Now that all the movies in the MCU are generally mid-to-high rated, it's nice to have a movie like Venom: Let There Be Carnage to head toward the bottom of our Merry Marvel Movie March scoring. It's not really a surprise that we were ambivalent about the sequel to a movie we were also ambivalent about, but sometimes you just need a "dumb guy" movie. Except Doug didn't like it either! Oh well, there's always Venom 3 to bring the franchise back to its roots!
We're guessing this is why 1973 is the birth of hip-hop (although it sounds like that date is actually up for debate).
Yes, the Lethal Protector is a thing that was specifically being referenced, as you probably suspected.
Wouldn't it be nice to be a famous enough actor that your costume department had to get special permission to create a jacket because you think a character from a completely unrelated movie was "so cool"?
Luckily, while incarcerated in a secret facility, Shriek not only had access to all Cletus Cassidy-related media, but had special permission to view this Ford Mustang website. So now you know!
Charlie was supposed to do a deep-dive about the relative level of phenethylamine in chocolate and human brains, but after about 15 minutes of looking at scientific papers realized this seemed a lot like what he does at work. Suffice it to say, the stuff is found in brains but is also a byproduct of fermentation. So Venom might try cheese, natto, yogurt, all that stuff before he insists on beheading anyone else. But who are we to yuck someone else's yum?
Episode 243 is kind of a weird melange of topics (or Topix, if you will). It's pretty hard to describe. Overall, it's like the "special sauce" in Doug's potato chips: basically Thousand Island dressing with a smattering of I Think You Should Leave references.
The Techno Viking meme is 17 years old, but gotta say, it still holds up.
Go see Adam in the Great American Trailer Park Musical at Fountain Hills Theater in Fountain Hills, Arizona, this weekend or the next! Eagle-eyed attendees may be able to spot Tony Huff in the audience!
Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in this article! You're better off reading about the 90s graphic adventures that were part of the Gobliiins series.
We've got a brand new Sci-Fi Shuffle discussion: this week we're discussing the 2011 movie Source Code. We've even got special guest Dan Hess back to talk about his favorite time loop movies. Apologies that his voice comes across as robotic for a few minutes - that's Charlie's connection wreaking havoc on the audio quality yet again!
Dan urges you to check out Brandon at Random Reviews and we do as well!
Even after the apocalypse of Death Stranding, there is still no escaping corporate branding. And also, Kabuki Quantum Fighter and Beneath a Steel Sky links so you understand all of our video game references (sorry Jessie!).
The movie has many cinematic inspirations, but also some real life ones involving amateur tinkering with radioactive materials!
It's been more than 100 episodes, but we finally managed to secure Q Jackson as a guest again for episode 241. Well, "secure" may not be the right word, as he may not even be on a physical plane at the moment. And he certainly isn't safe. But he's communicating vaguely about his confusing life and that's really all you can ask!
What's that? You have no memory of actor Q Jackson? I guess that may not be that surprising, given the level of cinema his works aspire to. But if you did want to check out our last interview with him, you can find that here - just be warned that something like 275 more Wolfsmarine "films" have been released since then.
We always knew Charlie could bring about plagues, but things are getting a bit ridiculous in episode 240. Disease and vermin: check. No frogs or blood yet, but we'll see what happens when he plans another Arizona trip next year.
Lot of video game links this week. New ratings on the NES Ratings Page, including some comments from Celeste Wallace! In a surprising update, Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular is still not good! And speaking of video game updates, that Monolith puzzle from Fez is... still not really explained. And to clarify (and to confirm Paul's memory), Dark Forces did get a Mac release.
In case you didn't know what Paul was talking about, here's T'ird!
We do mention a text from Doug during the episode. You may have guessed its nature from context, but on this show we are nothing if not explicit!
We finish up Merry Marvel Movie March Madness this year with a movie we all really enjoyed - Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It has still never gotten a proper release in China, and the release in the States induced a bit more COVID-related anxiety than we'd have liked. But you can view it at home now, so no more excuses!
So is Simu Liu awesome, just "okay", or a goblin who should hide in a deep cave for all eternity? Opinions abound!
Paul will be happy to know that according to this Wikipedia article, Hundun appears in the Warriors Orochi video game series as a boss and a playable character. We're sure Jessie must already know this, since she has exhaustively played all of them.
Sir Ian McKellan knows about acting, and has been very vocal about how it is to be done. It should be noted that his advice has changed over the years.
Welcome back to Merry Marvel Movie March Madness! You only get two episodes in a row this year, but we do kick off Phase 4 of the MCU with an episode about Black Widow.
Here's an article with some pictures of Black Widow's comic look through the years. And here's the Wikipedia article about the comic version of Taskmaster!
Adam mentions in the podcast that Disney announced a less packed schedule for the MCU coming up; here's the source on that. And in case you want to know what movies precisely ended up on Disney+ Premier Access back in the dark days of the pandemic, TechRadar has you covered.
Even though the lawsuit brought by Scarlett Johansson was compelling in a car-wreck sort of way, we now have the benefit of hindsight to know it was what we suspected all along - PR posturing for leverage in an eventual settlement.
And because Charlie mentioned it in the podcast, and we'll never pass up an opportunity to reuse this gif:
Our Sci-Fi Shuffle series gets a little weird when we talk about Fantastic Planet. But sci-fi is often weird! We mean, it's not always NIGHTMARE-INDUCING, Cronenberg weird like this is. Well, except when it's actually Cronenberg. But we digress.
Kevin mentioned an illustrated fairy tale video called "The Fool and the Flying Ship", which you can actually watch on the Internet Archive! It's narrated by Robin Williams, so check it out! And here's some info on that anime short film Paul mentioned. It sounds as weird as promised!
Would YOU like to read an essay from a film historian that might deepen your appreciation for this movie? Well then Criterion has you covered!
And we regret to inform you that composer Alain Goraguer has passed away since the recording of this episode.
In previous episodes we dabbled in AI-based art, but we really get into the heart of the matter in episode 236. Of course, the real Turing test for a podcast-generating AI would be to see if it knew to put up the blog post 1-2 days late to imitate Charlie. If it's on time, you know the show has been taken over by machines!
ChatGPT received a "mediocre" score on that law exam. Next up: seeing if it can land a job in a terrible market for law grads, or if it will be crushed under the weight of crippling debt (we're hoping for the latter)!
CNET has found that writing retractions is still cheaper than paying a human to write.
The WotC Dungeons & Dragons OGL debacle was over almost as soon as it started. And smaller businesses reap the rewards! What's not to love?
Yes, we watched The Simpsons obsessively, and no reference can sneak by us.
Here's the NYT article about Ke Huy Quan that Adam references in the podcast. And go see Everything Everywhere All at Once in theaters, while you still can!
The Big New Yorker is back! Can it possibly live up to our childhood sensory memories? We're almost scared to try it, for fear of being disappointed. But you know who isn't afraid? Paul Wilcox! Much like a kaiju ravaging the East Coast, he's probably eaten several Big New Yorkers by now and there are no signs of his rampage dissipating!
Installment 2 of our Sci-Fi Shuffle has us hugging our loved ones in between bouts of intense philosophizing with a discussion of the 2016 film Arrival.
Here are a couple links regarding the Sanskrit word for war, in case you wanted to dive deeper into that topic. And although we're reliably told her Mandarin pronunciation isn't really up to par, you can at least learn just what Louise actually said to General Shang.
As you may remember from the previous Sci-Fi Shuffle episode, Adam had a running bit where he commented that our sister podcast, Cinematic Respect, was no longer accessible on the internet. He tried to continue that joke here, but Charlie thwarted him by actually fixing the website. So let's all celebrate by listening to an episode about another Denis Villeneuve SF film, 2017's Blade Runner 2049.
It's once again time for "Philosophy Corner"! Please do the required reading on causal loops, eternal recurrence/return, and the Aboriginal concept of time.
Kevin mentions Dr. Manhattan without providing context, but that's what this blog is for! In case you don't know, Dr. Manhattan is a character from the seminal comic book "Watchmen"; here's a Reddit thread briefly explaining how he perceives time.
And we didn't learn about this until after we recorded the episode, but if you've ever complained about the super dark scenes in Game of Thrones, it seems you have Arrival to thank for that.
We talked a lot about urinal cakes in episode 234, but most of it got cut. And yet there's so much we still left in! Mostly we recounted Christmas gifts and ran taste tests though. 'Tis the season!
And those cake links, for the curious.
Paul references the New Year's resolution game from "Triple Click" as a way to potentially get us to punish each other with our idiosyncratic tastes. But we didn't bite! Only passive-aggressive suggestions for these guys!
It's unlikely Salt Bae was punished for his unauthorized access to the World Cup. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. Better yet, don't ask for either!
Here's the links to borderline intuitive bacon-infused vodka, Lay's limited edition vodka, and what I like to call "The REAL Prisoner's Dilemma".
A new year means it's time for a new conceit: episode 233 is the first in our series "Sci-Fi Shuffle", beginning with a special double-length episode all about 2001: A Space Odyssey. Because who doesn't love more movies? But we take a more holistic approach than our Merry Marvel Movie March. There's just two rules: it has to be sci-fi, and the next person chooses whatever sci-fi movie they want! So we'll do the best, and presumably the worst, movies you could hope for. Stay tuned, whenever our episode schedule permits!
Read the most recent Sight and Sound poll for context on this episode, and all those Jeanne Dielman references from previous episodes.
While we couldn't remember the exact details of the 2001 re-release, we can certainly post about it here.
If you'd care to read the original "Sentinel of Eternity" that 2001 is loosely based on, the Internet archive has you covered.
Unmanned pre-Apollo US lunar missions include: the Ranger program, the Lunar Orbiter program, and the Surveyor program.
And finally, Merzbow, Paul's favorite noise maker.
Strange things are afoot at the North Pole in episode 232. Don't ask us how we acquired this audio; we never reveal our sources! But in the fight between immortals and billionaires, it's hard to really root for either side. To quote the Who (like we do every Christmas): "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".
And we are happy to announce Phase V (5) of the GW Report (Christmas Edition), featuring the following films:
It's the holidays again, and that gives us an idea: let's scam Kohl's in episode 231! Sure, the return policies are byzantine to say the least, but soon we'll be Kohl's Cash Kings! Just be prepared to stand in the customer service line for eons.
I want (an oral history of the Mary Kate and Ashley song about) pizza! But why don't you slow that song down for us, Internet?.
Correction to the podcast: The actor Kier Dullea's last name is pronounced du-LEI ([dʊ.'leɪ], if you're an IPA fan). We regret the error, and apologize profusely.
Our favorite Frankie is just as surprised as us that he wound up on episode 230. We guess it's just our shared history that makes him feel obligated to appear on our show, despite becoming the world's most eccentric billionaire/villain/oil baron. And we don't take the label "most eccentric billionaire" lightly, especially not these days!
You might have originally been thinking Frankie was referring to the teletransportation paradox, but he wasn't! He probably meant The Transporter Paradox, whereby Jason Statham transports humans between destinations so quickly, they appear to arrive at their destination BEFORE they even left! Maybe we'll have to ask Mr. Statham himself about it on a future episode? We're sure Frankie can connect us!
You understood our World on a Wire reference because of course you have listened to every single one of our episodes, including episode 173.
The Merry Marvel Movie March is back, baby... with a movie we initially decided to skip! That's right, it's time for that appendix to the March that we always threatened you with, and we kick it off with 1985's Red Sonja. But don't worry, it's right back to the regular MMMM for the next installment, so you'll have perhaps YEARS to wait for the next Appendix entry!
No, Kevin was not crazy: that character was pretty amped up about swordfighting.
Cinco has a MIDI Organizer, and a B'ougar, products that are almost as in-demand as cheese liqueur.
Despite the title and description of episode 228, this is primarily an episode where we do taste tests. So why do we talk so much about churros, and yet we've never eaten a churro on the podcast? Dare we consider a segment called "Churro with Charlie"? It's too well named to not exist!
Now you too can learn about Dewitt's best-loved tortilla-based school lunch item!
And behold: (mostly AI-generated) Churro Art!
All of our mitigating forces (a.k.a guests) are absent in episode 227. Of course that means that the podcast format has completely changed. We're rebranding as Frasier vs Frasier, a podcast comparing episodes of the classic TV sitcom Frasier against the new reboot, specifically through the lens of Kelsey Grammar's dubious political views. (We're assuming this was Tony's "monkey's paw" wish.)
Wow, "Gobob vs Snowjob" was over 11 years ago! Now that's a callback!
Since the days of the TV show Lost, J.J. Abrams has been well known for his surprising, yet baffling reveals. Here's his most recent!
Even Charlie is beginning to regret his adoption of streaming over physical media after the most recent apocalyptic event in entertainment. Oh well, movies and TV were great while they lasted, but 100+ years was a pretty good run!
A lot has changed in 15 years, but we just keep the episodes coming, as episode 225 proves! (Wait, 15×15=225...is THAT why Adam insisted the 15th anniversary episode be #225?) Of course tonight, we will all be eating our own individual buckets of spaghetti in honor of the occasion. Wait, there's a restaurant that already sells that? Guess we won't have to get out the hose to spray down our own Lowe's buckets!
The Ypsilanti Water Tower continues to fascinate and attract all sorts of curious tourists. Or so we're told!
The Count: Censored. Now you are aware.
If you listened to the episode, you know about Terriers, Andy Barker, P.I., and the elusive phenomenon that is Ed. Hollywood is officially on notice that we want all of these shows BACK for more seasons, regardless of talent availability! You must cater to our specific interests! [Note to Hollywood: we'll also settle for an arrangement that lets us see Ed again.]
Episode 226 coins the term "freedom meal", a term we can't believe didn't already exist. What's YOUR freedom meal? No judgement! We'll make sure to relate the results on the show at some point, anonymously if requested.
(And no, you didn't miss episode 225; Adam just insisted that this be episode 226, even though it's the one after 224. I don't understand either, but presumably he'll one day make it clear to us why this was so important to him.)
We also refuse to judge Bob Odenkirk. In fact, we give him the Jeremiah Johnson nod of approval.
This episode we learned about a musical sequence from Blues Brothers 2000 and secret character names in Interstellar and the Star Wars universe. Plus the origins of...Jizz music. Truly an enlightening episode!
Now that we've progressed in earnest through a large chunk of the Merry Marvel Movie March so far, we decided to take stock in episode 224. We drop the veil slightly because we've reached such a huge milestone, but not enough that Charlie will admit he likes shields, or that Doug will admit that any opinion he's ever had was wrong.
Doug compiled some stats, which was super awesome of him! Some of note:
As it turns out, not every celebrity keeps up with every meme adjacent to work they participated in. We know, disappointing isn't it?
What we can't really call "Phase 1" of our Merry Marvel Movie March draws to a close (maybe "Merry Marvel Movie March Module 1" instead?), as we review The New Mutants, a film that somehow got a 2020 theatrical release, despite, y'know, everything.
The end of this first part of the March means we'll be taking a short break while Phase 4 of the MCU finishes up in November (so that we can sagely and holistically look at all the Phase 4 movies and go, "Yeah, they weren't really building to anything, were they?"), but that doesn't mean we won't go back and start our Merry Marvel Movie March Addendum. Or maybe we won't! Depends how many "special guests" show up while Paul is in the bathroom.
You may be shocked to learn that we've got some more taste tests for you in this episode, so you should make sure to read the reference material. Of course there are required readings for ephemeral pop flavors; we take these things very seriously here at GWR.
We've got "2" many "2"-riffic clips "2" give you here on "2"-sday, August "2", "2"0"2""2" in episode 222! It's "2"-tally "2"-mendous and not at all "2" labored a pun (even if we did delay it a day to add a couple extra 2s)! And yet, perhaps not our most two-centric episode? That's what happens when you set the bar so high!
Some quick hits for you to help explain bits of the episode, as always:
Installment 70 of our Merry Marvel Movie March is a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the final pre-COVID Marvel release. Even though we still have a lot of questions about "The Blip" (including what happened to people who were in airplanes when they reappeared...), this movie doesn't seem to be too interested in that. Which is OK! Killer drones and European sightseeing is more than enough for us!
Will Charlie hate S.W.O.R.D. as much as he hates S.H.I.E.L.D.? It remains to be seen. But it seems almost impossible at this point. (And was it even S.W.O.R.D. in the movie? Adam thought so, but the internet disagrees!)
While Doug did throw some updated references into the podcast that were eventually cut ("Zendaya is Meechee"), the ones that stay in may need some explanatory links for all the Zoomers out there. Case in point.
Even though Charlie roundly refused to participate, this year's Shenaniganza went off without a hitch, as we discuss in episode 220. Well, actually there were more hitches than usual. But, hey, three out of four people being COVID-free ain't bad (when compared to the national average).
The gang regrets forgetting to mention one of the most enduring bits, which involved Paul moving into Adam's library full-time and declaring squatters' rights. I guess he liked it in there? As with most things Shenaniganza, it was a hilarious bit that you probably had to be present for in order to appreciate.
It's undeniably Morbin' Time. We'd discuss it more, but we'll wait for more developments leading to our Merry Marvel Movie March review.
Century eggs require patience that we don't really possess. Better to just drink all the available Mountain Dew flavors. Or in Doug's case, buy them and forget about them.
The board game Evolution has that Fat Tissue card which seemed to get Paul all riled up. And who can blame him!
And finally, AI's best attempt at creating Tony and Paul's bowling alley:
Just when you think there isn't enough Joe Piscopo-related material for an entire episode, you reach back a few years into the crime blotter and pull out episode 219. Will our latest Piscopo Day celebrity be a Piscopony or a Piscobrony this year? Much like seasoned interviewer Tom Snyder, you'll just have to listen.
Oh yeah, in case you don't remember (or never knew) who Tom Snyder, Linda Ellerbee and Edwin Newman are, we've got you covered. Be warned: this information will only be important to know for this one episode, but it may take up space in your brain forever. Decide if it's worth it before clicking the links!
While the baby name Arliss did enjoy a slight uptick in the '90s associated with the TV show (presumably), it looks like it's once again making a comeback. Of course, if you don't use dollar signs for S's then you've named your child after the character, not the show, so someone will have to analyze that data to determine the true Arli$$ bump. Another fun fact: the title of the show is spelled wrong on the official HBO website.
Last updated: June 5, 2023