Sep 29 2014

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.


Windy’s Pick of the Week: Cloak & Dagger

Another family friendly entry from the mid-80s – sort of The Goonies meets Gotcha (and there’s another movie to remind you about!). Child star Henry Thomas is the central character – a lonely, motherless child who loses himself in video games. Dabney Coleman plays his imaginary friend, the star of his spy game. When our young hero accidentally comes into possession of actual spy secrets, he must use everything he’s learned from the game, and the advice of his imaginary pal, to save the day.


Melissa’s Pick of the Week: Gold Diggers of 1933

This film is one of the strangest musicals I have ever seen. On the surface, it looks like almost every other musical of its time: the “hey, let’s make a Broadway show!” plot, the dazzling Busby Berkeley dance numbers, and the occasional still-famous tune (namely, “We’re In the Money”). However, there is an underlying darkness to the movie called The Great Depression. While many musicals of this film’s time were an escape from the Depression, this one openly deals with it. The story begins with four actresses, who are struggling to pay rent. A show they have been rehearsing has shut down because it ran out of money. The lives of the people in the film are unglamorous. And while the bulk of the film’s running time is relentlessly upbeat, the final number takes a startling left turn into the Reality Zone that dropped my jaw to the floor when I first saw it. If you want to see what happens when Busby Berkeley gets socially conscious and turns to German Expressionism, this is the movie for you.

Sep 25 2014

Episode 33: Pure Ejaculation of Awesome

Xanadu Sq LogoThis week, we get our monster love on with an episode about Guillermo del Toro! To make this episode even better, we are joined in the Pleasure Dome by Matt Kessen, the very tall mad genius behind Reverend Matt’s Monster Science!

If Reverend Matt’s resonant voice makes you want to join in our drinking rites, we suggest a fine, peaty scotch like Laphroaig Cairdeas, which is the bottle we killed while recording this episode. We certainly enjoyed setting our mouths and souls aflame with that stuff.

More show notes behind the cut!

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Sep 22 2014

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.


Melissa’s Pick of the Week: The Ipcress File

If you are unfamiliar with Michael Caine’s acting career during his younger days, you owe it to yourself to see the 1965 spy flick The Ipcress File. The film was made as a reaction to the high-fashion, sexy James Bond series, detailing the day-to-day life of a more realistic screen spy named Harry Palmer (played by Caine). Palmer lives in an apartment, deals with bureaucracy, and navigates departmental politics while he unravels a complicated plot involving the kidnapping of an esteemed scientist. The film is a slow burn, and you have to pay attention, but I assure you it’s worth the trip to get to the extraordinarily strange ending. Oh, and here’s some strange trivia: even though this film was a reaction to James Bond, it was produced by Harry Saltzman, who himself co-produced the Bond series through 1974.


Windy’s Pick of the Week: The Company of Wolves

Angela Lansbury anchors this moody anthology piece about the loss of innocence and the awakening of sexuality. The central werewolf theme is played out in a variety of forms, and the movie feels more like a fever dream than a coherent story. But it sticks with you, and it definitely entertains. Besides, it offers the very valuable advice: “Never trust a man whose eyebrows grow together.”

Sep 18 2014

Episode 32: Ooh, Ruffians!

Xanadu Sq LogoIn this week’s extra-boozy episode, we talk about heist movies! Because, seriously, don’t we all want to be part of a heist at some part of our lives? It’s even a great word. HEIST. Roll that around in your mouth for a while. HEISSSSST.

Anyway, if you would like to drink along, we found a bottle of Layer Cake Malbec that served us quite well. We promise we paid for it. We did not steal it, because we like and admire the honest workers of our local alcohol-providing establishments.

Show notes and links below the cut!

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Sep 15 2014

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.


Windy’s Pick of the Week: Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

Patrick Wayne (John’s son, yes) stars as the swashbuckling Sinbad in this Ray Harryhausen classic. The lovely Jane Seymour is his love interest as they embark on an adventure to save her brother, the Prince, who has been turned into a baboon (no, really!). (Doctor Who fans will enjoy Patrick Troughton’s appearance as well.) The special effects are epic – not just the baboon, but giant wasps, a minotaur, plus the sabre-tooth tiger of the title. A trip riddled with magic and mystery!

bedazzled 2

Melissa’s Pick of the Week: Bedazzled (1967)

While many of us are familiar with the unfortunate remake of this film, few have seen the original, which features the talents of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook at the height of their powers. Set in swingin’ 60s London, Bedazzled focuses on a meek diner cook (Dudley Moore), who meets Satan (Peter Cook) during a bungled suicide attempt. In a Faustian pact, the devil promises to grant seven wishes in return for the man’s soul. Of course, the devil twists every wish. Along the way, we meet the seven deadly sins (including Raquel Welch as Lust), and a lot of silly things happen (like nuns on trampolines). Oh, and did I mention that this whole thing was directed by Stanley Donen of Singin’ in the Rain fame? Yup.

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