Sordid Cinema Podcast
Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

April 1, 2020

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Podcast Review

This week’s show sees Patrick picking another western, but this one is a little more talkie and a little less shooty. John Ford’s 1962 adaptation of The Man Who Shot Liverty Valance centers on a classic genre theme of civilization vs. frontier law. While Ford may be an acquired taste for some, the hosts discuss the fascinating philosophical conflicts at play while praising many (though not all) of the performances, as well as note the uniqueness of the (mostly) action-free film. With Monument Valley never making an appearance, is there enough to look at? Does this slower western still hold up today? Why, oh why, did Ford leave in that classroom scene?

For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

March 23, 2020

12 Monkeys Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we discuss Terry Gilliam’s 1995 sci-fi masterwork 12 Monkeys, which mixes time travel with paranoia set against the backdrop of a dystopian future that both has happened, and is yet to come. Joining Rick and Patrick is film critic and Goomba Stomp writer Stephen Silver, who helps us dive into the intricacies and nuance of this Bruce Willis-led thriller. Along the way, we praise the structure of a script that juggles numerous elements that all pay off handsomely in a pitch-perfect end, debate about which performance really stands out among the cast (for both the right and possibly wrong reasons), and look into some of the history of the film, including the inspiration taken from the 1962 French short La Jetée.

What are our favorite moments? What would we change if we could go back in time? Does 12 Monkeys ultimately still hold up to modern audiences? For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Quick and the Dead’ is the Sam Raimi show

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Quick and the Dead’ is the Sam Raimi show

March 14, 2020

Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead Podcast Review

1995’s The Quick and the Dead showed that director of The Evil DeadDarkman, and Army of Darkness wouldn’t hold back his off-kilter, kinetic style for a western, and the result is thrilling for Sam Raimi fans. While certain aspects (i.e., the script) may not shine in this tale of Sharon Stone’s mysterious gunfighter entering a quickdraw competition in order to enact revenge on the despotic mayor of the small town of Redemption, Raimi ensures that there is always something crazy and meaningful to look at. This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary by discussing how the director shapes and enhances the boilerplate story with his unique visuals and panache.

Along the way, the hosts also marvel at the distinct performances by an incredible cast that features a stoic Stone, a deliciously evil Gene Hackman, a badass Russell Crowe, and a young Leonardo DiCaprio, among many others. They also decide which gunfight is the best, pick their favorite and least favorite scenes, and wonder if this version of Raimi still holds up with modern audiences. For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

March 2, 2020

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by former Sound on Sight/Sordid Cinema Podcast co-host Simon Howell to talk about Terry Gilliam’s 1985 ambitious dark satire, Brazil. From its incredible vision and art design to the cavalcade of quirky supporting performances by the likes of Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, and Jim Broadbent (among others), there’s plenty to gush over. Sure, the romantic subplot is a bit of a dud (despite some Freudian overtones), but Gilliam’s story of a low-level government employee who meets the literal girl of his dreams while trying to escape a monotonous life of over-complicated machinery and stacks of paperwork resulting from a totalitarian authority is still just as potent and refreshingly unique today as it was back then.

Join us as we discuss just what makes Brazil so special even to this day, marvel over the inventive and often seamless practical effects, suggest some alternative ways to implement the character of Jill Layton, and rank where this entry stands in Gilliam’s filmography. For those dreaming of movies that escape the standard story formula and aesthetic, it doesn’t get much better than this. Have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

February 23, 2020

Witness 1985 Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick get their city hands dirty with 1985’s Witness, directed by Peter Weir. The story of a little Amish boy who watches a grisly murder take place in a train station bathroom manages to combine a subdued-but-tense police thriller with an exceptionally grounded love story between detective John Book (Harrison Fords, in his only Oscar-nominated role) and the boy’s mother, Rachel (played by Kelly McGillis), along with a theme contrasting pacifism and the use of deadly force. The guys discuss how Weir expertly maintains restraint, often opting for subtle facial expressions over dialogue, and plenty of quiet moments abound. The director also once again makes the presence of the land deeply felt, creating an absorbing environment complemented by an otherworldly score by Maurice Jarre.

With so many great scenes, how can we choose the best? What might Rick and Patrick change about this nearly flawless film? Along the way in answering these questions and more, the guys dive into the production history, as well as talk about how this film fits in with Peter Weir’s filmography. Have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

February 17, 2020

Color Out of Space Podcast Review

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Goomba Stomp writer and H.P. Lovecraft fan Thomas O’Connor to discuss Richard Stanley’s directorial return to the big screen with Color Out of Space. This story of a rural Massachusetts family who starts a descent into madness after a meteorite plummets onto their property stars Nicolas Cage, who gives another wacky performance that helps sell the sci-fi craziness. Though there is some agreement as to the film’s flaws, the guys talk about the difficulty in adapting Lovecraft, as well as how much Stanley and Cage get right in the attempt. And no, we don’t forget the llamas.

So what scenes really stand out for us? What would we change? Will Color Out of Space stand the test of time, or will its colorful dread fade away? For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

February 3, 2020

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a short break from all the blood and guts to look back at Howard Hawks’ 1940 screwball comedy masterpiece, His Girl Friday. This adapted story of a newspaper writer (Rosalind Russell) trying to break free from the journalist lifestyle only to be lured back in by an incredibly big story — as well as her boss/ex-husband(!), played by Cary Grant — features cascades of whip-smart wit, an abundance of double crosses and double entendres, and fantastic direction from one of old Hollywood’s finest filmmakers.

Rick and Patrick are joined by writer/film critic Mariko McDonald to discuss the impact of Hawks swapping out the original male lead for a female lead, reveal tidbits about the production and how they managed to fit a 191-page screenplay into 92 minutes, pick our favorite scenes as well as elements we might change, and much more! For an in-depth dive into this wonderful classic, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: Does John Carpenter’s ‘In the Mouth of Madness’ Stand the Test of Time?

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Does John Carpenter’s ‘In the Mouth of Madness’ Stand the Test of Time?

January 27, 2020

With a list of classics under his belt that include masterpieces like HalloweenAssault on Precinct 13, and The Thing, John Carpenter has long been celebrated by movie lovers, even if many of his films have flown under the radar with general audiences. This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast looks back at one of his most underrated (at least according to us) works, 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness. Rick and Patrick are joined by fellow Carpenter fan and Goomba Stomp writer Christopher Cross to break down just what makes all the psychological horror here so memorable.

So what exactly is going on in this story of a cocky insurance claims investigator tracking down a mysterious horror writer in a creepy town? How much inspiration does the film take from sources like H.P. Lovecraft, the noir genre, Stephen King, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Does the lunacy on display hold up today? And what’s with that cast of extras? For all this and much more discussion, have a listen!

For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #508: ‘Tremors’ (1990)

Sordid Cinema Podcast #508: ‘Tremors’ (1990)

January 19, 2020

How has this low-budget creature feature about a dusty southwestern town under attack by carnivorous worm monsters managed to secure a place in cult movie history? For this episode of the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick burrow deep into Tremors in order to break down just what makes this film so special. From the creative and menacing practical effects, to the simple and efficient script, as well as the charismatic cast and skillful camera work, there’s a lot to love here. Join us as we go into some of the production history, discuss in detail our favorite and least favorite scenes, who or what we think the film’s success most relies on, and whether we think Tremors will continue to stand the test of time.

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Why ‘Parasite’ is the Best Film of 2019

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Why ‘Parasite’ is the Best Film of 2019

January 12, 2020

The Sordid Cinema Podcast makes its return, with a new format that sees hosts Ricky D and Patrick Murphy taking a look at some of our favorite films over the years that may have flown under the radar for some audiences. This new version of the long-running show will focus more on discussion and less, on reviews, as we hope to examine the selections from a multitude of angles and break down what makes these films so special.

For our first episode, Ricky D has selected Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which landed at the top of Goomba Stomp’s list of the Best Movies of 2019. The guys detail their favorite moments from this genre-bending satire on class that follows a poor South Korean family which scams its way into the employ of a wealthy household. Is Parasite the best film of 2019? There’s a lot to love and talk about, and we hope you enjoy it!