Black Ops Episode 15 – What Do You Think Alan Moore Did? [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 9, 2019

We chat a bit with Greg Hatcher about Trek, the character of Captain Kirk and why it can be a gift when fictional characters age along with their actors.

We try to navigate the labyrinth of public domain laws to fruitlessly try to figure out what you can and cannot do with with new adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, the Lone Ranger and the Land of Oz, and whether being public domain has produced better material.

And finally, we wax nostalgic for a bygone time when “grim and gritty” was new, and when Alan Moore blew the comic industry’s collective mind by doing a post-modern adult interpretation of a British superhero aimed at children.

Black Ops Episode 1 – Real Sociopaths Work for Goldman Sachs [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 1, 2016

Here is the very first of our special, off-the-books “Black Ops” episodes, recorded back in January of this year with guest Greg Hatcher!

We dig into how morally abhorrent a fictional protagonist can be and not lose your sympathy. And catapulting past our ethical thresholds, we look at the horrific morality of Jack Bauer’s Bush-era enthusiastic torture-palooza!

Plus, we throw a little love at the anti-fascist satire of Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers.

Black Ops Episode 9 – You Are Not a Mistake [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 26, 2018

In what is an ultra-MEGA-sized two-and-a-half hour episode, we really run the gamut.

First, we talk about popular culture we loved as kids, but are afraid to revisit, because we fear it won’t survive adult scrutiny. In Mike’s case that means a series of epic fantasy novels that he suspects both really hold up in some way, and really really really don’t in other.

We then talk about the evolving nature of stand-up comedy and the divergent attitudes of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, and Hannah Gadsby — and how many older comedians seem to desire to be “above” politics or social commentary. Is that even possible or desirable?

Do genre stories like science fiction and superheroes have a responsibility to touch on questions of social and cultural importance? Why do the calls for political neutrality usually seem to mask a right-wing agenda?

We get into bad movie theater experiences that stretches Mike’s aversion to confrontation to the breaking point, and dive into the thorny issues of intellectual property and online piracy.

And finally, things get a bit emotional when we talk about how profoundly powerful and deeply intimate the new documentary about Mister Rogers is.

Black Ops Episode 19 – Whoa: Keanu Reeves in Theory and Practice [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: December 28, 2019

In a discussion recorded back in November 2019, we try to decide in real-time if Terminator: Dark Fate warrants being covered on Podcasta la Vista, Baby! or not.

We talk a bit about our coming post-Arnold future and drop a couple hints at a replacement series. And we mention at least one shelved podcast series idea that we decided to not do.

Is it time for Star Wars, among other franchises, to go away for a while? We talk a bit how major media companies keep trying to recreate the success of lightning-in-a-bottle books and movies to diminishing results.

Fun Size Episode 50 – It’s Just the End of the World as We Know It

In our double-sized fiftieth Fun Size episode, in the middle of a global pandemic and nationwide uprisings against systemic and racist police violence, we sit down with Sam Mulvey of KTQA radio in Tacoma, to….talk about something something…

Did we mention that Zack Snyder broke the third seal by announcing the release his own — inevitably underwhelming — cut of a superhero movie you don’t remember? What are the limits of escapism in a real world on fire? Is it even possible to watch a cop show with ungritted teeth anymore? We try to keep it together, and dig through the wreckage for some kind of meaning.

PLUS: a major announcement about the show at the end of the episode!

Fun Size Episode 49 – Tales of the Quarantine Titans

We continue our remotely-recorded conversation with David Gutiérrez, and grapple with the seedy underside of professional wrestling, and the strange corporate strange-hold that Vince McMahon has on the industry, in the wake of his XFL’s second collapse.

We also talk about the relative quality of children’s media franchises from the point of view of parents. Is refreshes itself much more frequently than stuff aimed at “grown-ups,” but is any of it any good? And what will the art these kids make look like in 20 years?

Hide your clouds, because we’re gonna yell at them!

Fun Size Episode 48 – The New Quarantine Titans

As time bends and brains melts in the heart of the “Quar,” we’re joined by longtime friend of the show and writer for Emmys.com, David Gutiérrez… and things get weird.

We get into everything from circumcising our children to wanna-be movie theater comedians. We try to understand the confusing relationship of rockstar film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and try to figure out when Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford stopped trying to be good at their jobs.

Finally, we try to retroactively fix the Rambo franchise (and action/revenge films in general) into something a bit less racist and burdened with conservative “white guy baggage.”

Fun Size Episode 47 – Quarantine Titans Go!

On this “very special episode,” we continue our remotely-recorded chat with Joe Preti, as we try — try, mind you — to talk about stuff that’s making us happy during the Time of “the Quar.”

From the wholesome joys of the new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch, to the Aardman claymation goodness of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, we’re looking for something positive in a world gone weird and scary.

We talk about a Charles Bronson movie where he’s an aggrieved watermelon farmer looking for revenge, and look in on Joe watching Beverly Hills 90210 for the first time. And we battle it over that immortal question: what’s better? 90210 or Saved by the Bell?

Fun Size Episode 46 – Quarantine Titans

We’re back! Sort of…

In a special remotely-recorded quarantine edition of the show, we sit down with Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast to pine for long lost sources of food, like the cafeteria at Joe’s work and a couple of local sandwich shops.

We ask: has the quality of McDonald’s food gotten worse since we were kids, or were we blinded by a child’s epicureal standards? Has junk food in general gotten worse?

We also talk about how good Adam Sandler movies could be if only he tried. And Batman v. Superman comes up, and… we just can’t not.

Fun Size Episode 45 – Nerds Will Always Break Your Heart

We continue our talk with Greg Hatcher and talk about how we’ve been falling out of love with modern pop culture franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Walking Dead, and why it’s totally healthy to just walk away.

Plus, we talk very briefly about Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, and how a toxic fanbase can not only poison your enjoyment of a pop culture property, but it can affect the decisions that producers make in a doomed attempt to please everyone, including the trolls and bigots.

Editor’s Note from Mike: After thinking about it for less than three seconds, Fascism definitely beats out Objectivism in the Bad Ideology Olympics. But Objectivism would still win a medal. Just wanted to correct that dumb mistake said in haste.

Episode 43 – Condorman

He Spies! He Flies! He Death-Defies!

In this month’s Single Serving Selection, we take to the skies above Monte Carlo with Greg Hatcher of the Atomic Junk Shop blog to swoop into Disney’s superhero/spy film that sank at the box office, only to rise again as a cult favorite: 1981’s Condorman!

When bumbling comic book artist Woody Wilkins is chosen for a simple courier mission  for the CIA, he makes an impression on a beautiful KGB agent who wants to defect. Now the only man she trusts to escort her to the West is Woody, who she believes to be a highly skilled secret operative.  Woody agrees to the mission, but only if the CIA will use its resources to turn him into the high-flying superhero from his own comic book: Condorman!

Fun Size Episode 44 – Walking With Dom

We sit down with the notoriously Trek-skeptical Sam Mulvey to give our first reactions to the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Is it what we wanted, and have modern iterations of Trek changed so much — or have become so rigid — that they’re just not for us anymore?

We talk about fake click-bait pop culture new sites, the trend that the lead-ups to movie releases are now even longer than the Presidential election, and wonder why so many fans are seemingly unable or unwilling to see the humanity of robotic and android fictional characters.

Also, Mike makes a desperate attempt to convince Sam that the Fast and the Furious franchise is something he might enjoy.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 22 – True Lies

When he said I do, he never said what he did.

This month, we’re joined by Rebecca Friedman of Ask an Atheist to revisit the always thrilling and often problematic action-spy comedy that reunited Arnold with director James Cameron, True Lies!

To his wife Helen and their young daughter, Harry Tasker is a boring computer salesman, always away on one of his dull business trips. But Tasker has been living a double life as Harry Rinquest, globe-trotting secret agent and counter-terrorism operative for the secretive Omega Sector. But the lies separating Harry’s two lives crumble as Helen is suddenly thrust into a plot involving a Middle Eastern terrorist cell, stolen nuclear warheads, and a beautiful femme fatale. Now Harry must save the world, rescue his daughter and revive his troubled marriage.

Fun Size Episode 43 – Get in a Booth and Pretend to Be Poop

In an episode calling back to us from the near past, we get a little nervous, excited and curious about the then-upcoming Star Trek: Picard. We dig a bit into Trek‘s enduring franchise, both its evolutions and how after almost two decades, is finally moving its timeline forward.

We try to figure out how Wonder Woman and Star Trek Beyond could have gone from very good to great, with the same third act change. We wonder which members of the “Next Generation” crew have the best managerial skills. And finally, we look at how modern audiences — and studios — don’t want to admit that they love inspirational movie heroes.

Hex & Violence Episode 4 – The Latest in Pickling Technology

“That’s Jonah Hex, his own damn self. He’s killed more men than Hell has souls.”

After a long absence, we return with our fourth episode! This time, Mike and Casey claw our way through Jonah Hex’s 1993 Vertigo makeover as a weird western horror character in the five issue mini-series Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo by writer Joe R. Lansdale and artist Timothy Truman!

After being falsely accused of murdering a fellow bounty hunter, Jonah Hex runs afoul of short-tempered townsfolk, embittered Apache raiders, and Doc “Cross” Williams, a murderous snake oil salesman, grave robber, and conjurer who raises the bodies of the dead and bends them to his will — including the corpse of famed Western folk hero, “Wild” Bill Hickok!

JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 65 (+24 this episode)