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


Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

We return to a galaxy far, far away, a slightly less long time ago for the second installment of our epic third season, covering the entire Star Wars saga. Supreme Chancellor Dan Moren guides Senator Lex Friedman through the 2002 soporific bore film, Attack of the Clones.

Hot topics for this episode include telling the difference between clones and droids, a horrendously unconvincing love story, why CGI Yoda is an offense to all right-minded people, and who the hell Jimmy Smits is playing.

Programming Note: In addition to this capsule episode, which contains our discussion before and after the film, members can watch along with Lex and Dan in a full-length commentary track, available in the members-only First Class feed. If you’re not already a member, why not sign up? And if you are, now’s a great time to update your membership allocations and maybe throw a little support in the direction of Not Playing. Thanks!

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren

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Previous Episodes


Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

You’re not seeing things! We’re back with a very special season three of Not Playing with Lex and Dan. Right on schedule, as we promised. Go about your business. Move along.

Regular listeners of the show know that among the most egregious holes in Lex’s movie-watching history are most of the Star Wars saga, so in season three, we’re out to correct that oversight. Join Jedi Master Dan Moren as he takes padawan Lex under his wing and shepherds him through the entire eight (soon to be nine) movie saga.

Hot topics for this debut episode, which covers the 1999 travesty installment, The Phantom Menace, include what to do about really uncomfortable portrayals of aliens, why some droids can’t speak English, whether or not Queen Amidala is currently Natalie Portman, and what the hell planet we’re on now.

Programming Note: In addition to this capsule episode, which contains our discussion before and after the film, members can watch along with Lex and Dan in a full-length commentary track, available in the members-only First Class feed. If you’re not already a member, why not sign up? And if you are, now’s a great time to update your membership allocations and maybe throw a little support in the direction of Not Playing. Thanks!

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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