#448 : Essential Cinema for the Trump Era


It’s no secret to regular listeners that Michael, Jared, and Joe are wary of the incoming U.S. president and his administration. Just before the inauguration, the guys, in the most overtly political RF episode to date, reveal their top five films for the Trump Era. Joe uses one of his selections as a stealth recommendation. Michael asks everyone to check their news sources.

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#445 : ROGUE ONE


The first Star Wars anthology film gets the RF treatment, and the hosts do not see eye to eye. A discussion ensues about the use of computer-generated characters. Joe and Jared both like Loving but disagree on Moana.

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The guys discuss the newest film in the STAR WARS franchise, THE FORCE AWAKENS.

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Why CASINO ROYALE is the Best James Bond Film

by Michael Neelsen

I was lukewarm on James Bond movies before I saw CASINO ROYALE. I had really enjoyed GOLDENEYE and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH as an adolescent, but as I grew older I began to grow weary of the over-the-top cornball approach taken by the majority of the films (epitomized by DIE ANOTHER DAY). I had no reason to care about the character of Bond — he’d become too unreal. Too untouchable. Too unlike a human being.

When the rights to Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, CASINO ROYALE, were finally acquired, the Broccoli family went forward with a plan to re-imagine James Bond in Fleming’s original, realistic image. No invisible cars, no exploding pens. They brought James Bond into the post-9/11 world and turned him into a human being. Continue reading “Why CASINO ROYALE is the Best James Bond Film” »


#118 : Disney Buys Lucasfilm


The guys discuss Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm for $4 billion and the implications the acquisition may have for the STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. The discussion eventually veers to a discussion of film franchises in general, and more specifically why so many film franchises struggle to maintain quality in later installments.

#118 – Disney Buys Lucasfilm

[audio http://www.reelfanatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/118-disney-buys-lucasfilm.mp3]

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Steven Spielberg’s Letter to George Lucas

This was Steven Spielberg’s open letter to George Lucas published in the December 2, 1977 issue of Variety after Star Wars eclipsed Jaws in domestic rentals.

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Going “Commando”: A Thorough Analysis of a Great Guilty Pleasure

Broad action flick or subtle commentary on supressed homosexuality… or BOTH?

by Joe Pudas

One of the movies that regularly divides your trusty ATA bloggers is the 1985 Schwarzenegger vehicle Commando. Directed by Mark L. Lester, Commando is a pure, wholly unpretentious 90-minute blast of adrenaline, ultraviolence, and dumbass wisecracks. It is, in other words, one of the seminal action films of the 80s. Schwarzenegger’s John Matrix would make Rambo piss in his pants.
I wanted to do an analysis/appreciation piece on it, since it is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but Alex Jackson of Film Freak Central already beat me to it. The following article delves deeper into Commando than any other I’ve encountered, and after reading it, you’ll immediately want to re-watch the film (if you’re like me, that is). Enjoy!
SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. I first saw Mark L. Lester’s Commando as a young boy and even then I was rather surprised that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s eponymous hero, John Matrix, didn’t get together with his reluctant sidekick, Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong). She’s set up to be the love interest, but the filmmakers never pull the trigger. I was similarly baffled by the saccharine relationship between Matrix and his daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano). In my youthful naivety, I frankly thought this was too hokey for an R-rated movie, i.e., a movie intended for grown-ups. What audience of adults would buy into this? And I couldn’t believe that the film would be about her kidnapping and Matrix tracking down and rescuing her. It’s just the hero invading the castle and saving the damsel-in-distress? Hell, Star Warswasn’t that basic. There had to be some socio-political nuance to the situation I simply wasn’t old enough to grasp.



Sometime in the late eighties to early nineties, Hollywood screenwriter/producer Christopher Vogler wrote a memo for Disney Studios entitled “A Practical Guide to The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Continue reading “A Practical Guide to THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES” »


Kurt Russell & Crappy Dialogue in “Star Wars”

Just a taste of what the original “Star Wars” could’ve become had Kurt Russell been cast and George Lucas been allowed to keep his crappy dialogue.


You can read the entirety of George Lucas’ first draft of Star Wars here at Drew’s Script-O-Rama. Be forewarned – it’s awful!

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