The Cult of Matt and Mark show

The Cult of Matt and Mark

Summary: A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in Physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.

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Podcasts:

 331 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

 We intended to review Color Out of Space, but to actually label this podcast a review of such would be deceptive. Our podcast went off the rails with our current zeitgeist discussion of the run-up to the U.S's precarious Presidential Election and Mark and Matt's contentious opinions on all things 'Rona. So, if you want to actually hear our opinion on the movie, might want to fast-forward to 2:00:00 and listen to the 10 minutes of film discussion. I wouldn't really call this a Bonus Episode, because it wasn't planned... so here it sits. Enjoy?... .maybe?... It is, what it is... Download: 331 

 330 Minority Report | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

 This go 'round we review the Spielberg Sci-Fi adaptation of the Phil Dick short story of the same name, Minority Report. Not a bad adaptation and it has the can't lose dynamic of the great Tom Cruise combined with the solid film making of Spielberg, however Matt and Mark still remain troubled by the titular focus of this film. While Minority Report is defined and described in the movie, it's the Pre-Cog "Echo" which becomes the fulcrum around which the plot twists. Was this intentional? Who knows. There's a striking amount of causal motivation problems that we somehow forgive... Why is John A. being chased? I dunno, but I hope he gets away! Because the film making is so solid, we tend to forgive its motivational transgressions. However, none of this would ever be admitted to by Ebert, who thought this film was as water-tight plot-wise as a frog's a'hole in a Pre-Cog tank. Download: 330 Minority Report

 329 Bill and Ted Face the Music | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

 It's been along while since Mark and Matt rapped at ya', but are we still doing this goddamn pandemic thing? Geezus. Anyway, we head to the virtual movie theater and catch a showing of the new Bill and Ted movie. Is it good? It's a decent Bill and Ted movie, and taps the same vein of the original. Despite its 30+ year heritage, it becomes painfully aware that Bill and Ted are inter-changeable, and always have been. While Wayne and Garth and Beavis and Butthead mimic some of the same Bill and Ted vibe, the latter characters are distinctly their own. Could you reduce B&T to a single characeter? Yes, would he be called Bed or Till? perhaps.. and it wouldn't really matter. Excellent! Download: 329 Bill and Ted Face the Music

 328 Animal House | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week we complete the Twilight Zone director ensemble review them with Animal House by John Landis. For 1978 it pioneered the modern SNL-style comedies that we've all grown accustomed to (and perhaps tired of), but for its time it was somewhat ground-breaking. Standing out among all the fun performances was perhaps John Belushi's "Bluto", highlighting Belushi's incredible knack for physical comedy that has not yet really been repeated. Oddly, the film takes place in 1962, but was filmed in 1978.. not sure why, other than it excuses the film somewhat from the timely anchors of a modern status quo.  Download: 328 Animal House

 327 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week we finish up the Mastermind George Miller's Mad Max film series with the odd-man out of the even-film set, Beyond Thunderdome. A PG version of Mad Max 2's more visceral R, it has a little for everyone, kids, Tina Turner, pig killers, etc... A decent movie, there's really nothing to complain about, but alas it's a tad milquetoast for various reasons and is most definitely the lesser of the films. But that's okay. Regardless, it isn't forgettable, which makes it a worthwhile watch some 30+ years later. Download: 327 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

 326 Twilight Zone: The Movie | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

What's better than a Richard Matheson screenplay directed by mastermind George Miller? F#$kin' nothin! That's right... the finale of the oddball Twilight Zone: The Movie is the ridiculously amazing remake of the original Shatner episode "Terror at 20,000 ft". Is it worth the milquetoast offing's by Spielberg and Landis? Perhaps. But like a series of shoe gazing and boring opening acts at the beginning, the penultimate "It's a Good Life" offers up some Rob Botin FX that make it both memorable and creepy. But in the end, it's Lithgow's Xanax deprived flyer that reigns supreme. Want to see something scary? Download: 326 Twilight Zone: The Movie 

 325 E.T. the exxtra-terrestrial | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review another kids mid-80's sci-fi film with the indelible E.T. the extra-terrestrial. Spielberg pioneered the mythic utopia of 80's California sub-urban life, a virtual "Oz" ripe for the visitation of a wayward space farer. There's very little for adults here, which is perhaps the reason it has lost staying power with the Gen-X'ers who dragged their parents to the film for almost a solid year's run in the cinemas back in 1982. Withe "cute" puppetry of the alien itself, to the overwhelming purple score of John Williams, E.T. remains... Download: 325 E.T. the extra-terrestrial

 324 Explorers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review the Spielberg-ian mid-80's kid's adventure film Explorers. The film stars the pre-teen Ethan Hawke and River Pheonix in what can only be described as an Elon Musk ferry tale, from inventing your own spaceships to scoring chicks and coming up with an underground boring system powered by nothing more than a 9 volt battery. A clever film, it offers up a first contact story more pragmatic (strangely) from an alien standpoint, by keeping us a**hole humans and arms length with a proper filter. Oddly similar to Carl Sagan's plotline from Contact, including t.v. waves from space and "radioed" spaceship plans, we won't suggest the Cornell astrophysicist cribbed the film's idea. But for the record Explorers came out the same year as the novel Contact, so... Download:  324 Explorers

 323 Star Crash | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Once again Matt and Mark have a lot to say about current affairs (it's 2020... so, it's like every week these days), and less to say about the Star Wars coattails outing "Star Crash", a movie poorly engineered in order to capitalize on the Lucas pop culture phenomena. A bad move, of course, it's major sin is that it's boring. If you're going to bad, please be entertaining. We try to do our best to inject a little MST3K into the mix, but it is what it is... However, we are treated to a worthy Hoff' in an early role, noting his potential for future cheesy Sci-Fi outings like Knight Rider with a glint of Euro-trash.. Download: 323 Star Crash

 322 The Empire Strikes Back | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

For the 40th Anniversary Matt and Mark review the best of the Star Wars "ennealogy" Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back, as we should. Why is this one the better? A host of reasons one could say, but it's really the scenes and production of TESB that makes it what it is. Care is taken with each scene to frame the acting and gravitas of each situation. Unlike the latter films, we're not fire-hosed with undigested CGI and stiff inconsequential acting. The sets and scenes of TESB are unique and atmospheric and pause accordingly to allow the viewer to take a virtual tour of the Galaxy Far Far Away. Download: 322 The Empire Strikes Back

 321 Downfall | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark enter Hitler's bunker this go 'round as we review Downfall, the intimate depiction of the Third Reich's final hours as it finds itself ruling over a  dramatically smaller and smaller piece of Germany. While this is Hitler's story, it's also the story of the evaporation of national socialism into nothing. Like all imagined ideology, when there's no one left to believe in it, it becomes not only irrelevant but absurd. This is more the story of the knowing citizens of Germany during Nazi rule, here from the viewpoint of Hitler's personal secretary, and the creeping compromises and guilty admissions that are self-excused in a disingenuous way. Morality was not mutated into the grotesque during Hitler's Germany, it was merely suppressed.  Download: 321 Downfall

 320 The Boys from Brazil | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This go 'round Matt and Mark review the 1978 speculative fiction film The Boys from Brazil. Loaded with actual science, we get to see the acting powerhouses of Gregory Peck and Sir Laurence Olivier mix it up with the acclaimed Police Academy actor Steve Gutenberg! A nature versus nurture debate tied in with cloning ethics, a film that offers up important questions even today. Could fertilizing the Earth with 92 Hitler Clones get us anything more than your standard shitty sociopath-type CEOs or could you actually hatch the 4th Reich? I suppose that question remains to be answered. Download: 320 The Boys from Brazil

 319 The Lathe of Heaven | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark go cult arcana this week with the 1980 PBS production of the Ursala Le Quin classic The Lathe of Heaven (Watch it on YouTube for free!). Hidden away for more than 20 years due to a broadcast rights issue, it stuck in our collective cinematic consciousness. A pioneering film in contrast to the more bombastic space opera fair, it delves into the purity of true Science Fiction, laying the ground work for such 21st Century film makers as Alex Garland and Shane Carruth. A "monkey's paw" story, we enter the mind of the main character Orr's "effective dreams." A type of reality-amnesia that reforms out of the sub-conscious, we see the scene change from dream-to-dream in a composite state of simultaneous utopia and dystopia. Filmed on a shoestring, we forgive it its production faults as its "big ideas" seethe with an intensity rarely awarded to greater films. Download: 319 The Lathe of Heaven

 318 High Rise | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

One of Matt's favorite authors J.G. Ballard introduced us to a special quirk of the future near-apocalypse and thus the term "Ballardian" was coined. The film adaptation High Rise depicts an absurd apocalypse, a break down of society with no fundamental driver. But that's not exactly the point. The point is the emergence of a different human being, one that's enticed by the transformation of end-times, not one nostalgic for what was. While somewhat 2-dimensional, its characters hint at our specific pandemic moment, one that forces an appreciation of something perhaps more truthful, more atavistic than our current artificial landscapes and manufactured routines. Download: 318 High Rise . 

 Special Episode (Bonus Episode #5) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark throw off the movie review mantle for a little free-wheelin' chat. So for the post-apocalyptic hordes who really wanted to listen to a podcast of the film adaptation of J.G.Ballard's High Rise, you can skip on to the next episode and not suffer 30 minutes of our free-wheelin' intro. Here we're chatting about the world-crisis pandemic and our own myopic inconvenient take on this particular plague. There's been many before, there's one now, and there will be more in the future... that's the way this creaky millennia old civilization rolls, I'm afraid. Download: Special Episode

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