When a movie can surprise us it is usually something special. This movie is extremely surprising, but it is something special? Check out our review of this dark comedy starring Pierce Brosnan as a boozy hitman.
I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
This is a classic piece of pre code social problem film making. What shocked me watching it in 2022 was how well it held up.
The pacing and superb craft on display make this film feel incredibly relevant and modern.
Based on the true story of a WWI veteran sentenced to hard labor in Georgia, the film doesn’t need to embellish as the true account is stranger than any fictional narrative could concoct. James Allen is a man lost after the war who tried to find engineering work only to be turned away in the midst of the depression. He ends up an unwilling accomplice in a robbery and sent to work on the chain gang. He escapes and builds a respectable life only to have his past come back to haunt him.
Few scenes in the film last longer than 2 minutes. The script is ruthlessly efficient. It conveys all the emotion and plot in as few lines as possible. This is backed up by the filmmaking. James is stuck in a factory job, but he yearns to be an engineer. He works at his factory desk underneath a giant window. Outside the window he can see a major construction project. The job he wants is looming over him as he files paperwork. The visuals use a shorthand to reinforce the minimal dialogue.
I loved the sound design which is unique among films of this time period. Sound design as a concept wasn’t really defined until the 70’s. This film from 1932 incorporates a rich sound design to bombard the viewer with the relentless noise of the chains as James Allen suffers on the chain gang.
The performances usually trip up older movies. They’re often too showy and theatrical. Some verge on theatrics, but they are anchored by Paul Muni who brings a naturalism to his portrayal.
The characters aren’t deep, but they all serve the narrative. That narrative proved life changing. This film and the true story it’s based on helped influence public opinion and abolish the chain gang system in America.
The film has maybe my final line in any movie. The final scene is haunting and riveting. It’s a little melodramatic, but it packs a punch. I love this movie.
This movie is my cup of tea. A+
Class Action Park
What do you think of your childhood? Looking back what do you remember? This documentary talks about childhood and growing up in the context of the craziest waterpark ever created. Listen to our three minute review of this incredible truth is stranger than fiction style documentary…
Beverly Hills Cop
Last was as movie famous for being the worst. This week we have a movie that could have been terrible. Happily it surprised us.
We’ve watched a lot of bad movies. We thought we’d seen it all. But this week our special guest Rich Horecki brought us something that redefined our definition of bad.
In this sci fi epic, based upon the works of L. Ron Hubbard earth has been colonized by a race of aliens known as psychlos. When one human learns their language he leads an uprising against the Psychlos and their terrible teeth.
Year in Review
Happy new year to all our listeners. In this mega sized episode we take another look at every movie we’ve watched in 2022. Some are good. Some are bad. Join us for a silly walk down memory lane.
The Ice Pirates
One of the final films in a swath of movies inspired by Star Wars that had some big ideas about space adventures!
We went from one of the best action movies of all time to one of the worst. And boy is it fun to watch.
Combining gymnastics with kung fu , this inexplicable 89’s action movie is quintessential “so bad it’s good.”
You might have heard the hype around this Indian epic action film. It is currently streaming on Netflix and it absolutely lives up to the hype.
This is one of the most epic and excellent movies we’ve ever seen. The quality of filmmaking and story telling is off the charts, and we are bursting to talk about it in this three minute review…
Looking for a quick easy action movie? This one will fill the bill nicely. Starring the indomitable Idris Elba and the charming Richard Madden this fast paced movie will satisfy the need for a solid action movie.