Meta March concludes with this action-packed piece and a couple'a guests from London. Andrew AP Clarke and Dr. George Crosthwait join me for some self isolation revelry, gratuitous action and what, as it turns out, was too much drinking. Veering slightly off topic, but always coming back round to why Arnold was/is the perfect action movie star, we has us a time.
This bonus episode will give you all the rules you need to thoroughly enjoy "any" Shaw Brothers' film. The output of this legendary studio served as the spark for my obsession with movie drinking games, and doing so alongside friends eventually turned into this thing. So without spending a month (say, the September of Shaw) detailing all my favorites, I've just come up with a standard set of rules that will surely get you through this mess that we're currently in.
Finally, a fun one. Meta film doesn't have to be all academic or all scary. Sometimes it comes in the form of the madcap nonsense of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker's punny films. The trio behind the similarly punctuated AIRPLANE! (1980), THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES of POLICE SQUAD! (1988) and HOT SHOTS! (1991), the penchant for exclamatory titles extends far beyond into the total silliness contained within these films. And hey, if you don't want to watch Top Secret!, my rules will get you plenty tuned up while watching any of their movies.
In partnership with the Ultra Dogme Virtual Film Festival's first installation, "From a Distance", I've given the world its first social distancing episode of Drink For.... In this short bit of bonus content, I've focused on Chantal Akerman's 1972 LA CHAMBRE. A self isolation masterpiece, this breezy ten-minute gem will help you feel slightly less alone as you sit in your room pondering just how weird this all is.
The second in our Meta March series, this brisk 28 min episode provides everything from Hollywood scriptwriting basics, comfort in the ubiquitousness of self doubt, and the unique darkness of drinking alone while watching a fat Nicholas Cage. Only half as bleak as that sounds, I'm sure we can get through this if we just work together.
Adaptation. specific drinking rules:
We're gonna Drink for...
Charlie second guessing himself
Switching between story lines
Charlie talking to Donald
It's drinking, it's horror, it's everything you need for the weekend. This marks the first in a month-long series on "meta" films, because, 1: alliteration is important; and 2: I want to sound smart. As I will never succeed at the latter, it was important for me to set the very achievable standard of picking a theme that started with the same letter as the month. Life is about the small victories. And podcasting, that's about whispering into the void hoping to hear an echo.
The closet of shame keeps attracting illustrious guests from overseas. This week, my brother Ian Mantgani joins me in my home state to discuss Detroit's best movie: FOUR BROTHERS. In spite of it being shot in Toronto, and being a horrible movie, we still had a good time through the power of friendship. And alcohol. I think it was probably the alcohol. Deciding it best to re-shape the film into some kind of Shyamalanian mystery, we may have shirked our critical duties, here, in favor of regaining our sanity. Join us, won't you?
As it turns out, this episode is all about the laughter. Natalia from the amazing Movies with Cain and Tal podcast joins me to discuss one of her favorite movies: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Though devastated that Joss Whedon isn't happy with what Fran Rubel Kuzui did with his script, Tal managed to put those feelings aside to deliver one of the most heartfelt film criticisms this show has ever seen. Going long on strong female characters, the Divinyls and day drinking, we had a helluva time 17 hours apart.
Movies are important. For this movie, a strong drink is very important. Sporting a Metascore of 9 and a cast that includes, and is basically limited to, Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel, this is the spaciest of treats. In the end, no amount of drinking will prepare you for the delights on offer here, but thus is the magic of cinema; and so we must follow through in spite of ourselves. With a touch of nudity, a bit of madness and a space doggo, Saturn 3 is the film the world needs right now.
Exciting developments this week, as my guests Jamie and Robin from The Hangover Chronicles inspired me to write my first 420-friendly rules. Swapping stoner recipes, hangover stories and the best way to turn a van into a podcast studio, it turns out, we didn't actually focus a whole lot on the movie.
I'm starting to wonder if being intoxicated is really the best way to discuss art...
With the sad passing of Terry Jones this past week, I look back at a film that brought me immense joy as a sad teenage boy, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. Directed by Jones and the likewise Terry-ied Gilliam, this buffoonish masterpiece will always come to mind when anyone asks after my favorite film. Making a mockery out of English history, its legends, its society and the structure of film itself, this captured me over 15 years ago and still refuses to let me go.
Needless to say, I made some excellent rules, and got shitfaced. So why not come join me on this road to sadness, joy and therapeutic catharsis?
This week, I'm joined by Devlin and Jason, Broken Lizard superfans and hosts of the Know Your Cinema Podcast, for one of their all-time faves: CLUB DREAD. Forgetting that the Drink For... standard rules would have been plenty to get three people liquored way way up, I pushed it, and wrote a few more. Let's just say that things went up hill from there. Going long on why Broken Lizard are so uniquely silly, how we've all started to ignore IMDb ratings and even some top tips on pick-up lines, we had a fucking time. So sit back, grab a cold or warm or no beverage at all, just grab air grabbing air is fine, and join us on this odyssey of odysseys.
It's a new year, a new decade, a new me. This year, I'll be focusing less on the drinking aspects of the show in order to more fruitfully explore the drinking aspects of the show. Over my interminable hiatus, I received some wonderful news in the form of an email from the film tracking website letterboxd.com, informing me that my most-watched director for 2019 was Michael Bay. I might be ruining my body for this show, but what I get in return makes those negatives seem so so worth it.
In honor of this life affirming tidbit, I made the not-so-difficult decision to focus in on Bay's finest prison-based work: THE ROCK.
For me, it's not Christmas without Buddy the Elf. Whether its Will Ferrell's madcap childishness, Zooey Deschanel's vocal chops, Ed Asner's streetwise Santa, Bob Newhart's ultra sweet Papa Elf or James Caan and Mary Steenburgen's on-screen marriage, this sentence was a perfect way to sneakily brag about ELF's positively-stacked cast. Enough words, it's drinking time.
I keep the holidays rolling with this week’s episode, and because I’m a kind and loving tyrant, I come bearing gifts: nearly 20 hours of drinking games. That’s right, as you already know without having read this far, Episode 27 is on the Harry Potter franchise, but before you ask, no, I did not drink for more than one of them. Instead, I offer series-wide rules that you can glug through at your leisure. Don’t want to listen to your cousins talk about why they didn’t vote in the UK’s recent election, or why your aunt thinks the impeachment hearings are a sham? Here’s your get-out-of-jail-free-and-forget-the-whole-week card.
Sometimes, when you drink Brugal by yourself, you discover great cinema. Such was the case this week with Renny Harlin's THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (1996), starring Geena Davis as an amnesiac ex-assassin and Sam Jackson as her gracious sidekick. Packed with awesome action set pieces, an easily-digestible plot and some top performances, I am still in awe that this isn't on more peoples' "Best Christmas Movie" lists. Maybe right that wrong, and turn it on this holiday season—you won't be disappointed. My drunk self was quite confident in loudly guaranteeing that.
Back into the closet of shame I go. This week, it's another solo episode where I desperately try to channel some nostalgia by watching Ivan Reitman's 2001 regular old movie, EVOLUTION. I mean, it's totally fine, but that's all I can really say about it. The film has a stellar cast, some decent comedy writing and some detailed gags, but the sum of those parts is, for me, decidedly mediocre. Which, again, is totally fine, just really really hard to talk about. So... why not listen to drunk me give it a shot?
Grace Jones, Christopher Walken and a near 60-year old 007—there is nothing more in life that I want. Home for Thanksgiving (who am I kidding, I live at home), I was able to persuade my wonderful and funny sister, Mollie into joining me to discuss the best film from 1985, John Glen's A View to a Kill. Was it a good idea to base my online film-writing persona around this gem? Probably not, but it certainly speaks to the state of that "career" today.
The perfect end to another London adventure, the saddest man I know (you guessed it, it's Labeja) and I set our sights on Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s ARISTOTLE’S PLOT. One of the finest films about films, it was the number one takeaway from the year-long, and very expensive master’s degree I did in 2018. It’s just that good. And it’s available for free on Vimeo, so you should go watch it. And then listen to Labeja and I talk drunkenly about it, buy yourself some hot booze, and watch it again.
Groovy.... For the finale of horror October, yes I know it's November 14th, I sit down with Alex Robertson AKA DJ Velvet Thunder to discuss the conclusion(?) of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness (1992). An immense film in terms of both scope and delicious delicious horror-comedy, this was a delightful little high note in my month long adventure. Despite being in a band called 'Boom Stick,' Alex had never seen Army of Darkness, so being his conduit to this practical effects treasure, was my... pleasure.
Third time's a charm. After a disappointing showing on CLUE (1985), and a cathartic venture into chaos with FADE TO BLACK (1980), it was this week's film and this week's guests that proved to be my salvation. A.P. Clarke (director of APOCALYPSE OF THE BLOOD FREAK and host of The Lost Cat Podcast) and Dr. George Crosthwait (fan of the show and budding Don DeLillo impersonator) join me to discuss one of the finest bad films I've ever seen. With a perfectly deadpan Jackie Vernon and dialogue written by madmen, MICROWAVE MADNESS is just one of those things that's impossible to describe; so we might have gone a little off the rails trying to figure out what Don DeLillo and Andrew Dice Clay would have been like as friends.
The blight from Episode 19.9 hanging thickly in the air, friends Labeja Kodua Okullu and Ian Mantgani join me to persevere over the cursed drink. We failed. Recording hours of painful, yet touching self-examination, there was only about 14 minutes of salvageable film talk. Deciding to reconvene, hungover and raw, we somberly recorded an addendum to our chat, tying up loose ends and correcting intoxicated errors from the previous night. What remains is a decent recap of a film that is nothing more than perfectly fine. Three men brought together by film to talk about a film about a man who watches film; this is what friendship looks like.
This week's episode proved to be an embarrassing reminder of the dark side of any intoxicated adventure: sounding like a complete ass. For what was going to be episode 20, I decided on one of my all-time favorite films, Jonathan Lynn's 1985 murder mystery masterpiece, CLUE. Based on the board game of the same name (or of a different one if you live in not America), I was perhaps a little too excited for my own good. Whether due to stellar drinking rules, or the rushing back of fond memories, I consumed far more than was responsible, and recorded what I can only describe as the ramblings of a fool. Drink For... chopped and screwed, this non-episode is all that remains.
As the year's best month continues, I venture into territory with which I am very familiar: Anna Biller's 2016 masterpiece, The Love Witch. Combining my twin loves for spookiness and sarcastic wit, Biller's unique film appeals to the very core of my being. No, seriously, this movie fucked me up. Listen for yourself, I'm a complete, babbling mess by the end. If I average .84 coherent thoughts per episode, this 19th instalment must be down damn close to zero. Even better than listening to this (not a high bar), why not just go watch The Love Witch? Do it.
Fresh off of a makeshift honeymoon, and back into the closet of shame, I battle a cold this week to bring you the first in a month-long series of horror-based boozers. Joined by DJ Shabbee Chic, and with hot toddies in hand(s), we explore the strange moral righteousness of Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott's social-justice-anthology-horror (that is a lot of dashes).
Big news this week, as guest DJ Shabbee Chic and I decide to get married. By way of an impromptu hen/stag-do, my favorite sad men Labeja Kodua Okullu and Ian Mantgani planned this special episode for us to become more-accustomed to American weddings. The film is utterly fine, if not an amber-frozen artifact of the early noughties, but the company? That's something that just can't be beat, brother. Love to all those who joined us on the day, both in person and digitally, none to deserters. Now I need to get back to our honeymoon. Goodbye.
You know when you go into something with the best intentions? Well, this week, I think I tried that, and I know that I utterly failed. I suppose that’s the risk of drunkenly recording a podcast: you never know what you’re going to get. So this week’s episode is not really even about a film, it's about me getting angry when I think films are mean. Thankfully and as always, I can count on my man Labeja Kodua Okullu to deliver his usual brand of hopelessness in this week’s LABEJA'S SAD MAN SCENARIOS.
Coming off the back of a very spooky Friday 13th/Full moon combo, I was in the mood to hit up some horror. Enter one of my favorite films from 2017, CREEP 2. Armed with only one drinking rule, I found myself delighted by this 78-minute wonder, and booze aside, could not have picked a more-perfect film for episode 15 (what does that mean? I don't know). Although I'm recording solo, back in the closet of shame, I'm actually not the saddest thing from this mid-September week, as I introduce a brand new segment from Labeja Kodua Okullu: LABEJA'S SAD MAN SCENARIOS.
After a strange week, I needed a pick-me-up: enter Nisha Ganatra's LATE NIGHT (2019). With an overall message of positivity in a world that can really suck sometimes, Mindy Kaling's script knows exactly what it is doing, despite her character's disarming charm. Sharing a great performance with Emma Thompson, the two women have a great chemistry that seems to have begun outside of the narrative, and has merely bled in to their onscreen world—brightened glances and smiling eyes abound. Is LATE NIGHT a cure for seasonal depression? Absolutely not, but it might distract you from it for 102 minutes, and what more could you possibly want from your entertainment?
With filmmaker Ian Mantgani and poet Labeja Kodua Okullu by my side, I drink way too much mezcal and become infatuated by Alan Johnson's Solarbabies. Through the magic of hindsight, we discuss how someone as seemingly intelligent as Mel Brooks goes into debt making a film like this, why M. Bison makes for a triggering villain and how, sometimes, fake torture is worse for the stuntmen then their fantasy counterparts. Going deeper than any other trio has ever dared, we are now officially the world's foremost Solarbabies scholars (Scholarbabies), and will be publishing our first book on the subject as soon as funding is secured.
This week I'm joined by friend, journalist and politics-man Alex Schaffer, as we both discover the profound joys of modern Wayans. Is Sextuplets 20 years too late, or is it a timely reflection of current social stratification? Given how much we drank, I'd err on the side of the former, but who's to really say. Though pleasantly surprised by the quality of this absurd film, the meat of our conversation centered around the idea of Netflix as a kind of modern boredom insurance. A bit above our purview, sure, but a damn interesting topic at the time (we think).
Life isn't all booze and movies, it's also got alcohol and television. This week, I turn away from the big screen to focus on the little one. Are movies really dead? Is this the golden age of television? My head still hurts from drinking, so I can't tell you if I answered these or any questions, but I will assume that the episode will be all the better for it.
This week I find myself on America's northern border, battered from the journey, and much more incoherent than my intrepid part 2 co-host, Doug (Doug does not have a surname, do not ask for it). With the anonymity of Jenna Ricker's Buffalo reflected by our own Doug, the convoluted no-placeness of THE AMERICAN SIDE comes right to the front of our intoxicated conversation. As this plucky detective story vies to bewilder us with one-liners and narrative twists, we find ourselves lost in the fray, dissecting this middle-of-the-road offering. Trying our best, we explore the artifice of cinema (drunk us did not see it this way), commenting on strangely punchy dialogue, chunky editing and knowing your script too well for your own good. Join us on this chilly jaunt up to the brutalist grey of Buffalo and the American side (of Niagara falls).
Having slunk back into the closet of shame, my mood cooled like summer into fall. Despite Keenen Ivory Wayans' uplifting and absurd film, I was unable to shake some nagging feelings, and decided to go on a rant that might eventually end identity bias in the film industry. What is identity bias? I don't know, but I can tell you that WHITE CHICKS is in contention for 'Best Film of 2004'.
This week's episode finds itself blessed by the worldwide premier of APOCALYPSE OF THE BLOOD FREAK. Part anthology, part socialist cry into the black hole of auteur theory, this film by first-time director A.P. Clarke (of The Lost Cat Podcast fame) is something all fledgling filmmakers should aspire to; proving once and for all, that a feature film is within your reach, you just have to be nice enough to grab it. Featuring the director himself, our esteemed colleague Dr. George Crosthwait and the lovely Zoë Anderson (aka DJ Shabbee Chic), we host a transcontinental episode that takes aim at the filmmaking process, horror fandom, mean gin drunkenness, being nice to get ahead and a bunch more that I can't remember.
Continuing my streak of special guests, I have old friend and fantastic writer, Dylan Moses Griffin with me talking about Rian Johnson’s Brick (2005). On a journey that saw perhaps one too many negronis, Dylan and I come full circle while discussing Johnson’s filmmaking, creativity and the (now dead) thing that brought us together: film criticism.
Fuelled by alcohol, a boring film and the audacity of early-80's racism, Labeja and I continue our chat after the credits rolled on Episode 6. Nothing solved, nor, really discovered, this became a venting session and an opportunity to listen. Take a glimpse into the rabbit hole that opens when you combine booze, film and the enormous intelligence of an English gentleman.
While I am back in the closet of shame this week, the good news is that I am joined by that most illustrious drinker from last week's episode, Labeja Kodua Okullu. The bad news? This week's episode is about Neil Diamond's The Jazz Singer remake from 1980—and if you're thinking to yourself "I'll bet Neil doesn't go full Al Jolson," you're damn wrong. Despite the film's moral, narrative and performance failings, Labeja and I manage to power through it (alcohol), and come out on the other side having conquered racism. While this might not be the best film of all time, as it isn't Rumble in the Bronx, you will get some top notch cocktail recipes to help wash away the pain that is Neil Diamond's acting.
I have continued my streak out of that shameful closet, and, while still lost in the wilds of North London, recorded this week's monumental episode. Alongside friends Shabbee Chic of the T-One Collective, A.P. Clarke of the Lost Cat Podcast (it's on the internet, you can and should seek to find it there), Labjea Kodua of legendary drinking ability and the illustrious Dr. George Crosthwait, I wade into the familiar and comforting waters of Stanley Tong's Rumble in the Bronx. Going long on the history of action comedies, Don DeLillo and on-screen, full-frontal male nudity, this will likely be added to the canon of podcasts one must listen to before they die.
What better way to spend America's Independence Day than with a movie featuring a Canadian man who culturally appropriates the absolute shit out of an ex-English colony. Free from the confines of the closet of sorrow, I travel a great distance and enlist some real heroes to drink with me. Shabbee Chic (Zoë) and Velvet Thunder (Alex) from the illustrious T-One Collective brave blazing summer weather, an obnoxious podcast host and one of the most vile films of 2008 (or ever); all for some cheap booze and a couple of great radio plugs. We go deep on elephants, ice hockey and racism in this week's unmissable ep.
This week, Jordan shamefully recoils into the dark recesses of the closet of shame to discuss a film that is anything but: Jennifer Lynch's 2010 "masterpiece" Hisss (with three s'es). A stunning misfire from all parties somehow manages to coagulate into a gross and malformed artifact of cinema, leaving its audience awestruck by campy brilliance. Complete with terrible Hindi dubbing, Irrfan Khan and the twisted serpentine sexuality that is Mallika Sherawat in a latex snake "tube", Hisss is not to be misssed.
Back in the closet of shame this week, but I've brought a guest. The brilliant and audacious Zoë Anderson, aka DJ Shabbee Chic of the T-One Collective, joins me in my most private space to discuss what is likely the best film of 2019. Boozy iced teas in hand, we boldly venture into the depths of Netflix to deliver some meandering commentary and insightful blabbering; join us, we double-dog-dare you.
In this inaugural episode I cannot resist the magnetic pull of Stephen Chow's legendary antics, and so, I must drink. Fans of Chow's Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons and most importantly, The Mermaid will, probably, love this Netflix-available gem. Come along on this alcoholic journey into the depths of stupid comedy, outrageous set-pieces and drunken rambling—maybe you'll even have a good time. Film + booze + criticism + a crappy mic, these are all the best things, trust me.