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Pete Wright
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Photographer. Writer. Broadcaster. Former feudal lord.
Photographer. Writer. Broadcaster. Former feudal lord.

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"You’re right – the numbers don’t add up."

The Film Board is all out of Breath! Our faithful thugs have all been sprinting from house to car to theater to car to microphone to gather, AND SPOIL, FOR YOU - the new Tom Cruise production of Jack Reacher - Never Go Back. The first installment of the Lee Child adaptation was striking and clever. We’ll talk through whether doing a #2 bugs us at all.

Our house is a very very very full house with our five regulars returning to the show including Steve, Tommy Handsome, Andy, Pete, and JJ. Have a listen because when the movie ends, our conversation begins and this one in particular will set you up with the right things to know before you go.

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It's been fun talking about Shane Black the last month, more nostalgically than cinematically. But this week, we're talking "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which is not only my favorite of the series, but one of my favorite films.
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"This was, like, two corpses in three hours. I mean, am I crazy? That’s unusual, right?"

Shane Black was gone from the scene for a decade before his return as not just writer but also director with 2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” a comedy crime mystery that unjustly largely flew under everyone’s radar. It was mostly critically acclaimed, but with Warner Bros.’ modest release plans and minimal advertising, it didn’t have much of a chance. And we’re hoping to rectify that. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Shane Black series with his directorial debut, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

We talk about why we love this film so much, from the noir and pulp elements Black incorporates to his comedic sensibilities, from the casting to the nature of the buddies. We chat about Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer and why they work so well together here. We discuss the challenge Black had to get this film made, and subsequently how he made it. We look at some of the other actors, including Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen, and what they bring to the table. We touch on the cinematography by Michael Barrett, the editing by Jim Page and the brilliant score by John Ottman, wondering if we can track down the soundtrack somehow. We look at the script and some of the Blackisms in it, but also compare it with the final scene and how having Black on set to direct allowed for one of his actors to create a stronger moment for the character. And we wrap up our look at the IMFDb to see what a much smaller budget does to the amount of firepower shown off in the film.

It’s a brilliant ride of a film that thrills us to no end. We highly recommend everyone checks it out, so do so then tune in to the show!

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This week on #TheNextReel #Podcast: "The Verdict"

"So much of the time, we’re just lost."

David Mamet wrote screenplays for several years before he jumped into the director’s seat, and while some of them still distinctly sound like Mamet’s writing, others really don’t. The ‘Mamet Speak’ isn’t there, or perhaps it’s just less obvious. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off another Mamet series, this time focusing on films he worked on only as screenwriter. We start this series with his second screen credit as screenwriter, Sidney Lumet’s 1982 courtroom drama “The Verdict.” We talk about what works for us with Mamet’s script and what doesn’t, and really try to figure out why – is it not Mamet enough? We chat about the actors, from Paul Newman and Jack Warden to Charlotte Rampling and James Mason, and what they bring to the table. We really get into the look of the film, discussing Andrzej Barkowiak’s cinematography, Edward Pisoni’s production design and John Kasarda’s art direction, analyzing how they use their tools to tell this story. And we get into some subplots, really trying to resolve some issues that the film leaves hanging. It’s a strong courtroom character study, even if it wasn’t strong enough to take on Gandhi at the Oscars. Check it out then tune in!

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We've launched the Speakeasy! A new monthly miniseries in which industry pros bring their favorite movies to share. This month, actor Abraham Benrubi brings a classic Peter O'Toole film: My Favorite Year. Listen in and let us know what you think!

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This week, Andy and Pete are hitting the road with the Griswolds in our final Harold Ramis film this year, "National Lampoon's Vacation!"

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This week we head back to boot camp with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as we hit number 2 in our Ramis series, "Stripes." Didn't hold up quite as well as we'd hoped.

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It’s time for another Listener’s Choice episode, and boy, do we have a doozy this week. Listener Diego Luis Contreras López wanted us to talk about a film from Spain and settled on Luis Buñuel’s return to his home country (and immediate departure thereafter) with his 1961 film “Viridiana.”

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This week on #TheNextReel +Andy Nelson and I take on Hayao Miyazaki's last film, "The Wind Rises." Plus, more words from our sponsors and new alternative job titles for aeronautical engineers!

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the Michael Hanna was tagged in Pete Wright's album.
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Beyond Thunderdome is simply terrible. It's an incredible let down after watching the first and second of the series, but +Andy Nelson and I had a great time talking about it this week on the show and I'm now sufficiently ready for Fury Road, as I endeavor to erase Thunderdome from my memory.
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NEW! This week on #TheNextReel 187: Andy and Pete enter the Thunderdome... but which one survives!

While the first two Mad Max films had so much going for them, it sure seemed like a stumble with the third of the trilogy. But that’s looking at it through today’s eyes because some critics like Roger Ebert sure loved it — he put it on his ’10 Best’ list of 1985! Okay, so George Miller had lost his producing partner, Byron Kennedy, and let George Ogilvie co-direct it with him. Maybe that’s why “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” seems to be a bit of a stumble. Maybe it was the American financing that made it feel less gritty and more… Hollywood. Whatever it was, it’s definitely the lesser of the three films. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we go beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson and Tina Turner, continuing our Mad Max series with Miller’s 1985 film. We talk about all of the problems it has, and how Andy still finds it a guilty pleasure while Pete downright hates it. We talk about the great concepts Miller and co-writer Terry Hayes had in putting this story together, but how poorly executed they were — every one of them. We chat about the joy of working with 400 pigs on set and what they had to do to make that work. We discuss the car chase — way too late in the movie for our tastes — and how it works in comparison with those we’ve seen come before. And we deliberate on where we think “Fury Road” will fit chronologically with these first three films. It’s a very problematic film on which we find ourselves split, but it’s a very fun film to talk about. Tune in!
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