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/

Episode 180: Swan Song (2021)

Great googly moogly, it’s time for a brand-new series! My, how the time flies . . . dragging us along, one moment moving inexorably to another . . . drawing us ever-nearer to the moment of our own death. What’s got me so cheery? Why, it’s our new series “Now Streaming to a Room Near You” and this week’s entry “Swan Song”! We’re doing a series entirely on movies that have recently been released only on streaming services or simultaneously in theaters AND streaming services. Now we have even less reason to leave the house! …. Yay? So we thought we’d start with something light-hearted and frothy: a movie about facing our own mortality, the morality and ethics of certain medical treatments, the nature of identity and humanity, and the conflict of agency vs. protecting your loved ones from tragedy. You know, a popcorn movie! We’ve got quite a cast here, and quite a conversation so give a listen!

Poll question: how do you change your habits when watching a first run movie at home from when you watch a first run movie in the theater? Lights off or on? Bathroom breaks or no?  Are you looking forward to going back to theaters or are you good?

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 179: Heavy Metal (1981)

Ah, heavy metals! While fans often appreciate the whole spectrum, everyone’s got their favorite.  Some will fight to the death for the supremacy of Erbium, while others are ride or die for Niobium or Dysprosium. Sure, some folks will flirt with Palladium or Osmium, but everyone eventually agrees on the uses of Lead and Molybdenum.  I myself have a Praseodymium tattoo in an embarrassing location but that’s neither . . . what’s that? There’s a MUSIC genre . . . huh, what did I watch, then? I’ll tell you what I watched, and what Mike watched for our final “That Sure Was 1981” series: we got our ROKK ON with “Heavy Metal,” the anthology of animated segments drawn from the stories of the illustrated magazine of the same name and loaded with heavy metal music, which I totally knew was a type of music and not just a description of the chemical properties of certain elements.  Did I mention rokk on? This was a mainstream foray into adult animation and by adult, well, the filmmakers pretty much used exactly the definition of the term that you think they did.  So give a listen and let’s all get METAL! Yeah! Vanadium 4 life!! No, hang on . . .

Poll question: (not in any way stolen from Mike) We’ve seen a pant-load of animated films remade as live action; can you think of any live action movie that would be improved by making it an animated feature?

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 178: Scanners (1981)

How many times has this happened to you? You’re walking down the street, enjoying the day when blammo! Your head explodes! Don’t you just hate that? Some darn Scanner just decided to ruin your day by using their superhuman psionic abilities to make your head burst open! Oh rats! But now there’s Scan-Be-Gone, the miracle product from your pals at ConSec! Prevent unwanted Croenenbergian body horror with Scan-Be-Gone! Doesn’t matter if the Scanner in question is a bland protagonist whose name you can’t remember or a menacing Michael Ironside, Scan-Be-Gone will keep away all of that encephalitic disruptive mess and leave your cranium fresh, clean, and unexploded!  This product is Bumpy-tested and Max, Mike; Movies approved! From the makers of “That Sure Was 1981”! Sound too good to be true? Give a listen to our extended testimonial!

Poll question: If a movie is an adaptation of something and you haven’t yet read the source material, will you seek it out before, after, or at all?

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 177: Clash of the Titans (1981)

We’re still here in “That Sure Was 1981”, and what were all the kids into in the early 1980’s? Mullets? Lycra? Rubix Cubes? Well, sadly, yes, but we really hip people know that what the youngsters went gaga over was ancient Greek mythology! Woo! Remember those epic street battles over Hesiod vs Homer? All those Saturday morning cartoons about the Peloponnesian War! Sophocles ‘n Pals! The Aristophanes Smile Time Joy Hour Variety Show! Ah, memories . . . I wish mine still worked.  In the wake of the success of “Star Wars,” it was of course a natural progression to do a movie about . . . the myth of Perseus.  And people love special effects, right? So let’s get Ray Harryhausen, that master of special effects . . . of the 1950’s and 60’s.  “Star Wars” had Alec Guinness.   Hah, only ONE great British Shakespearean actor? “Clash” got a whole bunch of them! Laurence Olivier! Maggie Smith! Claire Bloom! Eat that, George Lucas! Sure, all of their combined screen time is going to be less than Guiness’ but still! This can’t lose! Give a listen and find out! {spoiler: maybe it wasn’t such a sure thing . . . }

Poll question:  Is there a type or genre of movie that you feel has just been overdone? One that makes you go “Oh, geez, not ANOTHER [fill in the blank] type of movie!” If so, what is it?

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 176: My Dinner With Andre (1981)

[Deep, impressive movie trailer voice]: Now.  In “That Sure Was 1981.” Two men.  One restaurant.  One dinner.  Two hours of pulse-pounding, mind-shattering . . . conversation! They’re breaking all the rules . . . of cinema! When everyone else said “things have to happen in a movie,” these two men dared to say no! Wallace Shawn IS Wallace Shawn! Andre Gregory IS Andre Gregory! In “My Dinner With Andre: Please Pass the MURDER!” [note: secondary title may only exist strictly in this writer’s imagination]. Yes, this is the movie so many have referenced, mocked, parodied and so much more.  There’s no way this movie should work; it’s literally just two guys sitting in a restaurant discussing a long series of largely disconnected subjects from Scottish alternative learning institutions to Japanese monks to the nature of human intimacy to electric blankets.  This shouldn’t work.  And yet it consistently shows up on many “Best Independent Films of All Time Lists.” Roger Ebert loved this movie; he said it was the best film of 1981.  Does it hold up? Do we end up loving it as much as the Blessed Ebert did? Give a listen and find out! Oh, and speaking of ol’ Roger . . .

Poll question: how much, if at all, do the reviews of “the critics” influence your desire to see any particular movie? And in what circumstances?

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 175: Stripes (1981)

Once again, welcome to our deep-dive into the wild wooly winsome world of “That Sure Was 1981.” Herein, forthwith, and wakka-wakka, we discuss the Bill Murray comedy from Ivan “I Did Ghostbusters! Yay me!” Reitman.  Bill, along with his buddy (at the time) Harold Ramis, plunge into the rich mine of comedy that is all-volunteer U.S. Army, two years after the reinstatement of the selective service act.  Yes, this was the era of “Be All That You Can Be” and “It’s Not Just a Job, It’s An Adventure,” where there was an almost desperate attempt to make the army look cool and exotic, with a downplaying all the potato-peeling, latrine-digging, and shooting people.  This movie actually makes the army look . . . zany? Fun? Something that gives you a chance to sleep with Sean Young? So yes, there’s a certain question to the degree of realism in this film, but is there supposed to be any? Maybe it’s just wacky hijinks? This film was a major hit of 1981; how well does it hold up after all these years? Well, we’re here to tell you! That’s the facts, Jack!

Poll question: What movie do you think would be improved if it was told from the point of view of one of the side or supporting characters?

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 174: Blow Out (1981)

In our latest episode of “That Sure Was 1981” we’re taking on a movie from . . . 1981! Ha! Bet you didn’t see that coming! What an unexpected twist, what a thrill ride! This short of shocking stuff is par for the course in Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out.” And what’s the big twist in this movie? John Travolta is in it and he DOESN’T DANCE! Not even once! Eat your heart out, M. Night Shyamalan! Ok, this thriller isn’t exactly packed with twists but it does give us a glimpse into the dark, twisted world of . . .  movie sound editing! Oddly enough, this is more interesting than you’d think.  John Travolta plays the very slappable Jack, alongside Nancy Allen, who plays Mrs. Brian De Palma . . . I mean, Nancy, right, Nancy.  This is before she took on her famous role as Officer Lewis in “Robocop.” That role was famous, right? We’ve also got John Lithgow being absolutely terrifying and lots of De Palma signature camera work (who doesn’t love split-screen shots? Anyone? Anyone?).  So give a listen as this movie, and our podcast, teaches you that you can’t really trust what you think you hear.  Or smell.  I swear, that was Bumpy, not me. Honest.

Poll question: What movie do you think is great just the way it is; no plot threads to pull at, no weak performances, no explanations for things that don’t make sense.  This is a movie you wouldn’t touch at ALL.  Not necessarily perfection, but something that when you watch it, you think “they just got everything right.”

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/