August 13, 2018

Episode 121 - THE SECRET GARDEN


A beloved children's story approaches something mystical in the 1993 film adaptation of The Secret Garden. The practice of horticulture heals a sickly boy, comforts a melancholy widower, and introduces a quarrelsome girl to the love of friends and family. Stunted emotions and somber realities slowly bloom into a lush, blissful statement on the powers of intuition.

Special guest Lindsay Marie Mead brings her green thumb and uncanny insights to this totally "wick" episode, which has blossomed just in time for the movie's 25th anniversary!


The Secret Garden (1993)
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Produced by Fred Fuchs, Tom Luddy, Fred Roos, and Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Caroline Thompson
Based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Starring Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, Laura Crossley, John Lynch, Walter Sparrow, Irene Jacob, and Maggie Smith

July 27, 2018

Episode 120 - MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE


From its stylized audiovisual design to its embrace of digital espionage, Mission: Impossible is more than Tom Cruise's overwhelmingly successful play for summer blockbuster job security. It's also an edgy departure from the TV series on which it was based, and a moody outlier in the bombastic, adrenaline-junkie franchise it spawned.

As the latest installment of the M:I series hits theaters, we gather intel on the film that started it all, realizing the most impossible thing about these missions is that no two of them are exactly alike.


Mission: Impossible (1996)
Directed by Brian De Palma
Produced by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner
Written by David Koepp and Robert Towne
Based on the TV series Mission: Impossible created by Bruce Geller
Starring Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle BĂ©art, Vanessa Redgrave, Ving Rhames, Jean Reno, Henry Czerny, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Emilio Estevez

July 13, 2018

Episode 119 - CON AIR


The high concept of Con Air plays like a perfect card of Bruckheimer bingo: an unassailable tragic hero, oodles of massive explosions, and a preternaturally calm Nicolas Cage. But there's a lot more going on in this orchestrated mayhem, thanks to a deep bench of character actors and an infinitely quotable script that's dripping with sarcasm.

Jake Beal makes a garrulous WWWW debut that touches on everything from sound design to criminal psychology to dueling country music sirens. Don't miss this episode, because we're going to show you that God does exist.

Be sure to check out more of Jake's cinematic deep dives on his blog, The Mentaculus!


Con Air (1997)
Directed by Simon West
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by Scott Rosenberg
Starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Danny Trejo, M.C. Gainey, Dave Chappelle, Mykelti Williamson, Rachel Ticotin, Monica Potter, and Steve Buscemi

June 29, 2018

Episode 118 - THE LAND BEFORE TIME


In the 1980s, the partnership of famed animator Don Bluth and cinema wunderkind Steven Spielberg signaled an evolutionary change in the cartoon business. The Land Before Time was perhaps their most moving collaboration, presenting compassion and friendship as the best antidote to bleakness and despair.

Eric Wheeler of Text Before Calling joins us to recount the film's cataclysmic impact on his young mind and its memorable framing of the Darwinian struggle for survival. Whether you're a longneck, a threehorn, or a bigmouth, it's the perfect way to conclude our Jurassic June series, yep yep yep!

*Fun Fact: This episode is just about the exact length of the actual movie! Theoretically, one could press play on both simultaneously for some sort of weird commentary experience... We haven't tested it ourselves, but perhaps a dedicated listener can report back with the results!


The Land Before Time (1988)
Directed by Don Bluth
Produced by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas
Written by Stu Krieger
Starring Gabriel Damon, Candace Huston, Judith Barsi, Will Ryan, Helen Shaver, and Pat Hingle

June 25, 2018

BONUS - SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY


You might want to buckle up, baby... Our two best star-friends Brian Rudloff and Sam Stovold welcome us into their tribe (or should we say family?) for an extra special episode of Marvel Star Wars Explorers! Podcast pals Sean Davis and Kevin Young round out the crew for a roundtable debate over the latest anthology film from our favorite franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The discussion boasts more range than a DL-44 blaster, covering everything from the symbolism of Han’s dice to toxic fanboy villains to whether or not the Imperial March should remain non-diegetic. We’ve also officially reached the point where our Star Wars chats can no longer be contained in single installments, so be sure to check out BOTH parts of this summa-verminoth-sized episode! If you listen to this podcast, you’re in this life for good.




Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, and Simon Emanuel
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan
Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany

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

June 15, 2018

Episode 117 - JURASSIC PARK


Even before you saw Jurassic Park, you felt its impact. Steven Spielberg's hyper-intuitive knowledge of movie audiences hatched a phenomenon that transcended pop culture, inspiring an evolutionary leap in filmmaking technology while revitalizing the field of paleontology for years to come.

Life found a way to bring Jack Stovold back to the 'cast, and together we share our memories and (chaos) theories regarding this cinematic milestone. Hold on to your butts for more Mesozoic musings as Jurassic June continues!


Jurassic Park (1993)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen
Written by Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Based on the novel by Michael Crichton
Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, and Samuel L. Jackson

June 1, 2018

Episode 116 - THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK


Calling all dino-lovers and chaos theory adherents! This month we're examining cinematic prehistory, and what better place to start than with a T-Rex rampage through San Diego? The Lost World: Jurassic Park works hard to one-up its predecessor in terms of sheer spectacle, and experiments with an action hero who doubles as a consistent and thorough naysayer.

Also in this episode, Nate Tapp returns to warn us of the horrific consequences of resurrecting unpredictable primordial beasts. Welcome...to Jurassic June!


The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen, and Colin Wilson
Written by David Koepp
Based on The Lost World by Michael Crichton
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Richard Schiff, Arliss Howard, Vanessa Lee Chester, Peter Stormare, Richard Attenborough, and Pete Postlethwaite

May 25, 2018

Episode 115 - WILLOW


As Solo: A Star Wars Story swaggers into theaters, we turn our attention to the O.G. collaboration between Ron Howard and Lucasfilm: the epic fantasy Willow, a movie that leans hard into genre traditions while attempting to make children simultaneously giggle with delight and soil their pants in terror. Just your garden-variety '80s family film operating within a far more permissive ratings board culture.

Sean Davis, co-host of the After the Credits podcast, was there to experience the magic at the beginning, and shares his memories with us during the glorious conclusion of Not Quite Star Wars Month. Listen in to learn how Willow blends practical wizardry and cutting-edge technology, and how it serves a story that is by turns emotionally resonant, staunchly conventional, and wildly silly.


Willow (1988)
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by George Lucas, Nigel Wooll, and Joe Johnston
Written by Bob Dolman
Story by George Lucas
Starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Kevin Pollak, Rick Overton, Gavan O'Herlihy, Pat Roach, and Billy Barty

May 18, 2018

Episode 114 - LOST IN SPACE


Not Quite Star Wars Month rolls on with Lost In Space, a confused jumble of galactic adventure, toxic masculinity, familial angst, and iffy CGI. Following the blueprint of so many kitschy TV-to-film adaptations, it inflates a very basic premise with an abundance of attitude, and we have trouble agreeing whether it's escapist fun or just a fresh coat of paint on a clunker.

Lieography podcast co-host John Parton joins our crew to chat about everything from Matt LeBlanc action figures to Looney Tunes-inspired distress signals. Danger, Will Robinson: it's another smashing WWWW debut!


Lost In Space (1998)
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced by Carla Fry, Akiva Goldsman, Stephen Hopkins, and Mark Koch
Written by Akiva Goldsman
Based on Lost In Space created by Irwin Allen
Starring John Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, Jack Johnson, Dick Tufeld, Jared Harris, and Gary Oldman

May 4, 2018

Episode 113 - SPACEBALLS


To celebrate May the Fourth (as well as the impending debut of a film about the solo adventures of a certain space rogue) your intrepid podcast hosts are proud to present Not Quite Star Wars Month! We get things rolling with Spaceballs, Mel Brooks's quotable spoof of sci-fi sagas. Kristal Bailey and Kevin Taylor drop by to share their thoughts on our favorite Rick Moranis performances, Lone Starr's "glow up," and the conspicuous amount of profanity in this PG-rated film.

Prepare your earbuds for ludicrous speed, and may the Force...er, may the Schwartz be with you!


Spaceballs (1987)
Directed and produced by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, and Ronny Graham
Starring Rick Moranis, John Candy, Joan Rivers, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, George Wyner, Dick Van Patten, and Mel Brooks

April 27, 2018

Episode 112 - TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE BOOZE


A beloved childhood film meets a favorite adult pastime as we celebrate Cam's birthday with a very special commentary track/drinking game hybrid episode. Dust off your copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, as we offer two ways to enjoy it with us: listen along to our real-time observations about the movie and the Turtles phenomenon, and/or go ninja go ninja go hard with our original TMNT II drinking game. It's a bodacious birthday bacchanal!

Drinking Game Rules
Take a drink when...
  • someone eats pizza
  • "ooze" is seen or heard
  • the Turtles demonstrate their personalities: Leonardo leads, Donatello "does machines" (acts like a nerd), Raphael is rude, Michelangelo is a party dude
  • someone makes a pop culture reference
Chug your drink when...
  • Vanilla Ice appears


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Directed by Michael Pressman
Produced by Thomas K. Gray, Kim Dawson, and David Chan
Written by Todd W. Langen
Based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
Starring David Warner, Paige Turco, Ernie Reyes Jr., Francois Chau, Toshishiro Obata, Kevin Nash, Adam Carl, Laurie Faso, Robbie Rist, Brian Tochi, Kevin Clash, Frank Welker, and Vanilla Ice

Cowabunga! Check out more of our TMNT tributes:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 TV series)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Raph Punk

April 20, 2018

Episode 111 - DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?


The stoner-friendly antics of Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott hit a definitive high when they combined forces in Dude, Where's My Car?, a meandering ode to a new generation of laid-back slacker bros. And much like the actual adventures of unambitious twenty-somethings, the movie combines a zest for frivolous fun with comedic instincts that, shall we say, lean toward the questionable.

Join us as we blaze through this totally dank episode--released entirely by coincidence on April 20--to answer two very nuanced questions: "Dude, what were we watching?" and "What were we watching, dude?"


Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
Directed by Danny Leiner
Produced by Gil Netter, Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, and Wayne Rice
Written by Philip Stark
Starring Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, Marla Sokoloff, Kristy Swanson, Charlie O'Connell, David Herman, Hal Sparks, Brent Spiner, and Andy Dick

April 5, 2018

Episode 110 - STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT


It is futile to resist Star Trek: First Contact, one of the most crowd-pleasing adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Though we may still be 45 years away from our fictional date of first contact, the time is ripe to examine the movie's impact on the Star Trek franchise, and its continuing ripple effect on the legacy of the TNG crew.

It turns out we're not alone in this podcast universe, as we assimilate the hosts of Reopening the Wormhole--Sam Stovold, Jack Stovold, and Kevin Young--to synthesize a new life form capable of unparalleled Trekspertise and whimsical sci-fi mashups.  Sweet Jesus, it's a massive crossover event!


Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Produced by Rick Berman
Written by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore
Based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Alice Krige, Alfre Woodard, and James Cromwell

"The Resistance is futile."
-Snokutus of Borg


March 23, 2018

Episode 109 - THE MATRIX


The Matrix is a movie all about different kinds of awakenings, destined to trigger imaginations with its effective mix of heady themes, classic drama, and stylized action. Its groundbreaking visuals and mind-bending flourishes set the tone for a decade of blockbuster cinema, and its depiction of a human society tranquilized by technology still resonates today.

Special guest Andrew McNally joins the show to upload some especially fascinating insights on politics, philosophy, and Laurence Fishburne's dusty head. Come along as we finally awaken from our embryonic state of blindness, and find out how deep this rabbit hole goes.


The Matrix (1999)
Written and directed by the Wachowskis
Produced by Joel Silver
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Gloria Foster, and Hugo Weaving

March 9, 2018

Episode 108 - AIR BUD


For a film about a basketball-playing dog, Air Bud features a shockingly small amount of basketball, instead focusing on disgruntled clowns, mourning families, dissembling janitors, and exasperated judges. It's an exercise in patience as the movie's twin goals of responsible pet ownership and youth sports supremacy inch along in parallel, before finally entangling in a glorious climax that reveals, once and for all, the basketball rulebook's lack of provisions against canine participation.

Kevin Chu, host of the Slurp podcast, makes his WWWW debut to help us identify the maddening yet effective tropes at the heart of this textbook example of family entertainment.


Air Bud (1997)
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
Produced by Robert Vince and William Vince
Written by Paul Tamasay and Aaron Mendelsohn
Starring Kevin Zegers, Wendy Makkena, Michael Jeter, Eric Christmas, Brendan Fletcher, Bill Cobbs, and "Air Buddy"

March 2, 2018

Episode 107 - The 4th Annual Dubbie Awards!


The most exclusive award show in the world returns, ready to dazzle an audience of dozens. (Eat your heart out, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.) We recap the highlights of 2017, including the best and worst uses of nostalgia, and finish with a healthy dose of self-indulgence. Just follow the red carpet to the Fourth Annual Dubbie Awards!


This year's program of awards includes:
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Film
  • Best Comeback
  • Most Unnecessary Throwback
  • Future WWWW Candidate
  • Most Nostalgic Moment
  • Best New Oldie
  • Best Performance by a Guest
  • Best Performance by a Co-Host
  • Best WWWW Episode of 2017

February 23, 2018

Episode 106 - MUSIC VIDEOS VOL. 3: MIDDLE SCHOOL MIXTAPE


We made you a mixtape! In this third installment of music videos, our selections chart a course through those awkward and momentous junior high years, from evolving identities to artistic revelations to awakenings of an...um...aesthetic nature.

The delightful Matt Palmer returns--along with his encyclopedic knowledge of late 20th century pop--to talk about more of the music that made us, as we refuse to say bye bye (bye) to our middle school tastes.


Music videos featured in this episode:

"My Name Is" by Eminem (1999)
"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by The Offspring (1998)
"Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey ft. Jay-Z (1999)
"Every Morning" by Sugar Ray (1999)
"Oops!...I Did It Again" by Britney Spears (2000)
"Bye Bye Bye" by N*SYNC (2000)
"Yellow" by Coldplay (2000)
"Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz (2001)
"Survivor" by Destiny's Child (2001)


More Music Videos

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

More Matt Palmer

Get Lost EP
Two Gay Matts on YouTube


February 9, 2018

Episode 105 - TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1990)


Like Renaissance sculptures made flesh, the film debut of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles transforms the testudinal heroes from cartoon characters into three-dimensional wisecracking, pizza-gobbling machines. Along the way, they somehow rediscovered their grittier comic book aesthetic, as they emerge in a seedy urban landscape rife with brainwashed children, unhinged vigilantes, and a ninja cult that's very comfortable with torture.

Guest star Nate Tapp joins us as we serve up some wide-ranging banter about family and fatherhood, rank our favorite turtles, and, of course, reminisce some more about the most awesome TMNT toys. So grab a New York slice and get ready for some serious turtle talk, 'cause this is what we do!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Directed by Steve Barron
Produced by David Chan, Kim Dawson, and Simon Fields
Written by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck
Based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
Starring Josh Pais, Brian Tochi, Corey Feldman, Robbie Rist, Kevin Clash, Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, James Saito, Toshishiro Obata, Michael Turney, and Sam Rockwell


Cowabunga! Check out more of our TMNT tributes:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 TV series)
Raph Punk

January 26, 2018

Episode 104 - STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI


This is not going to go the way you think! Ok, maybe it will--certain things are to be expected when you gather a bunch of Star Wars fanatics to discuss the film that many believe ranks among the franchise's best. Still, there's no lack of passionate opinions in this sprawling crossover episode featuring all your favorite podcasters from Reopening the Wormhole and Marvel Star Wars Explorers.

We're joined by Sam Stovold, Jack Stovold, Kevin Young, and Brian Rudloff as they weigh in on the chemistry of Rey and Kylo Ren, the many misfortunes of General Hux, and THE SACRED JEDI TEXTS! And how about those achingly adorable porgs, huh?

Fair warning to all you spacers: this is our longest episode ever, but nothing else would do for the weirdest, jokiest, and most divisive installment of the Star Wars saga to date. Godspeed, you rebels.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Written and directed by Rian Johnson
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman
Based on characters created by George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Benicio del Toro

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 12, 2018

Episode 103 - MEMORABLE TOY COMMERCIALS


All work and no play makes Cam and Eric dull boys, so we're looking back at a bunch of our most memorable playthings in this well-deserved commercial break. Whether they showcased one of our prized possessions or gave us a tantalizing glimpse of a coveted item, these extremely effective ads stuck in our heads well past childhood.

In this 30-second-spot barrage, we revisit fads like POGs and virtual pets, submit dispatches from the Nerf wars, and vehemently dispute the nomenclature of Socker (Sock 'Em?) Boppers. This episode is more fun than a pillow fight!


Ads featured in this podcast:
Super Crocodile Mile
Crossfire
Sega Genesis
Nano Pets
My Pal 2
McDonald's Power Rangers Power Coin Packs
Nerf Max Force
Socker/Sock 'Em Boppers