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.
"You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? A perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." This week begins our journey into the Alien franchise, dear listeners, which ends with our discussion of Prometheus on June 15th. We start with the amazing beginning of it all, 1979's Alien. Ridley Scott and his team -- from the writers Dan O'Bannon, Ron Shusett, Walter Hill and David Giler, to the incredible production design of H.R. Giger, Ron Cobb and Michael Seymour, to Jerry Goldsmith's haunting and terrifying score, to the incredible performances led by Sigourney Weaver, to the amazing sound editing by Jim Shields, to the cinematography by Derek Vanlint -- took the science fiction and the horror genres and found a way to merge them in a way that redefined both those genres as well as many cinema conventions aftrward. It's a stunning film and one we're happy to talk about with you. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- on this week's episode of Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we discuss the origins of the story as well as the importance of bringing H.R. Giger on board. We chat about what this film did for its two genres (and we don't even mention how much it still influences sci fi and horror films to this day -- anyone remember who did the voice of Mother in WALL-E?). We cover the amazing cast and their roles in all of the pivotal scenes that stand out still to this day. We chat about the battles between Jerry Goldsmith and Ridley Scott over the score, and more. Listen in!
It's the end of our baseball series, movie fans, and what a better way to end it than by talking about Phil Alden Robinson's fantastic fantasy film from 1989, "Field of Dreams." Considering Pete's disdain of Kevin Costner (at least in Bull Durham), it's a refreshing surprise to hear that he really likes this movie. On the other hand, it's a bit disturbing to hear Andy talk about why he loves it so much. Regardless, it's clearly a great movie with a fascinating script about a character who is a grownup on a hero's journey to becoming a man. Powerful stuff. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we discuss the great Oscar-nominated script by Robinson and why it has such an interesting structure, setting us up right out of the gate for this fantasy world we're in. We talk about the mythos it creates, both in the film and in the real world. And we chat about the crew, the great actors and James Earl Jones' amazing speech. It's one worth talking about, so listen in! In addition, we touch on the amazing week The Avengers has had and what it could mean for Joss Whedon. We also discuss Captain America's possible strange tie to Ronald Reagan. We discuss some pretty-bad-but-entertaining-nonetheless movies, and we talk about the possibility of maybe doing an episode in the future using Google+ hangouts. It's a great week! Come on in!
"Man, that ball got outta here in a hurry." It's time for more 80s baseball movies, ladies and gentlemen! This week, we're talking about Bull Durham, Ron Shelton's 1988 tribute to the minor leagues. If there ever was a film to compare religion to baseball to sex, this would be that film. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- as we talk about what works (the script), what doesn't (the actors, at least two in particular for Pete), and why this film goes down in the pantheon of greatest sports films made. Aside from Pete's problems with Susan Sarandon in this film and Kevin Costner in most films, we discuss the great Tim Robbins and how much he's really bringing to the table as "Nuke" Laloosh. We discuss Ron Shelton, how he got to the point where he was able to make this film, and where he is now. We also chat about where this film fits as far as genre and what Shelton's really doing with this film -- it's much more a character piece than a story about a team trying to win the big game (or a romantic comedy sports movie -- romcomspofi -- as Wikipedia claims). While we're at odds about the43 acting, we both think the script is solid, and are happy to discuss it this week. Listen in!
"Juuuuust a bit outside." That's right, ladies and gentlemen -- we're switching things up a bit this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" -- instead of "Bull Durham" as promised, we're pulling a switcheroo and flipflopping that with 1989's baseball comedy classic, "Major League." Sure, it's a bit dated, but man, it's still a fun and funny film. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- this week as we talk about this comedy gem from David S. Ward, Academy Award-winning writer/director. We jaw about the importance of casting actors who know how to play the game -- and how it's not just something they can "act" their way through. We chat about the backgrounds of Ward and his all-star (at the time) cast as well as discuss Ward's lifetime love of the Cleveland Indians and why he chose to write and direct this movie. We talk about the Indians and their long and sordid history (and yes, Andy even works his great-great uncle back into the conversation). And we discuss why this film still works so well, but also why some of it doesn't work, namely the music that dates it. It's a blast to reconnect with old memories and talk about this movie again. Listen in, baseball and baseball movie lovers!
Baseball. Just like apple pie, it's an intrinsic part of America. Movies about baseball, on the other hand, didn't really become popular forms of entertainment until 1984's "The Natural", which is what we're talking about this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" podcast. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- as we expound on the mythos of this film and what makes it so great. Is it the amazing (and surprisingly dark) source material written by Bernard Malamud? Or the brilliant performances headed up by Robert Redford? The stunning and timeless score by Randy Newman? Or is it the nature of the game itself? It's hard to say, ladies and gentlemen, but we cover all of it. We talk about the amazing and Oscar-nominated cinematography and art direction. We talk about what makes baseball movies great -- possibly better than other sports movies as a whole (except Caddyshack). We chat about how Barry Levinson and his team came together to make this, the first film for Tri-Star Pictures, a brand new studio (until Sony swallowed it up). We touch on the history of baseball movies, and even mention Andy's tie to the history of the sport itself (even if he can't get his facts straight). It's a wonderful film about a true hero's journey that can make grown men cry. It's a great film to kick off our 80s baseball movie series. Listen in!
What does a flibbertigibbet, bubaru, a set of artificial testicles, a luggage salesman, a brain cloud, and a volcano hungry for human sacrifices have in common? They're all part of the vastly underrated and misunderstood existential comedy from 1990, Joe Versus the Volcano. A film much beloved by Pete Wright and Andy Nelson, join them as they chat about it this week on Movies We Like. They'll talk about what the film is really all about and why it may have not connected with audiences when it came out. They'll hash through the plot and all its fine points, discussing the amazing writer/director John Patrick Shanley, as well as all the wonderful performances led by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. They'll talk about Bo Welch's amazing production design and Georges Delerue's beautiful score (along with all the stellar songs used throughout). And they'll discuss the problems the script and film have, particularly in the 3rd act. Despite those problems, it's a standout film with a message about not sleeping through life but standing up and taking a leap of faith. Andy and Pete love it and challenge you to revisit it with a fresh mindset this week. Listen in—you may walk away with a new favorite movie!
And thus begins the twisted journey, movie fans, that Woodward and Bernstein have to take to track down the truth behind one of the biggest scandals our country has ever faced, which led to the President's resignation. This week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like", join us—Pete Wright and Andy Nelson—as we talk about the third film in Alan J. Pakula's unofficial paranoia trilogy.
We're neck-deep in conspiracy this week, movie lovers, as we're talking about one of the 70s great conspiracy theory thrillers -- Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View from 1974, the second film in his unofficial paranoia trilogy. It's dark, it's full of paranoia, and it's got a crazy montage film in the middle that's possibly being used by a secret government organization that's trying to determine if you're good material for an assassin. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- on this week's episode of Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we rattle on about the nature of paranoia and conspiracy, and how this film so brilliantly plays into them. We'll talk about how the film was designed to put people in large environments, giving a sense that these characters have no power in this world. We'll talk about the nature of voyeurism and how the way the film is shot plays into this as well, which also plays well into the role of the Parallax Corporation in the story. And we, of course, talk about the montage in the middle of the film and what it's doing there. It's a fantastic -- and not really dated -- film that's worth talking about. Listen in!
Hey, movie lovers! We're taking a leap back to the 70s with this next series—Alan J. Pakula's paranoia trilogy. First up, 1971's "Klute," a dark and gritty character study/thriller about a small town detective trying to get information from a call girl about his missing friend. Join us this week as we talk about this fantastic film! We chat about the nature of 70s films and why they feel so dark and gritty. We talk about the amazing and dark cinematography of Gordon Willis. We discuss the nature of paranoia in the 70s and how this film plays into it, whether through the script, the acting, the directing, or the cinematography. And we talk about the performances, particularly Jane Fonda's Oscar-winning turn as Bree Daniels. She stands out in this film so much that we didn't give enough kudos to the brilliantly underplayed performance by Donald Sutherland in the title role. It's a great film that stands out as a movie we like (and tying it into previous podcasts, it's one of David Fincher's faves as well). So check out the movie and listen in!
Helllooooooo! Tonight, we're talking "Hot Fuzz", the perfect comedy homage to every cop action film ever made! The second and last film made thus far in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, this film was again written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, directed by Wright and starring Pegg. Join us as we talk about the fantastic filmmaking style that Wright brings to this film, particularly the ever-so-perfect Tony Scott-style series of shots, which we aptly name the "Jiggly Monkey". We also faun over the stellar cast, particularly the Daltonator in all his 'stache glory. We chat about the intense over-the-top violence and how it works in the film. We discuss the nature of parody or spoof films vs. homage films, and we rattle off all the cliches that this film employs so perfectly. It's an action film that features the shortest car chase in film history, a cuddly monkey and a Japanese Peace Lily, with a bit of impaling thrown in for good measure. Listen in! And by the way, did you know that NASA named the Japanese Peace Lily one of the top 10 air cleaning plants? Good to know.
Hellooooooo! Time for a break from all those heavy films, movie fans. Tonight, join Pete and Andy as we discuss the first of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (despite the fact that there are only two films thus far). Yes, we're going to be chatting about Edgar Wright's hilarious ode to zombie cinema, "Shaun of the Dead," a film he co-wrote with star Simon Pegg. It's a hilarious film that also works wonderfully as an homage to every zombie convention you can imagine. We talk about why it works so well, how it came to be, the hilarious cast (particularly our fave Bill Nighy), British manners, Edgar Wright's filmmaking style, and the endlessly quotable lines. And yes, we quote them. Endlessly. Join us for a laugh. Now how's that for a slice of fried gold? Yeeeee-aaahh, bo-iiieeee!
Well, movie lovers, it's that time. We've hit the end of our Benjamin Button style Fincher Fest. This week, Pete Wright and Andy Nelson talk about David Fincher's knock-you-out-of-your-seat detective thriller Seven, or Se7en if you prefer. Join us as we talk about how we feel about this film now that we've worked backward through Fincher's oeuvre. We talk about all the wonderful performances (though we get sidetracked on Brad Pitt and don't give Morgan Freeman enough attention) and how Fincher really from the start knew how to work with his actors as well as his technical partners. We discuss the script and how it found its way to Fincher. We hash through the ending and what other endings it could have had. And we chat about the bleach bypass process that Fincher used to give the film its look. It's a stellar film that stands out as a highlight in Fincher's career and we look forward to you joining us this week as we talk about it on "Movies We Like!"
Greetings, movie lovers! This week, we continue our Fincher Fest with a discussion about "The Game," a dark and twisting tale that Pete finds he doesn't really like anymore while Andy still connects with. Join us as we chat about why this film doesn't seem to work for Pete anymore and how Blake Snyder's book "Save the Cat!" may give us the answer, particularly as it relates to the current 99% movement and possibly also to some extent previous roles Michael Douglas has portrayed. We dig into why some people bought into this elaborate hoax that the story sets up and others didn't. We discuss how this movie came to be and who was originally slated to star in it, and we really get off on some of the great language in the script. It's a gloomy ride that satisfies some and leaves other pining for later and greater Fincher efforts, but we still have a great time talking about it so join in!
Greetings, movie lovers. This week, we hit David Fincher's film "Fight Club." Is it just an anarchic, pugilistic sensation or is Fincher really working at tapping into a dark zeitgeist affecting the average person at the turn of the century? Join us as we talk about this tale of an everyman narrator struggling to find sense in his Ikea life and how his dark counterpart, Tyler Durden, helps him find himself. We hit on the brilliant performances by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, as well as the always wonderful Helena Bonham Carter. We discuss the message Fincher is saying and how this is, possibly, the only real film that Fincher's made that is more than just a genre film of some sort. Listen in, and let us know what you think of this wild ride!
We've made it to the middle of the Fincher-Fest, movie lovers! This week, join us as we talk about his one-location movie, "Panic Room." Falling right between "Fight Club" and "Zodiac", this movie really marks a turning point for David Fincher's films -- starting here, he moves into the land of digital cinema (mostly) and finds a more controlled approach to his storytelling. Join us as we talk about the trials and tribulations that went into getting this film made -- an impending writers' strike, last minute actress and supporting actress replacements, a seemingly simple script that redefined complexity of camerawork on the set, and a six-month production schedule that had to work around not only Jodie Foster's pregnancy going from 1st to 3rd term, but also Kristin Stewart -- then not so famous for being Bella in "Twilight" -- growing from being shorter than Jodie Foster to being taller than her. This in a film that takes place over the course of one night for the most part. It's a tense, claustrophobic, well-paced thrill ride that's worth taking, and we have a blast talking about it. Listen in!