Criterion Year Week 38: Dazed and Confused

• June 26th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Dazed and Confused

Spine Number: 336

Director: Richard Linklater

Genre: Coming of Age Comedu

Before deciding to make nothing but movies/film series that take place in real time (Boyhood, Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight), Richard Linklater was about as quintessentially Austin as you could find.

By "Quintessentially Austin" I am not referring to the bullshit, gentrified, hipster theme park that people who "really got into South By Southwest (SXSW)" and decided to move here have turned it into. I am talking about a place that didn't have, need, or want the loads of California bullshit that has been dumped on us. No In and Out bullshit, no Shake Shack, no fucking Del Taco. Austin was a place where interesting individuals could come and actually create interesting stuff. How else does one city and one film school, light years removed from Hollywood, produce two of the most important and influential filmmakers of the 90's (Linklater and Robert Rodriguez).

When most people talk about Linklater and the 90's they naturally gravitate towards "Slacker," which is a very boring and overrated film, and keep your defense of it to yourself. I get it, I lived in the building where it premiered for two years and walked past several locations from it EVERY DAY while I was in college... I get it. I just don't like it. Instead we will be looking at ....

DazedAndConfused.jpg

Dazed and Confused, Linklater's mix tape of high school in the 70's. Taking place over the course of one night Linklater creates a fairly unique coming of age story. We see young people at all the different stages of high school. We see beginnings, endings, and people who failed to notice that something had ended. More than a lot of these types of film, Dazed and Confused doesn't just wallow in nostalgia, it actually takes the time to create a place that feels genuine and populates it with characters who feel real.

So, if you haven't seen it, check it out. If you have, join us for our discussion.

DazedAndConfused2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 374: The Bicycle Thieves

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Criterion Week 26: Ghostbusters (again), why PC nonsense is nonsense, and Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report

• June 12th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report

Spine Number: 322

Director: Orson Welles

Genre: Drama

Some films are so brilliant in premise that it's difficult, bordering on impossible, to fulfill the potential. Such is the case with Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report (it has gone by both names).

MrArkadin1.jpg

The premise is outstanding. A young criminal comes into contact with an eccentric billionaire. The billionaire, who is planning on pursuing a government contract, wants to make sure he can pass a rigorous background check. The problem? In 1927 he found himself in Switzerland with 200,000 Swiss Francs and no memory of his life before that moment. He asks the criminal, a man who knows people and can move about in both legal and extra legal environments, to research his background and write a confidential report about him.

It is a fantastic premise, right? Hiring someone to look into your own background because it is a mystery even to you sets up what could be an amazing story. What you get is good, and frustratingly close to brilliant. I mean, it's Orson Welles, so it won't be bad, it just fails to reach that next level.

So join us as we discuss this fascinating movie. Oh, and we talk about some of the recent hoopla surrounding the new Ghostbusters movie and some of the foolish PC nonsense that is going around.

MrArkadin2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 336: Dazed and Confused

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Double Negative with Chuck Dynasty and Rushmore

• June 10th, 2016

JamesThurber once said, "Discussion in America means dissent."
Voltaire once said, "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which theestablished authorities are wrong."
And Howard Zinn once said, "Dissent is the highest form ofpatriotism."

Here at TheFilm Thugs we are not just firm believers in these principles. We are notcontent to stand behind these rights, no... we see these rights as aresponsibility, and these quotes as a challenge.

So, in thespirit of revolutionaries like Voltaire, Jefferson, Thurber, and Roosevelt wepresent to you...

DblNegChuck.jpg

Every nowand again writer-directors come bursting onto the cinematic scene fully formed.Their vision is so clear and their style so complete that they speed past theother players in the game like a rocket on roller-skates. Wes Anderson is hisgeneration’s rocket and Rushmore begs the viewer to strap on and ridethis rocket to completion.

At thecenter of the Universe, on the planet Eternia, Bill Murray's army seizes CastleGrayskull. By the next moonrise, Bill Murray plans on stealing the nowkidnapped sorceress Rosemary’s powers making him the most powerful Bill Murrayin the universe. The siege and investiture of Castle Grayskull has left itsprotector’s beaten and disillusioned with their life choices.

Only one mancan save Castle Grayskull now – the mighty warrior Rushmore! Master weaponsmith and master Scotsman, Magnus and his daughter 40 Ounce rescue Guggenheimfrom Bill Murray's forces. Guggenhiem, a magical locksmith, reveals that BillMurray has stolen his "Cosmic Key" that can open a portal to anywherein the state of California.Bill Murray's second-in-command, Seymour Cassel, copied the device to aid inthe sacking of Castle Grayskull but it proved to be useless.

WithGuggenheim's remaining Cosmic Key now safe, Rushmore and his friends travel to Burbank for lunch beforereturning to Eternia and Castle Grayskull. They attempt to free Rosemary butare no match for Bill Murray's army and are forced to flee through Guggenheim'shastily opened portal, transporting them to Costa Mesa. The Key is misplaced on theirarrival and discovered by two teenage lovers, Brian Cox and Jerry Sizemore, whoattempt to figure out what it is and accidentally send off a signal that allowsSeymour Cassel to track the key and send his henchmen, Future-man, DirkCalloway, and Mr. LittleJeans to recover it.

Brian Cox,an aspiring musician, mistakes the Key for a synthesizer and takes it to amusic store run by his friend Charlie. Mr. LittleJeans' team arrives and chasesBrian Cox until Rushmore rescues him. Mr. LittleJeans’ team returns toGrayskull where, incensed by their failure, Bill Murray kills Future-man andsends the others back to Earth, with a larger force under Seymour Cassel'scommand. Unable to find Jerry Sizemore, Brian Cox is taken to Jerry Sizemore'shouse by Adrian Vandenberg, a detective investigating the disturbance createdby Mr. LittleJean's team. Suspecting the Key is stolen, Adrian Vandenbergconfiscates it from Brian Cox and leaves. Immediately afterward, Seymour Casselcaptures and interrogates Brian Cox for the Key's location with a mind controlcollar and the flowy, yet still kind of sexy, summer dress of uncomfortablestares, before pursuing Adrian Vandenberg.

JerrySizemore and the Eternians release the kind of sexy Brian Cox from the collarbefore they go after Adrian Vandenberg. They manage to get hold of it inCharlie's store, but Bill Murray's forces catch up with them, and a pitcheddance number ensues. Seymour Cassel recovers the key and summons Bill Murray toEarth. Bill Murray's forces overwhelm the Eternians and Jerry Sizemore ismortally wounded by Bill Murray's lightning blast, simultaneously erasing thememory storage of Guggenhiem's Key. Rushmore surrenders to save his comrades,and is returned to Eternia as Bill Murray's slave. Bill Murray demands thatRushmore kneel before him for all of Eternia to witness, before he is killed.Rushmore refuses and is whipped by Dirk Calloway's laser whip in an attempt tomake him kneel. Rushmore has enjoyed himself too much and is still standingwhen the moon rises. Bill Murray absorbs the powers of the universe. Declaringhimself Bill Fucking Murray, Master of the Universe! Bill Murray asserts hisvictory and continues to torture Rushmore with energy blasts and modern countrymusic.

Back onEarth, Guggenheim repairs the Cosmic Key, and Brian Cox recreates the tonesnecessary to create a gateway to Eternia. The group, including AdrianVandenberg who attempts to arrest them, are transported to Castle Grayskull,where they begin battling Bill Murray's forces. Resenting that Bill Murray hasabsorbed the power of the Universe without sharing it with him, Seymour Casseldeserts him along with the other henchmen. Seymour is deeply pained by Bill FuckingMurray’s selfishness. Seymourhad been younger than Bill when they met at junior college, sure, but Bill hadalways shared his bed and his dreams with him. After all, had it not beenSeymour Cassel that had work to support them both while Bill studied for hisMasters in Universe Mastery? They didn’t have two pennies to rub together backin those days, but what they lacked in riches they made up with love. Sharing ahot bowl of mac and cheese and a blanket was all of the universe that they hadneeded back then. Conquering the universe had changed the man that SeymourCassel had loved. He knew Bill Murray but this Bill Fucking Murray was astranger to him. “Chin up, Seymour!” Seymour Cassel thought himself as hewalked away from the shadow of Castle Grayskull. His mother had been rightabout Bill the whole time.

Bill Murrayaccidentally frees Rushmore who then reclaims the Sword of Grayskull. The pair battleuntil Rushmore shatters Bill Murray's staff, removing his new powers andrestoring him to his normal state. Rushmore offers mercy but Bill Murray drawsa concealed sword and attempts to kill Rushmore; Rushmore manages to knock BillMurray from the throne room into a towering pit below. The freed SorceressRosemary heals Jerry Sizemore, and a portal is opened to send the Earthlingshome. Greeted as a hero for his bravery, Adrian Vandenberg decides to remain onEternia.

JerrySizemore awakens on the morning of his parents' deaths in a plane crash. Heprevents them from taking the ill-fated flight by taking their keys and runsoutside to find Brian Cox, who confirms that their experiences were real,producing a souvenir from Eternia: a small blue sphere containing a scene ofRushmore in front of Castle Grayskull with his sword raised above his head. Ina post-credits scene, Bill Murray's head emerges from the water at the bottomof the pit, saying "Mondays!"

Wes Andersonwent on the direct 7 more films before he left Hollywood to join his cousin Angry Andersonin Rose Tattoo on rhythm guitar. His other films didn’t amount to much butRushmore remains a haunting cautionary tale and classic example of documentaryfilm making.   

 


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Criterion Year Week 36: The LIfe Aquatic with Steve Zissou

• June 5th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Spine Number: 300

Director: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy

No matter how much you love a filmmaker there will almost always be one or two films on his or her resume that just don't connect with you. Everything else might be good, fantastic, or brilliant... but it's almost impossible for someone have a 100% success rate. Well... for Wes Anderson, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou falls into that category.

LifeAquatic.jpg

On paper, this film has everything. It's Wes following up Tenenbaums with Bill Murray in a bigger part, you have Owen Wilson, WIllem Dafoe, Cate Blanchette, Angelica Houston, and music from David Bowie and Mark Mothersbaugh. Honestly, what could go wrong?

It's clear from the beginning that this film is a labor of love. Wes Anderson is a big fan of Jacques Cousteau, his work is a plot point in Rushmore, and this is his attempt to pay tribute to one of his influences. But there is just something missing. It's not a bad movie, but from someone who can produce such fantastic work as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, an OK movie just doesn't feel OK.

So, check it out and see what you think. Did we miss something, or did this movie just miss us?

LifeAquatic2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 322: Mr. Arkadin, AKA Confidential Report.

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Criterion Year Week 35: Hoop Dreams

• May 30th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Hoop Dreams

Spine Number: 289

Director: Steve James, Frederick Marx, and Peter Gilbert

Genre: Documentary

The Academy Awards has dropped the ball several times. The Searchers, widely regarded as the greatest western of all time receiving zero nominations. The Seven Samurai not being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Diablo Cody having more Oscars than Alfred Hitchcock. There are so many more that we actually did an entire show dedicated to Oscar's missteps. However, of all those missteps, only one was seen as egregious enough to call the entire nomination process into question.

That film was Hoop Dreams.

HoopDreams1.jpg

Check any list of the greatest documentaries of all time and you will see this film at or near the top. What was originally intended to be a 30 minute television short filmed for PBS turned into a 171 minute documentary culled from over 250 hours of footage shot over a five year period.

The story is simple. Two African American kids from poor neighborhoods in Chicago are offered the chance to play basketball for a prestigious suburban prep school. These kids, taking 90 minute train and bus rides to this new school, are offered a chance to develop as basketball players at the school that produced their idol, Isiah Thomas. From there, the story is unpredictable, because life is unpredictable.

This is a film that Roger Ebert referred to as, "one of the best films about American life I have ever seen," and "one of the great movie going experiences of my life," and went on to be named The  Greatest Documentary of All Time by the International Documentary Associations, all while, as stated above, changing the way the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picks films for their documentary award.... It is literally impossible to overstate the importance of this film.

But Hoop Dreams is that rare film that achieves more than that. It is more than just a film. This is a personal look at a life that most of us will never know. This is a film about passion, desire, growing up, and giving every part of your being to chasing a dream. This is a movie about America. So, if you haven't seen it... first off, why the hell haven't you seen Hoop Dreams? Second, GO SEE HOOP DREAMS!

HoopDreams2.jpg

Then, come back and listen to us talk about this amazing movie and how sports are such a huge part of our lives.

Next Week:

Spine number 300: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zussou

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

You can also click on one of our sponsor links below and THEY will pay us. That's right. You won't have to pay a PENNY extra, and Amazon/Onnit/Teefury will give us a little taste.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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