46 episodes

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie and freelance writer John Ganz delve into the world of 90s post-Cold War thrillers with Unclear and Present Danger, a podcast that explores America in an age of transition to lone superpower, at once triumphant and unsure of its role in the world.

Unclear and Present Danger Jamelle Bouie and John Ganz

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 376 Ratings

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie and freelance writer John Ganz delve into the world of 90s post-Cold War thrillers with Unclear and Present Danger, a podcast that explores America in an age of transition to lone superpower, at once triumphant and unsure of its role in the world.

    Judge Dredd (feat. David Sims)

    Judge Dredd (feat. David Sims)

    In this week’s episode of Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle and John are joined by David Sims of The Atlantic magazine and the Blank Check podcast to discuss the 1995 comic book adaptation “Judge Dredd.” Made in the era when Hollywood had no idea what to do with comics and science fiction properties, “Judge Dredd” is, in most respects, a failure. But within that failure is interesting glimpse into one of the major political preoccupations of the 1990s — crime. As such, the conversation touches on the crime discourse of the decade, as well as the culture of American policing. They also talk a bit about Sylvester Stallone.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    True Lies

    True Lies

    In this week’s episode of Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle and John watch “True Lies,” James Cameron’s tonally-incoherent (but hugely successful) spy thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. They discuss the film as a straightforward take on the American crisis of masculinity in the 1990s, as a depiction of American beliefs and ideologies around sex and power, and as the beginning of a significant turn in the cultural depiction of America’s enemies. They also talk about American interventions into Haiti, welfare reform and James Cameron’s marriages.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Canadian Bacon

    Canadian Bacon

    This week on Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle and John watched “Canadian Bacon,” a 1995 political comedy written, produced and directed by Michael Moore, which takes aim at American politics in the wake of the Cold War. It stars an ensemble cast of John Candy (in his last film role), Alan Alda as the president of the United States, Bill Nunn, Kevin J. O’Connor, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak and Rip Torn.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Die Hard with a Vengeance

    Die Hard with a Vengeance

    On this week’s episode of Unclear and Present Danger, we watched “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” the 1995 threequel to the original 1988 “Die Hard.” Directed by John McTiernan, who helmed the first film, it was written by prolific Holllywood screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh based on an original screenplay and stars Bruce Willis as recurring hero John McClane, Samuel L. Jackson as “Zeus,” and Jeremy Irons as Simon Gruber, brother of Hans.

    In the episode, Jamelle and John discuss Rudy Giuliani’s New York, the racial and class politics of the film and how this movie seems to anticipate the imagery of the 9/11 era.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Outbreak

    Outbreak

    On this week’s episode of Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle and John discuss Wolfgang Petersen’s medical thriller slash action movie “Outbreak.” We spend the bulk of the episode discussing the experience of watching this movie having lived through a pandemic, as well as the pandemic fears of the 1990s that might have inspired this film. Unfortunately, a few technical difficulties meant the audio quality isn’t as high as it should be, but we did our best to compensate and we appreciate your patience.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Drop Zone (feat. Soraya Roberts)

    Drop Zone (feat. Soraya Roberts)

    This week, Jamelle and John are joined by Soraya Roberts of Defector and Pipe Wrench magazine to talk "Drop Zone," a quintessentially 1990s action film starring Wesley Snipes and Gary Busey. They talk Snipes' career and his fall into "sovereign citizenship," the 90s obsession with "extreme" sports, and race and Hollywood.

    In our next episode, we'll discuss the (ridiculous) disaster thriller "Outbreak," directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo. It's available to rent or purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
376 Ratings

376 Ratings

Neil S Manawatu ,

So informative about recent American history

This show is the perfect blend of entertaining movie talk and sharp thinking about the politics of the time. Fascinating to be told about the specific NYT headlines the day of each movie’s release. As an immigrant who came to USA in 2011 I have learned a huge amount.

embotron3000 ,

One of the shows I look forward to the most

This is a great show, and I always look forward to new episode days. The hosts are smart and engaging and always have interesting conversations that I learn from. Even when I haven’t seen the movie under discussion, I enjoy the trip back in time to the 90s NYT front page. Thanks for making this show!

smhten ,

One of My Favorite Podcasts

Always happy when a new ep shows up. It’s a great mix of film criticism and political commentary. I’ve seen a lot of the movies they talk about, but not all of them, and it’s a great listen either way.

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