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The Smoking Screen Podcast
43 minutes | Jan 11, 2017
Episode 87 – La La Land
Spoiler-Free! Fresh off a record-breaking night at the Golden Globes, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is shaping up to be an award season powerhouse. A successful musical is no easy feat. Were Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling able to sing and dance themselves into Jay and Cybill’s hearts and dreams? Was there a good balance between big musical numbers and well-developed characters and story? Was that J.K. Simmons? We answer these questions and more as we head to the sunshine coast for episode 87 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
45 minutes | Dec 28, 2016
Episode 86 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Spoiler-Free! It was a dark time for the rebellion. With the Empire’s forces massing and threatening to bring destruction on a scale never seen before….but enough about President-Elect Trump. Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, takes us through the events that transpired just before the opening scene of 1977’s Star Wars (A New Hope). How well does the film ingratiate itself into the existing Star Wars universe? Was the talented and diverse cast (Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker) able to create a loveable and memorable group of rebels? Where does this film rank among the other Star Wars films? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 86 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
44 minutes | Nov 28, 2016
Episode 85 – Allied & Hacksaw Ridge
SPOILER-FREE! In episode 85 we review a pair of films set during the Second World War. Allied certainly has the talent to be a great film. Helmed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump), and starring a-listers Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, expectations for this romantic thriller were very high. Did the film deliver on its potential? Hacksaw Ridge marks Mel Gibson’s return to the Director’s chair for the first time in close to a decade. Is it time to forgive him? Does this film make it easier to do so? Does Andrew Garfield prove himself a serious force to be reckoned with come Oscar time? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 85 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
39 minutes | Nov 19, 2016
Episode 84 – Doctor Strange & Arrival
Spoiler-free! In episode 84, we review two of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange combines one of the most popular actors in the world (Benedict Cumberbatch), with an intriguing character, surrounded by a solid cast (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton), within the unstoppable juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Can it live up to the very high (in our case, very, very high) expectations? Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is already garnering strong Oscar buzz. Do Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker deliver the anti-Independence Day that hardcore Sci-Fi have been waiting for? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 84 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
41 minutes | Nov 16, 2016
Episode 83 – Hell or High Water & Snowden
Spoiler-free! In episode 83, we take a detour into the dark and disturbing underbelly of the America psyche with two powerful films. David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water (Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham) takes us through the backroads of Texas and the growing divide between corporate interests and the will of the people. Oliver Stone’s Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicholas Cage) raises similar questions about the abuses of power and privacy perpetrated by the US government own their people. (A special “Hello” to our good friends at all of the intelligence gathering agencies reading this post! Hope you have a great day!) So….how fucked are we? Come join the circle and find out in episode 83 of The Smoking Screen Podcast!
36 minutes | Sep 11, 2016
Episode 82 – Train to Busan & Kobo and the Two-Strings
Spoiler-free! We saw these two extremely fascinating films recently and decided to pull a double-feature this week. What goes better together than a South Korean zombie film and a stop-action animated “kids” feature? Does Train to Busan (or Zombies on a Train) takes advantage of its unusual setting to great effect? Is Laika’s Kubo a work of breathtaking art? Was that Matthew McConaughey as a bug? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 82 of The Smoking Screen. Come and join the circle!
32 minutes | Aug 25, 2016
Episode 81 – Sausage Party
Spoiler-Free! We have been looking forward to this one for a while. The concept is utterly ridiculous. The sexual innuendo blatantly in your face. Crude and crass jokes abound. To top it off, its the brainchild of fellow stoner and friend of the show, Seth Rogen. Loaded with a cavalcade of voice talent and Rogen friends (including: Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Nick Kroll, Craig Robinson), does Sausage Party live up to its immense potential? Does it manage to transcend its baser nature and become a new animated gem? What’s the difference between a sausage and a hot dog anyway? We answer all of these question and more in episode 81 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
44 minutes | Aug 13, 2016
Episode 80 – Now You See Me 2
Spoiler-Free! And for our final trick we will make this joint…..disappear! After a successful first installment, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Wood Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, try to pull another cinematic rabbit from a hat with Now You See Me 2. The budget is bigger, the tricks are more elaborate and the action much more frenetic. But, are those good things? Is there more style than substance? Does it matter that one of “The Horsemen”, Isla Fisher’s Henley Reeves, is noticeably absent? Are we likely to see a third film? Do we want to? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 80 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
40 minutes | Aug 8, 2016
Episode 79 – The Secret life of Pets & Jason Bourne
SPOILER-FREE! We hit up the drive-in for the most ill-suited double feature of the summer: The Secret Life of Pets and Jason Bourne. WTF! Pets has been a huge moneymaker for Universal, raking in over $500m worldwide. Is this gang of furry friends the start of a new and beloved franchise, or a summer crush that will soon be forgotten? It has been almost 10 years since we have seen Matt Damon play Jason Bourne. Are we glad to see him back? Does the film bring something new to the franchise? How the hell does Matt Damon look even sexier than last time? We discuss all of these questions and more in episode 79 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
25 minutes | Aug 2, 2016
Episode 78 – Star Trek Beyond
Space. The final frontier. These are the rebooted voyages of the super sexy crew of the starship, Enterprise. With J.J. Abrams off busy playing with lightsabers, Justin Lin (of Fast and Furious fame) takes over the director’s chair for the third installment of the new series. Was he able to find the right balance of humor, action and family, that has made Star Trek such a beloved franchise? Do we think of Chris Pine as Captain Kirk now? Did Idris Elba deliver a bad guy that Benedict Cumberbatch and Ricardo Montalban would be proud of (KAHHHHNNNNN!!!)? We answer all of these questions and talk about the DNC in Philly (what a disgusting mess) in episode 78 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
41 minutes | Jul 24, 2016
Episode 77 – Ghostbusters
We strap on our proton packs and review one of the most controversial films of the summer: Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. Even with an all-star cast of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, there were many trashing the film before it had been released. What did we think? Was the criticism (aka thinly veiled sexism) warranted? Are we witnessing a rebirth of the Ghostbusters franchise, or a delayed and unnecessary ghostly whisper from the 1980s? We answer of of theses questions and chat about the gong show that was the Republican Convention, in episode 77 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
40 minutes | Jul 18, 2016
Episode 76 – Swiss Army Man
We could write up some fancy pants sentences, but this one really come down to one question. Do you want to see Daniel Radcliffe playing a corpse for 85 minutes? If you answered in the affirmative, journey with us into one of the more unique and creative films we have seen in awhile, Swiss Army Man. It is co-directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and stars Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano (that is pretty weird). We have never seen a film quite like this before. Disgusting and beautiful, all at the same time! Join us for episode 76 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
37 minutes | Jul 5, 2016
Episode 74 – The Purge: Election Year
SPOILER-FREE! There are few franchises that get under our skin quite like James DeMonaco’s, The Purge. The combination of sadistic violence and mortal terror is once again on full display in the third installment, The Purge: Election Year. Well-timed, don’t you think? Can a film be more terrifying than Hillary and Trump? Does the franchise have enough votes for a fourth film? How much does Jay like Elizabeth Mitchell (lots) and is she channeling Bernie Sanders? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 75 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
37 minutes | Jun 28, 2016
Episode 74: Independence Day – Resurgence
We’re back…and so are those damned aliens! Twenty years after getting their asses kicked by a scrappy (and witty) group of human survivors, the aliens have returned with a really big and nasty ship. They ain’t looking for a cup of sugar. Can another group of even more disadvantaged scrappy survivors, rise up and save the Earth again? Did it really take director, Roland Emmerich, and his team 20 years to come up this storyline? Does the return of Goldblum, Pullman and Spiner, make up for the loss of William (Will) Smith? Was Independence Day: Resurgence a disaster film or a film disaster? We answer all of theses questions and more in episode 74 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
43 minutes | Jun 2, 2016
Episode 73 – X-Men: Apocalypse
Another week, another super hero film. This time we journey once again into world of Charles Xavier (Professor X) and his school for the really, really, really gifted (X-Men). How does Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse stack up against the other X-films and the current batch of comic book inspired blockbusters? James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were spectacular in the pivotal roles of Prof. X and Magneto, in First Class and Days of Future Past. Could they repeat such strong performances in the final installment of the storyline? Was Oscar Isaac able to create a memorable and menacing super villain in Apocalypse? Are we getting tired of watching these films? How many more of coming out this summer? We answer all of these question and more in episode 73 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
31 minutes | May 27, 2016
Episode 72 – The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe team up in Shane Black’s new 70s buddy comedy, The Nice Guys. Was this an inspired comedic pairing, like Clint Eastwood and the monkey in Any Which Way But Loose? Or, was it more like J-Lo and Batman in Gigli? (Clearly not, but I really want to make that Affleck/Batman joke). Was the film able to bring something new and fresh to genre? Did Iron Man make an appearance? (More jokes! Black also directed Iron Man 3.) We answer all of these questions and more in episode 72 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle! (No joke.)
31 minutes | May 18, 2016
Episode 71 – Green Room
With our boycott of George Clooney’s Money Monster, we looked for something a little less anger inducing to review this week and settled upon Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room. What’s so bad about being trapped in an isolated location while being hunted down by a murderous gang of skinheads? Still better than Clooney. Patrick Stewart plays the gang’s leader in the film, but does he achieve a sense of menace or just a ill-tempered version of Captain Jean-Luc Picard? Speaking of Star Trek, the movie also stars Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov, in the Trek reboot. But, the big question, with any horror film is: how scary was it? We answer all of these question and more in episode 71 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!
41 minutes | May 13, 2016
Episode 70 – Captain America: Civil War
We are in the midst of an avalanche of cinematic comic book adaptations. Kicking off this summer blockbuster season and hot on the heels of the much maligned Batman v. Superman, is Captain America: Civil War. In such a crowded genre, were Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and company, able to keep us guessing with a new approach to the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is it better than B v S? And what about Paul Rudd? Did he get enough screen time? Spider-Man, Black Panther and Vision? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 70 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come join the circle!
34 minutes | May 4, 2016
Episode 69 – Keanu
We love cats. (The Kracken sends his regards. May 5th is his 21st Birthday!!!) Combine a pretty kitty with two gifted sketch comedians and it sounds like pure movie gold. Did Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele deliver on their first foray into feature film making? Or more precisely, was this good Keanu or bad Keanu. There is no in between. Expectations were high, but we were higher. Join us for episode 69 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come join the circle!
33 minutes | Apr 21, 2016
Episode 68 – The Jungle Book
SPOILER-FREE! Normally when a classic film is remade there is some concern. However, from the first trailer it seemed that Jon Favreau and Disney and had gotten The Jungle Book right. The real question here is, how good was it? Did the all-star voice talent (Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Garry Shandling) successfully bring the animals to life? And speaking of bringing the animals to life, was this the best CGI representation of animals we have ever seen? And most importantly, how scary was Shere Kahn? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 68 of The Smoking Screen Podcast recorded live on 4/20. Come join the circle!
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