The Oscars, 2020

We interrupt our childhood reminisces for something more timely: our take on this year’s Academy Awards. Yes, we’re right on top of things here at Max, Mike; Movies.  It’s been a mere two weeks since the 92nd Night the Stars Salute Themselves and we figure things have calmed down enough to offer our own opinions on the Academy’s choices for Best Picture Nominees, as well as what we think of the winner, because goodness knows that what people really want is OUR take on these movies.  Because what do those industry professionals know? No, we know what people want: the ramblings of a couple of movie nerds! Mike and I have watched the Oscars every year for over thirty years, so that qualifies us to  . . . watch it again this year and talk about it! And that’s what we’ll do! Just try and stop us (please don’t try and stop us; it would probably be pretty easy to do so).  So yes, we’re talking about the show itself, the lack of a host (hey, we’re both available next year, Academy! Just sayin’ . . . ), the music, the pageantry, and . . .  what am I forgetting . . . oh, right! The movies! What did we think of the Big Nine? What did we think of the winner? Do we think it’s an honor just to be nominated? Will the orchestra play us off before we finish this episode? Find out!

Episode 82: Oliver! (1968)

Ahh, 1968! Was there ever a better year for kids movies? Well, yes, of course there was, but for some reason all three of the movies in our “When We Wuz Kids” series seem to come from that year.  Was this accidental? Hah! Mike and I are professionals! You think we don’t have some clever, over-arching scheme in choosing three movies from the same year? You really think that? Really?
Well, of course you’re completely right.  It just sort of happened this way.  We were little kids around this time, so there you go.  And this week, our choice is the Oscar-winning musical “Oliver!”, a delightful song-filled romp through 1830’s London with back-breaking poverty, the systematic maltreatment of orphans and foundlings, devious men who turn children into criminals, thieves, murderers, domestic abusers . . . you know, a family movie! Yes, this is a charming musical based on Charles Dickens’ serialized children’s book.  And by children’s book, I mean it was a savage condemnation of England’s lack of child labor laws and the criminalization of poverty. So, yeah, that just screams “family movie musical,” doesn’t it? I really liked this movie when I was a kid; how does it hold up, after years of aging and a brief career as a Dickens scholar? Tune in and hear what we think!

Episode 81: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Today we continue our journey into the twisted smoking ruin that is our childhoods . . . what? Why are you all looking at me like that? I’m fine. I’m fine. Seriously, this week we continue “When We Wuz Kids,” where we check out movies that we remember loving as kids to see how they hold up.  This week’s entry comes from Mike’s distant past: another 1968 entry, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, a non-Disney kids’ musical with songs from the team that brought you “Mary Poppins” and includes Dick Van Dyke who wisely chose to forgo any sort of British accent in this movie (which makes it a little odd, as he’s the only one in the family without one).  This movie has it all: singing, dancing, candy, a magical car, a terrifying Child-Catcher, and several surprising connections to our last series, the one about James Bond. Seriously.  And it’s not just because the movie has a car that can float or fly. Give a listen and find out what we’re talking about!

Episode 80: Yellow Submarine (1968)

As one chapter closes, another begins . . . welcome to our new series, “When We Wuz Kids,” wherein Michael and I recall and review movies that we were enjoyed in our respective youths. Naturally, with our current level of maturity, we will be maintaining quiet dignity and a mature respect for . . . Miiiike! Quit it! Hey, Mike’s waving his hand in my face! It doesn’t MATTER if you’re not touching me, or if it’s free air, you’re still being a jerk! Oh, you are so going to get it! No, YOU are! Oh, yeah? Well, so’s your ol’ man! Quit it! Oh, you gonna cry now, big baby? You gonna cry? Gimme back my juice box!
So yes, Mike and I are regressing to childhood (yes, thank you, keep the “how far can that be” jokes to yourselves), starting with one of my favorites when I was a wee lad: the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.” Ok, yes, when I first saw it as a child, the Blue Meanies scared me so much I had to be taken out of the theater.  But I got over it.  Really. I did.  I’m not scared of AAAAAAHHHH! BLUE MEANIEEEEEES! *ahem* Yes, well . . . look, they’re really scary when you’re little! Shut up, Mike, they are too! Oh, you are so gonna get it at recess . . . Anyway, give a listen as we discuss the animated creation based around the Lads from Liverpool.  Enjoy, and remember: Blue Meanies never take “yes” for an answer!