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.


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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


Fargo to Hell

We're back. But we still haven't seen a lot of movies.

After season one's romp through the 80s, Lex and Dan return for a new season of watching movies that everyone else has seen--but that they haven't. And for season two, we're now part of The Incomparable podcasting empire. (Not that Lex has seen The Empire Strikes Back. Yet.)

Season two kicks off with a movie neither Dan nor Lex had seen prior: The Coen brothers' 1996 black comedy Fargo. Bust out your best North Dakotan accent and let's do this. Hot topics include character actors and the roles we recognize them from, feeling real emotions for fictional characters in comedies, and--of course--wood chippers.

You can support us not only by checking out our fine sponsors below, but also by streaming Fargo from Amazon, or ordering the DVD. 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, why don'cha?


I Karate Kid You Not

Wax on, wax off, wax nostalgic: It’s the season finale of Not Playing, and we have both a special guest and a special movie.

Neither Lex or Dan had ever seen the seminal 1984 martial arts classic The Karate Kid. And neither had The Incomparable host Jason Snell, who joins us to watch one of Ralph Macchio’s finest performances.

Hot topics include Elisabeth Shue’s sweater collection, the power of the montage, and whether Mr. Miyagi is kind of a jerk—if a preternaturally good karate teacher. Sweep the leg!

You can support Not Playing by streaming The Karate Kid from Amazon, or by ordering the DVD. iTunes fans can support the show by snagging the film via this link. And while you’re in iTunes, think about leaving us a review or a rating. Seriously. We know karate.


Doctor Who Framed Roger Rabbit

We’re not bad podcasters. We’re just drawn that way.

Dan somehow never saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the 1988 American fantasy comedy classic directed by Robert Zemeckis, and starring every awesome cartoon character that ever was. And Roger Rabbit murders a guy. Or does he?!

Hot topics include whether Donald Duck utters a racial epithet (no), whether it’s okay for humans to find Jessica Rabbit attractive (also no), and whether Christopher Lloyd has ever portrayed a young man (also also no).

You can support Not Playing by streaming Who Framed Roger Rabbit from Amazon, or ordering the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. Prefer to show your support for Not Playing via iTunes? Snag the movie there instead. And while you’re there, think about leaving us a review or a rating. Think real hard. Thanks!


The Funtouchables

David Mamet. Brian De Palma. Lex Friedman. Dan Moren. There’s no prohibition on podcasts about 1987 American crime dramas, so this week, Not Playing watches The Untouchables.

Hot topics include Sean Connery’s terrible accent, under-appreciated Naked Gun parody origins, and whether Andy Garcia could successfully portray a young Robert De Niro should the need arise. (Answer: Maybe.)

You can support Not Playing by streaming The Untouchables from Amazon, or ordering it on DVD or Blu-ray. Prefer to show your support for Not Playing via iTunes? Snag the movie there instead. We’ll be … untouchable.


Unbecoming to America

When you think of people who haven’t seen a lot of movies that most people have, think of Lex and Dan. And when you think of garbage, think of Akeem. Dan had never seen the 1988 classic starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall: Coming to America.

Hot topics include Eddie’s decision to play multiple characters in many of his films, the versatility of John Amos, and the job insecurity of professional flower petal tossers.

You can support Not Playing by streaming Coming to America from Amazon, or ordering it on DVD or Blu-Ray. Prefer to show your support for Not Playing via iTunes? Snag the movie there instead. We’ll live like princes!


Lethal Weapon of Mass Destruction

Lex is a gruff-but-loving family man. Dan is a maverick on the edge. Together, they team up for a mission only they can accomplish: watching the 1987 buddy-cop classic Lethal Weapon. Which Lex has never seen—otherwise he’d know exactly how that mission turns out.

Hot topics include Mel Gibson’s hair, strange birthday rituals, L.A. traffic, and dealing with the dichotomy of the sometimes terrible things people do and whether that should be viewed as distinct from the art they create.

You can support Not Playing by streaming the movie from Amazon, or ordering it on DVD or Blu-Ray. Prefer to show your support via iTunes? Grab Lethal Weapon there instead.


National Lampoon’s (Oy) Vacation

As the singer once sang, “Holiday ro-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ad.” Join us as we in turn join the Griswolds on their road trip across the United States in 1983′s comedy classic Vacation. The question: Will Dan, who’s never seen the Chevy Chase film, actually enjoy it?

Hot topics include casual 1980’s movie racism, Anthony Michael Hall, girls in Ferraris, slapstick comedy, and…Steve Jobs?

You can support Not Playing by streaming the movie from Amazon, or ordering it on DVD or Blu-Ray. Prefer to show your support for podcasters via iTunes? Snag Vacation there instead. We’ll get rich!


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Time

This week we travel through time. It’s 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which Dan feels confident Lex will love. Time travel, comedy, and Keanu Reeves—what’s not to love?!

Hot topics include Back to the Future, the later careers of fine comic character actors (like So-crates), and the best time travel moment in cinematic history.

You can support Not Playing by watching Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure on Amazon, or on Blu-ray, or on DVD. Prefer iTunes? Support us that way, instead!


Mannequin Skywalker

Up this week is 1987’s Mannequin, one of Lex’s favorite ’80s comedies. It’s the story of Andrew McCarthy meeting Kim Cattrall, the woman of his dreams, even though she is mostly inanimate. And James Spader is at his weirdest, which is really saying something.

Hot topics include the appeal of window displays, the ancient Egyptians, and tolerance. Oh, and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Don’t have the movie? Support Not Playing by snagging the two-disc set with Mannequin and Mannequin 2 from Amazon. Baby, we can make it if we’re heart to heart.


Field of Dreamy

It’s another homage to the heyday of 1989 this week, as Dan takes Lex on a trip—through the imagination!—to a land called Iowa, and a sport called baseball. Yes, we’re watching Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.

Hot topics include the rules of magic, the death of an American icon, and arguing with your parents.

Don’t have the movie? Why not support Not Playing by picking up the Field of Dreams (Blu-ray + DVD) or just streaming it online from the fine folks at Amazon.


UHF Yeah

If you’ve never seen the 1989 cult classic UHF, well, you’re in good company. This week, Lex leads Dan through the wonderful world of Weird Al.

Hot topics include kitchen accessories, paragons of acting, and the surprising curriculum vitae of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.


Die Hardy Boys

What better way to kick off the holiday season than with Bruce Willis’s star-making turn as an everycop? Dan introduces Lex to the best Christmas movie ever, 1988′s Die Hard.

Hot topics include Alan Rickman’s death scene, expletives in movies, and the many lives of Alexander Godunov.


Beverly Hills Copacetic

It’s true: Neither Lex nor Dan had ever seen Beverly Hills Cop before 2013. For the debut episode of Not Playing, they sit down together to watch the 1984 Eddie Murphy classic.

Hot topics include vests, asses, and who exactly is the title character.