This Christmas Eve, we’re back in the studio to celebrate the season with Rebecca Friedman of KTQA-LP 95.3 FM, and dive into the 1985 holiday movie where Alexander and Ilya Salkind, the father and son producer team behind the Christopher Reeve Superman films try to make lightning strike twice with a mythic origin story for jolly old Saint Nick himself in Santa Claus:The Movie!
Rescued by a group of elves after being caught in a deadly blizzard, a 14th century toymaker fulfills an ancient prophecy to become an immortal holiday gift giver to all the children of the world. Colliding with the free enterprise crassness of the 1980s, Santa Claus is despondent after one his elves is manipulated into working for a unscrupulous and greedy toy executive who wants to steal Christmas for his very own.
In the first of two episodes this month, we’re talking with Rebecca Friedman about the low-stakes things that give us the warm fuzzies.
We chat about the phenomenon of ASMR and the YouTube videos that endeavor to trigger that pleasurable brain-tingling sensation in people. From a Polish cleaning company’s videos of meticulous deep cleanings of filthy rugs to the paintings of Bob Ross, we plunge into a deep discussion of the images, sounds and experiences that just feel…satisfying.
We’re watching people clean airline seats, remove earwax, draw manga, icing cakes, paint landscapes, walk in snow, restore antique tools, and even watch machine presses create chains with great precision.
What makes this stuff feel good? What separates chores that are repetitive drudgery from something that relaxes you?
This month, we’re joined by Rebecca Friedman of Ask an Atheist to revisit the always thrilling and often problematic action-spy comedy that reunited Arnold with director James Cameron, True Lies!
To his wife Helen and their young daughter, Harry Tasker is a boring computer salesman, always away on one of his dull business trips. But Tasker has been living a double life as Harry Rinquest, globe-trotting secret agent and counter-terrorism operative for the secretive Omega Sector. But the lies separating Harry’s two lives crumble as Helen is suddenly thrust into a plot involving a Middle Eastern terrorist cell, stolen nuclear warheads, and a beautiful femme fatale. Now Harry must save the world, rescue his daughter and revive his troubled marriage.
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.
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.
“End Credits” from the Land Before Time by James Horner
Previously titled: “There Will Be No Second Disney”
In the wake of injury, scheduling issues, and technical problems, we will sadly not be able to give you our regularly scheduled panel episode. However, we can give you another Fun Sized dose of off-topic nonsense!
We sit down with Rebecca Friedman — again — for a talk about weird local insurance ads, superhero cartoons starring M.C. Hammer, and forthcoming return of Star Trek to television.
And seriously, don’t bring your ninja weapons on the White House tour, bro.
In the first of two Fun Size discussions this month, we sit down with Rebecca Friedman and debate the merits and popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction and video games, and why absent panelist (and spouse) Sam Mulvey will probably never discuss it on the show.
Is the genre inevitably juvenile, and does its recent popularity speak ill of us as a society? Disagreement follows.
Go ahead, you tell him you didn’t do your homework.
In our second podcast, Mike and Casey are joined by actual, real life teacher Rebecca Friedman for a very educational episode that highlights one of Schwarzenegger’s most successful comedies: 1990’s Kindergarten Cop!
Detective John Kimble is the meanest cop around. He really likes pushing people through glass coffee tables and blasting their couches with shotguns. So when Kimble needs to catch a vicious drug lord, he’s forced to go undercover. As a substitute kindergarten teacher.
He does know he’s not allowed to kill people, right?
Mike and Casey count their sick days, stock up on hotdogs, and run from gently swaying trees with returning panelist and artist, Roslyn Townsend and Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman! This month, we’re diving into the meteoric rise, and precipitious fall of a promising filmmaker whose career trajectory still confuses us, M. Night Shyamalan.
We discuss his brief absolute dominance of both Hollywood and the box office with the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. We explore his current status as the cinematic butt of many jokes with the Happening and After Earth. And we look at how the writer-director’s legacy remains a subject of debate, speculation, schadenfreude and commiseration.
“Mr. Glass” from Unbreakable by James Newton Howard
Mike and Casey get their asses to Mars with our theme song’s composer, Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto, and Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman to talk about America’s favorite Austrian import, Arnold Schwarzenegger!
From cinematic machismo to the governor’s office of California, Schwarzenegger dominated the box office and ballot box for two decades. From Terminator to Twins, from Kindergarten Cop to Batman and Robin, few actors can match the cultural impact of the man who spawned a thousand catch phrases.
So crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women, because it’s time to talk about the man behind the muscles.