Lass is More with Josh Lasser

Lass is More with Josh Lasser

Focusing on the media, "Lass is More" sits down with the individuals who make the movies and shows that people are, or will be, talking about. The things we watch are not created in a vacuum, but rather as responses to far larger thoughts and issues. From why someone took a role to what it means to them to where they’re going next, we put the pieces of the puzzle together. The "Lass is More" podcast gets to the core of the issue, offering perspective on both the people involved in a project, and the project itself.

Episodes

April 27, 2021

Recorded before the Academy Awards ceremony this year, this week we're celebrating Best Picture winner, "Nomadland." ?Out on Blu-ray this week, the film both celebrates a lifestyle and condemns the institutions that force it upon some. ?It has to make you wonder -- why do we allow so few to keep so much for themselves and keep so many so close to the poverty line?

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Out on Netflix, "Bad Trip," like "Borat," is a movie where actors go around and do things to provoke a response from people they run into.  It has some exceptionally funny moments in it, but Josh can't help but watch this sort of movie and wonder about all the moments where the pranks didn't go as planned.  Is he the only one?

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Does Josh speak a little quickly here?  If so, it's only because he has a ton of thoughts about the complicated nature of the way so many movies are coming out these days, including "Raya and the Last Dragon."  The movie is great, but should you pay $30 to get it on Diseny+ Premiere Access or the same to get it on iTunes?  Prime Video?  Blu-ray?  There are so many options!

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There are any number of things that might stand out to you about this week's podcast episode, one in which we discuss the movie "Our Friend."  However, we think it'll be Josh's distress at the movie being named "Our Friend" when there are very good reasons to have it named differently (as you will hear if you listen).

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Tom Hanks is incredibly wonderful as the former Captain fighting for the Confederacy, Jefferson Kyle Kidd, in "News of the World."  Hanks makes this man (in what is an incredibly well made movie), a defender of all that is good and true and right.  He may be a man with demons, but he's a proud former soldier and we watch as he fights for one child.

How exactly does this movie not deal with the fact that Kidd went to war...

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Out next week on Blu-ray is "The Greatest Show on Earth."  It is a movie that brings us back to the days of big top circuses.  It makes us yearn for the popcorn and the sawdust, the clowns and the trapeze.  

It is also selling something that never was.  We need to be able to see that.

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Okay, so streaming services like HBO Max and Netflix aren't quite the video store of old.  Browsing through titles is tough, exclusivity makes thing worse, and they're constantly throwing their new movies at you in favor of catalog items.  But, that doesn't mean there isn't good stuff to be found... if you look for it.

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Maya Zinshtein has directed, and Abraham Troen has produced, a new documentary called "'Til Kingdom Come." On today's podcast they both join Josh to talk about the movie and this incredible alliance that has formed between one Israel-based philanthropic organization and Christian Evangelicals in the United States.  The two groups may seem far apart, but maybe it is money that makes the world go round.

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Up today on the podcast we have literary legend Tim O'Brien.  For his 2019 book, "Dad's Maybe Book," O'Brien allowed a camera into his house to follow him.  Directed by Aaron Matthews, the documentary resulting from this, "The War and Peace of Tim O'Brien" is now out on VOD and the man himself joins us to talk about it.

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Out this week on blu-ray is a new John Hughes five movie collection.  Aptly titled, "John Hughes 5-Movie Collection," the included titles are:  "Ferris Bueller's Day Off;" "She's Having a Baby;" "Pretty in Pink;" "Some Kind of Wonderful;" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

We're talking about all of them a little this week, but mostly Steve Martin because "Planes, T...

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There is something to be said for getting the facts of a story right. There is something entirely different to be said for getting the feelings of a story right.  Where exactly does "Lady Sings the Blues" end up?  Does it hit one of the marks?  Does it hit both? And, has the sense of it changed since its initial release?

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It is all too easy, especially with the pandemic, to forget to look up and see the world around you.  We have put life on hold in order to have that life continue.  

"Elizabethtown" and 2015's "The Little Prince" are now out on Blu-ray and Josh has some distinct thoughts about the journeys in those films and how they relate to our current world.  Well, he thinks the thoughts are distinct.  You be the judge.

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Up today on the podcast we have Eliza Schroeder, whose new film "Love Sarah" is currently available on VOD.  The wide-ranging discussion goes into how the idea for the bakery came about, what it's like to try to film food, how long the characters have lived in her head, and whether or not the bakery in the story would survive COVID-19.

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Growing up, it felt like Danny Kaye movies were constantly being aired.  Josh avoided them and it was an error he corrects this week as he watches "The Court Jester."  On the other hand, he watched plenty of Mel Gibson and makes the mistake of seeing the actor's latest, "Fatman."

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There is, one suspects, something clever buried somewhere within  the filmic adaptation of "The Empty Man" graphic novel.  The movie has a great look and James Badge Dale is a good actor and there's a lot to chew on in it.  But, maybe because of its length or its desire to twist things around or its not wanting to explain anything in any way that makes any sense, it all ends up feeling... well... empty.

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Our intent for this episode was to talk about "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "The Midnight Sky."  Instead, Donald Trump, backed by the Republican Party, decided to continue to fan the flames of idiocy and hatred and the Capitol Building was taken over by terrorists.  So, we're talking about that instead.

For what it's worth, both movies are really good.

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"Grizzly II" was initially shot in the early 1980s.  Or, some of it was shot until the money ran out (a producer left the project).  In 2018, one of the producers, Suzanne Csikos Nagy, returned to the movie and finished it.  That film is out on VOD this week.  We admire the effort that must have taken and wonder what it means about returning/reediting projects in general.

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Out on Blu-ray and 4K next week is the Dylan O'Brien starring "Love and Monsters."  The movie takes place post-apocalypse with mutated monsters now at the top of the food chain.  While that isn't quite where we are, the movie does have some things it can teach us about getting by with Covid still ravaging the land.

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Michael Mann's "Collateral" is now out on 4K UHD, and it is a movie worth owning.  It's worth it for the Tom Cruise-Jamie Foxx conversations alone.  It is a stylish, wonderful, affair.  Plus, Jamie Foxx gets to hear from Jada Pinkett Smith about what it's like to have a case of the nerves, and we love that.

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Today we're accusing Shakespeare of being wrong -- names matter.  Director Francis Ford Coppola may get towards this in the introduction that accompanies the Blu-ray release of a rejiggered version of "The Godfather Part III," now titled, "The Godfather, Coda:  The Death of Michael Corleone," but we're going to look a little bit more at movie titles changes, content changes, and what it all means.

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