Welcome to the Diamond Jubilee episode of “Max, Mike; Movies”! Yes, we’re celebrating our 75th episode, and the latest in our series “Get ‘em, Jimmy!”, the best and worst of the Bond franchise. I know, “Diamonds Are Forever” might have been more appropriate, but there you go. This week we move from one of the best Bond films to one of the . . . less best. We now find ourselves in the Roger Moore period and while some of Sir Roger’s turns as Bond were decent . . . this ain’t one of them. This film came out two years after that little indie flick “Star Wars”, and gosh, the kids just love the sci-fi, don’t they just? So to capitalize on this s-f trend, we get BOND . . . IN . . . SPAAAAAACE! So many of the worst Bond clichés in this one: women as disposable props, a villain (Drax. Sadly not the one from “Guardians of the Galaxy”) who looks like he shops and gets his hair done at the Big Mall O’ Supervillains, and the second appearance of one of the most cartoonish henchman, Jaws, played by the towering Richard Kiel who is very good at being tall. So, what can we expect from this one? Will James Bond leave his life as a humble British moisture farmer to try to destroy a nasty space evil? Does Jaws bite off Bond’s hand? Will it turn out that Drax is actually Bond’s father? Tune in and find out!
Well, Double-oh Seven, we’ve got some new equipment for you. Yes, this is the latest in Daniel Craigs and he’ll be playing you from now on. Try to return him, along with your other equipment, intact for once, there’s a good chap. Yes, in our latest installment of “Get ‘em, Jimmy!” we take on the first of the Bond movies starring Daniel Craig, replacing Pierce Brosnan, “Casino Royale.” Technically this is not the first adaptation of “Casino Royale,” but this one actually bears some vague resemblance to the book. And isn’t a comedy. And doesn’t have Woody Allen in it. And no, I’m not making that up. You want a weird experience? Check out the 1967 “Casino Royale” starring David Niven. It’s about as far as you can get from the 2006 movie. Which is what we’re talking about. Just want to make that very clear.
Where was I? Where am I? Where’s the fire escape, and where’s my pants?
*Harumph* well, yes, so Daniel Craig! This movie gives us a very different sort of Bond. Less gentleman-about-town, more ex-rugby player (which, to be fair, Craig is). Does it work? Join us and see if we can answer the question Glinda the Good asks Dorothy: “Are you a good Bond or a bad Bond?” That’s the quote. Don’t dispute me. And Judy Garland would have made an awesome James Bond. Am I right? Who’s with me? . . . How did these crickets get in here?
‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, what’s all this then? Why it’s another episode in our series “Get ‘em, Jimmy!” wherein we discuss the highs and lows of the James Bond franchise. Last week we talked about a film that is generally regarded as one of the best Bond films; this week we’re talking about one that . . . um . . . is not. Yes, this week we’re jamming diamonds into our faces and revving up our invisible cars to talk about “Die Another Day,” one of the Pierce Brosnan Bond outings, with guest star Halle Berry (and by “guest star” we mean “person we wish the movie had been about”). And who else shows up? Why it’s Agent Madonna! No really, the Material Girl provides the theme song (go ahead; try to remember any of that song. I dare you) and provides minutes of what could be construed, broadly, as entertainment; she plays that classic Bond supporting character that everyone knows: Verity the Fencing Instructor. Remember when all the kids were dressing up as Verity the Fencing Instructor for Halloween . . . ? When was that? Oh right: never. What’s the problem with this movie? Would there were only one. Give a listen and see what sort of a rum go we’re in for, wot wot?
Sit down and pay attention, Double-oh Seven. We’re starting a new series here at MMM6 and it involves one Mr. Bond. James Bond. Yes, our new series, elegantly titled “Get ‘em, Jimmy!”, deals with that super-spy of super-spies, the man who can rock a tuxedo better than anyone while ordering a watered-down martini (they’re SUPPOSED to be stirred, so the ice doesn’t chip and melt too fast), and a character who has been portrayed by six different actors (seven if you count David Niven . . . but we don’t talk about that. Much), representing all the countries in the United Kingdom. This is a film franchise that has spanned half a century and 24 films (26 if you count the first “Casino Royale” and “Never Say Never Again”) and that’s not including the one coming out in 2020. The Bond films have been a major part of our movie-going experience for generations. In this series, Mike and I will be discussing the highs and lows of the franchise, alternating the best of Bond with the worst of Bond. The Bond films are the proverbial pretty little girl with the pretty little curl right in the middle of her forehead; when they’re good, they’re very, very good, and when they’re bad, well, they can really Blofeld. This week, we’re starting off with one of the best: “From Russia With Love,” the second Bond-outing starring Sean Connery (or, as I call him, The One True Bond. Ow! Mike! Quit it! I am too being objective! Quit it!). Um, anyway, Sean Connery is cool, I guess, whatever, there’s other good Bonds, maybe, or something mumble mumble mumble I’ll be in my room. So, sit back, plug in whatever audio device Q branch has supplied you, and give a listen!
Here we close our “Special Guest Star” series with none other than the talented and charming Valerie Kuhns, a woman with everything going for her with the exception of the fact that she is related to Mike. Specifically, she is his sister. Shudder for a moment as you think of what that was like. Val has overcome this considerable obstacle and has brought one of her favorite movies for our discussion: Baz Luhrman’s directorial debut “Strictly Ballroom”, a charming, slightly off-kilter romantic comedy about the world of Australian competitive ballroom dancing. Doesn’t sound that thrilling, does it. Well, this movie may surprise you! It may stun you! It may steal your heart and your wallet and possibly your shoes! Your dancing shoes! Someone please stop me! Listen in and hear what Val and your usual hosts have to say about this movie. And let me stress: there are NO NEW STEPS!
Welcome back to another episode in our “Special Guest Star” series! This week we sit down with the intelligent, witty and annoyingly tall Ned Martenis (also known, in some circles, as my godson). Ned has chosen one of his favorite movies, the often-underrated “In Bruges,” a dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen hiding out in Belgium, in the picturesque city of Bruges. Even if the performances weren’t as good as they are, the movie is worth watching just to see how amazing Bruges looks. Ned leads us through a discussion of the merits and flaws of this very affecting movie, while Mike and I make dopey jokes and point out how many actors from the Harry Potter movies show up in this film (there’s a bunch). Give a listen: enjoy Ned, and tolerate us.
And here we are with another “Special Guest Star” to do some of the heavy lifting of . . . well, talking about movies. Hey, some of those scenes can get pretty bulky! This week it’s another of Mike’s Michigan crew, the insightful Haley King; she’s chosen to discuss one of her favorite movies of all time, the 1950 Bette Davis classic “All About Eve”. Haley is young, ambitious, driven and oh god, Mike’s brought her in to replace me. Haven’t you, Mike? HAVEN’T YOU? Seriously, tune in and give a listen to Haley’s thoughts (and ours) on this remarkable piece of cinema. I assure, it won’t be a bumpy night at all.
After the carnage that was “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make”, we gratefully stumble into a brand new series “With Special Guest Star . . .”, where we take the winners of our “Host With Max and Mike” contest and CRUSH THEIR SPIRITS WITH THE WORST MOVIES . . . *pant* *pant* *pant* . . . sorry, that last series is kind of sticking with me. No, for the next few episodes we’re turning the movie choice over to each of our contest winners and hearing what they have to say about why they chose the move they chose. Is it a favorite movie? An important one? That kind of movie you just have to watch every so often? This week, it’s Mike’s buddy The Weezil and his choice is 1999’s Andy Kaufman biopic, starring Jim Carrey. Does this movie hold up? What kind of picture does it give of the controversial comedian/performance artist/whatever-the-heck-Kaufman-was? Give a listen to the Weez’s words’es.
It’s been a long, dark road but we’ve arrived at the final, some might say most foul, entry in our “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me” series. Last week, Mike did some serious harm to my psyche with his cruel and unusual “Baby Geniuses” frontal assault, so this week, I reply with the cinematic poisoned dagger of the soul that is “Freddy Got Fingered,” the most dismal (and one of the only) entries in the “career” of Tom Green, a name that strikes a shuddering chill into the hearts of movie-goers. This movie is Tom at Tommy-est. Mr. Green at his Green-est. There are those who say this movie is a satirical masterpiece, an ironic work of genius. Here at Max, Mike; Movies, we respect all opinions. We know there are no right or wrong ideas . . . except for this one. Those people are wrong. Just. Plain. Wrong. You want evidence? Listen to the sad, tattered remnants of Mike soul dribble out into his microphone. Did I top “Baby Geniuses” with this monstrosity? Listen . . . and find out.
Pray for us, dear listeners! More specifically, pray for poor Max who had to endure Mike’s cruel strike in this week’s “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me” series; Mike has chosen a serious garbage fire of a movie, “Baby Geniuses,” a movie based on the “premise” that babies under the age of two years old (that EXACT age, by the way; that’s a plot point) are actually hyper-intelligent creatures who can understand any language and know the secrets of the universe. Because, sure. The film’s Bad Guys, who by some cruel trick of the universe are played by the amazing Kathleen Turner and Christopher Lloyd, are trying to exploit infantile wisdom with infantile script writing . . . I mean evil plans. There’s Uncanny Valley levels of weird effects to make it look like the babies are speaking (did I mention this was live-action and not the badly-animated cartoon it sounds like it should be?), wardrobe montages, baby martial arts, bad and often inappropriate jokes . . . yes, this movie has it all. Seriously, this is so bad, it took me an hour into the film to realize I was watching the wrong movie. Huh? For the answer to that and other questions, dive in with us!