Houselights: A Film Director Podcast

Houselights: A Film Director Podcast

The show started with revisiting all of David Fincher's directorial works but we just had to keep going. Listen week by week, film by flim, as we review every movie from our favorite directors.

Episodes

June 24, 2022 64 min
Originally receiving mixed reviews, 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven found new life with a 2006 Director’s Cut. Orlando Bloom anchors this tale set during the 12th Century Crusades exploring the ethical paradoxes which faith and duty sometimes pose. Houselights revisits the director’s cut and asks, were audiences cheated with the original release...or spared?
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Loosely inspired by Rome at the end of the Pax Romana, 2000’s seminal crowd-pleaser Gladiator defined Russell Crowe’s career and remains a benchmark for sword-and-sandal epics. Audiences cheered the heroism of a reluctant hero challenging a mad ruler, but does this film echo in eternity or fade with the passage of time?
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Using state-of-the-art visual effects and 3-D immersion, Ridley Scott brings new life to the story of defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrible cycle of deadly plagues.
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June 2, 2022 60 min
Houselights missed one!

Joe Dante directed "The Howling" in 1981 and so his first film of the 80s is our last. This movie was a financial success and spawned several sequels. But does this connect with the modern audience?
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May 27, 2022 60 min
Joe Dante closed out the 1980s with "The 'Burbs," a sendup of suburban life and sensibilities with Tom Hanks still in his comic acting phase, starring as an average man pushed to the brink by suspicions about his new neighbors. With three filmed endings, and an all-star cast, is The ‘Burbs a cult classic or a misfire?
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May 19, 2022 67 min
Featuring the charm of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan and the comedy stylings of Martin Short, Joe Dante’s sci-fi comedy Innerspace spins the concept of Fantastic Voyage into a caper about secret government technology. More than 3 decades later, is it still fun to inject this romp into the Blu-Ray player?
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May 13, 2022 56 min
One year after Gremlins, Joe Dante delivered a loving homage to the spirit of invention and imagination with the decidedly kid-friendly Explorers. Starring the up-and-coming Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix, does its loving homage to 1950s sci-fi still resonate?
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May 5, 2022 56 min
Joe Dante’s Gremlins became a phenomenon and merchandising gold mine, but generated enough controversy that it helped give birth to PG-13 as a rating in the US. Does it hold up as a movie nearly 40 years later, or does it find itself trapped in a cocoon of 80s sensibilities?
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April 28, 2022 55 min
One of John Candy’s signature roles, Uncle Buck was the penultimate work of John Hughes’ directing career. While a broad comedy like his earliest works, does it reflect a more mature outlook on life and responsibility?
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One of John Hughes’ lesser-known works, She’s Having a Baby remains a useful choice in any game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Looking at how pregnancy changes the dynamic of a couple, is there a reason this one is the forgotten work of a highly-regarded director?
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Looking to break away from high school adventure stories, John Hughes wrote and directed a story fictionalizing something he knew from his ad agency life: the commute home from New York to Chicago. Steve Martin and John Candy journey together in a story many regard as one of the best comedies ever made.
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Matthew Broderick became a household name thanks to John Hughes’ fantasy tale of a high school boy who can’t lose no matter what brash choices he makes. Acting as a love letter to the city of Chicago, does the film still resonate?
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March 31, 2022 58 min
John Hughes returns to raunchy adult comedy with teenage boys as the focus, their libidos powering a strange experiment that brings a sexual fantasy to life. Is it a step forward, or a cynical step back?
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Perhaps John Hughes’ signature work, the story of several high school malcontents in detention struggling to understand each other and themselves has remained a cultural touchstone for decades. Does it hold up for modern audiences, or is its reputation a mirage of nostalgia?
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With his first film, John Hughes exploded onto the scene, not just capturing but shaping the zeitgeist of 1980s teen cinema. Houselights looks back on a film awash in nostalgia but regarded as problematic in execution, and debates what value there is within.
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Released 21 days after The Thomas Crown Affair, this adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead starred Antonio Banderas and caused Omar Sharif to temporarily retire in disappointment. A big-budget bomb, Houselights closes out the House of McTiernan to ask, “Is this an overlooked gem?”
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Starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, this remake of Norman Jewison’s 1968 film was looking to be a surefire hit in the summer of 1999. But there was, fittingly, a twist only M. Night Shyamalan could write: Another box office sensation waiting to undercut John McTiernan’s latest.
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Searching for a hit and retooling a good script, John McTiernan reteamed with Bruce Willis to salve the let-down of Harlin’s Die Hard 2 with "Die Hard with a Vengeance". Attaching Sam Jackson and Jeremy Irons, did they create new magic or dilute the memory of an action classic?
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February 10, 2022 54 min
Grab your magic ticket and break the 4th wall to revisit Arnold Schwarzenneger flexing his muscles and clout to make a star-studded action-comedy, helmed by John McTiernan. Powered by high-profile talent and one of the biggest box-office draws ever...what could go wrong?
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February 3, 2022 49 min
Houselights goes off the beaten path to discover Sean Connery in John McTiernan's film "Medicine Man." Did they discover a lost classic full of chemistry or a ruinous rainforest excursion?
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