Tag Archives: nearly.perfect

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 Space OdysseyIMDb

Join Mehul and me as we explore the vastness of space and discover it full of stars character actors! We contemplate the nature of the universe, discuss alien life and intelligence, talk about the film’s influence on our culture and movies, and generally have a very good time with this slow, contemplative, visual feast of a film.

Altho we discuss what we think could have made it better, and altho I don’t say it, I consider this to be a nearly perfect film. But is it entertaining…? Eeeee, maybe not as much as it could be.

We’re watching the DVD and streaming versions and pretty much stay in sync. Start after the MGM logo on the countdown.

Titanic (1997)

IMDb

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.

Muppet Movie

muppet movieIMDb
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.

Beverly Hills Cop

BHCIMDb
Join me as I’m again joined by Jimmy B, this time for what is probably Eddie Murphy’s greatest film, and one that I regard as nearly perfect. We compare it to 48 Hrs, Cobra, and Midnight Run. We discuss Eddie Murphy’s career at some length. We impugn the LAPD. And we more-or-less fix Hollywood.
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WARNING: This is explicit again, but only just, since we just quote some dialog.

We’re watching the Blu-ray. Start after the Paramount logo, on the countdown. Note that we talk for about 10 minutes beforehand so we don’t chat over the top of the amazing opening sequence.

Good, Bad, & Ugly

Good-Bad-UglyNetflix IMDb
Join me and Rob Caravaggio of Rob Caravaggio Commentaries as we tackle one of the great films of the western genre and indeed of all time. We compare the stories of each of the three characters and the careers of the men who play them. We admit that the film is a bit long and try to decide what to cut. We contemplate westerns, Eli Wallach, circles, stray dogs, cripples, the film industry in the mid-1960s, war films, and actual wars. And we try to figure out what “good” really means in this context.

We compare the film to the previous two films in the trilogy, Tarantino’s work, Kurosawa’s work, and film noir. We recast the film with other 1960s actors. I say no Steve McQueen movie is on my top shelf but also that I love The Magnificent Seven, which is impossible obviously; TM7 is terrific. We praise the music and titles, the cinematography, the set design–pretty much everything. I call the film nearly perfect. Rob gives away the magic of podcasting (we sometimes have discussions off-mike). Bonus: I get the obsessive-compulsive gun stuff out of the way early.

NOTE: Rob notes that he mentioned a “Winchester ’76” where he meant to say “Winchester ’73”, same as the movie. However, there was in fact a rifle known as the Winchester ’76, so since I’m the one who made the connection to the movie, I’m really at fault.
Also, technically this is explicit, but just barely. (And that really is Rob’s fault.)
Also, also: it’s been pointed out to me that Colt did offer cartridge conversion kits by the time the movie is set, so Blondie’s gun isn’t really an anachronism, altho it does switch from percussion cap to cartridge depending on if he needs to fire it in the scene.

We’re watching the American release of the extended cut. Start the film after the MGM logo on the countdown.

Dr Strangelove

strangeloveNetflix IMDb
Join me and Hardy Lynch of The Speakeasy for my FIRST Stanley Kubrick commentary! It’s the heartwarming story of a nation whose rogue member starts World War 3 and the brave men (and only men) who make a vague and ineffectual effort to stop it. We compare it to Fail-Safe, which came out the same year, as well as Kubrick’s other films, Mars Attacks, and Norbit.

We discuss the careers of Kubrick, Sellers, and Keenan Wynn. We analyze the brilliant screenplay, the analogy to Cold War tensions, and the films possible affect on the audience, including America’s leaders. And we try to recast it with Mike Meyers, Sam Rockwell, Josh Brolin, and James Earl Jones (in the Ripper role this time).

NOTE: I forgot to say it, but I regard this as a NEARLY PERFECT FILM.

I’m watching an HD copy off DVR. 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 before anything because I get the disclaimer crawl first and he gets it after the Columbia logo.

Jaws

jawsNetflix IMDb
Join Drew of Trek.fm and me as we look into the dead eyes of the master killer of the seas and come out the other end changed men. Together, we try to figure out what genre the movie is (monster movie? horror? Hitchcockian thriller? western?), whether or not Quint is a sorcerer, and how many awesome suit jackets Mayor Vaughn owns.

We compare the film to other blockbusters, other shark/monster movies, Moby Dick, Die Hard, The Ghost & the Darkness, and Hot Fuzz. We contemplate it as a sequel to West Side Story, the characters as Harry Potter analogs, and the Quint as Han Solo. And I learn an important lesson about comparing scars.

Note: It occurs to me, based on Drew’s reaction to the animatronics, that the sequel should have been The Making of Jaws, where the animatronic shark starts killing people.

We’re watching the R1 DVD version and have a couple of brief glitches, but give the sync point. Start the film on the countdown after the Universal logo.

Trading Places

Trading PlacesNetflix IMDb
It’s the heartwarming story of a streetwise con man and a upper crust commodities broker and the hooker he falls in love with and also his butler and their boss. Watch along as I explain how the story is set up very carefully to make us like the right people at the right time and turn things around in the right way when it’s time. I love a tight screenplay and this is both tight and very funny.

I talk about similar stories, discuss the careers of the various players, including the wonderful Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, and examine the verisimilitude of its depiction of the 1980s commodities market. I call it nearly perfect and point out ways that it could be slightly better.

I’m watching an HD version recorded from a movie channel. Start the commentary after the Paramount logos, on the countdown.

Bug’s Life, A

A Bug's LifeNetflix IMDb
Join me for a gushing lovefest for Pixar’s second feature film, A Bug’s Life. I compare it to The Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, The Three Amigos, The Wild One, and Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons. I praise the cinematography, story structure, cast, and anything else I can think of. And I call it nearly perfect several times.

I discuss the scale of the picture, how the story elements work together, the various arcs of different characters. I explore other possible avenues for telling the story. I condemn cats. And I nearly drown myself.

Start the movie after the Pixar logo has faded, on the countdown.

The Road Warrior

Mad Max 2Netflix IMDb
Join me for the second of the Mad Max films: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. It’s the heartwarming tale of a group of car enthusiasts looking for love and juice* in the post-apocalypse.

* I think they’re saying “juice”; they have pretty thick accents. It might be “Jews” or possibly “deuce”.

I lament the ’80s fashions, but I call the film “best of its kind” and “nearly perfect”. I compare it to Mad Max, westerns, samurai pictures, Star Wars, war movies, Jesus, Moses, The Matrix, Die Hard, and—eventually—Citizen Kane. And I gush about the cinematography like I never have any other film.

Feed fixed!

Start the commentary after the Warner Brothers logo, on the countdown.