Going off of our generation’s love of 1980s nostalgia, it’s a sore spot that we’re not getting the glut of weird-ass original fantasy movies we were getting during that decade. In a world where the majority of fantasy movies that are kind of close to original are live-action remakes of Disney fairy tales, there’s a lot of fantastical crap to wade through. Leigh, Brendan, and Chris all try to think of more recent original fantasy films that managed to do a good job of creating their universes (along with come discussion of sci-fi world-building for good measure). Also we talk about the animated fantasy movie we’ll be covering next along with- you guessed it- another gin cocktail to wash it down.
Tag Archives: mini episode
In an effort to do justice to those characters long shunted to the side for various reasons, Leigh, Brendan, and Chris talk about their favorite side characters in movies and TV shows. Who are these champions of protagonist support, so often doing the heavy lifting of keeping the plot interesting or the jokes a-popping? Why are they often so much more interesting than the leads they’re so thanklessly holding up? Why does it not work as well when you try to shove them front and center for their own movie (hello, two inexplicable Pirates of the Caribbean sequels that for some reason focus entirely on Jack Sparrow)? And what will Leigh, Brendan, and Chris be watching and drinking come April? Will it involve John Cusack and luster dust (but probably not together)? Let’s hope so!
WE’RE BACK with consistently better sound quality (comparatively speaking) and a mini episode that mandated we actually put effort into this. That’s right, it’s the return of the Pitcher’s Mound and this time Leigh, Brendan, and Chris are all attempting to pitch feature-length adaptations of fairy tales. FUN FACT, many fairy tales don’t follow any sort of story structure and it can be very difficult to attempt to graph that onto them! Anyways, listen, won’t you, and we’ll also go into the next episode’s themed cocktail and movie (also featuring the return of Mila Kunis).
UP ON THE KNEES OF A SERGEANT MAJOR
RIDE THROUGH THE WOODS WITH THE WIND IN YOUR HAIR
SILVER BELLS ON A STOLEN REINDEER
WHILE WE RACE TO THE CASTLE OVER THERE
It’s our usual lazy day look back on the year in review, an awful awful year full of awful awful movies and some pretty good drinks. What were our favorites and what should be consigned to the dustbin of oblivion? Look, listen and find out, I’m not going to type the entire episode. Also, a warm drink recipe designed to counteract the coldness of space for our first movie of 2021.
OOOOOO PRETTY SNARKY, EH? It’s been over a year (or maybe like three months time isn’t real anymore who knows) since the finale of Game of Thrones aired and disappointed nearly everyone with its rushed plotting, shoddy characterizations, and shots of Dany making it look like she has dragon wings. Since then, we’ve all entered into a collective pact to not think about it anymore. Well, we’re smashing that agreement, and all because Leigh kept reading Jaime/Brienne fics while bored during quarantine. That mild event launched a chain reaction that prompted us to devote an entire mini (in name only) episode to the end of Game of Thrones– what went wrong, what went right (I mean maybe something did???) and what could have made it better. Yes, we know people have had these discussions before, but with *gestures to everything* all this happening, we needed something to focus our energy on to stop our brains from melting.
Remember that thing that was going around twitter a while ago where people were listing the top five television shows that explained who they were as a person? Remember? Before all this other stuff that happened? Well, we do and so we’re doing it but instead of just saying what the five television shows that define ourselves are, we’re making everyone else guess what they would be. It’s a game! We loves games! And we love seeing how well we actually know each other (oh does it vary). Also we’re preparing ourselves for our impending Halloween spooktacular two weeks from now. It involves a big neat house and a hefty slathering of CGI. Start drinking now.
No, we didn’t forget how to count, but we ARE going a bit off schedule this week to feature our final episode of Why Don’t We Watch This. This week we talk about Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, a rollicking mystery comedy adventure set in the 1970s if your average film reviewer or podcaster named Chris is to be believed! Turns out when you watch a great movie that gives you great laugh per minute mileage, you don’t always have a lot to talk about! In two weeks we’ll back to semi-normal with our Beauty and the Beast ep, so you’ll be treated to two main episodes in a row, you lucky ducks.
In this continuation of our mini mini-series Why Don’t We Watch This, we discuss Strange Days. No, not the prolonged Kafka-esque fever dream that is 2020, the 1995 Kathryn Bigelow directed cyberpunk neo-noir film starring Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett. Heads up, this movie is Intense with a capital I, as in the optical organs you may want to avert, as we did, during some of the more violent and unpleasant scenes. If you are not okay with graphic depictions of physical and sexual violence, this may not be the episode (or movie!) for you. Otherwise, enjoy our humble addition to the many discussions and think pieces of this ever-timely would-be narrative of a systemically racist militarized police force wreaking on L.A. mired in a confusing virtual reality serial killer whodunnit.
In which we continue our summer of watching things that are good but we haven’t all seen by watching Preston Sturges’s 1941 screwball comedy The Lady Eve, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda and a cartoon snake. Also we use this movie as a jumping off point to talk about our thoughts on screwball comedies (good!) and the weird way Nancy Meyers structures her movies so that you can’t tell where you actually are in the plot (I mean, your mileage may vary!). Also next episode we’ll do a complete 180 and talk about a very big and loud action movie, but for now just listen to us all talk about how much we like a movie whose plot twist is predicated on an action being so outlandish that it circles back around and becomes believable again. Good stuff!
We continue our miniseries of indeterminable length with another movie that we enjoy watching JUST BECAUSE, Carl Reiner’s 1993 sex thriller parody, Fatal Instinct. Also we talk about parody movies in general and why some of them work better than others. And this one doesn’t always even work all the time! But hey, where else can you get Armand Assante and Sean Young screwing recklessly while spinning plates? Also we’re doing a summery chick-lit movie adaptation next, so get ready for that.
Look, we really enjoy watching a bad movie but sometimes even we have limits. So while everything in the world is going to hell, we thought maybe we should watch a GOOD movie that not all of us have seen. Ergo this exceedingly wordy minisode miniseries, Why Don’t We Watch This. And for our inaugural ep, we got some food and drinks and decided to watch the 1966 Cold War comedy, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming. For some reason, a comedy about people panicking over impending doom felt weirdly apt. Also, we appreciate how Alan Arkin is a god-damned smokeshow in it and reveal our first fantastical summer movie episode. Listen, won’t you?
One way to get through your social distancing quarantine to watch a lot of movies, and another way is to wildly speculate about how these movies could have been changed in some way. That’s our whole thing! This time, we tweak that whole thing a little bit by speculating about what movies would have been like if they had a different director behind them. Join Leigh, Brendan, and Chris as they speculate about what The Death of Stalin, The Country Bears, and Birdman would have looked like with someone possibly more hilarious or possibly better suited overseeing the film. Also we reveal our spooky May movie and an equally spooky cocktail to go along with it. Spooky DELICIOUS, that is (we hope)!
Truly, there is no easier way to shake up a movie industry mired in the safe and predictable AND enrage a certain sector of the Internet than by swapping the gender of one or more of your film’s characters. It is, literally, the easiest way to increase the representation of women or make male characters mildly less dull- all you have to do is some simple find+replace in Final Draft. So what movies would have benefitted from such a switcheroo? Leigh, Brendan, and Chris rattle off a few such changes they think would improve their respective movies while also preparing to tackle the next full-length episode, one where a hard-drinking tough-as-nails detective is played by… A WOMAN??? Fetch your smelling salts and join in!
What better way to celebrate the final days of February the Month of Love than by discussing a rom-com that finally pairs up Fran Drescher and Timothy Dalton, the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks of February 1997? That’s right, at long last someone is giving The Beautician and the Beast the attention it shrilly demands. After all, what could be more romantic than traveling to a small formerly-USSR country, falling in love with their oppressive leader, and doing it all in garish stilettos and midriff-bearing tops? Anyways, join Leigh, Brendan, and Chris for this detailed deconstruction of a movie that was somehow against all odd released in theaters, and be sure to listen two weeks from now when we cover a sci-fi movie with a couple that has just as uncomfortable chemistry.
THE WHY WATCH CREW SPEAK! One month after Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker premiered to a resounding critical “Oof,” Leigh, Brendan, and Chris finally do what every other podcast did like two weeks ago and gather together to try to make sense of whatever the hell that movie was supposed to be. Spoiler alert: it’s not great! There’s a lot of J.J. Abrams nonsense to sift through here, like the nebulous time-wasting questing and what the hell the Emperor is doing here alive and why won’t the spaceship battles take place in space??? Also next up is our annual Month of Love February Rom-Com so at the very least you’ll have a movie that tries to earn its kiss at the ending this time.
As always at this time of the year, we are tired and have a bunch of other stuff to worry about, like shopping for presents and the distressingly low box office intake of Cats. So, we present for you all our annual year in review where we talk about our favorite and least favorite movies and drinks. Also since we forgot to mention in the actual episode, we’re kicking off 2020 with Brotherhood of the Wolf. Oops. Well, happy new year to you all regardless.
At what point is a mini episode no longer a mini episode? Probably at this point. This point, when you have what is ostensibly a “mini” episode that’s longer than some of our actual episodes. In our defense, there’s a lot to cover here! With the Christmas season upon us, Leigh, Brendan, and Chris gather in front of a roaring fire to discuss the glut of direct-to-streaming-service holiday movies available at your fingertips. From the twisting supernatural romantic thriller The Spirit of Christmas to the sack of garbage topped with a festive bow that is Santa Girl to some movie Disney dumped on their new streaming service when it became apparent no one would pay to see it, we run the gamut of these Christmas flicks of questionable quality. Also we talk a lot about Netflix’s attempt to horn in on this racket by use of Vanessa Hudgens and movies where everyone is horny AF for the holidays. Aptly, we also announce the movie we’ll be doing for our impending 50th episode and wouldn’t you know it it’s also a Netflix Christmas movie. WE SIMPLY CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THE HOLIDAYS.
In our latest mini-episode, we we cover the sequel to a movie we’ll be doing for our next full-length episode. It’s like Memento, but instead of your favorite Christopher Nolan trappings it’s got Angelina Jolie and her prosthetic cheekbones. That’s right, we paid money to see Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in theaters, which is more than most of America is doing. Join Leigh, Brendan, and Chris as we discuss a whole secret island full of Maleficents, Michelle Pfeiffer’s underdeveloped and vague motivations, and also how we can pretty much wave away genocide attempts once the person responsible is turned into a goat.
It’s finally happened. We’ve run out of things to say about scary movies for Halloween. It’s a real kick to the shins, it is! Anyhow, in lieu of that and springing from a tangent about horror films, we all talk about the things in film that make us not want to see a movie with no further information needed. No matter how open minded we try to be about these things, there’s always a genre, director, or actor who will stop us in our tracks and make us cry to the heavens “WILL NOT WATCH!” Also we’re planning a creepy high tea for our October episode spooktacular, so check out our latest mini and get ready to be immersed in a movie that has so much atmosphere the gravity eventually crushes the plot and character into a Gothic singularity.
Friends, nostalgia is the most dangerous drug and none of us can get enough of it! But, for about forty minutes anyway, Leigh, Brendan, and Chris will doff their nostalgia goggles and discuss times they revisited a movie they loved growing up and later revisited. Will it hold up like so many movies broadcasted incessantly on Comedy Central in the early 90s? Or will it be more like rewatching the 1995 classic Mighty Morphing Power Rangers: The Movie, a feat so deeply upsetting that all you can do is call your parents after and apologize for making them take you to see it? Either way, we get another blast from the past next episode where we tackle a movie from Leigh’s formative years with some friends from our own yesteryears. Rest assured, the goggles will be off for that one.
Finally, an entire episode dedicated to the songs and performances of Tone Loc! Whether it’s “Funky Cold Medina” or showing up for one scene in FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Tone Loc has- oh, wait, never mind. It’s about tone. Tone in cinema. Like movies feeling “big” or “intimate” and the cultural and critical baggage that entails, that kind of thing. Also our upcoming back-to-school movie and a game we’re playing with various nips and mixers to make it a lot more watchable (because boy is it not watchable).
Whether telling an impossible ad intellectually-stimulating tale using the realities available to us through science fiction or wringing jokes from a mom wanting to fuck her son who was sent back in time by his elderly scientist friend using wildly unsafe experiments funded by aiding international terrorists, time travel movies have been an important part of film history for decades. As a prelude to our upcoming episode with deals with a certain MACHINE that can travel through TIME, Leigh, Brendan, and Chris discuss their favorite time travels movies, the different kinds of time travel movies, and what makes a compelling time travel movie. Also, we talk about Primer. Anyhow, join us next TIME for a science-fiction romp through the ages you won’t soon forget (not a guarantee).
For this mini episode, we decided to do something a little different and play a game that would lead to discussion. Well, it’s kind of a game and kind of a discussion, but not like in the strict sense of either. Well, there are actually aspects of both to it, but- look, we work from a list of capital-I Important Films and ask those amongst us who have NOT seen the movie in question to try their best and guess what the movie is actually about based off what they do know of it. Look, why are you reading this anyway when you could just listen to it? We don’t deviate a WHOLE lot because we also do talk about our upcoming conspiracy thriller movie and what we hope is a sufficiently globe-trotting drink to accompany it. But we’ve never seen this movie, so uh… we’ll see how all that goes!
With the impending summer movie season upon us all, Leigh, Brendan, and Chris decide to kick it off with a mini episode about when movies make you cry and scared and feel stuff. Mostly the first one, I think because we were all in a certain mood seeing how the movie we’re doing next is a delightful romp about death and life and all that frivolity. Also we prepare a recipe for a classy cocktail that can hopefully get us all through a movie with a three-hour runtime. You can probably all guess what it is without listening to this. No, it’s not Endgame.
Disney took an old film of great acclaim
Can you imagine that?
And made a sequel that’s more of the same
Can you imagine that?
New actors but a similar plot
In some ways charming but sort of not
There’s decent choreography but also BMX
What was with those guys biking on the ramps?
When Leigh saw that sequence on a plane she said we had to chat
So we all watched this Poppins pic
Then we recorded this right quick
Can you imagine that?
Whether you’re a movie maker, a dungeon master, or just some kid who is haphazardly slapping together some Legos without any sort of regard for the instructions and DAMMIT TEDDY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TAJ MAHAL DOES THAT LOOK AT ALL LIKE THE TAJ MAHAL TO YOU???, world building is a big thing to consider. Leigh, Brendan, and Chris talk about world building as it relates to movies, from good ones that do it well, bad ones that do it well, and the different ways to dump loads of exposition on your audience without them tuning out to check their TikTok or whatever it is the kids are doing now. We also reveal our upcoming movie, something that traffics heavily in world building itself, and the TWO drinks we’ll make for it because duality is a thing for this movie.
As a prelude to our Mystery March episode (which is a thing we just made up now), Leigh, Brendan, and Chris talk about detectives in pop culture, be they Sherlock Holmes or, uh, other. Also there’s some stuff about whether or not you should be able to solve a mystery while watching / reading it and a lot of stuff with TV procedurals. Anyway, you’ve got two weeks to start growing a ridiculous mustache for our next episode’s mystery movie.
Because we spent our last mini episode doing our customary new year nothingness, we bumped a discussion about Shakespeare adaptations to this mini episode instead. It still works! Anyway, Leigh leads a group discussion about the various movie versions of Shakespeare plays, be they mostly faithful to the text and setting or something set in a high school with the great sounds of the 90s permeating throughout. We also determine our Valentine’s Day romcom and an appropriately dairy-based drink to go with it, and there’s a lot of bird noises.
As is our wont, we were feeling very lazy at the end of the calendar year and just recorded us talking about our favorite and least favorite movies and drinks of 2018. Two weeks from now we’ll be ready to work again, we promise. Happy New Years!
Now that it’s well past Thanksgiving, we’re at the glorious time of year where Christmas movies are being thrown at the you like some festive, pleasantly bland spaghetti against a wall. Be they movies about journalists who meet a prince on Christmas or bakers who meet a prince on Christmas or kids who meet a fuckable Santa on Christmas, the options abound and yet for the most part aren’t all that good. SO, we said to ourselves, why not try to come up with a pitch for our own Christmas movie and share with the group??? So we did. We’ve got a contemporary follow-up to The Nutcracker, a story about a magical advent calendar that is certainly NOT the same as that Netflix one, and a bunch of people spending the Christmas holiday at a fancy hotel where hijinks ensue. Join us again in two weeks for our festive Christmas special where we’ll tackle one of the aforementioned holiday movies. Start counting down on your magical, life-altering advent calendars!