The WAYNE GALE VARIETY HOUR ep 22: War Films (and The Lone Ranger)


DANNO KLONOWSKI is a cartoonist, reviewer for THE DAILY ROTATION, and podcaster. MATT  RISNES is a noted film blogger and podcast guest. They have been friends for nearly 20 years and like talking about stuff at length and in-depth.  In the 22nd episode of the WAYNE GALE VARIETY HOUR we discuss our favorite WAR FILMS, as well as have a SPOILER-IFFIC chat about THE LONE RANGER (TLR discussion goes from roughly 46:00-1:10:00 if you want to avoid said spoilers).

BUT FIRST: We open with some VIEWER MAIL from our old friend COLLER who continues to “Catch Up”.  Coller also put his two cents in about the last episode (while Matt becomes unstuck in time reading his mail), as does ANDY LUNN, who evidently watches the Super Bowl even though he lives in England. Who knew?!  Finally, 3rd host RAFE GUTTMAN sends along his thoughts on MAN OF STEEL, closing the book on that films place in cinematic history forever. FOREVER!!!

NEXT: Matt and Danno debate what has become of film criticism what with the democratization of the internet and all. Matt ponders hard on whether or not he wants to remain a part of the online film community and the generation of grown children who have weaseled their way into taste-maker status, while Danno tries to figure out what the hell the difference between a critic, reviewer, and a blogger is.

THEN: We do some One-Hitters on Kanye West’s new album, documentaries Johnny Carson, Ralph Nader, Hiroshima, and Soderbergh’s CHE, which eventually leads into the RANGER talk.



  1. john smallberries says:

    Let’s play devils advocate here. Since The Lone Ranger tanked so hard would it be a good thing if it takes a giant chunk of change out of Disney’s wallet.

    | Reply Posted July 12, 2013, 11:48 pm
  2. Andy Lunn says:

    Another great episode fellas.

    Yes I do watch the Superbowl and all the regular season too. We have pretty decent coverage over here, although they rarely show my team – The Mighty Buffalo Bills. I can’t think why …..
    That probably needs explanation. When I first saw the game back in about ’88 they were a pretty decent team. And I love a bit of dedication.

    Anyhow – War movies. Every year, when the nights start to draw in, I have a bit of a war season. I always watch Deer Hunter, Paths Of Glory, Patton and Apocalypse Now. I then add a few special guests to this – For example -Casualties of War, Platoon and the other year the amazing Rescue Dawn. A brillant POW drama, starring Christian Bale and directed by none other than Werner Herzog. Well worth watching.

    Just wanted to offer my thoughts on the ‘Manhunter’ ‘Silence of the Lambs’ discussion that was taking place between yourselves and Mr Guttman on the twitters earlier. I’ve loved ‘Lambs’ since I first saw it round my mates house on VHS many years ago ’92 I think. I’d read the book the summer before, because I was too young to see in in the cinema (strict 18 policy over here)

    At the time it freaked me out and it was a scary walk back home afterwards. Over the years though I’ve come to know it so well, that I now watch it purely for entertainment value. Rafe said earlier that if you took Ted Levine out, it could be a comedy. I see what he’s saying, but although it’s a scary twisted character I do get a lot of amusement out of Levine. Particularly because of his voice “Yes it will get the hose” etc. A little twisted of me, I agree.

    Recently, I saw Manhunter and Lambs as part of a double bill up on the big screen. When you see them this way, it really does show what a superior film ‘Manhunter is. Everything about it – the direction, the style, the music, the mood – and Tom fuckin Noonan. What more could you ask?

    Brian Cox as Lecter is a lot more chilling than Hopkins. But again, this may be because we’ve been saturated with Hopkin’s potrayal over the years.

    I also read both books again in the last couple of weeks and thoroughly recommend them. What surprised me most is that I always thought that the tiger scene in Manhunter felt out of place and I’d presumed that it was added for the movie. Nope. It’s there, full on, in black and white, there in the pages of the novel.

    Looking forward to hearing your extended thoughts on Pacific Rim. The continual sunshine here at the moment has prevented me from venturing to see it yet.



    | Reply Posted July 17, 2013, 2:26 pm
  3. Captain Ringfinger says:

    Having just finished listening to this episode I have only one critique: it was too short.

    Your argument about the viewer mail was fun but I feel partly responsible for the confusion by writing my comments so far after the episode originally aired. Sorry.

    Next your discussion about critic vs. reviewer had excellent points from both participants which is the way great debates should be; with the listener being able to agree with both parties simultaneously. “Probably can’t do ten push-ups” was LOL funny AND should be the base on which to judge any art critic/reviewer.

    And I totally agree about failing to get tone across in text since the way you both read my viewer mail is at times opposite of how I intend it. I think I’m being funny when I say “I’m a scientist blah blah blah” which was intended to be self-mocking whereas the way you guys read it, I sound like a complete tool. Thanks! Also I was trying to be sarcastic about Amy Adams having the worst line in cinema history in Man of Steel which obviously wasn’t and I think Matt said something to that affect. I guess I need to add more smiley faces when I write

    As far as your lists go:

    Loved Enemy at the Gates. That movie changed my opinion of Jude Law as an actor, for the better.

    Starship Troopers is one of my top 10 movies favorites of all time. I think it was grossly misunderstood at the time and unfortunately the sequels and spin-offs only hurt its image. It’s one of the few movies that if happen to turn it on, I’ll watch it at any point until the end. It’s so perfectly episodic it could be chopped up into 22 minute sequences.

    Tora Tora Tora was one of the few films I had to own after seeing it (in high school no less). It’s a great mix of historical fact and entertaining disaster movie. It was controversial at the time because it documents the 20-something ways the U.S. basically allowed Pearl Harbor to happen through over-confidence, laziness, racism, and general incompetence. Thankfully the planned invasion of Hawaii never happened; the Japanese could probably have pulled it off. Matt’s line of “So it was like ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ but not terrible” had me barking out loud with laughter. In that movie’s defense, it was better than ‘Flags of our Fathers’. A better concept piece was “We Were Soldiers” in that it showed the Vietnam side very well and less like “specters” which you so aptly pointed out.

    I think we were all traumatized by our parents/older siblings with Platoon, I know I was. I watched it again last month and I couldn’t believe how bad an actor Charlie Sheen is in that movie. His role in Hot Shots was more believable.

    “Brandoville” was a great one-liner by matt which perfectly captures both the in-universe and real-world places in Apocalypse Now.

    I never saw Catch 22 but read the book in college. It was tame by some of today’s standards but I could see how it was groundbreaking and/or establishment shaking at the time it was published.

    Finally speaking of Clark Gable war movies, if I may I would like to highly recommend the 1948 film “Command Decision”. There were thousands of films made before, during, and after the war but this is my clear favorite. There’s actually very little “war” in this movie but the way the film portrays the politics and public and private relationships between officers is fascinating. Also less was known by the general public about jet fighters at the time (for security reasons) so the film has this hypnotic insider feel as Gable tries to win over his compatriots (and the audience) about the necessity of risking everything based on his beliefs.

    Anywho, I’m going to listen to Danno’s recommendation of Hardcore History.

    Until next time, smoke me kipper I’ll be back for breakfast.

    Captain Ringfinger

    | Reply Posted September 23, 2013, 2:50 pm

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