Read it and Weep
Summary: Read it and Weep is a good podcast about bad books, movies, and TV. Each week 2.5 comedians and a guest make fun of things like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, and anything Keanu Reeves has been in.
If there's a crime in Baltimore, The Wire will solve it. If there's a crime ripped from the headlines, Law & Order will solve it. If there's a crime involving Germanic animals, Grimm will solve it. But if there's a crime involving a Marine's body falling out of the sky, you need the fine folks at NCIS.N.C.I.S. is the Navy Criminal Investigation Service, a fictional group of super cops who solve military crimes using magic screens and invasion of civil liberties. And nerdy, pacifistic comedian Jackie Kashian has a guilty pleasure for this procedural for some reason. So we discussed police tropes, potential spinoffs, and the finer points of aging heart throbs.
If a group of hillbillies steal your hands, don't despair. If you put your mind to it, you won't just make waves, you'll make... Vibrations!That's what happens to TJ, an up and coming musician. But his new raver friends make him new friends and he's better than ever before. Now he's not just a guy, he's a Cyberstorm! Who cares that he treats his whole family like shit? He knows where he belongs because all the world is a rave!If you missed this movie in 1996, don't despair. You can count on us to summarize it for a really long time along with our helpers (and the fine people who brought this movie to our attention) Matt & Kseniya from I Love Bad Movies.
The best way to protest the new, terrible Ninja Turtles movie is to watch the old terrific (but only because we were kids) Ninja Turtles movie. So that's what we did.And what joy it brought to us. Remember how much they loved pizza and making sassy early-90s pop culture references? We love those things too! And remember how they were made out of thick rubber suits so they couldn't really move? That's still fun today!The movie doesn't really hold up, but who cares? It's fun, and none of the money goes to Michael Bay, which is radical.
Chris and Tanya LOVE the Step Up movies. Alex and Stephen do not really care for the Step Up movies. There's only one way to solve this: dance battle!Step Up: All In is the fifth (!) movie in the dance battle series. Loosely plotted around some young adults who are sad they don't get to have fun for a living, the characters and dialogue are just stall tactics between increasingly epic dance numbers. The finale is an everybody-wins feel-good steam-punk dancethon in Las Vegas featuring thousands of pounds of sand AND pyrotechnics. And the good guys win and everything is lovely.Since this was all for Chris and Tanya, they walk us through the finer points of ice-bucketing your blisters and keeping your elbows clean. If the podcast isn't good enough for you, we'll just rehearse some more. 5-6-7-8!
Do you like magic? How about realism? How about combining them into a 32+ hour slog for no apparent reason? That's Mark Helprin's novel Winter's Tale.It's the turn of the century (both of them) in New York (but not really) and a burglar/time traveler has to fall in love and stop a bridge from being built and also ride his magic horse to victory against a time traveling gang. Also a ton of other stuff happens and none of it matters because there's not really an ending. And somebody is a metaphor for Jesus.We do our best to break down all the hidden meaning in our new game Symbol Crash (sponsored by Zildjan [but not really]).Thanks to Matt for sponsoring!
When a highly anticipated trailer for a highly anticipated movie that we know we're going to hate comes out, we like to record ourselves watching it. This is the case with the new trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey.Since we knew we'd hate that, we also watched the new teaser for Mocking Jay Part 1 (of 5? 6?) and the amazing-looking 2009 animated feature Killer Bean Forever. Look for our reviews of all three in the near future.
This is a book about zombies. Sounds fun, right? But check this out: what if a book about zombies... wasn't fun at all? That's The Rising.Brian Keene's debut novel follows three people dealing with the demon zombie hellscape caused by an accident at a particle accelerator. Their paths converge in a sexual assault van in Pennsylvania in one of the top 5 most gratuitous horrifying things that happen in a book with a lot of contenders.The Rising doesn't have the terror of other zombie stories but replaces it without gross-out humor a 15 year old boy might enjoy.Thanks (but only kinda) to Carlos for sponsoring this horrible ruination of 8+ hours.
Jim Henson didn't just make the cute Muppets on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. He also applied the same foam techniques to stranger projects like the incomprehensible but delightful Labyrinth starring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, and The Bulge In David Bowie's Pants.Imagine a world where goblins are real. And imagine those goblins are ruled by a non-goblin, the yoga pants wearing David Bowie. And further imagine those goblins stole your baby brother because you said the magic words on accident and you alone can save him but there's this big fucking maze. Makes sense, right? That's the predicament Jennifer Connelly finds herself in, and she only has 13 hours to do it using the power of friendship.Look, it doesn't make any sense. But it doesn't have to. The Muppets are awesome. David Bowie is awesome. The CG isn't even a little awesome but that in and of itself is fun. Overall, great fun to watch and thanks to Big H for sponsoring it.
If you ever watched Hamlet and thought "this has too much excitement" then Lisa Klein's book Ophelia is for you.Ophelia imagines a world where the insane woman in Hamlet is only pretending to be insane and instead of being dead she just pretends to be dead and instead of just being told to get herself to a nunnery, she gets herself there. And stays there. For 1/3 of the book.It's basically Shakespearean slash fic with modern sensibility and no slashing.Thanks to Emily for sponsoring this episode! And welcome back Papa Ezra (on a part-time basis at least).
Alex and Anthony sat down right outside the theater to discuss the new film Snowpiercer. They liked it, but had a lot of thoughts about train travel in the dystopian future. If you like this, there may be more Street Reviews in your future.
Every fantasy book set in the future has too much explaining to do. But because that wasn't enough for Piers Anthony, his book Split Infinity has two different worlds and even more explaining. And, because Piers has never talked to a woman, the main character bangs a unicorn and a sex robot.Stile is a man caught between two worlds. On Proton he's a jockey with a robot girlfriend who's the master at The Game, a competition that could involve anything from Tiddlywinks to wildlife photography. On the other planet (sadly not called Neutron) he's a poet/magician with a unicorn girlfriend. In both worlds, he's a douche.We brought on David "The Wolf" Gborie to help us figure out whether Piers Anthony was, in fact, an asshole. We're leaning towards yes. We also explained where true magic comes from and what "hooping" means. We're sorry for the latter. And happy Paper Anniversary to Cyrus and Tara!
Normally the 4th of July is a day to celebrate America's freedom by driving up to Indian reservations and buying illegal fireworks. But what if it wasn't about that? What if it was about our Independence Day... from aliens???That's the situation that a plucky president Bill Pullman and sassy fighter pilot Will Smith find themselves in. They have to use all the American inginuity they have to stop the aliums from blowing up the world while simultaneously saving the world by showing them how much more American Americans are in America. USA! USA! USA!Sorry, it's hard not to get swept up in the fervent nationalism that hides its creepy head behind these charming 90s actors. Thank you so much to our sponsor Natalie and Ben for giving this great gift to us and to the rest of the world. Happy America day, AmericaEarth!
Do I like this? Do I hate it? Am I hungry? It's so hard to tell when you're watching Gunhed. It makes less sense than a Braille street sign.The movie Gunhed is, and I'm mostly just guessing here, a thrilling tale of one man's quest to defeat a giant robot using another less giant robot because the bigger robot owes his robot money. There are also some kids. And they're on an island made of barbecue. And... I don't know. Kaboom! Blowee! Smash! Robots!Thanks to Zachary for sponsoring this insane romp. And as a bonus, enjoy Tanya's brutal take down of the Pixar movie Cars.
In 1979, Scott Spencer wrote a novel called Endless Love about two kids who have sex and set things on fire. In 1981, Franco Zeffirelli directed a film adaptation removing some of the creepy elements. In 2014, Shana Feste directed a remake that removed all of the plot elements.That's all the back story you need to jump into this episode in which Jocelyn tasked us to watch both movies and decide which is creepier. The 1981 definitely is, but the 2014 is WAY boring-er, and that's not an improvement.There are bright spots: The film debut of Tom Cruise as the life ruiner, a dance contest, and the inspiration for the term "finger truckin'." Thanks for sponsoring, Jocelyn. It was a fun assignment. Mostly. No refunds.
#PODCRAWL is back! This time around we've partnered with Bonnie & Maude and Proudly Resents to tackle three Batman sequels from the 90s. Smack dab in the middle is this gem, Batman Forever, AKA a long preview of the Seal's "Kissed by a Rose" music video.We're joined by Alison AKA Instagram's @taintdog to talk about tap dancing in the Batmobile, Jim Carrey's pink hair, flight simulators, and so much more! Is this the worst Batman movie? Of course not! That's Batman & Robin. But it's pretty bad. Get listening and then check out #PODCRAWL buddies. DO IT NOW!