Shut Up and Watch This
#69: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

#69: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

March 3, 2021

What do you get when you mix horror, comedy, and romance with martial arts, stop motion, and a ghost story. Something that feels a little like Evil Dead, a little like Princess Bride, and a whole lot like a kung fu Ray Harryhausen film. Dave’s pick this week is A CHINESE GHOST STORY, a Hong Kong cinema gem that never saw a wide release in the U.S, but has since become a cult film. This film is jam-packed with action, plot, and imagery. It’s all a little too much in a really good way.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#68: Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

#68: Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

February 10, 2021

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER (2001) was at one point in the mid to late 00’s required viewing for those interested in the comedy world, or at least it felt that way to someone who had just discovered comedy podcasts by way of Marc Maron. It certainly stars many up-and-coming actors and comedians who are now major names in television and film, including Amy Poehler, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter,  and….Bradley Cooper.. But does it continue to deserve its required viewing status or has time and comedy moved on?

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#67: Old Joy (2006)

#67: Old Joy (2006)

January 25, 2021

Two guys, one dog, a remote hot spring, and some palpable tension. This week’s pick, Kelly Reichardt’s OLD JOY, couldn't be more stripped down, just two old friends going on a weekend trip. And yet, the scenes are subtle and emotionally fraught. There is a lot going on just below the surface. At the end of the weekend it’s not clear that anyone had a good time except for Lucy the dog and maybe Dave and Ashley as they unpack it.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#66: Election (1999)

#66: Election (1999)

December 30, 2020

If there is any movie that proves that how you feel about art can change over time, or even during the course of a single conversation, it is Ashley’s pick, Alexander Payne’s ELECTION (1999). This pitch black comedy features a usually likable Matthew Broderick playing teacher, Mr. McAllister against a difficult-to-love Tracy Flick, an against-type Reese Witherspoon. Though this seems like a simple story about what happens when a mid-life crisis mixes with a high-school election, it actually is a more subtle character study about how people use boredom and jealousy to justify some truly heinous actions. This film brings up some strong emotions from Dave and Ashley, so join us for an interesting conversation. Pick Flick!

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#65: Witness (1985)

#65: Witness (1985)

December 10, 2020

This week we are reviewing WITNESS, the 1985 film starring Harrison Ford and directed by Peter Weir. Not, The Witness, not Witness for the Prosecution, Witness for the Defense, and definitely not Silent Witness or Hostile Witness. Name confusion aside, this film has a lot more to offer than one would expect from what seemed at first to be a Harrison Ford thriller, but is actually a more subtle exploration of the role of violence in modern life.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#64: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

#64: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

November 25, 2020

DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD is perhaps a strange choice for a podcast that has covered such illustrious films as Notorious, Seven Samurai and Pan’s Labyrinth. It is very much a B movie, but there is just something about this film. Certainly part of it is Christina Applegate’s charming performance, and David Duchovny’s standout turn as a general slimeball. But also, this story subverts expectations again and again. Far from perfect, this is a fun, silly fable that has something to say about growing up, taking responsibility, and finding yourself in the process. 

Also mentioned: DEAD TO ME (2019) - TV Series.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#63: City Lights (1931)

#63: City Lights (1931)

November 18, 2020

We open on an unveiling ceremony. The genteel folk of the city are dedicating a monument to “peace and prosperity." Speeches are made, benefactors are thanked and the sculpture is revealed. A man lies sleeping in the lap of the central statue. He wakes to the sound of the disapproving crowd, tips his hat politely and begins to make his way down. This is our first glimpse of The Little Tramp in Dave’s pick, CITY LIGHTS (1931) directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin at the height of his career. This film is charming and bittersweet, and feels timeless despite its nearly 90 years.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#62: The Wicker Man (1973)

#62: The Wicker Man (1973)

October 28, 2020

Have you ever found yourself in some remote place where you suddenly realize that you don’t know all the rules, or that the rules are different than you thought? Perhaps you felt unmoored and uneasy. (Perhaps this has lasted roughly 4 years?) In this week's pick, 70’s horror classic, THE WICKER MAN, we follow Officer Howie (Edward Woodward) as he tries to find his footing while investigating the disappearance of a child on a remote Scottish island. With Christopher Lee, some wacky pagan rituals, and a lot of fun folk music this is an unusual kind horror film, and a really fun conversation.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#61: Moonlighting - TV Series (1985-1989)

#61: Moonlighting - TV Series (1985-1989)

October 21, 2020

Thirty-five years is a long time between viewings of a former hit TV show, especially one that leans heavily into “battle of the sexes,” as Dave discovered with his pick this week, the 80’s screwball detective series, MOONLIGHTING, which ran from 1985-1989 on ABC. Starring Cybill Shepherd and rising star Bruce Willis as bickering partners in the Blue Moon detective agency, Moonlighting was once must-see TV, but now is mostly forgotten. Will Ashley be able to see beyond the very dated gender politics to appreciate the weird charms of this very unusual show? Maybe.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#60: The Wings of the Dove (1997)

#60: The Wings of the Dove (1997)

October 1, 2020

Luminous, sumptuous, rich, devastating. If this already sounds like a list of overused words from literary book reviews, you’re right. But they also describe this week’s film, Ashley’s pick, THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (1997). Helena Bonham Carter gives one of her best performances while positively draped in rich velvets, silks and handmade lace. This film definitely has a look, and Dave and Ashley think it has performances to match.

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© 2020 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

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