Episode 64. Sequel Syndrome

When a film is successful, the natural next step is to make another one, which may or may not also be successful. Today Alex and Jonathan talk about the varying quality of sequels and look at Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and The Dark Knight (2008). We discuss the repeatability of sequels, ending… Continue reading Episode 64. Sequel Syndrome

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Episode 63. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 3 – Stay Alive

For the final episode in the Hepburn vs. Hepburn series, Alex and Jonathan discuss The African Queen (1951) starring Katharine Hepburn, and Charade (1963) starring Audrey Hepburn. We talk about Katharine's return to Hollywood and career after being "over the hill," Audrey's ability to mix comedy and fear, and how these films mark the end of an era… Continue reading Episode 63. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 3 – Stay Alive

Episode 62. Mounting Mockumentaries

Following up podcast Episode 47: Dauntless Documentaries Alex and Jonathan take on the spin-off genre of mockumentaries and look at This is Spinal Tap (1984), Best in Show (2000), and What We Do in the Shadows (2014). We talk about the origins of the genre, benefits non-fiction filmmaking can gain from the documentary format, and the appeal of… Continue reading Episode 62. Mounting Mockumentaries

Episode 60. Wild Westerns

In a long overdue genre episode, Alex and Jonathan take a journey through the western films of Hollywood's history and talk about Stagecoach (1941), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Django Unchained (2012). We discuss the various themes explored in westerns over time, controversies associated with western depictions of race, and the ways that specific genres… Continue reading Episode 60. Wild Westerns

Episode 58. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 2 – The Cukor Corner

The listeners responded to our latest Twitter polls to decide what films Alex and Jonathan should discuss starring Katharine and Audrey Hepburn, and the result was two films both directed by George Cukor: The Philadelphia Story (1940), and My Fair Lady (1964). We discuss what it means to be a "woman's director," how Cukor approaches various romantic… Continue reading Episode 58. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 2 – The Cukor Corner

Episode 56. Waxing Wuxia

Taking a quick break from American film this week, Alex and Jonathan head back to China and examine three landmark film of the wuxia genre: Dragon Inn (1967), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), House of Flying Daggers (2004). We talk about the traditions of wuxia, the poeticism of the genre, and the various uses of visual effects to aid… Continue reading Episode 56. Waxing Wuxia

Episode 50. Concluding with Christmas

For the season one podcast finale, Alex and Jonathan take a look at five of the most classic and beloved Christmas films: It's a Wonderful Life (1946), A Christmas Story (1983), Die Hard (1944), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), and Elf (2003). We talk about what makes a Christmas movie, how Christmas movies portray and become traditions, and what makes… Continue reading Episode 50. Concluding with Christmas

Episode 48. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 1 – Cat Fight

A friendly feud finally comes out in the open as Alex and Jonathan discuss the wonderful talents of the two most famous Hepburns: Katharine and Audrey. We watch Bringing Up Baby (1938) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and discuss the jokes of screwball comedies, each actress' typical persona, and controversial aspects of old movies. Also on iTunes… Continue reading Episode 48. Hepburn vs. Hepburn: Round 1 – Cat Fight

Episode 47. Dauntless Documentaries [Video]

In a special video episode, Alex and Jonathan sit down to talk about three documentary films: Grey Gardens (1975), The Thin Blue Line (1988), Grizzly Man (2005). We talk about the ways documentaries speak to the audience, how to structure true events into a compelling narrative, and how documentary subjects are portrayed by the filmmakers. https://youtu.be/r0Gkra63j-A Also on… Continue reading Episode 47. Dauntless Documentaries [Video]

Episode 46. Amiable Aliens

It's not a new genre this week but a couple of new species that Alex and Jonathan take a look at with three alien films: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Arrival (2016). We talk about how good science fiction comments on humanity in every era, the difference between science fiction and science fantasy,… Continue reading Episode 46. Amiable Aliens