Dances with Wolves with Trish Herrmann
Season 1, Ep. 55
We skipped out on the 4-hour director's cut and opted for Kevin Costner's 3-hour theatrical juggernaut, the movie that launched a thousand bloated Kevin Costner epics and put a hard stop on Hollywood's one-sided treatment of Native Americans. While Trish and I weren't qualified to really examine the racial politics of the story, as a movie, it holds up better than many Best Picture winners of that era (or this one) and does provide some real drama, mainly thanks to the animal actors. It's good to be back!
Forrest Gump with the Murphys
Season 1, Ep. 54
I'm joined by 2019's Funniest Person in Austin Andrew Murphy and his brother Alex for a family tag team fresh look at this notoriously sappy gloss through the Baby Boom generation's childhood. The movie surprises us with how dark it is when you peer just beneath Robert Zemeckis's thick layer of Vaseline. But our darkest revelation is that Forrest Gump himself is The Problem with modern America -- his obliviousness standing in for white America's fantasy of a Great Again America that clearly didn't exist and Forrest is singularly unprepared to cope with. Of course, in the movie, Forrest has some sort of unspecified mental deficiency. America should have no such excuse for its own Vaseline gloss of what happened. There are two types of Americans -- those who remember this as a problematic movie portraying a series of atrocities, and those who remember it as a feel-good family heart-warmer. The latter are in charge. Enjoy your shrimp joke.
The Best Years of Our Lives with Mason Pitluk
Season 1, Ep. 53
This movie did not play into our worst fears -- it's not war propaganda, it has redeeming and surprisingly strong female roles, and it contains more than a few genuinely entertaining scenes with good acting -- but it's still way too long for the extremely thin plot it's hung on. Basically a slice-of-life for three types of World War II veterans dealing with PTSD, we get yet another terrible protagonist, long and dull scenes of people not growing and changing, and ... I ran out of things.
Wings with Asaf Ronen
Season 1, Ep. 52
At one point, Asaf calls this the 1920's version of Fast & the Furious, and he's absolutely right. Despite being a 2-and-a-half hour silent movie, there's plenty to watch: real airplane dog fights, male nudity (really), female nudity (really!), lesbians on a date (really!!!), men kissing each other (REALLY!!!!!!), and brutally realistic trench warfare filmed on the actual battlegrounds of World War I. But don't rush out too quickly to watch it, because it also features the least heroic "hero" I've ever seen. We go on at length about why the second fiddle, David, should have been the protagonist instead of lame duck Jack. Loads of fun, and nice to finally get the OTHER Best Picture silent film checked off the list.
Gigi with Hunter Duncan
Season 1, Ep. 51
Hunter and I had less than zero idea what we were in for, which turns out to be easily the most misogynist musical we've ever seen. Even allowing for the '50s, and allowing for the setting of France, and allowing for the conventions of musicals, this film goes out of its way to reiterate, in every way possible, that women are objects with no complex emotions or agency over their lives. Nice hats and dresses, though. I didn't think it would be possible to be 110% furious at a movie just one week after blowing my top at "Green Book," but here we are, wallowing in disgusting scene after disgusting scene. It turns out to be pretty hilarious. Enjoy!
Green Book with Chris Cubas
Season 1, Ep. 50
This is an excellent example of how to be tone deaf in 2019. In a year when African-American filmmakers and actors dominated both the box office and the awards shows, this white-bread corn muffin of a throwback warms over a '90s approach to race relations and passes it off as drama. Not only are the racial politics of the movie incredibly obtuse, the story itself is an inert slog of a literal road trip through a neutered Deep South. Pair this up with "In the Heat of the Night" and the contrast between gritty realism and this film's fantasy land is STARK. What's more remarkable is the former is fiction while this is massaged from supposedly true events. We hated it. We hated it so, so much. Thanks, Academy.
The Godfather with Adam Hrabik
Season 1, Ep. 49
One of the most celebrated films of all time ... only works if you're inherently interested in the Italian mafia. That's the conclusion we came to in this blockbuster episode that also covers ninja moves, Trump's posture, Christmas, and other junk. Sometimes the magic of two people watching a famous movie for the first time is ... not a magical response. Still, there's hope for the sequel, I guess.