January 24, 2015

SPECIAL BONUS! Deconstruction is Magic, Season 1 Wrap-Up Podcast

We wrap up the first year of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with a roundtable podcast discussion, where I also say goodbye to the blog. To listen, check it out here.

January 18, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 16 "A Summoning of Thunder, Part 2"

"What's interesting about this episode is how it recontextualizes the entire series, which till now has been a struggle between Captain Power and Lord Dread, to actually being a struggle between Stuart Power and Lord Dread, with Captain Jonathan merely being a legacy extension of his father. I was under the impression that Jonathan had made the Power Suits (a closer listen reveals the opening titles say "master of" not "maker of"), but nope, that was all Stuart. I thought Mentor had been made by Jonathan in memory of his father, but no, Stuart made that, too, crafting the computer's hologram so a piece of himself will always be left guiding his son. Stuart made the Power Base, Stuart established the resistance to the war, Jonathan is merely the ripple rolling out from that initial splash."

To read more, check out our latest post.

January 17, 2015

[Masters of Carpentry] Johnocrypha #1: Prey

Masters of Carpentry launches a spinoff show where I update my review of John Carpenter's unproduced screenplay for Prey in a new audio format. To listen, check it out here.

January 12, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 15 "A Summoning of Thunder, Part 1"

"So much of this story hinges on the performances of Bruce Gray and David Hemblem, and both more than rise to the occasion. Gray's Stuart Power is a brilliant, driven man who, nonetheless, has the weight of the world on his shoulders as he feels fully responsible for breaking it and takes it upon himself to rebuild it again. It gives a weight to how much of a shadow of this man the image of Mentor is, even as Stuart activates that computer program in a moment where he knows he's about to face certain death. Hemblem's Taggert has all the cold calculation of Dread, but he's still fully a man instead of being buried himself within the machine, even as Stuart and Hawk talk about how Taggert and Overmind have been fused. They're still seeing it from a distance, not witnessing the struggles Taggert still faces with the machine over his choices and emotions, a struggle which continues to this day as Overmind calls Dread out for respecting Power's annual memorial and cliffhangering us on that pending attack. Taggert doesn't want to be the villain, people just won't accept that he's trying to save them and make everything better, which makes him all the more complicated of a baddie."

To read more, check out our latest post.

January 10, 2015

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 26 "The Best Night Ever"

"I love how it opens in pure Disney fashion, though subverting that majesty right from the very start with the mouse horses (mourses?). Even the prep for the ball is a nice window into all the work it takes prepping and dressing and hoping you don’t forget any detail when you want to look your absolute best, and then we get there and it’s a big Disney musical number, and if I have any criticism, it’s that the lyrics feel rushed and clunky with some lines that just don’t roll together well. Still, it’s great having a reminder of the dream night everyone has spent so long wishing this will be, and I love that they instantly fall into that as a great setup for how quickly it goes wrong."

To read more, check out our full post here.

January 4, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 14 "Judgement"

"These are mind-blowing ethical struggles that you never see in a children's cartoon, and is presented here with a maturity and sophistication few adult dramas are even capable of. This episode is everything "Gemini and Counting" was not, most importantly a showcase for Jessica Steen's acting as Pilot's reserved stoicism falls away and you see her pain, her trauma, her guilt and shame, her hope and compassion. So much emotion suddenly pours out that it more than makes up for cold moments we've gotten in the past, and even retroactively gives them weight as you now see what she's kept bottled up all this time."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 25 "Party of One"

"I was shocked by this episode, in a good way, as, amidst all the screwball shenanigans, we get a complex look at a severe emotional breakdown as Pinkie falls so far into her anxieties and sense of worth and acceptance that even when her friends yank her back from it, she’s still suspicious and doubting. Having some anxiety is good and expected, but wow, do they crank it to an extreme, to the point where the Party Scene, while hilarious and bizarre, is also quite painful, and I was wincing with each jolt of her psyche more than I was laughing. Again, though, in a good way."

To read more, check out our latest post.

January 1, 2015

SPECIAL BONUS! Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome #47: Tanks, Bazookas, and the Great Whatsit - Part 1

Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome has quickly become one of my favorite film podcasts, with highly energetic and knowledgeable hosts Melissa and Windy sailing broad, themed discussions through entire swaths of moviedom each week. I was honored to be their guest for this look at the films of Robert Aldrich, a personal favorite director of mine, and we had so much fun and ran so long that we had to break the episode in two parts. Enjoy! And a huge thank you to Windy and Melissa for having me on.

Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome, episode 47