Episode 141: On the Basis of Sex (2018)

Get your minds out of the gutter, you stunningly good-looking and flawlessly dressed listeners! This isn’t the week we talk about porn; this is another entry in our series “Semi-Real People” and while our other biopics have focused on legendary musicians, this week our subject is a different kind of rock star. Yes, this is the story of the early days of the N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. R.B.G., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She may not have been a musical legend but she’s a rock star in the world of jurisprudence! Yeah! Tort reform! Constitutional challenges! Rock on! We see Felicity Jones playing the vertically-challenged Bader Ginsberg alongside the towering Armie Hammer as Marty Ginsberg (Mr. Hammer has recently become a bit notorious himself, but we’ll leave that to the tabloids and TMZ) as she deals with blatant sexism in the legal profession and her first major legal challenge: Charles E. Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Woo! Tax law challenges! We know how to keep the party going here at Max, Mike; Movies! So, is this movie as dry as a reading of the municipal tax code? Do we get some idea of what made R.B.G. so notorious? Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you here! Listen to the podcast and find out. Court is adjourned.

Poll question: is there any movie you really wish DIDN’T have a sequel? Please reply in the comment section below.

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 140: The Doors (1991)

The time to hesitate is through and there is certainly no time to wallow in the mire, because we’ve got this week’s episode in our “Semi-Real People” series: 1991’s “The Doors.” The title is a bit misleading, as we discuss, as this is less about the entire band and more about Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself, Jim Morrison.  We learn some stuff about Morrison’s meteoric rise to fame and powerfully influential, yet all too brief, reign as the Lizard King of Rock and Roll.  Val Kilmer gives an uncanny performance as Jim, and Meg Ryan is both sweet and sad as Pamela Courson, the woman who . . . more or less . . . shared the last few years of Morrison’s life.  Is it an accurate depiction of this somewhat mysterious yet iconic musician? Or did Oliver Stone just pull the thing out of his butt, to coin a phrase? Join us and find out, for while neither Mike nor I may be the Lizard King, I’m fairly certain that Mike is actually the Gecko Arch-Duke!

This week, our poll question is: is there any actor who, when you see their name attached to a movie, makes you go “Nope, no way, not gonna watch it”? Conversely, is there any actor who’s attachment to a movie guarantees that you’ll be first in line to see it? Give us your thoughts in the Comments below!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 139: Walk the Line (2005)

Episode one thirty-nine, Walk the Line! It rhymes! That was totally intentional! I’m not completely lying! Another in our biopic series “Semi-Real People” and we’ve got another musical icon . . . I mean, an icon of the world of music, not an icon that plays music . . . although he did play music . . . so I mean a living icon of music, not a mechanical one . . . of course, he’s not living anymore and I can’t really prove he wasn’t mechanical . . . wait, what was I talking about? Right, right this is a movie about Johnny Cash: his past, his rise to fame and his relationship with June Carter, later June Carter Cash.  Joaquin Phoenix terrifies, I mean fascinates, with his portrayal of the singer/songwriter/occasional actor and Reese Witherspoon gives an Oscar-winning performance as the woman who seemed to be a match for him in every sense of the word.  Damn, I’m sorry, I just can’t get past this: do we KNOW that Johnny Cash wasn’t some kind of musical cyborg? A performance robot? Maybe our discussion of the movie will help me work through this, but I don’t know . . . I just don’t know . . .

This week, our poll question is: What movie from the recent or distant past would you most like to see remade, and why? Please answer in the Reply section below. Thank you, won’t you?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 138: Sid and Nancy (1986)

Movies, movies, oi oi oi!!! Shove off, all you wankers and tossers! This week in our “Semi-Real People” series, we’ve got a right bastard of cinema, too right! Yeah! Anarchy on your movie screen! Face piercings! Mohawks! Leather trousers! . . . Safety pins . . . atonal guitar riffs? Barely functional bass lines? Ok, look, neither Mike nor I were particularly into the punk scene when it slouched into town, but hoo boy, do we have some folks in this movie who were into it! “Sid and Nancy” tells the story . . . well, a story, about Sid Vicious, base player for the seminal punk bad “The Sex Pistols” and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen and their whirlwind . . . romance? Theirs was a passion fueled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll! Well, according to this movie, mostly by drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.  Director Alex Cox, probably best known for “Repo Man” brings this light-hearted, cheery romp through 70’s London and New York, just without anything light-hearted or cheery.  There’s also a distinct lack of romp.  Not the most upbeat movie we’ve watched, but is it worth the pain? Give a listen, mate! Oi!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 137: Chaplin (1992)

Welcome, welcome, and welcome again to a new series here at Max, Mike; Movies: “Semi-Real People”! In this series, Mike and I will be viewing, conferring, conversing, and otherwise hobnobbing about so-called “bio-pics,” movies that are (allegedly) true stores about (more or less) real people.  And we’re kicking it off with silence!

…………..

Ok, that’s boring and doesn’t make for a good podcast, but our subject does involve silence, inasmuch as we’re talking about “Chaplin,” the bio-pic about Charlie Chaplin, one of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Silent Era.  See what I did there? In this 1992 film, based loosely on Chaplin’s own autobiography, which explains kind of a lot about this movie, we watch Robert Downey Jr. earn an Oscar nomination in his portrayal of one of the earliest members of Hollywood royalty.  Does his performance hold up? Does the film hold up? Will the chair hold up? And what about Naomi? For the answer to (some) of these and other questions, give a listen!

Also, consider giving a response to our Poll Question: “Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so, which one? And why?” Please leave an answer in the comment section below! Thank you, won’t you?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 136: Highlander 2 (1991)

In this, our final entry in “Leaving ‘Em Wanting More,” our salute to sequels, we disprove the notion that THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! Because in the case of the “Highlander” series, there are about five . . . including this one, 1991’s “Highlander 2” the sequel that no one asked for and the sequel that the subsequent movies all try to pretend never happened.  Yes, everyone’s favorite fake Scotsman Connor Macleod, played by Christopher Lambert is back and he’s brought everyone’s favorite real Scotsman Sean Connery, playing a Spaniard by way of the Egyptian court or something.  And we’ve got Michael Ironside who has taken a blood oath to leave no piece of scenery unchewed! You remember how you thought “Highlander” was an entertaining action movie, nicely self-contained, that had a reasonably satisfying conclusion? Well, you were wrong, y’hear me? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! You actually wanted a sequel set in a poor man’s “Blade Runner” set with ozone layer issues and terrible old-man makeup! That’s what you wanted! Now sit down and finish your sequel. How can you have any pudding if you don’t finish your sequel? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.  We’re professionals! [disclaimer: we may not in fact be professionals]

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 135: Aliens (1986)

In 1979, Ridley Scott astounded and terrified audiences with his iconic film “Alien.”  Apparently, Mr. Scott didn’t think much of friendly aliens like Wookies or E.T. or the eventual Greys from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.  No, Ridley decided he wanted a movie involving the most pants-crappingly scary alien since . . . well, ever.  So, working with the brilliant and disturbing mind of H.R. Giger, he created an alien that pretty much determined what EVERY ALIEN FOR THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS would look like and in doing so made many a young person sleep with the lights on for a week after seeing this movie (I mean, that’s what I’ve heard.  Not like I know anything about it personally.  Psh, yeah, right, like it bothered me as a kid . . . ).  Then, in 1986, James Cameron decided “hey, you know what’s scarier than one alien? LOTS of aliens! Lots and lots of aliens! And you know what would make the movie better? Big guns and lots of explosions! Woo! I’m gonna make a movie about the Titanic someday!” [note: preceding quote may not in fact be grounded in any known reality] So did the sequel surpass the original? Does “Aliens” hold up in the era of CGI? Give a listen, because you may not be able to hear us scream in space but you can absolutely hear us babble on the internet!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 134: The Mummy Returns (2001)

Welcome to another in our continuing stooooory of two quacks who’ve gone to the dogs.  That is to say, Max, Mike; Movies and our series “Leave ‘Em Wanting More”.  This week, we want our mummy! No, not the nice, filial piety, wear a sweater ‘cause it’s cold out version but rather the pull-out-the-brains-through-the-nose-and-get-the-body-ready-for-Anubis, beware the curse version.  We’re dealing with the sequel to the surprise 1999 hit with Brendan Fraser and Rachel “How Do I Get Talked Into These Movies” Weiss, a movie we discussed in our “Then and Now” series.  So Rick, Evie, Jonathan, Imhotep and the guy with the cool tattoos are all back and this time there’s a kid and pygmy mummies and all the stuff that no one thought was missing from the first movie.  Does this one hold up as a fun, action romp like the first one? Or would it be better to seal this movie up in some tomb and fill it with carnivorous scarab beetles? Give a listen and see what we think!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 133: The Dark Knight (2008)

The city.  It cries out for justice.  It cries out for salvation.  It cries out for discussions of movie sequels in a series called “Leave ‘Em Wanting More.” They call.  We come.  That’s the deal.  We are Max, Mike; Movies and we’re the podcast the city deserves, but not the one it needs.  No. Wait. Hang on.  Maybe it’s the other way around.  Or maybe we’re the podcast the city thinks it wants but isn’t the one it could really use to remove stubborn stains? Anyway, it’s complicated.  You know what’s not complicated? Justice.  And what does justice have to do with this podcast? Nothing.  That’s the point.  Get it? Well, I’ll explain . . .  it’s complicated. Like justice.  That’s deep, right? Of course it is.  Join us as we take on the villainous (or not) sequel to “Batman Begins” starring Christian “So Easy To Work With” Bale and the late, very lamented Heath Ledger where we attempt to answer the eternal question: hey, Christopher Nolan! Why . . . so . . . serious?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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 132: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Here at Max, Mike; Movies, we’ve seen things you people can’t imagine.  Attack ships on fire some place or other.  Something or other glittering off the Tannhauser gate, whatever that is.  And lots of other stuff.  You can’t imagine it.  Don’t even try.  You’ll just hurt yourself.  This week’s “Leave ‘Em Wanting More” deals with the sequel that we had no idea we wanted, a movie that came right on the heels of the original . . . give or take 35 years: “Blade Runner 2049.”  Sadly, I missed Blade Runners 2 through 2,048 (man, that who knew they could churn them out so fast?), so maybe that’s why I don’t entirely “get” this movie but a movie doesn’t have to be “got” to get good. Get it? Got it? Good.  So grab some juicy grubs and a handful of bees, cuddle up close with your beloved virtual significant other and check out our thoughts on the antics of Officer K (no relation to Agent K) and the whole wacky crew of this feel-good cheerful sci-fi romp!   Now with ten percent real Harrison Ford!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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/