Criterion Year Week 57: The Wages of Fear

• December 4th, 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 Wages of Fear

Spine Number: 36

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Genre: Drama

 

Movies need to set and manipulate a certain mood in order to be effective. It is hard to do. Tension is one of the most difficult to really maintain. There are things that people can do that add tension in obvious ways, but those tend to leave you flat once they're done. Jump scares and "here comes the bad guy" music can only go so far.

With that in mind... damn! "The Wages of Fear," is tense as hell. Clouzot delivers one of the most incredible instances of building and maintaining tension throught. Its a simple story with complex detail. A group of people trapped in a remote part of Venezuela without the means to get home are offerd the opprotunity to make an incredible amount of money. All they have to do is transport two literal truckloads of nitro glycerine across an unpaved, remote and desolate road. 

That set up alone... damn!

WagesOfFear.jpg

This film is incredible. I mean... it takes an hour before they are even in the trucks! It's important that you see what life is in this small outpost. You understand the desperate circumstances that force people to do such... just insane things.

This was remade by William Friedkin in the 70's with the baffling title, "Sorcerer," which is actually a pretty damned good film. I recommend both very highly.

So, relax if you can and enjoy our thought after watching "The Wages of Fear."

WagesOfFear2.jpg

 

Next week,  

 Spine number 600: Anatomy of a Murder

 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 56: High and Low

• November 20th, 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...

High and Low

Spine Number: 24

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Genre: Drama

 

So, we take a jump back in the spine numbers because this is a new addition to the collection, and damn... what an addition it is. 

There is an inherent and undeniable drama to the kidnapping/ransom genre. I mean, a child is missing and there is no question that they are in harms way. But just having the drama doesn't automatically make the story powerful or compelling or, for that matter, good. It takes so much more.

And, since we are talking about Kurosawa, High and Low delivers so much more.

HighAndLow.jpg

On the eve of a massive business deal, a self made millionaire gets a phone call. His child has beeen abducted and the ransom is 30 million yen. The amount is absurdly high, and will cause not just his deal to fall through, but also completely ruin him financially as he has leveraged everything he has for the deal.

The kicker... the kidnapper got the wrong child, grabbing his chauffers kid instead. Now, Kingo Gondo (played masterfully by Toshiro Mifune, becuase that's the only speed that man posessess) has a choice to make. Does he risk the financial well being of his family to save someone elses child.

A movie that works as a series of tightening nooses, High and Low is one of the most complete films in this genre. You get the tension of the parents, you get the amazing ransom delivery, you get the intense investigation, you get the kidnapper trying to stay one step ahead... basically you get Kurosawa at his best.

 

So, join us again for another look at one of the greatest of all time.

HighAndLow2.jpg

 

Next week,  

 Spine number 36: The Wages of Fear

 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 55: On The Waterfront

• November 13th, 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...

On The Waterfront

Spine Number: 647

Director: Elia Kazan

Genre: Drama

 

Some movies are iconic without a lot of people even realizing it. "I could have been somebody. I could have been a contender." That is one of those lines that you hear all over the place. It's, arguably, one of the greatest lines in film history, which is it's kind of everywhere. But a lot of people who use it don't even know where it coes from.

Well, it comes from "On The Waterfront."

 

OnTheWaterfront.jpg

 

Released in 1954, "On The Watefront" would go on to win 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Elia Kazan's second directing Oscar), Best Actor (Brando's  first), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Maria Saint in her first on screen role),and get three Best Supporting Actor nominations (Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger).

It's a movie about working class people struggling with corruption in the only industry many of them know, or have known for several generations. How do you survive in an area that depends on union jobs when the union is unabashedly corrupt? How can you be decent and honest when the institutions that govern every part of your life are fundamentally broken? Sound familar. Yeah, these problems have been around forever.

Brandow is amazing as Terry Malloy, dockworker, former boxer, and right hand man/enforcer to the corrupt union boss. Eva Marie Saint is captivating as Edie Doyle, sister of a murdered dock worker. Malden kills it as the honest priest trying to help the workers. Steiger is perfect as Terry's older brother and bookkeeper for the corrupt union. And Lee J. Cobb steals the show as Michael J. Skelly, aka "Johnny Friendly" the cold hearted and ruthless mob connected union leader.

This movie is fantastic and damned near plays like a beautifully shot documentary. It's a stunning portrait of working class life struggling against unimaginable corruption. 

So, check it out with us. Oh, and we also talk about the election and stuff.

onthewaterfront2.jpg

 

Next week,  

 Spine number 24:High and Low

 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 52: Following

• November 6th, 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...

Following

Spine Number: 638

Director: Christopher Nolan

Genre: Drama

We have never hid our love of Christopher Nolan on this show. Ever since he hit the scene with "Memento," he has stood out as one of the most distinctive and unique filmmakers in the industry. He holds the unique distinction of never having directed a bad movie. Everything he's done might not be perfect or great, but he has yet to make a movie that is bad or boring.

Before he played with the idea of liner narration, before he completely changed everyones idea of a "comic book movie," and before he said, "A dream heist movie? Why not?" he made "Following."
Following.jpg

This is one of those rare first films that really shows you who the filmmaker is. Everything that defines Nolan as a filmmaker is here. The blind spots, the non-linear story flashes, the twist that wasn't really a twist, all of it is here. Nolan has refined who he is as a filmmaker, but he sprung pretty much fully formed with this thing.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's only 70 minutes long and well worth your time. 

Following2.jpg

Next week,  

 Spine number 647: On The Waterfront

 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 53: The Game

• October 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...

The Game

Spine Number: 627

Director: David Fincher

Genre: Drama

David Fincher is a hell of a fine filmmaker, and "The Game" is a damn fine film. Just need to say that up front, because this show... well... it's hard to describe.

We spend a lot of time talking about how the titular "game" could have gone wrong, and how fundamentally screwed up the entire idea of this thing is. 

But, it is a damned good time.

The_Game.jpg

This episode is the closest you will get to what it's actually like to watch a movie with us. We are irreverent, profane, and just trying to make each other laugh. 

But, it is a damned good time.

TheGame2.jpg

Next week,  

 Spine number 638: Following

 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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