The Next Reel Film Podcast
Summary: Subscribe to THE weekly podcast for movie people! Features in-depth reviews of classic films and contemporary hits, with ratings, rankings, and interviews.
### "There are many things you have not seen." Zhang Yimou has done serious dramas. He’s done big wuxia action films, but he hasn’t had a success in a while and perhaps it should come as no surprise that his newest film is designed to be a big fantasy action blockbuster – a legend about the Great Wall of China and the dragons they people were trying to thwart. While it’s been a success in China and the rest of the world, though, it opened third at the US box office, likely due to its terrible trailers that sold it poorly. But is the film any good? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Zhang Yimou series with his 2016 film _The Great Wall_. We talk about why this film surprised us quite a bit and how, even with some big problems, we both ended up having fun times with the film. We look at what Zhang brings to the table and what political messages he may be trying to get across with this film. We chat about the cast – notably Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, William Defoe and Andy Lau – and how the claims of whitewashing seem absurd; if anything, the film ends up having a nice multicultural feel to it. We look at the cinematography and production design, noting that everything is right up Zhang’s alley. We touch on Ramin Djawadi’s score and how it works perfectly for the story here. And we debate the numbers, wondering if it’s fair to out-and-out consider this a financial success since it’s made its money back, or if we need to consider it a failure in the bigger picture for not doing what they set out to do with it which was create captive audiences in China as well as the US. Did Zhang make the right choice in making this film? Is it going to be considered a success or will it flop in the US? We’re curious to see how history holds this film up. So check out the movie – you’ll probably have more fun with it than you were expecting – then tune in to this week’s show. ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-great-wall/id1201087642?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Great-Wall-Blu-ray-DVD-Digital/dp/B06WGLLYNQ/ref=sr_1_7?sr=8-7&ie=UTF8&keywords=the+great+wall&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1487646942) • [Netflix][netflix] • [Hulu][hulu] - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piMhYD76y4E) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2016/great_wall.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/36017FC716) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/the-great-wall-2016/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [The Discovery](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVJ_F9WMjzA) — "I love the sci-fi concept of this and love the cast. I’ve heard some mixed things from its premiere at Sundance, but I want to see it anyway. Proof of the afterlife? Sounds like it could make for an interesting story. We shall see..." - Pete's Trailer: [_The House_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp1-if1rJiM) — "I don’t know how else to characterize my feeling about the potential of this movie: in my mind, it’s going to be another _Old School_. Now, no one speaks until release."
### “Here it is: My boy Chris has been missing for two days.” The Film Board Gathers! This month, in a departure from the heady intensity of the Oscars line-up, our Gang of Thugs takes on a thriller written and directed by a comedy all-star. Jordan Peele’s GET OUT is thoroughly spoiled through our chat and we talk about its balance of satire and terror and the genre similarities of horror and comedy and how a filmmaker’s skills in one discipline can be transferable to the other. We’re continuing to try to scare the pants off ourselves this year and on this show you’ll hear Pete, Andy, Tommy, and our new guest host Darnell Smith. Let us spoil GET OUT for you if you want to take the edge off the suspense or listen to to the show after you see it and let us know how it hits you. When the movie ends, our conversation begins! ### Film Sundries - [Script Transcript](https://www.sendspace.com/file/hxi9a9) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRfnevzM9kQ) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2017/get_out_ver3.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/A592FEF79B) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/get-out-2017/) - [GQ](http://www.gq.com/story/jordan-peele-get-out-interview)
### “A wolf and a penguin could never live together, nor could a camel and a hippopotamus. That would be absurd." In a world where being a couple is a legal requirement, one man dares to be alone. When society puts pressure on him he flees to the woods and discovers a possible soulmate. But now that he has accepted exile in the forest he must risk everything for his partner. If he fails he may end up an animal. This Valentine’s Day, grab a loved one and learn why Colin Farrell is The Lobster ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-lobster/id1111770510?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Lobster-Blu-ray-Digital-HD/dp/B01GF7N9HW/ref=rashpixel_mwl-20) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTNZmOJxuAc) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/intl/misc/2015/lobster.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/9FE9E1497C) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/the-lobster/)
### "How swift your sword must be." Zhang Yimou had always wanted to direct an action film, and after years of working on the script, he finally had his chance with his ambitious visual feast, 2002’s _Hero_. Shot all over China starring some of the hottest Chinese stars telling a story about the assassination attempt on the King of Qin several thousand years ago, the film was the most expensive project in China’s history. Luckily, it also became the highest-grossing up to that point. Considering the last two films we talked about on the show were banned for years, it’s great to see Zhang and China finding a common ground with this film. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Zhang Yimou series with 2002’s _Hero_. We talk about what this film does as far as depicting a true story, but done in a way that allows Zhang to try his hand at action (with help from action director Tony Ching). We look at all of Zhang’s filmmaking techniques that he throws at this film – the colors, the shot compositions, the shot lengths, the operatic quality – and how well they work. We discuss Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi and Donnie Yen and what they all bring to the table here. And we discuss how Miramax not only delayed the film’s release numerous times but also made the egregious decision to replace Jet Li’s character’s sword in the poster with something else incorrect for the period, only to try to connect it to Quentin Tarantino and his _Kill Bill_ films. It’s a gorgeous film that tells a beautiful and tragic story, but one that would still be incredibly easy to return to. So check out the movie then tune in! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/hero/id432513103?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Hero-English-Subtitled-Jet-Li/dp/B00742BVW8/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=hero&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1487042469) - [Script Transcript](http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/h/hero-script-transcript-jet-li.html) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgsddFEe9Oc) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2004/hero.html) - [Jin Ke’s Assassination Attempt of Qin general Fan Wuji](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jing_Ke#Assassination_attempt) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/08CD16567C) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/hero-2002/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_The Blackcoat’s Daughter_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt4V2o-B09o) — "While this may not have the best IMDb rating, it has a creepy enough vibe for me to be drawn to it. Plus it has a creepy reading of an old timey poem, which makes the trailer creepy and makes the movie seem even creepier. So yeah, I’ll probably watch this one." - Pete's Trailer: [_The Bad Batch_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcYYsUpxlsI) — "I’m trying to gin up my horror mojo. No idea what to make of this latest bid from writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour. Dark, cannibals, saws, Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa, and Giovanni Ribisi. Not the latest thing I would have expected from any of them, thus, the thing I’m most interested to see from all of them."
### "Light the lanterns at the fourth house!" Despite the bans on some of his earlier films like _Ju Dou_ and _Raise the Red Lantern_ in his home country of China, Zhang Yimou had exploded onto the world stage with these visually sumptuous films and had become a filmmaker worth talking about. Perhaps it was exactly this international presence that kept the Chinese government from suppressing his storytelling further – it gave him the popularity Zhang needed to keep making films. Whether that’s true or not, these early films of his certainly do feel like he has a few things to say about modern China, and it’s perhaps understandable that they’d take offense. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Zhang Yimou series with his fourth film, 1991’s _Raise the Red Lantern_. We talk about the story and how it could be read as a criticism of modern China, and why we don’t completely buy Zhang when he denies this. We discuss the look of the film – the compositions of the shots, the colors, the camera movement, the set design, the costumes – and how all of it reflects what Zhang is saying with the film. We chat about Gong Li and the rest of the cast, but particularly about Gong and the incredible performance she delivers here. We touch on the customs and traditions depicted in the film and ruminate on the worldbuilding going on here. And we debate the strength of the music – Andy loves it and Pete hates it. It’s a great film that Andy connects with while Pete felt it dragged on too much, but still allows for a great conversation. Regardless, we agree that it’s a film that must be seen, so check it out then tune in to this week’s show! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWtAK_YCrTw) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8kwb4qFrT4) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1992/raise_the_red_lantern.html) - [_Wives & Concubines_ by Su Tong (Contained in the collection _Raise the Red Lantern: Three Novellas_)](https://www.amazon.com/Raise-Red-Lantern-Three-Novellas/dp/0060596333/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=wives+and+concubines&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1486956343) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/2B9F285885) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/raise-the-red-lantern/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_The Beguiled_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRKXyeoWfco) — "I remembering finding Don Siegel’s 1971 version of this story very unsettling. Having it retold from not just a woman’s perspective, but from a strong female storyteller like Sofia Coppola, gets me quite excited. I’m thrilled she’s doing this and can’t wait to see it." - Pete's Trailer: [_Aftermath_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9yyKZHuYRs) — "Arnold’s back! He’s got the brooding beard again, and frankly I thought this was going to be a weird sequel to _Maggie_. No, this is the true story of a plane crash in 2002 and the hunt for air traffic controller that allowed it to happen. Writer Javier Gullón is behind _Enemy_ and _Out of the Dark_, both past trailer picks."
### "If they knew, they’d kill us." The eighties were a period of turmoil and transition for the Chinese film industry. Other forms of entertainment were more popular and the authorities were concerned that films that had been popular, like martial arts films, were on the out. But a group of Chinese filmmakers, collectively known loosely as the Fifth Generation – with a push from the new Ministry of Radio, Cinema and Television – were about to change all that, helping Chinese cinema break onto the world stage. And Zhang Yimou was one of the ones leading the charge. But did the Chinese government expect the types of films they would be getting? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we dig into Chinese cinema and kick off our Zhang Yimou series with his third film, _Ju Dou_. We talk about the nature of the film and its story, and how it can be seen as not just a look at Chinese politics in the 20s but also as an allegory of the oppressive political system in China at the time. We look at what Zhang brought to the table with the film and where it fits in his life and career. We chat about Gong Li, Zhang’s muse, and what she and her fellow actors bring to the table. We discuss the incredible look of the film, both from cinematography and production design, and what all the various colors could possibly symbolize. And we gripe about the quality of the image and how much better it would look if Criterion would just take our advice and give this the full treatment – the film is gorgeous but you’d never know by looking at this terrible transfer. It’s a touching, powerful film from a visual artist who uses both the script and his images to tell a provocative story, not to mention that it helped open the door for Chinese cinema to the world. We have a great time looking at it and discussing _Ju Dou_ on this week’s show. Check it out! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4IaNzofg0w) - [Script Transcript](http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=ju-dou) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UntezgPh26o) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1991/ju_dou.html) - [_Fu xi fu xi_ by Heng Liu (Mandarin)](https://www.amazon.com/Fu-Mandarin-Chinese-Heng-Liu/dp/7506306042?tag=rashpixel_mwl-20) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/C7204FE65D) - [Letterboxd](https://letterboxd.com/film/ju-dou/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_My Life as a Zucchini_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2TOf1kmfk) — "There’s something magical about the animation quality of this film that really makes me connect to my youth. And while the world of life in a foster home isn’t something I ever knew, I certainly connect to the coming of age story of a young boy finding a kindred spirit in a new girl at the home. It has all the touching qualities that I loved so much in Wes Anderson’s _Moonlight Kingdom_ and plenty of quirk to spare. I’m excited about this one." - Pete's Trailer: [_Punching Henry_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nckCmUuA35M) — "Man. I know creators go through swings. Jerks on the internet spew hate. Self-confidence wavers. I certainly try not to look at that stuff. But director Gregori Viens and writer Henry Phillips have given me a trailer that I feel pretty deeply connected to with _Punching Henry_. I can only hope the thing lives up to the heart of the trailer when it finally hits theaters and digital on February 21."
### "You helped bring Lili to life, but she was always there." _The Danish Girl_ certainly took a long time getting to the big screen. The script went through dozens of iterations after David Ebershoff’s book was first was optioned. The cast changed numerous times. Directors passed it back and forth. Finally, after fifteen years of floating around, Tom Hooper’s film was released. And while the lead performances were brilliant, the film itself felt a bit flat. And weirdly, this seems to be something we say far too often about films that take a long time to get to the silver screen. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Transgender series with Hooper’s 2015 film _The Danish Girl_. We talk about what works in the film, but we really try to dig and figure out what might be causing it to have its issues. We look at the journey the book took to get to the screen, and look at the age-old question of what responsibility do filmmakers/storytellers have to the original story and the original people when making biopics. We discuss Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander and what they bring to the table here, along with their fellow thespians. We chat about the incredible look this film has and how it fits in with the story. And we touch on how this series has opened our eyes to other great films that we would love to share down the line. This was a fun series, even if it ended on a bit of a downer note. It did give us perspective for the world of transgenders and what they go through to feel ‘right’ in their own bodies. We have a great time talking about this movie, so check it out then tune in! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-danish-girl/id1062410233?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Danish-Girl-Tom-Hooper/dp/B019J9DBWG/ref=sr_1_2?sr=8-2&ie=UTF8&keywords=The+Danish+Girl&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1485833158) - [Script](http://www.slguardian.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/The-Danish-Girl.pdf) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88APYIGkjk) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2015/danish_girl.html) - [_The Danish Girl_ by David Ebershoff](https://www.amazon.com/Danish-Girl-David-Ebershoff-ebook/dp/B002VFPRXM/ref=asap_bc?tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&ie=UTF8) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/38FEB149AD) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/the-danish-girl/) - [_Lili: A Portrait of the First Sex Change (Man Into Woman)_ by Niels Hoyer](https://www.amazon.com/Lili-Portrait-First-Change-Woman-ebook/dp/B0196KQL6G/ref=sr_1_4?sr=8-4&ie=UTF8&keywords=The+Danish+Girl&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1485833158) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_Lowriders_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si1LQ5qDRMM) — "This story is about several cultures I know nothing about – graffiti artists and fans of lowriders. On the premise alone, this doesn’t look like my cup of tea but what I love about films is they’re my chance to step into other people’s shoes and experience things from their point of view. That’s what I hope I get here. Plus, after being blown away by Demián Bichir’s performance in _A Better Life_, I’m game to see anything he does. Count me in." - Pete's Trailer: [_I Don’t Feel At Home in this World Anymore_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a891D5_bGY4) — "It’s the strange little film I can’t stop thinking about. The driving motivator is simple, the comedy off-color, and the main character a charmer. Can’t wait til this hits Netflick 2/24."
### "I never even heard of a tranny church lady." Felicity Huffman received many accolades for her incredible performance in _TransAmerica_, but an Oscar was not one of them. Looking back at the various nominees, it’s clear that Huffman should have won. But that’s how these things go, right? Reese Witherspoon was great in _Walk the Line_and was the popular favorite, and that’s probably because Johnny Cash had made quite a resurgence and the movie really struck a chord with people. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Huffman still should’ve won. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Transgender series with Duncan Tucker’s 2005 film _TransAmerica_. We talk about Huffman and the brilliance of her performance, as well as what she had to do to ‘find her voice.’ We also talk about Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Graham Greene and more, looking at what they bring to the table. We discuss Tucker and how sadly he seems to be a one-hit wonder, even though he clearly demonstrated talent with his script and direction here. We look at the script and how some parts work better for us than others. And we touch on the soundtrack and how the country vibe throughout the film really grounded it for us. It’s a film that has a lot to say about the life of being a transgender, about family, about loneliness and about finding your voice. We have a great time talking about it and consider this a must watch if for no other reason than to see Huffman’s incredible transformation. So check it out then tune in! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/transamerica/id254271759?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Transamerica-weinstein/dp/B002OTPBI6/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=transamerica&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1485302322) - [Script Transcript](http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=transamerica) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA18YQi47uM) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2005/transamerica.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/3AB7C4A55C) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/transamerica/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_American Fable_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A6500g-QWY) — "This looks like a sibling story to _Pan’s Labyrinth_ which I didn’t love but found endlessly fascinating. This may end up falling into the same camp. That’s not a bad thing." - Pete's Trailer: [_Colossal_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgN-5lZiohQ) — "Yeah, mixed reviews when it screened at Sundance just a few days ago. But you know what? This is a clever story of Kaiju monsters we’ve never heard and it explains everything: they’re all attached to Anne Hathaway."
### "He’s on the move." DON’T LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE FILM BOARD until you see Split! Here at The Next Reel, we always mention how WE SPOIL MOVIES and this month we’ve taken on twistmaster M. Night Shyamalan’s newest film with a conversation that is completely impossible without SPOILING this movie for you. That being said, go see it and then come and join us because there is lots and lots to talk about from this psychological thriller put together in the classic Shyamalan style. Suspense and terror is front and center for the first part of 2017 and gathering together this month, we’ve got Andy, Steve, Tommy, and JJ to start it up. If you’ve got strong feelings about MNS movies, you really should see Split and then check us out. When the movie ends, our conversation begins. ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Split-Blu-ray-DVD-DIGITAL-HD/dp/B01N5RAO66/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1485145159&sr=8-7&keywords=Split) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROVc_47FUD8) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/2017/split_ver3.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/6C41F18636) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/split-2016/) - [Box Office Numbers](http://movieweb.com/split-movie-box-office-january-2017/)
### "I can spot the fluttering of a beaded lash from three hundred paces." Terence Stamp had played some pretty tough characters in his career – Billy Budd, General Zod – so it was a big surprise to many to see him play a transgender character in _The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert_. Stamp had his own misgivings about playing the role as it was so different from anything he’d done before. Luckily, he signed on to take it anyway and the result is a beautifully portrayed character. And that’s not even mentioning Hugo Weaving or Guy Pearce. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Transgender series with Stephan Elliott’s 1994 cult comedy classic _The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert_. We talk about how well the film holds up and why – strong script, strong characters, lots of laughs. We look at what Stamp, Weaving and Pearce all bring to their roles and why they all work so well in the parts. We chat about Elliott and what he brings to the table as the writer and director of the film. We look at one element of the script – Bob’s Filipino wife – any why this is the most contentious element of the film. We discuss the music and how well it all works, regardless of whether you’re planning on pulling the CD out later to listen in. And we chat about the nature of Stamp as a transgender character and how that pairs with the gay drag queens. It’s a fun film to watch and is very easy to enjoy. That being said, it also has some pretty big messages that it handles quite well. We have a great time talking about it on this week’s show so check it out then tune in! Thanks! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/adventures-priscilla-queen/id763827000?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Priscilla-Queen-Desert/dp/B00HYMIQGC/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&ie=UTF8) - [Script Transcript](http://www.awesomefilm.com/script/priscilla.txt) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV-Zzasrky8) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1994/adventures_of_priscilla_queen_of_the_desert.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/778506AE64) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/the-adventures-of-priscilla-queen-of-the-desert/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_Raw_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udkwT3p28Sw&o) — "I heard great things about this from my buddy who saw it at Fantastic Fest. It sounds crazy but in all the right (and horrifying) ways. It’s rated R for ‘aberrant behavior, bloody and grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, language and drug use/partying’ so it seems to be ticking off most of the things that every good cannibalism horror needs. I can’t wait." - Pete's Trailer: [_The Lure_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxhi_3hDUPE) — "So, this Polish mermaid horror musical comedy film certainly tops the list of crazy things I’ve seen today. It’s been floating around (heh) since it’s Warsaw release in 2015, but we get to see what happens when two stripper mermaids begin to devour their patrons (finally, natch) this very February."
"When you think of garbage, think of Akeem!" Eddie Murphy was riding high through the 80s. John Landis, on the other hand, had had a string of flops, not to mention a very difficult _Twilight Zone_ trial. Considering their success together with _Trading Places_, Murphy thought Landis could use a boost and brought him on to direct his fairy tale film _Coming to America_. It was the hit Landis needed, and yet another film cementing that Murphy was king of the box office. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Eddie Murphy series with Landis’ 1988 film, _Coming to America_. We talk about why the film doesn’t hold up that well for us now nearly 30 years after its release, even if it did seem to hold up more at the time. We chat about the script problems and director/actor relationship problems this film had, and how things ended up. We look at the talent and what they’re bringing to the table – Murphy, Arsenio Hall, John Amos, James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle and more. And speaking of talent, we discuss Rick Baker and his amazing effects work to transform Murphy and Hall into several other characters and how these not only hold up for us but also how they triggered an entirely new direction for Murphy’s career to head. And we talk about the music and how 80s it feels. It’s a fun conversation about a film that neither of us connected with nearly 30 years after we first saw the film. But it’s still fun to watch and discuss, so check it out! Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/coming-to-america/id291825889?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Coming-America-Eddie-Murphy/dp/B001K3BG6S/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=coming+to+america&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1484108240) - [Script Transcript](http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=coming-to-america) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqfJqLFQSIk) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1988/coming_to_america.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/3890C6E3EA) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/coming-to-america/) Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_Walk of Fame_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOR4wYsnifM) - Pete's Trailer: [_All Nighter_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXwFU-E9WPA)
### "You couldn’t plan a day like this." The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is an ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, writer, producer, director and former agent Jim Jermanok joins us to talk about one of his favorite movies, Harold Ramis’ 1993 film _Groundhog Day_. We talk about how this film was received at the time of its release, why this film holds up so well and perhaps why it took people some time to really find the meaning in the movie. We look at what Bill Murray is doing here and discuss why his character, Phil Connor, is easy to connect to despite the fact that he starts out as horribly unlikeable. We chat about Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky, as well as the rest of the cast, and what they bring to the table. We look at the evolution of Danny Rubin’s original script and how he and Ramis reworked it to create a timeless classic. And we ponder the strangeness of the actual Groundhog Day holiday and how it may have been just the perfect holiday to celebrate for a film like this. It’s a great film and Jim brings plenty of perspective to the conversation, having worked both the creative and business sides of the industry. So check out the movie then tune in to this month’s Speakeasy again… and again… and again…. ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/groundhog-day/id270870214?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Groundhog-Day-Bill-Murray/dp/B00B99QTM4/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=groundhog+day&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1484025353) - [Screenplay](http://screenplayexplorer.com/wp-content/scripts/Groundhog-Day.pdf) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVeDx9fk60) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1993/groundhog_day.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/2F61D17D40) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/groundhog-day/) - [_Beyond the Craft_ by Jim Jermanok](https://www.amazon.com/BEYOND-CRAFT-What-Living-Creatively/dp/0692775765/ref=sr_1_2?sr=8-2&ie=UTF8&keywords=beyond%2Bthe%2Bcraft&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1484025803) - [Life Advice TV](http://www.lifeadvice.tv/) - [JimJermanok.com](http://jimjermanok.com/) - [@GetReelGetReel](https://twitter.com/GETREELGETREEL)
### "You’re not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe?" Eddie Murphy proved his big screen comedy prowess with Dan Aykroyd in _Trading Places_ but the studio was still concerned about him helming a movie by himself. Luckily, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer believed in him and ended up convincing Paramount that he could do it, bringing him on board _Beverly Hills Cop_ after Sylvester Stallone stepped out. And the rest is cinematic history – the movie broke records left and right and firmly established Murphy as a full-fledged movie star. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Eddie Murphy series with Martin Brest’s 1984 film _Beverly Hills Cop_. We talk about what holds up in this 80s cop comedy and what doesn’t hold up as well – and where we disagree on these. We look at how the film came together, from the early ideas and the various writers to the period when Stallone was the lead to bringing Murphy on and how the script was finally shaped. We discuss Murphy and how he fits in the film here, and how the rest of the cast works to fill the rest of the world. We chat about Brest and his directing style, and discuss his career and his disappearance from the industry. We talk about the iconic theme by Harold Faltermeier and how it fits into the film, paired with the iconic soundtrack that represents everything Bruckheimer was doing with his movies at the time. And we look at how this film did at the box office, becoming the top film in 1984 and setting the stage for cop comedies thereafter. It’s a fun film, even if it has some issues, but definitely represents what Murphy was doing in the 80s. We have a great conversation about it so check out the movie and tune in! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/beverly-hills-cop/id292813166?at=11lrTo~) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Beverly-Hills-Cop-Martin-Brest/dp/B00271F5S2/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=beverly+Hills+cop&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1483413743) • [Netflix](https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Beverly%20Hills%20Cop&jbv=60010139&jbp=0&jbr=0) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aYmBrXyISA) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1984/beverly_hills_cop.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/FCEAF734DC) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/beverly-hills-cop/) - [Clips from Martin Brest’s Short _Hot Dogs for Gauguin_](https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/hot-dogs/n8720?snl=1) - [What Happened to Martin Brest?](http://www.playboy.com/articles/what-happened-to-director-martin-brest) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_Spider-Man: Homecoming_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNE0zRNyXuc) — "I’ve always been a big Spider-Man fan and have enjoyed the movies for the most part. What gets me excited about this one isn’t the new Peter Parker, even though he looks great. It’s not that Sony and Disney/Marvel are playing nice and sharing characters to make these movies, which is a great thing. It’s that Michael Keaton is playing the villain. And that kicks ass. Okay, so I’m a little worried that they’re going the robo-look with The Vulture like they did with Green Goblin, but I’m willing to let that slide right now because this looks so fun!" - Pete's Trailer: [_A United Kingdom_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKPDNKdpys8) — "International listeners have had this movie on deck since September, but Amma Asante’s latest hits US screens in February. Looks like another opportunity to see Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo knock it out of the park telling the story of a mixed race couple struggling to lead an African nation at a time of political turmoil. Amma Asante is such a charmer and precise director — can’t wait to see what she does with this story."
### "When I was growing up, if we wanted a jacuzzi, we had to fart in the tub." Eddie Murphy may have been a name on “Saturday Night Live” but he wasn’t a film star. Luckily, when John Landis wanted to cast him as Billy Ray Valentine in _Trading Places_, Murphy had just appeared in _48 Hrs._, proving he had the charisma for the big screen. Without that success, Paramount Pictures was unconvinced. But it worked out and young Murphy became box office gold. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off 2017 with a series celebrating several of Murphy’s 80s classic starting with Landis’ 1983 film _Trading Places_. We talk about how we find the film hilarious but quite astute with its portrayal of the commodities market and how the story is equally relevant today as it was upon its release. We discuss some of the elements with which we struggle. We look at the comedy stylings Landis brought to the film, pulling from Laurel & Hardy, Preston Sturges, Mark Twain, even the Three Stooges. We look at the actors – including Dan Aykroyd, Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott and Paul Gleason – and what they bring to the table. And we revel in the wonderful score Elmer Bernstein adds to the film, bringing doses of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” into the folds. It’s a really fun film and a great way to celebrate both Christmas and New Year’s. We have a great time discussing it so check the movie out then tune in to the show! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/trading-places/id268384321?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Trading-Places-Denholm-Elliott/dp/B00373HYJC/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=Trading%2Bplaces&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1482883110) - [Script Transcript](http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/t/trading-places-script-transcript-murphy.html) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjDbJQKDXCY) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1983/trading_places.html) - [_The Prince and the Pauper_ by Mark Twain](https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Pauper-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486411109/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=The%2Bprince%2Band%2Bthe%2Bpauper&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1482882892) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/C9DDB77644) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/trading-places/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [_Alien: Covenant_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJpF_Mv77Cw) — "We’ve discussed this whole franchise on the show and likely will discuss this one at some point. There are definitely problems with some of the films, and I definitely had issues with _Prometheus_, but it’s still an interesting entry as a prequel. Ridley Scott’s newest entry looks like he’s really amping things up some more and while I’m excited, I’m also hesitant to get too excited. Let’s just say my curiosity is definitely piqued." - Pete's Trailer: [_War for the Planet of the Apes_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEP1Mk6Un98) — "Andy Serkis is back to not win an acting oscar because he’s doing mo-cap I guess. The last Apes film ended up at 12 on our list, a solid showing for the Film Board’s general bucket of crap. This one looks like more stops have been officially pulled, even if they’ve avoided pulling them all. And yes, they put the words of the film’s title in Woody’s mouth in this trailer: 15 demerits."
### "Agnes, it’s me – Billy!" Bob Clark may be best known for directing his Christmas classic, 1983’s _A Christmas Story_, but many people don’t know that he got his start in horror like so many other filmmakers, and that one of his first horror films was another Christmas story – _Black Christmas_. What’s so refreshing about watching this 1974 film is that it’s a slasher film that doesn’t feel as base as so many others that followed suit, but more importantly that it adopted the first person POV shot for the killer. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we discuss this year’s holiday film, Clark’s ‘74 film _Black Christmas_. We talk about why this film worked for us and how it really came to be. We discuss Clark and how he directed this, but also how he took to the script to fill it with wonderful details for all of the characters and helped move the story’s setting to a college sorority house. We look at the cast – from Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea to Margot Kidder and John Saxon – and why they all work so well here. And we talk about how well this film did at the box office and what that means for it when looking at the profits. And we announce our Instagram #GuesstheMovie #2016 #PonyPrize challenge winner and runner up! It’s a fun little horror romp and we have a great time celebrating Christmas with you all with this one. Check it out then tune in! ### Film Sundries - Watch this film: [iTunes](https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie/black-christmas/id1171262073?at=11lrTo) • [Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collectors-Blu-ray-Margot-Kidder/dp/B01LRCDYXE/ref=sr_1_1?sr=8-1&ie=UTF8&keywords=black+christmas&tag=rashpixel_mwl-20&qid=1482193121) - [Script Transcript](http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=black-christmas-1974) - [Original theatrical trailer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gNdplqmCcQ) - [Original poster artwork](http://www.impawards.com/1974/black_christmas_ver5.html) - [Flickchart](http://www.flickchart.com/movie/00DFF57234) - [Letterboxd](http://letterboxd.com/film/black-christmas/) ### Trailers of the Week - Andy's Trailer: [\_Going in Style](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcdTN5soeQw) — "I’m not bitter at all that Zach Braff stole my idea of a group of senior citizens who decide to rob a bank. I’m not bitter at all. Bastard…. Oh, wait… you’re telling me this is a remake of a Martin Brest movie from ‘79 and that I’m the one stealing the idea? Damnitalltohell. Well, I’ll watch it, but I won’t like it. Now get off my lawn!" - Pete's Trailer: [_Blade Runner 2049_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JAMRKzEHs) — "Yes, it’s just a teaser. But it’s a teaser for Gosling in Blade Runner trying to run down Deckard. So, yes, I’m as excited for this movie as I was for _The Force Awakens_. Yes, Denis Villeneuve has given me much reason to be excited on the heels of _Arrival_. Yes, I’ll be pre-purchasing tix the hot second they’re available."