2019 continues on as we roll into the shortest month of every year; February! Corey (@coreyrstarr) and Jonathan (@berkreviews) started Movie Club Podcast when they both realized they had a ton of movies they’d never seen but had no real good reason that they hadn’t yet. In an effort to work through their respective gap lists by using this show to ensure they at least check one new film off one of their lists almost every week.
Each episode features an in-depth review of the movie for the week initially spoiler free and then diving in completely after a spoiler warning. Before getting into the review Jonathan and Corey discuss what other movies they’ve seen since the last episode as well as anything else they feel like discussing. To help them decide which of the many films to watch each month they started creating themes for them all.
February 2019 – 90 Minutes or less
In honor of this short month, Jonathan and Corey decided their film selections should be shorter than 90 minutes. So, the only criteria governing the movies for February are the runtime plus the fact that the person picking the film is supposed to have never seen it before or at least not recently. Though, more often than not, the movies on this months list were not seen by either before the viewing for the episode.
Week 1 – Grave of the Fireflies
Corey had the first pick for the month and opted to go with an animated classic, which happens to run at 1hr and 29 minutes, that both she and Jonathan had been told is one of the saddest movies ever made. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) is directed by Isao Takahata and features a variety of actors depending on which dub version or original version you select. The movie is currently available on Hulu as of the recording in both the subtitled and dubbed versions, and they watched the dubbed version this go around. The plot synopsis according to IMDb.com is “A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.”
Week 2 – Phone Booth (2002)
For week 2, Jonathan selected Phone Booth primarily because of the cast and that it is a mere 1hr 21 minutes. Though the films director, Joel Schumacher, has had many ups and downs with both Jonathan and Corey with a couple examples on this podcast (Flatliners and Phantom of the Opera). The cast includes Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, and Forest Whitaker though Jonathan was hooked with Farrell’s involvement. IMDb.com says the plot is “Publicist Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist’s sniper rifle. Unable to leave or get help from the surrounding bystanders, Stuart negotiates with the caller that leads to a jaw-dropping climax.”
Week 3 – Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Corey picked a film classic that was a clear standout on her gap list. Jonathan has seen Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, which is 1hr and 29minutes long, just a few years ago, but he’s up for a second viewing. The film stars Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, and Lianella Carell. The film is about “…post-war Italy, a working-class man’s bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it,” according to IMDb.com
Week 4 – Run Lola Run (1998)
For the last movie of 90 minutes or Less, Jonathan picked Run Lola Run, which clocks in at just 1hr and 20 minutes. The film is directed by Tom Tykwer and stars Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup. It has been on Jonathan’s gap list for a while with a high prority. IMDb.com’s plot synopsis reads, “After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.” Apparently, this film is available to watch for free on IMDb.com Freedive.