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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Sixteen years after ‘Rocky V’ opened, the final final installment of the story of Rocky Balboa hit screens. Sylvester Stallone admitted to making the fifth for the money and wanted to really come back strong to finish it right this time. And he certainly does, giving his final entry as the franchise’s lead a great wrap-up.

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It’s unfortunate that Alfonso Cuarón’s film Children of Men never found the audience it deserved, at least theatrically. Sure, it has been hailed as one of the best films of the year it was released, is often cited as one of the best science fiction films of the 21st century and was critically praised but for whatever reason, the audiences didn’t show up. The film lost money on its theatrical release. But Cuarón’s film is brilliant. It’s powerful. And it leaves you with a sense of hope for humanity.

Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Disease Films series with Cuarón’s 2006 film Children of Men.

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This month’s three of a kind takes on music, magic, and a great meal. Amadeus, The Prestige, and Big Night are three films that explore characters with a single-minded focus that drives them toward success but at a tremendous cost. Ambition, tenacity, and a spirit that never gives up can be the keys to success, but what happens if that energy is misguided or directed toward a selfish goal?

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“The Departed,” Martin Scorsese’s 2006 remake of “Infernal Affairs,” is the film he finally won his Oscar for. It’s a strong crime film and is definitely a Scorsese film with incredible camera work and intense violence, but is it as good as the original? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Movies & Their Remakes series with Scorsese’s “The Departed.”

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The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is a new ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, visual effects supervisor and director Matthew Gratzner joins us to talk about one of his faves, Martin Campbell’s reboot of the James Bond franchise that introduced us to Daniel Craig’s 007, “Casino Royale.”

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Bong Joon-ho’s third film, “The Host,” ended up becoming the highest grossing South Korean film of all time straight out of the gate with it playing on a record number of screens in its home country — it made the South Korean record books with its box office performance during its opening weekend alone. Quentin Tarantino loves it. Harry Knowles loves it. But how do we feel about it? Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we start our Bong Joon-ho series with 2006’s “The Host.”

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Give his largest budget and a script that’s more of a genre film than anything else Lee’s done before, he managed to create a wild heist film with a great twist ending.

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Woody Allen has made some great films and he’s made some stinkers, but he is a man who consistently cranks films out year after year. In 2006, his film “Scoop” happened to have a stage magician in it and, because of that, we felt it was important to include in our series about films made about stage magic in 2006. But paired with the other two films in this series — “The Prestige” and “The Illusionist,” this film falls flat. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a great time talking about it.

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2006 was quite the year for movies about stage magicians, and as our series continues, we’ve decided to focus solely on the 3 films dealing with prestidigitation that came out that year. Neil Burger’s The Illusionist came out a few months before Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but it dealt with an entirely different story. True, they both take place in the world of magicians, but while Nolan’s film dealt with a strong professional rivalry, Burger’s dealt with an unrequited love and the fight the two lovers struggle through to be together.

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