The 2020 Oscars are almost up on us! (OK, realistically, most of you will find this episode well after they've already passed, but seriously, that's fine.) Your intrepid non-film-critic hosts have each been randomly assigned three of the best picture nominees to argue for either for why it should with the Oscar, or if we really don't like it, why we think it will win anyway. … [Read more...] about PMP#30: Why Every Film Will Win the Oscar! (A Debate)
We consider the highly lauded 2019 film The Irishman in the context of Scorsese's body of work and the styles and themes that his films tend to exhibit. Writer/podcaster Colin Marshall joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about what we do and don't connect with in Scorsese's work and how these films qualify as "art films" despite their watchability, not to mention the big … [Read more...] about PMP#29: Martin Scorsese the Auteur w/ Colin Marshall
Mark, Erica, and Brian grasp the low-hanging fruit in pop culture to talk about Star Wars: The unique place that these films have in the brains of people of a certain age, how we grappled with the prequels, and why we feel the need to fill in and argue about the details. We primarily focus on the two most recent emanations of this beast, The Mandalorian and Rise of … [Read more...] about PMP#27: For the Love of Star Wars
Join Mark, Erica, and Brian for a special "snake draft," where we take turns picking the holiday films and TV specials that we think are (or should be) part of America's yearly viewing traditions. Were I to list all the shows and films we mention, that would give away our picks now, wouldn't it? Compare your intuitions about what is classic or seminal or over-rated with … [Read more...] about PMP#24: Christmas Viewing: What’s Canon?
Time-travel rules in The Terminator franchise are notoriously inconsistent. Is it possible for someone from the future to travel backwards to change events, given the paradox that with a changed future, the traveler wouldn't then have had the problem to try to come back and fix? Neither the closed-loop series of events in the first film nor the changed (postponed) future in the … [Read more...] about PMP#22: Untangling Time Travel
We've all felt at various points (maybe at most points) that some media creation has reached us by mistake, that we are not the target audience. 20th century American TV was aimed largely at a white majority, with a parallel, underfunded channel of content aimed at people of color. So how have things changed? There still seem to be "black shows," but how do they fit in … [Read more...] about PMP#19: Race and the Target Audience w/ Rodney Ramsey
Wes Alwan from The Partially Examined Life podcast joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood in the context of Tarantino's other films. Wes thinks the film is great, even though he's not actually a Tarantino fan, and is working on a very long essay on it. We consider T's strange sense of pacing, his comic violence, his … [Read more...] about PMP#12: Once Upon a Tarantino Film