We continue our chat with Michael Warbington, as we look at the trajectory of big-budget franchises and the knee-jerk fan anger that Martin Scorsese’s criticisms of “theme park” movies vs. “cinema”….and maybe he has a good point?
And maybe we should really stop complaining about the apparent theatrical monopoly of blockbusters and start championing smaller independent films, like The Paper Tigers instead.
[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.
This month, we get scorpion neck tattoos and stock up on Axe body spray with returning guest Joe Preti of the House of Jack and Stan, to work through the needlessly ugly and mean-spirited crime ensemble: Sabotage
John “Breacher” Wharton is the commander of a hard-drinking, corrupt DEA strike force, who after a bloody shootout, decides to steal 10 million dollars from a drug bust. Now, having barely escaped an internal investigation, Breacher and his crew find that their stolen money is missing, and they are being murdered, one by one.
This month, we feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land to test our blades against those of Atomic Junk Shop‘s Greg Hatcher and David “Ace” Gutiérrez of Emmys.com. The field of battle, the Highlander franchise. It started as a 1986 cult fantasy film starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, about a small group of sword-wielding Immortals, living in secret and battling each other across the centuries until only one remains to claim a vaguely-defined “Prize.”
It blossomed — or some say, decayed — into four critically-panned movie sequels, a long-running television show, an animated series, and even an anime film. We dig into topics of whether every film truly should be made into a franchise? Should there have, indeed, been only one?
We face these questions with…heart, faith and steel.
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”
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.
You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?
Mike and Casey sit down with Pól Rua and Greg Hatcher of Comic Book Resources’ Comics Should Be Good blog, for a comprehensive and thoughtful discussion of urban crime and its many complicated causes.
And we talk about how pulp novels and grindhouse cinema recommends fixing these problems. Namely, angry middle-aged men with oversized handguns.
This month, we’re talking about urban vigilante fiction. Hyper-violent anti-heroes pumping thousands of rounds of ammunition into scumbags and drug dealers. From Dirty Harry to Death Wish; from the Punisher to Mack Bolan, we’re digging into the vigilante genre, and asking ourselves: why do bleeding heart liberals like us enjoy this stuff?
“Getting Into Shape / Listen You Screw Heads / Gun Play” from Taxi Driver by Bernard Herrmann
Previously titled: “A Noir Carnival of Fright and Insanity”
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.
As Holiday scheduling conflicts made a full panel episode of the show impossible this month, Mike and Casey are back with what they’re calling a “Fun Size” episode. It’s an unstructured, free form discussion of stuff in pop culture not quite big enough for a full panel episode!
Join us as we dig into the new under-the-radar Keanu Reeves revenge film, John Wick. We explore the idea that perhaps it’s not a great thing to spend a year dissecting every scrap of news and trailer before seeing a movie. Let alone have years of film releases mapped out for us. And finally, we compare how our current lack of enthusiasm for the movie theater experience compares to the present state of the mediums of television and comic books.
We won’t be doing these episodes regularly, but please let us know what you think of Fun Size episodes! Thanks for listening and have a Happy Holiday!