Cell

Published: July 3, 2021, 3:19 p.m.
Duration: 42 minutes 12 seconds

Two Nerds decided to watch Cell, the movie adaption of the same-named Stephen King novel, which is about a pulse sent over cell phones which makes anyone who hears it homicidal. (King also co-wrote the screenplay.) This is our second foray into zombie narratives, which is pretty funny because the "phoners" of Cell are unusual zombies, more in the line of the hacked people in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. 

Listed in: Fiction

Army of the Dead

Published: June 23, 2021, 2:20 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour 28 minutes 3 seconds

Two Nerds sat down and watched the newest Zach Snyder movie, Army of the Dead, which is really exciting me because zombies are 100% my wheelhouse, and this the first zombie movie we've discussed. Like a Zach Snyder film, this podcast got a little out of hand in terms of run-time. Listening to this again, I realize the zombie allusions come hot and heavy, so I'm going to try to keep a running total of the various references we make. It's also a lot.  Army of the Dead, dir. Zack Snyder Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero Cell, Stephen King 28 Days Later, dir. Danny Boyle Serpent and the Rainbow, dir. Wes Craven I don’t name it, but the movie where the zombie braaaaains thing comes from is called Return of the Living Dead, dir. Dan O’Bannon I Am Legend, dir. Frances Lawrence Night of the Comet, dir. Thom Eberhardt The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand Zone One, Colson Whitehead Zombie in a Penguin Suit, dir. Chris Russell Land of the Dead, dir. George Romero Zombieland, dir. Ruben Fleischer Again, I don’t name it specifically, but the Danish zombie film I mention is What We Become, dir. Bo Mikkelson Dead Set, created by Charlie Brooker, of Black Mirror fame Brazillian remake is called Reality Z, creator Cláudio Torres The World According to Garp, John Irving The Italian Job, dir. F. Gary Gray Ocean’s Eleven, dir. Steven Soderbergh Suicide Squad, dir. David Ayer Deadwood, created by David Milch Newsflesh series, Mira Grant We don’t name it, but Resident Evil: Extinction, dir. Russell Mulcahy, is the one with zombie birds Aliens, dir. James Cameron Dawn of the Dead, dir. Zach Snyder The Passage, Justin Cronin The Strain, creator Guillermo del Doro The Girl with All the Gifts, M.R. Carey

Listed in: Fiction

Blade Plumber: Super Mario Bros.

Published: June 17, 2021, 11:17 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 41 seconds

Two Nerds recently learned of a new cut of 1993's super bonkers Super Mario Bros. movie, put together by the fine people at The Movie Archive. This new cut restores 20 minutes of excised footage, making the movie, if anything, more bonkers. The copy I watched was on the Internet Archive, but that appears to have been taken down. There's a mirror available here, but I don't know how long that will stay up either. 

Listed in: Fiction

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Published: June 11, 2021, 8:43 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 16 seconds

Two Nerds watched the most recent movie in the Conjuring universe, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which is the third to focus on Ed & Loraine Warren, and the eighth overall. We also recently watched The Exorcist and Poltergeist, as all deal with spiritual possessions of one kind or another. 

Listed in: Fiction

Cops in the Futurrrrrre

Published: May 26, 2021, 9:41 p.m.
Duration: 1 hour 6 minutes 39 seconds

Two Nerds watched three movies that are about the justice system (or policing more generally) in futuristic dystopias: Demolition Man, Judge Dredd, and Robocop. The first two are very similar: both mid-1990s, with Sylvester Stallone as the lead. Both were (at least partially) reactions to Rodney King and the L.A. Riots. We included Robocop, which was made earlier in 1987, as a contrast with the other two. Robocop ended being the most upsetting of the three, as so many aspects of its dystopia are just, like, regular in contemporary America. 

Listed in: Fiction

Bliss

Published: May 21, 2021, 10:39 p.m.
Duration: 51 minutes 8 seconds

We went into the movie Bliss pretty cold. The really quite terrible blurb said something about how maybe reality is a computer simulation, and that sounded close enough to our theme of alternate realities that we gave it a go. Like Colossal, its TV Guide entry poorly describes what is actually going on in the movie. The movie features cameos by Bill Nye the Science Guy and continental philosopher Slavoj Žižek, whose name I mangle several times. Yet again, we mention The City & The City, China Miéville's novel about two cities which are superimposed over one another, but are barred from interacting physically with one another. 

Listed in: Fiction

Bruce Willis is Bald

Published: May 15, 2021, 8:06 p.m.
Duration: 39 minutes 41 seconds

Back in the day, you could tell if a Bruce Willis movie was going to be any good depending on whether he had hair or not. Given the movies Cosmic Sin and Breach, that rule of thumb no longer applies. Both movies involve space zombies of varying origins. 

Listed in: Fiction

Cloverfaith

Published: May 12, 2021, 6:48 p.m.
Duration: 45 minutes 29 seconds

The subject of this episode is the ways faith and/or religious doctrine is used differently in explicitly Christian films like The Remaining or Left Behind, and films that use religious lore more like mythology. In this instance our example is a movie called The Possession, but movies like The Exorcist or The Prophesy would fall into this category as well. 

Listed in: Fiction

Alternate Realities: Coherence

Published: May 3, 2021, 9:02 p.m.
Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes 29 seconds

Two Nerds discuss two movies that deal with parallel universes: the not very impressive Alpha Gateway, and the absolutely delightful Coherence. We also talk a bit about Counterpart, a previous podcast subject, and China Miéville's The City & The City. While it seems like time travel narratives, especially those that go back in time, focus on regret, parallel universe stories focus more on the question of the essential self. 

Listed in: Fiction

Mortal Kombats

Published: April 30, 2021, 8:11 p.m.
Duration: 51 minutes 42 seconds

Two Nerds watched both the 1995 and 2021 Mortal Kombat movies back to back, then sat down for a little chat. The 1995 Mortal Kombat was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who also wrote all and directed most of the Resident Evil movies to date. (Apparently there's a prequel coming out this year called Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which he isn't involved in.) The 2021 Mortal Kombat is much less goofy than the first iteration --  it's definitely going for a more naturalistic tone -- but that's not always successful. Partially because there's only so much realism you can wring out of a movie based on a video game about an interdimensional kick-punching contest, and partially because why would you want to?

Listed in: Fiction

Counterpart

Published: April 27, 2021, 2:25 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour 8 minutes 24 seconds

As part of our exploration of parallel worlds, Two Nerds discuss the spy thriller series Counterpart. J.K. Simmons plays a double role as Howard Silk, each of whom are members of a shadowy U.N. agency in two different versions of reality. One is a stupendous badass, and the other a colorless drone. The two versions of reality are in something of a cold war with one another, and the two U.N. agencies -- and the two Howard Silks -- are on a slow-moving collision course. It's such a good series. 

Listed in: Fiction

Monster Hunter

Published: April 17, 2021, 9:24 p.m.
Duration: 42 minutes 58 seconds

Two Nerds sat down with our Gen-Z consultant (aka oldest son, Leo) to watch Monster Hunter, a Paul W.S. Anderson movie based on the eponymous video game series. We'd never played any of the games, so Leo was on hand to nitpick inconsistences. I think the resident Nerds were more inclined to be forgiving of Monster Hunter's failings, because we're old in not invested in the source material, but Leo made a very compelling case that a lot of the potential was squandered. 

Listed in: Fiction

The Nevers: Pilot

Published: April 13, 2021, 4:22 p.m.
Duration: 41 minutes 1 second

Two Nerds watch the first episode of HBO's The Nevers, a steampunk Buffy the Vampire Slayer slash X-Men hybrid. The Nevers was created by Joss Whedon, who then apparently "stepped away" some time after all the allegations about his behavior on the set of Justice League. Whatever his involvement, the series is undoubtedly Whedonesque, with familiar character types and relationship dynamics. As a steampunk series, there are also easy comparisons to Carnival Row, which was incredibly beautiful and hopelessly boring; His Dark Materials, which is a great book series, disastrous movie, and uneven HBO series; and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which has great art direction but still bugs me. Salman Rushdie's Booker prize winning novel Midnight's Children gets discussed in the same breath as X-Men, which made me have an attack of the giggles. We're on the hook for episode two, but The Nevers wasn't amazing or anything. 

Listed in: Fiction

The First of All Parallel Worlds

Published: April 12, 2021, 6:14 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 40 seconds

Two Nerds have spent the last few episodes discussing time travel, repeating day, or otherwise timey-wimey narratives. Adjacent to that (and often overlapping) are stories that explore parallel worlds. In this outing, we discuss the movies Sliding Doors and Another Earth, and touch on a series called Counterpart. Sliding Doors is a rom-com from 1999, and Another Earth a melancholy indie movie from 2005. Counterpart is something like a spy thriller, with two alternate Earths in a cold war of sorts. 

Listed in: Fiction

Knowing

Published: April 4, 2021, 3:09 a.m.
Duration: 46 minutes 36 seconds

Two Nerds were lovingly trolled by our listener, and ended up watching Knowing, a predestination wig-out starring Nicolas Cage, which was described by Richard as "Kirk Cameron's screenplay and directorial adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard writing Childhood's End." It made us have some Serious Feelings.  This one's for you, Ian. 

Listed in: Fiction

Godzilla vs Kong

Published: April 2, 2021, 8:37 p.m.
Duration: 47 minutes 33 seconds

In a very special episode, Two Nerds discuss the most recent (and possibly the last) MonsterVerse movie: Godzilla vs Kong. We decided to make a theme of it, so we also watched a movie called Colossal, which is about a giant monster who appears randomly in Seoul, Korea, and whose motions are tied to a young woman in the States. Colossal ended up being considerably more intense than we expected.  We also mention the other MonsterVerse movies -- Godzilla, Godzilla: King of Monsters, and Kong: Skull Island -- and the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie.  CW: domestic violence, alcoholism

Listed in: Fiction

Boss Level: Groundhog Days

Published: April 2, 2021, 5:25 a.m.
Duration: 17 minutes 19 seconds

After we thoughtfully examined three films with repeating day scenarios -- Groundhog Day, Palm Springs, and The Map of Tiny Perfect Things -- in Groundhog Days, we found a fourth repeating day movie: Boss Level. This one is significantly shootier than those other three!  This is a tiny bonus episode where we somewhat giddily talk about this ridiculous movie. 

Listed in: Fiction

It's Not a Time Cave: Time Trap

Published: March 29, 2021, 4:47 p.m.
Duration: 44 minutes 22 seconds

Two Nerds round up all the movies they watched on a lost Sunday, which include three timey-wimey narratives -- Time Trap, Source Code, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time -- and a slight detour to the Snyder Cut. This episode marks the end of our inquiry into time travel narratives. 

Listed in: Fiction

Time Lapse Crimes

Published: March 24, 2021, 2:14 p.m.
Duration: 44 minutes 13 seconds

In a bonus episode, two nerds somewhat tipsily discuss Timecrimes and Time Lapse, two movies which mess around with the concept of predestination. For some godforsaken reason, the extremely silly film Final Countdown, in which the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz travels back in time, comes up again.  CW: sexual assault. 

Listed in: Fiction

The Only One Awake: Groundhog Days

Published: March 24, 2021, 1:59 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour 14 minutes 11 seconds

Continuing on with our exploration of narratives that use time as a device, we discuss three movies which take place in time loops, where the characters wake up and relive the same 24 hours over and over: Groundhog Day, Map of Tiny Perfect Things, and Palm Springs. This episode is slightly super-sized, because apparently we had a lot to say about this narrative conceit.  CW: suicide, depression, addiction

Listed in: Fiction

Hot Tub Time Machine

Published: March 18, 2021, 4:05 p.m.
Duration: 53 minutes 19 seconds

Continuing with our time travel narratives, we discuss Hot Tub Time Machine, with a side of Back to the Future and Groundhog Day. We also discuss The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin, The Butterfly Effect, Primer, The Final Countdown and the latter two Back to the Future movies.  Mistakes I could use a time machine to correct: A movie about the last mortal person on Earth is incorrectly identified as Mr Roboto, but was actually called Mr Nobody. Groundhog Day was also made in 1993, not the mid-80s. I'm sure there are some other mistakes, alas. 

Listed in: Fiction

A Perfect Day: Time Travel Stories

Published: March 10, 2021, 10:09 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 45 seconds

Two Nerds Sitting on a Couch wrapped up our inquiry into teen dystopias last week with The City of Ember, which is kinda funny because the book is aimed younger than teen, and it's not really a dystopia. After a period of despondency, we decided our new theme is going to be time travel! Rather than go through the travels in time one by one, we've aggregated the last five movies into one podcast. So you can follow along at home, the five movies we watched were 24, The Final Countdown, Primer, The Time Machine, and Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel. We decided re-watchability of these movies is low, except for Primer, which is either ∞ or 2.  We also mention the following time travel narratives, in no particular order: Map of Tiny Perfect Things, Safety not Guaranteed, Time Cave, Interstellar, Tenet, Arrival, Butterfly Effect, Groundhog Day, Palm Springs, The Sound of Thunder, Hot Tub Time Machine, Bell & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Russian Doll, The Umbrella Academy, The Doomsday Book, & Edge of Tomorrow. Richard couldn't remember the names of two Spanish-language time travel movies he watched, but I figured out what they are: The Incident and Timecrimes. Though not a time travel movie, I also take some time out to slag Ad Astra while I was slagging Interstellar.  We have a list of four or five movies we're going to watch for our next installment, but if you have any suggestions, please drop us a line!   

Listed in: Fiction

The Last Teen Dystopia: The City of Ember

Published: March 7, 2021, 3:20 a.m.
Duration: 51 minutes 26 seconds

For our final outing into teen dystopias, two nerds sitting on a couch watch The City of Ember. The City of Ember ended up being significantly different from the other young adult dystopias we watched, while still relying on some of the same tropes. Plus star-nosed moles and Bill Murray.

Listed in: Fiction

Euphemizing Euthanasia: The Giver

Published: March 2, 2021, 7:11 p.m.
Duration: 57 minutes 43 seconds

Continuing our streak of young adult dystopias, two nerds sit on a couch and discuss the movie version of Lois Lowry's The Giver. 

Listed in: Fiction

Divergent: Allegiant

Published: March 2, 2021, 5:39 p.m.
Duration: 48 minutes 57 seconds

Two nerds sitting on a couch discuss the third and ultimately final Divergent movie, Allegiant. The Divergent series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games. They're set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago with a rigid caste system based on personality. We thought even less of this installment. 

Listed in: Fiction

Divergent: Insurgent

Published: Feb. 25, 2021, 7:25 p.m.
Duration: 33 minutes 12 seconds

Two nerds sitting on a couch discuss the second Divergent movie, Insurgent. The Divergent series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games. They're set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago with a rigid caste system based on personality. We didn't think much of this installment. 

Listed in: Fiction

Divergent: The Myers-Briggs Dystopia

Published: Feb. 25, 2021, 6:22 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 51 seconds

Two nerds sitting on a couch discuss the first of the Divergent movies.  The Divergent series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games. They're set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago with a rigid caste system based on personality. There are spoilers galore for Divergent, in addition to other Young Adult dystopias and related media.

Listed in: Fiction

The Maze Runner Trilogy: The Death Cure

Published: Feb. 18, 2021, 6:47 a.m.
Duration: 51 minutes 13 seconds

In which two nerds sit on the couch and discuss the third and final of the Maze Runner movies: The Death Cure. We do not recap the first two movies, so this is best listed to after our recaps of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials. The Maze Runner series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games, and follows a group of teens in a survival situation. As always, there are spoilers.

Listed in: Fiction

The Maze Runner Trilogy: The Scorch Trials

Published: Feb. 18, 2021, 6:47 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour 54 seconds

Two nerds sitting on the couch discuss the second of the Maze Runner movies: The Scorch Trials. We do not recap the first movie, so this is best listened to after our recap of The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games, and follows a group of teens in a survival situation. As always, there are spoilers for both The Scorch Trials and related media.  One small correction: I get Giancarlo Esposito's first name wrong -- sorry -- and incorrectly identify him as being on The Wire. I mixed up my David Simon procedurals set in Baltimore. He's probably more well known for his work on a raft of Spike Lee movies, Breaking Bad, and most recently the Mandalorian. 

Listed in: Fiction

The Maze Runner Trilogy: The Maze Runner

Published: Feb. 16, 2021, 12:18 a.m.
Duration: 37 minutes 47 seconds

Two nerds sitting on a couch discuss the first of the Maze Runner movie trilogy.  The Maze Runner series, both the books and movies, is contemporary with a whole bunch of other teen dystopias, most notably The Hunger Games, and follows a group of teens in a survival situation. There are spoilers galore for The Maze Runner, in addition to other Young Adult dystopias and related media.  One minor correction to something I say in the podcast: there were three Divergent movies made, not two. I was confused because I knew they never made the final movie, but had forgotten the filmmakers split the final book into two movies. The movie I'm thinking of is the third and penultimate movie in a movie series that was never finished.   ED: the third Divergent movie was called Observant.

Listed in: Fiction

Roombas in Space: A Discussion of Space Sweepers

Published: Feb. 15, 2021, 8:49 p.m.
Duration: 54 minutes 2 seconds

In which two nerds sitting on a couch discuss the movie Space Sweepers, the new Korean scifi movie available on Netflix. We discuss gender and robots, the class struggle, and the colonization of Mars, in addition to thirsting for spaceship mechanics.  Spoiler Alert: Many, many things are spoilered, including, but not limited to, Space Sweepers, Autonomous by Annalee Newitz, Ultraviolet, Alien Resurrection, Small Wonder, and Star Wars.  

Listed in: Fiction