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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 230 Lost in Translation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Film three in our loosely sketched out "May/December" movie marathon, we review one of Matt and Mark's favorite films, Lost in Translation. An Oscar nominated performance that Bill Murray should have won, coupled with the nascent stardom of ScarJo, gives life to authentic characters in believable, if not quirky but ordinary situations (namely business travel). Sofia Coppola deftly captures the shimmer of an ephemeral relationship, relationships relieved of the day-to-day routine, allowing us to connect, strangely, in more meaningful ways. Download: 230 Lost in Translation  

 229 Leon: The Professional | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Continuing our May/December movie review marathon this week, we review the 1994 debut of Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional. When a precocious hard scrabble 12 year old Matilda meets up with the emotionally stunted hitman Leon, a unique chemistry forms. Matt and Mark discuss the primary argument of why Besson chose a 12 year old for the lead role. Despite Ebert's nebulous and inconclusive derision, the film flat out wouldn't work as well if Matilda were older. Also of note, is Oldman's chthonic maniac portrayal of DEA agent Stan. OIdman at his finest. Download: 229 Leon: The Professional

 228 Harold and Maude | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week we kick off a loosely defined "May/December" movie marathon with the seminal cult classic Harold and Maude from 1971. Unlike Ebert, we refrain from drunkenly urinating over this film. With a simple straightforward message, its characters are as a result... simple. While the film does have its plausibility problems, its uniqueness and quirkiness set it apart from both black comedies and romantic comedies. Download: 228 Harold and Maude    

 227 Valhalla Rising | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week we review a contemporary companion film of El Topo with Refn's arthouse adventure drama Valhalla Rising. Matt prattles on about possible meaning while Mark gets to the heart of what makes this evocative film intriguing; dudes, violence, vikings, gladiators, general badassery, and no chicks! (except as the reward of pillage and conquest). The beauty of the Scottish Highlands is on full display in this film and Refn delivers. Believe me, there's nothing quite so satisfying as standing in the highlands, longsword in hand, surveying the great mountainous expanse. Download: 227 Valhalla Rising

 226 El Topo | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark finally review the midnight movie classic El Topo by Alexandro Jodorowsky. A Deepak Chopra myth salad of religious symbolism, Matt chooses to not take the ride while Mark extracts the essential parable of the film. While the stylistic surrealism is intriguing and evocative, the Spaghetti Western set dressings and overwrought violence cater to a more specific crowd. An allegorical trip through misguided purpose and failed redemption, there's something here here. To soak up the strangeness no doubt requires multiple watchings, an investment perhaps a certain few are willing to make. Download: 226 El Topo  

 225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

It's Christmas time! And this week we review a Bond film with a waft of Yule-tide dressing (a Christmas tree here, a wreath there...), and the only George Lazenby Bond film in the canon:  On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In the shadow of the Connery purists, OHMSS is a solid Bond film with worthy set pieces and a perfect villain played by Telly Sevalas. The Piz Gloria, with it's loungy interiors and Alpine vistas is a madmen's redoubt where we could only hope to sip a Martini and woo a harem of international beauties. Download: 225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service  

 224 Withnail and I | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt admits failure this week when we review Withnail and I, the beloved British cult film from 1987. Without the benefit of repeat watchings and dialogue insight, the witty writing and conversations were lost with Matt's virgin viewing.  Mark luckily picked up the major slack. A tiny slice of the 60's, Withnail and I indulge the youthful abandon aesthetic of the time. So, we apologize in advance to the devoted Withnailers for our review. We tried. Download: 224 Withnail and I

 223 Computer Chess | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark review the 2013 film Computer Chess. Like Terminator's man-vs-machine themes (without time travel and plasma-rifle wielding cyborg killers), Computer Chess is an idiosyncratic look at humanity's constant yearning to recreate itself. When we finally stumble upon the holy grail of Vinge's Singularity, mid-80's nerd competitions in a nondescript Holiday Inn will usurp Newton's Apple as the defining moment of human progress. Download:  223 Computer Chess

 222 Idiocracy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Not a current comment on our body electorate or anything, but this week Matt and Mark review the unsung Mike Judge classic Idiocracy. Besides the gags, Matt and Mark try to unearth the kernel of incurious idiocy Judge depicts. In a world of junk food convenience, the lack of ownership and struggle may work to numb us and dumb us down to a level you see in the film: wandering zombies of simple needs, hamsters on a wheel, etc... Anyway, at the expense of sounding too faggy, Idiocracy manages to redefine the lowest common denominator. Download: 222 Idiocracy

 221 What We Do In The Shadows | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A fitting coda for our Matt and Mark's Vampire Weekends movie review marathon, we review the New Zealand mockumentary What We do in the Shadows. A film that's gimmick could've easily sabotaged it, the high concept of a Real World for vampires is handled deftly with a genuine love for it's characters. Well edited and tight, all the gags and bits flow seamlessly. This movie is funny and worth more than one viewing, dare I say an "instant cult classic." Download: 221 What We Do In The Shadows    

 Bonus Episode #3 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A surprise bonus episode this week (Matt was overcome by a swarm of feverish screaming children, and didn't' get to watching the movie). After a minority of us voted to make America Great Again, Matt and Mark thought we'd take some time and hash over the aftermath of the 2016 election. If you're sick of politics, low-rent punditry, and snobbish West Coast libtard commentary, skip this one. However, Mark does insert a quick review of Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, which may make us worthy of redemption. Download: Bonus Episode #3

 220 Byzantium | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This is the end of Matt and Mark's Vampire Weekends movie review marathon! And to go out, we review Neil Jordan's sophomore vampire film, Byzantium (not to be confused with Matt's dismally selling novel Nova Byzantium). Beautifully wrought with a carefully crafted atmosphere, Jordan takes the vampire tale in a different baroque direction, filled with Illuminati-esque intrigue and nascent melancholy romance. Where Twilight is bubble gum and Tiger Beat, Byzantium is The Cure mixed with midnight readings of Edgar Allen Poe. Hope you enjoyed our set of blood-sucking cinema critique! Download: 220 Byzantium

 219 Near Dark | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

With skin more volatile than kerosine mixed with flash paper, the vampires of Katheryn Bigelow's Near Dark redline their existence into the daylight hours (often). Vampire Weekends continues with our penultimate offering this week on The Cult of Matt and Mark. A Western-genre modern-horror mashup, Near Dark is stylistically polished with gritty murderous characters that eventually gets what's coming to them, and deliciously so. However, for a horror film, it really fails to terrify. Download: 219 Near Dark

 218 Fright Night | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

And Vampire Weekends movie review marathon just keeps on rolling on The Cult of Matt and Mark with Fright Night, a solid mid-80's vampire offering. While the main character of Charlie Brewster merely provides an avatar for the viewer, the power of the film resides in its supporting characters. While Evil Ed and the two-bit Van Helsing Peter Vincent add color, it's Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire lord Jerry Dandrige that adds an awesome brush stroke of menace. In so doing, it could be argued that Sarandon's performance could go down as one of the greatest cinematic vampires of all time. Download: 218 Fright Night

 217 Shadow of the Vampire | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

And Vampire Weekends keeps rolling with The Cult of Matt and Mark's vampire film movie review marathon. This week we review the 2000 indie film Shadow of the Vampire, starring powerhouse actors Malkovich and Defoe. While Matt developed a nascent pining for an "is it real?" theme, Mark re-aligns the compass and delves into the power of film and the historical schism it created when action itself could be cast in stone for later generations. A meta film, Shadow of the Vampire asks the hypothetical question: Was Nosferatu documenting the end of the vampire legend or its beginning? Download:  217 Shadow of the Vampire


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