Unspooled

Unspooled

Each week actor & comedian Paul Scheer (Black Friday, The League) and film critic Amy Nicholson (New York Times, Washington Post) break down the greatest films of all time. From the classics, to new releases and every indie film in-between. Along the way, they’ll dissect iconic scenes, spotlight their favorite characters, and talk to some of the actors and directors who worked on these classics. Join Paul and Amy every Thursday as they “Unspool” a new film and decide if it still stands the test of time.

Episodes

July 11, 2024 56 mins

Paul & Amy are baking the biggest cake in the world for Godzilla and congratulating him for finally winning an Academy Award after seven decades. The two praise the film for balancing “popcorn movie” energy while locking you into an emotional personal story. Paul marvels at the film only having 35 visual effects artists, and how director Takashi Yamazaki in an Ocean’s 11 style assembled his team, highlighting their specialties. Plu...

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This week, Paul & Amy are breaking down the 1996 Will Smith disaster vehicle Independence Day. The two dig into what makes a great “popcorn movie,” why this movie still works, and this particular era of Jeff Goldblum box office "gold." Plus, Paul gives us a bonus breakdown of the 2016 sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.


 

You can join the Unspooled conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6

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June 27, 2024 64 mins

This week, Paul and Amy dig into the 2024 release Dune: Part Two, starring Timothée Chalamet, Austin Butler and Zendaya. Paul reveals his disappointment with the movie while Amy stands up for the brilliance of the storytelling, and then the two dig into why Frank Herbert wrote Dune as a reaction to Lawrence of Arabia. Plus, Amy reveals questions omitted from her NYT interview with Dune director Denis Villeneuve about the Dune movie...

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June 20, 2024 62 mins

This week Paul & Amy are kicking off the summer movie season by rounding up all the releases you're dying to hear about. We're talking about the good, the bad, and the indie. Paul proclaims Bad Boys: Ride or Die should have been called something else while wondering if Challengers was sexy enough, and Amy is not on board with this year's Garfield movie. Then, the two dive into a few indie movies like The People’s Joker, Late Night ...

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This week, Amy welcomes Sean Fennessey (Head of Content, The Ringer & The Big Picture Podcast) to discuss the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster. The two discuss the power of J.J. Hunsecker's journalism and the "ick" of the Sidney Falco PR machine in the film and how it parallels modern-day anxiety in today's entertainment industry. Plus, we learn the origins of the word Frenemy and this film's...

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This week, Amy welcomes back comedian Jamie Loftus (Sixteenth Minute (of Fame) Podcast) to break down the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Amy reveals this was the first art house movie she ever saw in the theater, and the two discuss how this movie parallels Mad Max: Fury Road and Furiosa, and of course, they talk about the Thong Dress and the problem with Bob. 


 

You can join the Unspooled conversation on...

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May 30, 2024 105 mins

Amy & Paul race through 2015’s post-apocalyptic action masterwork Mad Max: Fury Road! They learn why director George Miller brought on feminist playwright Eve Ensler as an advisor, praise the film’s playful and careful worldbuilding, and ask whether Miller comes from the ‘tyrant’ school of directing. Plus: Witness young dating show contestant Tom Hardy!


 

You can join the Unspooled conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg...

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May 23, 2024 59 mins

This week Paul & Amy are breaking down the 1979 film Mad Max directed by George Miller. The two discuss this modern-day silent film, all the dangers and injuries that happened on set and how this untamed film is a necessary watch. We’re not a bad podcast, we’re sick! Meow!


 

You can join the Unspooled conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6

Follow Paul and Amy on Letterboxd for more of their movie hot takes! ht...

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May 16, 2024 75 mins

This week, Paul and Amy are delving into nostalgia as they analyze the 1985 film The Goonies. They discuss the collaboration between Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg and the film's frenetic energy, and wonder what Martha Plimpton was doing with that crab! Bonus: Paul reveals The Goonies' connection to Back To The Future!


 

Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Out in stores on 5/20/24. Find it at https://ww...

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May 9, 2024 73 mins

This week Paul & Amy are breaking down the 1976 Brian De Palma film Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek. The two dig into the Stephen King of it all, bad moms, and the trauma of menstruation, and to Amy’s dismay Paul reveals that he does NOT love this film. 

Next week, Paul and Amy will take a look at the 80's kids classic, The Goonies! Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, Psycho, here: https://www.earwolf....

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May 2, 2024 68 mins

This week Paul and Amy are breaking down the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow film Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. The two dig into this elevated action movie and discuss how Kathryn Bigelow helped launch Keanu Reeves into action stardom. Then, Paul asks if this movie is shaped around the “Female Gaze," and Amy fills us all in about the stunts in this movie and which Red Hot Chili Peppers member didn't take the stunt tra...

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April 25, 2024 57 mins

This week, to celebrate the release of Luca Guadagnino's Challengers, Paul and Amy break down the 2018 film Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothée Chalamet (sorry, no Zendaya in this one). The two talk about the beauty of the film's title, Guadagnino’s obsessive messiness, and the delicate CGI’ing of a certain actor's nether region. Plus, this movie has us all nostalgic over our first loves and our first heartbreaks.


 

Next week, Pa...

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April 18, 2024 68 mins

This week, Paul & Amy look at the other side of divorce with the 2013 Spike Jonze film HER. The two break down the incredibly charming performance of Joaquin Phoenix, discuss the AI of it all, dig into all the messiness that is being in romantic relationships, and ask, “Was Scarlett Johansson acting as an avatar for the Jonze-Coppola divorce?”.


 

Next week, Paul and Amy take a look at the film Call Me By Your Name, in honor of the re...

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April 11, 2024 70 mins

This week, Paul is gone, but Amy is joined by fellow film critic and podcast host, Rico Gagliano (MUBI Podcast). The two break down the 2003 Sofia Coppola classic, Lost in Translation, starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. They dig into the themes of alienation and loneliness in the film, the visual style of Sofia Coppola, and how she has noted that this movie could never get made today. Plus as a special treat, Amy finds an...

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April 4, 2024 68 mins

This week, Paul is away on tour, but Amy is joined by fellow film critic and podcast host David Sims (Blank Check). They break down the 1987 romcom Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. Amy and David question Cher’s character “jinx”, notice the moon woven into all the details of the film, and learn about Norman Jewison's fantasy headspace when making his films. So sit back and let the moon hit your eye!


 

Next week, Amy will be...

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March 28, 2024 64 mins

This week Amy and Paul are rocking out to the 1973 film Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Ted Neeley and directed by Norman Jewison. This musical stage play turned Burning Man Christ film was shot in the Israeli desert, leaving everyone mystified by the budget’s lack of generosity in only affording the actors one set of costumes. Plus, why Ted Neeley was always the best fit for the role of Jesus, competing against John Travolta, Joh...

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March 21, 2024 65 mins

This week Paul and Amy’s clones are breaking down the 2009 film, Moon, starring Sam Rockwell and directed by Duncan Jones. But first things first, honoring our Oscars bet, Paul announces his removal of the film Intolerance from the Paul and Amy Institute list, much to Amy’s chagrin. Then, Paul and Amy dig into Moon, it being a “holy shit” movie in 2009, ponder how and what clones remember, and finally Amy makes the connection betwe...

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March 14, 2024 60 mins

This week Amy & Paul are eating potatoes while discussing the 2015 film The Martian, starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott. They highlight the very grounded comedy throughout the film, draw comparisons between Mark Watney and Richard Hatch from Survivor, and respect that this film has no villains. Plus: This movie really makes us appreciate smart people being good at their jobs.


 

Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about Du...

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March 7, 2024 66 mins

This week Paul & Amy are digging into all things Oscars and the Best Picture Nominees of 2024. The two ask, "was Barbie the most culturally significant film of 2023 and could it win Best Picture?" and "should Killers of the Flower Moon and Poor Things be thirty minutes shorter?" Then, Paul and Amy challenge each other to get every Oscar category wrong, because they can’t help but to vote with their hearts. We invite you, the listen...

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February 29, 2024 72 mins

This week the Spice is flowing, and Paul & Amy are covering the 2021 film Dune. The two discuss the complicated feelings of going to the movies in the year 2021, Dune’s 2022 Oscar snub, ask “is this Beetlejuice?”, and dig into the undeniable influence Dune has had on Sci-Fi. 


 

You can read Amy Nicholson’s interview with Denis Villeneuve and Timothée Chalamet: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/21/movies/dune-timothee-chalamet-villeneuv...

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