Tag Archives: movies

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead

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Join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs as I (and some spoooky devil dogs) join him and together we wax poetical about George Romero and his zombie film, the one that all zombie films afterward use as a template.

We discuss the enduring format of the siege picture, the race and gender issues, the acting, the direction, the difference between zombies and ghouls (ghouls rule, zombies drool), and of course whether Harry & Helen are Homer & Marge Simpson or Thurston Howell III & Lovey (me: both; John: neither).

We compare it to all the other zombie movies, disaster movies, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. We discuss the social commentary, the social impact, and social media. Bonus: I explain women’s suffrage, altho frankly everyone should know about it already from the rockin’est School House Rock song of all time.

We’re watching streaming versions (great HD one on YouTube). Cue up the first frame before the title-card-on-the-road opening.

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.

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 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.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

IMDbAge of UltronJoin me as I join John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs for a dive into the second Avengers film. We compare it to other Marvel films, Frankenstein, and Barb Wire. We praise nearly every part of it but come out feeling like it largely missed the mark.

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

Ex Machina

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Join Drew and me and a silent Asian girl for a look into the darkest fantasies of computer nerds: talking to a pretty girl behind a glass wall. We examine the genre, theme, inspiration, and dance moves. We compare it to other Alex Garland films, other streaming films, porn, Greek tragedies, Star TrekRoboCop, Jurassic Park, Battlestar Galactica, Frankenstein, Dracula, Pinocchio, and porn. And we do an unpaid advertisement for Amazon Video.

We imagine ourselves in the Caleb role, the Nathan role, the Ava role, and the helicopter pilot role. We have a lot of questions about Kyoko. I namecheck Nunavut and Yellowknife (I know Yellowknife is not in Nunavut). We speculate on where the movie is set, how the house is designed and supplied, and how many hookers are buried on the grounds. And we try to figure out who the villain is.

We’re watching via Amazon Video streaming. It’s free on Prime right now! Start right after the Universal logo on the countdown.

Batman (1966)

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Olly is back, and this time we’re scrutinizing the fine details of Adam West’s Batman. We both love the film for what it is, and praise the cast, writing, and set design. We elaborate on the acting careers of the fine cast and crew. And we analyze its influence (I push the connections to Batman Returns, but perhaps too far).

We speculate on the manufacture of batsuits but discreetly do not mention that this batsuit, like Joel Schumacher’s, has nipples (of the 100% natural variety). We note the notable lack of catness of Catwoman and analyze the rooming relationships between the villains. And we think about all the things we should not think about when it comes to dehydrating and rehydrating people.

I’m watching the Netflix version; Olly is watching the Region 1 DVD; and we stay in sync. Start at on the countdown.

Muppet Movie

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Pop in your copy of this all-American (and some British) classic while Jimmy and I gush over just about every aspect of it. We compare it to Citizen Kane and Fellini’s 8 1/2 and Bicycle Thieves (not in so many words, but basically) and all other great films as well as several other things. It’s a road movie, a coming-of-age movie, a hero’s-journey movie, and a falling-in-love-with-a -pig movie. I forget to mention Italian commedia dell’arte, but it’s that too. It’s all things to all people.

We keep it clean and cordial. I do the world’s greatest impression of Kermit the Frog. We evaluate Doc Hopper’s business case. We reveal the shocking origin of Telly Monster. We have a falling out over mixing Sesame Street with Muppet Show characters and whether it’s okay to fall in love with a chicken. But it’s okay; we makes up over our shared hatred of Elmo. And we answer the musical question “why are there so many songs about rainbows?” (and you may not like the answer).

We’re watching the Blu-ray and stay in sync. Start at on the countdown.