Tag Archives: Speakeasy

Star Trek 3

Star Trek 3: The Search for SpockNetflix IMDb
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.

Start the commentary with the Paramount logo faded to white, on the countdown.

Star Trek 2

Star Trek 2Netflix IMDb
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.

Other movies featuring “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes (ref):

This is a PAL version. Start the commentary with the Paramount logo faded out and the Paramount title card (just the words) about to fade in, on the countdown.

Star Trek 1: TMP

Star Trek: The Motion PictureNetflix IMDb
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.

The Internets are kind to us this time (the Doctor has “moved house” as they say in the UK) but his new microphone goes wonky a couple of times, making him a little hard to hear thru the noise. We’re very sorry and promise to have it sorted out in the future.

Start the commentary with the Paramount logo faded out and the Paramount title card (just the words) about to fade in, on the countdown. (91 MB)

Time After Time

Time After Time posterNetflix IMDb
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!)

We had some significant trouble with bad Internet connections causing the call to drop. We ended up with one major drop out, which I’ve filled in, but overall, we were a bit were distracted by the problems.

Note: No one will be seated during the thrilling Honda Civic chase!

Start the movie with the countdown at the very start of the cartoonishly fast Warner Brothers logo zoom in.


Westworld posterNetflix IMDb
Yul Brynner is a pre-Terminator Terminator that absolutely will not stop until you are he is dead in Michael Crichton’s 1973 pre-Jurassic Park Jurassic Park: Westworld. The Doctor from The Speakeasy podcast is back again as my guest to dismantle the film as a cautionary tale and as an advertisement for guilt-free sex tourism. We ponder the incredible danger inherent in a theme park where people are supposed to get into bar fights and sword fights with robots. We guess at the social hierarchy of technicians. And we speculate as to what would happen if James Brolin was the one in jail and nerdy lawyer Richard Benjamin was trying to get him out.

Start the movie with the countdown after the logos have faded and the promo film is about to start.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind posterNetflix IMDb
The Doctor is back again—in stereo! This time, he’s hosting me for a look at Steven Spielberg’s incredible 1977 masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We don’t have a cross word to say about the film except perhaps that the aliens seems to act more like raccoons than visitors from another planet.

The Doctor and I converse on the UFO phenomenon of the 1970s, Indiana geography, alien biology, Richard Dreyfuss’ insanity, and Steven Spielberg’s belief that aliens and angels are the same thing. We discuss the film as a character piece, as a horror movie with no horror, and as a treatise on communication in general. We discuss the possibility that the aliens are a rock band. And we imagine Lance “Itchy Trigger Finger” Henriksen having a flash-forward to his other films and shooting up the aliens.

I forget to make a joke about the Harper Valley PTA (that’s where Dreyfuss is driving when he has his initial encounter). And we forget to mention that this is the first of our five collaborations where none of the main characters is liquored up a good part of the time.

This commentary was done with the region 2 DVD of the Collector’s Edition. The newer Blu-ray has a couple of extra scenes, particularly one with Carl Weathers as a soldier in the Wyoming evacuation scene. To watch it with a region 1 DVD, you’ll need to slow it down about 4% (View > Enhancements > Play Speed Settings in Windows Media Player) or else fast forward the movie from time to time.

Start the movie with the countdown as the Columbia logo fades up.

Star Trek

Star TrekNetflix IMDb
JJ Abrams’ reboot of the storied Star Trek franchise meets its match in the form of myself and the Doctor from Speakeasy Podcast, in which we deftly pick apart the minor plot inconsistencies, such as every single thing that happens. However, we do love the film (even if it does feel like $150 million dollar fan fiction aimed at lens flare aficionados) so we fawn over the actors and effects and compare it to the original series and movies. But we also expose the ugly specter of racism and alcoholism in Starfleet (speaking of which: take a drink every time someone abandons his post as captain!).

Errata: Thruout the film, I stupidly call the Narada the Naruto. Also, grog rations were ended by the British navy in 1970. And the one where Kirk angers Spock with insults is “This Side of Paradise” and not “Shore Leave”. (Those are all mine. The Doctor’s “facts” are all “true”.)

Start the commentary with the Paramount logo just faded out, on the countdown. (91 MB)

The Thing (1982)

Netflix IMDb
Kurt Russell and a bunch of “scientists” take on Rob Bottin and Stan Winston in a remake/readaptation of the 1950s monster flick, The Thing From Outer Space. The Doctor, of Speakeasy Commentaries, joins me for a third time—this time in glorious stereophonic sound. We both love the film and heap praise all over it (even on the dog) and yet fail to credit the original author, John W Campbell, Jr. (“Who Goes There”) or even the screen adapter, Bill Lancaster. We address such delicate questions as “who gets assimilated when?” “why keep rotting corpses indoors?” and “what’s with Doc Copper’s nose ring?” as well as marvel at the number of Vietnam-haunted alcoholic pot-smokers that were sent to live in the Antarctic for months at a time with firearms, dynamite, and flame-throwers.

Caution: Film-appropriate salty language from time to time.

Bonus: A quick-reference card to help keep the characters straight!

Start the commentary with the Universal title card, on the countdown. (77 MB)

Iron Man

Netflix IMDb
Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark! Tony Stark is Iron Man! Join me as I join The Doctor from Speakeasy Commentaries for the second time for a transoceanic fan commentary from two ridiculous movie/comic book geeks. The Doctor proves to be more of a comic book geek, as he explains the back story and history of Iron Man in the comic books (the storyline “Demon in a Bottle” is the one where Tony confronts his alcoholism). I prove to be more of the movie and music geek, as I explain the plot of A Christmas Story (Ralphie appears as a scientist) and the connection to Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzy sang for Black Sabbath and did the song “Iron Man”). We discuss Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreau’s other work and arrest records. We get off track in a discussion of national health care. The Doctor claims they’ve never shown Gilligan’s Island in England. And I claim to be excited by the prospect of a Scarlet Witch movie. However, we are both very excited by the prospect of Iron Man 2 as well as an Avengers movie, especially with Samuel L Jackson.

Momentary explicit language, at least when discussing Samuel “MFer” Jackson.

Start the commentary after the Paramount logo fades out, on the countdown. (62 MB)

I, Robot – 50th commentary extravaganza

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I, RobotNetflix IMDb
Will Smith and a colorless, odorless, brunette battle the evil that is slightly buggy computer programming in this thrilling adaptation of none of Isaac Asimov’s thought-provoking works. For this, the big 50th Tysto audio commentary, I am joined by Scott of Speakeasy Commentaries, a big fan of Asimov’s work and an expert on science fiction in general. We stumble thru the introductions and then get right to the heart of mocking the product placement and the idea that this robot-filled, self-driving-car, Lake-Michigan-landfill world is only 31 years in the future of 2004. We explore sci-fi in general and Asimov in specific, as well as how terrible a driver Detective Spooner is and whether or not Doctor Lanning’s cat is a robot, as well as making some Fresh Prince of Bel-Air jokes.

Momentary explicit language, at least when discussing how sh** gets real in Will Smith movies.

This is the 34th regular commentary, plus the La Dolce Vita experimental one, plus the 15 commentaries for Firefly. That equals 50 total.

Wait for my countdown to start the film just after the 20th Century Fox logo. (55 MB)