Episode 287 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Ok, this week’s entry in the “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win” series is a bit troubling. I mean, it’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” right? Well, I don’t know about you but I remember 2001; I remember getting over the Y2K panic; I remember George W. Bush being president. You know what I DON’T remember? Finding a mysterious black monolith on the moon! Know what else I DON’T remember? A manned flight to Jupiter! What the hell is the movie trying to pull?! You know what I think? Now, hear me out, don’t just call me a conspiracy nut or anything, but I think that this whole thing . . . now, hear me out . . . was filmed on a SOUNDSTAGE IN HOLLYWOOD! By acclaimed film director Stanley Kubrick! Yeah, fine, call me crazy, sure, it all looks real, but someone is trying to fool us all here and we won’t let them get away with it! Max, Mike; Movies: delivering the truth, unvarnished and as it appears to us in our bowls of breakfast cereal! Wake up, sheeple! Give a listen! Learn the truth! The Earth isn’t round, either! It’s burrito-shaped! Hey, LISTEN to us!

Poll question: do you think the bias against genre movies like science fiction or westerns is unfair or do you think it’s right for award nominations to go mostly to so-called “real” movies?

Episode 286 – Do The Right Thing (1989)

Please check out this week’s episode of “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win.” Please do. Please baby, please, baby baby baby please! From that ham-handed reference, you can guess that we’re taking on a Spike Lee movie, specifically “Do The Right Thing”, a movie that didn’t win Best Picture, wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture, but a LOT of people thought was the Best Picture of 1989. Heck, give a listen and hear Mike reveal which Oscar presenter used her time to call out the fact that this movie wasn’t nominated! Hint: it’s not Dame Judy Dench (but if she had been there at the time, I bet she would have said something). Anyway, join us for this remarkable, if not easily-watched, movie and stock up on D-cells for your tape player!

Poll question: what is your favorite Samuel L. Jackson performance?

Episode 285 – Juno (2007)

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that this week’s entry in “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win” was NOT a thrilling docu-drama about the founding and development about the capital of Alaska. I mean, what a missed opportunity! I was hoping to see the on-screen portrayals of the prospectors Richard Harris and Joe Juneau as they struggle to the death to see who gets to name the city (ok, the current name of the city is kind of a spoiler) but imagine Graham Greene as the Tlingit Chief Kowee! Abe Vigoda as the crusty but loveable general store owner! They could have done a touching story about the dog Patsy Anne, the official Canine Greeter of Juneau, or had a massive musical number where everyone does the Ice Worm Wiggle (I’m not making any of that up). Sigh. Ok, so I guess we did get a pretty ok movie about teen pregnancy, with an awesome soundtrack, great performances and some razor-sharp Diablo Cody dialogue but I can’t help think about . . . what could have been . . .

Poll question: What is your favorite Michael Cera performance?

Episode 284 – Citizen Kane (1941)

Welcome to Max Foster Levine and No One Else; Movies. I, and I alone, have come up with our new series “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win.” and don’t you forget it! Yes, yes, I may have had some partner or other at some point but I sent him packing when he showed his vast lack of vision at my brilliant choice of “Citizen Kane” as an example of the Worst Movie Ever. Seriously, what a stinker. You all have probably never even heard of this turkey, given the hideous performances, ludicrous script, and barf-inducing direction and camera work by some hack who sold frozen peas. Everyone hates this movie. Yes, they do! Don’t tell me what you think, I’ll tell YOU what you think! You hear me?! My opinions of movies are the only ones that matter!! You all listen to me and no one else! LISTEN TO ME! I’M MAX FOSTER LEVINE AND I . . . I . . . I . . . my heart . . . {thud} . . . . . {whispered} In July . . . .

Poll question: what do you think is the best motion picture ever made? Not necessarily your favorite, but the best made?

Episode 283 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Somewheeeerre, off in the podcast
Movies play
And my buddy and me chat
About them throughout the day.
Somewhere, off in the podcast,
We’ll talk flicks.
And we’ll just keep on talking
’cause we’re a pair of . . . Um, ok, that’s enough singing for now!

Yes, believe it or not, the classic “The Wizard of Oz” was nominated for but did not win Best Picture for 1939! Jiminy Cricket! How did this happen? Did the Academy just not have any brains that year? Did their collective heart turn to stone? Did they have no courage? Did they all desperately want to return to Kansas? Give a listen to this week’s “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win” and find out! Run, Toto, run!

Poll question: what is your favorite theme song from a non-musical movie?

Episode 282 – Brokeback Mountain (2005)

We’ve got us a brand-new series! How often does that happen? Well, pretty often, but that’s part of the magic! This week, we’re kicking off our series “Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win. Didn’t Win” where we discuss movies that seemed like a lock for the Best Picture Oscar but instead were cruelly and viciously stomped upon by some other film that took their statue, stole their lunch money, and made fun of them at recess. That’s how the Academy works; don’t dispute me! Our first nominee is 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain,” a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, social expectations, toxic masculinity, and a bunch of other stuff that I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING SHUT UP! Sure, this movie is terrific, but was its Oscar loss understandable? Or were there . . .  other factors (I’m looking at you, Illuminati!)

Poll question: what’s your favorite filmic love story?

Episode 281 – Forty Guns (1957)

We’re closing out “Because Patton Said So” with one last entry from Patton Oswalt’s choices from the Criterion Collection. And as we mosey into the sunset, on our cayuse (which I think is a small Yugoslavian car, don’t quote me on that), we’re taking a gander at a Sam Fuller Western, 1957’s “Forty Guns.” The central premise of this movie is: do you really need forty guns? I mean, wouldn’t thirty-five guns be enough? But this movie dares to ask the question: what if, in fact, you need to shoot forty things? You’d feel pretty silly just standing there with thirty-five guns and five things left to shoot, wouldn’t you? Didn’t think of that, did you? Well, now who’s confused about the plot or themes of this movie (it’s me, isn’t it . . .)? Not to worry, Mike and I get things sorted out in this week’s episode, so give a listen and see how we manage it! Oh, and by the way . . . YEEEEE-HAAAWWWW! (ow, ow, ow, I hurt myself, ow, ow, ow . . . )

Poll question: If you like Westerns, what is your favorite Western? Or do you dislike the entire genre?

Episode 280 – Female Trouble (1974)

Heeewack, campers! We’ve got another choice selection from the list of Filmaster Oswalt! He’s brought us obscure, powerful noir films, languid, elegant Japanese films, so what tasteful, understated lyrical selection has he made for us . . . oh. Oh. OHHH!!!! OH GOD MY EYES MY EYES WHAT’S HAPPENING WHAT THE HELL IS THIS OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD . . . Umm . . . I mean . . . well, this John Water’s . . . classic is certainly a change of pace for us. Yes. That’s what it is. Seriously, this film is . . . really something. I think the process of creating this film went something like this:

Hollywood: Well, it’s 1968 and we’ve finally done away with the Hayes Code! What kind of shock could possibly come of this decision?

John Waters in 1974: Hold my beer.

Yes, John Waters, the man who puts the “cult” in “culture” created this entry, which was astonishingly shocking and transgressive for it’s time. But now it’s fifty years later, so it probably seems very tame, even dull . . . right? Right? Mike, why won’t you look at me . . .?

Poll question: What is the cheapest made movie you’ve ever come to love?

Episode 279 – The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)

Once again, we are pleased to bring you a film selection suggested by one Mr. Patton Oswalt (and there is only one of him, at least until I perfect my cloning-and-memory-imprint-transfer device, which should be any day now; I just need to find one more set of old skee-ball machine gears . . .): Yasujirō Ozu’s 1952  work “The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice.” And just what is the flavor of green tea over rice? Does it taste like victory? Does it taste like the slow but inescapable realization that your favorite Aunt may have an online gambling addiction? Does it just taste like wet rice? Or does it taste like something else entirely? I’m positive it’s one of those three things (spoiler alert: according to Ozu, I got all three of those things wrong. Oh well. That’s why he was a director and I’m directionless). Patton chose this film out of all of Ozu’s films because . . . well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? You’ll have to tune in to find out, and you’ll have to listen to all of it, because I won’t reveal the answer to that quandary until the very, very end of the episode (spoiler alert: that’s a lie; you’ll find out fairly early on).

Poll question: who is one actor whose success absolutely baffles you? Just makes you think “how did this person become a movie star?”