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182. Twin Peaks: The Return (with Emily Benita)

October 16th, 2017

One of the most talked about pop culture events of this summer was the unlikely resurrection of Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost's landmark work which brought a new level of visual, thematic and philosophical sophistication to American television before flaming out in glorious fashion with one of the most harrowing series finales of all time.

Befitting a series which left its hero (Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle Maclachlan) trapped in a strange netherworld for a quarter of a century, Twin Peak returned feeling both familiar and not. The cast (at least, those who had not passed away in the intervening years) were back, but the tone was darker, more abrasive, and the story flew in the face of all conventions of the medium. Once the show had finished airing there had been time to take in a fuller view of Lynch and Frost's work, Ed sat down with writer and producer Emily Benita, who is currently the producer of the great history podcast Past Tense, to talk about The Return in a wide-ranging discussion that involved good, evil, grace, nostalgia, misogyny, stagnation...basically everything, and they didn't even scratch the surface.

Before all that, Matt and Ed talk about the week's news, including the latest fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Sylvester Stallone taking over as director of Creed 2, and James Corden being spectacularly terrible. But, like, more so than usual.

 

00:00:00 - 00:01:27 - Intro

00:01:28 - 00:30:17 - Matt and Ed discuss the news

00:30:18 - 02:22:45 - Ed and Emily discuss Twin Peaks: The Return

02:22:46 - 02:24:21 - Outro

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181. Blade Runner 2049

October 9th, 2017

The long-gestating sequel to Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Blade Runner hit theatres this week to glowing reviews and disappointing box office. As two recently converted Blade Runner skeptics, Matt and Ed talk about Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, an ambitious movie which, like its predecessor, raises a lot of questions: Was Deckard a replicant? How much does it owe to the work of Andrei Tarkovsky? And is Jared Leto "perfectly tolerable" in this movie?

They also discuss the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the spectacularly dumb Rick and Morty/Szechuan sauce farrago, and whether Jessica Williams joining the cast of the Fantastic Beasts... sequel could possibly balance out the Eddie Redmayne-shaped void at the heart of that franchise.

 

00:00:00 - 00:01:47 - Intro

00:01:48 - 00:35:11 - News

00:35:12 - 01:26:41 - Matt & Ed talk about Blade Runner 2049 (Spoilers abound!)

01:26:42 - 01:33:44 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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180. Star Trek: Discovery

October 2nd, 2017

After a gap of twelve years, Star Trek is back on television! Sort of.

The latest iteration of Gene Roddenberry's sci-fi classic, Star Trek: Discovery, debuted on CBS All Access and Netflix (depending on your location) last week, so Ed (a Star Trek fan) and Matt (a Star Trek skeptic) watched the first two episodes and debated their merits, and ask what does a new Star Trek have to say about 2017? Also, is there too much exposition? Why are there so many Dutch Angles? And how is Discovery like The Lost Boys? Some of these questions are answered on this week's show.

 

00:00:00 - 00:01:18 - Intro

00:01:19 - 00:26:52 - News

00:26:53 - 01:07:50 - Matt & Ed talk about Star Trek: Discovery

01:07:51 - 01:13:57 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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179. It’s The Return of The Matt

September 25th, 2017

Pump up the world! Matt's returned from travelling around the real world and is ready to put the film world on notice.

After talking about all the amazing places he visited over nine months of travel, Matt and Ed discuss some of the big stories of the year that they weren't able to cover in his absence, including Moonlight winning Best Picture, the fragility of Star Wars directors, and the horrendous summer box office. Then they talk about a very current scandal rocking the film critic and cinephile communities: the sexual assault allegations against AICN's Harry Knowles, and the broader crisis of a film culture which is a male-dominated space that's at best unwelcoming to women.

00:00:00 - 00:01:29 - Intro

00:01:30 - 00:54:41 - Matt & Ed catch up and discuss the big stories of the year so far

00:54:42 - 01:11:02 - Discussion of the Alamo Drafthouse/Fantastic Fest/Harry Knowles scandal

01:11:03 - 01:18:32 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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178. Autumn/Winter 2017 Preview (with John Hunter)

August 27th, 2017

To mark the end of the summer blockbuster season and the rapidly approaching glut of prestigious autumn releases, Ed is joined by returning guest and friend of the show John Hunter to discuss the movies that they're looking forward to over the next four months. They also run down the best movies of the summer, try to figure out which awards season movies are secretly Cloverfield sequels, and mourn the death of Tobe Hooper.

00:00:00 - 00:06:31 - Intro & News

00:06:32 - 00:36:56 - Summer Movie Wrap-Up

00:36:57 - 02:09:57 - Ed & John preview the next four months of movies

02:09:58 - 02:17:38 - SRS Recommends & Outro

 

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177. The Leftovers (with Zoë Jeyes)

July 10th, 2017

On this week's show, Ed is joined by returning guest, and producer of the upcoming London Podcast Festival, Zoë Jeyes to talk about The Leftovers, HBO's wildly ambitious post-apocalyptic drama which recently aired its third and final season (so lots of SPOILERS ahead). In addition to tracking the way in which the show evolved from season to season, debating the meaning of the finale, and marveling at Justin Theroux's a̶b̶s̶ acting talent, they talk about London Podcast Festival Presents: Wrestling, a day devoted to podcasts celebrating the wonderful world of kayfabe.

Apologies in advance for some of the audio issues in this episode. We tried to reduce them as much as possible.

00:00:00 - 00:04:23 - Intro/Ed & Zoë talk about the London Podcast Festival

00:04:24 - 00:57:50 - Ed & Zoë discuss The Leftovers

00:57:51 - 01:02:49 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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176. Car Boys (with Nathanael Smith)

July 4th, 2017

Film critic (and newly minted podcaster) Nathanael Smith returns to the show to talk about the recently completed Polygon web series Car Boys, an immensely funny show about crashing computer generated cars which wound up being intensely surreal and moving. They also talk about Nathanael's new podcast The VOD Pod, a show which provides a guiding light for those looking for something good to watch on streaming services, and look back on the first six months of 2017 and try to figure out if cinema is dead or not. Ed also finally gets to rant about Kong: Skull Island.

- Tony Zhou's video essay about Satoshi Kon, which Nathanael references towards the end of the episode, can be watched on his YouTube channel here.

00:00:00 - 00:06:10 - Intro/Ed and Nathanael talk about The VOD Pod

00:06:11 - 00:19:25 - Ed & Nathanael share their highlights from the first six months of 2017

00:19:26 - 00:45:18 - Ed & Nathanael talk about Car Boys

00:45:19 - 00:54:29 - SRS Recommends/Outro

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Minisode: A Twin Peaks Primer

May 21st, 2017

In this minisode, Ed breaks down Twin Peaks for newcomers (or old fans who may have forgotten the salient details) ahead of the long-awaited revival of the show. He lays out the plot (not to mention the subplots), the reasons why the show's original run fell apart, and why people are so excited about the return of a show which ended ignominously more than 25 years ago. Ed also pays tribute to Car Boys, the recently completed YouTube series from Polygon.

00:00:00 - 00:02:30 - Intro

00:02:31 - 00:32:51 - Ed talks about Twin Peaks

00:32:52 - 00:38:34 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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175. Kevin Costner (with Jack Rhoden)

April 24th, 2017

In an episode years in the making, Ed sits down with historian and friend Jack Rhoden to discuss the work of Kevin Costner. In addition to talking about specific films from the actor/director's back catalogue, they examine his status as a movie star, the almost mythic way in which he is used by some filmmakers to evoke a sense of Americana, and the peaks and valleys of a career that has had plenty of both. They also manage to compare Costner to both Lyndon Baines Johnson and indie-rock stalwarts Spoon, which is a pretty decent spectrum.

00:00:00 - 00:06:10 - Intro 

00:06:11 - 01:03:21 - Ed & Jack discuss the career of Kevin Costner

01:03:22 - 01:09:23 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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Minisode: Mystery Science Theater 3000 is Back!

April 17th, 2017

The much-anticipated (by a fervert and vocal sub-section of comedy nerds) return of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the comedy series which raised mocking bad movies to an artform in the '80s and '90s, finally came to pass this weekend as Netflix aired 14 new episodes of the show. Despite new faces, new voices and new writers, the show remains pleasingly familiar and relentlessly funny. In this very short minisode, Ed offers a primer on the series for newcomers and discusses why it's a good continuation of the series for old fans, and the ways in which it makes for a better revival of a long-dormant series than The X-Files did.

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174. Five Came Back (with Noel Thingvall)

April 3rd, 2017

This past Friday saw the release of Five Came Back, a three-part documentary series adapted from Mark Harris' great book "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War", which recounts the story of five legendary Hollywood directors - Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, William Wyler - who left their careers behind and spent World War II making documentaries and propaganda for the U.S. military, in the process creating a series of films which shaped how audiences understood the war, and marked a significant development in the history of documentary filmmaking. The experience also took its toll on the filmmakers, leaving them scarred and having a profound impact on their work and lives.

Ed is joined by fellow podcaster and writer Noel Thingvall (@NoelCT) to discuss the series, the works of the directors profiled, and Five Came Back's place within the Netflix catalogue. 

00:00:00 - 00:02:52 - Intro

00:02:53 - 00:56:27 - Ed & Noel discuss Five Came Back

00:56:28 - 01:01:51 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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173. Get Out (with Nathanael Smith)

March 27th, 2017

Jordan Peele's Get Out has been an early highlight of 2017: a suspenseful, funny, unsettling thriller that explores social anxieties surrounding race in America in a way which manages to be both subtle and undeniably pointed. It's a remarkable debut, drawing on everything from Rosemary's Baby to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and its continued success in the US is a testament to Peele's ability to pinpoint and deliver a swift shock to America's nervous system. Ed is joined for a SPOILER-filled discussion of the movie, as well as the broader discourse surrounding it, by fellow critic and Key & Peele fan Nathanael Smith (@NathanaelSmith on Twitter).

They also get distracted and spend a portion of the episode talking about how great Gugu Mbatha-Raw is, because why wouldn't they? She's amazing.

00:00:00 - 00:04:19 - Intro

00:04:20 - 00:58:49 - Ed & Nathanael discuss Get Out (spoilers start in earnest at 21:00)

00:58:50 - 01:05:03 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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172. The Irishman, Streaming and the Future of Cinema (with Kayleigh Donaldson)

March 20th, 2017

In this episode - which, despite being inspired by a film called The Irishman and being recorded over St. Patrick's Day weekend, is categorically not a St. Patrick's Day episode - Ed is joined by critic and podcaster Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann on Twitter) to discuss Netflix's recent acquisition of Martin Scorsese's long-gestating gangster epic, as well as how the growth of upstart studios and distributors like Netflix, Amazon, A24, Blumhouse and Annapurna Pictures are shaking up the status quo in Hollywood. There's also some talk about whether or not Jeff Bezos is trying to kill God.

Kayleigh's piece on The Irishman, "How Netflix Stole Martin Scorsese's Dream Project From Hollywood" can be found on Screen Rant.

00:00:00 - 00:01:30 - Intro

00:01:31 - 01:10:44 - Ed and Kayleigh discuss The Irishman, Netflix and Amazon's original film slate, the death of the mid-budget movie, Blumhouse. A whole bunch of stuff, really.

01:10:45 - 01:16:50 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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171. Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 20 (with Ellie Graham and Zoë Jeyes)

March 6th, 2017

Somehow, it's been twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted on the WB, a humble start for a show which would go on to build a huge cult following and fundamentally alter fantasy and sci-fi storytelling on television. To help unpack this momentus occasion, Ed is joined by Zoë Jeyes and Ellie Graham to talk about the highs ("Hush", "The Zeppo", "Once More with Feeling") and lows (that weird sex episode) of the series, its continuing metaphorical richness, and the vagaries of BBC scheduling.

00:00:00 - 00:02:23 - Intro

00:02:24 - 00:59:21 - Ed, Ellie & Zoë discuss Buffy the Vampire Slayer

00:59:22 - 01:04:31 - SRS Recommends & Outro

 

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Minisode* - Best Best Pictures

February 27th, 2017

In this minisode (which in no way lives up to the term because it's just as long as every other episode but shush) Ed counts down the ten best films to ever win Best Picture from the Academy Awards. It's almost relentlessly positive, unless his picks enrage you. Listen to find out if they do!

NB: This episode was recorded before the Oscars ceremony, so, er, don't be surprised that I didn't manage to predict the weirdest damn thing to ever happen at the Oscars.

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170. Oscars 2017 (with Zoë Jeyes)

February 20th, 2017

The Academy Awards are mere days away, and Ed is joined by returning guest Zoë Jeyes to talk about this year's nominees: the surprises (both pleasant and not), snubs and frontrunners that comprise one of the most interesting slates in years. They also try to predict who will walk away with the big prizes on Sunday, something which seems easier than usual this year, which probably means they're totally wrong.

 

00:00:00 - 00:46:21 - Ed & Zoë discuss the Oscar nominees

00:46:22 - 01:16:18 - Oscar Predictions

01:16:19 - 01:21:11 - SRS Recommends & Outro

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169. Zombies (with John Hunter)

February 13th, 2017

Inspired by the US release of The Girl with All the Gifts, a fantastic British zombie movie that offers an exciting and emotionally complex take on the genre, Ed is joined by John Hunter to talk about the film, as well as the ongoing dominance of zombies in pop culture. They also try to explain the success of TV shows like The Walking Dead and iZombie, draw parallels between the rise of zombie fiction and the concurrent rise of superhero cinema, and discover unusual parallels between the zombie and Western genres.

Note: The zombie cop show Ed was trying to remember towards the end of the episode was Babylon Fields.

00:00:00 - 00:05:27 - Intro & News

00:05:28 - 00:20:25 - Ed & John discuss The Girl with All the Gifts

00:20:26 - 00:54:51 - Ed & John discuss Zombies in pop culture

00:54:52 - 00:59:19 - SRS Recommends & Outro 

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168. “True” Crime (with Kat Chirnside and Ryan Finnigan)

January 30th, 2017

Ed is joined by Kat Chirnside and Ryan Finnigan, the co-founders of Rare Giants to talk about their work screening films that have beneifted from restoration and preservation. In addition to talking about their debut screening - which will be of In Cold Blood at Sheffield Hallam's The Void on March 6th - they discuss films which blur the line between truth and fiction, as well as the passing of John Hurt.

Follow Rare Giants on Twitter - @raregiants

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Shot/Reverse Shot Presents: The First Annual Anna Faris Memorial Award for Making the Best of a Bad Situation

January 9th, 2017

It's Awards Season, and with a gap in the schedule between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, Ed decided to leap into the fray with Shot/Reverse Shot's first ever awards ceremony: The First Annual Anna Faris Memorial Award for Making the Best of a Bad Situation, in which praise is showered on the actors who did good work in bad movies, or who at the very least made shrewd choices when deciding to sign on to be in bad movies. Mainly, it's an opportunity for Ed to talk about how much he enjoys Billy on the Street.

Here is Dan Olson's video on the editing in Suicide Squad, which Ed mentions at one point and is well worth half an hour of your time.

- There's no clip for The Angry Birds Movie because that film is poison even in audio form.

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167. 2017 Preview (with John Hunter)

January 2nd, 2017

Happy New Year, listeners! As is customary, we start a new year and a new season with a look ahead at what the world of film has to offer. To help in that endeavour, Ed is joined by this episode's guest, writer John Hunter. As they go through each month up to and including August, they wonder if xXx: The Return of Xander Cage will be Vin Diesel's Unforgiven, try to divine which films will enjoy a healthy afterlife of being endlessly repeated on BBC2, and attempt to maintain their cool when talking about the Twin Peaks revival.

00:00:00 - 00:03:11 - Intro

00:03:12 - 01:37:59 - Ed and John preview the year in film

01:38:00 - 01:49:54 - Ed and John discuss non-film art they are anticipating in 2017

01:49:55 - 01:52:34 - Outro

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