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This man, though not a real Native American, has a great head of hairRC-2015-101: The Searchers (1956) Your browser does not support this audio I've once again teamed up with the King of Commentaries himself, Tysto, to talk through another great western. We find much to like, love, and laugh at in John Ford's VistaVision classic. Discussion wanders…
 
Zen and shiftlessness are often indistinguishable from one another RC-2014-102: The Big Lebowski (1998) Your browser does not support this audio Now that the National Film Registry has deemed Lebowski "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," I thought it the perfect time to delve into the Coen's 1998 comedy/noir/half-assed thinkpie…
 
The late Eli Wallach, the star of and secret sauce in The Good, the Bad and the UglyRC-2014-101: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967) Your browser does not support this audio Reflect on the recent passing of Eli Wallach by re-watching his finest hour. Which was actually three hours. I team up with the grand poo-bah of fan commentaries, Tysto, for …
 
Robert Redford discusses strategy for the staring contest he's about to have with the camera RC-2013-114: All the President's Men (1976) Your browser does not support this audio Perhaps the greatest typewriter fetishist movie ever! Focusing on storytelling, I describe how Goldman's script hinges on scene-by-scene conflict and speculate about the my…
 
You have to admit—some of those ink blotches do look sexual RC-2013-103: The Master (2012) Your browser does not support this audio Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master will be released on home media later this month—I'm on top of it. After making listeners jealous by bragging about being one of the lucky few who got to see the film projected properly…
 
Lisa Cohen, interested in her teacher. RC-2013-104: Margaret (Extended Cut) (2011) Your browser does not support this audio It took a while, but Kenneth Lonergan's follow up to You Can Count On Me finally got seen by audiences in 2011. During the marathon commentary (for, Lonergan's extended cut stretches past the three-hour mark), I go into the le…
 
Tony in the pool. No ducks. RC-2013-118: The Sopranos (S1E1) "The Sopranos" (1999) Your browser does not support this audio With the recent passing of James Gandolfini, I felt it'd be a good time to do something I'd been meaning to do: a commentary on The Sopranos. I begin by candidly acknowledging my love for the show, ladling praise on David Chas…
 
The "self portrait" of Kitty March, Joan Bennett's fast-talking femme fatale who steals Edward G. Robinson's heart in Fritz Lang's film noir, Scarlet Street RC-2013-108: The Film Noir Series—Scarlett Street (1945) Your browser does not support this audio Ask a person to name her five favorite Fritz Lang films, and you're not likely to hear Scarlet …
 
Kirk Douglas, Porter Hall, and Jesus Christ debate journalistic ethics in Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole (Douglas had top billing) RC-2013-116: Ace in the Hole (1951) Your browser does not support this audio More thrilling than going over Niagara Falls in Kirk Douglas' barrel chest, Ace in the Hole stands tall among the giants of Wilder's career. I…
 
Gene Tierney was so hot that she could make a frumpy rain hat look sexy RC-2013-112: The Film Noir Series — Laura (1944) Your browser does not support this audio Otto Preminger's Laura is beloved by many a noir aficionado, and I'm out to figure out why. (Could it have something to do with Gene Tierney being nuclear hot? Hells yeah.) I have fun with…
 
You're licked, Jerry Lundegaard RC-2012-101: Fargo (1996) Your browser does not support this audio In this episode, we explore the 1996 film Fargo, directed by Joel Coen. Topics include the subtle cinematic language employed by the brothers Coen to reflect Jerry Lundegaard's troubled psyche, the art of a great movie car chase, and why that guy Mike…
 
Piper Laurie works on her cursive in The Hustler RC-2012-102: The Hustler (1961) Your browser does not support this audio This time, Rob straps in for the epic tale of "Fast" Eddie Felson, played by Paul Newman, in one of the most lauded films of 1961. Musings include the inside dope on the pocket billiards wizardry depicted in the movie, the curio…
 
Mars makes money RC-2013-117: Poolhall Junkies (2002) Your browser does not support this audio Grab a cuestick (hopefully a non-graphite one) and let's play some with the greatest pool movie of all time! Well, okay, it's a pool movie, anyway. And just as Mars Callahan's directorial debut vacillates between Farrelly brothers-style comedy and over-cr…
 
Tom Cruise shoots his new look on the set of The Color of Money—"Blue Steel" meet "Balabushka" RC-2012-103 (The Scorsese Series): The Color of Money (1986) Your browser does not support this audio Following up on our previous adventure with The Hustler, Rob explores a movie that for many constitutes "lesser Scorsese"—1986's The Color of Money. Amon…
 
Almodovar and Banderas on the set of The Skin I Live In RC-2012-104: The Skin I Live In (2011) Your browser does not support this audio After a few plot twists and turns, Rob concludes that Almodovar's most recent film is ultimately about compassion. We all do bad things, but only some of us kidnap and castrate those who do bad things—and that's th…
 
Hey, remember the algorithm? RC-2012-105: The Social Network (2010) Your browser does not support this audio In this episode, Rob gives part of his attention—the minimum amount—to what was one of the best and most surprising films of 2010, the Fincher-Sorkin-Reznor masterpiece known as The Social Network. The commentary gabbing analyzes stuff like …
 
Steve McQueen is wearing a hat and scarf while his actors are in undershirts RC-2012-106: Shame (2011) Your browser does not support this audio In this episode, Rob determines that the breakout film for both McQueen and Fassbender is really just "The Lost Weekend, with fucking." While singing the praises of Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, the commen…
 
Look up "schnook" in the dictionary, and you find this photoRC-2012-107 (The Scorsese Series): Goodfellas (1990) Your browser does not support this audio After rifling through the suggestion box, I've decided to take the enthusiastic advice of my stalwart listener and e-mail correspondent, Glenn, and dedicate an entire series of commentaries to the…
 
A conflict resolution specialist RC-2012-108: High Fidelity (2000) Your browser does not support this audio Look, conflict resolution is my job, so on this commentary track for High Fidelity, I'm once and for all resolving the question of whether this quasi-classic Cusack joint is, at bottom, a movie about loving cool music or a merely love movie w…
 
De Niro and Moriarty take a mulligan while playing putt-putt golf in Raging Bull RC-2012-108 (The Scorsese Series): Raging Bull (1980) Your browser does not support this audio Before I get to some less-beloved Marty joints (coming soon), the series on Scorsese continues to hopscotch through the undeniable masterpieces, landing on the much-admired R…
 
What happens in the doorway doesn't stay in the doorway in Asgar Farhadi's A Separation RC-2013-101: A Separation (2011) Your browser does not support this audio I've decided that a great way to start 2013 is with what I regarded as the best movie of 2011—Asgar Farhadi's A Separation. Throughout the commentary, I attempt to stop myself from gushing…
 
Yes, the entire movie is like this RC-2013-102: Killer Joe (2012) Your browser does not support this audio In this episode, I reach into the requests pile for a criminally underrated 2012 picture about criminally overconfident numbskulls. Before listening to this commentary, pick yourself up some K-fry-C—that way you can nosh through your bucket as…
 
A girl named Jo is not as weird as a girl named Demi RC-2013-102: A Few Good Men (1992) Your browser does not support this audio Dipping into the requests pile (thanks Jeremy), I take on the 1992 Rob Reiner blockbuster A Few Good Men. During the film, I sing the praises of glorious genre of the courtroom drama, comparing Reiner's movie to other spe…
 
Freddie dreams of Auntie Bertha RC-2013-106: "Back Beyond" (Deleted scenes featurette for The Master) Your browser does not support this audio In this special episode, I keep the conversation about The Master going by taking 20 minutes to babble through "Back Beyond," the deleted scenes featurette found on the newly released DVD/Blu-Ray. So, even t…
 
Sarah Polley sees no sign of zombies on the set of Take This Waltz RC-2013-105: Take This Waltz (2011) Your browser does not support this audio Sarah Polley's intelligent second film takes its name from a Leonard Cohen song, and speaking in my deepest, most morose voice I explore the really brightly colored poetry of Take This Waltz. Praising Polle…
 
Marlon Brando getting his Don makeup on while Francis Ford Coppola waits patiently for his nemesis, Popeye, to show up RC-2013-107: The Godfather (1972) Your browser does not support this audio When e-mailer Tomy suggested a few films that might be ripe for a commentary, The Godfather was the one that lept out at me most. It seems there's actually …
 
Little known fact: when he was in grad school, Dr. Ian Malcolm was friends with Tony Lacey RC-2013-109: Annie Hall (1977) Your browser does not support this audio Recently, Turner Classic Movies aired Annie Hall, and I was reminded of just how extraordinary a picture it is—a romantic comedy that's exceedingly romantic and funny. This commentary was…
 
The old noir trope of putting a Chandler and a Wilder on a loveseat... RC-2013-110: The Film Noir Series — Double Indemnity (1944) Your browser does not support this audio We continue down the noir path with a lively dissection of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. Right from the start I cop to being in love with nearly every aspect of the film, part…
 
The dark knight rises... RC-2013-111: No Country for Old Men (2007) Your browser does not support this audio Let's call this episode "The Roger Ebert Memorial Commentary." The prolific critic felt No Country for Old Men was as good as any picture made by the Coens (and in the very next clause he warmed my heart by adding, "and they made Fargo.") St…
 
Paul Newman and Katherine Ross, dodging raindropsRC-2013-113: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Your browser does not support this audio William Goldman researched the story for years, and director George Roy Hill toiled through the production with a bad back so that now, years later, some creep on the Internet can blithely say that their f…
 
Paul Newman's takes a lickin' but keeps on kickin' as a quasi-Christ figure in his signature role RC-2013-115: Cool Hand Luke (1967) Your browser does not support this audio Cool Hand Luke was a timely allegory for 1960s-era tumult, and I discuss why Paul Newman—and not Brando—makes a perfect Lucas Jackson. After rattling off some prison movie trop…
 
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