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 Saylor from Santa Cruz, the latest Bald Move Fantasy Football champ to claim their prize for winning the league. Emerging from the pile victorious, he has selected the 1997 vampire flick, The Lost Boys. Helmed by Joel Schumacher and chocked equally full of cool and hilarious moments and extremely questionable decisions, the film manages to confound and delight. Why is 16 year old Corey Haim taking baths and being tucked into bed by his mother? Why is there a shirtless oiled up, muscle bound sax player? Why is Rob Lowe gazing seductively from Haim’s bedroom closet, and more importantly, why is Jim completely oblivious to his siren’s call? Is the grandpa a vampire or what? All these questions and more are explored in the depth to which they deserve.
Today’s podcast was commissioned by Rylan, by virtue of his victory in the famed Bald Move Fantasy Football league. To the victor go the spoils, and Rylan has claimed the 2000 slasher/satire/thriller, American Psycho. Directed by Mary Harron and starring Christian Bale, the movie is dark, disturbing, hilarious in places, and provoked a lot of thoughts and opinions from Jim and I. What does it mean to be a sociopath, how much of this film is reality and how much is fantasy, what does it say about society and the conflict between our stated and actual values?
Special thanks to Sean Ray (previous commissioner of the Insidious series, and Blood Simple) for commissioning this late 80’s Ridley Scott crime thriller, Black Rain. Michael Douglas plays a cop alongside Andy Garcia that gets mixed up in a gang war between the Yakuza and a rival upstart over counterfeit US currency. The film explores the intercultural exchange as Douglas’s corrupt and brash NYC cop runs into the brick wall of Japanese police decorum and honor, but how successful it is in that exploration is an open question. The film is great looking, has some solid action sequences, and hilarious Michael Douglas hair, and it’s concepts don’t quite stand the test of time. But Andy Garcia’s chest hair is magnificent.
Today we’re here to talk about the 2004 SyFy reimagined Battlestar Galactica. Jim loves this series, I have problems with it. Still, we talk for nearly two hours and find what we think will be a lot of common ground with any fan of the show. Despite my misgivings I do recognize it’s quality and importance to Sci-Fi in general. So say we both. Special thanks to our intrepid community of commissioners who made this podcast possible. To Jay “Nothing-has-corners-for-some-reason” Russo, Jeff, Anubus21, ClevelandPunk, Manoj, Matt from Boston, Devin from Maine, Ben from Yronwood, Isd5u, sam.n, leaplizard, elstenger, shenson90, jeffrey.w, enquiries, Shayne Bowman, nikhonesty, thank you for your generous support!
Today’s commissioned podcast is one for the pantheon, Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece of satire, Dr. Strangelove. Kubrick set out to make a nuclear thriller, but instead decided to lean heavily into the existential absurdism that was and still is the world’s nuclear weapon deterrent, mutual assured destruction. Hey, it’s worked for sixty years, let’s keep the streak going! Special thanks to our committee of commissioners, “Breaking Bad Fest” Jennie, Gulleen, Manoj, Flash Gordon, Anthony, leaplizard, hiroprotagonist2002, tingudu, Don M, Zack Z, Sean R, and Alex K for making this happen. We loved revisiting this film and it’s as funny and relevant today as it was back in ’64. Enjoy!
Once again commissioner Fernando Rodriguez (you may better know him as FernNYC17 on our forums) steps up with a choice selection, this time the oft maligned Return of the Jedi. Often dismissed as derivative or childish when compared to A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back respectively, we have nothing but love for the climax of the story of Skywalker. It’s got the best space battle, the best lightsabre battle, and the best puppets in all of Star Wars. The Special Edition changes? Not so much love.
Special thanks to Ethan and Allison for commissioning Batman Begins, the first in the Nolanverse Batman trilogy (you can see our podcast on Batman: The Dark Knight here). This is a fantastic comic book movie that also happens to be a fantastic film in it’s own right. We love the fusion of gritty realism with the strong emotional core and exploration of Bruce Wayne and his struggle to walk the narrow path between justice and vengeance. Excellent casting, excellent performances, and while the third act perhaps leaves something to be desired in light of a decade of super hero movies continually trying to outdo themselves in terms of spectacle, the movie holds up like a champ and is an undeniable part of what makes the sequel work so superbly.
Special thanks to Steven Sprague, celts77, Laura Hamilton, ztziemke, and Don C for commissioning this podcast, on the 1992 Quintin Tarantino crime drama, Reservoir Dogs. We discuss the writing, the performances, our opinions on the true meaning of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, the insights QT has on crime and society, and debate it’s place in the Tarantino pantheon. Thanks again to all of our commissioners, we couldn’t do it without you!