With Star Wars: The Last Jedi less than a fortnight away, the Alternate Ending crew makes a terrible discovery: Carrie has never seen any other Star Wars film than Rogue One. Clearly, this cannot stand, and so we invite you to join us as three people with very different tastes and very different relationships to this franchise try to tackle the most iconic film series in history.
First up: the 1977-1983 run of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the generation-defining trio of space operas that is the wellspring for so much of the subsequent history of world cinema. Shhh, everybody! Don't tell Carrie how the second one ends!
Depending on where you live, this past weekend you might have been able to see The Disaster Artist, director-star James Franco's take on the making of the infamous The Room, the movie that taught us all that no matter how upset you are, you can always cheer right up by saying hai to your friend Mark, and that nothing helps a cancer diagnosis like promptly forgetting it.
With an excuse like that, how could we possibly pass up the chance to celebrate our all-time favorite bad movies? Whether they involve John Travolta in dreadlocks or gorillas in diving helmets, we're celebrating our favorite examples of movies so bad in every respect that they couldn't be more precious, pleasurable entertainment.
Oscar season is here, and it brings with it the promise of real-life stories of famous people, doing the thing that made them famous. There's no end of examples of the biopic that we could have tied it to, but this particular week it's the Winston Churchill-during-wartime tale Darkest Hour that'll do the honors for inspiring our topic. And while national leaders make a good subject for this kind of treatment, we can hardly forget all the musicians, rebels, authors, movie stars, war heroes, athletes, and people suffering from terrible diseases who've graced our screens in the past.
By special request of Patreon donor Travis Neeley, we're happy to share our list of the best parody movies ever made. Whether born of love or pure hateful mockery, the desire to parody individual movies or whole genres has resulted in some of cinema's funniest features, and we share our favorites this episode.
The new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express concerns - avert your eyes, if you're spoilerphobic - a murder that is committed on the Orient Express, the famed luxury train. If you want to know whodunnit, or why they dunnit, you'll just have to go see the movie - or watch the Oscar-winning 1974 adaptation, or read Agatha Christie's original novel - but we reveal a different kind of secret on this episode: our favorite cinematic murder mysteries of all time. It's wall to wall shifty butlers, untraceable poisons, and well-timed thunderstorms.
In Worth Mentioning Tim covers the aforementioned Murder on the Orient Express, while the entire crew try managing an episode without Rob.
Thor: Ragnarok has quite a few apparent selling points - its bright colors, Cate Blanchett, a robust New Zealand sense of humor, finally being a Thor film that doesn't suck - but surely we can all agree that one of the things the marketing folks at Marvel hope we're really excited for is the promise of a Thor-on-Hulk fight, one on one.
No better time, then, to look over the long history of violent cinema and pick our favorite movie fights. From boxing matches to back alley brawls, no holds are barred as we select our favorite beatdowns of every sort.
Halloween is upon us, and it's got the Alternate Ending crew in a spooky mood. In honor of "All Hallow's Eve", we discuss our favorite movies spent in creepy, rotting, abandoned old houses filled to the brim with ghosts and ghouls and unseen presences, or at least Vincent Price playing puppeteer with a skeleton.
In Worth Mentioning, the whole team weighs in on seeing newly released flick The Snowman. Carrie gets really excited about sharing her newly found movie The End of the Tour (which the rest of the crew at seen), Rob shares thoughts on Miss Sloane and Tim discusses the highly anticipated The Florida Project.
Independence Day producer Dean Devlin made his directorial debut this week with Geostorm, a cautionary story about over-reliance on weather-control satellites and self-driving cars, and other issues that speak so deeply to our current moment. More to the point, it's about floods and ice storms and all other manner of splashy natural disasters, and that's why we're devoting our next episode to the history of the disaster movie: natural disasters, like Earthquake; man-made disasters, like The Towering Inferno; dumb disasters, like The Core.
With Blade Runner 2049 having opened to great acclaim, but nowhere close to great box office, we could hardly pass up the chance to talk about the present and past of one of cinema's most legendary portraits of the future (not to mention, it's one of Rob's most-anticipated films of the fall). That's why we're looking at both BR2049 and the legendary, groundbreaking Blade Runner, a film that Tim has very nearly memorised in two different cuts, Rob saw one time a couple decades ago, and Carrie has never watched at all. And maybe, just maybe, we'll spare a thought for the three promotional short films that came out before the new movie.
Ask the right people - Rob & Carrie's kids, that is - and they'll tell you that there's not going to be any bigger film this autumn than My Little Pony: The Movie. We're certainly not going to call that kind of insight into question, which is why we celebrated that film's release by taking a look at our favorite movies about horses, and the strong bonds they form with humans. Be they stone-cold classics like National Velvet, modern crowdpleasers like Seabiscuit, or whatever the hell Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is meant to be, horses have been part of cinema since its very inception, and we're happy to celebrate that long history.
In Worth Mentioning, Tim and Rob go share their My Little Pony: The Movie date, Carrie talks about the new Netflix release of Stephen King's Gerald's Game and Tim shares some child's play with Cult of Chucky.
With only three months left in the year, we're about to plunge headlong into the twinned moviegoing epochs of Holiday Movie Season and Awards Movie Season, that merry time of year when big-budget tentpole movies about blowing shit up for the whole family and low-budget tragedies about Brits with disabilities rub elbows in the multiplex, vying for your dollars and respect.
Before we take that plunge, the Alternate Ending team is getting ready by looking ahead to our collective most-anticipated films of the fall season. What are we most excited about: the pulp sci-fi pyrotechnics of Thor: Ragnarok? The real-life triumph of Darkest Hour? The arthouse realism of The Florida Project? And just what are our hopes and fears for a certain Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
Let us just say that not all of the members of Alternate Ending are equally pumped up for the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but it makes for a great opportunity to look back over the secret history of spies in the movies. From the glamorous nonsense of the James Bond franchise to the grubby bureaucratic gamesmanship of John le Carré, espionage has been a treasured subject for the movies since the silent era, and we share our favorites.
In Worth Mentioning, everyone catches up with The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Tim catches the Netflix original First They Killed My Father, Carrie dishes on Snatched and Carrie and Rob both share their first concert doc outing with Stop Making Sense thanks to Patreon Travis Neeley.
All of us at Alternate Ending finally had a chance to catch up with the films we wanted to see from the recently-ended summer, and before awards season and the holiday rush start up, we take a moment to look back over the popcorn movies that were. How did the whole season stack up? How well did our most-anticipated films stand up?
From the mediocrity of The Dark Tower just a month ago, we swing back to the strong reviews and deafening buzz of It that just arrived in theaters with some of the biggest hype of any Stephen King feature film adaptation ever. And with 2017 shaping up to be the biggest year for King on big and little screens in memory, what better time for us to select our favorite films based on the blockbuster author's extensive bibliography?
For this Spoiler Alert episode, we field a request from Patreon donor Travis Neely, who invited us to take a look at the 1946 British fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death (initially released in the United States as Stairway to Heaven). One of the greatest triumphs of the writing-directing-producing team of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, the film looks at the life and death (and what follows) of an RAF pilot in the last days of the Second World War.
Before we bid adieu to the summer of 2017, we spend a podcast celebrating that quintessential summertime activity, camping. Just in time for Rob and Carrie to return from their own camping trip, the Alternate Ending crew select our favorite camping films. From kids at day camp triumphing over the bullies from across the lake to horny teenagers fleeing from machete-wielding maniacs in the woods, if it involves cooking food over bonfires, sleeping under the stars, or hiking through clouds of mosquitoes, it has a chance of showing up on our lists.
Stop me if you've heard this one: a group of colorful figures pool their unique talents to execute a perfect crime, probably involving an elaborately choreographed interchange of people in relation to the world's most advanced security system. This time around, it's Logan Lucky, which of course isn't even the first time that director Steven Soderbergh has visited this genre. That this same man, in this same idiom, gifted Ocean's Eleven onto the world is reason enough for us all to be excited about his newest film.
We were so excited in fact, that we celebrated it with our Top 5 Heists episode! No points for guessing in advance whose list will be mostly European movies from the '60s, and who will try to argue "this movie stole my heart - that's like a heist, right?"
After three and a half bitterly long years of waiting, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is finally here to answer the questions of what happened at the end of The Nut Job. Did they succeed in killing the nut? Will we ever learn the identity of the nut's parents? Is there truly an entire nut civilization? I never actually saw The Nut Job.
Anyway, unwanted and unneeded sequels to animated films are a modern cottage industry, and we're setting ourselves to the task of plucking the gold threads from among the mountains of dross.
In Worth Mentioning Carrie and Rob each quickly digest War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planet and The Vanishing while Tim dishes on Wolf Warrior 2 which is taking the Chinese box office by storm.
Earlier this year, the classic sci-fi anime film Ghost in the Shell received a long-gestating, hugely unnecessary live-action remake. But hey, necessary or not, we're fans of stylish sci-fi around these parts, so it seemed like a good excuse to finally catch up with the new film. Better still, we're going to be taking a look at both versions of Ghost in the Shell, the 1995 masterpiece as well as the 2017 flop, continuing Rob & Carrie's slow but steady education in the ways of anime.
In Worth Mentioning, Tim shares his thoughts on the horror feature Ouija: Origin of Evil and the whole crew dishes on Dunkirk.
So this weekend, the long-awaited The Emoji Movie finally opened and we're... well... so anyway, The Emoji Movie is definitely coming out.
There was nothing any of us can do to stop that, but here at Alternate Ending, we're going to make the best of it anyway. We're celebrating movies that make us feel just all kinds of feelings: movies that make you 🤣 then 😥 - movies that make you 🤔 then 😱 - movies that make you 😍 then 😡 - movies that make you 🤢 then 💩 - movies that make you 🍉 then 🗿. Doesn't matter the emotions, as long as it's a movie that put us through the wringer, we're going to be talking about them.
War! Huh! Good God, y'all! What is good for? Absolutely nothing, other than serving as the backdrop for some of the best & most famous movies in the history of the medium. And with Christopher Nolan's impending Dunkirk self-consciously bringing back the grand-scale production of the war epics of old, we've decided it's the perfect time to share our picks for the best war movies ever made.
This past weekend, War for the Planet of the Apes made a trilogy out of one of the most unexpectedly satisfying and successful reboots of recent vintage. To get ourselves warmed up for this third round of nihilistic monkey business, the Alternate Ending crew revisited the first two films that got us to this point: 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
In worth mentioning, Tim discusses The Big Sick, which is one of Carrie's top 5 anticipated movies of the Summer. Meanwhile, Carrie and Rob return the favor taking on one of Tim's top 5 anticipated movies of the Summer with The Beguiled.
Spider-Man: Homecoming arrived in theaters, the third big superhero vehicle of the summer, and the fifth of the year. With all four of them making it onto the list of the year's six highest-grossing films to date (look for Homecoming to effortlessly join them), I think we can safely say that 2017 is shaping up to be just about the most superheroic year ever.
So what better time for the Alternate Ending crew to share our picks for the best superhero movies ever made?
In the spirit of superheroes, Tim brings in one of his faves Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to the worth mentioning segment, while Carrie shares her thoughts on the aforementioned Spider-Man: Homecoming and Rob talks about a Wisconsin born film in Feed the Fish.
The maybe-not-so-long-awaited sequel T2 Trainspotting hits DVD recently and we're letting curiosity get the better of us. On this Spoiler Alert episode, we're going to take a look at both T2 and its 1996 predecessor Trainspotting - and just to make things more interesting, it's going to be Carrie's first time seeing either film.
In worth mentioning, Carrie discusses a family favorite with Big Hero 6, meanwhile Tim chats about the latest Netflix original movie to drop to streaming with Okja and Rob unpacks whether or not he thinks Baby Driver is worth the all the hype.
This week, Transformers: With King Arthur Now, Apparently? Whatever storms its way into theaters, and that's gotten the Alternate Ending crew excited to think about robots. Killer Terminator-style robots; romantic WALL·E-style robots; and all the robots in between. And that's why we're going to be sharing our favorite robots in movie history on our next podcast.
From totally inhuman machines, like R2-D2 in Star Wars, to the more-human-than-human tragic killers of Blade Runner, robots of every shape, size, and function will be on our lists, and we'd love to hear you takes as well.
During worth mentioning Tim shares Miss Hokusai, while Carrie catches up on one of her top 5 most anticipated movies of the summer with The Book of Henry and Rob finally caves into Netflix and watches War Machine.