Sunday, 26 May 2019

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Recent Episode Archive

Episode 112: Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

leavinglasvegasThis episode begins our pairing of Las Vegas films with a story that is in no way, shape, or form, what one would call "happy," but is still one of the finest performances ever captured on film, so much so that it netted Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress, and got Nicolas Cage an Oscar win for Best Actor. The movie is the broken love story that is "Leaving Las Vegas." Directed by Mike Figgis, he also wrote the screenplay based on the novel by John O'Brien. Starring Cage, Elizabeth Shue, and Julian Sands, with cameo-level appearances by Richard Lewis, Steven Weber, Emily Procter, French Stewart, R. Lee Ermey, Mariska Hargitay, Danny Huston, Laurie Metcalf, Shawnee Smith, and Lou Rawls, this is a showpiece where both the director and the two leads are absolutely at the top of their game. An absolute must-see, although queue up some cartoons or your favorite comedy afterwards.



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Episode 111: The Cannonball Run (1981)

cannonballrunBased on director Hall Needham and writer Brock Yates' experience racing in the final run of the actual "Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash," this film featured a cast of who's who for the time, including stars Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, and Farrah Fawcett, plus supporting help from the likes of Roger Moore (as himself, sort of), Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Elam, Adrianne Barbeau, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis, Jackie Chan (in his first American movie appearance), Burt Convy, Jamie Farr, George Furth, and Peter Fonda! And while the cast is amazing, two of the trio almost came to blows when discussing the film's raw entertainment value! This film review features the widest spread in ratings of any film this crew have reviewed thus far! And finally, the trio reveal what U.S. city is the focus of their next pairing!



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Episode 110: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

smokeyandthebanditThe movie that legitimized CB (and trucker) culture, wrecked Trans Ams but promoted their sales through the roof, and made Burt Reynolds a star! This episode begins the pairing that could be car race films, Burt Reynolds movies, or Hal Needham-directed films, with the #2 grossing movie of 1977, "Smokey and the Bandit!" Based on an idea director Hal Needham got while working as a stuntman on the film "Gator," this cross-country beer run stars Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams, Mike Henry, and the imcomperable Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Portague County! Plus, one of the catchiest songs ever written, that became a huge hit for Jerry Reed, "East Bound and Down" is the film's anthem! A triple "10-4" from the geeks for this film, but storm clouds are on the horizon... tune in next episode to find out more!



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Episode 109: The Punisher (2004)

punisherOur second entry into our look at pre-MCU films from Marvel is the incredible production that took the comic's lead vigilante and turned him into a dynamic, on-screen presence in 2004's "The Punisher." Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and written by Hensleigh and Michael France, this is the film that really brought the name of Thomas Jane into the public consciousness through his portrayal of Frank Castle, an ex-solder and ex-cop whose life was ended, in more ways than one, when a sting operation accidentally kills the son of a local crime boss. Co-starring John Travolta (as the villain), Rebecca Romijn, Ben Foster, John Pinnette, Eddie Jemison, Laura Harring, Will Patton, country singer Mark Collie, and former professional wrestler Kevin Nash, this film was a gamble for Marvel, given its violence and rated-R status, but it created a legion of fans who started clamoring for more from Marvel itself, which was a factor in the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Plus, find out why a certain moustache is integral to the next film pairing the trio are going to review!



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Episode 108: Blade (1998)

bladeThis episode begins our look at pre-MCU films from Marvel, with 1998's dark and gritty hero "Blade!" Directed by Stephen Norrington, and written by scribe David Goyer, the film stars Wesley Snipes in the titular role (and at his most Wesley-Snipes-ish), Stephen Dorph as the villainous "Deacon Frost," Kris Kristofferson as Blade's right-hand "Whistler," and supported by N'Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, and Udo Kier, this was the first time a Marvel property (albeit a C-List character) had been treated as valuable and taken seriously! While the film doesn't hold up technically when compared to the modern MCU movies, it was groundbreaking for its time, and you can definitely see hints of what would come with the premiere of Iron Man and the official launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a decade later!



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