You Need to See: Sweet Smell of Success

by dawn on August 6, 2014

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Sweet Smell of Success (1957) takes place in one of those movie-worlds where people just don’t speak the way real humans do. The Clifford Odets/Ernest Lehman-scripted lines like “That’s fish four days old. I won’t buy it!” burst from characters’ mouths like machine-gun fire, a mixture of both real and made-up lingo that delights the ear. It’s a film where the dialogue has a distinct, hypnotic rhythm that propels the story, with characters using their words as both lures and weapons. [click to continue…]

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Dawn talks about interviewing directors like Guillermo Del Toro and McG, and why it was the only part of her film critic life that used to make her nervous, and discussion of movies leads to our annual talk about the annual summer superhero film that Dawn sees annually. This year, it’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which might not even TECHNICALLY be a superhero film. Dawn gets into that, the gloriousness of Chris Pratt, the monolith that is Marvel Studios, and the ways in which being a fan of blockbusters means you almost have to have a business degree in order to make sense of everything. Also – a behind the scenes look at how next week’s show is going to work!

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Considering pop-culture has been enjoying a 3-to-4 year love affair with that decade, it’s nice to hear from someone who actually lived through it. ALL of it. Dawn describes her days going to punk shows, watching the new wave kids and the ska kids pogo out of that scene, and describes how truly transformative MTV really was in those days. Instead of discussing the intracacies and flavors in a fine food dish, today’s Ham-Fisted discussion digs into the way fashion and music intersected and shaped the way popular culture was, and is now, considering we can’t stop ripping it off.

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An episode that gets into some ham-fisted politics. It’s almost unavoidable when we’re talking about health care, unfortunately. When trying to stay healthy becomes a big concern (and it is with Dawn and Patrick) eventually you have to talk about the politics behind paying hundreds of dollars just to make sure your heart doesn’t explode. But that’s not the only concern on today’s show: Why are people stealing Eric Snider’s bicycles? Why can’t Patrick do the dishes right? How the hell is Comcast going to compete when Google Fiber hits Portland? How is Portland going to screw up Google Fiber? All that and more in one ham-fisted hour.

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Episode 231 – The Burger Principle

by admin on July 14, 2014

Another show dedicated to the culinary side of life, brought on by back-to-back beach trips by Dawn and Bobby. Learn a little about the Oregon Coast’s Sociological Experiment that is Seaside, before learning a LOT about Burgers in the Pacific Northwest, and learning even more about Jack in the Crack’s latest taco offering, and the strange mutagenic powers it can cast on Patrick. Fish ‘n’ Chips, sour beer, and of course, some movie recommendations to pair with your grub.

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A hearty episode of Ham-Fisted, investigating the idea of finite talent and infinite frustration, Bobby’s youthful indiscretions in the world of art-crime, Bobby Womack’s influence and the art of the perfect kiss-off, Season 2 of “Orange is the New Black,” and how to make fried chicken so that it isn’t a clumpy, blackened, unsatisfying mess. It’s a summery picnic of a show. Come and join us on this large blanket in this sunlit meadow and have some potato salad with us.

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Somehow, some way, Red Sonja had a part to play in Dawn’s plans for the show. But the best laid plans of Red Sonjas will skid sideways when you introduce NIGHT BEARS and STUFFED SALMON into the equasion. Encounters with wild animals leads to talk about eating crawdad brains and the horrible, terrible secret of chicken wings. A deliciously educational Ham-Fisted hour. Just make sure you don’t play this too loudly near Dawn’s front window.

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Dawn and Patrick tested their relationship early and often. Scrabble will do that to a marriage. Scrabble, on a honeymoon, with Steely Dan on the soundtrack: there are lessons to be learned from such behavior, and you will not only learn those lessons, but learn how they apply to other social situations as well, such as talking during a movie, ragequitting during Settlers of Catan, and embezzling money during Monopoly. Also, find out how Facebook is like the smoking lounge at the Airport.

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Eric D. Snider joins Dawn to discuss Summer Movie Season, which gets bigger and louder every year, but is it getting better? Dawn and Eric make their picks, which include a couple obvious choices, a couple surprises, and a guarantee that whatever it is you watch this summer, it’s likely still not going to be as funny as whatever dumb YouTube video you got linked on facebook last week.

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Episode 226 – Check the Ingredients

by admin on May 25, 2014

There’s a lot that goes into even the simplest of films, and Dawn spends most of the show not only breaking down the nutrition facts on Godzilla, but breaking down what goes into the big budget blockbusters you love to eat, and why those ingredients get chosen.

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