In our latest fun-sized chat with Tobiah Panshin, we dig into the topics that really matter to working people, like the media depiction of Clowns, and how it’s affected their public perception. Is the happy clown character now a totally dead concept?
We briefly dive into the phenomenon of the Simpsons, and how what was once a controversial program has survived long enough to see an entire culture change around them. We pick at how the experiences of comic book stores and video arcades have fundamentally changed since we were children.
And finally, in a reaction to a recent Rob Kelly podcast, we ask: how can we make obnoxious people shut up in a movie theater?
In the afterglow of WrestleMania, we rejoin Morgan Lambert to talk about the mixed results of professional wrestlers becoming Hollywood actors, and wonder why it’s so hard for Dwayne Johnson to get a movie project worthy of his charisma.
Plus, we talk about the latest in wrestling scandals, including Hulk Hogan’s bigotry, and the WWE’s continued business relationship with an authoritarian regime that hacked up a dissident journalist.
We talk about the charming culture shock of consuming Japanese media. Their pro wrestling customs, katakana sound effects in manga, quite possibly the greatest soap opera of all time, in the form of a series of Sakeru Gummy commercials.
We chat about the recent expansion of the American public domain and lament our draconian copyright laws.
Oh, and the Wizards of the Harry Potter world are fucking disgusting monsters.
Loosely based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, this science fiction masterpiece follows a cynical astronaut, played by Charlton Heston, who finds himself stranded on a planet where talking apes rule, and a species of mute, brutish humans are hunted for sport and scientific experimentation.
Mike dives into why this film will forever be his favorite, and how it successfully checks off all of his favorite things — from time travel to courtroom drama to gorillas with rifles — into a timeless piece of cinema.
Based on the play of the same name, and on the real-life Scopes Monkey Trial, Inherit the Wind tells the story of a small town schoolteacher put on trial for teaching his students Darwin’s theory of evolution to his students. With the town — and the entire country in an uproar — a former populist presidential candidate stands for the prosecution, and a famed civil right attorney for the defense, and sparks fly!
Mike gets into why this is one of his favorite films, how its a refreshing departure from the usual portrayal of atheist/agnostic characters in fiction, and why a movie made in 1960 — and based on events from the 1920s — is frighteningly still relevant today.
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?
They get into the film’s slow burn noir-ish take on science fiction, its lush and timeless world-building, and how its status as a landmark of motion pictures overcame the numerous issues that went into its production.
This time, Mike joins co-host Rob Kelly ‘s Film and Water Podcast spin-off to talk about the highly underrated sixth James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service!
We get into the film’s back story, it’s top notch action sequences, and the performances of leads George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, and Telly Savalas. We talk about ski chases, the movies impact on popular culture, why it deserves a better reputation, and Mike’s man-crush on Savalas’ interpretation of supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
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.”
“Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”
Mike and Casey are charging our electric cars, voting for Richard Nixon, and getting a booth in the Gunga Diner with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, and Rob Kelly of the Fire and Water Podcast. Our topic, the 1986 mini-series that has been labeled “the greatest comic book of all time,” Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen.
We dig into the series’ aggressive and intentionally unflattering deconstruction of the superhero genre, the often uncomfortable morality and motivations of its characters, and the controversial and underwhelming 2009 Zack Snyder film adaptation.
*for those interested in donating to a great cause we mention on the podcast, please check out the Hero Intiative.
Mike returns for a third appearance on the Fire and Water Podcast, this time to co-host Rob Kelly’s film-centric Film and Water Podcast spin-off. And this time, they’re on a mission from God.
They discuss the 1980 comedy/musical/car chase mayhem movie, the Blues Brothers. Dan Aykroyd! John Belushi! Ray Charles! Aretha Franklin! Carrie Fisher with a rocket launcher! Neo Nazis, irate country western bands and every cop car in the state of Illinois!
The Fire and Water Podcast is a really fun show and probably has the best interactive community of any podcast I’ve ever heard. They talk about their respective favorite characters in particular, and usually DC Comics in general. But this time they did something a little different.
Mike sat down via Skype with Rob Kelly – of the Aquaman half of the show – to talk about a weird and complicated issue: comic book continuity.
In short, Mike make the argument that comics would be all the better for dropping a line-wide shared universe where everything is supposed to fit together, and just letting the creators interpret the characters and stories in their own ways.
The new episode is now live and available for your listening pleasure! Give it a listen and let Mike know how wrong you think he is!