Now on Netflix, Judd Apatow’s newest comedy, ‘The Bubble,’ features an A-list cast attempting to make a blockbuster during COVID.
You haven’t heard from us in a few days, yes, but what can you do, we’re on vacation! Making friends! Speaking of, here’s our belated review of Vacation Friends, a new buddy comedy on Hulu starring Lil Rel Howery, John Cena, Meredith Hagner, and Yvonne Orji as a group of strangers who become friends while on vacation. Vacation friends! We also talk about the current state of wrestlers who become actors, then the problem with streaming-only movies having little-to-no pop cultural impact, so we might’ve made some vacation enemies after this.
Special guest Cory Woodroof joins the show for an in-depth conversation about Bo Burnham: Inside, an experimental comedy special (and film, sort of?) that just hit Netflix. Burnham spent a year, alone, developing a one-man show set in just one location, where he uses original music and complex staging to comment on social media, pop culture, and mental health issues.
Get over here? More like get over it! Anyway, this week on the show we talk about Mortal Kombat, a reboot of the film franchise based on the series of video games that just hit HBO Max and is now playing in theaters. We also review Stowaway, a new sci-fi thriller on Netflix. And we finish the show with a review of Together Together, a quirky Sundance comedy that is now in limited release. And if you’re curious what we thought of the Oscars 2021 ceremony, we open the show with some of our brief thoughts.
The teens aren’t all right on this week’s show. Our first review of the week is Voyagers, a new sci-fi drama from Neil Burger starring Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, and Colin Farrell, which just launched in theaters. We also discuss Thunder Force, Netflix’s superhero action comedy from Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, who co-stars in the film alongside Octavia Spencer. Last, we hit the slippery slopes of Slalom, a festival indie skiing drama from up-and-coming French director Charlène Favier.
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.
Cinemaholics host Jon Negroni returns to Extra Milestone for a double feature of two of the greatest films of all time! We start by discussing Sidney Lumet’s 1975 crime thriller Dog Day Afternoon, a revolutionary and dynamic film that remains just as relevant 45 years later, if not even more so. From there, we move on to Martin Scorsese’s career-defining classic Goodfellas, which we believe may potentially hold the title as the greatest gangster film of them all, in addition to being expertly crafted in every way.
Emily Kubincanek returns to Extra Milestone at last, and in no small fashion! We’re diving headfirst into the most Classic of Cinema with two brilliant films that connect to the Silent Era! First up is Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, a dramatic comedy featuring Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ that cemented many dramatic traditions while simultaneously telling a heartfelt and humorous story! From there, we jump forward to Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, which examines the world of showbusiness, the remnants of the Silent Era, and the widespread sacrifices found in Hollywood living through a melancholy lens steeped in Film Noir tradition.
The pairings keep getting stranger and stranger every week, and this week’s show is no exception! Special guest Ryan Oliver joins Sam and Jon to tackle two very different classics, starting with Akira Kurosawa’s massively influential 1950 arthouse classic Rashomon. We discuss everything from our differing experiences with the film, how multiple viewings have yielded different interpretations, and why the film has remained so meaningful even after 70 years. After that, we take a huge left turn toward Transylvania to examine the legacy and power of Jim Sharman’s 1975 genre-defining cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which one of us doesn’t like! It’s another collection of varied experiences complete with a litany of recommendations to go along with both films!
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!
Good news, we don’t need a superpower pill to put on a powerful episode of Cinemaholics, which this week covers Project Power, now on Netflix and starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback. We also discuss Boys State from A24, a documentary about Texas students who learn about politics by building a government of their own, which is now streaming on Apple TV+. Will describes the less magical elements of Magic Camp, a family comedy that just hit Disney+ starring Adam DeVine and Gillian Jacobs. And last, we have a heated debate about the controversial documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy, which is about the making of Nickelodeon’s pioneering ’90s cartoon “Ren and Stimpy” and the complicated legacy of its problematic show runner.
We’ve gotten ourselves into yet another…fermented cucumber. This week we’re reviewing An American Pickle, the new Seth Rogen comedy now streaming on HBO Max. We also discuss David Ayer’s latest directorial/screenwriting effort The Tax Collector, which stars Bobby Soto and Shia LaBeouf. And last is Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for the Barbarians, a slow burn frontier drama starring Mark Rylance, Robert Pattinson, and Johnny Depp. Of course, we open up the episode with a brief, but satisfying check-in with Christopher Nolan, himself.
Like, we’re totally traveling to the 80s, man! Will our review of Valley Girl starring Jessica Rothe be as bitchin’ as the original from 1983? As if! But we go even further back in time to discuss Josh Trank’s new biopic Capone starring Tom Hardy, and something smells with this movie, dude! Let’s slow down a bit and relax by the driveway in Driveways, which is a super chill indie drama, don’t have a cow! Forget the 80s, though, let’s go to the 90s in Spaceship Earth, a new Sundance documentary about some radical hippies who lived in a Biosphere back in 1991. Far out, man! On Netflix, we got Becoming, a new doc about Michelle Obama, so like hail to the former chief’s ex-ce-llent first lady. And last, Jon asks Will, “where your beef?!” with The Wrong Missy, a new Netflix comedy starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus. Guess that one gagged Will with a spoon!
Every teen generation tends to get defined by the media they consume and how they consume it. Sure, not everyone can relate with the exact feeling a single song from the 70s can invoke when played in a film like Dazed and Confused, or perhaps what an early 2000s pop culture reference might inform in Superbad. But in Booksmart, the tradition of expanding relatability beyond the constraints and memories of a given era continues in this lovingly ambitious feature debut from actor-turned-filmmaker Olivia Wilde.