Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Favorite Movie Podcasts

As a reader of this blog, you may have noticed that I occasionally talk about listening to podcasts, so I thought I would share with all of you what my favorite movie podcasts are. As we all know, there are hundreds of movie podcasts out there, maybe even thousands! Sometimes, after I watch an older movie and am curious about what other people thought of it, I will type the movie in at the iTunes store and find if there are any podcasts reviews on it. Depending on the popularity of the movie is how many reviews I will find. If I like a review, I will keep tabs of the podcast and will go back and listen to other movie reviews they've done and if I don't, I just delete it.

To me, there are three types of movie podcasts: Ones that review brand new movies, ones that review older movies, and ones that just discuss different movie topics in general. I will discuss the ones I listen to in each category.

I admit, I don't go to see movies in the theaters as often as I used to (and that's a whole other topic for a different entry!), but there are plenty of new movies I do look forward to seeing and hearing about from certain podcasts that review the new theatrical releases, so I keep these in my podcast feed and after I see the "new release" on DVD or Netflix (well, I guess by that time it's a new release on DVD or Netflix!), I will always go to the following podcasts to listen to their reviews of those movies, if they have one. And more often than not, if it's an extremely popular movie, they do:

Filmspotting - The two hosts of this podcast, Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larson (or sometimes a guest host if one of them isn't available) review a recent movie, but what makes it more than just a review podcast is that they take a theme of the movie they reviewed and use it to name their other favorite movies with said theme. For instance, when they reviewed Captain Phillips, they each named their five favorite hostage movies. More recently, they had their top five women comic book characters when they reviewed Suicide Squad. I went back in the archives and re-listened to their top five screen redheads after they reviewed Brave. As a redhead, I was tickled by this. Sometimes they'll review a movie from a specific year and then each give their five favorite movies of that year. I remember they reviewed The Breakfast Club and gave their favorite movies from 1985 and gave their favorite movies from 1990 after reviewing Edwards Scissorhands. There have also been tributes to actors after they've passed away. They have done top five best Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams roles. There are so many different categories they've done and it's a great way to discover new movies and it gives the podcast a little something different. One thing I love about this one is that everything is time stamped so if you want to skip a segment you're not interested in or skip the boring sponsor stuff, you can! It's awesome! 

The /Filmcast - That's pronounced The Slash Filmcast. The hosts of this podcast are David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Jeff Cannata (and sometimes a guest) and they review a recent movie. But first they begin with what they've been watching followed by movie news before getting into their review. Like Filmspotting, this podcast is also time stamped and the show notes also tell you what they've watched and what the movie news is so if you're not interested in any of that, you can just skip to the review. They first review the movie without spoilers, then give a warning they're about to dive into spoiler territory. Most podcasts I listen have a spoiler discussion at the end of their review. I have listened to some reviews that don't spoil anything, which I understand, but I appreciate it when the reviewers talk about everything because I like to hear opinions about everything in a movie, mostly including the spoil-y stuff. This podcast has a very catchy opening theme, so bonus points for that!

Film Junk - This has three Canadian guys, Sean, Jay, and Frank who talk about a recent movies, then talk about movie news, movies they recently watched, answer questions from listeners, discuss spoilers, and finish up with new releases on DVD. There used to be a fourth guy, but he's not there anymore, so I must have missed the episode where he left. Sometimes they are joined by one of their friends. Often times, before getting into the review, they'll talk about recent experiences they've had involving going to the movies or buying DVDs. I find these stories so amusing, especially when they're told by Jay, who always seems to have a story about buying DVDs. Since they live in Canada, they often cross the border to buy DVDs in the U.S. since they're cheaper and he always has some story about some kind of hassle he has. It is just so funny to hear him vent about them. These guys are huge movie nerds and get into these really big arguments over what the best (fill in the blank here) is. They also have certain rules for organizing their DVD collection and get lots of questions from listeners about how to shelf a certain DVD. These guys would be appalled if they ever saw my DVD collection because it's just totally random. Of course, I only have about 30 DVDs so it's not too hard to find one I'm looking for! They started doing timestamps earlier this year and that makes me so happy!

Mad About Movies - This is a podcast I recently discovered. It's been around a few years, but I only discovered it within the last year while I've been listening to the other podcasts for around four or five years. It has three guys, Kent, Richard, and Brian who review a recent movie. You've probably noticed that all the hosts of the podcasts I've listened to so far are all male. Sometimes they'll have a female guest host, but for the most part most movie podcasts seem to be hosted by guys. As also with the other podcasts, they discuss movie news and movies they've seen recently. At the end of their podcast, someone will give out a DVD recommendation, or sometimes a book recommendation. They have a segment called American Treasures they do every first episode of the month where they nominate an actor or public figure for their American Treasure Hall of Fame. They require that their nominees must be an American citizen (obviously!) and that they must be 50 years or older or be in their line of business for at least 25 years. This podcast also has a catchy opening.

I sometimes do listen to other podcasts that review recent movies, but the above are the ones I will always go to and listen to the most.

There are plenty of movie podcasts that review older movies, such as from the '80s, '90s, and early '00s; you know, before podcasts were a thing. There are a ton of podcasts of people around my age who go back and review movies from the late '80s/early '90s they grew up with, so of course, I love those.

Hey, Do You Remember - I recently listened to a bunch of episodes of this podcast. The hosts, Chris, Donna, and Carlos, are within a couple years of my age and they review so many movies that I grew up with and it's a lot of fun hearing their experiences with these iconic (to my generation, anyway!) movies. Chris, the main host, has the most outrageous stories and I always get a kick out of listening to them. His stories always have something to do with the movie they're reviewing and they're always amusing, so I don't mind them. Nothing drives me crazier when I'm listening to a podcast and the speakers suddenly go off into a completely different subject you don't care about and you're screaming at you're iPod for the to get back to the subject on hand. Surely I'm not the only person who does this! They start their reviews with a history of the movie such as how it got started and how it did at the box office. Some things I already knew, but I often learn something new about the movie they're reviewing. They also share their experiences of what they remember about the movie...if they remember seeing it in the theater and what their reactions were the first time they saw it. If you grew up with movies from the '80s and '90s and have nostalgia for them, I highly recommend this podcast. I'm just waiting patiently for them to review my favorite childhood movie, My Girl!

Action Movie Anatomy - Obviously, from the title, this podcast reviews action movies. The hosts, Andrew Ghai and Ben Bateman (and sometimes joined by a guest host) talk about very popular action movies. There are plenty they've already done and plenty they still have yet to do. They will sometimes review a new release action movie or one that came out within the last decade, but a lot of them are from the '80s and '90s, the Stallone and Schwarzenegger action flicks. Their requirements for the action movies they review are that they must be made in 1981 or after, have at least one explosion, the hero always plays by their own rules, the hero and villain must be the smartest person in the room, and the movie must have a police military, or political figure. After they review the movie, they discuss their favorite part, favorite line, and how they would recast the movie if it was made today. One of them does a really good Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage impression. They review a lot or ridiculous action movies, so it's a lot of fun.

How Did This Get Made? - Speaking of ridiculous movies, this is a comedy podcast with Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael. They record in front of a live audience and just pick apart and make fun of a ridiculous movie after watching it. Sometimes they do movies I'm not really familiar with, but when they do a big blockbuster like Face/Off or the latest Fast and Furious movie, I always enjoy listening to those. They do any type of movie from any year, so it ranges from what you will get. I remember the first movie they reviewed was Burlesque and I remember listening to this while working and trying not to LOL!

I also want to give a special shout out to Now Playing, which I haven't listened to that many episodes of because they have reviewed a lot of movies I haven't watched or don't plan on watching (such as the Star Wars or James Bond movies...they reviewed all the James Bond that is dedication!) However if you are into a franchise, more likely or not you will find it on this podcast because they review a lot of franchise movies. I listened to their episodes on the Back to the Future movies and there are MANY Back to the Future reviews out there and the one Now Playing did has to be one of my favorites.

And now here are the movie podcasts that discuss different topics, not just a movie they review:

Battleship Pretension - The two hosts of this show, Tyler Smith and David Bax, are passionate movie aficionados who went to film school and discuss all kinds of different film topics. They talk about many different films that have to do with the topic of their episode. They've discussed things such as their favorite movies scores, blockbuster fatigue, summer/holiday movies (which they use the Entertainment Weekly issue for as a template), best death scene, their favorite movies of the year (and they even did a list of the decade), the Oscars, etc. Every tenth podcast they do a feature on a director or a producer or some big name in movies. Sometimes they dedicate episodes to certain movies, especially if they have a guest (or "friend of the show" as they like to refer to them) on that was involved with that particular film. Before they get to their main topic, they usually start with another smaller topic. This could be a recent movie they've seen or a bad experience they had at the movie theater with people talking during a movies (these types of stories are always my favorite). I really don't mind when they get off topic because they usually get right back to the main topic and their tangents are always amusing. In the past year, they've started doing separate episode just dedicated to movies they've watched lately, but with all the other movie podcasts I listen to (not to mention the other podcasts in general I listen to!), I don't always listen to those episodes because I just don't have the time.

Doug Loves Movies - This is comedian Doug Benson's podcast where he brings out other comedians and B-list celebrities to chat about movies, recent and old. It's recorded in front of an audience once a week. While most of his guests are fellow comedians (and I've heard of some of them because they've been on those lists shows on VH1), he's had a pretty impressive array of actors including Elisabeth Shue, Anna Kendrick, and Michael Cera. (All of who, are, of course, A-listers!) I have to listen to this podcast when I'm alone because sometimes it can get really hilarious that I LOL. There are times when they get completely off topic or there's a visual gag that the audience is laughing at, but the listener has no idea what's going on. That can get annoying sometimes. My favorite part is at the end when they play the Leonard Maltin Game. It's like Name That Tune, but with movies. One of the guests chooses a category and a year that Doug gives them, then after he tells them how many actors are in the movie, they have to try to guess who many names (from the bottom up) they can get the movie in. He also sometimes does a game called Build a Title where he starts with a name of a movie someone from the audience throws out at him and his guests add on other movie titles to the beginning and end so it's all one movie title. For example, if the original movie title is City of Angels, it might end up as Sin City of Angels in the Outfield of Dreams. To be honest, I haven't listened to this podcast in awhile, so it could now be something totally different! I really should go back and listen to some recent episodes.

Screen Junkies Movie Fights - This podcast is always fun to listen to because there's a different array of topics that the moderator and host, Andy Signore, gives out to a panel of three "fighters" and he decides who has the best argument and is therefore the winner. They do a lot of nerd-heavy questions (read: comic book movies) such as "Who should play _____ in the next _____ movie" or "Who should direct the next ______ movie" and while those can sometimes be interesting depending on the questions, I prefer the ones that sway away from those kinds of movies. They've asked questions ranging from "Best live action Disney movie" to "What is Steven Spielberg's WORST movie" and "Best talking animal in a movie" and "Best sports movie." They've done all sorts of different topics and it's always fun to hear the panel fighting it out with each other. They have a rotating panel of different people (which includes at least a few females, so that's exciting because it is mostly guys), but they sometimes have special guests from other podcasts I listen to. Jeff Cannata, who I mentioned previously from the /Filmcast has been on it and Doug Walker, who does Nostalgic Critic. Celebrities such as Elijah Wood, Seth Rogan, and Sam Levine have also been on the show. Whenever a celebrity is on the show, they always win because they always sucks up to them and gives them the point. I mean, usually it's pretty close, but c'mon! This is a podcast, but you can also watch it on YouTube. It is a very fun and amusing podcast.

So as you can see from all the podcasts I listen to and all the movie I watch, that's pretty much all I do with my life! 

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