Show contents, with start times:
- Film Spotlight: Barton Fink (1:44)
- Trivia Question: 100% Best Picture Nomination Track Record (14:10)
- Film Buff’s Dictionary: Montage (14:47)
- Series Spotlight: James Bond, Part 4 (19:27)
- Top 6: Movies About Movies (35:20)
- Unseen Movie Review: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (47:35)
- Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (52:12)
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Film Spotlight: Barton Fink
Barton Fink (1991), by Joel and Ethan Coen, is a weird, surreal movie all about the movies. About the difficulty of writing movies, it was written while they were having difficulties making Miller’s Crossing.
We feel it’s one of the stronger works by the Coens and has some interesting connections to Hollywood’s history, especially Sullivan’s Travels (1941) by writer/director Preston Sturges. That movie features a director who wants to film a movie called O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Trivia Question: 100% Best Picture Nomination Track Record
Our mystery actor has a name that isn’t really that difficult to pronounce.
Film Buff’s Dictionary: Montage
- Montage is the French term for editing, but it has come to mean quite a bit more than its English synonym.
- Its use in English really comes from the work of early Soviet filmmakers who worked on defining a theory of editing, which they called montage. The most famous of these directors is Sergei Eisenstein, whose 1925 work Battleship Potemkin is considered a milestone in film editing. This historical use of montage survives primarily in film theory circles.
- The most common use today of montage is to mean a series of short scenes cut together without much or any dialogue in them. Often the montage is used to show progression quickly. In modern Hollywood films, these almost always feature pop songs over the soundtrack.
- Perhaps the most famous of this sort of montage is in the training sequences in Rocky (1976). The 2004 film Team America: World Police has a song called Montage that parodies this.
Series Spotlight: James Bond, Part 4
- The Living Daylights (1987), a high point in the series, marks the first time out for Timothy Dalton in the role of Bond. Dalton’s interpretation harkens back to the character of the Ian Fleming novels and restores Bond’s dangerous edge.
- Licence To Kill (1989) steers Bond into darker territory. It’s also a strong film, but the rough edges and cheap look detract. David Hedison returns to the role of Felix Leiter, the only time an actor ever played the character more than once.
- The two Dalton films featured Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny; the subsequent Brosnan films would cast Samantha Bond in the role.
- Licence To Kill was the last to be written or co-written by Richard Maibaum, who had been with the series from the beginning.
- Licence To Kill also marks the last time Maurice Binder would design the distinctive credit sequences for the series.
- Legal disputes keep Bond out of theaters for another six years. Timothy Dalton’s third movie, The Property of a Lady, could not be completed. Dalton officially quit the series in 1994, opting out of doing another episode after the legal matters clear up.
- Pierce Brosnan is cast for Goldeneye (1995), which cannibalizes parts of the old script for The Property of a Lady but is mostly a fresh story. But the question becomes, is Bond still relevant in the post-Cold War era?
- The character of M is recast as a woman, played by Judi Dench, who calls Bond a “relic of the Cold War.” But the record-breaking box office of Goldeneye establish that Bond is truly back.
- Despite its success and the continued respect it receives, we think Goldeneye is good but not great, mostly due to a meandering second act, uneven pacing, and a terrible musical score by Eric Serra. But it’s certainly a lot of fun and reignites public interest in the James Bond character.
- Following Goldeneye, producer Albert R. Broccoli and special effects supervisor Derek Meddings pass away. Future installments are produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) is another high point in the series, combining the high-octane action feel of Goldeneye with a more cohesive story and confident pace. The musical score by David Arnold does a great job at recapturing the spirit of the old John Barry scores.
- The World Is Not Enough (1999) is another solid entry in the series, though a step down from Tomorrow Never Dies.
- The World Is Not Enough marks the final appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q, who supplies Bond with his gadgets. Over the years, Llewelyn had acquired a huge cult following by series fans, and he had appeared in all official Bond movies to date except two. In The World Is Not Enough, he is training an assistant, R, played by John Cleese, who would assume the title of Q by the time of the following film. Sam is personally responsible for the casting of Cleese.
- Die Another Day (2002) is the 20th official James Bond film. To observe the occasion, the film is laden with references to all of the earlier 19 movies and other aspects of Bond history. Yet, it also finds time to show us things about the character we’ve never seen before.
- Although Die Another Day is a strong entertainment, the producers decide (probably correctly) not to continue the pattern of churning out action spectaculars, each a little more over the top than the one before. Instead, the forthcoming adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, will bring the character back to basics. Find out how, and learn about two previous adaptations of Casino Royale, when James Bond returns in All Movie Talk, Episode 7.
Top 6: Movies About Movies
Unseen Movie Review: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny
We haven’t seen Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’, but that hardly stops us reviewing it. Sam wanted more duality in the subtext, but Stephen’s love of The D leads him to give it (or at least the soundtrack) a pass.