Transcript of 70mm’s Contact (1997) Episode.
SLIM Heeey 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 How ‘bout the fact that every man that is above Ellie in this film is a piece of shit?
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO Do they — do they explain what a boogie is?
SLIM And together as friends forever, we discussed recently watched mooovies. Later in this episode, we cover Jodie Foster’s Contact from 1997. Is this the greatest science fiction movie ever made? Or is the corn knob turned up too high? Find out… now.
[70mm theme music ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM I do want to quick, go to Proto real quick. Just super quick. Proto posted a review for 1917. And that’s not the most important thing. He said he watched it in 4K! Can we get some details on this? You have made the leap and upgraded?
PROTO I’ve made the leap. I took a ton of chance on myself. [Slim chuckles] Took a chance on my viewing experiences to go 4K. So I went out and I got the official 70mm 4K TV from TCL, Series 5, 55 inch, 4K, QLED.
PROTO Equipped with Dolby Vision.
DANNY I don’t know anything you just said. [Slim laughs]
PROTO I don’t know if you guys have heard of this.
DANNY My gosh.
PROTO How many HDMI inputs? I think there’s five. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I love that that’s Andy’s first question! “How many HDMI inputs?” [Danny laughs]
PROTO He’s trying to get a vision.
DANNY How much plugging in are you doing?
PROTO One thing that did disturb me though about this TV is there are no physical audio buttons. So if you lose a remote you are screwed.
SLIM That’s not entirely true. You can use the Roku app on your phone.
PROTO I’m not downloading that app on my phone. [Danny & Slim laugh] Yeah, so I watched 1917. I’ve been dying to rewatch this. So I put it on. And it was gorgeous. But the thing I was not prepared for is the double edged sword of 4K where it looks so good that you can time see right through the movie magic to whether, you know, as Slim has said when he watched Batman, you can see the makeup caked on someone’s face. You can see that the pores in their nose.
SLIM Nose hairs.
PROTO The nose hairs stickin’ out. And for me, I could clearly see when things in this movie, were just like green screen or like, like the 3d assets in the background where this the first time I saw it like it, it just wasn’t even something I noticed at all. It just, you know, you know it’s not real, but it doesn’t look that way. It looks You know, it kind of just blends in and there’s nothing noticeable. It’s like alright, I know that’s not really a burning cannon in the background. That’s, you know, that’s just digital.
SLIM It wasn’t?
PROTO Umm.. [Proto laughs] It was not! [Danny laughs]
SLIM Did you — I didn’t even notice any of that stuff. I didn’t watch a hardcopy 4K of that movie. I think I watched digital 4K.
DANNY Interesting. So you saying the digital stream wasn’t?
SLIM I mean, the digital stream is next level, but I guess I didn’t even think to look at digital stuff. Because I remember there was one part of that movie that you didn’t like, when we talked about it, was when this the transition from him going down the waterfall.
SLIM I remember that not looking, you know, “real” quote unquote, like that was like digitally adjusted. But that was the only scene I thought kind of was CGI-ish.
PROTO Yeah, the scene that really stuck out to me is when they get out of the German trenches near the beginning. And they’re walking together and they’re having that conversation through kind of like where the Germans had the cannons. And to me it was just like very clear that what I was seeing wasn’t real.
SLIM And you verified this? You googled “is the canon real in 1917 rat scene?”
PROTO I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t verify it. Now I figured, you know, I’m trusting my eyes. I have faith in my eyeballs. I know what I saw. But I mean, again, it’s the TV is amazing. I can’t get over the how good that the dark scenes look on a 4K TV. It’s unreal. It’s like your whole room is — just the blacks are really black, like truly black. And it’s incredible. So I’m very, very pleased. I’m looking forward to having more time to watch 4k movies. You know, I’ve had it for 10 days now. And I’ve watched one. So… [Slim & Danny laugh] That’s where I’m at.
SLIM The life of someone renovating their kitchen with several children in the house. And with a podcast. Leading Ladies Month… we put it to the VHS Village, our Discord to let’s come up with a vote, the Leading Ladies bracket of doom, put 64 leading ladies in a bracket, everyone votes each round. Until we get to a final situation. We were finally at the finals. And we’re ready to announce the top two. What was one of the brackets?
SLIM Actors versus directors.
DANNY Directors. We ended with Sigourney Weaver versus Greta Gerwig.
SLIM Wow. My god.
DANNY Who did you want to win out of that Slim?
SLIM Sigourney v Greta. My thoughts on Little Women are well known, well documented, on the show, but I already know who won. So my opinion is moot at this point.
DANNY Just saying, [Slim laughs[ I’m just asking who you wanted, Matt.
SLIM No! I’m not gonna reveal it. Proto, who did you want to win?
PROTO Who did I want to win? They’re both very talented.
DANNY That’s too political an answer.
PROTO Very talented women, really couldn’t go wrong either way. Our friend a dear, dear villager, Art did make a good point, though. Sigourney, has, she has 114 movies that she’s acted in. Whereas Greta has four films that she’s directed one of which isn’t even out yet.
SLIM A second of which no one has even heard of.
PROTO Yeah, so really just two.
SLIM Yeah. Well, I mean, there are some questionable voting decisions from the Discord. I can say, frankly, to bring this final together.
PROTO Be frank.
SLIM But we had a great list of women. We reached out to the ladies of Discord to help us put together a list. The entire list was amazing. I think you can still see that on VGER, the supercomputer who loves movies that Proto built. So thanks to everyone who helped us out. We’re not going to announce the winner right now. We’re gonna do that at the end of the show.
DANNY Wooof. Big tease.
SLIM We’re going to announce our pick from the winner at the end of the show. Can I just say June is shaping up to be the biggest month in the history of this show?
DANNY It’s a big one.
SLIM So we’re going to do something unprecedented and announce June early. Our theme for June.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM This episode we’re doing Contact. Next week, we’ll be doing a movie from either Greta Gerwig’s extensive library or Sigourney Weaver’s. There is a 4K UHD box that coming out in June, early June. And we thought what better way to celebrate than to do the entire Indiana Jones franchise for the month of June.
DANNY We’re doing it. Indiana Junes.
SLIM The marketing bois and gals that came up with Indiana Junes. So we’re giving you some extra time. If you’re thinking about getting the box set, I have it pre-ordered. What’s the first Indiana Jones? Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s gonna be the first one. We’re going through all four.
DANNY The big one.
SLIM And we might have a bonus episode in there. Maybe a few bonus episodes planned. So I can’t wait.
PROTO So excite.
SLIM Other thing I wanted to bring up to real quick we maybe like a month ago, we added a new tear to our Patreon. A $12 tier where if you paid annually, you could choose a movie for us to do for an exclusive Patreon episode only. So we’re gonna be doing our first one next week before our next episode, and we’re going to be doing Moana.
SLIM Disney+, that’s going to be our first exclusive episode coming your way. So if you want to get poppin’ on Disney+, get ready. That’s coming next week.
PROTO Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
SLIM Is he in that?
DANNY Lin Manuel.
SLIM Oh, fudge.
SLIM Is it too late to tell Forrest we’re not doing Moana?
DANNY It’s not — you just announced it.
PROTO Lin Manuel? Who does he play?
DANNY Oh lord. Here we go. Let’s save it for the show. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Savin’ it.
SLIM “He wrote all the music” Casey says in chat. “Geez”
SLIM Imagine not knowing that.
PROTO I apologize.
SLIM Danny, what did you watch this week?
DANNY Let’s fire up Letterboxd and see. I only watched two movies this week. One was a Friday night family movie. Mitchells vs The Machines.
DANNY Had a fun time watching it. Gave it three and a half stars and a heart. Uhhh… and we’ll move on.
SLIM Lotta talk in Discord. [Danny laughs] Lotta talk in Discord about your thoughts on that movie and a father.
DANNY I had I just had issues with this dad. I think if — there’s just a couple decisions with his arc that I didn’t like. I just didn’t, I didn’t enjoy him as a father. He just felt like, you know, he had this like, I love my family, I sell — I’m gonna spoil it a little bit — I sell my house for my kids. You know, my dream log cabin for my firstborn daughter to move into another you know, house. But from then on. I don’t give a damn about my daughter’s hobbies. Until she’s about to leave college and/or my life is on the line because robots are going to kill me.
SLIM He’s not a computer guy.
DANNY So maybe I’ll finally care about my daughter’s life.
SLIM You know? Not a computer guy.
DANNY And then the computer gag — listen, it just, you can’t tell me that these Gen Z kids understand that joke. About the dad not understanding how to type on a computer Get out of here. Doesn’t make sense.
PROTO No, no, no, no, no, no. Listen.
[I’m Kissing You by Des’ree fades in as Proto and Danny begin to talk over each other, both frustrated with one another. Proto, heated and attempting to make his case as to why the father in Mitchells vs The Machines isn’t that bad of a character. Danny, attempting to ignore Proto while describing his Lethal Weapon viewing experience. None of this argument is cohesive or audible or frankly, important. What’s most important here is that one of the greatest songs of all time I’m Kissing You by Des’ree plays until Proto & Danny eventually give up their bit that lasts approx 76 seconds]
DANNY I got it.
SLIM Uh, I watched Boogie Nights for the first time ever. PTA, Paul Thomas Anderson. The Cinenauts, you know, friends of ours. Also members of TAPEDECK, our little mini podcast cabal, syndicate group. So they were watching and I figured maybe this was time for me to watch Boogie Nights. I liked, I don’t like, I love Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia. Amazing film. And I figured why not dig in to see, discover why I didn’t ever watch this movie. I gave this movie five stars.
DANNY You gave Boogie Nights five stars?
SLIM Boogie Nights is a five star movie for me. I loved it. This is his second movie. According to Ian’s review, he was 27 when he made it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Like, even the first few minutes of this movie. If you hadn’t seen his kind of like lower popular initial movie. It wasn’t like, you’re seeing someone who has like greatness in them. This isn’t just some random making a you know, porno backstory movie with Burt Reynolds. It’s this amazing cast. Like he just has it. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to explain. Mark Wahlberg I think is actually really good in it too.
SLIM His wig work is next level.
DANNY Did you say Burt Reynolds? [Danny laughs]
SLIM Burt Reynolds is in it. Yeah, so he’s the director. There’s like a whole backstory Burt Reynolds like refusing to work with PTA after this movie, thought it was going to destroy his career.
PROTO Do they — do they explain what a boogie is? [Slim & Danny laugh] ’Cause I don’t know.
SLIM Boogie is something that really can’t be explained. You have to just experience it. I think. Casey wants to know is Boogie related to a hog? That’s something for you to discover, Casey, when you watch Boogie Nights. [Danny laughs] Family movie night with Danny. So I was really blown away. I like Paul Thomas Anderson. I liked Phantom Thread. I didn’t, I don’t love Phantom Thread. I think that kind of stretched, what my enjoyment level was of a Paul Thomas Anderson film. So I’m excited to see whatever he’s up to next.
DANNY Didn’t he do that other movie with the oil digging?
PROTO There Will Be Blood.
SLIM There Will Be Blood. Oh, yeah, forgot about that.
PROTO How about a supercut of Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood and we call it There Will Be Boogie. [Danny & Slim laugh] Eh?
DANNY I like it.
SLIM Boy. We mentioned Letterboxd. I think a few friends saw my review of Boogie Nights on Letterboxd.com. But every week we give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro which gets rid of third party ads. And you can see where if you were looking at Boogie Nights you can see that it was streaming on HBO Max, so you could fire it up if that was one of the services you pay for. So this week’s winner, free year Letterboxd Pro, master_crowley, Britt. Congratulations.
SLIM And if you wanted to support Letterboxd at any time, you know, if you want to upgrade to Letterboxd Pro or Patron status, I’m actually due for an upgrade soon. You can do so at 20% off using the link on 70mmpod.com to support LB. Lex is “still thinking about big man’s DDL transatlantic accent in There Will Be Blood”. Proto, isn’t that one of your favorite movies?
PROTO I love that movie. I’d die for that movie.
SLIM My god. Jodie Foster, this is my pick for Leading Ladies Month. Prorot, are you ready to guide us through this Interstellar journey? [music from Contact fades in]
PROTO Ellie has always listened to the stars. What started as a hobby with her dad to connect with other people, she now listens for signals from the deep recesses of space hoping to hear someone else. A member of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence program, or SETI, she hears a signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers and quickly concludes that it is coming from the star system Vega, 25 light years away. Within the message is found plans for a machine that can transport someone. The somewhere is unknown. But Ellie believes that it is a chance to prove that we are not alone in the universe. And our chance to make Contact. [music from Contact ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM Ahh boy. Let’s get into it. I think I remember saying several times that this is my first, one of my first DVDs. I actually said this to my dad when I saw him this weekend, told him we were doing contact. We also talked about Bridge on the River Kwai quite a bit. It was funny hearing him talk about the finale, his reaction to it and yelling at the screen when he first saw it. [Danny & Proto laugh] But I mentioned we were doing Contact he’s like “Ohhh yeah, wasn’t that your first DVD that you pulled?!” He remembered.
PROTO That’s awesome.
SLIM Danny, do you remember the first time you saw it?
DANNY Um, maybe, I don’t know actually. Years ago when I was on some sort of sci-fi kick, probably around the time I watched Moon maybe. But probably seen it three or four times since then.
SLIM How ‘bout you Proto?
PROTO I don’t remember but it was at some point in my teen years. My dad putting it on, you know that the long journey through sci-fi films that were important that he would show me.
SLIM Yeah, that was gonna be my first note. I guess full disclosure, I had this rate of five stars on Letterboxd before we even did the show. So you already kind of know my vibes. But this is my kind of sci-fi. You know, it has deep questions about life and science and space. And, you know, for the most part they give you some information to kind of tantalize you. But it still pulls you back to reality and doesn’t really, you know, explain everything. You know, like the journey when she’s going through the pod and she sees like certain things, and when she lands at the location, the quote unquote, you know, “Pensacola Beach”, you get like just enough information to kind of just like, make you almost inquisitive yourself. And you’re like, I want to learn more about this. I want to just consume more science fiction and space exploration stuff. Anything. That’s, that’s one of the main draws of this movie. What about you Proto, when you were seeing this?
PROTO Well, I think that the thing, to me, that it has one of the, the most satisfying and rewarding scenes in all of, of cinema or sequence, it’s kind of more of a scene, because I guess it spreads. But it’s when they when they start to decode the message. And the layers of decoding that happens from that. Like, the first time I saw this, it was like, the greatest dopamine rush I’d ever experienced in my life. Like, this is like, just as they uncover it’s like, okay, it’s, you know, a sequence of prime numbers. And it’s like, oh, wait, there’s, there’s an image here, too. And then you see what that is. And then they look at it in a different level. And it’s like, oh, there’s more data here. And we, you know, we turn it this way. And now we have this information. And then, and then you take that, oh, it’s not 2d, it’s 3d, and let’s bet — and all that, that whole sequence is just so incredible. And everytime I see it, I’m blown away. And there’s few things that are, are like that compelling to me. And that satisfying out a sci-fi movie. Usually, they just leave me, like wanting more, which this does, but like, almost like I don’t have enough. I feel that way often about, like, I love the Alien franchise. But I feel like when I watched that, I’m not getting enough of the universe, like I want a little bit more with each movie. And I don’t get that and it kind of feels like because they don’t know what to even do. But the way this just unfolds with the message, and just how much they give you and how much they don’t. To me, it’s just absolutely brilliant.
DANNY I think what I love most about this is it has the conversation of faith and science. And it does it in a way that isn’t isn’t the normal kind of fight of who’s right and who’s wrong. And it’s not in your face, kind of, like, argumentative. So it’s, it’s, it’s putting out both conversations with Jodi and Matthew’s characters. And as someone who was raised religious, who is still religious, and has a belief in a God. I think that’s why I’m always drawn so much to science and sci-fi. Because I love the conversation. And I love kind of, I don’t know, I just the thing about this movie for me is, I feel it has, it’s just a great feeling watching this film, and it’s hard for me to put into words on what it is that I actually really love about it. It just feels different than any other sci-fi movie that’s kind of out there that puts forth this sort of message of faith and hope. And it really is kind of a very, I don’t know, I feel like I love what, I just, I enjoy this film quite a bit.
SLIM Yeah, Forrest says it’s a non-destructive discussion on faith versus science, which makes sense. You know, the conversations between Matthew and Jodie. You know, they kind of debate a little bit, but it’s never almost like one way or the highway, you know, there’s still kind of like, right into having a discussion about what could be or what is. The other note that I had, you know, the idea that this, we could potentially make contact with something in outer space, and we get like this, the details on how to build something. We don’t know where it goes. But we get the schematics is something. And in the movie, you see these kind of like, you know, people that are really against it, people that are really for it to the point where it causes the destruction of the first machine. Can you imagine if this happened in 2021? [Slim laughs] Any of this going on in our society, I feel like we would just be completely torn apart —
DANNY We’d killed ourselves
SLIM By this right. I have no, I have no expectation that we would ever get off this planet.
PROTO Yeah, I think yeah, that feels like an incredibly accurate of just what the reaction would be if something like this happened. Yeah, almost like different secs like popping up immediately as you know, deciding what this means. And also, I thought that scene of it exploding from the beach looked amazing!
DANNY It still holds up.
SLIM Big time. Even the ship in the distance, like they did some really smart things and to kind of like keep it far away to maybe make it look realistic. Like in the fog when they have the second one up and even at the first location. That looked legit. That looked real in my opinion.
DANNY Yeah, it’s very impressive what they did.
SLIM What else is on your list, Proto?
PROTO Well, it’s been awhile since I saw this. And I was surprised at, how do I put this, how corny some of it felt. Especially the flashback stuff to when she was young. There was just like a lot that felt kind of, I don’t know, just like unnecessary. Over indulgent in like sappiness and it just didn’t, it didn’t really bother me that much, but it just felt a little off, like okay, we like we didn’t need this much of it and we didn’t need it at this level. How’d you guys like those scenes?
DANNY Well, I, are you talking about when she’s a kid and her father? That kind of flashback scene?
PROTO Yeah, yeah.
DANNY Um, I don’t find it corny. I think maybe I give it a pass because of how old the film is. Maybe? Because I don’t, I don’t know. But it doesn’t bother me. I like the story of her and her father a lot. And I don’t know if it’s overdone. I feel like they do it just enough. But they’re, when it comes to this film, that flashback sequence. There’s like, there’s like scenes in all of cinema that I remember quite a bit. One is like the Jaws dolly shot. The second is the mirror shot in this film. And I don’t know if you guys know what I’m talking about.
SLIM Oh yeah.
DANNY That mirror shot kind of breaks my brain every time I see it. And it’s such a simple thing, but I don’t know. Do you know I’m talking about Proto?
PROTO Yeah, yeah.
DANNY When she’s running up the stairs and she grabs a mirror. I think if I didn’t have that, I don’t know. I love that shot so much. And so when I think about the flashback scenes, that’s all I really think about. Because it’s such a brilliant, simple, process, but it just kind of works so well.
SLIM The only thing that I would, that jumps out with your comments Proto, that is too sappy, is Matthew McConaughey’s role in a lot of this, in this viewing. So we follow all of our friends on Letterboxd and people that we’re friends with watched for maybe like the first time and I saw a few comments about Palmer Joss, which is Matthew McConaughey his character I think probably even Chuck was pretty brutal on him. And I was like, I kind of like raised my eyebrow, like I didn’t remember any negativity about Matthew McConaughey in this movie. So when I watched it again, I almost kind of felt like I wanted less of him in this movie. So like, at least in this viewing his presence didn’t age as well for me. Like his being the kind of spiritual advisor. First of all, I wondered, I just imagined Proto in his role for most of the movie. [Danny laughs] What he was saying as Palmer Joss. So when he is on the council and stuff, and he, she doesn’t get in, she tries to be the first person to go through it and he votes her out and says, you know, he asks her on the hearing “Do you believe in God?” And he explains to her “I couldn’t in good conscience let someone who didn’t believe in God out there.” And I was like, see Chuck, that’s why he did it. He didn’t do it because he loved her. I’m like referencing Chuck’s Letterboxd. But then later in the movie. He’s like “I voted you out, I lied, it’s because I love you.” I was like c’mon. This is a little too corny. Like I actually didn’t enjoy those aspects of it as much. Just because I just wanted Jodie to continue to be front and center for the decision making on all of it. What do you think Proto, of the McConaughey stuff?
PROTO Yeah, I thought the Palmer Joss character, he was a he’s a little too much of just a foil to have this back and forth conversations with Jodie. Like anytime they’re talking it’s, it’s really not, they don’t really spend that much time building the relationship like they quickly have a romance and then they have these you know, science versus faith discussions. And that’s like the main interaction, which is good because like, like you guys were saying earlier, like I love that aspect of it. And I’m dying to, you know, read the book at some point, I haven’t read it. But to me all of this, I imagine just what I’ve heard from Carl Sagan is directly from him and just the way he toes the line so well, and doesn’t seem to have an agenda. Either way, I think stories like this, so often, someone has an agenda. You know, it’s either one way or the other. It’s like to prove this or to prove that. Where with this, it doesn’t really feel like Sagan was trying to prove anything, but really just use it as a way to, you know, explore these ideas. And Palmer Joss’s character enables that, but you know, sometimes it feels a little forced, but I overall, like I enjoy, I enjoy it, even though it might not feel totally natural in the movie.
SLIM Sean says “they slept either 18 minutes into a two and a half hour movie.” When they first meet each other, I felt like Jodie was in a position where she just hadn’t been with anyone in so long. And then when she recited that one, when he said that one quote, she just like had a light switch go off. And it was just on no matter what, no matter who it was. [Danny & Proto laugh] It could have been could have been Dane Cook for all she cared at that point. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Alright, please.
SLIM But the parts where he reveals to her about the vote, or like the vote is about to happen. And they’re outside of like the Washington Monument or wherever in Washington, and they hug and embrace. I thought that was an amazing scene. And they just have like this kind of old school embrace, where they’re rubbing face. Like they don’t know what’s happening, but they have emotions for each other. And even Jodie’s like, “I’m so confused.” I love that shot. I love that whole moment they shared in that scene.
DANNY How about the fact that every man that is above Ellie in this film as a piece of shit? [Slim laughs]
SLIM It’s so true!
DANNY It’s so maddening. Like, and I get it like it’s, it’s done so perfectly well, that it’s the truth. Like this is Ellie, she’s fighting an uphill battle in a field of men who are not as smart as her. But they have the power over her and they use it and it’s and they do it so well. And it’s so maddening. Like, Skerritt’s character.
DANNY Honestly, as much as I want to punch James Wood in the face every time I see him on screen in any movie. Tom’s character, I cannot think of his name right now.
DANNY Drumlin. He makes me the maddest in this film. Like he is, he is the worst person to Jodie’s life. And honestly, when he every time he blows up in that first shuttle, I am fine with it. I’m okay with the fact that he’s dead. Because he’s, I just hate him so much in this film. Like he to the point of where he resigns his White House position just to take the spot that Jodie should have on that first mission. And it’s just like, I get so mad at those at the men in this film.
PROTO I love the character though.
DANNY Oh it’s perfectly done, yeah.
PROTO And I love the scene where Drumlin has that honest moment with Ellie about her deserving it. And he’s saying, well, you know, that’s not the world we live in.
[clip of Contact plays]
DRUMLIN I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that’s an understatement. What you don’t know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line where the kind of idealism you shared at the hearing was rewarded. Not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world.
ELLIE Funny. I always believed the world is what we make of it.
[clip of Contact ends]
PROTO You know, you do deserve it. And that is such great writing! It’s so good! And just to have that character have like this moment of honesty and be like, “Ellie, I beat you. Um, you know, I’m going to meet him first. And but it’s not fair. You should have got it. But, you know, this world sucks.”
SLIM I remember just like Danny said, I remember growing up hating the James Woods character in this movie, but Drumlin, you’re right, Drumlin is just top dog shit in this movie. And James Woods, I almost felt like his character, you know, I can kind of see being this way. You know, like, he kind of got short. short shrift at the his first appearance by her, you know, well, well deserved. But even at the hearing he’s asked even points out, he’s like, “you’d be, you’d be doing the same thing in my position. If you were me, and you had no evidence whatsoever.” And I was like, damn, okay.
DANNY I think one of the maddest things that Drumlin does is, there are those moments where Jodie’s explaining what’s happening. And the, like, James Wood doesn’t understand it, like the first time they go to the radio station, with the army. And she’s explained to him, but like she’s saying exactly what is happening. And then like you could tell was this character doesn’t understand, but Drumlin mansplaining it as if he’s helping her. And it just — I want to choke the life out of him. It’s so frustrating. He does that, he steps in for her so many times. And it’s, it’s just like, it’s like, I hope I never do this to a woman. Like have I ever mansplained something to where I’ve made someone feel like Jodie probably feels?
SLIM Most likely yes.
DANNY Most likely. And I can’t imagine, it’s just, you just watch it because you want Jodie to just beat the shit out of them.
SLIM How about the scene to where the Hitler communication is the one that they uncover in front of everyone. And James’s reaction to that message on screen is so good. [Slim & Danny laugh] Oh my God, I crack up every time that happens. One of my notes is the sense of wonder, is just off the charts when she is going through the machine. The second machine. I wrote that I loved the muted effects of the machine in the fog. And how about S.R. Hadden in this movie? How about S.R. Hadden — there are like three different S.R. Hadden’s in 2021 right now that you could say this movie came out, it would be like, you know, a parody of those rich people.
DANNY I listened to a NPR Podcast, where they talked about the science of this film, and they interviewed a woman who’s a scientist at the Nevada or New Mexico satellites, where these were filmed. And they were talking about how real some of this science was. And she said the fact that Jodie listens to the satellite is the most unrealistic thing ever, because they would never do that. But she said the Hadden character makes the most sense. Because it’s exactly what happens. They needed, they never get the government funding, they need the eccentric billionaire to fund these projects that can just throw around their money. And I thought that was kind of fascinating, because I feel like the Hadden character in this film, outside of space travel, he feels the most odd, like it’s such an odd character. But I guess, in 2021, we have these characters that are in real life that are making spaceships and self driving vehicles.
PROTO Yeah, he kind of felt like a character out of a Pixar movie. [Danny laughs] Out of like The Incredibles or something. Yeah, he’s so colorful and odd. Especially when suddenly, you know the scene where she has a video conference with him. And he’s up in the Russian Space Station. It’s like he’s up there to slow the growth of cancer in his body. Like that is so far out and crazy. I love it, though.
SLIM What else is on your list, Proto?
PROTO Well, you guys were talking about Drumlin and James Woods’s character, and, and kind of how they were pushing Ellie around. But the thing I thought it was that the scenes where Ellie is like, like,”Hey, guys, you can’t do that. This, this is my project. I discovered the message!” I’m like thinking like, come on, there’s no way you think that you discover an alien message that because you discovered it, it’s like somehow you’re gonna be like, if the government got a hold of that, everything is off the table! To think that you have any kind of right or that they’re going to care at all that you found it and discovered it is like seems so naive to me. Of course, if she has like the credentials, and obviously she is an expert in the field, you know, it would make sense, but the sense of like ownership because she found it that just seems so kind of like strange.
SLIM I could see I could see the explanation for that being that she’s lived a life where she had just been tossed to the side by all of her superiors for so many years for so long that it may be just like built up, finally, and is now exploding in the form of this message that she found.
PROTO Well, I mean, I think any of us in her position would probably do the same thing right? Like, like, you’re gonna fight to hold on to, to being a part of this as hard as you can.
SLIM Danny, what else you got?
DANNY My actually, my first note was how much I loved the intro to this film. When it starts with the CGI shot, which is still an absolutely gorgeous intro, pulling out of Earth and hearing all the different radio waves, until it kind of goes back to silence, the distance it gets from Earth. And it really, I mean, it perfectly sets the tone for this film to me. I think I read somewhere where this was one of the first or the one of the first longest CGI shots in cinema back then. And also Alan Silvestri’s score in this, it’s absolutely beautiful. The piano work in some of this, it gives me the chills, especially like at the ending and stuff like that. So I really loved the intro to this film.
SLIM I forgot to double check this, but I remember reading that their usage of White House clips, like with Clinton, kind of set them to make a rule that studios weren’t allowed to just reuse press conference clips in their movies without like, written permission. Because they use quite a few of Clinton in this movie. And like CGI’d him in and stuff.
DANNY It’s impressive what they did to like so many of the shots, like there’s when he’s doing like one of the press conference scenes. There’s a 30 minute making of doc you can watch and some of the scenes where he’s at the like White House like podium. He’s actually in like the garden, like they had to find the right conversations to splice into this film. And they even went as far to like change the color of a suits and ties to make a completely different from what he was actually wearing. And then like the scenes where he’s sitting at the conference table with all the actors. And there’s a sit-in person to sit there and all they did was replace his head with actual real Bill Clinton footage.
SLIM That hold up quite as well as the others shots.
DANNY But it’s still so impressive! I mean I like the Clinton stuff. To me, it kind of grounds it, it let’s not have this fake President where I can’t, you know, comprehend like, not comprehend but like it just makes it more real. Like, honestly, if they filmed this with, I feel like Obama would’ve totally like filmed in this film or some more modern President, but yeah, I think the Clinton stuff was pretty rad.
PROTO Yeah, I like that, too. I’ve always liked that, when they actually they just use a real President in the movie.
SLIM It was the last time they ever did it, because this is the movie that probably ruined if for everybody.
DANNY Yeah, maybe.
PROTO Zemeckis got it. Zemeckis ruined it for everybody else. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Let’s talk about the, the actual contact at the end of the movie, she’s in the pod. She finally goes through, she goes through this, you know, intergalactic subway, which she deduces herself in the journey. She’s trying to like vocalize it back to the team through her headset, which may or may not be working. And she gets out and she lands on a beach. And there’s these awesome shots where she’s touching what she’s seeing in the sky. It’s really cool, like perspective stuff happening. And then her dad shows up her, quote “her dad”, and she has this conversation with the alien about what it is and what the trip is meant for. Proto, what did you think? How did this scene hold up for you on this viewing?
PROTO I, you know, I remember the first time I saw this being really frustrated with the ending, like this doesn’t make any sense what’s going on, and being disappointed. But now, man, I love the ending of this. It makes total sense to me. And, and, and that this would be the approach that advanced life forms take to contact others where it’s like, alright, we don’t want to show ourselves we don’t want to come face to face. So we have this way of you know, looking inside their mind, finding their most important memory and reconstructing this person so that they can talk to them, someone they know they’re familiar with. And like that’s, that’s who will use to talk with them. And then even the fact that he you know, I don’t remember what she asked him, but he says like, “this is the way we’ve always been doing it for millions of years. Like this is the first step.” Which is, which is also to me is brilliant. I like the idea that maybe, you know, maybe, well, I guess you know if she’s traveling through a wormhole, they can travel. But, you know, maybe it just starts with communication, you know, and that’s the only thing that they do for a long time, You know, maybe the next contact doesn’t come for another 100 years. You know, they just because if you’ve been around for millions years, you know, 100 years is nothing so you just start with really, you know, small baby steps. So I, I love the ending in this or that portion where she where she’s there and talking to her dad.
DANNY Yeah, I really vibe with this ending. I always have. And it’s funny. I feel like every time I watch it, I get like, not like I learned something new, but I get like a different perspective of what they’re doing. Like, I feel like the first time I watched this, I’m like, yes, she’s meeting aliens on an alien planet. And it’s just projecting her father and but then I then I come to round where I’m like, man, is this like, is this God? Like, is she, is this more of a spiritual experience? And then I watch it again, like, man, this is aliens. It’s all technology. Like I that’s why I think I’ve vibed with this so well, because there’s so much you can take from this marriage of faith and science and I love that she lands on Pensacola.
SLIM Yeah, her painting, the drawing.
DANNY You see her drawing, you see the three different palm trees that she drew. And I love the conversation with her father, because I like there’s just so much when he talks about the species of human and how he’s like, there’s, you’re capable of great things, but also terrible things. And I like Jodie’s experience, and I liked that when she comes back, and nothing, she’s been gone for what, fractions of seconds.
SLIM Yeah, not even.
DANNY And they don’t believe her. And it comes to, it comes again to having to have to have faith and, and believe in what has happened to you. Which is what Palmer Joss’s character kind of explains at the beginning when she asked about the faith in God. And he asked, he gives her the “Do you love your father?” line. And then “prove it”. So I just, this is a brilliant ending of a film, I think.
SLIM Yeah, I loved her conversation with Palmer early on about how she broke down, you know, if even just you know, in a million of those star systems —
[clip of Contact plays]
ELLIE There are 400 billion stars out there just in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million of those had planets, alright, and if just one out of a million of those had life, and if just one out of a million of those had intelligent life, there would be literally millions of civilizations out there.
PALMER JOSS Well if there wasn’t, it’d be an awful waste of space.
[clip of Contact ends]
SLIM Which is the way she broke it down in that conversation is probably one of my favorite scenes movie. And then just them breaking down about how long they’ve been doing this. And this is just the way it works. This is just the start. And there was a few comments in chat about like, why not just send two people to like backup or story. I think that could just kind of shows that like our civilization isn’t ready yet. You know, and that’s why there’s so many these things just take time. Like, that’s just for us to deal with in the meantime, for these aliens to have us go on this journey again. Sean pointed out trying to understand Interstellar’s ending helped this ending. Could you think of like two more polar opposite, like scientific explanations in a sci-fi movie then Contact and Interstellar? [Slim laughs]
DANNY They do have a very similar wormhole design, especially when she’s seeing things through the floor and the sides, there’s a similar vibe that Nolan I think pulls from this.
SLIM The one thing that growing up like was probably the most frustrating thing about this movie for me was at the end of the hearing, like James Woods just is so pissed when she returns and no time has passed on Earth. But she says “I’ve been on this journey for 18 hours.” And you know, there’s nothing to back that up. So they go through this hearing he like rings her and everyone is just like left to wonder if it actually happened. So the kind of like society is even more, almost just as broken down before as they were after. And then afterward, he has this conversation with Angela Bassett, where she has him like, “Hey, did you review our classified findings?” And he’s like, “Yeah, what about it?” She essentially says the tape that she recorded 18 hours of static. How is that not in the hearing?! That should be page one of this entire effing process! What is classified about that? That essentially proves the whole thing! Wake up! As a kid, I was so pissed, and I’m still pissed about it. Like that whole part of it, make make like a year go by, before they reveal that finding the classified documents or something.
DANNY I mean, it’s exactly what they do now. That’s the thing, like this is what our, this is what we do to each other. We, we just, we, we even we have these moments of truth, but we keep for whatever reason, like if we want to talk about UFOs now, we, it’s like, we’re the crazy ones. But then, like, videos come out that have been classified for years from our Navy, and there’s unidentified objects flying around. And it’s like, why is this classified info, but this is nothing new. This is what we do to each other. This is what the government does to us. And I’m not going to go on some tin foil hat right now. But it’s not, it’s like, yes, it is maddening what they put her through at the end of this because they have the answers. And they could just be like, yeah, we have 18 hours, we should never even have this hearing.There’s no reason why you’re in here. You’re not going to jail for anything. So why are we putting you through this? But this is what we this is what we do as a civilization.
PROTO Yeah, I thought that was pretty accurate, that they would hide something like that. But I wish that it wasn’t even in the movie, forget anything about it. I would rather it be more ambiguous, because with that, it’s that’s just gives you concrete proof that everything that Ellie did it, you know, said she experienced, she did. And it’s not in her head. And she didn’t imagine it. It’s not anything else. She’s not, you know, lying. It’s real. But if that wasn’t in there, you could make an argument that it didn’t happen and that this was some kind of, you know, self induced, you know, experience that to, you know, have that final moment with her father. And to me, that’s a better ending than to give like this concrete proof evidence that it’s, that you know, she did travel there. So I wish that part was just not even in the movie.
SLIM Yeah, that’s a good point. Any reporter with half a brain would ask about the footage. Any reporter! Any random idiot on the street will be tweeting @whitehouse.gov.
DANNY They say nothing recorded. They say it was all static. There’s just nothing on there. So it’s just yeah, I don’t know that I disagree with the not being in there. But I think the reason I like it in there is because it just makes me continue to question everything. Motive and just what we do to each other.
SLIM Mhm. There’s a few funny comments. Mel says it should have ended with James Woods being shot into space. [Slim laughs] Art, “How about the end when she’s talking to the school kids, those kid actors are giving Jodie nothing back.” [Slim & Danny laugh] Let’s see, last few comments I have… The Joss line at the end, I probably would have cut out Palmer Joss. I get that, I can kind of see thematically it’s like you could say it’s a man finally supporting Jodie, which is important in this movie, at least.
DANNY See, for me, sorry, real quick, sorry to cut you off. For me, the Palmer Joss character is more of a metaphor than it is an actual like I feel like he’s meant to be the faith talk to Jodi’s science talk. And I feel like his conversation, his quote at the end isn’t about a male supporting a female or him supporting the person who loves. It’s like, it’s the religious side supporting the science side, which is something we don’t ever see. So I feel like more or less, if you could look at this film, see, that’s why I love this movie. More or less you could look at this film, from the viewpoint of it being a complete metaphor. And you’d have just the love interest is there but it’s not, it’s not meant to actually be two people falling in love for each other. It’s meant to be this, the story of merging science with religion and what it looks like as humans and I don’t, I know I said in the beginning this there’s so much this movie makes me feel that I can barely put into words. And I feel like my best way to describe Palmer Joss’s character is that he’s the metaphor for Jodie’s science.
PROTO I like that.
SLIM Yeah. Could you imagine Proto’s reaction to this movie being released in 4K, seeing some of the CGI. [Proto laughs] Last few notes and I’ll give my rating.
DANNY Wait, Mel made a comment, “but he’s portrayed as a creep”. Most religious men, I hate to break it to you, are creeps. [Danny laughs] I’m just kidding. It’s just, it is how a lot of the religious heads come across. And I honestly think he portrays it quite well.
SLIM Like her reaction, I was gonna say her reaction to the beauty of that trip. And just kind of like weeping at the beauty, her famous line of like, “no words, should have sent a poet” like, can you imagine seeing something so gorgeous outside of our planet that you just start weeping? I love the line about how the news talking about this is the most expensive project in human history. So good. So fun to kind like have that word behind it.
DANNY What was the number they put on this building?
SLIM I don’t remember.
DANNY Like over some trillions. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Over trillions of dollars. The many explanations of them talking about the aliens where like, why would the aliens go through all this work to like, kill us? When they’re having this debate with James Wood. And then someone says, you know, “do you feel guilt when you step on an anthill?”
SLIM I just loved how everyone had this kind of like back and forth really smart big brain conversation happening. Um, Five stars still for me. There’s some flaws I think in this viewing that I just didn’t notice before. But overall, I still love this movie. I still love the big questions it asks about life and what’s out there. So five stars for me. Proto, what about you?
PROTO Two things I didn’t get to say. Well, one is that the guy who drops out, John Russell and has that press meeting. [Slim laughs] What a wet noodle! [Danny laughs] Dude, grow up! You have a chance to meet aliens for the first time and you’re staying back because you have a wife and kids?
DANNY “Daddy don’t go!”
SLIM He has one kid! Also putting the guilt on that kid! That kid grows up and finds out like, oh, I was the reason why my dad never met aliens.
DANNY I’m the reason my dad didn’t die on that first shuttle, yes. [Danny laughs]
DANNY “See, I was right dad!”
PROTO Jodie Foster is absolutely gorgeous in this movie. There’s some amazing shots of her. I mean, the sights, the shots at the satellites. All those are incredible. Yeah, I was just
SLIM Also her speech at the end — sorry, I didn’t mean to — like her speech at the end, where she’s in front of the hearing. That was like one of the most amazing scenes in movie history, her performance.
PROTO Yeah, I mean, yeah, she, I love her performance in this. And I love Zemeckis movies as well. I love him as a director. I think he has, it makes me want to watch Castaway. I watched like a half hour of cast away a couple months ago. And I was like, dang. Are we doing Castaway? [Slim & Proto laugh] I would love to rewatch that movie. But yeah, I love this movie, as well. Very, very dear to me. And just all the themes of it just hit so close to home. And it’s just, you know, what I want from a movie in terms of like sci-fi. So I give it four stars.
SLIM Shooo. Wow.
DANNY Yeah, I’m, I think I have it logged twice as to five star reviewings. This is, this movie is very special. I vibe with it quite a bit. I think Zemeckis did an amazing job. There’s some very incredible choices like the mirror shot and some of the wide shots of Jodie, you know, at the end on the cliff and with the satellites, and it’s just… I love this film. I love that it makes me question life. I mean, and think about things from two sides. Instead of having an argument, have a conversation and figure out things from as many perspectives as you can. I mean, I said I believe in God and I love to learn about science. I love to have things factually proven to me and I enjoy it. And so this film just kind of does that for me where it, it just is a marriage of two things that I hold quite dear. And Jodie’s incredible. I think she’s, couldn’t have been anyone else in this role. I love her in this film. And yeah, it’s going to be five stars. I will continue to watch this film. I’ll continue to learn some things from this film and just always having some sort of open mind to having conversations that people who think different than you.
SLIM Got a DM from Josh on IG “Contact walked so Arrival could run”. I like that comment.
DANNY I have a very hard time finding the comparison to rival besides having communication with an alien.
SLIM It’s a big theme.
PROTO I think it’s the family stuff. The stuff with her and her daughter in Arrival. Like, are you kidding me?
SLIM That music during that scene when she’s giving that speech.
DANNY I mean, I love Arrival.
PROTO Do you?
DANNY I don’t compare the two. That’s what’s kind of fascinating with that conversation,
SLIM I’m going to re-listen to our Arrival episode and go right to that segment where I put that clip in. How about Zemeckis’ career? Let me just rattle off some, this period of time, Back to the Future. Amazing Stories. Roger Rabbit. The rest of the Back to the Futures. Death Becomes Her. Forrest Gump. Contact. What Lies Beneath and then Castaway. And then I think he stopped making movies after. [Proto & Slim laugh] Good for him to end on top and then never make another movie. Contact, we did it. What a movie. Glad we were finally able to discuss it on this podcast. Next week, we will be doing a movie that we’ll reveal later in the show. We are going to announce the winner between Greta Gerwig v Sigourney Weaver, really excited to reveal the results. We have some VMs, not just some VMs. Oh, we got a few VMs.
DANNY Yeah, we got a lot, let’s go.
SLIM This is a big VM ep, but we gotta let her first and foremost from dear friend of the show, Bixel, Alex. And you can shoot us a letter if you want, we have links on 70mmpod.com, shoot us an email, leave us a voicemail, anything you want. “Dear 70mm hosts and passel.” Is it passel? Possum passel? I’m sure Eric will let me know. “I just wanted to send a note of thanks and gratitude. First, I wanted to say thank you to Proto, Danny and Slim for creating this podcast and in turn creating one of the most incredible funny smart and welcoming communities I’ve ever been a part of. You dudes have brought so much light and belly laughs into my life during the pandemic a true ray of constant sunshine. To the Possum Kingdom, thank you for giving me so many giggle throughout each and every day. I honestly don’t know if there’s anything more great at distracting me from doing my job than the kingdom. To my SATC bebs, Boom, Mel, Sophs, Wes, Ctcher, Bian, Forrest, and my love Czar, this journey has been so much fun and I can’t wait to always be your Samantha.” This feels like a graduation speech. “Come join us on our watch throughs if you would like to discuss how much of a d Mr. Big is or how much of an absolute snack Aiden is after a haircut. Is this too much mush? It needed to be done and said. Will this email get you to do A Christmas Story episode? I hope. Anyways, this feels long. Okay, bye. Alex aka Bixel.”
DANNY I don’t know what he said after he stopped complimenting us. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Half the The letter was referencing members of our Discord which you can join at 70mmpod.com. So lots of love for everyone in the community. Great to hear from Bixel.
PROTO Thank you Bixel.
SLIM Proto, any thoughts on Sex in the City?
PROTO Uh… that’s the one with Sarah Jessica Parker? Is that right?
PROTO I have no thoughts. And I really don’t care. [Danny laughs]
SLIM I think they’re going through a watch through of that show. He was referencing.
PROTO God bless.
SLIM Let’s see, we have some VMs to get to. First VM comes from Becs.
VOICEMAIL Guys. Do I want to date Matthew McConaughey in this movie? Or do I just want his perfectly curly here? Not sure. But I’m glad I’m watching Contact. Okay. Love you. Bye.
SLIM Remember when he first met her he’s like, [Slim in what is supposed to be a Matthew McConaughey voice] I think it’s pronounced el raaadarrr.
SLIM Next VM. Thanks Becs.
VOICEMAIL I always imagined a little bit more of a production for my first voicemail. I guess standing on my back porch will have to do. My question for Contact is, you know, the shitty director dude, the person who was always pulling funding and saying aliens were stupid?
VOICEMAIL Were you supposed to be sad when he died?
VOICEMAIL I did not feel anything. I felt relief. Just wondering if that’s abnormal. That’s all. Byeee!
SLIM This is second VM almost in this many weeks where it’s a mystery caller.
DANNY I don’t know who that is!
SLIM We had Rosemary a few weeks ago, we don’t know who that is.
PROTO The saddest part about that is that the device explodes. And then you’re like, oh, no, what’s gonna happen with the movie? Which is a great twist. How great is that? Oh! We didn’t even talk about that, the satellite image where they zoom in on the second site. You kidding me?
SLIM I can’t remember whose review it was in our Discord that talked about, maybe it was Nikky, that video chat. For 1997, there’s a lot of video chat in this. And that wasn’t really a thing, if I remember correctly back then. But they were doing it willy nilly.
DANNY Willy nilly.
VOICEMAIL Hey, 70mm, it’s Mike Rappin, I’m just calling in. I haven’t called in in a while. I’ll admit I’m a couple of weeks behind on the show. I thought the Orlando episode is fantastic. That’s pretty much where I’m at. But the reason why I’m calling tonight is because I am a little confused because I keep seeing on social media, like 70mm Contact. 70mm Contact. And I don’t know if that’s like a cry for help. Or like I maybe I’m missing something. But this is me contacting you. This is me reaching out to make sure everything’s okay on your end. So get back to me, let me know, hope the three of you guys are doing well. Hope this episode that you’re recording tonight, whatever it is, is good. And hopefully we’ll talk soon. I hope this is what you were looking for with all those messages. I’ll see you later.
SLIM Always check in on your friends. Thank you Mike.
PROTO Thank you Mike.
DANNY Bless him.
PROTO We’re hanging on by a thread. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Next VM I think might come from Andy. And he left a note in his email saying to make this a quick episode so we can get some Apex games in. But unfortunately, Andy, I don’t think that’s happening right now.
VOICEMAIL Hey, what’s up guys? It’s Andy from Orlando and I just finished watching Contact. And I gave it three stars on LB. And I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a really good film. Unfortunately, it reminded me a lot of Interstellar. And I just enjoyed that movie a little bit more. Maybe because of the special effects or maybe some of the surprises or some of the action scenes or whatnot. But again, nothing against Contact. Solid film, great performance by Jodie Foster great, Slim, for those reasons. And so yeah, again, I enjoyed the movie, but just excited to be here. The episode can’t wait. I don’t even know how many Matthew McConaughey impressions you’re gonna have tonight, Slim, can’t wait for that count. And lastly, I wanted to ask you guys this question. If you guys had the opportunity, let’s say the same thing played out like in the movie, we made contact, you know, there’s this space mission opportunity. And it was given to you guys. Let’s just say, would you take it? Would you go on that on that mission? I can’t wait to hear the answers. Anyways, love you guys a whole lot and I’ll talk to you guys later. Bye.
SLIM It’s a great question. Proto, what would you do?
PROTO If I could go on the mission?
SLIM Would you take the mission?
PROTO I’d have to go on the mission. My fate. I was born to make contact. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM How do we not have a photoshop of Proto’s face on Palmer Joss with his curly hair holding his little Bible waltzing around Washington?
PROTO Who’s in charge here?
SLIM Who’s running the show in Discord right now? Danny would you take the leap?
DANNY It is my dream to go into space. But no. I would not take the leap. It’s not for me, it’s for another man with less kids.
SLIM I forgot that there was a scene where they kind of even told her that you know time passes differently, everyone’s gonna be dead when you come back. I kind of totally forgot about that stuff.
DANNY Human. Human. Sorry Boom. Human.
SLIM Next VM coming in hot from I think Mel.
VOICEMAIL Hey buds. It’s Mel. I’m in the backyard. So sorry about the birds and stuff. This has nothing to do with Contact. Slim, I’m sorry that I didn’t give it five stars. But anyway, this has nothing to do with Contact. But Danny wanted it so here we go.
DANNY Oh my, she’s doing it.
VOICEMAIL [clip of The Little Rascals plays simultaneously] Dear Darla, I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You are the scum between my toes. Love, Alfalfa.
SLIM Is that from Little Rascals?
DANNY Little Rascals. She said she memorised the letter and I told her not to write it, and to leave a voicemail. [Slim laughs] And she did ’cause she’s the best. I honestly, I couldn’t ask for more.
SLIM See if I can loot that together like when Proto gets a quote exactly right. We’ll find out.
DANNY Do you think she did it? You think she did it? On point? Oh baby. Let’s put ’em together.
SLIM Proto, what’s your favorite part about The Little Rascals?
PROTO I love the part where Sarah Jessica Parker, um, slaps Alfafa. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Mamma mia. I knew Mel’s rating as soon as she saw my Kickboxer rating this week. The die had been cast.
DANNY Are you telling me her rating for Contact was —
SLIM A revenge rating.
DANNY A revenge rating? I feel sick.
SLIM Yeah, we don’t like to talk about revenge ratings. We all know they exist in Letterboxd.
DANNY This makes me sick.
SLIM We shouldn’t talk about anymore. Retaliation rating. Got another VM coming in from a Matthew. Not sure which Matthew this is.
Hey 70mm. Matthew McConaughey here, been a fan of the show for some time now and saw you were doing my film Contact this week. What an honor. I want to thank Robert Zemeckis, our director. I want to thank Jodie Foster who I worked with daily. I want to thank you hosts and all the Villagers out there. Now most of all, I want to thank Slim for picking my movie this week. The one that’s out there right now with a big ol’ hot dog in his hand. No condiments. And he’s a dancing right now. I also want to thank my hero. That’s what I chase. Now when I was 28 years old, on the set of Contact, I was looking up at the stars. And a very important person a lot came up to me and said, who’s my hero? And I said, you know what? After think about that, give me a couple weeks, I’ll come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says, who’s your hero? I said, I thought about it. You know who it is? It’s me. When I go up in space, hopefully 17 years from now. So I turn 45, 17 years later, the same person comes up to me on the set of Interstellar and says, are you a hero? And I was like not even close! No, no, no. She said, why? I said up in a space in the movies. But until I’ve actually been to space, I’ll never be my hero. But that’s just fine with me. Because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing. So any of us out there, whatever it is you’re chasing, to that I say amen. To that I say, alright, alright, alright. Thank you.
SLIM Where is Marcie? Can Marcie wrangle these impressions? We need to get Marcie to handle this. That did sound more like George Bush than Matthew McConaughey. Sean’s right in chat. Disgusting. That was Marcie, Mel says. Alright, props to Marcie then.
DANNY Great job Marcie.
SLIM Final VM. It’s a long one. This this is breaking the rules that were set forth but I will allow it because they won Letterboxd Pro last week. 90 second rule, unspoken spoken rule.
VOICEMAIL Good evening 70mm gentlemen. It’s nosoulnoproblem. Guys! Thanks so much for the Pro subscription for Letterboxd. What a blessing, I really appreciate it. The more primary reason for my call is that I just finished watching Contact for the very first time. It’s midnight and I was gonna go to sleep but I was like, I gotta get these thoughts out of my head while they’re fresh. Let me start with my only qualm. My primary quantum with this movie is McConaughey and Foster’s chemistry. I think it’s a little lackluster, but I don’t know if I can find a whole lot else to complain about about this movie. I think that it shows up, I think it shows out. I think the visual effects specially for their time are phenomenal. Did you find a 4k version of this Slim? Because if you did, I might need, might need to borrow that. The visual effects are great, Sylvestri always does a phenomenal job with his scores. And I will say that the first third of this movie, I was very intrigued. And then, and then I got into the second third of the movie. And I was like, I think this is going to end up being about a four star. And then the final act hit. And I was like, is this this is a four and a half star? What is this gonna be? And that’s what my heart was saying was was it was gonna be like a four or four and a half star. Just because of the chemistry issue. I felt the chemistry was really bad. But man, by the end of this movie, I was like, [bleep] it, this is gonna be a five star. This is a five star movie! 100%! And I finished it and I was blown away. So thank you Slim for picking this movie. Thank you for finally, almost practically making me watch this movie. Because holy cow, I need to go and buy this. This needs to go into my permanent collection. What a phenomenal film. Thanks again for the Pro membership for Letterboxd. Thanks again for picking this and holy cannoli. Thank you for just being a thing because you’ve exposed me to this wonderful movie. And I am forever in your debt. Bye!
SLIM Nosoulnoproblem Benjamin. Thank you.
PROTO Wow. That’s amazing.
SLIM First time viewing.
PROTO Ugh, can you imagine watching this for the first time?
SLIM Man, can you imagine first time viewing? Imagine it.
PROTO I’m trying to imagine it!
SLIM Try harder.
PROTO [Proto in what is supposed to be a Matthew McConaughey voice] Try harder.
DANNY We have a big reveal.
SLIM The winner of the vote for leading lady bracket between Sigourney Weaver, Greta Gerwig. Danny, do you have the percentages up? Are you ready to reveal to the audience how it played out?
DANNY With 67 people chiming in. And 61.2% of the vote… Sigourney Weaver is the winner of our Leading Ladies Month.
SLIM Ding ding ding ding ding ding. Sigourney pulls through.
PROTO It’s a blow out.
SLIM Congratulations Sigourney.
DANNY Like LeBron vs The Warriors.
SLIM So that means we have to choose a movie from Sigourney vast library.
SLIM Very vast.
DANNY Ver vast.
SLIM If I can just pull the curtain back, just a little bit. You know the first movie I thought of, for us to do?
DANNY Tell us.
SLIM Jim Cameron’s Avatar.
DANNY You were vibing on that hard.
SLIM Could you imagine? I was vibing real hard.
PROTO Is that in 4K?!
SLIM No, it’s not in 4K. We all kind of agreed that that would have been a troll pick.
DANNY Definitely. Definite troll job on that one. [Slim laughs]
SLIM You talk about a revenge rating, that would be a revenge pick for how everything transpired. Don’t worry, Mel, we’re not doing that one.
DANNY Don’t worry Mel.
SLIM But Danny was even pulled up a few articles about how important Sigourney Weaver is to, yu know, leading ladies film, she really is. She set the stage and has some of the most important films of our time.
DANNY Especially the Alien franchise.
SLIM Alien franchise, you kiddin’ me? Remember the Alien journey we went on in Discord Proto?
DANNY It was beautiful.
PROTO Yeah. Changed my life.
SLIM Brandon says if it’s not Alien, I’m out. Lot of Alien talk. It’s not Alien. Sorry. But we you know, how could we marry the troll pick with the real pick? So why not do one of the greatest action science fiction movies ever made by human beings on this planet? And do Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver.
DANNY Aliens. We’re doing it.
SLIM That’s gonna be our ep next week. And that’s streaming on prime right now. So you can watch that, you can fire that bad boy up right now.
DANNY Listen, listen to this quote from Sigourney Weaver talking about Aliens and her character Ripley. “The best constructed story for the character to tell was in Aliens. Just because Jim has such an amazing sense of story structure. To take this character out of hypersleep, have no one believe her, have her be exiled into this limbo land where no one believes her and her family’s dead. The whole setup for Ripley in Aliens, and then what she ends up doing and finding this new family by the end. The whole structure of that story to me was gold.” You can’t think of Sigourney without Ripley. You can’t have the greatest action movies without Ripley and Sigourney it. This is this is her leading lady moment.
PROTO Are we doing Aliens right now? I feel like Danny is ready just to get into it. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Can we talk about it right now? I’m so excited.
SLIM Her hair in aliens belongs in the museum, they need to get, they need to reconstruct her hair.
PROTO Grow it out, shave her head. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Grow it out again! Shave it off! Put it in the museum behind the glass, is what we need. That is available in 4K. You can get that on a disk,. I’m not sure if it’s available digitally in 4K. I tried to scan around, but it’s available some way somehow if you are into that sort of things. Thank you Brandon. Brandon is settling for Aliens. I knew you would. Just a reminder, we’re doing Aliens next week. And then the entire month of June, Indiana Junes, doing the whole kit n caboodle, every week.
DANNY Whole thing. I’m so excited.
SLIM We’ve got some bonus up schemed up that I think will be pretty exciting. Proto, any closing thoughts for tonight?
PROTO You know, watching this, I thought that Ellie, you know if this was real, Ellie would have probably live them the most unique life of anyone who gets to have first contact with you know, another, another person in the universe and how incredibly amazing that would be and you know, set her apart. But then I thought, you know what, that would make her life unique. But truly, all of our lives would be just as unique because, you know, we have family, people who we are similar to with we’re moving through time together. But in the continuum of space time, no one has lived the life that you’re living now, you are a unique and special snowflake. And we love you. Thanks for being here.
SLIM We’ll see you again next week for Aliens. Goodbye.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM 70mm is a TAPEDECK production featuring original artwork provided by Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies created 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. You can support our Patreon for access to the VHS Village Discord to talk movies with new friends, access to exclusive episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. To check out other TAPEDECK podcasts, find the link in the episode notes. And if you’d 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 at 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!