The writer Brian Abrams, author of the new book "You Talkin' to Me?”: The Definitive Guide to Iconic Movie Quotes, joins me from New York City to discuss Sam Peckinpah and his underrated 1972 rodeo drama Junior Bonner starring Steve McQueen and Joe Don Baker. Right after Peckinpah wrapped on his controversial Straw Dogs in England, he jumped into production on Junior Bonner, a small-stakes character study about an aging rodeo rider (McQueen) who returns to his hometown of Prescott, Arizona to compete for one more victory and to reconnect with his family, including his oafish brother, local real estate developer Curly (Baker) and his estranged parents (Robert Preston and Ida Lupino). It’s also the story of the landscape of the American West giving way to the suburban sprawl and exploitation of the modern world, literally being bulldozed all around the Bonner family. As Junior’s rodeo star father Ace asks: “If this world’s all about winners, what’s for the losers?” Dismissed in its day, and somewhat of an outlier in Peckinpah’s run of action films in the 1970s, time has been kind to Junior Bonner, which can be appreciated now as a Hangout Movie, three days in the life of an aging rodeo star and a fading way of life, vividly brought to life by Peckinpah and his cast. Plus we discuss Brian’s new book, which looks into the origins of hundreds of classic movie lines across American film history, how some lines have entered the lexicon and live on in the culture, and the movie quotes we each have rolling around in our heads. Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month, including our continuing Miami Vice sidebar series. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter Follow Brian Abrams on Twitter. Brian’s book "You Talkin' to Me?”: The Definitive Guide to Iconic Movie Quotes is now available. Trailer for Junior Bonner (Sam Peckinpah, 1972) Music video for “Too Late For Goodbyes”, Julian Lennon (directed by Sam Peckinpah, 1984)
1 hr 20 min
Access this entire 80 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes, including the entire Miami Vice sidebar series) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/147-miami-vice-88727844 For the eighth episode in our Miami Vice series, Twitchstreamer and friend of the show Toph returns from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to discuss the international influence Vice had on gaming, manga and Hong Kong action cinema. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City uses the DNA of Miami Vice to offer a complex satire of American society and culture within the gameplay, one of several games that took cues from the show, including the officially licensed (but inferior) Miami Vice for the PS2 in 2004. We discuss two episodes from season one of the series that feel like Vice City game missions, and explore the clear influence Miami Vice had on Asian pop culture, in particular the films of John Woo during his hot streak in Hong Kong through the 80s; the signs of Vice are everywhere, especially in A Better Tomorrow II (1987), disowned by the director after studio interference, but like The Prodigal Son, it was also partly filmed on location in New York City and it climaxes in a Bushido-esque orgy of heroic bloodshed and Dudes Rock energy. Episodes discussed on the show: The Great McCarthy - Season 1, Ep 8 The Maze - Season 1, Ep 18 Here’s where you can find Toph on social media Twitter: https://twitter.com/real91toph TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@91toph Twitch: http://twitch.tv/91toph Youtube: https://youtube.com/@tophscinematheque… Toph’s Oppenheimer video Trailer for the PS2 Miami Vice game, 2004 Music video for “Self Control”, Laura Branigan (directed by William Friedkin, 1984) Cover band version of “Self Control” from The Great McCarthy. International trailer for A Better Tomorrow II (Woo, 1987)
Access this entire 90 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes, including the entire Miami Vice sidebar series) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/146-miami-vice-88370980 Success breeds imitators, and on this seventh instalment of the pod’s Miami Vice series, the writer Jessica Ritchey returns to discuss the cultural peak of the series at the start of Season 2 and some now-forgotten Vice clones that were quickly put into production by the competition to try and cash in on this trend. We discuss the two ripoffs of Miami Vice served up by ABC in the 1985 fall season, Hollywood Beat and The Insiders, as well as NBC’s own Vice clone, Stingray, produced by Stephen J. Cannell, which lasted 2 seasons. While all this was happening Miami Vice was at the top of its game, with high ratings, Emmy wins, and a soundtrack album that was #1 on Billboard for 11 weeks. The Season 2 premiere, The Prodigal Son, was a 2 hour epic with 14 pop songs and a full roster of guest stars including Gene Simmons, Pam Grier and Penn Jillette. Crockett and Tubbs travel to Colombia and New York City in pursuit of a cocaine cartel and discover the hard way that powerful interests beyond their reach are determined to perpetuate the drug war forever. We also discuss how even a flawed episode of the series at its peak could still be appointment television with Season 2’s French Twist, where the Vice Squad has to work with a French INTERPOL agent to catch a Montreal criminal in Miami who has stolen a drug shipment and is targeting witnesses. This one features one of Jan Hammer’s most gorgeous scores for the series, and improbably a brief appearance by Leonard Cohen as the French crimelord Francois Zolan. Episodes discussed on the show: The Prodigal Son - Season 2, Ep 1 & 2 French Twist - Season 2, Ep 18 Follow Jessica Ritchey on Twitter, and support her work on Patreon. Jessica’s YouTube mixtape “Miami Vice-A-Rama” Opening titles for Hollywood Beat (ABC, 1985) Opening titles for The Insiders (ABC, 1985) Opening titles for Stingray (NBC, 1985) Music video for “Tubbs and Valerie”, Jan Hammer, 1987
The writer James Slaymaker, author of Time is Luck: The Cinema of Michael Mann, returns to the pod from Southampton for a discussion of selected works from the veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach, who at age 87 is about to release what is said to be his final feature, The Old Oak. Ken Loach’s 1969 feature Kes is a staple of the British school curriculum to this day and his 2016 film I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’or at Cannes and was a big hit in the UK. We discuss the role Loach recently played in British politics, first allied with the Labour Party under the left-wing leadership of Jeremy Cornyn and then ousted from Labour in the ideological purge of the Keir Starmer era. We discuss three of his features on this episode: the controversial 1990 political thriller Hidden Agenda with Brian Cox and Frances McDormand, 2019’s gig economy drama Sorry We Missed You, and a lesser-seen Loach film from 2001, The Navigators. These works offer a critique from the left of several decades of austerity policies in the UK, the horrors of privatization and the overall exploitation of workers by management. Plus: RIP William Friedkin. Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month, including this summer's entire Miami Vice sidebar series. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter Follow James Slaymaker on Twitter. James’ book Time is Luck: The Cinema of Michael Mann, is now available in paperback and Kindle. Hidden Agenda is currently available to watch on Tubi. Sorry We Missed You is streaming on Kanopy (if you have a library card). And The Navigators is currently available to watch on YouTube. McDonald’s UK advert directed by Ken Loach, 1991 Trailer for Hidden Agenda (Loach, 1990) Trailer for The Navigators (Loach, 2001) Trailer for Sorry We Missed You (Loach, 2019) “Ken Loach’s Agenda Is to Rile the British Establishment” by David Gritten, for the Los Angeles Times, January 1, 1991 “Democracy is Dead in Keir Starmer’s Labour” by Ken Loach, for The Guardian, September 28, 2021
1 hr 29 min
The writer and content strategist Karen Geier returns to the pod to say farewell to Paul Reubens and his iconic Pee-wee Herman character. Reubens created the Pee-wee character in the mid 1970s as part of the LA improv troupe The Groundlings, in a cohort that included Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks. A failed attempt to join the cast of SNL in 1980 doubled his resolve to be successful; he took his Pee-wee Herman show from cult status on stage to a smash-hit movie for Warner Bros. (the feature debut of director Tim Burton) and then to Saturday morning network tv with his innovative kids show Pee-wee’s Playhouse which ran for 5 years on CBS. We talk about two of Karen’s three favourite movies of all time (1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday), discuss the Pee-wee character as a queer icon, pop culture innovator and comedy god, lament the destruction of his success in 1991 with his notorious arrest at a porn theatre in Florida (from the days when so-called ‘Cancel Culture’ could actually cancel careers) and his hard-won third act with the return of Pee-wee to public life as Reubens fought a private battle. Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month, including this summer's entire Miami Vice sidebar series. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter Follow Karen Geier on Twitter. Trailer for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (Tim Burton, 1985) Pee-wee's Playhouse Season 1 opening and closing credits, 1986 Pee-wee finally makes it to the basement of the Alamo, 2011 Trailer for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (John Lee, 2016)
1 hr 25 min
Access this entire 90 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes, including the entire Miami Vice sidebar series) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/143-miami-vice-87557729 Friend of the show and Miami Vice head Matthew Kinkaid joins us from San Antonio, Texas for the sixth episode in our summer sidebar series. We discuss selected Vice episodes from Seasons 3 and 4; when Michael Mann departed from the production to work on Manhunter and Crime Story, Wolf took over as show runner and started to change the way Vice looked and felt, eschewing the pastel color scheme for harder neon lighting and a flatter visual look. The plots were now based on current events and tabloid fare, a new “ripped from the headlines” approach Wolf would soon bring to his next show Law & Order. Crockett wore a long mullet and Tubbs grew a beard. These changes, plus the newer earlier timeslot on Friday nights (up against Dallas) led to the slow decline of the popularity of the series. Matthew and I discuss three representative episodes of this period in the series, with Crockett and Tubbs up against a sleazy lawyer who is trafficking in stolen Colombian babies, crooked televangelists, and a scary porn director / artiste who may have made a snuff film, in a disturbing case that sets off the unravelling of Sonny Crockett throughout the rest of season 4. Currently most Miami Vice episodes are available for streaming in the US on Tubi. Episodes discussed on this show: Baby Blues - Season 3, Ep 9 Amen…Send Money - Season 4, Ep 2 Death and the Lady - Season 4, Ep 3 Follow Matthew Kinkaid on Twitter. Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas accepting the 1986 People’s Choice Award for Miami Vice.
Aaron and Carlee from the Hit Factory podcast return from San Francisco for a deep dive into the underrated 1983 American remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s landmark film Breathless, directed by Jim McBride. Assailed at the time of release for being a shallow exercise in style, to watch Breathless 40 years later is to see a work arguably as influential on the next generation of American filmmakers as Godard’s original had been on the New American Cinema of the 1970s; the remake’s cocktail of retro cool, fast cars and meta-textual pop culture references mark it as a clear influence on Tarantino, Lynch and Paul Thomas Anderson among others. In an inversion of the original plot, Richard Gere plays Jesse Lujack, a petty criminal in Vegas obsessed with Jerry Lee Lewis and Silver Surfer comics who steals a Porsche, shoots a highway patrolman on his way to LA and as the manhunt develops, hides out with a French architecture student he’d recently had a fling with named Monica, played by the 19-year-old actress Valérie Kaprisky. Breathless ’83 is extremely sexy so at the constant risk of being thrown in Horny Jail, the three of us discuss the intense on-screen chemistry between Gere and Kaprisky, McBride’s use of vivid color, rear-screen projection and music to heighten the cinematic experience, what the film has to say about toxic masculinity and male narcissism, and we discuss the Silver Surfer-obsessed Jesse Lujack as a cautionary tale about becoming Marvel-poisoned. Breathless is currently streaming on Criterion Channel and Tubi. Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month, including this summer's entire Miami Vice sidebar series. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter Follow Aaron and Carlee on Twitter. Subscribe to the Hit Factory podcast; you can also support the show directly through Patreon. ‘Breathless’ (1983): A Stylish Remake of Godard’s 1960 Film as an Accurate Portrayal of Male Narcissism - by Koralika Suton, for NeoText Flat open matte 35mm trailer for Breathless (Jim McBride, 1983) X performing “Breathless” on Late Night with David Letterman, 1983
1 hr 48 min
On the fifth episode of this podcast’s summer sidebar series on NBC’s crime drama Miami Vice, the writer and podcaster Jeb Lund joins me from Tampa, Florida for a look at the two-season story arc that pitted Bob Balaban against G. Gordon Liddy. Balaban’s Ira Stone, an Army reporter who served with Sonny Crockett in Vietnam, shows up in Miami 10 years later tracking down his sworn enemy, the mysterious drug trafficker turned private militia financier “Captain Real Estate”, played by the Watergate burglar and convicted felon in his acting debut. Jeb wanted us to add a Season 4 episode to our agenda, The Rising Sun of Death, a sleazy one where Vice goes up against the Yakuza with the help of a Japanese PI who is after the murderous head of the Sumiroshi-gumi clan. This episode also features R. Lee Ermey as a dirty cop and a strip club that plays The Smiths. These three episodes offer sharp critiques from the left of the treatment of Vietnam Veterans and US military involvement in drug trafficking in Southeast Asia, America’s intervention in Central America and willingness to work with fascists in the global fight against communism, and the political interference that renders law enforcement pointless. Episodes discussed on this show: Back in the World - Season 2, Ep 11 Stone’s War - Season 3, Ep 2 The Rising Sun of Death - Season 4, Ep 9 Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month, including this summer's entire Miami Vice sidebar series. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter Follow Jeb Lund on Twitter. Music video for Crockett’s Theme - Jan Hammer, 1986
1 hr 55 min
Access this entire 87 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes, including the entire Miami Vice sidebar series) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/140-miami-vice-86864671 The Miami Vice sidebar series continues with returning guest Sean Armstrong, a Toronto-based veteran boom operator for film and television (Star Trek: Discovery, Hannibal) For this episode we discuss the influence Vice had on the city of Miami itself, how the city conformed to the image the program had of it, which had implications for tourism and Miami as a major production hub for film and television. But we also talk about how the program was eventually a victim of its success, and the aspirational tones of the series degraded over the course of five years as the drug war accelerated, the creatives left and popularity waned, with the show finally chasing after trends where once it set them. We sample episodes throughout the series to illustrate this, from Abel Ferrara’s season 1 episode The Home Invaders(which has major elements Michael Mann would later return to in Heat and the upcoming Heat 2) to mid-series episodes about miscarriages of justice and the paranoid world of surveillance and counter-surveillance, and what the show looked like in its final days (including one of the worst episodes of the series, a backdoor pilot for a potential ripoff of 21 Jump Street). Follow Sean Armstrong on Twitter. Episodes discussed on this show: The Home Invaders - Season 1, Ep 20 Forgive Us Our Debts - Season 3, Ep 11 Lend Me An Ear - Season 3, Ep 18 Leap of Faith - Season 5, Ep 20 Music video for Sheila E.’s The Glamorous Life, 1984 The classic NBC Miami Vice promo, 1987
Access this entire 115 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/139-oppenheimer-86689014 The film writer Corey Atad returns to the show for a deep dive into Christopher Nolan’s historical epic Oppenheimer. Beyond a discussion of the film itself we review the several film formats Oppenheimer has been released in theatrically, how this movie reflects and departs from the source material (the biography American Prometheus: ), and compare the film to its major stylistic influences (including Oliver Stone’s JFK, There Will Be Blood and The Man Who Fell To Earth. We also discuss the Christopher Nolan redemption arc in general; how he uses the IMAX screen to create intimate horror, his fantastic cast of actors, the callbacks to his earlier works (Memento and even the Batman trilogy) and how some of the bozo decisions he often takes as director somehow don’t take away from this film’s power. Follow Corey Atad on Twitter. Trailer for Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023) Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy in the aisles of Vidéo Club in Paris.