Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 110: Nightcrawler (2014) and Whiplash (2014) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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Episode 110

In Episode 110 of Movie Podcast Weekly, we bring you three of this year’s most anticipated and highest-rated Feature Reviews for Nightcrawler and Whiplash and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Of one of these movies, you’ll hear Josh say:

“This is going to be a classic film. And this is going to be a movie that’s remembered for generations.” —Joshua Ligairi

Jason, Andy and Josh also bring you Mini Reviews, with an in-depth discussion about the pros and cons of revisiting our most beloved TV series. You don’t want to miss this one! If you like what you hear, leave us a review in iTunes or leave a donation through our PayPal buttons or both! Above all, subscribe for free in iTunes.

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features three hosts — Jason, Josh, and Andy — along with frequent guests. We give you our verdicts on at least one new movie release from the current year that’s currently playing in theaters or on VOD, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. And we usually provide specialized genre recommendations. New episodes release every single Tuesday. Join us!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction

II. Mini Reviews
Josh: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Conspiracy, Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Burbs, Nightmare Factory, That Guy … Who Was in That Thing
Jason: Revisiting The Sopranos and other favorite TV series, Deterrence
Andy: Surf’s Up


III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
— Nightcrawler
— Before I Go to Sleep
— ABCs of Death 2 [ Limited ]
— Goodbye to Language 3D [ Limited ]
— Horns [ Limited ]
— The Great Invisible [ Limited ]
— Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show [ Limited ]
— Magical Universe [ Limited ]
— God the Father [ Limited ]

— Saw (2004) – [ Re-release ]


FEATURE REVIEWS HAVE TIME STAMPS:

[ 0:59:13 ] IV. Feature Review: BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) (2014)
Josh = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! / Masterpiece! )


[ 1:14:53 ] V. Feature Review: NIGHTCRAWLER (2014)
Jason = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Andy = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Josh = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )


[ 1:47:25 ] VI. Feature Review: WHIPLASH (2014)
Josh = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )


VII. Miscellany and Other Movie News
— “Rosewater” trailer
— Vance’s hilarious comment
— The death of camera assistant Sarah Jones during the filming of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider”

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Special thanks to Juan for his recurring donation


COMING UP ON MPW NEXT WEEK:
INTERSTELLAR and HORNS and BIG HERO 6. Join us Tuesday!


LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

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E-mail us: MoviePodcastWeekly@gmail.com.
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
Follow MPW on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly
Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

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Josh’s links:
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave himself for the use of his music for our theme song. Buy Dave’s Eaton’s music: BandCamp.com


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Thanks for listening, and join us again next Tuesday for Movie Podcast Weekly.


42 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 110: Nightcrawler (2014) and Whiplash (2014) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

  1. I’m intrigued by all three of these films, so I’ll have to take a brief break from the Feral Vampires episode of Horror Movie Podcast and queue up Ep. 110 for tomorrow morning’s exercise regimen. Following up on Ep. 109, however, I did want to report that I watched a movie on Halloween night with my 10-year-old daughter, after her siblings had been put to bed. (My wife was too worn out to join us.) The Bean is very sensitive to scary stuff, so I had to choose carefully, but I don’t think “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest” would have quite captured her interest. I settled on one of my favorite films from the 1980s (from any decade, really) and we watched “Ladyhawke.” The low-key werewolf element seemed appropriate, and the movie in general has an undervalued spooky undercurrent. (One very striking shot in particular has a fabulous Halloween vibe: When Imperius drives his cart into Aquila by night, the camera takes a gorgeous head-on view of the fortified gates of the city lit with torches. The manner in which certain turrets are positioned above the main entry almost makes it look as though the way into the city is through the wide-open jaws of a hungry demon.) Setting aside the very of-the-exact-moment-we-made-this-movie score (some of which is effective and moving even despite the prog-rock rhythms and electronic clutter), it remains a remarkably well-made movie, a fantasy epic shot with an unusually generous budget long before the age of CGI. Great cast, excellent sets and costumes, breathtaking Italian locations, practical stunts and effects, and a few admittedly cheesy animal transformation shots. (Though one of the werewolf transformations in a forest during a thunderstorm is very nicely done.) Beanie liked the movie so much that we decided it will be our new Halloween tradition.

    • I love to think of Lady hawk as a werewolf film. Of course it is. He shape-shifts to a wolf. I just had never really thought of it that way. No wonder I liked that movie so much as a kid. I own the DVD but haven’t revisited it in years. Actually, Ladyhawk is to werewolf movies as Dracula Untold is to vampire movies.

  2. Yep, I back Josh 100% when it comes to “The Killing”. I’m extremely grateful that he recommended it and I don’t know why it isn’t more well known (unless it is and I’m just captain oblivious, which is quite likely). Anyone who enjoys perfectly executed police procedurals, mysteries, crime dramas etc should definitely check it out.

    Also, I was under the impression that TV-14 rated shows could get away with some pretty intense stuff, moreso than a PG-13 movie anyway. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure “Hannibal” is TV-14 and that has some of most gruesome imagery and extreme gore I’ve ever seen on television. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed much swearing on that show though so maybe it denotes that disgusting murder imagery is on the cards but effin’ and jeffin’s isn’t? Which seems kind of weird to me.

    And I’m loving the positive tone of this episode. It’s nice to hear that you guys got to see what sound to be a bunch of fantastic movies this week. I have to say I was somewhat confused with regards to “Whiplash” at first because when Josh started describing it I realised I’d already seen what seemed to be a shortened version of the same movie; named Whiplash starring J.K Simmons as an acerbic, volatile Jazz teacher picking on a new drummer who can’t seem to do anything right. But I saw this last summer showing at the art gallery where my friend used to work. Was the movie based on a short film made by the same people or something? Either way what I saw was extremely uncomfortable viewing but absolutely brilliant.

    Loving the episode so far guys.

    -David

    P.S. Jay I totally respect your right to dislike the theatre and to be honest I’m not a big play guy myself but as a horror fan I think it’s important to at least respect the form. Without the influence of the Grand Guignol theatre our beloved genre may have turned out a very different way!

    • I watched the first episode of “The Killing” and I agree that it’s really good. The atmosphere and mood established is my favorite. I love it when it’s constantly raining (or snowing) in a movie. I have a few other shows on my queue before this one, but this is definitely a must watch for me in the near future. I don’t know if any of you guys are gamers, but there is a game called “Heavy Rain” that’s heavily influenced by movies like “Se7en” and “The Killing” reminded me of it. Check out this premise: a young boy is kidnapped by the Origami Killer, who kidnaps children, locks them in a cell that gets flooded by rain, and leaves clues for the parents to find their child before it’s too late. I think it’s worth seeking out if you’re interested in games. A movie adaptation was supposed to be in the works, but who knows if it will ever get made.

      Also, I just wanted to point out that Saul Bass’ opening credits for “The Man with the Golden Arm” is not just a fun fact for movie nerds. It’s actually a very important turning point for cinema. It was the first instance in the history of film that a title sequence was entirely animated. It opened the doors to what we now take for granted. Not only that, but it made filmmakers realize that graphic design was actually something cool and important that could bring value to their films. That’s why Bass got to work with important figures like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese. Anyway, just wanted to elaborate a little on that.

      • Juan, I am totally with you when it comes to movies/TV shows with an eternally rainy/snowy backdrop. I’ve always felt that it works on me in a similar way as a good horror movie. It’s that same element of schadenfreude and vicariousness. Watching people go about in awful, miserable weather while I know I’m safe, warm and comfortable at home.

        As for “Heavy Rain” I’m afraid to say I’m not much of a gamer (the last console I owned was a Playstation One) but I do very much like the sound of that as a premise. Exactly my sort of thing!

      • Juan, thank you so much for your comments about the Saul Bass title sequence. I was remiss to not go further down that road and I hadn’t realized that this film was such an important turning point. Great info. LOVE this comment. Love Saul Bass. Thank you.

        • Dear Josh,

          You’re welcome.

          Personal fact: In college, I based my identity (i.e. my personal logo) around Saul Bass’ style.

          Nerd fact: I have a Saul Bass t-shirt with his bass stamp and signature :/

    • Yes, Whiplash is based on a short film of the same name by the same director. I’d have liked to see that. Let us know how they compare after you see the feature.

      • Well it’s unfortunately a little too highbrow to be playing in any cinemas around here but I’ll definitely be watching it the first chance I get. What I remember from the short film (and I’m glad you confirmed that it was birthed as such because I was starting to think it was some kind of weird deja-vu) is that the main/drummer character went almost entirely undeveloped. The whole thing was basically just him going into this rehearsal session and things devolving from there. So he felt very much like a surrogate for the audience and we were in turn subjected to his abuse at the hands of J.K Simmons. My memory is admittedly a little blurry though as, true to form, I took advantage of the free red wine on offer throughout the evening. It stood out as an incredibly impressive piece though. And I also remember another short film called “The Chair” which I thoroughly enjoyed in spite of the booing from most of the middle-aged, comfortable-class audience because it was “too miserable”.

  3. When I was about five years old, I had an Incredible Hulk coloring book. The coloring book authors decided to create a new villain for the Hulk to battle, I guess because maybe all of the normal supervillains were busy. Anyway, the book began with a little backstory about a young boy getting hit on the head with a can of spinach, which caused him to forever after have a deep and bitter hatred of the color green and all green things. After he grew up to become a billionaire industrialist, he kept all of his money in coins, because he still hated the color green so much. He got wind of the Hulk somehow (naturally), and then, oh man, was it ON, because the dude was still super ticked about the color green and, damn, look at that big guy with the purple pants and all the muscles! That guy is so GREEN.

    I mention all of those details because this random childhood memory popped right to the front of my brain this morning when Jason started to get all wound up about how much he hates theater. It’s not so much the root dislike of theater. I get that. Lots of people don’t like watching plays, for whatever reason. (Good job by Josh, incidentally, who really nailed it on some of the reasons why theatergoing can be so special. Unlike Harrison Ford in “Sabrina,” I am a bit of a theater buff.) What really made me chuckle was how deep and abiding Jay’s loathing of theater is. Whoa there, cowboy. Later on in the episode, when Jay began prefacing his up close and personal confession about “Nightcrawler,” I really thought for just a second that he was going to jump back to the theater discussion. I was half-expecting him to reveal that, when he was a young boy, a theatrical production once beat him up and stole his lunch money, or something like that, provoking a lifelong irrational hatred of theater.

    Anyway, I haven’t finished the episode yet, but I’m totally enjoying it, as usual. Don’t ever change, fellas.

  4. I have a few more things to comment on:

    Firstly Andy’s qualms about “The Woman in Black”s classification as horror kind of perplexed me. It’s a Gothic, supernatural ghost story set in a spooky old house, to me that’s about as pure horror as modern cinema gets. It’s hard to deny that the genre is rooted in horror literature so to me something like “The Woman in Black” feels way more true to that lineage than stuff like Hostel or even most Slasher movies.

    Next, with regards to the William Hurt vs John Hurt debate. William Hurt did “Lost in Space”. He loses by default. And guys, I love John Hurt as an actor but I have no idea if he has a knighthood or not. I may be British but I have nothing other than disdain for the royal family and no interest in who they go about knighting. The infamous sexual predator Jimmy Saville was knighted. It’s meaningless.

    And with regards to this whole train crash thing, this podcast is the first I’ve heard of it, but just from what was said here it sounds like this Director guy needs demonising. I’m all for guerilla filmmaking if it means some low budget passion-project can avoid incurring permit charges but when some A-hole is knowingly putting the safety of his staff AND the public at risk then it’s just totally not acceptable. Imagine how you’d feel if a family member was told by their boss to do something ridiculously dangerous and they died because of it. Or a piano fell on them! It’s not quite the same but I worked for years in a factory where the Managing Director was just all about making as much money as fast as possible and cutting as many corners as he could. He never updated equipment, never invested in proper safety gear or anything. Fortunately no one was ever fatally injured there but I saw a guy get his hand mangled in a circular saw and a dude’s thumb split down the middle with a bandsaw and I lost a finger tip myself and sliced my hand open on several occasions (the knives we were issued in graphics were totally unsuitable for the job). This kind of negligence really pisses me off. The people in charge should value human life more than any other element of their project. I hope this Director guy never gets work again.

    Man, I feel like this comment has had a kind of angry edge to it. Sorry guys!

    P.S. Josh, if you ever do a podcast about music I will listen to it without question. You’re a fan of Daniel Johnston, Radiohead AND Cursive!

    • I couldn’t do a music podcast. I’ve stopped following it too much. All of my energy goes into movies these days. I’d love to redevelop my other interests, but I haven’t been able to with my schedule. That’s a retirement goal of mine. Haha. My roots are in punk rock and most of the music I love is connected to that underground, DIY, punk, indie, hardcore, culture. That also lead me to prog-rock in one direction, electro in another direction, and indie/folk in yet another. Then, you’ve got your ska/regaee influences in punk. So, my tastes are pretty eclectic now, but punk is really my inception point for all music appreciation. Before finding my music, I just listened to the 80s pop that was on the radio when I grew up and the classic rock from my mom’s generation.

      As I mentioned this episode, I also quite enjoy jazz these days, but I’m not a buff. And I like a lot of American roots music. I’m really getting into early soul music right now. The only music I’ve always hated has been rap and country, but I’m even finding ways to appreciate some sub-genres of each. Rap/Hip-hop is still really low on my appreciation list. I don’t like the sound or the culture and I rarely like the lyrics. I also hate that Jack Johnson percussive, acoustic singer/songwriter stuff … like our podcast theme song, actually. Haha. Dave Eaton has some solid talent a some good songs, but I really dislike that tone/sound, generally.

      • I guess becoming a teenager at the turn of the millennium made me a child of Nu-metal but when I really felt I found my own footing in music is was with bands like Against Me, At The Drive-In, The Blood Brothers, Mewithoutyou etc. Sort of hardcore/punk/emo stuff that eventually lead me towards artists like Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, Bright Eyes and then Tom Waits and The Replacements and such. So I feel like I owe a lot to that sort of punk movement and when I was younger I was part of D.I.Y collectives and things but to be honest I always found that locally there was a weird thread of aggressive machismo inherent in the punk scene. Just this emphasis on being loud and obnoxious and nasty without any sort of acknowledgement of integrity, community or political idealism. If my friend wore a shirt and tie to a show he’d get pushed around and called a queer. That’s not punk behaviour to me. That just sucks. So I kind of veered more towards the quieter end of the D.I.Y spectrum. I love when that heart-over-slickness punk aesthetic is applied to quieter music like The Mountain Goats or Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.

        That said I do have a soft spot for extremely over-produced 80’s pop. I love Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Tiffany and I guess much more acceptable stuff like The Cure and Kate Bush.

        As for Rap and Country music; I kind of relate in that I can’t stand the majority of that stuff that gets played on the radio but I also can’t stand the majority of rock/indie music that gets played on the radio. A lot of it does come down to lyrics though. I really admire the production and rhythmic word-smithery of most rap musicians but if a song is about being rich and materialistic/shooting people/being disrespectful to women then I don’t want to know. I got called racist by a white guy in a turtle-neck sweater once for expressing this opinion because apparently that stuff is all representative of “black culture”. I said that I thought he was the racist and he looked at me like I was insane. There’s a lot of great rap music that isn’t anything like that out there but it just seems a lot less accessible. Same goes for country music. I love the sound and I like when certain musicians veer into that territory but if the lyrics are glorifying being a dick then it can sod off.

        Anyway. Music tangents make a cool change from food tangents.

        • Wow, we are almost on the exact same page, musically. I relate to everything you said. In fact, I’m a fan of every band you mentioned except Mewithoutyou and I’m not familiar with Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. But, I own every album of about every other band that you mentioned (and my band opened for Blood Brothers, BTW).

          I’m just older than you, so the unraveling of the onion came in different waves. For instance, other than At the Drive-in and Refused, that kind of progy nu-metal (we called it all post-hardcore) wasn’t really happening when I was younger and emo referred more to shoegazer nouveau-mod stuff back then (or even Bright Eyes) before crappy pop-punk bands like Fall Out Boy co-opted the term and added the bad haircuts.

          For my age group, it was all about DIY, underground punk. Often, (what we called “old school”) street punk or (what we called “melodic punk”) skate punk, but it was all about the lyrics and ideals and ethos and emotion. Alkaline Trio was actually one of the first bands that helped me bridge that gap between the punk scene and the indie world that I would have been more closed-off to in my early years.

          I was really into this quieter music (Connor Oberst’s Fevers and Mirrors tour yielded one of my greatest concert experiences ever) and trying to figure out how to infuse that with the harder edge music of my youth when my friends started a new band called The Used that, along with friends My Chemical Romance, helped popularize that post-hardcore sound that the former had heavily borrowed from Refused and the latter had heavily borrowed from Thursday (both infused with a little pop punk and a little goth aesthetic) and gave birth to a whole new genre. As played out as it became, I still really appreciate the best bands of that genre.

          And, sorry to hear about the bullying that seemed to be going on in your community. Very lame. Definitely not a good representation of the really positive, high-minded, progressive punk rock community that I grew up in. We all wore “The Queers” shirts and often shirts with ties. Must have been the Lookout! Records influence. Haha.

          BTW, I love The Mountain Goats. I’ve recently been trying to figure out why their vocalist is so damn familiar to me and I think he’s a weird mix of three different singers from my past. Compare these three songs to “Vampires” ( http://bit.ly/1jxkMiH ) and tell me what you think. Sorry in advance that the Ten Foot Pole song is so terrible, but you should try and stick it out for the sake of the example. Osker ( http://bit.ly/1GzOW1H ), The Weakerthans ( http://bit.ly/1148o6J ) and Ten Foot Pole ( http://bit.ly/1pz1OjJ ).

          • I’m not so sure about “Osker” (though I really like that song) and “Ten Foot Pole” but I definitely see the resemblance to “The Weakerthans” who also sound great. This is the first time hearing any of these bands for me though so I might not have quite the same relationship with the nuances of the singers styles as you. And yeah “The Mountain Goats” are up there as one of my favourites. John Darnielle’s a really cool guy too, he’s the sort of chap you can have a cool conversation with about anything from Slasher movies to William Faulkner and their bassist is probably one of the nicest musicians that I’ve ever met in my life.

            It’s amazingly cool that you got to open for “The Blood Brothers” Josh. It’s one of my big regrets that I never managed to see those guys live. What band were you in and what did you play? You podcast hosts are always full of surprises! I’d also have loved to see “Bright Eyes” live around the Fevers and Mirrors period. That’s the first album I heard by Conor Oberst and is probably the one I hold dearest. I did get to see “Bright Eyes” live but not until about 3 or 4 years ago though the setlist fortunately went back as far as stuff from Collection of Songs.

            And yeah I’ve never been sure when it comes to the whole definition of emo/post-hardcore/screamo. In the early 2000’s when I was getting into bands like “Thursday”, “The Blood Brothers”, “At The Drive-In” etc they all seemed like part of the same scene to me and it was before “emo” was a dirty word or even part of the musical vernacular over here so I just kind of lumped all those bands together under that moniker but since then my view has become a little more retrospective and I guess I’d class stuff like “Indian Summer”, “Sunny Day Real Estate”, “Mineral” etc as actual “emo” and maybe even quieter stuff like “Pedro the Lion”. But I don’t know, I just know that when I think of “emo” I think of regular guys unconcerned about their fashion sense singing imperfect but sincere songs. I don’t think of jerks with feathered hair singing auto-tuned songs to appeal to 13 yearold girls.

            It’s just gotten so hard to try to quickly define ones taste using music genres because they all seem to have been co-opted and laden with negative connotations. I’d say I like “Indie Rock” but even that conjures images of manufactured crap designed by a committee to look great on the cover of NME. most of these supposed Indie bands out of the UK in the last decade are actually students of “The Brit Academy” which is like a horrible elite school specifically intended to churn out future nominees of the “Brit Awards”. It makes me kind of queasy. Anyway I’m getting tangential on what’s already a tangent.

            I have to admit that I feel like I’ve gotten out-of-the-loop with the more punk rock/post hardcore sort of scene in the last few years. I’ve been listening to a lot more older music and some more baroque stuff like “Owen Pallet” and “Sufjan Stevens” but I’ve been trying to go back to my roots lately and it seems like there’s a bit of a resurgence of that more old-school heart-on-the-sleeve stuff. I’m pretty impressed with what I’ve heard from a band called “The Hoteliers”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyj06wPIHYQ and Joyce Manor are a fun bunch of kids too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCuhb-RlbGk

            Oh and I don’t want to give too negative a representation of my local scene. Considering I inhabit the small cultural void that is the husk of a decaying Victorian seaside resort I’ve actually had the fortune to know an amazing amount of incredibly lovely and talented folks. But there’s just always a few who are in it for the wrong reasons and ruin it for everyone else. I just view punk gigs as a kind of safe haven from the majority of myopic bigots who live here so when that sort of attitude intrudes it really bugs me.

          • Again, I identify with everything you are saying musically. All of those bands are what I used to refer to as emo. Sunny Day is one of my favorite bands from that era. Have you heard The Fire Theft or Jeremy Enigk’s solo album? That solo album Return of the Frog Queen is one of my favorite records of all time. It was the soundtrack to the eighteen overcast rainy months I spent in Holland and I’d love to use it as a movie soundtrack someday to something like The Killing.

            I had the same transition is to some of the same musicians. Sufjan was big for me a few years ago. Right now, because I’m pretty lazy with music, I feel like I’m in that pretty generic indie rock phase … everyone new I’m listening to sounds like a cross between Arcade Fire and Polyphonic Spree.

            Coral Bones is huge for me right now ( http://bit.ly/1spbYOn ). Of Monsters and Men is huge ( http://bit.ly/XZDStd ). But, my jam right now is Grouplove ( http://bit.ly/1tE9Isi ). That whole album is great. Although, again, solid-but-somewhat-generic indie rock stuff.

            I’m also liking new(-ish) bands that are doing the dirty southern blues rock right now like Black Lips and Alabama Shakes. If you like that stuff and Connor Oberst’s Desparecidos, I’d recommend checking out the oddly named “Apache, The” which has a bit of all that.

            And I’m a huge fan of this American roots, folk, alt-country (almost bluegrass) throw-back music mixed with anthemic indie rock like Mumford & Sons, but especially these DIY punk-influenced bands that have kind of a swing, old-timey busker feel like Devil’s Brigade ( http://bit.ly/10Jr4HW ) and Larry and His Flask ( http://bit.ly/1xq7I7F )

            When it comes to stuff on that punk/post-punk spectrum, Against Me and Hot Water Music are the two I’m spending a lot of time with right now. I’ll have to add The Hoteliers to that list. Love the tone of that song. Along those lines, the Osker album Idle Will Kill is a bit generic at first listen, but the raw emotion in the lyrics and vocals will REALLY win you over. Highly recommended. One of my favorite albums from that sub-genre.

            The last thing I want to recommend is that you check out more of The Weakerthans. The vocalist, John K. Sampson, is the former bassist/back-up vocalist from Canadian anarchist melodic punk/hardcore band Propagandhi. The Weakerthans were doing a kind of alt-country / indie rock a decade before anyone else and have at least three albums that are must owns: Reconstruction Site, Left and Leaving, and Fallow (in roughly that order). I have to think they were an influence on The Mountain Goats and they were even surprisingly an influence on guys like Connor Oberst and Chris Carrabba. Check ’em out!

          • Hey Josh sorry for the late reply. There are some awesome recommendations here! I’ve never checked out any of Jeremy Enigk’s stuff aside from Sunny Day so I’ll definitely look into that.

            I’m normally not into blues rock sort of stuff (though I love original blues stuff like Skip James and Robert Johnson) but I think that’s because when I’ve seen blues bands here they’re always extremely generic and artificial sounding. What little of The Black Lips I’ve heard I have enjoyed though and I’ll definitely check out “Apache” because I love Desaparecidos.

            As for the rootsy, folky stuff. That’s something I’m not too familiar with but I love “The Felice Brothers” if they fit that definition and some of my friends have a pretty good cross-Atlantic band in that vein called “The Buffalo Skinners”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLh4MrObcq8

            I’m not sure if The Weakerthans were an influence on The Mountain Goats or if it was the other way around because I think The Goats have been about since around 1990 (which isn’t to suggest that an established artist is immune to slightly more contemporary influences, I just don’t know that I could say either way)

            And I’ve just recently purchased the album “Home, Like NoPlace is There” by The Hotelier (I was mistaken when I called them The Hoteliers in my previous post) and it’s really good. Another contemporary band who I’m enjoying at the moment and who are a kind of mix between art rock and emo are Foxing. They’ve got a really interesting sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-O6x2nF768

            And again; thanks for these great recommendations Josh. I actually find it harder now to discover decent new music to listen to than I did ten years ago (Maybe because there’s juts so much out there?) so these are really appreciated!

          • Yes, BUT, The Weakerthans had albums out for public consumption several years before The Mountain Goats. You never know. They are both great, regardless. I just thought you’d appreciate those albums if you like the GOATS.

            For me, it’s a combo of there being so much music and me having so much less time to follow it. Also, really respectable curators are harder for me to find.

            Buffalo Skinners are interesting, I’m going to give them a proper listen. It only took me one listen with Foxy. I just bought a couple of songs. Thanks! And I bought a The Hotelier song as well.

          • Ha, you’re always two steps ahead Josh! But who influenced who aside I’ve just ordered a copy of Reconstruction Site and I’ve got that excited feeling of finding a new band to whom I can lend my ears!

            And I definitely agree with your point about respectable curators being hard to find. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit it but years ago I used to read NME and Pitchfork fairly regularly though they were never my main source of new music. But it quickly became very apparent that NME was basically just offering page space to the highest bidder and for a while Pitchfork seemed to have jumped on this contrarian hipster bandwagon of putting more worth in vapid, overproduced, misogynistic chart music than promoting passionate independent bands. But maybe I just got old and cynical. My favourite way of finding new music is to look at the “thank you’s” in the liner notes of an album by a band I already love and see if any other bands are mentioned.

            Anyway I’m glad you enjoyed my recommendations Josh and as I said before I very much appreciate yours!

    • You know, as I was watching the 20/20 clip about this case, the director kept saying “that’s not my job” and although that comes off as dismissive and arrogant, he’s probably right. I feel okay about him being the public figurehead of the film and taking some heat for that tragedy, but if we are talking legal consequences, there was probably another person, maybe a team of people, whose job it was to secure that location, get the permits, decide that we are going to go through with this. Why aren’t the Safety Chiefs and Producers and Location Managers and Unit Production Managers, etc in trouble? That’s really not the Director’s job. Having said that, I don’t know the specifics of this case and maybe this guy made the call or had the authority to make that call, but that’s not always the case on a production this size.

      • Josh, you’re probably right. I think my initial comment was rather hot-headed to say the least, though as I mentioned I was only going off the information mentioned in this podcast (which did suggest that the Director has a history of irresponsible filming incidents).

        In truth I don’t believe in demonising anyone and I can’t stand that sort of 24 hour-news mob mentality nonsense. I don’t know anything about the systems of responsibility inherent in filmmaking though I can say that in general industry I’ve found that those supposed to be in charge of health and Safety are often over-powered and threatened by their superiors to the point that their input is rendered totally extraneous. Either way I don’t know nearly enough about this case to comment objectively on it so my previous spurts of anger should be ignored.

        • Oh, I wasn’t saying you were being hot-headed. I think you are pretty much right. I’m just not positive the director is the guy to get the blame. It’s a terrible travesty that deserves this intense an investigation.

  5. Oh and another thing; You guys often bring up “The Office” and I never know if you’re talking about the US remake or the original. I adore the Ricky Gervais version but I’m afraid I’ve never given the American one a shot. Do you guys think it would be worth me checking it out? Am I right in thinking it’s more of a generic sitcom type show (I have nothing against that if it’s done well) I’m not big on comedy movies at all but I do find that certain comedy TV shows are much more to my taste.

    For reference here are some of my favourite comedy shows:
    The Office (UK)
    Arrested Development
    I’m Alan Partridge
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Black Books
    The Young Ones
    Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
    The Simpsons (for the first ten years at least)
    Extras

    • David,
      Great question. And I know I have an even bigger challenge ahead of me since you’re from the UK. Yes, we’re almost always referring to the American version of “The Office,” with Steve Carell. I have watched this series more than anything — including “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The American Office is a masterpiece series to me, and a must-see.

      Admittedly, the British version is also exceptional. And you should know up front that much of Season 1 of the American version is almost an exact copy of the British Season 1. So, you have a big hill to get over in that regard, because that will probably annoy you, and it’s difficult to associate different actors in these same character roles…

      But I promise it’s worth it! I envy you so much. And if I were you, I would take the next 187 days, and watch at least one episode a day, every day. You will, in time, be blown away by Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and Andy Buckley, who plays Corporate’s David Wallace, an incredibly authentic character who is overlooked and underrated. And because of “The Office,” I love Steve Carell like an uncle. 10 out of 10. Buy all 9 seasons.
      Jason

      P.S. I don’t remember what the Netflix situation is in the UK, but surely, you have different streaming choices. But in the states, all 9 seasons of the American Office are currently streaming.

      • I know it sounds kind of prejudiced and I don’t mean to offend anybody but when I first heard that you guys were remaking “The Office” I kind of assumed it would be that awful, broad, watered-down “Two Half Men” sort of humour but Jay I think I’m pretty much on the same page as you when it comes to comedy movies atleast; It’s incredibly rare that I find one I enjoy, so if you’re recommending “The Office” US so highly I think it’s probably worth me checking it out.

        • *”Two and a half Men”

          Though I’m sure “Two Half Men” would be far more hilarious: Zany antics ensue when a circus freak and the victim of a combine harvester accident move into a single bedroom apartment together`to cut the rent in half. Half the limbs but twice the comedy!

        • It’s not just you, David. All of us who were fans of the original U.K. version of The Office were worried by the U.S. remake. How can you replace David Brent? You can’t. Ricky Gervais and the show he created with Stephen Merchant are nothing short of genius, in my opinion.

          And when the U.S. version of The Office premiered, it was terrible. Just a limp, lame copy of a great show. The first season is NOT worth watching. They don’t have the characters figured out. And it’s not funny. It’s annoying.

          But then, the unthinkable happened. Season 2 of the American Office was good–really good. And Season 3 was better. And Season 4 just as good as that. Rainn Wilson was a major stand-out. He took the basis of the Garreth character, but took him to a whole new level with Dwight. Steve Carrell, who had never seen David Brent, completely abandoned his Season 1 performance and re-invented Michael Scott in Season 2 to great effect, really making his own character and one of the greatest American comedic characters of the last decade. Sure, it was weird that Tim became Jim and the actor’s look so similar. Kevin was never as good as Keith. Those things will bug you for awhile. But eventually, that just washes away and you can enjoy the show for what it is. And it is brilliant. So freaking hilarious! Highly recommended.

          It will take a little time to appreciate it. And, like a really good sequel to a classic film, you can never quite say that it is better than the original. But, the truth is, you can derive just as much pleasure from it, maybe more.

          Skip Season 1, but I guarantee you will love Seasons 2, 3, and 4 once you get over the initial annoyances.

          • Thanks for your input too Josh! You guys have got me thoroughly convinced. It’s next on my list once I finish “The KIlling” (and I’ve not forgotten about “30 Days of Night” I’m just waiting until I’m in the right mood).

            Also, I loved Rainn Wilson in “Super” so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing his performance here.

          • FALSE! Do not skip season 1, David. It’s true that Season 2 is when “The Office” really took off, but it being lame, unfunny, and annoying couldn’t be further from the truth. I think that my love for the american remake is on the same level as Josh’s, but having not seen the original, I can’t relate to some of this comments. Rainn Wilson is a definite stand out for sure, but he is not the only stand out performance. EVERYONE in that show brings something to the table, EVERYONE. Wilson’s and Carrell’s performances just happen to be more in your face whereas the rest of the cast is more low-key and nuanced. I particularly like Creed. I can’t remember a single scene that he was on that didn’t make me laugh out loud. “The Office” is a masterpiece of american comedy and one of my personal favorite TV comedies of all time. Anyway, having never seen the original show, my comment might be out of place. I guess once you’ve seen it, you’ll be the judge of it.

          • Juan, you’re out of your element, bro. Having not seen the original, your reacting as a fan of the American show. David is a fan of the original and is worried about the downsides of an American version.My comments are in reference to that. Yes, the entire cast is great, but that takes awhile to develop. Also, imagine The Office without Michael Scott. Even the most diehard fans were worried about what the show would be once Carell left. Well, the same is true for UK fans. The thought of The Office without David Brent is almost unimaginable. The first season is a mess–especially compared to the first UK season–and if you’re someone who really appreciates the UK version, it’s even more annoying because they’re just doing a “lame, limp copy of the original.” Or at least it feels that way when you’ve seen the original. In Season 2, they make it their own. Im not saying this to dis the American version, Im saying this to best prepare David to enjoy the Anerican version.

          • Well I do appreciate having the scope offered by a guy who hasn’t seen the original UK series. It’s interesting to read an opinion informed only by the US version. I do tend to think that Josh is probably right in that I might not appreciate an Americanised retread of the first series though. That said I may give it a whirl to provide context for the following seasons and if I do and I don’t like it I promise to not let it put me off further exploration.

          • Hahaha I really appreciate the reference to The Big Lebowski. Huge fan. I always wanted to be told that I was out of my element. But yeah, I know I was speaking out of place, which is why I said “having never seen the original show, my comment might be out of place”. I just wanted to be part of the broversation.

    • My favorite TV comedies over the last 20 years are: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office (both versions), Parks and Recreation, Party Down, Arrested Development, Dr. Katz, and Veep.

      Extras is great, but it’s not on the same level as The Office. Also a big fan of An Idiot Abroad and Life’s Too Short. I also like shows like Spaced, 30 Rock, Community, and Eastbound & Down, but they’re not on the same level either. I’m also a sucker for anything the CKY guys do from Jackass to Viva La Bam, although I admit how terribly juvenile it is. I can’t help it. I like the vicarious mischief-making. Reminds me of me and my friends in high school. The Young Ones is a classic. I won’t go into all of my favorites from that era.

      I’ve never heard of Black Books or Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. Recommendations?

      • “Seinfeld” is one that I’ve (quite embarrassingly) only recently gotten into but I’ve loved everything I’ve seen so far. “Parks and Recreation”, “Community” and “30 Rock” are all shows that I’ve had friends strongly recommend me but I’ve just not got around to checking out. I really enjoyed “Life’s too Short” and I’m a big fan of anything involving Karl Pilkington though I can’t for the life of me figure out if he’s a genius comedic homunculus or the genuine article. As for “Extras” it’s definitely not as ground breaking or funny as “The Office” and I admit I was kind of disappointed when I first started watching it but it’s grown on me a lot. I actually think one of Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant’s strongest skills is inserting a lot of really genuine, effective emotion into their characters. That level of pathos and drama often comes across as extremely ham-fisted and contrived in comedy shows but they seem to always pull it off extremely well. “The Office” Christmas specials are a great example and the final episode of “Extras” literally had me in tears. “Derek” is even more in that vein I think and it’s another show that’s taken a while to grow on me but has been hugely worth it in the end.

        I’m afraid to say that I’m actually one of the few people in the world who isn’t a fan of “Jackass”. CKY are actually one of those bands from my teenage skater years that I can still listen to and really enjoy but I never watched “Jackass” or saw any of the CKY DVD’s until I was older and I think it’s one of those things that if it doesn’t hit you at exactly the right time then it just doesn’t work. They all just seem like a bunch of jerks to me.

        As for “Black Books” and “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” being recommendations: Absolutely yes!

        “Black Books” stars Dylan Moran as Bernard Black, an extremely misanthropic Irish drunkard who runs a ramshackle book shop in London with the help of his “friend” Manny (played by comedian Bill Bailey). It’s got that classic British sitcom vibe but with a dose of surrealism throughout, and season 3 features an awesome cameo from Simon Pegg!

        “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” is a bit more of a love-it-or-hate-it affair. It’s a very short (only 6 episodes) send-up of all things 80’s, low-budget, made-for-TV, horror and Sci-Fi. The basic premise is that the titular pompous pulp horror writer wrote, produced and starred in a short lived British Sci-Fi series in the 1980’s which was shelved and has now been released complete with retrospective interviews from the creator and the cast. It’s absolutely ridiculous and purposefully terrible but it’s definitely made by people who know the genre’s that they’re spoofing very well. Here’s a clip of a music video that’s randomly injected into an episode; it should give you an idea of the overall tone of the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO-ZGP68-3w

        I can’t say I’ve heard of “Veep”, “Party Down” or “Dr. Katz”. You think I’d enjoy them based on my comedy tastes?

        • Wow our taste in comedy is quite different! I do love that you brought up Party Down. It’s a criminally underrated show. I fell in love with Lizzy Caplan the first time I saw her in her uniform. Anywho, here is my list in no particular order:

          The Office
          Flight of the Concords
          Futurama
          The Simpsons (first 10 seasons or so)
          Metalocalypse
          East bound and Down
          It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
          Malcom in the Middle
          The Chapelle Show
          Freaks and Geeks
          Archer

          And Josh, Eastbound and Down is not on the same level as what? That show is so next level on pretty much every level. This time it’s you who is out of his element bro.

          • I actually haven’t seen most of those shows, Juan. This is going to sound condescending–and I don’t mean it that way–but I just don’t really ever watch cartoons. I do appreciate The Simpsons, but I don’t watch it anymore. I liked it when I was in junior high and high school (like when Conan was writing). Sorry, I know that sounds like a total a-hole comment. Similarly, I think South Park can be really funny, but I don’t ever watch it. I’ve never seen Futurama. Never seen Archer. Never seen Malcolm in the Middle (isn’t that blatantly a kid’s show?). Never seen It’s Always Sunny, though that one is actually on my list. Never even heard of Metalocalypse. I like Flight of the Concords–you’ve got to see their vampire movie, What We Do In the Shadows, it’s hilarious! I’d say The Chapelle Show is good but not my thing and Freaks and Geeks is good but overrated.

            Now, to Eastbound & Down. I could literally do an hour podcast on each episode of Eastbound & Down. And I’ve been with Danny McBride and Jody Hill since the beginning. I spotted Danny McBride way back when in 2003 in the tiny little supporting role of “Bustass” in David Gordon Green’s All the Real Girls. I said to myself, “Self, that guy is hilarious. Keep an eye out for him.” My friend and I would watch his deleted improv scene over and over again, laughing our butts off. A few years later I saw The Foot Fist Way at Sundance and was a big supporter of that film as well. It didn’t even come out for two years after I saw it. So, I’m an early adopter on Eastbound & Down and well within my element, homie. But, as much as I love those guys, I just don’t think the sophistication of comedic writing is comparable with guys like Larry David and Ricky Gervais. It is probably as good as any of the other shows I mentioned, though. You’re right.

            Also, I too have a major Lizzy Caplan crush that started on Party Down and continues to this day. I would love to work with her some day. That’s on the bucket list.

          • Haha, whenever you talk about animation/cartoons you remind me of my Dad, Josh.

            As I said before I enjoy “The Simpsons” a lot and I also love “Futurama” as well as “The Critic” (which is an incredibly underrated comedy cartoon in my opinion) and “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”.

            Also “Malcolm in the Middle” isn’t strictly a kids show, it’s more on the level of a live action Simpsons in tone and content. I’m not a massive fan but Brian Cranston is fantastic in it.

            “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is another one that a lot of friends are big fans of but I haven’t gotten around to watching.

            Finally I somehow overlooked mentioning “Peepshow” in my previous comments. That’s definitely one of my favourite comedy series of all time. Not sure if it’s particularly well known over in the states but it’s definitely up there with the calibre of shows were talking about here.

          • Yes, The Critic is great. A favorite from high school. I also liked The Tick. The only of these I’ve bought from that era of animation is Dr. Katz. It’s an acquired taste, but I love it. Mostly because I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy and half of the show is just major comedians doing their acts. The conceit is that they are patients of this therapist, Dr. Katz, and we see their therapy sessions, which is really just them doing their stand-up material. But it’s really funny. The show is animated in that squiggle-vision style of animation.

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