Watch This With Rick Ramos

Trying something a bit different with the podcast . . . this second episode of the week, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to answer a few questions about Cinema.  A little over twenty minutes of one guy asking another guy questions.  Take a listen and let us know what you think.  As always, Thanks for the Love & Support!

Direct download: Questions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm EDT

Going back to a favorite . . . a flick that that set off the Independent Movement of the 1990's, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994). This week Ibrahim & I talk about this groundbreaking movie and what it has meant to both Cinema and the Culture. There's not much else to write so just take a listen.

Twenty-four years is a long time to spend thinking about a film. With that in mind I think we've done a pretty good job breaking this one down.

Questions, Comments, Problems, Suggestions, & Support can be sent to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  As Always, Thanks & Love. 

Direct download: PulpFiction2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32am EDT

We're getting a bit personal on this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, as Ibrahim & I talk about a particularly important topic in our lives. In 1992 I stumbled on Michael Apted's Incident at Oglala - a film chronicling the late 70's persecution of The American Indian Movement and the railroading of Leonard Peltier in the deaths of two F.B.I. agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. This film lit a spark that has proven to be one of the most important cinematic experiences of my life. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to talk about this case.  In addition to this documentary, we take a look at Apted's fictional dramatization of many of these events with his Thunderheart (from the same year) starring Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, and an exceptional performance from Graham Greene. We pepper this episode with a look at the late Native American Spoken Word artist, John Trudell, in the documentary profile Trudell (2005) directed by Heather Rae. There's a lot of remembrance and emotion in this episode. Take a listen and let us know what you think - gondoramos@yahoo.com.  As always, Thanks & Love. 

Direct download: IncidentAtOglala_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to talk Gun Control. No doubt a difficult subject, we take a look at a few documentaries that examine this divisive issue. We look at Emil Chiaberi's 2010 documentary Murder By Proxy: How America Went Postal (AKA Going Postal). A heartfelt and thought-provoking examination of workplace violence and the people it has affected.  We also take a look at William Gazecki's Waco: Rules of Engagement, a film that looks at the mid-'90's struggle between the Branch Davidians and the ATF which resulted in death, controversy, and questionable governmental action. We finish with Michael Moore's 2001 Cannes Award winning documentary Bowling for Columbine which looks at the events of April 20th 1999 in which two "loner" high school students opened fire on their fellow classmates. Using this as a jumping off point, Moore goes onto examine the overpowering role of gun culture in the US. Not so much an examination of these films, but a thorough and (sometimes) frustrating discussion of a painful subject. Take a listen and let us know what you think - gondoramos@yahoo.com.  As always our thanks and appreciation. 

Direct download: GunControl.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:42am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk one of my favorite films, Clint Eastwood's 1992 Best Picture winning masterpiece, Unforgiven. Yeah, I've talked about this film in the past, but it's an entirely different thing when you sit down to discuss the same film with someone whom you respect and whose opinion you value. So this week we find ourselves sitting in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness reflecting on our pasts including the achievements and mistakes that have brought us to this place in our mutual lives. The beauty of cinema is what it makes us think about ourselves and this is a film that is overpowering in that regard. Watching it for the umpteenth time only reinforces that fact. To add to our understanding of this film we also take a look at Lee Sang-il's 2013 remake, Yurusarezaru Mono, starring the great Ken Watanabe. It is rare that a film remake can bring such depth and understanding to the original material, and also reinterpret it with a consciousness that takes into account the necessity of telling it's own story.  This was what we were facing and we hope that you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed recording it. As always, Questions, Comments, Problems, & Support can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Many Thanks! 

Direct download: Unforgiven_92__13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I tackle one of the great all-time musical comparisons. This week we look at the lives of The (So-Named) King of Rock 'N Roll, Elvis Aaron Presley and The (Equally Ridiculously Named) King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson.  When Ibrahim & I started thinking about the lives of these two incredible artists it became obvious that we would have to turn the microphone on and get our thoughts down. From their equally humble beginnings, incredibly swift and lightning-like rise, ground-breaking and revolutionary roles in popular music, and - ultimately - tragic, drug-induced deaths, it would be difficult to ignore the similarities. To get this episode down we take a look at Kenny Ortega's This Is It, chronicling Michael Jackson's rehearsals for his final concert tour, Jackson's numerous ground-breaking videos, as well as Elvis' '68 Comeback Concert, Elvis Aloha From Hawaii, and Don Coscarelli's Bubba-Ho-Tep. We hope you find this talk interesting.  Thanks for the love and continued support. Questions, Problems, Suggestions, and Good Words can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Thanks! 

Direct download: ElvisMichael.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I take a look at The Game . . . specifically The Hustling Game of The American Pimp.  For this we take a look at Jerry Schatzberg's Street Smart, featuring Christopher Reeve and phenomenal performances by Kathy Baker and (in one of his last villainous roles) Morgan Freeman as Leo "Fast Black" Smalls. In order to do this subject right we have to focus on non-fiction and we were lucky to find a handful of great documentaries, starting with Nick Broomfield's Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, The Hughes' Bros. American Pimp, and Jorge Hinojosa's Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp. Three wildly different takes on this controversial and polarizing subject.  Take a listen and let us know what you think.  Questions, Comments, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  As always, thanks for your continued love and support. 

Direct download: Pimpin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

Ibrahim & I have come to the end of our journey to The Crossroads. On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos we wrap up our discussion of this great American Music. We discuss the music's growth and transformation from a rural Delta sound to an industrial Chicago worldwide force. We focus on the change in the music, but we also look at individual artists including Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, but also lesser known artists such as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and "Screamin'" Jay Hawkins. We talk Elvis Presley - and there's a hell of a lot to be said there. Of course we talk the man who captured my fascination and drew me into The Blues . . . The Boogie Man, Mr. John Lee Hooker.  These three episodes - these 6 hours - mean the world to us. We had a great time preparing for this episode and an even better time recording it. We hope you enjoy it as well. As always, thanks for the love and continued support. Comments, Support, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Thanks!

Direct download: TheBluesIII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16am EDT

This week on WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our walk through the woods.  Starting with Robert Johnson we take a look at the musical construction of The Blues including the lyrical pattern of the music as well as the arrangements that would form and dictate the future of Rock & Roll, Soul, Funk, and most popular music. We continue with our understanding and passion for this great American music, as well as our feelings concerning the future of this music.  

Thanks for your continued support. Questions, Comments, Problems, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Many Thanks and All of Our Love!  

Direct download: TheBluesII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42am EDT

It doesn't get a whole hell of a lot more personal than this . . . On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Rick and Ibrahim sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss The Greatest Music this country has ever produced (that's an opinion, but it happens to be the truth). Take a listen as we go down the rabbit hole of one of our greatest passions.  We discuss the origins of The Blues - The African Influence, Slavery, Call & Response, Prison Chain Gangs, The Mississippi Delta, the mass emigration to Chicago and the surrounding Northern cities, and - of course - Selling One's Soul.  We take a look at The 7-Part, Martin Scorsese produced PBS series The Blues as well as numerous literary and non-fiction works that detail the lives of Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and more.  A true labor of love that spans three episodes and slightly over 6 hours, we have a lot to say and hope you are interested in taking this ride with us. As always we thank you for your continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Issues, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com - Thanks & Love. 

Direct download: The_Blues_Part_I.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08am EDT