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?
Mike and Casey manage to escape dog heaven and set out for the Great Valley. Their traveling companions? Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. This month we’re talking about America animator, Don Bluth.
From his apprenticeship at the Walt Disney company, to striking out on his own with critical darling in the Secret of NIMH, to conquering the box office alongside Steven Spielberg with An American Tail and the Land Before Time.
We dig into Bluth’s trademark darker tone, his craftsmanship and attention to detail, his move into the world of video games, and how for a brief period of time…he managed to beat Disney at their own game.
In the shadow of our Batman discussion, Mike and Casey continue their discussion with Joe Preti and Pól Rua. We dig into the weapons-grade weirdness of comic book writer Grant Morrison, and why his work probably shouldn’t be your introduction to the medium.
We get into the contrast of revolutionary artistic experimentation vs. conventional competence that doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
We dive into the stick and meta-textual question of comic book continuity, and whether it’s better to hold a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style event to get rid of story elements you don’t want to keep, or whether it’s better to simply ignore them without explanation.
And finally, how exactly did the Ewoks perceive the Battle of Endor at the end of the Return of the Jedi?
On the tail of our BioShock panel, Mike and Casey continue our conversation with Patrick Johnson and Carlos Rodela, to delve deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of this game series in particular and gaming in general.
How big and dense can — or should — a video game’s world be? How much should the player be directing the story, as opposed to the game’s designer? How often should video game franchises release sequels, especially when new installments have only small incremental changes?
Plus, random musings on Star Wars and M. Night Shyamalan.
It’s B-roll time, as we wrap up the Watchmen discussion with Sam Mulvey and Rob Kelly.
We get a little bit more into why Zack Snyder’s movies fail — and why they also don’t fail enough to be fun or interesting. We talk about Uwe Boll’s recent crowdfunding meltdown, Steve Ditko’s Objectivist superhero, Mr. A, and why you should be able to hear criticism of your favorite things like a grown-up.
We talk about the possible consequences of Disney’s purchases of Marvel and Lucasfilm, and wonder how truly terrifying it would be to have to repossess the American Nazi Party’s “Hate Bus.”
Mike and Casey are stocking up on Reese’s Pieces and heading to Devil’s Tower to compare scars with sound engineer Scott Kramer (the Expendables, Transparent) and the composer of our show’s theme song, Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto! We’re talking about the filmmaker whose influence defined big budget cinema for an entire generation, Steven Spielberg!
From Jurassic Park to E.T., and Jaws to Raiders of the Lost Ark, few filmmakers have had the impact on movies as both an art and an industry like Spielberg. We discuss his evolution as a storyteller, director and producer. We debate his legacy among film purists, mainstream audiences and critics.
In the aftermath of our George Lucas panel, Mike and Casey discover that a certain oatmeal pitch man did star in an Ewoks television movie!
We also look at the total reversal by Microsoft after the backlash the XBOX One received, we discuss the announcement of a new lead for Doctor Who, we debate whether Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay activism should prompt us to boycott the Ender’s Game movie, and we remember a cinematic history of low budgets and high fantasy!
We’re talking about George Lucas, the man who gave us Star Wars… and then kept messing with it. We’ll explore the impact that Lucas’ work has had on our lives, and the post-prequel backlash that he’s still enduring, even more than a decade later.
Does he deserve it? Did we over-react? Show us on the bantha doll where George Lucas touched your childhood!
In our third mini-episode, Mike and Casey break open a cask of the latest geek news and drink deeply.
We commiserate about the public relations disaster that is the new XBOX One. We experience schadenfreude at the recent fan meltdown over Game of Thrones. We lament the growing wave of post-apocalyptic paranoid fetishism. And, we look at your feedback on the topic of spoiler warnings, the spoiled, and those that spoil them.