Show cover of Houselights: A Film Director Podcast

Houselights: A Film Director Podcast

The show started with revisiting all of David Fincher's directorial works but we just had to keep going. Listen week by week, film by flim, as we review every movie from our favorite directors.


House of Kubrick - 123 - Spartacus
Released in 1960, Spartacus is a historical epic film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Howard Fast. The movie tells the story of a slave who leads a revolt against the Roman Empire in 73 BCE. Spartacus is a landmark film for many reasons. It is a significant film in the history of cinema, featuring a powerful story, incredible performances, and stunning visuals. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Spartacus, exploring its themes, characters, and legacy.
64:03 3/16/23
Wing of Tron - 122 - Tron Legacy
Released in 2010, Tron: Legacy is the sequel to the 1982 film Tron. The movie follows the story of Sam Flynn, the son of Kevin Flynn, the protagonist of the first Tron movie. The movie is set in the Grid, a digital world created by Kevin Flynn. The Grid is a visually stunning and immersive world, with bright neon lights and vibrant colors, which makes it an ideal setting for the movie's action-packed sequences.
59:48 3/2/23
Wing of Tron - 121 - Tron
In 1982, the world was introduced to a groundbreaking science-fiction film called Tron. Directed by Steven Lisberger and produced by Walt Disney Productions, Tron was unlike anything audiences had seen before. It was a movie that used innovative techniques and cutting-edge special effects to create a stunning world inside a computer. Tron was a pioneer in the realm of computer graphics and has had a lasting impact on the world of science fiction.
64:55 2/24/23
House of Meyer - 120 - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Released in 1991, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country marked the end of the original Star Trek series' run of films. Directed by Nicholas Meyer, who also directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this film is widely considered to be one of the best Star Trek films ever made.
65:02 2/16/23
House of Meyer - 119 - Wrath of Khan
The 1982 classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is considered one of the best films in the beloved franchise. The movie follows the classic Star Trek formula of exploration and discovery but adds a thrilling plot and memorable characters to make it stand out from other films. The movie begins with the introduction of the villain Khan Noonien Singh, played by the legendary Ricardo Montalbán. Khan is a genetically engineered superhuman exiled to the planet Ceti Alpha V by Captain James T. Kirk. Khan has been waiting for revenge ever since, and the stage is set for the grand finale. The action begins at the movie's start as Khan launches a surprise attack on the starship USS Reliant. The crew of the Reliant is taken by surprise, and the ship is severely damaged. Khan is ultimately defeated by Kirk and his crew, but not before he reveals a terrifying secret: a powerful weapon hidden in a dead planet. Kirk and his crew must now find a way to stop Khan from using the weapon to destroy the Federation. In their quest, they face life-threatening dangers and sacrifice to protect the Federation. Ultimately, the crew is triumphant, and Khan is left defeated. The movie is a thrilling adventure that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Even though it is nearly 40 years old, the film still holds up remarkably well. The cast's performances are top-notch, and the special effects are still impressive today. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is an action-packed classic that will please any science fiction fan. Not only is it an entertaining movie, but it also serves as a reminder of the original spirit of the franchise and the power of friendship and teamwork.
70:53 2/9/23
Room of Ramis - 118 - Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is a 1993 American comedy-drama fantasy film directed by Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman stuck in a time loop, reliving the same day repeatedly. Throughout the movie, Phil learns important life lessons and ultimately transforms into a better person as he struggles to escape the time loop. Groundhog Day is considered a classic and praised for its humor, heart, and philosophical themes. It has since become a cultural phenomenon and is often cited as one of the greatest comedies of all time.
61:55 2/2/23
House of Miller - 117 - Mad Max: Fury Road
Decades after Thunderdome, Tom Hardy slipped into the role of Max Rockatansky, with Charlize Theron joining him as the original character Furiosa. A box office success and critical darling, we ask in retrospect: Is Fury Road worth following, or a victim of its own hype?
75:14 1/26/23
House of Miller - 116 - Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Once again starring Mel Gibson and this time featuring Tina Turner - as well as a chart-topping, Golden Globe-and Grammy-nominated hit song - Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome stood as the final chapter in Max Rockatansky’s saga for decades. A modest success, is the film deserving of its cult status?
52:37 1/20/23
House of Miller - 115 - Mad Max 2
George Miller returned to the apocalyptic landscape with The Road Warrior/Mad Max 2. Propelling Max Rockatansky further into a collapsed world fighting for resources and desperate for hope, did this 1981 flick kick it up a notch or benefit from home video audiences desperate for content?
64:24 1/13/23
House of Miller - 114 - Mad Max
George Miller exploded onto the scene with 1979’s Mad Max, which held a world record for box office success for 20 years. Starring the unknown Mel Gibson, what made this apocalyptic tale such a darling? Was it the script? The editing? The score? Or was it something else, and does it captivate today?
53:18 1/5/23
House of Stallone - 113 - Rocky Balboa
Nearly 20 years after the disappointment of Rocky V, Stallone brought Rocky back for an unexpected sequel about an aging idol trapped by past fame and coming to terms with mortality. But does Rocky Balboa speak to our times, or is it just an early product of Hollywood’s desire for nostalgic reboots?
62:22 12/29/22
House of Stallone - 112 - Rocky IV
Sly Stallone never intended Rocky to go beyond a trilogy but directed him back into the ring for a fight that meant more than a title, but a statement on Cold War tensions, the struggle to see the humanity in our opponents, and forgiveness for past wrongs. Does Rocky IV deserve its revered status, or is it a curio of a bygone era?
41:21 12/22/22
House of Stallone - 111 - Rocky III
After proving himself with Rocky II, Sylvester Stallone got back in the ring, and the director’s chair, for Rocky III. Launching Mr. T into the stratosphere and making “Eye of the Tiger” a catchphrase for decades ever after, is this pop culture mainstay a true classic or just a nostalgic whirlpool?
64:25 12/16/22
House of Stallone - 110 - Rocky II
After the hit film and creation of an icon in 1976, Stallone took over the reins as director in 1979 with Rocky II. One major criticism has been that the sequel feels like a redressing of the original. Houselights explores this to find validity or, hopefully, originality.
63:42 12/8/22
House of Wright - 109 - The World's End
After taking a break to deliver Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Edgar Wright re-teamed with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in 2013 to try to get audiences to The World’s End. A 6-year gap and successful careers often change the chemistry of artistic teams. Was The World’s End another bull’s-eye for this dynamic trio, or was it trying too hard to recapture the magic?
45:41 12/1/22
House of Wright - 107 - Hot Fuzz
After the success of Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright continued working with collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to deliver 2007’s Hot Fuzz. This genre-bending send-up of buddy cop movies found success at the box office, but is it the same comic gem as Shaun of the Dead, or did it simply enjoy momentum from audience goodwill?
48:49 11/24/22
House of Wright - 107 - Shaun of the Dead
Few modern filmmakers have earned as much respect from fantasy and film fans as Edgar Wright. After a successful run on the cult TV series Spaced, he took on the zombie apocalypse with collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. Does this work remain a genre-busting artistic success, or is it a nostalgic comedy from a past era?
58:22 11/17/22
Wing of Bond - 106 - Casino Royale
Bond truly went back to basics in 2006’s Casino Royale, featuring Daniel Craig’s debut as 007. Based on Ian Fleming’s first novel, it updated and reconstructed Bond for a modern age. Martin Campbell returned to the franchise to introduce the new Bond as he had in 1995’s GoldenEye. Was Campbell hampered with this new attempt to reinvent or successfully re-tool his approach for a new actor?
59:54 11/11/22
Wing of Bond - 105 - GoldenEye
Martin Campbell and Pierce Brosnan are finally here as Houselights reviews 1995's "GoldenEye." We continue our "Wing of Bond" as we start in on this soft reboot of the franchise.Was this a breath of fresh air, or did it stir the martini?
68:56 10/28/22
Wing of Bond - 104 - The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton brings a new spin to James Bond in "The Living Daylights" with the help of John Glen. Dalton only had two outings as our favorite spy. Was this a blessing, or was he unappreciated in his time?
72:45 10/20/22
Wing of Bond - 103 - For Your Eyes Only
John Glen's directorial debut of "For Your Eyes Only." saved Eon, and some regard it as putting #JamesBond back on track. This started the perpetual "Just one more" for Roger Moore. Should Moore have quit before this, or was it the mark of something golden?
60:37 10/14/22
Wing of Bond - 102 - The Man with the Golden Gun
10 years after Goldfinger, Guy Hamilton offered one last Bond pic with “The Man with the Golden Gun.”It was a box office misfire that prompted producers to re-evaluate their next steps and almost killed the franchise. Were audiences right in 1974, or is this Roger Moore vehicle an underrated gem?
65:00 10/6/22
Wing of Bond - 101 - Goldfinger
6 films. 5 Bonds. 3 directors.Guy Hamilton kicks off our look at different filmmakers' takes on James Bond through the decades with 1964’s "Goldfinger.”We have commentary GALORE on this seminal work. Does this Goldfinger keep its luster, or has it faded with age?
57:32 9/29/22
Room of Lang - 100 - Metropolis
The Houselights team celebrates 100 episodes! They decided to go back almost 100 years to celebrate 1927's "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang. Does this influential sci-fi silent feature hold up to its reputation, or is it a good thing some scenes have been lost to the ages?
68:03 9/22/22
House of Mann - 99 - The Insider
Michael Mann’s The Insider saw him team up again with Al Pacino, this time as the TV producer-journalist who helped expose the deceit undergirding Big Tobacco companies’ business practices. Russell Crowe earned acclaim playing a research chemist-turned-whistleblower, and the film won numerous awards. The biggest question is whether this film is a quiet masterpiece that remains relevant to today’s audiences, or is it a historical curio to be studied at a distance?
65:48 9/9/22
House of Mann - 98 - Heat
Al Pacino. Robert DeNiro. Michael Mann cast two of the most respected actors of a generation opposite each other in 1995’s epic crime drama set in Los Angeles. A stellar supporting cast, including Val Kilmer and Ashely Judd, added more energy and anticipation. The reception was largely positive. It’s been cited as a source of inspiration for filmmakers AND criminals. Did Mann find the perfect balance for this Director’s Definitive Edition, or has he overthought the heist?
64:06 8/31/22
House of Mann - 97 - The Last of the Mohicans
After 1986’s Manhunter bombed, Michael Mann didn’t return to big screen direction until 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans, a sweeping adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s novel that also served as a remake of the 1936 film. Rising star Daniel Day-Lewis was cast as Hawkeye, the adopted son of the last Mohican, swept up in the British and French’s war for dominance in North America as he discovers love and his place in the world. The theatrical cut was a beloved smash success. But now we have only the Director’s Definitive Edition available...does it still work, or has the legacy been tarnished?
66:47 8/25/22
Room of Usher - 96 - Mystery Men
Ditching Demme's "Beloved" due to it being horrifying, we decided to find a one-time director in Kinka Usher and his "Mystery Men." This Schumacher-esque superhero comedy failed at the box office but found a cult following. Was this a hidden gem or still just a guilty pleasure?
50:35 8/18/22
House of Demme - 95 - Philadelphia
1993’s Philadelphia was intended to make audiences examine their assumptions and perspectives about the homosexual community and the AIDS crisis. It opened to general accolades, won numerous awards, and changed Tom Hanks’ career trajectory. But is there merit to the criticisms that lauded its goals but found it heavy-handed and slow?
59:10 8/12/22
Wing of Hannibal - 94 - Manhunter
Michael Mann’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, Manhunter, was a box office bomb. Regardless, it’s gone on to hold a place of special reverence and influence for film fans and filmmakers alike. What is it that has made Manhunter such an enduring cult hit after so many years?
70:02 8/4/22