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?

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.

Fun Size Episode 18 – A Nesting Doll of Weird

We continue our talk with Greg Hatcher and dive into the world of comic books and beyond!

We reminisce about Marvel’s 1970s misfit superhero team, the Defenders, and an absolutely batshit tale from writer Steve Gerber that includes stolen brains, absurd body horror, elves with guns, and the soul of an evil wizard trapped in the body of a baby deer!

Plus, we look at the strange turn that comic book scribe Mark Millar’s work has taken in his new series Huck, which is a radical departure from his regularly shocking, cynical and violent stories.

We talk about fan entitlement and the ups and downs of finite vs. ongoing storytelling.

Fun Size Episode 17 – Unforgiven Meets Little Miss Sunshine

We continue our chat with Joe Preti, and give our spoiler-iffic review of Hugh Jackman’s final turn as the mutant superhero Wolverine in Logan.

Have we hit peak superhero at the box office? Can a comic book adaptation transcend being just being a fun, popcorn crowd-pleaser, and become an emotionally potent piece of art? Is it time for the studios to stop bombarding us with constant references, callbacks and post-credit scenes, and just make a compelling story with powerfully written characters and strong performances?

Spoiler: The answer to all of these questions is yes.

Plus, we get derailed talking about Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And try really, really, really hard to say something nice about it. Oh, boy.

Fun Size Episode 16 – The Billy Martin Experience

We continue our chat with Kit DeForge and Joe Preti, and veer into stories about strange liberties taken during menial high school jobs — and the potential spy thriller plots that can result from them.

We talk about the comics we love, swap nerd stories and the joy of pop culture recommendation. Mike finally takes his comic book fandom into the world of manga, and we might have just invented a very specific baseball fetish.

Plus, Joe really really really dislikes Wil Wheaton, and the entire world must know. Comments can be left below.

Fun Size Episode 15 – The Internet Needs to Have Its Mind Blown a Little Less Easily

Mike and Casey continue their conversation with our friend Sean Duncan, and dig into the weird worlds of author pseudonyms and young adult fiction — and the frenzied moralistic panics the latter can provoke. And in the process, we unpack Mike’s decades-long grudge with ending of the Chronicles of Narnia.

Plus, we look at a possible insane New Year’s Resolution to watch 365 new movies during the next year, and try to give a spoiler-free review of Rogue One. And we ask ourselves, is the Star Wars universe really as versatile as we hope it is?

Plus, Sean shares what is sure to to be the most unpopular opinion ever voiced on our show, and he awaits your hate mail.

Fun Size Episode 14 – Who Doesn’t Want to See Dwayne Johnson Punch a Hippo?

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In a wide-ranging conversation, Mike and Casey talk about whether Jabba the Hutt’s little monkey-rat creature, Salacious Crumb, is a person or a pet, and dig into the sort of bullshit rumors and urban legends that we both fell for in the pre-internet world of our middle school years.

We get into the recently-released Doctor Strange, and the question of diversity in the Ancient One’s casting, and well as the dearth of strongly written villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And finally, Mike really really wants to cast Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in the next big cinematic blockbuster based on a children’s board game.

Fun Size Episode 13 – A Digital Effects Orgasma-Ganza

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The bad news is that due to a technical snafu, we won’t be able to share a new full episode with you this month. The good news is that we were joined in the studio by Sam Mulvey for a wide ranging conversation about random goodness — and badness.

We dive into a talk about why we’d like to see filmmaker Quentin Tarantino tackle a science fiction film, and the recent wrongful framing of Pepe the Frog as a racist icon. We also talk about why it’s just weird to pull your pants all the way down to pee at a urinal, and  we compare the highs and lows of Zack Snyder and Frank Miller.

Plus, Sam hates movies! We look at the state of current Hollywood blockbusters and ask: does every theatrically-released movie in the world have to be so damned big?

Fun Size Episode 12 – I’m Just Here for Ka-Ching!

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We continue our talk with Matt Goodman and Matthew Amster-Burton, and get into topics ranging from advertising characters transitioning into movie characters, and why the ultimate thing an actor can do is be photographed holding a skull.

We also get into weird meta-fiction in everything from Batman to Kurt Vonnegut to Will Ferrell movies, where the author themselves become characters directing the action.

Plus, we look at the renewed optimism — both in and about — Star Trek. Not only the return of the utopian aspirational science fiction future, but also how Justin Lin may have course-corrected a second movie franchise with Star Trek Beyond.

Fun Size Episode 11 – Why Would Daredevil Need a Flashlight?

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Mike and Casey sit down with Jeremy Whitman to try to wrap our brains about two strange things that defy description and even logic.

First is a used book Mike snatched up at work — possibly written by someone on an F.B.I. watch list — that is a far-too-comprehensive instructional manual for beating the shit out of people with a maglite flashlight.

And then Mike and Casey try to decompress from the experience of recently watching Nicolas Winding Refn’s bizarre new film, “The Neon Demon.”

Because…holy shit, you guys.

Fun Size Episode 10 – Jodorowsky’s Still Alive

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Mike and Casey sit down with Kinsey Burke, Patrick Johnson, and Sam Mulvey to bat around a contentious and complicated topic: adaptations, reboots and remakes.

How faithful should a work be to its source material when it’s adapted from one storytelling medium to another? What happens when it deviates over time? What about when a beloved past work is rebooted in ways we cannot stand? Is it really worth getting worked up about, now that the floodgates are open?

And can a bad adaptation transcend the source material and become a wonderful hypnotic disaster? Is it time to make peace with changes to Game of Thrones, and the Ghostbusters remake?

Also, Mike fights — against all odds —  to protect a young friend from a 43 year-old movie spoiler.

Fun Size Episode 9 – Something, Something, Iron Man

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We’re joined by Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, who politely tolerates listening to Mike and Casey talk about Captain America: Civil War. And evidently, both of us take different sides.

And we ask the question, what are conspiracy theorists like in the Marvel and DC Universes? When you live in a world where the president can be — and has been — replaced by an alien duplicate, are there any ideas that left that can make you look like a crackpot?

We wax poetic about the 2004 Denzel Washington vigilante movie, Man on Fire, and how for many years, it was Mike’s Punisher movie.

And Mike says goodbye to legendary comic book creator Darwyn Cooke.

Fun Size Episode 8 – No, Jack Bauer!

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We sit down with Greg Hatcher and Sam Mulvey to continue our talk on vigilante justice, including our feelings about the anti-terrorism torture-sploitation action show that was 24.

We dig into the sad exploits of local “real life superhero” Phoenix Jones and why he turns the superhero-loving Mike into a J. Jonah Jameson.

And we dive into Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and how Zack Snyder’s vision of these characters is equal parts stupid, pretentious and insecure.

Fun Size Episode 7 – Chickens. They Are a Taciturn Bunch

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Mike and Casey continue their chat with Rebecca Friedman and Joe Preti, and they chew the fat about porno Mahjong, how the weirdest things end up at used bookstores, and why we just can’t stop thinking about nunchucks.

We also dig into the contrast of Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, why Mike really really really doesn’t like the new Ghostbusters trailer, and why people keep getting Superman wrong.