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.
After his father fired him from 20th Century Fox and a short stint at Warner Bros., Richard D. Zanuck joined forces with his buddy David Brown from his Fox days and the two joined forces as the independent producing duo under the banner The Zanuck/Brown Company. For their first film? They found possibly one of the greatest scripts ever written -- David S. Ward's "The Sting" -- got George Roy Hill to direct with Paul Newman and Robert Redford heading up the stellar cast and ended up producing the Best Picture winner of 1973, as well as one of the greatest films ever made. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" for the second in our Richard D. Zanuck series as we discuss (and maybe gush a little bit because of our overwhelming love for this film) everything that makes "The Sting" great. We chat about David S. Ward's amazing script and why it works so well, as well as the world of con men and how this film does such a stellar job of welcoming us into this world. We talk about George Roy Hill and what he brings to the table, particularly with Newman and Redford, two amazing actors with whom he worked a few years earlier in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." We discuss the rest of the team and their invaluable contributions as well as the 7 Oscars the film took home for those contributions. And we revel in the amazing Scott Joplin ragtime tunes that fill the film from beginning to end, wonderfully arranged by the late, great Marvin Hamlisch. It's a fantastic film -- one of our favorites -- and one that really put Richard D. Zanuck on the map as an independent producer in his own right, helping him get out from under his father's immense shadow. Listen in!
"Murder's nothing. It's just a simple experience. Murder and rape. Do you know what beauty there is in evil?" It's the start of our Richard D. Zanuck tribute series, ladies and gentlemen, and what better way to begin than with the first film he produced for his father, Darryl F. Zanuck, 1959's "Compulsion." Based on the book of the same name by Meyer Levin about the Leopold/Loeb murder from 1924, Richard D. Zanuck puts together a top notch team of cast and crew, headed up by director Richard Fleischer, to create a film that comes in under budget and ahead of schedule. It's a fascinating story about two young geniuses who are convinced they can commit the perfect crime and they do -- except one of them accidentally drops his glasses at the scene of the crime. The true story is horrifying, and it's equally so in this honest film depiction. With neither of us having seen this film before preparing for this episode, we stumbled upon a rare gem that deserves more viewers. We chat about the incredible cast headed up by Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman as the two murderers, Orson Welles as their lawyer, E.G. Marshall as the DA prosecuting them, Gavin MacLeod as his assistant, and Diane Varsi and Martin Milner as the friends caught up in the whole mess. We discuss Fleischer and what he brought to the table, along with William C. Mellor, the DP. We also discuss the interesting homosexual and sadomasochistic subtexts the film broaches, as well as rape and capital punishment, which for 1959 was a pretty big deal. It's an amazing film to stumble across and the perfect start for our Richard D. Zanuck tribute series. Check the movie out on Amazon and listen in!
Join the goodly Chadd Stoops, Mike Evans, Steve Sarmento, Andy Nelson, and Pete Wright to talk Bourne. We talk Chaos Cinema. We talk Jeremy Renner and the Brothers Gilroy. At one point, Steve gets so mad he disappears. And then Andy overloads the Internet. Finally, we talk about The Hobbit and the 48 fps wonder 3D future in store for us all. So if you missed the live chat, check out the previously live recording of The Film Board for August 2012!
"Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg." We always knew there were other operatives out there, and when the producers couldn't get Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass to return to do another Jason Bourne movie, they did the right thing by bringing in the man who's been with the series from the start—Tony Gilroy—to not only write but also direct this latest entry into the franchise, "The Bourne Legacy." Tony Gilroy opens up the world of these supersoldier spies and builds on the already complex levels of secret government programs to bring us another operative from one of Treadstone's sister programs. This time, it's Aaron Cross played with intensity and intelligence by Jeremy Renner. Join us—Pete Wright and Andy Nelson—on this week's episode of Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we delve into the complex and globetrotting story. We discuss what the new actors to the franchise—Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, and Stacy Keach—bring to the table. We talk about the fascinating way Gilroy makes a film that actually takes place in parallel to "The Bourne Ultimatum" and how that enhances the size of this universe. We chat about the stunts and chase sequences in the film and how the work and don't work, and we cover the elements that work for us as well as those that don't. On the whole, it's a great entry into the Bourne franchise and one that we're happy to talk about. Listen in!
"You start down this path, where does it end?" "It ends when we've won." Frightening words coming from a CIA agent more intent on keeping his team's illegal program under wraps than in saving American lives. And that's the man intent on preventing Jason Bourne from learning about his past, because that man, Noah Vosen -- played wonderfully by the ever-brilliant David Strathairn -- knows it will lead to his own downfall. It's time, ladies and gentlemen, for the final chapter in the Jason Bourne trilogy, even if it's not the end of the Bourne series. Jason finally works to dig up where he came from, no matter how ugly it is, and come to terms with it. It's a great film and an awesome end to this trilogy, even if the jiggly monkey cam does make people literally vomit in the aisles. Listen in as we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- talk about it this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like!" We chat about Jason Bourne's and Matt Damon's character growth/performance over the course of these three films and how it matures. We discuss the nature of the camerawork and how it seems to get progressively shakier as the series progresses. We discuss the top notch editing and stuntwork in this film. And we talk about its place in the Bourne franchise. We have a great time discussing this film as we lead up to the release of The Bourne Legacy. Join us!
"Word in the ether was you'd lost your memory." Jason Bourne's back, still trying to figure out his past as a government assassin while struggling to stay ahead of both the good and bad guys as they attempt to take him out. This week, we're covering the 2004 film, "The Bourne Supremacy", the second in the Bourne franchise. Paul Greengrass took over as director after Doug Liman's struggles with the studio brass on the first film, and he does a bang-up job -- quite literally, in fact. He brings a much more in-the-action style to the story, making it feel like you're in the fights with Jason Bourne. Or for some people, just making them nauseated -- there's a reason some people call this style "queasicam". Join us as we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- talk about the movie this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like". We discuss the directing styles of Greengrass vs. Liman and the cohesiveness of the two styles in the series. We chat about the amazing stuntwork and how it really brings a level of reality to the story. We cover the amazing actors and performances in the film, as well as talk about the amazing crew who brought it all together. We talk more about Bourne versus Bond. We discuss the complicated plot twists in the overall story, even if they don't entirely work. And we also give props to a few people we forgot to mention in the last episode, other key players who helped make "The Bourne Identity" what it was. Listen in!
The Board Gathers! In this week's special Movies We Like Google Hangout, Andy Nelson and Pete Wright are joined by regulars Chadd Stoops and Steve Sarmento to talk through the final chapter in Christopher Nolan's contribution to the Batman universe: The Dark Knight Rises. This is the audio version of this MWL Special. For the full video of our conversation, visit http://rashpixel.co/Oe4NVd.
"I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?" This week, movie lovers, we begin our series on the Bourne movies, starting here with Doug Liman's 2002 film, The Bourne Identity. Born from Robert Ludlum's classic spy thriller, this movie came out a time when the spy film genre was feeling a little... overstuffed. This film, as well as the two that followed it, proved that a spy film could be more than just action scenes loosely strung together with threads of a weak story. Join us—Pete Wright and Andy Nelson—as we build to the upcoming The Bourne Legacy with this week's episode of Rash Pixel's Movies We Like. We chat about the Bourne series and Robert Ludlum who created it. We discuss the theory of the modern action filmmaking style, Chaos Cinema, and how it plays into the series. We also touch on this film as compared to the James Bond film of the same year, Die Another Day. It's a fun film and well worth watching. Join us as we begin digging into the empty pockets of Jason Bourne's mind!
"What a time we had, Rosie. What a time we had." This week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like," we're finishing up our far-too-short series on cinematographer Jack Cardiff with the wonderful 1951 film, "The African Queen". John Huston co-wrote and directed it, choosing to shoot as much as he possibly could in Africa. While many said it couldn't be done -- shooting a story on location about two characters typically considered much too old for a love story -- John Huston proved them wrong. His choice of Jack Cardiff as cinematographer goes a long way in showing all of the reasons why shooting in Africa was right for the story, and his decision to cast Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn as Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayer allowed the story to be played authentically by actors who knew what they were doing and made it real. The film went on to earn buckets of money, critical praise, and award recognition. It's truly a film that has stood the test of time as well, and we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- have a great time talking about it. Join us as we talk about Jack Cardiff's role in making cinematography what it is today. We chat about the rough time everyone had on the production, not to mention the pre-production. We discuss the story and the wonderful actors in it, and we talk about why it still works so well. It's a fantastic film and we love talking about it. Listen in!
"You cannot have it both ways. A dancer who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love can never be a great dancer. Never." And thus sums up the battle within Michael Powell's and Emeric Pressburger's 1948 film, "The Red Shoes" -- the battle between love and art. Can the two exist together? Or will one always win out and destroy the other? It's a fascinating question posed in a beautiful and sumptuous film that we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- talk about this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like." Join us as we talk about the movie and what it's come to mean in the world of film. We talk about the fans of this film, particularly Martin Scorsese, and how they came together to restore this film into the mindbogglingly gorgeous version we have today. We chat about the amazing performances led by Anton Walbrook as the dark and controlling ballet impresario and Moira Shearer as the prima ballerina torn between love and dance. We discuss the amazing look of the film, focusing primarily on Jack Cardiff's stunning 3-strip technicolor cinematography. We talk about the realism and how it turns almost magical after the ballet of the Red Shoes midway through the film leading us to the inevitable and heartbreaking conclusion. And we talk about the nature of Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale and how it enhances and defines this film. It's an amazing film to watch. Join us this week as we catch up on this classic!
"We are here to make limbo tolerable, to ferry wounded souls across the river of dread, and to point where hope is dimly visible. And then we stop the boat, shove them in the water and make them swim." This week, ladies and gentlemen, we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- talk about Jason Reitman's third, and arguably best, film: 2009's Up in the Air. It's an amazing film that deals in a heavy issue of our time -- the economic downturn and widespread downsizing. What's even more amazing is how the film ends up, for the most part, leaving you with a feeling of hope. Sure, there are tragic elements, but overall, it's the message of connection with others that resounds by the film's end. Join us this week as we chat about all the great performances in the film led by George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, as well as the amazing technical hands working behind the scenes. We talk about the unique decision to cast all those let go in the film with real-world people who had, in fact, recently been let go. And we cover the themes of the story and what Reitman and before him Walter Kirn, upon whose 2001 novel the film is based, are getting across in the film. It's a beautiful film, well deserving of all the accolades it received upon its release. Connect with us this week as we talk about it!
"Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Mason kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent." It's a movie about spin and the spin doctors who spin it -- Jason Reitman's fantastic 2006 satire Thank You for Smoking. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- as we talk about it this week on Rash Pixel's Movies We Like. It's a fantastic film and we both love it. We chat about how the film was received and what people likely thought when comparing it to the book it was based on -- the 1994 novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley. We talk about the nature of satire and the nature of spin. We chat about the role the son plays in this film and the direction -- if any -- that Nick Naylor grows as protagonist (or is he an antihero?). And we chat about how Jason Reitman, Ivan's son, managed to get this -- his first -- film made. It's an absolutely fabulous film, especially as a first film, and we have a great time talking about it this week. Join us!
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"Big things have small beginnings." Well, not when envisioned by Ridley Scott and written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. "Prometheus," the non-prequel to "Alien" is anything but a small beginning to this universe and, while ambitious, leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions and problems that shouldn't have been there in the first place. It's a frustrating film to talk about, movie lovers, but one that we have a great time discussing. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- in this week's episode of Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we really dig into this film and discuss everything about it, from the stunning visuals to the problematic script. We talk about the team who put together these visuals and who rightfully should all receive numerous accolades. We talk about the cast, particularly the stand-out performance of Michael Fassbender as David. We also look at his relationship with the other androids in the Alien anthology. We chat about the fundamental script problems in this film and the trickle-down effect they have on the rest of the film. We also talk about how, despite those problems, the script and the film still pose some fascinating questions that are worth talking about long after the film's been watched. It's a fascinating film, albeit problematic, and one worth discussion -- preferably over a slice of pie -- so join us this week on "Movies We Like" to listen in!
It's the end of our conversation about the Alien anthology, ladies and gentlemen, and this week, we discuss Alien: Resurrection, a tough film to watch and an unfortunate end to the anthology (that took a further unfortunate turn by leading the franchise into the Alien Vs. Predator films). And while it's a hard to film to categorize as a movie we like, we still have a great conversation about what worked, what didn't, and a great many other things tangentially (or not) related to the franchise. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- on this week's episode of Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we chat about the great actors, the director, the writer, and others on the crew who we love but who somehow ended up tied into this mess. We chat about our overall thoughts of the anthology, how we think it ties into Prometheus and the nature of making films that take place in the same universe but don't tie together necessarily (Marvel, anyone?). Finally, we touch on some fun bits of trivia from the franchise. It's a fun conversation about a movie that doesn't really work but that had a lot going for it. Listen in!