Monday, July 16, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: Die Hard 30th Anniversary Special!

Yippee-ki-yay, MovieFilm-ers! One of the greatest action movies of all time — 1988’s Die Hard — turns 30 years old today, and to mark the occasion, Brian and Zaki set down for another of our MovieFilm commentaries! And for this edition we couldn’t be more excited it be joined by friend of the show and Die Hard mega-fan Paul Shirey, editor-in-chief of our favorite destination for entertainment news Joblo.com, for a fun and informative discussion into the history and making of the Bruce Willis-starring, John McTiernan-directed action opus, why it spawned one of Fox’s most successful franchises, and why it remains the cream of the crop for the genre even three decades out. You can listen through the embed below, or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. And as always, please hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The MovieFilm Commentary Track: The Dark Knight 10th Anniversary Special!

The MovieFilm boys are back again for a special commentary marking the 10th anniversary of one of the most influential superhero movies in history: The Dark Knight! Christopher Nolan's 2008 epic starring Christian Bale as Batman and the late, lamented Heath Ledger in his Oscar-winning turn as the Joker reached rarified air upon its release a decade ago, and its estimation has only grown in the ten years since, with an entire genre striving mightily to match its massive cultural and critical footprint. Listen in as Brian and Zaki discuss storytelling techniques and offer anecdotes and trivia. You can hear the track on its own or watch the movie along with us, but either way, check out the track via the embed 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, July 12, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Ant-Man and the Wasp

The MovieFilm boys return for their second go-round this week as we dive in for a spoiler-and-all conversation about the latest blockbuster from Marvel Studios: Ant-Man and the Wasp! After Black Panther and Infinity War, it's easy to imagine the Disney superhero factory had maxed out, but we both had big fun with Marvel's littlest hero. Listen in for our takes on why we were so happy to see Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, and Michael Douglas back in franchise form as their superhero alter egos! 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, July 11, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Letters, Headlines, and More!

In the first dose of a MovieFilm doubleheader this week, Brian thanks his lucky stars for the existence of Moviepass as he catches us up on a whole host of new and recent releases. From there, it’s a deep dive into the mailbag as we offer thoughts on the impending (?) Disney/Fox merger and a window into our commentary track decision-making process. After that, it’s on to headlines: The Joker gets an origin! Doctor Strange gets a sequel! And it’s looking like a renaissance for octogenarian action heroes with the impending returns of Indiana Jones, Lando Calrissian, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard! Plus: George Lucas’ original plans for the Star Wars sequel trilogy, why it’s a good thing that Jurassic World has become the new Transformers, and much more! Hear it at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. And like always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Zaki's Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

As I made clear in my look at Jurassic World three years ago, I've always been something of an easy mark for the Jurassic Park series. Notwithstanding the 1993 original, which can legitimately lay claim to the label of "modern classic," the various other entries in the Steven Spielberg-produced Universal franchise have all offered up variations of "see dinosaurs, run from dinosaurs." And honestly, that's kind of enough for me. Some do it better, some do it worse, but give me a Jurassic that makes sure to include those key ingredients, and I'm at basically halfway committed already.

That rather lengthy intro should offer some necessary context as I dive into the fifth entry, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which arrived in theaters just in time to mark the franchise's continued vitality during its silver anniversary). Directed by J.A. Bayona from a script by Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly (who served the same duties last time) with Spielberg still godfathering the whole thing, we enter the action with an impending environmental catastrophe threatening to wipe out the remaining dinosaurs on Isla Nublar in the aftermath of the prior movie's catastrophic conclusion (the park is permanently closed, natch).

Friday, June 29, 2018

Diffused Congruence: Preacher Moss

We're joined by comedian Preacher Moss (The "Allah Made Me Funny" comedy tour) for our latest episode, in a free-wheeling conversation that covers the current state of politics in the United States to the current state of comedy within the Muslim community! You'll laugh hard, and you'll think harder, which is a little taste of what it's like to be in the audience for one of Preacher's shows! You can listen via 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.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The MovieFilm Podcast: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is roaring in theaters now, just in time for our big 150th episode! Join Zaki and Brian as they look at the latest installment in Universal’s “dinosaurs on the loose” mega-franchise and see how it stands up against its four predecessors (and have you checked out our special 25th anniversary commentary on the original yet?). Also, word that Lucasfilm may be stopping development on their planned “Star Wars Story” movies after the relative failure of Solo. Plus: A spin-off rises from the ashes of Roseanne! Remembering the late Richard Alan Greenberg, master of memorable title sequences! Listener Letters! And more! Hear it at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. And like always, please make sure to hit “like” on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Writer/Producer Mike Reiss on The Simpsons and Springfield Confidential

I'm joined by my MovieFilm co-pilot Brian Hall for this very special crossover episode of the Nostalgia Theater show, featuring our conversation with longtime Simpsons writer-producer Mike Reiss about his new book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons. If you've listened to our show for any lenghth of time, you know who important The Simpsons is for both of us, so we hope you'll enjoy hearing this interview as much we enjoyed being a part of it! 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.

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.