We take a look at the first few episodes of seasons two of both Netflix’s The Punisher as well as CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery!
Woof. Jim and I really, really wanted to like Glass, the sequel to the terrific Unbreakable, and the surprisingly good / sneaky amazing Split. And it should work. Bruce Willis, Samuel Jackson, and Anya Joy Taylor are good, and James McAvoy does more incredible work as the Horde. But the script is just about the laziest damn thing we’ve ever seen. Tons of plotholes, characters succeeding not because of their brilliance but others’ stupidity, and Shyamalan indulging the worst of his third act instincts torpedo any chance this movie had to kickstart a new cinematic universe, which is it’s plain ambition. It’s a genuine disappointment, ya’ll.
We’ve checked out the first two episodes of HBO’s True Detective season three, and there is so much to talk about! Reliable unreliable narrators, parallel time structures, two macho, damaged cops who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get hands on with crime, and in the center, a missing persons case with strange, unexplained details. It feels a lot like season one, but Mahershala Ali brings a stellar performance to a character that is dealing with post-war trauma and racism in middle America. And don’t get us started on moon phases!
Jim and A.Ron have explored the latest Black Mirror mindf$#%, Bandersnatch. Essentially a choose your own adventure book turned into an interactive Netflix app, Bandersnatch periodically pauses to ask you how the narrative should proceed as you attempt to guide a troubled young 1980’s programmer on the cusp of creating an acclaimed video game of the same name. With branching parallel storylines that can have outcomes that can be mundane, psychotic, or extremely meta, we ask if this is the future of television? We stay spoiler-free for a good portion of the beginning of this podcast, so if you’re curious if it’s worth your time feel free to listen up to the spoiler segment!
We have seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and declare it to be one of, if not the best Spider-Men movies of all time. Amazingly fun, incredibly inspiring, spectacularly stylish, and endlessly imaginative, Spider-Verse expands the franchise in entirely new directions while maintaining the magic that makes Spider-Man great; the moral obligations of an average person who is blessed with great power.
After three long years off the air, True Detective makes a season three comeback on the backs of Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff. We talk about the show’s premise and leads, our feelings about the franchise in general, thoughts on the promotional material and interviews we’ve read so far, reasons to hope that season three is a return to form after an arguable stumble in season two, and where things might go wrong. See you back here next Tuesday!
We’re back with a super-sized wrap up episode for our coverage of our new book, Gods of Thrones, as well as putting George’s Fire & Blood to bed as we consider the final third of the book, starting with “The Dying of the Dragons: Rhaenyra Triumphant”. Anthony and I get things kicked off with a discussion of Lord Cregan Stark and his “Hour of the Wolf”. Then I welcome our old pal Kim Renfro (follow her on Twitter!) back to discuss women in Westeros, our theories on Game of Thrones and GRRM himself. Finally, I interview illustrator Chase Stone, who did the cover and interior art for Gods of Thrones, about life as a professional artist, his work on Magic: The Gathering and The World of Ice and Fire, as well as his influences and techniques.
We continue our Very Giamatti Christmas with a deep dive into Fred Claus. A movie that wants to be Elf but falls off the high wire act that is the commercially successful family film. Their loss is our comedy gain, as we struggle to understand the bizarre rules of Sainthood in this strange alternate reality, ponder what Santa needs with a smoking hot little helper who is the only full sized elf at the Pole, and marvel at a 3 foot tall Ludacris DJing an all Santa, all the time radio station at the big man’s workshop. Merry Christmas!
Anthony jones me once again as we discuss the second third of GRRM’s new Fire & Blood, as we consider from “Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Their Triumphs and Tragedies” to “The Dying of the Dragons: Rhaenyra Triumphant”. Firewyrms! Mysteries of the wall! Dragon eggs beneath Winterfell! And many other interesting twists and tidbits we found in this fake history book detailing the first 150 years of Targaryen reign over Westeros.
Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti star in “All is Bright”, a very good Christmas film about ex-cons trying to go legit by hauling Christmas trees from Canada and selling them to the fine folks of New York City. It’s funny, but way darker than you’re probably expecting, and threads a bitter sweet needle of poignancy that really nails the feeling of those Christmas seasons where things might not be as merry and bright as you might wish. All the more reason to hang our lights up high.