Friday, December 10, 2010
facebook: The Doomsday Machine
Monday, November 29, 2010
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I got excited last weekend about the time Disney released Secretariat. Not for the film itself, but upon seeing the TV ads that had run the previous weeks, I ordered a copy of an overlooked comedy about horse racing from the late 80's that I happened to catch on HBO one summer in my teenage years....and my DVD finally arrived. Let it Ride stars Richard Dreyfuss as Jay Trotter, a man trying to break his gambling habits in order to save his marriage only to then have a sure bet fall in his lap. The quick-witted screenplay and brilliant casting makes for a very funny, quirky and enjoyable film. Screenwriter Nancy Dowd and first-time feature director Joe Pytka do a great job of capturing the setting of the racetrack as well as the mindset of the everyday bettor. Dreyfuss once again delivers a comedic performance on the money, but the real jewels of this movie are the side characters. David Johansen is hilarious as Trotter's best friend and biggest loser of the group of riff-raff they hang around the track with. Teri Garr was a great choice to play his wife who is used to having her heart broken time after time. Jennifer Tilly plays her trademark dim-witted character, this time with more sex-appeal, and many other recognizable faces pop up as well, like Allen Garfield, Robbie Coltrain, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Longo, and Richard Dimitri (Roman Maroni from Johnny Dangerously) just to name a few. Richard Edson, the garage attendant from Ferris Bueller has all of eight lines and is one of the funniest people in the movie. These days, a story with this many characters would have the director trying to shoehorn in equal screen time for a bunch of egos, but this one gets it right and gives the viewer no more than they need. A collaborative effort between writing, performance and editing generates a comedy with a good pace, and it all wraps up in a tidy 90-minute package. There aren't many copies out there but getting hold of one is well worth the effort.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We conclude our “Best of the Decade” talk with the top 10 lists of Matt Fickel, Cody Franklin, and Jeff Ayala. Will Fickel put “Tetro” on his list? Will there be a ‘Shotgun Stories’ in Jerf’s future? How many more times does ‘There Will Be Blood’ Appear? Tim Sigur makes an appearance by email and our own beloved Reverend Renke delivers a spiritual message to us after the discussion, so besure and stay tuned all the way through. Enjoy.
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Monday, August 30, 2010
The roundtable discussion continues with the "best of" lists offered by Hal Duncan, Eric Meisner and Scott Griffin. Rounding out the table are Cody Franklin, Matt Fickel, and Jeff Ayala. Even though Phillip is not here in this episode, he does manage to make an appearance. Enjoy.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010
And so it comes to this. After weeks of studying, viewing and ranking, the members of "The Doomsday Machine" have put together their own top ten films of the decade lists and have gathered once again to educate the rest of the world on what they should be watching. Up first is our good friend Phillip Renke, who gets an entire hour devoted to him because he found time in his busy schedule to drive up from Austin just to hang out with us for one night. Enjoy.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010
Last week marked the one year anniversary of the passing of John Hughes. This podcast was recorded shortly after his death in August 2009. At first I was doubtful that it would see the light of day due to the unforseen technical frustrations of having sixpeople online simultaniously, but after many hours in the editing room, we we're able to piece something together and pay tribute to a man who has carved out a
special place in all of our hearts.
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Monday, August 9, 2010
Patricia Neal was never a huge Hollywood Starlet, just one of the better actresses of her generation. Neal had a commanding voice with a no nonsense face that lead to her playing strong women who were in control. She had a long career (1949-2009) with some serious health issues that hindered her from having a great second half of a career. Neal also had a successful TV career, but I want to concentrate on a couple of classic films that everyone should see. The Fountainhead(1949) with Gary Cooper was her first film, and she holds her own with Coop. Based on the famous Ayn Rand book, it is a enjoyable film that lead to a torrid affair between her and Cooper. In The Day The Earth Stood Still(1951) Neal plays a mother who finds out her house guest is a alien. One of the greatest Sci Fi films of all time, Neal is easily the best actor in the film. A Face In The Crowd(1957) she gives a flawless performance as a radio reporter who discovers drunk Lonesome Rhodes(Andy Griffith's best role) and turns him into a Superstar. This film is a must see and works better today then it did in '57. This is Andy Griffith's film, but Neal is the most human element in the movie and she is who you connect with. Patricia Neal's best performance and one of my favorite films of all time is Hud(1963). In a film where legends like Melvyn Douglas and Paul Newman give one of their best performances, she still stands out. Neal was so prominent in this film she won a Best Actress Oscar for a supporting role. As a viewer you fall in love with her, and eventually these affections cause you to turn on Hud, then forgive him as she does. A couple of years after Hud she had three strokes at the age of forty,and had to learn how to walk and talk again. This set back forced her to turn down roles that could have made her more well known today. The most noteable was the role as Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate (1967). Patricia Neal died of lung cancer at the age of 84.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
It looks like Inception is receiving more controversy than it deserves, not so much over the content of the movie, but of its seemingly overrated status by the fanboys. Some of us feel like the audiences of today have forgotten what good cinema used to be like, while others feel that Christopher Nolan has broken the mold and reinvented the motion picture. There is absolutely no one in this argument that thinks the film or the filmmaker is lacking in quality or skill. Inception is a perfect balance between every technical and aesthetic element that makes a good movie, and Nolan is without a doubt one of the best directors working today. However, the topic at hand has summoned an emergency meeting of war room officials and now we invite you to join the debate.
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Friday, July 30, 2010
As early as the 1960's, the major television networks were airing “made for TV” movies on a regular basis. Filmmakers and audiences together created a market for that bridge between the movie theater and your living room. Ever since then that market has grown and even splintered into (sort of) sub-genres of low production value films. Over the years, the Lifetime television network realized the potential for consistent viewership simply by airing these movies and eventually producing them. In a way the network has almost created it's own niche in the made for TV world as we often refer to these films as “Lifetime movies.”
In the same way we enjoy disastrous charms such as “Kickboxing Academy” and “Samurai Cop,” we've all been subject to, and highly enjoyed, the highly dramatized, poorly acted works that have found a home on the Lifetime network. Sisters for Lifetime is a blog that celebrates these treasures we have grown up with over the years. Recently, one of the founders of SFL stopped by the Doomsday studio to talk about her new site and it sparked a conversation about not just Lifetime movies, but chick-flicks and guilty pleasures of all types. Enjoy.
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Read my review of the Lifetime move Cradle of Lies on Sisters for Lifetime (under my female pseudonym).
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Johnny Lawrence, Chaz Ozborne and Greg Tolin....Three 80s-era villains all brilliantly portrayed by a man whose face should be on the "mount rushmore" of 1980s antagonists. When asked who their favorite bad guys are of that decade most people will undoubtedly picture William Zabka. Proven to be a successful style of character in comedy as well as drama, the preppy blond asshole became a staple duringa time in which comedies thrived. Eventually morphing into other physical characteristics, one character trait remained consisted throughout the 80s and our favorite nemeses became popular amongst us at "The Doomsday Machine" for one reason....They were all dicks.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010
After a four month spring break, we find ourselves in preparation for the “Best of the Decade podcast” and in doing so we need to finish putting out shows from the 2009 sessions. Hal and Matt are honored once again by the personal appearance of Scott Griffin all the way from Brooklyn, while Cody has to sit in a room all by himself and talk to us over Skype.
I think it’s very rare for most of us on the show to go out to see a movie just because a certain actor/actress is in starring in it. Personally, I get annoyed when someone asks if I’m going to see a movie like “Valentine’s Day” and when I stop laughing their response is something like, “But I thought you liked Bradley Cooper?” And that usually leads to some argument in which I wind up being called a snob. We do get excited however, in that rare instance that an actor has a streak in which he/she can do no wrong when it comes to picking their work. In this episode we discuss a handful of those actors that may peak our interests a little more when we hear their names these days.Click the player below to listen or subscribe on iTunes. You can also get it on Podbean. Feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, June 4, 2010
The Players and why they couldn't play in the championship game.
Roger Clemens-(1984-2007) Thinks he's a chicken, but it's not the Hypnotist fault, he did a good job.
Wade Boggs-(1982-1999) Barney beats him up because of their disagreement on the best British Prime Ministers. Kip the Elder?
Steve Sax-(1981-1994) Arrested for every unsolved murder in NYC.
Ken Griffey Jr.-(1989-2010) Loved drinking Nerve Tonic so much he got Giganticism.
Ozzie Smith-(1978-1996) Fell into the Springfield Mystery Spot, and is still there.
Jose Canseco- (1985-2001) Too busy saving a woman's possessions from a fire. I call bullshit on this one, he was really doing blow in a ally way.
Don Mattingly-(1982-1995) Kicked off the team because of his sideburn problems.
Mike Scioscia- (1980-1992) Loved working at the power plant so much he caught the radiation bug.
Darryl Strawberry- (1983-1999) The only one who played, but was distraught because of Bart and Lisa's heckling. Darryl,Darryl,Darryl.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Like so many others Hopper spent the 70's drugged out of his mind and getting in trouble with the law and Hollywood executives. In 1986 The Dennis Hopper Resurgence occurred with two amazing performances, Blue Velvet ( My favorite) and Hoosiers, and from this he was allowed to direct and get choice roles again. In the 90's the elderly Hopper became one of the great crazy bad guys and shined in movies like Speed (1994). I thought his last good performance in a quality film was in Basquiat (1996) and I am saddened that he never had one more great role before he died. Everyone should drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon this week in his honor.
Other Notable Films
Gunfight At The OK Corral (57) His hometown
Cool Hand Luke (67)
True Grit (69)
The American Friend (77)
Apocalypse Now (79) Maybe my 2nd favorite performance
Rumble Fish (83)
My Science Project (85) That's Right! and I'm gonna skip Flashback because of this.
The Indian Runner (91)
Red Rock West (93)
True Romance (93) He's in the best scene in the entire picture.
As a Director
The Last Movie (71)
The Hot Spot (90)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The older that I get, I find it harder and harder to get myself to the theater. Out of fear that I will become one of those people that waits to see films largely through my Netflix que, I find myself looking for different films that might strike enough interest to actually see it outside of the realm of streaming. The problem lately is that rarely do I see a trailer that strikes up this kind of interest.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
R.I.P. Peter Graves
Another big part of my childhood gone with the death of the great Captain Oveur from the groundbreaking Airplane movie's. Yes I also love the Sequel, Graves is also great as Price in Billy Wilder's classic Stalag 17.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Welcome to my 2nd annual Oscar Predictions. 2009 was a little better than 2008, but not by much. This what I think will win, not what I want to win.
Best Picture- Avatar. This is a shame, but Avatar will win just for the effort and the industry needs this. I think Inglourious Basterds is by far the best film of the year and will come in second place which means nothing. Up and The Hurt Locker are the only really good films nominated this year. Ignored: It's already ridiculous the Academy went to 10 nominations this year and they still couldn't get it right. Moon, The Road, and Fantastic Mr. Fox are better than 8 of the nominations and I rather read stereo instructions for 2 hours than ever watch The Blind Side.
Best Actor- Jeff Bridges. This seems like a slam dunk win for Bridges, but I was happy to see Jeremy Renner nominated. Ignored: Rockwell for Moon and Viggo for The Road! Robbed, Robbed, Robbed! I tell ya! I also liked Matt Damon in The Informant!
Best Actress-Sandra Bullock. I think I just puked in my mouth a little. Looks like Erin Brockovich wins again, what a weak catagory. Ignored: Can't think of anything.
Best Supporting Actor- Christoph Waltz. Nothing touches this performance, nothing! Best performance of the year by far! Ignored: Anthony Mackie and Ralph Fiennes in The Hurt Locker. Michael Fassbender and about 4 others in Basterds.
Best Supporting Actress- Monique. Haven't seen this film, but she will win. I also thought Vera Farmiga was really good in Up In The Air. Ignored: Diane Kruger and Melanie Laurent for Basterds.
Best Director- Quentin Tarantino. I hope the Acadamy relizes this catagory is for directing actors and not spectacles. Everyone is good in Basterds and no one is good in Avatar. I wouldn't be super pissed if Bigelow wins, but QT is the best director of the year. Ignored: Duncan Jones for Moon and John Hillcoat for The Road. I am still in shock that these films were shut out this year.
Original Screenplay-Inglourious Basterds. The one category that there is always justice, I think this is a sure thing. I was happy with Up being nominated. Ignored: MOON!
Adapted Screenplay-Precious. This should be a strong catagory this year, but nominating the wrong films made it weak. Ignored: Harry Potter, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Road. All of these films are better than the nominated ones.
Cinematography- The White Ribbon. You ever play roulette? Always bet on Black and White! This is yet another weak catagory because the wrong films were nominated. Christian Berger's photography is breath taking and easily the best looking film of the year, but if Lord Of The Rings can win then anything can win. Ignored: A Serious Man, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Where The Wild Things Are, shall I go on? 80% of the films relesed this year look better than Harry Potter and Avatar.
Editing-Avatar. If you win editing then it's a 90% chance you win Best Picture, but Basterds and Hurt Locker deserve it more. Ignored:Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up, and The Road.
Foreign Film- White Ribbon. If you are nominated for another catagory you win.
Best Animated- Up. Same as above. Up and Mr. Fox were two of the best films this year.
Art Direction, Make Up and Costume Design-The Young Victoria. The title says it all. Ignored: Where The Wild Thigs Are.
Sound Editing,Mixing, and Visual Effects-Avatar. SLAM Freaking Dunk!
Score-Avatar. Ignored: Where The Wild Things Are, Moon, and Black Dynamite.
Song- The Weary Kind-Crazy Heart. T-Bone!
Documentary- Burma VJ. Food Inc was ok and I did enjoy The Most Dangerous Man, but Burma is what the Acadamy looks for in a Doc.
Doc.Short-Rabbit a la Berlin- It's about The Berlin Wall, That's Oscar gold next to Nazi films.
Short Film-Kavi. It takes place in India and after Slumdog these films are right behind Nazi's and The Berlin Wall.
Short Animated- A Matter Of Loaf and Death. Two Words, Wallace & Gromit!
Well thats it! Please send some feed back and let's hope I did better than last year.