Todd Wofford

The Beatles: Get Back (Episode 1)

The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, and I’ve spent my life as a walking encyclopedia of their music and history.  Like millions of fans, their music has changed my life.  Long story short:  This isn’t just another podcast for me.

I’ve been pumped for Peter Jackson’s documentary since I saw his work on They Shall Not Grow Old.  In that film, Jackson and his effects team restored rickety WW1 footage into full HD.  The result looks so good, it’s easy to forget what we’re seeing is over 100 years old.  Once I heard that Jackson was applying this wizardry to the Beatles’ footage, I couldn’t wait.

As a superfan, that wait was absolutely worth it.  This is a glorious, fascinating look at the biggest band of all time, as they take turns being burned-out, inspired, crestfallen, and jubilant.  My full review of the series will debut tomorrow, but I’ll sum it up like this:  If you love the Beatles, the documentary will overload you with information.  My brain is still processing it all.

For tonight’s episode, we take a look at the first episode, which covers the first tumultuous week of the Get Back sessions.  This is a lively, one-hour discussion, and it’s one of our best.

To read my review of Get Back, check it out!

For le vino, I picked two wines that match the poetry of this series.  The Conclusion Pinot Noir from Sonoma County is a light-to-medium red–perfect if your holiday meal has a little more oomph.  Also, as this documentary marks the beginning of the end for the Beatles, the name seemed appropriate.  That goes ditto for Francis Coppola’s Director’s Cut Pinot Noir, which is a little and brighter by nature.  With Get Back, Peter Jackson gives us the definitive cut of the Beatles’ final year together.

Now, kick back, get back, and enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino.

 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) *spoilers

Welcome to a very special episode of Cinemavino!  We’re all huge Ghostbusters fans, so we were eager to take a look at the latest sequel, Afterlife.  Everybody enjoyed it, to varying degrees.  In my personal opinion, it’s probably the best Part III they could’ve possibly put together.

My review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife is right here.  

This one’s exclusively in theaters, but it will undoubtedly appear somewhere for streaming, probably early in 2022.  As always, this is a judgment call, based on your own personal Covid anxiety and vaccination status.

Also, spoilers will abound.  If you love Ghostbusters and feel strongly about seeing it, head to a theater and then get back in here.

As for vino, we went for a classic:  The Decoy from Duckhorn. It’s the quintessential California Cabernet.  Bold, elegant, and durable for aging.  Plus, it’s usually in the $20-30 range, which makes it nice and affordable.

Next week, it’s another double feature, as we take a look at Peter Jackson’s epic documentary, The Beatles: Get Back.  I’m a fanatic, so this will be an early Christmas for me.  I know Taylor’s right there with me, so this will be a must-listen for Beatles fans.  Also, we’ll kick off Christmas with a new look at Hook.

In the meantime, kick back enjoy another hilarious episode of Cinemavino!

Our podcast for Ghostbusters II is right here.

The Last Waltz

Thanksgiving is already here, and we’ve found the perfect movie for the occasion. Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz is often held as the greatest rock documentary every made, and it’s easy to see why:  The Band’s farewell concert bottles everything cool, everything tragic, and everything beautiful about being a rock star, all in one magnificent film.

Above all, The Last Waltz has a killer soundtrack.  The Band’s greatest hits are all here, including “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek.”  In addition, we hear classics from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and Muddy Waters.  If you’re looking for something to counteract the sleepiness of Thanksgiving cuisine, this movie rocks hard, and will likely bring you around.

To read my full, written review, click right here.

As for vino, we went with three classic Thanksgiving pairs.  This Rielsing from Dr. Loosen is a great bottle of white that falls somewhere between dry and sweet, but probably a smidge more in the sweet direction.  Rich with melon and fig flavors, this is perfect with everything from turkey to salad and even the cranberry sauce pictured.  Even better:  It runs in the $15-20 range.

When it comes to red wines with Thanksgiving, the most common options are Pinot Noir and Beaujolais.  The Grower’s Guild from Oregon is a particularly nice choice.  It’s loaded with fresh cherries and even some earthy textures.  As with the previous bottle, this one clocks in at around $16–delicious and easy on the wallet.

Finally, Prosecco is wonderful for either before or after the big meal.  As for me, I like to pop a bottle afterwards and enjoy with a great movie like The Last Waltz.  The Adami is nice, dry, and crisp.  It’s lightly toasty, floral, with Anis as a notable flavor.  (Prosecco also makes a great mimosa, btw.)

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving!  Next time, we talk Ghostbusters: Afterlife, then we plunge into he Christmas season.  Enjoy!

Another Round (2021)

For this week’s Cinemavino, it’s one of the more decorated movies we’ve covered in a good long while:  Another Round won the Academy Award for Best International Feature, and Thomas Vinterburg was nominated for Best Director.  After a steady stream of Halloween flicks, this art house flick was a nice palate cleanser.

The crux of the story has four middle-aged guys testing a (rather dubious) hypothesis that humanity operates better with a blood-alcohol level of .05.  So, they buy breathalyzers and try and to maintain a nice buzz.  Comedy hijinks, deep philosophical moments, and poignant drama all ensue.

We’ve worked in the booze business, so this film gave us even more to talk about.  After the break, we come back a little more activated to see if it enhances our podcasting.  Also, we share personal stories of getting blotto that resonate with the events of this film.  This is our most personal Cinemavino in a good long while.

As for vino, we kick things off with the Dry Creek Cabernet.  It’s bold and dry, much like the humor of this film.  To learn a little more, click here.

To read my written review of Another Round, head this way.

Now, kick back and enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino!

Eternals (2021) *spoilers

Our discussion of Marvel’s Eternals was planned to be a mini-episode, but it turns out that each of us had a lot to say.  So, we present you a full episode discussing the MCU’s latest offering.  Spoilers abound, so do proceed with caution.  This film is only in theaters, so if you haven’t seen it, do so and rejoin us.

If you’d like to read my review, click here!

As the Eternals are immortal beings, I decided to pair it with a wine that could age gracefully.  Cabernets tend to hold up longer than most other wines, and this Dry Creek should be no exception.  Its big, dry, with well-balanced tannins.  You could cellar it for five years, but it also has enough dried fruit flavor to be accessible right now.

Next week, we talk about Another Round, an award-winning Danish film, starring Mads Mikkelsen.  In the meantime, pour a glass, kick back, and enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino.

Thirteen Ghosts (2001)

Thirteen Ghosts marks the final entry in our Halloween season.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this one a little more than me.  It does have the cheesy, guilty pleasure factor in its favor, but I also found Ghosts to be jarring, uneven, and poorly executed.

Even the stylized title is confusing:  Thir13en Ghosts.  It looks kinda like Thirlben Ghosts, which I actually prefer to the original.  If you can’t make a movie that makes sense, at least blow people’s minds, right?

To check out my written review, click right here!

I will say that this series of episodes has given me a better appreciate of horror.  It’s never been my favorite genre, but they can provide good no-fuss entertainment, especially around the Halloween season.  I especially enjoyed Trick r Treat, and it was naturally great to revisit Tremors.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the Danish dramedy Another Round, starring Mads Mikkelsen.  It was nominated for quite a few awards, so it’ll be one of the more highfalutin movies we’ve looked at in a while.

After that, for Thanksgiving, we’ll screen Martin Scorsese’s classic rockumentary, The Last Waltz.  If you’re into classic rock, the music in that one is about as good as it gets.

Then, of course, Christmas movies!  Enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino!

Dune (2021) *spoilers

This week’s “mini” episode of Cinemavino is more like a full-length one.  After all, Dune is a complex film that tackles half of a beloved sci-fi novel.  Frank Herbert’s magnum opus has been labeled as “unfilmable,” and after two previous debacles, it’s easy to see why.  His work is loaded with plot, subtext, and hundreds of characters.  There’s just no way a mini-episode could cover it all.

Sean is a huge Dune fan, thus making the release of this new version a really big deal.  As for me, I haven’t read any of the source novels, and don’t completely grasp a lot of Herbert’s expansive mythology. With that said, I did appreciate the film on a purely cinematic level:  In terms of technical skill and sheer ambition, this Dune is amazing to watch.  It’s also well-acted, and the screenwriters streamlined the story enough to where a noob like me can follow it.

Well, mostly: There were a few moments where I felt lost, as if there were crucial plot details that had been skimmed or trimmed.  They didn’t ruin the experience for me, but–much like landing the F-14 in the Nintendo version of Top Gun–I needed a little help.

Thank God for Sean.  For this episode, we discuss our Dune feelings, and he helps snap a few missing pieces into puzzle.  Some people were left a little confused by this film, while others loved it to max.  No matter which camp you fall into, this podcast has your name written all over it.

I’ll go ahead and reiterate:  SPOILERS WILL ABOUND.  We discuss major plot points, with Sean serving as a knowledgeable tour guide.  Dune is available on HBOMax, and in IMAX theaters.  So, get to screening, and head back here.

To read my full written review, click here!

Next, we’ll tackle one last Halloween classic, before settling in for a fun holiday run.  Enjoy!

Halloween Special: Trick ‘r Treat, Hocus Pocus

Happiest of Halloweens from all of us at Cinemavino!  This is a big holiday in the movie world, as it inspires an entire genre in of itself.  Some of these films are great.  Others are so terrible, they end up being wonderful.  Countless others fall somewhere between these two goalposts.

For this very special episode of Cinemavino, we take a look at two horror films that split those uprights.  The first is Trick ‘r Treat, a cult classic that has slowly gained a huge following.  Structured in a non-linear, Pulp Fiction-style narrative, Trick follows a disparate group of stories, all loosely tethered to a murderous little monster boy with a pumpkin-shaped head.  Brian Cox (Rob RoyX2) stars as a grouchy, Boo Radley-type neighbor who shoos away trick-or-treaters on Halloween.  Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood) plays a timid co-ed with a big ol’ secret.  Dylan Baker (Thirteen Days) also pops up as a school teacher with a psychotic streak.  There’s a lot more to unpack here, but a lot of the fun of this film is the surprise of seeing horror tropes flipped upside down.  It’s on HBOMax, and you won’t be sorry for streaming it.  I promise.

But wait–there’s more!  Part II of this super-sized bonanza is a discussion and dissection of a huge Halloween classic:  Hocus Pocus!  That’s right, it’s everybody’s favorite kiddie horror flick from the 90s.  Bette Midler stars, but you already knew that.  So do Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, but you also knew that.  We love this movie, and the ensuing conversation gets pretty silly.  Long story short:  We really want to be sponsored by Quizno’s, and you can help get the ball rolling with that.  #toastedsubs

To get a little sloppy for this episode, we enjoy a little Halloween punch:  Basically, take 500ml of red wine (I used Cabernet), 500ml of vodka (I used Reyka, from Iceland), two liters of cranberry juice, and top it all off with a little sprite (if you like a little fizz).  It may look like blood, but it’s real damn delicious.  If you’re looking for a strong buzz whilst handing out candy, mix up a little of this recipe.

In the meantime, enjoy another spooky episode of Cinemavino!  

Fright Night (1985)

Part III of our Halloween series continues with an all-time favorite, the cult classic Fright Night.  A Valentine for horror movie fans, this film has a little something for everyone:  A goofy, disarming sense of humor?  Check.  Outstanding makeup effects for the era and budget?  Check.  Deep respect for old school horror tropes?  You’d better believe it.  True fans of vampire mythology and B-movie cinema best get in on this one.

For this week’s vino, we actually opted out of the vino.  A casual lap around the nearby liquor store reveals that a ton of breweries design their bottles and cans around demons, monsters, etc.  Plus, as much as I love wine, sometimes an ice cold beer pairs up perfectly with a good movie.

With that in mind, the boys and I sampled the Colossal Claude from Rogue Brewery.  This is an outstanding Imperial India Pale Ale that captures everything great about big IPAs:  It’s big, hoppy, but refreshing and balanced in malt flavors.  If you enjoy bold, citrusy, grassy beers, the Colossal Claude is for you.  Also, Rogue is an outstanding brewery from Portland, Oregon.  They have a great portfolio of beers, in a wide range of styles.  If you’d like to learn a little more, click here.

Head this way if you want to read my magnificent review!

Next week, we’ll wrap up our weekly series with the remake of 13 Ghosts.

Now, relax and enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino!

No Time to Die (2021) *Mini, w/spoilers*

*Spoilers ahead!*  If you haven’t seen No Time to Die, the latest 007 flick, head to a theater and check it out.  Then get back in here and listen to our thoughts and beliefs in this mini-pod.  We’re all pretty big Bond fans, so we had strong opinions about this polarizing film.

To read my full written review, head this way.  Enjoy another fine mini-episode of Cinemavino!