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Find That Film
31 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Find That Film: Overlord
I can’t believe we’re in season six. I’ve been slacking a bit and poor ManWithPez has been posting, writing, pulling clips…well, he’s been doing everything but recording my lines. I’ll try to return to form with episode 4 and the 2018 war horror movie Overlord. Despite heavy Cloverfield rumors and the Bad Robot involvement, this story was originally penned by Billy Ray and further developed by Ray and Mark L Smith (Abrams is a red herring). It takes the oft put to film Allied Invasion and blends it with the Nazis occult scientists and the tiny town they occupy. The result is a pretty decent war movie and an entertainingly gory horror movie. It stars Jovan Adepo as the good-hearted but terrible soldier Boyce. He wants to help and be brave but he just doesn’t have it in him to be as cold blooded as his brothers in arms. Wyatt Russell relunctantly leads the team as Corporal Ford: a soldier that’s seen enough battles to know how important staying on mission is. One of the best movie Nazi bad guys yet is Pilou Asbaek as Cpt Wafner. (This will make you wish he had been given more to do in Game of Thrones.) Mathilde Oliver makes you like Chloe almost as much as Boyce does. The small cast all do quite well in their roles. Sure, there are some tropes and obvious beats, but the sum of it’s parts outshines the minor annoyances. The effects are damn fine. The framing, lighting, and overall cinematography impresses. The trailer does not do a sufficient job of advertising the movie. Be prepared for some body horror. Be equally prepared for the realities of war. Be prepared to like the movie more than you intended to before you hit play. It may be part Wolfenstein, part The Keep, and part Re-Animator, but it is all good. This fall we encourage you to drop into the sales racks and find that film Overlord.
31 minutes | Sep 18, 2019
Find That Film: Evolution
Back in 2001, the film comedy as a genre that people regularly went to the theater for was beginning to change, and, in my opinion, not for the better. So leave it to Ivan Reitman, a director with a proven track record in comedy, to bring a throwback to one of his earlier films: Ghostbusters. Evolution is very much its own film, and yet, comparisons can and will be drawn, to Evolution’s detriment. And yet, Evolution succeeds on all fronts. It’s one of the funniest movies ever, the science fiction is science fiction-y enough, and it has a satisfying act structure. Hell, it made $100 million at the box office, and was still considered a misfire, what with its $80 million budget. A meteor crash lands in the Arizona desert, bringing with it a lifeform that rapidly evolves from single-celled organisms to dangerous animals in a matter of days. Drs. Ira Kane (David Duchovny)and Harry Block (Orlando Jones), two professors from the local community college are on the forefront to protect Earth from this threat, before the military steps in (led by General Woodman played to smarmy perfection by Ted Levine) with a CDC representative (Julianne Moore) to place tight restrictions on their access. The monsters get underestimated, and Ira and Harry enlist the help of a fireman trainee (Seann William Scott) to help them save the planet. The chemistry between David Duchovny and Orlando Jones by itself is a solid reason to watch this movie, and they are remarkably funny together. By making a comedy first and backing it up with a solid science fiction action film, Ivan Reitman ultimately serves up a satisfying movie that is worth your time to find. Just remember to bring your Head and Shoulders.
30 minutes | Sep 11, 2019
Find That Film: Blood Simple
The Coen brothers are powerhouses of modern cinema, and here is their first movie: Blood Simple…and what a debut! Neon-drenched, bloody, violent, Texas-themed neo-noir, and man, does it pack a punch! Like a movie we covered last season: Miller’s Crossing, here, the Coens present us with a flick that is film noir on the surface, but reveals itself as a straight crime drama with a skin of noir on it. Ray (John Getz)and Abby (Frances McDormand)are together now, and Abby’s husband (Dan Hedaya) doesn’t care for the pairing. To that end he hires an unscrupulous private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to kill them both, but the P.I. has plans of his own. It’s a simple story that relies on its performances to pull it through, and boy, does Blood Simple deliver. Dan Hedaya especially is playing against type here in a way that he almost never would again. He is a ball of menace and avarice, and the Coens go out their way to show us that Ray will not be the hero here as they draw many similarities between Ray and Marty. M. Emmett Walsh is an affable, laughing man…right up until he isn’t, and Frances McDormand plays a doe-eyed Texas blossom who isn’t as nearly naive as she seems. Blood Simple should rank up with the Coens’ best films: No Country For Old Men, Miller’s Crossing, O Brother Where Art Thou…It all starts here, and boy, do we start with a bang!
31 minutes | Sep 4, 2019
Find That Film: The Flamingo Kid
Welcome back to season 6 of Find That Film! And to kick things off, here’s a coming of age summer film from 1984 starring Matt Dillon called The Flamingo Kid. Matt Dillon through the 80s was known for being a broody, wrong side of the tracks pretty boy, and in The Flamingo Kid, he plays Jeffrey, a good card player who can spot an opportunity and exploit it without coming off like a complete douchebag. The difference here is that Jeffrey is a likeable man who isn’t up to his neck in angst. Back home, Jeffery’s father Arthur (a delightful Hector Elizondo) is disappointed in some of his son’s choices, but isn’t the overbearing Brooklyn father stereotype we were normally presented with through the 70s and 80s, and it is a wonder to behold. Richard Crenna plays the man Jeffrey would like to become, even if he’s a total prick…like Richard Crenna was good at portraying. The Flamingo Kid has a lot going on in it…more than can be gone into here. So hear what we have to say about it, and then find that Garry Marshall film. If you like the slice of life that Happy Days was, check out a slightly more grown up version of it in The Flamingo Kid.
33 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
Find That Film: The Boogens
For episode 23, we are finally closing out season five by discussing the 1981 not-horror-classic The Boogens. This low budget monster flick is best remembered for its monsters. For the record, ManWithPez fully objects to its inclusion in the Find That Film pantheon (remember how upset he was about Ice Pirates?). Warning: This episode has a hostile witness. The Boogens shows us the cold dreary week of two college-aged men on a mining contract, the women who join them to limit the boredom, the old timers heading up the job, a creepy local, and a dog. While the advertising and creepy local would hint at a slasher flick, this is in line with the cheesy monster movies of the past. It opens with newspaper clippings explaining the history of death in the mines and one unfortunate recent victim who is simply presumed missing. As is standard, people go about life not knowing anything’s amiss while more people fail to appear when they should. It culminates in a basic monster vs humans moment within the reopened mines. The inclusion of this movie has little to do with the plot or underwhelming effects and everything to do with the pure charm and professionalism coming off the cast. I give quite a bit of credit to director James L Conway for getting solid reactions from the actors without having a creature on set for most of the scenes. Jeff Harlan and Anne-Marie Martin may have flat characters but convince the viewer they are terrified and in fear for their lives. Rebecca Balding is great as the perky reporter. Fred McCarren nails the awkward every man part. Even though they’re pretty one dimensional, all the characters seem realistic and of average intelligence. It’s nice to see regular people in a horror movie. Come for the monster madness. Stay for the chocolate cake. Then ignore the monsters and find that film The Boogens. It’s neat.
36 minutes | Apr 16, 2019
Find That Film: Impulse
At the tail end of Summer of 1984, an intriguing psychological thriller slipped in and out of theaters. Even though it had sex, murder, and small town insanity, season five episode 22’s Impulse was completely overlooked.There was simply no way it was ever going to make a name for itself with the incredible movie landscape of 1984. Meg Tilly stars as Jennifer, a ballet dancer, who travels home with her doctor fiancé Stuart (Tim Matheson) when her mother attempts suicide. Her arrival finds her father Bob (John Carlen) and brother Eddie (Bill Paxton) are at each others’ throats more than usual. There’s something wrong; the small town and its people begin to seem menacing instead of quirky. As Jennifer and Stuart ask more questions, Dr. Carr (Hume Cronyn) agrees that the town is at its wits’ end. With people being killed in broad daylight, Jennifer worries neither she nor her loved ones will make it out alive. Impulse was directed by Graham Baker and written by Don Carlos Dunaway and Nicholas Kazan. Though it may seem slow at times, the screen is masterfully painted by cinematographer Thomas Del Ruth. It’s a beautiful film with lots of sunlight and muted tones of a worn small town. The budget was more akin to a TV film, but this creative team made the most of what they were given (watch for an amazing arson scene). Sure, Impulse is derivative. It’s also well acted and unique enough to be a worthy find. Med Tilly gives just enough naivety and subtle strength to make me, not a Tilly fan, want to find that film Impulse.
40 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
Find That Film: Miller’s Crossing
Yes, we’re still in season five. I know. It’s on me. I’m sorry. ManWithPez has been chomping at the bit to do an Albert Finney movie and here I sit too tired write. He watched Tom Jones for the first time and he mostly enjoyed it. Our youngest was introduced to Annie. We considered Big Fish and Murder on the Orient Express. In the end, I insisted his suggestion of Miller’s Crossing was perfect. Without further ado, episode 21: Miller’s Crossing. You really can’t go too wrong with a Coen brothers’ film. This is one of their gritty, dark, and bloody stories not their quirky, comedy filled tall tales. Except for the moments out in Miller’s Crossing, it’s a dark film of browns and blacks. Corruption and mob justice steer a city thirsty for drinks and gambling. Gabriel Byrne is the right hand man to Finney’s Leo, the boss. They disagree about what to do with Verna’s (Marcia Gay Harden) cheat brother (John Turturro). Leo doesn’t want to upset his lady love. Jon Polito and J E Freeman are some of the best antagonists in film and no one could of played their roles better. It’s also one of the few films I’ve watched where half the characters are gay and no one gives a rat’s ass. It’s refreshing. This story has all the twists and double-crosses you’d expect with a Coen property. If you love fedoras and a tommy gun wielding Albert Finley, you need to find that film Miller’s Crossing.
34 minutes | Feb 20, 2019
Find That Film: Innocent Blood
Do you remember that John Landis werewolf movie from the 80s? Yeah? Most people do and consider it the seminal film in the subgenre. Did you know he made a vampire/gangster movie in the 90s? Yeah, you wouldn’t be alone if you said you didn’t remember Innocent Blood, Landis’s other horror film. The 90s were hard on John Landis, for obvious reasons, but not the least which was he decided to make a comedy starring Sylvester Stallone. We’ve already covered that movie, so perhaps combining the crime movie with a horror comedy (though Innocent Blood is made a comedy only by Landis’s touches. Something tells me this wasn’t written this way.) was Landis keeping to form. Here, we have the lovely Marie, played by French actress Anne Parillaud, a vampire with a conscience who decides to use a city-wide gang war as a cover for nocturnal feeding habits. Getting in the way is Joe, played by Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia,(You heard me…AUSTRALIAN!) an undercover cop with a heart of gold. Directly in her sites is mob boss Sal “The Shark” Macelli, acted to over-the-top, scenery chewing perfection by Robert Loggia, who commits to this bizarre premise wholeheartedly and sells the movie with his charismatic performance. Chazz Palminteri, Kim Coates, Angela Bassett, Tony Sirico, David Proval, and a host of other actors you’ve seen on The Sopranos round out a very competent cast. Don Rickles, here, plays against type by playing a mob lawyer. No shit. A likeable mob lawyer who has one of the most memorable scenes in any movie, ever. No one blends comedy and horror like John Landis, who has the formula down, and when you’re about to roll your eyes and turn the channel, someone does something funny or interesting enough to keep your attention. This movie shouldn’t work, but everything is just charming enough, just gory enough, just funny enough to keep you tuned in, and that’s no mean feat, anymore. John Landis knows how to make an entertaining movie. He doesn’t top most of the other fantastic movies he’s made with Innocent Blood, but he does make an decent enough addition to his resume.
39 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Find That Film: Sneakers
I thought he posted it. He thought I posted it. I don’t know what’s going on anymore. Things seem to sneak by more and more everyday. Episode 19 is one of those movies with a super cast. The kind that will delight everyone. The premise. while ridiculous, is just believable enough to help you enjoy the movie. Settle in for Phil Alden Robinson‘s 1992 Sneakers. Sneakers can be considered a caper film, a spy film, a comedy, and a benign technopunk movie. If your technopunks are old enough to collect social security, that is. Well written, definitely well cast, and fantastically acted, Sneakers is nothing short of one of the better movies that the 90s ever produced. But what can you expect with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Ben Kingsley, David Straithairn, and Mary McDonnell in your movie? Not to mention a subversively scene stealing Stephen Tobolowsky? Sneakers tells the story of Martin Bishop, manager of a security consultant firm whose strategy is to attack your electronic defensive systems to show their weaknesses. What no one knows about Martin is that several decades ago, he and his buddy Cosmo pulled some felony level pranks with a phone and a modem. While the police caught Cosmo and sent him to prison, Martin escaped. Now a shadow group of federal agents are enlisting Martin and his security firm to track down a brilliant scientist’s little black box, THE code breaker that allows anyone to access anything. When the prize is so great, is it little wonder, then, that it brings a host of enemies to Martin’s door? Including the dead? Ridiculous, and ridiculously entertaining, Reford and company take this unwieldly premise and hammers it into something that not only seems credible, but manages to be fun along the way. No small feat given that you are essentially talking about a film revolving around complex mathematical algorithms. While it wasn’t a critical darling or any type of award bait, this is the movie about this subject that you want to see, simply because the cast and the execution are carried off so well. So plug in your answering machine and verify that your voice is your passport. It’s time to sneak off and find Sneakers.
53 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
Find That Film: Dune
Season five episode 18 is 1984’s Dune. We know it’s a divisive movie for Dune fans but we’d like you to give it a chance. David Lynch brought a unique angle to the telling of the universe’s spice battle. And we dare you not to fall under Francesca Annis‘s spell as Lady Jessica. Frank Herbert‘s Dune has held a spot in the top five science fiction novels for more than 50 years. It tells the tale of a young royal leading an underground force to disrupt the corrupt regime after the murder of his father. The massive first novel in his series was squeezed into one feature length film after 15 years in development hell. The result is a mixed bag of book details and new concepts to shortcut the lengthy backstory. The whole is worth the time. Many people have forever linked this cast to these characters. Kyle MacLachlan broke into Hollywood (and Lynch’s crew) as Paul. It’s a tricky way to begin a career. Jurgen Prochnow and Francesca Annis make a gorgeous and believable Duke Leto and Lady Jessica. Even though some odd choices were made about the depiction of Reverend Mother Mohiam, Sian Phillips was perfectly cast. For my money, the bizarrely cast Everett McGill is a joy as Stilgar (joyful Stilgar?). Freddie Jones, Linda Hunt, and Jose Ferrer add depth and legitimacy to the movie. Dune has a massive cast which includes a naive Sean Young and a misused Dean Stockwell. Great care was taken in making the Fremen and the desert hard and unforgiving. Bob Ringwood, the costume team, and the art direction team created believable stillsuits and fantastic wardrobes and sets. Toto‘s music is almost more memorable than the movie itself. The worms. Puppetry and miniatures are hard, but for the most part, they come across as massive creatures to respect. Grab a few friends, or your kids, and introduce them to a classic story. Have a drink or two to get the spice flowing and find that film Dune.
29 minutes | Jan 23, 2019
Find That Film: The Cutting Edge
Here at Find That FIlm, we don’t just love the finely crafted, innovating, or Oscar caliber movies. Oh no, we like the cheesy stuff too. So it is with episode 17 of season five: The Cutting Edge. This is the second Paul Michael Glaser movie we’ve covered and it has similar shortcomings. It also displays his strengths—don’t worry. Glaser, an entertaining actor I’m sure you all recognize (no?), is strongest when he’s directing small screen fare. He understands television direction and acting better than theatrical directing. I suspect it’s why his films always feel a bit like TV movies. For instance, his framing suits the small screen better than the widescreen. However, he’s great at getting the scene, the shot, the actor’s best take. As cheesy as his movie may be, the actors give great performances for him. That’s the true strength of The Cutting Edge. D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly have some of the best chemistry we’ve ever seen. Their spark coupled with Tony GIlroy‘s script give this movie an enjoyable Taming of the Shrew vibe. Roy Dotrice gives his usual strong performance and adds heart as the coach (a nice ice skating coach, what?). Terry O’Quinn and Dwier Brown round out the main cast. The masses love this movie because it makes ice skating look as hard and tough as hockey and because of D.B. and Moira. It’s a fantastically fun look at the ridiculous girl-hates-boy, boy-hates-girl, oh!-we’re-in-love story. Plus, they wear awful late 80s/early 90s fashion (Take a shot every time you see a wind breaker). This is a great little soda and popcorn movie. You can watch this with the family or alone with cookie dough. It’s oddly satisfying. Sign your kids up for hockey, find it cost prohibitive, decide on skating, find it time prohibitive, then give up and find that film The Cutting Edge.
35 minutes | Jan 16, 2019
FInd That Film: Kitty Foyle
I’m finally posting episode 16 of season five. I think we have figured out how my change in work schedule will work with instead of against our publishing schedule. Fingers crossed you’ll see the next podcast within the week. Anywho, episode 16! This is Kitty Foyle starring Ginger Rogers in her only (for reasons unknown to me) Oscar role. She plays Kitty, while collar girl from the poorer side of town, who loves the very wealthy Wynn (Dennis Morgan). When they have trouble bridging their two worlds, she moves to New York to make it on her own. Over the years they repeatedly try to make it work resulting in amazing adventures, heartbreaking tears, romantic moments, and endless hope. Along the way Kitty befriends Mark (James Craig). He always tries to be there in a way Kitty needs as he knows all about her love for Wynn. One wintry night Kitty must follow her heart or trust her mind as both men present a crossroad. Director Saw Wood gets an amazing performance out of Ginger. She will move you to tears—possibly more than once. Her tough-gal screen persona gets a softer edge this time with some distance looks and wry smiles. Dennis Morgan and James Craig make a very tough choice for Kitty. Both men are spot-on and charming. Overall, the cast is well thought and performed. And other than a bizarre intro, the movie is fairly well put together. The story of Kitty Foyle was based upon a popular novel by Christopher Morley. It was a bit on the salacious side. The movie had to be toned down and changed in subtle ways to get past the devilish Hays Code. If you see a scene cut to black or linger on a shot oddly, you can assume it was supposed to be juicier. Please check your local listings or your preferred streaming service for this one. It may not be up to modern woman’s standards of single life, but it’s an amazing performance by someone you thought could only go toe-to-toe with Astaire. Grab a box of tissue (just in case), pour a glass of something good, and find that film Kitty Foyle.
35 minutes | Jan 2, 2019
Find That Film: A Christmas Carol
For our last Christmas podcast of 2018…even though it’s now 2019, here’s the 1984 made for TV version of A Christmas Carol, my personal favorite take on Charles Dickens novel, featuring a fantastic performance by…well, almost everyone in it. First and foremost is George C. Scott. Not usually known for his TV work, Scott here is also an uncredited producer as he somehow owned the rights to the production after its original airing. So until his death, it wasn’t shopped around on TV that often, which is a shame. It’s very well made, with great costumes, and doesn’t go overboard like most productions of A Christmas Carol do. Scrooge isn’t standing out in the snow in his bedclothes, and the old miser even finds the time to laugh at his own jokes now and then. Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present is also a standout. He is, at times, mournful, jolly, and filled with righteous anger at Ebenezer and his greedy ways. This spirit in other productions is not given the gravitas here that Woodward manages, and the movie is all the better for it. David Warner, Roger Rees, Susannah York, Joanne Whalley, and Lucy Gutteridge are all great in this worthy production, with David Warner proving to us all that he could be better than the villain he was perpetually cast as, and Roger Rees giving perhaps the most appealing portrayal of Fred Hollywell, Scrooge’s nephew who just wants everyone to be nice to each other, and still has hope of saving the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge. If you’ve not found this version of A Christmas Carol, you’re letting yourself down, and may likely be visited by the spirit of your 7 years dead business partner, threatening you with a haunting unless you give in and watch it!
33 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
Find That Film: It Happened on 5th Avenue
Merry Christmas! Sit down and watch a mostly forgotten christmas cookie of a film that most people couldn’t view on television from the late 80s until just a couple of years ago. Why I’m talking about It Happened on 5th Avenue, a saccharine sweet confection of a film that couldn’t offend anyone if it tried. This isn’t quite treacle on the levels of White Christmas or It Happened on 34th Street, but this is a hopeful, comedic slice of life where Victor Moore plays the homeless Aloysius T. McKeever, who winters from December to March in the house of the second richest man in the world Michael J. O’Connor, played expertly and somewhat stuffily by Charles Ruggles, one of our favorite actors ever. Along the way McKeever picks up a couple of homeless families and the luckless Jim Bullock (a wonderfully funny Don DeFore), who catches the eye of Trudy O’Connor, played by Gale Storm, who discovers our squatters, but think so little of her father that she befriends them and aids them in staying in her house without them knowing who she really is. Dan DeFore and Gale Storm add a lovely romantic tone to this movie, and we here at The Bedroom think that it’s high time to add It Happened on 5th Avenue to your regular Christmas rotation. This is a fine film that while somewhat loaded with some heavy topics (homelessness, poverty, unemployment, and the treatment of war veterans returning from WWII), never sinks into the mire of drama, preferring to remain an optimistic comedy even though some of our characters are dealing with some life altering events. So stick an unfortunate man in a Santa costume and give him your mansion! After all, you might just learn to love life again…after you find It Happened on 5th Avenue.
32 minutes | Dec 7, 2018
Find That Film: 3 Godfathers
It’s my fault. I just can’t seem to shake this cold. Plus, I didn’t feel like recording on my birthday while I coughed out a lung. Hopefully, I’ve managed to get it a little under control for the first of season five’s Christmas themed movies. Episode 13 rings in the 1948 John Ford 3 Godfathers. Note not just the year but the title and director as this film exists in many incarnations: some with similar names, some with similar actors, and some with a repeated director. Three bank robbers flee across the desert but find themselves cornered and without water. They discover an abandoned wife in labor. The men vow to keep the baby safe as she uses her dying breath to proclaim them the child’s godfathers. Unsure of how to keep the child alive when they are barely doing so, they set off across the unforgiving terrain. Being a John Ford production you can expect gorgeous lighting, breathtaking cinematography, and Victor McLag…sorry, not McLagen. Winton Hoch captures the technicolor wilds of “Arizona” so well you may need to keep a large glass of water nearby for refreshment. While the pacing is uneven, the visuals and performances will keep you glued to the screen. You will enjoy an assortment of some of Ford’s favorite players. John Wayne stars as the lead bad guy. He’s rough and smart and totally unprepared for fatherhood. Pedro Armendariz seems to be the most useful of the trio and nearly steals the whole movie. Harry Carey Jr. fills the role of the younger rider who’s naiveté and earnestness keeps the men going. Ward Bond hunts the robbers, Mildred Natwick gives her all for five minutes, and Jane Darwell flirts and sasses better than anyone. All in all this one works well as a Christmas parable: the three wise men, a baby boy, and star to guide them. Steel yourself for some pain but expect some comedy sprinkled throughout this heartwarming western of bad guys doing good. Find that film 3 Godfathers.
31 minutes | Nov 27, 2018
Find That Film: The Ice Storm
If I were to ask you for a list of the best films of 1997, a few would jump to mind. The Full Monty, L.A. Confidential, Good Will Hunting…maybe? Even Titanic? I’ll admit to being a film snob, but it’s hard to match the technical brilliance of Titanic. Somewhere in your list, though, would be Ang Lee‘s The Ice Storm. Do you know what it doesn’t have in common with any of the other movies I’ve listed here? The Ice Storm, an absolutely gorgeous and stunningly acted film, wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards. Not one. It was nominated for at least one of all the other major awards out there, including a Golden Globe for Sigourney Weaver (who got the brunt of the attention, but it’s hard to say what the best performance among this stellar cast is. Is it Kevin Kline? Is it Joan Allen? Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, and Adam Hann-Byrd are all great in it, if not award worthy (though Ricci did pull in a handful). Tobey Maguire is here too, as probably the most normal person in the entire movie. When baseline normal in your mainstream indie is Tobey Maguire? I don’t know, man. But it all works, and works very, very well. What doesn’t work for The Ice Storm is its advertising campaign, which wants to paint it as some 70s coming-of-age triumph. The Ice Storm is a lot of things, but coming-of-age film, or anything remotely triumphant isn’t one of them. Bleak, articulate, intricate, devastating, and as ThatWeirdGirl points out, somewhat life-affirming, The Ice Storm remains widely considered one of the best films to never have been nominated for an Academy Award. This is a film that is worth your time no matter who you are, unless you just watch movies for explosions. There are a couple of implosions here, but it’s families, not property damage that’s on the menu. Find this film, and you’ll be rewarded with an oddly funny, off-putting, thought provoking period film that might be a little too real as America leaves the feel-good 50s and settles into the troublesome 70s. *For the love of Ang Lee, DO NOT WATCH the trailer for this movie. I’d link it, but then you’d watch it, and I just told you not to! Not only is it misleading, it’s riddled with spoilers. Just watch the movie and ignore its advertising.
43 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
Find That Film: Home for the Holidays
Continuing a look at some Thanksgiving movies, here’s Home for the Holidays, an underrated gem of a holiday movie that might suffer from feeling a little too real. Thanksgiving is recognized as one of the more emotionally scarring holidays, and Jodie Foster in the directorial chair has managed to capture a snapshot of a family that can’t stand being in the same room, but loves each other (for the most part). A great ensemble fronts a chaotic story of a family at Thanksgiving where the parents are the most ordinary people, but their children are desperately unhappy with themselves or each other for varying reasons. For the most part, this is played for laughs. Holly Hunter gives a very appealing performance as elder sister Claudia. Robert Downey Jr. plays goofy gay brother Tommy, and Cynthia Stevenson plays disapproving, self-loathing sister Joanne. These are all characters you know and can identify with, if you aren’t actively are. Charles Durning and Anne Bancroft are the parents of this mess of a family whose inability to effectively communicate with their children may have led to some of their troubles as adults. Dylan McDermott plays Tommy’s tagalong friend who is actively being set up with Claudia in one his more charming roles. Steve Guttenberg is here, even if he’s absent from the advertising as Joanne’s stodgy, financially minded husband. Why this movie isn’t a staple of holiday viewing is both a mystery and completely understandable. It’s a funny, chaotic movie that might hit a little too close to home for some viewers. So, strap down one of the turkeys, play some combative touch football, and find Home for the Holidays. Thanksgiving movies are an endangered species, and this is one of the better holiday movies out there, if you like humorous realism that can take a turn to the dramatic at the drop of a dime. You know, like your actual family.
36 minutes | Nov 7, 2018
Find That Film: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
We’re rolling in to November not with time travel in season five, but a couple of Thanksgiving holiday movies. With that, episode 10 is the John Hughes penned and directed Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. Neal Page (Steve Martin) wants to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. His business trip in NYC runs long, forcing him to rush to the airport. Nothing goes right for Neal: his cab is stolen, his case is run over, and his plane is delayed. Worse, the cab thief is his seat mate. In a failed attempt at amends, Del Griffith (John Candy), the cab thief, tries to help Neal get to Chicago through flight diversions, motel stays, trains, crowded buses, and rental cars. Good-hearted Del can’t seem to do anything right. Frustrated Neal can’t seem to catch a break. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles shines with Steve Martin and John Candy. This is a pairing we needed more of in our lives. Hughes stepped out of his usual zone to create a more grown-up movie with just as much comedy and heart as dread and despair. The three of them working together crystallized a moment in holiday film not to be overlooked. A memorable cast of cameos and scene stealers fill the movie. Alll your Hughes favorites like Edie McClurg (her second appearance this season), Bill Erwin, and Larry Hankin appear. Additionally, a few big names like Michael McKean and Kevin Bacon pop up too. Dylan Baker manages to make his first feature role one of the best moments of the movie. I think this is the third film we’ve featured that has Martin Ferrero in a short yet memorable role. It wasn’t as big as it should have been. While the critics praised it, the production was hampered by warm weather and the release was overshadowed by more friendly rated* movies. We hope you haven’t missed this 30-year-old tour de force. Make sure everyone knows how to get to your house and then find that film Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. *Is it family friendly? The R rating is for a one minute tirade featuring the F-bomb 18 times. No violence or sex.
36 minutes | Oct 31, 2018
Find That Film: The Thing
Happy Halloween! While our past performances would dictate that we would skip a holiday podcast because we were busy or something horrible had happened, we decided for once not to let anyone down! So, for Halloween, and to close out our Decades of Horror podcasts, we give you 1982’s The Thing, a John Carpenter directed practical effects extravaganza (provided by Rob Bottin and a team of MILLIONS!) that is still more than worthy of your time today! Kurt Russell leads an ensemble cast of nothing but men in the ultimate survival horror where our monstrous villain can look like anyone or anything. There’s a reason this movie is remembered as a classic, but was derided on its initial release (something that still baffles me to this day). Tight, claustrophobic sets expertly directed by Carpenter that are still somehow made beautiful by DP Dean Cundey and a great minimalistic music score by consummate veteran Ennio Morricone render this movie a must-see. The lesson is that you shouldn’t open your grotesque alien invasion film anywhere near E.T. While The Thing was criticized for its violence and gore, the truth is nothing is out of place in this fantastically tense and paranoiac film. Yes, there’s violence. Yes, parts of it are gross. But it all happens in support of the story. There’s nothing out of left field simply so the movie can be grosser or uglier. A word of warning. An attempt to revisit this film and fill in some of the narrative gaps (that didn’t need filling) was made in 2011 by a film with the EXACT SAME NAME! This film, 2011’s The Thing, suffered from a lot of studio involvement that wanted its practical effects covered with CGI at the last minute. Do not confuse these movies! You want The Thing from 1982. The one where both Keith David AND Wilford Brimley both get to be badasses somehow! Grab your J&B, your computer chess set, a flamethrower, and a length of wire and find what is simply one of the best horror films ever made! The Thing! A perfect note for us to end October on, and indeed, a fantastic film to find for Halloween!
38 minutes | Oct 24, 2018
Find That Film: Carrie
We’ve talked about ManWithPez’s favorite horror film; now it’s my turn. I only had to wait for episode eight of season five. Today’s Find That Film is my birthday movie: Carrie. Carrie was a massive money maker and significant milestone for both Stephen King and Brian de Palma. The bizarre story of a repressed high school outcast attempting to be a part of normal life. It doesn’t go well for her or anyone, really. Inspired by Hitchcock here, De Palma uses all his favorite camera tricks, split screens and transitions in ways that fit the film without becoming too much. The cast stands out among horror ensembles. Each character is clearly defined and portrayed perfectly for the movie story. The stars Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie were both nominated for Oscars. William Katt (love him!), Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, PJ Soles, and John Travolta seem like flawed teenagers. Of course Betty Buckley‘s nuanced Ms. Collins wins our hearts every time. Carrie is a beautiful film even with the buckets of blood. Everyone can relate to the torment, the rage, the jealousy, and the desire for revenge. Find that film Carrie so you don’t have to enact the gruesome impulses yourself.
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