Episode 73. Tall Tales

"Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." This week Alex and Jonathan discuss three movies about the act and importance of storytelling: The Princess Bride (1987), Big Fish (2003), and The Fall (2006). We discuss the various ways that stories impact our lives, crafting a plot structured around a story-within-a-story, and creating a visual… Continue reading Episode 73. Tall Tales

Episode 71. Detectives, Dames, and Deception

Diving into maybe the darkest genre in film-history, Alex and Jonathan take a look at the moral complexity of film noir in The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), and Touch of Evil (1958). We talk about the increasing darkness of the subject matter as the period goes on, common elements like the femme fatale, and the continuing… Continue reading Episode 71. Detectives, Dames, and Deception

Episode 69. A Robotic Retrospective

Alex and Jonathan dive into the history and variety of robot representation in film today. Specifically we're talking about: The Terminator (1984), The Iron Giant (1999), and Ex Machina (2014). We discuss the range of robots from violent villains to compassionate characters, the transition from divinely-inspired to human-made, and how robot stories help us anticipate the future. Also… Continue reading Episode 69. A Robotic Retrospective

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

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 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