Watch This With Rick Ramos

On this episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I remember the great Harry Dean Stanton who passed away on September 15th at the age of 91. Stanton distinguished himself in an acting career that spanned over 50 years. He was truly a great presence on screen, exemplified by roles too numerous to name, but highlighted in his only starring role - Wim Wender's  incredible examination of a man who walks out of the desert in order to find his life once again, 1984's Paris, Texas written by the great Sam Shepard. We discuss this film, Repo Man, Pretty In Pink, The Godfather Part II, and Sophie Huber's 2013 biographical documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - an absolutely essential watch in order to understand this great artist.   Thanks for listening, and - as always - please direct your questions, comments, criticisms, and suggestions to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  

Direct download: HarryDean.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11am EST

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos I take a look at an exceptional film playing in theaters at this time, Matt Ruskin's Crown Heights. Detailing the life of Colin Warner who found himself wrongfully imprisoned for murder at the age of 18, this is a powerful true story, told beautifully.  With exceptional performances by Keith Stanfield as Colin Warner and Nnamdi Asomugha as Carl King, the best friend who would spend nearly twenty years fighting to prove his friend's innocence, this is a heartbreaking film with an importance so often missing from today's cinema. I found it incredibly moving and am happy to dedicate this episode of WatchThis to Crown Heights. As always, thanks for the continued support.  Questions, Suggestions, Problems, and Encouragement can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: CrownHeights.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EST

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss American Journalist Sebastian Junger and British Photojournalist Tim Heatherington's Restrepo and Korengal (which Junger would create on his own after Heatherington's death in 2011 while covering The Libyan Civil War).  Both films examine the experiences of soldiers fighting in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan - considered "the most dangerous place in the world". Take a listen and - hopefully - you will find some valuable insights in your understanding of this confusing and tragic time in our history.  Thanks for listening.  As always, we can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com for questions, comments, suggestions, and arguments.  

Direct download: Restrepo.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:25pm EST

Going solo this week. On this episode I take a look at the career of the great Robert Mitchum who would have been 100 years old on August 6th. A great actor who has been eclipsed by the likes of George C. Scott, James Dean, and Marlon Brando, Mitchum was the epitome of cool and hipness. A man of incredible natural talent, Mitchum exhibited this throughout his nearly 60 year career. On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos we talk Out of the Past, Pursued, Cape FearThe Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Yakuza, and - possibly his greatest achievement - Night of the Hunter.  Take a listen and let us know what you think . . . even if it is to give me hell for getting it out so late.  As always you can reach me at gondoramos@yahoo.com. A Million Thanks.  

Direct download: RobertMitchum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19am EST

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss the passing of an American Original, The Playwright Sam Shepard who passed away July 27th just a few months short of his 74th birthday.  I have to admit that I had been an admirer of Shepard's for quite some time without knowing a great deal about him. His passing led me on a tour of his work in front of the camera and behind the typewriter.  With that in mind we discuss his work as an actor (The Right Stuff, Fool For Love, BlackHawk Down, and many more) as well as his written work (Fool For Love, True West, Paris, Texas,) as well as his iconic stature as a symbol of The American Male.

Through looking at these films, plays, and the touching and - ultimately - heartbreaking documentary Shepard & Dark, we get an intense and sometimes frustrating examination of this man. The documentary Shepard & Dark is particularly enlightening in it's profile of a nearly five decade long friendship between Shepard the playwright and his best friend Johnny Dark, a hermetic writer who seems to be the polar opposite of Shepard in both attitude and professional desire. 

This was a bit of a look into the darkness for both of us.  We thank you for continuing on our journey. As always we can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Many Thanks & All Of Our Love.   

Direct download: SamShepardEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48am EST

So on this new episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I get a bit serious delving into the world of the judicial system, and specifically The Death Penalty. As always we take our cue from the cinema focusing on the works of Werner Herzog (2011's Into the Abyss), Lawrence Schiller (1983's The Executioner's Song), and Tim Robbins (1995's Dead Man Walking). It's a bit of a heavy talk, but difficult topics deserve hard conversations.  Take a listen and let us know what you think.  We can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com.  As always, thanks for the continued love and support.  

Direct download: TheDeathPenalty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am EST

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I tackle one of the greatest films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather.  Take a listen as we spend nearly three hours talking a ground-breaking piece of cinema. With incredible performances from Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Abe Vigoda, Michael Castellano . . . Christ, the list is too many to name. All that needs to be said is that these are two magnificent films which makes the last film such a disappointment. Ibrahim and I talk the greatness of the first two films and delve into the problems of the third. Take a listen and enjoy this examination of cinematic greatness.  As always, we thank you for your continued love and support. All questions and comments (good or bad) should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: TheGodfather.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24am EST

On episode #137 of WatchThis w/RickRamos I welcome back good friend - and frequent WatchThis collaborator - Mike Black so that we can talk the Decade that formed our earliest understanding of Cinema . . . The 1980's. I have said it in the past (and I stand by the statement) that the 1980's was a (mostly) artistically empty period for filmmaking, but what it did excel at was the elevation of The Action Film in a way that had never been seen before (and in this man's opinion, at least) has never been equaled. Where's the evidence . . ? You have to look no further than the works of John McTernan (Predator, Die Hard), James Cameron (The Terminator), Sylvester Stallone (The Rocky & Rambo series'), and other filmmakers too numerous to mention. Here we have the formation of a film language that would establish the brilliance of American action filmmaking. Take a listen and enjoy as Mike Black & I take a trip down Memory Lane to recall the films that formed our greatest childhood memories. Recorded Live at The House of Pies patio in Los Feliz, CA - you might want to stop in one day and say "Hello" to the staff.  As always, thanks for the love and continued support. Any and all questions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: 80sCinema.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:10pm EST

On this week's episode of Watch This w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I reflect on the world of professional wrestling, focusing our attention on the documentaries Beyond the Mat (Dir. Barry W. Blaustein, 1999) and The Resurrection of Jake The Snake (Dir. Steve Yu, 2015). Not necessarily great films, but films that give a fascinating and entertaining exploration into the behind the scenes going on's of this world wide phenomenon. We draw comparisons between the theatrics of the ring and it's relationship to politics (and, namely, The Trump Administration). We close out this episode with an examination of Darren Aaronofsky's beautifully realized portrait of Randy "The Ram" Robinson, 2008's The Wrestler.  With an incredible career-defining performance from Mickey Rourke this is a film that certainly needs to be seen again.

Take a listen and let us know what you think. We can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for the continued support. 

Direct download: TheWrestler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm EST

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I take it a bit easy, walking down memory lane, and talking about the movie influences that have brought us to this place. From Tower Records and The Warehouse, to Scorsese and The Faces of Death Series, Ibrahim & I remember the great movie memories of our lives. A little bit of a lighter episode, but one that came together rather nicely. Take a listen and let us know what you think.  As always we appreciate your continued support. Questions, Suggestions, Comments, and Problems can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: CinemaMemories.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:07pm EST