Watch This With Rick Ramos (general)

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: 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 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

THE HISTORY OF TV (PART 8) -

THE EVOLUTION OF A NEW MILLENIUM, THE EVOLUTION OF A NEW MEDIA, AND THE ATTACK ON THE TWIN TOWERS

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & Rick sit down to discuss the beginning of a New Millennium. They talk the growth of Reality Television, the evolution of the Medium, and the Impact of The Attack on The Twin Towers. There are arguments, conflict, and discussion regarding a number of differing viewpoints. We may not agree, but - hopefully - there is a greater understanding and acceptance of whatever the hell can be recognized as the truth. 

Thanks for listening. Continued Support, Criticism, and Recommendations can be directed to gondoramos@yahooo.com. As Always, A Million Thanks! 

Direct download: HistoryOfTVPart8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11am EDT

The History of TV Part V - The X Era 

On this weeks episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I continue our walk through The History of Television. This week we look at the 1990s and what has come to be known as "Generation X". Take a listen as we discuss Post-Modernism and it's role in the formation of 1990s television. All of this culminating with a look at our choices for the most influential sitcoms of this era: Married With Children, The Simpsons, Roseanne, and Seinfeld. Thanks for the continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: HistoryTV90s.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51am EDT

The History of TV Part 4 - The Reagan Era Continued  

This episode was going a bit long so we broke it up . . . gotta give you guys a little bit of breathing room. We continue with sitcoms, Bill Cosby, constant and unrelenting news, the beginnings of FOX, Siskel & Ebert, daytime talk, and commercials - both public service, scare tactics, and selling! Take a listen as we finish the 80s and get ready for the 90s. Thanks for the continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Problems, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

 

Direct download: HistoryOfTV-80sPartII.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50am EDT

History of Television (Part 3) - The Reagan Era: NightTime Soaps, TV News & Talk Shows, The Sitcom, The Mini-Series, and The Birth of FOX

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our discussion of The History of Television, looking - specifically - at The 1980's. Take a listen as we discuss the first decade that we remember from personal experience. Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com Thanks for the continued love and support. 

 

Direct download: HistoryOfTV-80sI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25am EDT

THE HISTORY OF TV Part 2 -

THE VIETNAM ERA  

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our discussion of television through the ages. This week we focus on the 1970's, paying particular attention to The Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Norman Lear, and the growing counterculture. Sit back and take a listen. As always, thanks for your continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: HistoryOfTVPart2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm EDT

Going Back To The Comedy Store

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ramos goes solo out of The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to talk about the importance of The Comedy Store in his life and the steps that went into leaving and finally returning nearly a decade later. Just a quick change of pace that we hope you have a good time listening to. As always, thank you for your continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

 

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

The History of Television Part 1: From Carhode Ray Tubes to Ed Sullivan 

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & Rick sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to begin a lengthy examination of  television. Part I takes a look at the early history of creating television, moving into the great early television shows that would make up the memories of The Baby Boomer Generation into Generation X. We talk Your Show of Shows, Leave it to Beaver, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Ed Sullivan Show, Meet the Press, and many other groundbreaking shows. Take a load off and join us as we take this trip down Memory Lane. Questions, Comments, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always . . . Our Heartfelt Thanks!

Direct download: HistoryOfTelevision.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11am EDT

Greatest Cinema Heroes 

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I take our mutual seats in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss the greatest heroes in all of cinema. From defining what a hero truly is to the vagaries of the hero, anti-hero, and dependence on villains we tackle this question from a number of angles. We discuss each of our Top 10's as well as a number of names that just barely missed the cut. It was a fun time. 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 continued love & support. 

Direct download: HEROES_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

Greatest Cinema Villains - 

This week on WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down to talk the greatest villains in cinematic history. From Hannibal The Cannibal to The Wicked Witch of the West, Zombies and Vampires, it's a pretty diverse list. We talk Slasher, Anti-Heroes, Tragic Villains and Redemption. Take a listen. Thanks for the continued Love & Support. Questions, Comments, Problems & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: Villains_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11pm EDT

George Carlin - Celebrating a Genius on What Would Have Been His 81st Birthday

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to talk one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time . . . George Carlin. We discuss Carlin's fascination with words, his prodigious output (14 HBO specials and countless albums), his cultural influence, and - finally - his brilliance in creating material that challenged the status quo, common beliefs, and that always present line in the sand. Take a listen as we celebrate this great artist on what would have been his 81st birthday. Questions, Comments, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks for all of the continued love and support. 

Direct download: GeorgeCarlin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47am EDT

Kurt Cobain, 90's Grunge, Suicide, Controversy, & The Voice of a Generation . . . On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss the Life, Death, Influence, and Controversy surrounding Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain. Take a listen as we discuss three documentaries that deal with this subject: Nick Broomfield's, Kurt & Courtney (1998), Benjamin Statler's Soaked in Bleach (2015), and Brett Morgen's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015). Still fascinating after 24 years, this story makes for a very interesting conversation. Hopefully, you will see that as well. Thanks for listening, and thanks for the continued love and support. Questions, Comments, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Thanks!

Direct download: KurtCobain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54pm EDT

Continuing with our practice of using ALL of our data for the month, on this episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to continue our Question & Answer analysis of Cinema . . . It's Purpose, Importance, and - often - the misunderstanding that comes with studying this art form. Take a listen and let us know what you think. We had a good time and are looking forward to doing more of these. Questions, Comments, Problems, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Our Continued Love & Thanks!

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

We had some room left before the data ran out, so Ibrahim & I decided to sit down - once again - in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness for a short episode of questions about Cinema, The Art, Interpretation, and Attitudes. Take a listen to a fun little talk as Ibrahim continues his interrogation. Thanks for the continued love & support. Questions, Comments, Problems, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Direct download: Questions2_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. Coming out of an incredibly prolific writing period, Sheridan has exploded onto the scene writing three of the best films of the last five years. Sicario (2015 - Director Denis Villeneuve), Hell or High Water (2016 - Director David Mackenzie), and - finally - Wind River, with which Sheridan made his directorial debut in 2017. It is rare that a screenwriter is able to so forcefully capture marginalized communities and dismissed men and women without being condescending in doing so. Three phenomenal films that deserve your attention and which we are proud and thrilled to be discussing. Please take a listen and - either - discover these films or sit back and listen to our assessment and decide for yourselves whether or not you agree with us. As always, thank you for the continued love and support. Questions, Problems, Comments, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: TaylorSheridan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/Rick Ramos I'm flying solo in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness. A quick look back at the life and work of Military Vet and Unexpected Movie Star who passed away on May 15th from complications of Pneumonia. Of course you can't talk Ermey without discussing Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam War Classic, Full Metal Jacket (1987), but I also take a look at Tim Robbin's Dead Man Walking, Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning, and Ted Demme's Life. Take a listen and remember a great (under appreciated) screen presence.  Thanks for the continued love & support. 

Direct download: R.LeeErmey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos we take a minute to get personal and talk about The Art of Cinema. Sit back and take a listen as I ask Mr. Chavez a series of questions designed to get to the core of his beliefs and opinions regarding Cinema. Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always, thank you for the continued love and support.  Questions, Comments, Problems, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: IbrahimQuestions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I, once again, sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss a fascinating topic - The Culture of Cool and all that can be defined as such (or, at least, as much as we can get to).  From Icons of Cool, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Robert Mitchum through todays stars that are able to carry that mantle. We talk imagery in film, it's influence on society, but also the African origins of "Cool" and how these influences continue to influence our world. So sit back, pour a whiskey, and take a listen to the opinions of two guys.  We thank you for your continued support.  

Direct download: CooleyHigh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46am EDT

This week Ibrahim & I get back to our discussion of the portrayals of Native Americans in Cinema. Spanning the Silent Film Era and the John Ford Legacy of "The Red Savage" into the re-evaluation of Native Cultures beginning with Arthur Penn's 1979 Dustin Hoffman classic, Little Big Man, and into the 1990's resurgence with Kevin Costner's Academy Award Winning Revisionist Western, Dances With Wolves.  We finish this study with a look at the Native push to make personal films that come from Native writers, directors, producers, and actors. There are some beautiful and powerful examples of Cinema in this discussion as well as a look at documentaries, namely, Neil Diamond's Reel Injuns (2009) - a fascinating study of the history of American Indians in Cinema. There's a lot said, a few moments of anger and frustration, and a great deal of hope as we discover the gems hidden in the trash of American Cinema. As always, Our Thanks & Love go out to you guys! 

Direct download: TheFastRunner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 is gone, buried, and it's time to move on, but before we do that we gotta take a few minutes (a little over 108 minutes to be exact) to discuss the films of 2017. On this episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ramos goes it alone to discuss eighteen exceptional films he saw in theaters this past year.  Of course you're going to hear about Coco, Gilbert, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbings, Missouri, Wind River, BladeRunner 2049, and Logan, but you're also going to hear about a few other films that flew under the radar. So sit back, relax, and take a listen as Rick Ramos takes you on a journey back through 2017.  

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

Direct download: Year_End_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41am EDT

The train keeps rolling down the track as Ibrahim & I continue our examination of The Devil in Cinema.  After examining the Religious Devil, The Anti-Christ, and the Occult, we are ending this series on a more whimsical note by looking at The Devil of Mythology & Folklore.  The Devil as a Trickster, Scratch, as The Deal-Maker for One's Soul. With that in mind sit back and listen to us as we take a look at William Dieterle's 1941 forgotten classic, The Devil & Daniel Webster, George Miller's 1987 serio-comic The Witches of Eastwick featuring Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher, and Jack Nicholson in a bravura performance, Taylor Hackford's The Devil's Advocate from 1997 with an over the top Al Pacino, Alan Parker's 1987 supernatural noir, Angel Heart - Robert DeNiro (appropriately creepy), and - finally - Fraser C. Heston's Needful Things from 1993 featuring an under-appreciated Max Von Sydow as The Devil by way of Akron.  Take a listen as we do what we do.  Thanks for the continued love and support.  As always, Questions, Complaints, Suggestions, and Support can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.

Direct download: ElDiablo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18am EDT

This week Ibrahim & I dive right back into our examination of Lucifer himself . . . Beelzebub, The Prince of Darkness, The Anti-Christ.  We start this look at The Evil One by examining Richard Donner's 1976  Horror-Thriller, The Omen, which would quickly become a series with Damien: The Omen Part II (1978), and the concluding film in the series Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981). Not the best films to take a look at, but even bad films have their importance.  Take a listen as Ibrahim & I dissect what these films get right and (more often) get wrong.  As always thanks for the continued love and support.  Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com

Direct download: TheAntiChrist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT

It's crybaby week on this episode of WatchThis W/Rick Ramos as Ibrahim & I sit down in The Temple of Ultimate Darkness to discuss Disney/Pixar's newest masterpiece, Coco.  It's a pleasure to sit down and talk a film that strives for and achieves so much.  We discuss the the film's personal importance to the both of us, as well as the cultural significance of Dia de Muertos (Mexico's Day of the Dead).  We also discuss 2014's The Book of Life.

This started out as a normal episode and quickly turned in to a more personal one.  We hope that you listen and are inspired to see this magnificent new film from Pixar.  Thank You for your continued support. As always we can be reached for Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions at gondoramos@yahoo.com.   

Direct download: CoCo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05am EDT

On this weeks episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I continue our dance with The Devil profiling The Occult and the tragic, controversial, and fascinating life and career of Polish filmmaker and Fugitive of American Justice, Oscar-winner Roman Polanski (he drugged and raped a 13 year old girl, in case you forgot). With this episode (recorded a few days after the death of Charles Manson) Ibrahim continues with his history of The Satanic Church, Anton LaVey, The History of the Devil in the Bible, but we also go into Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The 9th Gate (1999).  We also spend a great deal of time looking back on the history of Charles Manson, The Manson Family, and The Tate-LaBianca Murders.  Take a listen and let us know what you think. As always, we can be reached at gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Many Thanks & Much Love.  

Direct download: Polanski.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

We're hitting episode #150 and what better way to do that then with a little bit of introspection? So with the jumping off point of Neil Berkeley's new documentary profiling the life of comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Gilbert is a fascinating look at the life of the aforementioned comic who has spent the last forty years as some kind of strange curiosity in the world of stand-up comedy. A "comics' comic" Gottfried seems to have always been driven by insecurity and fear. With that combination there exists some kind of magic in the comic's approach to his life, his craft, his (surprising) 10 year marriage, and fatherhood. I found this to be a beautiful and lovely little film. It hits close to home and I'm not sure I did justice to Berkeley's film because so much of what is shown mirrors my own life. Either way it's a heartfelt and emotional episode that - I hope - gets to the core of the comics' dream. Special Thanks to Joey Diaz & Lee Syatt on this one.  Questions, Problems, Comments, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com - All of My Love; All of My Thanks!

Direct download: GilbertGottfried.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to talk the ever-evolving Harvey Weinstein controversy.  With an ever increasing number of accusers, as well as additional controversies involving Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, Ibrahim & I are eager to put Hollywood under the microscope.  For this episode we go back almost a hundred years to the Rocoe "Fatty" Arbuckle scandal and the death of young starlet Virginia Rappe, as well as such Hollywood tragedies and controversies including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Jayne Mansfield, The Manson Family, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, and - of course - Roman Polanski.  We talk sexism, racism, homophobia and our opinions on how all of this should be handled.  So sit back and prepare to be engaged (we hope)! As always Questions, Comments, Complaints, and Suggestions should be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for your continued love and support.

Direct download: Weinstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58am EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down in The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness to discuss Horror in Cinema, and specifically a True Master of the Grenre, John Carpenter and his early Masterpiece, Halloween.  With an exceptional debut performance from Jamie Lee Curtis, and beautiful slumming by the great English actor Donald Pleasance, John Carpenter's Halloween remains the single greatest Horror film of the late century and rivals just about anything that has come before it.  We talk about the origins of the horror film including the 1920 German Expressionist Classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as well as the Universal Monster Movies of the 1930's & 40's.  We also discuss the great Universal make-up artist, Jack Pierce and his influence over countless make-up artists to follow including: Rob Bottin, Greg Nicotero, Tom Savini, and Rick Baker.  So sit back and take a listen.  It's really a pretty good time.  As always, Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Many Thanks. 

Direct download: JohnCarpentersHalloween.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I take on a classic of the Science Fiction Genre, Ridley Scott's 1982 Masterpiece Blade Runner. We discuss it's groundbreaking narrative as well as it's lasting legacy over nearly four decades. Of course, we discuss the continuing argument of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as a replicant as well as the insights, opinions, and questions created and posited by the film. We also take a look at continuing sage of the film in Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049.  Take a listen to what we have to say.  Maybe you'll agree; maybe you'll disagree.  They're all just opinions backed by a little bit of insight and a lot of love.  Thanks for the continued support.  Questions, comments, arguments, and suggestions can be directed to gondormaos@yahoo.com.  Thanks.  

Direct download: BladeRunner2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32am EDT

Let's get right to this . . . there is one great action star of the cinema and his name is Chan Kong-sang better known as Jackie Chan. A child actor and graduate of The Famed Peking Opera School, Jackie Chan shot to fame in the mid-70's as the Hong Kong Movie Industry was reeling from the loss of the great Bruce Lee.  Looking to fill this void there were a number of attempts at replacing Lee. Chan was one of these candidates, however it quickly became apparent that Lee (as his screen persona stood) was irreplaceable.  Chan would go in another direction and focus on creating a new genre of action films, the kung-fu action-comedy film. With early films such as Snake In the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master, Chan would go on to redefine the World of Hong Kong Action. In preparation of his upcoming film The Foreigner, we focus this week's episode on the great Jackie Chan. As always, Thanks for Listening.  

Direct download: JackieChan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

On this week's episode of WatchThis w/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I look back at David Fincher's Fight Club. I can't think of a better way to sum up and close out the 90's than this brutal examination of male anger, disillusionment, and confusion.  On this episode we look at the brilliance of the film, the source material from author Chuck Palahniuk, the performances of Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter, and it's stunning relevance almost twenty years later in Trump's America.  As always, thanks for the continued support.  Questions, Comments, Problems, and Suggestions can be directed to gondoramos@yahoo.com.  Thank You for your continued support.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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