November 21, 2014


Money can't buy you love, happiness, or class...but it can buy you a lot of Nerf guns and four-wheelers.  That's one thing we learned in our financial double feature of Blank Check and Richie Rich, two 1994 films designed to teach children that though materialism is an empty pursuit, it can sure fill your house with awesome stuff.  (Gotta start 'em early!)

In the spirit of this season of excess, enjoy a super-sized podcast covering everything from the surprising duality of Preston Waters and Richie Rich to the comfort of having a sidekick from a different English-speaking nation.  Also, having to choose favorites in this pair of financially-obsessed (though ultimately family-oriented) films finally puts us at a strictly collegial way.

Go ahead, help yourself to seconds - it's a special Thanksgiving episode of What Were We Watching!

Blank Check (1994)
Directed by Rupert Wainwright
Produced by Gary Adelson, Craig Baumgarten, and Tony Shimkin
Written by Blake Snyder and Colby Carr
Starring Brian Bonsall, Karen Duffy, Miguel Ferrer, James Rebhorn, Tone Lōc, and Michael Lerner

Richie Rich (1994)
Directed by Donald Petrie
Produced by Joel Silver and John Davis
Written by Neil Tolkin and Tom S. Parker
Starring Macaulay Culkin, John Larroquette, Edward Herrmann, Christine Ebersole, and Jonathan Hyde

November 7, 2014


Where were you in '99?  If you were like us, you were on the Internet gobbling up every morsel of information and hearsay about the first installment of a new Star Wars saga, eagerly speculating how it would echo and expand upon the original trilogy.

It's safe to say that few were expecting what was in store for us: a weird mishmash of Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd, parliamentary motions and midi-chlorians.  But that's what makes The Phantom Menace a uniquely fascinating film.  It's one of the most idiosyncratic mega-blockbusters ever made, and perhaps the last massively commercial film that so deeply expressed a singular creative vision.

Our friend and fellow Lucasfilm obsessive Eric Wheeler joins our expansive discussion of Episode I, the first installment of a plan to cover all six Star Wars films before the series returns to theaters in 2015.  (We're scattering them over a whole year to avoid Force fatigue.)  The hour-plus episode is our longest and most absorbing conversation yet as we take our first steps into the mercurial mind of George Lucas.

Now this is podcasting!

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Written and directed by George Lucas
Produced by Rick McCallum
Starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, and Ian McDiarmid

Check out the rest of our series on the Star Wars saga:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure