Episode 143: Mank (2020)

Awright, M.L., I got one dilly of a flicker here, see? Good golly, it’s gonna be smash, see? Picture this: a drunk, washed up Hollywood screenwriter, see? Gotta weird name: Herman Mankiewicz. No, he didn’t work with Laurel and Hardy, he’s a serious gent. But here’s the kicker: he’s amazing, see? Just the bee’s knees when it comes to slapping those typewriter keys, get me? Fella’s on the outs and all but whammo! He gets a jingle from Hollywood’s wunderkind, that new guy Mormon Fells . . . sorry, M.L.? Right, right, Orson Wells, that’s the jimmy! And he’s doing this fantabulous new picture, see? Simian Brain or something, doesn’t matter, but it’s dynamite, got the whole of Tinseltown riled up, and he’s writing the whole thing with a busted pin! We got intrigue! Gorgeous cars! Gorgeous dames! Booze! Drugs! And best of all, it’s about Hollywood itself, and if there’s one thing America’s always going to go gaga for, it’s yarns about the City of Dreams, am I right? And we’ll stick in Bumpy the Wonder Pony for the kiddies! It can’t miss!

So, tune your shells into your squawk box and see if anything sticks to this flypaper or if it turns out we’ve got us nothing but an over-cooked slappywag from Aunt Sally’s yard sale out in the klimsy darling! [Warning: previous sentence may have not been actual English]

Poll question: sometimes during a film series, a major character will be replaced with a different actor. In your opinion, when has this worked really well and when has it really NOT worked. We’re excluding the James Bond films for this question.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 143: Mank (2020)”

  1. Wow. You’ve stumped me on this one. I’m not a big series watcher. Though I will say I DID like Val Kilmer as Batman, and I DIDN’T like Michael Keaton. So there’s that. Sorry, Max.

    1. I didn’t like Keaton, either. Kilmer was still in his “you are likely to see me in a movie” phase at that point. It’s kind of a thankless role. Thanks for answering!

  2. I have been hesitant to watch this movie after reading far too many books about who wrote what for Citizen Kane. You have me curious now though. I forgot how many actors replaced others in roles… Darrin on Bewitched might be the first I remember but to be honest I never really noticed that change. A “best/worst/best” might be the Spiderman but I am not sure that counts as I think they were maybe reboots? Nowadays some actors get replaced by computer generated versions— it’s confusing my international brain! I have to hand it to Max for bringing up the why does the director get to decide these things? It’s that old “autour” trope were one person is the mastermind and no else’s contributions count. I would some directors like Lynch might qualify since he even makes the furniture for some of his films, but these huge productions now take 1000s to contribute and most won’t ever even meet the director.

    1. Oh, the old Dick York/Dick Sargent ploy! Yah, that was out of necessity. And they hoped no one would notice. Weird. I can’t see them as anything but totally different. Re-boots are a pain in that it’s not really the same thing and seems to be something that can go on and on and on. More Bux for you, Vince! Thanks!

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