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Episode 38 STRANGER THINGS and a Bold New Future for Narrative Media
July 31, 2016 07:25 PM PDT
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Like a thief in the night it came out of nowhere, all pale skin and teeth. We didn't know what it was, but by the time it left us a different and more enlightened people.
STRANGER THINGS was the unable-to-be-anticipated television event of the summer. Operating a low key pre-release campaign amounting to little more than two intriguing albeit light-on-content trailers and a few billboards peppered around L.A. Relatively speaking and not unlike one of the enigmatic central characters; STRANGER THINGS came out of nowhere, with little warning, and packed a hell of a punch.
The Nighthawks, this week, opted to stay home from the cinema and binge all eight episodes of this latest offering from NETFLIX. Not only was the series found to be rich with topics for discussion, the grander phenomenon of long-form narrative television and surprise releases provide their own grist when we pay a long overdue visit the Nighthawks Trailer Cafe.

Music:

Should I Stay or Should I Go-
The Clash, from the album COMBAT ROCK. As appears in STRANGER THINGS.

STRANGER THINGS main theme-
S U R V I V E , Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. As appearing in STRANGER THINGS.

Raise a Little Hell-
Trooper, from the album THICK AS THIEVES. As appearing in STRANGER THINGS.

Heroes-
David Bowie, from the album HEROES. As appearing in STRANGER THINGS.

Brothers In Arms-
Junkie XL, from the album MAD MAX: FURY ROAD - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK. As appearing in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.

Episode 37 Ali Bumaye
July 22, 2016 02:59 PM PDT
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It was 2001. Shortly after the attacks on 9/11. Directed by Michael Mann and starring the likes of Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, John Voight, Mario Van Peebles, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Joe Morton; the film Ali is released to critical acclaim and earning two Oscar nominations in short order.

It would be easy to tell the up-from-the-streets story of a young Kentucky boy named Cassius Clay. Tell the story about rising to the challenges of professional boxing as Clay battles his way to the national stage. The formulas for that story were all written long ago. But that's not where this film goes.

ALI (the film) asked some tough questions of a Country that found itself thrust into a war in Afghanistan. Obviously, Michael Mann had no idea that the United States would be the victim of a terrorist attack in the months leading up to the release of this Muhammed Ali biopic, but he doesn't "pull any punches" (sitcom laugh track.)

Instead, ALI (again, the film) faces issues like race and religion head on, as it tells the story of the greatest fight of Muhammed Ali's life: his fight against the United States of America, spanning from 1964 to 1974.

Episode 36 Nighthawks Come Out and Plaaaay-aaaaaay
June 21, 2016 06:49 PM PDT
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Another one from the year-one vaults. In this never-before-heard "lost" episode (this one was never so much "lost" as it was just our back up in case something went wrong) the guys in the Nighthawks cafe bend the format a bit.
Discussing two movies simultaneously, the pair watched the classic street gang genre opus THE WARRIORS and also watched the documentary RUBBLE KINGS about the very real world that inspired THE WARRIORS.
The streets of the South Bronx were a no man's land where police feared to go and ambulances dared not enter. Street gangs on every corner threatened violence at any moment. In the fictional world of THE WARRIORS a street gang is framed for a transgression that they didn't commit, while deep behind enemy lines. In RUBBLE KINGS it's up to the anti-gang gang to try to broker a peace and keep the youngsters of New York from murdering each other.
Where one gives credibility to the other, you'll be shocked at where the real vs. reel line is for THE WARRIORS.

Episode 35 SUNSET BLVD a Nighthawks 1-Year Anniversary Special
May 28, 2016 06:18 AM PDT
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Well ladies and gentlemen, I can't speak for Matt, but when we started this podcast one year ago, I wasn't sure what it would become. I didn't know if it would be just us talking to the ether, finding an audience exclusively among our friends and parents, or if it would actually be (what we refer to in the industry as) "a thing."

12 months removed from our first episode where we reviewed MAD MAX FURY ROAD, I can say with some degree of assurance that THE NIGHTHAWKS PODCAST is "a thing." This is due in no small measure to all of our listeners. From those regulars who have been listening since the beginning to the people who will undoubtedly listen to this as their first episode. We cannot thank you enough for lending an ear to our endeavor. This wouldn't be fun if we were talking to nobody, and we likely would have given up long ago. So... thank you for allowing that not to happen.

The podcast continues to grow and evolve, and we still want that feedback. Let us know what you'd like to see in the year to come. Just a few notes: we will be returning to FANTASTIC FEST in Austin TX this year. We have our eyeballs on a few other festivals that we might attend in the as-yet-unforeseen future, as well as some really great show ideas and some tentative deals struck with some very special guests.

What better way to ring in the NIGHTHAWKS new year than by relaxing with a good movie. And what better movie than a movie about the movies? SUNSET BOULEVARD (or "SUNSET BLVD," depending on who you ask) is Billy Wilder's acerbic critique of the darker side of fame, Hollywood, and the film industry. William Holden plays Joe Gillis, a down and out writer who finds himself tangled in the web of Norma Desmond, a once great actress who is clawing the walls trying not to be lost in a world that has forgotten her.

A cast of actors playing themselves, a version of themselves, or a composite of their colleagues bring the stark yet fascinating world of 1950s Sunset Boulevard to life.

No stranger to West Hollywood, we've discussed the neighborhood before, see Episode 4, Episode 5, and Episode 24. But this isn't the rambunctious sunset strip of the 60s, this is the tail end of a gilded age for Hollywood where the tarnish of reality is beginning to show around the edges.

Matt and Trevor discuss why the movie resonated so strongly then, and why (tragically) it still resonates today. One thing is for certain: we'll never forget Norma Desmond.

Episode 34- The "Lost" Casablanca Episode
May 15, 2016 10:19 AM PDT
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Sometimes you just can't help the way things work out.

The lion's share of this "lost" episode was recorded in November of 2015. The new wrap-around intro and outro was recorded in February of 2016. Today we decided to quit sitting on it and just release the thing.

Unfortunately, no sooner than we began uploading to file to our podcast host, then it was discovered that Madeleine Lebeau has died at the age of 92. Lebeau was considered by many to be the last living cast member of Casablanca.
After careful consideration, we've decided to release the "lost" CASABLANCA episode as originally planned and hope that people understand the context under which it was created and posted, and don't see it as an insensitive traffic grab on our parts. We're saddened to learn of the passing of this remarkable actress, who (in real life) escaped Nazi-occupied France with her then-husband, who also appears in the film. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Ms. Lebeau, her family, and her loved ones.

Casablanca, a story about love, passion, espionage, intrigue, action, and more than a few laughs is a favorite of one of the Nighthawks hosts, and is a new acquisition of the other. In this episode we discuss the classic old Hollywood favorite and why it still seems to work all of these years later.

Episode 33- Redford and Newman: Kid Tested, Mother Approved
May 10, 2016 12:14 AM PDT
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A belated order of Mother's Day love to the moms at the Nighthawks cafe. We're not talking about Peggy, the Nighthawks cafe waitress with the matronly instincts that makes sure that we eat all of our meat before we have our pudding. No, we're talking about our ACTUAL mothers; they who have given birth and succor to Trevor and Matt.

In this episode the boys have discovered that their respective mothers share something in common: a healthy respect for Robert Redford and Paul Newman. For a special longer-than-average episode, the guys discuss BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (a favorite of Mrs. Matt's Mom) and THE STING (beloved by Mrs. Trevor's Mom).
These two films showcase the broad-spectrum wide appeal of Redford and Newman. The screen radiates as the actors ooze charisma, all while the snappy repartee crackles off the deftly written page and onto the screen.
The dynamic duo plays thieves in both films, armed with six shooters in one and cock-sure confidence in the other. While the rakish Robin Hood capering leads to a slick heist in THE STING, BUTCH & SUNDANCE takes a minute to get real and explore some heavy themes.
Love of these films must be hereditary, as the boys seem to carry a great deal of affection for them, too.

Episode 32- See No Evil, Hear No Evil
May 01, 2016 05:39 PM PDT
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When the Nighthawks Podcast first started off, there were two things the guys wanted to do:

1.) To aid in the accessibility of film as an art form.
2.) To shine a light on films that people may have missed.

The meat and potatoes of this episode comes solidly from these goals. In this episode Matt and Trevor discuss two films, with strong female protagonists, where the main characters have to overcome a deprivation of their senses. These are films that not only share a theme of sensory deprivation, not only are they movies with strong female leads, they're also movies that may have escaped the attention of the movie-going public at large.

First up the horror-action home-invasion thriller HUSH. Directed/co-written by OCULUS helmer Mike Flanagan, and co-written/starring Kate Siegel, HUSH follows a deaf mute author living on her own in rural Alabama, as she is beset upon by a particularly sardonic killer. Hot off the griddle at SXSW 2016, the film was picked up by NETFLIX and is currently streaming on that service. Having eschewed a wide national theatrical release, the boys discuss why an expedient home release may have been a good move in this case.

Second course is the Spanish-Language mystery thriller JULIA'S EYES. Directed by Guillem Morales and produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film follows a woman racing the clock set by her own deteriorating vision, to try and answer questions left in the wake of her sister's alleged suicide. A creepy and cerebral whodunnit that utilizes an interesting device in depicting blindness on screen. JULIA'S EYES is available on several pay-per-view streaming sites including Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes for about $3.00. It is also available through the SHUDDER streaming service as part of their library.

Nighthawks Episode 31- A Half-Baked Episode for 4/20
April 17, 2016 04:32 PM PDT
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Admittedly the Nighthawks haven't dabbled in the Devil's Lettuce in a while, but with such a ripe field to choose from, they couldn't turn down the opportunity to talk about a stoner comedy for the occasion.
The origins you hear about 4/20, the official/unofficial stoner holiday, are about as varied as the people you ask. Some people are very observant and will be partaking in the cash crop of Colorado during April 20th, others may not be so inclined.
Either way it's a cultural phenomenon and, even though it's been... *checks watch* ...a while since the Nighthawks have celebrated 4/20 in the fashion, they decided to explore a stoner movie anyway. The smokers aren't the only ones allowed to have fun.
This 4/20 film is HALF BAKED, an all-but-forgotten title from the late 90s that the boys just can't bring themselves to call a "forgotten gem." While the movie succeeds at what it aims to do (which isn't much), there's a lot to explore, including sowing the seeds of a comedy juggernaut that would fly past HALF BAKED and become regular vocabulary for the Zeitgeist at large.
From the comedy genius of Dave Chapelle to the comedy... stylings... of Jim Breuer, HALF BAKED is the movie that we roll up and smoke in the alley behind the diner.

Who's hungry?

Nighthawks Episode 30- BvS: DOJ (Beavis Dodge)
April 04, 2016 02:34 PM PDT
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It's a triumphant return to the Nighthawks Studio after a brief seasonal break. The boys are still living in the aftermath of some life upheaval, but they were dying to talk about last week's hit movie (and this week's not-so-hit movie) BATMAN VS SUPERMAN : DAWN OF JUSTICE aka BVS : DOJ (affectionately read out loud as "BEAVIS DODGE.")

It's a real slobber-knocker as the champion of the sun clashes against the Dark Knight. But is it a clash of the titans, or is it a clashing of teeth during a particularly unpleasant make-out session. The guys will parse things out as they reoccupy the Nighthawks Cafe booth, for the first time in six weeks.

Episode 29- Fear and Loathing at the Nighthawks Diner
February 21, 2016 01:55 AM PST
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Let's get down to brass tacks. We're talking about FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS for this episode of the Nighthawks Podcast.
This deceptively deep movie is from film auteur and former Python, Terry Gilliam, and stars Johnny Depp as the enigmatic Dr. Hunter S. Thompson- er... Raoul Duke.
Hunter S. Thompson's book is said to have defined a generation, and within it beats the soul of a man who is looking for one last grasp at the sixties. What follows is a true-to-some-degree story about a drug addled journalist and his drug addled attorney taking on Sin City. Will Vegas be the paradise they seek, or just another money making shill?
We lost Dr. Thompson 11 years ago, this month. The Nighthawks present this discussion as our humble tribute to an American folk hero.

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