Special thanks to our buddy Jason Shankel hailing from the Nattercast for commissioning this podcast for the 1986 sci-fi action fantasy film Highlander, directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. Jason and his friends also did a deep dive on Highlander, so please check that out if you’re looking for a very affectionate and informed take from life-long fans of the franchise. As for us, we thought Highlander was cheesy fun. The film boasts an excellent soundtrack, exciting and varied sets for the extended sword fights, and some of the sturdiest and most interesting fantasy bones to hang a franchise on. We walk away wondering why hasn’t anyone rebooted this?
Tonight we were supposed to see A Wrinkle in Time, but we were upstaged by A Wrinkle in Ticket Pre-sales, so we called an audible and saw the movie we were supposed to see last week, Red Sparrow. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina turned deadly secret agent, and Joel Edgerton as just a dumb*ss American spy it manages to be lurid without being interesting. We’ll tell you what we thought about the movie up front, then talk about upcoming movies and trailers for a bit, but if you want our full spoiler-filled take you’ll have to be a Club Member!
So Jim and I did this 24 hour Groundhog Day marathon on Groundhog Day, and ended up raising $10,205 for the homeless! You can watch the entire thing on YouTube if you’re so inclined, but if you want to know the highlights, listen to this podcast. We couldn’t be prouder of the Bald Move family. We truly felt like we really came together and did something special.
Special thanks to Stephen Moore, whose original commission of Home Alone we thoughtlessly trampled upon during our holiday revelries. For his make-good podcast, he has selected the classic 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. Directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller, it tells the harrowing tale of a mother who turns to Catholic priests as her last hope when her daughter gets possessed by an ancient evil spirit. I’ve got to be honest, I was skeptical that the film would hold up, but does it ever. Not only does it still manage to be genuinely disturbing, but it elevates the form of the horror flick into a generally excellent film in terms of art.
We’ve just seen Annihilation, and boy are our minds blown. Written and directed by Alex Garland and starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaacs, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, it features a plot that it is alien, wondrous, unfathomable, and terrifying, with visuals to match. It compares favorably to The Arrival, and is the kind of movie we wanted Alien: Covenant to be. It’s just too bad that Paramount had so little faith in the film, in our eyes they had something special on their hands, and we feel sorry for the international audience that is going to see this for the first time on the small screen. For everybody in the US, Canada, and China, go see this film!
Special thanks to Freddy C, friend of the pod and one of the heroes from our recent Groundhog Day charity drive, who commissioned the epic 1995 crime thriller, Heat. Directed by Michael Mann and starring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, among many, many other notable stars, it features some of the best looking and sounding action ever committed to film, not to mention an inspired mano a mano acting showdown between some of the greatest actors of their generation.
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a great super hero film, and an even better launching point into interesting discussions about the politics of colonialism and liberation. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the Panther himself, and Michael B. Jordan as the best Marvel villain since Magneto, the movie is a constant challenge to one’s complacency and sense of justice. Wakanda looks amazing, the cast is fantastic, the world they are building is both visually and philosophically amazing, to the point that one of the films weaknesses is that we were desperate to learn and know more.
Thanks to Melonusk for commissioning the 2005 french crime drama, De Battre Mon Cœur S’est Arrêté, or The Beat That My Heart Skipped. It tells the tale of a criminal operating in the lowest levels of French crime that has an unexpected opportunity to follow his dreams of being a concert pianist. Pulled in two directions by the expectations of his father and his equally demanding, far less criminal piano tutor, director Jacques Audiard (director of Bald Move fave Un Prophète) finds clever ways of increasing the tension between the two paths that lie open to him. We enjoyed the cyclical themes of father/son, teacher/student, infatuation/love and are once again impressed with Audiard’s storytelling ability, even if Jim questions how much story we’re actually being told.
Today’s commissioned podcast is Looper, the 2012 sci-fi action thriller directed by Rian Johnson and starring, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. We have David Babulak to thank for this, as he’s the one who pulled the trigger and made the commission. This movie is really, really great, thought provoking, well made, and entertaining. It’s one of those podcasts where we sit back and think about time and space and what it’s like to meet yourself from the future, which is always fun. It’s not perfect, but it may not be possible to make a better time travel movie that’s this much fun to watch.
Special thanks to Hatorian, the commissioner of the various Bald Move FFL divisions, and two time BMFFL champ, once again shows up to claim his prize in the form of a movie commission. His choice is the 2013 crime thriller, Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve, whom we admire a lot in these parts. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, it’s as much a meditation on ethics and morality as it is a tightly plotted thriller with several twists and turns. It features confident direction and great performances by all of the leads, and leads to a lot of discussion on vigilantism, the importance of good process, self-reliance, and notions of good and evil.