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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (seeKids 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.
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.
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!
Episode 4 – back for…war? On the eve of the end of America’s long national nightmare, and possibly the dawn of World War III, this week’s podcast is topical. I review the new Mel Gibson movie Hacksaw Ridge, the real story of medal of honor recipient Desmond Doss. A movie that lionizes its subject and delivers just enough (but not too much) schmaltz, I found it to surpass my expectations bigly (big league?). TheTimMan then joins me to discuss our 5 favorite war films of all time, and hilarity ensues.
For our Halloween episode of the Catholic Movie Guy Podcast, we tackle the classic horror film The Shining, by master director Stanley Kubrick. Content cautious types beware: one of my favorite priests is not a fan; nor is the USCCB. But the discerning viewer willing to take the plunge should be rewarded. The film contains incredible directing, luscious cinematography, and iconic performances. TheTimMan and I discuss just what exactly happened in the movie, on and beneath the surface. Was Danny possessed? Is the shining a gift or a curse? Was the hotel the problem, or was it the father? Is Shelley Duvall attractive? We also discuss a couple crazier theories of the subliminal meanings of the movie. Finally, there’s even a connection to Dante.
I owe a large debt on this one to the Catholic Cinephile, whose review prompted me to revisit the film.
For more on the interesting (and/or crazy) theories on the hidden meanings of the movie, check out the documentary Room 237 (available right now on Netflix – same content warnings apply).
If you enjoy the show, please give it a five-star review on iTunes – it makes a big difference. Happy Halloween!
As always, the show’s intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.
Image above By Carlos Pacheco from Toronto, Canada (Redrum door – The Shining) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
America wanted it, and now, it’s here: CMG Podcast Episode 2! Even better than Attack of the Clones!
A discussion of the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, their Oscar-winning magnum opus. Moral content description available here. One of my absolute favorites of all time, despite (or because of?) the difficult themes it presents. I argue strongly against the nihilistic reading of the film by the great Steven Greydanus, the beloved St. Corbinian’s Bear, and countless others.
Plus (spoiler alert) where in the world did Chigurh go in that hotel room, or was he even there at all? And, did my wife like the movie?
I discuss all this and more, bourbon in hand, with TheTimMan.
If you enjoy the show, please give it a five-star review on iTunes – it makes a big difference. Enjoy!
As always, the show’s intro and outro music is Wastecnology by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA.
Image above by Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Well, here it is – the inaugural Catholic Movie Guy Podcast, Episode 1. In this episode, I introduce myself and the podcast and get into an in-depth discussion with TheTimMan about On the Waterfront, the great 1954 Academy Award winning film starring the even-greater Marlon Brando. A wonderful film about conscience, Catholicism, sacrifice, unions, prizefighters, and pigeons (presaging Mike Tyson by 30 years). What more can you ask for from a film?
Along the way you will learn many interesting things about the movie and your humble podcaster. Why is the TheTimMan obsessed with Metropolitan, and will I let him get away with it? Who would win in a fight, Mike Ditka or Marlon Brando? How did the Catholic Movie Guy get Jiminy Glick, Jack Buck, and Brando on the podcast (from beyond the grave, even)? Did his wife like the movie? How many technical fouls lead to a podcast ejection? Why are these two unqualified losers doing a podcast anyway? There’s even a discussion of what the film has to say about a priest’s duties in light of Vatican II.
I hope you learn a new perspective on the film, or at least laugh a little bit (either with or at us). If you enjoy the show, please give it a five-star review on iTunes – it makes a big difference.
In the show we make reference Roger Ebert’s review of the film, and I encourage you to read it for its own sake.
My name’s Steve, and I took the liberty of dubbing myself the Catholic Movie Guy. Why, you may ask? Because I have some sort of training or expertise in the realm of film? Oh my, no. Just because I am a Catholic, a guy, and I love movies (plus, it sounded catchy). I may blog from time to time, but this site is mainly designed to be a landing place for my podcast, cleverly titled the Catholic Movie Guy Podcast. I know there are several sites with movie reviews from a Catholic perspective (many of which you can find linked on the Good Sites page), but I could find no regularly-updated podcast from a similar perspective. The podcast will also answer fascinating questions like, “Who is the TheTimMan?”; “Did his wife like the movie?”; “Why does the movie Metropolitan figure so prominently?;” and “How many technical fouls are allowed before one is ejected from a podcast?” So here we go. Stay tuned for regular podcasts, hopefully at least once a week.