To officially conclude this year’s Extra Milestone lineup, Jon Negroni and Will Ashton of the Cinemaholics podcast joined forces with me one last time to discuss two distinct (and oddly holiday-centric) auteur-driven classics. We start our conversation by digging through the muck of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, a bureaucratic odyssey of madness often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. After that, we jump forward to Edward Scissorhands, an intensely personal story from Tim Burton that is both lighthearted and melancholy, and which has affected us all at one point or another.
Welcome to (perhaps) the largest Extra Milestone yet! In an Anyway, That’s All I Got reunion for the ages, I’m joined by Anthony Battaglia, Guy Simons Jr., and Jason Read to discuss three of the biggest epics of the 21st century! First up is Barry Lyndon, the passion project of Stanley Kubrick released in 1975, and a film that’s quite well-loved among hardcore cinephiles. After that, we circle back to Spartacus, an earlier Kubrick film that is rarely discussed in the context of his filmography, and perhaps for just reason! Finally, we jump forward to another one of the great directors with Ran, Akira Kurosawa’s massive and operatic masterpiece from 1985, and which only one of us had seen!
Emily Kubincanek makes her welcomed and triumphant return to Extra Milestone, and this week’s selections are among the most varied yet! We begin by celebrating the 95-year anniversary of Sergei Eisenstein’s magnum opus Battleship Potemkin, a film more fundamentally significant than almost any other when it comes to the art form of editing and propaganda storytelling. After that, we take a lighthearted and melancholy stroll into the world of Henry Koster’s Harvey, a rich and complex comedy featuring one of the best performances by the great James Stewart. Finally, we get to the bottom of Jonathan Lynn’s Clue, a cult-classic murder mystery that neither of us had seen before, and were delighted to discover was great!
Even in the midst of a year as hectic and unconventional as this one, Oscar season is still in full swing when it comes to this week’s selection of heavy hitters. Joining me once again for the first time in nearly three years is Maria Garcia, my former partner in crime from such shows as Now Conspiring and Part-Time Characters, and we’re discussing two films often hailed as being among the greatest of all time! We begin with Raging Bull, the morally complex sports biopic that saved Martin Scorsese’s life and has developed a widely varied legacy, and which one of us isn’t especially fond of! From there, we rewind the clock to visit Miloš Forman’s award season darling One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a wholly unique classic within film history that holds up wonderfully to this day.
Will Ashton returns to Extra Milestone yet again to chart an unusual cinematic path across the 1980s and 1990s! We begin with an examination of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, including our thoughts on the story’s emotional core, trivia on why the film is significant to the history of the academy, our impressions of David Lynch, and more! From there, we return to the films of Martin Scorsese with After Hours, an unusual and underseen comedic outing from the acclaimed director, and we close out the show by bringing the films of Abbas Kiarostami into focus with Close-Up, a hybrid documentary exploring the very nature and function of cinema.
We’ve met the Aliens, but the time has come at last to face the Predators. This week on Game Over, Man!, Sam and Adonis are taking their first departure from the Alien series to take a look back at John McTiernan’s sophomore feature Predator! If that weren’t enough, one of the hosts isn’t a fan of the movie, making this our first major disagreement! Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear how James Cameron serendipitously influenced the design of the Predator, why the hosts are of two different minds, who they actually think would win if a Predator and a Xenomorph were to face off, and more!
In our first Patron-Exclusive podcast, we’re continuing the Alien franchise with James Cameron’s Aliens, the pluralized sequel that shook the world! Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley in an Oscar-nominated role that pits her, a team of memorable space marines, and a young orphaned girl against an entire hive of deadly Xenomorphs, and it’s even better than the original! Tune in on the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear us discuss the brilliant character interactions, effective and efficiently-produced scares, and even the deeper implications on the potential of humanity!
To officially commence the Milestone month of August, Will Ashton and Andrew McMahon make their long-awaited returns to help break down a unique and unexpected triple feature, the likes of which the podcast world may have never seen before. We begin with an analysis of Barbara Loden’s Wanda, the first film to be written, directed, and led by a female filmmaker. We follow this up with a look back at Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, the iconic feature debut of Tim Burton. Finally, we dive into the work of the great Agnès Varda with an observational look at her acclaimed and influential film Vagabond.
Things are getting real heavy this week, because Adonis Gonzalez is here to talk about the two best movies of 1985, which happen to be radically different from one another! We start with a harrowing exploration of Elem Klimov’s Come and See, an anti-war film depicting the Nazi invasion of Belorussia through the eyes of a young boy. We discuss the history of the film’s reputation, the drama associated with the production, the way that it emerges as (potentially) the only War movie that actually matters, and why we find it so difficult to even recommend. After that, we were happy to cleanse our palate with a discussion on Robert Zemeckis’s iconic Sci-Fi Family Comedy Back to the Future, covering its deft narrative construction, effective antagonist, and curious soundtrack decisions, as well as a deserved commendation for the recently deceased Ron Cobb.
Sam Noland is back on Extra Milestone after a week’s respite to take on, along with friend and coworker Robert Wilkinson, two radically different classics. First up is Charles Laughton’s gothic thriller The Night of the Hunter, which stars Robert Mitchum as a psychopathic priest hunting down two children during the Great Depression. Next up on our itinerary is the landmark spoof comedy Airplane!, the laugh-a-minute lampooning of pop cinema celebrating 40 years of making the world howl with laughter.
This week’s Extra Milestone is so iconic that we may just need a bigger boat. Anthony Battaglia reunites with Sam to discuss two immensely significant blockbusters that have irreparably shaped the cinematic landscape. We start with a discussion on Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, including our differing experiences with the movie, our appreciation for the writing and acting, differences from Peter Benchley’s novel, a confession as to our shared fear of open water, and even an extremely hot take involving the infamous sequels! After we dry off from that conversation, we take an isolated look at Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back and how it changed Star Wars (and sequels in general) forever, why it maintains its effectiveness after dozens of viewings, why we can never view the Dagobah sequence the same way again, whether or not it contains the best lightsaber battle ever, and the dichotomy between good and evil that was solidified in this film.
It’s all play and no work on this week’s Extra Milestone, because Jason Read has returned to the show to discuss a trio of very different movies. We begin with a detailed exploration of Stanley Kubrick’s Horror masterpiece The Shining, complete with reflections on why the terror of it is so effective, analyses of the movie’s themes and mysteries, a discussion of why method acting is a flawed and unnecessary process, and even a few personal stories that relate to the movie. Afterward, we take on Joe Dante’s Gremlins, stopping along the way to discuss its implementation of cinematic language, its historical significance, and all of the darkly comedic chaos that comes with it. Finally, we cap off the show with a fittingly sporadic look at Dante’s oft-overlooked sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which is one of the most entertaining movies either of us have ever seen, as well as being a knowing satire of culture stuffed with enough cameos and mania to last a lifetime.
In what is certainly the most comedically inclined Extra Milestone yet, I am joined by my very close personal friend Tyler Chambers to discuss a pair of classics within the genre. We begin with a lengthy rundown of Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam’s 1975 cult favorite Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with behind-the-scenes stories, details we’ve noticed over the years, our personal experiences with the movie, analyses of the film’s comedic stylings, and revisits of our favorite sequences. Then we move on to John Landis’s 1980 musical road comedy The Blues Brothers. We discuss the film’s story structure, cast, presentation, and deadpan sense of humor, as well as how all of those things compare and contrast surprisingly well with Holy Grail. Afterward, we both give a recommendation to pair with each movie, some much more unexpected than others!
The summer is about to conclude with a creeping, atmospheric, gory bang, because Emily Kubincanek is back on The Extra Milestone to discuss a trio of Horror Classics! We start with a look at Sean S. Cunningham’s iconic slasher Friday the 13th, and how it sets itself apart from other such films, as well as the excitement of it all that still plays today. We continue with a discussion of James Whale’s sequel Bride of Frankenstein, including the similarities to Mary Shelley’s novel and how Universal crafted a new narrative around the characters. Finally, we dive into the hellish effects showcase that is the late Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator!