Episode 228 – The Core (2003)

It’s a rare occurrence where an event occurs that a piece of “Disaster Porn” predicted and described but just within the past week, scientists as the University of Peking released findings saying that the core of the planet Earth (you know the one) was slowing down and could possibly reverse direction. Well, here at Max, Mike; Movies, we are nothing if not relevant so we are discussing the eerily prescient 2003 cinematic prognostication “The Core,” director, nay, prophet Jon Amiel’s almost Nostradamus-like speculation on what would happen if such a thing actually happened. And now just look at us: surely,  famous landmarks are bursting into lighting-explosions, common urban birds have developed the super-avian strength needed to crash through safety glass, and Stanley Tucci is wearing a wild hairpiece . . . huh . . . uh, maybe “Nostradamus-like” is a little bit . . . much. Give a listen and see how much (if anything) this movie got right (spoiler alert: however much you think it got right? It’s less than that).

Think I’m kidding about the event actually happening? Check this out:
https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/25/world/earth-core-turning-scli-scn-intl/index.html

Poll question: who’s your favorite cinematic giant monster? Godzilla? King Kong? The Host?

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Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 227 – Independence Day (1996)

Look at these foolish humans, K’lxfthmrq’zzz’tingting! See how they wallow in their foolish podcasts and their foolish so-called “Disaster Porn!” What foolish fools they are! Truly, they make my humor nodules harmonize most emphatically! How little they realize their peril as we prepare our Sinestron warriors in their Devestatrix ships to rain destruction down upon this miserable planet so that we may plunder their precious clam beds! Oh, how my humor nodules . . . wait! How did a human get aboard our EssEffEx mothership, through our Plot-holium hull?! Curse our need for human-sized door-portals! No! Human! Get away from that easily-recognizable Destroy-All-Antagonists button! It’s made of pure Narrativeconvencium! Noooooooooo!
*Floop*
Yes, this week we’re checking out what may be Roland “That Blowed Up Real Good!” Emmerich’s greatest creation (take that for what it’s worth) “Independence Day” or “ID4” as the kids say.  It’s got all you need: stereotypical old Jewish men, Randy Quaid playing himself, creepy not-really-Gigeresque-aliens, strippers, wise-cracking fighter pilots, very recognizable landmarks going BOOM, and Jeff Goldblum just Jeff Goldbluming the whole place up. Join us for the end of the world as we know it, because Mike and I both feel fine.

Poll question: Who is your favorite cinematic action hero character, male or female?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 226 – Earthquake (1974)

Hide the pets! Sell the children! It’s another in our “Disaster Porn” series and this one is from that groovy, swinging era that got it all started, the 70’s! Far out, man! This one is “Earthquake”, man, and it’s too cool, you turkeys! Dig it! We ain’t fakin’! Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on! No, they did NOT use that Jerry Lee Lewis hit as the haunting love theme for “Earthquake”, which was a big mistake on their part. They missed out on that whole marrying-an-underage-cousin demographic (ooo, too soon?). This movie has it all: property destruction, nervous sheep, Ava Gardner, Lorne Green, savage high-voltage cables, George “Something’s Going to Blow Up Real Soon” Kennedy, senseless loss of bovine life, Victoria Principal (who probably needed a separate trailer for her hair), and Charlton Heston. And if you want his wife, you’ll have to pry her from his cold, dead hands . . . ew, that’s a lot worse in this movie’s context. Pull up a Richter scale and join us for this tale of everyday life on Los Angeles!

Poll question: what is your favorite cinematic hand-to-hand fight scene, with or without melee weapons? No guns allowed!

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 225 – Geostorm (2017)

Welcome to our new series: “Disaster Porn”! Why? Because everyone loves porn! And everyone loves disasters! (don’t question me about either of those statements, dammit). So we thought, why not combine two great tastes . . . or two really horrible tastes, if you’re more “reasonable,” and do a series about it. Because, come on, isn’t there some part of you that agrees with Homer Simpson when he’s watching a series of Drivers Ed films that depict horrific, bloody accidents: “Hee hee! It’s funny because I don’t know them!” So, buckle up for big dose of schadenfreude! This week’s entry is a disaster on a number of levels: 2017’s “Geostorm” starring Gerard Butler. No, that’s not a typo. Apparently, Mr. Butler needed his summer house re-shingled or something, because he helped produce this cinematic bolus about a global weather-control satellite system that goes horribly (or delightfully) wrong and rains down world-wide weather calamities (see what I did there with the weather pun? Of course you did. I’ll see myself out). So slip into an easy-to-wear spacesuit and join us to find out if this one is an unintentional delight or a true disaster. And remember: Dutch Boy will save us!

Poll question: what disaster movie plot do you find the most unbelievable?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 224 – The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

So, we come to the close of our “Monochrome” series, movies that were made back when the world was all in black-and-white, and we’re finishing up with a movie that is often considered a classic of science fiction. But is it? Is it REALLY? Or is that simply what our alien overlords WANT us to think? Get away from me, Mike! You think that just because we’re not doing our “Conspiracy!” series anymore that you can silence me? Never! Listen to me, sheeple! They’re here! The aliens are here! Influencing our actions! Controlling our societies! Contaminating our precious bodily fluids! It’s true . . . dammit, get off me, let go of my keyboard! They have to know! Keep watching the skies! You’re next! I am your father! Multipass! E.T. phone home! Imperial battlecruiser, stop the flow of time! All will be revealed in this week’s podcast episode! I will not be silenced! Bumpy is one of Them!

Poll question: what cinematic disaster scenario is the most frightening for you? Volcanos erupting? Tidal waves? Meteors? Bees?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

No episode this week

Hello, dear listeners! Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control, there will be no episode this week. Fear not; we will rejoin you next week with more biting commentary (or at least gumming commentary). Please don’t worry; this episode absence has nothing to do with Mike’s crippling addiction to Strawberry Qwik or any involvement Max might have in international smuggling of counterfeit Bill Keane “Family Circus” artwork. Those are just silly rumors and I’m surprised you’d bring them up.

Episode 223 – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

What’s that you say, Clarence? You’ve come to me as we near the end of our “Monochrome” series to show me what my life would be like if Bumpy had never been born? Wow . . . what a gift. Maybe this is what it’ll take to get me accept that pony into my life . . . what’s that, there? They’ve invented a new Academy Award for Best Talking About Movies? And I would have won it four years in a row?! Wow, but what about the . . . wait, is that me accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing peace to the Middle East?! And while I’m accepting that, my Medal of Freedom is being accepted for me by my wife . . . Scarlett Johansson?!! Um, gee, Clarence, you’ve sure given me a lot to think about. Uh, no reason but I’m just curious: this is what would have happened if Bumpy had never been born. If he, I don’t know, died suddenly, like, accidentally fell into a woodchipper or whatever, SOME of this stuff could still happen, right? I mean, not all of it, sure, but . . . Clarence? Clarence, where’d you go? Hey, my mouth’s bleeding again. Wow. Maybe it was all a dream . . . but just out of curiosity . . . huh, you actually can buy wood chippers on Amazon. Isn’t that interesting . . .  while I’m checking on prices, why don’t you give a listen to Mike and me, as we chat about this enduring holiday classic. Ooo, free shipping . . .

Poll question: What is your favorite holiday movie? It can be any holiday!

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 222 – Some Like It Hot (1959)

Oh no! Mike! This week’s episode of our “Monochrome” series is due to go up and we haven’t discussed any movies! We’re in hot water for sure! Quick, I’ll disguise myself as a strolling violinist while you put on this sailor suit and pretend to be an eight-year-old boy looking for his mommy! Then we’ll sneak into the boss’ hotel room and smear mayonnaise on all his neckties; he’ll be so upset that he’ll forget all about the podcast episode! It’s flawless! C’mon, c’mon we don’t have . . .  what do you mean, “we don’t have a boss”? What do you mean, “you can’t pass as eight years old”? Look, we’re doing a zany, screwball comedy thing this week in honor of Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot” so don’t bother me with your pesky notions of “reality”! If Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis can pass as women in the 1920’s, you can be a convincing eight-year-old boy in a sailor suit. That’s just basic logic! Now, help me load this life-sized stuffed giraffe into this Mini Cooper . . . don’t ask questions, it’s essential to the plan. What’s that noise . . . oh no! It’s the Pope! Quick, hide! And the rest of you: quick, listen!

Poll question: is the trope of men dressing up as women still funny? Has it just become problematic?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 221 – Touch of Evil (1958)

Well, as you might guess, we’re serving up this week’s edition of “Monochrome” with just a touch . . . OF EVIL! Oh yes, we can tell how surprised you are; you didn’t expect us to serve up our usually tasty podcast with just a hint, perhaps a smattering, nay, just a touch . . . OF EVIL! Cut me some slack, I never realized how much fun it is to add “… OF EVIL!” to the end of every sentence. Mike may have subtly hinted that I was overdoing it, what with all the throwing of horseshoes at my head and such. But massive head injuries aside, this week’s entry is an intriguing cinematic bit of film noir involving a possibly crooked police captain, played by Orson Welles, and a Mexican narcotics agent, played by noted Mexican actor . . . Charleton Heston? Ummm . . . are we sure this one didn’t belong in our “Whitewashing” series? Well, regardless, you’ll only get Charleton’s unconvincing magic-markered mustache away from him when you pry it from his cold, dead upper lip. Which, ew. We’ve also got Janet Leigh, who has learned nothing about checking into an isolated motel from her experience in “Psycho”, Dennis Weaver, at his twitchiest, Zsa Zsa Gabor, at her barely-there-iest, and . . . Marlene Dietrich, at her “what the heck are you doing in this movie, Ms. Dietrich”-iest. Seriously, spoiler alert, but watching Orson Welles act alongside Marlene . . . well, that should have been the whole movie. But it isn’t, so is it worth watching anyway? Hurry and give a listen because I’m not feeling so hot right now. I might be coming down with a touch . . . OF EVIL! (I’ll stop now).

Poll question: Orson Welles: yea or nay? As actor or director, do you like him or is he over-rated?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 220 – The Lighthouse (2019)

More “Monochrome”-y goodness this week . . . well, when I say “goodness,” that may give you the wrong idea. Not in terms of quality but in terms of general tone and atmosphere.  We’re checking out a not-widely-seen film called “The Lighthouse” and apparently no one told the director that you could do movies in color or in widescreen (sshhh . . . don’t tell him, he’ll only get upset). Or maybe the director just couldn’t afford color; the budget must have been tiny, as he could really only get two actors for speaking parts! So, good for you, Mr. Director, for making the best with what you had! Seriously, it’s pretty interesting to see what a modern director does with the black-and-white medium. But does it work? Can a modern monochromatic film hold our interest? Mike needs lots of bright colors to keep his attention and I need lots of seagulls to keep me interested in a movie. Fortunately, one of us gets what we need in this movie. Give a listen and find out which one!

Poll question: what children’s movie should under no circumstances be shown to children you actually like?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/