Friday, 15 November 2019

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Episodes

Episode 162: Nightmare Alley (1947)

maverickEpisode 162: The first in our pairings focusing on the meanings of the word "Geek," as suggested by listener Bill Mukalian, we head back to 1947 and Tyrone Power's attempt to break out of his romance/adventure leading-man status in the film noir classic "Nightmare Alley!" Directed by Edmund Goulding and co-starring Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Taylor Holmes, Mike Mazurki, and Ian Keith, this is the story of circus pitch-man turned big-time mentalist (i.e. con-man) Stantaon 'Stan' Carlisle as he discoveres what he thinks is a road to riches, only to reach too high and fall spectacularly! This is a film noir, however, so it's full of twists and turns, a truly sinister femme fatale, and a twist near the end that has viewers and critics split on what actually happens in the film! Although not a hit when it came out (because audience's weren't ready to see Tyrone Power as a bad guy), it has since become a staple of the film noir genre!



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Episode 161: Maverick (1994)

maverickEpisode 161: The second film in our "Movies that didn't suck, based on TV shows" pairing is arguably one of the best comedy westerns to come along since Blazing Saddles. Based on a TV show that ran from 1957 to 1962, this film also features a lead actor from the original program, 1994's "Maverick!" Directed by the great Richard Donner, and written by the fantastic William Goldman, this version stars Mel Gibson as the titular character Bret Maverick, and co-stars Jodie Foster and James Garner (the original Bret Maverick). The supporting cast includes the incredible Graham Greene, Alfred Molina, James Coburn, Dub Taylor, Geoffrey Lewis, Denver Pyle, and so very many cameos it would take far too long to mention them here (but they're mentioned in the episode, never fear)! The story follows Bret Maverick as he endeavors to collect the last $3,000 he needs to enter a poker tournament whose prize is a cool half a million dollars! Of course, nothing is easy, and wonderful entertainment ensues. This film also features a representation of Native Americans seldom seen on-screen, and almost never seen in a western! Plus, the trio take another listener suggestion for the next pairing, focusing on the definition of a "geek!"



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Episode 160: Dragnet (1987)

dragnetEpisode 160: It's back to the late 80s we go for the first film in our "Movies that didn't suck, based on TV shows" pairing with 1987's Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks comedic love-letter to one of the great detective shows of all time, "Dragnet!" Directed by Tom Mankiewicz (who helped write the story, along with Aykroyd), this film follows Joe Friday (Aykroyd), nephew of the Jack Webb character from the original series. As the tale begins, Friday's partner has retired and he's paired with 80s-hipster-equivalent Pep Streebek (Hanks) to investigate the burning of Hugh Hefner/Larry Flint amalgam, porn mogul Jerry Ceaser (Dabney Coleman) latest magazine run. Co-starring orignial cast member Harry Morgan as now Captain Frank Gannon, Christopher Plummer, Alexandra Paul, Jack O'Halloran, Elizabeth Ashley and the great character actor Kathleen Freeman, this film fairly shines with the love Aykroyd has for the original, all the while finding the humor to be had in a really good "fish out of water" story!



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Episode 159: Steamboy (2004)

steamboyOur second Anime film in this pairing, as suggested to us by Twitter user @SleekyOT, is the next major anime film produced by Katushiro Otomo after Akira, 2004's "Steamboy!" Set in 1866 Manchester, England, the story follows James Ray Steam, 3rd generation inventor, as his insatiable curiosity gets him in the middle of a fight to control the power of steam after his grandfather, Lloyd, sends him a mysterious device known only as a "steam ball." The American dub features the voices of Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina, and Patrick Stewart as the men in the Steam family, plus voice actors Rosalind Ayres, Peter Lavin, Kari Wahlgren! And at the end, the trio reveal which two "Movies Based on TV Series (That Don't Suck)" films they'll be talking about for their next pairing!



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Episode 158: Akira (1988)

akiraAs per a request by Twitter user @SleekyOT, this pairing focuses on anime, and you can't talk anime without talking the one film that caused a revolution in the United States when it came out on VHS in the early 1990s, 1988's "Akira!" Based on the 6-issue manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo (who also wrote and directed the film), this story follows Kaneda and Tetsuo, fellow bike gang members and sort-of friends, through life in Neo Tokyo. After Tetsuo (almost literally) runs across a strange elderly child, he is captured, subjected to government tests, and finds himself possessed of great psychic abilities. Unfortunately, they may be too powerful for him to control unless he can track down the mysterious Akira and learns control from him! The American dub of the film features the voices of Johnny Yong Bosch, Joshua Seth, and Wendee Lee. This film is about a third of the complete story in the manga, and was completed before the comic was, rather like Game of Thrones!



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