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First Monday in October (1981)

First Monday in October (1981)Watch the trailer!

With the Supreme Court of the United States in the news of late, this pairing focuses on two very different views of the Court. First, Ronald Neame directs Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh in a dramedey about the appointment of the first female Supreme Court Justice in 1981's "First Monday In October!" Based on a stageplay of the same name from 1978, this tells the story of the appointment of conservative Judge Ruth Loomis (Clayburgh) to the Supreme Court, something liberal Justice Dan Snow (Matthau) finds troublesome. The film follows the congenial relationship between Mr. Justice Snow and the "CJ," the Chief Justice of the Court (Barnard Hughes), and the contentious, combative, but ultimately friendly relationship between Justice Snow and Justice Loomis as they argue both economic and free speech cases back and forth. An intriguing look at how the Justices of the Court might discuss and debate the matters under their consideration, both in and out of the courtroom!

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Lion (2016)

Lion (2016)Watch the trailer!

The second film in our "Bulgarian Biographies" pairing (because they're both biographies suggested by students from American University of Bulgaria) is also based on actual events as it follows the journey of a five-year-old Indian boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who, when traveling with his older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), becomes separated and falls asleep on an empty train. Saroo awakens thousands of miles from home in Calcutta, is all alone, doesn't speak the dominant language, and almost runs afoul of several horrors before he is taken to an orphanage and, eventually, placed with John (David Wenham) and Sue (Nicole Kidman) Brierley, a couple from Tasmania. Saroo grows up in Tasmania (played at this point by the incredible Dev Patel) and it isn't until he has gone to trade school that a chance encounter at a party reawakens long-dormant memories of his life before the Brierleys. Saroo, with his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara) begins his quest to find his birth family, with the help of a new tool of the day, something known as "Google Earth." This is a touching and courageous story that ends just as it should, and also lets us see the real folks behind this story before the credits roll as well! Plus, the trio reveal how the recent headlines about the Supreme Court prompted them to change their upcoming film list to include two films about the justices of the highest court in the land!

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The Intouchables (2011)

The Intouchables (2011)Watch the trailer!

This pairing came about because of a class Jeff taught at the American University of Bulgaria on Media Criticism. His students chose films to analyze, some of which Jeff hadn't seen before, and the two films chosen for this pairing were both new to him (and to Buddy and Chad as well) and were films he never would have seen had it not been for his students' choice! Co-directed and co-written by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, "The Intouchables" is a 2011 masterpiece about a guy named Driss (Omar Sy) from the wrong side of the tracks who trips into a life-changing opportunity to become the primary caregiver for a wealthy quadriplegic man named Phillipe (Francois Cluzet). The two form an unlikely friendship, even when his secretary Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), his daughter Elisa (Alba Gaïa Bellugi), his housekeeper Yvonne (Anne Le Ny) and his lawyer Antoine (Grégoire Oestermann) all disapprove. The film is based on a true story, a gentle, good-hearted, touching tale about the power of kindness and honesty, and it surprised all three of the podcast crew with its heart and incredible visuals! You even get to see the real individuals the movie is based on at the conclusion of the film!

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Back to School (1986)

Back to School (1986)Watch the trailer!

Part two of our pairing focusing on 80s college comedies only moves ahead a single year to a radically different look at going back to school! Directed by Alan Metter, this film focuses on successful businessman Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) who, after getting divorced from his second wife Vanessa (Adrienne Barbeau), decides to head to Grand Lakes University to visit his son Jason (Keith Gordon) who isn't having as good a run there as he's told his father. Hitting campus with his driver and bodyguard Lou (Burt Young), he decides to enroll in college to prove to Jason that it can be done! Unfortunately, there are a few stumbling blocks along the way. Dean David Martin (Ned Beatty) has to be convinced to allow him to enroll as a freshman, he makes an enemy of snooty business professor Dr. Phillip Barbay (Paxton Whitehead) who is dating smoldering English professor Dr. Diane Turner (Sally Kellerman), and has to deal with an overly-enthusiastic history professor in Professor Turguson (Sam Kinison). Jason isn't having an easy time of it either, however. His roommate Derek Lutz (Robert Downey Jr.) is an outright anarchist, campus beauty Valerie Desmond (Terry Farrell) is dating jerk jock Chas (William Zabka), and the head of the diving team, Coach Turnbull (M. Emmet Walsh) won't give him a shot on the team. But when Melon and Melon decide to tackle college, determination triumphs over all obstacles, true love wins, and those who deserve to lose have to find solace in their ineptitude! And finally, discover why Jeff petitioned Buddy and Chad to suspend one of the rules for the podcast in order to field their next pairing!

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Real Genius (1985)

Real Genius (1985)Watch the trailer!

We're going back to the 80s with this pairing, and specifically looking at the best college comedies to come out of that decade! And we're starting with the film that introduced a whole generation of movie fans to a young actor named Val Kilmer in 1985's "Real Genius!" Directed by Martha Coolidge, the story follows 15 year-old prodigy Mitch Taylor (Gabriel Jarret) who has been hand-picked by scientist, professor, and TV personality Dr. Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton) to begin the fall semester at Pacific Tech, working alongside other prodigies like Chris Knight (Kilmer). Their task: To build an enormously-powerful laser. Complicating matters are a jealous wanna-be named Kent (Robert Prescott), the hyper-kinetic engineering genius, Jordan Cochran (Michelle Meyrink) who has become the object of Mitch's affection, and the mysterious Lazlo Hollyfeld (Jon Gries) who lives in Chris and Mitch's closet! But when they find out that the laser has already been commissioned for unethical military use, they re-purpose their genius towards thwarting that plan and not letting the military use their invention for evil! Also starring Patti D'Arbanville and Mark Kamiyama!

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