Tag Archives: Se7en

A Pod, a Pod, a Pod for You

IMG_1780Hello? Is this the Podcasts Anonymous support group?

I am sure (or hope) that I am not alone here in saying that I listen to — hold on let me turn off this episode of Spontaneanation — podcasts all the time (when I’m showering — a distraction that I am sure increases my likelihood of being murdered by a serial killer, just like in the movies —  driving, cleaning, as a saving grace when I have to shop at any large retailer on a weekend, etc.) I am also sure I’ve mentioned this fact before and you may consider this a cry for help or take it as a recommendation to join in the fun, at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Seriously, you’re going to develop an addiction from this.

Still here? Okay.

I’ll listen to anything movie or improv-comedy related and I certainly dabble in the true crime and newsy stuff from time-to-time. I’m mostly looking for any show that can serve as an escape from the real world for about an hour, or 10.

My latest obsession is the Craig’s List Podcast, which actually combines movies and a little improv comedy. As a basis for the show, Craig and Carla Cackowski are working their way through Craig’s 100 favorite movies of all time and then discuss them on air. They have guest hosts from the comedy world from time to time and at the end of each episode perform an improv comedy scene based on the film they watched.

The list covers the gamut in film genres and I’m pleased to say I’ve actually seen a lot of Craig’s favorites, from classics to comedy and documentaries to biopics and horror films.

The latest episode combines classics and horror to dissect Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” with special guest composer Jonathan Dinerstein providing comedic and musical accompaniment.

He joined the show to talk about the score that adds the tension and fright to “Psycho” and even plays tidbits of it on the piano in the background.

They also discussed a new documentary about the film “78/52,” which cuts into the intricacies of the infamous shower scene directed by Hitchcock.

I think I know what my next double feature will be. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen “Psycho,” but it’s one of the films with scenes I remember the most from my formative years as a movie lover and Craig’s List took me right back to that place.

Some of my other favorite episodes include their discussion of “Se7en” (Craig does a killer impersonation of Morgan Freeman,) “Diner,” (a lot of factoids about Baltimore in this one,) “It Happened One Night,” “Dead Poets Society,” and “Rushmore.”

Follow Craig’s List Podcast on Twitter to catch up on their episodes and the coming attractions.

In other news, I haven’t watched any movies (in their entirety) in the last week, but I do recommend “Afternoon Delight” starring Kathryn Hahn and Jessica St. Clair. Rachel (Hahn), after a night at strip club with her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor), Stephanie (St. Clair) and her husband Bo (Keegan-Michael Key), befriends one of the dancers (Juno Temple) and eventually takes her in as their live-in nanny.

The film takes a plot line that could be your average raunchy sex comedy and strips it down (sorry) to a story focused on the characters and their happiness, much like “The Overnight.”

As Dr. Steve Brule would say, Check it Out!

Okay, (as John Hodgman would say – more or less) I think that is all for today.

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is on its way in a matter of days and I need to pick out what I want to try to see this year. There are hundreds of options and I’ve missed going to the event the past couple of years.

It may seriously take away from my podcast time, but if I’m lucky they’ll be showing a movie about podcasts.

Bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Se7en”

seven“This is beginning.”

I can’t really say what prompted me to revisit “Se7en” again (because it’s such a depressing story) but the film came up in the news recently due to its 20th anniversary and being recognized by its peers as one of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films of all time.

For the most part, it was just as I remember it and “Se7en” is a flawless film that stands the test of time.

It has been long enough since I watched the film that a few of the scenes presented their original fear factor for me. Spoiler alert – the sloth victim is not dead!

Also, according to ShortList’s 30 Facts about “Se7en,” he has three arms.

As the story plays out the first case for David Mills (Brad Pitt) at a fictional city homicide department and the last for William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) their dialogue is a reminder of how heartbreaking the ensuing events are for both characters.

Some of Mills’ one-liners provide a little comic relief  — “Ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a homicide ” — but it’s no question David Fincher and his team were set on keeping the story as a dark, sad and suspenseful thriller.

Perhaps Somerset says it best with, “This isn’t going to have a happy ending.”

But Fincher, Pitt and Freeman wanted to keep it that way. The studio pushed for a different ending after some test screenings, to no avail, because Pitt and Freeman refused to promote the film if that happened.

I can’t imagine “Se7en” without Pitt and Freeman as the detective duo but that could have happened, too. William Hurt and Al Pacino were in line for Freeman’s role while Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone passed on the part of Mills.

I’ll stop with this wormhole of facts about “Se7en,” but what I learned just shows the amount of heart and work it takes to keep the creativity and purpose of a project intact in Hollywood — especially one everyone involved knows is going to be dark and hard to watch.

That is why “Se7en” holds up after 20 years and you should — brace yourself — and watch it again.