Criterion Year Week 23: Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

• February 7th, 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...

Week 23:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Spine Number: 175

Director: Terry Gilliam

Genre: Terry Gilliam

There are certain pieces of culture, pop or otherwise, that are tied to certain ages. If you read Tolkein for the first time as a 10-13 year old it could open up a world of possibilities in literature for you. If you read it for the first time at 25, you will be annoyed at all the mentions of buttered toast and overlong song lyrics. Did I just read the words "tra la la la la?" Fuck this book. Stephen King normally takes hold when you are in your early to mid teens. Kerouack? Probably best when you are in your early 20's.


Then there is Hunter S. Thompson. Depending on when you discover his writing, he is either a genius or just kind of annoying. Both of us discovered him at the right age, early 20's, right about the time this movie hit.



There was a certain, undeniable appeal to it. An appreciation of the drug fueled, anarchic aesthetic that made the whole thing seem a lot more important than it actually was. Thompson occupies a strange place on the border of the mainstream, too strange to fully ingratiate himself, too gifted to be completely cast aside. He stands as a cultural oddity both beloved and despised. And really, I don't believe he would have it any other way. Well, I actually think he wouldn't give a damn one way or the other.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which began as an assignment to write photo captions for a motorcycle race and spiraled into a piece of pop culture canon seems, on its surface, unfilmable. Well, unfilmable to anyone but Terry Gilliam.

So, join us and see how this perfect combination of writer and director fare in this undeniable head trip of a film.


Next week:

Spine number 186: Stolen Kisses

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...

Jim out.

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Criterion Year Week 22: Hopscotch

• January 31st, 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...

Week 22:

Hopscotch

Spine Number: 163

Director: Ronald Neame

Genre: Comedy

First off, this is our 300th episode. We are not doing anything special, just introducing you to an amazing movie.

Every once in a while you get to introduce something special to a person. Some obscure, amazing book, incredible movie, awesome song, something that you discovered by some strange turn of coincidence that people just don't know about for some reason. Then you get to be the one to introduce it. It's like you're giving an gift to someone.

Well, Hopscotch is one of those movies.

hopscotch.jpg

This little spy movie, that is unlike any spy movie you've seen before, is effortlessly charming and completely engaging. Walter Matthau is an old CIA man who has a boss, Ned Beatty, who is a bit of a prick. He decides to make an example out of Matthau, who decides he would rather not put up with it. Along with  Glenda Jackson (who has a level of natural charm and charisma that ranks right up there with Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly) he sets out to have some fun.

That's all we will tell you. This is one of those rare movies that fun without being stupid, smart without being condescending, and completely enjoyable from beginning to end. It is tight, quick, and... honestly, it's just a fantastic film. So, check it out on Hulu, Amazon, or iTunes. You will be glad you did.

Once you've watched it, join us in our discussion of this incredible movie.

hopscotch2.jpg

Next week:

Spine number 175: Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

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...

Jim out.

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Criterion Year Week 21: The Royal Tenenbaums

• January 18th, 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...

Week 21:

The Royal Tenenbaums

Spine Number: 15

Director: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy

Some talent seems to spring into the world fully formed, like Athena emerging from Zeus' skull. This really feels apropos when talking about Wes Anderson. Bottle Rocket, which will be discussed in depth at a later date, was a solid quirky little indie, but everything you really need to know about Wes is there. Rushmore really nailed down what he was all about.

But The Royal Tenenbaums...

Damn.

royal1.jpg

Few films are as solid, as effective, as heartfelt, as meticulously and flawlessly executed as this one. Every aspect of it is perfect. Every character is perfectly cast, every performance is nuanced and  heartfelt, every beat, be it dramatic or comedic, lands with a precision that is virtually unmatched. Rushmore was a home run, and somehow Anderson and Wilson followed it up with a grand slam.

Royal2.jpg

So join us as we discuss a movie that is a genuine pleasure to watch. If by some strange chance you haven't seen it yet, please do yourself a favor and correct that immediately.

Next week:

Spine number 163: Hopscotch

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...

Jim out.

00:0000:00

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Criterion Year Week 20: Traffic

• January 10th, 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...

Week 20:

Traffic

Spine Number: 151

Director:Steven Soderburgh

Genre: Drama

One of the most annoying things in the world, to me at least, is when someone addresses a complex issue as if it only has one facet and a simple solution. People do this all the time. Basically, it's the height of egotism. This problem really wouldn't be a problem if people just looked at it the way I did and did this one thing to fix it.

The simple fact of the matter is that most issues are far more complex than we think they are and they don't have easy answers or quick fixes. In fact, most of them don't really have a single fix at all.

Traffic addresses one of the most contentious issues of our time. The war on drugs.

Traffic.jpg

We see multiple points of view from different points along the supply chain. We see how the good guys deal with things from the front lines to the White House. We see how the bad guys do thing, and how they will be able to continue operating. To quote The Wire, "This isn't a war. Wars end."

This is the type of issue that we love to talk about. It's complex, misunderstood, and handled in the most incompetent and wrongheaded way imaginable (from a policy point of view).

We discuss what can be done to fix a problem that doesn't have a solution. How do you keep people from doing something that people have done as long as people have existed?

Traffic2.jpg

Next week:

Spine number 157: The Royal Tenenbaums

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...

Jim out.

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Criterion Year Week 19: Sullivan’s Travels

• January 3rd, 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...

Week 19:

Sullivan's Travels

Spine Number: 118

Director: Preston Sturges

Genre: Comedy

Important.

That word gets used a lot when it comes to movies. Watch any awards show and you will see just how seriously the entertainment industry takes itself. Actors and directors are always going on about how "brave" or "courageous" they were in taking a large sum of money to play a part or make an important movie. Stories of grand importance which make lofty and high minded statements and give voice to the voiceless are seen as the highest achievement in art.

But are they?

Really, are they? What makes a movie important?

That question lies at the heart of this amazing film by Preston Sturges.

sullivans.jpg

Who are you speaking for, and do you have the authority to speak for them? Do they even want you to?

This week we go very in depth to talk about what makes art important, and what gives someone the authority to present these "important" stories.

So, join us as we get to the heart of the question, 'What good is art?"

sullivansscreen.jpg

Next week:

Spine number 151: Traffic

A genuinely wonderful comedy classic.

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...

Jim out.

00:0000:00

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