Travis Bickle On The Riviera








February 2015
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  • Here's a story about a time when the world's most prominent filmmaker fails for the first time, goes to war with the DGA, forces the hand of the MPAA, builds a franchise, makes the biggest film ever made, reinvents the action movie, and quits writing for decades. The most interesting 5 years in Stephen Spielberg's life. 

    Featuring Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Tobe Hooper, with cameo appearances from John Milius, Richard Matheson, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Zemeckis, Joe Dante, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, John Landis, Michael Cimino, and Samuel Goddamn Fuller. 

  • I cut sections on Spielberg hiring Joe Dante in order to stop the production of Jaws 3, People 0 and Satyajit Ray claiming E.T. was stolen from a spec script that was circling around Hollywood while Spielberg was at Universal television, becuause neither of them seemed to flow nicely with the rest of the story. Also I never figured out how to fit in all the crazy stuff -- the way that Milius introduced Kathleen Kennedy to Spielberg. And Kennedy being one of the dancers at the start of Temple of Doom. The way that Milius, Spielberg, and Lucas all traded points on Star Wars, Close Encounters, and Big Wednesday. How Spielberg took a day off on E.T. to watch De Palma shoot the final gunfight for Scarface. How De Palma shot Casualties of War on all the same locations as Temple of Doom... I really love the stories of this group of people who were playing at this high level and still managed to be artists, for a while anyway. I don't know, I tried to not make it a "Jaws is awesome podcast". Jaws is the truth. 

    I really think this is a story of an artist finding the edge of his abilities, and an industry pushing back when he slips... but it may have descended into fanboy connections, even with cutting all the stuff listed above. I think that the reason De Palma stayed as fierce a filmmaker as he is, and Scorsese too, is that they met with a lot more consisten ups and downs than Spielberg/Lucas/Coppola, and their abilities to buy studios. They had more to lose, and kept losing every few films. Boiling it down to just those five directors leaves out how important Milius and Dante and Marcia Lucas and Amy Robinson and Paul Schrader and all the others were to the story too. Any version of "this is a cool thing that happened" leaves out the context of a dozen major and minor players left out. 

  • 1941 (1979), directed by Steve Spielberg, based on a story by John Milius, written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale, starring... well, everyone I listed at the start of the podcast. 
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), directed by Steven Spielberg; written by Lawrence Kasdan; story by George Lucas and Phillip Kaufman (who I didn't mention on the show but I think probably has a lot more to do with how rich the script is character-wise); starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliot, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, and Alfred Molina. 
  • E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982), directed by Steven Spielberg; written by Melissa Mathison; starring Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Henry Thomas, Robert McNaughton, and Drew Barrymore. 
  • Poltergeist (1982), directed by Tobe Hooper; written by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor; starring Craig T. Nelson, Jobeth Williams, Zelda Rubenstein, Beatrice Straight, and Heather O'Rourke. 
  • Return of the Jedi (1983), directed by Richard Marquand, written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, starring Harrson Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Frank Oz, and Sebastian Shaw. 
  • Twilight Zone The Movie (1983), directed by John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller; written by Richard Matheson, Melissa Mathison, John Landis, George Clayton Johnson, and Jerome Bixby; starring Vic Morrow, Burgess Meredith, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Scatman Crothers, Kathleen Quinlan, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Cartwright, and Dick Miller. 
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Willard Huyk & Gloria Katz, story by George Lucas, starring Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Amrish Puri, and Jonathan Ke Quan. 
  • Movies that are also discussed: Duel, Jaws, Sugarland Express, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, THX-1138, Gremlins, Always, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, That Man From Rio, The Man Who Knew Too Much (the Doris Day version), Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Apocalypse Now, The Blues Brothers, Stark Trek, Heaven's Gate, Dr. Strangelove, Shampoo, Used Cars, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Continental Divide, Pierrot Le Fou, The Social Network, Taxi Driver, Alien, American Graffiti, Howard the Duck, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Triumph of the Will, The Incredible Hulk, Columbo, Night Gallery, The Thing, Blade Runner, A.I., The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eye of the Needle, Dune, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Inglourious Basterds, The Funhouse, Salem's Lot, Ace Eli & Roger of the Skies, The Goonies, Amblin, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Fog, The Howling, and The Terminal
  • Music / clips:

    • John Williams - “Navy Planes” from the Close Encounters of the Third Kind soundtrack
    • John Williams - “The Acrophobe and the Idiot” from the 1941 soundtrack 
    • Audio from the 1941 trailer directed by John Milius
    • Goblin - “Jennifer’s Friends” from the Phenomena soundtrack 
    • Interview from the 2008 dvd of Raiders of the Lost Ark
    • John Barry - “Teasing the Korean” from the Goldfinger soundtrack (even the titles are offensive)
    • Lalo Schifrin - “First Chase/Foot Chase/St. Matthew’s Passion” from the THX-1138 soundtrack
    • John Williams - “The Map Room - Dawn” from the Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack
    • Cliff Martinez - “Bat & Pig” from the Contagion soundtrack
    • John Williams - “Toys” from the E. T. soundtrack
    • Brian Eno - “Aragon” from Music For Films 1
    • Music from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by Tobe Hooper & Wayne Bell
    • Jerry Goldsmith - “Calling/The Neighborhood” from the Poltergeist soundtrack
    • Jerry Goldsmith - “The Star Spangled Banner” from the Poltergeist soundtrack
    • Peter Gabriel - “In Doubt” from Passion, his score to The Last Temptation of Christ
    • Aphex Twin - “Domino” from Selected Ambient Works vol. 2
    • Shane Carruth - “Leaves Expanded May Be Prevailing Blue Mixed with Yellow of the Sand” from the Upstream Color soundtrack
    • David Axelrod - “A Little Girl Lost” from Songs of Experience
    • Interview from Frank Marshall’s Temple of Doom behind the scenes documentary
    • Tangerine Dream - “Charly the Kid” from the Firestarter soundtrack
    • Interview from the Gremlins behind the scenes featurette
    • Jerry Goldsmith - “The Shop/Little One” from the Gremlins soundtrack
    • John Carpenter - “Seagrass Attack” from The Fog soundtrack
    • David Bowie - “A New Career In A New Town” from Low

    This episode is Sean trying to ape the style of these podcasts: Karina Longworth's You Must Remember This, the non-interview segments on The Dana Gould Hour, and The Dollop. Listen to those shows for the non-shitty version of a storytelling podcast. Next week we will be back to the tried and true 2 people talking about movies format and Sean promises to never do this much talking ever again.

Direct download: stealberg.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:57 PM

This week is a special episode focusing on 2014 in the cinema of India, with your host Joe McCulloch (along with Sean "Shitty Excuse For Carl Reiner" Witzke).

  • 01:46: Specifically, Part XVII of the Constitution of India provides that “Hindi in Devanagari script” is “the official language of the Union,” although English can still be used for Parliamentary purposes, among other governmental functions. Technically, there are 22 (rather than 23) languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, but I've taken the liberty of adding English as an effective 23rd, given its official status in several Indian states, as well as its continued governmental function. Also, *I* speak English, and it is therefore the most important language.  
  • 03:15: GREAT NEWS - Here I have confused the cinema of Pakistani Punjab -- which is based in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province and the effective center of Pakistan's domestic film industry -- with the cinema of Indian Punjab, which is based in Mumbai (i.e. not the Indian state of Punjab). I've also erred in tethering the use of Urdu to historical period; there are geographical considerations as well, particularly in relation to Muslim communities, although Hindi and Urdu are (in the words of linguistic scholar Wikipedia) mutually intelligible registers of basically the same tongue.
  • 04:15: A hit film from one major regional cinema, it should be clarified, is not in any way guaranteed popularity across India, even in regional dubbed versions. Sometimes, stars from one region's cinema will do special appearances or supporting roles in another region's films, as a means of shoring up trans-Indian box office. Additionally, larger regional cinemas have a tendency to tap actors or technicians from smaller regional cinemas, who might then return to their home region with enhanced prestige – I'm thinking specifically of the Karnataka native Prakash Raj, who did a lot of Kannada-language film and theater work before becoming a delightfully odd character actor (mostly villains and dads) in the Tamil, then Telugu, then Hindi cinemas, eventually returning to write and direct films in Karnataka. 
  • 06:05: This is not to suggest that there haven't been South films created with outside money and an eye on the international market; Disney, for example, co-produced a Telugu film in 2011, Anaganaga O Dheerudu, which was subsequently released on home video in North America as Once Upon a Warrior. I don't recall it playing in theaters around here, though. 
  • 06:55: TERRIFIC - Here I'm conflating the designations “NRI” (non-resident Indian) and “PIO” (person of Indian origin); there's legal implications in terms of taxation and international travel. 
  • 10:05: The issue of skin whitening is hardly unaddressed in Indian popular cinema itself, in case you were wondering: off the top of my head I can recall no less a venerable presence than the Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth -- at one time among the highest-paid actors in Asia -- devoting a skit to the issue in his 2007 vehicle Sivaji. Granted, there's also some prominent 'dark skin = nasty' jokes in that one, perhaps as a means of sugaring the pill...
  • 11:45: One hopes the message taken from this entire unfortunate soliloquy is that Orientalism (the term I am grasping for) is not assuaged by the white observer amassing specialized knowledge; in fact, that is just as easily a bulwark, insofar as 'expertise' is often used as a means of Outsider A pulling rank on Outsider B in terms of disseminating novel tidbits and otherwise exercising the soft colonialism of dull concern. 
  • 12:36: American exploitation movie icon David F. Friedman did indeed work on the 1955 U.S. release of Bergman's Summer With Monika, although I probably should have cited to his boss, the infamous Kroger Babb, who's actually the one that ordered severe edits re: the artsy bits and a fortuitous re-titling to Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl, which I think is how Woody Allen saw it. 
  • 13:00: Per my close friend Wikipedia (again), there were 201 Hindi films released in 2014, and 195 Telugu films. Both of these were less than the 215 Tamil films premiered. By way of comparison, there were about 230 new domestic films released in 2014 throughout all of China. 
  • 13:20For example

    As always, the streams of cinema aren't ever entirely separate, as one of B-grade impresario Suresh Jain's earlier productions was excerpted in a 2011 mainstream smash, Rockstar. Of course, if you want to talk extreme badness in Bollywood, the first place you'll need to go is the 1998 Mithun Chakraborty-starrer Gunda, which enjoys Troll 2-level prestige amongst Hindi movie fans of a certain persuasion.

  • 13:50: Specifically, the production or distribution of pornographic materials is illegal in India, although possession is not a crime – as a result, hardcore sex films are not necessarily unfamiliar (the initial mainstream visibility of Sunny Leone, former Vivid contract player-turned-Indian reality tv phenom-turned-established movie star, was premised on the titilation inherant to such familiarity clashing with the wider society), they're just not domestically made. Public exhibition of films not cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification is likewise illegal. There are three general 'ratings' – U, UA, and A, with an A restricting viewing or purchase to those 18 or older. An odd side-effect of the comparitive modesty of Hindi films is that my local theater tends to run children's movie advertisements before all of them, apparently resting on the 'family' reputation of the scene; this makes for a very amusing juxtaposition with A-rated mainstream fare like 2011's Delhi Belly, which contains approximately 12,000,000 spoken variations on the English term 'fuck'.
  • 14:40: In case it's not clear, Hindi movie performers very rarely *sing* the songs featured in their films; they lip-synch to whatever the vocals of the actual track might be, leading to one actor or actress adopting multiple singing 'voices' throughout the course of one film.
  • 16:46: We finally arrive at the films of 2014 by talking about Queen, directed by Vikas Bahl, and starring Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao & Lisa Haydon. It is Bahl's first solo directorial feature, although he had done production work on numerous prior works by his Phantom Films cohorts Vikramaditya Motwane & Anurag Kashyap. I first saw Ranaut in Kites (2010), an eccentric Rakesh Roshan production seemingly aimed at 'selling' his son Hrithik Roshan (already an established Hindi star) as an international player – Brett Ratner(!!) even supervised an alternate cut of the film, which (I'm told) drastically downplayed all the Bollywood elements, e.g. songs. The non-Ratner cut became the first Hindi picture ever to place in the North American box office top ten, although Hrithik did not go on to light the states ablaze to even the limited extent of Anil Kapoor post-Slumdog Millionaire.   
  • 18:12: Asking after a fixed definiton of a masala movie is like chasing the concept of mise-en-scène: it means different things to different people. Indeed, the culinary etymology of the term encompasses the notion of certain ingredients being switched in and out, so that some films might be heavier on romance while others might favor action or comedy... still, it's a mix. I'm talking about a certain type of chest-thumping '80s-style masala here, reintroduced in tremendous popular form by way of Telugu remake via a 2009 Salman Khan vehice, Wanted, directed by the famous dancer Prabhudheva, who was briefly a tee-hee-look-at-this viral video fun figure on the international scene via this
  • 19:08: The other actress-driven films from 2014 I mention are: Mary Kom, starring Priyanka Chopra; Mardaani, starring Rani Mukerji; and Bobby Jasoos, starring Vidya Balan, whose 2012 film Kahaani I mispronounce to fearsome effect. 
  • 21:50: Zainab Akhtar sent me a link to this comedy video the other day, which off-handedly speaks to the cult reputation of Gangs of Wasseypur (2012, not 2013) – appreciable as the least 'Bollywood' of all Bollywood films. It also played the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes 2012, which would probably have been a more appropriate reference to make! 
  • 23:50: All of these qualities, I remind you, are in relation to the recent mainstream of Hindi popular cinema; obviously, films about women dealing with their own lives have existed before in Indian films. I mean, really
  • 25:00: Here I'm referring to the phenomenon of writer/director Sooraj R. Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! which, to allude to another cinema game-changer of 1994, acted like a shot of adrenaline directly to the heart of Indian filmgoing, albeit in an exceedingly wholesome manner. The phrase I'm using, btw, is “paisa vasool,” which is not limited to movie usage.
  • 27:35: Now I'm talking about Kick, directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, and starring Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda & Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  Nadiadwala has seen much of his recent success as a producer on dubious comedy contraptions such as the Housefull series, although he branched significantly this year as co-producer on the well-received 'serious' drama Highway and the splashy relationship comedy 2 States (which I mention a bit later). Nonetheless, this -- his directorial debut -- plays it good and safe, to splendid financial returns. I cannot stress enough that anything with Nawazuddin Siddiqui (one of the stars of the aforementioned Gangs of Wasseypur) is good for at least the presence of Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The bleak crime/sleaze movie history-themed Ashim Ahluwalia picture Miss Lovely may be of particular interest to listeners of this podcast, and can still be bought or rented digitally via Amazon.
  • 28:47: I'm alluding here to Katrina Kaif and Sonakshi Sinha, two well-known actresses who've mentioned Khan functioning as a mentor to them. 
  • 31:50: You may remember Om Puri quite recently from Lasse Hallström's The Hundred-Foot Journey, in which he stars opposite Helen Mirren as... a concerned father! I am told Juhi Chawla (of numerous '90s favorites such as Yash Chopra's Darr, which is also notable for one of the early, weird Shah Rukh Khan performances) also shows up, only to die quickly. I keep expecting one of these world-class folks to roll into a Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie, preferably Manoj Bajpai with a crew of goons. #jokes
  • 32:27: Next on the agenda is PK, directed by Rajkumar Hirani, and starring Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt & Sushant Singh Rajput. And Boman Irani, who's one of those reliable character actor types who seem to pop up in every third movie. (The king of these is a Telugu comedian, Brahmanandam Kanneganti, who averages over one dozen film appearances per year, usually in designated comedy relief segments.) I'll be writing more about PK in the next installment of The Most Popular Movie Column in the Entire World, which should be a real treat, since in a column I can do the lecture and the errata at the same time.
  • 35:47: I didn't pick these topics at random. See: Taare Zameen Par (2007), aka Like Stars on Earth, which Khan also directed; and Rang De Basanti (2006), perhaps *the* canonical 'serious' popular smash of the past ten years, and the foundation upon which Khan has built his latter-day persona as a superstar-cum-crusader for social betterment.
  • 40:24: As it happened, I didn't get around to saying anything more about Sanjay Dutt -- have I mentioned that there's no script here? -- so let me clarify that not only has Dutt appeared in three out of four Rajkumar Hirani films, but he is expected to be the subject of the fifth: a full-blown biopic. He's definitely led a colorful life, including a supremely infamous arrest on terrorism and conspiracy charges in the wake of the 1993 Mumbai blasts; he was ultimately convicted for possession of illegal weapons, and is currently in prison.  
  • 48:22Fandom in action.
  • 51:21: The name I can't recall here is Chetan Bhagat, whom I forgot to identify earlier as one of several screenwriters to work on the aforementioned Kick (to reprise my earlier statements about masala implicating some shifts in emphasis/spices). The male star of 2 States was Arjun Kapoor. 
  • 56:05: You may not have heard of Singhambut maybe you've seen this

    To continue the superhero theme, Singham Returns is the “Winter Soldier” of the Singham franchise. Maybe I just find Ajay Devgan more convincing in these macho authoritarian roles than most. Certainly his scripts don't go deepest into insanity – I'm reminded of a 2012 Telugu picture, Businessman, which finds Martin Freemanesque tic-laden cutey boy star Mahesh Babu essaying an underworld hotshot whose disgust at the corruption of establishment interests moves him to revolutionize Indian politics through heroic intimidation and hot-blooded violence, including a great moment where he and his crew bring a wise and necessary end to press freedoms. It's honest-to-god borderline fascism, with a big speech delivered right to the camera at the end. RECOMMENDED. 

  • 58:42: Finally, we have Haider, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, and starring Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Shraddha Kapoor & Irrfan Khan, who was on In Treatment, not Bored to Death – look for him in Jurassic World this summer! Since there's always time for one last flub with me, know that  Bhardwaj began his career in Hindi film as a music composer, not a lyricist. Also recommended outside of his Shakespeare trilogy (also including Maqbool, 2003, and Omkara, 2006) are the very popular 2009 thriller Kaminey, and 2013's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, a political comedy about a landowner who becomes an ardent leftist when drunk and his communist chauffeur/enabler that simultaneously adopts the form of a super-mainstream Bollywood programmer, with a big wedding and everything.
  • Next Week: MANN.
Direct download: joecast.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:58 PM

houtouts! We do the thank yous first on anniversary shows, at top of the show. First and foremost: Morgan Jeske, the reigning champion and our hero (top button forever), Nina Stone, Noel Witzke, Katie Witzke, Abhay Khosla, Michel Fiffe, David Brothers, Sloane Leong, Jared Lewis, Joe McCulloch, Chris Mautner, and Matt Seneca of our sister podcast Comic Books Are Burning In Hell, John Keogh, Ian MacEwan, Jeff Lester & Graeme McMillan of the Wait, What podcast, Chuck Forsman, Chris Ready, Marty Brown, Nate Patrin, Jason Michelitch, Marley Zarcone, Brandon Graham, James Stokoe, Sarah Horrocks & Katie Skelly of the Trash Twins podcast, Geoff Lapid, David Wolkin, Chris Ryan, John Carpenter, Johnnie To, Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, The Punisher, Garth Ennis, Yuri Boyka, John Hyams, Michael Mann, Paul Verhoeven, David Fincher, the SECOND trailer for Quantum of Solace, our patron saint Tony Scott, Russel Crowe, Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, the little kid from The Omen, Event Horizon, Michael Bay, Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Our squad runs deep. To everyone who has ever supported or listened to the show, we thank you. We know we forgot people. Especially you, because we suck. 

There are no show notes because that would spoil the list. Dig in, sucker.

Direct download: 200_kazoos.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:20 PM

In our gift to you this holiday season, Morgan Jeske is back. He has made his preliminary best of the year list, and he has joined us to share it. Tucker and Sean will be doing a definitive best of 2014 episode with a countdown and everything the first or second week of the new year. People who made their list in November either have far more access than we do or are garbage people who act like whatever five things they sat in front of must have be the best of the year. I mean, what other conclusion could you make? It has a talking raccoon in it. 

  • 0:00:00 - 0:12:16 -  We start off this week talking about Nightcrawler (2014), direced by Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhall, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed. Also mentioned in this section: Paul Thomas Anderson, Collateral, Enemy, Prisoners, Taxi Driver, Michael Mann, The Driver, Terminator, Bill Paxton, Gary Oldman, Robert Deniro, Takeshi Kitano, Joaquin Phoenix, Boyd Crowder on Justified, Michael Fassbender, Robert Elswitt, Mission Impossible 5, Peyton Reed, Jimi Hendrix, The Thomas Crowne Affair, and Get Shorty
  • 0:12:17 - 0:22:24 - While we're at it, check out Abhay's Best of the Year round up over at the Savage Critics, including a few movies we talked about a lot this year only because he tipped us off to them. First up? Morgan's List! Also discussed in this section: Louie, The Nick, True Detective, Drive, Ryan Gosling, You're Next, Tom Cruise, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cliffhanger, Cliff Martinez, Inherent Vice, John Carpenter, Walter Hill, John Woo, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Django Unhchained, Kill Bill, and Deadwood.
  • 0:22:25 - 0:36:18 - Morgan has been watching Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009), show-run by Josh Friedman. 

    Also discussed in this section: Dollhouse, Person of Interest, David Cronenberg, Dawn of the Dead, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Criminal Minds, The Prowler, Maniac, the senate report on CIA torture, 24, Person of Interest, Neuromancer, Terminator, The Wire, The Warriors, Daredevil, Transformers, Jag, Enemy, John Wick, Notting Hill, and Days of Thunder. 

  • 0:36:19 - 0:41:31 -  The movie Morgan watched the most this year may have been The Hitcher (1986), directed by Robert Harmon, starring C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and RUTGER HAUER.

    Also discussed in this section:Near Dark, Body Parts, Blue Steel, American Psycho, Night Breed, Hellraiser, and Under The Skin

  • 0:41:32 - 0:49:12 - Morgan watched Birdman (2014), directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaratu, starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, and Naomi Watts. 

    Also discussed in this section: Austin Powers, The Passenger, The Incredible Hulk, Robert Downey Jr., Tobey Maguire, Christian Bale, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer, Marvel comics movies, and American Idol.

  • 0:49:13 - 0:58:10 - Morgan and Sean talk about similar film Clouds of Sils Maria (2014), directed by Olivier Assayas, starring Juliet Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Moretz.

    Also discussed in this section: X-Men movies, Suicide Squad, Demonlover, Carlos, Apres Mai, Summer Hours, Biutiful, Amores Perros, 21 Grams, I Saw The Devil, David Fincher, Gravity, Peter Suchizitsky, Emmanuel Luzbeki, and Empire Strikes Back.

  • 0:58:11 - 1:10:33 - Finally Sean watched The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (2014), directed by Takashi Miike, starring Toma Ikuta. 

    Also discussed in this section: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Sketchers commercials, Only God Forgives, early technicolor musicals, Full Metal Yakuza, Sukiyaki Western Django, Ace Attorney, Fu-doh, MPD Psycho, Ichi The Killer, Hara-Kiri, Ingmar Bergman, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sam Fuller, Steven Soderbergh, Guy Maddin, Joe Swanberg, Johnnie To, Fred Orland Reye, Ed Wood, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Brian De Palma, and Will Ferrell.

  • Next Week: Best of 2014?

    Our outro music this week: "Jet Jaguar Theme" from Godzilla Vs. MegalonAnd our intro, as always is from Escape From New York. 

     Paul Reiser Paul Reiser Paul Reiser Reiser Reiser Reiser Reiser Reiser ReiserReiserReiserRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrr

Direct download: THE_DIRTY_CANE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43 PM

Before we start this week, we're going to point you to another podcast. Former guest on this show (in the most recent Halloween special) Sarah Horrocks has joined up with Katie Skelly for The Trash Twins. In the first episode they discuss Valley of the Dolls, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and Helter Skelter. If you like Travis Bickle on the Riviera, you will enjoy theirs, in fact if you don't like this show and want to hear something smarter, you will love theirs. It's as far away from two nerdy dudes talking about the same stuff as every other podcast as you could get. Sean is doing some editing on the show, but don't let that stop you. Please check it out

  • 0:00:00 - 0:13:16 - Tucker saw Inherent Vice (2014), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring everyone you've ever liked in a movie. 

    Also discussed in this section: The Wire, The Shield, Person of Interest, Max Payne, Speed Racer, Exodus, Passion of the Christ, Hostel 2, Martyrs, Come and See, The Gambler, San Andreas, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Timothy Olyphant, Boogie Nights, The Royal Tenenbaums, Welcome to Mooseport, King of Queens, Men in Black 3, Boardwalk Empire, Veep, Workaholics, There Will Be Blood, The Master, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Altman, and The Long Goodbye

  • 0:13:17 - 0:20:39 - Tucker saw Foxcatcher (2014), directed by Bennet Miller, starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffallo. 

    Also discussed in this section: Eddie Izzard, Up In the Air, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Moneyball.

  • 0:20:40 - 0:27:43 - Sean watched Tusk (2014), directed by Kevin Smith, starring Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and Johnny Depp. 

    Also discussed in this section: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Twin Peaks, Red State, Jan Michael Vincent, Dead Man, Crybaby, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Spoils of Babylon, Troll 2, Death Bed, Shocking Dark, and Passion Cove. 

  • 0:27:44 - 0:39:53 - Both Tucker and Sean saw Nightcrawler (2014), directed by Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed. 

    Also discussed in this section: Spider-Man 2, Four Lions, Lethal Weapon 3, The Bourne Legacy, the Terminator 5 trailer, Suicide Squad, Man of Steel, Batwing, Pain & Gain, Taxi Driver, and Paul Schrader. 

  • 0:39:54 - 1:01:08 - And finally, both Tucker and Sean saw Fury (2014), directed by David Ayer, starring Brad Pitt, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Shia Labouef. 

    Also discussed in this section: Sabotage, Nymphomaniac, Transformers 3, Bill Cosby, Holes, Doris Day, Barry Pepper, Event Horizon, Armageddon, Garth Ennis, John Woo, Kelly's Heroes, Zero Dark Thirty, Blackhawk Down, Brotherhood, Jackie Brown, The Eric Andre Show, and Eric Andre on The Soup

  • Next Week: Morgan Jeske and new Miike.
  • Our outro music this week: "He's Still Alive/Romero" by John Carpenter & Alan Howarth from Escape From New YorkAnd our intro, as always is from Escape From New York. Double up.
Direct download: jughandle.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 3:55 PM

  • After the break, you'll find the latest episode of the world's only movie podcast, Travis Bickle on the Riviera. With your host Sean Witzke and we welcome guest host and teen sensation Chris Mautner.
  • 0:00:00 - 0:25:58 - To start us off this week, we talk about a movie that doesn't fit the episode format. Chris watched Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay (2014), directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, and Jena Malone. 

    Also discussed in this section: The Giver, Phillip Noyce, The Prisoner, Divergent, Jack Kirby, Scanners, Harry Potter, Twilight, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Big Hero 6, the Star Wars 7 trailer, Live Free or Die Hard, Spider-Man, Shane Black, Michael Bay, Tony Scott, JJ Abrams, Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty. The People Vs. George Lucas, Willow, Radioland Murders, and Michael Mann.

    0:25:59 - 0:41:55 - Chris watched the Samurai Trilogy (1954, 1955, 1956), directed by Hiroshi Iganaki, starring Toshiro Mifune. 

    Also discussed in this section: Gone With The Wind, Ran, Throne of Blood, Sergio Leone, Hideo Gosha, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Lone Wolf and Cub, Samurai Champloo, John Ford, Vagabond, Fistful of Dollar, Magnificent Seven, The Bad Sleep Well, The Thing, The Wizard of Oz, and High and Low. 

    0:41:55 - 0:48:46 - Sean and Chris watched Sword of Doom (1966), directed by Kihachi Okamoto, starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiro Mifune

    Also discussed in this section: Rebel Without A Cause, The Wild One, A Clockwork Orange, Akira Kurosawa, Scarface, Heat, and Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer. 

    0:48:47 - 1:01:58 - Sean and Chris watched Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983), directed by Kinji Fukasaku, starring Hiroko Yakushimaru, Hiroyuki Sanada, Sonny Chiba, and Minori Terada. 

    Also discussed in this section: Message From Space, Yakuza Paper/Battles Without Honor Or Humanity, Battle Royale, Graveyard of Honor, Doberman Cop, Quentin Tarantino, William Friedkin, The Street Fighter, Seijun Suzuki, Seven Samurai, Vampire Hunter D, Tsui Hark, Seven Swords, Detective Dee, John Woo, Green Snake, Zu Warriors, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Star Search

    1:01:59 - 1:19:25 - To close out, Sean watched Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011), directed by Takashi Miike, starring Ichikawai Ebizo XI, Eita, and Hikari Mitsushima.  

    Also discussed in this section: 13 Assassins, Shield of Straw, Kobayashi's original, Qui-Gon, Ingmar Bergman, Paul Verhoeven, and Michael Haneke. 

  • Next Week: Fury or maybe some Spielberg. Or maybe something else, these "next week on" things are always about as useful as the ones from Scandal. 
  • Our outro music this week: "I Don't Want This Night To End" by John O'Banion from Legend of the Eight Samurai. Yeah, that's really in the movie. And our intro, as always, is from Escape From New York
Direct download: ddMautnerkast.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 7:26 PM

On this episode, Tucker and Sean get together to talk about THE REAL.

  • :00:00 - 0:19:51 - Both Tucker and Sean saw Interstellar (2014), directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConnaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, John Lithgow (IN THE SAME MOVIE, IN THE SAME FUCKING SCENE), Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, David Gyasi, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, David Oyelowo, Collette Wolfe, Topher Grace, and William Devane.   Also discussed in this section: Ranking the Nolans, Black Hole, Event Horizon, Gravity, Mission to Mars, Terrence Malick, George Washington, Kill Bill, Public Enemies, The Prestige, Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, The Talented Mr. Ripley, the Lincoln commercial, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, The Lovely Bones, The Fifth Element, David Denby, Iron Man 3, and Paths of Glory.
  • 0:19:52 - 0:33:02 - Tucker watched Hunger Games 2 (2013), directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the kid from Detention, Donald Sutherland, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone, and Stanley Tucci. 

    Also discussed in this section: the other Hunger Gameses, Escape From New York, American Hustle, Winter's Bone, Mission Impossible 3, Orphan, Inherent Vice, True Lies, Transformers 4, Jaws, and Steven Soderbergh.

  • 0:33:03 - 0:37:26 - Sean watched Blue Steel (1989), directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancey Brown, Louise Fletcher, Elizabeth Pena, Richard Jenkins, and Tom Sizemore. 

    Also discussed in this section: K-19: The Widowmaker, Timecop, Michael Haneke, Beat Takeshi, Halloween 2

  • 0:37:26 - 52:03 - Tucker saw Whiplash (2014), directed by Damien Chazelle, starring Miles Teller, JK Simmons, Paul Reiser, and April Grace. 

    Also discussed in this section: Dumb & Dumber To, Magnolia, Easy Riders Raging Bulls, 30 for 30: Bad Boys, Listen Up Phillip, Impolex, The Comedy, Adam Wigard, Joe Swanberg, and Delocated

  • 0:52:04 - 1:05:50 - Tucker watched Fargo (1996), directed by Joel & Ethan Coen, starring Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Peter Stormare, and John Carrol Lynch 

    Also discussed in this section: Resevoir Dogs, This Is A True Story, Fury, Aliens, The Simpsons, Foxcatcher, Evan Almighty, Noah, Warrior, Daniel Day Lewis, Deerhunter, and Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats. 

  • Next Week: Fury Nightcrawler. 
  • Our outro music this week: "Under Your Spell" by Desire from Drive. And our intro, as always is from Escape From New York. 
Direct download: interstellar_cast.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 4:38 AM

  1. Dialog taken from Escape From New York (1981), dir. John Carpenter
  2. Riz Ortolani - "Adulteress's Punishment" from Cannibal Holocaust (1980), dir. Ruggero Deodato
  3. Goblin - "Sleepwalking" from Phenomena (1985), dir. Dario Argento
  4. Wang Chung - "Black Blue White" from To Live and Die in LA (1985), dir. William Friedkin
  5. sound effects - The Beyond (1981), dir. Lucio Fulci
  6. Thomas Bangalter - "Outrage" from Irreversible (2002), dir. Gaspar Noe
  7. Fabio Frizzi - "Zombi (Godzilla Demo)" from Zombi 2 (1979), dir. Lucio Fulci. 
  8. Annie - "Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown Version)" from The Guest (2014), dir. Adam Wingard
  9. Radio ad for They Called Her One Eye (1973), dir. Bo Arne Vibenius
  10. The Seatbelts - "Meteor" from Cowboy Bebop
  11. Dialog taken from Mr Freedom (1969), dir William Klein
  12. Charles Bernstein - "Bath Attack" from The Entity (1981), dir. Frank De Felitta 
  13. Clint Mansell - "Dead Reckoning" from Smokin Aces (2006), dir. Joe Carnahan
  14. Vangelis - "Bicycle Riders" from Blade Runner (1982), dir. Ridley Scott
  15. Dialog taken from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984), dir. WD Richter
  16. Goblin - "Follie" from the italian re-release of Patrick (1978), dir. Richard Franklin
  17. John Carpenter - "Police Action" from Escape From New York (1981), dir. John Carpenter
  18. Shane Carruth - "A Sullen Rush and a Roar" from Upstream Color (2013), dir. Shane Carruth
  19. Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno - "Drift" from For All Mankind (1989), dir. Al Reinert
  20. Dialog taken from The Mighty Boosh
  21. Joseph Koo - "Operation Commenced" from A Better Tomorrow (1986), dir. John Woo
  22. Michael Gibbs - "Hard Boiled Overture" from Hard Boiled (1992), dir. John Woo
  23. Cliff Martinez - "They're Calling My Flight" from Contagion (2011), dir. Steven Soderbergh
  24. John Murphy - "Minus 273 Degrees" from Sunshine (2007), dir. Danny Boyle
  25. Dialog taken from Night of the Living Dead (1968), dir. George Romero
  26. Peter Gabriel - "Birdy's Flight" from A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987), dir. John Woo
  27. Howard Shore - "Ephemerol" from Scanners (1981), dir. David Cronenberg
  28. Simonetti, Pignatelli, Morante (aka Goblin) - "Gemini" from Tenebre (1982), dir. Dario Argento
  29. Jerry Goldsmith - "Walking Distance" from Alien (1979), dir. Ridley Scott
  30. Jonny Greenwood - "Convergence" from There Will Be Blood (2007), dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  31. The Treblemakers - "Magic" from Pitch Perfect (2012), dir Jason Moore
Direct download: DOGS.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 11:00 AM

In a first time ever for this podcast, this episode was recorded with both hosts sitting in the same room. If the episode sounds like it was recorded in a cavern, we assure you it was recorded in the smallest hotel room Philadelphia had to offer. Anyway, two special episodes in row!

  • 0:00:00 - 0:21:41 - Tucker and Sean went and saw John Wick TOGETHER.(2014), directed by Chad Stahelski, starring Keanu Reeves, Lance Reddick, Michael Nyquist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrienne Palicki, Bridget Moynihan, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Clarke Peters, and A PERSON YOU WILL BE HAPPY TO SEE.
  • 0:21:42 - 0:33:44 - Tucker went to seeThe Equalizer (2014), directed by Antoine Fuqua, starring Denzel Washington, Martin Csoskas, Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo, David Harbour, Bill Pullman. 
  • 0:33:45 - 0:46:15 - Sean and Tucker (seperately this time) watched Housebound (2014), directed by Gerard Johnstone, starring Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, and Glen-Paul Waru. 
  • 0:45:16 - 1:03:25 - Sean watched The Guest (2014), directed by Adam Wingard, starring Dan Stevens as Morgan Jeske, Maika Monroe, Lance Reddick, Brendan Meyer, Leland Orser, Shiela Kelly, Ethan Embry, and Joel David Moore. 
Direct download: johnwickcast.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 11:00 AM

Holidays are the worst thing in our culture. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's Day, Bastille Day - those holidays are for people who love their lives. Disgusting. But there's always the day Michael Myer's came home. On this holiest of holidays, we discuss the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Listen to previous year's Halloween specials: Episode 6: Horror movie special, Episode 51: John Carpenter special featuring 10 guests in 8 individuals segments.

This episode your hosts Truckasaurus Stone and Season of the Witzke are joined by Wet Donut In Aliens Jeske, Grave-vid Smothers, Satanic Horror-ocks, The (understandably) Unretrieved Cremains of John K.O., and Jared the Atomic Space Ape Lewis

  • 0:00:00 -0:42:28 - BRACKET PART ONE with David Brothers & Morgan Jeske.
  • 0:42:49 - 1:04:15 - Spotlight on Running Man with Jared Lewis & John Keogh.
  • 1:04:16 - 1:33:17 - Spotlight on Commando with Sarah Horrocks.
  • 1:33:18 - 2:41:03 - BRACKET PART TWO: 3D Battle Across Time.

The films discussed include: 

  • Conan the Barbarian (1982), written and directed by John Milius, co-starring James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandhal Bergman, Sven Ole-Thorson, Mako, Ben Davidson, and Gary Lopez.
  • The Terminator (1984), written and directed by James Cameron, co-starring Linda Hamilton, Michael Beihn, Paul Winfield, and Lance Henriksen. Cameo by Bill Paxton.
  • Commando (1985), directed by Mark L. Lester, co-starring Rae Dawn Chong, David Patrick Kelly, Dan Hedeya, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke, and Alyssa Milano
  • Raw Deal (1986), directed by John Irvin, co-starring Darren McGavin and Robert Davi.
  • Predator (1987), directed by John McTiernan, co-starring Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Richard Chaves, Elpidia Carrillo, and Richard Thorson. 
  • The Running Man (1987), directed by Paul Michael Glaser, co-starring Richard Dawson, Maria Conchita-Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Mick Fleetwood, Sven Ole-Thorson, Prof Toru Tanaka, Erland Von Lith, Jesse Ventura, and Jim Brown. 
  • Red Heat (1988), directed by Walter Hill, co-starring Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Gina Gershon, Larry Fishburne, and Ed O'Ross. 
  • Twins (1988), directed by Ivan Reitman, co-starring Danny Devito, David Caruso, Heather Graham, Kelly Preston, and Bonnie Bartlett. 
  • Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven, co-starring Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Dean Norris, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, and Mel Johnson Jr. 
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990), directed by Ivan Reitman, co-starring Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Richard Tyson, and Cathy Moriarty. 
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), directed by James Cameron, co-starring Richard Patrick, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, and Joe Morton.
  • Last Action Hero (1993), directed by John McTiernan, co-starring Austin O'Brien, Tom Noonan, Charles Dance, F Murray Abraham, Robert Prosky, Frank McCrae, Mercedes Ruehl, and Ian McKellen.
  • True Lies (1994), directed by James Cameron, co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Paxton, Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Grant Heslov. 
  • Junior (1994), directed by Ivan Reitman, co-starring Danny Devito, Emma Thompson, Pamela Reed, and Frank Langella. 
  • Eraser (1996), directed by Chuck Russell, co-starring James Caan and Vanessa Williams. 
  • Jingle All the Way (1996), directed by Brian Levant, co-starring Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Darth Vader, and Rita Wilson.
  • Batman & Robin (1997), directed by Joel Schumacher, co-starring Alicia Silverstone and Coolio. 
  • End of Days (1999), directed by Peter Hyams, co-starring Gabriel Byrne, Rod Stieger, Kevin Pollak, Robin Tunney, Udo Kier, and CCH Pounder
  • The 6th Day (2000), directed by Roger Spottiswoode, co-starring Robert Duvall?, Michael Rappaport, and Terry Crews. 
  • Collateral Damage (2002), directed by Andrew Davis, co-starring Elias Koteas, Francesca Neri, John Tuturro, John Leguizamo, and Cliff Curtis. 
  • The Last Stand (2013), directed by Kim Ji-Woon, co-starring Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman, Harry Dean Stanton, Peter Stormare, Rodrigo Santiago, and Forrest Whitaker.
  • Escape Plan (2013), directed by Mikael Halfstrom, co-starring Jim Caviezel, Sylvester Stallone, Amy Ryan, 50 Cent, Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, and Vincent D'onofrio. 
  • Sabotage (2014), directed by David Ayer, co-starring Olivia Williams, Sam Worthington, Mirelle Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Mangianello, Harold Perrineu, Max Martini, and Josh Holloway. 
  • Music: All music in this episode has been taken from the Disneyland Haunted Mansion Ride, composed by Buddy Baker and featuring Paul Frees. 
  • Next week: A very special episode of Travis Bickle on the Riviera
Direct download: ARNIE.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 9:30 AM