Criterion Year Week 6: Hard Boiled

• August 30th, 2015

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 6:

Hard Boiled

Spine Number: 9

Director: John Woo

Genre: Hong Kong Action


John Woo defined Hong Kong cinema in the late 80's and early 90's. His over the top action scenes and hyper cool protagonists set the tone for much of what modern action movies have evolved into. The Killer, in many respects, is the most artistic film he made, as we discussed last week. But Hard Boiled... damn. No action move comes close to what Woo achieves here. It's more than just violence, it's poetry in motion. In a genre known as "bullet ballet," and "heroic bloodshed," Woo was somehow able to reach a completely different level than anyone was accustomed to.

So join us in the beautiful violence that is Hard Boiled.

Next week:

Spine Number 13: The Silence of the Lambs

Also, check this out.

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 5: The Killer and Old School Video Stores

• August 23rd, 2015

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 5:

The Killer

Spine Number: 8

Director: John Woo

Genre: Hong Kong Action

Killer.jpg

There was a time when I thought America knew how to make an action movie. We had some great one, really we did. Little did I know that on the other side of the world there was a group of insane visionaries who were churning out some of the most amazing, gorgeous, violent works of cinema imaginable. Names like Woo, Lam, Hark, Chan, Li, Jing, and Fat were working on movies that would, for a certain group of filmmakers and film lovers, define the aesthetic of what action/crime movie would soon become.

They were The Beatles for a generation of filmmakers. You might not know or like their music, but your favorite band... they do. Or your favorite band's favorite band. In some way the work that was don in Hong Kong in the mid to late 80's and into the 90's is a fundamental part of the DNA of modern American film making. You like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction? Then you like Ringo Lam and John Woo. You like El Mariachi and Desperado? Then you like John Woo and Tsui Hark.

If you knew about these movies and people before... congratulations, you're one of us. You had a local video store that wasn't a Blockbuster of Hollywood Video that was a huge part of your life. You knew the satisfaction of watching a hard core bootlegged video that still had the "play" and "record" graphics on the beginning of it. You have watched movies that had ads for soy sauce and karaoke machines instead of previews. You were there, man!

So, join us in our first of two weeks of exploring the wonder of John Woo and the video store culture that is so sorely lacking from today's landscape.

And join us next week for some totally over the top, ape scat action that you are not ready for!

Next week:

Spine Number 9: John Woo's "Hard Boiled"

Also, check this out.

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 4: The 400 Blows

• August 17th, 2015

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 4:

The 400 Blows

Spine Number: 5

Director: Francois Truffaut

Genre: French New Wave

Blows.jpg

Some movies change the world. At least... they change the world of film. Francois Truffaut was a respected and feared film critic in France when he decided to take a shot at making a movie.

What he produced, in his first attempt at a feature was one of the most revolutionary pieces of film making ever produced. It was a personal, emotionally raw, and thoroughly engrossing portrait of child with no map, no guideposts, and no mooring trying to find himself. The 400 Blows was one of the foundation films of the French New Wave movement and has gone on to be one of the most influential and respected films of all time.

So... join us as we discuss the beginnings of the Antoine Doinel series with the landmark "The 400 Blows."

Next week:

Spine Number 8: John Woo's "The Killer"

Also, check this out.

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

Listen Now:



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Criterion Year Week 3: The Lady Vanishes and The Basics of Hitchcock

• August 10th, 2015

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectable 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 3:

The Lady Vanishes

Spine Number: 3

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Genre: It's Alfred Goddamned Hitchcock!



The Master of Suspense. That's a hell of a label to throw on a person. I mean... The Master of Suspense? Think about it. That's like when they call Wayne Gretzky "The Great One." There is no attempt to mince words here. Hitchcock is the man. There really is no debating this, at least not with Jim...

Yes, that is a real tattoo.


The Lady Vanishes was one of Hitchcock's last films before moving to Hollywood and becoming Alfred Hitchcock. It was a huge hit and laid the foundation for the type of filmmaker Hitch would become. He set the standard and has yet to be surpassed.


So join us on our Hitchcockian journey through "The Lady Vanishes."

Next week:

Spine Number 5: Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows

Also, check this out.

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


Listen Now:



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Double Negative With Chuck Dynasty and The Seven Samurai

• August 7th, 2015

James Thurber once said, "Discussion in America means dissent."
Voltaire once said, "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
And Howard Zinn once said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

Here at The Film Thugs we are not just firm believers in these principles. We are not content to stand behind these rights, no... we see these rights as a responsibility, and these quotes as a challenge.

So, in the spirit of revolutionaries like Voltaire, Jefferson, Thurber, and Roosevelt we present to you...

doublenegativefinal2.jpg

Double Negative with Chuck Dynasty and Seven Samurai

 

Hello, dumb dumbs! This week’s negativity is Seven Samurai and it’s no damn good.

The terms master and masterpiece get thrown around a lot when people who can’t work a real man’s job are discussing Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai but after seeing it I couldn’t tell you why. Sure the guy can take a pretty picture but what’s the big deal?

From IMBD: “A samurai answers a villager’s request for protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.” Does that sound like a “masterpiece” that will take 207 minutes to tell?

 Fuck. No.

 Don’t get me wrong, most of these samurai guys seem ok. When they all aren’t walking and talking me into an afternoon nap, but they seem like affable chaps. I’m all for them helping the little guys even if the little guys, in this case, are hiding food, booze, and weapons from the very people they are dependent on for their own survival. It’s totally cool, jerks. By the by, these aggies didn’t even shop around. They came across the first swinging samurai dick that didn’t show his ass. “Here! Here! Just take our rice dollars! Save our lives!” What if he was working you fools? What was your plan B if this didn’t work out? You all did consider just giving up and killing yourselves earlier before finding someone else to fight your battles for you, so I guess that’s always an option, “men”.

I say MOST of these samurai guys seem ok because not ALL of them are ok. Lets’ take a look at Big Sword. May I call you Big Sword? Great. Big Sword is a fucking goof. I would have caught his character name earlier but a Buzzfeed quiz came up on Facebook. (Which Sneaky That’s So Raven Disguise Are You? The mariachi? That’s SO me!) We all get it, Big Sword. If you were shooting to make sure that we can all see you emote from space, your aim was true. “The farmers are all dicky liars because you mean old samurai treated them poorly.” Wahhh! “My parents were killed in a river.” Wahhh! Wahhh! “I was an orphan left in that river while my dead parents floated next to me and I’m at odds with myself.” Wahhh! Wahhh! Wahhh! Bravo, cupcake. Now turn it down!

I’m sleeping here! If that wasn’t bad enough, you just had to go and try to be the hero, didn’t you? Time to deal with the painful truth, Bigs. That badass master samurai you saw kill that chump earlier in Samurai-burg, he’s the real hero. He is selfless and skilled and brave and patient and wise and and and…wait for it…FUCKING QUIET when he nabs some guns from the baddies! You, trying to do the same, almost got everyone killed! “Look, chums. I’ve absconded with a musket from yon hooligans to aid in our campaign. Of course I courted our collective devastation in the process but at least I got some much needed attention. Did I mention how mean your kind are to farmers?” Stop it. Why not try and shoot some of those assholes you stole it from, rather than scowling and laughing at inappropriate times?

 

That’s right, guns. Big Sword and Master Badass steal three guns from the bandits between them. This brings the firepower of the seven to exactly…sweet fuck all because they never use them! Why don’t they use the guns? Why are we counting on an entire village of pussies with bamboo spears to pull this off? How will these townies pull anything off? It took seven out of town strangers to come up with the idea of building a wall. Maybe this town deserves to be raided. (Dude, this pug on Instagram is fucking cute!)

 

Meanwhile, sometime between nodding off and looking at my phone, the young samurai wannabe bangs the last of-age girl in town, her dad gets mad about it for a hot minute, and we all stare at each other. So it goes. The good guys pick off the bad guys one by one and two by two until a big final battle happens in the rain. Biggity bang, the completely unknown bandits are defeated and everyone is free to make terrible music in the rice fields again. Super.

 

We end our sleep study with the lead samurai, Kambei Shimura (I was awake then), staring off in the distance at random points throughout town before making his way to watch the clang bang dang version of So You Think You Can Farm being put on by the villagers. Kambei’s last line “The farmers have won. Not us.” is delivered in front of the burial mounds of his fallen comrades. A giant sword is planted in the mound on the far right of the frame. And scene, Big Sword.

 

Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is said to have inspired hundreds of other filmmakers to remake and reinvent its classic tale of conflict and honor. It’s considered a masterpiece from a master (there are those words again) who created timeless cinematic beauty with this film. Bullshit. It’s three plus boob- free hours of yap and melodrama with poorly shot action tacked to its ass. Sure it looks nice but so does Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and it’s only half as long.

Just saying.

 

Dynasty OUT!

 


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