Podcast, Uncategorized

The Podcass 022: Watching Watchmen and Terminator’s dark fate

Killer robots and masked vigilantes on The Podcass!

After talking about a new job (which was an old job), we review the latest Terminator flick, Terminator: Dark Fate, and wonder if we’ve already seen this movie (05:34). Then, we finally get to Watchmen, HBO’s new series that is already fascinating, challenging, and intriguing (16:18).

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Podcast

The Podcass 019: Movie tickets rant, Springsteen Cowboy, Astros awaken

Misery, then joy at the movies on the latest Podcass!

It’s good for the soul to let out a good rant once in a while, and my experience buying advance movie tickets online recently provided just such an opportunity (0:36). Then, we review Bruce Springsteen’s new concert film, Western Stars (09:57). And our WISE Sports Radio segment from Monday recaps the drastic turn in the World Series with the Houston Astros taking control (19:14).

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Podcast

The Podcass 017: Zombieland 2 and a baseball triple tap

More sports than expected on the latest Podcass with Canadian friends and cancellations creating more time to talk baseball in anticipation of the World Series beginning.

But we do break up the baseball talk with zombies, more specifically a review of Zombieland: Double Tap (11:31). I feel like I’ve often been a zombie during October staying up late to watch these games, then getting up early to work (and working out before that). As mentioned, we preview the World Series with Edmonton’s TSN 1260 (03:21) and Asheville’s WISE Sports Radio (18:58). Then we close out with a chat on Baseball America’s report of a proposal to eliminate 42 minor league teams (28:00).

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Podcast

The Podcass 016: Double Will Smith, NFL Week 7, and the Nats!

We’ve been sports-heavy on The Podcass this week. Hey, October is packed with playoff baseball, college football and NFL, along with the beginnings of the NHL and NBA seasons. So I guess that’s reflected here.

But we break up that sports talk with a review of Will Smith’s double-take in Gemini Man (23:38). And it’s a week with two segments from WISE Sports Radio on our Friday show. First, we preview the big storylines going into Week 7 on the NFL schedule, including Jalen Ramsey getting traded to the Los Angeles Rams (04:37). Then, we close out with baseball talk, focusing on the amazing, improbable run of the Washington Nationals and the Yankees-Astros ALCS (33:59).

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movie reviews

Joker review at Mountain Xpress

I wrote a Joker review last week, largely transcribing what I said on Ep. 012 of The Podcass.

But I also wrote up a review of the film for Asheville’s Mountain Xpress this week. And given the space restraints of print, it’s often a challenge (one I enjoy) to shorten and distill my thoughts.

“[…] the Joker is very much a comic book character. Though Phillips wants to deny that fact, clothing Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck in 1980s grime and despair and the visual language of early Martin Scorsese films, he can’t avoid the fact that the Joker is best known as Batman’s archnemesis. Allusions are even made to the future existence of the Caped Crusader. Can one exist without the other?

Perhaps the tie-in is fan service intended to placate die-hard comic book fans. But it’s also a concession that this story wouldn’t be distinct without a familiar villain who paints his face with clown makeup and favors purple suits with yellow accessories. Phillips tries to have it both ways.”

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Podcast

The Podcass 012: Everybody smile! It’s Joker time!

Put on a happy face! A new Podcass!

Joker is the big movie release of the weekend and drawing a lot of buzz, so we have a review for you (2:11). Then baseball and football radio segments from WISE Sports Radio. Up first is a preview of the 2019 MLB postseason (15:05), followed by a look at Week 5 in the NFL (27:33).

Referenced during this episode:

  • “[…] all the fucking funny guys are like, ‘Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’” [Joker director Todd Phillips in Vanity Fair]
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movie reviews

Behind great Joaquin Phoenix performance, ‘Joker’ wags finger at society for creating villain

For the past 20 years, figuring out what makes villains evil has become an entire creative industry. I don’t know if it started with the Star Wars prequels, but that seems to be where it was popularized. How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader? OK, that question was inherent with the character because we knew that he was Luke Skywalker’s father and a Jedi Knight alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Yet was that story really begging to be told? I think we all — whether “we” means Star Wars fans or general pop culture — thought we wanted to see that story. But would it have been better if Darth Vader stayed ruthless and villainous? Isn’t it enough that we knew he had a change of heart by the end and chose to save his son over his devotion to the Empire and the Sith?

The mystery of what made Anakin turn into Vader added appeal to the entire Star Wars mythology because it invited people to imagine what might have happened, rather than having that story told to them. 

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