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The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 370 – Brightburn, Lawnmowers, and Evil Children

June 17, 2021

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Lisa (@LisaPas220 on Twitter) discuss the 2019 film Brightburn. Directed by David Yarovesky, and starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, and Jackson A. Dunn, the film focuses on what happens when a space baby becomes a maniac preteen. In this episode, they discuss supervillains, blood explosions, and James Gunn produced movies. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

The Sparks Brothers: An Excellent and Entertaining Documentary From Director Edgar Wright

June 17, 2021
The Sparks Brothers | Official Website | June 18 2021

Quick thoughts – A – The Sparks Brothers is my favorite film/doc of 2021 so far. The 135-minute running time flies by, and it would be great to see Edgar Wright tackle more music documentaries.

The Sparks Brothers is an extremely fun documentary about Ron and Russell Mael, two brothers who over the last 50 years have been  “successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time.” Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver), a man who absolutely loves music, and infuses his films with eclectic mixes of pop, punk, funk and every other genre, the documentary will make many people fans of Sparks (AKA the favorite band of your favorite band). The Sparks Brothers features recognizable talking heads like Jack Antinoff, Jane Wiedlin, Beck, Neil Gaiman and Flea, talking about the history of Ron and Russell’s band Sparks, who formed in 1967 under the name Urban Renewal Project, and moved on to become Halfnelson (1968), and eventually Sparks. 

Ron and Russell are wildly charming, and they make for perfect interviewees because they seem to be up for everything. There are skits, jokes, and interestingly framed moments by cinematographer Jake Polonsky (Senna, Blackmirror) that required good humor from Ron and Russull. The two brothers are likable, talented and wholly unique, which is part of the reason why Sparks never become a worldwide phenomena. Their sensibilities are slightly off-center (but still brilliant), as they embrace humor, unique looks, and experimentation with their music. The two haven’t stopped creating since 1967, and since they’ve never had any wild memoirs, or drug meltdowns covered by the media, they’ve stayed under the radar of mainstream audiences, and instead, built a loyal following around the world who love the 25 studio albums they’ve released. 

The documentary does an excellent job of showcasing their massive discography (and wonderful album covers), and tracing their journeys around the world where they’ve found success in places like Germany, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and Los Angeles. While watching, it’s slightly annoying that they’ve gone under the radar for so long, but it’s also amazing that they keep creating, and are beloved in the industry. Some of the interviewees actually break down in tears while talking about Ron and Russell, because they seem like such nice people who worked incredibly hard, and are nice to their bandmates and fans (which seems rare in the industry). It would be really cool to see this documentary build their reputation, and help them finally get a #1 album in the United States and abroad. 

Final thoughts: Watch The Sparks Brothers. You will love it. 

Luca: A Charming Pixar Film About Sea Monsters and Vespa Scooters

June 16, 2021
Poster courtesy of Disney

Quick Thoughts: Luca is a delight. If you are looking for a breezy and fun story involving sea monsters, you will love it. The only thing I worry about is Pixar fans complaining that Luca is a kids film, and not Wall-E or Ratatouille.

Directed by Enrico Casarosa (the story/storyboard artist on Coco, Up, and Ratatouille), and written by Jesse Andrew and Mike Jones, Luca is an adorable film about two sea monsters making friends with the locals of a town on the Italian Riviera. The movie has a neat Studio Ghibli meets Pixar vibe, as it features two young sea creatures who turn into humans when they leave the water, and have to keep their identities secret as the local townsfolk are super afraid of the fabled sea monsters. 

The film starts with young Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay) watching after his flock of fish, and dealing with his overbearing mom Daniella (Maya Rudolph), who is justifiably afraid of the murderous humans. Luca lives a comfortable and monotonous life in the water that is essentially one big routine of shepherding his fish, and staying out of sight of fishing boats. His life changes when he meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer), a rogue sea monster who lives on land, and scavenges human knick knacks for his collection. The two form a close friendship, and run away to the local town after Luca’s parents threaten him with a summer in the deep, where he’ll sit in darkness with his translucent uncle Ugo (Sacha Baron Cohen), and listen to him talk for hours (and eat dead whale bits). 

When they reach the town they meet Giulia (Emma Berman), and her father Massimo (Marco Barrricelli), and are drawn into the local athletic event that takes place once a year and features swimming, eating and cycling (an Italian Iron Man-ish event). If they win, they’ll win enough money to buy a Vespa, which will allow them to drive around the world, and be on their own away from lame adults. What follows is a whole lot of cuteness involving pasta, training montages, and new friendships. 

Luca features refreshingly low stakes, and the 95-minute running time flies by. You’ll fall in love with the Italian town, cheeky characters and the delicious looking pasta that is consumed throughout. Casarosa was influenced by Italian films La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, La Strada, and Nights of Cabiria (all directed by Federico Fellini), and you can see their influence throughout as Luca features coming-of-age stories, people leaving hometowns, and multiple daydreams that feature Vespa journeys. An added bonus is that the Italian town is wonderfully realized, and you feel like you know its geography, and would actually want to visit the place to see the beautiful vistas. The overall relaxed vibe is a welcome change of pace for Pixar, and it will be interesting to see how audiences respond to the niceness of it all. 

Final Thoughts: Luca is such a nice film. Watch it, enjoy it, don’t complain that it isn’t Wall-E.

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast – Episode 49: Shark Gangs, Mangrove Alcoves, and Deep Blue Sea 3

June 16, 2021

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpreakerSpotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Amazon, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Please make sure to rate, review, share, and subscribe!

Jay and Mark are joined by Nick Rehak (@TheRehak on Twitter) to discuss the first chapter on the Deep Blue Sea 3 Blu-ray. In this episode, they discuss mangrove alcoves, shark gangs, and the Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. Enjoy!

Please make sure to rate, review and subscribe to the DBS podcast, and follow Nick on Twitter (he’s hilarious)!

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It: A Solid Documentary That Highlights the Trailblazing Career of Rita Moreno

June 15, 2021

Quick Thoughts: – A- Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It is an excellent documentary that highlights the trailblazing career of Rita Moreno. Watch for the history, and stay for Moreno’s candid interviews.

Directed, produced, and edited by Mariem Pérez Riera, Rita Moreno is a candid, enlightening and educational documentary that breaks down the 71-year career of EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner Rita Moreno. The documentary features Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria, Morgan Freeman, Justina Machado, and Moreno herself, discussing the ups-and-downs of her career, and enlightening us on how hard it was for her to make a name for herself in 1950s Hollywood. Moreno’s career started in 1950, when she was 19, and she worked on movies and television shows like Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, The Yellow Tomahawk, and Zorro, where she mostly played some form of “native” character who was fodder for the “hero” of the film. During this time, Moreno was raped by her manager, harassed by studio heads, and she found herself in a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando that led to a suicide attempt. 

Moreno is refreshingly candid during her interviews, and hearing her talk about the rough road she endured in her career is really important. She shines a light on the sexist and racist nature of Hollywood, and somehow manages to imbue everything with sarcasm and humor. Her presence, and candid nature elevate the documentary beyond a “Rita Moreno is amazing” experience, and she makes it something worth watching for the history and knowledge. It’s wild to know that after she won her Oscar for West Side Story, she didn’t receive any job offers of substance (they still wanted her to be the “native” girl). What’s really neat is she found her own way and fought for a wildly successful career that has made her an icon. Also, her role as an activist has been a source of inspiration, and it’s cool watching her find her voice and become a role model to many young actors and actresses, who looked up to her for her talents and bravery.

An added bonus is that the documentary is only 90 minutes, and it somehow manages to pack in a lot of history, humor and heart. It never comes close to wearing out its welcome, and you almost wish you could get more of Moreno’s insights and history, because she’s so cool. 


Final thoughts: Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It is refreshingly candid and worth a watch. You will learn a lot.

In the Heights: An Extremely Fun Musical That Will Put a Smile on Your Face

June 12, 2021

Quick Thoughts: In the Heights is an absolute blast. It puts a smile on your face, and is proof that stage musicals can be successfully translated to the big screen. 

Directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D), In The Heights kicks off the summer season with a bang. Adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical stage play, and book written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, the film focuses on a group of Washington Heights (the uppermost borough of Manhattan) residents, as they move up in the world, find love, and deal with the gentrification of their neighborhood. In the Heights mostly focuses on Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), the owner of a bodega, who pines after Vanessa Morales (Melissa Barrera), who works at the local salon owned by Daniella (Daphne Rubin-Vega). Usnavi lives with his “abuela” Claudia (Olga Merediz – so good), and they look after Sonny (Gregory Diaz IV), Usnavi’s cousin who also works at the bodega. There are many other characters played by Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Stephanie Beatriz, Jimmy Smits, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Dasha Polanco, who get moments to shine as they sing, dance and look totally comfortable performing.

Chu’s experience directing romances (Crazy Rich Asians), dancing films (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D), and music videos for Justin Bieber are on full display in this film. The dancing scenes are epic, as they feature 500+ dancers moving in unison in wide shots that are normally reserved for action films. There are Gene Kelly-esque dances scenes, and musical numbers that showcase inspired camerawork by cinematographer Alice Brooks (Jem and the Holograms), who uses windows, walls, and tunnels to maximum effect. All of the musical numbers feel alive and exciting, and it must’ve been a lot of work to corral all of the extras, dancers, and crew for the large dance numbers (the production assistants must’ve been working overtime to lock off the New York City streets). Dance choreographer Christopher Scott (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D), had his work cut out for him, as the film is stuffed with unique musical numbers that feature staggering amounts of choreography, and they all have to tell a different story. Kudos to Scott for pulling off dance numbers that translate really well to the screen, and making them unique, so they stand apart from each other, and don’t feel like a big blob of dance scenes. Also, the costume design by Mitchell Travers (Hustlers, Eighth Grade, Late Night) is top-notch, as there are a plethora of memorable costumes that should prove to be iconic in years to come. 


Final thoughts: In the Heights is one of my favorite films of 2021 (so far), and I hope it finds a large audience.

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 369: In the Mouth of Madness, Tentacles, and the Apocalypse Trilogy

June 10, 2021

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and John discuss the 1994 horror film In the Mouth of Madness. Directed by John Carpenter, and starring Sam Neill, Julie Carmen and Charlton Heston, the movie focuses on what happens when people become too obsessed with a horror novelist. In this episode, they discuss gooey monsters, apocalypses, and Sam Neill’s horror career. Enjoy!

Make sure to check out our episodes that cover The Thing and Prince of Darkness.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

Loki – Episodes One and Two Review – A Fun and Funky Breath of Fresh MCU Air

June 8, 2021

Quick thoughts: The first two episodes of Loki are fun, funky and very unique. Tom Hiddleston is clearly having a blast, and it will be fun to see where the other four episodes go

The first two episodes deal with the aftermath of Loki creating a new timeline after using the Tesseract to escape the Avengers in Avengers: Endgame. Loki’s freedom is short-lived, and he is arrested by a space bureaucracy known as the Time Variance Authority (TVA). A sprawling corporation that has time labs, time cops, and time courts that judge whether or not a time traveler should be considered a “Time Variant.” What is the punishment for being a time variant? Well, the person is wiped out of existence, so the sacred timeline can be restored. Since Loki doesn’t want to be wiped from existence, he uses all of his tricks, and some luck, to win over TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson – so much fun), a seasoned time agent who hunts down dangerous time criminals, and he recruits Loki to chase down a dangerous criminal who is killing members of the TVA. What follows shouldn’t be spoiled, just know that there’s talk of jet skis, and Loki calls him a “Mischievous Scamp.”

The joy of the first two episodes is watching the joy on Tom Hiddleston’s face as he finally gets to let loose. This is his Thor: Ragnarok, and you can tell he loves letting his hair down and having fun. This isn’t the emo-Loki we were introduced to in Thor (2011), this is the mischievous and fun god of mischief that he was meant to be. His interactions with Mobius, Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Hunter B-15 (Wummi Mosaku) and a TVA office drone (Eugene Cordero) are a blast, and it’s fun watching time bureaucrats deal with the bombastic and untrustworthy Loki (who will definitely stab people in the back). 

The direction by Kate Herron is lively and confident, and Herron seems to enjoy the tiny moments of conversation as much as the fight scenes. The show is refreshingly devoid of CGI-smackem ups, and instead focuses on the verbal wizardry created by writer Michael Waldron (only credited writer so far). Also, the cinematography and production design by Autumn Durald (Teen Spirit, Palo Alto) and Karsa Farahani (Bliss, Thor, Captain Marvel) are top-notch, as they manage to make drab office buildings, and cafeterias look expansive and impressive (they also love the color orange). The shot selection is always visually interesting, and it makes the many conversations seem alive and spirited. 

If you are a fan of WanadaVision, Thor: Ragnarok and movies featuring space corporations, you will love Loki.

Final Thoughts: The first two episodes of Loki make me want to watch more of it. It will be exciting to see how it all plays out.

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 368 – The Wolf of Snow Hollow, John McEnroe, and Jim Cummings

June 8, 2021

You can download or stream the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Zanandi (@ZaNandi on Twitter) discuss the excellent 2020 film The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Directed and written by Jim Cummings (watch Thunder Road now), and starring Riki Lindhome, Robert Forster, and Cummings, the movie focuses on what happens when a ski town in Utah is ravaged by brutal murders that take place when there is a full moon. In this episode, they discuss monologues, angry people, and the werewolf genre. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast – Episode 48: Deep Rising (1998), Lunkheads, and Beach Balls

June 7, 2021

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpreakerSpotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Amazon, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Please make sure to rate, review, share, and subscribe!

Jay and Mark take a break from Deep Blue Sea, and talk about the 1998 film Deep Rising. Directed by Stephen Sommers, and starring Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Wes Studi and a jet ski, the film focuses on what happens when a gigantic sea monster attacks a cruise ship. In this episode, they discuss lunkheads, beach balls, and squishy monsters. Enjoy!

The Deep Blue Sea 3 series starts next week! Make sure you watch it, and follow along.

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