Not Playing with Lex and Dan

A podcast where two guys fill the gaps in their pop-culture knowledge by watching classic movies that they haven't seen before.

2.12

Dude, Where’s My Scarface?

Special guest John Siracusa takes time out of his busy operating-system review schedule to join Lex and Dan for Not Playing’s season two finale. Neither John nor your regular hosts had ever seen Scarface. We fixed that.

Of course, Siracusa’s known for being hypercritical. Will Oliver Stone’s script, Brian De Palma’s directing, and Al Pacino’s acting be enough to impress him, or will Scarface need to say hello to John’s little friend: grudging disdain?

Hot topics include what makes a gangster movie successful, random characters who suddenly become the center of attention during the climactic conclusion, and man, is Michelle Pfeiffer beautiful.

Want to support the show? You can stream along from Amazon and give us a kickback at the same time, or if you prefer iTunes, we roll that way too.

You may be wondering when season three of Not Playing will kick off. We’re wondering that, too, and we’ll decide soon! Stay tuned to the site and our Twitter feed for more info.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren with John Siracusa

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Previous Episodes

2.11

Finders Sneakers

We missed you, too.

We took a few weeks off, but then we felt that longing, that need to once again share the joy of watching a movie most everyone has seen, but that at least one of us hasn’t.

In this case, Dan introduced Lex to 1992’s Sneakers, which Lex repeatedly attempted to confuse with the Angelina Jolie starrer Hackers. Sneakers is not Hackers, as Dan patiently explained to Lex. Repeatedly. For a movie about cryptography and hacking, Sneakers holds up surprisingly well.

Hot topics include Lex’s confusion between Robert Redford and Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley’s New Jersey accent or lack thereof, and stock characters.

Support the show by watching Sneakers via Amazon streaming, or by grabbing the movie from iTunes. And, as always, we’d love it if you left us a review.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.10

Glengarry Glen Ross Glenn Fleishman

ABC: Always Be ‘Casting.

Lex didn’t know how big a David Mamet fan Dan was; he just knew that Dan hadn’t seen Glengarry Glen Ross, and that was an oversight only Not Playing could fix.

So put that coffee down and listen in as Dan experiences the Jack Lemmon / Al Pacino / Kevin Spacey / Ed Harris / Alec Baldwin / Alan Arkin film for the first time.

Hot topics include whether all sales people are really like this, similarities between Mamet and Aaron Sorkin, and enjoying a movie where there’s no one in particular to root for.

We suggest that after you watch (and listen), you follow it up with a viewing of Alec Baldwin delivering his famous Glengarry speech on Saturday Night Live—while motivating Santa’s elves.

It’s true; Glengarry Glen Ross is streaming on Netflix. But if you aren’t a Netflix member, and/or you want to help support the podcast, feel free to stream it from Amazon or iTunes instead.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.9

The Hunt for Red Octoberfest

When you need someone to perfectly embody a Russian military officer, there’s only one man to think of. And that man, of course, is Connery. Sean Connery.

This week, Dan invites Lex to see a movie for the first time—a movie where Connery gets precisely such a role: 1990’s The Hunt for Red October. Lex had been in the theater for this film once, years ago, but he fell asleep after just a few minutes.

That doesn’t happen this time. Or does it?!

Hot topics include unsubtle language transitions, submarine lingo, and whatever the word is for that narrative device where you know more, and also less, than the other characters do. (It’s probably German.)

Support Not Playing by streaming The Hunt For Red October from Amazon or iTunes. And while you’re there, go ahead and leave us a review, won’t you, tovarisch?

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.8

Over There’s Something About Mary

History is littered with successful brothers: the Wrights, the Karamazovs, the Wayans, the Hansons, and so on. But perhaps no pair of brothers has become so famous for an extended masturbation joke as the brothers Farrelly.

Dan had never seen their, ahem, seminal 1998 classic There’s Something About Mary. After learning of Dan’s appreciation for the comedy in movies like Army of Darkness and Hudson Hawk, Lex felt like he had a good chance of entertaining Dan with Stiller/Diaz/Dillon hijinks.

You’ll have to listen to learn whether Lex was right. Hot topics include stunt dogs, the brothers Dillon, and cringeworthy comedy.

You can watch along with us by streaming the film from Amazon or iTunes. And while you’re over at iTunes, leave us a rating, why don’t you?

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.7

You and What Army of Darkness

Sometimes things are simply dead. Other times, they are EVIL dead. But one thing will never die: Dan’s affection for Army of Darkness, the third film in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy—which Lex had never seen.

Hot topics include director trademarks, when campiness works, and homages to movies that we also haven’t seen.

You can watch along with us by streaming the film—we used the theatrical release version—from Amazon or iTunes.

Dan apologizes for the occasional trucks you’ll hear driving past his open window. But that was better than his suffering heatstroke in the midst of enjoying Bruce Campbell’s fine performance.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.6

Spelling Beetlejuice

Michael Keaton only appears for 17 and a half minutes—but he’s still playing the title role. And he’s joined by Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara. It’s 1988’s Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice!

Dan had never seen it, but Lex remembered the film fondly. (Lex even owned a slew of Beetlejuice-themed toys back in his childhood.)

Hot topics include Danny Elfman’s noticeable score, which special effects age best, and the joy of when daylight comes and me wan’ go home.

You can also watch along with us by streaming Beetlejuice from Amazon or iTunes. And we always appreciate ratings and reviews there, too.

If you watch along with us using the commentary track, don’t panic if there’s an extended moment of silence (or two); Skype issues made things a bit difficult for us during the film for a spell.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.5

Hudson Hawkward

You’re Bruce Willis, you’ve made it big with Die Hard, and there’s only one obvious next step: You make a goofily silly vanity project with unlikely musical numbers, James Coburn, and Leonardo da Vinci.

And that project is the 1991 box-office bomb—but cult classic!—Hudson Hawk. Lex, like much of America, hadn’t seen it. And, at Dan’s insistence, Lex did no research of any kind; he had no idea what to expect as he watched it with Dan for the first time. In retrospect, Lex thinks maybe he should have been drunk. At least as drunk as Willis himself must have been when he conceived the film.

Hot topics include whether this is David Caruso’s best role, the perfection of a certain runaway stretcher scene, and how stupid is too stupid for comedy.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.4

Twins Some, Lose Some

Black and white. Yin and yang. Cheech and Chong. Lex and Dan. Life is full of opposites that go together.

This week, Lex shows Dan the 1988 comedy classic Twins. DeVito. Schwarzenegger. And let’s not forget Preston or Caruso!

Hot topics include how much easier Arnold is to impersonate than Danny, likable bad guys, and unlikable good guys.

You can support Not Playing by filling out our listener survey, checking out Hulu Plus, or also by streaming Twins from Amazon, or ordering the DVD. If iTunes is more your style, you can grab the movie there, too. And don’t hesitate to leave us a rating or a review while you’re there!

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.3

What the L.A. Confidential?

What do you get when you take a bunch of leading and character actors, mix them together in a 1950s-era neo-noir, and sprinkle on a helping of Not Playing? You get L.A. Confidential, that’s what.

Dan knew Lex had never seen the Russell Crowe/Kim Basinger/Guy Pearce/Kevin Spacey/Danny DeVito flick. He also knew that the movie won Oscars (though it lost many more to Titanic), and, of course, that L.A. Confidential has a 99% fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. What could go wrong?!

Hot topics include whether James Cromwell should even have attempted that Irish accent, how this may well be the spontaneously violent role that Crowe was born to play, and comparisons to The Untouchables (which Lex first watched last season).

You can support Not Playing by filling out our listener survey, and also by streaming L.A. Confidential from Amazon, or ordering the Blu-ray. Or heck, read the book! If iTunes is your cup of whiskey-infused tea, you can grab the movie there, too.

And while you’re in iTunes, think about leaving us a review or a rating. You can even keep your identity (L.A.) confidential.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


2.2

That’s No Moon!

We all go through moon phases.

Amazingly enough, though Lex had seen the 2009 Sam Rockwell sci-fi film Moon, Dan had not. Fortunately, Lex recognized the gravity of the situation, and righted that wrong with Dan for this week’s episode.

Hot topics include Sam Rockwell’s incredible acting ability, the morality of what’s going on in the movie, and happy endings.

You can support us not only by checking out our fine sponsor below (mmm, delicious Shari’s Berries, with big discounts if you use the code NOT PLAYING), but also by streaming Moon from Amazon, or ordering the Blu-ray. If iTunes is your cup of tea, you can grab the movie there, too.

And while you’re in iTunes, think about leaving us a review or a rating. That would just send us over the moon.

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


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