The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast

Two sarcastic and mildly embittered film scholars analyze, appreciate, and excoriate important works of pop culture.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of “Justice” - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

Jon and Andrew started off Year Two of the Irreverent Cineastes Podcast with a...well, wasn’t a bang, more like a thud, or a bomb, or...it was Batman v. Superman, everybody.  Without a doubt, this was the Movie of the Year for 2016, and we all know how much 2016 sucked.  Make no bones about it: we hated this movie, and if you’re one of those people who inexplicably loved it, this podcast won’t be for you.  For everyone else - first off, welcome to the right side of cinematic history - and second, feel vindicated as we get deep into why this film was as profoundly flawed as it was, unpacking its staggering, seemingly never-ending cascade of failures that saw it place two iconic characters against one another in needless conflict and waste one of the most potentially amazing pop culture team-ups of all time.  To say nothing of the first appearance of Wonder Woman.  Ugh. (Note: We say a lot of things about Zach Snyder, his world view, and his mental health that may seem in poor taste in retrospect given his recent family tragedy - we stand by our statements but nonetheless send our condolences to he and his loved ones). Explicit language.  Recorded March 2016.

Content Advisory: The cinema of “Stuff Just Happens,” Autism spectrum, Zach Snyder (no, we’re don’t discuss those two things together, we’re not dicks...unlike the two main characters in this movie), 80 ways of saying this movie sucks, body shaming, Gal Gadot (mispronounced, apparently), the Ultra-Humanite, working the traps in the face of oblivion, and Cave Trolls.  Oh...and Batman and Superman...if you want to call them that..

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Captain America: Civil War & Daredevil: Season 2 AKA The Vs. Podcast - The Irreverent Cineastes - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

That’s right, “vs.” with an “s”  - because it’s a BATTLE~! not a custody hearing.  So after suffering through months of hearing from apologists for “Dawn of Fuck This,” Jon and Andrew decided to place their discussion of the fairly amazing Captain America: Civil War and the partially amazing but nonetheless frustratingly inconsistent second season of Daredevil in direct conflict with BvS - discussing why Marvel’s take on inter-superhero conflict went so well while DC/Warners will go down as cinema’s equivalent of electing Donald Trump to the Presidency.   We’re pretty proud of this one, actually, because instead of just leaving this as a paean to one thing and a pummeling for the other, we get into the resonance of each story and how they would appeal to their audience and what messages they send about reception, idealism, and inclusion.  Kudos to Andrew for editing down some of my anti-Snyder ranting.  Explicit language. Recorded June 2016.

Content Advisory: Anti-Snyder ranting, Pro-Punisher ranting (character - not methodology), “No, you move,” Zemo, Zemo’s Evil Plan, Crazy Exes, Marvel vs DC (and how that’s really not a thing), idealism, despair, the unwitting racism of Batman, Grim-dark and its discontents, entry-points, and Bernie Sanders.

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Ghostbusters (2016) - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

The Irreverent Cineastes suck in their proverbial guts this episode and welcome our old friend, colleague and feminist scholar (and ardent feminist) Brooke Edge, PhD to discuss Feminism!  And also the new Ghostbusters, which I think we all agreed was far more controversial and abused than it deserved to be, but sadly nowhere near as good as it needed to be to crush that enmity.  A fun discussion, as we talk about the traps of remakes and reboots, what expectations should and shouldn’t exist for them, the importance of various forms of representation, what and when comedy works (and where and when it doesn’t), the importance of inspiring young girls, casual racism, and sadly, yes, the inevitable wave of trolling that this movie and its creators had to bear and its preponderance in our culture.  We also share our first movie experiences...can you guess which movies had Jon hiding under his seat and Andrew screaming like a viking? Tune in to find out! Explicit language. Recorded July 2016. 

Content Advisory: Feminism (yay!), misogyny (boo!), Ghostbusters, Kate McKinnon (but nowhere near as much as you’d think), Leslie Jones, queef jokes, queer identity, special effects, internet trolls, gamergate (small “g”), Beastmaster, remakes, reboots, rehashes, comedy, improv, Paul Feig, and the patriarchy (damn right it’s at the end of the list)

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Star Trek Beyond - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

 So this was the first half of what was intended to be an extra-long/extra-special edition of the Irreverent Cineastes Podcast covering Star Trey Beyond and Rogue One, but we instead decided to make it into two regular-long and regular-special episodes (which is still plenty special...and plenty long).  Having the recording device run out of storage space during the second half also didn’t help.  ANYWAY, this first half allowed us to revisit a series whose previous, terrible installment actually kind of spawned this podcast in the first place.  Fortunately for us, however, the Star Trek guys were able to rewrite the creative woes of the franchise and right the proverbial ship of the series (despite destroying the Enterprise AGAIN) with a fun, exciting, poignant installment that tried to ground itself in story and character instead of blindly grasping onto every reference possible - while also embracing diversity and raging against the evils of colonialism. A great discussion here - though apologies for forgetting both the name of Sofia Boutella’s character and the name of Sofia Boutella.  What’s that character’s name, you ask? Well, it’s...um...hey look! It’s time for the “Explicit Language” warning! Explicit Language. Recorded April 2017.

Content Advisory: Star Trek (obviously), the original series, Is it...Jayna? (nope), Spock, Colonialism, the Federation and hegemony, Jalla? (also no), Bones and the awesomeness of Karl Urban, Justin Lin, DIVERSITY!, Jalia? (getting colder there buddy), Sulu’s sexuality, Takei’s criticism, and...I give up, can we just call her the white girl? (oh yeah, because THAT wouldn’t be problematic)

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story AKA Star Wars: Rogue One AKA Rogue Wars: A Star of One - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

 So here’s the second half of the previous podcast, spliced together from two parts because of recording space and such.  Still, a really good discussion of a surprisingly terrific entry in the tired, tired, and did I mention TIRED Star Wars franchise.  While we hit on many of our thoughts of the film itself, its ending, narrative construction, and the morality of using CGI to recreate Peter Cushing’s performance as Grand Moff Tarkin, our main discussion falls on the teleological significance of the themes of “Rebellion,” Classism, morality, progress, and self-sacrifice in the aftermath of both the Trump election and the Democratic primary conflict between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and their respective supporters. Seriously, it’s pretty damn eerie how precise a reflection of reality this movie and its themes actually are.  Rest in Peace, Generalissimo Leia. Explicit Language.  Recorded April 2017

Content Advisory: TRUMP (seriously, hope you’re over that, because he gets name-dropped a lot here), Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Gareth Edwards and Gareth Evans (Pop Quiz - do you remember which one of those two directed this movie? If the answer is “yes” you know more than one of us), the failures of the liberal elite, self-satisfaction, “bubbles,” the Democratic Party, sacrifice, rebellion, progress, generationalism, Socialism, age-ism, Peter Cushing, Whitstable and Peter Cushing’s bicycle.

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Suicide Squad - The Irreverent Cineaste Podcast - Year Two

December 15th, 2017

So the good news here is that Jon and Andrew made it through this without either killing themselves or each other.  The bad news here is that the topic of discussion is DC’s other massive dumpster fire of 2016, Suicide Squad.  Despite that fact, we’re kind of in the zone here, discussing not only why this was such a massive, massive failure, but also discussing that, unlike its preceding dumpster fire whose worthless initials won’t be repeated here, this actually could have worked with the right conceptualization and behind the cameras talent - neither of which this had.  Good cast, though. They do terrible work, but good cast.  Explicit Language. Recorded May 2017.

Content Advisory: David Ayer, Harley Quinn, The Joker, the sexual politics of Harley Quinn and the Joker, Will Smith, Smithifying, the awfulness of Jared Leto, the limitations of method acting, the importance of understanding your genre, caper movies (and how this should have been one), moral contstructs (and how this movie didn’t have any) and Batman: Assault on Arkham (which is SO MUCH BETTER than this movie it’s not even funny...which still makes it funnier than this movie)

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The Hobbit Trilogy - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

So this is what happened when Andrew and Jon decided to take one of their epic conversations about movies and put them into podcast form.  It’s a good first effort, all told, though it might be a bit gentler on its subject than either of us would have liked, in retrospect. The Hobbit was exactly the type of film series that caused us to do this thing in the first place, with polarized opinions on both sides that seemed to leave little room for the common ground we were trying to stake.  And yeah, we didn’t have a name for the show yet when this was recorded.  One of us thinks it probably should have stayed that way…we’ll let you guess who! Explicit language.

Content Advisory: Fanboy self-loathing, Peter Jackson appreciation, Peter Jackson disparagement, mentions of something called The Silmarillion (sounds pretty made up to me), Trilogy justification (and lack thereof),  "the economy of storytelling," musical numbers, Stephen Fry eating testicles, Andrew attempts to identify the Five Armies, and Legolas.

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The Dark Knight Rises - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

Our second outing of the then-christened Irreverent Cineastes Podcast saw Jon and Andrew taking down one of their biggest bête noires: the much anticipated and even more over-appreciated The Dark Knight Rises.  What follows is a very thorough, insightful examination of a very flawed movie that could have been the finale to one of the great film trilogies, but instead dropped the bomb – I mean ball -  in what we feel was a very, very bigway.  A really good listen no matter what side of the aisle you fell on with this one, as we both make the case that this movie wasn’t nearly as good as you wanted it to be.   We experienced a number of technical issues when this was first recorded, so kudos to Andrew’s editing skills for turning this into something well worth listening to. Explicit language.

Content Advisory: Lots of general Batman geekiness, the word “testicles” being bandied around with shocking frequency, criticisms of Christopher Nolan, discussions of neoconservative allegory, "Robin," the narrative potential of fight scenes, obligatory romance, terrible Bane impressions, and even-worse Michael Caine impersonations.  

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Star Trek Into Darkness - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

Andrew and Jon again take aim at one of their least favorite blockbusters of recent years: Star Trek Into Darkness.  A really entertaining and engrossing discussion here, as we come at this movie from the perspective of being Star Trek fans, but find that many of our issues with it have less to do with Star Trek and more to do with its crass exploitation of the post-terrorism era and sexism. There’s still plenty of Star Trek talk here, so if you’re not into that – first, fuck you – and second: grow up. It’s an ingrained part of our popular culture and you’re just being an asshole pretending that it’s“beneath you.”  There, I said it. Explicit language.

Content Advisory: (Some of these are actually legitimate) Discussions of September 11 imagery and when it is and isn't appropriate, Hollywood racism, sexism, misogyny and general “faux feminism,” Benedict Cumberbatch’s translucence, 9/11 truthers, Robert Orci, J.J Abrams, lens flares, and, of course, KHAAAAAAAAANN!!!

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Superman Returns & Man of Steel - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

So yeah, about this one: it’s definitely a thorough,intelligent discussion and critique of two movies that absolutely deserved to be critiqued in a way that only Jon and Andrew - and several other hundreds of thousands people across the world - could have provided.  But…it was also a lesson to us that less could, and often should, be more, and for whatever reason we just weren’t our usual convivial selves that day.  Still though, we cover a lot of ground here as we talk about two movies that tried to get the forerunner of superheroes right for the new millennium but just couldn’t make you care than a man could fly. We especially discuss many of the controversies surrounding Man of Steel, which might have been the reason for the dearth of humor on our part.  For those reasons, it’s still very much worth a listen - especially for Superman fans – so check it out!  Explicit language.

Content Advisory: September 11 imagery, neck-snapping, queer theory, Superman history, Brian Singer, Zack Snyder, portrayals of women, and gross miscasting. You see? Even the trigger warnings aren’t funny.  Also, it’s three hours long. 

 

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Marvel Cinematic Universe 2015 and Beyond - The Irrverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

Andrew and Jon returned to form here with an engrossing and engaging discussion of the biggest movie brand on the planet: MARVEL.  Specifically we go over its two most intriguing projects of the year –the Netflix series Daredevil and Avengers: Age of Ultron! We also discuss Ant-Man…for some reason.  Overall, though, we look at what issues Marvel was dealing with as its reach expanded and its brand matured, examined its creative decisions and its influences, and gauged what position they’re in heading into the future (beyond that they’re obviously going to make a lot of money).  In addition to that, the two of us give our view on the Black Widow controversy that gripped Age of Ultron and provide our respective takes on what was and wasn’t worthy of criticism and hyperbole (and also contrast it to Daredevil being left off the hook for its issues with female representation).   A good show, especially if you’re not someone who’s ever bothered to look below Marvel’s glossy sheen. Note: this was recorded before Jessica Jones debuted, which was why it wasn’t part of our discussion.  Worry not, however, as we plan to give the show its due discourse in Year Two!  Explicit language.

Content Advisory: Feminism, misogyny, infertility (which Jon inexplicably confuses with pregnancy), Black Widow, grimdark, New York City, gentrification, Frank Miller (who’s kind of an asshole now, let’s be honest), perspectives on the apocalypse, performing fellatio on Joss Whedon, and, of course, verisimilitude.   

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Star Wars - The Force Awakens - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year One

February 23rd, 2016

Jon and Andrew round out their first year of the podcast by discussing only the biggest movie of the modern era.  No pressure or anything.  This podcast best represents what we want this thing to be - intellectually invigorating and consistently funny -as Andrew stakes his claim on not liking the movie, while Jon comes down firmly on the side of...thinking it's okay, but not great, you know? Probably our best podcast yet, and not surprisingly it involved the least planning on our part. Explicit language.

Content Advisory: Discussing the prequels, comparing the prequels to 9/11 (it does actually make sense, when you stop being offended by it), the genocidal impulses of J.J.Abrams, balancing characterization with symbolism, #TeamJabba (Google that and you'll make Andrew very happy), diversity and representation, racism, defending Return of the Jedi, the importance of change, Luke Skywalker: Sicilian, bad CGI, LAAAAME, and another fucking Death Star.    

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