Episode 97: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The guys head back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away for the second installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. The guys compare the film not only to the rest of the Star Wars series, but also the rest of director Irvin Kershner’s catalogue, which includes such classics as RoboCop 2 and Never Say Never Again. They talk about how Empire stands alone and bridges the series together, as well as how the actors both grow and, well, don’t, from A New Hope to Episode V. The Bit Players also imagine what it might have been like had iconic method actor Daniel Day-Lewis prepared for a role in the film.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Director
Irvin Kershner
Stars
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz

Selected By
Anders

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Monday, August 21, 2017

The guys head back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away for the second installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. The guys compare the film not only to the rest of the Star Wars series, but also the rest of director Irvin Kershner's catalogue, which includes such classics as RoboCop 2 and Never Say Never Again. They talk about how Empire stands alone and bridges the series together, as well as how the actors both grow and, well, don't, from A New Hope to Episode V. The Bit Players also imagine what it might have been like had iconic method actor Daniel Day-Lewis prepared for a role in the film.

Episode 89: Minority Report (2002)

On this week’s podcast, the guys break down Steven Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. The Bit Players dig deep into the efficiency of 2054’s Washington D.C. pre-crime unit, marvel at how they stopped a single murder at all with such an insane system, but mostly just sit back and take solace in the fact that Cops is still on air. They discuss how quickly it takes for Cruise to enter full-on sprint in this movie, perhaps the fastest in his career, the interesting ways that Spielberg plays with tone in such a serious world, and the brilliant performance from Max von Sydow, who was also in the Seventh Seal. Don’t forget, Max von Sydow, actor in the Seventh Seal.

Minority Report (2002)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow

Selected By
Clark

4.2

Aired Monday, April 10, 2017

On this week's podcast, the guys break down Steven Spielberg's 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. The Bit Players dig deep into the efficiency of 2054's Washington D.C. pre-crime unit, marvel at how they stopped a single murder at all with such an insane system, but mostly just sit back and take solace in the fact that Cops is still on air. They discuss how quickly it takes for Cruise to enter full-on sprint in this movie, perhaps the fastest in his career, the interesting ways that Spielberg plays with tone in such a serious world, and the brilliant performance from Max von Sydow, who was also in the Seventh Seal. Don't forget, Max von Sydow, actor in the Seventh Seal.

Episode 65: E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)

The guys phone home this week as they talk about another Steven Spielberg masterpiece, 1982’s E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Though the film remains to this day such a cultural touchstone, it surprisingly slipped past a few of the Bit Players, so they discuss the way the film resonates with new viewers, no matter the age. It’s a story of hope and childhood wonder, and those are things that just never fade, so E.T. remains a constant friend, all throughout one’s life.

E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore

Selected By
Jarryd

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Thursday, August 18, 2016

The guys phone home this week as they talk about another Steven Spielberg masterpiece, 1982's E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Though the film remains to this day such a cultural touchstone, it surprisingly slipped past a few of the Bit Players, so they discuss the way the film resonates with new viewers, no matter the age. It's a story of hope and childhood wonder, and those are things that just never fade, so E.T. remains a constant friend, all throughout one's life.

Episode 55: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The guys dig deep into the world of Indiana Jones with the franchise’s first installment, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg. They talk about how films like Raiders never seem to get the same critical/award love these days, and the ways that this film stands above the pack in the world of fun-loving action flicks. It seems that the thing that really distinguishes this film (and subsequent franchise) is the incredible likeability of its protagonist, so the guys look at who might be able to ever fill Harrison Ford’s shoes should the series get a modern-day reboot.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

Selected By
The Bit Players

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The guys dig deep into the world of Indiana Jones with the franchise's first installment, 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg. They talk about how films like Raiders never seem to get the same critical/award love these days, and the ways that this film stands above the pack in the world of fun-loving action flicks. It seems that the thing that really distinguishes this film (and subsequent franchise) is the incredible likeability of its protagonist, so the guys look at who might be able to ever fill Harrison Ford's shoes should the series get a modern-day reboot.

Top 10 Films of 2015

2015 will always be a special year for the Bit Players when it comes to film, not only because it was the year that the podcast actually began, but it was actually a great year for new movies. Childhood dreams were realized when we got more Star Wars, the character of Rocky Balboa was gloriously revitalized in Creed, Pixar delivered one of their finest and most impactful offerings to date, some of the obligatory novel adaptations were actually quite good, Mad Max redefined what it means to be an action movie, and a whole lot of characters horrifically died in gorgeous snowy settings. We predict that it was a year of films that, when we look back years later, will continue to offer some of our lifelong favorite watches, and our top 25 films of 2015 is the list that best embodies what was so great this year and will continue to be so for years to come.

Aired Monday, February 22, 2016

2015 will always be a special year for the Bit Players when it comes to film, not only because it was the year that the podcast actually began, but it was actually a great year for new movies. Childhood dreams were realized when we got more Star Wars, the character of Rocky Balboa was gloriously revitalized in Creed, Pixar delivered one of their finest and most impactful offerings to date, some of the obligatory novel adaptations were actually quite good, Mad Max redefined what it means to be an action movie, and a whole lot of characters horrifically died in gorgeous snowy settings. We predict that it was a year of films that, when we look back years later, will continue to offer some of our lifelong favorite watches, and our top 25 films of 2015 is the list that best embodies what was so great this year and will continue to be so for years to come.

Episode 36: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good with this week’s episode on Alfonso Cuarón’s 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The film marks both the book and the film franchise’s turn to the more adult themes that came to truly define the series as a whole. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grew up before our eyes, and the third installment seems to be when the trio really hits their stride. Their performances, as always, are buoyed by a ridiculous ensemble of British actors that would make Billy Shakes blush, but is the cast enough to make one of the more complicated of J.K. Rowling’s plots to life? The guys also pick their own personal best pranks and what their Patronus would be. Mischief managed.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Director
Alfonso Cuarón
Stars
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith

Selected By
Brian

4.0

Aired Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good with this week's episode on Alfonso Cuarón's 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The film marks both the book and the film franchise's turn to the more adult themes that came to truly define the series as a whole. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grew up before our eyes, and the third installment seems to be when the trio really hits their stride. Their performances, as always, are buoyed by a ridiculous ensemble of British actors that would make Billy Shakes blush, but is the cast enough to make one of the more complicated of J.K. Rowling's plots to life? The guys also pick their own personal wrongful accusations and what their Patronus would be. Mischief managed.

Midnight Showing: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

The guys get swept up in the Star Wars mania once again with J.J. Abrams’s stunning resurrection of the series, The Force Awakens. The film captures exactly what Midnight Showing is all about: the experience of going to the cinema as a transportative and immersive experience, as Abrams throws us right back into the world that became so familiar and beloved over the course of our lives, bringing back old favorites and adding new characters that will live on forever thanks to how rich and well-developed they are. The Force is strong with this one.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
Director
J.J. Abrams
Stars
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Selected By
The Bit Players

4.8

what movies are
About

Aired Friday, December 25, 2015

The guys get swept up in the Star Wars mania once again with J. J. Abrams's stunning resurrection of the series, The Force Awakens. The film captures exactly what Midnight Showing is all about: the experience of going to the cinema as a transportative and immersive experience, as Abrams throws us right back into the world that became so familiar and beloved over the course of our lives, bringing back old favorites and adding new characters that will live on forever thanks to how rich and well-developed they are. The Force is strong with this one.

Episode 35: Home Alone (1990)

This is our podcast, and we have to protect it. Join the guys as they set up their analytic booby traps for the Chris Columbus-directed Christmas classic Home Alone. They talk about the special place this film has in their hearts from its status as a holiday standard, the love for Daniel Stern that stemmed from his portrayal of Marv, one-half of the Wet Bandits with the Joe Pesci-est villain of all time in Harry. They debate their favorite Christmas songs, their favorite Kevin McCallister booby traps, and what their all-time greatest prank was.

Home Alone (1990)
Director
Chris Columbus
Stars
Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara

Selected By
The Bit Players

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This is our podcast, and we have to protect it. Join the guys as they set up their analytic booby traps for the Chris Columbus-directed Christmas classic Home Alone. They talk about the special place this film has in their hearts from its status as a holiday standard, the love for Daniel Stern that stemmed from his portrayal of Marv, one-half of the Wet Bandits with the Joe Pesci-est villain of all time in Harry. They debate their favorite Christmas songs, their favorite Kevin McCallister booby traps, and what their all-time greatest prank was.

Episode 29: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

A few days ago, in a makeshift podcast studio far away, the Bit Players sat down and tackled George Lucas’s masterful 1977 classic Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. As with just about any random sampling of five millennial men, Star Wars played a huge role in each of the guys’ lives from an early age, but the most remarkable thing about the film is just how well it holds up as a storytelling and visual achievement, with characters and ideals that will live on far after any of the film’s principle (and bit) players have perished. The guys have a blast reveling in the way the film impacted them and continues to impact them, how no matter how many video games Mark “Hambone” Hamill has to voice over, no one will ever take away Luke Skywalker from him, and how that one Storm Trooper is really regretting setting his pistol to “stun.”

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Director
George Lucas
Stars
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels

Selected By
Anders

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A few days ago, in a makeshift podcast studio pretty, pretty nearby, the Bit Players sat down and tackled George Lucas's masterful 1977 classic Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. As with just about any random sampling of five millennial men, Star Wars played a huge role in each of the guys' lives from an early age, but the most remarkable thing about the film is just how well it holds up as a storytelling and visual achievement, with characters and ideals that will live on far after any of the film's principle (and bit) players have perished. The guys have a blast reveling in the way the film impacted them and continues to impact them, how no matter how many video games Mark "Hambone" Hamill has to voice over, no one will ever take away Luke Skywalker from him, and how that one Storm Trooper is really regretting setting his pistol to "stun."

Episode 18: Jaws (1975)

This week, the guys dip their toes into the waters for Steven Spielberg’s 1975 pop-horror classic Jaws for their third group pick episode. It’s a film that inspired an almost universally widespread fear of sharks, a testament to the way that Spielberg and the ragtag crew of the Orca (Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss) extract so much horrific realism out of such simple elements. Perhaps even more of a testament to the film’s quality is the way that it will probably always live in the heart of viewers – as well as the heart of film’s canon – as long as movies are watched, especially given the fact that Jaws came at a time devoid of big-budget CGI manipulation. They examine the long-standing perception of the film that Jaws is essentially the story of three men, a hulking bit of tubular steel and polyurethane rubber named Bruce, and, of course, the vast, terrifying ocean, but in reality is a much more nuanced thriller.

Jaws (1975)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Selected By
The Bit Players

4.8

what movies are
About

Aired Friday, August 7, 2015
This week, the guys dip their toes into the waters for Steven Spielberg's 1975 pop-horror classic Jaws for their third group pick episode. It's a film that inspired an almost universally widespread fear of sharks, a testament to the way that Spielberg and the ragtag crew of the Orca (Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss) extract so much horrific realism out of such simple elements. Perhaps even more of a testament to the film's quality is the way that it will probably always live in the heart of viewers — as well as the heart of film's canon — as long as movies are watched, especially given the fact that Jaws came at a time devoid of big-budget CGI manipulation. They examine the long-standing perception of the film that Jaws is essentially the story of three men, a hulking bit of tubular steel and polyurethane rubber named Bruce, and, of course, the vast, terrifying ocean, but in reality is a much more nuanced thriller.