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 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 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.

Episode 27 – Open World Video Games

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“I was an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”

Mike and Casey completely abandon their quests to consolidate their pixelated criminal empires and save the kingdom from dragons, so that they can play darts and brew potions with video game journalist and YouTuber Kinsey Burke, and returning panelist Patrick Johnson.

Our non-essential side quest? To dig into the massive phenomenon of Open World Video Games. From Fallout 3, to Skyrim, to Grand Theft Auto V,  there is an video games where the storyline is optional and immersive player-initiated exploration are their biggest sell points.

What is the appeal of a game that lets you make your own agenda in a fictional city, or epic fantasy realm or post-apocalyptic future? What are the limits of a game that aspires to let you be and do anything you want?

And why are these games so damned buggy?

Music: 
“Welcome to Los Santos” from Grand Theft Auto V by Oh No

Previously titled: “The World Doesn’t Look Bright for Us Completionists”

Episode 22.5 – A Loud, Brown Blur

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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.

Episode 22 – Bioshock

bigdaddy“A man chooses… a slave obeys…”

Mike and Casey pile into a bathysphere and flee the surface world, and the clawing hands of Big Government and the Parasites to reserve their tables at the Kashmir Restaurant with first panelists Patrick Johnson, and Carlos Rodela of the Video Game Break Podcast. Our topic, the revolutionary 2007 video game, BioShock and its sequels.

We explore the immersive game world of Rapture, the failed undersea utopia inspired by the free-market Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. We look at whether video games can transcend the reputation of being a fun distraction, and whether they can truly be works of art in their own right. And finally, we contemplate the limitations and possibilities of player choice in games, and whether complex storytelling is at odds with the agency to make character decisions.

Music: 
“The Ocean On His Shoulders/Welcome To Rapture” from BioShock by Garry Schyman

Previously titled: “Being a Selfish Asshole Is the Best Thing You Can Be”