Episode 190: Yesterday (2019)

Now we come to a rather disturbing entry in our “Ladies and Gentlemen . . . the Beatles!” series. “Yesterday” asks the question: what if nearly everyone on Earth forgot that Herman’s Hermits ever existed? It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s just a movie, please don’t panic. We really didn’t mean to trigger anyone . . . but what were we expecting? What sort of nightmarish hellscape would we be stuck with without the loving, beatific guidance of Herman’s Hermit’s? How would we know how lovely a daughter Mrs. Brown had? What cataclysmic effects on society would this have? Well, fortunately this sort of speculation can remain confined to nightmares, as this romantic comedy actually asks the question “What if suddenly you were the only person in the world who had ever heard of the Beatles?” Yes, what if no one else had ever heard the songs “Bungalow Bill,” “Mean Mr. Mustard” or “Her Majesty’s A Very Nice Girl”? Oh, and probably some others as well. Well, tune in and find out what this, the first indie movie to actually license Beatles’ songs, has to say about it.

Poll question: if you could strike one movie or franchise from the memories of everyone and be sure it’d never show up ever, which would it be?

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 189: Good Ol’ Freda (2013)

And here we are with the second episode in our series “Ladies and Gentlemen . . . the Beatles!” and I’m guessing most of you are asking yourselves: was Freda the quiet Beatle or the cute Beatle? Well, you’re both wrong (both of our listeners!) because (brace yourself for a shock) none of the Beatles were named Freda! I know, right? I was stunned too! The titular Freda refers to Freda Kelly who served as the official President of the Beatles Fan club in Liverpool for the entirety of the band’s existence.  This documentary presents her story and her unique perspective on the Lads Liverpudlian, a story that she didn’t tell for almost fifty years. Working directly for Brian Epstein, Freda saw John, Paul, George and Ringo (and Pete) when they were just local boys playing at the Cavern and was with them through their astounding rise to fame and to the sad dissolution of the band.  She answered their fan mail, brought them their paychecks, got them to sign all sorts of things, and kept their secrets. Give a listen and find out if this is just another tired old tale or a genuinely interesting story.

Poll question: what action movie cliché punches the biggest hole in your suspension of disbelief? People walking away from explosions? People diving unharmed through a plate glass window?

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 188: Help! (1965)

Welcome, our most groovy listeners! Let us take you down to Strawberry Fields, via Penny Lane; hey, Jude, you’re falling behind! Are you not feeling well? Do you need a little help from your friends? Should we call Dr. Robert? Do you want to hold my hand as we go? As you may have guessed from this so-subtle introduction, we’re starting a swinging, woodly-poodly new series featuring movies by, about, and inspired by that famous musical combo . . . Herman’s Hermits! That’s right . . . no, no, that’s entirely wrong. Sadly, I don’t believe Herman or the Hermits ever made it to the silver screen, more’s the pity.  No, the name of the series sums it up: “Ladies and Gentlemen . . . the Beatles!” We’ll be checking out some of the films of the Lads from Liverpool, as well as documentaries about them, fictionalized versions of them, and movies that I assume are supposed to be tributes to them, but . . . well, wait and see.  We’re starting off with the second movie the Four Mop Tops made themselves, the zany farce “Help!” Is it zany? Is it farcical? Are the Beatles in it? I can assure you that the answer to at least one of those questions is “yes.” Give a listen and find out which one!

Poll question: what subject matter do you think is most lacking in movie theaters? What area has Hollywood not explored enough?

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 187: CODA (2021)

And so we come to the close of our “Now Streaming in a Room Near You” series, and what a wild ride it’s been. Yes? No? Anyone? I know I said last week’s episode was the last in our series; I’m sorry, I just had to throw THEM off my trail. You understand. Well, we’re closing out with a film nominated for Best Picture this year, “CODA,” which, much to my disappointment, is NOT the origin story of everyone’s favorite tiny green Jedi master.  Apparently, the spelling is quite different but I’m sure I was not the only one confused by this one-letter difference. Excuse me? Ah. Mike has just assured me that I am, in fact, the only person in all of known time and space who found this confusing. Well. There it is.  So, this movie is actually about a Child Of Deaf Adults . . . oh! I see what they did there! NOW I get . . . what? Yes, sorry, I’ll get on with it.  CODA is the moving story of Ruby Rossi, the only hearing person in her family of four, and the rising conflict between her desire to be her family’s link to the hearing world and her own growing love of singing. This movie is actually a remake of an earlier French movie (which we will mention within) but unlike that film, CODA has only deaf actors portraying deaf characters.  Kind of a shame that this is something we need to congratulate them on, rather than something that’s simply obvious, but so it goes. Give a listen, and try to control your disappointment at the utter lack of Jedi masters in this movie. Really, would that have been such a big deal . . . ok, ok, I’ll stop.

Poll question: can you think of a “perfect” movie musical, one with NO bad songs at all? If so, what is it? Stage adaptations are fine but we’re not talking about the actual stage show, just the movie.

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 186: Finch (2021)

Welcome to the final episode in our “Now Streaming in a Room Near You” series. This week, “Finch” asks the question: “Hey, remember how great Tom Hanks was in that movie when he was all alone except for a deflated volleyball? And he talked to it and stuff? Well how great would it be if the volleyball could actually talk back? Mind-blowing, right?” Ok, that’s a bit of an oversimplification; “Finch” is a post-Apocalyptic story and Tom Hanks is the Last Man on Earth . . . or more accurately the Last Man in St. Louis…That We Know Of.  It’s just him, his dog . . . and a couple of adorable robots, one of which can talk.  So, it’s your typical post-apocalyptic-buddy-road-trip-environmental-message-robot  movies. Man, you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of those, am I right? And once again, the producers went to Tom Hanks and said “Tom. Buddy. Pal. We got this movie and it’s a little heavy. Would you mind carrying it?” “Geez, guys, I dunno, I did that once and I’m still pretty tired from it.” “No, no, this’ll be different! You’ll have help!” “Oh, great, so I get a co-star?” “Sure… kinda.” “What do you mean, ‘kinda’?” “Uh, well, another actor will be involved …“ “Yes?” “They just won’t exactly be on-screen with you, that’s all.” “… I’m co-starring with a special effect, aren’t I.” “… Yes, yes you are.” “Guys, why would I want to … is … is that a moving van full of money pulling up to the house? With a big Apple logo on it?” “Yuppers!” “Sigh. Fine, when do I show up?”

[The preceding is a completely accurate recreation of how Apple studios asked Tom Hanks to be in “Finch”. And by “completely accurate,” I mean that’s how it happened in my head, which as far as I’m concerned is the same thing]

Poll question: do you prefer your science fiction all post-apocalypty, with mankind struggling to survive and rebuild, possibly with a dystopia or two thrown in, or do you prefer the whole “the stars my destination” route, with humanity making our way into the galaxy in shiny, shiny spaceships and meeting aliens who ask “Kiss? What is kiss? Show me kiss!”

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 185: The Deep House (2021)

Hey, welcome! Glad you’ve chosen Max, Mike; Movies as your real estate agency! We’ve got a great little property to show you this week: it’s one of our “Now Streaming in a Room Near You” models and it’s a real steal.  Location? Just the best: right in the South of France! I know, right? How is this beauty still on the market? Well, we’ve got a real motivated seller, because this house is underwater.  Excuse me? Oh, uh, no, I’m not talking about the mortgage. I mean the house is actually underwater, or as we call it, lakefront property! Ok, more accurately it’s lake bottom property, oh, say, 30 meters down; that’s about 100 feet American. Man, that metric system, am I right? How’s that? Well, sure, you’re gonna get your water in the basement with this little handyman’s dream.  Yes, and in the kitchen. And the bedrooms.  And pretty much the rest of the house. But you won’t believe how well-preserved this beauty is! Seriously, you really won’t believe it . . . And the water is guaranteed to be French! You know how much people pay for French water? I tell ya! Other problems? Well, I won’t lie to you; we’re not like those OTHER real estate agents, we’ll play it straight with you.  The wiring in the place could stand a bit of an upgrade.  The kitchen is charming, mind you, but it could stand a little updating. Oh, and you may here some people mumbling something about an ancient evil stirred from some dark place to cast its dread shadow upon the earth, or some gossip about something not being dead that can eternal lie, but that’s really just local color.  So, shall we talk financing?

Poll question: What is your favorite movie about religion or that has a religious theme or setting?

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 184: The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

Gentles!
We pray you now, to our podcast give ear,
Sweet Apple offers Shakespeare to us here!
Denzel will don the mantle of the Scot
A king, but every inch? I’faith, ‘tis not!
The Brothers Coen now split, one stands alone
To build a castle hewed from filmic stone.
His goodly wife McDormand treads the boards
A wondrous soundtrack, movie full well-scored!
Join Mike and his most humble counsel Max
To watch this boldest of the streaming acts!

[Exeunt, pursued by Bumpy]

Poll question: Has Hollywood finally erased the “stigma” of TV, meaning, is there still a perceived lesser quality to productions on tv or do movies still reign supreme? Do we “look down” on tv, expect less from it than movies, that kind of thing?

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 183: Encanto (2021)

The first rule of Bruno: we do not talk about Bruno.  Second rule of Bruno: we do not. Talk. About Bruno. However, everyone should feel free to sing about Bruno and engage in complex and elaborate dance numbers about Bruno.  Everyone clear on that? Good.  Then we can get on with this week’s “Now Streaming to a Room Near You” episode which, as you may have guessed, involves the latest Disney Animation feature “Encanto,” featuring Columbian imagery, dances, and the songs of Lin-Manuel “Please, I’m So Close To EGOT” Miranda. (C’mon, Academy! Just give him the Oscar already. Look at that face! Can you say no to that face?).  We’ve got magical realism, Disney animation, this year’s earworm song (Can “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” unseat “Let It Go”? If you have children, you’re going to find out, so say goodbye to your audio cortex!).  Is this a Disney triumph, or one of their “Oooo, so close…!” Give a listen and find out!

Poll question: when you watch a movie, do you watch the end credits all the way through? If so, is it just to see if there is a mid-credits or end-credits scene, or is there some other reason?

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 182: Being the Ricardos (2021)

Looootheee! We got another podcast episode to do in the “Now Streaming to a Room Near You” series! How could you let Bumpy write the script?! Ponies can’t use keyboards! You got some ‘splainin’ to do! Waaahhhhh, Ricky! I didn’t have time to write it myself! Ethel and I invested all our money in Bumpybux NFTs and we had to sell short! Waaaahhhh!  So, if this is all you thought went on behind the scenes in the iconic 50’s tv series “I Love Lucy” then you’re . . . well, a lot like me and this movie may be very helpful because ay yi yi, was there a lot going on there! This Oscar nominated (kinda sorta) biopic follows Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz through one tumultuous week of filming their hit show, dealing with their own volatile relationship, the shadow of the Red Scare, cantankerous cast members, and more.  Plus, it’s an Aaron Sorkin script so everyone’s getting plenty of cardio in with all the talking-while-walking. How well does this movie capture the spirit of Lucy and Desi, or tv production in the 50’s? Do Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem convincingly embody these two media legends? Does Desi ever call anyone “friend-o” in the movie? Give a listen and find out! And what about Fred and Ethel?

Poll question: do you have a favorite film performance by an animal, or do you think, as W.C. Fields did, that it’s a mistake to have animal characters in movies?

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 181: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Episode 181: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Max, Mike; Movies: a name you can trust.  A name that shares your values.  A name that means honesty. Freedom. Decency. Family. [insert additional focus-group approved positive emotional trigger words end-subroutine].  And in our series “Now Streaming to a Room Near You”, in these trying times, we know you want to feel safe. Secure. Not worried about being consumed by flesh-eating hyper-zombies.  So, we’re making this pledge to you: while you listen to our discussion of the Oscar-nominated film “Don’t Look Up,” at no point will you or your family be attacked by flesh-eating hyper-zombies.  That’s the Max, Mike; Movies guarantee.  Ignore what the Fake News may be telling you about flesh-eating hyper-zombies. Don’t be fooled by the alleged sounds of radioactive claws tearing at the doors of your home or the so-called “screams of your neighbors” the libs keep going on about.  You can trust us on this: flesh-eating hyper-zombies will be kept at bay by this podcast.  Believe us.  We’ve done our own research on this.  Give a listen, secure in the knowledge that at no point will you be menaced by flesh-eating hyper-zombies. [Disclaimer: protectionagainstflesh-eatinghyper-zombieshasnotbeenpeer-reviewedguaranteeisnotbackedbyanyfinancialsourcesomepartsmaybemadeofchickennotvalidinallstatessorryTennessee]

Poll question: what is your most-hated minor movie cliché? The rain starting right after a romantic breakup? The hacker saying “I’m in”? The fact that no one ever has trouble finding a parking space in a movie What often-used minor point just really sets your teeth on edge every time?

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/