Monday, September 26, 2011

Episode 6: Moneyball (guest Matt "Saint Mort" Kelly)

  • 0:00 - Spoiler Warning
  • 0:04 - Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days
  • 0:30 - "Moneyball" discussion
  • 14:33 - Interlude, Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
  • Matt Kelly discusses:
  • 15:03 - "Killer Elite"
  • 20:43 - "Super" (SPOILER ALERT for Super from 21:45 through 23:50!!!)
  • 25:48 - James Gunn
  • 29:45 - Acting, Special Effects, Budgets, Action Movie Scripts, Marvel's Choice of Directors
  • 34:36 - "Mary & Max"
  • 40:55 - Philip Seymour Hoffman & "Moneyball"
  • 42:28 - The Concession Stand
  • 45:06 - Reviews of "Transformers" and "Abduction"
  • Matt Kelly departs
  • 48:22 - Interlude, Rush - Animate
  • 48:52 - DVD Organization discussion
  • 52:23 - Outro, Warren Zevon - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Moneyball (2011), dir. Bennett Miller

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

The best sports movies are really character dramas (or comedies): Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, and Raging Bull for boxing; Field of Dreams, The Natural, and Major League for baseball; Big Fan, Invincible, Brian’s Song, and Rudy for football; and Hoosiers and Hoop Dreams for basketball (there really aren’t many good basketball movies). Moneyball goes even further than these movies by giving the actual playing of baseball almost zero screen time. However, I didn’t come away thinking “I wish there had been more baseball.” Moneyball is a movie about business more than sports. It is about challenging a system with new ways of thinking and how a small group of people pioneered a new way of building a baseball team.

Moneyball does a lot with silences and pauses, making each word feel important. It is also slow, but it never feels sluggish. Like The Social Network, also written by Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball was co-written by Steven Zaillian, writer of American Gangster and Schindler’s List), Moneyball is all about the words more than the actions. That is where the similarities end, however, because Moneyball features fewer motor-mouths and more contemplators. Sometimes there is too much contemplating, but that is my only complaint.

Last but not least, Moneyball is hilarious! Please don’t go in thinking that it is funny because Jonah Hill is Brad Pitt’s costar; this is not a buddy comedy. In fact, everybody plays their character as straight as an arrow. Conversations are funny. Situations are funny. There are no jokes. Moneyball earns its laughs because of great writing and great characters.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Episode 5: The Star Wars Trilogy (B. 1977 - D. 1997)

  • 0:00 - Spoiler Warning
  • 0:24 - The Asteroid Field - composed and conducted by John Williams
  • 0:53 - Introductions, "The Star Wars Trilogy" discussion
  • 30:14 - Interlude, Cantina Band #2 - composed and conducted by John Williams
  • 30:44 - Gripes about "The Star Wars Saga"
  • 36:32 - Outro, The Throne Room/End Title - composed and conducted by John Williams


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Star Wars (1977), dir. George Lucas

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

There is nothing inherently wrong with clichés and tired conventions. Familiar situations and characters make us feel comfortable, and they also help to ease us into unfamiliar and strange settings. This is why so many fantasy characters are introduced as standard archetypes: we have an easier time adjusting to a strange and unusual fantasy setting if there are characters around who are easier to identify with. You have the farm boy, his mentor, the rogue, his sidekick, the princess, and the villain.*

Star Wars is one of the last classic movies because it takes on these clichés without ironically commenting on them or subverting them just for the sake of subverting them. Star Wars is a sincere adventure film in the spirit of old adventure films, and the setting, music, and atmosphere all serve to make us invest in the adventure taking place: stolen data tapes are the MacGuffin, a Death Star the main threat, and the freedom of an entire galaxy is on the line!

George Lucas’ dialogue is wooden at best and his direction is ingenious at times and infuriating at others (look at the framing and staging of any scenes involving humans versus the ones involving models and SFX and you may see which scenes he took more care in directing). And yet, much like Christopher Nolan’s films, I’m willing to forgive everything that’s wrong with Star Wars because so much of it is done so very well. After all, much like Inception is a conventional heist film wrapped in a psychological drama/sci-fi hybrid, Star Wars is a traditional adventure story wrapped in a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid. The common thread is that these films love their source material and never lose sight of why the original works were so good in the first place.

*Once we are acclimated to the strange fantasy setting, these archetypes are played with and turned around. But this happens in later films.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Episode 4: Our Idiot Brother

  • 0:00 - Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down (as heard in the trailer for Our Idiot Brother)
  • 0:30 - Introductions, "Our Idiot Brother" discussion
  • 9:50 - Stuff Kat Watched (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, The Warriors)
  • 10:47 - Interlude, Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like We Do
  • 11:17 - Stuff Chris Watched (The Blues Brothers, The Big Lebowski, Almost Famous)
  • 12:52 - Stuff Matt Watched Watched (Miller's Crossing, The Rocketeer, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Dr. Who, Torchwood)
  • 16:52 - Two Announcements
  • 19:31 - Outro, Electric Light Orchestra - Do Ya

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Submit Your Pick For Best/Worst Movie Ever!

Now that we’ve gotten into the swing of things as far as podcasting goes, I am going to introduce a feature called Best Movie Ever/Worst Movie Ever. It’s really one feature but the name of it will depend on the submissions we get.

Simply put, if you have a movie that you think is the Best Movie Ever, submit it to us via email to Please label the subject line as Best Movie Ever, then start with the movie title and then a short paragraph about why you think this is the Best Movie Ever.

Subject: Best Movie Ever

Twilight (2008)

I think Twilight is the best movie ever because I really connected with Bella, and her dilemma is one I can relate to. It speaks to an entire generation!


We will then discuss your submission to determine if it just might be the Best Movie Ever! And there you have it. For Worst Movie Ever, simply do the same and replace Best with Worst. After we receive enough submissions, we will start doing this feature regularly.

*Special note: The fake email address I originally used for TwilightFanetc turned out to have a REAL website behind out. Wow. I thought I was being über-ridiculous making up a website name but apparently there is no end to the ridiculousness.