Fun Size Episode 24 – By the Way, I Have a Plan to Kill You

We’re joined again by Tobiah Panshin for a stream-of-consciousness style talk about swearing on cable television, the portrayal of violence and smoking in Marvel Comics, and how the hell we’re supposed to pronounce Ra’s Al Ghul’s name.

We also try to square Batman’s paradoxical career as a street level urban vigilante with his sci-fi adventures with the Justice League; and his role as the loving patriarch of a Bat-family who also had a predilection for dreaming up hypothetical schemes for killing his super-powered friends.

Episode 32 – The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh

Yabba Dabba Doo.

In another one of our Single Serving Selections, it’s time to pull on the little bird’s tail and slide down the brontosaurus’ neck for a chat with Tobiah Panshin of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. This month we’re talking a deep dive into the DC Comics 2016 gritty reboot of Hanna Barbera’s modern stone age family in The Flintstones.

We explore how Mark Russell and Steve Pugh took a 1960s animated sitcom about cavemen in the suburbs, and turned it into one of the most surprising comic book series of the past decade, with equal parts humor, biting social satire, and existential dread. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; and you’ll never look at your appliances the same way again.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 13 – Terminator: Genisys

The rules have been reset.

We close out Terminator Month with Week Four, where we jump into our homemade time displacement machine with Sam Mulvey of Ask an Atheist  to break our brains trying to sort out the continuity of the sequel…prequel…soft reboot(?) that recreates the franchise for a new generation: Terminator: Genisys.

When John Connor sends soldier Kyle Reese back to 1984 Los Angeles to protect his mother and safeguard the future, Reese finds himself in a different 1984 with a different Sarah Connor. The war across time between humans and machines has fractured the timeline. Now the only thing standing between the human race and utter destruction are Kyle, Sarah and an older, obsolete T-800 Terminator acting as their protector. Bring plenty of aspirin and a flow chart.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 12 – Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Judgment Day is inevitable.

In Week Three of Terminator Month, we arrive in the post-James Cameron era of the franchise to rob a veterinary clinic and destroy downtown Los Angeles with Dave Brouillette of the Hands Free Football podcast. Our mission, to dig into the long-anticipated sequel that returned Arnold Schwarzenegger to the series that made him a star: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Now in his twenties, John Connor is living off the grid. Moving from town to town; job to job, running from his destiny as the would-be savior of the human race. And just when he thinks the future is safe, two more Terminators arrive from the future; one a killer and the other a protector. But this time, maybe nothing can stop worldwide nuclear doom.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 11 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Same Make. Same Model. New Mission.

We’re back! In Week Two of Terminator Month, we kidnap Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters podcast, and force him to help us break into Cyberdyne Systems headquarters. Our mission this time, to dive into the biggest Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster of all time: Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

A decade later, another more advanced Terminator has arrived from the future to kill a now-ten year-old John Connor. But like before, it didn’t come alone. The human resistance has reprogrammed an older model, identical to the one that failed to kill his mother in 1984. Its new mission: to protect young John at all costs.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 10 – The Terminator

That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!

Welcome to Terminator Month, where every week we explore the franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. In Week One, we learn to assemble pipe bombs in a seedy motel with screenwriter Matt Goodman, as we look at the movie that started it all: 1984’s The Terminator.

In the year 2029, the post-nuclear war against the machines has finally been won by a small human resistance. But the machines have one last gambit. They’ve sent the perfect mechanized killing machine back to the year 1984, to kill a young waitress named Sarah Connor before she can give birth to the leader of the human resistance. The final battle for humanity will not be fought in the future, but in modern day Los Angeles.

Fun Size Episode 23 – Whacking Off to the ’80s

In which, we join Matthew Amster-Burton to circle the dead horses of popular culture with clubs and go to town.

We sift through the dirt shoveled over the recently aborted attempt at a Universal monsters cinematic universe. Did it have to be bad? We ponder the question: If we’re inevitably going to revisit established characters and franchises, why not make new and surprising things out of them?

What could the movie industry learn from Image Comics, and where is the line where product placement becomes unbearable?

Episode 31 – Ghostbusters (1984)

We’re Ready To Believe You.

It’s the premiere episode of our Single Serving Selection series where we dissect a smaller helping of popular culture for you.

In our first selection, we get kicked out of university, and break out the proton packs with author, blogger and host of the Spilled Milk Podcast, Matthew Amster-Burton. We’re talking this month about the 1984 supernatural comedy classic that spawned a sequel, a cartoon series, a remake and even a popular juice box, Ghostbusters.

We dig into the movie’s balance of genre elements with comedy, and wonder aloud how Bill Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman has managed to stay out of prison.

So, don’t cross the streams, don’t look into the trap, and tell him about the Twinkie.

Previously titled: “Consummate Snowball Artists”

Fun Size Episode 22 – Practical Porgs: It’s Not a Sex Thing, Yet

We sit down with our friend Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto to drill into pop culture ephemera and random nonsense.

Mike revels in the schadenfreude of having a movie theater rewards card and we all wonder when Johnny Depp became box office poison for us.  We touch on the recently released Blade Runner 2049, and how it stacks up against both the original, and other recent attempts to resurrect once-great franchises.

We ponder whether the Last Jedi‘s porgs are the next coming of the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. And we speculate about whether we actually want to see Jerry Lewis’ intentionally-lost Holocaust clown movie, the Day the Clown Cried.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 9 – Escape Plan

Breaking out is an inside job.

After nearly forty years of waiting, it’s finally happened. It’s time to inject ourselves with tracking devices and ready our homemade sextants.  This month, we sit down with our good friend Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto to dive into the long-awaited team-up movie between Arnold Schwarzenegger and his longtime cinematic rival, Sylvester Stallone: Escape Plan.

Ray Breslin is a security expert who breaks out of maximum security prisons for a living. His skills are put to the test when he’s hired to escape from the ultimate black site detention center for the worst criminals on Earth, and staffed a corrupt warden and his violent costumed guards. But Breslin isn’t alone. His escape is aided a fellow inmate, played by our favorite Austrian badass, who thinks that teaming up with Breslin may be his ticket to freedom.

Hex & Violence Episode 3 – Shades of Gray

“Ah can’t do it anymore, Jeb! Ah can’t go on killin’ yankees when they’s fightin’ tuh give th’ black folks their freedom, an’ we’s fightin’ to preserve a world whut’s prob’ly better off dead an’ done with!”

In our third episode, Mike and Casey we dive into possibly the most controversial and politically relevant aspect of Jonah Hex’s character: his Confederate uniform and his time fighting in the Civil War.

First, we dig into an issue of classic Hex in 1975’s Weird Western Tales #29. In a story by Michael Fleisher and artist Noly Panaligan. In “The Breakout at Fort Charlotte,” wounded after a duel with an angry young man, Hex remembers his time fighting in the Confederate Army and the decisions that lead him to ultimately deserting it. After surrendering to a cruel Union officer, he finds himself framed for collaborating in a massacre of prisoners.

Then we dig into 2008’s Jonah Hex (vol.2) #36 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Rafa Garres, titled, “Seven Graves Six Feet Deep.” Why did Jonah Hex continue to wear his Confederate grays for decades after the war ended? Framed by the writing of a historian who grapples with the controversial historical figure of Jonah Hex and that very question, Hex rides home from the war in 1866 in a gray uniform being the only clothing he owns. After a misunderstanding ends in the death of a freed slave woman, Jonah finds himself rescued by a violent racist mob who mistake his uniform for him sharing their loathsome views and goals.

JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 41 (+9 this episode)

Fun Size Episode 21 – The Nadir of Peak TV

Wherein Mike and Casey discuss the weird evolution of HBO’s Game of Thrones from an almost obsessively grounded fantasy show to a fist-pumping, crowd-pleasing action fantasy.

We react to what we’ve seen, read and heard of the upcoming Star Trek Discovery and Seth MacFarlane’s Trek spoof/homage, the Orville. And we talk about how many studios – mainly Marvel Studios – don’t take advantage of the format of Netflix and often saddle their seasons with too many episodes.

And Mike prays for death as his lungs are full of yuck and his voice sounds terrible. Ugh.

Fun Size Episode 20 – You Don’t Deserve My Hat, Shia LaBeouf!

We sit down to continue our chat with Joe Preti and Bryon DiGianfilippo, and are joined by View from the GuttersTobiah Panshin to talk about Keanu Reeves’ Constantine movie and debate what makes a good adaptation.

We also dig into the admirable and visually stunning mess that was Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. How can a movie have such high peaks and such tragic, debilitating valleys?

Plus, we talk about how ham-fisted ways that movie executives force blatant business decisions onto the screen. And is there really that much demand for multiple “shared cinematic universes” in the wake of Marvel’s success?

Episode 30 – Keanu Reeves


Pop quiz, hot shot! Mike and Casey pile into the time-traveling phone booth for a chat about one of Hollywood’s biggest stars with Bryon DiGianfilippo and Joe Preti from the View from the Gutters podcast, and if we go under 50 miles per hour, it blows up. What do you do?

This month we dig into the multi-faceted career of a polarizing actor who has played everything from a doofus metalhead,  to a reckless hero cop, an unstoppable assassin, a cynical sorcerer, a serial killer, a romantic lead, and even…a kung fu cyberpunk messiah: Keanu Reeves.

But you can’t be told what Keanu is… you have to see it for yourself.

“John Mourns/Story of Wick” from John Wick by Tyler Bates and Joel Richard

Previously titled: “In the Shadow of Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan”

Fun Size Episode 19 – This Human Centipede of Cinematic Nonsense

We’re back in the studio for a continued conversations with our friend Kit DeForge, to dig into why Dwayne Johnson may be the most likeable human being in the world.

And then we tempt fate by taking a critical look at the first DC superhero movie to get universal critical acclaim in nearly a decade!

Kit has an unpopular opinion about the new Wonder Woman film. What are the reasonable expectations we can have for a blockbuster superhero film? We talk about how we can unfairly pile our hopes and dreams onto a piece of entertainment, and how it can often be difficult to be honest about something that we really, really want to love.