Ep. 52: Out of Sight

A spark of romance entwines the stories of a career bank robber and a US Marshal in this beautifully-constructed story.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Alastair says: 5 Pops ~ This smart, slick, sexy film attempts to combine an unlikely romance with a fractured structure, and somehow pulls it off. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a must-see for any fan of intelligent storytelling.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Romance: 5, Comedy: 4, Suspense: 4

Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ I really enjoyed this movie while watching it, but loved it even more once I’d had some time to sit back and appreciate how tightly it was told. Some minor squibbles, but the romance sang, the cast was amazing and the structure was beautiful, so I have nothing to complain about.
Lucy’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Romance: 5, Comedy: 4, Suspense: 4

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: A bank robber escapes from prison and tangles with a beautiful US Marshall. Release Date: June 26, 1998 Writer: Scott Frank from an Elmore Leonard novel

Ep. 51: Sneakers

A little later than originally planned, Jenny and Alastair discuss this thoughtful, well-written and prescient caper — but do the flaws in the craft spoil an otherwise excellent film?
Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Alastair says: 5 Pops ~ This certainly isn’t a perfect movie, but it does so much right that I’m willing to overlook the cracks in the foundation. Great character writing, smart dialogue, and an interesting central question invigorate what is otherwise a fairly straightforward — and oddly dispassionate — caper.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 4, Comedy: 5, Suspense: 4

Jenny says: 3 Pops ~ Start where the story starts with your protagonist in trouble, and then make sure the story is ABOUT your protagonist . . . even if you do everything else beautifully, if you screw up those two things, you’re toast. Or a 3.
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Craft: 3, Comedy: 5, Suspense: 3

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: After being conned into a stealing a black box, a group of security experts plan a heist to even the score. Release Date: September 9, 1992 Writer: Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Lasker, & Walter F. Parkes

Bonus Episode: Morning Glory

In this bonus episode of PopD, Jenny and Alastair gush about a movie that met with a mixed critical response and general apathy from the public, thanks in part to the truly awful trailers that advertised it. Don’t miss this gem of a film!
Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Alastair says: 5 Pops ~ Rachel McAdams heads a fantastic cast, all of whom shine thanks to the fast, funny script and thoughtful direction. This is no guilty pleasure; this is a fine example of rock-solid craft.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5

Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ I love this movie. You should watch it.
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: Mary Tyler Moore meets Broadcast News as a very young go-getter tries to revitalize an early-morning new show.
Release Date: Nov. 10, 2010
Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna

Ep. 49: Gambit

Jenny, Lucy and Alastair talk about wasted potential, a weak protagonist, structural audacity, loving Shirley MacLain and how much they’re looking forward to the remake.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 2.5 Pops ~ A charming movie with tremendous potential, but which doesn’t quite live up to it. Funny, cute, and fun enough – I’d watch it again – but I’m really looking forward to the remake.
Lucy’s rating breakdown: Craft: 3, Comedy: 3, Suspense: 2, Romance: 1

Jenny says: 2.5 Pops ~ This is one of those movies that really should be remade. Huge potential, terrific cast, awful pacing and a romance that’s just not there on the screen.
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Craft: 3, Comedy: 3, Suspense: 2, Romance: 1

Alastair says: 3 Pops ~ I give the movie credit for trying something audacious, but the writers weren’t up to the task. Let’s all hope that Cameron Diaz raises her game for the remake, and we get the movie this has the potential to be.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 3, Comedy: 4, Suspense: 2, Romance: 1

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: Harry the Thief hires beautiful Nicole to help con his mark, telling her to just keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking. Like that’s going to happen. Release Date: January 7, 1967 Writers: Jack Davies and Alan Sargent

Breaking News: The Coen Brothers have written a remake of this with Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, and Alan Rickman. Unfortunately, they’re not directing.

Ep. 48: Pocket Full of Miracles

Alastair fills in for Lucy and there is general agreement that there’s a good movie in here someplace, and that Peter Falk is a national treasure (the Academy agreed: he got an Oscar nom for his performance here as JoyBoy). Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Alastair says: 3 Pops ~ Gaping flaws in the craft of this movie aren’t enough to detract from the pleasure of watching the brilliant supporting cast.

Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 2, Comedy: 4, Suspense: 3

Jenny says: 3 ¬†Pops ~ See it for Peter Falk and the rest of the great supporting cast, but a caper story with a weak hero isn’t much of a caper.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Craft: 3, Comedy: 4, Suspense: 2

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: A mobster trying to hold onto power and his girl friend gets distracted when the beggar who sells him lucky apples needs help to con her daughter and some visiting foreigners into believing she’s a wealthy woman. Release Date: December 25, 1961. Writers: Hal Kanter and Harry Tugend from a story by Damon Runyon.