This week, we’ve pulled together the most knowledgeable quorum on the culture landscape to give you the finest in pop culture hot takes. Our good friends Ross Douthat and Kyle Smith from NR’s Projections podcast (yes, you must subscribe) join John and Jonah (Rob Long is off making TV great again) to do a deep dive on Black Panther, the best Best Picture of all time, and so predictions for this year’s winner. Also, why The Godfather is the best American movie. Don’t agree? Make us an offer we can’t refuse in the comments.

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. Coolidge

    I watched the Godfather movies over the course of the last couple of weeks. I’d seen them before, of course. But watching them against the backdrop of the movies they make now left me wondering: “Why don’t we make movies like this any more?”

    • #1
    • February 27, 2018 at 6:34 am
    • 6 likes
  2. Coolidge

    The Best Movie award goes to the movie that delivers the largest middle finger to flyover normals.

    • #2
    • February 27, 2018 at 6:50 am
    • 2 likes
  3. Member

    Don’t let Rob forget that he predicted The Post would win Best Picture, something that no one is thinking will happen.

    • #3
    • February 27, 2018 at 8:19 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Member

    Casablanca > Godfather.

    That is all.

    • #4
    • February 27, 2018 at 8:25 am
    • 3 likes
  5. Member

    The Godfather is the best movie of all time – no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s it, end of discussion! [@jeffp – Casablanca is very, very good, but it doesn’t displace The Godfather.]

    • #5
    • February 27, 2018 at 10:18 am
    • 1 like
  6. Coolidge

    Projections should be added to Ricochet. It’s great!

    My favorite line from the Godfather:

    See the source image

    • #6
    • February 27, 2018 at 11:41 am
    • 3 likes
  7. Coolidge

    The Sting. Godfather is such a guys movie.

    • #7
    • February 27, 2018 at 12:11 pm
    • 2 likes
  8. Coolidge

    Podcasts will do just fine as long as Cable News continues to be so utterly awful.

    • #8
    • February 27, 2018 at 12:16 pm
    • 2 likes
  9. Admin

    Texmoor (View Comment):
    Projections should be added to Ricochet. It’s great!

    My favorite line from the Godfather:

    See the source image

    It’s in this podcast!

    • #9
    • February 27, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    • Like
  10. Member

    Hello Fresh offering a Jucy Lucy! Oh, my, better ask Lileks who makes the best Jucy Lucy in Minneapolis. 5-8 Club? Matt’s? Blue Door Pub?

    • #10
    • February 27, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    • Like
  11. Member

    John, the good news for you is that Cap’n Crunch was better than any of monster fruit cereals. I liked Quisp and Quake, but they were very similar to CC. And as for using it as a topic of discussion, cereal is vital to popular culture.

    Love Godfather, but I’d say Lawrence of Arabia is the best film ever made.

    • #11
    • February 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    I think The Departed is the worst Best Picture I’ve seen.

    • #12
    • February 27, 2018 at 6:46 pm
    • Like
  13. Member

    Thank you @johnpodhoretz for saying what had to be said about Pulp Fiction. Saw it in the theater with my husband and another couple. The three of them thought they’d died and gone to Cinema Heaven whereas I just wanted Tarantino dead, that sicko.

    • #13
    • February 27, 2018 at 7:11 pm
    • 1 like
  14. Member

    I just rewatched all three Godfathers – thank you Netflix – and enjoyed the third one by fast-forwarding to Andy Garcia’s scenes. I had forgotten how he. Is. SMOKIN’. @juliablaschke perhaps give it a shot? ;)

    • #14
    • February 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm
    • Like
  15. Member

    Wakanda! Wakanda! Wakanda!

    “All the inland parts of Africa … seem in all ages of the world to have been in the same barbarous and uncivilized [one might crudely say, ‘s*** hole’] state in which we find them at present.” –Adam Smith, 1776

    • #15
    • February 27, 2018 at 9:15 pm
    • 1 like
  16. Member

    But isn’t the whole point of Wakanda that it’s not an African country/people that built itself up, it’s only what it is – and has what it has – because of the accident of the Magic Meteor ending up under it. How is that a “message of empowerment” or whatever?

    • #16
    • February 27, 2018 at 10:06 pm
    • 2 likes
  17. Member

    I liked Stefan Molyneux’s take. He understood the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda.

    • #17
    • February 28, 2018 at 1:56 am
    • Like
  18. Member

    If you connect to an alien robot animal via hair braid sex, is that robophilia, zoophilia or xenophilia? The world needs to know.

    • #18
    • February 28, 2018 at 2:00 am
    • 1 like
  19. Member

    I don’t want to dampen the mood too much – because it’s a beautiful day here in southern England, and I love GLoP – but it makes me so sad that culture these days is to be apparently judged not on its merits but upon its supposed righteousness.

    I know this has, to some extent, always been the case, but it seems to be approaching Soviet extremes.

    What do I think about this book/play/film? My assessment depends entirely upon whether it tallies with my pre-conceived ideas of the good and the true.

    This is why I laugh at people – my friends included – who think that theatre is so very brave and progressive. Depicting a sympathetic orthodox Catholic priest or producing a pro-Brexit play – now, that would be transgressive.

    I guess we just have to wait it out and do what we can? (I’m blaming postmodernism, by the way).

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve seen enough Best Pictures to make my opinion worthwhile, but I’d add Schindler’s List, Amadeus, A Man For All Seasons and On The Waterfront. Respectfully I must insist, pace John, that Titanic is overdone nonsense and L.A. Confidential was robbed. Also that Tarentino is a very talented purveyor of voyeuristic nihilism and, for 1994, I would have voted for The Shawshank Redemption or the sadly under-rated Quiz Show.

    • #19
    • February 28, 2018 at 2:50 am
    • 5 likes
  20. Coolidge

    Was very surprised that everyone besides Jonah thinks The Titanic was a great movie. I hate it with a white-hot passion for reasons Jonah stated but also because of the incredibly cliche-ic and eye-rolling love story. Other then the special effects there was nothing compelling or redeeming about it.

    Also think The Godfather is the greatest movie of all time. To me a movie is great amongst many things if you can easily quote great lines from it. On that criterion the only movie to approach it is Casablanca.

    • #20
    • February 28, 2018 at 8:28 am
    • 2 likes
  21. Member

    Podcasts will go the way cable TV has- ever more channels with ever-smaller segments of viewers.

    • #21
    • February 28, 2018 at 8:44 am
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    Wolverine (View Comment):
    Also think The Godfather is the greatest movie of all time. To me a movie is great amongst many things if you can easily quote great lines from it. On that criterion the only movie to approach it is Casablanca.

    Poor criterion. I know people who can quote a number of very, very bad movies verbatim. On the other hand, some of the best movies I can think of, I might be able to come close to one or two of the good lines, but they were not that kind of movie.

    • #22
    • February 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    @wolverineTo me a movie is great amongst many things if you can easily quote great lines from it.” Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Keaton, Mr. Griffith, Mr. Murnau would like a word with you (but it would be found on a title card).

    • #23
    • February 28, 2018 at 3:53 pm
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I liked Stefan Molyneux’s take. He understood the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda.

    He seems to start off talking about Black Panther, but as if that wasn’t really what he wanted to talk about, he went WAY off on a tangent.

    I wonder if he – and a lot of other people – are just too afraid to reach (or at least express publicly) the obvious conclusion about the fantasy-land called Wakanda. So instead he wanders off into “All government is force, Oh No!”

    • #24
    • February 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm
    • Like
  25. Member

    Thank you for the American Beauty hate. The story line of the older man having fantasies about his daughters friend was the only interesting thing about the movie. The rest of it was cliches of the wretchedness of suburban life. It’s one of those movies the producers make for other Hollywood elites and critics.

    Jonah you’re wrong about the Beatles. Their music still holds up.

    • #25
    • March 1, 2018 at 8:20 am
    • 3 likes
  26. Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I liked Stefan Molyneux’s take. He understood the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda.

    He seems to start off talking about Black Panther, but as if that wasn’t really what he wanted to talk about, he went WAY off on a tangent.

    I wonder if he – and a lot of other people – are just too afraid to reach (or at least express publicly) the obvious conclusion about the fantasy-land called Wakanda. So instead he wanders off into “All government is force, Oh No!”

    Holy heck you really listened for a long time. I’m flattered. I only expect people to listen to two minutes and then forget about the author forever. Next time I’ll remember to say, “Listen for two minutes” or whatever the appropriate amount of time is.

    • #26
    • March 1, 2018 at 9:36 am
    • 1 like
  27. Coolidge

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    Don’t let Rob forget that he predicted The Post would win Best Picture, something that no one is thinking will happen.

    I hope JPod or Jonah will have this audio ready to replay on the next podcast! Rob was rather insistent on the point.

    • #27
    • March 1, 2018 at 11:58 am
    • Like
  28. Coolidge

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):
    …for 1994, I would have voted for The Shawshank Redemption or the sadly under-rated Quiz Show.

    Quiz Show is a great movie.

    • #28
    • March 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I liked Stefan Molyneux’s take. He understood the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda.

    He seems to start off talking about Black Panther, but as if that wasn’t really what he wanted to talk about, he went WAY off on a tangent.

    I wonder if he – and a lot of other people – are just too afraid to reach (or at least express publicly) the obvious conclusion about the fantasy-land called Wakanda. So instead he wanders off into “All government is force, Oh No!”

    Holy heck you really listened for a long time. I’m flattered. I only expect people to listen to two minutes and then forget about the author forever. Next time I’ll remember to say, “Listen for two minutes” or whatever the appropriate amount of time is.

    Well, I don’t think the first two minutes about “the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda” was particularly insightful or correct either. Again, it sounded like. if he actually understood it – which maybe he didn’t – he realized that he couldn’t say it without unleashing mountains of condemnation, so he went off on a pretty unrelated rant/ramble to fill time.

    • #29
    • March 1, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Well, I don’t think the first two minutes about “the hidden tragedy behind Wakanda” was particularly insightful or correct either. Again, it sounded like. if he actually understood it – which maybe he didn’t – he realized that he couldn’t say it without unleashing mountains of condemnation, so he went off on a pretty unrelated rant/ramble to fill time.

    Why isn’t the ‘hidden tragedy behind Wakanda’ insightful or correct? His argument was that there is no successful black civilization and that is really sad for black people. That sounds true to me so why isn’t it?

    • #30
    • March 1, 2018 at 11:12 pm
    • 1 like
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