Category Archives: Entertainment

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 DareIMDb
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.

Commentary: Mission: Impossible 3

MI3Netflix IMDb
Join me as I delve into JJ Abrams’ take on the Mission: Impossible series and examine how he makes it his own (by kind of turning it into Alias). I can’t remember “the Welshman” from the second movie (“You know! Hannibal Lector!”), and I stumble between character names and actor names. I complain that it’s all a little too familiar (like first-movie familiar and sometimes James-Bond familiar), but I give credit where credit is due to Cruise, Abrams, the DP, and the rest of IMF.

I’m watching the Blu-ray. Start the film after the Paramount logo on the countdown.

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.

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.