Episode 44: Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars (1961, 1964)

This week we’re taking a slightly different approach.  Thinking outside the box.  Shifting the paradigm.  Gleaning the cube. Shellacking the hamster. Something like that.  We’re taking on two movies by two different directors from two different countries with very different styles.  Technically, these two movies are very different: one is a black-and-white masterpiece about a rogue Samurai by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and one is a classic in-color Sergio Leone “spaghetti Western” starring iron-jawed Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name (except someone actually calls him by his name at some point).  But “Fistful of Dollars” is very clearly a remake of “Yojimbo.” Different settings, different details but almost identical plots and themes.  So, did Mr. Leone get permission from Mr. Kurosawa to create the same movie but with horses and guns? Umm . . . not so much.  Which is the better movie? Who are we to judge? Well, we’re Max and Mike.  Thought you knew that.  Come on, it’s part of the web address! Give a listen and get more details.

Episode 43: Charade/The Truth About Charlie

Welcome back to our “Then and Now” series (also called “What, This Again?”) where we compare and discuss a classic movie and one of its remakes. This week it’s the romantic comedy/thriller “Charade” and its 2002 remake “The Truth About Charlie.” Both movies have the same plot, of course: a young woman in an unhappy marriage returns to Paris to find both that her husband is dead and he was not who she thought he was. The original has Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, and Cary Grant as the leads. The remake has Thandie Newton, Tim Robbins, and . . . Mark Wahlberg. Want to take a guess as to which is the better film? Well, don’t bother! Listen to us and we’ll tell you. Isn’t that easier?

Episode 42: The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, 1999)

Welcome to a new series here at Max, Mike; Movies! This time we’re tacking “Then and Now,” wherein we discuss a classic (or at least “old”) movie and one (or more) of its remakes and compare, contrast, convulse, confusticate and consommé the two. This week we’re talking about the classic heist movie “The Thomas Crown Affair,” filmed originally in 1968 with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and remade in 1999 with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. Two very different takes on what is essentially the same crime story, although one involves banks and one involves museums and strange Magritte jokes. Join us for this new chapter, won’t you?