Ep. 61: The Departed

Nate and Ryan invite special guest Anne Singleton back to talk about The Departed, Martin Scorsese’s violent, vulgar crime thriller.  Like most film fans, Nate and Ryan are big fans of Scorsese, but The Departed is the first of his films on this podcast.  Although many of Scorsese’s films have been important to the foundations of contemporary American cinema, the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars eluded him until the Academy smiled upon this gritty remake of Infernal Affairs from Hong Kong directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.  Nate, Ryan, and Anne discuss how much impact the movie has more than 10 years later.

What are your memories of The Departed?  Where does it rank among Scorsese’s movies?  How many times should one director use the same song in a movie?  Let us know!

Check out Ann’s Best Picture film blog.

Ep. 60: Moonstruck

Nate and Ryan watch Moonstruck, the perfect movie to either keep the romance of a successful Valentine’s Day going, or the perfect movie to make up for a lackluster holiday.  This 1987 hit won Best Actress and Supporting Actress Oscars for stars Cher and Olympia Dukakis as well as Best Original Screenplay for John Patrick Shanley.  Both Nate and Ryan had always planned on seeing Moonstruck, but up until now had found a way to watch anything else instead.  Listen as they discuss what took them so long, and whether Moonstruck  (directed by Canadian Norman Jewison) was worth the wait.

What is your favorite romantic comedy?  Where does Moonstruck rank among romantic comedies?  Can Cher do any wrong?  On the scale of lunatic Nicolas Cage performances, how crazy is Ronnie?  Let us know!

Check out the Steven Benedict Moonstruck podcast episode Nate mentioned.

Ep. 59: All the President’s Men

In a year that has everyone talking about presidential scandals, corruption, and collusion, Nate and Ryan felt it only appropriate to revisit the 1976 classic All the President’s Men.  Listen as Nate and Ryan discuss what makes this film brilliant, and how it feels to watch this movie in light of so many similar current events.

Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, and director Alan J. Pakula immortalized the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they doggedly pursued a story no one had any real interest in.  Nate and Ryan discuss how they were able to make a movie that is 80 percent phone conversations into a tense political thriller.

What are your thoughts on All the President’s Men?  How quickly and irreversibly do you get lost in Robert Redford’s eyes?  Is it irresponsible to watch a historical movie through a contemporary political lens?  Let us know!

Ep. 58: Elf

For our fourth annual Holiday Extravaganza, we’re re-watching Elf, the 2003 Will Farrell comedy hit that has become a must-see for many people each year.  Our feelings for Elf have deteriorated over the years, so we wanted to watch it again to see if there’s something we’re missing.  This is the first time we’ve watched a Christmas movie that neither of us are big on, and we know that many of our listeners do like this movie. As the spirit of the season dictates, we watched with a generous mind and an open heart.  Though we can’t say that it made much of a difference…

Share your thoughts!  Are we just being Grinches?  What do you love about Elf? If you’ve never liked it, how have you managed to stay under the radar so the Elf fanatics don’t forcibly decorate your house?  Let us know!

Ep. 57: Willow

For some reason, something about November makes us want to watch movies with wizards.  As per a listener suggestion, we’re watching Willow, the 1988 George Lucas-conceived, Ron Howard-directed fantasy epic.  For many people, Willow was a special part of their childhood, but in the pantheon of classic children’s movies, Willow rarely seems to enter the conversation.

Listen in as we explore Willow‘s merits and absurdities and discuss whether it’s something we’d pass on to our children.

Is Willow a part of your childhood?  Does it still hold up?  What is your favorite Willow memory?  Let us know!