Episode 126 - On The Waterfront

This week, we watch the American classic that portrays the life of a dockworker who works for the mob. This film changed Hollywood movies forever with Marlon Brando’s performance, which brought a type of realism into the mainstream that was previously only seen in a small number of European films. This story was also based on true to life violent criminal activity going on at the time. On The Waterfront (1954), Elia Kazan.

Episode 127 - My Neighbor Totoro

This week, we watch the film that gave Studio Ghibli their iconic character, who happens to be a giant bunny/bear/owl spirit (with human teeth). While this animated tale might advertise itself as high fantasy, it really spends most of its time with two young girls (sisters) who have to move to the countryside to be closer to their sick mother’s hospital, and the kindness they show each other during their difficult time. Also, there is a enormous 12-legged Catbus. My Neighbor Totoro (1988), directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Episode 128 - Ikiru

This week, we watch the tale of a man diagnosed with stomach cancer, which causes him to reflect on his seemingly wasted life. Taking its time to establish moods appropriate for the subject matter, this film makes you think about what it means to be alive, and how to get the most out of life with what short time we have. Ikiru (1952), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Episode 129 - Ran

This week, we watch the last epic made by the man who is widely regarded as one of the best directors of all time. With thousands of extras, hundreds of horses, full scale battles, and castles built on the side of Mount Fuji, Kurosawa takes his time and lets each shot linger, recreating the paintings he made that were used as storyboards. Ran (1985), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Episode 130 - The Gold Rush

This week, we watch the second oldest movie on the list! The Little Tramp character (Charlie Chaplin in big shoes and tattered cloths) is on his way to California to make it big digging up gold, but gets stuck halfway on a snowy mountain top, where he has to avoid the elements, being eaten by his fellow humans, loneliness, and gravity. Playing like a series of comedy sketches, this film holds up amazingly well after nearly 100 years. The Gold Rush (1925), directed by Charlie Chaplin.

Episode 131 - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

This week, we watch Jimmy Stewart become a star, in one of the most perfectly aged films of all time. Everything is somehow still relevant 80 years later, from the humor to the characters, to the dead-on commentary on political corruption. This film, on a short list alongside 12 Angry Men, should be required viewing for everyone in the United States. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), directed by Frank Capra.

BONUS EPISODE! BlacKkKlansman

This week, we abandon the list to watch one of the best movies of last year, and a Best Picture Academy Award nominee. Combining the comedy of a buddy-cop film with the heavy drama of real historical and present day events revolving around racism in the United States, this film packs an enormous emotional punch, and successfully provokes conversations about the state of this country that we should all be having. BlacKkKlansman (2018), directed by Spike Lee.

Episode 132 - The Bridge on the River Kwai

This week, we watch the classic war film that dominated the Oscars the year it was released. On a remote Japanese island, a large group of British and American soldiers, now prisoners, are forced to build a bridge. The movie’s production took place in the jungle, and included hundreds of extras and enormous sets, yet the story of the soldiers is what makes this film a classic that still holds up today. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), directed by David Lean.

BONUS EPISODE! All the President's Men

This week, we go off the top 250 list and watch the film that set the standard on how to make an interesting, funny, and informative story about the tedium that is good reporting, and would rightfully accept any and all association to the best picture winner Spotlight, as the influences are apparent. How is this not one of the top 250? All the President’s Men (1976), directed by Alan Pakula.

BONUS EPISODE! Blade Runner 2049

This week, we watch the sequel to the ground breaking classic that is the grandfather of all dark, futuristic science fiction films. This film manages to equal the quality of the original, and even improves on certain aspects, while expanding on the ideas put fourth by Ridley Scott decades ago. Blade Runner 2049 (2017), directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Episode 134 - Blade Runner

This week, we watch what some consider the best science fiction film in history. The world shown on screen set a standard for the genre, and its influence can be seen in nearly every sci-fi film since its release. With five official cuts and a wealth of lore behind the making, this film begs to be rewatched and pondered over. The outstanding visuals just make it that much more enjoyable. Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott.

Episode 135 - The Seventh Seal

This week, we watch the film that put the legendary director Ingmar Bergman on the map, which lead some of cinemas best works, and also some of its most pretentious. Known for its now famous image of a knight playing chess on a beach with death, this movie is worth watching more for the ideas it presents, and not necessarily for the craft or for entertainment. The Seventh Seal (1957), directed by Ingmar Bergman.

Episode 136 - Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

This week, we watch a large cast of morons stumble their way through a series of crimes. The film debut of both Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, this low budget cockney masterpiece came from the hopes and hard work of the cast and crew, and also the pockets of their families. The film’s soundtrack was so good, Madonna married the director. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), directed by Guy Ritchie.

Episode 139 - Casino

This week, we watch the spiritual sequel to Goodfellas, when De Niro and Pesci move from New York to Vegas. Based on the true life story of Frank Rosenthal (who still claims no knowledge of the events depicted in this film), this movie is probably the most historically accurate film we have watched so far. Casino (1995), directed by Martin Scorsese.

Bonus Episode - The Rock

BONUS EPISODE! Somehow this movie came up in about 10 episodes in a row, and while its not on the list, we felt it appropriate to watch this classic of 90’s cinema. Losers always whine about trying their best, and Nicholas Cage is no loser. Carla was the Prom Queen. The Rock (1995), directed by Michael Bay.