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Episodes

Episode 47: Labyrinth (1986)

labyrinthIn episode 47, the second episode of our look at movies from Jim Henson, we talk about one of the most difficult kinds of puppet-based movies: Integrating puppetry with live action and actors! In 1986's "Labyrinth," the true genius of Jim Henson is put on display for all to see! Directed by Jim Henson, and written by Dennis Lee, Jim Henson, and Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame), this story follow Sarah, a young girl stuck in the throes of her early teen years, and that hesitation to put aside childhood in favor of adulthood. She is forced by her parents to babysit her infant half-brother Toby, and calls upon the mythical Goblin King to take him away. After accidentally saying the right words to summon the Goblin King, her brother vanishes, and she must negotiated the trap- and monster-filled labyrinth to rescue him from the King's castle at its center! Starring a young Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, and David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King, this film also features the voices of Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Dave Goelz, Michael Hordern, and Denise Bryer! Truly one of the best Henson films of all times, even if it didn't do well when it was initially released! Finally, the trio reveal the genre and films they'll be reviewing in Episodes 48 and 49!



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Episode 46: The Dark Crystal (1982)

 

 darkcrystalThis is the first of two episodes focusing on the non-Muppet work of puppet-master Jim Henson, starting in 1982 with his first attempt at broadening the scope of his work, "The Dark Crystal." Directed by Henson and Frank Oz, the film is set in a unique fantasy world which is the site of the struggle between the kind and wise Mystics, and the evil and selfish Skeksis. In to this world comes Jen, the last of the Gelflings, who is sent on an epic quest by his Master, one of the Mystics. Along the way, he finds out he is actually not the last of his race, meets interesting characters, and ultimately is tasked with righting an ancient wrong (and saving the world)! Written by Jim Henson and David Odell, and voiced by Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw, Percy Edwards, Barry Denning, Jerry Nelson, Thick Wilson, John Baddeley, and Sean Barrett, this film is unique in film history! Of course, it's not for everyone, as you'll hear, but you should see it (and show it to your children) and, as always, make your own judgement!



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Episode 45: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

 tuckeranddaleThe second part of our look at post-modern horror comedy brings us to 2010, and the sleeper hit-turned-cult classic, Tucker and Dale Versus Evil! This movie flips the typical "hillbilly horror" story on its head, with friendly, misunderstood hillbillies, stupid college kids, and "evil" in the guise of arrogance! Directed by relative newcomer Eli Craig, and written by Craig and Morgan Jurgenson, also a freshman to film-writing, this movie stars Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk, two stars whose names are well-known in certain circles, but relatively unheard of in others. The film also stars Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McLaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson, Alex Arsenault, and Adam Beauchesne. It's a great film, it's funny, and it's horrifying in just the right way for a horror-comedy! Plus, hear what epic fantasy films will be the subject of the next podcasts! (Hint: They both involved Henson studios!)



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Episode 44: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

 shaunofthedeadPost-modern horror comedies (which are WAY more fun than they sound) are our targets for these episodes of the podcast. Jeff and Chad welcome guest geek Annette (sitting in for Buddy) as they look at 2004's slackers-meet-zombies classic, Shaun of the Dead! This is a bit like a combination of Clerks with George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead," if it were set in England. It's also something of a romantic comedy wrapped in horror paper. Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, and directed by Wright, the film stars Pegg, alongside his partner-in-crime, Nick Frost. They're joined by Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Penelope Wilton, along with a brief cameo by none other than Martin Freeman!



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Episode 43: The American President (1995)

 americanpresidentThe last episode warmed you up for presidential romantic comedy, but in this episode, Buddy, Jeff, and Chad bring you the best of the genre yet put on film, as they discuss 1995's "The American President!" Directed by the amazing Rob Reiner, and written by the person Jeff refers to as "The Master," the unparalleled Aaron Sorkin, this film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Benning, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, Samantha Mathis, David Paymer, Richard Dreyfuss, Wendie Malick, Joshua Malina, , and John Mahoney in a tour de force of exactly what a presidential romantic comedy, really ANY romantic comedy in fact, can be when it's done by people who fully understand the structure and possibilities of the genre! It's a rare three-way top-score rating from the trio for this film, so listen in and find out why! And at the end, find out what chillingly funny films are coming up in episodes 44 and 45!



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