Episode 111: Ed Wood (1994)

Transvestites! We need transvestites! Wait, no, that’s not it . . . listeners! We need listeners! And here you are, we hope, at Max, Mike; Movies in our penultimate episode of our extended run of “In Ancient Times: the 90’s.” This week we’re taking a look at one of Tim Burton’s more . . . eccentric film choices.  And that’s saying something.  The guy has done movies about a twisted afterlife (more than once, if you think about it), science-fiction based trading cards (remember “Mars Attacks!”? No? Good), and Steven Sondheim musicals.  But in 1994 he decided the world needed to hear the tale of Edward D. Wood, Jr., a director from the 50’s and 60’s who has been proclaimed the “Worst Director of all Time.”  This is the man who brought us “Bride of the Monster,” “Glen or Glenda” and of course, the science fiction extravaganza “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” This is the man whose movies never made a dime.  This is the man who thought giving Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson speaking roles was a good idea. This is the man that Tim Burton thought needed a biopic, and more than that, a biopic filmed entirely in black and white. In 1994.  To be fair, this movie actually won two Oscars! How? Why? Is it worth watching? And who is this Mike person anyway? For the answer to these and other questions, slip into your favorite angora sweater and give a listen.

Episode 110: Groundhog Day (1993)

Hello, campers, and welcome to another Max, Mike; Movies entry in our series “In Ancient Times: the 90’s.” This week we’re discussing one of the shamefully few movies that celebrate our country’s most beloved and ancient holiday: Groundhog Day. Ah, the happy childhood memories . . . singing Groundhog carols, sipping traditional Nyquil-and-maraschino-cherry-juice punch, carving the stuffed groundhog at dinner, choosing which one of us would be sacrificed to appease the merciless Spirit of Winter . . . good times, good times. I’m sure you all have similar memories that wake you screaming in the night. Strangely, these beloved traditions aren’t even touched upon in this Harold Ramis film, starring Bill Murray, Andie McDowell, and, for reasons known only to the gods, Chris Elliott. A unique comedy, with an often-copied plot, this film asks the question “What would you do if you woke up to the same day, over and over again?” Give a listen and see what Mike and I would do, if we had an eternity of the same day (hint: Mike’s answer involves thumbtacks, Pokemon, and creamed herring).

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Episode 109: Pulp Fiction (1994)

[Interior shot, an old model Dodge Dart. Max, Mike sitting side by side, wearing black suits. Mike is driving. The radio is playing Ray Stevens’ “The Streak”]
Max: Hey, there’s a Jack-in-the-Box. You wanna get some drive-through?
Mike: You know what they call a Jack-in-the-Box in France?
Max: They don’t call it Jack-in-the-Box?
Mike: No, man, they call it Jacques-in-Le-Box.
Max: Huh. Interesting. Let’s talk about that for twenty minutes and then get involved in a seriously violent action sequence.
Mike: Ok, but take your shoes and socks off first.

Yes, for this week’s entry in “In Ancient Times: the 90’s” is Quentin Tarantino’s breakout, Oscar-nominated picture “Pulp Fiction,” the movie that lives on in ten thousand internet memes. Maybe you love Tarantino, maybe you hate him, but you certainly remember him. How do we feel about him? Give a listen and find out!

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Episode 108: Rushmore (1998)

Welcome once again to Max, Mike; Movies as we delve into the antediluvian mysteries of “In Ancient Times: the 90’s”, a time so ancient that it’s really, really old.  Today’s installment concerns “Rushmore,” the award-winning documentary about the creation of one of America’s most famous monuments honoring some of our greatest presidents.  Located in South Dakota . . . hm? What’s that? Oh . . . really? The movie is an early Wes Anderson film? I don’t get it; what does quirky, distinctive director Wes Anderson have to do with Mount . . . oh.  Huh.  So, what did I watch then? Ok, hang on . . .
[93 minutes later]
So, “Rushmore”! Wes Anderson’s second film! Which I knew because I watched it! Seriously, while this is very early in Mr. Anderson’s career, well, you can really see, hear, and smell the Wes Anderson-ness of this movie all over the place, and not just because you can see him building his ensemble cast members that he loves to use: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, one or more of the Wilson brothers . . . Is there quirky music? Strange overhead camera shots? Just how Andersonian is this early attempt? Give a listen and maybe, just maybe we’ll tell you [spoiler alert: we totally tell 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/