Tag Archives: nearly.perfect

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.


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.

A Bug’s Life

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.

North by Northwest

North by NorthwestNetflix IMDb
Join me as well as Mike and Max of Commentary Track Stars as we watch another Hitchcock classic. Mike and I love it. Max doesn’t like it much (Does Max like anything? Yes: Star Wars and Aliens.) We analyze the film in relation to other Hitchcock thrillers, James Bond, and romances. And we discuss Cary Grant’s suit and Hitch’s taste in blondes and ridiculous plots.

We examine the villains’ plans and the good guys’ plans. We ruminate on cold war methods of assassination (cropduster being most common, followed by knife throwing and poisoned suits). We discuss weird hotel services and whether or not Roger Ebert is wormhole alien. We take a close, hard look at the geography of Chicago, eastern Indiana, and Mount Rushmore. And we evaluate the likelihood of getting a drink on the Chicago Metra these days.

I’m watching the Region 1 DVD. They’re watching the Blu-ray. Start the movie after the MGM logo fades to green, on the countdown.

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the DeadNetflix IMDb
Join us! John Pavlich of Sofa Dogs and I embark on a close examination of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s ingenious zombie comedy. Happy Halloween! We spot some of the references, but mostly talk about the fantastic acting, directing, and intricate writing that make this in my opinion, and I think in John’s, a nearly perfect movie.

We talk a little about other zombie movies and Edgar Wright movies and even other ensemble comedy movies along the way to enjoying the hell out of this flick. We’re coming to get you, Barbara!

I’m watching the R1 DVD. Start the film, on the countdown after the logos have faded and just as the bell has rung and Simon Pegg’s face comes up.