Who The Hell Are You Guys?

Y’know, we’ve been doing this podcast for a while and it occurred to Mike that, hard to believe as it might be, there could be folks out there who might be wondering who we are and why anyone would want to listen to what we say. After I stopped my hysterical laughter at such an absurd notion, I realized that, like the top of his head, Mike has a point. Who are we? Why are our opinions so vitally important? It’s possible that people might actually be interested in a brief summary of what makes us tick and what makes us go “Huygleflamdoof!” (so many, many things make us do that).  So here, at the request of none, is a short, special episode where Mike and I discuss ourselves, our love of movies, and why independent film discussion might actually be something that matters.  Enjoy!

Episode 77: Octopussy (1983)

And now this series, “Get ‘em, Jimmy!,” a study of the best and worst of Bond, has brought us here: the one Bond movie with a title that is almost impossible to say out loud without giggling. Ah, but just watch the movie! Yes, watch the movie and realize that huh, the title is actually not the silliest thing about the movie.  Pretty impressive, when you think about it; just don’t think about it for too long; it can cause facial tics and acne. Here we have the penultimate Roger Moore Bond and . . . well, they’re really just running out of ideas here.  The studio had long since run out of actual Ian Flemming novels to adapt, so this one is cobbled together out of a couple of unrelated short stories by Flemming and whatever navel lint they had lying around.  But are there any good points to this movie? We’ve got Louis Jordan as the villain! Yes, the romantic lead from the classic musical “Gigi” is in this as the heavy! And boy, does he enjoy the heck out of saying the title character’s name.  Because Octopussy is a person. No, really.  Apparently, “Octopussy” is the childhood nickname her father gave her.  Try not to think about that one too much. She’s played by Maud Adams, and in every scene with her and Roger Moore, watch and marvel at the Battle of the Cheekbones! And yes, that’s the most interesting part of their interaction.  Their cheekbones are the best characters in the movie.  Well, at least Maud Adams is actually close to Roger Moore’s age, unlike . . . well, we’ll be getting to that eventually.  So, invite over an Indian tennis pro, grab your buzz saw yoyo, keep an eye out for very dated Barbara Woodhouse references, and give a listen!

We Interrupt This Series To Bring You . . . Cats!

No, this podcast has not been hijacked, you read that title correctly.  And sadly no, this episode is not just an hour of Mike and I talking about how much we like the animal felis catus (although we do). Strap yourselves in tightly because we went and saw the new “Cats” movie. Yup, that one. “But Max,” you may cry “Why did you and Mike subject yourself to what some people are calling the worst movie of all time?” Well, I invite you to think about what you just said (or rather, what I imagine you just said).  This is us, dig? If someone says “there is no way anyone can sit through this movie,” our response is usually “Challenge accepted!” I’m not proud of this. No one should be.  But we kept hearing about how insanely terrible this adaptation of Dame Andrew Lloyd Weber’s long-running musical was and we felt we owed it to you, our beloved, well-groomed, beautifully dressed listeners.  This movie has a remarkable cast: Ian McKellen, Judy Dench, Idris Elba . . . and the rest! So how bad could it be? Seriously, is it REALLY that bad? We found out, so you don’t have to. So honor our sacrifice and have a listen. And I leave you with the lyrics of that most famous Cats song:
Meow meow meow meow,
Meow meow meow meow,
Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow.
                                — “Meow Mix of the Night”

Episode 76: Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger.  Y’know, I hear he’s the man with the Midas touch. Although some people say it’s more of a spider’s touch.  Not sure what that would mean; does he have spinnerets and leaves traces of webbing when he shakes hands? Pretty fond of gold, that fella is, that’s for ding dang sure. [end Scandahoovian opening]
So yes! We’ve got us a gold-plated edition of the “Max, Mike; Movies” series “Get ‘em, Jimmy!”, the highs and lows of the James Bond series.  Today brings us to one of the most iconic of all James Bond movies, and arguably the best of the Sean Connery era, 1964’s “Goldfinger.” When you think of James Bond, you think of the fabulous Aston-Martin DB5 (with optional machine guns and ejector seat), silent, menacing henchmen who throw bowler hats to deadly effect (so much cooler than having steel teeth), beautiful women covered in gold paint, one of the greatest villain one-liners, and so much more. Whatever you may say about this movie, and there’s plenty to say, especially about the infamously named Bond girl, um, Prissy Velour (yes. That is the name of Honor Blackman’s character.  That is what I’m willing to write down. Shut up), and the, shall we say, VERY dated manner in which women are treated, this is the movie that defined James Bond for many years.  Its effects are still felt in modern Bond movies; the Aston-Martin appears in both “Skyfall” and 2020’s “No Time To Die.” Give a listen and see if we think this film holds up, and if so, how well?

Episode 75: Moonraker (1979)

Welcome to the Diamond Jubilee episode of “Max, Mike; Movies”! Yes, we’re celebrating our 75th episode, and the latest in our series “Get ‘em, Jimmy!”, the best and worst of the Bond franchise.  I know, “Diamonds Are Forever” might have been more appropriate, but there you go. This week we move from one of the best Bond films to one of the . . . less best.  We now find ourselves in the Roger Moore period and while some of Sir Roger’s turns as Bond were decent . . . this ain’t one of them.  This film came out two years after that little indie flick “Star Wars”, and gosh, the kids just love the sci-fi, don’t they just? So to capitalize on this s-f trend, we get BOND . . . IN . . . SPAAAAAACE! So many of the worst Bond clichés in this one: women as disposable props, a villain (Drax. Sadly not the one from “Guardians of the Galaxy”) who looks like he shops and gets his hair done at the Big Mall O’ Supervillains, and the second appearance of one of the most cartoonish henchman, Jaws, played by the towering Richard Kiel who is very good at being tall.  So, what can we expect from this one? Will James Bond leave his life as a humble British moisture farmer to try to destroy a nasty space evil? Does Jaws bite off Bond’s hand? Will it turn out that Drax is actually Bond’s father? Tune in and find out!

Episode 74: Casino Royale (2006)

Well, Double-oh Seven, we’ve got some new equipment for you. Yes, this is the latest in Daniel Craigs and he’ll be playing you from now on.  Try to return him, along with your other equipment, intact for once, there’s a good chap.  Yes, in our latest installment of “Get ‘em, Jimmy!” we take on the first of the Bond movies starring Daniel Craig, replacing Pierce Brosnan, “Casino Royale.”  Technically this is not the first adaptation of “Casino Royale,” but this one actually bears some vague resemblance to the book.  And isn’t a comedy. And doesn’t have Woody Allen in it. And no, I’m not making that up.  You want a weird experience? Check out the 1967 “Casino Royale” starring David Niven.  It’s about as far as you can get from the 2006 movie.  Which is what we’re talking about.  Just want to make that very clear.

Where was I? Where am I? Where’s the fire escape, and where’s my pants?

*Harumph* well, yes, so Daniel Craig! This movie gives us a very different sort of Bond.  Less gentleman-about-town, more ex-rugby player (which, to be fair, Craig is).  Does it work? Join us and see if we can answer the question Glinda the Good asks Dorothy: “Are you a good Bond or a bad Bond?” That’s the quote. Don’t dispute me. And Judy Garland would have made an awesome James Bond. Am I right? Who’s with me? . . . How did these crickets get in here?

Episode 73: Die Another Day (2002)

‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, what’s all this then? Why it’s another episode in our series “Get ‘em, Jimmy!” wherein we discuss the highs and lows of the James Bond franchise.  Last week we talked about a film that is generally regarded as one of the best Bond films; this week we’re talking about one that . . . um . . . is not.  Yes, this week we’re jamming diamonds into our faces and revving up our invisible cars to talk about “Die Another Day,” one of the Pierce Brosnan Bond outings, with guest star Halle Berry (and by “guest star” we mean “person we wish the movie had been about”).  And who else shows up? Why it’s Agent Madonna! No really, the Material Girl provides the theme song (go ahead; try to remember any of that song.  I dare you) and provides minutes of what could be construed, broadly, as entertainment; she plays that classic Bond supporting character that everyone knows: Verity the Fencing Instructor.  Remember when all the kids were dressing up as Verity the Fencing Instructor for Halloween . . . ? When was that? Oh right: never.  What’s the problem with this movie? Would there were only one.  Give a listen and see what sort of a rum go we’re in for, wot wot?

Episode 72: From Russia With Love (1963)

Sit down and pay attention, Double-oh Seven. We’re starting a new series here at MMM6 and it involves one Mr. Bond.  James Bond.  Yes, our new series, elegantly titled “Get ‘em, Jimmy!”, deals with that super-spy of super-spies, the man who can rock a tuxedo better than anyone while ordering a watered-down martini (they’re SUPPOSED to be stirred, so the ice doesn’t chip and melt too fast), and a character who has been portrayed by six different actors (seven if you count David Niven . . . but we don’t talk about that. Much), representing all the countries in the United Kingdom.  This is a film franchise that has spanned half a century and 24 films (26 if you count the first “Casino Royale” and “Never Say Never Again”) and that’s not including the one coming out in 2020.  The Bond films have been a major part of our movie-going experience for generations.  In this series, Mike and I will be discussing the highs and lows of the franchise, alternating the best of Bond with the worst of Bond.  The Bond films are the proverbial pretty little girl with the pretty little curl right in the middle of her forehead; when they’re good, they’re very, very good, and when they’re bad, well, they can really Blofeld.  This week, we’re starting off with one of the best: “From Russia With Love,” the second Bond-outing starring Sean Connery (or, as I call him, The One True Bond. Ow! Mike! Quit it! I am too being objective! Quit it!).  Um, anyway, Sean Connery is cool, I guess, whatever, there’s other good Bonds, maybe, or something mumble mumble mumble I’ll be in my room.  So, sit back, plug in whatever audio device Q branch has supplied you, and give a listen!

Episode 71: Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Here we close our “Special Guest Star” series with none other than the talented and charming Valerie Kuhns, a woman with everything going for her with the exception of the fact that she is related to Mike.  Specifically, she is his sister.  Shudder for a moment as you think of what that was like.  Val has overcome this considerable obstacle and has brought one of her favorite movies for our discussion: Baz Luhrman’s directorial debut “Strictly Ballroom”, a charming, slightly off-kilter romantic comedy about the world of Australian competitive ballroom dancing.  Doesn’t sound that thrilling, does it.  Well, this movie may surprise you! It may stun you! It may steal your heart and your wallet and possibly your shoes! Your dancing shoes! Someone please stop me! Listen in and hear what Val and your usual hosts have to say about this movie.  And let me stress: there are NO NEW STEPS!

Episode 70: In Bruges (2008)

Welcome back to another episode in our “Special Guest Star” series! This week we sit down with the intelligent, witty and annoyingly tall Ned Martenis (also known, in some circles, as my godson).  Ned has chosen one of his favorite movies, the often-underrated “In Bruges,” a dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen hiding out in Belgium, in the picturesque city of Bruges.  Even if the performances weren’t as good as they are, the movie is worth watching just to see how amazing Bruges looks.  Ned leads us through a discussion of the merits and flaws of this very affecting movie, while Mike and I make dopey jokes and point out how many actors from the Harry Potter movies show up in this film (there’s a bunch).  Give a listen: enjoy Ned, and tolerate us.