Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast. My name is Sam. And you name is…
Ryno. There we go. Ryno. Today we’re asking what’s the craic about movies. Movies, films, sometimes films, depending on how I feel.
Or pictures. Do you say that, pictures?
Used to. My grandparents I think would say that.
My granny doesn’t. She’s very modern.
Oh I think my granny’s older than yours now.
Is there something else she says though? I’m thinking. Picture house? Maybe picture house?
The bioscope? We used to call it a bioscope.
Bioscope? Never heard of it.
Bisoscope? Like the apparatus?
I think it has to do with the apparatus and with the way they look, the old things – they all look quite similar.
Okay. So we’re gonna talk a little bit about our taste in films. What are our favorite, how film has changed in the last 30-40 years.
And it has changed quite a bit.
Yeah. Any kind of problems we feel, maybe not for us per se, but maybe some problems movie industry has in general, complaints that people have.
Or maybe for us. That is our plan.
Let’s get at it. Ken? Oh, Ken. Are you Ken?
I don’t know, but there is a Ken.
I’m so used to saying Ken, we’ve done some podcasts with Ken.
Excellent. Maybe Ken and I should talk then. You can watch.
And you can call him Sam.
What’s your top 5ish or just top 5?
Okay, I will have to go with more than top 5. I absolutely love watching movies. In fact in South Africa it was very popular, actually still is very popular to purchase DVDs, not download.
I did a lot. My sister and I are both avid movie watchers, and television series watchers. But mind, that all legal! They might not check, all legal! All legal purchases. So I have many.
Oh good, oh good. I would have to start with probably one of my favorite movies of all time – Shawshank Redemption. You know?
I think I only watched it once, quite recently. Few years.
Oh goodness. It’s excellent. Morgan Freeman…
Morgan Freeman plays a magnificent role, as he usually does. The Matrix trilogy.
Yes. I enjoyed them from beginning to end and I have watched them many times, many many many times. Maybe something a little bit more modern, or more recent – the King’s Speech, with Geoffrey Rush.
I thought it was very good.
Yeah, I like the acting in tit. Great film.
I thought it was very good.
Based on a true story, right?
Based on. At the moment I say based on, there is some artistic freedom there. I have to backtrack to the 80s. One of probably the 80s iconic, most iconic movies – I think the director was John Hughes. I’m not the one who remembers the directors’ names in general.
But this one I somehow do because he produced quite a few coming of age movies in the 80s. I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. You know the movie?
Yes, excellent. A very very good movie. I really enjoyed that.
I need to rewatch that one actually.
I actually watched it recently. It’s still good.
It’s just good fun, isn’t it? It’s something, and he’s a rebel, and it’s just…
He’s a rebel, but he’s not a rebel. He’s just a good guy.
He’s good, but he’s rebellious.
Yes. Not quite following the rules, but actually….
I appreciate the Breakfast club or something.
Breakfast club, similar idea. And similar director.
Exactly. I love this actress, don’t know if I should mention this movie, but I’m going to. Pretty Woman. For me, I don’t know why…
She’s a very good actress.
For me it’s because she’s so natural. When she loves, she loves.
Yes. It’s… I love that. My immortal beloved.
Fantastic movie. It is about a life of Beethoven. From public to when he died, how we was abused by his father. How we became an outcast in society because he went to death.
While he was writing and still performing his music and how… I’m nor sure this is historically accurate either. I’m, in my romantic mind, I hope it is.
Better not to check. It was… I don’t think I will check. He wrote a letter to the love of his love, and the letter was titled ‘My immortal beloved’. And you don’t know who this person is. And after he dies, the executor of his estate is tasked with finding this person.
And it’s amazing. But it takes you through his entire history. Who he was, why he was who he was. He cared deeply for people, and the more he cared for them, the worse he treated them. It was.. It was a fantastic movie. So, do you…?
When was it released? Recently?
No. It’s an old film. I have to mention one of Tim Burton’s films – again…
You do. Excellent. So we can chat a bit more about Tim Burton. But my favorite movie would be Edward scissor-hands. I love that movie. The oddity of it, the weirdness of it.
Help me out. I think I only watched it once, but I thought it was gonna be like a horror. But it’s not at all.
It’s the opposite, completely opposite.
Completely opposite. I think if I watched it again, I would enjoy it. Because I was like ‘this is a horror’. I like some horror, but I’m not a fan of gore, I thought this is gonna be gore, and it’s not at all. Help me out..
Kindness, and acceptance, and tolerance. And how quickly it changes literally at the snap of a finger you can go from being popular to the outcast. So I really, I thoroughly enjoy that. And maybe one or two more – Farinelli which is a bit more artistic. It’s about the castrati singers of 1800s, where these…
We don’t know where this comes from, where these guys, where these performers, musicians, fantastic musicians… So go watch this film, I’m not gonna tell you everything about that. And the ending – I have to mention Lord of the Rings, the trilogy, again. The whole trilogy.
They’re my favorite film too.
Because J.R.R. Tolkien was boron in South Africa.
That’s the reason why you like the films?
No. I haven’t… I still haven’t read the books, believe it or not. I find them quite demanding and challenging to read.
Ah, yes. It’s long. I’ve read them recently. Enjoyable but yeah, it’s wordy. They’re wordy.
I mean, a lot of describing of where they are, compared to the direction of…
I think there was.. I think they walk through the Shire for 300 pages in one of the books. Which is a long time to walk!
Yeah, it’s different from the film, but enjoyable, worth reading I think. But you need to spend a bit of time. It’s a heavy read. Just because the length of it.
Give me some of yours. Because I’ve been blabbing for… What do you…? If you agree with some or not.
I like them all, well, that I’ve seen. I’m a lover of the old Batman films. Tim Burton, 1989-1992, Batman and Batman returns. Not perfect films, and especially I think Batman returns – it’s not perfect, it feels like a theatrical thing. All staged.
Never thought - Tim Burton’s though.
Yes, that is his style. Gothic. And I like the gothic feel. And the characters are pretty much gothic characters.
Tim Burton. He has the gothic films.
I like his cartoons. But I love the drama at the end of the second film Batman returns. Where Batman is fighting… Not fighting, he’s confronting the Penguin, and then the Penguin you think is dead, you move on.
And then he confronts Michelle Pfeiffer, a fantastic actress as Catwoman. And there’s also a side villain as well, Max Wreck. And the whole idea, because he’s trying to get through to Catwoman that you don’t have to give in to this side of you. They’re both struggling with joviality.
The good and the bad sides.
It’s really dramatic! It’s like… And then he thinks they died, and Penguin comes out of the water, falling into, presumably dead, and this music, the drama of it all – it’s for me it’s just…
I love it. That scene alone makes the film I would say my favorite film. It’s fantastic. Even though there are other scenes I don’t really like, I think they are not well done, not well choreographed, but fantastic, fantastic.
And I love Batman, okay. I have since, I don’t know, since I was 10-11 maybe. I started to watch this kind of films and love Batman. Always loved the cartoons, as long as I can remember.
And I’m interested in bats too, but it’s not..
Real bats, although I don’t often see them, but I did see them when I was younger. Lord of the rings, again - I love them.
All three. My favorite is the first, it’s lighter, they’re together, they’re friends. I’ve enjoyed it more.
Unfortunately the nature of the story of the third one, but it’s darker.
But they are all great, they’re fantastic. The Best Marigold Hotel – it’s a kind of drama comedy.
I never watched it. You need to tell me a little bit more about it.
It’s… There’s romance I think too. I know there’s romance. There are lots of really seasoned, older actors and actresses. Judy Dench, for example.
Really good. I think there are a lot of British actors too, which was a mix of accents. For me that… I enjoy hearing a mix of British accents in a film. Harry Potter I liked for that reason too. But it’s really good. I think it was really well written, the actors were all fantastic.
It’s just… Again, there’s just something about it, just hit me, you know, resonated. It’s quite funny. It’s also romantic, can be serious sometimes too. I love it. And I tell you what else – the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. Have you seen them?
Yes! I actually have! He’s such an interesting man! Such an interesting actor! He makes whichever character he plays, just so different. Interestingly different, not just different, interestingly different.
I think it’s not in your face different. I think he’s bit more Iron Man…
He kinda… How would you put it – is it ego? Egotistical? or is it too strong maybe.
I think to a certain extent. Maybe he’s got his ego, yes. No that he’s eccentric as a human being. So I think it comes through in his acting and how he prepares for his roles.
The second. If you ever watched… The first time I watched the second film, the scene on the train, and I don’t know if I should get spoilers or not , it’s not really a pot thing, not a huge thing. He’s dressed in drag, and I kinda don’t remember the lines or anything, but he meets Doctor Holmes, his assistant, respectively.
And just the whole scene when he turns up dressed in drag, and he’s behaving as if it’s normal. And he’s giving them instructions and the scene is fantastic cause there’s lots of action. But it’s just this whole seriousness while dressed in drag and for him it’s perfectly normal. It was so hilarious, I laughed my leg off. And it was great. I just rally enjoyed those films.
Well directed, great actors. Great films. What films did you like as a child?
Interestingly enough, before I went to school service, not giving my age, but before 1979, there was no television in South Africa. Actually, no. Let me rephrase. I think television arrived in South Africa in 1976 maybe.
My parents only bought a television in 1979 or thereabouts. Or 77. So before that we used to go the driving. I don’t know how many people know what a driving is. It’s where you literally drive, with your vehicle, you get a little microphone or a sound system that you attach to your window,
and you watch on this huge screen. The movie sound was playing in your car. And there wre versions where you could actually use your car’s radio. And tune into their…
Yes. And of course.. I was junior, I cannot remember what movies we were..
You can say you were too young.
was too young. So it’s too long ago. After that we never really had a great selection. South Africa was quite closed before 1990.
Did you get a lot of American films?
No. But we did get a lot of kung-fu or martial arts movies, where we watched them. Those ones where they made one lip movement and the sound that came was completely different. So we had a lot of those movies. I think if I have to talk about a favorite movie when I was younger,
probably not a child, but maybe more teenager, was the Freddie Krueger nightmare on Elm street movies. I love the horror genre! Horrors, thrillers, psychological thrillers. And it’s one of the first three of the.. I think there are 8 or 9 in an entire series. The first three were fantastic. And I spent many a sleepless nights after watching one of those movies.
Again… I try to avoid slasher films.
Yeah, it’s a bit more of a slasher film. Gory.
It’s a funny thing I watched Alien, other…
Yeah. It is gory, actually, but for me it’s okay when it’s a creature doing it, just not a bad.. Just something about slasher films that are too creepy for me.
I enjoyed them. I got a little bit tired after the 6th or 7th one.
As it might. You know they always go a little bit further than they should. But I can still remember the rhyme in the dreams that people would have about this man. One two he’s coming for you, three four lock your door, five six wear a crucifix, seven eight don’t be late. Nine ten he’s back again.
There was Buffy the vampire slayer in one of the episodes, something…
There is, with a reference to that. Very creepy. It was a reference to that.
I love Buffy the vampire…
I remember from my childhood. Probably the clearest would be that.
Yeah, okay. I had quite a lot of American television, and we still do. TVs now. Not a popular thing with young people, right. I watched the Gooneys, it’s kind of a… I don’t know like, twins, three teens.
Having an adventure. They’re a little bit rebellious too. A little naughty. And it’s extreme adventure, pirates and everything. But only you could imagine. I watched Beverly Hills cop. The guys specifically liked Beverly Hills cops, I think I especially liked Beverly Hills cops.
And it’s laughable. I guess you get tired after a while, but his laughter…
It was at the same time as the Police Academy movies, wasn’t it?
Yeah. I love those too, actually! My granddad, my dad’s dad, used to love watching them. And I got into them too a little bit too. Although I didn’t see all of them.
I didn’t see all of them. I don’t even remember the plots, but I do remember the movies. And some of the characters too.
It’s the characters that are the best.
The Police Academy films… Beverly Hills cops too, there’s this scene where he’s sidekick was a white guy, right? And they found a bazooka and he’s just reading the instructions and it’s, you know, it’s plain straight, but it’s so funny because he’s reading the instructions of this bazooka as if he doesn’t have a clue.
He’s holding it like a phone or something. And he presses this button and it shoots and it blows something up. It’s just the way it was played, it was quite funny. He’s not a mature guy at all. And he just blows up and kinda saves the day I think in the end.
Still good films. I like the music. So that was memorable for my childhood. I used to like McGuire but I don’t think there was ever a film I think.
I used to watch that, I remember that very clearly. Richard Madsen was the actor, I remember that clearly.
Have you ever re-watched it? It’s terrible!
I watched one or two episodes of some of his shows, I used to watch the 80s night rider. Oh my god, that would make you actually cringe, but he..
It was really really good.
Although I still think the 18 was still okay.
I think the 18 was still good. I mean, the movie was not bad. I mean the 18 movie that came out relatively recently.
I don’t know if it was fantastic either though.
I don’t think so, I think that’s probably why there wasn’t a sequel.
Do you know by the way – you mentioned a guy from South Africa. Do you know that Liam Neeson is from Northern Ireland?
I do. And interestingly enough for me Liam Neeson’s acting career has taken off quite late in life. And when he plays these very natural action roles in Taken…
I think it started with Taken and…
Which is a fantastic movie!
Not sure if it’s going up now anymore, but he was really really popular.
Very popular. They were a couple of those -Taken and Taken 2. I forget the names now, but he made quite a few action movies quite late in his career when usually the actor starts slowing down he’s sort of…
They somehow manage to find…
It was James Bond, no he was never James Bond, I’m lying.
No, he wasn’t. If only he were younger, that would be… For me, a Northern Irish James Bond…
I think he would’ve made a better James Bond than Daniel Craig.
Yeah, I do. I like the films. What was it? Casino Royale? The one where they have a scene, where they’re on the rooftop.
I think so. I don’t know, the Bond movies for me – just by the books and the description of James Bond – he should be this tall dark mysterious stranger, more like the Pierce Brosnan type character than Daniel Craig. I don’t know, he wasn’t very successful for me. It’s my opinion. For me he wasn’t very successful as Bond.
And Andrew Selbo – they talked about him, that he would image James Bond, but I think now they’ve missed the chance, he’s gone too far. And Craig’s doing another one. But we’ll see what happens. Who knows? Who will be… Maybe you will be the next Bond.
I think I put my acting career on hold for a bit.
Do you like superhero films?
Not all. Not all. But I have.. I must admit that the X-men movies I really do enjoy.
Even the old like 2000 ones?
Yes. I must admit I do enjoy them. Maybe because there’s such a variety of people in there.
Different abilities, different… Yeah. Quite enjoyed Deadpool, it’s just so dark and so bad at times, I can’t….
It’s actually quite close to comics I think. Although… Not exact, but I think it’s quite close to comics. And I think that’s part of why they are so popular, because people wanted it to be close to the comics.
Yeah. Absolutely. And people want to believe in the better things in life.
Have you ever read a comic book connected to a film?
I’ve read books connected to films, but not comics. Strangely enough, it’s the one thing I never really got into as a child. And I think your love for comics and comic books and those characters – I think your love for them is fostered when you’re young.
I enjoy watching them. So I’ve watched many movies later and vice versa, and most recent is actually IT, which is obviously Stephen King.
There’s gonna be a sequel.
Sequel is this year. I think a little bit later we can chat about remakes of movies and things like that, because there’s an original version of IT, which I loved.
I’ve seen it too. I’ve seen IT too.
I’ve also seen IT. IT one, not IT two yet. I don’t know, I don’t know what your opinion is about it, I find the movies often to be a bit dark compared to the book. If the movie is based on the book. Because sometimes they go the other way round – they release a book because the movie was there.
I was a little bit disappointed by the Hobbit. I don’t often read books connected with films. Cause I think if I watch the film, I don’t really wanna read it again unless, of course, the Lord of the Rings was an exception.
I read the Hobbit before there was ever any idea of the film. And I was disappointed with the ending, because I really felt the ending in the book. And in the film I didn’t feel it so much.
It’s still emotional, but not to the same extent. Let’s get down to issue that we might have or people might have with cinema, How has it changed?
If I think about those coming of age movies I mentioned earlier things like… It’s changed quite a lot – I understand the need for CGI. It has opened the scope of a type of movie you can make.
Absolutely. Much more creative and more imaginative, and things can actually take place somewhere that doesn’t exist. Because you can create it. However, I sometimes miss the realism of those movies which… It was shot on scene. You could see….
Hobbits and all kinds of things.
The trees and the dog, and things in the background were real. It was something real, someone real was walking there! It was a real house standing there.
Something more gritty about it.
Sometimes. Although if I think back of those movies, the acting was so scripted. You could see they were really saying their lines sometimes. So, I don’t know.
Specific examples? Can you think of any?
Oh my goodness. What did I watch recently where I thought…? Maybe not so great? Actually it was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which I still very much enjoy. And he’s quite natural, the main Ferris himself who was played by Matthew Broderick. And some of the supporting cast you could see…
You could see really, they were reciting their lines. And some of that I don’t find much these days because I think the movies sometimes are struck a bit more naturally. Improvised lines are not… as much maybe as it was back then. I’m not sure.
So there’s an absolute improvement in some cases.
I think so, I really do think so. The sci-fi and fantasy that we are watching – Lord of the Rings – prime example.
Even though the CGI, I mean when you re-watch them now, you can see the CGI is not as good as some really good recent films. I’ll tell you what I’ve noticed. And maybe this is just me, I don’t know. Films like the really popular action films, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stuff were like the big big films back in the…
Terminator, Predator. And all kinds of like Die Hard and all those kind of films – seemed to be like really super popular back in the 80s and 90s. And now it seems to me like it’s the superhero films is the thing.
That drags people into the cinema. Whereas back then it was the blockbusters with Arnie and Sylvester Stallone.
Yeah. Well things blowing up, we still have things blowing up.
But it’s now different. It’s more about the comic book characters now. And it’s what draws people into the cinema.
Do you think it is because people want to escape more? Because if I think about Die Hard – although it was farfetched, but a lot of it you thought – maybe this could actually happen.
There was a little bit of realism in understandably not entire movie, but a play can be project. So it was a little bit more actual.
I think that people that created these films and do create them, just tend to hit on a soft spot. They just got it right.
Maybe all of those characters, maybe we are those fans of comic books in the 70s and 80s, we are now grownups. And we want to see a grown up version of a comic book.
Maybe. Fan Batman after all.
I mean I mentioned. You are very welcome. What about remakes? We should mention. Are there too may?
I prefer not to watch remakes. As with music…
I cannot even think of one. IT is the only one I can think of now which I have watched and I didn’t enjoy. The remake of the movie. As with my music – a lot of 80s music is being remixed and reworked. I do not enjoy it.
Maybe because it was my favorite reference in 80s and the 90s. They are the things that create it, it made me who I am, it’s part of me. Maybe that’s why. I don’t know. What is your opinion on this?
I think that… Unless I see the trailer and I think it looks bad, I just look at the trailer. I will go and see the remake.
Purely based on whether the trailer is good or not. But yeah… Even I sometimes get tired of the idea of remake, remake, remake. I think it’s becoming like they’re playing on nostalgia, preying on nostalgia I think. Even things that to me don’t seem very long ago being remade.
So I think it can improve… How do you think Hollywood could improve? What can they do? What kind of films can they make that…?
I don’t know if it’s about the kind of films – I have to refer to Tim Burton again. I enjoy these movies where you can see the director has found the actors who work well in his movies. He understands what he is good at. He understands what his actors are good at, and he uses that, and he creates movies which are great. So…
There are some great directors out there.
Exactly. So I enjoy that when the movie is written well, the script is written well, the acting is done well. When the director knows what to do, when to do something strange and when not to do something strange.
Not just the plot twist for the sake of a plot twist.
And what’s your favorite line from a film? You’ve got any? Why are you thinking…? I like lots of lines of course, but ‘Get to the choppa’. Do you know?
From Predator. Get to the choppa! Don’t you know it?
Next time you watch Predator, look out for it.
Maybe. Mine is not so action driven. If I think about lines which I though quite fantastic, I have to refer back to Julia Roberts again, I’m sorry. In Notting Hill when she spoke to Hugh Grant and she said ‘I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love me’.
And for me it’s one of those – immediately I can see the whole scene. It’s one of those lines where I thought ‘it’s brilliant’, brilliantly acted, brilliantly written, just good.
Yeah. Good. Fantastic. Okay. That was our podcast on films. Thank you very much. So we talked about what we enjoy, our favorites. What kind of childhood we had.
Little bit of what is good and bad about films today. What we think can improve. And overall, we love films anyway. Regardless. So that was the craic about…