Mad Max: Fury Road (Best of 2015)

Sorry for the late post this week, but real life intruded on my illustrious podcast empire.

This week we continue our Best of 2015 Series.  I am joined by the Doctor, Bud Marr, and the Master, Bo Bonner, to (over?) analyze the George Miller action flick Mad Max: Fury Road.

Content advisory aside, this is a psychedelic take on the futuristic
“guy movie,” one with a little more to say beneath the surface than usual.

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA. Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

Gangs of New York (2002)

Welp,

My last post on this movie abruptly disappeared, so I am reposting it here for posterity’s sake – if anyone can explain why that would happen, please comment and let me know!

 

Best of 2016: Arrival

Deja vu all over again?  Or are we merely stepping out of our linear experience of time for a more holistic view?

Although I reviewed this film in short, non-spoiler form on Episode 6, its acclaim and themes deserve a full podcast.  So I am joined by the Master, Bo Bonner, for a thorough, spoiler-filled review of Arrival to continue our Best of 2016 Series.

Starring Amy Adams (in a near-perfect performance) and directed by Denis Villeneuve, Arrival garnered much praise from the critical and Christian circles.  We examine the themes of the film as well as asking the important questions:  Is the plot coherent?  Is it pro-life?  And why do I not like Jeremy Renner?

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by Mozilla [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Room (Best of 2015 Series)

Many Catholics aren’t hip to new-ish movies of worth (having shunned the world and all); and if they are trying to watch a movie, it’s usually  from their couch, because who can afford to go out (especially if you need a babysitter)?

That’s why I’ve decided to branch off from the popular Best of 2016 Series and start a Best of 2015 Series: these movies are still new enough that you may not have seen them, but they are also widely available via streaming services, so you can watch them comfortably and affordably.

The first entry in this series is my favorite movie of all from 2015: Room,  starring Brie Larson.  Directed by Lenny Abrahamson based on the Emma Donoghue novel, it is an emotionally wrenching but beautiful story of love, survival, learning, and growing under dire circumstances.

And since TheTimMan doesn’t watch new (or new-ish) movies, I am joined once again by the Master, Bo Bonner, in thoroughly critiquing and appreciating this masterpiece.

But before you listen, go watch the movie (it’s available on Amazon Prime, among many other places).

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Jerry Maguire

Continuing two themes from last week’s episode – what did Tim happen to watch and sports movies – we tackle (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) the 1996 Cameron Crowe film Jerry Maguire.

Starring Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger, with an Academy Award-winning supporting performance from Cuba Gooding, Jr., we use this flawed but engaging movie as a springboard to discuss the inner workings of grace and the true meaning of marriage (seriously), amidst the normal frivolous banter.

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn (American Forces Press Service)  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Emergency Podcast: Tim Saw a Sports Movie

The Catholic Movie Guy Podcast is a reflection of its host(s).  Sometimes, this means that a podcast is dedicated to a dissection of weighty or difficult spiritual themes (e.g., Silence); sometimes, it’s an appreciation of a worthy new film (e.g., La La Land) or a classic (e.g., A Man for All Seasons).

But sometimes, we just have to talk about a movie we saw.  And today is one of those times.  Therefore, I called for an emergency podcast to address a minor miracle:  theTimMan actually watched a sports movie, despite his disdain for them.

In this episode, we discuss that special film (The Blind Side) and express our thoughts on other sports movies and the genre generally.  And did my wife like it?  Tune in to find out.

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hughes/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Best of 2016: La La Land

The dreaded musical.

The bane of man’s existence.  The fly in the ointment of the cinematic universe.  I HATE MUSICALS.  Without exception.

Until, of course, La La Land.  Damien Chazelle’s 2016 neo-musical (is that a thing?) starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling has garnered a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations and become a hip thing to hate almost simultaneously. Is it over-, under-, or properly-rated?

To help me evaluate the film, given my dearth of musical knowledge, I am joined by the Catholic Movie Gal.  We discuss why this movie, despite its being a musical, is one of my favorite films of 2016.

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by Jelson26 (Own work) [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Miller’s Crossing

Oh, no – another Coen brothers’ movie!

Well, here on the Coen Brothers Podcast Catholic Movie Guy Podcast, we can’t resist discussing greatness.  This time we canvass their 1990 neo-noir/gangster film Miller’s Crossing, starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, and John Turturro.  We focus on this classic film with an amazing score, asking how we can evaluate characters’ virtues within an immoral milieu.  We also ponder why the film did not fare well at the box office, and ask why it never made the cultural impact of Goodfellas, a similarly themed film from the same year.  Find out where it ranks in theTimMan’s all time Coen movies and stay to see if my wife liked it.

For those interested in a deep dive, please also read the amazing evaulation of the movie by Christopher Orr at the Atlantic.

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Photo by Gailirish (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Silence

For our fabulous fifteenth podcast, the Brewmaster General and I tackle the controversial 2016 film Silence.  Directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the Shusaku Endo novel of the same name, the film tackles big issues: faith, love, evil, acculturation, martyrdom, and apostasy.

Silence is a beautiful, gruesome, depressing, hopeful, infuriating, enlightening, and all-around difficult film;  one which is neither the anti-Catholic (or apostasy encouraging) screed nor faith-affirming propaganda some reviews would have you believe.  For the well-formed conscience, it presents many worthy ideas for consideration, meditation, and discussion; but does it satisfactorily resolve them?

Forewarned is forearmed – this movie spoils the movie and the book in a major way, but I think this is a movie/book that is actually better to have spoiled before watching/reading.

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA.  Painting of the Nagasaki Martyrs by the Cuzco School [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Best of 2016 Series – Hail, Caesar!

My Best of 2016 Series continues with Hail, Caesar!  Yet another Coen brothers’ film, the Timman and I discuss in-depth this interesting (and Catholic?) movie, starring Josh Brolin as one of the most admirable Catholic characters since the Golden Age of Hollywood.

How can something so ridiculous as the movies mean so much?  Is the movie celebrating religion, mocking it, or both?  Is the studio the Church?  How do we reconcile the use of profanity in this movie and art in general?  Where does the film rank in the Coens’ filmography?  Did my wife like it?

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA. Photo by Rclick-wiki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Best of 2016 Podcast – Hell or High Water

Howdy, ya’ll.

This week we continue our Best of 2016 series with Hell or High Water, the 2016 western starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine.  It is definitely in my personal Top 5 for 2016.  Set in West Texas, I bring on my good friends Dr. Bud Marr and Professor Bo Bonnor of the UnCommon Good on Iowa Catholic Radio to discuss this engrossing picture.

Who was in the right in this movie?  Is there space in Catholicism for Robin Hood?  What makes a Western, a Western?  Did my wife like it?

Hope you enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA. Photo by Siebbi (Wikimedia Commons file copied from Ipernity (archive)) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

Best of 2016 Series: Love and Friendship

Happy Twelfth Night!

Our first episode of 2017 is the first in a sporadic series:  my favorite movies of 2016.  Instead of just reading a top ten list, throughout the year I will dedicate certain podcasts to examining in-depth my favorite (and, therefore, the very best) movies of 2016.

This week, theTimMan and I focus on Love and Friendship.  Written and directed by Whit Stillman based on an unfinished Jane Austen work, it is a funny, intelligent, and enlightening film about – spoiler alert – love and friendship.

Male listeners/readers: do not despair! This is the rare romantic comedy/historical period piece that you might actually enjoy watching with your significant other!  Listen to find out why.  Discussion is spoiler free until about the last five minutes.  Give it a shot as a well-rounded guy – you’ll be better for it!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar Betterwithmusic, CC BY-SA. Photo in Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Episode 11 – The Other Christmas (?) Movies Podcast

Episode 11 is here!

We all know the 12 days of Christmas START, not end, on Christmas Day. Still, sometimes by Christmas day you’ve seen all the Christmas classics and, quite frankly, are sick of them. We discussed our favorite classic Christmas movies on Episode 8, which you should check out if you haven’t already.

For those who have worn out all the classic movies already, for this lighthearted post-Christmas-day-but-still-Christmas-season episode (affectionately titled, “Christmas Detritus”), theTimMan and I stay in the Christmas spirit by discussing some lesser-known Christmas or Christmas-ish movies. Expand your Christmas-ish movie horizons, or at least laugh with (at) us, won’t you?

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA. Photo by Harke [GFDL  or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Catholic Movie Guy on Iowa Catholic Radio

For those who can’t get enough Catholic Movie Guy audio, I was interviewed by Iowa Catholic Radio’s the Uncommon Good program in the recent past.  That interview is airing today, December 28th, at 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m on Iowa Catholic Radio.  Those outside of Iowa can listen online here.

If you miss it live, don’t fret: you can download the Uncommon Good Podcast shortly after airing via iTunes or Android. Check out the show’s website for more information.

We discussed why I started the podcast and the reasons for having a podcast on popular culture from a Catholic’s perspective.  Hope you enjoy.

Podcast Episode 10 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 

Episode 10 has arrived, just in time for Festivus (not to mention Christmas) listening.

On this episode, I am joined by special guest Bo Bonner, Director of Campus Ministry and Assistant Professor at Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA.  Bo is a smart guy, movie buff, and medium-level Star Wars nerd. 

Fear not if you haven’t seen it: we discuss the film and its place in the Star Wars universe spoiler-free for the large majority of the podcast.  Toward the last third or so, after a clear warning, we head into spoiler territory. 

We discuss the moral implications of the film, the religious aspects of the force in the movie, the excellent action sequences, and why it’s a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon.

Merry Christmas to all!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA. Photo by Tkgd2007 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Podcast Episode 9 – A Man for All Seasons

Episode 9, feeling fine.

On this week’s podcast, we tackle an all time classic, A Man for All Seasons.  Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Academy Award winner never fails to impress.  Poignant and resonant, it is a movie that, despite or perhaps because of its release date and subject matter, feels just as relevant today as ever.

We discuss the movie in light of recent events in the pontificate of Pope Francis in addition to the purely historical aspects of St. Thomas’ predicament.  We also meet Bourbon TimMan and find out my wife’s thoughts on the film.

Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.  Above photo by Colin Smith [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.

Podcast Episode 8 – Best Christmas Movies

‘Tis the season to watch the movies!

Even though it’s still over two weeks away, we are here to prepare you for Christmas.  On this hard-hitting, extra-long, bonanza blowout episode of the podcast, we canvass our favorite Christmas movies.  TheTimMan and I propose four of our own picks and finally agree on the best Christmas movie of all time.  What makes a film a “Christmas movie” anyway?  Is It’s a Wonderful Life theologically problematic, or am I just jaded and cynical?  Are your favorite Christmas movies just the movies you watched as an adolescent?  What’s the best version of the Christmas Carol?  What does my wife think about all this?

Lots of banter and good viewing/listening suggestions for the season.  Enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.

Photo and tree by Magnus Manske (From wiki en: Christmas_tree.jpg) GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Episode 7 – What’s on Netflix – Burn After Reading

Episode 7 – a slice of heaven (decidedly not)!

On this one, TheTimMan and I have no idea what to focus on, so we decide to discuss what’s on Netflix.  Fortunately, since we have genetic similarities, we discover that we both recently watched Burn After Reading.  A 2008 Coen Brothers’ film (notice a theme on this podcast?), it is a bawdy (article on bawdiness from a Catholic perspective, referenced on the podcast, at Crisis Magazine) but well-done riff on spy flicks and human vainglory.  Content not for everyone (see Kids In Mind  description and Steven Greydanus review at Decent Films).

But even if you don’t feel comfortable watching it, won’t you download and even listen to our bourbon-fueled meanderings?

Next week we tackle the best Christmas movies, whether the Brewmaster General likes it or not.

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.

Photo by Andreas Tai (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Catholic Movie Guy Episode 6 – Arrival; Walking Movies

Get your fix with Episode 6!

On the Thanksgiving week edition of the Catholic Movie Guy Podcast, we have a melange.  First, I give a brief, spoiler-free review of the new movie Arrival, a sci-fi mind-bender with a great performance by Amy Adams.  Then TheTimMan comes by to discuss two “walking” movies:  The Way, starring Martin Sheen, and A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

We address all the important questions on this one.  Can a linguist save the world?  Why won’t the Brewmaster General come on the podcast?  Could Nick Nolte really hike the Appalachian Trail with the Hippy Shakes?  What is the proper ash distribution to make along the Camino de Santiago?  Did my wife like any of these movies?  Brilliant, all the way around.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.

Above image by Nieuw~commonswiki CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons.

Catholic Movie Guy Episode 5 – Inside Llewyn Davis

Number 5 is alive!

In this episode, TheTimMan and I take the stage to discuss Inside Llewyn Davis.  The 2013 Coen brothers’ film is superficially about the folk music scene in Greenwich Village in 1961, but really about the struggle between following our own desires or the paths laid before our feet.  Critically acclaimed, with a wonderful performance by Oscar Isaac (pictured above).  Lots of grist for the Catholic mill, too.

Could the Coen brothers have made a genuinely pro-life movie, or are we riffing too much?  Is the cat Llewyn (it is)?  Did my wife like it?  We also touch on the Dante connection,  the genius of Bob Dylan, and various other enlightening themes in the movie.  TheTimMan even gave up his gallbladder to get this thing done, so enjoy!

 

As always, intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.

Above photo by Christopher William Adach from London, UK (WP – random_-4) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons