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Episode 28: Clerks (1994)

ClerksEven though they're not even supposed to be here today, join Buddy, Chad and Jeff for a trip to a convenience store that offers as much insight as it does humor! This week, they review writer/director Kevin Smith's maiden foray into filmmaking, 1994's Clerks! Starring Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith himself, this film informed generations of filmmakers that if you want to make a film bad enough, you can (and it can find an audience too)! Plus, it was the film that made black and white cool again, even though that's not what it set out to do!

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Episode 27: Die Hard (1988)

diehardAnother of our favorite christmas films, this time it's an action-adventure story set in a warm Los Angeles evening! Of course, we're talking about 1988's "Die Hard," directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis, Gonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, and Alan Rickman! There are those would would argue that Die Hard isn't a Christmas film, but Jeff, Buddy and Chad disagree, and will persuade you to their view if you let them. :) All this, plus a preview of which great writer, who started as an independent filmmaker and went on to become a Hollywood name, the trio will be examining next!

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Episode 26: Scrooge (1970)

scroogeOne of the most christmas-y stories of all times is Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and one of Jeff's favorite stories. In this episode, Buddy and Chad let Jeff pick his favorite version of the story on film, and that turns out to be 1970's "Scrooge!" Directed by Ronald Neame, adapted for the screen by Leslie Bricusse, and starring Albert Finney, Edith Evans, Kenneth More, Michael Medwin, David Collings, and Sir Alec Guiness, this is the story brought to life differently as a musical, adding in tunes happy ("Thank You Very Much"(, sad ("You, You"), and creepy ("See the Phantoms"). All together, this is one of the most affecting versions of the story yet to be put on film!

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Episode 25: Unforgiven (1992)

unforgivenEpisode 25 continues our look at non-traditional films in the Western genra with arguably one of the best revisionist-western films made to date - 1992's "Unforgiven!" Directed by, and starring, Clint Eastwood, and co-starring Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Soul Rubinek, Frances Fisher, and Anna Levine, this story takes us long after the "good old days" for gunslinger William Munny, who gets persuaded to return to his desperado lifestyle to avenge the attack on a prostitute by two cowboys. Between the righteousness of the hunt and the reward money for killing the two culprits, this story follows an anti-hero on a quest, demonstrates the simple nature of regret, and shines a light on the difference between the vigorous sureness of youth and the bitter wisdom of age. This is an example of filmmaking at its finest, and comes very close to being the perfect movie! Plus, at the end, Buddy, Chad, & Jeff talk about their picks for the next two episodes, otherwise known as the Christmas episodes!

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Episode 24: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)

The poster for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.Episode 24 is our first return to a genre. We're going back to Westerns, but instead of celebrating the traditions of westerns, we're instead celebrating the films that took the Western genre in new and unexpected directions. This week, it's Sergio Leone's neo-realist masterpiece "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" from 1966. Directed by Leone, co-written with Luciano Vincenzoni, and starring Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, and Clint Eastwood, this is a film that delivers storytelling on several different levels simultaneously! Whether it's the beautiful Ennio Morricone score, the incredible cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli, or the performances turned in by these amazing actors, this is a film that, rightfully so, it held as an example of how to make a nigh-unto perfect movie!

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