April 19, 2019


The Passion of the Christ was a massive gamble in every sense: a movie in a dead genre, performed in a dead language, portraying a feature-length death march. It only made a truckload of money and launched a new wave of faith-based films aimed at the audience that turned an adaptation of Christian gospels and devotional writings into a global phenomenon.

Our favorite disciple, Jake Beal, arrives just in time for Easter and takes us to (Sunday) school as we examine The Passion's complex legacy as religious theater, epic cinema, and cultural touchstone.  It is accomplished!

The Passion of the Christ
Directed by Mel Gibson
Produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, and Stephen McEveety
Written by Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald
Starring Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Francesco De Vito, Luca Lionello, Christo Jivkov, Rosalinda Celentano, Mattia Sbragia, Hristo Shopov, and Monica Bellucci

April 5, 2019

Episode 141 - MATILDA

Precocious young viewers saw a bit of themselves in Matilda, a dark power fantasy for gifted kids that's softened with eccentric humor and a kind-hearted Mara Wilson performance. It's a movie that delights in the comeuppance of several crooked and cruel authority figures. But the one that really grabs us by our pigtails is Agatha Trunchbull, an iconic villain determined to make sure that you never look at chocolate cake the same way again.

Kevin Chu returns to send us on our way to the golden age of Roald Dahl adaptations. Remember to return your library books, and don't miss this (tele)kinetic episode!

Matilda (1996)
Directed by Danny DeVito
Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, and Lucy Dahl
Written by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord
Based on Matilda by Roald Dahl
Starring Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Pam Ferris, Embeth Davidtz, Kiami Davael, Tracey Walter, and Paul Reubens

April 1, 2019

"Episode 141" - SUPERMAN LIVES

In an alternate universe, a movie like Superman Lives would never have been made. Luckily for us, the stars aligned in 1998 to bring us this controversial collision between the minds of Kevin Smith and Tim Burton. The end result is what you might expect from the partnership of a garrulous geek and arty introvert: a very different kind of Superman story for the misfits of the world.

Just as Michael Keaton dusts off the batsuit for a scene-stealing cameo, our man in Gotham Gensho Tasaka returns once more to talk polar bears, giant spiders, gay robot sidekicks, and that surprisingly poignant Jay and Silent Bob scene. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

...April Fool's.

Superman Lives (1998)
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Jon Peters
Starring Nicolas Cage, Courtney Cox, Christopher Walken, Kevin Spacey, Chris Rock, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, and Michael Keaton