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 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!
"When they first heard about this thing, it was 'Crew Expendable'. The next time, they sent in marines. They were expendable too. What makes you think they're gonna care about a bunch of lifers who found God at the ass-end of space?" The third time may not be a charm for the Alien anthology, movie lovers, but it turns out to be a better film than many people gave it credit for back in 1992. Join us -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we talk about David Fincher's first film, Alien 3 (also conveniently and belatedly finishing up our Benjamin Button-style Fincher Fest). In this episode, we talk about what we thought of the film back then versus what we think now. We chat about the immense script and production problems this film went through all along its journey to theaters, and also talk about what was cut out and eventually put back into the 2003 Assembly Cut. We talk about the troubles David Fincher had, yet contrast that with what he was still able to get up on screen. We hash through the special effects, discussing how great they were back then but how they certainly haven't aged well. We touch on the fantastic cast and debate whether there was enough new story for the Ripley character to play out in this or if she'd already run her course. We talk about the budget and how, even with all of its immense overages, the film still managed to rake in a healthy chunk of dough. We touch on Elliot Goldenthal's music, creating a haunting, eerie score that fits the film well. And are you curious as to what Meryl Streep's connection is to this film, movie lovers? Listen in to find out!
"Game over, man! Game over!" There are few sequels that can stand up to the originals as well asAliens can to its predecessor, and it's clear that we -- Pete Wright and Andy Nelson -- really like this film. Join us this week on Rash Pixel's "Movies We Like" as we talk about why we truly like this film and what it means to us. We chat about the relationship this 1986 James Cameron film has with Ridley Scott's original Alien, how Cameron got the job to do it and what his vision for the film was. We also talk about the differences between the original cut and the director's cut that came out under a decade later. We chat about the amazing cast, the incredible crew, and the ALIENS -- damn, they're impressive in this film. We talk about the lengths Cameron, Stan Winston and the rest of the team went to so that they could create what appears to be hundreds of aliens, and none of them moving like they're just a man in a costume. We talk about the nature and possible controversy of the Alien Queen, and how the addition of the character messes up the intentions of the additional footage in the Alien director's cut (if it does at all). We also talk about why this film works so well and how it fits as a partnership pairing with the first film. It's a great movie and we love talking about it this week on "Movies We Like!" Listen in!
"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.