Bill and Chad serve up roasted Porgs and fresh lounging sea creature milk with their in-depth breakdown of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Does Episode VIII add momentum to the sequel trilogy and tee fans up for Ep. IX? Listen and find out!
We start out, though, giving our thoughts on the Netflix original TV series The Punisher. Frank Castle in the hizz-ouse!
I guess they’ve been making these little independent films about a group of friends that always gather together when a crisis affects them. There’s a rich guy, this old-timer who’s from the 50’s or something, one guy who keeps losing his temper, a woman with a dark background she never talks about, the pretty boy, and a guy who’s a straight-arrow. You know, an ensemble piece. So the trailer for their latest movie was just released, so I’ll post it here for anyone who wants to take their date to a romcom or something.
In episode 25 of our podcast, Chad described his discovery of the amazing works of George Pal, who made such SF masterworks as When Worlds Collide and War of the Worlds, to name just a couple. Beyond film epics, Chad also mentioned that he started out as an accomplished animator, although we couldn’t remember at the time what his stop-motion animation technique was named. Well, they were called Puppetoons, and here is a great example of his work. It’s a 1948 theatrical ad for Mounds chocolate bars:
Sure, DC movies have had some hard knocks over recent years, but at least they warned us that Kevin Spacey is, in fact, a real diabolical menace! The two Nerdstalking evil geniuseses Bill and Chad take a journey into Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon’s darkened treatise on super friendship, Justice League, and lo and behold they find that there’s light at the end of the DC tunnel after all! Plus some talk on the first series of TV’s Star Trek: Discovery, and Chad relates his wondrous discovery of the films of SF movie extravaganza pioneer George Pal.
What rhymes with 24? Sore, gore, humidor… but also Thor, the God of Thunder! Gaze in breathless wonder, as minor deities Bill and Chad give their takes on the Marvel superhero extravaganza Thor: Ragnarok. What is Jeff Goldblum smoking? What’s the deal with Thor’s hair? Exactly how “big” is Hulk? Your noble quest for answers lies within Episode 24 of Nerdstalking, along with some talk of Stranger Things 2, The Punisher, and American Horror Stories.
Rosemary’s Baby was a blockbuster when it was released in the late 60’s, and its brilliant conceit of putting gothic horror themes of Satan and his followers in the environment of the bright NYC apartment of a young couple was groundbreaking for the time. It paved the way for other urban horror hits like The Exorcist and The Omen, and was a profound influence on writers like Stephen King. The movie culminates in this scene when Rosemary, played by fragile waif Mia Farrow, discovers the true nature of her newborn child. Her plaintive question at the end reveals the horror of her progeny more than any make-up job could.
Any kid coming of age in the 70’s was permanently scarred by the ending of this flick, based on the first published novel by Stephen King. Director Brian DePalma lulls you into a sense of calm with a tinkling soundtrack and a diffuse lens… and then gives you one hell of a jolt.
Speaking of Stephen King, I complained in Nerdstalking Podcast IT Review that that movie had too many jump scares. You can probably trace the lineage of the cheapest of all film frights to this moment in Carrie. Still, it’s fun to look back on a time when it wasn’t the overused trope it is today.
John Lithgow is one of those actors where, no matter how mediocre the film, he’s always interesting to watch. His segment in the film version of The Twilight Zone, based on the original series entry Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, was anything but medicore. It takes a real actor to out-hysteric William Shatner, but Lithgow somehow manages it as a harried aviophobic who keeps seeing a gremlin on the wing of the airplane he is flying in.
While the scene featured here occurs before the fireworks really get started, its weirdness serves to put both Lithgow’s character, and the audience, ill at ease.
When it comes to great film moments, this one has an edge. As a fan of the original Alien (1979), I was wondering a couple of things when I was in the theatre watching this scene from the 1986 sequel. First, since the crew has woken up from cryogenic sleep and they’re gathered in mess eating a meal, is someone gonna start convulsing and you-know-what pop out? You have to wait for a full chest-bursting scene later (and they already kind of pulled the trigger on that earlier in the film, as well).
The other question they answer here is, as with Ash in the first film, is there a shady android among them? The answer comes in this great scene, where Bishop (Lance Henriksen) exhibits an otherworldly skill with a knife, at the expense of eternal whipping-boy Hudson (Bill Paxton).
Remember when Jim Carrey was funny? We do, along with a breakdown of the Captain Marvel comic book character, and a discussion of why things always end up sucking. All in this detours episode of Nerdstalking!