All posts by Derek Jensen

Commentary: Reservoir Dogs (with Sofa Dogs!)

Reservoir Dogs
IMDb
Join me as I join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs to have a look at Quentin Tarantino’s other finest masterpiece. We discuss the indie film cred, the music, the dialog, the performances, and the inspirations.

We have a terrific time with it, and praise it thoroly–especially the cinematography–but find fun things to gently nitpick. We debate Mr. Pink (not really) and the timeline (not really). We compare it to Tarantino’s other films, Unknown (2006), The Killing, Kansas City Confidential, and Hamlet.

NOTE: I don’t think this commentary is explicit. It’s hard to remember, tho, because the movie has about 6000 f-bombs.

We’re watching the DVD version. Start the film after the Miramax logo on the countdown.

Commentary: Police Academy (w/ Jimmy B!)

Police AcademyIMDb
Join me and Jimmy B and my head cold as we enjoy a nostalgic romp thru our childhoods in an unknown city that is definitely not necessarily Los Angeles. We discuss the whole series (not that we’ll ever do commentaries for any of the others) and related properties (altho we forget about the toy set!) as well as the theme of diversity. We marvel at some of the stunts, try to decide which bits to cut, and praise Harris as a cop.

We compare the film to Stripes, Animal House, The Bad News Bears, Airplane, and Benny Hill and the Carry On films. We fret a little over the Blue Oyster Bar, altho forget that Steve Gutenberg didn’t need cred with the gay community after having starred in Can’t Stop the Music with the Village People.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Start after the Ladd Company logo has faded, on the countdown.

Commentary: Mission: Impossible 4 (w/ CTS!)

MI4 Ghost ProtocolIMDb
Join me and Mike of Commentary Track Stars as we watch the fourth and possibly best or most entertaining Mission: Impossible movie. We compare it to James Bond and Bourne movies, Indiana Jones, the other MI movies, the trailer, NSync videos, and life itself. We discuss the cinematography a lot and marvel at the stunts and lack of theme or motivational complication. We criticize the timetable and the familiarity of some plot elements and how the comedy ramps up when stakes are raised instead of vice versa, but we nevertheless like it a lot.

ATTENTION: We are now in the market for a programmer to make a facial recognition app to identify assassins for us.

We are watching the Blu-ray version. Start the film after the Bad Robot logo.

Commentary: Edge of Tomorrow (w/ Drew!)

Edge-of-TomorrowIMDb
Join me and Drew of Trek.fm as we relive the same day over and over with Tom Cruise in this heartwarming remake of Groundhog Day. We compare it to The Americanization of Emily, Looper, District 9, Gamer, an actual video game, real life, zombie movies, and other Tom Cruise films.

We marvel at the technology both in universe and used to make the film, Tom Cruise’s weird flat streak of perfectly good movies, Emily Blunt’s yoga/hip-hop exercises, and the idea of mixing US and UK troops in the same unit. We like the movie and eventually figure out what’s happening and have a great deal of fun taking it on its own terms and trying to come up with better titles.

We are watching the Blu-ray version. Start the film after the Warner Brothers logo stops moving on the countdown.

Commentary: Predator 2 (w/ Jimmy B!)

Predator 2IMDb
Join me and Jimmy B as we look deep into the untold horror and ultraviolence of Predator 2 and like it quite a bit. We discuss the film in context with the first film and the other Predator franchise films. We compare it to RoboCop, Lethal Weapon, Weekend At Bernie’s 2, and Toy F—ing Story 3. We indulge in a little social commentary prompted by the events on screen that perhaps strike a little close to home. And we generally have a good time trying to decide if Danny Glover is the right man to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger. (It goes without saying that Maria Conchita Alonso is the right man to replace Jesse Ventura.)

We fail to mention that someone thought Shane Black’s bad jokes were so fundamental to the success of the first film that Bill Paxton had to be brought in to provide more of them. And WHAT IS UP WITH THE CARS IN THIS MOVIE???
.

WARNING: This is explicit again, and this time we just give up and swear like sailors.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Start after the 20th Century Fox logo, on the countdown.

Commentary: PotC At World’s End (w/ Faldor!)

Pirates 3IMDb
Join Faldor (Martin from Extended Edition podcast) as he joins me again for another go at the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise! It’s the heartwarming tale of a band of plucky pirates, most of whom were dead at least once before, who rescue their friend from death and but can’t save certain other people for some reason. A bunch of other stuff happens that is hard to remember or explain, most of which is people betraying each other, and Keira Knightly has several costume changes, and Pintel and Ragetti seriously get on my nerves.

We examine the tone and motivations, try to figure out who the main character is, analyze the story as a long-form romance, and try to decide what to cut out. We discuss Johnny Depp’s portrayal and Keith Richards’ cameo. We wander off on a couple of tangents about Lord Nelson, the Patrick O’Brien novels, Treasure Island, and British television actors’ pay.

I’m watching the Region 1 DVD; Martin is watching the Blu-ray, so we stay in sync. Start the film on the countdown with the Jerry Bruckheimer logo.

Commentary: Pulp Fiction (with Sofa Dogs!)

Pulp FictionIMDb
Join me as I join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs to have a look at Quentin Tarantino’s finest masterpiece. We discuss the narrative structure, the characters, the themes and motifs, and the feet.

We compare the film to Tarantino’s other films, the films and books he pays homage to, and Robert Rodriguez’s films. We try to figure out which sequence is the weakest and why some scenes are even in the movie. I think I spot Teague Chrystie‘s apartment. And we copyright a Beverly Hills horror movie idea.

NOTE: This commentary is explicit. Altho we don’t get silly like Jimmy I did on Predator, John repeats some of the more offensive dialog, including the N-word.

We’re watching the DVD version. Start the film after the Miramax logo on the countdown.

Commentary: The Magnificent 7 (w/ Film Bin!)

mag7IMDb
Join me and the crew of Film Bin for one of the greatest westerns ever made. It’s a fun, funny, sometimes-poignant shoot-‘em-up from 1960 with an all-star cast (well, nearly), and a top-notch pedigree.

We compare the film to the sequels, The Seven Samurai, Ocean’s Eleven, The Three Amigos, A Bug’s Life, Westworld, Return of the Jedi, Home Alone, and Postman Pat. We recast it for no reason and also try to reset it in Britain. We poke it for flaws and find almost none. (Why give them back their guns, tho, seriously?) And we invent a couple of back stories and sequels (and copyright them!) involving werewolf hunting and hangovers.

We’re watching the Blu-ray and stay in perfect sync. Start the film with the MGM lion logo on the countdown.

Commentary: Predator (1987, w/ Jimmy B!)

PredatorNetflix IMDb
Join me and Jimmy B as we examine the genius that is Predator (1987) [there’s a remake coming]. We discuss each of the principle actors and their careers and political aspirations, who could have been in the film, and how awesome the film is. We both love it and marvel at its solid construction and timeless story of mercenaries being hunted in a jungle by a Rastafarian fish-man. We play around with recasting the film in a later era and discuss the sequels.

Technically, this is explicit again because of me, but not really.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Start after the 20th Century Fox logo, on the countdown.

Commentary: Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare IMDb
It’s the heartwarming story of a Welsh commando and his intrepid American sidekick, their girlfriends, and a great deal of dynamite cutting a swath of destruction across the German mountainside and a trail of dead bodies a couple of miles long. Richard Burton shuffles off his Shakespearean coil and dons an SS officer’s uniform to wax poetical about how much he loves Hitler or maybe not or maybe, it’s very confusing. I think at one point he is acting as a quadruple agent.

The plot is nevertheless watertight; the acting is terrific; the directing workmanlike; and the stunt work spectacular. It’s one of the greatest WW2 adventures committed to film and my teenage memory, keeps up a breakneck pace (sometimes literally), and it’s so long you can take a nap at a couple of points and not miss any of the ridiculously complicated plot.

I wax poetical about the guns, cars, and aircraft, explain who is who, determine if the film passes the Bechdel Test, and generally have a good time, altho I mix up the aerial tramway with an inclined railway and sing a bit of “Funiculi Funicula”, and I may have suggested that Alec Guinness starred in Hitchcok’s Secret Agent when it was in fact John Gielgud. I compare it to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Inception, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, other WW2 movies, Hammer horror, James Bond, Top Secret, buddy cop movies, and The Thing.

Bonus: a scorecard, by which you might better know the players.

I’m watching and HD version off DVR. Start the film on the countdown between the MGM logo and before the mountains come up.