Episode 137: Chaplin (1992)

Welcome, welcome, and welcome again to a new series here at Max, Mike; Movies: “Semi-Real People”! In this series, Mike and I will be viewing, conferring, conversing, and otherwise hobnobbing about so-called “bio-pics,” movies that are (allegedly) true stores about (more or less) real people.  And we’re kicking it off with silence!

…………..

Ok, that’s boring and doesn’t make for a good podcast, but our subject does involve silence, inasmuch as we’re talking about “Chaplin,” the bio-pic about Charlie Chaplin, one of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Silent Era.  See what I did there? In this 1992 film, based loosely on Chaplin’s own autobiography, which explains kind of a lot about this movie, we watch Robert Downey Jr. earn an Oscar nomination in his portrayal of one of the earliest members of Hollywood royalty.  Does his performance hold up? Does the film hold up? Will the chair hold up? And what about Naomi? For the answer to (some) of these and other questions, give a listen!

Also, consider giving a response to our Poll Question: “Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so, which one? And why?” Please leave an answer in the comment section below! Thank you, won’t you?

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ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

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Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 136: Highlander 2 (1991)

In this, our final entry in “Leaving ‘Em Wanting More,” our salute to sequels, we disprove the notion that THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! Because in the case of the “Highlander” series, there are about five . . . including this one, 1991’s “Highlander 2” the sequel that no one asked for and the sequel that the subsequent movies all try to pretend never happened.  Yes, everyone’s favorite fake Scotsman Connor Macleod, played by Christopher Lambert is back and he’s brought everyone’s favorite real Scotsman Sean Connery, playing a Spaniard by way of the Egyptian court or something.  And we’ve got Michael Ironside who has taken a blood oath to leave no piece of scenery unchewed! You remember how you thought “Highlander” was an entertaining action movie, nicely self-contained, that had a reasonably satisfying conclusion? Well, you were wrong, y’hear me? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! You actually wanted a sequel set in a poor man’s “Blade Runner” set with ozone layer issues and terrible old-man makeup! That’s what you wanted! Now sit down and finish your sequel. How can you have any pudding if you don’t finish your sequel? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.  We’re professionals! [disclaimer: we may not in fact be professionals]

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 135: Aliens (1986)

In 1979, Ridley Scott astounded and terrified audiences with his iconic film “Alien.”  Apparently, Mr. Scott didn’t think much of friendly aliens like Wookies or E.T. or the eventual Greys from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.  No, Ridley decided he wanted a movie involving the most pants-crappingly scary alien since . . . well, ever.  So, working with the brilliant and disturbing mind of H.R. Giger, he created an alien that pretty much determined what EVERY ALIEN FOR THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS would look like and in doing so made many a young person sleep with the lights on for a week after seeing this movie (I mean, that’s what I’ve heard.  Not like I know anything about it personally.  Psh, yeah, right, like it bothered me as a kid . . . ).  Then, in 1986, James Cameron decided “hey, you know what’s scarier than one alien? LOTS of aliens! Lots and lots of aliens! And you know what would make the movie better? Big guns and lots of explosions! Woo! I’m gonna make a movie about the Titanic someday!” [note: preceding quote may not in fact be grounded in any known reality] So did the sequel surpass the original? Does “Aliens” hold up in the era of CGI? Give a listen, because you may not be able to hear us scream in space but you can absolutely hear us babble on the internet!

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 134: The Mummy Returns (2001)

Welcome to another in our continuing stooooory of two quacks who’ve gone to the dogs.  That is to say, Max, Mike; Movies and our series “Leave ‘Em Wanting More”.  This week, we want our mummy! No, not the nice, filial piety, wear a sweater ‘cause it’s cold out version but rather the pull-out-the-brains-through-the-nose-and-get-the-body-ready-for-Anubis, beware the curse version.  We’re dealing with the sequel to the surprise 1999 hit with Brendan Fraser and Rachel “How Do I Get Talked Into These Movies” Weiss, a movie we discussed in our “Then and Now” series.  So Rick, Evie, Jonathan, Imhotep and the guy with the cool tattoos are all back and this time there’s a kid and pygmy mummies and all the stuff that no one thought was missing from the first movie.  Does this one hold up as a fun, action romp like the first one? Or would it be better to seal this movie up in some tomb and fill it with carnivorous scarab beetles? Give a listen and see what we think!

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 133: The Dark Knight (2008)

The city.  It cries out for justice.  It cries out for salvation.  It cries out for discussions of movie sequels in a series called “Leave ‘Em Wanting More.” They call.  We come.  That’s the deal.  We are Max, Mike; Movies and we’re the podcast the city deserves, but not the one it needs.  No. Wait. Hang on.  Maybe it’s the other way around.  Or maybe we’re the podcast the city thinks it wants but isn’t the one it could really use to remove stubborn stains? Anyway, it’s complicated.  You know what’s not complicated? Justice.  And what does justice have to do with this podcast? Nothing.  That’s the point.  Get it? Well, I’ll explain . . .  it’s complicated. Like justice.  That’s deep, right? Of course it is.  Join us as we take on the villainous (or not) sequel to “Batman Begins” starring Christian “So Easy To Work With” Bale and the late, very lamented Heath Ledger where we attempt to answer the eternal question: hey, Christopher Nolan! Why . . . so . . . serious?

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 132: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Here at Max, Mike; Movies, we’ve seen things you people can’t imagine.  Attack ships on fire some place or other.  Something or other glittering off the Tannhauser gate, whatever that is.  And lots of other stuff.  You can’t imagine it.  Don’t even try.  You’ll just hurt yourself.  This week’s “Leave ‘Em Wanting More” deals with the sequel that we had no idea we wanted, a movie that came right on the heels of the original . . . give or take 35 years: “Blade Runner 2049.”  Sadly, I missed Blade Runners 2 through 2,048 (man, that who knew they could churn them out so fast?), so maybe that’s why I don’t entirely “get” this movie but a movie doesn’t have to be “got” to get good. Get it? Got it? Good.  So grab some juicy grubs and a handful of bees, cuddle up close with your beloved virtual significant other and check out our thoughts on the antics of Officer K (no relation to Agent K) and the whole wacky crew of this feel-good cheerful sci-fi romp!   Now with ten percent real Harrison Ford!

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 131: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Welcome to a sequel that I bet a bunch of people didn’t know was a sequel! Yes, Mel Gibson’s first outing as Max Rockatansky (yes, the character has a last name) in 1979 wasn’t exactly widely distributed (or known) over here in the States; the initial release even had Gibson’s voice dubbed, for fear that his thick Australian accent? would baffle U.S. audiences.  Okaaay, sure.  Here’s a sequel that at the very least is more memorable than the original.  Is it as good? Better? Does it have more mohawks, leather outfits, and butt-less leather pants? Yes, I’d say that’s a pretty fair bet.  So, join us for this week’s Mad Max, Mad Mike; Mad Movies (we’re just mad about movies! Ah heh heh heh . . . heh . . . I’ll stop now, I’m so sorry).  It’ll be humongous!

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 130: The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Welcome, dudes, to another of our, like, “Leave ‘Em Wanting More” . . . thing.  ‘cuz we’re talking about, y’know, sequels and stuff . . . so, like, you ever think that maybe we’re all living in, sort of a big computer game or whatever? And we don’t, like, even know it and junk? Yeah . . . yeah . . . us too . . . and, like, did you ever want a really involved explanation of why all this is happening and like have guys make what seems like a cool idea pretty much . . . what’s the word . . . incomprehensible? Yeah, us too! Whoa . . . is that a coincidence, or some kind of conspiracy, dude? Whoa.
Yes, we all liked the original Matrix (well, for the purposes of this paragraph, let’s assume we all did).  But what happens when a sequel comes out with more fights, more action and what everyone REALLY wanted: lots more vague and confusing explanations for what happened in the first movie! Yeah! Because THAT’S what people wanted in the follow-up to a visually remarkable kick-ass action movie: more exposition! Heaps more! Do we get that in this movie? How much? Does it help? Does it make sense? Despite all our rage, are we still just rats in a cage? Tune in to find out the answers, except probably for that last one.

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 129: The Godfather Part II (1974)

From the people who brought you “Max, Mike; Movies” comes “Max, Mike; Movies II: The Returning Revenge of the Origins to the Future of the Next Generation on Fury Road.” In other words, we’re starting a new series called “Leave ‘Em Wanting More” and it’s all about sequels! Sequels, sequels and more sequels.  Those things that Hollywood used to carefully consider creating but now it’s “Your movie made five dollars over it’s budget? Sequels! Lots of sequels! Must have forty sequels!” [actual transcript of meeting with Famous Hollywood Producer Who Shall Remain Imaginary].  But let’s face it: there are sequels and there are sequels.  Some sequels are shameless cash grabs, some are dictated by an adapted medium and some exist . . . for eldritch reasons beyond time and space, where if you think about it too hard your spleen will turn into a third kidney.  It happens more often than you’d think.  This week, we’re talking about one of those rarest of beasts, a sequel that many believe is actually superior to the original, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II.”  Does it surpass the original? Does it equal the original? Give a listen and see what we think.  Why do we do this? Because this is the business we have chosen.

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 128: You’ve Got Mail (1998)

What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more . . . ow! Dang, I hurt my neck doing that head-bob thing. Here we are at the final episode of “Isn’t It Romantic” and what exemplifies romance more than those three little words: “you’ve got mail.” So many songs written about them . . . We’ve got another movie written by Nora Ephron and starring Meg Ryan (so it’s GOTTA be good), and it involves that most timely, never-dated online service: America Online! Where my AOLies at? Prodigy peeps? CompuServers? GEnie G’s? Oh lord, I’m so old . . . Anyway, in the days before easy access to the internet, people found love on these services and on these services only (having meet-cutes in bars or restaurants was a class 1 felony).  And that’s how this week’s couple, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet. Is it cute? Does this remake of a 1940 Jimmy Stewart/Margaret Sullivan movie charm and delight? Plug in your 28.8k modem and download this week’s episode! Should only take two or three hours.

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/