We seem to be on a Vietnam kick with a couple of our movie choices lately. Oliver Stone’s 1989 adaptation of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic’s autobiography of the same name, recounting his journey from a combat-thirsty young man to a disabled anti-war activist, is worthy of the two academy awards it won. Join us for a discussion about the film, this American folly, and its lingering effects on our society today.
Special thanks to our commissioner for today’s podcast, Sean Ray. You may recognize him as the man behind such classics as It Follows, and Black Rain, which if nothing else is unique. Today he selects the great A Few Good Men, where a gruff Colonel in the US Marine Corps takes issue with the USMC’s kinder, more gentler ways of discipline and organization, leading to the death of one of the men under his command. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore are effective as the counsel for the defense, and are given a lot of juicy material to work with. Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner, the script is packed with Sorkinisms and shot with a steady, confident eye. The performances are phenomenal, especially Jack Nicholson’s elemental performance of Col. Jessup.
Jim and A.Ron have seen the latest “how old is Tom Cruise again?!” installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, “Fallout”, and it’s crazy. The plot around the absolutely bonkers stunt work is a bit thin, but the stunts themselves fully justify the movie. You can see ever dollar spent and bone broken literally up there on the screen, but it also must be said that these stunts are clinging desperately to the line from believable to unbelievable. And half the time they are careening over that line and land into Fast & Furious territory. Unless they can find an emotional core to build future episodes, this might be as good as a retro-futuristic spy thriller can get.
Jim and A.Ron have seen the latest Tom Cruise vehicle, American Made, and it’s pretty good! If you haven’t seen the past three seasons of Narcos or a “hey, it’s fun to watch charming people do really bad things until the third act when it all falls apart” kind of movie you might call it a great film. But we’re about weary of the concept and wary of the “based on a true story” nature of the film. But it’s pretty good. And Jesse Plemmons reprises his role as “Fat Damon” from Fargo Season 2 out of nowhere. We talk about our general opinions and upcoming movie trailers for free, but if you want to hear us ramble about the movie in a spoiler kind of way, and talk about American’s involvement in Central and South American “nation building”, you’re going to have to be a Club Member. See you next week for Bladerunner 2049!
Special thanks to Lauren, Anne, and Rick who chipped in to commission this podcast on Magnolia for Alex Myers as a Christmas (!!!) present. Jim and I had never seen Magnolia, the Paul Thomas Anderson classic before now, and wow is it a doozy. Starring greats such as William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, to name just a few, it involves a day in the life of a dozen or so characters on a collision course with fate and coincidence, and what they’ll learn about themselves and each other along the way. Fueled by raw emotion and melodrama, we were intrigued by the complex tale being woven before our eyes. If you haven’t seen it, check it out before we spoil it for you on this podcast, because it’s an amazing film.