PopCult Podcast – Huesera: The Bone Woman/Evil Dead Rise

Completely unintended, this episode ended up being about the horrors of motherhood. Our first flick is a debut from a Mexican director that explores a mother-to-be’s anxieties manifesting as a curse over he life. The second is a new entry in a beloved horror franchise that puts us in a new setting & centers the horror around one family.

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PopCult Podcast – Puss in Boots: The Last Wish/Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

It’s attack of the IPs in this cineplex double feature. One movie is a spin-off of a trilogy of animated films which themselves have become an ongoing meme. The other is an adaptation of a beloved tabletop game using Marvel flavoring for every element in the movie.

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PopCult Podcast – Close/Saint Omer

Europe is producing some fantastic films these days and today we spotlight two of them. In one film, a young boy finds his friendship with another boy questioned by their peers leading to a fatal outcome. In the other, a writer attends the court trial of a woman accused of infanticide and in turn discovers truths about her own relationship with her mother.

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TV Review – Lucky Hank Season One

Lucky Hank Season One (AMC)
Written by Paul Lieberstein, Aaron Zelman, Adam Barr, Emma Barrie, Jean Kyoung Frazier, Jasmine Pierce, and Taylor Brogan
Directed by Peter Farrelly, Dan Attias, Jude Weng, and Nicole Holofcener

I went into Lucky Hank with moderately high expectations. I have been a big fan of Bob Odenkirk for decades and loved his time as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul. I picked up the novel that the show is based on, Straight Man by Richard Russo, and it has been one of my favorite reads of the year so far. However, when I reached the season finale of Lucky Hank, I had one feeling prominent at the front of my mind: relief that it was over and I was never watching any more of this show. That doesn’t mean the show is horrible, but it does not fit my sensibilities. Instead, we got a single-camera dramedy sitcom hybrid with Lucky Hank, complete with spots where we are intended to laugh with the laugh track absent. 

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Comic Book Review – Superman: Space Age

Superman: Space Age (2023)
Reprints Superman: Space Age #1-3
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Mike Allred

In 2019, there was a lot of buzz around DC Comics’ next planned reboot. It would have been the fourth (Infinite Crisis, Flashpoint/New 52, Rebirth, and this one) during editor-in-chief Dan Didio’s tenure at the company and proved to be an idea that didn’t come to fruition. The comics website Bleeding Cool has a series on the plans we are aware of and how dramatically they would have shaken up the DC Universe. The concept was to make Wonder Woman the first official superhero in the timeline, inspiring the mystery men & women of the Golden Age. Superman would have come along during the Kennedy administration, as would Batman. Eventually, Warner Bros. was bought out, and leadership at DC was drastically altered, leaving DiDio without a job. 5G was scrapped though pieces of it have been used in small projects like Future State, Superman & the Authority, and this Black Label mini-series.

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PopCult Podcast – Scream 6/How To Blow Up a Pipeline

Young people these days get up to all sorts of crazy things. Some kids in NYC are going to school & trying to avoid attacks from a serial killer. Then you have these kids in Texas blowing up a damn oil pipeline. Zoomers, amirite?

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May 2023 Posting Schedule

Film Series

May 1st thru 31st – The American Theater on Film, Volume One

The Little Foxes, A Streetcar Named Desire, 12 Angry Men, Picnic, A Raisin in the Sun, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Iceman Cometh, True West, The Glass Menagerie, Glengarry Glen Ross, M. Butterfly, Death of a Salesman, Angels in America

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Spring 2023 Digest

[Patron Pick] – Parenthood (Bekah)
[Patron Pick] – The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Matt)
[Patron Pick] – Where the Crawdads Sing [Bekah]
[Patron Pick] – Memories of Murder [Matt]
Book Update – March/April
My Favorite Single-Scene Performances
My Favorite Spring Films
My Favorite Mind-Bending Films
My Favorite Crying Scenes

Podcast Episodes
The House/Safe
Quadrophenia/Velvet Goldmine
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul/Far From Heaven
Welcome to the Dollhouse/La Haine
Kicking and Screaming/Fallen Angels
To Die For/Underground (1995)
The Addiction/Memories
Desperado/The Day of the Beast

Movie Reviews
The Outwaters
The Five Devils
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Beau Is Afraid ***

[Comedy Masterworks]
It Happened One Night
Bringing Up Baby ***
Kind Hearts & Coronets
A Shot in the Dark
The Graduate ***
The Out-of-Towners ***
Young Frankenstein ***
Monty Python’s The Life of Brian
A Fish Called Wanda ***
Withnail & I ***
Midnight Run
Waiting for Guffman ***
The Big Lebowski ***

[The German New Wave]
Aguirre, The Wrath of God ***
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant ***
Alice in the Cities ***
The American Friend ***
The Marriage of Maria Braun ***
The Tin Drum
Christiane F.
Paris, Texas ***

The Short Films of Ari Aster Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Comic Book Reviews
Aquaman: Andromeda
The Department of Truth: The Complete Conspiracy Book One ***
Shazam! The World’s Mightiest Mortal Volume One
The Nice House on the Lake
Monkey Meat
Superman: The Exile and Other Stories ***
Hawkworld ***
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

TV Reviews
The Best of Star Trek Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Somebody, Somewhere Season One
Deadwood Season One ***
The Last of Us Season One

Solo TTRPG Reviews
Artefact ***
Ironsworn Part 1, Part 2 ***
Welcome to the Habitrails ***

Looking at Art
The Bewitched Man – Francisco Goya

PopCult Podcast – Desperado/The Day of the Beast

One is the story of a mysterious man carrying guns in his guitar case & out for revenge. The other is the tale of a Spanish priest attempting to get into the Devil’s good graces on the night the Antichrist is to be born.

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Book Update – March/April 2023

A Short Film About Disappointment by Joshua Mattson

Here’s the premise: Film critic Noah Body writes and uploads his reviews on a widely ignored content aggregator in the near future. He is a wannabe director who is forced to watch the worst movies knowing zero people are reading his work. Noah starts including details of his complicated & spite-filled personal life in these reviews. Through eighty movie reviews, we follow Body’s life and how it falls apart around him. That sounds really good, right? It’s a shame that this book is a nearly unreadable piece of crap. I loved the premise, but the final product was a brutal slog. One of the most significant issues is that the chapters aren’t movie reviews. The main character is not fun to read. I love having unreliable narrators or a challenging protagonist, but Body is just pretentious in a way that I derived no humor from. I checked on Goodreads, and this one has a lot of people listing it as DNF (Did Not Finish). I certainly felt like dropping it pretty early on. If I could give this review a title, it would be “A Long Book That Led to Disappointment.”

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