Commentary: Evil Dead (2013, with Sofa Dogs!)

evil_dead-posterNetflix IMDb
Join me as I join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs once again, this time for a look at Fede Alvarez’s remake of Sam Raimi’s silly-fun 1981 horror flick The Evil Dead. This one is serious, flatter, and way better made (altho I still prefer the original). Thrill to the blood and mud! Squeal at the shout-outs to the original! Listen as I fail to fully interpret the the film makers’ intent! (In my defense, it’s not on screen.)

I’m watching an HD version from DVR. Start the film after the Film District logo and before the Haunted House logo on the countdown.

Commentary: National Treasure

National-TreasureNetflix IMDb
Join me for a stroll thru the hallowed halls of American history and pseudo-history with Nicolas Cage and friends. I compare the film to its sequel, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Goonies, CSI, and the 1960s Batman TV show. I enjoy the real/realistic history, blame the Gates family for the loss of the treasure in the first place, and rewrite the film to be about something else.

I’m watching the Blu-ray. Start the film on the countdown between the production company logos and before the attic scene.

Michael “Dorkman” Scott

1655991_615864078532678_4424568584175976464_n[1]As you may already know if you frequent Zarban.com or FriendsInYourHead.com, Mike Scott was in a very serious accident in which he was hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk. In the past week, he’s undergone multiple surgeries for brain, leg, and pelvis injuries and remains under heavy sedation. But the prognosis is looking up, and he is likely to be allowed to regain consciousness soon.

Mike and I and John Pavlich did a commentary for Dark City a few months ago, and I had the privilege of meeting him and talking about Harry Potter during the 24-hour commentary marathon. He is a great guy, very funny, and very very smart, and I wish him a joyful reunion with his friends and family and a short convalescence.

If you’re interested in his progress, you can keep an eye on the Facebook support page. If you’d like to contribute to his inevitably expensive recovery, visit the GoFundMe page.

Commentary: Man of Steel (w/ Speakeasy!)

Man of SteelNetflix IMDb
Join me and Hardy Lynch of The Speakeasy as we try to make sense of the latest Super-debacle. Hardy likes it more than I do, but we both have decent fun with it. We analyze the odd structure and tone and character motivations. We wonder if it would work better if it weren’t about Superman at all. And we wonder if there’s anywhere to go after the world was nearly destroyed by a terraforming kryptonforming machine.

We compare the film to other Superman movies, Star Trek (2009), X-Men, other superhero movies, Prometheus, and pretty much anything else that crosses our minds.

I’m watching a DVR copy. Hardy is watching the PAL DVD and has to repeatedly sync with me, so there are several times that we announce where we are. Start the film on the countdown between the production company logos and the birth scene.

Commentary: Rise … Apes (w/ Drew!)

Rise of the Planet of the ApesNetflix IMDb
Join me and Drew of Trek.fm as we experiment on our own brains with the help of James Franco and a ton of CGI until we see apes everywhere. We analyze the structure of the film and compare it to the old Apes movies, the sequel, and “Flowers for Algernon”, Deep Blue Sea, and Dragonball Z. And we wonder who the hell “Rupert Wyatt” is.

We puzzle over some minor plot holes, try to “fix” the film, and create our own sequels and crossovers. I question James Franco’s salary and taste in vehicles; Drew compares James Franco to C-3P0; and we both try to figure out who the villain is.

Note: we get the dates of the King Kong movies wrong. The original is 1933 and the remake was 1976.

We are watching the Blu-ray version. Start the film after the logos but before the 20th Century Fox title card on the countdown.

Commentary: The Dark Knight (w/ Speakeasy!)

Dark KnightNetflix IMDb
Join me as I join the Doctor and Lynch of The Speakeasy as we have a good time with Christopher Nolan’s dour superhero and superior villain. We like the film a lot but feel that the sheen has somewhat worn off and the story is revealed as threadbare now. We give praise where praise is due, and joke our way thru the slow sections and weird choices.

They’re watching a PAL copy, and I have to repeatedly sync with them, so there are several times that we announce where we are. Start the film on the countdown between the production company logos and the blue fire Batman logo.

Commentary: The Great Race (w/ Film Bin!)

Great RaceNetflix IMDb
Join me and the crew of Film Bin for a look at Blake Edwards’ 1965 ensemble comedy about a motor race from New York to Paris. It’s the heartwarming and rib-tickling romantic adventure starring Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, and Jack Lemmon. It’s big, it’s kind of corny, and it’s so long it has another movie inside it.

We analyze the ensemble comedy phenomenon, try to figure out Tony Curtis, try to determine the nature of the relationship between Max and Professor Fate, and try to keep up the pace during a 30-minute saloon brawl. I try to rewrite the film to include more of the prince, we compare the food fight to other cinematic food fights, and we try to figure out what that thing is that Natalie Wood is wearing.

We’re watching a R1 DVD version and stay in perfect sync. Start the film after the overture on the countdown.

Commentary: Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (w/ Sofa Dogs!)

Abe-Lincoln-Vampire-HunterNetflix IMDb
Join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs and me as we delve into the historical drama of the youth, life, and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. We examine the issues of the day and the difficult moral decisions that Lincoln faced, such as the “peculiar institution” of slavery and when to try to kill the vampire who murdered his mother. We compare the film to superhero movies, the mockbuster Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies, and more. John likes the film but my initial enthusiasm has gradually waned, altho I still like the acting and most of the action.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Start the film on the countdown after the Dune Films logo.

Commentary: Mission: Impossible 2 (w/ CTS!)

MI2Netflix IMDb
Join me and Mike of Commentary Track Stars as we delve into the mysteries that are John Woo, Robert Towne, Notorious, and Tom Cruise’s psyche in this, the second of the Mission: Impossible series. We discuss the structure of the film, its suspicious similarity to the Hitchcock classic, and its differences from the other Mission: Impossible movies.

We compare it to the Bond films, other John Woo films, and other action movies of its time. We speculate on Dougray Scott as Wolverine, what the series would have been like with more Anthony Hopkins, and Tom Cruise’s personal knowledge of how heavy $63 million dollars is.

We are watching the Blu-ray version. Start the film after the Paramount logo but before the Sydney Opera House opening on the countdown.

10 years and 200 commentaries

tysto-logo3It almost came and went without my noticing, but this site has now been going for more than 10 years now, and I’ve done 200 commentaries. I first started the site in early 2004 as a place to hold my movie reviews and travel photos and my opinions on culture and government, but by late 2006 I found I was more interested in doing commentaries for movies.

I started where it’s only natural—the classics: Casablanca, La Dolce Vita, and the Firefly TV series. I’ve made quite a number of friends and had some great times watching movies with some of them, and my commentaries get enough feedback that I feel people are enjoying them, so it’s worth it to keep going.

And now that I have a fresh look for the site, I feel like I might just keep tinkering and musing for another 10 years and 200 commentaries.

Thanks for listening!

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