The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast

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

Logan and the X-Men Series - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast Year Three, Episode 5

July 31st, 2018

In a world that fears and persecutes them, Jon and Andrew put their differences aside and team up to critique one of Jon’s greatest pop culture enemies: the X-Men movies!  Not that they’re all bad, mind you – much of our discussion focuses on Logan, which we both thought was very, very good – but nothing really resembles the term “wasted potential” as much as this series.  Going back to the beginning, we chart the trajectory of a series that has continuously failed its mandates: creatively, commercially, and, most importantly, culturally. We tackle many of the usual issues with the series, such as focusing on a few characters at the expense of the many– like Young Wolverine, Old Wolverine, and Overexposed Wolverine – but also while pointing out that most of those characters tend to be white, male, and straight in a series that is supposed to be allegorizing the evils of prejudice against minorities and representing diversity. Which all ties into our discussion of Logan, which, among its many interesting and intriguing subtexts, is an acknowledgement of just what kind of failure the series has been.  A good, interesting show about a series that should be far, far more than what it is, and would be especially needed now if it could ever manage to get its shit together.

Content Advisory:  Wolverine (and lots of him…), the repetitiveness of Wolverine, why First Class is overrated, Jon hypocritically confusing Zoe Saldana and Zoe Kravitz while explaining why First Class is overrated (note from Jon: My bad. To be fair, I also mess up Jason Marsden’s name. No I mean, James Marsden. I think…), Andrew’s vocalization of the X-Men animated series theme, Andrew and Jon’s vocalization of the X2 theme, lots of X-Men history, Hugh Jackman, actor porn, bad casting decisions, X-Men Lite, mysterious pasts (and shit), and (GASP) pretentiousness.

The Irreverent Cineastes Non-Celebratory Christmas Spectacular (A Christmas Story, My Favorite Year, and Batman Returns) - Full Version - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast, Year Three

June 15th, 2018

The guys gather around the raging bonfire of their diminished holiday expectations to discuss their ongoing Christmas traditions – in Jon’s case his yearly marathon of the very seasonal (and very cynical) A Christmas Story and the seasonally inappropriate but totally relevant in context My Favorite Year, and in Andrew’s his annual screening of the once-controversial but still compelling Batman Returns.  This was also the first time we’ve discussed some non-contemporary movies in a contemporary context and damn, does Pfeiffer and Burton’s Catwoman read amazingly post #MeToo.  In addition to our typical cinematic and cultural analysis – and we’re on point here with it – this was also one of our most personal episodes, as Jon talks about how his tradition revolves around his memories of his father and we generally discuss how Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.  Very little humbug to be had here, however. Explicit Language. Recorded December 2017.

Content Advisory: #MeToo, #Time’sUp, the awesomeness of Catwoman, the sexiness of Catwoman, the stupidity of missile-launching Penguins, the even greater stupidity of Penguin funerals (Note from Andrew: Fuck you Jon I love the Penguin funeral! Note from Jon: I’ll remember that if I outlive you.) Post-Weinstein and how much it causes us to see movies differently, the legacy of Errol Flynn, the greatness of Peter O’Toole, Andrew’s reaction to seeing A Christmas Story, the awfulness of pancreatic cancer, absentee fathers, genuine freaks, Tim Burton and his aversion to plots, and, of course, Christopher Walken as the Patriarchy. 

A Christmas Story and My Favorite Year - The Irreverent Cineastes’ Non-Celebratory Christmas Spectacular Part I

June 15th, 2018

See the description for the full episode. Explicit Language.  

Batman Returns - The Irreverent Cineastes’ Non-Celebratory Christmas Spectacular Part II

June 15th, 2018

See the description for the full episode.  Explicit Language.   

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Three, Episode 3

June 4th, 2018

Once again, the guys get sucked into a galaxy far, far away and wander into the Sarlac-pit of debate over one of the most polarizing movies of the year, forcing Jon to lay it on thick with the Star Wars references while writing this blurb (Note from Jon: I’m so, so sorry). As with Force Awakens, we came out on slightly different sides of the Force on this one– with Jon really liking it and Andrew liking it significantly less, but by no means hating it like a lot of whining fanboys did. What we agree on, however, is that we absolutely admired this film’s willingness to embrace change and move on from the past, while taking it to task for its script issues and its inability to satisfy its narrative expectations (and how that’s largely because JJ Abrams is a tool). What we particularly debate is Rey and how well she’s working as a character, especially given how important she is as a female hero heading up a major franchise – oh, and of course, Luke, because that wasn’t controversial AT ALL. Find out what we thought of these and many other things in what was a fun and stimulating conversation, especially since it’s going to be a long, long time before we cover another one. Or, in other words: Fuck Solo. Explicit Language (obviously). Recorded December 2017.
Content Advisory: Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke Skywalker, Super-Leia, Force Wizards, taking Force-Wizardry too seriously, themes, Canto Bright (and no, I don’t care if I misspelled that), Plot Holes big enough to drive a Star Destroyer through, ships big enough to drive through a Star Destroyer, the requiem of Luke Skywalker, Unforgiven, characters vs. avatars, and, of course, PORGS!

Justice League - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Three, Episode 2

May 21st, 2018

Kind of the culmination of what has been the Irreverent Cineastes’ trademark cultural theory – The Cinema of Stuff Just Happens – as Jon and Andrew discuss the simpering failure that was Justice League - a movie every bit as awful as one would expect if one didn’t for some reason base their identity on it being good. To wit, much of this episode, admittedly, doesn’t focus as much on the movie as these normally do, instead examining the ugly, ugly tribalism its reception represents from those who refuse to accept the obvious (and also what it says about our culture at large). Fear not, though, we still speak a great deal about how much of a narrative and qualitative failure this is, and how it would be one of the worst comic-book movies in history if not for Batman v. Superman being unequivocally worse. Seriously, this was really dead on arrival before filming even began - but we at least take it as validation of the fact that we’ve been speaking truth to power on this for the last year and a half. Also, we have some fun at Ben Affleck’s expense, which God know was more than the movie was able to do. Explicit Language. Recorded November 2017.
Content Advisory: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Tribalism, Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder (and how no one really gets away clean in this one), Aquaman, Steppenwolf (and how he’s not even the worst part of the movie – which is staggering in and of itself ), Henry Cavill’s upper lip, Justice League: Grave Robbers, Cyborg and how easy it is to forget he’s in the movie, Atlantis (seriously, THAT was Atlantis?), Bruce Wayne’s magical beard, and more mentions of Darkseid than the movie could muster (Twice. We mentioned him twice.)

Wonder Woman - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast - Year Three, Episode 1

May 13th, 2018

Jon and Andrew came roaring back – at their own leisurely pace – for Season Three with one of the few bright spots – cinematic or otherwise – of 2017: Wonder Woman! And joining us once again is our friend, feminist film scholar, and total comic book neophyte (lucky her) Brooke Edge, PhD to bring her perspective as a woman, scholar, and parent. A loaded show but this one earns it – beyond discussing what we thought of the film, what we thought worked, and what we thought held it back from being a home run (cough-ARES-cough), we also get into detail about its representational aspects, the balance it struck in using its narrative to address its audience (female and male), Gal Gadot and her performance, the body image (and body-shaming) controversy that centered around her casting and what should be learned from it, why the Amazons worked and why they clicked so much with the ladies (and some of the men), the awesomeness of Chris Pine and how the film used Steve Trevor (almost) perfectly, the nuances of love scenes and what should and shouldn’t be dwelled upon, third act CGI boss battles and why, when, and how they go wrong, and how the film narrativized the balance between idealism and pragmatism without embracing cynicism.  We’re really proud of this one, and it kicks off season 3 with a bang, so check it out!  Explicit Language.  Recorded July 2017.

Content Advisory:  Andrew Golledge “vocalizing” the movie’s main theme, Gal Gadot, mispronouncing "Gal Gadot," body shaming, lesbian haircuts, the Amazons, No Man’s Land, other DC Movies, Xena: Warrior Princess, Jon’s inexhaustible knowledge of comic book lore, mansplaining, Ares, Third Acts gone wrong, bad CGI, martial arts, Chris Pine, Steven Spielberg, the greatness of Patty Jenkins, and the mediocrity of her second unit.

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, 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..

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.

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)

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’ 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)

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.