Fun Size Episode 28 – The Wilhelm Scream of Star Wars Movies

We continue our chat with Patrick Johnson, and finally give our mixed opinions on the latest Disney opus, Solo: A Star Wars Story. We go over the promise and the pitfalls of the prequel concept and ask ourselves what we really wanted from this movie.

We talk about a recent internet rabbit hole: a legendary and notorious New Jersey water park that many have called the most dangerous amusement park ever: Action Park. It had a cascade of bloody noses, a lax policy of selling alcohol to minors and a confirmed body count. So why do many of the people who grew up going there as kids, both openly admit its dangers while remembering it with such warm affection?

And what stupid thrills will a human being subject themselves to in the cause of ending boredom?

Plus, we can’t recommend the horror movie, A Quiet Place, more highly. Seriously, it’s really good.

Episode 34 – American Movie

“There’s no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: “Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would’ve shot this scene… so please forgive us and use your imagination.”

In another of our Single Serving Selections, we’re going somewhere that the show has never gone before: non-fiction! It’s time to max out our credit cards and hassle our moms until they agree to play extras in our movie, because we’re being joined by Patrick Johnson for a discussion of the 1999 documentary, American Movie.

Telling the story of an aspiring filmmaker’s quest to create his dream project — by first completing the low budget horror movie that he had abandoned years earlier. Now, he struggles against a lack of funds, the hapless ineptitude of his friends and family, a burgeoning alcoholism, a lack of talent, and his own self-destructive personality to make something great.

But don’t worry. It’s alright, it’s okay, there’s something to live for. Jesus told me so!

Fun Size Episode 27 – Not My Luke Skywalker!

Who truly owns a piece of art, a character or a media franchise? The artist, or the audience? We sit down with Sean Duncan to seek the answer to that and many other questions.

We (finally) talk about Star Wars: the Last Jedi and the tug-of-war between fans who want the familiar comfort of wish fulfillment and fan service, and those who want to see the series take some serious risks, even if it alienates some of the fans.

We look at how the real world and the context of our own experiences color and supplement the way we receive and interpret art. Plus, is it time to retire the old ways of counting audience figures, when there are so many ways to watch, read, and play these days? Uh, yes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 15 – Conan the Destroyer

The most powerful legend of all is back in a new adventure.

Know, o listener, that we return to an age undreamed of, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under our sandalled feet with returning guest and musician, Sean Duncan, to talk about the much-maligned epic fantasy sequel, Conan the Destroyer.

Conan of Cimmeria, now living as a vagabond thief, is hired by the Queen Tamaris to escort her niece, Princess Jehnna, on a secret mission to obtain a magical jewel. Unbeknownst to Conan, the Queen has also tasked the princess’ bodyguard with killing Conan once the mission is complete, and plans to sacrifice her niece to awaken an slumbering elder god.

Fun Size Episode 26 – A Continuity Gumbo of Nonsense

While Casey has to run upstairs and be a dad, Mike continues his talk with Joe Preti and Tobiah Panshin for a full-throated bitch-sesh about the state of the comic book industry. From Marvel and DC’s refusal to change its accessibility, sales methods and whether its time to give up the ghost of the monthly issue, we wonder if the current superhero output from those two great companies just isn’t for us anymore.

And is DC Comics secretly a doomsday cult trying to provoke Alan Moore into ending the world?

Plus, we talk about cartoon voice actors and try to make heads or tails out of the design of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.

Episode 33 – Akira

“KANEDAAAAAA!!!” “TESTUOOOO!!!”

We’ve returned with a long-awaited panel episode! This time, we’re popping some capsules and tearing our motorcycles through the ruins of Neo-Tokyo with Tobiah Panshin and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. We’re digging into Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking 1980s apocalyptic manga epic about psychokinetic powers and mass destruction, Akira.

From its serialized origins in the Japanese Young Magazine to the pioneering animated film, this is a seminal masterpiece of explosions, body horror, secret military programs, and disaffected youth, and it’s cast a long shadow over all of modern popular culture.

Music: 
“Kaneda” from Akira (1988) by Geinoh Yamashirogumi

 

Fun Size Episode 25 – Fuck You, It’s Hitler!

We continue our chat with friend Patrick Johnson to chat about some actor faces’ leave them with little choice but to be cast as villains, and how sometimes playing against type can be great.

We debate the merits of the new Duncan Jones Netflix feature, Mute. And then, we take a critical look at the new Bruce Willis-helmed Death Wish remake, and why this probably isn’t the best time to release it.

And finally, we are puzzled by the weird surge of conservative media voices and fans being horribly offended by what they see as the unfair treatment of Nazis, the KKK and racist characters as villains in popular entertainment. Our hot take? Nazis are fucking assholes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 14 – Red Heat

Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.

It’s time to feed our parakeet and reacquaint ourselves with Miranda laws — even if the Soviet method is more economical — because it’s time to go back to the decade where Schwarzenegger reigned supreme: the 1980s. We’re joined by our friend Patrick Johnson to dive into a Cold War buddy cop action/comedy: Red Heat.

Soviet supercop Ivan Danko lands in Chicago to extradite Viktor “Rosta” Rostavili, the Russian drug lord who killed his partner. But after a bloody escape, Danko must join forces with Detective Art Ridzik, a crude and reckless American cop, to bring down Viktor and avenge both of their partners.

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?