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#046 Barry Levinson: Rain Main vs. Envy





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In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Barry Levinson's best and worst rated films, Rain Main (1988) and Envy (2004), respectively. Nate isn't envious of Envy's box office numbers, Austin apparently enjoys bad comedies, and Amy Adams was in season 2 of True Detective. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980) and Dune (1984), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this awkward interview with Tom Cruise about Rain Main: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4dpTnIkVbM

Envy Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A man becomes increasingly jealous of his friend's newfound success.
  • Ratings: IMDb 4.8 | RT 8% C / 26% A
  • Released: 2004
  • Director: Barry Levinson
  • Writer(s): Steve Adams
  • Cinematographer: Tim Maurice-Jones (Snatch, The Woman in Black, Kick-Ass 2)
  • Notable actors: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz, Amy Poehler, Christopher Walken
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box office: $14.5 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Performed so poorly in US theaters, that it was released straight-to-video in Europe.
    • Jack Black, Ben Stiller and DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg publicly apologized for the film during a press conference for Shark Tale (2004) at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
    • The movie having been shot almost two years before it was released in theaters was in danger of being released straight to video due to poor audience response during test screenings. It was only due to School of Rock (2003)'s huge success that it finally got a theatrical release.
    • The scenes featured in the film where Jack Black and Ben Stiller are in Rome were actually shot in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, due to the fact that the film was already over-budget and shooting in Italy would have been significantly more expensive.

Rain Man Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 90% C / 90% A
  • Released: 1988
  • Director: Barry Levinson
  • Writer(s): Barry Morrow, Ronald Bass
  • Cinematographer: John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road, Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone)
  • Notable actors: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen
  • Budget: $25 million
  • Box office: $354.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • On "Oprah", Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman said the "farting in the phone booth" bit was improvised when Hoffman actually passed gas while the scene was being filmed. Hoffman said it was his favorite scene ever.
    • For in-flight viewing, several airlines deleted the sequence in which Raymond reels off statistics on airline accidents... except Qantas. They even promoted one of the movie's writers to first class once when he traveled on their airline.
    • The elderly man in the waiting room who talks on and on about the Pony Express is Byron P. Cavnar, an 89-year-old local who was in the waiting room when the crew arrived to film there. He got to talking on his favorite subject, the Pony Express, and director Barry Levinson got such a kick out of it that he let Cavnar keep on talking as the cameras rolled; all his dialog was spontaneous and not scripted.
    • Hans Zimmer's first score for a Hollywood production.
    • During filming, Dustin Hoffman was unsure of the film's potential and his own performance. Three weeks into the project, Hoffman wanted out, telling Barry Levinson, "Get Richard Dreyfuss, get somebody, Barry, because this is the worst work of my life." Hoffman would nab his second Best Actor Academy Award for his work.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0
 

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