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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 289 Vanishing Point | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Continuing our 70s car movie theme, we review the classic Vanishing Point. A road movie that's nothing more than a cross-country chase in a 71 super-charged Challenger, we probe the classic film archetype of Kowalski. Reaching for deeper themes, Matt and Mark ponder Kowalski's origin and try to parse his enigmatic back story. But in the end we determine it may not really matter. Do we care? Or do we just like road movies? Dunno. A man with death nipping on his heels. Kowalski meets it head on... literally. Download: 289 Vanishing Point

 288 Duel | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Continuing our 70's car movie theme (and our political discussions... sorry, fast forward ahead 15 - 20 mins) Matt and Mark review the inaugural Spielberg outing Duel. A made for TV movie, it's simple Plymouth vs Peterbilt road rage spectacle is not so much about the literal mechanics of the setup, but a psychological experiment. The Dennis Weaver character in his modern man impotence is an avatar for our own anxious helplessness. What makes Duel interesting is the "what would I do?" dynamic in each of its scenes. If the impotent David Mann was more a stoic Mad Max character, this film would fall flat. It's our annoyance of David Mann that makes this film relevant. Download: 288 Duel

 287 Corvette Summer | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark kick-off our 70's car movie them with 1978 comedy-drama Corvette Summer starring a recently minted Luke Skywalker (aka Mark Hamill) and a super-sexy Annie Potts of Designing Women fame. Sadly, at this point in Hamill's career the die was cast. His lack of acting chops and psuedo Buster Keaton physical antics would seem to doom him as an A-listers post Jedi. Thankfully Potts's "hooker with a heart of gold" Vanessa lit up our labido's to propel us through this silly snapshot of 70's pop culture. FYI... skip the first 20 minutes, if our political musings leave you feeling like Hamill covered in a drum of motor oil. Download: 287 Corvette Summer

 286 The Serpent and The Rainbow | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Finishing up our zombie run, we review the Wes Craven "true life" zombie film The Serpent and the Rainbow. Steeped in voodoo, Wes goes to the source of the zombie origin story and brings to life (pun intended) the legend of the "undead." While the film conjures the supernatural, it's blended into the story in such a way that skirts the magical, making it a fun ride. Matt and Mark spend a considerable amount of time debating the "exotic fetishism" of Dr. Alan's character with only a modicum of genuine theory. Whatever the true impetus, we both agree it seems like a good time. Download: 286 The Serpent and The Rainbow 

 285 Dead Snow | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Another international zombie entry into Matt and Mark's zombie Halloween run-up. A ridiculously simple "teens, cabin in the woods, monsters" combination, Dead Snow is a high concept film. One can almost see a couple of Nordic would-be filmmakers smoking a little of Amsterdam's finest pondering the simple combo "Nazis?... zombies?.. Nazi zombies!" And Voulais! Unfortunately, Dead Snow has a lot of grist for the mill, but fails in its ability to tie up plot elements and expand/exploit more intriguing ideas. Regardless what you might think about National Socialism, it's staying power as an ideology among the undead is remarkable. One hopes we don't experience an even worse horror, say Ayn Randian Objectivist Zombies? Shudder to think... Download: 285 Dead Snow

 284 28 Weeks Later | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Our first back-to-back sequel review! This week we review 28 Weeks Later as part of our zombie film run-up to Halloween. Matt and Mark, while remembering the movie as decent, stumble upon a change-of-heart. While the first half is memorable, the second half is nothing more than a typical chase scene with a nonsensical ending that betrays the valor of its heroes. While some framing exposition to the military fallback protocols would have helped us invest in the situation, 28 Weeks dismisses the notion. And as result, we dismiss it as well. Download:  284 28 Weeks Later

 283 28 Days Later | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

It's 28 Days Later and we're back with our 28 Days Later Podcast in our run up to Halloween! This go round we're reviewing zombie fair, in particular the "fast zombie" types. 28 Days kicked off the renaissance in how we depict the undead in film: more "Aliens" and less Romero. Besides its evocative beginning, 28 Days succeeds because it addresses fundamental humanity with its obvious juxtapositions. Because zombies allows us to play around with notions of humanity, fundamental morality is put into question, even mass murder. Download: 28 Days Later

 282 Train to Busan | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Starting up some zombie films in time for the Halloween holiday (we'll see how many we actually get through), we begin with the Korean take on the zombie genre, Train to Busan. Using the 28 Days Later prototype, we're entertained by the hyper viral parkour of zombie hordes in pursuit. A kind of nod to the Night of the Living Dead, Train to Busan uses the barricaded survivor trope to full affect, specifically the interactions among the desperate. Good zombie films tend to tell us a bit about ourselves as human beings via the obvious juxtaposition, and Train is no different. Download: 282 Train to Busan

 147 Legend | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt battles the forces of nostalgia to defend the honor of Legend against the mediocre reviews it received at the time, while Mark debates the Lili characters quest-worth. Ridley Scott's Legend is an astounding visual feast the brings to bear the best of the pre-CGI era practical effects. Intended to be a 'live action' Disney-like film ala Snow White, it succeeds. However, its ability to craft like-able characters in its heightened landscapes falls short. But one thing we can all agree on is that the teenage Mia Sara lit the fires of many proto-goth boys back in the 1980s with her black lipstick moodiness. Download:  147 Legend

 281 Dune | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review the flawed but redeemable Lynch sci-fi interpretation of the Herbert classic Dune! ... finally. Despite its limited running time and abbreviated faulty plot, Dune shines in its quintessential Lynchian moments. Lynch's portrayal of the Harkonnen Geidi Prime captures an aesthetic that is uniquely alien as it is human; something we have never seen before on film. When the mutated spice junkies of the Guild wander onto set, sloppy and warped, you buy into their psychedelic prescience. Yes, Dune could have been done much much better (we know Mr. Jodorosky... yes, we know), but as a disowned Lynchian orphan, it aged well enough and is wholly memorable. Download: 281 Dune

 280 The Fly (1986) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The "Summer of Sci-Fi" continues with our review of the Chronenberg classic The Fly. An exercise in cinematic body horror, the fly takes the squirmy parts of our anatomy and its associations and full throttles it into a disquieting aesthetic. While Matt and Mark detail the fundamental scientific boundaries of true teleportation, we both agree Ronny played by Gina Davis is a full-on Physics Phd groupy. But how can she resist and acne-ridden Babe Ruth gorging totally cut Jeff Goldblum? Anyway, flies are gross and this movie does the species no favors. Download: 280 The Fly (1986)

 279 Mad Max: Fury Road | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

"What a Lovely Day!" This go 'round Matt and Mark review the Miller reboot of the Max franchise with Mad Max: Fury Road. While no doubt an undisputed masterpiece of 21st Century action, one has to wonder does it hold up on repeat viewings? Mark hmms and hahs certain details overlooked in the initial bombast, while Matt codifies the tropes of the Max universe which has made it an archetype of its own. Part Gandalf, Part Clint Eastwood, Hardy's Max is a catalyst for the feminist action of Furiosa's story. Fury Road also goes to prove that yes... you can stage a monster truck as a film's set piece and still get nominated for an Oscar. Witness!!! Download:  279 Mad Mad Fury Road

 278 Reign of Fire | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

What can we say about an Apocalyptic Dragon mash-up film like Reign of Fire? Matt and Mark indulge this most unlikely of films with our review of the McConaughey/Bale sci-fi/fantasy popcorn movie. While it shouldn't work, it kind of does and for that we forgive it its many grievous sins of plausibility and bad acting. The fact that Ebert gave it 1 star, yet here we are reviewing it 16 later should count for something... shouldn't it? Nothing of this elder talking dragon nonsense, what do we like most about dragons? Burning shit up! Download: 278 Reign of Fire

 277 The Time Machine (1960) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark go "old timey" with our review of the classic 1960 The Time Machine. True to the original source material, The Time Machine gives the cinematic treatment to the original 19th Century novel by H.G. Wells. A far future epic (which there are surprisingly few in cinema) we enter a world of split humanity, decay, and of course... troglodyte cannibalism. Unlike more tired tropes of antiquated sci-fi, The Time Machine remains fresh and inventive today. Will there be hot blondes speaking perfect English 800,000 years from now? Watching this film, you can almost believe it to be the case! Nearly sixty years on, the original The Time Machine remains a fun Saturday afternoon watch. Download: 277 The Time Machine (1960)

 276 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A slice of life from the whimsical 80's, Matt and Mark review Bill & Ted! Not the first time travelling comedy by any stretch, it un-apologetically plays with the "fish out of water" routine to full affect. While Bill & Ted may be SoCal caricatures of the proto "dudebro" aesthetic, they are played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as fully fleshed out 3D characters. Are the historical figures cartoonish? Very much so. But that serves the point in the end. Hidden within the obvious gags are tinges of subtle comedic moments. Before the pastiche of Wayne's World and the dynasty of Beavis and Butthead, there was Bill & Ted! Most Excellent! Party on! Download: 276 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure


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