Criterion Year Week 41: Ace In The Hole

• July 17th, 2016

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Ace In The Hole

Spine Number: 396

Director: Billy Wilder

Genre: Drama

In the history of film there may not be a filmmaker with a more solid pedigree than Billy Wilder. Between 1940 and 1967 he was nominated for 21 Academy Awards, of which he won 6. He won for writing, producing and directing. His films are included on so many "Best of" lists that it's impossible to name them all.

Name a genre, and odds are he is responsible for a film listed in it's top 10.
Comedy? Check, "Some Like it Hot," and "The Apartment."
Romance? Check. "Sabrina."
Film Noir? Double check, "Sunset Blvd." and "Double Indemnity."
Drama? Check. "The Lost Weekend."
Prisoner of War drama? You know it! "Stalag 17."

I could go on and on. Basically, this guy is as legit as possible.

So it should be no surprise that even his lesser known work is some of the best out there.

We give you "Ace in the Hole."



Kirk Douglas is Charles Tatum, an abrasive, down on his luck newspaper man trying to rebuild his career at a small newspaper in New Mexico when a dream story falls into his hands. A local business owner is trapped in a mine collapse while looking for Indian artifacts to sell in his store. Tatum sees a way back to the top. Create a media circus around this human interest story with him as the ringmaster.

We have said this a lot lately, but this movie is almost more relevant today than when it was made. We live in the time of comments over content, and "Ace in the Hole" shows not only how easy it is for that type of journalistic tactic to form, but how quickly it becomes a self sustaining machine.

So, join us as we discuss everything about how our current media landscape used this film as a guide, rather than a cautionary tale, and how we ended up where we are.



Next Week:

Spine number 397: Ivan's Childhood

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...


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Criterion Year Week 40: La Haine (Hate)

• July 10th, 2016

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

La Haine (Hate)

Spine Number: 381

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz

Genre: Drama

Normally, when you refer to a movie as "timeless," it's referring to a feel or the overall quality. The Godfather 1 and 2 are both such fantastic movies that nothing is lost in viewing them years after the fact. Sometimes, this word has a different meaning.

Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 "La Haine," while undoubtedly a good movie, is timeless for an entirely different reason. The film follows three young men in the ghetto outskirts of Paris in the 24 hours following a riot. Marginalized young men whiling away their time in a concrete wasteland devoid of any real opportunity. They are disaffected, disrespected, and resentful of being pushed to society's literal and figurative fringes.

LaHaine.jpg

While a heavier focus is placed on France's still ongoing immigration... we'll call it "situation," the feeling of anger, helplessness, and division is rather universal. This film is timeless because if you were to watching it today it felt like it was meant for what is happening right now, as it would if you were to watch in in 2005, or 1995, or 1987, or 1975, or 1965.

This film is about people who don't feel like society has anything to offer them, or any use for them. Young people who feel trapped and powerless in a system that doesn't care about them at all. Filled with simmering anger and resentment "La Haine" doesn't make the mistake of offering easy answers. Rather it confronts the fact that there is guilt and victimization on all sides.

In what is probably the most gorgeously photographed non Kurosawa movies we've watched "La Haine" addresses, "a society on its way down. And as it falls,it keeps telling itself: "So far so good... So far so good... So far so good." It's not how you fall that matters. It's how you land"

LaHaine2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 396: Ace in the Hole

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Criterion Year Week 39: The Bicycle Thieves

• July 4th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Dazed and Confused

Spine Number: 374

Director: Vittorio De Sica

Genre: Italian Neo-Realism

From the beginning filmmakers have attempted to capture real life. The earliest examples of film were just filmmakers recording every day occurrences. As the art form of film making evolved and ideas of style and artistic expression became part of the art there was still a desire to capture the reality of the human experience.

Well, a couple of world wars came and went and changed the way people saw art. Some sought to provide escape, others sought to confront. Vittorio De Sica decided to use his voice to tell the stories that people lived every day, and that were never given voice. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, no professional actors or dramatic contrivances, just a voice for those whose stories needed to be told.

And he gave us a movie that, decades later, is still considered one of the greatest films ever made.

BicycleThieves.jpg

Using real locations, non-professional actors, and a story of simple desperation De Sica gave the world "The Bicycle Thieves," one of the most amazing films ever produced.

How great is this movie? Well, we actually talk about it for almost the entire show. No lead in, no real rambling digressions, just an honest discussion of an amazingly powerful film.

BicycleThieves2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 381: Hate

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Criterion Year Week 38: Dazed and Confused

• June 26th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Dazed and Confused

Spine Number: 336

Director: Richard Linklater

Genre: Coming of Age Comedu

Before deciding to make nothing but movies/film series that take place in real time (Boyhood, Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight), Richard Linklater was about as quintessentially Austin as you could find.

By "Quintessentially Austin" I am not referring to the bullshit, gentrified, hipster theme park that people who "really got into South By Southwest (SXSW)" and decided to move here have turned it into. I am talking about a place that didn't have, need, or want the loads of California bullshit that has been dumped on us. No In and Out bullshit, no Shake Shack, no fucking Del Taco. Austin was a place where interesting individuals could come and actually create interesting stuff. How else does one city and one film school, light years removed from Hollywood, produce two of the most important and influential filmmakers of the 90's (Linklater and Robert Rodriguez).

When most people talk about Linklater and the 90's they naturally gravitate towards "Slacker," which is a very boring and overrated film, and keep your defense of it to yourself. I get it, I lived in the building where it premiered for two years and walked past several locations from it EVERY DAY while I was in college... I get it. I just don't like it. Instead we will be looking at ....

DazedAndConfused.jpg

Dazed and Confused, Linklater's mix tape of high school in the 70's. Taking place over the course of one night Linklater creates a fairly unique coming of age story. We see young people at all the different stages of high school. We see beginnings, endings, and people who failed to notice that something had ended. More than a lot of these types of film, Dazed and Confused doesn't just wallow in nostalgia, it actually takes the time to create a place that feels genuine and populates it with characters who feel real.

So, if you haven't seen it, check it out. If you have, join us for our discussion.

DazedAndConfused2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 374: The Bicycle Thieves

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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Criterion Week 26: Ghostbusters (again), why PC nonsense is nonsense, and Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report

• June 12th, 2016

 The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report

Spine Number: 322

Director: Orson Welles

Genre: Drama

Some films are so brilliant in premise that it's difficult, bordering on impossible, to fulfill the potential. Such is the case with Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report (it has gone by both names).

MrArkadin1.jpg

The premise is outstanding. A young criminal comes into contact with an eccentric billionaire. The billionaire, who is planning on pursuing a government contract, wants to make sure he can pass a rigorous background check. The problem? In 1927 he found himself in Switzerland with 200,000 Swiss Francs and no memory of his life before that moment. He asks the criminal, a man who knows people and can move about in both legal and extra legal environments, to research his background and write a confidential report about him.

It is a fantastic premise, right? Hiring someone to look into your own background because it is a mystery even to you sets up what could be an amazing story. What you get is good, and frustratingly close to brilliant. I mean, it's Orson Welles, so it won't be bad, it just fails to reach that next level.

So join us as we discuss this fascinating movie. Oh, and we talk about some of the recent hoopla surrounding the new Ghostbusters movie and some of the foolish PC nonsense that is going around.

MrArkadin2.jpg

Next Week:

Spine number 336: Dazed and Confused

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at www.thelifemasters.podbean.com.

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

http://fantasymovieleague.com/

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at thefilmthugs@gmail.com and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail thugquestions@gmail.com to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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