December 22, 2017

Episode 102 - WINTER WONDER-THON 2017


Much like a delicious holiday fruitcake, our second-annual Winter Wonder-Thon showcases a hodgepodge of festive treats that also benefit from an infusion of adult libations. This year, our selections focus on a wide range of traditions both cultural and commercial, and feature two separate attempts to besmirch the reputation of jolly old Saint Nick.

Pull on your favorite sweater and pour yourself some eggnog as we come a-wassailing into your ears with a very special holiday podcast!


Featured in this episode:

Clips and Shorts
Animaniacs - "Noel" (aired September 7, 1996)
Hess Toy Truck commercials (1993, 1997, 1999)

TV Episodes and Specials
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas (aired December 4, 1992)
The Tick - "The Tick Loves Santa!" (aired November 25, 1995)
Power Rangers Zeo - "A Season to Remember" (aired November 27, 1996)
Seinfeld - "The Strike" (aired December 18, 1997)

December 15, 2017

Episode 101 - STAR WARS: CLONE WARS


Star Wars: Clone Wars is an adrenaline shot to the arm of the prequel saga. Genndy Tartakovsky's micro-series is a lesson in atmospheric storytelling, not to mention creative redemption. Each taut installment amps up the cool factor on many a prequel staple, while trimming the fat of plot and dialogue down to a prime cut of kinetic Star Wars action.

Brian Rudloff and Sam Stovold, co-hosts of the brand new Marvel Star Wars Explorers podcast, return to follow up on our Shadows of the Empire discussion with another between-episodes diversion from the Star Wars franchise. (Fingers crossed that the narrative between Episodes VIII and IX provides us with more fodder for debate!) In this massive podcast, they help us take account of all the ass-kicking in a galaxy far, far away and weigh in on the thirstiest droid in the universe.


Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005)
Created and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Based on Star Wars by George Lucas
Starring Mat Lucas, James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, Grey DeLisle, Richard McGonagle, T.C. Carson, André Sogliuzzo, Corey Burton, and Anthony Daniels

Check out the rest of our series on the Star Wars saga:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

December 1, 2017

Episode 100 - TOY STORY


What Were We Watching has finally made it to episode 100, and we're celebrating with another kind of milestone: Pixar's revolutionary computer-animated feature Toy Story. Part of a groundbreaking series that grapples with the inevitability of change and the functions of nostalgia, this movie provides the perfect framework for self-reflection. Our special extra-long discussion is all about storytelling, imagination, and the life-changing power of podcasting.

A big thank you to all the listeners and guests who have accompanied us on our journey thus far. We hope you enjoy the next 100 episodes!


Toy Story (1995)
Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Bonnie Arnold, Ralph Guggenheim, Ed Catmull, and Steve Jobs
Screenplay by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, and Alec Sokolow
Story by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Joe Ranft
Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, R. Lee Ermey, John Morris, and Erik von Detten

November 17, 2017

Episode 99 - BATMAN FOREVER


Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's excited for more Batman chit-chat? Joel Schumacher's exuberant take on the Caped Crusader marks a crucial turning point for the character's onscreen legacy, in a film that dips the remnants of Tim Burton's moody vision in neon and scatters them across an exaggerated comic book fantasyland. As Batman Forever's title suggests, the ripple effects of its stylistic swerve would continue for decades to come.

The dynamic duo of Gensho Tasaka and Eric Wheeler joins us for a freewheeling free-for-all on this pivotal moment in Bat-history. Joygasm!


Batman Forever (1995)
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Produced by Tim Burton and Peter MacGregor-Scott
Written by Lee & Janet Scott Batchler and Akiva Goldsman
Based on characters created by Bob Kane
Starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, and Ed Begley Jr.

Check out all current episodes in our Batman series:
Batman
Batman Returns
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman Forever

November 3, 2017

Episode 98 - MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL


We're knights of the round table
We pod when ere we're able
About our pick of older flicks
With talent debatable
The only trick that we've got
Is to quote these films a lot

We're knights of the round table
With opinions disposable
We have more fun with Kevin Young
Whose style's inimitable
So give this episode a shot
We promise you'll enjoy a lot!


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Directed by Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam
Produced by Mark Forstater and Michael White
Written by Monty Python
Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin

October 27, 2017

Episode 97 - 'WEEN-A-THON 2017


Our Halloween "visual playlist" spooktacular returns! This year, our trick-or-treat bag is packed with a variety of ghoulish goodies: commercials, cartoons, and comedies that capture the spirit of the season. Muster up your courage for a not-so-grisly grotesquerie of our Halloween faves in our second annual 'Ween-A-Thon...if you dare!


Featured in this episode:

Clips and Shorts
Coca-Cola "Monsters of the Gridiron" commercials (1993-1994) - Spot 1, Spot 2, Spot 3
Walt Disney World Inside Out - "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" (1994)

TV Episodes
South Park - "Pinkeye" (aired October 29, 1997)
Rugrats - "Candy Bar Creep Show/Monster in the Garage" (aired January 5, 1992)
The Adventures of Pete & Pete - "Halloweenie" (aired October 9, 1994)
Home Improvement - "I Was A Teenage Taylor" (aired October 29, 1996)


October 20, 2017

Episode 96 - SCREAM


What's your favorite serio-comic deconstruction of the horror genre? For many, there is no better answer than the prescient Scream series, which combined trendy self-awareness with old-school storytelling chops. The instantly iconic (and oddly bumbling) Ghostface villain not only breathed life back into slasher movies, but also inspired the trick-or-treating costumes of countless lazy teenagers for decades to come.

Daren Sprawls joins us in celebration of the Halloween season as we soak in the details of the classic bloody whodunit, and indulge in listing our favorite scary movies.


Scream (1996)
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Cathy Conrad and Cary Woods
Written by Kevin Williamson
Starring Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jaime Kennedy, and Henry Winkler

October 6, 2017

Episode 95 - 3 NINJAS


The coolest threads, the finest toys, the slickest moves: 3 Ninjas isn't just a movie, it's wall-to-wall wish fulfillment. Nothing is too excessive for a film centered on three prepubescent martial arts masters that combines the acrobatic clowning of vintage Jackie Chan with the outsize "kid power" ethos of the 1990s. (Not to mention a healthy dose of the noble ninja code, which apparently allows for low blows.)

Jean Magers makes her thrilling podcast debut for this delectable stew of kiddie flick tropes. So just kick back, knuckle up, and get ready to enjoy this most honorable episode. Eeeeyah!


3 Ninjas (1992)
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Produced by Martha Chang and Yuriko Matsubara
Written by Edward Emanuel
Starring Michael Treanor, Max Elliot Slade, Chad Power, Rand Kingsley, Alan McRae, Margarita Franco, Kate Sargeant, Patrick Labyorteaux, and Victor Wong

September 22, 2017

Episode 94 - AN AMERICAN TAIL and FIEVEL GOES WEST


Scrappy cartoon mice are as American as baseball, apple pie, and an abiding sense of optimism that somehow endures constant alienation and glaring injustice. That combination of the wholesome and the serious defines An American Tail, a poignant re-imagining of the immigrant experience from legendary artist Don Bluth and wunderkind executive producer Steven Spielberg that dared to challenge Disney for animated musical supremacy.

Just because you find some success in America, however, doesn't mean you relinquish your underdog status. By the release of the sequel Fievel Goes West, Bluth was gone, Disney was ascendant once more, and the Mousekewitz family was still seeking a better lot in life. It was time to change the approach.

Brian Rudloff joins us for this special double feature episode, as we try to reconcile two very different films with the same core message: somewhere out there, dreams can still come true.


An American Tail (1986)
Directed by Don Bluth
Produced by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, and John Pomeroy
Written by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss
Starring Phillip Glasser, Amy Green, Nehemiah Persoff, Erica Yohn, John P. Finnegan, Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, and Dom DeLuise

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
Directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells
Produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Watts
Written by Flint Dille
Starring Phillip Glasser, Cathy Cavadini, Nehemiah Persoff, Erica Yohn, Dom DeLuise, Amy Irving, John Cleese, and James Stewart

September 8, 2017

Episode 93 - KINDERGARTEN COP


After almost three decades, Kindergarten Cop still represents an aspirational standard for the thespian trapped in a cycle of typecasting: Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the crest of his rough-and-ready muscleman trajectory, poking fun at his brawny persona and spinning it into comedy gold. Real-life educators Daren Sprawls and Ariel Quist Sprawls help us rate the movie's classroom verisimilitude and celebrate its tremendous quotability, evident in its contributions to a classic prank call soundboard.

How do six-year-olds stack up against a former Mr. Universe? Why are so many family classics filmed in Astoria, Oregon? Who is your daddy, and what does he do? Find the answers to these questions and much more in this special back-to-school episode!


Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Produced by Ivan Reitman and Brian Grazer
Written by Murray Salem and Herschel Weingrod & Timothy Harris
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Reed, Penelope Ann Miller, Richard Tyson, Carroll Baker, Christian Cousins, Joseph Cousins, and Linda Hunt

August 25, 2017

Episode 92 - HOMEWARD BOUND: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY


Homeward Bound is a valentine to pet lovers everywhere, a fanciful look at what might be going on inside the minds of our furry friends. Its conclusions are simple and elemental: Dogs don't get along with cats. The world is meant for exploring. And our pets are eternally preoccupied with us, their human familiars.

The movie says much about our tendency to view pets as projections of ourselves, and says even more about what we find endearing in our animal companions. Who wouldn't want to run around with Chance, or caress Sassy's lustrous coat, or relax on the porch under Shadow's watchful eye?

It doesn't matter if you're a dog person or a cat person. All heartstrings will be pulled by our episode on this sentimental, four-legged family adventure!


Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Directed by Duwayne Dunham
Produced by Jeffrey Chernov and Franklin R. Levy
Written by Caroline Thompson and Linda Woolverton
Based on The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Starring Don Ameche, Sally Field, Michael J. Fox, Jean Smart, Kim Greist, and Robert Hays

August 11, 2017

Episode 91 - THE PAGEMASTER


Culkin! Lloyd! Between the combined star power of these two 90's movie pillars, it's a wonder The Pagemaster isn't more of a mainstay in our collective memory. Perhaps the "Macaulay mystique" had waned by 1994, or maybe kids just don't go to the movies for reminders to visit their local library. A love letter to the written word, the live-action animated hybrid paints a shared universe of anthropomorphic books and familiar literary characters (strictly those in the public domain) in a rare cinematic attempt to encourage reading.

It turns out we both could stand a re-read, having remembered this 80-minute breeze more for the associated promotional content than the actual film itself. So get your library card ready and join us as we determine if this short story is a classic, or if it has us longing for that giant floating exit sign in the sky. When in doubt, look to the books!


The Pagemaster (1994)
Directed by Joe Johnston and Maurice Hunt
Produced by David Kirschner and Paul Gertz
Screenplay by David Casci, David Kirschner, and Ernie Contreras
Starring Macaulay Culkin, Christopher Lloyd, Ed Begley Jr., and Mel Harris; and the voices of Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, and Leonard Nimoy

July 28, 2017

Episode 90 - THE FIFTH ELEMENT


The story of The Fifth Element's journey from bemusing sci-fi oddity to beloved cult film hinges on its exoticness. Luc Besson's passion project looks, sounds, and feels like nothing else among the late-90s mainstream. Hyper-obsessed with action, sex, and every other sensory pleasure, it's simultaneously a portrait of its time and ahead of its time.

Jack Stovold of Reopening the Wormhole joins us to unpack this lascivious European cousin of the high-concept American blockbuster, so grab your multipass and get ready to revisit this outrageous space opera.



The Fifth Element (1997)
Directed by Luc Besson
Produced by Patrice Ledoux
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Brion James, Tiny Lister, and Chris Tucker

July 14, 2017

Episode 89 - PLANET OF THE APES (2001)


Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake is the orphan of the erstwhile sci-fi franchise, a film made with great expense and expectations that failed to re-ignite the public's interest in simian social allegories. Yet it is also a triumph of technical craft, and pays homage to its predecessors in its total commitment to immersing the viewer in a primeval, primate-dominated world.

Sam Stovold joins us for an analysis of this much-debated Apes installment, helping us praise its performances, question its themes, and attempt to explain its idiosyncratic approach to time travel.


Planet of the Apes (2001)
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Richard D. Zanuck
Written by William Broyles, Jr. & Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal
Based on Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estella Warren, Kris Kristofferson, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

June 30, 2017

Episode 88 - SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES


Among the many superheroes who strengthened their foothold in the cultural consciousness via animated avatars, is there any tale more fortuitous than that of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? In his '90s cartoon, Spidey confidently leaned into his sprawling comic book mythology (recently energized by a badass symbiote named Venom), and re-introduced the world to a sympathetic, wisecracking do-gooder whose popularity would only soar higher in the coming decades.

Bona fide web-head Daniel Borders-Ashe swings by to discuss the defiantly nerdy series that faithfully re-created the structure and the spirit of the comics. Also, we sling suggestions for Spider-Man's (and Stan Lee's) future adventures.


Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)
Produced by Bob Richardson
Based on Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Starring Christopher Gary Barnes, Linda Gary, Julie Bennett, Sara Ballantine, Jennifer Hale, Gary Imhoff, Rodney Saulsberry, Roscoe Lee Browne, Hank Azaria, and Ed Asner

Episodes featured in this podcast:
"The Alien Costume, Part 3" (aired 5/13/1995)
"Shriek of the Vulture" (aired 2/17/1996)
"The Return of the Green Goblin" (aired 7/12/1997)
"Spider Wars, Chapter II: Farewell, Spider Man" (1/31/1998)

June 16, 2017

Episode 87 - BABE


A surprise Best Picture nominee at the 1995 Oscars, Babe presents an idyllic portrait of country life comprised of modest living, cross-species cooperation, and a perpetual magic hour. Thanks to its cast of cute critters (both real and animatronic), as well as the gentle stoicism of James Cromwell, this rural fable is preceded by its very amiable reputation.

But after years of more nuanced views on animal rights--and considering all the activities that must occur at the Hoggett farm--what do we think of this particular piglet and his friends, both two and four-legged?


Babe (1995)
Directed by Chris Noonan
Produced by Bill Miller, George Miller, and Doug Mitchell
Written by George Miller and Chris Noonan
Based on The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith
Starring James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski, and the voices of Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes, Danny Mann, Miriam Flynn, Russi Taylor, and Hugo Weaving

June 2, 2017

Episode 86 - THE MUMMY RETURNS


Believe it or not, there was a time when The Mummy franchise felt like the second coming of Indiana Jones. Or so a teenage action junkie was likely to think, circa the summer of 2001, when The Mummy Returns announced its presence as a bigger, faster, and louder version of its hit predecessor.

But where gains are made through massive visual effects and breakneck pacing, something else (Retro chic style? Tongue-in-cheek humor?) is inevitably de-emphasized, or perhaps even lost. Put on your pith helmet and find out The Mummy Returns avoids the curse of sequel excess!



The Mummy Returns (2001)
Written and directed by Stephen Sommers
Produced by Sean Daniel and James Jacks
Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Freddie Boath, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


Not since Dikembe Mutombo has shot-blocking been this impressive.


May 19, 2017

Episode 85 - THE PIRATES OF DARK WATER


Part of the Fox Kids television block's splashy debut in the early 1990s, The Pirates of Dark Water is a showcase for the artists, animators, and linguists of Hanna-Barbera. Fearsome creatures and nonsense phrases abound in this high seas fantasy that draws from a variety of global maritime traditions. The result is a truly expansive alien world that's especially appealing to fans of horrifically transmogrified beasts.

Yet like many a swashbuckler, this aesthetically daring series was cut down in its prime. Join us as we examine our enduring fascination with buccaneers, while diving into Dark Water's mythology and imagining if the show had been given the opportunity to reach its natural conclusion.


The Pirates of Dark Water (1991-1993)
Created by David Kirschner
Starring George Newbern, Brock Peters, Roddy McDowall, Frank Welker, Jodi Benson, Tim Curry, and Héctor Elizondo

Episodes featured in this podcast:
"The Quest" (aired 2/25/1991)
"The Game Players of Undaar" (aired 11/29/1992)
"The Living Treasure" (aired 5/23/1993)

May 4, 2017

Episode 84 - STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE


Priming the public for the return of Star Wars in its special edition and prequel forms, George Lucas cranked up the old hype machine for Shadows of the Empire, an ambitious storytelling experience spread out across multiple media platforms. The project encapsulated all the promise and pitfalls of the creative potential embedded in the so-called "expanded universe," leaning heavily on the film trilogy's distinct atmosphere and iconography to peddle franchise arcana.

We depart from our typical format in this very special episode, as guest hosts Brian Rudloff and Sam Stovold help us divide and conquer a book, a graphic novel, a video game, and a soundtrack that (theoretically) combine to create a single Star Wars story.


Shadows of the Empire (1996)
Novel written by Steve Perry
Graphic novel written by John Wagner and illustrated by Kilian Plunkett
Video game produced by LucasArts and directed by Mark Haigh-Hutchinson
Soundtrack composed by Joel McNeely

A bonus panel of swoop gang leader Gizman aka 'Big Gizz' from the Shadows comic book:


Swoop! (There It Is)

Check out the rest of our series on the Star Wars saga:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

April 20, 2017

Episode 83 - PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON


Gentleness is a virtue in Puff the Magic Dragon, a touchy-feely cartoon special inspired by what's either one of the most anodyne pop music hits of all time, or a devious Trojan horse planted by the counterculture. That's a pretty unfair legacy for a short film that explores concepts like anxiety and alienation, though its deeply 1970s sensibility doesn't exactly discourage the double entendres.

So with that being said, grab a few buds and enjoy this high flying episode posted on the innocuous date of April 20!


Puff the Magic Dragon (1978)
Directed by Charles Swenson and Fred Wolf
Produced by Charles Swenson, Peter Yarrow, and Romeo Muller
Written by Romeo Muller
Aired by CBS on October 30, 1978
Starring Burgess Meredith, Philip Tanzini, and Robert Ridgely

April 7, 2017

Episode 82 - 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU


To an American high school student, few writers seem as imposingly archaic as William Shakespeare. Yet ol' Billy Shakes understood, perhaps better than anyone else, the romantic warfare that is a quintessential part of the teenage experience. That feisty, melodramatic spirit animates the backbiting and bon mots of 10 Things I Hate About You, a memorable part of the Bard's cinematic renaissance in the 1990s.

Guest host Lindsay Marie Mead is our prom date for this lighthearted story of accidental infatuation adapted from The Taming of the Shrew, which updates the timeless tale with prescient casting, wacky interpretations of high school clichés, and a healthy dose of rock 'n roll girl power.


10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Directed by Gil Junger
Produced by Andrew Lazar and Jody Hedien
Written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith
Based on The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Starring Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Gabrielle Union, Susan May Pratt, Allison Janney, Daryl Mitchell, and Larry Miller

March 24, 2017

Episode 81 - MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE


In a case of striking before the iron begins to rapidly cool off, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie appeared in theaters during the summer of 1995, benefitting from nearly two years of groundwork laid by the television series. The movie's immediately apparent increase in production value, as well as the refreshing change of pace offered by its one-off villain with endless Borscht Belt-approved wisecracks, presented a stark contrast from the relatively dinky TV show. Not that this mattered in the long run, as one of the film's major plot points would be undermined in just a matter of months by a multi-episode arc presenting an alternate version of events.

The Power Rangers would soldier on--and they continue to endure in one form or another--but Mighty Morphin March must come to an end. Text Before Calling's Eric Wheeler teleports in to assist in our final salute to these variegated karate warriors and their robotic spirit animals.


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Directed by Bryan Spicer
Produced by Haim Saban, Shuki Levy, and Suzanne Todd
Written by Arne Olsen
Based on the TV series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"
Starring Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Jason Narvy, Paul Schrier, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, and Paul Freeman

Catch up on all Mighty Morphin March episodes:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 1)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 2)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

March 17, 2017

Episode 80 - MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (Part 2)


Mighty Morphin March rolls on with the second half of our massive MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS discussion, as we react to replacement Rangers, a melange of monsters, and the unholy nuptials of the show's most iconic villains.

It's a journey to the end of franchise viability, and we follow it all the way through confusing zord swaps and aquatic aliens, culminating in an explosive conclusion to a morphenominal era.


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995)
Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (1996)
Created by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy
Based on multiple seasons of the Super Sentai series created by Toei
Starring Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Johnny Yong Bosch, Karan Ashley, Steven Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, and Jason David Frank

Episodes featured in this podcast:
"The Power Transfer, Part 2" (11/9/94)
"The Wedding, Part 3" (2/15/95)
"Ninja Quest, Part 3" (9/13/95)
"Hogday Afternoon, Part 2" (2/17/96)

Catch up on all Mighty Morphin March episodes:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 1)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 2)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

March 10, 2017

Episode 79 - MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (Part 1)


Mighty Morphin March kicks off with a karate-kicking, robot-fighting, footage-recycling extravaganza that simply could not be contained to a single episode!

The first half of our deep dive into the convoluted mythos of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers covers the initial year of the phenomenon, as the re-purposed adventures of a long-running Japanese superhero squad saturated American airwaves and store shelves in response to an immediate, white-hot demand.

We talk costumes, characters, weapons, and zords while mining our personal experiences to illustrate the show's highly effective strategy for captivating young hearts and minds. Get your finest monochromatic outfit ready... it's morphin' time!


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995)
Created by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy
Based on Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger created by Toei
Starring Austin St. John, Thuy Trang, Walter Jones, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, and Jason David Frank

Episodes featured in this podcast:
"Day of the Dumpster" (aired 8/28/93)
"Green with Evil, Part 5" (aired 10/9/93)
"The Mutiny, Part 3" (8/5/94)
"White Light, Part 2" (10/18/94)

Catch up on all Mighty Morphin March episodes:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 1)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Part 2)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

February 24, 2017

Episode 78 - The 3rd Annual Dubbie Awards!


It's nearly the end of awards season in the movie biz, which means dozens of ossified institutions have spent the past several months debating the merits of a handful of preordained films, overlooking meritorious efforts such as Swiss Army Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

We're putting our own twist on this tradition once again, as the third edition of the Dubbie Awards continues our revolution in recognition. In addition to naming our favorite films and performances of 2016, we'll dispense special honors for the year's finest achievements (and failures) in cinematic nostalgia. And, for the first time, we hand out podcast-centric awards, mostly for the purpose of making our own acceptance speeches. Get the play-off music ready...it's time for the Dubbies!


This year's program includes:
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Film of 2016
  • Best Comeback
  • Most Unnecessary Throwback
  • Future WWWW Candidate
  • Most Nostalgic Moment
  • Best New Oldie
  • Best Performance by a WWWW Guest
  • Best Performance by a WWWW Co-Host
  • Best WWWW Episode of 2016

February 10, 2017

Episode 77 - BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM


The rehabilitation of Batman's post-camp image as a lonely, brooding avatar of vigilantism was not just limited to the comics or the cinema. Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski's surprisingly mature animated TV series also contributed to the goal of establishing a grim, gritty, noir-ish universe as the Caped Crusader's natural habit. Their ambition was affirmed by efforts such as Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a theatrically-released feature filled with vengeance, obsession, and yearning for the past that also includes a pretty sweet rumble with the Joker.

Reopening the Wormhole co-host Sam Stovold suits up for this animated detour in our survey of the Batman films. Grab your fedora and hop into your anachronistic Rolls Royce for this melancholy superhero romance - just in time for Valentine's Day!


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Directed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski
Produced by Benjamin Melnicker, Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, and Eric Radomski
Written by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko, and Michael Reaves
Based on characters created by Bob Kane
Starring Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Mark Hamill, Hart Bochner, Abe Vigoda, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Stacy Keach


Check out all current episodes in our Batman series:
Batman
Batman Returns
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman Forever

January 27, 2017

Episode 76 - MORTAL KOMBAT


Arriving at the tail end of Hollywood's initial mini-boom of video game adaptations, Mortal Kombat tried to kapitalize on a sensationalistic media kraze centered on the popular game's macabre backstory and gratuitous violence. The resulting PG-13 film is, at best, an uneven-yet-sincere attempt to kapture the game's spirit, but its lack of polish didn't stop it from enjoying a residual '90s koolness and kamp appeal--especially as subsequent films based on games failed to significantly raise the bar.

Our MK guru, Kevin Gutierrez, grabs an extra kontroller to join us in a discussion of Mortal Kombat as both movie and game, as we seek an elusive konsensus on what we want out of our video game flicks. Toasty!


Mortal Kombat (1995)
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson
Produced by Lawrence Kasanoff
Written by Kevin Droney
Based on the video game created by Ed Boon and John Tobias
Starring Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Talisa Soto, Trevor Goddard, and Christopher Lambert

January 20, 2017

Episode 75 - ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY


Following the lead of last year's panel discussion of The Force Awakens, WWWW strikes back with another all-star roundtable devoted to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the latest silver screen tale to emerge from our favorite far, far away galaxy.

We're joined by our ragtag crew of Blythe Borders-Ashe, Daniel Borders-Ashe, and Eric Wheeler to debate the merits of this new frontier in franchise expansion. It's a lively back-and-forth on a surprisingly controversial film, with takes hotter than the sauna at Darth Vader's Mustafar castle. And though we may all be divided on Rogue One's successes and shortcomings, there is something that truly unites us: the Force is with us, and we are one with the Force.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, and Simon Emanuel
Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
Story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta
Based on characters created by George Lucas
Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, and Forest Whitaker

Check out the rest of our series on the Star Wars saga:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

January 13, 2017

Episode 74 - MEMORABLE MUSIC VIDEOS, VOL. 2


Nowadays you can meme a song into an unexpected hit, but back in the day topping the charts meant kissing the ring of Carson Daly in front of a horde of truant teens and underemployed adults packing Times Square, eager to see their idols visit MTV's famous high-rise fishbowl.  And to please this fickle audience day in and day out, you'd better have brought a hot music video.

Our second installment of the format we introduced nearly one year ago gathers six more promotional clips - this time with a heavy pop/R&B focus - as musician and YouTube personality Matt Palmer contributes his artistic expertise and passionately-held opinions to help us contextualize and question some of the most memorable videos from the music biz's last big unit-moving hurrah.


Music videos featured in this episode:

"Scream" by Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson (1995)
"Honey" by Mariah Carey (1997)
"The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy & Monica (1998)
"Unpretty" by TLC (1999)
"The Bum Bum Song (Lonely Swedish)" by Tom Green (1999)
"Thong Song" by Sisqo (2000)


More Music Videos

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3: Middle School Mixtape


Check out more of Matt Palmer:

Two Gay Matts on YouTube
Matt Palmer Music