Echo Boomers, starring Michael Shannon and Jacob Alexander, is about a group of broke young people who take to robbing rich old people. It’s a cross-generational battle between Millennials and baby boomers — with a Get Xer, played by Shannon, pulling the strings.
The film by Seth Savoy offers a new twist on one of the oldest crime stories, Robin Hood. So in the latest MovieMaker podcast, host Eric Steuer asked Shannon and Alexander their favorite crime movies. You can listen on on Apple or Spotify or above.
You might expect the younger actor, Alexander, to pick something recent, and Shannon, the two-time Oscar nominee to go with something more traditional. But that’s not how it went at all.
“The Maltese Falcon,” said Alexander, with zero hesitation. “I love that movie.”
The 1941 film, the writing and directorial debut by John Huston, stars Humphrey Bogart as San Francisco detective Sam Spade, hired to track down an extremely rare bird statuette. It’s a wonderfully wry and twisty noir that paved the way for many more. You can pick up traces of it in the Indiana Jones films, too.
Shannon was equally quick on the draw: “King of Comedy,” he said.
It’s an inspired choice, since you may not immediately think of the Martin Scorsese film, starring Robert De Niro as a delusional fan of a Johnny Carson-like talk show host played by Jerry Lewis, as a crime movie.
But we checked, and it turns out that (spoiler warning) kidnapping someone at gunpoint is indeed a serious crime.
King of Comedy was a commercial failure upon release, and was widely seen as a letdown after Scorsese and De Niro’s previous collaboration, Raging Bull. Rupert Pupkin, De Niro’s character in the film, the seemingly mild-mannered Rupert Pupkin, isn’t as iconic as De Niro’s explosive Taxi Driver character, Travis Bickle.
But King of Comedy has gotten renewed respect in the years since, and Todd Phillips leaned on it heavily in plotting Joker,which makes no secret of its King of Comedy and Taxi Driver inspirations. The film even cast De Niro in the Lewis-like role of a talk show host, with whom Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Arthur, becomes obsessed.
Martin Scorsese gave the film his blessing, but not everyone is a fan.
“Nobody would have thought they had a shot at a giant hit with Joker had The Dark Knight not been as massive as it was,” director David Fincher recently said. “I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought, ‘Yeah, let’s take Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars.”
After sharing their favorite crime movies, Shannon and Alexander turned the tables on their interviewer to ask him his favorite crime movie.
“What’s yours, Eric?” asks Shannon. “Echo Boomers?”
Chuckles all around.
You’ll have to listen to see how he answered.
Echo Boomers, directed by Seth Savoy and starring Michael Shannon, Jacob Alexander and Patrick Schwarzenegger, is now available on demand.