Monday, November 6, 2017

Episode 100 - Birdman (2014)

Holy centennial, Birdman! I mean, holy centennial. Birdman! For our 100th episode, we take on the only superhero movie ever to win best picture, 2014's Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue Ignorance).

Is there anything objectively more important about "high-art" theatre compared to "low-art" blockbusters? What is the relationship between love and truth? Is Michael Keaton actually just a real superhero pretending to be an actor this whole time?

Join us for our 100th episode special edition two-fisted, power-packed, knock down, drag out, cosmic collection of critical theory engaging with the metatext of the film as both mimesis and self-justified cultural artifact. With a Birdman in it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Episode 99 - The Crow (1994)

Just by way of a trigger warning, we have a pretty frank discussion of rape in movies for a bit here. Which is basically what this dark, dark movie was about, so you probably knew that going in, but just to be aware.

It's Halloween, and we finally get to do the halloweeniest request we've ever got, and do the 1994iest superhero movie of all, The Crow!

How does this movie avoid the Hellboy pit with judicious use of a creepy sister? Is the crow The Crow, or is it the guy? Why is Devil's Night getting so commercial? ISN'T THERE ANY ONE... WHO KNOWS WHAT DEVIL'S NIGHT IS ALL ABOUT?

Also, how many Critters make up a Ghoulie? We'll find out today?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Episode 98 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Awesome! Bodacious! Podcastic! We watched the most underrated comic book movie of all time, 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Is April actually a terrible reporter? Why the hell are they throwing their bloodied, comatose brother head first into a half-filled bathtub? How does Splinter both teach his family mindfulness and love, and then WEAPONIZE this to crush their enemies?

BONUS! Andrew reveals possibly the most embarrassing secret of his childhood. Classic pod!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Episode 97 - Mighty Orbots (1984)

WHO IS/ARE MIGHTY ORBOTS!? Andrew has no idea, he's never heard of this. But one of our listeners requested it, so we're diving into this extremely frenetic, bizarre, but immaculately rendered 80s cartoon.

Does putting on a change of clothes actually transform you into their purpose? What are the grammatical logistics behind plural names used for singular beings? Is this cartoon just a secret backdoor Scientology tract?

PLUS! Is this even a superhero thing, and if so are we opening a door to basically every 80s cartoon ever? We'll find out today!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Episode 96 - Sesame Street Superheroes (1974- 1989)

We're rocking it old (pre)school and talking about a celebrate trio of Sesame Street superheroes!

Does the vigilantism of Super Grover do more harm to the fabric of society than good? Is Captain Vegetable secretly in the pocket of Big Veg? Does Teeny Little Super Guy have a secret superpower in his killer soundtrack? Why the hell doesn't Anthony like Pigs in Space!?

Captain Vegetable has suggested a more streamlined test to see if someone is a superhero: will they eat a carrot? Man, this has seriously streamlined our process going forward.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Episode 95 - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

By listener request, this week we take on the neo-pulp serial/cg proof of concept picture Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

Is this a backdoor Crimson Skies movie? What does this movie have in common with Nancy comic strips in terms of using archetypal symbols to communicate? Why is Jude Law so immaculately, tortuously handsome? If Hollywood accepts cool pitches like this on their face, will we be able to get a producer on our new Sky-Captain-Inspired blaxploitation flick 'Grainy and Brown"?

All this, and some crash-course knowledge bombs about Ancient Hebrew and plate tectonics! Watch how fast this goes off the rails as we get deeply distracted talking about Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Episode 94 - It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman: The Musical (1975)

Enough of these dreary, grimdark Supermen! Let's go back to the carefree days of 1975 to a sprightly supermusical, featuring singing gangsters, colour(less) sets, and... Superman committing suicide?

How close is Perry White's musical newsroom to Andrew's actual newroom? (pretty close) Why doesn't anyone like Robert Altman's Popeye?  Is this musical setting Superman up as an opposing force to "the American way"? What the hell is the difference between tights and leggings?

Does the phenomenological study of Superman as a concept make for compelling podcasting? We'll find out today, in the musical brought to you by the guys that wrote the second draft for the Christopher Reeve Superman! PS: That's not that draft they went with.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Episode 93 - Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Well, you should just call us a bunch of little Brian Setzer Orchestras cause it looks like we're bringing back swing! Eh, that was a pretty belaboured metaphor. But not as belaboured as whatever's going on in the much-loathed Sam Raimi-headed goulash of a movie: Spider-Man 3.

How much of Sandman's sand can you replace and have him still be Sandman? Why the hell do we have an alien conveniently crashing right next to the only superhero in New York instead of using the previously established astronaut to go and get it? What is the secret of notable polymath James Franco? Are Manhattan subway tracks really built like the Temple of Doom minecarts? What does everyone in New York assume that this new evil dude who's showed up is also Spider-man, but Venom isn't?

There might be a good movie hidden under here! No really, like deep under here. And you've got to change a bunch. Also some light recasting. Look, we're trying to be on the bright side here, okay?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Episode 92 - Masters of the Universe (1987)

It's Jack Kirby's 100th birthday, and despite being one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century,  there are very few movies based on his work. Unless you count Abraxas, Star Wars, the upcoming Justice League and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So we took a look at a movie that was a secret adaptation of one of his most beloved and obtuse creations, the Fourth World, in the 1987 oddly un-he-man-ish He-Man movie, Masters of the Universe!

What to people eat on Eternia? Where are all the people in this town they're in? Why isn't Frank Langella getting an Oscar for this Skeletor performance?

C'mon, can you imagine "And the Oscar goes to Skeletor?" The WORLD would change. Also, check out the Hall of Great Justice for some Jack Kirby centennial reading!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Episode 91 - Ducktales: The Gizmoduck Saga (1989)

Everyday we're out there making podcasts (woo hoo) and this particular one is about one of the most awkward-to-pretend-to-be-at-recess superheroes of them all, Gizmoduck! He of the popular 80s cartoon Ducktales (woo hoo).

What is the ethnic history of a quasi-multicultural society in a city called Duckberg ruled by a duck ethnic elite? What exactly is the purpose of money in this universe of swimming, skiing and sunbathing in cash? What's a blatherskite?

Does Ducktales have the greatest television theme song of all time? What else is in the running? We'll find out today in this turducken of cartoon super-powered adventurrrrrrrre!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Episode 90 - Poochie (1984)

Superheroes are often reporters, or at least giving themselves a position to receive signals of distress. So why not an advice column? Enter Poochie!

No, not that Poochie. 80s Poochie!

Is there any technical difference between Poochie and Batman or Iron Man? Where does Poochie's C-3PO droid get its human suit? How many other superheroes have their own advice column anyway?

Someone out there was presented with a stuffed toy of a pink and white cartoon dog and thought "Doc Savage". And I want to hug this person. It's Poochie time!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Episode 89 - Star Trek/X-Men (1996)

Once upon a time in the '60s, two cult properties arose that would command huge, obsessive fanbases for decades to come. Turn that 6 upside down, and they finally meet, at the height of the '90s speculator comics market, in 1996's highly improbable crossover Star Trek/X-Men!

What is Andrew's dark and extremely embarrassing history as a Trekie? Is it possible that the conceit of this crossover actually makes a certain amount of storytelling sense? How close did Ainsley come to having Worf for a dad?

PLUS! X-Men in July concludes as Anthony rebuilds X-Men: Apocalypse from the ground up, and Andrew announces who you the listeners picked to be his favorite X-Man!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Episode 88 - X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

We cap off X-Mens in July to check out the much maligned X-Men: Apocalypse! And also all the other movies happening inside X-Men: Apocalypse.

Would we automatically assume a super-powered being out of context was a god? Does destroying all nuclear weapons make Apocalypse history's greatest hero? Why are we doing Phoenix again immediately after that story having sunk your franchise (#RebootTheMuck) just two movies ago? Did we really need the Secret Origins of Xavier's baldness? Wait a second, what the good-god-damn are we doing at Auschwitz in this thing?

Plus: What happens when OH NO IT'S STRYKER NOW AND THE WRITE UP IS ABOUT X-MEN ORANGES WOLVERINE FOR A WHILE HEY WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH HAVING NO MEMORIES ANYWAY BACK TO YOUR PODCAST NICE SEEING YOU you mix the grounded science fictiony fun of the X-Men series with Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers? Not much I guess!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Episode 87 - X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X:Men superfan Mark Denine of Escape Quest is back to explain the intricacies of smashing two versions of a franchise together with 2014's Days of Future Past!

Why does this movie go though its entire plot twice? What happened to the Bannerman Park Peace-A-Chord? Would JFK had won the presidency if everyone knew he was a creepy mutant fishman? What the heck colour was that bottle of Johnny Walker?

Andrew still doesn't know who his favorite X-Men is, and time is running out, because if he doesn't find out in the present, all these much better actors playing Andrew in the future will be murdered by terminators! Help!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Episode 86 - X-Men: First Class (2011)

Megan Murphy returns to take us all to SCHOOL this week as X-Mens in July (Note: It's X-mas in July. X-Mans isn't a thing. - Anthony) continues!

How do Magneto's history of suffering and war and Xavier's life of privilege and study inform their conflicting philosophies about diversity? Why are we spending so much time focusing on Hank McCoy fondling a mannequin? How great would this have been if it was just X-Men: Oranges: Magneto with Michael Fassbender?  How great would it be to just stroke Michael Fassbender's hair for a while?

If we made a No Time for Heroics: First Class it would just be about us kicking around in university, introducing Andrew to his first microphone and Anthony discovering pro-wrestling for the first time, then someone just handing us a DVD of Condorman and going "oh, you don't KNOW?" It would be pretty lame, you guys.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Episode 85 - X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

It's X-Mas in July! And we're tackling one of the most maligned Marvel mutant movies mever made, X-Men: The Last Stand.

Would this movie have worked better if we had made the Dark Phoenix plot and the Mutant Cure plot two separate movies? Why is Angel in this movie at all? What the heck is "head canon"?

We're working on the next episode, but first I have to figure out how many other mutant uses there are for juicing children other than mind control like in the last movie or depowering like in this one. I guess amplifying powers?

Kid juice is pretty useful. These movies are gross.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Episode 84 - Justice League of America (1997)

We get out black market unreleased pilot dealer Jesse Codner to cut us some premium 90s with Superfriends! Wait, sorry, that should read Super F*R*I*E*N*D*S. It's 1997's Justice League of America!

What happens when a bunch of schlubby man-children are the worlds greatest heroes? Were selfies using full-size studio cameras with 90s snapchat filters that common a thing? Why David Krumholtz aged since 1997?

Listen to the episode that made Anthony turn to Andrew half way through watching and say "I hate our show."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Episode 83 - The Greatest American Hero (1981)

Oh, we are just DONE with all those lesser American heroes out there, folks. Time to skip right to the top and talk about the GREATEST American Hero, or a least what was passing for one in 1981.

Why does this self-described comedy drama TV series have the most terrifying opening in the history of this podcast? Who would win in a fight between GAH's Thin Diesels and I-Man's Blazers with Lasers? Why aren't women allowed to drive their own cars?

Is that Neon Rider reference the new champion for NT4H Most Obscure Reference Ever, or just the most Canadian? Wait, does that make Ainsley THE GREATEST CANADIAN HERO? *Believe it or not SHE'S got great health care, I never thought it could all be free-ee-EEEE!* Wait, what was I talking about?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Episode 82 - Wonder Woman (2017)

It's the movie that saved the DCCU!

We couldn't wait, and just dropped everything to go see Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman in theatres! SPOILER! isn't in this, she's in the Bat-family. But Spoilers anyway.

Why/how/wherefore shoehorn the Greek Pantheon into a mismatched Judaeo-Christian monotheistic box?  How much should the political views of an actor or artist affect your experience of their work? Will we ever have more heavy-hitting female action protagonists than you can count on one hand? Is it possible to do a superhero/war movie in a war with no good guys or bad guys?

Are you going to find another stupid movie podcast that compares and contrasts Liberation Feminism with Equality feminism? No, you're not.

All this and Ainsley drops some knowledge bombs of Greek history and the mythology surrounding Amazons, while Anthony and Andrew weep at the prospect of eventually having to probably watch Batman v. Superman!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Episode 81 - X2: X-Men United (2003)

There's Something About Wolverine!

We visit what Wizard Magazine called the "Best Superhero Movie of All Time" and figure out if we can find one mistake in that venerable publication's sterling history with X2: X-Men United!

Is everyone okay with this "I can kill the world with my brain" machine Xavier is just using as an overclocked peeping tom machine? Does this movie feature the first trans-character in a superhero film? Is the destructive power of world-ending supercomputer an apt metaphor for the breaking down of an imperfect society to better allow for marginalized minorities?  How horrible a history teacher would Wolverine have really made?

We actually love Wizard Magazine guys, so don't write us letters. We also love superpowered fiction as metaphorical social commentary, and this one might do it better than any of them! Tune in to listen to two cis-hetero-white guys talk about race, sex, and gender relations and discrimination has to do with X2!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Episode 80 - Hercules in New York (1970)

Far in the dim past... when showbiz and bodybuilding merged into shoddybuilding... we got to have a Schwarzenegger love-fest with his first "major" movie in which he's learning English and playing one of the world's first superheroes, or certainly most prominent capital "H" heroes, with the 1970 bizarreness Hercules in New York.

How easy is it for a seasoned merchant crew to hand an OS rating to a random castaway? Is Arnold Stang just what you get if you took Woody Allen and removed the raw animal magnetism? Has there ever been a better wrestler than Biffer Benson? Why is Zeus totally negging Herc?

Come with us in restoring this movie to the Olympus that is the Schwarzenegger film canon!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Episode 79 - The Silenced (2015)

Ainsley returns just in time to help us through a creepy inversion of Captain America's origin story with the 2015 Korean thriller The Silenced.

The classic Simon and Kirby supersoldier story takes on a decidedly more gruesome turn if you remove consent. Why haven't writers been comfortable with female power fantasy for the last thousand years? Is it better to throw a superhero into a real-world issue or used powered fiction as a metaphor? Why does everyone hate Japan? I mean still.

Once again, as with Stranger Things, making girls into superhumans results in terror instead of high-heroics. Listen as three white North Americans dive into the thorny history of pan-Asian political history. What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Episode 78 - Dick Tracy (1990)

We've talked about it enough, so we might as well do it. We gather for a meeting with Jesse Codner to discuss 1990's Dick Tracy.

What the heck does everyone in this movie have against Tess Trueheart? What was the name of that lizard dog in Star Wars? No, the other lizard dog. What is the secret behind the incalculable, alluring animal magnetism of Mumbles?

You should really go check out Ivory and Horn's amazing replica wrist radio, pick up a sweet watch, and help them (and Andrew) put together a REAL working wrist radio for 2018!

Then go watch Dick Tracy again while wearing it. No, YOU'RE a dork. Tracy.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Episode 77 - Supaidaman (1978)

Duck putties. Anyway, turns out 70's Japanese Spider-Man is a lot cooler than yours.

Did Power Rangers actually rip off the idea of giant robots from Spider-man? How much cooler would Spider-man be if he just screamed "I am an emissary of HELL!" before attacking people? Are all spiders this vindictive? Do spiders have nipples?

Recording this episode is full of gross discoveries and revelations, but the Supaidaman show is pretty great. Yeah yeah yeah WOW.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Episode 76 - Scooby Doo Meets Batman (1972)

For this terrifying tale of spooks, monsters, and money laundry, Justin Tucker from the upcoming Monster Squad Minute joins us to tackle one of the great legendary team-ups we never expected to see when Scooby Doo meets Batman and Robin!

Why does a cartoon have a laugh track? Is the Wayne Corporation in the business of putting well-meaning amusement parks out of business? How many Casey Kasem's can we cram into one cartoon? Was Joker a part of the Weapon X program? Just how hot are Anthony's attractive cousins?

Time to find out who the REAL world's greatest detective is: Batman v Velma Dinkley. Fight!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Episode 75 - Blade (1998)

Heading back to the beginning of the modern superhero movie era with the movie that probably deserves the most credit for that, 1998's Blade!

How did this movie manage to rip-off the Matrix two years before the Matrix came out? Have you ever been a kid trying to sneak into an R-rated movie only to get booted by an infamous bemulleted ticket-taker? What are the mechanics of the vampire reproductive system? And what of the scourge of Renfields infiltrating our police departments?

Why even bother trying to listen to this podcast, it's untranslatable, and- oh, what? it's been translated by a computer? And also a sexagenarian mechanic with a machine gun? Okay then. Party on.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Episode 74 - I-Man (1986)

When Scott Bakula gets a schnoz full of space gas (*spass) he develops the ability to regenerate indefinitely, becomes I-Man, and decides to A. never have that name mentioned in this movie, and B. do what any self-respecting modern superhero would do, and become a spy.

Lots of movies have musical themes for the superhero, but how many have themes for the superpowers? What does Star Trek's Kevin Uxbridge have against the Golden Gate Bridge? Is there a better eggs-based insult than "Eggs Benedict Arnold"?

Welcome to Andrew's childhood obscure VHS collection! Blazers with lasers for all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Episode 73 - The Amazing Spider-Man (2013)

This summer we're getting a brand new rebooted Spider-Man, so we decided to all the way back to the beginning and visit the first time we got a brand new rebooted Spider-Man with 2013's The Amazing Spider-Man!

Does this movie have a more streamlined, dare we say, BETTER origin story than the original? Were Peter Parker's Mom and Dad open about being closet kinksters? Why was Anthony's high school constantly being 21 Jump Streeted by narcs?

How insecure does a movie have to be to tell you that it is amazing before you've even seen it? Still, it was nice to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man by making more Spider-Men. Classy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Episode 72 - The Toxic Avenger (1984)

We take a dip in bubbling, poisonous, mutating, burning 80s hot tubs and come out the other side changed into a shambling mockery of a podcast that decides to watch 1984's The Toxic Avenger!

Why is this horrific movie shot so well? Is it really a car chase if the guy chasing is on top of the car? Would you quit a movie if they made you point a shotgun at a baby?

What other extremely inappropriate movies could be made into cartoons? Saw and Pals? The Texas Chainsaw U.S.Acres? How about Eyes Wide Shut as a really explicit Care Bears? 5-4-3-2-1 FIDELIO!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Episode 71 - Beowulf (1999)

We're back to heroes of myth and legend with the epochal cornerstone of western literature, the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf! But this ain't your daddy's Beowulf, oh no! It's a bizarre techno-feudalist medieval gas-powered low budget direct-to-VHS tour de force staring everyone's favorite Highlander, Christopher Lambert!

Who would win in a fight between Beowulf and Siegfried? Should Mortal Kombat be the template for further adaptations of classic literature? Why are we wasting the presence of Mac from Night Court? Was that Beowulf v Siegfried joke the most obscure reference we've done on the show?

Grendel's mom has got it going on, but she's no match for the power of techno-feudal natural gas! But really, who is?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Episode 70 - Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Since we're gluttons for punishment, GLUTTONS I say, we dive back into the franchise for which we've received the most hate mail with Hellboy II: The Golden Army!

Did we really need a sexy shower scene with just Hellboy in? Why hasn't Luke Goss become a bigger name actor? How weirded out were you by Andrew's bizarre fascination with the sound of fake teeth? What is the very real, deadly, increasing, and persistent danger of bees?

Feel free to head over to the Facebook page to tell us what you think about our Hellboy episodes. Or to defend us from people doing that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Episode 69 - Batman Forever (1995)

It's an all-new, all-different Batman when Joel Schumacher takes the reins for 1995's Batman Forever!

Is it redundant to have boiling acid as a trap,rather than just acid? What kind of paperwork do you have to go through to adopt a 40-year-old man? Does the frenetic neon-pop style of this movie mask a really nuanced take on childhood trauma?

Get ready for the big reveal of Andrew's secret Jim Carrey obsession, Anthony's appreciation of Robin's sweet threads, and Ainsley vanishing completely to go do something meaningful with her time and not have to watch Batman Forever!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Episode 68 - Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (2000)

Anthony is dancing the deathy dance of deadly lifey death and also sick, so it's down to just Andrew and Ainsley to tackle the early 2000s Adult Swim series, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law!

Can we tell jokes about race without being racist? What does making a superhero a lawyer say about forcing mature themes into kids stories for an aging audience? Did you get that thing I sencha?

Where the heck is Michael Keaton in this? Whatever. Get ready to have jokes mercilessly ruined as we pick them apart to try and piece together the descent of the modern superhero from mighty adventurer to workaday schlub! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Episode 67 - Hero (2002)

We (finally) get to Ainsley's Christmas wish with the gorgeous, epic masterpiece of wuxia cinema 2002's Hero, from director Zhang Yimou.

How different are cultural definitions of heroism (and superheroism) between the US and China?Has any superhero movie in the last two decades come close to this in a subtle exploration of what it means to be a hero? How much does this movie's ideas about heroism blatantly rip off Spock?

This episode includes shoutouts to the music of Rasa, Matthew Polly's American Shaolin, and the short film Deadhearts, so your media needs for the next week are basically filled.