Letters from Iwo Jima

September 24, 2020

How did Clint Eastwood end up directing a Japanese language film about a battle during WWII? What does this film say about Japanese culture and its rituals, notably those during war? How strong is this cast led by Ken Watanabe? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more.

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Million Dollar Baby

February 27, 2015

For those of you who have yet to see “Million Dollar Baby,” you probably should just stop reading this and go watch the movie. Even though the movie is nearly 11 years old now, it’s still hard to talk about without going into detail about the change in story direction in the third act. That was a divisive problem at the time of the movie’s release, and while it shouldn’t be a problem now, it feels like it is. But we jump into all kinds of spoilers in our show this week. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our mysterious Guess the Connection series with Eastwood’s 2004 film “Million Dollar Baby.”

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

August 28, 2014

The last of Leone’s ‘Man with no name’ trilogy is the longest and considered by many to be the best. By the time he made it, he was a much more assured and mature storyteller. And it shows. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish the trilogy with 1966’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

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For a Few Dollars More

August 22, 2014

Sergio Leone continued building on the mythos that he and Clint Eastwood had created in “A Fistful of Dollars” with the follow-up, “For a Few Dollars More,” and it is in this film that Eastwood really developed so many of the tropes that he would continue using throughout his career. The squinting, silent gazes he’d give before gunning someone down. The one-liners. And for Eastwood’s other westerns, a defined look. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our misnamed Man With No Name trilogy series and talk about Eastwood in his second film with Leone, 1965’s “For a Few Dollars More.’

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A Fistful of Dollars

August 15, 2014

Spaghetti Westerns didn’t completely begin with Sergio Leone’s 1964 film “A Fistful of Dollars,” but his film certainly set a new bar — and created an international audience — for these films. This film revitalized a genre that had been slowly dying by getting rid of the black hat/white hat type of story that instead focused on characters who had a lot more gray in them. And this film is really the film that set Leone on his way to making the types of films he’d continue making throughout his career. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we start our Man With No Name Trilogy series with a conversation about “A Fistful of Dollars.”

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Pale Rider

January 24, 2014

“Pale Rider” marks Clint Eastwood’s 10th time directing himself in a film, something he went on doing until 2008’s “Gran Torino” and something he clearly knows how to do well. This seems to hold true especially in westerns, even though he only directed himself in four of them. Perhaps that’s because he had so much experience in them and learned from other directors like Sergio Leone how to stand, how to ride, how to stare, how to shoot on film. And while “Pale Rider” is an obvious retelling of the classic 1953 film “Shane,” it can stand on its own merits and doesn’t feel like a ripoff. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we come to the last film in our Richard Dysart series, 1985’s “Pale Rider.”

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The Outlaw Josey Wales

April 27, 2013

For Clint Eastwood’s fifth directorial effort, he returned to one of the genres he’s most well-known for — the western — and created an absolute classic, The Outlaw Josey Wales. A western affected both by the revisionist movement within the genre that had been growing for nearly a decade as well as by the overall darker, more realistic tones exhibited in 70s cinema, this film took a lot of old elements from classic westerns and turned them on their heads: the Union soldiers are the bad guys, the outlaw is the hero, the Native Americans are not just real characters but actually integral to the story, and the final shootout takes an unexpected — and ultimately very gratifying — turn.

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A Remake of Unforgiven?

December 13, 2012

The teaser trailer for the Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning film Unforgiven is live.  Check it out below. Okay, so I’ve gotta give the Japanese some credit – at least they’re remaking a fantastic movie.  They’re not going back to the early 90s to find something that shouldn’t be remade – or ever watched again,…

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