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Unspooled

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Unspooled

Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

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Listen up, film fans! Actor & comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson want your advice as they make the ultimate list of the greatest movies of all time. In Season 1, they watched every one of the AFI’s Top 100 films...and decided they could kick off half. Now, they're filling in the gaps by investigating wildly diverse areas of film through miniseries on topics like horror movies, documentaries and romantic comedies, with help from listeners' picks. Along the way, they’ll dissect ...
 
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show series
 
Paul & Amy can’t be ignored when discussing 1987’s hair-raising erotic thriller Fatal Attraction! They praise how casting an age-appropriate partner for Michael Douglas changed the power dynamic of their relationship, wonder if the different ‘stages’ of Glenn Close’s Alex ever truly cohere, and ask how director Adrian Lyne intended audiences to rea…
 
Paul & Amy know 1978’s retro musical sensation Grease is the word! They praise Stockard Channing’s fiercely independent performance as Rizzo, compare the film to contemporary period piece American Graffiti, and explore the early career of “Plastic Bubble”-boy John Travolta. Plus: revisiting an infamous awards disaster masterminded by Grease produce…
 
Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary (from The Video Archives Podcast) join Paul & Amy for an unprecedented Unspooled crossover episode! The quartet cross swords with 1973's swashbuckling Alexandre Dumas adaptation The Three Musketeers, and its 1974 sequel, The Four Musketeers. They praise the star-studded cast (especially Oliver Reed and Faye Dunaway…
 
Paul & Amy fight a new kind of war with 1997’s science fiction action film, Starship Troopers. They dissect the movie’s initially negative reception, show some love for Jake Busey, and consider the underappreciated high-wire act of cinematic satire. Plus: how close did Matt Damon really come to starring in Verhoeven’s film? Next week, our Heroes se…
 
Amy & Paul get the future under control with 1987’s Paul Verhoeven dystopian action film RoboCop! They discover how Verhoeven satirized corporate America despite being completely new to American culture, analyze his technique of making violence comical by exaggerating it, and praise Peter Weller for finding the humanity inside the robot suit. Plus:…
 
Paul & Amy sink their teeth into 1998’s vampiric superhero splatterfest Blade! They discuss how the film was found in the edit, dig deep into Wesley Snipes’ versatility as an actor, and examine the earliest attempts at establishing a Marvel cinematic universe. Plus: how LL Cool J almost played the iconic Daywalker. Next week, our Heroes series cont…
 
Amy & Paul go undercover for 1992’s explosive Jackie Chan martial arts adventure Supercop! They theorize about Hong Kong cinema’s influence on Hollywood action films, break down Michelle Yeoh’s legendary career, and praise the film’s staggeringly dangerous stunt work. Plus: did Tom Cruise steal his playbook from Chan? Next week, our Heroes series c…
 
Paul & Amy rise up for 2022’s revolutionary Indian epic RRR! They learn the difference between Bollywood and the Telugu-language Tollywood scene, break down the “Naatu Naatu” dance scene, and praise the film’s commitment to emotional truth amidst the wild action. Plus: Who is director S.S. Rajamouli’s favorite non-Indian filmmaker? Next week, our H…
 
Paul & Amy swing through 2018’s inter-dimensional comic caper Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse! They praise the filmmakers’ success in bringing comic book style to the screen, remember the controversy around Donald Glover’s fan casting as Peter Parker, and discover the ancient origins of the “multiverse” concept. Plus: How we narrowly avoided a Sp…
 
Amy & Paul head into the danger zone for 1986’s Tom Cruise flight school showdown Top Gun! They debate whether Maverick has a defined character arc, praise the charm of a young Meg Ryan, and piece together how this fit into Cruise’s budding movie star career. Plus: which cast members puked in the cockpit? Next week, we finish Ani-May-Tion month wit…
 
Paul & Amy burrow into 2005’s Aardman claymation caper Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit! They describe the painstaking work that went into every frame of this film, investigate the connection between the Were-Rabbit and Hammer horror films, and discover whether a rabbit has ever killed a person. Plus: hope you’re not feta-up with ch…
 
Paul & Amy slide into 1988’s cyberpunk anime crossover hit Akira! They praise the gamelan-influenced score, learn how the film’s bike races were influenced by post-WWII Tokyo culture, and ask whether this is the “Scarface” of anime. Plus: The eternal debate of subs vs dubs. Next week we kick off a month of Ani-May-Tion month continues with Wallace …
 
Amy & Paul get grubby for 2001's fractured fairy tale Shrek! They discover how the film planted an anti-Disney flag in the mud, review its musical legacy from Smash Mouth to Hallelujah, and debate whether more family films should be just for kids instead of pandering to adults. Plus: Why did Nicolas Cage turn down the titular role? Next week we wra…
 
Paul & Amy lead a quest through 1975's Arthurian sendup Monty Python And The Holy Grail! They discuss how the non-hierarchical structure of Python informed their spoof of monarchy and authority of all kinds, praise the troupe for creating an epic on a small budget, and explore the history of Camelot in America. Plus: how is Monty Python connected t…
 
Amy & Paul break down the past year in film on this Best Of 2021 special episode! They make cases for some of their favorite overlooked films from 2021, from an antic animated family comedy to a royal biopic turned horror film. Plus: a preview of the Oscars, and why this year's Oscar crop feels like it's playing it safe. Next week we're taking your…
 
Amy & Paul shift gears for 2006's Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby! They trace director Adam McKay's origins back to his Second City show Piñata Full of Bees, remember the mid 00's era of French baddies and freedom fries, and make the case McKay has always been a political filmmaker. Plus: what do you get your …
 
Paul & Amy rulla ut the 2014 Swedish dramedy Force Majeure! They celebrate director Ruben Östlund’s dissection of masculinity and gender roles, learn whether men or women are actually more likely to survive disasters, and enjoy Östlund’s reenactment of the "worst cry ever." Plus: a Smörgåsbord of takes on the 2022 Oscar noms! Next week, our cold se…
 
Amy & Paul serve up 2014’s Wes Anderson confection The Grand Budapest Hotel! They praise the inventive action scenes, contrast the different eras of Anderson’s career, and make the case for Gustave H. as Anderson’s best character. Plus: why Tony Revolori had to watch his figure! Next week Unspooled takes a detour for Jackass! You can join the conve…
 
Amy & Paul let it go for 2013's chilly Disney musical megahit Frozen! They praise the filmmakers' careful attention to all the varieties of snow, learn which character co-director Jennifer Lee couldn't stand, and ask whether Disney's "progressive" films are a positive step forward or just a way to generate thinkpieces. Plus: Reheating a Fargo debat…
 
Paul & Amy don't follow the rules for 1996's Wes Craven meta-horror-comedy Scream! They learn Craven's secret to making horror films that resonate, argue that the iconic Ghostface mask works better than a more distinctive look, and unpack the archetype of the "Final Girl." Plus: Henry Winkler and the movie's best in-joke. Next week Unspooled return…
 
Amy & Paul kidnap 1996's Coen Bros' untrue true-crime tale Fargo! They weigh the moral yin and yang of Marge Gunderson and Jerry Lundegaard, learn about a Japanese woman who took the opening title card a little too seriously, and debate if Fargo is the ultimate representative of what the Coens do best. Plus: William H. Macy told Joel Coen he would …
 
In honor of Sidney Poitier's passing, Unspooled is re-releasing this episode from the Unspooled archives. We'll be back with a new episode this Thursday. Amy & Paul take a trip down South for 1967's racially charged police thriller In The Heat Of The Night! They celebrate the excellent soundtrack, scrutinize how well the film holds up as a procedur…
 
In honor of Peter Bogdonavich's passing, Unspooled is re-releasing this episode from the Unspooled archives. We'll be back with a new episode this Thursday. Amy & Paul travel deep into the heart of 1971's Texan coming-of-age story The Last Picture Show! They ask who the film's true protagonist is, marvel at the murderer's row of incredible actors, …
 
This week Unspooled is rereleasing our Season 1 episode on the Billy Wilder classic The Apartment. Stay tuned for a new episode (and new series) next week! Amy & Paul check in to 1960's Billy Wilder-helmed romantic comedy The Apartment! They learn about the real life murder that inspired this story, ask if there's an actor like Jack Lemmon working …
 
Paul & Amy feed 1986’s creature feature musical Little Shop of Horrors! They credit director Frank Oz for getting Audrey II’s physicality just right, dive into the career of Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs, and debate whether the heightened tone of the film feels more theatrical or more cinematic. Plus: A young Jack Nicholson’s astonishing cameo in th…
 
Amy & Paul go to bat for 2001's mega-hit Bollywood sports musical Lagaan! They compare star Aamir Khan to Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, learn about a key last-minute change to the love triangle plot, and ask what makes the choreography of the musical numbers feel both heightened and naturalistic. Plus: Was Lagaan's campaign to win an Oscar a success? N…
 
Paul & Amy kidnap 1993's Gothic stop-motion musical The Nightmare Before Christmas! They praise the carnival-esque compositions of Danny Elfman, compare Oogie Boogie's big musical number to the Max Fleischer cartoon it was inspired by, and dig into the thorny question of who this film's true auteur is, Tim Burton or Henry Selick. Plus: Why did the …
 
Amy & Paul drift off into 1984's Wes Craven sleeper slasher film A Nightmare On Elm Street! They give qualified praise to Johnny Depp's first-ever screen role, appreciate Craven's meta-sequel New Nightmare, and rank Freddy Krueger within the pantheon of slasher icons. Plus: Freddy appeared in a rap video? Next week Unspooled kicks off a new series …
 
Amy & Paul take a hike through 1999's revolutionary found-footage film The Blair Witch Project! They praise Heather Donahue’s often maligned performance, revisit the film's enormously successful viral marketing campaign, and discuss the film's pioneering of immersive, hand-held horror. Plus: Should directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez be cre…
 
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