It's nearing the end of October and that means things are getting spooky. To celebrate the western/horror elements of Westworld, we decided to review Tremors! Craig, Heather, and Jake discuss the incredible pacing and consistency (3:42), the great characters (11:25), the clear motivations (18:11), the creatures and special FX (21:24), a fun fact (27:21), and their favorite moments (30:23).
The neo-noir sci-fi Blade Runner is considered one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time and features many of the same themes as Westworld. In anticipation of the sequel Blade Runner 2049, we thought it would be good to visit the original. Craig, Heather, and Jake preview their discussion of the film.
Exciting Westworld news! Jimmi Simpson announced he will be returning for season 2 and we have three new cast members joining the fold. Also Craig and Jonathan preview their discussion of another theme park gone awry, the 1993 sci-fi classic Jurassic Park.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is considered one of the greatest and most influential westerns of all-time and for good reason. Craig and Jake discuss the history behind the film (2:10), the music (6:41), Clint Eastwood (11:37), the costumes and sets (13:16), the details (16:01), the influence (21:10), the lack of a great villain (26:40), unnecessary scenes (30:49), the horrible dubbing and the need for more silence (32:08), and the amazing bridge scene (41:35).
Love Ed Harris as a cowboy in black? Then you should watch Appaloosa (2008). Co-written, directed, and starring Ed Harris, this western is one that subverts just about every expectation. Craig and Jake discuss their general impressions (2:02), the brilliance of Viggo Mortensen (10:32), Virgile and Alli’s relationship (21:35), and their favorite parts of the movie (37:41).
Do you like watching Ed Harris as a cowboy? Good news! There’s a whole movie where he does just that. Craig and Jake will be reviewing Appaloosa (2008). Here’s a quick preview along with some news about the podcast.
If you have an HBO subscription, Appaloosa is available in the movie library right now for free.
The Seven Samurai (1954) is considered not only one of the greatest samurai films ever but one of the greatest films ever. Craig and Jake discuss the the film’s history and Kurosawa’s brilliance (1:36), our general impressions of the movie (20:05), the use of movement and weather (27:40), the women in the movie (30:12), 13 Assassins (36:30), their favorite moments (39:47), and Craig’s trip to Japan (43:18).
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) is the drag queen western you never knew you needed. Starring Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo, this mid-90s gem is an amazing genre-bending, gender-bending western.
Craig and Jake discuss facts about the film (6:42), why this movie is a western (13:15), how incredible Swayze, Snipes, and Leguizamo are (18:36), the Robin Williams and Naomi Campbell cameos (19:56), Sherrif “Dullard” (21:58), the faults of the film (31:13), how almost no one realized they were men (41:35), the politics inherent in the film (44:52), and some fun trivia (52:24).
If you haven’t watched To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, do it. It’s the drag queen western you never knew you wanted. Craig and Jake give a preview.
Craig, Heather, and Jake loved the original Ghost in the Shell (1995). And they were excited to see the new one. They discuss exciting Westworld news (:50), the new Ghost in the Shell (5:10), spoilers and the Fate of the Furious trailer (5:51), comparing the original with the live-action (7:29), the clarity of the film (7:58), the cybernetic enhancements (13:53), the geisha-bots and the spider tank (15:06), the depiction of “the net” (24:08), Kuze and the lack of existential crisis (25:38), Batou, Pilou Asbæk, Togusa, and the garbagemen (34:21), the advertisements (42:35), the big controversy (48:03), connections to Lost in Translation (54:05), and therm-optics and mind-comm (55:34).
Ghost in the Shell is considered one of the great science fiction anime films of all time—and for good reason. Craig, Heather, and Jake got together to review it in anticipation of the new version set to release at the end of March. They discuss facts about the movie and their general impressions (1:40), the film’s influences (8:43), the brilliant animation (14:30), the question of consciousness (19:54), sexuality and gender identity (28:10), favorite moments (36:22), and their thoughts about the 2017 version (45:07).
Artwork by Oksana Latysheva from The Noun Project
A modern western classic, The Revenant is a must-watch for anyone that’s a fan of the genre. Jake and Craig watched it. They discuss the film’s place among its contemporaries (2:08), the brilliance of Tom Hardy (4:07), why we'd never want to be an 1800s fur trapper (13:50), the bear attack (15:20), the amazing raid scene at the beginning of the movie (22:08), Jake’s experience during his first viewing (31:30), the film’s ridiculous beauty (38:21), the magical realism with a brief break to talk about Glass cauterizing his neck wound (45:44), the Native Americans (53:22), and what makes this movie a western (55:45).
The Revenant is one of the best westerns (no, not the hotel chain) in recent memory. Craig and Jake give a short preview of their discussion of this modern epic.
Wild Wild West was the western/scif-fi/action/comedy/steampunk mashup we never knew we needed. Craig, Heather, and Jake review the 1999 classic.
They discuss 60s tv show upon which it is based (1:25), differences between the show and movie (3:48), facts about the movie (11:56), where they all were during the summer of 1999 (29:59), the film’s needless exposition and lack of physics or continuity (35:55), crossdressing Kevin Klein (42:27), how the movie was likely made for 13-year-old boys (44:47), the largely useless female characters (47:35), the amazing and terrible special FX (53:51), how long it actually takes to go west (59:29), Kevin Smith and the giant spider (1:00:34), why there hasn’t been a great steampunk movie yet (1:06:39), the brilliance of Kenneth Branagh (1:12:50), and why we still love the movie (1:18:59).
What would you think if you heard we were going to review a western/sci-fi mashup based on something from over 40 years ago? If you thought Westworld, you thought wrong! We're reviewing the 1999 steampunk classic Wild Wild West. Craig, Jake, and Heather give you a preview.