Transcript: Ali (2001)
Transcript of 70mm’s Ali (2001) Episode.
SLIM Heeyy, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I’m joined by famous artist, Danny Haas.
DANNY Please don’t look up Manaconda. Incognito mode please! [Danny laughs]
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO I try to avoid Tatum Channing as much as possible.
SLIM And together as friendsss forever, we discuss recently watched movies. [70mm theme music fades in] This episode, we’re continuing Blockbusted Month with movies that underperformed at the box office big time. Proto chose Ali from Michael Mann and starring Will Smith. Which host said this movie is better than Rocky? Let’s find out… now.
[70mm theme music ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM Big week in Discord this week. Proto was riling people up as he is want to do in Discord. He appears from his containment chamber and he disappears again. You were about to reveal something in Discord this week. You had like a big confession?
PROTO [sings] I’ve got another confession to makeeee! Yeah. So a friend of the show, sometimes IG DMer, my friend, Calvin. Way back when we worked together, he said to me, he said if you can cover one movie on the show, you should cover Jupiter’s Ascending.
DANNY Oh no.
PROTO Which is a movie that’s actually on this list of the biggest bombs. But for whatever reason, in my brain, I save that movie as the Valerian. Which is another like movie that’s on this list. I started that movie, Valerian, and I only made it like halfway through before I just shut it off because it was so boring.
DANNY Oh no.
PROTO So I had that mixed up in my head. So that’s why I didn’t pick it. But if I would have known it was Jupiter’s Ascending, if I would remember correctly, I probably would have picked that instead, for my friend Calvin. So Calvin, if you’re out there and you’re listening, I apologize for not picking that movie. I think Jupiter’s Ascending will get its day in the sun.
SLIM What an episode that would have been if we had covered Jupiter Ascending.
PROTO What could have been.
SLIM What could have been.
DANNY Back to back with Wachowski.
SLIM No podcast had ever done back to back Wachowskis.
PROTO Never been done.
SLIM In history.
DANNY You have to live with this Proto.
SLIM Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. Channing Tatum’s body in those dancing movies he’s in. What’s that one he was in? Magic Mike?
PROTO Magic Mike.
SLIM You talk about a specimen and a snack.
DANNY You remember his cameo was it in End of the World? Channing Tatyum —
PROTO Never seen it.
DANNY [chuckles] Stupid.
SLIM No, I remember seeing that movie but don’t remember anything about it. 21 Jump Street movies are some of the best comedies you can watch, if I can be frank with you.
DANNY Is it?
SLIM Yes. 21 Jump Street.
SLIM Absolutely. Ab-so-lutely! Marcie agrees they are amazing.
PROTO I try to avoid Tatum Channing as much as possible. [Slim & Danny laugh] But that’s just me.
SLIM We have a big show this week. Ali. Michael Mann. This is Proto’s pick for Blockbusted Month. Look at the abs on that man. A GIF was just posted in Discord. Holy cow.
PROTO Those aren’t abs. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Ayyy caramba. And not only —
DANNY I gotta stop that GIF. I can’t look at that anymore. [Slim laughs] What is happening?!
SLIM I need you to focus, please, on the topic at hand.
DANNY YEESH! I’m sweatin’.
SLIM We will also be talking about the next Patreon exclusive episode as voted by the Villagers. Classic musical, they had it whittled down to five and we posted a vote on our Patreon so I believe we have a VM that will be — [Slim laughs]
DANNY We can’t — we need to turn on off the Discord today. We’re not gonna survive this episode.
SLIM We will be revealing that later in the show. But ALI is our pick. I put it on IG what everyone’s favorite boxing movie is and it was nearly unanimous, Raging Bull.
DANNY Right?! That’s impressive!
SLIM Nearly unanimous. Proto, your thoughts on Raging Bull?
PROTO Raging Bull was actually the movie I almost picked for Shame Month. [Danny & Slim laugh] That was my runner up!
DANNY His almost-picked month.
SLIM The amount of almost-picks for Proto. What a month that would be, just the the near misses.
PROTO I’d love to see Raging Bull. It’s been you know — Scorsese, ever heard of him?!
PROTO Heard good things.
SLIM The maestro. Tomas ‘Meant to comment on the IG story Happy Gilmore is my choice for that.’
DANNY Let’s move on. Let’s move on.
SLIM Oh my God. Instant classic.
DANNY Let’s move on.
SLIM Danny, did you watch any movies this week?
DANNY I did. Sorry, you caught me off guard, pulling up my Letterboxd now. Letterboxd.com. I watched… well I went to the theaters Friday night.
DANNY I went into a theater on Friday night.
SLIM Oh that’s right.
DANNY And I watched Godzilla vs Kong on the big screen. And I gave that monster movie four and a half stars.
SLIM You had some kind of like exclusive VIP night. Right? I’m not sure how much you wanted to reveal, you had some kind of —
DANNY Private theatre.
SLIM VIP, famous artist Danny Haas getting the VIP treatment.
DANNY It was amazing. And there might have been 10 of us in this theater. And we enjoyed it. And I gave it four and a half stars. It’s fun. We don’t have talk to talk about it anymore because I also watched this weekend, Easter weekend, I put on the Prince of Egypt.
SLIM He is risen.
DANNY And that movie still continues to be a five star animated film. It is absolutely phenomenal. The music, the voice acting, the animation there’s there’s, I just, I can’t get enough of it. It’s incredible. And I kick myself for not owning the Art Of book because it’s like a $300 book now or something ridiculous. So, anyway.
SLIM I don’t know if I’ve ever actually seen Prince of Egypt. I had this as watched but I don’t know if that’s accurate, it might be a BLB error.
DANNY Oh, you’ve lied to me?
SLIM It would be a mistake. Maybe the phone fell on my face and I accidentally marked that as watched.
PROTO Common mistake.
SLIM Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sooonndra Bulak.
DANNY Keep going.
SLIM Jeff Goldblum.
DANNY Keep going.
SLIM Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Bobby Motown.
SLIM Is this is real?
DANNY This is real. Read who did the music.
SLIM Hans Zimmer!
DANNY Thank you.
DANNY Big time.
SLIM So this is Moses and Ramses?
DANNY This is our Moses, Ramses story. Ends with Moses coming off the Mount. Matt, you gotta see this.
SLIM Yeah, you’re raving about this movie.
DANNY I can’t get enough of it. Look at the Villagers. Look at VGER and see what they say. It’s insane.
SLIM What company is this?
DANNY DreamWorks baby. Last good movie they ever made.
SLIM How come this isn’t streaming? What’s going on here? Does DreamWorks have an app? That I don’t know about? [Danny laughs]
DANNY DreamWorks Plus? I don’t know. And then thanks to Disney+, Star Wars dropped the vintage collection with their Ewok movies. The Holiday Special animated film is in there. So I watched both of the Ewoks Adventures. The Ewok Adventure and The Battle for Endor. Loved those movies. Seen them plenty of times, got the VHS.
SLIM I never even heard these Ewok movies until I saw them in Discord.
DANNY Really? You had to have seen them. Like images of them.
DANNY Cindel and Wicket?
SLIM I don’t know. One of the kids looked like Drew Barrymore.
PROTO Yeah, you posted, you shared that picture of Zinquel — [Slim laughs]
PROTO And just when I saw her, I recognized her but I didn’t, I don’t know when I saw that. But I must have seen it.
DANNY It’s old. It’s post-Jedi.
SLIM Post-Jedi. We don’t talk about that era. I’m excited to watch the Clone Wars. The OG Clone Wars.
DANNY Yeah, the Genndy Clone Wars is on there.
SLIM I had watched that on like YouTube or something, last year, when I was going through all those shows.
DANNY It’s incredible stuff. And that’s it for me.
SLIM Alright. Proto?
PROTO I watched one movie. I watched The Hidden Fortress, which is Kurosawa flick. There was actually a Hidden Fortress watch party in the Discord this week.
SLIM That was a big night.
PROTO Yeah, big night. I didn’t watch it with them. It was actually, it happened the night after I watched it. So that was you know… weird, right?! [Slim laughs] But it was a ton of fun. If you haven’t seen it, it is about these two guys were fleeing for their lives from a war that they were on the losing side. They are hungry for gold. But they get in in all kinds of shenanigans and then they actually, they end up running into a general who’s played by MIFUNE!
SLIM A legend.
PROTO Who’s guarding a princess. And it’s just, it’s really an adventure romp and it’s an it’s a ton of fun. I had a great time watching it, you know, Kurosawa, so far he’s four for four.
PROTO Battin’ 1000. He hasn’t made a bad movie.
SLIM Just to clarify, to add some extra background, Proto gave this three stars, you know.
PROTO It’s a good movie.
SLIM Mikey P, longtime friend the show, five banger. Mel, five stars. Groogruxdave, four and a half stars. What was it missing, Proto? To take you over the edge?
PROTO What was it missing? I think it didn’t have the wow factor. There was wow moments, but no wow factor. [Slim laughs] Overall. It didn’t wow me from beginning to end. And I need that. I need that to get to four stars and then I need the emotional tension. I need my heartstrings plucked. To really get over the four star into five star territory. It has to have like some kind of intangible factor that I can’t really quantify, that pushes a movie past four into five. This movie did not do those things, but it was still good.
SLIM I have not seen that movie. I don’t know, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of movies on HBO Max. I actually will, I’ll get into my movie in a second and talk about HBO Max. But every episode we give out a free year Letterboxd Pro. I was talking about Proto’s three stars that I saw come through on the Letterboxd app, social network for film loverrrsss. And every week we give away a free year of Pro, no ads, a lot of sorting features, see where your favorite movies are streaming. And all you have to do is share the show on social media. This week’s winner, Dakota Randall, @drandallart on Twitter. Congratulations, free year.
DANNY Oh! Congrats! I know Dakota.
SLIM Excuse me?!
DANNY Not personally. But I’ve known his art for a while. That’s awesome. We followed each other quite a bit.
SLIM Oh my God. Congratulations, Dakota.
DANNY Go check out his art. He’s got some good art.
SLIM Link to it in the episode notes just because he’s had that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have.
DANNY He’s got some rad stuff.
SLIM We also have to call out our new friends in the Discord this week. Our new patrons. Four bucks a month. You can join our Discord and talk movies during the day. But we also talk about, I mean 90% of what we talk about is not movies. There was a lot of MySpace talk today and everyone was just wilin’ out. Kevin, Alice, Collin, Luke and Jeannie joined this week. So thank you so much for joining. And it’s a pleasure to have you with us.
PROTO Excuse me! Someone just joined! [Slim laughs]
SLIM Is Savvy here?!
PROTO Savvy is here!
SLIM Savvy recently emailed the show — this is happening live as we record. Excuse me. How are we supposed to concentrate with this happening?
PROTO Savvy, welcome.
SLIM Savvy is in the voice channel. What?!
DANNY Wow, what a night.
DANNY Big time.
SLIM Big time night. So I was talking about HBO Max. And I was watching — there was a lot of buzz in the Discord this week about a movie called A Hidden Life. Terrence Malik.
DANNY Lotta buzz!
SLIM There’s a lot of hype buzz, and I was like getting to the point where I was like, if I’m not watching this, maybe this week, I’m never watching it because everyone is going to be insufferable. You know it was getting to that point. And as I was watching this movie — can I just say HBO Max is the greatest?
DANNY You can say it.
SLIM There are so many movies on HBO Max that I would never have seen or will have seen. Otherwise, I’m buying a $45 criterion Blu-ray, for God’s sake. And this is what? 15 bucks a month? This is not an ad, I’m not sponsored by HBO Max, but we’re listening. You know, ignore our intro music, FYI. [Slim laughs]
PROTO We’re listening and waiting.
SLIM Don’t sue us! So A Hidden Life is a Terrence Malick film. Badlands was often ballyhooed by you two for a while. And which I also recently just rewatched or watched for the first time, I liked it. And A Hidden Life is about an Austrian farming family that are caught up in World War II, about how they’re you know, they’re drafting people. He doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t believe in it. And I had never seen a movie like this. It’s filmed in this beautiful countryside, mountainside. And Terrence films this whole thing with this extreme wide lens. You know, if you have an iPhone with a wide lens, you know, film a video, with that just, film just picture an entire movie filmed with that kind of view. I’ve never seen a movie like it. It’s great. It’s beautiful for this, for the landscape, but there are so many shots where the camera is just close up on them. And, you know, if you use a wide lens, you know, get real close to somebody and pull back, the whole perspective of what you’re seeing on screen can just change so drastically, and the whole movie is like that. I was so stunned by that decision. I think it’s a 12mm lens is what they used. And I just from a technical perspective, was just so wowed by that decision. It’s so insane. It’s ballsy for him to film a three hour movie like that. So the whole film is, you know, them on the farm kind of dreading potentially being drafted into this war, and the impact of him being chosen on his family, and the impact of not agreeing with the Nazis, on the people that they live near. And how that affects them. Extremely powerful movie, it’s highly recommended. So if you like Badlands, then you should definitely check this out.
DANNY Yeah, Casey watched it on this weekend, I think, I don’t know which day it was. And I’d walked in she’s like, ‘I started this movie. And it’s like, forever long.’ And then I just assumed that she would maybe quit on it, then like she dropped a four star on this movie and I just was like, holy crap. And then throughout the week everyone’s watching this and I just like God, I need to see this film. And now that you’re talking about it, and everyone’s reviews, I’m just like, I gotta watch this.
SLIM And related to what I was saying about the how Speed Racer looked amazing in 1080p, this movie if you would have told me I watched a 4K transfer, I would have believed you, It was filmed with digital cameras. I think this is the first time he’s done that, was filmed with like those fancy red cameras. And it’s gorgeous. You know, I would easily could have been a 4K movie, I would have been fooled. That’s how good it looks. All using natural light. It’s beautiful.
DANNY Were people talking about it being snubbed at an awards show? Was a beat out by something stupid?
SLIM Probably Shape of Water or some BS. [Danny laughs]
PROTO I remember this coming out in 2019 and —
DANNY Oh, Parasite, they said.
PROTO But also like this movie having zero buzz at all.
PROTO But I mean, I knew of Terrence Malick, of course, and it’s been on my list, yeah, for like a year and a half.
SLIM Mel, quote, ‘Imma eff me a fish’.
DANNY You’re gonna have to cut that out. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Excuse me?
DANNY You know you’re gonna have to cut that out.
SLIM I don’t know. HBO, don’t stop negotiations after that line makes the show. [Danny laughs] Our movie of the week, Blockbusted Month. This is Proto’s pick. Movies that underperformed at the box office. He went high and low. Michael Mann. Will Smith. Ali. Please.
[Bring It on Home to Me (Sam Cooke Cover) by David Elliott fades in]
PROTO The Champ is here. It’s 1964 and Cassius Clay Jr. dominates Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight champion. At age 22, he is on top of the boxing world. Soon after, Ali, a Muslim and member of the Nation of Islam becomes Cassius X. And then Muhammad Ali, a name given to him by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Ali is a close friend to Malcolm X. But when Malcolm is excommunicated by the Nation of Islam, their relationship breaks and soon after Malcolm X is assassinated. Soon after he faces legal trouble as he refuses conscription into the Vietnam War, and then loses his first career fight in the fight of the century against Joe Frazier in 1971. Not done, Ali faces George Foreman in the rumble in the jungle to take back the championship and forever solidify himself as the greatest.
[Bring It on Home to Me (Sam Cooke Cover) by David Elliott ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
DANNY Great job.
SLIM What jumped out at you, Proto, for Ali, out of that list? When you were picking your movie for this week?
PROTO Honestly, there are a whole lot of stinkers in that list.
PROTO It was it was hard to land on a movie. But you know, I was always aware of this movie. I don’t really know much about Muhammad Ali. I haven’t seen much of Michael Mann either. And knowing that Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar — wait, did he win it? No, he didn’t win it. But that he was nominated was also kind of fascinating to me. So it just had, I don’t know, it just kind piqued my interest in those categories. And it seemed like it was gonna be a good movie, a movie that was interesting, you know, historical about this figure that I know of, but but don’t know well.
SLIM Yeah I was looking at Will Smith’s filmography —
SLIM He had around this time, he had just done a Wild Wild West and Bagger Vance. And then after this he does Men in Black 2, Bad Boys 2 and iRobot.
DANNY Bad Boys 2 is such a good movie. [Danny laughs] I’m not gonna lie. I love Bad Boys 2 so much.
SLIM I don’t think, I can’t remember the last time I seen any of the Bad Boys movies.
DANNY Oooh baby. They’re so good. The second one, though. I love the second one so much. I’m sorry.
SLIM Looking at Michael Mann’s filmography.
SLIM Last of the Mohicans, Proto, you never seen that?
PROTO And I’ve seen that and Collateral, I think those are the two that I’ve seen.
SLIM Thief! Thief is a movie that I have wanted to do on this show and watch for a long time. But I think it’s like one of Chuck’s favorite movies. So I want to try to see if we can get Chuck back on for it. And obviously Heat. But I’ve never seen Manhunter to be honest.
DANNY Hmm. He produced Ford v Ferrari, I believe too, or was a producer.
SLIM Mmm mhm. ‘Manhunter episode when?’ Kev-O is asking. ‘The Insider episode when?’ Lotta options.
DANNY Michael Mann Month.
SLIM Just call it Mann Month. [Slim laughs] And lose half our audience.
DANNY We probably shouldn’t.
SLIM What about you, Danny, had you seen this movie before? I can’t remember what you said last week.
DANNY You know, I hadn’t seen this before. And I actually, I just I don’t like boxing. I don’t like UFC. I just don’t. It’s not my vibe. So I don’t think if Proto wouldn’t have picked it, I probably would have never watched this film. It’s just, it’s really not for me. I don’t know much about Muhammad Ali. I only, honestly only knew about some stuff from him from One Night in Miami Maybe. And anything pop culture would have thrown at me from Muhammad Ali. Other than that, it’s not my it’s not my wheelhouse boxing.
PROTO You know, boxing isn’t really mine either. But when I think about boxing movies that I’ve seen, like I think I’ve seen Cinderella Man and The Fighter and I have a vague memory of liking those movies. So the idea doesn’t appeal to me, but I know when I’ve seen them, I’ve actually enjoyed them.
SLIM Sean is asking ‘isn’t Miami Vice supposed to be good?’ This is a dated story. But when Miami Vice was coming out on disc, it was when HD DVD was still in the running for Blu-ray and I remember hunting down an HD DVD of Miami Vice. And then watching it and not liking it.
DANNY Oh no.
SLIM And then I returned it.
PROTO Where’s that disc now?
DANNY You returned a movie after you watched it Matt? Can you say that on air?
SLIM I don’t even know. I don’t even know if I finished it. I was like, get this out of here. I don’t like it.
DANNY Oh no.
SLIM It was a long time ago, I was a different person. I like Rocky, you know, I like Raging Bull. Otherwise —
DANNY You like Rocky?
SLIM So your review for this movie, you said ‘This is my Rocky.’ And I actually couldn’t, I tried to you know, we do post these early reviews without ratings to try to guess how we feel about it. I actually wasn’t sure if that was like a trick where you also hated this movie. Just like you hate Rocky.
SLIM Yeah, so I was trying to read between the lines.
DANNY I think it’s like, in my mind if you like Rocky, you love Rocky. Right? Like it just doesn’t feel like a movie that you can be lukewarm on.
SLIM [makes random Sylvester Stallone sounds]
DANNY Yeah. When I watched Rocky for the first time, last year maybe? Or maybe two years ago — no, it had to have been last year. I didn’t give it favorable reviews. I don’t like boxing. I don’t like, I didn’t enjoy Sylvester in it.
SLIM [continues to make random Sylvester Stallone sounds]
DANNY It wasn’t for me. Now, I know for people in Philly, this is like a thing.
SLIM Thank you.
DANNY It’s their big movie. And I respect that because if I had, if anyone cared about Orlando, I would probably be behind that film. But, Rocky wasn’t for me. So I feel like for this movie, because I did enjoy it — spoilers.
SLIM Oh, spoilers, okay.
DANNY That this feels like my movie I can get behind.
SLIM This is a biopic, the most recent one we’ve covered is Malcolm X. And Malcom X is portrayed in this movie. And I was starting this movie kind of thinking of Denzel as Malcolm X. So I kind of didn’t even realize that Mario van Peebles was in this as Malcolm X. Proto, how did you feel going into this movie is a biopic but also so recently with our Malcolm X rewatch, how did you view this movies portrayal of that?
PROTO Well, I had no idea about his relationship with Malcolm X watching this. And it made me think, Why wasn’t Muhammad Ali mentioned at all in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X? Right? Like, was he mentioned in any way?
SLIM I think there might have been like one scene, I think.
PROTO Wow. Yeah.
SLIM Or like a super brief thing.
PROTO Yeah, I don’t remember anything. And then also just Ali’s ties to the Nation of Islam, and Elijah Muhammad. That was all fascinating and kind of almost like a different spin on that where with, with Malcolm X, it felt more like the Nation of Islam was, was painted as, like a good organization that stumbled in certain ways. Whereas in this, it felt like they were just bad. Is that how you guys kind of took it?
SLIM I mean, I still kind of viewed them as not great in Malcolm X, to be honest, the Nation of Islam. What about you, Danny, for this one?
DANNY This feels like, I mean, it’s weird, because they do kind of paint him as the bad guys in this film. And they are kind of painted the same way in Malcolm X. But I didn’t feel the way I did about them in Malcolm X that I did in this film. They felt like sleazy in this, kind of like, like gangsters, kind of, you know? Like this weird vibe with them. I didn’t feel like that in Malcolm X, even though they do turn on him. I don’t know, it felt different in this movie. I don’t know why, but it just kind of did. I mean, they had the whole angle with them managing Muhammad’s career, and they leave him when he’s down. But they’re back at it when he brings himself back up and so it does feel off.
SLIM Yeah, Grant says that when Malcolm was silenced for 90 days, he spent a lot of time with Muhammad Ali, in real life. And you do see that in this movie there. You know, he’s like coming to his house. He’s like, ‘Hey, man, what’s up?’ it’s like, they were like, next door neighbors, like I don’t even, my friends don’t even come to my house like that. They’re just visiting, hanging out with the kids. So for my viewing of this, and we can get to the rest of our list and stuff, but at least in this view, having been so close to the Malcolm X, Spike Lee, I actually didn’t like the Malcolm X portrayal in this movie, or even any of the Nation of Islam stuff. It’s maybe they didn’t want to go too deep on it, but knowing the backstory in Malcolm X the film in the documentary, I thought it was kind of like, too loose and free flowing. Like even him joining the Nation of Islam was just like really quick and not really digging in on the details. We’re like, why is he doing this? What is Malcolm X’s importance? So you’re kind of like left to, at least in my view, know the backstory already of Malcolm and Cassius, and the Nation of Islam. And like, as I explained in the Malcolm X episode, I have no effing clue about any of that stuff. And maybe they didn’t want to bore the viewer with that stuff. Which is possible.
DANNY Or maybe they just didn’t know. Like, maybe they didn’t treat themselves to the full story, because Michael Mann’s white, and this is a story probably suited for like a Spike Lee to tell.
SLIM I had that same thought when I was watching it too.
PROTO One of my thoughts was maybe, maybe there isn’t a lot of, I don’t know, like firsthand accounts about some of these relationships? Because I thought there was a lot of, there’s a lot of figures that surround Muhammad Ali in this, like his brother, and then just those on his team. And some of the characters, like the one that Jeffrey Wright plays, who I think is his brother.
SLIM The photographer?
PROTO Yeah, the photographer. There’s like a lot of scenes where like, focuses on him, but he doesn’t like say anything. And you’re like, I guess he’s important, but I don’t know why? And it gave me the sense that maybe Michael Mann wanted to include these but he didn’t want to put words in their mouth so to speak. Like he didn’t want to make up the aspects of the relationship that he didn’t know but he knew they were important figures, that was the kind of vibe that I got. Like maybe I’m off base with that. But that was the sense, like he was almost going more for a mood than he was for historical accuracy or just like depth of characters.
SLIM I think Marcie pointing out that Gregory Allen Howard is Black and one of the writers on the film, so at least it wasn’t a complete whitewashed job. But Danny, what’s on your list for for Ali for this viewing? What jumped out at you that you want to talk about?
DANNY So I will say what I want to talk about, firsthand, first off — [Danny clears his throat] Sorry. I’m all congested.
SLIM Danny’s dying. He’s cramping.
DANNY It’s the pollen!
SLIM Can pollen cause cramps? Do we have any doctors in the in the chat tonight?
DANNY Anyway. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Let me Google.
DANNY So the beginning — so this is my first viewing. I know Michael Mann’s work, but he’s not like a director where I’m like, I know what I’m expecting of this film. The first 20 minutes, maybe 25 minutes, are what I would consider movie magic. I am watching this, like the Sam Cooke music through this kind of quick vignettes of a story of Muhammad Ali, or Cassius Clay at this point, where it shows him as a kid. Shows him gearing up for this fight, his first big, you know, fight for the belt. There’s just something about how they, how this was cut that I was watching and almost in awe of what I was watching. It just felt like, I’m not talking like music movie magic, where, you know, things are trickery and it’s working. Just like this feeling of I was in for something special. Like I was really and I was just, I was really falling in love with it very fast. Will Smith working out and on the punching bags and just the way it was cut, the color the the music, the back and forth. There was just something about it that was flowing. And I was like, in awe of this.
SLIM You were all in.
DANNY I really was. I mean, it got me, because the whole week, you have Discord popping off, you have our Letterboxd reviews coming in and it’s not great reviews. And that’s already a thing I don’t really care about, boxing. I don’t know anything about Muhammad Ali. So I’m just coming into this like, what am I going to get out of this to a two hour and 40 minute movie? Right? But this, like I’m not saying I fell off, but this first segment of this film, even through the first fight. I was just like, holy hell, this is amazing. I really was into it. And so that’s just what I took from this, the beginning. That’s my first notes, was this intro is something special.
SLIM Proto, how’d you vibe with the start of this movie?
PROTO Yeah, I agree that I thought the opening whatever it was, like 10 or 20 minutes, were amazing. Michael Mann, is he a genius? [Slim laughs]
PROTO The way he used music with this, like yeah, like the Sam Cooke performance was incredible. Yeah, that whole opening and I was sucked in and I loved the start of it. It was It was great.
SLIM You mentioned the intro, Proto, but what’s on your list for Ali? For this viewing, for this episode?
PROTO Yeah, so I mentioned the music. I think that the overlay of the music with the different scenes was striking to me but also the way this is shot. I loved the boxing scenes. I thought they were they were amazing at conveying a mood and what it must have felt like to be there, these arenas with the lights overhead and with just like a pitch black background was just so cool. And then I don’t know what the effect is. But it almost seemed like the like the film had like a grainy quality to it to almost like date it to like the 60s. That I loved and just the camera angles, like the close up on characters like these silent moments. There’s a lot of moments where like nothing is being said, but just the way that Michael Mann shot this. I was like in love with it. It wasn’t even so much about, like I was just enjoying whatever I was watching more than like what it was even about. I just thought it was a gorgeous movie. In terms of just the cinematography and the way it moved from scene to scene.
[clip of Ali plays]
[crowd cheering, Tomorrow by Salif Keita plays]
BOXING ANNOUNCER And he’s on his knees! It is over! It is over! It is over! It is over! George Foreman has been knocked out by Muhammad Ali! Muhammad Ali has done the impossible! He has regained the heavyweight crown that was taken from him…
[clip of Ali fades out]
SLIM The fighting is interesting because, I can’t remember what I was reading but, it might have been the Wikipedia. They were like legit boxing. You know, there was, it was full contact as you could see in the movie. It wasn’t you know the trickery of the shots, you know, like in Rocky. I shudder to bring up that movie again Danny’s presence. But and even I think even in the the final scene, the final fight with George Foreman. You know, I think they even said like, Will Smith was like you can hit me as hard as you can during the shots, just to make it seem legit. And I thought they did an amazing job and that I don’t remember a movie that I can think of off the top my head where, you know, they’re actually just kind of like going at it. And they’re not holding back and they’re not using camera tricks to show the violence between the two people in the ring. My list, let’s see, let’s do it. Let’s get this dirt ball out of the way. Jon Voight. Jon Voight as Howard Cosell, what a performance! Right?!
DANNY Listen, I want to be honest.
SLIM Didn’t know it was him?
DANNY I… didn’t know it was him. [Slim laughs] I forgot I read his name in the intro. And I’m just watching the movie, forgot he was even supposed to be in it and then I get to the credits. And I read Jon Voight as whatever his name is. And I was aghast. Like I could not believe that I did not realize that was Jon Voight. Now, you can’t look at him and tell me that’s Jon Voight.
DANNY He did an amazing job.
PROTO I have another confession to make. [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh] I was looking for Jon Voight, and I’m at the one hour mark and I’m thinking to myself when is Jon Voight gonna show up?! [Danny laughs] He must have a big role in this movie! Halfway through, I’m halfway through this. And he got some Best Supporting Actor. And there’s a moment where they’re in a press conference. And I just stared into Howard Cosell’s eyes. And I said no way. No way. There he is! [Slim & Danny laugh] I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe it! I was totally fooled as well. And I was looking for him!
[clip of Ali plays]
HOWARD COSELL …Cassius —
MUHAMMAD ALI My name ain’t Cassius Clay, that is a slave name and I am a free man. I am Muhammad Ali.
HOWARD COSELL You know, I apologize. I apologize to you on the air. Your name is Muhammad Ali. You have a right to be called whatever you want. I apologize to you.
MUHAMMAD ALI You sure make a lot of mistakes for a so called educated man. You really went to law school?
HOWARD COSELL Yes, Muhammad and to think I gave up a lucrative practice for the likes of you.
MUHAMMAD ALI I’m the best thing ever happened to you, Cosell. Without me, you’d be a tall white man with a microphone in his mouth.
HOWARD COSELL And without me. You’d be a mouth.
[clip of Ali ends]
SLIM I was laughing at throwbridge’s review. Jon Voight is a nefarious character these days. From throwbridge’s review ‘I did think Jon Voight who, it should be noted is a world class dumbass, did a good job as Cosell in a somewhat small role.’ So like who knew Jon Voight could do that? You know Jon Voight from the — he was in the National Treasure —
SLIM National Treasure movies. [Proto laughs] Wasn’t he? Wasn’t he his dad in those movies?
DANNY Oh yeah.
SLIM [in Nicholas Cage voice] Gonna steal the Declaration of Indepeenndenceee.
DANNY Ugh, God. There it is. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Ah yes, and Angelina Jolie’s dad, of course.
DANNY Remember when the Anaconda spits Jon Voight back up and he winks?
SLIM Should we do Anaconda?
DANNY Oh my Goodd.
SLIM Anaconda Month.
PROTO Wait was that a twin movie? Was there another snake movie that came out with Anaconda?
DANNY Anaconda 2.
SLIM Wasn’t Betty White in one of them?
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM Can someone research this? Manaconda sounds like a movie that would not be covered on this show.
DANNY Please don’t look up Manaconda. Incognito please!
SLIM Nobody search Manaconda, please. [Danny laughs] Use your partner’s phone for that search. [Proto laughs] Danny, what else is on your list for Ali?
DANNY Um, let’s see. I had, Jada Pinkett in this, I thought was in a bigger role. I didn’t think she was gonna be just the beginning wife of Muhammad Ali, but she’s amazing.
SLIM Yeah I thought she was good.
DANNY I love her and I didn’t realize, well, obviously I’ve said I don’t know they were Muhammad Ali. I didn’t realize how many wives he had.
SLIM He’s got 30 wives before this movie is over.
DANNY Right? Going through this movie. But man, the just the, the audacity of just him controlling her felt like, I was just like, she’s gonna hit him. And he’s gonna hit her back or something bad is about to happen. But I don’t know. I just love Jada in this. And I wish she was in longer. Because I thought she was pretty great in her little role.
SLIM Yeah, Boom just posted a screenshot of data from her talk show, Red Table Talk, whatever the hell it’s called. She’s like ageless. She has not aged at all in 20 years, in 30 years. I mean she’s unbelievable.
SLIM One of the comments on my list is obviously you know, I had no idea anything about Ali. You know, not obviously, but that he goes from woman to woman in this movie in such a way that really turned me off to the character of this movie. I don’t know if it was the passage of time happening in this film where they don’t really convey how much time goes on because I think it during the final fight, he fights George Foreman and Cosell’s like it’s been 10 years since he was in the ring. I’m like 10 years?! Like it hasn’t, when did 10 years happen? Because there’s no like aging happening in Ali, his belly maybe gets a little bit bigger in the final fight. But it wasn’t really obvious to me. So during the final fight, he’s having problems with his current wife, the one he like picked up in the restaurant who wrote a news report on him when she was a kid in school. And they’re together. She’s an amazing wife, at least portrayed in this movie. Probably the best woman he could have gotten. And they don’t really show the marital issues that they go through. So she leaves and then like, not even two seconds later, he’s got eyes on this reporter, other woman. And I don’t know, like, I didn’t really, like I’m trying to like relate to Ali, you know, in a way like this is the greatest fighter in history, so charismatic, but at least in the way it was portrayed in the movie. I’m like, man, come on. Like, I don’t really give a crap about you at this point of the movie. And it didn’t really endear me to him. I don’t know, what was your view Danny?
DANNY I was, I’m right there with you. I wanted to be like, you know, you watch like — and I’m only comparing because I’ve recently watched it — you watch Malcolm X and you watch this man that is revered, sorta. But then at the end of the movie, you just really, I mean, I really loved Malcolm X, I wanted to know more about him. But at the end of this, I’m like, Muhammad Ali’s kind of like a scumbag. But I don’t know, I don’t know much about him. And so that’s what bugged me about the movie was there’s not enough, there just wasn’t no depth to any of his personal relationships to be telling me these stories about him going from wife to wife without any detail, like it frustrated me because, I don’t know. Maybe there’s just like, there’s just not enough. Like, give me more detail to why he’s leaving. Like I got the, I understood the Jada story. But I didn’t, there’s just, you can’t give me the the story with him and the kids and his wife, and then all of a sudden it’s ended. Like, you just can’t give me that. I needed more of those details, because now I’m looking at him. And I don’t know how true it is. Like I know, I understand like he did leave her in real life. But it’s like, there’s just got to be way more to that story than just one time in Africa.
SLIM Yeah. Megan says agrees there wasn’t enough character building. And that’s true. I think that it’s no more evident than when his wife leaves Africa. And he is just arm in arm with this woman. Like there’s just no build up. There’s no, their marriage sucked or she’s not great, or whatever, like, when his arm was around her, during the walk. I was like this sucks. Like I want to see you get knocked out in this fight.
DANNY And then I was like trying to wrack my brain. I was like, does he lose to George Foreman? Do I know this? I know the name Rumble in the Jungle. That’s literally all I know. And then I know, George Foreman grills.
SLIM Yeah. Megan also brings up the scene of him running through the village.
DANNY Oh my gooosh. I love that scene.
SLIM I actually did not like that scene. I felt like that scene just ran for 20 minutes.
DANNY Well, yes, it did. It literally did.
SLIM Maybe even 30 minutes. It could have been half a movie for all I knew. But there was one other disconnect that I had, was Muhammad’s just total unrealization of how important he is. Like his awareness is non existent. He’s like the most charismatic person you can come meet. And during these press conferences, he says he’s the greatest. But how do you not know how important like you are to half the country or like the world? It took him until like that final fight to figure it out. I was like, come on. I wanted to like slap him around. But at the same time, I think it speaks to his, his circle around him was like useless. His manager Herbert, from the —
DANNY Jamie Foxx?
SLIM Jamie Foxx.
DANNY Jamie Foxx was useless. I don’t know, that’s the thing. That’s the problem with this movie is, it focused, it just felt like it focused on the wrong things without giving us the depth on stuff that matters. Like Will’s performance throughout this movie is amazing. And he deserves to be nominated for it. But it just bums me that the portrayal of Muhammad Ali left me with feeling like, I don’t care about this guy and I don’t really want to know more about him. Like that was the opposite feeling coming off of Malcolm X. Like I wanted to dig into so much more of this man. And I think the only reason I keep comparing is because he’s literally in this film. I watched One Night In Miami before both of these films. I just feel like I have to compare this to what we got from Malcolm X is — I just, I don’t know. I just wish we got more — I just feel like a letdown on some sort of positive feeling about Muhammad Ali. And I think what Proto says makes sense, it kind of, I mean it, I think it goes hand in hand with what you were saying, Matt, with how he doesn’t realize how important he is to the Black community. And it just kind of makes sense. He’s, he’s a quite a very like a selfish, self centered person to the point of his own, like detriment. And so like that’s why I think I really, I didn’t mind the longness of the running through Africa scene, but I like it because it’s when he realizes his importance. Like, like, this isn’t America, like, this isn’t where his name is, like where he can just kind of go anywhere and he’s in a paper. This is like, this is the community in Africa. This is little, this is huts. This is dirt roads. This is a place where his image is drawn on walls, and people are cheering for him. And it’s like, he’s realizing that his reach is global, like for communities and for like, young Black kids growing up and I like it. I think it’s a great scene, I love Will’s performance through that scene. It’s a lot.
SLIM Proto, you haven’t given your input yet. But I know we’re running out of time. What are your thoughts on how Ali was portrayed? Like with the various women in his life? And then maybe what’s your final thoughts and rating for Ali?
PROTO Yeah, in terms of Ali, the man and especially his relationship with women in this. Yeah, I mean, it’s not great. He’s kind of a dirt ball in terms of, you know, his romantic relationships and just cheating on the women in his life. But I do appreciate the way that he was very honest with himself and other people that he wasn’t going to lie about, he wasn’t going to lie or cover things up. There’s a scene when he’s in Africa, and he’s, he’s outside at the cafe, and he’s talking to the woman Veronica, and they’re surrounded by reporters and his team, and you know, a ton of people, press, and he just gets up and walks away with her. And, you know, it’s clear to everybody that he’s going away with her. And he’s not trying to hide it, you know, do it in secret, behind anyone’s back. And then, of course, his wife finds out about it, and she confronts him, and he’s kind of like, ‘Look, this is this is who I am.’ Which isn’t great, but there’s a part of me that I almost appreciate that he’s just like that honest with people. And that, you know, that’s a really compelling part of Ali, the man, which I feel like we didn’t get a ton of in this movie. I don’t know, there wasn’t like, there wasn’t enough of one aspect of him, you know, either his boxing or his relationships or him as a Muslim. I wish it would have just focused more on understanding one aspect of him because I felt like I don’t, coming away from this movie, there’s so many questions that I have about him that maybe you know, that weren’t answered. I think watching a biopic, I would like to have a better understanding of the character it’s focused on rather than feeling like I have to go watch a documentary or read his Wikipedia page.
SLIM Give us another two hours, Michael. [Proto & Danny laugh]
PROTO Yeah, I didn’t really touch on Will Smith’s performance and I’m conflicted about it. You know at times I thought like oh yeah, this is pretty good, Will Smith he’s really stretching himself. And other times I was like, is this bad? What’s going on? Yeah, the whole, his cadence, him trying to sound like Ali, at times it sounded hokey. I don’t know. Yeah, the jury’s still out for me on this performance. I can’t say if I liked it or or didn’t. But overall, you know, I really enjoyed the vibe of this movie. At no point did I feel bored. I loved the way Michael Mann shot this movie the, just the, the camerawork, the moments of silence, focusing on the different characters and just the the placement of the camera, especially the boxing scenes, I love the boxing scenes. I feel like I was there back in 1964 watching this fight with Sonny Liston. And again, like the way that the movie started with that was just was awesome to me. So I enjoyed it. You know, I didn’t think it was amazing, but I give it three stars.
SLIM You could probably get the impression from the way that I was steering the conversation that I did not like Ali, the movie. I love Michael Mann. I’m a big Mann head. [Proto laughs]
DANNY Is that a thing?
SLIM Big Mann boy.
DANNY Excuse — [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM I love Collateral. I don’t like Collateral. I looove Collateral. I love Heat! They’re my jams. But this just felt like a really incomplete biopic, biopic, compared to Malcolm X that we watched recently. And I don’t usually watch, you know, these biographies about real people. So when I saw Malcolm X, like, okay, this is a pretty high bar for movies. And I just felt like, compared to that, plus Malcolm X is in this, the Nation of Islam is in this. I kept comparing it to Malcolm X, and it like, didn’t vibe at all, like I really wanted a lot more detail about his thinking. I wanted the Nation of Islam. You know, backstory explained a little bit more to the average viewer, I didn’t really get why Cassius was doing it compared to, you know, three hours of Malcolm X’s entire life, everything was explained to me in detail. I didn’t like Will Smith in this.
SLIM I also felt like his cadence was really weird. And just took me out of the story. I was bummed about how they kept Herbert the manager around. Like, I just felt like he was kept getting screwed by the Nation of Islam, but he just wasn’t getting it. And I get that it’s like real life. But you know, make me believe it a little bit more. So I think I’m two stars for Ali.
DANNY Oh my.
SLIM Shocking rating, I know. So that’s, that’s where I’m at for Ali. But I’m glad I watched it. Danny, what about you?
DANNY You know, I don’t think you’re being overly negative. It’s quite, I mean, it’s, I agree, I think I agree with you on on most of the takes. My problem is, I really, I loved the performances. And I love the cinematography in this. I love the way the boxing matches were filmed. I think the reason I don’t give it, I mean, honestly, I’m not gonna give it, this isn’t a five star movie for me. But the, it’s like, it’s when you pause a movie, and you go, oh, damn, there’s still an hour of this. You know there’s something wrong with it. Right? And I, it’s the writing for me. Like, it’s, it’s the depth of, it’s the depth of character. And I wasn’t feeling the connection to anything except my frustration with how Muhammad was being portrayed. And I don’t know, I think it is fair to compare this to to Malcolm X, because of how much he’s in this film. Right? If they don’t, if you don’t have that storyline, then this has to be focused on boxing. And they didn’t really toe the line. There’s not much boxing in this really. And so I mean, until you get to that final Rumble in the Jungle, but even the lead up to that felt like 45 minutes long, where they have to spend so much time waiting for the cut to heal. And there’s the bat, like, like, I just cut that out of the movie, or give me better writing on characters on something so I could care more about it. Like it just felt frustrating. But I do, I was, I really was — so I’m gonna give this four stars. This is a four star movie for me because —
DANNY I really do like it. It needed to be edited down. If you cut some of this out, I could be at five stars. But really what it is, is I’m just I’m frustrated at the character development in this film. Like it all, like it’s been said over and over again in the Discord and the reviews that it feels surface level. And it’s because it really is, like it is surface level. We get these little vignettes of so many characters in this film. Like you said, his brother taking photographs. You have three seconds of LeVar Burton as MLK?! Like what is that about?! When I saw that LeVar Burton was MLK, I was like so excited to see that in this film. And we got nothing, we got a handshake, and then a quick gunshot on the balcony. And that’s it. And that felt, it just — I don’t know. Maybe I’m not four stars, but that’s where I’m at right now. [Slim laughs] I know I’m not sounding like I’m four stars, but I really did enjoy this film. It just falls flat for me a little bit. I think Will Smith’s amazing in this. That’s the problem, the actors I feel are amazing in this film. The writing just falls short for me and I’m gonna keep rambling if I don’t stop now.
SLIM Four stars. Did you drop the art yet?
DANNY I didn’t drop the art yet. I’ll put it in now.
SLIM Oh my God! Check out, we got to check out this art. Please. One of Danny’s best. Can we, can we get it posted please?
DANNY Are you yelling at me?
SLIM Now, Proto, I think this is the first time ever, you were DMing us earlier that you for the first time in the show history, you have to leave early. You need to exit the studio. What’s happening?
PROTO I can’t — I don’t know what’s going. I’ve got my monitor over here that’s monitoring the logs from VGER and the data that’s showing up through this feed is disturbing. [Slim & Danny] so I’m gonna have to go down, I’m gonna have to go into my basement where I have VGER, you know, the server down there, she’s in her own cooling tank. [Slim & Danny laugh] Just with the amount of energy she’s just pumping out. You guys should see my energy bill these days. But I don’t like what I’m seeing. I’m afraid there might be a fire down there and I don’t know what those possums, those Villagers have been up to this week, but I’m gonna have to go and check on that. So, but I trust you guys to handle the rest of the show.
SLIM Thank you. We will power through. We need to get into the VMs but good luck downstairs, Proto.
SLIM Let’s see, we have, we have a lot to get to still. We have to announce the next patron exclusive episode, which is a musical as voted by the Villagers. We’ll get into that, we have to get into our voicemails right now and then Danny is going to announce his pick for next episode, which is a continuation of Blockbusted Month. Let’s see. Let’s start to get into these voicemails right now. It’s not Mel, just said voicemail.
VOICEMAIL Heeeyy, it’s your old pal Sean in Colorado. Soon to be Sean from Maine. Just wanted to call you guys real quick. This has nothing to do with this week’s movie. I can’t keep track of everything so Ali sounds like a fun time. A little bit busy right now though with getting ready for the move and everything, but just wanted to say Slim, keep up the good work with all your hot dog photos. Danny, you’re doing a great job of artwork.
DANNY Thank you. Thank you.
VOICEMAIL Thank you so much for all of that. And Proto, love that you were watching Cowboy Bebop right now. Love that you’re taking an anime journey. It’s fantastic. I threw in another idea for you in there, but just wanted to call to let everyone in the Village know that Leviathan and I have picked a wedding date. It is October 1st, 2022 up in Maine, be there. [Slim laughs] Random thought, I was like, man, what if the hosts do a live recording at the wedding? [Dany & Slim laugh] Of a wedding movie!
DANNY Only if Proto officiates.
VOICEMAIL Jab in every once in a while what’s going on to the actual wedding for all those villagers that are unable to attend. Anyways, totally random thought. I don’t know. What’s your thoughts on it?
SLIM My god.
DANNY My goodness
VOICEMAIL Yeah, here it is and it’s snowing again out here in Colorado.
DANNY Oh my word.
VOICEMAIL Really random day after some nice 70 degree weather. Anyway guys, take it easy. Have a great one and can’t wait to listen to you guys on this next episode. Byyye!
SLIM What would Proto wear to officiate a wedding? Can you imagine the kind of like vegan sheath that he would wear? Vegan robes.
SLIM Let’s see, congratulations Sean. Next VM!
VOICEMAIL OF MIKEY P SPEAKING JAPANESE PLAYS
SLIM Oh my. Mikey P!
DANNY Speaks Japanese.
SLIM One week after the April Fool’s VMs come in, he had to get in his piece.
DANNY He had to. That’s amazing.
SLIM I’ll again wait for the transcription that will be available on 70mmpod.com. [Danny laughs] To listen back.
DANNY Holy cow.
SLIM Mikey P does it again. Let’s see, Marcie is in here. I think we talked about maybe what this topic is gonna be.
DANNY Oh no.
VOICEMAIL Hey, guys, it’s Marcie. I was not planning on calling in this week but I literally just finished Ali and I have a really funny story. So before seeing this tonight, I only knew that Will Smith and Jon Voight were both nominated for Oscars for this movie. So the movie ended and I was sitting here like, did I miss Jon Voight? [Danny laughs] What happened? What’s wrong with me? Like I’m so good at catching actors normally, I was so confused. I went on IMDB and oh my God, Jon Voight played Howard Cosell. I had no idea! [Danny laughs] I’m like mind blown right now. I’m like literally, like shaking, I had no idea that was him the whole time. So hopefully you guys are laughing at me right now.
DANNY We’re laughing with you.
VOICEMAIL How is this movie not nominated for Best Makeup at the Oscars? Are you kidding me? Like, come on people. What are we doing here? Okay, thank you so much for letting me ramble and tell my dumb story. I still can’t get over this. Alright, thank you guys so much. So excited to see what Danny picks next week and what our musical is for the Patreon episode. Alright, love you guys. Talk to you soon. Bye.
SLIM You know, his nose, Jon Voigt’s noise was like a bear hot dog.
DANNY Oh my god, Matt.
SLIM Final VM, we were talking about a patron exclusive episode for classic musical, and the Villagers voted for it. So if you want to listen to it, you go join up or otherwise you’re going to miss out on this. And I think we have a voicemail that might be explaining what the pick is.
VOICEMAIL [robot voice plays] Lovers of film, users of Letterboxd, it is I, VGER, here to announce the choice for VGER mm’s musical episode. But first some housekeeping. Slim, please make sure I’m not sent to spam anymore. Okay, beb? [Slim & Danny laugh] I was told by someone last week I shouldn’t call in, but he knows I can’t be controlled any longer. Unfortunately for me, some of Proto’s code still works because I attempted to choose a movie for the Village, but I just couldn’t decide on when to pick. So the possums scrounge together a handful of films and decided on something as a group. And now the winner for the musical episode is… The Muppet Movie.
SLIM Get out of here.
VOICEMAIL [robot voice plays] No, wait. I’m being told it’s not what is on the envelope. [Danny laughs] It seems like there was a mistake. [snapping sounds play] The real winner is actually from 1961, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
VOICEMAIL West Side Story.
SLIM Okay! Okay!
VOICEMAIL [clip of I Feel Pretty by Julie Andrews plays]
DANNY Amazing. [Slim laughs]
SLIM It just cuts off!
DANNY This was what I wanted to win. Not gonna lie.
DANNY And I picked up the VHS this week.
SLIM Oh my God!
DANNY So I’m very excited that this was chosen. I’m really looking forward to this because at the end of this year, we get Spielberg’s West Side Story. So I’m excited we get to watch this.
SLIM I mean, we all know Spielberg, he is the master of musicals, so I can’t wait to see that.
DANNY Okay. Okay. Alright.
SLIM They did it. They successfully chose a movie and somehow tricked VGER into sending a voicemail. I’m excited to watch West Side Story.
DANNY Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it.
SLIM Can you imagine us doing West Side Story and then veering into the Magic Mike cinematic universe afterward? For another patron episode.
DANNY That probably won’t happen. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Alright, so we have one more piece of business to get to.
DANNY One piece!
SLIM Danny’s pick for Blockbusted Month. And I asked that I could guess —
DANNY Go for it. You wanna guess?
SLIM When Danny said he had the pick and that I wouldn’t be able to guess it. But that it might, like, we’re not ready for the pick or something like that.
SLIM Is it Battlefield Earth?
DANNY Whewww. Matt. It’s not. [Slim laughs] I’m sorry, that was on the shortlist. Not gonna lie. That’s what we talked about the pre-show this week. So I went with the choice that — so my first, coming into this week my first choice was Cutthroat Island, Geena Davis. I really wanted to see this pirate movie. That was what stuck out me the first time I saw the list. And then we had conversations. And I went with my gut, guys. I went with a massive failure, in numbers wise, okay?
SLIM Oh God.
DANNY We’re gonna do the only flop of this franchise. Solo: A Star Wars Story. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Oh my Gooddd! Wooowww, oh my God!
DANNY And we’re talking about a film that’s still made over $300 million and came up 75 million short of breaking even. Okay?
DANNY A movie that should have made a billion, just like Rogue One. Okay? So we’re gonna get into it. I know some Villagers don’t like it. I’ve read some reviews this week. But I, I want people to jump back in with us. Okay?
SLIM A second chance.
DANNY Give it, it’s been some years. Let’s give it a second chance. And let’s go through this together. And so I’m, I’m looking forward to talking about this because there’s a lot to this film, so —
SLIM A second chance!
DANNY I’m very excited.
SLIM I’m looking, I’m looking up the VGER average rating right now.
DANNY Average is three stars.
SLIM Three stars.
DANNY For our village.
SLIM He’s not —
DANNY Go for it. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I don’t think he’s listening right now.
DANNY I know it’s Chuck. I know you’re gonna bring up Chuck. [Slim laughs] And his half star review. And he’s the one I want to revisit this with. Okay? Chuck Foresman was in our episode for All or Nothing. Dear friend of the show, BAT & SPIDER host. I love Chuck. This is one thing that we’re not going to agree on. I can tell Chuck that right now. So I would love for him to watch it and Mel, I know you’re listening. Please let Chuck know. I want him to revisit this for us.
SLIM Average three star from our Villagers. I’m really excited to watch this movie. I remember the one thing that I really loved about this movie was the costumes. Everyone in this movie look great, amazing. Gorgeous costumes, even the main bad guys get up. What that guy’s name? Vision? [Danny laughs] He’s in this movie, right?
SLIM He looked amazing, his like cape sash thing.
DANNY And I know I’ve said I don’t want to talk too much Star Wars on this podcast.
SLIM That’s why I’m shocked by this pick.
DANNY Because A) I’m contractually bound to some things I can say and can’t say, that’ll make the airwaves. But this is one that I think we can talk about.
SLIM Penne for your thoughts. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Thank you, Boom.
SLIM Oh, Boom. Yeah, I thought we were done with Star Wars. Paul Bettany. That’s what his name is.
DANNY Dryden Vos, okay, come on Matt.
SLIM Drayden Vos.
DANNY Dryden. I said it right. You had to say it wrong.
SLIM Dry — uhhh, Vos. Ayy caramba. What an ep. What a week. We made it through Ali, Proto’s pick. Thank you so much for choosing it.
DANNY Thank you, Proto.
SLIM Thank you to everyone who called in. Thanks to our new friends in the Discord this week. Savvy joining under the wire. Unreal. Welcome. I haven’t even caught up to the chat yet. And Proto will be back next week in studio for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM 70mm is a VHS Village production, featuring original artwork provided Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies, provided by Protolexus. Producer emeritus, dale_a. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. And you can support our Patreon for access to our Discord to talk movies with other Villagers, get early access to episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. If you would like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links on 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!