Articles tagged ‘Speakeasy’

Commentary: Superman Returns (w/ Speakeasy!)

Join me and Hardy Lynch of The Speakeasy as we shoot machines at the impregnable flesh of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. We complain about the, ahem, “familiarity” of many of the set pieces and dialog; about the things that are new and different; about the incredible coincidences, and that a lot of the minor characters have nothing to do. I complain about the physics of Superman flying and lifting a continent. Hardy complains about James Marsden being a wet noodle. We both love a few things, including Kevin Spacey and some of the action. And we wonder exactly who knows what about you-know-who when.

We compare the film to Superman, Superman 2, Terminator 2, The Matrix, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Five-Year Engagement. We wonder if Superman really left Metropolis to avoid paternity charges or sex offender charges. And we try to rewrite the film and fail.

Commentary: Superman 1978 (with Lynch!)

I’m back from the dead after several weeks of a bad chest cold. So join me and Hardy Lynch of The Speakeasy for a tear thru the 1978 blockbuster classic Superman (which we don’t really like very much). Thrill to the Shakespearean blarney at the beginning (which we admire), the slow roll thru 1950s America (which we love), and the screwball romance of the 1970s (which we think is great), right to the big blockbuster finale (which we hate).

We discuss Star Trek, James Bond, Gene Hackman’s career, Clark Kent’s big dope angle, the likelihood of Superman’s mom making pajamas for him, and the implausibility of most of the physics. We swoon over Lex Luthor’s lair, the cinematography, and the acting pretty much across the board.

Bonus: we wonder why the whole third act happens.
Double bonus: I only cough a few times toward the end.

Commentary: Minority Report (with Speakeasy!)

Join the Doctor and me for a long, hard look (with EYES, get it?) at Minority Report, the heartwarming story of a man who tries really hard not to get caught for a murder he hasn’t yet committed and then escapes when he IS caught and blah, blah, blah, it’s really long and looks like a commercial for itself.

We both actually like the film but are turned off by different aspects of the film making and have a lot of fun puzzling out the twisty plot and mocking the ridiculous parts. Seriously: the eyeballs, am I right?

Commentary: Star Trek V (with Speakeasy!)

At last, I rejoin the Doctor for another journey to the stars, this time to find God Himself. The Doctor takes away all my pain and yours to, if you’ll only join him in his insane quest to do commentaries for all the Star Trek movies.

We discuss the wisdom of Shatner getting to direct just because Nimoy got to direct, the likelihood that Kirk is the source of most of the pain on the Enterprise, the likelihood that I would fall for the old fan dance trick, and much, much more!

Commentary: Star Trek IV (with Speakeasy!)

It’s another Trek! Join the Doctor and me again for the one where Spock swears and Kirk fails to score and the rest of the crew does an amazing job of stealing some whales: a.k.a. “the corny one.”

Nevertheless, the Doctor and I enjoy it enormously and don’t poke too much fun at its premise of a giant space Tootsie Roll menacing Earth with a really loud stereo and traveling back in time to bring back whales to talk to it. It’s just ridiculous, but the jokes are actually mostly funny, and the characters are great.

Commentary: Blade Runner (final cut)

Join the Doctor from Speakeasy and me as we watch one of the most influential film noir movies of all time. Thrill to the dark, rainy setting! Gasp at the rumpled trenchcoats! Stand in awe of the game of 20 questions! We dissect the film as sci-fi as well as film noir. We attempt to determine what “blades” are being “run”.

We compare the film to other sci-fi movies, other Ridley Scott movies, and other Philip K Dick stories. And we discuss the possibility of Deckard being a replicant—which he DEFINITELY IS NOT BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE STUPID, RIDLEY SCOTT.

Commentary: Star Trek III (with Speakeasy!)

Join me as I join the Doctor again for our third trek! This is the one where Spock is reborn, and McCoy carries Spock’s mind alongside his own mind, and Sulu changes clothes at inappropriate times. We examine the ideas of Vulcan mind transfer, naked racism in the Federation, and the meanness of wrapping reborn people in their own death shrouds.

We also discuss whether or not McCoy almost accidentally picks up an alien prostitute, whether or not Scotty is basically R2D2, and whether or not Kirk answers Spock’s question honestly when Spock asks “The ship safe?” And along the way, you’ll learn which scientific discoveries the Doctor condemns as dangerously unpredictable and why my first sexual experience was like Spock’s.

Commentary: Star Trek II (with Speakeasy!)

Join me as I join the Doctor again for another trek into space! Together, we examine the meaning of friendship and sacrifice and [shifts jaw awkwardly] “human”. We examine the structure of the story and debate the artificiality of Shatner’s hair and Montalban’s chest. We contemplate Sean Connery as a scholar of Judaism and wonder about how Sulu spent the time between TPM and WoK and also how many times Kirk has had to fight an illegitimate child to the death.

Overall, we love the film, altho it is perhaps slightly more talky and less profound than many would like to pretend. I can’t remember the phrase “affirmative action”. And we get cut off briefly at one point but quickly get back on track.

Commentary: Star Trek: TMP (with Speakeasy!)

The Doctor joins me again for another walk down memory lane, this time with Robert Wise and Alan Dean Foster’s tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey and slow-motion model work. We both love the film and William Shatner and Persis Khambatta and the idea that Decker might just be responsible for creating the Borg.

We’re watching the director’s cut, with the silver “Paramount Pictures Presents” lettering at the beginning and not the theatrical cut with the gold lettering. The differences are not enormous.

Commentary: Time After Time (with Speakeasy!)

Join the Doctor and me in the far-flung future of 1979, where we watch Caligula doggedly track down the Master Control Program and make sweet, sweet love to Doc Brown’s wife. We compare English and American ideas of currency, gentlemen’s clubs, health care systems, and free love. We compare the character of Wells to Sherlock Holmes and Kyle Reese. And we compare the film to the 1960 The Time Machine as well as to Air Wolf.

We wonder why the time machine has an AM radio. But we fail to give Nicholas Meyer credit for sending his characters to the Chartered Bank of London and not to an imaginary “Bank of England.” (Damn you, IMDb trivia page!)