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  • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Batman Returns (1992)

    CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Batman Returns (1992)

    22/12/2018 Duración: 01h40min

    Happy holidays, listeners! Every year, we take on an unconventional Christmas movie around the Yuletide season, and this time we (along with returning guest Mark Soloff of Blastropodcast) dip back to investigate Tim Burton's deeply strange, fascinatingly weird superhero flick Batman Returns! After Burton's first Batman revitalized the superhero movie as a pop culture phenomenon, he decided to get real strange with it in Batman Returns. Ostensibly, the film features a pitched battle between the Caped Crusader (Michael Keaton) and his arch-nemeses, the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer); but it manifests itself in a strange story about mayoral races, masquerade balls and fake news campaigns to discredit Batman. The most dastardly plan anyone has in the film is Trumpian billionaire Max Schreck (Christopher Walken), who schemes to, like... build a power plant?  None of the plot dressing matters, though, since the film itself is a dazzling display of Burton's biggest idiosyncrasies - pale outc

  • CONNICKUH SPECIAL: Memphis Belle (1990)

    CONNICKUH SPECIAL: Memphis Belle (1990)

    14/12/2018 Duración: 01h05min

    Every year, the Alcohollywood podcast takes the week before Christmas to celebrate the life and works of Sir Harry Connick Jr. - actor, musician, Renaissance Man.  Harry Connickuh, listeners! For this episode, we take our appreciation for Harry Connick Jr. all the way to the beginning - his breakout film debut in the 1990 WWII drama Memphis Belle. Connick joins a cavalcade of other young 90s stars (Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Tate Donovan, Eric Stoltz, Billy Zane and more) as the crew of a B-17 bomber on its last mission before ending its tour of duty.  While director Michael Caton-Jones (Asher) does an admirable job replicating the oo-rah spirit of old WWII pro-US propaganda films, that's also what keeps Memphis Belle from really taking off. It's hard to make a movie all that compelling when you have to keep track of ten similar-looking white dudes with one personality trait, all working as a unit to accomplish a pretty tension-free mission. The claustrophobic action,  which mostly takes place inside the cra

  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

    Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

    07/12/2018 Duración: 01h28min

    We only had time for one episode last month, so we're double-dipping this week by extending 00-vember into 00-cember! We move from Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan with the 1997 007 flick Tomorrow Never Dies! Sure, Goldeneye revitalized the Bond franchise, introduced a stellar new Bond in Pierce Brosnan, and updated the secret agent to reflect more on his "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" nature. But then Austin Powers came out and made a bunch of money, so 007 had to get goofy again with his next adventure. And goofy he gets, as Tomorrow Never Dies is a quaintly dated spy caper in which James Bond must stop a mincingly evil media mogul (Jonathan Pryce) from starting a war between Britain and China just to soak up all the ratings.  Still, for all its goofiness, it absolutely has its charms - from David Arnold bursting onto the scene with a bombastic score, a couple of great theme songs at both ends of the film, and Michelle Yeoh kicking ass as one of the most capable Bond girls to date. It's an ugly duckling that

  • The Living Daylights (1987)

    The Living Daylights (1987)

    30/11/2018 Duración: 01h21min

    As a busy Thanksgiving month winds down, we realized that we haven't talked about a James Bond film for literally 200 episodes. To that end, we decided to get in a little 00-vember action with the severely underappreciated James Bond film The Living Daylights!  The first of Timothy Dalton's two films as 007 (a criminally short tenure), The Living Daylights is one of the most thrilling Bond pictures no one talks about. Sure, the story is a bit muddy and convoluted - a disorienting spy caper involving botched defections, diamonds, opium, arms deals, cellos and two different villains (Joe Don Baker and Jeroen Krabbe)- but Dalton's stripped-down, intense take on the secret agent is a breath of fresh air after 14 years of Roger Moore camp.  The Living Daylights also has some of the most exciting, comparatively grounded action scenes in the franchise, and a cracking final score from John Barry that mixes electronic sounds in an unobtrusive way long before David Arnold came along. This film tends to be one of the un

  • Interview with Olympias Cast and Crew (Chicago International Film Festival)

    Interview with Olympia's Cast and Crew (Chicago International Film Festival)

    07/11/2018 Duración: 23min

    As we continue to wrap up our coverage of the Chicago International Film Festival, it's important to take a look at some of the smaller stuff that came out of the fest, especially those set in the city the festival calls home. Gregory Dixon's vibrant, energetic indie coming-of-age dramedy Olympia is a rather fun breath of fresh air - the tale of a conflicted thirtysomething (writer/star McKenzie Chinn) struggling to make ends meet at a dead-end job, dealing with a dying mother in the hospital, and fighting with her boyfriend (Charles Andrew Gardner) about whether Chicago is really the right place for her. Chinn's script is relaxed and acerbic, the performances are naturalistic and witty, and Dixon's stylized approach captures the verve of Chicago alongside the jazzy, pop-infused score from Josh Coffey and Otto Sharp. (You can read our capsule review from our CIFF dispatches here.) While at the festival, I got the chance to sit down with Chinn, Dixon and Gardner to talk about the struggles of getting the film

  • Episode 3 - True Grit

    Episode 3 - True Grit

    02/11/2018 Duración: 39min

    Howdy, listeners! Today we're saddling up and sucking back some moonshine to an old Western classic, 1969's True Grit! (NOTE: I have used my pun quota for this episode; the rest of this post is safe for consumption). Along with guest panelist Gavin, Jared and Clint tackle the impertinence of Mattie Ross, a little history of Oklahoma, and the nuances of a John Wayne performance, as they provide their signature drinking rules for this film.

  • HORROR OCTORBOR: Friday the 13th (1980)

    HORROR OCTORBOR: Friday the 13th (1980)

    31/10/2018 Duración: 01h04min

    Happy Alcohol-loween! We close out our Seven Deadly Sins edition of Horror Octorbor by going old-school for Wrath - the vengeance-filled slasher Friday the 13th! Sure, this is the one that doesn't have Jason in it - see our Freddy vs. Jason episode for our thoughts on the hockey-mashed butcher - but Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) still has some bloody fates in store for the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake.  From Kevin Bacon's horny teen to, well, the less-famous fodder around him, Sean S. Cunningham's inaugural effort in the long running franchise serves up plenty of arrow piercings, machete decapitations, and more.  But is it enough? Can we go back to a franchise almost forty years old and see the strengths of a straightforward slasher that was innovative at the time? Or do the kills and stripped-down simplicity seem quaint in today's world of horror pastiches and self-aware tropes? Let's find out - check out our podcast and drinking game! Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • Interview with What They Had Writer/Director Elizabeth Chomko and Actor Robert Forster

    Interview with What They Had Writer/Director Elizabeth Chomko and Actor Robert Forster

    30/10/2018 Duración: 29min

    While dysfunctional family dramas are arguably a dime a dozen, Elizabeth Chomko's Chicago-centric debut What They Had stands out substantially from the pack. A touching, heartfelt tale of a woman (Hilary Swank) who returns home to help her brother (Michael Shannon) and father (Robert Forster) care for her Alzheimer's-afflicted mother (Blythe Danner), What They Had is refreshingly nuanced, filled with strong, witty dialogue and incredible performances from its lead cast. While at the Chicago International Film Festival, we sat down with Chomko for a roundtable discussion (along with Pat McDonald of and Al and Linda Lerner of - with Forster popping in as a late-interview surprise. Check out our roundtable, along with that wonderful cameo, in our podcast below. Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • Interview w/The Price of Everythings Nathaniel Kahn

    Interview w/The Price of Everything's Nathaniel Kahn

    29/10/2018 Duración: 27min

    The world of contemporary art is a wild, wild thing - millionaires bidding incredible amounts of money to collect works from modern artists based on reputation, potential future valuation, or even (on occasion) the actual aesthetic value of the piece. In his upcoming HBO documentary The Price of Everything, filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect) takes an in-depth look at this strange mix of art and commerce, getting unfettered access to art collectors and the artists who themselves toe a precarious line between artistic statement and financial solvency.  We were lucky enough to sit down with Kahn himself to talk about the film, these issues, and the value of artistic merit in an increasingly commodified art world. Check out our podcast minisode featuring the interview here, and read the edited transcript below.  Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • HORROR OCTORBOR: Single White Female (1992)

    HORROR OCTORBOR: Single White Female (1992)

    24/10/2018 Duración: 01h24s

    Horror Octorbor keeps a-chuggin' along this month, as we continue to break down the seven deadly sins! This week, we take a look at Envy in the context of 1992's erotic psychological thriller Single White Female! In the vein of other 90s domestic horror films like The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Unlawful Entry, Single White Female explores the kind of dangers that could happen even in the safety of your home. Here, that's manifested in Hedy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the mousy new roommate of recently-separated fashion designer Allie (Bridget Fonda). The more time Hedy spends with Allie, though, the more she affects Allie's speech, mannerisms and appearance - right down to making moves on her estranged husband Sam (Steven Weber).  Does she want to be like Allie? Does she want to become Allie? The answers are surprisingly grotesque, and more than a little complicated - rooted in some clumsy, but well-intentioned, queer subtexts and a couple of deliciously arch performances from Fonda and Leigh, directed with a

  • Interview with Beautiful Boy Writer/Director Felix van Groeningen

    Interview with Beautiful Boy Writer/Director Felix van Groeningen

    15/10/2018 Duración: 36min

    Beautiful Boy is the latest brick in Amazon Studios' foundation of establishing itself as the new Miramax - the home of middlebrow American indies featuring sad white people going about their lives. Sometimes they're great, like Jim Jarmusch's Paterson; other times, well, it's Woody Allen's latest thing or Life Itself. Beautiful Boy is closer to the Paterson end of the spectrum, a handsomely-made actors' showcase telling the real-life story of David (Steve Carell) and Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), a father and son dealing with the latter's addiction to hard drugs, including crystal meth.  Director Felix van Groeningen (Broken Circle Breakdown) presents a handsomely tragic look at drug addiction, Nic's addiction coming in cycles of hope and despair while David tries desperately to save his son, before realizing that maybe that's not his job. While van Groeningen's direction is intriguing, structuring the film around elliptical flashbacks detailing the moments that punctuate Nic's relationship to drugs, the re

  • HORROR OCTORBOR: Species (1995)

    HORROR OCTORBOR: Species (1995)

    14/10/2018 Duración: 01h01min

    Horror Octorbor keeps on chugging, as we keep exploring the seven deadly sins with our entry for Lust, Species! This 1995 sexy-alien chiller (courtesy of Dante's Peak and The November Man's Roger Donaldson) features Ghosts of Mars' Natasha Henstridge as Sil, a sultry alien-human hybrid from outer space who escapes Ben Kingsley's government facility to seek out a mate for her alien babies. In hot pursuit is a rag-tag team of scientists (Marg Helgenberger, Alfred Molina), an 'empath' (Forest Whitaker) and a smarmy guy with a gun (Michael Madsen), all with personalities as loud as their clothing. Species is a hell of a 90s time capsule, from the bulky fashions to the ridiculous character names (Madsen's character is literally called Press Lennox), and the Showtime-ready alien sexuality that was the film's clear draw. The creature design is the most direct translation of Alien designer H.R. Giger's bonkers techno-sexual style, rendered with the expected dated CG and prosthetic effects. It's Andromeda Strain meets

  • Interview with Trouble Writer/Director Theresa Rebeck

    Interview with Trouble Writer/Director Theresa Rebeck

    11/10/2018 Duración: 20min

    Novelist, screenwriter and Pulitzer-nominated playwright Theresa Rebeck is a woman of many hats - the latest of which is the director of the independent ensemble comedy Trouble. A film with modest ambitions but no small amount of charm, its tale of a small-town sibling rivalry is bolstered by tremendous performances from a more-than-qualified cast (Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, David Morse, Julia Stiles, Brian D'arcy James, the list goes on).  For this special minisode of the podcast, Clint sat down for a phone interview with Rebeck to talk about the prevailing themes of her works, working with such an overqualified cast, and the intimate appeal of rural America. Take a listen! (Thanks to our sponsor Overcast, part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • HORROR OCTORBOR: Thinner (1996)

    HORROR OCTORBOR: Thinner (1996)

    05/10/2018 Duración: 55min

    (CONTENT WARNING: use of the word 'gypsy')  We explain the full context of its usage in the episode, and its ubiquity in the film itself makes it relatively unavoidable as a term. However, we understand its seriousness as a pejorative to the Romani people, and apologize in advance for anyone who might be offended.) Seven years in, and Alcohollywood is on its seventh Horror Octorbor! Some Kind of Goblin sets upon us a mission to explore films related to the seven deadly sins, so we're temporarily back to weekly episodes as we try to take this on! For our first foray into sinful horror films, we dig into the sin of gluttony with 1996's Thinner, a goofy, more than a little racist bit of Stephen King schlock in which an unscrupulous, obese attorney (Robert John Burke) gets cursed by an elderly Romani (Michael Constantine) as punishment for running over his daughter. His curse? To grow "thinner" each day, no matter how much he eats, until his body consumes itself.  It's a wackadoodle premise told with incredible

  • Puss in Boots (2011)

    Puss in Boots (2011)

    28/09/2018 Duración: 01h17min

    Hey, we're back! Clint's wedding and subsequent marriage has kept us busy, but now we're answering some mailbags (however indirectly) with the 2011 DreamWorks picture Puss in Boots! The Shrek spinoff wisely dispenses with a lot of the obnoxious, dated pop culture references of its parent series, and focuses on the adorably blustering outlaw Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) as he embarks on a quest to steal some magic beans from Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). Along the way, he has to repair a fractured friendship with Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and romance the sultry cat burglar Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). By DreamWorks standards, it's actually... not all that bad? Check out our custom drinking game and enjoy! (Sorry, no cocktail this time around.) (Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • Interview with 3100: Run and Become Director Sanjay Rawal

    Interview with 3100: Run and Become Director Sanjay Rawal

    20/09/2018 Duración: 24min

    The Self-Transcendence Race in New York City is a grueling, unrelenting 3,100-mile race held every year around a single block in Queens - 60 miles a day, 52 days. There's no prize money, no corporate endorsements - each of the runners who travel from around the world to participate do it for the higher purpose of self-improvement and spiritual practice. The documentary 3100: Run and Become explores this race, contrasting it with other examples of world cultures using running as a spiritual practice - the Navajo communities of Arizona, the Kalahari bushmen in Africa, Buddhist monks in Japan. It's a riveting, inspiring doc that'll make you want to lace up your old running shoes and jog a mile or two just because.  We sat down with 3100 director Sanjay Rawal on the week of the film's Chicago premiere (perfectly timed, as the Chicago Marathon starts in a few weeks) to talk about the film's many challenges, as well as the mindset of those who use running as prayer. Take a listen, and read the full interview below.

  • Interview with Searchings Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian

    Interview with Searching's Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian

    30/08/2018 Duración: 22min

    For the latest On Tap minisode, we air an interview Clint conducted for the new John Cho computer-screen thriller SEARCHING - about a frantic father searching for his missing daughter by going through the clues on her laptop! Clint sits down with SEARCHING director Aneesh Chaganty and producer Sev Ohanian to talk about the origins of the project, the narrative possibilities of conveying narrative through technology, and the importance of telling stories from an Asian perspective. 

  • This Must Be the Place (2011)

    This Must Be the Place (2011)

    11/08/2018 Duración: 01h04min

    This week, we make a triumphant return to the mailbag, taking a listener request to discuss Paolo Sorrentino's ponderous arthouse quirk-fest This Must Be the Place! Consequence of Sound film editor Dominick Suzanne-Mayer joins us in this exploration of one of Sean Penn's stranger performances, as a washed-up Robert Smith-type rock star who returns to America to hunt the escaped Nazi who tortured his father during the Holocaust. Like a lot of Sorrentino joints (see also: The Great Beauty), This Must Be the Place dabbles in complicated themes of aging, legacy, and the emptiness of excess and fame - unfortunately, it's saddled in an atonal, sluggish script that doesn't know when to laugh at itself or take itself seriously.  We throw on our red lipstick and Tim Burton wigs to deep dive into this relic of late-aughts navel-gazing indie cinema, so take a listen and check out our custom cocktail and drinking game! (Thanks to our sponsor Backblaze as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • SHARK WEEK SPECIAL: Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)

    SHARK WEEK SPECIAL: Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)

    27/07/2018 Duración: 01h09min

    Happy Shark Week everybody! It's the most fin-derful time of the year, and since The Meg is foolishly coming out two weeks after Shark Week, we're celebrating instead with one of the craziest Sci-Fi Original Movie-level shark flicks out there - Shark Attack 3: Megalodon! Starring a pre-fame John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Megalodon sees a Playa del Rey beach resort beset by a giant, roving shark thought extinct - now revived with the power of blown-up stock footage. Along with a sexy paleontologist and a grizzled ex-Navy John McCain-type, Captain Jack is ready to kill some sharks and make lewd remarks to costars! As Jaws-y a Jaws ripoff as you'll ever see, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is an unexpected bad-cinema curio we can't help biting into. Check out our podcast, along with our custom cocktail and drinking game! (Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

  • Fantasia 2018: Interview with LIfechangers Justin McConnell

    Fantasia 2018: Interview with LIfechanger's Justin McConnell

    20/07/2018 Duración: 20min

    Lifechanger is a sneakier, more fascinating thriller than it might seem at first glance - the tale of a man doomed to feed off and inhabit the bodies of those he encounters to survive. His psychology twisted up in the memories of those he impersonates, and his lingering obsession with an old flame (Lora Burke), the protagonist of Lifechanger turns the film into a fascinating reversal of genre conventions.  For our latest On Tap mini-podcast, we sat down with Justin McConnell, the writer/director of the shape-shifting horror film Lifechanger, to talk about how the project got started, the subtextual appeal of living in a different skin, and the excitement of his impending sold-out world premiere at Fantasia 2018. Enjoy, along with the rest of our Fantasia coverage! (Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

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