Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: adding a Wednesday link
Bill Crider: The Blackboard Jungle
Brian Arnold: All the Hidden Endings to Marvel Comics Avengers Prequels in One Convenient Place
Ed Gorman: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (several adaptations); Louie
Evan Lewis: The Cocoanuts
Gerald So: Breaking In
Iba Dawson: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
James Reasoner: Good Morning, World
Juri Nummelin: Trance (1998/99) (aka The Eternal aka The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy)
Kate Laity: Lumottu (Enchanted)
Marty McKee: Lobo: "Orly's Hot Skates"
Randy Johnson: Whistling in the Dark
Ron Scheer: Last Stand at Saber River
Scott Cupp: Under the Mountain
Todd Mason: Updated (and expanded) podcast listings, films on television, reading au naturel: see below
Yvette Banek: The List of Adrian Messenger
BV Lawson: Media Murder
Elizabeth Foxwell: Ransom Center on the papers of Nicholas Ray
George Kelley: The Worst Movies of 2011 So Far
Jackie Kashian: Crazy Stupid Love
John Charles: All-Night Drive-In Marathons
Patti Abbott: Point Blank
Rebecca O'Malley: Netflix Streaming picks
Stacia Jones: September Movies to Watch For [on cable]
American Public Television, the syndicator which offers such programs as Globe Trekker, Ebert Presents At the Movies, and Rosemary and Thyme, also has been offering to US public broadcasting stations a film package, New Classics and Old Favorites, for several years, and now is repackaging their film offers as the Hollywood Stars Package, leading off in September with two of the Thin Man films, the first one and After the Thin Man.
The October (further) offers include Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, The Nun's Story, and the second Inspector Clouseau film, A Shot in the Dark. Nothing particularly obscure so far, not even when compared to such broadcast packages as one find on the digital networks Antenna TV and ThisTV, but unlike their offerings, nothing will be panned and scanned nor edited nor interrupted by commercials, and it's a good set of films, appearing on most PBS and indy public stations on Saturday nights. (Even the Encore film channels are presented by some cable systems in a rigid "windowbox" format that takes away some of their considerable charm...and cable station IFC's decision to take on commercial interruptions to their films, probably a necessity financially, is otherwise charmless.)
Rather more static fun (if Not Safe for Work in most environments), for those who enjoy mildly exhibitionistic photography of women readers, is the Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society, who are not co-ed (no beefcake that I've seen so far, unless I've simply overlooked it), don't appear to actually appreciate pulp (so much as the new large-format Hard Case Crime volumes), but are certainly topless clothing-wise and hoping you'll enjoy seeing them thus.
...and here's a further update of a previous post from me, given a great broadening of the menu of podcasts offered by several of the podcast sites:
BBC Radio 4's Comedy page...access to (at least this week's set of) BBC audio sketch shows and sitcoms. BBC Radio 7 (RIP) has been replaced by BBC Radio 4 Extra, which also takes some repeats from 4 and adds some more material, including television soundtracks and radio adaptations of television material.
Comedy and Everything Else, Jimmy Dore and Stef Zamarano's podcast (which sometimes cross-riffs with Dore's Pacifica Radio series, audible via Jimmy Dore Comedy), notable for a pronounced though very much not doctrinaire leftist stance, and a lot of good food (people are eating a little less on mic these days).
The former Comedy Death Ray Radio, now Comedy Bang Bang, Scott Aukerman's interview, sketch and music showcase...and now the anchor of a group of podcasts. Bang Bang is a more elaborate showcases for improv parody-character sketches than most of the podcasts noted here, which often are the funniest bits. In fact, an episode in which Jimmy Pardo and his regulars filled in as hosts, and featuring an extended improv by Maria Bamford and Paul Gilmartin and music from the charming Garfunkel & Oates, might still be my favorite. Also on the Earwolf pages is the Sklar Brothers' sports and comedy podcast Sklarbro Country is also charming, if a bit literally too inside baseball, etc., to sustain my attention as readily; however, Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack's Who Charted? is among the most charming and relaxed, as well as funny, podcasts you're likely to encounter, wherein a guest is brought on to interact with items from the Most Popular/Bestselling lists in various sorts of pop culture and related matters. The pun-laden, somewhat Nick Dangeresque Mike Detective, with Rob Heubel and Grey DeLisle, is archived here, and a variety of other new and ongoing series can be accessed and heard, including one, The Wolf Den, which is about the business of podcasting rather than a comedy show per se. Other Earwolf podcasts that have begun in the last several months are the intentionally retro The Apple Sisters, Tig Notaro and friends' low-key philosophical discussion Professor Blastoff, and Bob Ducca's somewhat more hangdog approach to Stuat Smalley-style self-affirmation...along with the catch-all Earwolf Presents.
Dork Forest Radio, Jackie Kashian's formerly lo-fi podcast (on lo-fi BlogTalkRadio) is a charming delving into all kinds of geekery, or what Kashian dubs the Dork Forest. (See also, The Nerdist) Uniquely among these podcasts, when on BlogTalk Radio, there was a live chatroom running alongside the live podcast...Kashian is trying to decide what she'll do about that with the new, undistorted-audio format. Kashian is also probably the most gracious of podcast hosts, though unafraid of asking, usually politely and/or self-deprecatingly, hard questions.
Doug Loves Movies, Doug Benson's gameshow/interview podcast, the game usually all about trying to guess a movie title with as few clues as possible from Leonard Maltin's film-guides. Benson also usually has a few words to say about recent viewing experiences, and the guests are usually a mix of comedians, actors (Elisabeth Shue confirmed your suspicions about Paul Verhoeven), and occasionally Leonard Maltin.
Girl on Guy, Aisha Tyler's new podcast, is basically a freewheeling interview with the comedian and actress, usually with comedians. As energetic as you might suspect...
Harry Shearer's Le Show sometimes is dismissed or criticized out of hand by folks on some of the podcasts...podcasts that probably wouldn't've existed without the loooong-standing example of Shearer's mix of music, monolog, and sketches (almost always one-person productions in which Shearer does all the voices). Shearer's wife, the excellent jazz-pop singer Judith Owen, is often heard in the musical segments.
The Long Shot, an established but perhaps still underappreciated podcast featuring the disparate quartet of comedians Eddie Pepitone, Sean Conroy, Jamie Flam, and Amber Kenny, who amusingly, acerbically chat, do audio sketches, and feature guests...so disparate that guest Tig Notaro asked them, "How do you all even know each other?"
The Mental Illness Happy Hour, Paul Gilmartin's relatively new interview program, has now fixed its RSS feed, and is an earnest, but not completely grim by any means, listening experience...the iTunes link is in for those who do Apple.
The Nerdist podcast, a key component of the larger Nerdist.com, features a crew spearheaded by Chris Hardwick, whose credits run from standup to cohosting Wired Science on PBS; he's most regularly visible on G4, and he and his partners, or he alone, interview a range of guests only slightly less wide-ranging than Jackie Kashian (see The Dork Forest). Hardwick in one episode railed against those who criticize him for kissing his guests' asses, correctly noting that what could be cynically (if unsurprisingly) misconstrued thus is his genuine enthusiasm for speaking with the guests, riffing cheerfully, and generally trying to share his passions. A video version of this series will begin on cable channel BBC America soon...and this site has been as busy as Earwolf in adding new podcasts to its ranks, including The Indoor Kids (dealing mostly with electronic gaming and related matters), Sex Nerd Sandra, Sandra Daugherty's sex-ed podcast (perhaps the furthest from pure comedy, while still funny and charming), and Making It with Riki Lindhome, which despite the potentially most-enticing interpretation of that title is an interview series wherein guests tell how they've achieved what they have in their careers in the arts. The Todd Glass Show is a new project by an old podcaster, the former co-host of Comedy and Everything Else, and perhaps the most soundscape-exploratory of the podcasts cited here.
Never Not Funny, Jimmy Pardo's podcast, usually featuring Matt Belknap, the proprietor of A Special Thing, and one of the oldest of the continuing series (with Kashian's Dork Forest). The link is to the free feed, as NNF offers a free first twenty or so minutes as an enticement, then offers the rest of a given episode only to paying subscribers...Pardo's mock aggression, almost always immediately self-deflated, mixes well with his energetic, slightly retro persona. This has a spinoff podcast, conducted by frequent guest Pat Francis, Rock Solid.
The Pod F. Tomcast, Paul F. Tompkins's elaborate performance and interview podcast, is as distinctive as his performances tend to be.
Pop My Culture is duo of young actor/comedians, Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton, doing interviews and related matter with an an eclectic set of performers and others in and around, well, pop culture, usually at the comedic end...
The Smartest Man in the World, Greg Proops's nightclub-based podcast, appears irregularly, and can be somewhat in and out...but is always worth the listen.
The Sound of Young America, etc.: MaximumFun.org gets one podcasts of TSOYA elements and also the more informal and uncensored Jordan, Jesse, Go! among other bits and pieces, including John Hodgman's longrunning Judge John Hodgman moot court, the Canadian Stop Podcasting Yourself and the college-station years of TSOYA, and archival bits from San Francisco legends Mal Sharpe and James Coyle. Colin Marshall's text reviews of podcasts are wide-ranging and thoughtful, as well as frequently funny.
Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me..., NPR's primary humor series (unless we consider Car Talk also primarily a humor series), remains a pleasant and frequently hilarious news-quiz game show, with comedians and writers competing for meaningless points, and guests competing on behalf of audience members. The comparable PRI series Whad'Ya Know?, features a somewhat more rambling style and fewer guests in the gameshow seqments, though also features a fine jazz combo. CBC's comedy and whimsy series Wiretap also gets a fair amount of clearance in the States...and averages perhaps a bit better in that wise than such more popular US series A Prairie Home Companion or This American Life. I'll put in a plug here for the not quite primarily humorous series On the Media and pop-science series RadioLab. Just a notch below these is Studio 360.
Weezy and the Swish is the only "dead" podcast that I list here (at least so far), Louise Palanker and Laura Swisher's project, one of the earlier comedian podcasts, and still one of the few not hosted mostly and entirely by Caucasian men. A smattering of their episodes archived here.
WTF, the Marc Maron podcast, one of the most attention-getting as Maron probes himself and his guests usually a bit more relentlessly, yet for the most part professionally (Maron's experience on Air America and with BreakRoom Live tells) than most of his peers. A mixture of usually one-on-one interviews interspersed with a sporadic set of talk-show-style multi-guest live episodes, both eminently worth catching. Public radio stations will have access to a short series extracted from this series, from PRX, the Public Radio Exchange (not to be confused with PRI, PRX is the rising distributor which was kind enough to take on Sound Opinions, the inept Chicago-based rock music-discussion series which PRI dropped, along with such better work as The Moth).
...and for more pointers to comedy audio and more, see Punchline magazine online...