Dear Filmspotting,

I first discovered your show when you reviewed THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND and was so taken by your film analysis (as opposed to film criticism) that I went back and listened to every single episode until I caught up.

Having just done so…what a ride. To anyone who thinks there’s simply too many shows, they’re missing discussions that remind me why I miss the hay-day of Siskel & Ebert. I’ve had a thirst for good analysis and your Podcast provided an oasis.

Here now are my Top 10 Highlights of listening to every episode of Filmspotting…

10) Early into my marathon I heard listeners call your show “cinecrack”. When I heard that phrase, I realized I was an addict and took comfort in the fact that I wasn’t alone.

9) Your review of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Perhaps your finest single analysis of a film. I still love the first PIRATES, but I may have turned a corner on both the series and Depp’s performance. At the opposite end…CLERKS 2, the only film you reviewed where I not only disagreed with you, I didn’t even understand where you were coming from.

8) The growing debate on a new name for your show. This went on for many episodes and it was especially entertaining because I knew you would eventually settle on “Filmspotting” (Good call there.) On a much smaller scale, I also enjoyed the debate when Sam changed his name.

7) Listening with growing horror as you both felt certain that CRASH had no shot at winning Best Picture. Nothing more needs to be said. It justifies a Filmspotting marathon all by itself.

6) Cinecast A/V: While you weren’t ready for such a big step, it allowed me to finally put faces with the voices. For the record, since then I realize that I am more likely to agree with Adam.

5) Your bravery in admitting to great films you’ve never seen. This was in one of your first podcasts and your list was so appalling I almost stopped listening. But you’ve proven great analysis doesn’t hinge on the number of films you’ve seen.
That being said, you need to get past your fear of the 3 hour movie, and the next time SERENITY or ROGER DODGER comes on the TV, you should think about maybe tackling LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or the Extended Cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN…great films you haven’t seen.

4) Your Marathons: After ridiculing you for films you haven’t seen, you shamed me with a few of your marathon selections. I too have wanted to watch more Herzog/Kinski and following along with your marathon was exactly the right way to do it. I was thrilled when your Screwball Comedy marathon included THE THIN MAN, on of my personal favorites. (By the way, the follow-up is even better with the same great banter and a mystery you actually get involved in.)

3) Because of you I know believe Tim Robbins is our most overrated actor. His hammy performance in HIGH FEDILITY set off red flags when I first saw the film, and after your analysis touched on in several episodes, I question if he’s ever been good. I’m sure I liked him in something, but I can’t think of a single performance that felt real. When he first appeared in WAR OF THE WORLDS, I should have seen the writing on the wall.

2) “Laura Linney is an age-appropriate character delivery device.” Sam, these words will go on your tombstone. It’s not only the funniest thing said on your show it’s the stuff of legend. Close behind in the funny department is your recent massacre theatre translated into Japanese and then back into English. So funny.

1) You had asked listeners at one time to tell you what moment made them loyal followers of the show. For me it was during a discussion of the subjectivity of film criticism and how you can’t argue with someone who simply says “I hated it.” You frequently talk about not reviewing film brands like Harry Potter or Adam Sandler because you feel there’s nothing to add to the discussion. In today’s thumbs up/thumbs world of film criticism, you’ve taught me that it’s much more engaging to discuss a film than to simply throw Strong Opinions back and forth. Now when I watch movies, I talk about them rather then telling others simply what I think, and for that I thank you.

Your Loyal Listener,


Blogger Babylon said...

filmspotting is my favorite podcast. Just wondering, are you posting to the filmspotting forum? I am at the forums known as saltine. If you're not a part of the fun there, join in. Consider this your personal invitation.

1:16 PM  

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