Since the world is currently learning what artsy nerds have known for 20 years, that The Sandman is amazing, the Somethings had the brilliant (and coincidental) idea to do a movie that ties in ever so slightly to the Sandman mythos… the story of a man who can see the evil forces that move between worlds and fight them for the benefit of his own soul.
He also knows kung-fu… whoa…
This month, we are looking at the Keanu version of Hellblazer in – Constantine. Does it hold up? Did it ever? Did you even remember it existed?
Find out these answers and more, on Something In Review: Constantine
Ok, here we ghoooOooOooost
So to start us off – this whole discussion spawned off of our recent ‘Franchises That Should Have Stopped‘ episode. Apparently, I touched a livewire with some controversy that I had never stumbled upon. Surprising, given I love a bad movie and I love a weird story… the tale of Joe Dante and Gremlins 2 had passed me by.
I appreciate some of our listeners telling me how wrong I was about how Gremlins 2 being bad. They explain that it is, in fact, kind of brilliant if you understand what’s going on. I went and read the tweet thread on it (with a big shoutout to Professor Murder and Kess) as well as watched some interviews with Director Joe Dante, and fell into the rabbithole that is Gremlins 2.
The short version – Warner Brothers didn’t expect Gremlins to be a hit, but it was. They wanted a sequel, but Joe Dante, director of the first one, didn’t want to make it. They kept throwing money at him until he relented, and in turn, used the budget to make a commentary as to why Gremlins didn’t need a sequel. Dammit… that’s good. He went in with making a movie that embodies the absurdity of commercialism culture, sequels, lampoons Ted Turner and Trump, the bad reviews that Gremlins received, and the disregard of classic cinema. So, let me state, right here and now, that as an adult looking at the call and response of an artist making fools of the studio with their own money…
When lil’ me was 10 years old with my Gizmo toy and perfect impression of Stripe going ‘DEEAGLE DEAGLE DEAGLE’ who saw the original film at the drive-in, watched Gremlins 2 and read the novelization (which does not feature Hulk Hogan, but a cut-in by Brain Gremlin which may have been my first real exploration into meta-text) — I was confused. The movie I got felt so much closer to Critters or Killer Klowns than it did the perfect scary Christmas movie about a terrorized small town that was the original. As an adult, I don’t even know what I could have received that would have sated my Gremlins love. Ghostbusters 2 was good, but not great. Honey I Blew Up The Kids… meh.
What could G2 been that would have held any candle to the original?
I have to accept that maybe the correct answer is that the only movie that deserved to follow Gremlins, was the Gremlins 2 we got – and knowing the whole of the tale makes 40-something ol’ me appreciate its balls a lot more. Amusingly enough, I stand by that the original movie didn’t need a sequel, and the man who made that sequel apparently agreed with that idea so much… he made this particular sequel.
Some movies build a universe that expands the lore and mythos, that delves deep into other characters and builds new ways to love what you already loved. They are treasures that feel like each moment is a part of a greater whole.
Some movies need to make rent so they sell themselves to whatever bidder happens to have a coupon for a McRib Value Meal.
Today, the Somethings are talking about the latter of those two – movies that went one strong, maybe two strong, but somewhere down the line you can find a copy of their 4th outting stuck to the bottom of the DVD Value Pack box at RiteAid. Or they’re loved and we’re monsters and you’ll have to tweet us to tell us why.
So let’s get this year started right!
Ok, here we go!
Hey Somethings, PCR here!
So, this week’s blog, I wanted to talk about some actors I’m… well.. just not fond of. I’m not talking “Oh, I didn’t like so-and-so in this role…” or “I thought they’re portrayal of blahblahblah was…” No, I’m talking about a level of “I couldn’t care less” that sometimes makes it difficult to watch things they’re in.
Anthony Mackie – Is he Captain America? Yes. Will I go see the new Cap movie in the theaters when it comes out? Most likely not. It’s convoluted.. it’s not because I don’t want him in the role.. as a comic book fan it 100% makes sense. It’s also a huge point of diversity which is also awesome…. I just don’t like him as an actor. It’s not that I find him “bad”, I just don’t find him compelling. I was able to make it through his previous MCU movies because his screen time was tempered by his castmate’s screen time. I was “meh” on Falcon and the Winter Soldier (mostly due to having to watch him more). His episode of Black Mirror was intriguing, but to me, still middling… and I couldn’t even finish the first episode of S2 of Altered Carbon when I saw him in it. He just doesn’t grab my attention.
Aaron Paul – Now, to be fair, I haven’t seen him in much that WASN’T Breaking Bad. Yes, the show was amazing, but any time Jesse was on the screen, I just sighed and sucked it up because I knew he HAD to be. El Camino? It was… how do I say… “boring”. I recently started binging Westworld (more on that in an upcoming episode). Seasons 1 and 2 were phenomenal… Season 3 had… issues.. and… Aaron Paul. As soon as I saw him on my screen I thought “Well fuck… he’s going to end up being integral and we’re going to see a lot of him aren’t we…” I wasn’t wrong. I haven’t started S4 yet, but, I’m hoping Caleb ends up getting the “Teddy” treatment before too long.
Joan Cusack – Ok look, I don’t have an answer for “Why?” on this one. I just can’t stand seeing her on my screen. I couldn’t watch the American version of Shameless thanks to her. I was mildly interested in A Series of Unfortunate Events until she showed up on my screen and I turned it off and never went back. I’ve only seen 2 movies she’s ever been in, and they were long enough ago that I don’t think I even knew who she was at the time. I’m sure she’s a great person, but she can be a great person and not be on my TV ever too.
What about YOU? Do YOU have someone who.. you just can’t stand to watch? Let us know!
Do you like Star Wars? Do you like Audio Dramas? Well how about a Star Wars Audio Drama?!
The honorable Somethings are now back in session for their final episode of the Year 9 Podiganza!
To keep with the theme of ‘things that relate to 9’ we went with a classic comedy that went 9 seasons and.. possibly? is getting a comeback. More on that later, first, why don’t you settle in to the misdemeanor charges for arguing with your neighbor on alternate side of the street nights, because the only way to get that ticket handled is to go to The End: Night Court!
Ok, hear ye hear ye go! ..really proud of that one..
There’s a podcast I really enjoy, and if we’ve ever talked podcasts with guests, I’ve almost always mentioned it. It’s called Film Reroll and the premise is pretty simple. Take a bunch of actors playing GURPs, but have them play out movies. The DM builds character sheets and plots based on the film, and sometimes if the dice go well, the heroes play a game that is similar to the movie. If the dice fly off the handle, the heroes may not get beyond the first action sequence. (One particular movie of note has this amazing ..but we didn’t even get to the movie.. moment) The final variation is the one where the players and plot go in wildly different directions from where the movie went or includes rules that allow for other plots and characters.
It’s fun. Tons of fun. It makes me want to play games in movie worlds. It makes me want to build an entire Planescape Cineplex Quantum Leap game where the characters won’t know what movie they’re in until .. well, until they know.
So I thought I’d give a little list here of some of the movies I have pondered building a roleplaying scenario around. Every single one of these movies has crossed my mind on being interesting enough to make a good ‘Reroll’ and I yearn for the day I get a chance to try them out.
Tremors – This has been the one flick I always go back to. Aside from the fact it is a favorite horror franchise of mine, it is such a great gaming scenario with a cool selection of characters with diverse skills. What’s the goal? To get away? To kill the Graboids? To warn the government? Hell, I could imagine a game where the dice went sideways where the real goal is simply to figure out what the hell is killing people! What happens when your party decide to go traversing in the tunnels or try and discover where these things came from!? It’s my gold standard for what a cool Reroll game could be.
Nightmare on Elm Street – The first thing that’s great about the Nightmare franchise is that you have a whole big bucket of characters to work with. Sure, you could play Nancy and Glen… but what if your group were playing as the parents? If I was to run this movie, my players would all be the kids, but the first session would be them as their parents confronting the real human of Kreuger. We know that because they burned him in the boiler room he is what he is… what if they drowned him? What if they poisoned him? What would the Nightmare Creature be in a world where the parents decided his fate differently?
Reservoir Dogs – One thing to note in Rerolls is that sometimes you have to change the rules so you can fight meta knowledge. It’s real easy to know who the snitch is if you started playing Dogs… so what if the players didn’t know? One of you is a psychopath… but which one? Every player starts the game with a quirk and a private win condition, so when the game starts you don’t know who anyone is and the game is all the better for it.
Die Hard – Lastly, what if you turned an entire movie on its head. Instead of you playing as John McClane, what if it was the reverse of Tremors, where you are a group of bank robbers trying to pull the best job, but this one superhuman cop is just in your way? Or, to play in an entirely different game, you were the hostages and this war is going on between good guys and bad guys all around you? Or, to give you one last bit to chomp on, one player is the hostages, one player is the cops, and one player is the media. Can you find ways to work together or is it just a bloodbath?
What movies do you love that you think would make a great roleplaying campaign? Let us know in all the usual places!
The Anniversary Strikes… THE WHEEL with a list of 9 oriented topics, we spin the wheel, make the deal… annnnnnnd – BAD MOVIE DRAFT!
That’s right – Hatton and Podcast Rob are picking the best of the worst and letting you decide precisely who wins. What was the worst? What was the best? Does one being better make it the loser? Did you like any of this dreck? How do you decide?
Head over to our TWITTER page and vote in the pinned poll!
Well, you’ll find out the rules, how to play, and the obvious winner by listening to this episode of…. THE WHEEL: BAD MOVIE DRAFT
Ok, here we ..god I’ve seen so many of these..
I know we don’t talk a whole lot about sports on our show, but I’ve been thinking about some blog topics lately, and today, I’m listing off the Most Memorable Sports Moments that, in some way, I was witness to.
Super Bowl XLIII
I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan all my life, and this game ranks up there as one of their most memorable. Second quarter, Steelers leading 10-7 and on defense up against their own goal line, Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner fires off a shot to receiver Anquan Boldin with 18 seconds left. Steelers Linebacker James Harrison had faked a blitz and fallen back in coverage, intercepting the ball a yard into the endzone and begins to run it out.
What started as a fortuitous interception became the (at the time) longest return for a Touchdown in NFL history as the 6 foot tall, 245 lb Harrison ran the distance along the sidelines, his teammates blocking the whole way, to score a touchdown and put the Steelers up 17-7 at the half.
Tony Hawk hits the 900
The time? 1999. The place? X Games V. The TV coverage should have ended, but no one was going to deny Tony today. Standing at the top of the half-pipe, other skates banging their trucks against the coping in time with the crowd cheering him on, Tony dropped in. Attempt after attempt he failed, twice landing on his board only to have it slip out from under him. One of the announcers can be heard saying “We know time is over, but we make up the rules as we go along.. let’s give him another try”. It took him 10 failed attempts, but on the 11th he landed it, and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve heard a louder crowd pop when he did. Watching the video still gives me chills.
The Intimidator at Daytona
Yes, this last one is a tragedy, but because of it an entire sport made amazing changes to do an even better job of protecting their drivers.
Daytona 500, Daytona Florida, 2001. February 18th.
Daytona, like Talladega, is a restrictor plate track for NASCAR, designed to limit the top speed of cars on these super fast tracks. in 2001, they instituted some new aerodynamic packages designed to keep cars bunched up and closer together, therefore allowing for more drafting and more exciting racing.
Headed in to Turn 4, final turn of the final lap… Dale Earnhardt Sr. was in 3rd behind Michael Waltrip and Dale’s son, Dale Jr. Contact with Sterling Marlin sent Sr’s car up the track and in front of Ken Scrhader who collided with Earnhardt as both cars sailed up the banked turn of Daytona. Dale slammed head on into the outside retaining wall at about 160 miles an hour before both cars slowly rolled back down the track to the infield grass. Waltrip would win the race with Jr. second as infield safety crew raced across the grass to Dale’s car. Dale was quickly taken to Halifax Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Less that 2 hours later, NASCAR President Mike Helton had to make the most devastating announcement he’d ever have to make.
With 9 movies on the books, the Fast & the Furious Franchise, fun to say five times fast, seemed like the perfect spot for us to flex our Year 9 Anniversary muscles and go back behind the wheel to breakdown all of the hard turns the series have made. How much is a drag? How much does the series drift off course? These are car puns.
Have you tire’d of these yet? Fine. I get it.
So – join the Somethings as they take nine movies and put them into a ranking… what sits atop the mountain? Only one way to find out – on Something in Review: Fast Ranked!
A minor note – we mention a couple of graphics Rob and I did years ago, when discussing Fast 7, the Seven Deadly Cars… here’s some examples:
Ok, here we go… but for family.
Ok, yeah – Rob got to do his thank you letter to celebrate, so I’m doing one too.. sorta..
Quite a few of you came to the Somethingcast from my time over at Inside Pulse, with another podcast I did, or perhaps didn’t do, depending on if they deleted the evidence like I requested…
After doing professional wrestling news and shenanigans for a bunch of years, like a lot of us have, I got sick of it. When you are reading wrestling and comic book news day in and day out, you really stop enjoying it at all. What’s exciting when I know precisely who is showing up in the Impact Zone? Where’s the fun in being aware of the direction the entire company is going towards for Wrestlemania next year? It just drags you down, so for that and a few other reasons I only talk about when I’m drunk, after doing it for less years than I’ve done this show, I bid adieu to the fine world of cutting edge wrestling and comic reporting.
It took two years before I got it stuck in my craw that I wanted to talk into a microphone again. The idea hadn’t been bobbing in my brain for long at all when I went to a local watering hole and I bumped into a guy I hadn’t seen in – no bullshit – fifteen? twenty? years. We had a drink, shot the shit, and I invited him to Wild Pig Comics to play some games and spent the time in between deciding if I wanted to get back into podcasting. (spoiler… i did)
The rest is the last nine years of goofing on Lost, Sleuuuuuuththths, the Mysteries of the Universe, and throwing anything at the wall to see if it’ll make us laugh.
That said, I’ve had the occasional person ask me to guest on their show or I’ve hosted a burlesque show with a co-host, and not a single one of them holds a candle to the chemistry Rob and I have. We joke about it, and it is true, that he and I have entirely different ethos about getting shit done and what should work and what doesn’t. He throws an idea and I shoot it down because of some off the wall complexity. I throw an idea and I can tell immediately in his voice he has no interest in it.. and, let’s be clear, the times I get my way, he’s usually right. (Why you people don’t want to watch the last episode of Small Wonder is utterly beyond me…) Somewhere in the middle though, there is this vein of gold that we don’t always hit, but sometimes you walk away from an episode going ‘Dammit, that was a good time…’
Anyway, Rob went out of his way to thank all of you – and I obviously do too, but it’s rare I talk about my side of how we got to where we are and thank Rob for making it as good as it is.
So thanks to all of you, and thank you Rob.
Happy Birthday Somethingcast!
Ok, here we go and go and go and go and go and go and go and go and go! (That’s 9, you don’t need to count)