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sycasey 2.0

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Everything posted by sycasey 2.0

  1. sycasey 2.0

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Not much discussion on this one! I was on the fence but did ultimately vote yes. My uncertainty is not about disliking how the movie was done, generally . . . I think it's a really well written and directed film. I'm just not sure it's quite an all-timer for all generations. A good deal of it feels like it's trapped in its time and I'm not sure how well its relevance will hold up as we get further away from the 80s. But on the other hand, it feels like Crowe/Heckerling are at least somewhat aware of this issue and have fashioned the movie as a kind of travelogue for high school culture of the era. As noted in the podcast episode, it already feels like a bit of a nostalgia piece even though it's contemporary to the time. So that probably helps it going forward. I remember reading that Roger Ebert review in a collection I had and wondered what movie he was watching. The movie has a lot of frank sexual talk and scenes, but it's hardly an exploitation film: the filmmakers make the effort to show the consequences and fallout from the sexual decisions the characters make, including a heavy focus on the girls' feelings. That alone puts it a cut above most of the teen sex comedies of the time.
  2. sycasey 2.0

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Amy & Paul say aloha to 1982’s high school romp Fast Times At Ridgemont High! They learn about the real life inspiration for Spicoli from Sean Penn, take a close look at the film’s unique treatment of teen sex, and wonder just what a trout dog is. Plus: director Amy Heckerling explains how she worked around the studio system to bring her vision to the film. This is the sixth episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is the winner of the fan vote for this series, Dazed And Confused! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  3. sycasey 2.0

    Upcoming Episodes

    It's a good choice!
  4. sycasey 2.0

    Cooley High

    Paul & Amy pour one out for 1975’s comic high school drama Cooley High! They learn how the film scored a soundtrack of wall-to-wall Motown hits, analyze the film’s take on teenage hijinks, and praise Michael Schultz as one of the great underrated directors. Plus: Glynn Turman (“Preach”) talks about the impact Cooley High had on his career. This is the fifth episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is Fast Times At Ridgemont High! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com!
  5. sycasey 2.0

    Cooley High

    I was actually a little annoyed at how much the hosts kept comparing it to American Graffiti and claiming it was so much better, when I thought it was (1) very similar structurally (the major differences are of setting and cultural milieu) and (2) not as well-made technically. It also seemed a bit odd to be baffled that critics at the time called it another version of Graffiti, chalking such descriptions up to centering white experience and general racism. I'm sure that happened too, but . . . American Graffiti came out two years before this movie! It was a big hit and most people were familiar with it. Of course those comparisons were going to happen. I enjoyed this movie and thought the ending was unexpectedly poignant, but I also didn't quite find it worthy of the space capsule. As compared to other movies of its type (and of the time), Cooley High definitely has advantages in on-screen POC representation and social consciousness, but I'm not sure that's enough to make it clearly more worthy than the other movies you mentioned here.
  6. sycasey 2.0

    Cooley High

    Classic Paul.
  7. sycasey 2.0

    Rebel Without A Cause

    Amy & Paul are torn apart by 1955’s landmark teen drama Rebel Without A Cause! They celebrate the instantly iconic performance of James Dean, learn about the wild backstory of director Nicholas Ray, and take a close look at the seismic generational shifts of the era. Plus: reflections on the recent passing of Chadwick Boseman. This is the fourth episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is Cooley High! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com!
  8. sycasey 2.0

    Rebel Without A Cause

    I voted yes based on this film's iconography being so strong and also it addressing some surprisingly pertinent issue (even to the modern day) despite how dated the melodramatic style is. I think you do have to perform a little bit of a mental adjustment for the time it was made to really appreciate it, which can be a mark against a film being preserved for all time. Dean is obviously the most memorable character and image from this movie, but IMO Sal Mineo gives the best performance. I guess Amy doesn't like Natalie Wood, but I think she's pretty good in this too.
  9. sycasey 2.0

    The 400 Blows

    Paul & Amy raise hell for 1959’s French New Wave adolescent drama The 400 Blows! They learn how François Truffaut went from a Hitchcock-worshipping critic to a director himself, discuss how he then became a major influence on directors like Steven Spielberg, and praise the value of creative limitations in creating truly fresh works of art. Plus: a scene from the unforgettable Sesame Street adaptation. This is the third episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is Rebel Without A Cause! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf!
  10. sycasey 2.0

    The 400 Blows

    To me the brilliance of this film is that it is showing you all sides at once: the kid is at once a sympathetic little scamp and also an irresponsible brat. The filmmaking approach matches this too: for example, the final sequence of him running around in desolate spaces while romantic music plays over the soundtrack. Happy and sad all at the same time. It's a really interesting and nuanced remembrance of Truffaut's own youth.
  11. sycasey 2.0

    Stand and Deliver

    Amy & Paul stand for 1988’s rousing math class drama Stand And Deliver! They ask if this is the first major ‘indie’ film, learn how Edward James Olmos crafted his commanding performance as Jaime Escalante, and investigate whether the real students depicted cheated on their exam. Plus: Lou Diamond Phillips explains how he got cast as Angel, and why poker requires top-notch math skills. This is the second episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is The 400 Blows! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf!
  12. sycasey 2.0

    Stand and Deliver

    As with Mean Girls: it's a good film, not good enough to put in the space capsule. Olmos is great, but the rest of the movie is a fairly surface-level treatment of the subject. Not badly done or anything, and it does avoid over-dramatizing for the most part, but I'm not sure it's bringing anything extra except for the central performance. As with many here, I remember being shown this in school. My incomplete childhood memory was that we had watched a movie about a Japanese guy who taught a bunch of teens in L.A. to do math. I guess I assumed the lead character was Japanese because they called him "Kemo?"
  13. sycasey 2.0

    Mean Girls

    It's a "no" vote from me, but that shouldn't be confused with a dislike of the movie. I like it very much. I'm just not sure it's one that needs to be preserved for all time in the space capsule. I agree with a lot of the praiseworthy elements talked about in the episode: the jokes are very sharp, the lead actresses are all great, it's very memeable and rewatchable. I think the thing that keeps it from "all-time classic" status for me is that it's also a bit didactic and literal in its delivery of themes. It's a script that has characters explain directly to the audience what the movie is about (at one point it's Fey herself doing it). Yes, that's all done with amusing jokes, so it's not a big drag or anything, but I think there are better ways to allow the audience to receive the same messages strictly through the drama and not have to explain it within the text.
  14. sycasey 2.0

    Musical Mondays Week 98 Stop Making Sense

    Anyway, I obviously haven't seen everything, but thus far I think this is the best concert film ever made.
  15. sycasey 2.0

    Musical Mondays Week 98 Stop Making Sense

    The movie Byrne directed, True Stories, definitely shares a lot of sensibility with Lynch and Anderson.
  16. sycasey 2.0

    Episode #245 - Money Plane

    I want to go back through that first Kelsey Grammer scene and count how many times he calls Edge's character "Jack." Has to be upwards of a dozen. Did Andrew Lawrence think we might forget the lead character's name? Or that his first name even matters when it's as generic an action-hero name as "Jack Reese?" (In fact, Jack is easily THE most common movie character name.) Mysteries abound!
  17. sycasey 2.0

    Coming of Age #BackToUnspooled

    Oh, for me personally Rushmore remains his best, but I don't see it showing up on other people's best-of lists as often as those others I mentioned.
  18. It's also important to note that Rotten Tomatoes is not measuring which films people HATED the most, just which films had the highest percentage of critics giving them at least a mildly negative review. Some of these are probably just widely acknowledged as dull or mediocre, not necessarily hated.
  19. sycasey 2.0

    Wrapping up the AFI 100

    Yes, and frankly even though the AFI could not possibly have included any movies post-2007 their inclusion of 80s movies is pretty poor. There certainly should have been enough time by '07 to find more from that decade to honor. I think part of the problem (at least for them) is that with a few exceptions, most of what endures from the 80s is not what won the big awards. It's genre stuff that the Academy has tended to ignore (sci-fi, action, horror, comedy, fantasy). The Spoolers' list definitely improves on the span of genres represented.
  20. sycasey 2.0

    Wrapping up the AFI 100

    I think that was part of the logic behind people voting for it. Also, again, the average age range means that there are quite a few women in the group who grew up loving the movie, which is always a strong factor.
  21. sycasey 2.0

    Wrapping up the AFI 100

    One thing that did come up was the generational distribution. The AFI list is pretty dominated by 1970s films, while this list is more dominated (not as much, but it is the clear plurality) by 1990s films. I think this reflects the likely average age of the voter bases more than anything else. AFI: 1910s (1), 1920s (3), 1930s (12), 1940s (11), 1950s (16), 1960s (17), 1970s (20), 1980s (8), 1990s (11), 2000s (1) Spoolers: 1920s (1), 1930s (9), 1940s (7), 1950s (10), 1960s (16), 1970s (16), 1980s (16), 1990s (18), 2000s (7), 2010s (3) Also a big gain for 80s films on the Spoolers list, mostly at the expense of the 40s and 50s.
  22. sycasey 2.0

    Wrapping up the AFI 100

    No restrictions were placed on how many films could be nominated by director. And I would say that as a group the voters there are roughly as conscious of the issues of representation for women and POC on the list as people are here, though like most film discussion groups yes the majority are white and the majority are male. I don't think it's hugely majority male (like between 70-30, 60-40, something like that if I had to guess). I think it just goes to show that when push comes to shove, yes you can improve the numbers somewhat (and some of this is helped by adding some very recent movies that wouldn't have been considered by the AFI at the time they did their poll), but the choices really are a bit thin if you're looking at a historical list of great films. And if I had to be honest, I think something like A League of Their Own is a bit of a stretch as one of the 100 best movies ever. I think it was helped by the voters wanting to get SOMETHING directed by a woman on there, and it's also a movie likely to have been widely seen. At the time The Matrix was made the Wachowskis were not yet identifying as women, at least not publicly.
  23. sycasey 2.0

    Coming of Age #BackToUnspooled

    That's interesting that "high school" movie is specified, because The 400 Blows is definitely not that.
  24. sycasey 2.0

    Wrapping up the AFI 100

    The Facebook group did a poll much like the AFI did, where first nominees were selected based on films often discussed either on the podcast or within the group, then people voted on which should make the list. Here are the results, countdown style: 100. Children of Men (2006) 99. The Night of the Hunter (1955) 98. Boyz n the Hood (1991) 97. Fight Club (1999) 96. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) 95. The Sound of Music (1965) 94. Halloween (1978) 93. Raging Bull (1980) 92. Boogie Nights (1997) 91. Beauty and the Beast (1991) 90. City Lights (1931) 89. Mary Poppins (1964) 88. Ghostbusters (1984) 87. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 86. It Happened One Night (1934) 85. Brokeback Mountain (2005) 84. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) 83. No Country for Old Men (2007) 82. Amadeus (1984) 81. Duck Soup (1933) 80. A League of Their Own (1992) 79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 78. Modern Times (1936) 77. Night of the Living Dead (1968) 76. Airplane! (1980) 75. There will Be Blood (2007) 74. Gone with the Wind (1939) 73. This is Spinal Tap (1984) 72. Titanic (1997) 71. Young Frankenstein (1974) 70. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 69. Blazing Saddles (1974) 68. The Big Lebowski (1998) 67. Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 66. West Side Story (1961) 65. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 64. The Social Network (2010) 63. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) 62. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 61. Annie Hall (1977) 60. The Graduate (1967) 59. Moonlight (2016) 58. When Harry Met Sally (1989) 57. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 56. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) 55. Apocalypse Now (1979) 54. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 53. The Maltese Falcon (1941) 52. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 51. On the Waterfront (1954) 50. Blade Runner (1982) 49. Die Hard (1988) 48. Goodfellas (1990) 47. The Shining (1980) 46. Rocky (1976) 45. North by Northwest (1959) 44. The Exorcist (1973) 43. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 42. King Kong (1933) 41. The Godfather Part II (1974) 40. Taxi Driver (1976) 39. Double Indemnity (1944) 38. Some Like it Hot (1959) 37. Vertigo (1958) 36. Get Out (2017) 35. Groundhog Day (1993) 34. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 33. The Dark Knight (2008) 32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 31. Jurassic Park (1993) 30. Chinatown (1974) 29. The Matrix (1999) 28. Network(1976) 27. The Apartment (1960) 26. Toy Story (1995) 25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) 24. The Princess Bride (1987) 23. Dr. Strangelove or: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 22. All About Eve (1950) 21. 12 Angry Men (1957) 20. Fargo (1996) 19. Alien (1979) 18. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 17. Sunset Boulevard (1950) 16. Back to the Future (1985) 15. Rear Window (1954) 14. Schindler’s List (1993) 13. Silence of the Lambs (1991) 12. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 11. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 10. Pulp Fiction (1994) 9. The Wizard of Oz (1939) 8. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 7. Jaws (1975) 6. Do the Right Thing (1989) 5. Psycho (1960) 4. Star Wars (1977) 3. Godfather (1972) 2. Casablanca (1942) 1. Citizen Kane (1941) Kane still can't be dethroned!
  25. sycasey 2.0

    Coming of Age #BackToUnspooled

    I also love Rushmore and would love to discuss it, but I feel like most people now consider that a lesser Wes Anderson movie (behind Grand Budapest Hotel and Royal Tenenbaums). It does seem like they're supposed to be school-related in some way. In that case I also like Dazed and Confused because I love to talk about Linklater. Or if we really want to get wild, School of Rock.
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