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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 275 Annihilation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Can a recent movie be considered cult-worthy? Regardless, Matt and Mark have endeavored to review the recent 2018 release Annihilation. Based after Jeff Vandermeer's novel of the same name, it is a cinematic treatment of the sci-fi "New Weird" genre. An alien encounter film in the vein of Carpenter's The Thing and H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" (complete with rainbow shimmer) it defies the almost obligatory anthropomorphic alien encounters so typical in film. Annihilation doesn't spend its time sketching its characters in a reality we typical expect. Its characters, while fully human, are as unreal in their interpersonal relationships as the alien vortex consuming Southern Florida. Download: 275 Annihilation

 274 The Ice Pirates | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review the space-camp early eighties cult classic The Ice Pirates. A pre-Spaceballs riff on all things Star Wars and other associated derivative Sci-Fi (e.g. Roadwarrior), it begs, borrows and steals shamelessly to stitch together a watchable silly film that for whatever reason has stuck in the consciousness of Gen Xers recalling their adolescence. There's some decent gags and the film mercifully doesn't attempt to take itself seriously (that would run an extra $10 million in budget). Download: 274 The Ice Pirates

 273 Solaris | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark finally get around to kicking out another podcast. This time we review the 1972 Soviet sci-fi classic Solaris. A well-reviewed film and ground-breaking for its era, Matt and Mark decide that for whatever reason its slow trudging art-house chic has grown a bit shabby. In our review we compare the film to its Stanislaw Lem source material (and recent translation) in addition to the latter-day remake by Steven Soderbergh. But none-the-less, the questions this film poses to the audience require insight and introspection, a form of sci-fi film making that we so preciously crave, but so rarely receive. Download: 273 Solaris 

 272 Kelly's Heros | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Burnin' Bridges! This week we review the 1970's ensemble war-heist film Kelly's Heroes. Filled with stable of well-known heavies including Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland, it's a WWII film injected with Vietnam-era sensibilities. A cynical movie, perhaps? Maybe, maybe not. What it is is a whole lotta fun. Matt and Mark discuss the true logistics of the would-be denouement... because it does beg the question: how do you get a few thousand pounds of gold out of WWII's western front when the road home leads through Berlin? Maybe it's not for us to worry about. A cult classic? Probably not, but we like it, and that's all that matters. Download: 272 Kelly's Heroes   

 271 Anomalisa | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark are back... to back! this week with our review of the 2015 Charlie Kaufman film Anomalisa. Using stop-motion puppetry to enhance the Fregoli syndrome metaphor, Anomalisa dissects the ubiquity and transactional nature of the protagonist Michael Stone. When he meets Lisa a momentary emergence of beauty invigorates Michael, but it's ephemeral and more of self-illusion than authentic. Anomalisa paints middle-aged human interaction as a desert of intimacy with its perceived oasis nothing more than mirages. Not a "feel good" movie by any stretch, it does attempt a level honesty most likely unattainable with live actors. Download: 271 Anomalisa

 270 Assault on Precinct 13 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

We near completion of our Carpenter box set this week with our review of the sophomore cult classic Assault on Precinct 13. A mash-up of Western tropes and a little Zombie Romero thrown in for good measure, Carpenter works up an atmosphere of claustrophobic doom despite the seeming implausibility of the story line. It's almost as if we don't really care. Why? Because Assault is a fun B-movie action film which is Carpenter's stock-and-trade. Strangely as Carpenter's budgets bloomed in the 90's/00's his films somehow suffered. A more-with-less artist, Carpenter begins to refine his directorial chops with Assault, a cult classic if there ever was one. Download: 270 Assault on Precinct 13

 269 SLC Punk | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark get around to reviewing the 1998 cult film SLC Punk! in Goodfella's fashion, Stevo takes us on a tour through the punk scene of Reagan-era Salt Lake City. Musing on the paradoxes of Anarchy and Le'essence of being a punk, we're privy to the seemingly endemic metamorphosis of youthful rebellion. While in its throng, the youthful punk may not know where his chaos leads but Stevo knows better, and that's okay. Why? Because Stevo's honesty is one of this films most enduring qualities. Drop the Dungeons and Dragons, slap in a little Minor Threat, and enjoy! Download: 269 SLC Punk

 268 Baby Driver | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Again keeping up with our recent endeavor into current movie reviews (possibly with cult potential), Matt and Mark review the car chase heist film Baby Driver. Not quite a musical, it insinuates a musical element in the movie like another actor. The cast is ridiculously good, with the currently maligned Kevin Spacey, Oscar worthy Jamie Foxx, and lovably evil John Hamm dealing the bad guy goods. With a truly three dimensional main character, Baby Driver builds out a Ansel Elgots Baby with a great deal of humanity. It's a fun flick. Check it out. Download: 268 Baby Driver

 267 Marathon Man | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Mark and Matt review the 1976 thriller Marathon Man. While not a particular strong movie or a well-plotted film, Marathon Man holds its own as well as any thriller of its genre, so much so that's it's remained a cult favorite for over 40 years. With Dustin Hoffman and Roy Schieder in their prime, backed up by the lethal paranoid presence of Sir Laurence Olivier, MM indulges the 70's aesthetic or "je ne sais quoi" of the era. That and everyone hates Nazis, so seeing a Nazi get what's coming to him is always a crowd pleasing claptrap. Download: 267 Marathon Man

 266 Blade Runner 2049 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

In the year 2049!... Matt and Mark break with tradition this go 'round and review the recent release Blade Runner 2049. Like the Roman Empire before it, Los Angeles 2049 is dependent on slave labor to maintain its tenuous expanse. And as a result, this society suffers from the endemic sickness that comes with the inhumanity of such practice. Whether it's your lawn mower, a pet, or in the case of 2049, a replicant/simulacrum, how you use (or abuse) owned property reflects on your own humanity. Is Joi real? Does it matter? While yelling profanity and vulgarity at your home Alexa Echo may seem fun, its cruel intentions degrade your own humanity just by the practice. While the Deckard plot moves the film through its scenes, this is really the story of Gosling's 'K' and his evolution. 2049 is derivative by definition, but it is a true homage to the original, handled deftly and with care. Download: 266 Blade Runner 2049

 265 The Usual Suspects | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark get it together to review the classic The Usual Suspects. A plot intensive illusion, it leads the viewer along with its narrative with the classic "Just the Facts!" detective boilerplate. But at it's center is a deception, a ruse perpetrated by an unreliable narrator, for this film is a long-con and it's not only playing the characters, it's playing you the viewer. While Verbal and Kayser Sose are possibly one-in-the-same, neither one are confirmed real. The Usual Suspects deals in perception as a tool of social currency, exploiting our confidence. In classic Phillip K Dickian fashion, TUS plays on this theme and it plays it well. A film like no other, it is a hard-boiled crime drama mired in its tropes, but at the same time, it is something else. Download: 265 The Usual Suspects

 264 Ronin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark review the bombastic (and slightly silly) Frankenheimer actioner Ronin! More like a tabletop RPG come to life, Ronin deftly utilizes a McGuffin plot in which to thread its Mamet enhanced characters. For whatever reason, we forgive it its military-grade body count and implausible set pieces. Why? Because its a fun film. Unlike most action drivel, Ronin's interstitial scenes have lives of their own and not just a scaffold to tie the car chases together. Download: 264 Ronin

 263 Yojimbo | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Time for a little "Fist Full of Akira Kurosawa" with our review of his classic Ronin Samurai film Yojimbo. Weighing heavy with the archetype of the Western Genre, Kurosawa reinterprets the dynamic in 19th Century feudal Japan. While its debatable such a small Japanese village could harbor rival gangs of such murderous intent, the true enigma of the film is the mysterious Ronin Sanjuro. His motivations are mercurial, his turned conscience uncharacteristic. While a great film, its biggest fault may be Kurosawa's need of the film's amoral anti-hero to forcible assume a typical High Noon archetype. But whatever, Sanjuro's a cinematic badass, and that's pretty cool. Download: 263 Yojimbo 

 262 Clash of the Titans (1982) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark get around to cranking out another podcast with our review of Ray Harryhausen's classic stop-motion masterstroke Clash of the Titans. An end of an era, Clash attempts the high concept marketing of Star Wars but using the public domain creatures of Greek Myth. Despite the clunkiness of the composite special effects, Harryhausen brings real menace to the likes of Calibos and Medusa. With the venerable chops of Laurence Olivier and Burgess Meredith, Clash delivers its epic suite of Saturday matinee melodrama. Perhaps not timeless, it is a classic. Download: 262 Clash of the Titans (1981)

 261 Holy Motors | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review the 2012 French film "Holy Motors" this go around. A very Jodorosky-esque film, its filled with cut-up non-sequiturs loosely tied together by a vaguely metaphoric limousine and it's enigmatic passenger. Perhaps too reference heavy for average American Joe, Holy Motors nods to all that is cinema, providing a meta-landscape where its denizens are in fact incarnations of film themselves. Beyond it's context-free acting indulgences, Holy Motors is a striking film to look at and absorb. But if you're looking for anything resembling a plot, move along. Download: 261 Holy Motors 


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