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Scene Unseen Movie Reviews

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Scene Unseen Movie Reviews was an audio podcast featuring film criticism and discussion. In each Scene Unseen episode, hosts Christopher Browne and Jimmy Skodras review a recent film release, with the concept that Chris has seen the film in question and Jimmy has not. Jimmy's "review" is consequently based on the film's marketing, other works by the same filmmakers, his own personal biases and assumptions, and other factors according to his own whim.

Scene Unseen debuted in 2006, reviewing in its premiere episode the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Over 150 episodes (reviews, interviews, and specials) have since been produced. On December 26th, 2009, the final episode aired featuring guest regulars Jeremy Oblivion and Christopher Macewan.

Contents

History

The hosts have said in several episodes that the inspiration for the podcast came from their disagreements over two 2006 films: Cars and United 93. Jimmy refused to see either film; in the former case, his refusal stemmed from his disapproval of the Cars advertising poster (simply the title over a red backdrop) and the filmmakers' decision to design their automobile characters with the eyes on the windshields instead of the headlights.

Jimmy's opposition to United 93 was based on hearing that the film neglected to address any conspiracy theories surrounding the real-life events it depicted, and his own feeling that since he already knew the story, there was no reason to "bother spending any dough to see a CNN reenactment". He was unswayed by Chris' insistence that United 93 was one of the best films of the year.

Scene Unseen was created with technical and production assistance from the hosts' mutual friend Matt, who became the show's producer. In spite of the show's title, they deviated from their premise in the very first episode, in which both Chris and Jimmy saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest before the review.

Early Scene Unseen episodes tended to be about thirty minutes long, with the discussion limited to the films at hand, but later episodes have grown longer and include more off-topic conversation (including other films, music, books, video games, news events, and the hosts' personal lives).

In a surprising announcement on "The Men Who Stare At Goats" episode, the show ended in December 2009. The final review was Up In The Air, and followed by a Farewell Episode. All episodes will continued to be archived.

Hosts

Chris and Jimmy at the Movies

In the podcast, Chris and Jimmy have revealed some details about their backgrounds. Chris Browne, the "seen" host, is originally from Santa Cruz, California; Jimmy Skodras, the "unseen" host, comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jimmy is proudly Greek. Both hosts currently live in the Los Angeles area and work in the film industry.

Jimmy holds a consistent hatred for director Marc Forster (despite not having seen any of Forster's films in their entirety) and animated movies, particularly those featuring talking animals. He is a devoted fan of Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone and the 1993 film Cliffhanger.

Chris is a proponent of "Method Movie Going", which involves participating in an activity directly related to the film you have just seen or are about to see. He has talked in the podcast about visiting a Dr. Seuss gallery before seeing Horton Hears a Who!, going skateboarding before seeing Paranoid Park, and cooking Italian food along with Big Night. He has encouraged listeners to write in about their own instances of Method Movie Going.

In the July 17th, 2008 episode (which was one of the many episodes recorded without Jimmy while he was vacationing in Greece), it was revealed that Chris is a childhood friend of actress Linda Park, best known as Hoshi Sato from Star Trek: Enterprise.

Format

Jimmy at the Original 540 Studio

The original theme song opening each Scene Unseen episode was "Sassy", by Michael Winger. Beginning with the September 2007 Halloween episode, the opening music has been themed to that week's featured film.

Following each week's introduction, Chris and Jimmy discuss the film in question and its marketing. They conclude with a segment called "Letterboxing" (a pun combining the film format and the combat sport) in which each reviewer summarizes their opinion of the film and whether or not they recommend it to listeners.

In the second part of the episode, Chris and Jimmy each offer a DVD recommendation in a category related to that week's film (for example, "Nature Movies" in the episode featuring Into the Wild). They also share recommendations e-mailed in from listeners. (This segment was called "Netflix This" in early episodes.)

Special Episodes

Chris at the Original 540 Studio

Occasionally, Scene Unseen has eschewed its usual format for episodes featuring interviews with directors and other notable film industry figures. The following people have been interviewed on the podcast:

At the end of each year, Scene Unseen produces a "Year in Review" episode, in which the hosts invite several guests to a "square table" discussion of their favorite and least-favorite movies released that year.

For the "2006: The Year in Review", the guests were Jeromy Oblivian, Rayne Roberts, Brian Burke, and Aly Hawkins. For the "2007: The Year in Review," the guests were Marchelle Bradanini and Rachel Fleischer. For the "2008: The Year in Review," the guests were Alex Weed, Rachel Fleischer, and Dannah Budny.

Also, one notable episode was the Blindness episode, where filmmaker Kevin Smith and actor Seth Rogen were on the show with Chris & Jimmy.

Partnerships

Chris and Unseen Jimmy at the Beowulf Premiere

In August 2007, Scene Unseen produced the official podcast for the film Beowulf. For the podcast, Chris and Jimmy interviewed the film's stars Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Hopkins, and Ray Winstone, and its director Robert Zemeckis. The podcast was the only interview Zemeckis gave for the film.

In December 2007, Scene Unseen announced a partnership with MovieMaker magazine; the show was first mentioned in the magazine's Winter 2008 issue.

In the summer of 2008, Chris and Jimmy announced the first Scene Unseen Fan Contest in partnership with IMAX, in which twenty-five listeners would be chosen to win pairs of tickets to an IMAX screening of The Dark Knight.

In March 2009, the hosts announced their second collaboration with IMAX, in which another twenty-five pairs of IMAX tickets for Watchmen were given away. Another Watchmen contest took place in late July 2009, when Chris and Jimmy gave away five copies of "Watchmen: The Film Companion" from Titan Books.

Reaction

Fan Art for Scene Unseen Movie Reviews done by Tim Tsuruda of the Warner Bros. logo

Apple iTunes has labeled the Scene Unseen podcast "New and Notable", What's Hot", a "Featured TV & Film" selection, and a "Staff Favorite". The show has a permanent spot in the "At the Movies" section, was selected by iTunes staff as one of the "Top 100 Podcasts of 2006", and (as of May 2009) has a 4.5/5 rating averaged from over 300 user reviews.

In February 2008, That Podcast Show reviewed "Scene Unseen" and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. In November 2008, VideoETA.com named "Scene Unseen" the #1 Movie Podcast on the Internet.

Filmmaker described the show: "If you're tired of listening to some film critic drone on and on about a movie you're not going to see, or you can't take one more minute of Ebert and Roeper, you need a new way to get your film-talk fix. Cue Scene Unseen...both priceless and free."

MovieMaker magazine wrote, "Scene Unseen, the podcast which pits co-hosts Chris Browne and Jimmy Skodras against each other to discuss both recent and classic films, sounds just like me and my friends arguing the merits of particular movies. Except it's funny. And enlightening."

Santa Cruz Good Times said that "Scene Unseen is not only comedy gold, but also a new way of approaching the overdone genre of film criticism."

Film Stew commented, "Scene Unseen is just the beginning, part of not so much the death of film criticism but its reinvention..."

Scene Unseen has also been mentioned in Stuff magazine, Moving Pictures, Script Magazine, and the podcasts Filmspotting and Creative Screenwriting.

List of Episodes

EPISODE DVD THEME CHRIS'S PICK JIMMY'S PICK
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Favorite Film Baraka Cliffhanger
A Scanner Darkly Surveillance Blue Velvet The Tenant
Little Man Black Dave Chappelle's Block Party The Last Dragon
Lady in the Water Water A Fish Called Wanda Three Women 
Clerks II (N/A) An Evening with Kevin Smith Night on Earth
Miami Vice Vigilante Duel Falling Down
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Car Lost in America Driven
World Trade Center Claustrophobia The Collector Punch-Drunk Love
Snakes on a Plane Samuel L. Jackson Eve's Bayou Pulp Fiction
Idlewild Music Lightning in a Bottle UHF
The Wicker Man Horror/Thriller Audition Lord of the Flies
Hollywoodland Detective/Noir Rear Window Blood Simple
The Last Kiss Romance All the Real Girls All the Pretty Horses
All the King's Men Political Drama All the President's Men The Assassination of Richard Nixon
The Guardian Ocean Step into Liquid The Poseidon Adventure
The Departed Crime The Killers The Limey
Man of the Year Presidential Dr. Strangelove Dave
The Prestige Dark Diabolique The Nightmare Before Christmas
Borat Comedy C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America Man on the Moon
Stranger Than Fiction Writer Smoke Adaptation.
Casino Royale James Bond From Russia With Love For Your Eyes Only
The Nativity Story Christmas Die Hard Gremlins
Apocalypto Gore In My Skin Irreversible
Rocky Balboa Sports When We Were Kings Breaking Away
Letters from Iwo Jima War The Battle of Algiers Heartbreak Ridge
Because I Said So Romantic Comedy The Apartment Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Norbit Actor = Multiple Characters Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy Coming to America
The Lives of Others Foreign Amélie Amores Perros
The Number 23 Number 12 Angry Men One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Zodiac Thriller Seconds Crank
300 Green Screen Groundhog Day The Old Man and the Sea
I Think I Love My Wife St. Patrick's Day The Fugitive Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Shooter Gun Once Upon a Time in the West Hard Boiled
Blades of Glory Ice The Ice Storm Youngblood
Grindhouse Grindhouse Death Race 2000 From Dusk till Dawn
Disturbia Voyeur Being There Body Double
Hot Fuzz Cop L.A. Confidential The French Connection
The Invisible "I" Movies In the Mood for Love I Stand Alone
Spider-Man 3 "Man" Movies Mansfield Park Lost in La Mancha
28 Weeks Later Horror/Zombie Poltergeist Phantom of the Paradise
Shrek the Third Sequels Mon Oncle The Color of Money
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Villain The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Knocked Up Baby Rosemary's Baby Raising Arizona
Ocean's Thirteen Heist The Ladykillers Layer Cake
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer CGI Jurassic Park The Abyss
Evan Almighty Religion The Decalogue The Sacrifice
Ratatouille Cartoon The Triplets of Belleville Aladdin
Transformers Robot The Day the Earth Stood Still Short Circuit 2
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Literary Adaptation What's Eating Gilbert Grape Of Mice and Men
Hairspray Hair Sullivan's Travels Shampoo
The Simpsons Movie TV Show on DVD Curb Your Enthusiasm The Wire
The Bourne Ultimatum Handheld Camera Maria Full of Grace Badlands
Rocket Science Independent Big Night Killing Zoe
Mr. Bean's Holiday Silent Sherlock, Jr. Un chien andalou
Halloween Remake The Fly 12 Monkeys
3:10 to Yuma Western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Pale Rider
The Brave One Revenge Rolling Thunder La Haine
Into the Wild Nature Touching the Void No Escape
Lust, Caution Sex Carnal Knowledge Kids
Michael Clayton Legal The Verdict The People vs. Larry Flynt
Gone Baby Gone Actor as Director Annie Hall Trees Lounge
American Gangster Gangster Casino Menace II Society
Beowulf Hero Ferris Bueller's Day Off TMNT
The Mist Stephen King The Shining The Shawshank Redemption
The Golden Compass Color Grey Gardens Taste of Cherry
Sweeney Todd Musical Hallelujah! Moulin Rouge!
Charlie Wilson's War Name Sydney Citizen Ruth
There Will Be Blood Four Words or More in Title The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
Rambo Sylvester Stallone Klute Demolition Man
In Bruges Location A Place in the Sun Hiroshima Mon Amour
Be Kind Rewind VHS Big Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Semi-Pro SNL Alumni National Lampoon's Vacation So I Married an Axe Murderer
The Bank Job Based on a True Story The Insider Tombstone
Horton Hears a Who! Kids Babe The Muppet Movie
Paranoid Park Murder Memories of Murder M
21 Gambling Bob Le Flambeur The Deer Hunter
Leatherheads 1920s The Passion of Joan of Arc The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Street Kings Los Angeles Dogtown and Z-Boys The Graduate
Baby Mama Baby II Brazil Baby Snakes
Iron Man Super Hero / Comic Book Ghost World Batman
Speed Racer Speed His Girl Friday Spun
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Magic The NeverEnding Story Magicians
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Adventure The Motorcycle Diaries The Goonies
Sex and the City TV Show into a Movie Quiz Show South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Kung Fu Panda Martial Arts The Karate Kid Bloodsport
The Incredible Hulk Green Dazed and Confused Homegrown
Get Smart Man/Woman Combo Harold and Maude Wild at Heart
WALL-E Space Capricorn One Silent Running
Hancock American Do the Right Thing King of New York
Hellboy II: The Golden Army Devil / Demon Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills From Hell
Step Brothers Dysfunctional Family Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Nil by Mouth
American Teen Documentary War Photographer Overnight
Pineapple Express Stoner The Big Lebowski Friday
Tropic Thunder Movie about a Movie Cinema Paradiso Living in Oblivion
Hamlet 2 Shakespeare Looking for Richard Scotland, PA
Bangkok Dangerous Horrible Title The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
Burn After Reading Sibling Directors The Hudsucker Proxy American Pimp
Ghost Town Ghost Defending Your Life Field of Dreams
Eagle Eye Escape/Man on the Run A Man Escaped Run Lola Run
Blindness Unseen Movie What a Way to Go! Slacker
W. Whatever The #*%$ You Want Planet Earth The Parallax View
Changeling Clint Eastwood In the Line of Fire Bird
Zack and Miri Make a Porno Obscene Hardcore Mulholland Drive
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Talking animal Disney's Robin Hood Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
Quantum of Solace Eye Candy Malèna Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Twilight Vampire Martin Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Australia Epic Gandhi Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Frost/Nixon "Sheen" The Breakfast Club Major League
Doubt Film Adapted From Play Dial M for Murder Closer
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Picture Nominee Traffic Midnight Express
Defiance World War II The Pianist The Bridge on the River Kwai
Notorious Biopic Coal Miner's Daughter The Doors
Inkheart Movie You Swear You've Seen Before A Fistful of Dollars Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Taken Kidnapping Missing Funny Games
Coraline Alternative Animation Beetlejuice Team America: World Police
Friday the 13th Slasher Scream The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Crossing Over Harrison Ford The Mosquito Coast The Conversation
Watchmen Husband and Wife Team The Big Sleep The Prestige
Knowing Numbers The 400 Blows Millions
Adventureland Circus / Carnival The Elephant Man La Strada
Observe and Report Vigilante Zodiac Leon: The Professional
Crank: High Voltage Electricity The Princess Bride Highlander
The Soloist Mental Illness Bunny Lake Is Missing What About Bob?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Summer Terminator 2: Judgment Day The Sandlot
Star Trek Star A Star Is Born Stargate
The Brothers Bloom Con The Hoax House of Games
Terminator Salvation Franchise The Godfather The Exorcist
Up Over the Hill The Straight Story About Schmidt
Land of the Lost Time Primer Cléo from 5 to 7
The Taking of Pelham 123  Public transport Planes, Trains and Automobiles Airplane!
Whatever Works Woody Allen Radio Days Deconstructing Harry
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Toy Movie Child's Play Toys
Public Enemies  4th of July  The Natural The Player
Brüno Controversial Putney Swope Happiness
(500) Days of Summer Punctuation E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Head-On
Orphan Creepy Kid Pet Sematary Home Alone
Funny People Terminal illness Ikiru Magnolia
G.I. Joe Military 36 Hours The Big Red One
District 9 Alien Alien Dark City 
Inglourious Basterds Splatter Fest Shaun of the Dead Dead Alive
Taking Woodstock Peace, Love, & Rock 'n' Roll Help! The Last Waltz
Extract Cult Withnail and I Slap Shot
The Informant! Physical Transformation Monster The Machinist
The Surrogates Artificial intelligence WarGames 2001: A Space Odyssey
Zombieland TV Star = Movie Star Natural Born Killers Galaxy Quest
An Education Coming of Age I Vitelloni A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Antichrist YouTube Parody Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Reservoir Dogs
This Is It Concert Film Stop Making Sense Pulse
The Men Who Stare At Goats Animal The Black Stallion Best In Show
2012 Disaster The Towering Inferno Children of Men
The Road Post Apocalyptic The Quiet Earth Robocop
Up in the Air Anything and Everything Day for Night Jules and Jim

External links








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