On the 23rd episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host David Quinones and I actually do our first ever cross-over episode with our other show Bird Road Podcast by covering the politically charged Sorry To Bother You. The story centers on a man in an alternate near future (played by Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield) who discovers he has a special gift that will lead to a fast rise up the corporate ladder at his telemarketing job. As his career begins to take off, his friends begin to organize a protest against the corporation, and the anti-capitalism messages mix with plenty of weird dystopian imagery in this wild movie from first time writer/director Boots Riley. Puzzle pieces include the work of Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry, Office Space, They Live and Dope.
Piecing It Together
An All Points West Podcast
On the 22nd episode of Piecing It Together, first time co-host Hunter Farris and I talk about Ant-Man & The Wasp, the Marvel action-adventure comedy frequently described as a lightweight side piece to the overarching Marvel Cinematic Universe story that both of us quite frankly like more than the rest of the series. Directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd, Michael Pena, Evangeline Lily and Michael Douglas, the Ant-Man series mixes everything you love about superhero movies with more laughs, more fun and more crazy sci-fi tech. Puzzle pieces include the Mission Impossible series, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the Harold & Kumar series.
On the 1st episode of a special episode series called Breaking It Apart, co-host Kris Krainock and I take a look not at a new movie and what movies inspired it, but at a classic movie and what movies were inspired BY it… And the first one we’re doing is the cult classic Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski. The Dude. Walter. Donny. The Jesus. The Nihilists. Bunny. So many classic characters in such a beautifully complicated yet ridiculous story that blends dark comedy, modern film noir and stoners. The Big Lebowski has inspired countless films, and on this first Breaking It Apart special episode, we get into a bunch of them and what makes this film and the Coen Brothers themselves so special. Puzzle pieces include The Nice Guys, Observe and Report, Brick and In Bruges.
On the 21st episode of Piecing It Together, first time co-host Brian Garth and I talk about the 6th entry in the long running and apparently never slowing down action spy series Mission Impossible Fallout. Tom Cruise, now 56, still feels the need to do all kinds of insane, death defying stunts while saving the world, and for the first time in the series, a writer/director returns for a second installment. Christopher McQuarrie who wrote and directed the previous installment is back to finish the story he started in Rogue Nation… As well as get Tom Cruise to do a bunch of crazy stuff. Puzzle pieces include the previous Mission Impossible films, Uncharted, The Dark Knight and The Fast & The Furious series.
On the 20th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host TJ Kross and I discuss the Uncharted Live Action Fan Film. Uncharted is based on the hit video-game series, one that always made sense for a film but every time Hollywood started trying to get one off the ground it would lose momentum, directors or actors and go back to the drawing board. All the while, fans asked for the actor Nathan Fillion to play the role of Nathan Drake, and somehow, director Allan Ungar finally made it happen. At 15 minutes, this fan film is unlike anything we’ve ever covered on the show before, but it still made for a great conversation with plenty of other movie (and video-game) inspirations to talk about. Puzzle pieces include Tomb Raider, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Da Vinci Code and Mission Impossible.
On the 19th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host Kris Krainock and I discuss Skyscraper, the new action movie from The Rock that definitely doesn’t have Die Hard as a puzzle piece. Just kidding, of course it does, it’s the first one we discuss, but the movie absolutely wears its inspirations on its sleeve with The Rock needing to find a way to scale and enter a burning super-tower to rescue his family from terrorists. It’s ridiculous, it’s fun (but maybe not as fun as we’d have liked), and it made for a great conversation about action movies in general. Puzzle pieces (other than Die Hard) include The Dark Knight, King Kong, The Rock and True Lies.
On the 18th episode of Piecing It Together, co-host Chad Clinton Freeman and I discuss In Memory Of, a crazy new independent film from the mind of Eric Stanze. Chad brought this movie to the show because as a connoisseur of all things insane independent cinema (he did create the Pollygrind Film Festival after all), Chad was a fan of Eric Stanze’s previous films and wanted to check this one out. I’m glad he did because it’s a wild movie and was a really fun one to talk about. Puzzle pieces include The Evil Dead, Easy Rider, Natural Born Killers and Requiem For A Dream.
On this special episode of Piecing It Together, I decided to share Episode 33 of my other podcast, Bird Road. While Bird Road is normally a show about news, politics and comedy that I do with my best friend Q, sometimes we dig into culture and end up talking movies, and on Episode 33, we talked almost entirely about movies. First we interviewed Cristian Ponce, the creator of Frecuencia Kirlian aka Ghost Radio, a really cool animated web series that’s influenced by things such as John Carpenter, The X Files and Frank Miller. After the interview, Q and I talk about my favorite movies of the year so far, as well as run down the list of some of the most acclaimed movies of the year.
On the 17th episode of Piecing It Together, co-host Chad Clinton Freeman and I discuss Sicario: Day of The Soldado. As tensions mount at the Mexico / Texas border, the US Government decides to treat the Mexican cartels as terrorists allowing them to get extra dirty. Along the way we sort of lose the point of the first Sicario… As well as that absolute modern classic’s main star, director, cinematographer and composer… But we still have Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro playing bad-asses and a script from Taylor Sheridan! Puzzle pieces include No Country For Old Men, Children of Men, Desierto and Desperado.
The first blog post on the Piecing It Together website seemed like an appropriate place for me to post my annual half way through the year Best of the year listing. This will also be a test to make sure I’m setup properly for blog posts and it doesn’t try to send this out as some kind of weird podcast episode haha.
Anyway, It’s July 1st… And that means we’re half way through 2018. My movie ranking list will undoubtedly change throughout the rest of the year as there’s plenty of great movies on the horizon, and there’s plenty of movies from earlier in the year that I didn’t get a chance to catch… But as of right now, this is how everything ranks.