Fun Size Episode 41 – Clown Ronin

We sit down some more with Patrick Johnson to share our mixed feelings about Todd Phillips’ bleak and controversial Joker film.

We dig a bit into the film’s strong lead performance by Joaquin Phoenix and its very on-its-sleeve cinematic inspirations from films like Taxi Driver, Death Wish and the King of Comedy, and try to figure out whether it actually works or not. Does it transcend both its pastiche elements and its comic book origins, or is it a well-made and ambitious mess?

The answer is…complicated.

Fun Size Episode 36 – Peak Clown

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?

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.

Episode 26 – Vigilante Fiction

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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?

Music: 
“Getting Into Shape / Listen You Screw Heads / Gun Play” from Taxi Driver by Bernard Herrmann

Previously titled: “A Noir Carnival of Fright and Insanity”

Episode 24 – Batman

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“It’s an omen. I shall become a bat!”

Criminals are superstitious and cowardly lot, so Mike and Casey are joined in the Batcave to compare case notes with our friend Pól Rua, and first-time panelist, Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters podcast. Our topic, DC Comics’ Caped Crusader, Batman.

We dig into the character’s ridiculous versatility and unique ability to upend the normal rules for the suspension of disbelief. From the campy do-goodery of Adam West to Frank Miller’s dark avenger of the night, we discuss the wide range of tone and genre that the character has had in his seven decades of publication.

This is the podcast you deserve, but maybe not the one you need right now.

Music: 
“The Batman Theme” from Batman by Danny Elfman

Previously titled: “Batman, Motherfucker!”