Jake and Amir’s Movie Playlist

Tune in for Jake and Amir LIVE on the /Filmcast tonight, 10 p.m. EST!

My introduction to CollegeHumor.com went a little something like this: I was drunk in my college newspaper’s office, eating two-day-old Sbarro pizza and my desk line rang. “I’m calling again from CollegeHumor. When are you going to review the big foam Shocker hand we sent you?” For some reason, this turned into a pretty amazing argument. Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld work at CH, which is now an 800-pound online gorilla, complete with a CHTV offbranch that consistently offers hilarious and original video content, and simmers with some of the best young comedic talent around.

Here at Slashfilm, we’re fans of Jake and Amir’s web show, Jake and Amir. The premise is simple: inside the NYC HQ of CH, Amir eats McDonald’s chicken nuggets and bugs the fuck out of Jake until an affable Jake is forced to confront his co-worker like a hyperactive rash with 500 heads. It’s like Peter and I playing Mortal Kombat II x angel dust. We decided to ask Jake and Amir about their tastes in movies for a little feature we call The Playlist. It was difficult.

/Film: One of the things I dig about CollegeHumor and CHTV is your staff’s respect for and interest in the tradition of American Comedy, going back to Del Close, National Lampoon, and the start of SNL. What movie comedies do you guys consider your favorites, and which ones first inspired you? And why.

Amir: Citizen Kane, 1941, The Godfather, 1972…

Jake: You can’t just list off the AFI’s top 100 movies of all time. What comedy first inspired you?

Amir: Great question. Little Nicky. You?

Jake: I think Slackers is a really underrated comedy, and I really love Swingers.

Amir: In terms of comedy I think I was inspired more by television than movies. That being said, my three favorite comedies are South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Wet Hot American Summer, and Little Nicky. Just kidding. And Top Secret.

/Film: For Amir, do you love any movie—comedy or otherwise—more than McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets? Do you sneak nuggets into the theater?

Amir: I only eat popcorn in movies.

Jake: Popcorn chicken.

Amir: Right. What do you think I meant?

Jake: Just popcorn.

Amir: What is that?

/Film: On the web show, Amir entertains the idea of creating a TV show called Ace and Jocelyn: Astronaut Accountants in Outer Space. He even sacrifices getting laid in your recent “Hallie” mini-series—which was twice thrilling—due to his dedication to it, and possible mass-delusion. Pretend I’m a TV god who can give you guys the greenlight and fulfill Amir’s dream. What’s the golden pitch, and what show do I cancel and replace with yours?

Amir: I’m offering you a TV show that’s funnier than Seinfeld, more suspenseful than Lost, and longer than Mad Men. Why do I even need a pitch?

/Film: Would you rather…watch The Love Guru once a day for the rest of your life while getting licked by 30 cats or watch Kingpin once a day for the rest of your life while giving a movie-long foot massage to Eric Stoltz made-up as 1985’s Mask?

Amir: I guess The Mask. SOMEBODY STOP ME!

Jake: That wasn’t an option.

Amir: Oh, okay. I see. Well I’ve already seen Kingpin, so I guess Love Guru.

More Slashfilm Playlist after the jump, including a confession about Paulie.

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Movie Playlist: Jay Baruchel

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

Jay Baruchel was relatively new to American audiences before his debut as the star of the critically acclaimed FOX-TV series Undeclared. The Canadian-born actor has since appeared in a number of feature films, including The Rules of Attraction, Almost Famous, Million Dollar Baby,and Fanboys. Baruchel reunited with Undeclared creator Judd Apatow last summer in Universal Pictures’ smash hit Knocked Up. You can see him in theaters now as Kevin Sandusky in Tropic Thunder. /Film’s David Chen conducted this interview.

Jay Baruchel: “There is sort of a repertoire that I will — once a year I will have to watch each one of them. I’ll say that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I can watch that movie anytime. It’s pretty much the prefect comedy and it’s kind of an amazing movie plot wise because it doesn’t follow the sort of usual quintessential Joseph Campbell story. It’s not about a guy that learns anything over a journey and becomes a different person. Ferris is the same son of a bitch the whole movie, he just effects change wherever he is and really the stakes are really never all that high and he’s happy the whole time. And the fact that they pulled that off and it is as funny as it is and as cool as it is, it just amazing.”

“A Japanese film called Battle Royale is one of my favorites and that’s like a John Hughes movie on crystal meth. Like to me Battle Royale there is not greater meditation on Teen X than that movie. That is the greatest coming of age movie I’ve ever seen.”

“I quite like a movie called The Wrong Guy with Dave Foley. It’s a little Canadian movie that not many people have seen but it’s just possibly one of the funniest movies ever made.”

“Another movie that I really, really love that I constantly get into arguments about it Irreversible. That’s probably my favorite film of all time. To me that’s like the single greatest work of cinema that I’ve ever seen and another thing is that in an era such as this where everything is made by committee, it’s very rare to see one artist unfiltered vision. And Gaspar Noé wrote, directed, produced, and literally operated the camera on Irreversible, so this is his movie, you know?”

“And then Carlito’s Way, Man Hunter, JFK, that’s the playlist. I watch each of those movies once a year.”

See Jay in Tropic Thunder, in theaters now!

Movie Playlist: Nanette Burstein

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

Nanette Burstein is the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind On The Ropes and The Kid Stays in the Picture. Her latest film American Teen follows five high school students through their senior year. I hate to oversell the movie, but it’s literally one of my favorite films of the year.

Nanette Burstein: There are certain directors whose films, I could just watch them endlessly. Alexander Paine, I’m a huge fan of.

Peter Sciretta: You know, I saw a lot of like Election in American Teen…

Nanette Burstein: Yes, Election definitely influenced this film… Like the shots of the kids when you hear their voiceovers and they’re on the bed, I totally took that from Election. There was the night before election where there’s all these dolly shots into all the main characters and their thoughts and like they’re all crane…

Peter Sciretta: It was like those crane shots.

Nanette Burstein: Yeah, those shots are amazing, and that’s what inspired me to do that.

Nanette Burstein: There’s definitely different homages in this film, like Garden State which I love there’s this scene when Hannah goes to the party and she’s alienated and the way I cut that scene was completely influenced by that scene in Garden State where he’s alienated at the party.

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Movie Playlist: Brad Anderson

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.


In this week’s Movie Playlist we interviewed director Brad Anderson, who I first discovered through the wonderful but unseen Boston indie Next Stop Wonderland, which featured Hope Davis and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 1997, Anderson was named by Variety as one of the “Ten Leading New Independent Directors to Watch.” His filmography includes Happy Accidents, Session 9, and The Machinist. His television credits include episodes of Homicide; The Wire; The Shield; and Surface. His new film Transsiberian, which hits theaters today, is a Hitchcockian thriller which he also co-wrote.

/Film: I just want to start off saying, I’m a big fan of all your work. I’m from Boston,

Brad Anderson:
Oh yeah, really.

/Film: so I’ve been following your career since Next Stop Wonderland.

Brad Anderson:
Oh great, wow!

/Film: So this is great, so – I want to talk to you today, I’m not sure if they briefed you but we do a feature called Movie Playlist which basically talks about your favorite movies of all time, or maybe not even just your favorite movies but movies you watch a lot, or movies you love. What are some of your favorite movies?

Brad Anderson: Favorite movies? It runs the gamut, in no particular order and no particular preference, I just caught, anything by Stanley Kubrick, I can watch those movies again and again I don’t know why, but just something about what he invests in his films and the meticulous level of detail, and choreography that I just find as a filmmaker craft of film making is so apparent in his movies that every time you watch them it’s like being taught how to make a movie, so yeah, I just caught 2001 recently again and it’s just like the kind of thing you’re clicking through the channels and you sort of catch a piece of it and you’re like yeah, I’ve seen this about 20 million times and you’re about to switch to another channel and you just find yourself watching it and the next thing you know you’ve watched it all over again.

/Film: 2001 is one of those movies that if you come across on cable, basically you’ve lost three hours of your life.

Brad Anderson: [laughs] Yeah, it’s so amazing to me that movie and all his films, but that one in particular because it’s like, you think about it the way – I don’t know what you’d call it, it’s not a thriller, it’s not a straight out sci-fi film, it’s not necessarily a straight out adventure movie, it’s just a study in visual brilliance, you know, and the way that his use of sound and his use of music and anything by Kubrick.

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Movie Playlist: Josh Peck

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

This week’s edition is with Josh Peck, the star of The Wackness. I first saw The Wackness at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where the movie went on to win the audience award. I’ve seen the film three times since January, and it still remains on my list of the top five films of 2008. Everyone is predicting that Peck  will become one of the breakout stars of the year.

Basquiat by Julian Schnabel

“That movie is awesome.”


Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Terry Gilliam

“It’s just… Terry Gilliam… I’ve just never have seen a world created like that. From the second they walk into what was Circus Circus, just how unbelievable it gets where he starts talking about the early sixties in San Francisco going to an acid rave. And Flea from the Chilli Peppers is licking acid off ofhis shirt sleeve and ‘with any luck his life is ruined forever’ I think that will just always live for me.”

25th Hour by Spike Lee

“This Spike Lee joint never fails.”

Bottle Rocket by Wes Anderson

“It’s like a real toss up between any of Wes Anderson’s first three movies. I feel like Bottle Rocket was so brilliant in its ingenious way where like Luke goes into this… ‘her name’s Inez’ and he goes ‘My name’s Dignan’. You know? I’ve geeked out and listed to like the director’s commentary on the Criterion Collection for Royal Tenenbaums and like heard about how Wes did three years of notes on the movie and how it was going to look and like his brother Eric Anderson did all the artwork for the movie and did like designed the suitcases for Darjeeling and whatnot. And Hackman… My favorite? I got to say… Bottle Rocket. I think it set the tone, but I love all three of those movies.”

The Wackness director Jonathan Levine adds: “But see Tenenbaums was the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the bad phase, I think.”


Fresh by Boaz Yakin

“Fresh is my favorite movie. It’s my favorite movie of all time.”

Movie Playlist: Jonathan Levine

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

This week’s edition is with Jonathan Levine, the writer and director of The Wackness and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. I first saw The Wackness at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where the movie went on to win the audience award. I’ve seen the film three times since January, and it still remains on my list of the top five films of 2008. Levine is an up and coming filmmaker who is sure to impress in the years to come.

Manhattan, written and directed by Woody Allen

“Just because of the sweeping kind of romantic scope of it and also the humor and the way it looks.”

Billy Madison by Tamra Davis

“I think it’s just really fucking funny.”

Band of Outsiders by Godard

I really like, well Godard, I think is, I really really like the way he makes films and the way he plays with form is really interesting to me. And I think it’s actually in many ways kind of consistent with hip-hop and sampling things and just the things he does with music and sound. I think he’s like a one of a kind, very unique, and I like to rip him off as much as I can.”

La Notte by Michelangelo Antonioni

Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick

“It’s just like a tone, you know? As much as Woody Allen kind of revels in the emotion, those guys kind of have a healthy distance from the emotion that in many ways is just as impactful. There’s a misanthropy to it that is not cynical. It’s like you’re showing that the worst side of people but in doing so, you’re allowing… you know, it’s Tom Cruise, you’re like ‘oh shit! Like Tom Cruise is this scumbag… he has the weirdest thoughts and his wife wants to cheat on him with a marine and he’s Tom Cruise but he’s so fucking fucked up by it that he has to go put on a mask and go to an orgy.’ But you identify with these base desires and with the worst part of human beings and then you realize all right, it’s not that bad. The movie ends on this note where it’s like, oh yeah, we got fucked. I really liked that movie. It might not be my favorite movie… the only one of those movies that constitutes my favorite movie is Manhattan but the other ones do really interesting things that I respect out of movies.”

Check out Jonathan Levine’s latest movie The Wackness, which hits limited release this Friday.

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Movie Playlist: Andrew Stanton

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.


This week’s edition is with the Academy Award winning director of Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton. The second animator and ninth employee to join Pixar Aniamtion Studios, Stanton is credited as a writer on Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc., Stanton also served as co-director on A Bug’s Life. His new film WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008. You can tell instantly that Stanton is a hardcore film geek. If I didn’t stop him, he could have talked about all of his favorite films, and the conversation could have lasted hours.

“It starts right off the bat with Lawrence of Arabia, that’s always been my favorite movie. I get something out of it every time. I’ve seen it maybe over two dozen times in the theater, and I just get something out of it every time I didn’t get before and I think Lean was just a master at cinematic storytelling. He just – every frame told you something in a way it was staged and how, and he was such a master editor, I just learned how economical to be with storytelling and cinematically from his work, and I just think that’s just the greatest film of all.”


“The next film for me is Lion in Winter which a lot of people don’t know, but I think it’s one of the cleverest – it’s actually from a play and it probably comes across not that cinematic, but that the interplay between the relationships of Henry the II and Aquatine and all their kids, the dialog is the best dialog I’ve ever heard in any movie, it’s just an amazing movie.”

Gallipoli is one of my favorite films also. It’s Peter Weir came out in like ’81 and I just I don’t know it just made a big impression on me every time that I saw it and it’s one of those films I just love coming back to, it’s just got great real moments in it. It’s one of those movies where it’s not obvious on the surface what the story is about but you know that you’re in the good hands of a story and you just get caught up in these character moments, and it slowly reveals itself what it’s about and it’s very mature in that sense.”


Cool Hand Luke – loved that movie, it’s just, that’s a great allegory and it’s just, so much of that film is iconic.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind I was a huge fan, I don’t think Spielberg has ever topped himself with how much wonder is in that film. It just oozes wonder and I just loved that film.


Peter Sciretta: It’s funny you even say that because in E.T. there is that moment where they’re flying over the moon reminds me of the moment in Wall-E where he’s he’s going through the rings of Saturn, for some reason I got that same moment of wonder…


Andrew Stanton: “Well, I’ll take that as a compliment because I was a junkie for that stuff, to me that was the best, Spielberg at his best and Disney at its best really tap into that ingredient of wonder which is really hard to come by in films I feel. And even overall, just historically.”


“Now you’ve got me thinking Cinema Paradiso, I’m a huge fan of, just because I’m such a movie buff and I used to be an usher for a small art house theater in my hometown and that sense of being part of a little film house with all the quirks and eccentricities of all the locals and just seeing film after film all the time even if there were films you didn’t like but you could appreciate it just spoke to me in so much.


What kind of films influenced Wall-E?

“Pretty much it’s the overall amalgamation of sci-fi movies that I saw from the late sixties to the early eighties, it’s sort of a mishmash of just how they all felt to me, I mean they were all very different, they’re all over the map, but there was just… I don’t know I just felt like I was – from 2001 on I always felt like I was in good hands when the next great sci-fi film came and it always felt like you were guaranteed there was one coming either the next year or the year after that, you know, then because you had films like Star Wars, and then you had Alien and then Blade Runner and Close Encounters, and Silent Running and you can even go back a little earlier and go to Planet of the Apes, I mean they all were so awe inspiring, I just believed and I was so transported in each of those movies to whatever worlds and whatever characters were involved and I just loved it, I couldn’t get enough of it.”

“And I kind of felt like that went away, like somewhere in the late eighties into the nineties, I just wasn’t feeling like that anymore or I don’t know if they were making movies like that anymore. …  They’re all over the map, all I know is that I felt transported in each of them and it felt in a specific kind of cinematic way and heck, I even loved Outland, you know, I was just you know, and I just wanted – I remember telling my crew when initially I was bringing them on. My D.P.s I said, and my Production Designer, I said, I want it to feel like we found Wall-E, the movie in a film can and it was made in the seventies and we just soft unearthed it and re-mastered it, so I said, I know that’s kind of an abstract thing, but that’s what I’m shooting for and then we just did a lot of analysis of what that meant, you know, down to like the kind of cameras and lenses that were used commonly on those movies and things like that.”

WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008.

Movie Playlist: Garth Jennings

Garth Jennings

Filmmaker Playlist is a new feature on /Film where we ask writers, directors, and stars to tell us their favorite movies of the moment. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business became involved after discovering their love of films. And I always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

First up in the series is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow writer/director Garth Jennings.

The Apartment

“You tend to have a top five that shifts around over the years and certain films go up and down. I definitely come back to a lot of Billy Wilder‘s films very often. I could watch those again and again and again. Certainly The Apartment is one of my favorite, favorite FAVORITE movies.”

Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude I think is a terrific film.”

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark I think is a perfect film. Because I loved Star Wars. Star Wars was the very first film I saw but Raiders of the Lost Ark, oh, whenever I see it, I can’t not watch it. It’s just perfect and it has such a terrific sense of wonder, and it just has everything I want in a film. And it’s got a great sense of humor, and you travel the world… there isn’t anything wrong with that film. Those selections are very different, I know. But they’re all just big hearted.”

Garth later talked a bit about films that terrified him:

Pink Floyd's Another Brick in The Wall

“My first real horror film where I remember being absolutely terrified, it was a music video for Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Do you remember that? I remember sitting up watching that and there is a shot – Gerald Scarfe’s drawings were really macabre and brutal. And he pushes all these children through a mincer. I remember being up for weeks after that. I always had terrible nightmares as a kid anyway. And I remember seeing a clip from the Elephant Man and I didn’t know what it was. He just had a bag over his head and a hole for his eye. And he turned around for the camera and that was it. That was another week of sleepless nights.”

“But then by the time I got to horror films, I had left it so late because I was clearly not so good at watching them that I got to a point where I couldn’t tolerate it. And I haven’t gone back because Horror has become more gruesome – more about torture and less about creeping up on someone or creating frightening tense moments. Although I heard The Orphanage is good, and it sounds like I would actually quite like it.”

Garth Jennings’ Son of Rambow expands to a theater (hopefully) near you on May 9th 2008.