Sunday, June 17, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: Superman III Turns 35!

Today marks 35 years since one of the most baffling entries in Superman’s cinematic canon. Yes, Superman III -- teaming up Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel with comedian Richard Pryor -- first hit screens on this day in 1983, and while it hasn’t aged particularly well, we thought it would be fun to take a look back in befuddlement at this bodyblow to the Reeve Superman series (which would be finished off for good four years later) and ask what the heck they were thinking. As it happens, this was Zaki’s very first moviegoing experience, and Brian watched it for the very first time in preparation for this track, making for what we hope will be a fascinating discussion of this fascinating trainwreck. You can hear it through the link below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: Jurassic Park's 25 Anniversary!


With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in theaters soon, the movie film boys pause and take a look back at the origins of the Jurassic franchises with a special commentary track celebrating Steven Spielberg’s original classic, 1993’s Jurassic Park, first released 25 years ago last week. Settle in and listen as Brian and Zaki marvel once again at the transcendent special effects, point out interesting behind the scenes factoids and story development, and just generally have a grand old time re-visiting one of their favorite adventure movies of all time. Listen to it at the link below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: The Incredible Hulk 10th Anniversary Commentary Track

Today marks ten years since the release of Marvel Studios' The Incredible Hulk! The Edward Norton starrer directed by Louis Leterrier sometimes feels like an unloved afterthought in the otherwise hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, but as a huge Hulk fan for most of my life I've always felt that was a bit unfair. Luckily, I'm not alone in that assessment, and here to help mark this movie's decade anniversary is my friend, frequent co-host, and Hulk comic book writer Glenn Greenberg for another Nostalgia Theater Commentary Track! Listen in for behind-the-scenes stories, trivia, and our personal takes on why it's been such a rough go for Big Green on the big screen! Click below to listen, or subscribe at iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). As always, send all questions or comments our way via MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Solo: A Star Wars Story Fallout

The sad story of the most financially unsuccessful Star Wars of all time continues in this week’s MovieFilm Podcast, as Brian and Zaki attempt to unpack why the franchise’s tenth entry flew So Lo. In addition to tracking the depressing downward trajectory of Solo: A Star Wars Story, hear Zaki’s thoughts on belated sequels Ocean’s 8 and The Incredibles 2, and a look at the trailers for the Transformers prequel/spin-off Bumblebee and Ryan Gosling’s Neil Armstong bio First Man. Plus: Remembering Anthony Bourdain! Behind-the-scenes drama on TV’s Lethal Weapon! Word of a Joker solo pic starring Jared Leto! All that, and much more! Hear it through the link below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Ahmad Nassar

We have a very timely discussion this episode, as we're joined by Ahmad Nassar, President of NFL Players Incorporated, the National Football League Players Association’s licensing and marketing business, for a conversation about his journey to this role, as well as his thoughts on recent actions taken by the NFL with regards to players' protests on the field. It's another fun and engaging discussion in the Diffused Congruence style, and we're sure you'll enjoy hearing it as much as we enjoyed being a part of it. Listen via the embed below, or via iTunes or Stitcher. As always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

As has become established MovieFilm tradition, a new Star Wars movie in theaters means a new Star Wars commentary track from us! For this go-round we continue our journey through the polarizing prequel trilogy of films and talk through 2002's Episode II - Attack of the Clones. This is generally considered one of the weaker entries in George Lucas' legendary saga, but we make a good faith effort to point out what works and ways in which we might have improved what didn't. So whether you watch along with us or just listen while you go about your day, hopefully you'll find enough of interest here to clone (ahem) the excitement you felt before actually watching the movie. Hear it all via the embed below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. If you haven’t already, make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story

It's two for the price of one here at MovieFilm as we eschew all regular segments, and dive directly into their takes on two of the biggest films of the summer: Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story. In addition to their thoughts on both films, the fact that both underperformed at the box office leads to a discussion about franchise expectations, and the complicated, and occasionally scrutinized directions of recent -- as well as upcoming -- Star Wars films. As always, you can stream the episode below, or listen via iTunes or Stitcher. And please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page and let us know how we’re doing by writing a review!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Zaki's Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

"This movie doesn't need to exist."

That's the critique (or some variant thereof) deployed most regularly since Solo: A Star Wars Story -- a prequel detailing the early days of Han Solo, the legendary scoundrel embodied by Harrison Ford since his introduction in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope -- was first announced. The implication being that because a story has been untold for decades, it must, of necessity, remain untold forever and always. But in another sense, it's easy to see why the existence of this "anthology" entry would cause such a disturbance in the Force -- even if the franchise wasn't already smarting from the polarizing Internet response to last year's (exemplary, by the way) The Last Jedi. After all, how could anyone even dare, much less hope, to replicate the style and swagger that Ford made so iconic and so intrinsic to our collective culture that the phrase "A Han Solo type" became the universally accepted shorthand to describe what used to be called "A Rhett Butler type."

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Bushra Burney

Our guest this episode is playwright Bushra Burney, whose new play Designated Muslim had its first staged reading earlier this month. Bushra shares the origins of this play, why she was moved to write it, and the process of bringing it to the page and beyond. It's a fascinating window into how American Muslims are striving to make a place in pop culture for their culture. Listen to the embed below (or via iTunes or Stitcher), and as always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nostalgia Theater: Producer Phoef Sutton Talks Cheers!

For this month's Nostalgia Theater I mark twenty-five years since Cheers -- one of the greatest TV show of all time -- left the airwaves. I was in junior high at the time, but I remember well how anticipated it was. A legitimate cultural event that prompted joy and sadness in equal measure. And in the intervening quarter-century the show has remained as beloved as it was during its initial run. My guest for this episode is legendary writer/producer Phoef Sutton, who was with the show for most of its legendary eleven-season run, starting as a staff writer and working his way up to showrunner. Phoef has plenty of stories to share from his time tending bar at the place Where Everybody Knows Your Name, reflecting how the show stayed vibrant through many different cast and crew changes, what it was like to say goodbye, and just what it was that made Cheers such a special experience for the people who made it and the people who watched. As always, you can listen to the show via the embed below, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or TuneIn Radio. As always, send all questions or comments our way via MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Zaki's Review: Deadpool 2

When the first Deadpool was released two years ago last Valentine's Day weekend, its stratospheric success caught most prognosticators entirely by surprise (including, I suspect, the studio that released it). The gloriously R-rated, unapologetically sex-and-violence soaked Ryan Reynolds star vehicle cost Fox a relatively piddly $60 million to produce, and managed to accumulate an awe-inspiring $780+ mil when all was said and done. That kind of haul instantly put this low-key X-Men spin-off in the winningest of win columns, placing Marvel's "Merc with the Mouth" alongside the Batmans and Iron Mans of the world when it comes to superhero heavy hitters.

Of course, in the high stakes world of franchise filmmaking (and the X-Men films have been a Fox touchstone for nearly two decades), the ultimate measure of success can only truly be found in how soon and and how often the purse string people reassemble the various ingredients to dutifully dish out more of the same. Thus, here we are two years later with Deadpool 2, which is indeed more of the same. This is one of the clearest examples of "Give the audience what they want" sequels I can think of. It has just as much violence, just as much profanity, and just as many whiplash-inducing one-liners. And while I liked the first Deadpool fine, I'm as shocked as anyone that I liked Deadpool 2 slightly more.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Jihad Turk

For this episode we're glad to be joined by Jihad Turk, founder and president of Bayan Claremont -- the country's first graduate school to offer accredited Master’s degrees in the fields of Islamic Studies, Education, Chaplaincy and Leadership -- for a lengthy and enriching conversation that spans his own personal narrative and encompasses the role of Muslims in modern American life and what they can offer the broader community. Check out our chat below (or via iTunes or Stitcher), and as always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Cobra Kai + Avengers Fallout

Avengers: Infinity War is vacuuming up money by the bagful, and the MovieFilm boys reconvened to take stock of the records that have been laid waste in the wake of the Marvel Studios superhero extravaganza. But that’s not all! We also have our enthusiastic initial reactions to YouTube Red’s Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai. Plus: Superman Henry Cavill turns 35, and we have news of a new director interested in helming a Man of Steel sequel, the controversy over The Simpsons’ Apu, and the mystery of what happened to Nicolas Cage’s National Treasure franchise, and much more! As always, you can stream the episode below, or listen via iTunes or Stitcher. And please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page and let us know how we’re doing by writing a review!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: The Avengers: Infinity War Episode!

Thanos has arrived! The MovieFilm boys get Infinity Stoned with special guest Glenn Greenberg, former editor at Marvel Comics, for a fun, in-depth, and spoiler-filled discussion for the entire episode focusing on Avengers: Infinity War, the latest blockbuster from Marvel Studios! We discuss the plot, what we loved, what confused us, and much more! We had an absolutely blast recording this one, and we know you'll enjoy hearing it through the link below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Zaki's Review: Avengers: Infinity War

It was just under ten years ago -- an eternity! -- that the Marvel Cinematic Universe sprang into being with the first Iron Man film and The Incredible Hulk. Back then it was considered an audacious and risky move for the comic book company -- still smarting after a recent bout of Chapter 11 -- to pursue dreams of Hollywood glory by self-funding movies and putting its own characters up as collateral. Well, that was eighteen films, one corporate buyout, and several billion dollars ago. Nowadays, "risky" is just about the last thing that springs to mind when one sees the "Marvel Studios" logo in front of a movie.

From Iron Man and Captain America to Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy. From Ant-Man and Doctor Strange to Spider-Man and Black Panther. It's been an astonishing run of extraordinary success for the Disney-owned superhero factory -- one that other studios have desperately struggled to match -- and it's given them an unprecedented level of audience buy-in for the characters, the actors, and the world. This leaves us perfectly positioned for the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which not only marks the studio's tenth anniversary standing astride the cinematic landscape, but also begins to tie together many of the threads woven over that time.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Shane Atkinson

Our guest for this episode is Imam Shane Atkinson, Muslim life coordinator at Elon University, who joins us to share the story of his own to journey to Islam from his beginnings as a Southern Baptist in the Deep South. It's a fun and engaging discussion we're sure you'll enjoy, and you can hear it via the embed below, or via iTunes or Stitcher. As always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Discovery Debrief: Episode 19 - Debriefing Season One, Part 2/2

In part two of our full season recap, we turn our focus to chapter two, as well as the larger implications that Star Trek: Discovery has for its full franchise. Listen as our panel — Chris Clow (Movies.com, Comics on Consoles), Rachael Clow (Biology PhD candidate), Cicero Holmes (Spawn On Me Cast), and me! — along with special guest Shareef Jackson (Spawn On Me, ShareefJackson.com) to do what we can to place Discovery in the legacy of Star Trek as we await season two!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Superman's 80th!

On the latest Nostalgia Theater show I was fortunate to be joined by Mark Hughes, film critic, Forbes contributor, and Superman super-fan, for a celebration of the Man of Steel's big 80th anniversary just in time for the momentous 1000th issue of Action Comics to hit store shelves! Mark and I reminisce about our shared affinity for this most iconic of superheroes, offer our opinions on the different depictions of Superman onscreen, and give our thoughts on his various comic book iterations. It's a celebration of steel! And you can hear it all via the embed below, or by subscribing iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or TuneIn Radio. As always, send all questions or comments our way via MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: Iron Man

It's been awhile, but the MovieFilm boys are back with a brand new commentary track! For this installment, we celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- and also get teed up for next week's Avengers: Infinity War -- by watching and talking through the movie that got the whole multibillion dollar mega-franchise started: 2008's Iron Man! Hear lifelong Iron-fan Zaki and relative newbie Brian drop their reactions to this most seminal of superhero flicks directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr., including some of the development history, casting choices, creative decisions, and much more! Listen below or via iTunes or Stitcher or TuneIn Radio (and make sure to write us a review!). Drop us a line at MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, or at our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: The Rock on the Rampage!

Dwayne Johnson is back with the new action opus Rampage, and the MovieFilm boys are here with their spoilery takes on the Rock’s latest! Listen in to hear if this is the best video game adaptation ever made, or if that statement is a contradiction in terms. Plus: The Rock’s Furious feud with Vin Diesel! The Terminator gets rebooted again! And remembering legendary the late director Milos Forman. Also: Star Wars news, Listener Letters, and more! Hear it at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Discovery Debrief: Episode 18 - Debriefing Season One, Part 1/2

Welcome back to your Discovery Debrief! In part one of our two-part final discussion pertaining to the specifics of season one, our panel of bold Star Trek franchise explorers — Chris Clow (Movies.com, Comics on Consoles), Rachael Clow (Biology PhD candidate), Cicero Holmes (Spawn On Me Cast), and me! — are joined by special guest Shareef Jackson (Spawn On Me, ShareefJackson.com) to unpack things further!

In this half, we settle back into the groove of talking Trek with each other and with you, letting you know how we've been engaging with the franchise and what the latest news is surrounding the soon-to-shoot second season. Then, we go a bit more in-depth on episodes 1-9 of Star Trek: Discovery season one for your listening pleasure!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Ready Player One

This week the MovieFilm boys tackle the latest special effects opus from Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One! Listen in for a spoiler-filled discussion of the much-anticipated adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel as we ponder what worked for us, what didn’t, and whether we’d revisit the OASIS. But that’s not all! We also mourn the passing of TV legend Steven Bochco, make some predictions about who won’t make it out of Avengers: Infinity War, and discuss the future of the Jurassic Park franchise. Plus: Star Wars news, Listener Letters, and more! You can hear it through the link below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Diffused Congruence Podcast: Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

This episode we're joined by Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, founder of Lamppost Productions and the Lamppost Education Initiative, and head of Zaytuna College’s Islamic law program. Listen in to hear the story of his journey to Islam, as well as his reflections on racial and religious intersectionality as it pertains to the role of Black Americans in modern discourse, plus much more. We had a great time chatting with Dr. Ali, and we're confident you'll enjoy listening as well. Listen below, or via iTunes or Stitcher. As always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Commentary Track

And we're back with the latest Nostalgia Theater Commentary Trek! My friend Glenn Greenberg, writer of many Star Trek books and comics, is my co-pilot once again as we talk through one of hte most divisive Star Trek adventures ever put onscreen, 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. As always, you'll hear personal histories with this sequel, with plenty of trivia and behind-the-scenes anecdotes sprinkled in as we watch William Shatner's sole directing effort in the Star Trek movie catalogue. We're almost done with the classic Trek movies, but that doesn't mean we're running out of things to say! Click below to listen, or subscribe at iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). As always, send all questions or comments our way via MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: He-Man Memories!

For this episode of the show, I'm joined by Brian C. Baer, author of the new book How He-Man Mastered the Universe: Toy to Television to the Big Screen for a fun and engaging conversation about the 1980s action figure phenomenon from Mattel that was so integral to so many childhoods. Brian shares the origins of his own He-Man fandom, and then delves into the origins of the toyline, the iconic animated series, and even the ill-fated 1987 motion picture, as well as making some predictions about what lies ahead for the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. You can listen to the show via the embed below, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or TuneIn Radio. As always, send all questions or comments our way via MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: A Wrinkle in Time and More!

It's been a longer gap between episodes than usual, and as a result, the MovieFilm boys have plenty to catch up on. From our thoughts on A Wrinkle In Time and Annihilation, to our delighted surprise at the positive first reactions for Ready Player One out of SXSW. They've also seen the recently released Star Wars: The Last Jedi "making of" documentary, "The Director and the Jedi," and let's not forget there's a brand new Avengers: Infinity War trailer to discuss. Listen via the embed below, or subscribe at iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). Like always, send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Ubaydullah Evans & Micah Anderson Roundtable

We were lucky enough to get a few moments with visiting scholar Ubaydullah Evans and returning guest Micah Anderson a few weeks ago, and got both of them to sit down for a brief, freewheeling conversation about a whole host of topics we think you'll be very enthused to share in. Check out our chat below (or via iTunes or Stitcher), and know that we have every intention of having both of them back soon for something more in-depth. Think of this as a teaser of things to come! As always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Mike Farrell's M*A*S*H Memories

Attention all personnel! Today marks exactly 35 years to the day that the classic TV series M*A*S*H aired its final episode on CBS. The two-hour event remains the highest rated TV episode of all time, and to celebrate the occasion I'm honored to be joined by none other than Captain BJ Hunnicutt himse, Mike Farrell, for a fun hour of reminiscing about his most iconic role, the impact of the show this many decades later, as well as his past and present political activism! This one was an absolute blast to record, and I'm confident it'll be just as much of a blast for you to hear! Listen via the embed below, or subscribe at iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). Like always, send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Zaki's Review: Black Panther

 Black Panther is a movie that, of necessity, means different things to different audiences. As the latest entry in Disney’s expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, it holds a specific appeal to longtime comic fans and those who’ve been indoctrinated by the films’ famous interwoven continuity across multiple superhero series. In addition, as the first mega-budget superhero picture centered on a black protagonist and a mostly black supporting cast, it serves as the focal point of a specific cultural moment that has amplified its importance and expectations both within and without the superhero genre.

That said, this is a movie that very much meets the importance of its moment head-on. Black Panther is significant for what it is, and significant for what it isn’t. Much as Wonder Woman did last summer, it expands the boundaries of what to expect from this genre while telling a traditional story of classical heroism and eschewing the stereotypes associated with being a “minority” movie. Not only does it shine its spotlight on a hero destined to become an icon and role model for generations of kids of all colors, it also debuts a villain in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger who emerges as one of the most complicated and multi-layered antagonists in the entire Marvel onscreen arsenal.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Discovery Debrief: Episode 17 - All We Have

We've reached the end of season 1!

In a bit of a bittersweet discussion and analysis, our group of bold Star Trek franchise explorers — Chris Clow (Movies.com, Comics on Consoles), Rachael Clow (Biology PhD candidate), Cicero Holmes (Spawn On Me Cast), and me! — delve into Star Trek: Discovery's first season finale, "Will You Take My Hand?," and get into the weeds of how well — or perhaps not so well — we all thought the show stuck its proverbial landing.

Did the character interactions do the finale justice? Was the plot wrapped up in a satisfying way? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED AT THE END?!

All this and more is waiting in our 17th episode! Plus, we answer your questions, and hint at what's next for the future of Discovery Debrief now that our subject show has concluded its inaugural season. Download and listen now!