Watch This With Rick Ramos

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining - Is a Scare Ever Really Just a Scare? 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk one of the great films of Modern Horror Cinema - Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining (1980). It's important to recognize Stephen King's role in this film. So often Kubrick is given sole credit for all that is on screen. Even if King's dissatisfaction with the film has been incredibly vocal through the years, we have to discuss what his original creation means to the final product. Without a doubt it's an incredible film and a great deal of this is due to Kubrick's vision, but also the violent, intense, and captivating performance of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, the innocence of Danny Lloyd, a beautifully nuanced Scatman Crothers, and a pained and painful performance by Shelley Duvall that can only be called soul-draining. Take a listen as Mr. Chavez and I look back on this classic of paranoia and terror. We also spend time discussing Rodney Ascher's strange, warped, and confused Room 237 (2012). The less said, the better. Take a listen . . . it makes for an interesting conversation.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Direct download: TheShining.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

A Modern-Day Ghost Story - John Carpenter's: The Fog

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I return to one of the great filmmakers of the 70's & 80's and a Master of the Horror Genre . . . John Carpenter's The Fog. This is a film that neither of your reviewers had seen before this episode. With the power of Carpenter's surrounding filmography, there are certainly expectations to be met. Some of these are achieved and some of them are not. Take a listen as Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss what works, what doesn't work, and what this film means to the Horror Genre.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Thanks For Your Continued Love & Support.

Direct download: TheFog.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The Nostalgia of Scares - George A. Romero & Stephen King Come Together For Creepshow

On this first episode of October, Mr. Chavez & I celebrate the Halloween season by looking back at a classic of our mutual childhoods . . . 1982's Horror Anthology, Creephshow. A Dream Team collaboration between two of the biggest names in Horror - From the Page: Stephen King; From the Screen: George A. Romero. Creepshow - Five Distinctive Vignettes, with some popular faces in exciting, stomach-churning, and laugh-out-loud stories of greed, family strife, egomania, revenge, and death. Happy October All. We're looking forward to a great time. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our thanks For Your Continued Love & Support.

Direct download: Creepshow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Lies & Paranoia/Fact & Conspiracy: 9/11 and the Mysteries of Truth

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Mr. Chavez and I sit down to continue discussing the wave of documentaries that flooded social media after the September 11th Attacks. On this episode we look at documentaries that examine the attacks from multiple societal angles and discuss their virtues and faults. We profile Daniel Avery's Loose Change (2005), Anthony J. Hilder's The Greatest Lie Ever Sold (possibly 2004), and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). Take a listen and hear the two of us debate the merits and problems with each of these films as well as the far-reaching (and still controversial) events of September 11, 2001.

Thanks for your continued support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: 911_Documentaries.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

A Master is Gone - Remembering Michael Chapman (November 21, 1935 - September 20, 2020)

The great cinematographer Michael Chapman has passed away at the age of 84. Join me on this solo episode where I pay tribute to the man who lensed Hal Ashby's The Last Detail (1973), Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Carl Reiner's Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) & The Man with Two Brains (1983), and Bill Murray & Howard Franklin's Quick Change (1990), and his last film Gábor Csupó's Bridge to Terabithia (2007). Nominated for The Academy Award twice -his second nomination in 1993 for Andrew Davis' The Fugitive (1993), but the two films he is best known for are the Martin Scorsese directed masterpieces Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980) - for which he received his first nomination. He also directed a half a dozen films including the Tom Cruise starring All the Right Moves (1983) and Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). He was truly an exceptional artist and although he had retired in 2007 his passing is a loss to the artistry of cinema.

Thank you for your continued patience, love, and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: MichaelChapman.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:42pm EDT

When It All Changed - Remembering September 11th - WatchThis W/RickRamos

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the 19 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks which took the lives of nearly 3,000 people. We give our own recollections of that day as well as discuss the movies that depict these events and were inspired by that day. We discuss Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Spike Lee's 25th Hour, and Paul Greengrass' United 93. Take a listen as we remember this horrible day.

Thank you for your continued support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: WorldTradeCenter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EDT

Evil Hides in Plain Sight - Tim Roth's The War Zone

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, I welcome Mr. Chavez back to the podcast to discuss one of the most unjustly overlooked films of the 1990's - TimRoth's look at a family slowly disintegrating. Featuring a cast led by Ray Winston as Dad, Tilda Swinton as Mum, and Lara Belmont and Freddie Cunlieffe as their teenage kids. We can't say more about this film without giving away too much. So, take a chance on one of the best films that too few audiences have seen.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued support.

Direct download: TheWarZone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13am EDT

Painting with Light - The Art of John Alton

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I go solo to talk one of the greatest cinematographers the industry has ever known - John Alton. Looking at three of his classic Noir films- T-Men (1947), and Raw Deal & He Walked By Night (Both 1948), I break down what is truly great about Film Noir. The magic of smoke, fog, shadows, and - especially - Black & White photography to create a world of tension, fear, and surprise.

I had a great time talking about this. Take a listen and let me know what you think - gondoramos@yahoo.com

As always, my thanks & appreciation for your continued support.

Direct download: JohnAlton.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:54pm EDT

"It's like weighing air . . ." - Wayne Wang & Paul Auster's Smoke & Blue in the Face

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a forgotten classic of 90's Independent Cinema, Director Wayne Wang and Writer and Co-Director, Paul Auster's Smoke - a beautifully nuanced look at the inhabitants of a Brooklyn neighborhood and the cigar shop that so many of them congregate. With a great lead performance from Harvey Keitel and a supporting cast including William Hurt, Harold Perrineau Jr., Giancarlo Esposito, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd, and Forrest Whitaker, Smoke is a great showcase for this group of eclectic actors. While Smoke was finishing production, Wang and Auster realized that they had gold with outtakes and additional scenes the actors had improvised. Under budget and schedule, the directors went to Miramax and were given the funds for an additional five days to shoot Blue in the Face, a fun and lively film that continues the previous story and expands the world of the characters. Both films are wonderful gems of 90's cinema. Take a listen to this fun and interesting conversation.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Thanks.

Direct download: SmokeBlueInTheFace.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:41am EDT

The Power of Soul - Alan Parker's The Commitments

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I go solo to remember the late English filmmaker Alan Parker who passed away this July 31st at the age of 76. With a filmmaking career that begin in the early 1970's, Parker would be a force in cinema for nearly a quarter of a century. He created such exemplary films as Bugsy Malone (1976), Midnight Express (1978), Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988), among others. This week WatchThis focuses on his 1991 Muscial look at the Dublin working class, The Commitments based on the short novel by Roddy Doyle. This is a fantastic film. Although the episode starts as a remembrance and celebration of the late filmmaker, it quickly becomes an argument for the power and drive that film can inspire. If you haven't seen this film you owe it to yourself to do so. Hopefully, my endorsement will help lead you in that direction.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed at gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks.

Direct download: IrishSoul.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:49am EDT

Coffee & Cigarettes & Conversation: Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes (1986 - 2004)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss That Poet of Independent Cinema Jim Jarmusch. In 1986 Jarmusch began shooting a series of short films that would ultimately evolve into eleven films all centered around the cultural staple of Coffee & Cigarettes. Featuring Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Jack & Meg White, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Reneé French, Cinqué & Joie Lee, Steve Buscemi, The RZA & The Gza, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Iggy Pop, and Tom Waits, among others. A slow, contemplative, often-hilarious series of shorts, Jarmusch stands as one of the most important artists in the history of cinema. Take a listen as we discuss Jarmusch, his films, and the culture of coffee and cigarettes. Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

Direct download: CigarettesCoffee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Always The Last to Know: Gene Hackman as Harry Moseby in Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975)

Take a listen as Rick Ramos flies solo to talk Gene Hackman in Arthur Penn's classic Neo-Noir Thriller Night Moves (1975). A bravado showcase for Gene Hackman's subtlety. It is exactly this type of performance that has flown Hackman under the radar of great actors for so many decades. Never given the recognition of his 70's era colleagues such as DeNiro, Pacino, and Hoffman, Hackman gives a nuanced and subtle performance that lets audiences and film lovers know why he was one of the best actors in the latter half of cinema's history. Take a listen as I discuss this underseen 1970's gem from director Arthur Penn.

As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued love and support.

Direct download: NightMovesHackman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

My Dark Places - Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place (1950)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, I go solo to give my opinions on Nicholas Ray's touching and tragic In a Lonely Place (1950) with a character-defining performance by the iconic Humprhey Bogart. With a supporting performance from Academy Award winning actress Gloria Grahame (The Bold & the Beautiful - Brilliant!), Ray's film is a telling look into the world of Hollywood and the darkness and (sometimes) hopelessness of the artist. Take a listen. The episode covers what the critics consider a "noir" but I take issue with that categorizing. I also go over how I'm handling the quarantining - books, series, and movies that I'm watching during these trying times. Take a listen . . . It's a lot of fun! 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks.

Direct download: InALonelyPlace.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Nineteen-Eighty-Four & A Half:  Terry Gilliam's Brazil 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Terry Gilliam's masterful take on Totalitarian Rule and Orwellian Dystopia in 1985's Brazil. Featuring a great lead role by character actor Jonathan Pryce and a wonderful supporting cast including: Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, Charles McKeown, Kim Greist, Ian Holm, Peter Vaughn, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, and Robert DeNiro (in one of his earliest cameo performances). From the struggles in getting it made, the brilliance of what was created, and the subsequent attempts by Universal Studios (specifically President & CEO, Sid Sheinberg) to wrestle the film from Gilliam and shape it into a more palatable and audience-friendly product. 

This was a great discussion between someone who loves the film and has seen it numerous times and someone who is viewing it for the very first time. Take a listen and let us know if you have us much fun listening as we had in discussing it. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Love & Thanks. 

Direct download: Brazil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

Addio Maestro:

Ennio Morricone (November 10, 1928 - July 06, 2020)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk the passing of a giant in the world of cinema - Ennio Morricone. From his genre-defining work with Italian director Sergio Leone in A Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly, as well as Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America. Noted for his work with Brian DePalma (Casualties of War and The Untouchables) and his Oscar-winning score for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight as well, it is with regret that we say goodbye to one of the greats, but it's a hell of a time remembering what he has gifted us over nearly 70 years.

We hope that you enjoy this episode. Thank you for your continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: EnnioMorricone.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:54am EDT

"We Gotta Eat Away At Ourselves" - Bad Lieutenant & Uncut Gems

This week on WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I jump back into The Darkness with a look at Excess and Addiction in two great performances, Harvey Keitel playing the titular character in Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992) and Adam Sandler in The Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems (2019). Two of the most powerful depictions of addiction and self-hatred ever committed to celluloid. Each film approaches the subject from a different angle, but the passion, truth, and brutality is there as warning. It was a pleasure to sit down and revisit these honest, ugly, and awe-inspiring performances in two films that are a rarity of truth in modern cinema. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Thanks for the continued love and support.

 

Direct download: AddictionExcess.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

"If it bleeds . . . we can kill it." - The Predator Saga

On this episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I have a fun time sitting down to discuss one of the great movie monsters in cinema history. - Predator. After a rocky start (replacing Jean Claude Van Damme in a rubber suit) the great Stan Winston was given the opportunity to create a classic of make-up and animatronics. A character that has spanned nearly three decades (sourced from a legendary short story by Richard Connell - The Most Dangerous Game), John McTiernan's original film (1987), it's Stephen Hopkins sequel  (1990), and the Robert Rodriguez produced/Nimród Antal directed re-boot (2010). We skip the Aliens crossovers films as well as Shane Black's 2018 sequel to focus on the three best films (at least we believe) and focus on the mythology of the story as well as the success and importance in modern monster, sci-fi cinema. Take a listen . . . it's a fun discussion.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Love & Thanks.

Direct download: PredatorFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

"Have Fun Stormin' The Castle." - The Beauty, Humor, & Magic of Rob Reiner's

The Princess Bride

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk one of the great fantasy/adventure/comedies in all of cinema (and certainly the best of the 1980's) - Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (1987). A film that displays romance, comedy, action,  a princess (Robin Wright), an over-confident genius (Wallace Shawn), a drunken Spanish swordsman (Mandy Patinkin), a rhyming giant (André the Giant), an evil prince (Chris Sarandon), his trusted and sadistic right hand (Christopher Guest), a miracle worker and his wife (Billy Crystal & Carol Kane), an impressive clergyman (Peter Cook), a grandfather (Peter Falk), grandson (Fred Savage), and a stable boy turned pirate and hero (Cary Elwes). That's a lot. Take a listen as we remember this great family adventure.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our thanks for your continued love and support.

Direct download: ThePrincessBride.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same - John Carpenter's Escape From New York/Escape From LA

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a favorite - "Snake" Plissken in John Carpenter's Escape From New York (1981) & Escape From LA. A classic action hero, Kurt Russell and Carpenter (with co-writer Nick Castle) created one of the greatest cinema has ever known. This week take a look at the lasting power of "Snake".

This was a fun conversation, take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

Direct download: Snake.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:43am EDT

Black Man's Burden: The Vietnam War - A Spike Lee Joint

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I dive into Netflix to look at Spike Lee's newest - Da 5 Bloods. Featuring Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock, Norm Lewis, Jean Reno, Jonathan Majors, with Chadwick Boseman, and an Oscar caliber Delroy Lindo. One of only two films that we can think of that looks at the African-American experience during the Vietnam War, we focus on Lee's new film as well as The Hughes Brothers sophomore effort Dead Presidents (1995). Racism, class issues, and the psychological scars of an immoral war . . . a whole lot of good conversation.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued love and support.

Direct download: Da5Bloods.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40am EDT

This is America - Los Angeles Burns: 1965/1992/2020

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the current social and political climate as well as how it's only more of the same. To do this right we take a look at two documentaries L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later (2017) & LA '92 (2013). From a narrative vantage we discuss Ron Shelton's Dark Blue (2002) starring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, Scott Speedman, Michael Michelle, and Brendan Gleeson. Each film approaches the material in a different way and gives powerful insight into the drama of the uprising. We look at these films with the hope of understanding the current political and social climate. Take a listen. We hope that you walk away with another perspective, one which helps with your understanding.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Thanks For Your Continued Love & Support.

Direct download: Uprising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14am EDT

Nobody Loses All The Time: Pain, Suffering, Purpose, & Mexico - Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Ibrahim & I are thrilled to showcase Sam Peckinpah's most personal film (and the only one he claims was released as intended), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). A painfully honest depiction of an American ex-patriot living in Mexico who is given one last chance to get ahead. In the role of his career - and one of the only films in which he was cast as a romantic lead - the great character actor Warren Oates gives his most naked and beautiful performance. Alongside Mexican actress Isela Vega as Elita, Robert Webber and Gig Young as hitmen, Kris Kristofferson, and the great Mexican actor/director Emilio Fernandez, Oates shines as Bennie in a role modeled, almost embarrassingly on director Peckinpah. The less said the better. If you're a fan of Peckinpah than you owe it to yourself to watch his most personal film.

Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: AlfredoGarcia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08am EDT

Weep and You Weep Alone - Park Chan-wook & Spike Lee's Oldboy (2003/2013)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a film that did much to establish South Korea as a major force in International Filmmaking, Park Chan-wook's 2003 paranoia-riddled Oldboy. One of the earliest films to establish South Korea cinema, Oldboy has only grown in it's importance. Park's look at a man who is imprisoned for 15 years without any knowledge of his crime or who he has wronged takes elements of Hitchcock and reinvents them into a modern and disturbing story.

With the financial and critical success of Park's film, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood would attempt a re-imagining. For years Spike Lee's 2013 take on the material would be derided, however it is the opinion of these two critics that Lee (although not completely successful) has made an interesting and challenging film that is not entirely deserving of the criticism that has been heaped on it. Take a listen and formulate your own opinion.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Thanks.

Direct download: Oldboy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT

Can You Dig It? -

The Warriors: Walter Hill's Exhaustive Look at Youth Culture

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Mr. Chavez & I take a look at one of the great "Cult" Films of the 1970s - Walter Hill's imagining of Xenophon's Anabasis (look it up). Hill has been a favorite of mine for some time. It's a pleasure to dive into his filmography - Hard Times, 48 Hours, Southern Comfort, The Long Riders. Hill has been one of the great figures in American Action Cinema. His work has been criminally-neglected in critical circles. It's time for that to change. Ibrahim & I are excited to continue our look into cult, midnight, and underground cinema. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Thanks.

 

 

Direct download: TheWarriors.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

More Human Than Human - The Legacy of Robocop

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Paul Verhoeven's 1987 Action-Satire Classic, Robocop as well as it's 2014 remake (from director José Padilha). It's a fun discussion that breaks down what works beautifully in one film and fails miserably in the other. We also discuss the passing of Rock 'N Roll Architect and Legend Richad Penniman, better known as Little Richard. We've got a lot to say. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

 

Direct download: Robocop.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Closing the Loop: Straw Diagrams, The Headaches of Time Travel, & The Understanding of the Self - Rian Johnson's Looper (2012)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk one of the best films of the 2010's - Rian Johnson's Sci-Fi, Existential Classic Looper. With an incredible cast and standout performances from Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, and a never better Bruce Willis, Looper is the rare mainstream popular film with ideas and much grander themes. It was a pleasure to sit down and talk Johnson's film, time travel, writing the future, and understanding the individuals' purpose.

Take a listen, we think you'll enjoy it. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

Direct download: Looper.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:52pm EDT

The Watermelon Factor: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and the Making of a Cult Classic

We continue our journey into "cult" films. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a film that we - probably - should have seen years ago. W.D. Richter's 1984 Cult Classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Featuring an all star cast of 1980s B-Movie stars including Christopher Lloyd, Ellen Barkin, Vincent Schiavelli, Dan Hedaya, Carl Lumbly, Pepe Serna, and headlined by Buckaroo Banzai himself, Peter Weller this is certainly a strange film that has grown in fan appreciation since being buried by the studios in 1984. There are a hell of a lot of interesting things going on in this film (in particular John Lithgow's wild, over-the-top performance), however so much of it just misses the mark for these two reviewers. But - as with all things - we go into the screening with open minds and good attitudes. There are going to be those who love this film and take issue with our opinions, but they are honest, real, and well-considered. Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always, we can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions. Many Thanks!

 

Direct download: BuckarooBanzai.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Hiding in Plain Sight: Jack Sholder's

The Hidden

From time to time you get the chance to uncover a hidden gem. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I get to do exactly that. Showcasing 1987's Jack Sholder directed The Hidden, we take a look at a film that many people are unfamiliar with, however for those who have seen it, it is an exceptionally admired and well-appreciated movie. Featuring Michael Nouri and a young Kyle MacLachlan, The Hidden is a film that is "better than it has any right to be" and a testament to good story-telling and inventive filmmaking propelling a standard story. Take a listen as we look back at this forgotten 80's gem, and count the number of noted character actors that pop up in this 80's B-Movie Classic. And don't worry, this is one of the few times when we concern ourselves with spoilers.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our continued Love & Thanks.

Direct download: TheHidden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

An Unforgiving Rain - The Return of the Living Dead

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I re-visit the Zombie genre with a look at Dan O'Bannon's 1985 cult classic, The Return of the Living Dead. The World is in distress, what better way to fill your days than examining how so many others have struggled to survive. We talk zombies, 80's Schlock, the early days of cable television, and the passing of Max Von Sydow. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for your continued love & support.

Direct download: ReturnLivingDead.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:26pm EDT

10 Films to Get You Through These Hard Times - 

These are difficult times, no doubt. With so much doom and gloom it may be time to think about pulling ourselves away from so much of the world. This new episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos is designed to give you a li'l bit of help with that. This week I fly solo to give you 10 picks for films that I have seen any number of times, but which - simply - get better and better. Some may be to your liking. Some you may hate. But hopefully through the episode you will rediscover something that you don't remember too well or are unfamiliar with and will find a new classic for your collection.

We do what we can. Take a listen. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: 10Films.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:32am EDT

Zombie Class War: Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim double down on our Pandemic Theme, combining pandemics with a Zombie Apocalypse showcased in South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan. This is a film that has received widespread critical and box office success since its release in 2016. Incredibly well-made, with beautiful cinematography, and great acting, Train to Busan deserves the acclaim it has received. Take a listen and let us know if you agree with our assessments. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: TraintoBusan.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:11am EDT

The Troubling Nature of Memory - Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys & Chris Marker's La Jetée

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I are determined to continue with this labor of love. This week we continue our examination of Pandemics through an examination of Terry Gilliam's 1996 Classic 12 Monkeys and it's inspiration Chris Marker's La Jétte. Both of these films have stood the test of time and are more relevant today than ever before. With great performances by Bruce Willis as the time-traveling, James Cole, Madeline Stowe as his doctor, and Academy Award nominated Brad Pitt, this was a welcome hit for the ever-production troubled Terry Gilliam.

Chris Marker's film is world renowned, however too few people have seen it. We hope that with this episode you are inspired to seek it out. It truly is an amazing work. 

If you have any Questions, Comments, Complaints, or Suggestions please direct them to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: 12Monkeys.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38am EDT

The Emperor Paints - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

With the world staring into an unforeseeable future, I'm going solo with this episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos. This week I change the format a bit so that we can look at individual films until we can figure out a way to bring Mr. Chavez back into The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness. This week I take a look at Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990), a film that - over time - has grown in it's relevance and beauty. After the triumph of KagemushaRan, the great director once again found himself unable to obtain funding. Seeking help from foreign investors (including Steven Spielberg), Kurosawa was finally able to realize this film that would capture the breadth and power of his nearly 80 years. Sit back and listen as I go into detail and what this film has meant to me as well as audiences across the world.

Thank you for your continued love and support. As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks! 

 

Direct download: KurosawaDreams.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:51am EDT

Contagion & Outbreak: The Pandemic Films of Steven Soderbergh & Wolfgang Petersen

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the ongoing CoronaVirus Pandemic and the films that have preceded it including Wolfgang Petersen's Outbreak (1995) and Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (2011). Two films with radically different approaches - one is an embarrassment of the big-budget action genre, the other a brutal and frightening look at the fragile nature of humanity - both our societal structure and our physical frailty. Take a listen as we discuss these two films and how they are mirroring the world we are living in.

Thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: Pandemic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45am EDT

Repetition & Wind -

Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky's

The Turin Horse

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a widely-praised and critically-heralded film. From directors Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, The Turin Horse focuses - not on morality - but rather the trials and repetition of daily life. Although beautiful to look at, this has been the most divisive film in the WatchThis canon. Ibrahim & I are at violent opposition to one anothers' view. However this opposition brings with it a deeper questioning of art and what constitutes great, average, mediocre, and - even - bad cinema. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thank You for your continued love and support. 

Direct download: TurinHorse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56am EDT

"Tell the Truth" -

Dax, Van Gogh, Shields, Tatum, & Spartacus: The Many & Varied Truths of Kirk Douglas (12/09/16 - 02/05/20)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the career of the last great Hollywood star, Kirk Douglas. Through early supporting roles in such classics as Out of the Past (1947) and graduation to starring roles in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Paths of Glory (1957), Douglas quickly rose to the top of the most popular and respected actors in Hollywood. Probably best known for 1960's Stanley Kubrick directed Spartacus, these reviewers find ourselves drawn to Billy Wilder's 1951 classic Ace in the Hole - a film that would foresee the rise of sensationalistic media and news reporting, and would showcase Douglas' greatest performance. Today we say goodbye to (damn near) the last of Hollywood's Golden Era Stars. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for your continued support. 

Direct download: KirkDouglas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

A Truthful Love - The Power of Cassavetes, Rowland, & Falk - A Woman Under the Influence

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Cassavetes' Masterpiece, A Woman Under the Influence featuring Gena Rowlands in one of the greatest performances ever committed to film. Cinemas are filled with dramas, comedies, action, and romance - Cassavetes' film is funny, violent, painful, and bleeding love. With incredible performances from Rowlands and Peter Falk as her equally unhinged husband, A Woman Under the Influence is a criminal underseen gem of the 1970s. It is our pleasure to sit down and discuss this painful and beautifully realized motion picture. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: A_Woman_Under_the_Influence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:16am EDT

Another Go 'Round - The 2020 Academy Awards 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to - once again - discuss our predictions, choices, and problems with the Academy Awards. The nominations are all in and we are ready for the arguments that will come out of this annual pointlessness (we actually do have a good time of it). Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our Continued Thanks. 

 

Direct download: Oscars2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57pm EDT

You Must Remember This . . .

The Continuing Power of Casablanca 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a film, widely considered on of the greatest ever made, Michael Curtiz's 1942 classic of Love, Espionage, & Resistance in a troubled and dangerous world, Casablanca. Focusing on the heartbroken and cynical American ex-patriate, Rick Blaine, Casablanca has remained an American classic for nearly eight decades. A very basic story of love and cynicism set in a Nazi-occupied foreign land, Casablanca has remained the template of Classical Romanticism. Nothing can be written in this blurb that would convey the power of Humphrey Bogart, the beauty and tenderness of Ingrid Bergman, and the wealth of varied and colorful supporting cast (perhaps the best assembled up to that point) including: Claude Rains, Paul Henried, Sydney Greenstreet, Dooley Wilson, Conrad Veidt, and Peter Lorre.  It's an incredible film that we both consider a pleasure to return to. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Continued Thanks. 

Direct download: Casablanca_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:29am EDT

A Very Naughty Boy - Remembering Terry Jones (1942-2020)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, I welcome Mike Black back to The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss the passing of one of the great comic minds of the 20th Century - Monty Python's Terry Jones. From his appropriation of his mother's mannerisms to play one of the great drag women roles in television and cinema, Jones was an incredibly underrated writer, actor, and director. He passed away this past Tuesday at the age of 77. Although it is sad to look back at those great inspirations that we are losing so rapidly it's also wonderful to remember the magic that Jones gifted. It was a pleasure to have Mike Black - a fellow comedian and actor - to reminisce on Monty Pythons' and specifically Terry Jones on our lives and comic sensibilities. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: TerryJones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

The Long, Dangerous Road into Hell:

Henri-George Clouzot's Wages of Fear and William Friedkin's Sorcerer 

Remakes are more often than not mistakes that embarrass their filmmakers and stars and bring diminished returns to their studios. They are usually critical embarassments that should have never been green-lit, however there are the occasional remakes that defy expectations, realizing a unique and challenging interpretation of previous material. William Friedkin's Sorcerer is the rare example of a new production that brings life and vibrancy to previously realized source material. Henri-George Clouzot's 1953 masterpiece, Wages of Fear, is a critically renowned French-Italian co-production that is widely recognized as one of the greatest films ever made. The story of four men risking their lives to drive hundreds of gallons of nitroglycerine over treacherous roads and reckless uncertainty has captivated audiences worldwide. William Friedkin's 1977 reimagining adds considerably to the story's tension. This is one of the great unheralded films of the 1970s.

Ibrahim & I are thrilled to sit down and discuss these two magnificent productions. We hope you enjoy our discussion. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: WagesSorcerer.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:17am EDT

A Temporary End -

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to review Episode IX, the - presumably - last episode of George Lucas' original story, characters, and world. For over forty years audiences have been captivated by Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the rest of the Rebel Alliance in their battle against the Galactic Empire. An artistically controversial film series that many have invested both intellectually and emotionally, Lucas' original trilogy has evolved into a much different thing while attempting to repeat itself over and over again. Is this film a success, a failure, or something as simple as a good or bad film. This week Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss our attitudes and assessments of this 40+ year journey. We hope you enjoy the talk.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks.  

Direct download: Skywalker.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

The Falsity of Truth - Orson Welle's Citizen Kane and Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the paradox of truth focusing on two of the most important films in the history of cinema, Orson Welle's 1941 RKO Classic Citizen Kane and Akira Kurosawa's 1950 Venice Film Festival Golden Bear Winner Rashomon. Each film examines the uncertainty of perception, memory, and truth.

Kane has often been heralded as the greatest film of all time and Rashomon is credited with recognizing the viability of Japanese Cinema (and this critic would argue, World Cinema in general). These are two incredibly important films in the history of filmmaking. Ibrahim & I are excited to sit down for this discussion. We hope you enjoy listening to it as we enjoyed preparing and recording it. Thanks for the continued Love & Support. We're still enjoying the hell out of this show.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. A Million Thanks. 

Direct download: KaneRashomon.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT

The Little Brother's Shadow: Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas & Casino

Yeah Scorsese's Goodfellas is the older film, but Casino is the grander and more far-reaching of the two films. One of the great debates of modern cinema has been Casino's reputation in the shadow of GoodfellasIn a career spanning nearly five decades, Martin Scorsese's critical reputation has ranked - arguably - over every major American filmmaker before, since, and after. He continues to direct exceptional films. Goodfellas and Casino are monumental achievements. It was a pleasure for Ibrahim & I to sit down and discuss two of this filmmaker's greatest successes. 

As always, thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: GoodfelasCasino.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:57am EDT

Voyeurs' Eye - The Life & Death of Bob Crane 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Auto Focus, Paul Schrader's 2002 biopic of Hogan's Heroes star, Bob Crane. Crane, a popular television star of the late 1960s, would slowly be eaten away by his sexual addiction. Paul Schrader continues his examination of controversial and contradictory men in one of his best films to date.  Auto Focus has unjustly been ignored by audiences. Ibrahim & I were thrilled to look at this examination of his life, profiling Crane's sexual addiction, pornography, and voyeurism. As always, we talk film in order to better understand humanity and an ever changing society. It's an interesting talk. We hope you enjoy it. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: AutoFocus.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

The Filmmaker's Friend - Remembering Roger Ebert (June 18, 1942 - April 04, 2013)

It's been six years since Cinema lost one of it's greatest champions - Roger Ebert. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to remember this great critic, journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner. He would become the film critic for The Chicago Sun Times in 1967 and continued in this capacity until his death from complications stemming from papillary thyroid cancer in 2013.  However in his 70 years Ebert revolutionized the world of film criticism, and with his partner - Chicago Tribune film critic - Gene Siskel would emerge as the two most important, powerful, and influential critics the world of cinema has ever known.

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.Thanks for your continued support.   

Direct download: RogerEbert.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

The Kid Stayed in the Picture: Robert Evans - A Remembrance (06/29/30 - 10/26/19)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to pay tribute to Robert Evans, one-time head of Paramount Pictures (1967-1974) and arguably the most popular producer of the 1970's. Evans would make a name for himself with The Odd Couple and Rosemary's Baby (both 1968), playing an instrumental part in introducing Roman Polanski to American audiences. Bringing back Paramount Studios from the brink of financial disaster with Love Story (1970) and The Godfather (1972), Evans cemented his importance in Hollywood bringing Paramount Studios from the ninth of the nine major studios to first place. Every great ascent brings with it an equally tragic fall and such is the case with Evans. With a conviction for cocaine trafficking and rumors of his involvement with a murder during the making of one of his biggest failures, The Cotton Club, the 1980's proved a volatile and damaging blow to his career. Evans would recover and return to Paramount finding success later in his career, however he would never reach the heights of his 70's heydays. It was a great time to talking about this over the top character (lampooned mercilessly, but with great heart and admiration by Dustin Hoffman in Barry Levinson's Wag the Dog) this was a wonderful time discussing Evans, the 70's, and the continuing evolution of the industry. Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

 

Direct download: RobertEvans.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:02am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the new film from documentarian Errol Morris, American Dharma. In a career that has spanned nearly forty years, Errol Morris has proven to be one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers in cinema history. From his early championing by Roger Ebert for his debut feature Gates of Heaven (1981) through critical notoriety for his examination of the case of Death Row inmate Randall Dale Adams, 1988's The Thin Blue Line (ultimately leading to Adams exoneration and release from prison), Morris has been one of the continuous shining lights of cinema. In 2003 he premiered what would become the first of what many critics would call his trilogy profiling controversial world leaders, first with Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara in The Fog of War (2003), followed by The Unknown Known in which Morris profiled former Secretary of Defense (1975-1977 & 2001-2006) Donald Rumsfeld. Rounding out this unofficial "trilogy" is Morris' newest film, American Dharma (completed in 2018 but held up because of distribution struggles until 2019) which looks at the work of Former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News and White House Chief of Strategist for Donald Trump's 2016 run and subsequent win of the presidency. Dharma may be a controversial film, however it is powerful, important, and never boring. This is a spirited conversation that examines a great deal of what's going on in today's society. We may not be on point about everything, but our discussion is fueled by passion and a very real concern. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, many thanks.

Direct download: AmericanDharma.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

Pride Goeth Before the Fall:

The Life of James Riddle Hoffa in Martin Scorsese's I Heard You Paint Houses and Danny DeVito's Hoffa

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Mr. Chavez & I sit down to discuss one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Martin Scorsese's I Heard You Paint Houses (The Irishman). A major cinematic event that has been inundated with controversy regarding story as well as Netflix's limited release, Martin Scorsese's new film is a definite high point in his career as well as a game-changer for the industry. The disappearance and (highly probable) murder of International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James R. Hoffa has been a subject that has fascinated the public for decades and is beautifully examined by one of cinema's greatest artists. On this week's episode of WatchThis, Ibrahim & I discuss this film as well as Danny DeVito's 1992 epic biopic Hoffa featuring a magnificent performance by Jack Nicholson as the labor leader and DeVito as his loyal right hand man. It was a great opportunity to return to DeVito's film and discuss it in a historical and artistic context. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As Always, Our Deepest Thanks & Appreciation. 

Direct download: JamesRiddleHoffa.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:44am EDT

The Director's Lens: Three Early Noirs by Jules Dassin - Night & the City/The Naked City/Brute Force

On this solo episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ramos continues his look at one of his favorite cinematic genres - Film Noir. Taking advantage of the chance to watch so many great films, this week week Ramos looks at the early career of Jules Dassin, a director who refused to name names during the McCarthy Era WitchHunts and was forced to emigrate to France where he became an even more successful director. On this episode we take a look at 1950's Night & the City featuring Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, and Herbert Lom, as well as 1948's The Naked City starring Barry Fitzgerald, and - finally - 1947's Brute Force with commanding performances from Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn. Basically one guy sitting her bullshitting with himself about something he loves. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Continued Thanks. 

Direct download: JulesDassin.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:31am EDT

High Art, Low Art, & The Need To Get It On Screen:

Dolemite Is My Name & Ed Wood

Twenty-Five Years in the making. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the struggles of High Art, Low Art, and Recognizing the Difference between the Two. Looking at two great film biopics chronicling the lives and work of artists of questionable talent, this week we discuss the new Netflix biopic of 70s Blaxploitation Legend Rudy Ray Moore - portrayed in a great return to form performance by Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (directed by Hustle & Flow's Craig Brewer) and Tim Burton's 1994 look at the director widely credited as "The Worst of All Time," Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp in the title role. Ibrahim & I go deeper than some may expect in profiling these two immensely entertaining films, however we both agree that both films present interesting questions regarding the definition of Art. 

Maybe we're on point, maybe we're missing it . . . either way we hope you enjoy the conversation. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, Thanks for Your Continued Love & Support. 

Direct download: Dolemite.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:58am EDT

God's Lonely Men: The Collaborations of Martin Scorsese & Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver & Bringing Out the Dead)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the artistic collaborations between Martin Scorsese & Paul Schrader. Over a 23 year span these two filmmakers have created some of the most powerful stories put on film. This week we take a look at their first film 1976's ground-breaking masterpiece Taxi Driver and their final collaboration, 1999's criminally underseen Bringing Out the Dead. We realize that Taxi Driver has been discussed almost to death, however a film of it's power can always be looked at again. Bringing Out the Dead has never received the recognition or examination that it has deserved. We are proud to do our small part to fix this. Take a listen as we discuss the cultural and artistic importance (as well as legacies) of these two films. 

Remember, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thank You for your continued Love & Support. 

 

Direct download: ScorseseSchrader_2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:45am EDT

Screams of a Clown - Todd Phillip's Joker

&                         Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos we wholeheartedly welcome the return of Mr. Ibrahim Chavez. Back in time to discuss one of the most talked about films of the year, it is a thrill for Chavez & Ramos to sit down and discuss Joaquin Phoenix's remarkable performance as Arthur Fleck and Fleck's transformation into the one of the most iconic villains in all of Cinema & Literature - (The) Joker. A beautifully photographed and magnificently recreated late 70s/early 80s New York standing in for Gotham. We don't necessarily agree on this one, but we both have interesting opinions on the film. We pair this review with a look back at one of Phillip's heavy inspirations, Martin Scorsese's 1983 criminally underseen The King of Comedy. With brilliant performances by Robert DeNiro, Sandra Bernhardt, and Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy reminds us of Scorsese's genius. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, our continued thanks. 

 

Direct download: JOKER.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

JOHN J. RAMBO - Looking Back on an American Icon

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ramos flies solo with a look at Sylvester Stallone's second most iconic role - John J. Rambo. A staple of the 1980s, Rambo is a problematic example of American Screen Heroism. From David Morrell's source novel First Blood, the Rambo character started as a confused and damaged Vietnam veteran pushed too far and forced to take revenge on a small-town. The series would begin in 1982 with First Blood and continue with Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rambo (2008), and - the supposed finale - Rambo: Last Blood (2019). Claims of simplicity, colonialism, jingoism, and ridiculously over-the-top violence have been a constant label on this series. This episode looks at the memories, problems, and overall quality of this series. We hope you enjoy it.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

As always - Thank You. 

Direct download: RAMBO.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:43am EDT

Disappointments and Surprises: Kiss of Death & Where the Sidewalk Ends - A Continuing Journey Into Film Noir

On This week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ramos continues to go it solo looking at two classics of Film Noir - Henry Hathaway's Kiss of Death (1947) and Otto Preminger's Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950). Two films heralded as classics of Noir with one of them holding up much better than the other. Take a listen as Ramos continues his descent into the heart of darkness. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Continued Love & Thanks!

Direct download: WhereTheSidewalkEnds.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:45am EDT

Losers Refusing to Give Up - Robert Wise's The Set-Up

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, I continue my solo microphone runs into the world of Film Noir. I've always loved this genre (is it a genre?) and am thrilled to be making my way through so many films that have been sitting on my shelves. This week the show focuses on Robert Wise's RKO Classic The Set-Up from 1949. This is almost universally recognized as one of the best and most important Film Noirs. With a great lead performance from Robert Ryan as an over-the-hill boxer aware of how much he has lost and no idea of how hopeless it all is. This is really one of the great films of Noir. I'm thrilled that I've had the opportunity to finally see this film and now have the chance to present it to those who haven't seen it and give insight to those who have. Thanks for the opportunity. As always, I appreciate the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: TheSetUp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:24am EDT

Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour - Riding into the Darkness of Noir

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I fly solo with a look at The Criterion Edition of Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour (1945). With this B-Movie/Poverty Row production, Ulmer secured his place in the annals of film history. One of the earliest Noirs of record, in 1992 Ulmer's film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It's a wonderful film and a great introduction to the genre. Take a listen as I discuss this classic starring Tom Neal, in a superb Noir Hero performance, and Anne Savage as the quintessential femme fatale ballbreaker. It's a good time and one which you should enjoy. Take a listen and decide for yourself. 

Thanks for the continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

 

Direct download: Detour.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:25am EDT

Peter Fonda: A Rememberance (February 23, 1940 - August 16, 2019)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to look over the career of Peter Fonda, who passed away August 16th at the age of 79. From his early work with Roger Corman's American International Pictures thru his phenomenal success co-writing, producing and starring in Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider (1969). Ibrahim & I discuss the cultural and cinematic importance of this film as well as (what one of us believe) is it's failure 50 years later. We also take a look at one of Fonda's directorial efforts, 1973's The Hired Hand as well his roles in Victor Nuñez's Ulee's Gold (1997) and the Steven Soderbergh directed The Limey (1999). We discuss Fonda's gifts and limitations as an actor. The talk is an interesting one, slipping into a discussion of the culture of the time, as well as a lot of what goes into making a character honest and memorable. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: PeterFonda.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

The Re-Boot Era Continued - The History of the Oscars Part 11: 2015 - 2019 

Our long road through The History of The Academy Awards finally comes to an end as Ibrahim & I look at these last five years of The Awards. We remember the winners, the losers, those that were not nominated, and our thoughts on the awards as a whole. 

. . . That's All Folks

Thanks for the continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: OscarsPart11.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:53pm EDT

The Reboot Era - History of the Oscars Part 10: 2011 - 2014

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I get one episode closer to finishing our series on The History of the Academy Awards. Looking at the years 2011 thru 2014, we examine the Academy's continued desire to maintain the status quo. As we come closer to the end of this exploration, we find ourselves by the careful - and predictable - choices the Academy has made. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Our Thanks & Appreciation for your continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: OscarsPart10.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:09am EDT

Rutger Hauer: Like Tears in Rain (January 23, 1944 - July 19, 2019)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the career of Rutger Hauer who passed away this past week at the age of 75. Hauer began his professional acting career in 1969 under the guidance of fellow Dutchman, Paul Verhoeven, for a television movie. Hauer would work again with Verhoeven in his film debut Turkish Delight (1973). From this point Hauer continued in a series of European films until his American debut alongside Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams, as an international terrorist establishing himself in New York City in the gripping police-terrorist, cat & mouse game, 1981's Nighthawks. We also discuss starring roles, including The Hitcher from 1986 and Wanted: Dead or Alive from 1987. However, all of this is a prelude to his crowning achievement, Ridley Scott's Blade RunnerBlade Runner, a brilliant film, propelled by an incredible Hauer performance.

We loved sitting down and examiniing this performance and remembering this incredible actor. 

Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: RutgerHauer.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:54am EDT

Tarantino (Re)Writes The Summer of 69: Sharon Tate, Charles Manson, Hollywood & The Changing of History - Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss one of the most anticipated films of 2019, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood. Profiling "The End of the 60s" and taking liberal advantage of a history that saw the brutal murders of actress Sharon Tate and four of her guests by members of The Manson Family, Quentin Tarantino has delivered, yet another, film that plays with history and wallows in self-indulgence. There is great filmmaking here and it is a pleasure to talk about. With exceptional performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, this is definitely a film worth examining, how much of it is hype is what we are here to determine. Take a listen and let us know if you agree with our assessment. 

Thanks for the continued Love & Support. As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. A Million Thanks!

Direct download: OnceUponATimeInHollywood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, & The Brilliance of Jim Henson - WatchThis W/RickRamos 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the 40th Anniversary of Jim Henson's The Muppet Movie. Widely regarded as a "Children's Classic," The Muppet Movie has proven to be so much more than that. With characters like Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem Band, as well as Miss Piggy and The Great Gonzo . . . really, there are far too many to name - Henson was able to create a wonderful world where puppets exhibited the range of human emotions that have made them endearing for over 50 years. From their origins in local television, through Sesame Street, and the 70s era The Muppet Show it is time to sit down and talk about the contributions of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, Jerry Nelson, and Richard Hunt, among others. This was a great time remembering this wonderful film and looking at it's social and cinematic impact. Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks. 

Direct download: MuppetMovie40thAnniversary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT

A Questionable Renaissance Continued - History of the Oscars Part 9: 2006 - 2010

Closer & Closer we get to making it through the entire History of The Academy Awards. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to reminisce about the Oscar winning films from 2005 thru 2009. Hindsight may be 20/20, however we continue to drive towards the understanding that the awards are little more than an artistic political champaign that does very little in recognizing and awarding great films. Listen as we continue to be disappointed in the way history has played out.  

As always, we thank you for your continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

Direct download: OscarsPart9.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:15am EDT

Yesterday Today: Rock 'N Roll Cinema (Part 1)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I take a break from our Oscars breakdown to discuss The Beatles, showcased this month in Danny Boyle's Yesterday. We take a look at this film and the lasting legacy of The Fab Four. We also discuss Julie Taymor's Across the Universe and Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Sit back and listen as we discuss one of the greatest bands of all time. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Our thanks for your continued love and support. 

Direct download: TheBeatles.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

A Questionable Renaissance - History of the Oscars Part 8: 2001- 2005 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue on our journey through The History of The Academy Awards. This week we look at the films of 2000 - 2004.

There was an idea that things were changing, however the awards will show that the Academy has struggled to maintain the "integrity and stature" of award-winning films. Take a listen as we remember the beginning of a new millennium and realize that not a whole of a lot has changed. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Thank You for your continued Love & Support. 

Direct download: OscarsPart8.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

The New Independents Continued - History of the Oscars Part 7: '97 - '00

 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our examination of the Academy Awards, focusing on the years 1997 - 2000. Miramax, the Weinsteins, and surprise after surprise as we remember history differently than history occurred. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks. 

Direct download: OscarsPart7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

Epilogue:

Anthony Bourdain

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss the One Year Anniversary of the Death of Anthony Bourdain. What was Bourdain's Legacy? The Power and Purpose of the Final Season? And Bourdain's Continuing Importance as a Cultural Ambassador & Explorer of Humanity. It felt great to sit down and talk three episodes of the final season of Parts Unknown as well as remembering what made Bourdain such a compelling and charismatic  figure. Sit back and remember this great humanitarian. Thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks a lot. 

 

Direct download: BourdainRemembered.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59am EDT

Deadwood - David Milch: The Meaning of Endings

We've been working quite some time to get to this place. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to continue our discussion of - arguably - the greatest series ever produced for television, David Milch's Deadwood. After a cancelled fourth season, and two two-hour movies that were never made, Milch was finally able to give his series the send-off that it has always deserved. On this episode we discuss the success in restarting this major work, the full arc of such characters as Al Swearengen, Seth Bullock, Alma Garret, The Whore Trixie, Sol Star, Charlie Utter, and so many more, as well as  the performances that brought these characters to life. This was a great time. Two friends sitting down to discuss a story that has consumed - at least one - of our lives. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thank You So Much for your continued support. 

Direct download: Deadwood__Statehood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT

Lies Agreed Upon - David Milch's DEADWOOD

This is an episode that we have talked about and prepped for years. On this episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss - arguably - the greatest show ever produced for television, David Milch's Western Masterpiece Deadwood. Portraying the birth of the town of Deadwood, South Dakota from it's creation through it's evolution from lawlessness into the formation of government, we're covering a lot of ground on this episode. Ranging from the themes (Religion, Government, Racism, Greed, Nobility, etc.) thru the acting, writing, fluidity and beauty of the language, David Milch has created a world that is alive and compelling in every aspect of what we've come to expect from long-form storytelling. It's a magnificent show that we are thrilled to be talking about. We talk about every aspect of the series without concern for spoilers. If you are listening to this podcast we hope that you have finished the series. We will continue with a second episode picking up where this one leaves off and including the Deadwood Movie that premiered on HBO on Friday, May 31st. Take a listen. We think you'll enjoy what we have to say. 

 

Direct download: Deadwood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm EDT

Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice & Fire

All things must come to an end. On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss George R.R. Martin's groundbreaking literary series Game of Thrones. For seven years we've followed the lives of the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targaeryans as they maneuvered through alliances and treachery to gain control of the mythical continent of Westeros. This has been an incredibly detailed and genre-changing series that has more than it's fair share of controversy. In this talk Ibrahim & I give our opinions on what the show did right, what it did wrong, and the necessity of audiences coming to terms with their expectations. This was one hell of a fun talk. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed laying it down. As always our thanks for your continued loves and support. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: GoTFinale.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

"I'll Buy That For a Dollar" - The Lines That Make the Movies

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss our personal favorite lines in cinema. From The Producers to Pulp Fiction, Fight Club to The Blues Brothers, an almost unending series of quotable humor, pathos, and wisdom. Take a listen and be sure to let us know what your personal favorite lines are. 

Our continued thanks for your reliable love & support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for everything. 

Direct download: Quotes.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

Game of Thrones: Path to the Crown

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I take a short break from our look at the history of the Academy Awards to break down the past seven seasons of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. HBO has routinely changed the face of storytelling and does so now with the creation of an amazing fantasy world that digs into the marrow of humanity. There is so much to talk about over these 70 episodes - as well as speculation regarding how the final three episodes will play out. We are examining the mythos of this world-building, the characters (each of our favorites), moments that we didn't expect, and the show's thematic connection to our own world. This is an exciting talk and we're glad that so many of you are choosing to join us. Thank you for your continued love & support. As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be addressed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: Game_of_Thrones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34am EDT

The New Independents 

History of the Oscars Part 6: '93 - '96

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I continue our ride through The History of The Academy Awards from '93 thru '96 looking at the emergence of the Independents and the growing influence of the Weinsteins. 

We're having a great time going through all of this. It's definitely taking a hell of a lot longer than we expected. But here we are and it's proving to be a good time for us. We hope you're having as much fun listening. 

Thanks for the continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: OscarsPart6.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:10am EDT

The Joker - An Iconic Cultural Villain

(With Special Guest Mike Black)

 

On this week's episode of WatchThisW/RickRamos, Old Friend Mike Black returns to The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss the history of The Joker - one of the most important villains in all of comics, film, and literature for that matter. We discuss the various portrayals of the Batman villain, from Caesar Romero thru Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Mark Hamil, and - now - Joaquin Phoenix. Why has this character so wholly captured the imaginations (and fears) of readers and audiences the world over. He is a figure far more important than a simple fictional character. There's no one I know better to dig into this history than my friend Mike Black. Take a listen and let us know what you think. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for your continued love & support. 

Direct download: The_Joker.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:12am EDT

Return of the Studios 

History of the Oscars Part 5: '84 - '92

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our look at The History of The Academy Awards. 

After the colossal failure of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, Hollywood would wrestle power back from the "movie brats" to empower the studio heads, once again. Gone were the darker, psychologically challenging films - giving rise to the era of muscles and explosions. However, to maintain the respectability of The Academy the board would recognize and award a series of big-budget, prestige films that have - mostly - been forgotten today. This week Ibrahim & I discuss the choices and the changing face of the awards and the industry. 

As always, thank you for your continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: OscarsPart5.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:08pm EDT

The Blockbuster Era -Regaining Control 

History of the Oscars Part 4: '75 - '83

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our look back at the Academy Awards; their origins, politics, surprises, and historical importance. Part 4 takes us through the mid 70's with the balancing of "The New Hollywood" with the "Film School Brats" and the emergence of the blockbuster from some of those same hands.

Join us as we take a look back at a fascinating time and place that continues to captivate audiences. We hope you enjoy this trip as much as we enjoy guiding it.

Thanks for your continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. 

Direct download: OscarsPart4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm EDT

Emergence of a New Hollywood - History of the Oscars Part 3  '67 - '74

Ibrahim & I continue our examination of the Academy Awards looking at the breakdown of the studio system and the emergence of a "New Hollywood" that would challenge everything that had come before it. We look at the effects of an America in turmoil and confusion and the films that would find inspiration in such pessimism. The "Old Guard" was dying off, the studios were losing control, and the "Movie Brats" were rising with a European sense that would revolutionize cinema. This is a fun talk. We're not really sure how many episodes this is going to take, but we're looking forward to the ride. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. A Million Thanks. 

Direct download: OscarsPart3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

Hollywood in Transition - A History of the Oscars Part 2 '51 - '66

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I once again go through the history of the Academy Awards. We talk the changing face of the medium and acting, as well as the beginning failings of the studio system. Some pretty good stories and a number of laughs as we remember some great films, some forgettable ones, and ask ourselves what happened to a few of these names. Take a listen. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for the continued love and support.  

Direct download: OscarsPart2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Hollywood Loves Itself - A History the Oscars '29-'50

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to take one of our trips through The History of Cinema. Focusing on The Academy Awards, this first episode in our new series looks at the inception of the awards, it's earliest nominees and winners, as well it's purpose in the bigger picture of film as a recognized art form. We look at past winners and chart the names forgotten and those who would become staples of the ceremony. From it's beginning in 1929 - celebrating the films of 1927 & 1928 - we lay the foundation for a discussion that will lead to understanding the process of nominating and awarding films, as well the politics and evolving purpose of the awards. Take a listen . . . we've got quite a bit to say. Thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

 

 

 

Direct download: Oscars29-50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm EDT

Who Decides What We See? 

Jack Valenti, The MPAA, & The Ratings Board 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss censorship and the Hollywood industry's attempts to police themselves. The establishment of the MPAA would put into to place  the next five decades of artistic and cultural parameters governing the depiction of sex, sexuality, violence, and the culture as a whole. Kirby Dick's 2006 documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated takes a talking heads and investigative approach to this subject. But the documentary is really only a stepping point for Ibrahim & I to go off on our own ideas of how the system is set up. Take a listen as we dig into this very important topic.

As always thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

 

Direct download: RatingsBoard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22am EDT

Goodbye to a Few Friends and a Brief Academy Award Recap

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos I give a quick summation of the 2019 Academy Awards and quickly move on to the topic of Suicide. Not a totally upbeat episode, but one from the heart. If you've been listening this long the candor of this episode should not surprise you. 

Thanks for the continued Love & Support. 

Direct download: Suicides.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39am EDT

The Spectrum of Criminality:

Infernal Affairs &

The Departed

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss and compare Andrew Lau & Alan Mak's 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs and it's 2006 American remake The Departed from director Martin Scorsese. With rival casts including Andy Lau Tak-wah, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Anthony Wong Chau-sang, and Eric Tsang Chi-wai, the Hong Kong film is considered a classic of both the genre and the Hong Kong Film Industry. Martin Scorsese's re-imagining of this film finally brought him the Oscar he had been working nearly 40 years to win. With an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and a late era Jack Nicholson, Scorsese's film is an exemplary remake; expanding on the original film and adding nuances that Scorsese has become known for. Ibrahim & I come at it from numerous angles. Our opinions on both films seem to differ wildly from the accepted norm. Film is without a doubt a medium of varied interpretation and these two films do so much to prove that point. Take a listen and let us know if you  agree or disagree. Questions, Comments, Compaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thank You for your continued love and support. 

Direct download: TheDeparted.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

J. Lee Thompson & Martin Scorsese: Cape Fear 

On this week's second episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a B-Movie masterpiece, J. Lee Thompson's 1961 Noir Classic, Cape Fear. Featuring a wonderful cast including Gregory Peck, Polly Bergen, Barrie Chase, Martin Balsam, and Telly Savalas, Thompson fashions a taut, heart-pounding thriller propelled by an incredible performance by Robert Mitchum as convicted rapist Max Cady. Voted one of the greatest villains of all time, Mitchum is truly extraordinary. Almost thirty years later Martin Scorsese would remake this film as an exercise in genre filmmaking that would reunite him for the seventh time with Academy Award winner, Robert De Niro. Along with Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis, Joe Don Baker, and cameos from the film's original stars - Gregory Peck, Martin Balsam, and Robert Mitchum this is an exceptional remake even if it happens to come up short in comparison to the original. Take a listen. We hope you have as much fun as we had recording. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always thank you so much. 

 

 

Direct download: CapeFear.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Neo-Realism: From De Sica to Cuarón

Bicycle Thieves & Roma 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down to talk two of the most widely recognized works in Neo-Realism: Vittorio De Sica's 1948 masterpiece Bicycle Thieves (sometimes known as The Bicycle Thief) and Alfonso Cuarón's current critical hit (nominated for 10 Academy Awards) Roma. We discuss the importance, merits, and differences between both films. We argue, coming to agreement on some points and reaffirming our beliefs in other respects. An interesting conversation tackling controversial and polarizing issues, this is easily one of our best episodes in quite some time.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: Neo-Realism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling & Kurosawa's Ikiru: Purpose, Regret, & Redemption

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ramos goes it solo in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to talk Judd Apatow's 2018 HBO Documentary on The Life, Struggles, & Career of Garry Shandling (November 29, 1949 - March 24, 2016). Apatow had incredible access to the comedian's life, having known him for nearly four decades, and The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling is probably the most in depth understanding of Shandling's art, life, and spiritual self. It's a wonderful examination of the life of one of the greatest stand-up comics of all times . . . his personal, artistic, and spiritual struggles. Ramos pairs this episode with Akira Kurosawa's 1952 Ikiru, featuring a touching and brilliant lead performance from Kurosawa stock player Takashi Shimura as an almost anonymous political bureaucrat who discovers he is dying from stomach cancer and becomes consumed with finding purpose for his life. These are two films that have affected Ramos deeply, an emotional and thoughtful discussion of these two films which he hopes you enjoy.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, Thanks for the Continued Love & Support. 

Direct download: ShandlingIkiru.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Vice & W. - Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld: Power & War 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Christian Bale (Golden Globe Winner for Best Actor) in Adam McCay's Vice. A decisive movie between the two of us, Vice has a great deal to debate. Featuring Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrel, and Tyler Perry this was an interesting discussion for the two of us. We couple this screening with W. - Oliver Stone's 2008 biopic on the 43rd President, George W. Bush. With a lead performance from Josh Brolin, again we find ourselves with differing opinions. Take a listen as we discuss eight years of The Bush Dynasty led by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. 

Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: BushCheney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33pm EDT

Reservoir Dogs & City on Fire - Tarantino and the late Ringo Lam

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to look back on Quentin Tarantino's debut, the Classic Reservoir Dogs. We look at the film, but also it's importance as a game-changer in the early 90s. We discuss the performances of Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Edward Bunker, and - of course - Harvey Keitel. We also take a look at Ringo Lam's 1987 Hong Kong classic, City on Fire starring the great Chow Yun-Fat. Basically two friends remembering a great and highly influential film while going back and forth regarding it's importance. This was a fun time on the mics. Take a listen and let us know what you think - gondoramos@yahoo.com

Thanks for your continued love and support. 

Direct download: ReservoirDogsCityonFire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am EDT

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 

The Coen Bros. Re-Imagine The West & How Netflix is Changing the Face of Cinema 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ramos goes it alone to talk The Coen Brothers new film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a film that is the culmination of nearly everything the Brothers have produced over the past 30-plus years. Ramos was overwhelmed by this film and was thrilled to finally sit down and talk about it . . . although it did take him three viewings before he was able to fully put together his feelings and attitude regarding this new classic. On this episode he talks the film itself, but also the changing world of movie-watching. Netflix is definitely changing the world of movies. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for your continued Love & Support. 

Direct download: BusterScruggs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22am EDT

Psycho - Hitchcock & Van Sant

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Hitchcock's masterpiece Psycho (1960) and Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot re-imagining from 1998. We discuss the brilliance and importance of Hitchcock's original and the pointlessness of Van Sant's remake. An interesting conversation that forces both of us to understand the films better, we are proud to put out an episode that we hope captures the quality of the first film and understanding of the purpose of the second.

As always, we appreciate your continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: PSYCHO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EDT

Catching Up On The Classics:

To Be or Not To Be (1942) 

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, I go solo to talk Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 Classic To Be or Not to Be, starring the great Jack Benny, Carole Lombard (in her last role), and - a very young - Robert Stack. A profile of a Jewish acting company in war torn Poland, Lubitsch's film was one of the earliest films to tackle the Nazis on screen (in a comedy, nonetheless!) and was not considered entirely "respectable" when first-released, however it has grown in its importance over the years. 

We're trying something a bit different with the podcast this week . . . a new angle that we hope to implement throughout the life of the show. Focusing on individual films in my collection, I'm looking forward to finding and talking about the great films that I have somehow missed. Take a listen as I discuss #607 in the Criterion Collection with hopes to get through everything that I own and have not watched. Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: 2BorNot2B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

The Dead Man's Hand: A Goodbye to Ricky Jay & Others in 2018 

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to mourn the passing of the great sleight of hand artist, magician, writer, actor, and historian Ricky Jay (June 26, 1946 - November 24, 2018). Focusing heavily on directors Molly Bernstein & Alan Edelstein's Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012) - a fascinating study of the great sleight of hand magician, this is an examination of - probably - the greatest practitioner of magic the 20th & 21st Centuries have ever known. We round this episode out with a discussion of others who have passed this year including: Mitzi Shore (Owner and Co-Founder of The Comedy Store), Stan Lee, and former president George H.W. Bush. We look back on what these lives have meant to us as well as the lessons learned from them. As always, we appreciate your continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many Thanks!

 

Direct download: GoodbyeRickyJay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37am EDT

THE HORROR OF CRONENBERG

(PART II): SCANNERS/THE DEAD ZONE/VIDEODROME  

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to continue discussing the work of Canadian cult director David Cronenberg who somehow found mainstream success with a series of strange and controversial films. In this hour and a half episode we talk Scanners (1981) as well as Videodrome and The Dead Zone (both from 1983). We take a look at this evolving filmmaker in our second examination of his work. Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Many, Many Thanks!

Direct download: MidEraCronenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World -

55th Anniversary

On this weeks episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I take a look back at the 1963 Stanley Kramer Comedy Classic It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. With an all-star cast including Spencer Tracey, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Phil Silvers, Ethel Merman, Dick Shawn, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, and Edie Addams, and cameo appearances by Jerry Lewis, The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, Don Knotts, Jack Benny, and so many more this was a once in a lifetime production. A short, sweet episode about once of my favorite films. It was a good time reminiscing about this classic. Thanks for the continued support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: MadMadMadMadWorld.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm EDT

In Theaters:

Can You Forgive Me? Finding Meaning in Misery & Loneliness 

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/Rick Ramos I go it solo to talk Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? A new film in theaters profiling the life of biographer Lee Israel who turned to a career of forgery and found purpose in her criminal endeavors. I loved this film and connected with it in a strange way. Movies do that. Take a listen as I dig deep into my own psyche in order to understand the darkness. 

. . . it'll make more sense after listening to the episode. 

Thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Direct download: CanYouForgiveMe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01am EDT

Michael Meyers - Return to Haddonfield

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down (almost a year after our last visit to Haddonfield, IL) to continue our talk on that blank-faced masked bastard, Michael Meyers. Screenwriters Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green (with Green directing) bring us all back to that sleepy little town to re-introduce us to Meyers. With a returning Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode (the lone survivor of the first film) and a whole new generation to murder - all in one night - audiences are reminded of the brilliance that has been with us for 40 years. Take a step into The Fortress and remember what all of the excitement was originally about. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, a Million Thanks! 

Direct download: Halloween2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

THE CHANGING WORLD OF HORROR (THE WITCH, HEREDITARY, THE BABADOOK)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss The Changing Face of Horror Films. We take a look at three recent hits: Robert Eggers' The Witch (2015), Ari Aster's Hereditary (2018), and Jennifer Kent's The Babadook (2014). From The Universal Horror Films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s through the emergence of the Slasher genre of the 70s, the Torture Porn of the 90s and early to mid-2000s, we have finally settled on a more subtle and mind-numbingly patient series of films that are looking to burrow their way into the psyche. Take a listen as two guys hash it out over a genre that has been criminally underrated. Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As Always, Thanks For The Continued Love & Support. 

 

 

Direct download: PostHorror.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44am EDT

The Horror of Cronenberg (1975-1979)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to talk one of the most innovative and disturbing filmmakers to emerge out of the 1970's - David Cronenberg. From his earliest (professional) film 1975's Shivers, through 1977's Rabid, and finally 1979's The Brood, Cronenberg has proven a filmmaker of immense depth and powerful imagery and one whose early worker would lay the foundation for some of the most ground-breaking and artistically challenging films to emerge out of the studios. This episode is a continuation of our look at Horror Cinema, as well as a preview to a future episode focusing on Cronenberg's 80s & 90s work. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, Thanks for the Love & Continued Support!

Direct download: CronenbergPartI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44am EDT

No More Room in Hell:

George A. Romero's Living Dead

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim and I sit down to celebrate this Holiest of Months by examining the severely underrated Horror genre. There's no better starting point than The Master of the Zombie genre - George A. Romero (February 4, 1940 - July 16, 2017). Beginning with the groundbreaking Night of the Living Dead (1968), followed a decade later by Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), and Romero's last entry in the series (as well as his final film) Survival of the Dead (2009). It gives us tremendous pleasure to remember this great filmmaker.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Thanks for the continued love and support. 

Direct download: GeorgeRomero.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:02am EDT

From Democracy to Tyranny

The Fahrenheit Films of Michael Moore

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 & Fahrenheit 11/9. Examining the nightmare that is the current political climate, we discuss Moore's examination of the media creation of Donald J. Trump and the links to his earlier documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. We discuss the  George W. Bush presidency and it's link to the Trump presidency, the impending confirmation (?) of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavannaugh, and the state of the US as it exists. It's a spirited and heartfelt conversation. Thank You for your continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: TrumpVsMoore_2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:10pm EDT