We go through the entire year chronologically covering titles that range from THE STEPFATHER to SPACEBALLS and everything in between (LA BAMBA, BROADCAST NEWS, WALL STREET, THE GATE and so much more). Yes, some big titles come up, but have no fear, we talk OVER THE TOP and ISHTAR too. Some debates come up mainly revolving around horror films, but for the most part, it's a friendly 4-hour conversation between 3 die-hard movie fans that enjoy sharing memories, insights, and reviews. At the end of this, we list our favorite films of 1987. We hope you enjoy each the conversation, and yes, consider this our major malfunction! Eventually, we snapped out of it. This is Part Two.
PART ONE (OF TWO): Nothing's gonna stop us now! Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back thirty years to when three film critics fell in love with going to the movies. The mid-80s informed a lot of my taste, and much like previous years' retrospectives, it's always a blast to go back and see what holds up and what we each consider to be personal favorites from a particular year. RogerEbert.com's very own Erik Childress and Collin Souter return for what is officially a yearly tradition that started thanks to original podcast creator Jim Laczkowski (that's me). We started with 1985 two years ago, and plan to do this all the way up until 1999 as a bonus excursion for reflection, nostalgia, and to celebrate those 80s and 90s kids that adored film as much as we did.
It is my esteemed pleasure and honor to introduce the all-new Director's Club! This is the first official episode hosted by your two new hosts. The great Brad and Al have been handed the keys to the kingdom and inherited a chocolate factory. Please give them your support, kind words, and feedback for their stay here on the podcast. It will continue to be bi-weekly, sometimes featuring guests, sometimes not. The format is very similar so don't fret.
This is the end! Well, no of course not. But this is the last episode where I officially host. Fear not, there will be bonus episodes and I’ll be guesting from time to time throughout the year. Give all your support to Al & Brad when they begin in three weeks on the Danny Boyle episode. Of course, this is the year-end spectacular for 2016 and it should come as no surprise that it’s 4 hours long. I enlisted the help of two great friends of mine to contribute their thoughts on the year that was, as well as sharing their favorite films of 2016. Supporting Characters’ very own Bill Ackerman as well as Film Jive co-host Zach Betonte expand with me in great detail about memorable moments in film from the year that was!
What I have prepared for you is a gift that I will call the "Royal Sampler Volume One." It contains short clips from all the podcasts featured at The Now Playing Network such as Vinyl Emergency and Tracks of the Damned, as well as extended highlights from Supporting Characters & Director's Club from over the years. You also get a brief glimpse into some of my interviewing skills with various guests over the years. There's also some kind of unusual collage towards the end. This is a special episode, highlighting the talented folks of NPN for the first half, and then highlighting some of the better moments from the recent wave of Director's Club episodes.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. And I want to say thank you for all the very kind words and messages in regards to my introduction from the last episode in which I announced the show will be hosted by two different voices next year. For this episode, it is my pleasure to welcome back two special guests from the past that have meant a great deal to me and for their friendship, I am grateful. The first is the co-host of RowThree.com’s Cinecast, and has been a frequent contributor to the show here going all the way back to his first appearance on the Michael Winterbottom episode, the loquacious and astute Kurt Halfyard. The other is a film graduate and she has joined me twice this year, the intelligent and good-natured Kate Blair. We cover the surprising winner of the listener’s poll, UK’s very own Jonathan Glazer.
I will be leaving Director's Club as full-time host in mid-January. Not only will Bill be my guest for Episode 121, he joins me today to discuss the life and films of a fascinating figure by the name of Peter Bogdanovich. We talk about his most renowned work such as THE LAST PICTURE SHOW & PAPER MOON, but we also touch upon overlooked gems like TARGETS, THEY ALL LAUGHED & SAINT JACK. There's a review for all of his films overall. Please listen to the entire episode this time around, it would be greatly appreciated. And I can't thank Bill enough once again for another wonderful conversation and education about one of cinema's greats! For some reason, we forgot to give our top three lists!
The introduction finds me reflecting on baseball, The Cubs, and the city of Chicago which segways nicely into my first guest who is from the South Side. John McNaughton got his start early on in theater, and then collaborated with talented actors to make the truly disturbing HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. Then I talk to Courtney Hunt about her courtroom drama THE WHOLE TRUTH and conclude the episode with a joyful conversation about the new animated film TROLLS with directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn!
Folks, I had no choice. I was forced to allow DJ Tanner to take over the feed at exactly 12am on October 31st, 2016, or my soul would be damned forever. Sadly, the same goes for you if you choose NOT to listen. So please, save yourselves! Listen to this special mix of scary songs, followed by a scary story hosted by DJ Tanner who will introduce you to the proceedings before letting the shuffle button take control. I am still traumatized by the masked men that came into my home and forced me to upload this at 12am. Please, you have to listen to this either on Halloween or any day you want to get the willies. Happy Halloween to all, and to all a good fright!
The Hollywood Reporter said that MEATHEAD GOES HOG WILD is "A psycho-breakdown flick that goes full-tilt violent without losing its odd, almost endearing underlying friendliness." Which is a great summation of this thought-provoking dark comedy that is somewhat inspired by one of my favorite movies AFTER HOURS. One of its creators, Sean Pierce has been on the show twice before as a guest for the Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder episodes. Along with Zach and Kevin, they each played a significant role in putting together an urban monster movie of sorts that's sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but consistently entertaining.
Happy Halloween everyone! Ever wondered the origin of the "jump scare?" Well, it has been documented as being in the director of this episode's classic masterpiece known as CAT PEOPLE! French film director known for the classic film noir Out of the Past and a series of low-budget horror films he made for RKO Studios, we're talking about another old-school master of the craft. Of course, with a filmography as vast and versatile as Jacques Tourneur's, I needed help. Well, I always need help and lots of it. Thankfully I employed the ghoulish intellect (?) from two excellent former guests and podcasters. Robert Reineke and Nat Almirall are back!
We are hoping that this offering for October will encourage you to donate to the network, but again, no obligation, just a request: http://www.nowplayingnetwork.net/donation/. Patrick is a movie commentary savant at this point, thanks to his terrific show Tracks of the Damned. So I invited him down to my place for an in-depth analysis on John Carpenter's THE THING. Many laughs were had, theories were discussed, and a blood test was administered. The big question is: Who is THE THING and when? And does the introduction of McCready tie into the way the film wraps up? Also why did DMX show up for a few minutes? All of these questions may or may not be answered. I should've given Patrick a bottle of whiskey at the end of this truly joyful commentary on one of my all-time top five favorite horror films. Happy October everyone!
Two very good friends and former guests join me for a live roundtable discussion on New Zealand director Peter Jackson. Both Collin Souter and Al Kwiatkowski have contributed to the show many times before, and they're among my favorite people to talk films with. As most of you know, Peter Jackson wasn't always the award-winning mastermind behind LORD OF THE RINGS, he started out in horror/comedy, long before there was SHAUN OF THE DEAD. We begin with his debut splatterfest that took him about 3 years to complete. BAD TASTE is what got his foot into the door but I would consider his breakout film to also be the first film of his that I rented at a videostore as a teenager and that would DEAD-ALIVE. We also touch upon HEAVENLY CREATURES, THE FRIGHTENERS, KING KONG and THE LOVELY BONES.
Instead of the usual rambling intro and outro for this particular episode, I decided to let this conversation exist as is, unedited. It's a follow-up phone call to the great Allan Moyle (PUMP UP THE VOLUME). If you haven't heard Part One of our conversation, I highly encourage you to begin there first since that's how the magic began. The description from Part One is relisted below so you get the whole story as to why these interviews mean a lot to me.
Well everyone, after a couple of months of waiting in anticipation, I was able to get a hold of Allan Moyle. "Who?!" you might ask. Well, he's responsible for films such as TIMES SQUARE, EMPIRE RECORDS, NEW WATERFORD GIRL, and many more. But the film that has a special place in my heart, as listeners should know, is his 1990 teenage rebellion masterpiece PUMP UP THE VOLUME. At the time of viewing this movie, I wasn't the biggest fan of Christian Slater, my music taste was limited, and I was going through my first experience of severe depression. Then my favorite film critic, Nick Digilio of WGN Radio, reviewed PUMP in the summer of 1990. I went to see it, and my life was forever changed. It didn't cure me of depression obviously, but it helped and gave me a renewed sense of hope. A faith that cinema and art could also transform into a therapeutic, enlightening experience.
On board this time is another great returning guest by the name of Chris Olson of The Pop Culture Lens podcast. It was an immense pleasure to have a fantastic discussion on the true pioneer of independent filmmaking, Mr. Roger Corman. Obviously, it’s hard to see every movie he’s ever been involved with but we do our best to cover such notable titles like A BUCKET OF BLOOD, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE PREMATURE BURIAL, THE INTRUDER, FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND and many many more.
Nicholas Ray is now one of my top ten favorite filmmakers of all time. I had seen REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE when I was younger, but it wasn’t until recently that I went back to check out about a half a dozen of his films back-to-back. I realized the more that I watched, the more I responded to his work thematically. Joining me once again to talk about this legendary director is returning guest Sergio Mims, one of the smartest critics I know. And boy does he have some stories to share throughout our conversation that made my jaw drop. We go through several titles including THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, IN A LONELY PLACE, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, JOHNNY GUITAR, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, and BIGGER THAN LIFE. Sergio also mentions a couple of other films worth seeking out. Nicholas Ray has lead quite the life, and we dive into a lot regarding the man and his movies, both on-screen and off.