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Episodes

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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Episode 107: Raging Bull (1980)

ragingbullFor the second film in our look at boxing films, we're moving ahead four years to likely the best performance of his career, Robert De Niro's starring turn in 1980's "Raging Bull!" Directed by Martin Scorsese, and starring De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, and Nicholas Colasanto, this film tells the story of middleweight bruiser Jake LaMotta, and his life of triumph in the ring, alongside his battles with insecurity and its effect on his relationships, both romantic and familial, throughout his life. Co-written by LaMotta himself, this is a semi-tragic tale of a guy who never knew just how good he really had it. It is, however, one of the greatest films of Scorsese's career, and one of the best films period! Plus, the trio reveal which pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe Marvel films made the cut for this podcast!



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Episode 106: Rocky (1976)

RockyBoxing, in all its despair and glory, is the topic of this pairing, beginning with argually the best of the genre, 1976's "Rocky!" Directed by John G. Avildsen, and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, this was the film that launched a franchise that is still spawning movies today! Co-starring Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and the incredible Burgess Meredith, this is the story of a young Italian boxer named Rocky Balboa, who fights part-time whenever he can get a fight, who is, by a million-to-one chance, given an opportunity to step into the ring with the world heavyweight champion! He doesn't have a chance in hell of surviving the fight, let alone winning. The only problem is... no one told him that.



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