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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 025 Time Bandits by Terry Gilliam | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

"Evil apparently has something to do with freewill" so goes the Supreme Being's nebulous rational for his creation in the 1981 classic Time Bandits. Matt and Mark explore the richness of Terry Gilliam's cinematic palette as we indulge a kid's movie that transcends the genre, all the while sneering at the absurdity of adulthood and its materialistic trappings. Backed by a few of the Pythons (John Cleese and Michael Palin) and starring the talents of Sean Connery, David Warner, and Ian Holm, Time Bandits lays the groundwork for Gilliam's quirky future filmography. Enjoy!    Download: 025 Time Bandits by Terry Gilliam

 024 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Sergio Leone | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

One bastard goes in, another comes out. Like an exercise in game theory, Matt and Mark delve into Sergio Leone's classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly released in 1966, starring Clint Eastwood in his defining role as "Blondie" (aka the Man with No Name). Taking typical western tropes and turning them on their head, we're treated to a post-modern recycling of the well-trod American western. TGTBATU legitimized the much denigrated spaghetti western into high art, raising the bar, and in doing so, usurping the genre it pays homage to. Enjoy! Download:  024 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Sergio Leone

 023 Sorcerer by William Friedkin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark return from our Scottish sojourn! This week we review the strangely titled Sorcerer by 70's power-director William Friedkin and starring Roy Scheider. A remake of the 1953 classic Wages of Fear (which we both have not seen), we can only speculate as to whether or not it achieves the homage Friedkin was going for. As far as tension goes, the simplicity of the concept is second-to-none in cinema. Themes of fate-versus-freewill are hinted at in a story about deliverance, not necessarily out of Hell, but out of Purgatory. Enjoy! Download: 023 Sorcerer by William Friedkin

 022 Local Hero by Bill Forsyth | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

As both Matt and Mark are currently in Scotland, we thought we'd serve you up another helping of Scottish themed cinema with Bill Forsyth's sleeper hit Local Hero, released in 1983. With its quiet plot and measured pacing, Mark goes for a more literary approach and comes up with a dire interpretation of the ending while Matt begs to differ. Filled with small town quirk and handcrafted snapshots of seaside village life, Local Hero makes for an enjoyable dramedy that's worth coming back to. Enjoy! Download: 022 Local Hero by Bill Forsyth

 021 Highlander by Russell Mulcahy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark are heading off to the Highlands of Scotland! (Matt's getting hitched!... kilt and all!) So, in the spirit of our travels we thought we'd pick an appropriate cult favorite: Highlander. Matt and Mark discuss the logistics of immortality and come to the realization that only after about 1000 years does an immortal truly gain a sense of humor (Lighten up Macleod!) So, Cheers Lads and Lasses, enjoy! Download: 021 Highlander by Russell Mulcahy

 019 Adaptation by Spike Jonze | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Breaking the genre mold, Spike Jonze brings us a "meta-movie" with Adaptation released in 2002, a "sort-of" autobiographic film about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's struggles with adapting the nearly unadaptable book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean to film. Matt and Mark explore Charlie's inexhaustible supply of self-doubt and social anxiety, and in trying to answer the questions the film offers up, circle the existential dilemma of passion with a bit of clinical dispassion, but not without irony. Adaptation stars a brilliant Nicolas Cage as the Kaufman twins Charlie and Donald, with an Oscar winning performance by Chris Cooper. The film also stars Meryl Streep, Brian Cox, and Tilda Swinton with walk-ons by John Cusack, Katherine Keener, and John Malkovich. Enjoy! Download: 019 Adaptation by Spike Jonze

 018 Scarface by Brian De Palma | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

With a 1.23 "F--k" per minute count, Matt and Mark review the gangster (gansta?) classic Scarface by Brian De Palma, starring Al Pacino as the iconic cuban crime boss Tony Montana. Inspiring hip-hop artists and Middle Eastern dictators everywhere with its thuggish 'rags to riches' tale of meteoric excess, Scarface introduces us to the cocaine empire of 80's Miami, Florida. Mark details the nuance of Latino machismo while Matt opines on Tony's gaudy sense of interior decoration. Enjoy mang! Download: 018 Scarface by Brian De Palma

 017 Let the Right One In by Tomas Alfredson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

With an intro courtesy of the late Jim Henson, we embark to discuss the superb Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In by Tomas Alfredson, released in 2008. Both Matt and Mark agree this is the best vampire film of the past 25 years, and like all great films reviewed on our podcast, we set about nitpicking the details. Throw your Twilight boxed set into the trash, sell your Blade action figures on eBay, take down your Corey Haim/Feldmen Lost Boys pinups, and forget about the sub-par (but worthy remake) Let Me In, because Let the Right One is all you need for blood-sucking goodness. Enjoy! Download: 017 Let the Right One In by Tomas Alfredson  

 016 Caligula by Tinto Brass and Bob Guccione | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

What happens when you merge a sword and sandals epic with 70's era pornography? Matt and Mark find out in this week's review of the "controversial" Caligula by Tinto Brass and famous Penthouse smut peddler Bob Guccione. Starring an A-list cast of notables, including Peter O'Toole, Sir John Gielgud, Malcolm McDowell and Shakespearean actress Helen Mirren, Caligula is a what we would consider, at the least, a watchable film. Minus a few digressions into porn nostalgia, Matt and Mark come to consensus that Caligula, while not exactly worthy of Ebert's famed no-star review, is more style than substance, but not in an "utterly worthless" or "vile" way. Grab yourself a bottle of Chianti and Enjoy! Download: 016 Caligula by Tinto Brass and Bob Guccione

 015 Battle Royale by Kinji Fukasaku | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Did The Hunger Games rip-off Battle Royale? meh.... Matt and Mark are pretty sure we don't care. This week we attempt to review the 2001 Japanese blockbuster sensation Battle Royale by famed film director Kinji Fukasaku. Sadly this review will no doubt disappoint those seeking more Suzanne Collins versus Koushan Takami fodder, but the web is already clogged enough with that nonsense. Unfamiliar with the novel or subsequent manga, BR proves a challenge to absorb with its 44 characters and nuanced back stories. We did give it our best shot though... Enjoy? Download: 015 Battle Royale by Kinji Fukasaku

 013 Primer by Shane Carruth | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

What if Steve Jobs had forgone his world conquest of the consumer electronics market and built an accidental time machine in his garage instead? Primer, released in 2003, answers this question with a cautionary tale of what happens when you try to pack 36 hours into a 24 hour day. Matt manages to put his physics knowledge to inadequate use with some Feynman diagram hand waving while Mark explores the combination of claustrophobia and Argon as we review this low-budget sci-fi indie. Enjoy! Download: 013 Primer by Shane Carruth

 012 The Warriors by Walter Hill | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Can you dig it!! This week we review the 1979 street gang classic The Warriors by Walter Hill. While firmly set in the late 70's nocturnal blight of New York City, The Warriors defies its reality with a stylized depiction of gang fiefdoms and eerie synth-rock soundtrack, courtesy of Barry De Vorzon. Enter the world of terrifying baseball Harlequins (Baseball Furies!) and Afro-chopsocky legionnaires (Grammercy Riffs!) with our discussion of this cult classic. Enjoy boppers! Download : 012 The Warriors by Walter Hill

 011 Heathers by Michael Lehmann | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

%$#@ me gently with a chainsaw! This week we enter the halls of Westerburg High in the 80's cult film Heathers by Michael Lehmann, starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty. Matt searches in futility for a broader psychological, social, and/or historical meaning while Mark cuts to the cynical chase and calls Heathers out for the cathartic misanthropic dirge that it is. Chock full of memorable quotes and sinister flourishes, Heathers does not disappoint. Enjoy! Download: 011 Heathers by Michael Lehmann

 010 The Wicker Man (1973) by Robin Hardy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

It's time for your appointment with The Wicker Man! This week we review the 1973 cult classic by Robin Hardy. Rated as one of the top ten British films of all time, The Wicker Man defies film making convention, skirting the line between horror and thriller, while making a comment on religion and its relationship to modern society. While paid nothing for his work, Christopher Lee stars as Lord Summerisle in this breakout role that would eventually lead him to later fame in the Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars prequels. Besides a little sacrificial unpleasantness, both Matt and Mark agree, to be a 'born again pagan' may not be all that bad. Enjoy! Download: 010 The Wicker Man (1973) by Robin Hardy

 009 Nosferatu by F.W.Murnau | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

We kick it old school this week with our review of the 1922 silent vampire classic Nosferatu by F.W.Murnau. Finding it hard to discuss the film without indulging its copyright history, we give some back story to its sorted relationship with the source material, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Crude special effects, awkward overacting and pacing, showcase just how far cinema has come in the past century, but one thing that cannot be denied, however, is the menacing performance of Count Orlok by the enigmatic Max Schreck, a film icon if there ever was one. Enjoy! Download:  009 Nosferatu by F.W.Murnau


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