), and pacing and dialog (“What is this hu-man emotion called love?”).

Oh! And cuboctahedrons galore! More cuboctahedrons than you can shake a stick at!

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we pretty much stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

Star Trek 44 “Trouble w Tribbles”

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Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Would you like to buy a small, furry ball of purring love? Just 10 credits, my friend. Olly tries to sell me on this episode, and I’m as grumpy and possible drunk as Kirk is in it. He seems to view Spock as enough of a pet. McCoy can’t figure out how to keep animals from procreating. No one recognizes Trelane. All this is Uhura’s fault, but how can you blame her: it’s the only shore leave she ever gets. Scotty and Checkov fight “Klinguns” in the longest nonsense sequence in the series. I’m bothered by Spock’s extraneous math, and Olly explains bisexual reproduction math to me. We try to imagine Klingon button manufacturers and invent various theories about and uses for tribbles.

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we pretty much stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

Star Trek 30 “Amok Time”

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Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Episode 30: “Amok Time”, in which Spock once again but most spectacularly comes under the influence of something (hormones) that causes him to show emotion! Olly and I delve into the logic, the character development, the world building (it’s literally one building on another world, but hey), and so much more. Checkov! Checkov’s wig! Chapel’s burning lust for Spock! Spock’s lava lamp! Vulcan’s principle export (lava lamps)!

This has the beautiful Arlene Martel as T’pring, Celia Lovsky as T’Pau, and a guy as Stonn (okay, not a great character). Olly and I battle to the death over whether production order or broadcast order is most important. And I sing the fight music!

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we pretty much stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

RoboCop (1987)

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robocopJoin me as I join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs for Paul Verhoeven’s shoot-em-up classic (no not that one, and no not that one–okay he made a LOT of shoot-em-ups) RoboCop. This is the 1987 one, not the remake that is definitely terrible even tho we didn’t see it.

It’s the heartwarming tale of a simple law enforcement officer caught in the strange machinations of a major corporation and finding love, laughter, and many, many bullets. We discuss its relevance to today (timely!), it’s similarity to traditional stories (Frankenstein, Pinocchio, and Showgirls), and how close this came to being a terrible movie.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Cue up the first frame of black after the Orion Studios logo fades and start with the countdown.

Star Trek 29 “The City on the Edge of Forever”

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Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Join Olly and me as we look into episode 29: “The City on the Edge of Forever”. We question the nature of the time portal—sorry: “Guardian of Forever” (nice guarding there, pal, by the way). We question why Kirk brings only part of the landing party thru the portal. We question the use of soft focus on Joan Collins. And we question the problem with a device that records video but can’t play it back without being hooked up to a series of old radio tubes. Also, we forget to mentioned “Let’s get the hell out of here” was the first time “hell” was used as a curse word on American TV.

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we pretty much stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

Star Wars: Rogue One

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Rogue OneJoin Drew and me for a whirlwind tour of the galaxy, with a cast so vast includes several dead people. It’s the heartwarming tale of a pair of ragamuffin lone wolves in a motley band of rogues within a ragtag group of rebels inside a struggling republic fighting a galactic empire with no apparent emperor that nevertheless somehow builds gigantic moon-sized space stations. And it’s the tale of how they get a message from a guy who tells them all they have to do to destroy that space station is get the plans from the most secure military warehouse in the galaxy and exploit a flaw he designed deep inside the most dangerous weapon ever created. SIMPLE!

We’re watching on Blu-ray. Start right after the Lucasfilm logo on the countdown.

Star Trek 24 “This Side of Paradise”

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Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Join Olly and me as we look into episode 24: “This Side of Paradise” We compare it to past episodes we’ve done, other mutiny episodes, “Shore Leave”, and Firefly. We fight like Kirk and Spock over Kirk and Spock and whether living on this planet would actually be fine (me: yes; Olly: you have no ambition). We imagine what hospitals would be like once the flowers are put into regular use giving people perfect health but no ambition. And we riff on wigs.

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we pretty much stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

Star Trek 18 “Arena”

Star Trek TOSIMDb

Space: the final frontier. Our five-year ten-episode mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Join Olly and me as we look into episode 18: “Arena” We discuss the Gorn, the Gorn’s gender, the Gorn’s name, the Gorn’s attractiveness, and the recipe for gun powder.

I’m watching the Netflix streaming version; Olly is watching a DVD; and we talk about how we don’t stay in sync. Start at 0:00:00 on the countdown.

Running commentaries that you listen to while you watch the movie.