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The Way Back (2010) and The Way Way Back (2013)

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We’re back in the satchel with friends! This week on the podcast we discuss two moves that other than having almost the same title, have pretty much nothing to do with one another. One (The Way Back) is an exercise in tedium. A film that almost dares you to turn it off. You’d literally almost rather translate a Chinese Wikipedia page than watch this film. The other (The Way Way Back) is genuinely a good film worth watching that stars the ever embattled Toni Collette and Steve Carrell in an odd turn as a bro.

Episode highlights: The ideal water-to-technology ratio, a media-themed personality quiz, visual impressions, and a refresher on the James-Bale scale.

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015), Sneaky Pete (2015) & Casanova (2015) – Prime Flix Podcast


Those streaming services just keep hitting the original content hard! When Netflix leads with a new series, BOOM, Prime hits back with a 1-2 combo of pilots, BING-BANG! It’s a new show free-for-all, and Ed and Dean are on mic, calling every blow. Join them in a discussion of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Seaky Pete and Casanova.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015) is a prequel to the comedy classic and recently reviewed Wet Hot American Summer. Taking place over the sub-titular first day of camp, it’s an origin story for the whole crew from the earlier feature – Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Elizabeth Banks and that Can of Vegetables. It’s all your favorites from the film and a number of new friends, including a fair number of Mad Men. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh again and then when it’s all over, you’ll think back and laugh once more.

Sneaky Pete (2015) is the first of two new Amazon pilots for Amazon Pilot Season. It’s a slick, con-man drama starring veteran character actor, Giovanni Ribisi – though how slick may be debatable. In a nutshell, guy gets out of the slammer and lays low with his cellmate’s name and family. Clever idea, but while it might work on USA, it seems a little dull for Amazon. Then again, perhaps this is where Amazon appeals to the masses. If it goes, you can bet somebody in your family won’t miss an episode.

Casanova (2015), the second Amazon pilot, is just what it sounds like. Prison breaks, corsets, influence peddling, libertines and sex. Buncha sex. Diego Luna plays the infamous womanizer in 18th century France and while he leaves behind a trail of broken hearts, he carries with him a sack full of who cares. In the vein of a prestige cable drama but with the conviction of a middling cable drama, Casanova fails to seduce. Check it out for yourself and try to keep your pants on, this is a family podcast!

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is currently available for streaming on Netflix and Sneaky Pete and Casanova are is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Transparent (2014) and BoJack Horseman (2014) (Rebroadcast) – Prime Flix Podcast



BoJack’s back, jack! The fellas are off this week, but here’s what they thought of  BoJack the first time around. Plus Transparent! Please enjoy this rebroadcast of an earlier episode.

Boy do we have one heck of a podcast for you! You may or may not have heard that Netflix and Amazon have thrown their hats into the ring. And by hats I mean “lots and lots of money”. And by ring I mean “the creation of serialized dramas and comedies sometimes referred to as television shows”. I’m happy to report that after sampling a few of their attempts from 2014 we’re quite pleased with the result. That’s right, this week we’re discussing Transparent and  BoJack Horseman.

Transparent (2014) is a show about an older man who is transitioning into becoming a woman. That’s sort of the set up, but really the entire show is about identity and social categorization and labeling. Much of the first season focuses on his transition and on his difficulty in sharing this information with his children, who are, to put it mildly, not the most receptive and understanding people in the world. It’s a truly beautiful show in both its aesthetics and it’s content. And it features some amazing performances by the cast (especially Jeffrey Tambor in the lead).

BoJack Horseman (2014) is an animated show that follows the eponymous (pony-mous?) BoJack Horseman, a sort of horse-person who was once an actor on a long-running family television sitcom in the 1990’s. It’s at once a biting satire of 90’s and 2000’s pop-culture and also an incredibly accurate portrayal of a person suffering from clinical depression. It is very well-written, sharp, and rewards repeat and astute viewers. It also has a ton of great voice talent including Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Paul F. Tompkins, Allison Brie, and Patton Oswald.

Transparent is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime and BoJack the Horseman is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

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Scrotal Recall (2014) and Catastrophe (2015) – Prime Flix Podcast

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It’s been a while since the show’s gone across the pond, so this week Ed and Dean set sail for the old world and touch down in Heathrow. What will they find? Will there be a variety of dialects? Will they once more get food poisoning from mushrooms (an unrelated earlier incident)? And most importantly will the shows tickle the funny bone of these two average Americans? Take a listen find out!

Scrotal Recall is a new import presented by Netflix. Featuring a cast of hundreds of people from Great Britain, its a show about three of those people in particular. It goes like this: the blonde, boring roommate has a minor STD (STI?) and needs to contact all of his previous partners to let them know. Meanwhile we get to relive how he and his friends, the dark-haired, cool guy and the sarcastic, pretty girl, are involved in each encounter. It’s a dash of My Name is Earl and pinch of The New Girl. If you’re looking for a bit of potential, you can find it here.

Catastrophe is set again in England, but it stars an American fellow and an Irish gal in a genre-busting rom-com. Together, the two fall madly in pregnancy. Rob (Rob Delaney) opens a UK office and moves in with Sharon (Sharon Horgan). They go about trying to get to know one another while experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy and Rob’s lack of friends. It’s a good show, but oh what charm! No hyperbole, the charm in this series could fill an entire box of cereal – and that’s not a joke about it being from the Ireland/UK area, it’s a joke about leprechaun cereal. Taste this show, it’s delicious.

Scrotal Recall (2014) is currently available for streaming on Netflix and Catastrophe (2015) is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Total Recall (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997) – Prime Flix Podcast


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The future is weighing on Dean’s mind and Ed just needs a pool. That’s the start of the first episode of the fourth season of the podcast. But these days, folks crave those simple days of the 1990’s, so for the aforementioned first episode of the fourth season of the podcast, Ed and Dean take a dive into the future of the past. Yet another in the long running series, “Does it… hold up?”, it’s Total Recall (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997).

Total Recall is a terrifying view of Mars, from on Mars. That’s right, humanity has reached the red planet, but apparently only use it to keep the lower class low. Luckily, Arnold (Schwarzenegger) is here – or is he? Well, he is, but only if he is who he thinks he is, which may not be who he is at all. Featuring deformed, mutant rebels, automated Johnnycabs, and a select handful of one-liners, this is one of film history’s favorite Philip K. Dick adaptations.

The Fifth Element takes a slightly different view of the future. In a universe where odd Egyptian mythology is the key to humanity’s survival, only John McClane (Die Hard) and Resident Evil (Milla Jovovich) can save it. It’s a story that’s almost as good as it is long and supports the careers of not only Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) but also Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) and that guy from Rush Hour (Rush Hour), so hard to go wrong. So don your heat bandages, grab a glass of your favorite element, The future is here, and it’s only a fresh clone who can save it.

Total Recall is currently available for streaming on Netflix and The Fifth Element is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Further reading:
The 100 best sci-fi movies (Time Out)
The Definitive History of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Greatest Action Movie Quips (Grantland)

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and Adventureland (2009) – Prime Flix Podcast

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Ah, summer nostalgia. It’s been a summer of cool temps and even cooler heads, but that all ends here. While the temperatures begin to finally rise, Ed and Dean harken back to those summers of the 80s, you know the ones they can’t remember. Fear not, this week’s selections are filled with all the high-waisted, shaggy-haired fun we can only assume pervaded the entire decade. It’s Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and Adventureland (2009).

Wet Hot American Summer is a fond look back on the summer camps of our youth, or it would be if it weren’t a parody. This weird little film twists and turns all wild, young summer cliches into a bug juice so delicious, you’d think you were right back on that rope course – only funnier. The film has a lot to be excited about, but chief among them may be the stellar (Stella) cast. You’ve got Poehler, Cooper, Garofalo, Pierce, Black, Rudd, Shannon, Marino, Lo Truglio, Meloni, et al. It’s a true Petri dish of comedy, about to plum into the bacterium we love so dearly today.

Adventureland takes a more grounded view of that wild summer. The Facebook guy (Jesse Eisenberg) earnestly portrays a recent college grad who must work a summer at a carnival-style theme park. Along the way he meets a gang of rag-tag Games clerks and learns a few life lessons from Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). Oh and he’s chasing a girl (Kristen Stewart); they always chase a girl. It’s a roller coaster of a summer and quite familiar, but not cliche. Also, Bill Hader, who is awesome.

Wet Hot American Summer is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Adventureland is currently available for streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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Trollhunter (2010) and The Boxtrolls (2014) – Prime Flix Podcast

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After taking an unannounced and undeserved week off in honor of Independence Day (the holiday, not the movie), Ed and Dean are back at it with a few couple of monster selections. “Monster” selections… get it? So kick back, drop your line in and set the motor to “troll”, as Ed and Dean discuss this week’s pair: Trollhunter (2010) and The Boxtrolls (2014).

Trollhunter is a Norwegian film done entirely in some language foreign to the reviewers. Fortunately the film includes subtitles and the most important Norwegian word used is exactly the same in English, “TROLL!” The movie is a found footage style thriller about a student, documentary film crew who follows a man employed by the government to keep real-life trolls in their designated areas. When the trolls escape, he’s tasked with hunting and eliminating them. Along the way we see an entertaining mix of the cast’s horror at dealing with the gigantic creatures and a fun look into the tools of the trade. Tip: when attempting to get a blood sample, where a suit of armor!

The Boxtrolls is a stop-motion family film about a boy who grows up with a society of box-wearing trolls living below a 19th century (?) European town. Everything is going great for the boy, except that all his friends are being captured and enslaved by the grotesque villain in an attempt to win favor and eat cheese. Along the way, the boy discovers he might not actually be a troll, but in fact a human! A thought that never occurred to him while his human language skills far outpaced that of his boxtroll brethren. There’s humor, cheese, funny inventions and adventurous suspense all rolled up into one box. The only question it leaves is why everyone is so obsessed with cheese?

Trollhunter is currently available for streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime and The Boxtrolls is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

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Half-Cast: Sense8 – Prime Flix Podcast

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This week on the podcast, Ed goes solo. Dean is nowhere to be found and Tim needs a lozenge. NBD Ed is up to the task. He talks about the new Netflix original series Sense8 and tries to find good things to say about it. Dean also usually writes the shownotes. So this is all you get.


Given that it’s a Netflix original series, you can find Sense8  on Netflix (uh, doy!).

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Hook (1991) and Jumanji (1995) – Prime Flix Podcast


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Another entry in the Does It Hold Up? category. What ties this week’s films together? Well you guess, we wouldn’t want to be Robin you of a sporting chance by just coming out and saying it! That would be bad form. Alright we’ll tell you: it’s bad parenting. On this week’s episode, Ed and Dean discuss two different orphan flicks: Hook (1991) and Jumanji (1995).

Hook is an Robin Williams driven, epic adventure from the director of other family-friendly classics such as Jaws and Saving Private Ryan. Starring a cast of millions (in dollars that is), the picture serves as a sequel of sorts to the lauded Peter Pan stories. Highlights from the discussion include: baseball is inexplicably important and Tinkerbell and Peter’s relationship is confusing. With terrific performances from Tootsie (Dustin Hoffman) as the titular Hook and Pretty Woman (Julia Roberts) as the aforementioned fairy, it’s a superb mash-up.

Jumanji is the story of a board game which has a tendency to ruin not only a single afternoon, but also Bonnie Hunt’s entire life. This one stars Robin Williams (oh hey, that’s coincidental!) as the adult version of a child who’s been living inside the game for 26 years. With some probably impressive-for-its-day CGI, Williams, Hunt, a young Kirsten Dunst and another kid try to survive the game’s mystic maleficence. Will they complete the game? Will the CGI disappoint? Will the rhyming scheme be consistent? And most importantly, will it hold up?! So many questions, a few of which may even be answered!

Hook and Jumanji are currently available for streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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The Americans (2013) and The Hunt for Red October (1990) (Rebroadcast)


In this rebroadcast we relive the moment the third season began. Enjoy.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this podcast! Prime Flix has returned with a new format and new (?) co-host – Dean.

This week on the podcast Ed and Dean discuss two different Cold War themed properties: The Americans (2013) and The Hunt for Red October (1990).

The Americans is a well regarded show that has recently begun to air it’s third season on FX. It stars Felicity’s Kerri Russell and some british guy as two Russian sleeper agents living together as a married “Americans” (clever title) in the Metro DC area in the 1980s. Things get wacky when – surprise! – an FBI counter-intelligence agent who just returned from deep cover as a white supremacist moves in next door.

The Hunt for Red October was the first of the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy to be made into a feature film (I know, by now there are so many we’re basically on a first name basis with him). Ryan (played by a pre-words-with-friends Alec Baldwin) must convince the US military to help a Russian sub captain (played by a post-James Bond Sean Connery) that he believes is defecting to the US aboard the USSR’s new high tech submarine the “Red October”. This movie’s submarines are out-numbered only by its stars. This impressive cast includes James Earl Jones, Stellan Skarsgard, Sam Neill, and a (non-singing) Tim Curry.

The Americans is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime and The Hunt for Red October is currently available on Netflix Streaming.