Tag Archives: Movies

Positive Cynicism EP. 112: The End is the Beginning

After two years and nine months, the weekly Positive Cynicism podcasts are coming to an end on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network. After a year and a half of having rotating co-hosts, the decision to move the shows to the Positive Cynicism Podcast Network has been made in an attempt to better brand the shows.

Thanks to Greg Mehochko for the opportunity and encouragement to start Positive Cynicism. Thanks to Kevin Hunsperger for letting me guest on numerous episodes of My123Cents.  This is by no means a bitter split, it’s just the next evolution in the podcast landscape.

Greg and I are in talks for a new podcast for Jittery Monkey. Stay tuned for future announcements. For future installments of the Positive Cynicism shows, follow @chadsmart on twitter and stay tuned to www.positivecynicism.com

Positive Cynicism EP. 96: Bingeing and Purging Television

In the age of easily watching episode after episode of a TV show, binge watching has become an almost preferable method of viewing. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss their habits with binge watching as well as the effects watching so much TV at once has on their viewing.

www.jitterymonkey.com
www.positivecynicism.com
www.my123cents.com

@chadsmart
@TheTravisYates
@MikeDeKalb
@kevinhunsperger
@thehooch36
@MikeRLuther
@NerdsUnitedshow

Positive Cynicism EP. 92: Cinematic Universes

After ten years, Marvel has completed the most ambitious story in cinematic history. Over the course of 22 movies, Marvel has taken some lesser known superheroes and crafted a roughly 50 hour story using six different main characters.

Marvel isn’t the only franchise breaking the traditional celluloid story telling method. Warner Bros. and DC have tried to copy Marvel’s game plan with the Justice League universe. Horror film, The Conjuring has its own interwoven stories and then there’s Kevin Smith’s Viewaskewiverse.

On this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different cinematic universes regarding what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see in future film franchises.

Positive Cynicism EP. 90: Music Biopics

With the recent success of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman” soon to hit theaters, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb take a break from overanalyzing one hit wonders to warm up their singing voices and break down the musical biopic genre.

From “The Buddy Holly Story,” “La Bamba” and “Amadeus” to “Selena,” “8 Mile” and “The Dirt,” Chad and Mike delve into the world of musical cinema to discuss what makes a good biopic, what tropes are overused and what musical artists’ story would make a great film.

Check out all the shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting network.


Positive Cynicism EP. 79: Realism vs. Escapism

Part of the appeal of pop culture is ability to suspend disbelief and escape reality. In this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss falling in love with film due to the escapist nature of the blockbuster film vs. the realism of adult aimed films (no, not those adult films).

As the 2019 Oscars get closer, Chad tried to watch nominated movies and realized he was bored by the serious nature of the majority of the films. This realization opened up the pathway to explore other topics regarding the nature of present day films.

www.jitterymonkey.com, @chadsmart, @thehooch37, @kevinhunsperger @NerdsUnitedShow, @my123cents


Positive Cynicism EP. 75: The Cost of Fun

For their first episode of 2019, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett start the show discussing Eric’s most anticipated films of 2019. From there, Chad explains how the cost of going to the movies keeps him away from the theater which leads to a bigger discussion regarding the price of extracurricular activies.

Positive Cynicism EP. 69: Feeling Nostalgic

‘Tis the holiday season and with it comes the feelings of nostalgia. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Travis Yates (@PopCultIQ) discuss why nostalgia conjures strong feelings.  From the simple pleasures of our youth to the yearning for how things used to be, what is the driving force for nostalgia? Not only in our personal lives but in the pop culture realm of entertainment. Everything old is new again. From movie and television remakes to “toys” being geared more for collectors than kids, there is a growing sense that nostalgia and name brand recognition matter most.

What affect will this have on the current generation of kids when they hit middle age? What will they be nostalgic about to their kids? Chad and Travis try to answer this question.

POSITIVE CYNICISM EP. 61: SOUNDTRACKS

“Ain’t it funny how a melody sounds like a memory. Like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night.” Eric Church sings those lines in his song “Springsteen.” While he was referring to how a song makes him think back to a concert, music can also spark the memory of a movie. When used correctly, songs become married to specific cinematic scenes.  In this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different ways music is used in movies and offer up their top five soundtracks.

 

POSITIVE CYNICISM EP. 57: TOP 5 GUILTY PLEASURES

Due to scheduling conflicts and lack of forethought, the newest edition of POPPED CULTURE, or CULTURE POPPED* takes a page out of Tom and Jim’s Top 5 playbook. Don’t call it a rip off. Call it an homage the way Brian DePalma’s films are an homage to Alfred Hitchcock.  @chadsmart and Eric Bennet offer up widely different lists of guilty pleasure films. Films ranging from “what were they thinking” to “box office successes that aren’t held in high regard” these ten films will have you reaching for your streaming service of choice to check out an extreme range of cinematic quality.

 

POSITIVE CYNICISM EP54: SEQUELITIS

As the summer movie season winds down, @chadsmart is joined by Eric Bennett. Before the topic of the month, Eric gives a recap of San Diego Comic Con 2018 and fan reaction to Chris Hardwick missing Comic-Con as well as the news of James Gunn’s firing from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 which broke during the 5 day pop culture convention.

Once the recap is over, the focus switches gears to examine Hollywood’s fascination with sequels and franchise movies. Trying to figure out how the box office has gone from two sequels in the yearly Top Ten for 1980 to nine sequels/remakes/reboots in the Top Ten for 2018 so far, Chad and Eric attempt to break down the shift in focus from making a wide variety of movies to movies that appeal to the largest audience.  Along the way, Chad does make a mistake when talking about the movie Cedar Rapids. The movie stars John C. Reilly not John McGinley.

What is your opinion? Do you think there are too many sequels? Do you enjoy the franchise series?

www.jitterymonkey.com

www.positivecynicism.com

 

Positive Cynicism EP 50: Comic Con 2018 Preview

@chadsmart is joined by new monthly co-host Eric Bennett to discuss the hype surrounding this year’s annual San Diego Comic-Con. With the largest gathering of pop culture fans preparing to descend on San Diego for five days, Chad and Eric breakdown who, or what, will be showcased with panels and displays. The bigger factor though is who won’t be soaking up the sun this year. With no major Disney, meaning no Marvel and no Star Wars presence will this year’s Con be a let down for fans who bought tickets months in advance. Or does this open the door for other properties to step and create their own hype?

How does this year’s exclusives stack up to year’s past? What about offsite experiences? Lastly, is San Diego Comic-Con too crowded? Eric offers his thoughts on all these topics.

Whether your a Comic-Con newbie or seasoned attendee, there’s plenty of information in this episode to either get you excited or make you dread long lines and close quarters.

Nerds United Episode 99: Counting Down Our Favorite “Bad” Comic Book Movies

In the vein of Tom and Jim’s Top 5, Co-Host of the Year Mike and I do our own Top 5 Countdown, and it’s our favorite “guilty pleasure” comic book movies.

The only criteria are as follows: It has to be a movie based on a comic book, and it has to have a Rotten Tomatoes score of less than 50%.

What made our lists? What movies narrowly missed our lists and were relegated to “honorable mention” status? And what did you, the listener, contribute to the show? Plus we have seamlessly interwoven some movie clips into the episode. But if you want a Top 5 done right, go listen to Tom and Jim’s Top 5. Theirs don’t go nearly as long.

And since I included Revis’ “Caught in the Rain” on the episode, here’s a little bit about that other closing credits song we talked about.

If you love fantastic music, I really encourage you to check out the debut album of Revis, available a click away on Amazon!

Nerds United Episode 95: Spoiling Avengers Infinity War

WARNING!!!!!!!

If you have not seen Avengers – Infinity War, do NOT listen to this episode. Download it, save it, and listen to it ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE!!!

We seriously pull no punches when talking about the happenings of the movie.

Who is “we,” you ask? Well, that story gets told in the episode, but long story short, I’m joined by my high school classmate Mike Luther, a fellow nerd who a) has seen the movie (obviously) and 2) lives in the same town as me. It’s really convenient that way.

And we drink beer. Just a couple. We’re responsible.

So what happened in Avengers – Infinity War? I’m sure as hell NOT going to tell you here. You need to listen to the show. But if you are listening to the show, you should have seen the movie by now.

That makes sense, right Mike?

[Mike nods affirmation]

So listen to the show, and then head over to the Amazon link and buy something. Anything. They have it.

Don’t forget that this Saturday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! So go support your LOCAL comic book shops.

Nerds United 94: SPOILER FREE Avengers Infinity War Review

Let’s face it…you hate spoilers. I know this because I too hate spoilers, and I feel like we think alike on this subject.

Avengers – Infinity War has only been in theaters for about a week, and that’s not enough time for everyone to have seen the movie. But I moved Heaven and Earth to be able to watch the newest offering from Marvel Studios this past weekend, and I am sure glad I did.

What I have for you in this episode of Nerds United is a SPOILER FREE review. And truth be told, it’s not even much of a review. I hit a few high points. I don’t spoil anything. And I just say “this movie is amazing, you need to watch it!”

Is that something you feel you can get behind?

Good.

Because TOMORROW I will drop another brand new episode where I talk all about the movie and spoil it up the wazoo! So listen to this episode, go give Marvel/Disney your $10-$15, and then come back and listen to the episode all about Avengers – Infinity War!

Nerds United Episode 87: A New Premium Service?

This episode is born out of my friend Josh urging me to see Justice League. He saw it and, in his words, “dug it.” He said I need to see it right away so we could discuss it.

But there’s a little obstacle in the path to the movies, snack bar, and the silver screen.

My wife and I have a son and little free time. I’ve been to the theater just a handful of times since he was born, and my wife even fewer times. But the genre movies don’t stop being released. So I have an idea that would be great for consumers like me – but pretty horrible for movie theaters. Two words…digital streaming.

So give the show a listen and then utilize the comments section and tell me if you agree with my idea or not. I’m looking forward to your response.

Thanks for listening and sharing!

Fresh Content Day 7: Harry and the Gang

So it’s Tuesday evening and I wasn’t 100% what I was going to write about, but then I was scanning my junk email folder and I saw that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was available for digital purchase.

I have always had a hate/love history with Harry Potter. As in…I hated it for no reason initially.

See, I can be a bit of a contrarian when it comes to what’s popular. I KNOW! You wouldn’t think so coming from me.

But let’s go back to when the Sorcerer’s Stone first arrived on US store shelves…1998. I was 16, and it took a little time for it to gain traction. I remember my younger cousin having the first book, and then the second. It was my YOUNGER cousin, and I was already in high school and such, so I wrote off the idea of ever getting into this story.

So when the movie came out in 2001, it really wasn’t on my radar. But I was 19, and my radar was college and work. So I didn’t see the movie.

In fact, it probably was somewhere in 2003 when my folks had a special month or two free trial of the premium cable shows that I actually ever first watched the first two Harry Potter movies. After I watched it, I’d watch it again. If I was flipping through the channels and saw they were on, I watched them.

Fast-forward to about 2006 and some of my roommates are discussing when the final book is supposed to be out. I actually saw on the shelf books one through six. These were people my age, and they knew the story, read the books, and looked forward to the next one like I anticipated the next game in the Halo series.

This is where it gets hazy. I don’t remember if I watched the available movies with those friends or not. I do know that at one point I got caught up on all of the movies, and even took my wife to the theater to see Deathly Hallows Pars 1 and 2.

Now all movies are out, and I have the bluray set of all eight films. I know I have a favorite movie, being Deathly Hallows 2, as it’s the end of the story, and it was good to finally get some resolution. Second favorite may be The Sorcerer’s Stone, or possibly even Prisoner of Azkaban. I got burnt out on Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire from watching them too much. And I really want to have Order of the Phoenix higher on my list. I’m guessing that it’s because of my disdain for Dolores Umbridge, who was a truly horrible character. Half-Blood Prince is seriously good as well.

A while back, I was close to pulling the trigger and buying the Kindle version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My biggest issue right now is that I already know how the story ends. So I’m not sure if I’m willing to invest the time and money to read the books.

So…convince me.

A new episode of the Nerds United Podcast will be a little later than usual in the day, since it’s almost midnight when this post was finished. So be looking for that.

Truth be told, I had hoped to have this post done by about 8pm. My son fell asleep early, and so I got the laptop out. But it was a long day and apparently I needed the sleep too, as I dozed off and on (while sitting relatively perfectly upright) for about three hours. So here I am, putting a bow on this post. Your Fresh Content tomorrow will be the podcast, and I’ll be back writing on Thursday.

Remember to have Iron Man handy tomorrow.

Oh yeah…I went ahead and bought Fantastic Beasts. Looking forward to watching that this weekend with my family.

Nerds United Episode 64: Four Color Triumph

After eighteen months, I can officially say that I have seen Four Color Eulogy, and it is good!

four color poster
Actual movie poster advertising Four Color Eulogy.

Here’s the same poster next to another comic book movie with which you may be familiar:

movie posters

This touching independent film features a cast and crew from St. Louis, MO and was shot in the Gateway City. So in Episode 64, I welcome Jason Contini back to the Nerd Dome.

movie still
Contini shown with co-star Amy Loui, who plays Chris’ mother.

Jason co-wrote Four Color Eulogy and served as a co-producer. Sit back and enjoy the show as Greg tries not to cry while talking about Four Color Eulogy. The movie had a red carpet premier at Ronnie’s 20 Cine in St. Louis Friday night and was sold out! In fact, they sold out the smaller auditorium and then sold out the larger auditorium.

Four Color Eulogy is playing at least through Thursday (Apr. 14) at Ronnie’s on S. Lindbergh in St. Louis. Two shows a day (2pm and 7:30) with at least one cast/crew member on hand to visit with fans and viewers and answer any questions.

I cannot stress enough how much I encourage anyone to go out and watch this movie. As I stated to Jason, this is a movie that hits you in the feels and one you can (and will want to) watch over and over.

To everyone who worked on this film, from cast and crew to art contributors to local publishers like Stache Publishing who provided comic books for the comic book store scenes, to everyone who had a hand in this project no matter how finite, you have my utmost gratitude.

Now…GO SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FILMS!