Up (2009)

I’m not crying, you’re crying. In a whirling kaleidoscope of colors and emotion, Pixar’s Up is just as fun and emotionally packed in a current watch as it was when it came out over 10 years ago. Featuring a curmudgeon and a lively kid, this movie will take you on an adventure that gives hope amongst the grief. Grab a handkerchief and listen in to Jim and A.Ron fight back a few tears to chat about this movie.

Syriana (2005)

This harrowing drama was written and directed by Stephen Gaghan and features a star-studded cast with George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Jeffrey Wright. The threats are real, and America seems to be a lot of them as people put their thumbs on the scales of economy and justice. Let’s ponder the questions, “What level of corruption will create a facade of a functioning society? Is shadowy corruption better than a feudal state putting people to the sword? Are you depressed yet?”

Thank you to Robert for commissioning this episode!

The Green Mile (1999)

Based on the book of the same title written by Stephen King, comes a movie adapted and directed by Frank Darabont of Walking Dead fame. Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan star in this gut-wrenching film about prisoners on death row in 1930s Louisiana. Though it’s a powerful movie, it is not without its flaws and harmful stereotypes. (And pro tip, watch this movie on HBO Max.)

Nebraska (2013)

Start your road trip in the great plains state of Nebraska and join Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and Bob Odenkirk as they navigate tough family ties. Directed by Alexander Payne comes some of his signature directorial details, humor drier than the plains in the summer heat and characters that are almost larger than life. In this epically-slow burn, you’ll find yourself or your family in this story.

The Master (2012)

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson comes a movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, a troubled ex-soldier, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a cult leader. Anderson denies that that the cult in question is Scientology, but you watch the movie and try to tell us it isn’t. Amy Adams and Laura Dern also star in Anderson’s favorite movie out of his own catalog. And we wonder, did Tom Cruise ever have to go through this auditing process?

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Want some philosophy with your dark comedy? From the director of Silver Linings Playbook and a cast with more stars than the Orion constellation comes a mind-bending black comedy. It’s a funny take on the meaning of life that sums up A.Ron’s life philosophy. Pick up your metaphysical magnifying glasses and join the existential detectives in answering the question, “How are we all connected?”

Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022)

A.Ron’s is feeling warm and fuzzy and Jim is feeling pretty much nothing. When you can describe a movie as “erotica for the Twilight crowd”, that is going to attract a very particular audience, and that is A.Ron apparently. As if he weren’t magical enough, Idris Elba stars as a djinn granting Tilda Swinton’s wishes. Jim and A.Ron will be back for more first run coverage for Don’t Worry Darling and Amsterdam!

Lincoln (2012)

Join us as we add another Daniel Day Lewis movie to our podcast, Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg. Lewis’s Oscar-winning performance was surrounded by a killer cast and historical accuracy. Yes, you read that right. Unlike the beloved Gladiator, Lincoln’s true to life portrayal takes a look at the titular character without the false bravado and vampires of other movies. Listen in as we dissect this masterclass in playing hate-able and lovable characters, creating authenticity in tone, and what it means to closely adhere to realism.

Bald Move Prestige - Succession

You’re familiar with the saga of Succession, what about the saga of making this episode about Succession? Life would be easier if we all loved this, but the world isn’t perfect. We checked out the pilot and season two finale. Why doesn’t this show work for us when things like Always Sunny do? I guess that’s the difference between buffoons and rich buffoons. There are great performances, design, and camera work, so on paper it’s well made, but still not for us.

We Own This City - Series Wrapup

Thanks for sending in your feedback! Now that we have the benefit of looking back on the complete series of We Own This City, we have the advantage of looking at this multi-layer problem as a whole. This show offers us viewers a chance to engage with and develop compassion for people we may not share experience with. That is prestige television at its best. And please enjoy the American accent lesson from an informed listener.