291: Retrospectating 1999 - BOWFINGER

 
 

If you’ve ever considered joining Mindhead, were always intrigued by the premise of “Chubby Rain,” or get nervous when someone asks you if you’re willing to cut your hair, then you’re probably going to get a lot out of this week’s episode. We’re revisiting the forgotten comedic gem Bowfinger, a film that got lost in the late summer of 1999 amid the feeding frenzy for repeated viewings of the The Sixth Sense. But there’s many things to glean from Steven Martin and Frank Oz’s sweet little 97 minute Hollywood satire (one of Eddie Murphy’s favorite of his own films) including some thematic and cultural cues that would signpost a comedic pivot that took place at the turn of the century. We hope that you’ll join us on this journey, and never forget- “Cash, every movie costs 2,184 dollars!”

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290: Retrospectating 1999 - THE SIXTH SENSE

 
 

In the tenth installment in our ongoing series about 1999 we revisit M. Night Shyamalan’s zeitgeist-rattling supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense; a film we had previously covered in our AFI Top 100 series and had been disproportionately hard on. This time around we look at the film with fresh eyes, examine its relationship to the horror movies that bookended it on the calendar (The Blair Witch Project and Stir of Echoes respectively), and even find time to throw some love toward under-appreciated gems Arlington Road and Deep Blue Sea- both of which also turned twenty last month to zero fanfare. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy M. Night.

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289: AFI #63 - CABARET

 
 

“The continent of Europe is so wide, mein herr.
Not only up and down, but side to side, mein herr.
I couldn't ever cross it if I tried, mein herr.
But I do…
What I can…
Inch by inch…
Step by step…
Mile by mile…
Man-by-man.”

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288: Present Tense - Reckoning with ONCE UPON A TIME ... IN HOLLYWOOD and Tarantino's Complex Legacy

 
 

Roughly three or four times a decade we declare a national cinematic holiday in honor of the man who’s been reinventing the rules of mainstream cinema for the last quarter century. Regardless of how you feel about Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Quentin Tarantino’s “9th” (mmm, “10th”?) feature film as writer/director is one of the most hotly-anticipated and hotly-debated films of the year—nay, the 2010s!

Join us as we do a deep-dive into the career of the provocateur, demarcate the three[ish] phases of his career, and take a long, spoilerrific look at his newest period epic.

Whether you’re floating in your Hollywood Hills pool, drinking a whiskey sour from a beer stein, or hanging out in your trailer, eating macaroni and cheese in the lowlands of Panorama City, this episode has a little something for everybody…

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287: Retrospectating 1999 - EYES WIDE SHUT

 
 

We’re a week late for our 20th anniversary celebration of Stanley Kubrick’s provocative final masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut. But the added buffer gave us more time to stew and reflect upon the truly bizarre cultural real estate that the film occupies in the the filmmaker’s career, in Cruise and Kidman’s respective filmographies, and within the weird and wonderful contextual sphere of the summer of 1999.

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286: Retrospectating 1999 - AMERICAN PIE

 
 

It took practically the entire decade but teenagers of the nineties were finally gifted with their own defining sex comedy at the halfway point of the last year of it. July 9th, 1999 saw the release (snicker) of the Weitz Brothers’ gross, sweet, schmaltzy, and sporadically hilarious love letter to Losin’ It, The Last American Virgin, and, of course, Porky’s. Join us as we tiptoe carefully around the minefield that is American Pie- contextualizing the genesis of it, overanalyzing the complicated career paths of the deep ensemble cast, and ultimately disagreeing about the film’s relative merits. Avoid the pale ale, hide all the baked good, and cover your web cam. It’s gonna be a weird one.

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285: Retrospectating 1999 - SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT

 
 

On June 30th, 1999, Trey Park and Matt Stone’s HARD-R animated musical South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut first hit theaters. Released less than two years after the premiere of the Comedy Central series’ pilot episode, South Park’s move to the big screen was only a modest financial success. But it proved to be a legitimate creative breakthrough and eventual Oscar nominee that laid the track for Parker and Stone’s future animated experiments (Team America: World Police) as well as their celebrated foray into more ambitious, postmodern musical satire (The Book of Mormon).

Join us as we revisit a film for which the MPAA deemed us too young to buy a ticket in the summer of 1999. Yet not unlike our underaged, on-screen counterparts, we still managed to weasel our way into theaters for multiple screenings of this ground-breaking comedy.

Viva La Resistance!

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DO THE RIGHT THING turns 30!

 
 

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s seminal masterwork—in which race-relations and temperatures rise to a breaking point on a summer day in Brooklyn—we’re re-releasing our corresponding AFI Top 100 podcast episode. The film ranks [criminally low at] 96th on the 2007 version of AFI’s list and we recorded our conversation about it just over 3 years ago.

Join us as we break-down and talk-up one of the most important films of the 1980s- a movie that writer/director/star Spike Lee is still so proud of that he name-dropped it as the climax of his Oscar speech earlier this year.

It’s 30 years young and hasn’t aged a day. And that’s the double-truth, Ruth.

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284: Present Tense - Questioning Existence with TOY STORY 4 and Hand-Wringing About the Summer Box Office

 
 

On our triumphant return to the present tense we sound off about the wild, weird, and existentially-conflicted fourth installment in one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed film franchises of all time.
We then turn our attention to another subject that weighs heavily on our minds and is also experiencing a bit of an existential crisis of late- the summertime box office.
The mercury’s rising and the box office numbers are dropping. What does is all mean..!?

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283: Retrospectating 1999 - RUN LOLA RUN (U.S. Release)

 
 

On this week’s edition of our ongoing series “Retrospectating 1999” we revisit the forgotten German crime caper Run Lola Run.
Now, this film is technically attributed to 1998, which is when it premiered in Germany, Venice, and Toronto. But it first screened in the U.S. during the Sundance and Seattle Film Festivals (where it racked up multiple awards) respectively before finally getting a stateside release on June 18th, 1999.

It’s a miraculous movie that rarely gets talked up and we’re here to remedy that with a spirited discussion about fate, determinism, the metaphysical properties of electronic music, and the unexpected benefits of risking your last five euros on a make or break spin of the roulette wheel.

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280: We Like TV - GAME OF THRONES Wrap-Up

 
 

It’s been a long time since we’ve dipped our cinematically-inclined toes into the television pool. But what better reason to do so than the conclusion of the most cinematic show ever to grace the small screen?
Join us for a break-down, wrap-up, and maybe even a defense of the wildly divisive final season of HBO’s beloved and reviled 73 episode experiment in long form storytelling.

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279: Retrospectating 1999 - STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE

 
The-Phantom-Menace-star-wars-the-phantom-menace-29451700-642-437.jpg
 

On the third Wednesday of May in the year 1999, an unprecedented cinematic event took place in movie theaters around the world. Twenty years later, we’re still trying to answer two questions about the most anticipated / most disappointing film of the 20th Century:
“What the hell happened?”
and
“What does it all mean?”
Join us for another edition of our ongoing series “Retrospectating 1999” in which we masochistically revisit THE PHANTOM MENACE in an effort to uncover the truth behind the infamous fiasco at the center of a legitimate cultural phenomenon.

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277: Oeuvre - Wrapping and Ranking the Films of STEVEN SPIELBERG - 1971 - 2018

 
 

What a long, strange trip it’s been. We began our journey through Steven Spielberg’s 32-film oeuvre in August of 2017.
20 months later we’ve finally arrived at our 8th and final podcast in the series- a thorough and passionate reflection and ranking episode.
Join us as we curate our personal hierarchies of the man’s filmography, break down his budgets and box office receipts, rank performances, scores, scenes, shots, and finally reveal which director will be covered in our next Oeuvre series (premiering May 14th)!
Thanks for following us on this epic campaign through Steven Spielberg’s 47-year feature filmmaking odyssey. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster and now it’s time for a new mission.
Viva la Oeuvre!

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276: Oeuvre - The 7th Age of STEVEN SPIELBERG - 2015 - 2018

 
 

This installment is affectionately titled "Playing with House Money” and covers one film per year over four years, spanning 2015-2018:

-Bridge of Spies (2015)
-The BFG (2016)
-The Post (2017)
-Ready Player One (2018)

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275: Retrospectating 1999 - GO / ELECTION

 
 

Twenty years ago today a film was released that caught director Doug Liman, writer John August, and a cast of hot young upstarts at a moment of perfect aesthetic and artistic unanimity. Go wasn’t a big hit at the time and was even dismissed by Leonard Maltin as a “junior Pulp Fiction.” But the film has aged in a lot of fascinating ways over the last two decades and on this week’s episode we engage in a rare disagreement about many of them.
We also dig deep into an analysis of Alexander Payne’s second (and best?) film Election and its significance in the context of Reese Witherspoon’s unique oeuvre.
Viva la ‘99!

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274: Present Tense - Nominating Our Favorite Baseball Movies, Overthinking US, and Legitimizing THE BEACH BUM

 
 

We’re catching it up and breaking it down this week with a veritable smorgasbord of scintillating topics:
-Celebrating the beginning of the season with our favorite baseball movies (00:03:00)
-A SPOILER HEAVY litigation of the various interpretations of Jordan Peele’s US (00:14:20)
-A preemptive defense of Harmony Korine’s latest ode to hedonism, THE BEACH BUM (00:26:56)

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273: Retrospectating 1999 - THE MATRIX

 
 

Twenty years ago this week a film came along that not only changed the way that we looked at science fiction, visual effects, and Keanu Reeve’s capacity for star power. It also legitimatized the fetishization of mirrored sunglasses, duster jackets, and leather pants. So pop your red pill, crank up the Rammstein, and dog-ear your copy of “Simulacra and Simulation.” We’re heading down the rabbit hole and back to March of 1999 for our definitive reevaluation of The Matrix. Never forget, there is no spoon!

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272: Present Tense - TRIPLE FRONTIER and the Utter Inevitability of Netflix Ubiquity

 
 

Here at We Like Movies we’ve been extremely vocal about our love for filmmaker J.C. Chandor and have always self-identified as loud and proud “Chandorks.” But our dedication to the man’s body of work experienced some strain this past week on the occasion of his newest film premiering on Netflix.
Let’s just say that we have complicated feelings about Triple Frontier that we attempt to work out in a SPOILER heavy breakdown of the film, which develops—as these conversations often do—into a lot of hand-wringing and kvetching about the big red streaming giant that you’re probably watching out of the corner of your eye as you read this.
Zip up your windbreaker, bump the Metallica, and set fire to a stack of Benjamins. We’re heading to South America with J.C. Chandor and Ben Affleck and there may be some casualties along the way…

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