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Author: Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

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Listen up, film fans! Actor & comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson want your advice as they make the ultimate list of the greatest movies of all time. In Season 1, they watched every one of the AFI’s Top 100 films...and decided they could kick off half. Now, they're filling in the gaps by investigating wildly diverse areas of film through miniseries on topics like horror movies, documentaries and romantic comedies, with help from listeners' picks. Along the way, they’ll dissect iconic scenes, spotlight their favorite characters, and talk to some of the actors and directors who worked on these classics. And when Unspooled has built their own list of the best movies on earth, they'll blast them into space to be immortalized for eternity. Seriously.
332 Episodes
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American Beauty

American Beauty

2024-02-1501:20:131

Paul & Amy curiously ask, what was our mindset in September 1999 when American Beauty was released as a smash hit? They examine Wes Bentley’s character and his emotional core to the consciousness of this movie, Amy Fisher’s “Long Island Lolita” influence, and how this film earned prestige with a modern feel at the time, while its legacy continues to fade. Plus: Is Lester Burnham just Edward Norton without Tyler Durden?Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about The Sting! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, The Sixth Sense: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-sixth-sense/Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.harpercollins.com/products/joyful-recollections-of-trauma-paul-scheerLearn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Amadeus

Amadeus

2024-02-0801:24:004

Amy & Paul hum along to 1984’s classical fantasia Amadeus! They learn how closely this unusual biopic matches the true history of Mozart, discover a Marvel reference to Salieri, and praise director Milos Forman for highlighting what made Mozart’s compositions endure. Plus: The phenomenon that inspired a smash novelty single. Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about American Beauty! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/one-flew-over-the-cuckoos-nest/ Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.harpercollins.com/products/joyful-recollections-of-trauma-paul-scheer Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown

2024-02-0101:27:082

Amy & Paul jam to The Delfonics with 1997’s Quentin Tarantino crime saga Jackie Brown! They learn what Elmore Leonard thought of this Rum Punch adaptation, praise a sneakily scary Samuel L. Jackson performance, and discuss how this film, which initially befuddled critics expecting the next Pulp Fiction, became one of Tarantino’s most beloved works. Plus: was Sylvester Stallone really up for a role? Next week, Paul & Amy kick off a Best Picture winners series with Amadeus! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, Pulp Fiction: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/pulp-fiction/. Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.paulscheer.com/my-book Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Out of Sight

Out of Sight

2024-01-2501:12:51

Paul & Amy get in the trunk with 1998's sly George Clooney & Jennifer Lopez crime comedy Out of Sight! They discuss why Elmore Leonard's stories lend themselves so well to Hollywood adaptations, learn how Lopez's fearlessness made her the perfect match for Clooney, and ask if this is the Steven Soderbergh movie that deserves to go to space. Plus: How to have charisma like Clooney. Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about Jackie Brown! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, Mean Girls: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/mean-girls/. Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.paulscheer.com/my-book Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Wayne's World

Wayne's World

2024-01-1801:24:492

Amy & Paul party on with 1992’s Mike Myers & Dana Carvey SNL buddy comedy Wayne’s World! They dive into the creative conflicts between Myers and Carvey, learn how Penelope Spheeris landed the directorial role after finding fame as a rock documentarian, and ask what sets this film apart from the rest of the SNL spinoffs. Plus: Right Said Fred, but acoustic.Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about Out Of Sight! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, Austin Powers: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/austin-powers-international-man-of-mystery-2.Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.harpercollins.com/products/joyful-recollections-of-trauma-paul-scheerLearn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

2024-01-1101:24:521

Amy & Paul go back in time to save 1991’s blockbuster James Cameron action sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day! They praise Cameron’s control of both CGI and practical effects, find parallels to Oppenheimer in the film’s depiction of a devastating scientific breakthrough, and ask why Linda Hamilton didn’t get an Oscar for her portrayal of Sarah Connor. Plus: Danny Cooksey, the ultimate 90’s best friend. Next week, Paul & Amy are talking about Wayne’s World! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the Unspooled archives, Titanic: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/titanic/. Paul’s book Joyful Recollections of Trauma is on presale now! Find it at https://www.harpercollins.com/products/joyful-recollections-of-trauma-paul-scheer Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Space Finalists: Season 4

Space Finalists: Season 4

2024-01-0401:11:461

Paul & Amy wrap up another year of Unspooled by choosing which films they covered this season are going to space! Josh, Jess and Devon return as the gang determines which movies deserve inclusion on Unspooled’s official list of the 100 greatest films of all time. The contenders include an action film that’s become a holiday classic, an underdog sports story that might out-Rocky Rocky, and a minimalist French masterwork that topped another prestigious list - but there’s only so much room on the API spaceship…Help us decide which Mel Brooks or Tim Burton classics are going to space! Head to Unspooled’s social media (on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod) or Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 this week to cast your vote.Next week, Paul and Amy are covering Terminator 2: Judgment Day! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
2023 Holiday Party

2023 Holiday Party

2023-12-2801:10:191

Paul & Amy are throwing an end-of-year party, and you're invited! Joined by lots of film and podcast friends, Unspooled producers of past, present, and (maybe?) future all ask this year's hot question: What was your favorite film of the year? Was it Barbie, Oppenheimer, or Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, or was it perhaps The Zone of Interest, Polite Society, or The Holdovers? At this party, they cover it all! Plus: What do you think? Was this a good year for films?Next week, Paul, Amy, and the producers are cracking their knuckles as they go head-to-head deciding which films covered in season 4 deserve to go to space! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

2023-12-2101:23:101

Paul & Amy slice into Tim Burton’s 1990 gothic fairytale Edward Scissorhands! They try to determine what year the film takes place in, discover why a story about being an outsider resonated so widely, and ask if Burton’s artistic preoccupations have become shtick. Plus: A brief sidebar on Edward Penishands. Next week, Paul and Amy are inviting friends to share their favorite films of 2023! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Love Actually: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/love-actually/Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
The Emperor’s New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove

2023-12-1401:07:491

Paul & Amy embrace the groove for Disney’s madcap Incan comedy The Emperor’s New Groove! They learn about the calamitous development period that led to the final film, dive into the history of shoulder angels and devils in animation, and debate whether the chaotic production created something unique and special in the Disney canon. Plus: a lost song from Eartha Kitt and other moments that never made it to the screen.Next week. Paul and Amy are talking about Edward Scissorhands! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Shrek: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/shrek/Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

2023-12-0701:22:02

Amy & Paul take on all comers for 2010's Edgar Wright comic extravaganza Scott Pilgrim vs. the World! They discuss Michael Cera's unusual casting as a feckless player, learn about Scott's original fate in the film's first cut, and revisit the era of pop-culture hyperliteracy that birthed this story. Plus: comparing the film with Scott Pilgrim's recent anime re-imagining.Next week, Paul and Amy are talking about The Emperor's New Groove! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Sunrise: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/sunrise-2/Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Concert Films

Concert Films

2023-11-3001:02:12

Amy & Paul take the stage for a closer look at concert movies! Inspired by the recent release of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and the rerelease of Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense,” they dig into what separates a good concert film from a great one, survey the many ways musicians make their films feel like a true event, and learn about Flavor Flav’s Swift fandom. Plus: how David Byrne is like Oppenheimer. Next week, Paul and Amy are talking about Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Jackass: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/jackass/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

2023-11-2301:22:576

Paul & Amy play hooky for 1984’s John Hughes class-cutting caper Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! They discover the secret backstory behind Charlie Sheen’s memorable cameo, read some of their favorite Reddit fan theories, and express their disappointment that the real Matthew Broderick is nothing like Ferris. Plus: how the filmmakers pulled off that massive parade sequence. Next week, Paul and Amy are talking about concert movies! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Planes Trains & Automobiles: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/platoon/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

2023-11-1601:17:331

Amy & Paul volunteer as tribute for 2012’s young adult dystopian saga The Hunger Games! They compare the young Jennifer Lawrence to her character Katniss, trace a theme of idealism vs cynicism through director Gary Ross’s filmography, and marvel at Peeta’s rock face. Plus: Should the main characters have been hungrier? Next week, Paul and Amy are watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Platoon: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/platoon/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Fight Club

Fight Club

2023-11-0901:25:561

Paul & Amy break all the rules of David Fincher’s 1999 cult sendup of masculinity Fight Club! They ask how seriously we’re meant to take the film’s grand pronouncements on consumerism and conformity, discover how badly Edward Norton hurt himself while beating himself up, and ask if this holds up as Fincher’s very best film. Plus: Which costume choice for Tyler Durden went too far for Fincher? Next week. Paul and Amy are watching The Hunger Games! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, The Matrix: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-matrix/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Election

Election

2023-11-0201:18:281

Paul & Amy put their hats in the ring for 1999’s acidic high-school satire Election! They praise director Alexander Payne’s brilliant eye for humanist detail, discuss how Matthew Broderick channels his Ferris Bueller image to subversive ends, and posit that America has only become more like high school since the movie’s release. Plus: How Election almost derailed Reese Witherspoon’s career. Next week. Paul and Amy are watching Fight Club! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6 Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Mean Girls: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/mean-girls/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Paul & Amy time warp to 1975’s cult musical sensation The Rocky Horror Picture Show! They ask what makes a movie camp, discover the genius marketer who helped the film find its audience, and debate whether Rocky Horror is actually best appreciated in a rowdy theater. Plus: How Rocky is like a katamari. Next week, Paul and Amy are watching Election! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Little Shop Of Horrors: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/little-shop-of-horrors/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Wolf Of Wall Street

2023-10-1901:21:34

Amy & Paul make the hard sell for 2013’s manic Wall Street exposé The Wolf Of Wall Street! They learn how the film’s unusual funding gave director Martin Scorsese freedom to push the limits of this story, ask if this is Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance, and try to nail down, once and for all, whether Scorsese approves of the actions he depicts. Plus: Did Leo base his performance on a meme? Next week, Paul and Amy are watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Hairspray

Hairspray

2023-10-1201:27:103

Paul & Amy spritz on John Waters’ subversive 1988 comedy Hairspray! They learn how star ensemble player Divine was like Godzilla, compare the soundtrack to the 2007 Broadway production, and marvel at how this PG film snuck radical ideas about race, gender and body positivity into the mainstream. Plus: The curious legacy of Pia Zadora. Next week, Paul and Amy are watching The Wolf Of Wall Street! You can join the conversation on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Check out this week's spotlight episode from the archives, Grease: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/grease/ Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
Saw

Saw

2023-10-0501:18:181

Paul & Amy slice into 2004’s nasty low-budget horror Saw! They learn why Cary Elwes holds a grudge against the filmmakers, appreciate how much dread Leigh Whannell and James Wan were able to wring out of simple production design choices, and meditate on the term ‘torture porn’ and what audiences get out of films like these. Plus: Why was Danny Glover in a Pilates infomercial? Next week, Paul and Amy are watching Hairspray! You can join the conversation for this series on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where you listen to podcasts.
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Comments (70)

Samanta tanzeem

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Jan 27th
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Ryan Hopkins

I feel like you 2 watched a different movie than I did or I jest watched it through a very different lens.

Aug 17th
Reply

Miles Greb

the John Wayne rush the stage thing is a myth

May 20th
Reply

T. Paxton

The commercial I heard for this podcast on another podcast piqued my interest but within a half an hour I realized why I stopped listening to this in the first place. I'm not a prude but the overuse of F- bombs made me question whether I wanted to listen to them for almost 3 hours. IMO, people can create valid points without the use of so much profanity. This shows a lack of security in what one is saying.

Apr 22nd
Reply (2)

Kristopher Mullin

Goooood lawdddd how many advertisements are in this episode?

Mar 25th
Reply

Kristopher Mullin

the color red was used multiple times in the film on purpose.

Feb 2nd
Reply

Kristopher Mullin

As a third party to the debate with no real feeling either way, I feel like you touched on about 5% of the love and hate of this argument.

Jan 27th
Reply

Kevin Crawley

Enough with this woke bullshit. We don't live in a racist country. Go talk about The middle east or China where real atrocities are taking place to this day. I loved this show but I'm done with it. bye!

Jan 12th
Reply

Aaron Hartje

I mean, I guess each podcast has to decide for itself what it wants to be. But the social commentary dragged this one down into the abyss, and that's not even taking into account how completely ignorant and Ill-informed that commentary was. This pod seems bound and determined to establish a very low ceiling for itself. Good luck with that.

Oct 11th
Reply

Ryan Hopkins

the title song for grease is not they bee gees. its frankie valli

Aug 10th
Reply

Tim Ebi

@ 45:06 Paul put that extra bass in his voice! Excellent episode as always.

Jul 13th
Reply

Jim McCaskill

Darn wasn't expecting a shout out to Mack Bolan. Well done.

May 4th
Reply

Matt Z

Amy's takes just keep getting crazier

Apr 23rd
Reply

Lawrence Robertson

Okay. I have never seen this movie, and after hearing this I never will. Mind you, I had no desire to view it previously, - but my gawd - this sounds like the most egregious piece of tripe EVA! Hotep Y'all 🌄

Dec 18th
Reply (1)

Melanie Marie-Jahnke Manning

I think this movie broke my brain.

Oct 21st
Reply

John J Edmund

Amy, you are overly-deconstructing this film because you have an unresolved schoolgirl crush on Reeves. Much like my hetero man crush on Timothy Dalton's James Bond, still haven't recovered.

Sep 18th
Reply

John J Edmund

just listened to the Fugitive episode. what struck mean was Paul said his wife June actually stayed awake while watching it. Now, I think JDR is a lovely human being and funny, but if she has trouble staying awake during movies, I am shocked that she is a professional screenwriter. As an aspiring writer myself, not films but still love the medium, it takes a lot to get me to fall asleep during movie. just my 2 cents.

Sep 17th
Reply

Scott Kieffer

Sound of Metal is not fun... it was kinda a downer like Paul assumed. It was better & less depressing than he thinks, but I would definitely not describe it as "fun." In a year where everything good was super serious... the ones that balanced the seriousness with hope, energy & movement stood out above the rest. Those were Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Judas & the Black Messiah, and maybe Trial of the Chicago 7 (Mank too I guess). I also think Emma & King of Staten Island fit that bill & deserve more attention than they got. Tenet & Invisible Man also were excellent, standout movies in their genres. Though for whatever reason those genres never get considered as "real" movies for Oscars (big-budget sci-fi/action and a horror/thriller). Would have liked to see love for Vast of Night too though it might not have been eligible. The Father, Ma Rainey's, One Night in Miami... all interesting good movies but too serious & too little plot movement. They seemed more like concept movies tha

Apr 25th
Reply

Terry Mediafreak66

One of my favourite movies of all times! I cry every time too! I even cried during this podcast. Great analysis (as usual).

Apr 23rd
Reply

Nik Grzeskowiak

so...it seems Paul believes that Raising Arizona is like the animated movie Inside Out where all the characters are parts of Nick Cage's character existing in Cage's mind...and also the real world. Paul may be reaching too far for meaning in a Cohen Brothers movie. It's just a fun story about weirdos who mess up. It's not the Iliad.

Nov 22nd
Reply
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