Tim Blake Nelson as Buster Scruggs (from the Coen Brothers' "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs") makes a surprise cameo in "Battlefield Earth" alongside John Travolta and Forest Whittaker

It’s Awesome that Battlefield Earth Wasn’t Purged by Scientologists Because It’s Terribly Great

Let’s talk turkey. Two types of turkey, actually.

First, Jake and I dive into Battlefield Earth, one of the biggest turkeys turned out of Hollywood. Yes, that’s right: John Travolta, fresh off his success in Pulp Fiction, used all of his considerable clout to turn this opus of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, into a major motion picture (and to turn himself into a nine-foot-tall alien with dreadlocks). In the publicity run-up to its release, Travolta said it was “like Star Wars, only better.” And while not many would agree with that, necessarily, it was certainly … something.  Continue reading

Classic Disney princess Snow White shows up in a darkened fight scene in Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat, Disney Princesses, and the Politiks of Pop Kulture

Sometimes a blog title just really needs to be on the nose.

That’s right! No clickbait here! We’ve lined up a show comprised of a discussion of 1995’s Mortal Kombat and whether or not it is truly so bad that it’s good, a chat about Disney princess Kristen Bell (and Keira Knightley) banning certain classic Disney princesses in their homes, and a thrilling deep dive into the many ways—both good and bad—that pop culture and politics wind up in bed together—figuratively speaking, of course.  Continue reading

Max Schreck as Nosferatu invades the box art for "Sunday School Musical"

Nosferatu might be a racist vampire and Sunday School Musical is frightening

It tends to come out at night–the misshapen, abominable copy of a better creation. Curiously graceful but grotesquely clumsy, it seeks to prey on the innocent and ignorant that stumble into its path. And while it seems to appear alive enough, it is bloodless: No beating heart, no breath, only the facsimile of life.

I speak, of course, of Sunday School Musical, the first stop in Jake’s and my exploration of the worst movies that online streaming services have to offer. The movie, an obvious churchy (only not really) clone of Disney’s High School Musical, cost a whopping $8,400 to make, but it looks as though the makers spent, at least, $2.70 more than that. Yes, it was bad. But was it so bad it was good? Listen in and hear. Continue reading

Movie posters for Black Panther, A Star is Born, First Man, Beautiful Boy, Mortal Engines, Green Book, and Widows photoshopped onto people standing on the NFL draft stage

The World’s First-Ever Fantasy Movie League for Awards Season is Real and It’s Spectacular

Movie awards are all about the art. It’s a recognition of aesthetic quality and emotional oomph, and many true cinematic artists find the very concept of handing out awards for art—the creation of which should be enough reward in itself, and its value determined by each and every viewer—rather distasteful and gauche. Only Philistines would turn it into a competition, they sniff.

Which makes Jake and I honorary residents of Philistia, I guess. In all our conversations, it’s painfully obvious that we agree on just one point: That everything should be a competition.  Continue reading

Is Nostalgia Ruining or Saving Pop Culture? Survey Says… It’s Complicated.

Remember when life was easier? Sweeter? More innocent and joyful? That golden age of youth when your mother tucked you in at night and your father promised that there were no monsters under the bed?

Well, I don’t. My parents told me to tuck myself in, by gosh, and I better do it well, else the monsters under the bed would come out and mock my woefully ruffled sheets before eating me.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate. A little. Most of us have fond memories of the lives we led 10, 20 even 30 years ago. Things were simpler then. Easier. Or, at least, so we thought.  Continue reading

The Mutt Cutts "Shaggin' Wagon" from "Dumb and Dumber"

What is the Top Movie Car of All Time? It’s debatable.

Why should you listen to this podcast? Because Jake hated it. Every single second of it.

It wasn’t my fault. Well, maybe it was my fault, but only indirectly. I forced Mr. Know-it-All himself to talk about something he knows nothing about, and that’s cars. We talk about a car movie (The Italian Job), then talk about movie cars (none of which were, ironically, Italian). And in so doing, we come to realize that Jake thinks Porsches are things you sit on with glasses of lemonade, Fiats are governmental decrees and that Tesla was some sort of scientist. Yeah, Jake. Whatever.  Continue reading