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#069 Neill Blomkamp: District 9 vs. Elysium




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Neill Blomkamp’s best and worst rated films, District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), respectively. Nate becomes a programmer, Austin feels better prepared for the future, and they both want to fight some fookin’ prawns.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with director Neill Blomkamp and actor Sharlto Copley about the making of District 9:


Elysium Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

  • Ratings: IMDb 6.6 | RT 67% C / 58% A
  • Released: 2013
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp
  • Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch (Captain American: Civil War, Chappie)
  • Notable actors: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Faran Tahir, Adrian Holmes
  • Budget: $115 million
  • Box office: $286.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The biography of John Carlyle displayed by the computer indicates that he was born in 2010, which makes him about 144 years old.
    • When Kruger retrieves the rocket launcher from his vehicle, the name of the agency he is working for is seen– the “Civil Cooperation Bureau.” The South African Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) was a government-sponsored under cover direct action intelligence agency during the apartheid era.
    • Kruger and his men incorporate numerous Afrikaans slang words into their dialogue. Examples include “Boet,” an informal derivative of “brother,” “Boykie,” meaning “little boy,” and “lekker,” a slang for approval.
    • The main role was first offered to Ninja, a South African rapper, who despite being a fan of District 9 (2009) (he has a D9 tattoo on his inner lip) did not take the role. The role was then offered to rapper Eminem, who also turned it down. So Neill Blomkamp moved on to Matt Damon as his next choice.
    • The line, “Don’t breathe on me… Cover your mouth!” spoken by John Carlyle to the Plant Manager was ad-libbed by William Fichtner.

District 9 Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 90% C / 82% A
  • Released: 2009
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch (Captain American: Civil War, Chappie)
  • Notable actors: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, John Sumner, William Allen Young, Nick Blake
  • Budget: $30 million
  • Box office: $210.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • After the feature film based on the Halo (2001) video game series (which was to be directed by Neill Blomkamp) fell through, producer Peter Jackson went to Blomkamp and offered him $30 million to make whatever he wanted. The result was District 9 (2009).
    • Around six different endings were created during filming.
    • The language used by the aliens (clicking sounds) was created by rubbing a pumpkin.
    • The first documentary-style film to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar.
    • The title is a nod to a real place and a real incident. District 6 was a mixed race neighborhood of Cape Town which the apartheid government demolished in 1966 to make room for whites.
    • Star Sharlto Copley had not acted before and had no intention of pursuing an acting career. He stumbled into the leading role as director Neill Blomkamp placed him on-camera during the short film.
    • All the shacks in District 9 were actual shacks that exist in a section of Johannesburg which were to be evacuated and the residents moved to better government housing, paralleling the events in the film. Also paralleling, the residents had not actually been moved out before filming began. The only shack that was created solely for filming was Christopher Johnson’s shack.
    • As part of the marketing campaign in North America and the United Kingdom, posters were put up in major cities on bus stops, the sides of buildings, etc., designating areas that were restricted for humans only, with a number to call (866.666.6001 in the U.S., 0207 148 7468 in the U.K.) in order to report non-humans. The title of the film was generally not included, although the URL address for the film’s official website was.
    • The idea of the prawns being obsessed with cat food came from two inspirations. In impoverished areas of Johannesburg, director Neill Blomkamp would see people selling cheese poofs and other snack foods out of large three-foot tall bags and wanted the aliens to have a similar cheap food. The decision to make them cat food came from one of the producers who used canned cat food to bait traps when fishing for prawns in Vancouver.
    • The creatures used in the small fighting arena were meant to be rodents/pests which were aboard the ship.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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#068 Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker vs. Blue Steel




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Kathryn Bigelow’s best and worst rated films, The Hurt Locker (2008) and Blue Steel (1990), respectively. Nate goes on a rant about Alien: Covenant, Austin has a problem with female directors, and they both hate incompetent people.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with director Kathryn Bigelow about the making of The Hurt Locker:


Blue Steel Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A female rookie in the police force engages in a cat and mouse game with a pistol wielding psychopath who becomes obsessed with her.

  • Ratings: IMDb 5.6 | RT 71% C / 36% A
  • Released: 1990
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Writer(s): Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Amir Mokri (Man of Steel, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Lord of War)
  • Notable actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown, Elizabeth Pena, Louise Fletcher, Philip Bosco, Kevin Dunn, Richard Jenkins, Markus Flanagan, Mary Mara, Tom Sizemore
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: $8.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Tom Sizemore’s film debut.
    • Was originally set to be released by Vestron Pictures and its offshoot label Lightning Pictures but ultimately acquired by MGM due to Vestron’s financial problems and eventual bankruptcy at the time.
    • Philip Bosco plays the father of policewoman Jamie Lee Curtis. In real life, he’s the son of policewoman.
    • In Germany, it was distributed as “a film from Oliver Stone”, even though Stone was only one of the movie’s producers.

The Hurt Locker Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.6 | RT 98% C / 84% A
  • Released: 2008
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Writer(s): Mark Boal (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker, Captain Phillips, The Big Short)
  • Notable actors: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly, Christian Camargo
  • Budget: $15 million
  • Box office: $49.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The film was shot on location in Jordan. Part of the shoot (one week) was to take place in Kuwait on a U.S. Military Base; however, access was denied.
    • Kathryn Bigelow claims that no scene filmed was left out of the final cut.
    • The expression “the hurt locker” is a preexisting slang term for a situation involving trouble or pain, which can be traced back to the Vietnam War. According to the movie’s website, it is soldier vernacular in Iraq to speak of explosions as sending you to “the hurt locker.”
    • It was James Cameron who convinced his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow to direct this film. She originally had planned on doing another project and wasn’t sure about doing this film. Cameron read it and told her to do this film, and it ended up earning her an Oscar nomination and award for Best Director. In fact, the film was nominated in nine categories against Cameron’s Avatar (2009), and won six awards, including Best Picture. Cameron himself had said, “I wouldn’t bet against her.”
    • Jeremy Renner tripped and fell down some stairs while carrying an Iraqi boy on the film’s set. Shooting was stopped for several days while Renner’s ankle healed.
    • During filming, three, four or more hand-held super 16mm cameras were used to film scenes in documentary style. Nearly two hundred hours of footage was shot at an eye-popping 100:1 shooting ratio (a higher ratio of expended film than the notorious Francis Ford Coppola epic, Apocalypse Now (1979)).
    • Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award, the BAFTA, and the DGA for Best Director, with this film. This is also the first film to win Best Picture that was directed by a woman.
    • Jordan is such a safe location that the actors didn’t want to have bodyguards, as was first intended. There was no Jordanian military acting as security for the film. Security, set dressing and onset, was provided by a private company.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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#067 Luc Besson: Leon: The Professional vs. Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Luc Besson’s best and worst rated films,  Leon: The Professional (1994) and Arthur and the Revenge of the Maltazard (2009), respectively. Nate hates Malt Lizards, Austin thinks Natalie Portman peaked in Phantom Menace, and they both are HITMEN for GARY OLD-MAN.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Kathrn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008) and Blue Steel (1990), her best and worst rated films.


Also check out this behind the scenes footage from the making of Leon: The Professional:


Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Arthur answers a distress call from Princess Selenia, who is menaced by the nefarious Maltazard.

  • Ratings: IMDb 5.6 | RT 14% C / 32% A
  • Released: 2009
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Writer(s): Patrice Garcia (characters and universe), Luc Besson (screenplay) (dialogues), Luc Besson & Celine Garcia (characters)
  • Cinematographer: Thierry Arbogast (The Fifth Element, Lucy, La Femme Nikita)
  • Notable actors: Freddie Highmore, Selena Gomez, Logan Miller, Omar Sy, Mia Farrow, Fergie, Jimmy Fallon, Snoop Dogg, Will.i.am, Cem Yilmaz, Robert Stanton, Penny Balfour, Lou Reed
  • Budget: $90 million
  • Box office: $78.5 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Arthur and the Great Adventure is actually a UK only release, an edit of the second and third films, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard and Arthur and The War of The Two Worlds

Leon: The Professional Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin’s trade.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.6 | RT 71% C / 95% A
  • Released: 1994
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Writer(s): Luc Besson (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Thierry Arbogast (The Fifth Element, Lucy, La Femme Nikita)
  • Notable actors: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, Peter Appel, Willi One Blood, Don Creech, Michael Badalucco, Ellen Greene, Elizabeth Regen
  • Budget: $16 million
  • Box office: $46.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • During the scene when Stansfield ‘interrogates’ Mathilda’s father, he smells the father, and gets extremely physically close to him. According to Michael Badalucco, he had no idea that Gary Oldman was going to smell him, nor that he was going to get as close as he did. Badalucco says that in the film, his look of discomfort during the scene is completely genuine, as he felt decidedly intimidated by Oldman, and the physical proximity between the two made him very nervous.
    • According to Jean Reno, he decided to play Léon as if he were a little mentally slow and emotionally repressed. He felt that this would make audiences relax and realize that he wasn’t someone who would take advantage of a vulnerable young girl. Reno claims that for Léon, the possibility of a physical relationship with Mathilda is not even conceivable, and as such, during the scenes when such a relationship is discussed, Reno very much allowed Mathilda to be emotionally in control of the scenes.
    • The scene in which Stansfield talks about his appreciation of Ludwig van Beethoven to Mathilda’s father was completely improvised. The scene was filmed several times, with Gary Oldman giving a different improvised story on each take.
    • This is Natalie Portman’s motion picture debut. She was 11 when she was cast.
    • Keith A. Glascoe, who played the enormous Benny, or 3rd Stansfield Man, later became a member of the New York Fire Department, Ladder Company 21 in Hells Kitchen. Courageously he died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
    • In a 2014 Playboy interview, Gary Oldman said his screaming of the now iconic line ‘Bring me everyone!’ was improvised to make director Luc Besson laugh “in previous takes, I’d just gone, “Bring me everyone,” in a regular voice. But then I cued the sound guy to slip off his headphones, and I shouted as loud as I could.” The yelled take is the one used in the film.
    • When the film was first tested in LA, the version that was screened incuded a short scene where Mathilda asks Léon to be her lover. However, the audience became extremely uncomfortable and began to laugh nervously, completely destroying the tone of the film. The film received terrible test scores at the screening, and as such, producer Patrice Ledoux and writer/director Luc Besson decided to cut the scene for theatrical release.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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Interview with Brandon Calvillo (I’m Sorry, Dad Podcast) on Podcasting, Vine, and Tommy Wiseau




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We’ve got a special mid-week bonus episode! Nate and Austin interview Brandon Calvillo about his entrance to podcasting, Vine, and Tommy Wiseau. Find more of Brandon’s work on his YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, and subscribe to his podcast on iTunes.

Check back this Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional (1994) and Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard (2009), his best and worst rated films.


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#066 Terence Young: Wait Until Dark vs. Inchon




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Terence Young’s best and worst rated films, Wait Until Dark (1967) and Inchon (1981), respectively. Nate is seeing in black and white, Austin flirts with Audrey Hepburn, and they both watch one of the worst movies ever made. Spoiler alert: it sucked.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional (1994) and Arthur and the Revenge of the Maltazard (2009), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this segmented series of behind the scenes footage from the making of Inchon:


Inchon Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: During the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur masterminds the amphibious invasion of Inchon in September 1950.

  • Ratings: IMDb 2.7 | RT 0% C / 9% A
  • Released: 1981
  • Director: Terence Young
  • Writer(s): Robin Moore and Laird Koenig (screenplay), Robin Moore and Paul Savage (story)
  • Cinematographer: Bruce Surtees (Dirty Harry, Beverly Hills Cop, Escape from Alcatraz)
  • Notable actors: Laurence Olivier, Jacqueline Bisset, Ben Gazzara, Toshiro Mifune, Richard Roundtree, David Janssen, Kung-won Nam, Gabriele Ferzetti, Rex Reed, Sabine Sun, Dorothy James, Karen Kahn, Lydia Lei, James T. Callahan
  • Budget: $46 million
  • Box office: $5.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • When location filming ran past the original production schedule, Laurence Olivier insisted on being paid his “bonus salary” in weekly cash payments, delivered to him as briefcases full of money, flown to the location by helicopter.
    • The movie had an estimated loss of $44,100,000.
    • The recreation of the Inchon lighthouse was destroyed by a typhoon during filming, and had to be rebuilt.
    • Most of the cast and crew were paid in cash, which furthered suspicions that it was funded by the controversial Unification Church.
    • The film has never officially been released on home video or DVD. It was broadcast on cable TV during the early 2000s.
    • The climactic scene of the fleet coming into harbor had to be re-shot when an assistant director misinterpreted instructions and ordered the ships to head out of camera range.
    • The United States Department of Defense supplied 1,500 American troops (stationed in Korea) as extras. When they found out the Unification Church was one of the financial backers, they withdrew support and asked that credit be removed.
    • Initial footage of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s final limo scene was rejected because the crowd was too small. The scene was re-shot in Korea, but the shots of the crowds and the limo didn’t match. Finally, the crew rented a studio in Dublin and put the limo against a rear projection of the crowds. The three-minute scene cost over $3 million.

Wait Until Dark Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.9 | RT 95% C / 91% A
  • Released: 1967
  • Director: Terence Young
  • Writer(s): Frederick Knott (play), Robert Carrington & Jane-Howard Hammerstein (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Charles Lang (Some Like It Hot, The Magnificent Seven, Charde)
  • Notable actors: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Jack Weston
  • Budget: $3 million
  • Box office: $17.5 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • In an interview, Alan Arkin talked about the Oscar nominations he received for his early major film roles (The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966) and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968). When asked if he was surprised that he was overlooked for “Wait Until Dark”, his second movie, he replied: “You don’t get nominated for being mean to Audrey Hepburn!”
    • During World War II, 16-year-old Audrey Hepburn was a volunteer nurse in a Dutch hospital. During the battle of Arnhem, Hepburn’s hospital received many wounded Allied soldiers. One of the injured soldiers young Audrey helped nurse back to health was a young British paratrooper – and future director – named Terence Young who more than 20 years later directed Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (1967).
    • In his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, Stephen King declared this to be the scariest movie of all time and that Alan Arkin’s performance “may be the greatest evocation of screen villainy ever.”
    • The role that eventually went to Alan Arkin was difficult to cast because the producers couldn’t find actors willing to be cast in such a villainous role – not only terrorizing a blind woman, but terrorizing beloved Audrey Hepburn to boot! Alan Arkin later went on to say how easy it was for him to get the role because of the reluctance of other actors to take it.
    • During the credits there is no credit for costumes, this is because Audrey Hepburn herself picked the clothes she wore from the stores in Paris.
    • Audrey Hepburn’s only horror film, despite it more commonly being categorized as a suspense-thriller.
    • As a way to get people to see the movie, the filmmakers made a print ad and cautionary trailer that read: ‘During the last eight minutes of this picture the theatre will be darkened to the legal limit, to heighten the terror of the breathtaking climax which takes place in nearly total darkness on the screen. If there are sections where smoking is permitted, those patrons are respectfully requested not to jar the effect by lighting up during this sequence. And of course, no one will be seated at this time.’ It worked and the film became a huge success because of it.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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Interview with Co-Host Nate Jones on Cinematography, Goals, and the Future




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Austin’s out of town this weekend, so we’ve cooked up something to fill the space. Austin interviews Nate about his interests in cinematography, goals, and looking towards the future.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark (1967) and Inchon (1981), his best and worst rated films.


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#065 Tony Kaye: American History X vs. Detachment




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Tony Kaye’s best and worst rated films, American History X (1998) and Detachment (2011), respectively. Nate actually finds a film too depressing, Austin is at a loss for words, and they both talk about diva directing.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark (1967) and Inchon (1981), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with Tony Kaye about Detachment:


Detachment Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom who finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.7 | RT 57% C / 74% A
  • Released: 2011
  • Director: Tony Kaye
  • Writer(s): Carl Lund
  • Cinematographer: Tony Kaye
  • Notable actors: Adrien Brody, Marcia Gay Harden, James Caan, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, Bryan Cranston, Sami Gayle
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: $1.48 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Betty Kaye, who plays Meredith, is a daughter of the director of this film (Tony Kaye).
    • The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Adrien Brody and Marcia Gay Harden; and two Oscar nominees: James Caan and Bryan Cranston.

American History X Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.5 | RT 83% C / 96% A
  • Released: 1998
  • Director: Tony Kaye
  • Writer(s): David McKenna
  • Cinematographer: Tony Kaye
  • Notable actors: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Lien, Ethan Suplee, Fairuza Balk, Avery Brooks, Elliott Gould, Stacy Keach, William Russ, Guy Torry, Joe Cortese
  • Budget: $20 million
  • Box office: $23.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Edward Norton turned down Saving Private Ryan (1998) to do this film.
    • Before filming began, Edward Norton and Edward Furlong shaved their heads for their roles. Edward Norton also gained 30 pounds of muscle.
    • Seth wears a shirt during the basketball game featuring the number 88. This is a Nazi skinhead code for HH, or “Heil Hitler,” H being the 8th letter of the alphabet. It also refers to a set of 88 precepts written by the neo-nazi leader David Lane. The 88 precepts are rules and concepts that all White Supremacists lived by.
    • The diner that Danny and Derek go to get breakfast at before Danny goes to school in the morning is the same diner that is used in The Big Lebowski (1998), during the infamous “toe” scene. It’s located at Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles and is called Johnie’s Coffee Shop and is only open for filming.
    • The character Derek Vinyard is based on real life skinhead Frank Meeink.
    • During the party scene the swastika on the back of Seth’s jacket is counter-clockwise. In the skinhead world the counter-clockwise swastika indicates that the person bearing it leads, not follows.
    • Marlon Brando was considered for the role of Cameron Alexander.
    • Edward Furlong and Edward Norton constantly changed around the script and made Tony Kaye’s vision of American History X not what he envisioned and made him not want to make the movie anymore. He was so unsatisfied with Norton’s performance that he still, to this day feels the movie is unfinished.
    • This film uses the word “fuck” 214 times.
    • Joaquin Phoenix was offered the role of Derek Vinyard but found the subject matter of the film distasteful and passed on the project.
    • In the midst of the dispute about the time he was taking to edit the film, Director Tony Kaye attended a meeting with Michael De Luca (then New Line’s senior product president). Kaye arranged for a Jewish Rabbi, a Catholic priest and a Buddhist monk to be present at the meeting to support his argument and “make the meeting a more spiritual one”.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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#064 Clint Eastwood: Unforgiven vs. The Rookie LIVE on 4th of July




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Clint Eastwood’s best and worst rated films, Unforgiven (1992) and The Rookie (1990), respectively. Nate disses fake babies, Austin thinks it’s Martin Sheen, and random people yell into the mic. Happy 4th of July!

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Tony Kaye’s American History X (1998) and Black Water Transit (2009), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with Clint Eastwood about Unforgiven:


The Rookie Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Clint Eastwood plays a veteran detective who gets stuck with a rookie cop to chase down a German crook.

  • Ratings: IMDb 5.8 | RT 31% C / 36% A
  • Released: 1990
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Writer(s): Boaz Yakin & Scott Spiegel (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Jack N. Green (Serenity, The 40-Year-Old Virgin)
  • Notable actors: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Tom Skerritt, Lara Flynn Boyle, Pepe Serna, Marco Rodriguez
  • Budget: $10 million
  • Box office: $21 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • According to the book “Clint Eastwood A Cultural Production” by Paul Smith, during the early stages of principal photography, actor Charlie Sheen had substance abuse problems. Eastwood reportedly took on a father-figure role in disciplining Sheen into responsible behavior.
    • The previous picture of Clint Eastwood, White Hunter Black Heart (1990), was entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990 and screened there whilst The Rookie (1990) was in production. To attend that movie’s Cannes screenings, Eastwood halted production on The Rookie (1990) for five days. Reportedly, this cost an estimated 1.5 million dollars.
    • The movie was controversial for its depiction of a provocative and unconventional woman-on-man rape sequence with it garnering much publicity.
    • The film featured over twice as many stuntmen as it did actors. Held the world record for the biggest ratio of stuntmen/actors. Reportedly, over eighty stuntmen worked on the movie.
    • Clint Eastwood agreed to do this movie in exchange for Warner Brothers letting him make his personal film project, White Hunter Black Heart (1990).

Unforgiven Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.2 | RT 95% C / 93% A
  • Released: 1992
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Writer(s): David Webb Peoples (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Jack N. Green (Serenity, The 40-Year-Old Virgin)
  • Notable actors: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Saul Rubinek, Frances Fisher, Anna Levine
  • Budget: $14 million
  • Box office: $159.2 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The final screen credit reads, “Dedicated to Sergio and Don”, referring to Clint Eastwood’s mentors, Sergio Leone and Don Siegel.
    • Although the score was arranged by Lennie Niehaus, the main theme was written by Clint Eastwood himself.
    • This film put to rest Clint Eastwood’s longstanding statement why he would never win an Oscar. Eastwood reckoned he would never be in the running because “first, I’m not Jewish. Secondly, I make too much money. Thirdly, and most importantly, because I don’t give a fuck”. Since his double Oscar win for Unforgiven (1992), Eastwood has gone on to win two more Oscars, as well as an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, and has been nominated an additional six times.
    • Clint Eastwood’s mother Ruth Wood toiled through an uncomfortable day (wearing a heavy dress) as an extra, filming a scene where she boards a train; but the scene was eventually cut, with her son apologizing that the film was “too long and something had to go.” All was forgiven when he brought her to the Academy Awards and thanked her prominently in his acceptance speech.
    • The script floated around Hollywood for nearly twenty years, during which time Gene Hackman read and rejected it, only to be later convinced by Clint Eastwood (who had owned the rights to the script for some time) to play a role.
    • To maintain the authentic atmosphere, no motor vehicles were allowed on the Big Whiskey set.
    • Only the third western to ever win the Best Picture Oscar. The other two being Dances with Wolves (1990) and Cimarron (1931).
    • The film was shot in 39 days, coming in four days ahead of schedule. The town had to be built very quickly, with a relatively short run-up time (two months) to the start of filming; the construction period was used by the stunt coordinator to work on actors’ riding skills and stunt choreography.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0