The SportsAlcohol.com MiniPodcast: Other People’s Money and Dark City

In a follow-up to our smash hit episode unexpectedly pairing Pretty Woman with Dark City, Ben and Jesse return with another trade-off, going one year into the future of both sci-fi and business movies: Ben had never seen 1998’s Dark City. Jesse had never seen Other People’s Money. So we watched ’em both and talked about both, up to and including why each of these lesser-known works might (or might not) be superior to some similar but more popular movies like Wall Street and The Matrix.

How To Listen

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McDormand and Rockwell face off in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

There are certain actor-on-actor match-ups and team-ups and face-offs that gain a kind of mythic grandeur from the sheer fact of the performers not having intersected earlier. I’m thinking of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro facing off, if only for a few minutes, in Heat; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie supposedly smoldering in Mr. and Mrs. Smith; Eddie Murphy riffing opposite Steve Martin in Bowfinger; John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in, well, you know. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell don’t immediately come to mind as a similarly titanic pair. They’re both terrific actors, their filmographies packed with memorable performances, but Rockwell works so often, and McDormand with such relative choosiness, that at first their pairing primarily elicits a vague familiarity – wait, was Rockwell ever in a Coens movie with McDormand? Was McDormand ever in a Marvel movie with Rockwell? Is Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri really their first one together?
Continue reading McDormand and Rockwell face off in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The SportsAlcohol.com Surprise MiniPodcast: Pretty Woman and Starship Troopers

They may seem like an odd pairing for a double feature, but that’s part of the design: Jesse had never seen Pretty Woman, Ben had never seen Starship Troopers (which turns 20 in just a few weeks!), and everyone was appalled, so we sat down to fix it. Ben and Jesse watched both movies back to back, then had a quick chat about each other’s reactions to both movies as both first-timers and veterans. All in all, a splendid use of a Wednesday night and we hope you enjoy our talk. I’m taking suggestions for future incongruous double-feature conversation-starters in the comments!

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “Goodwill”: Everyone’s Terrible

Halt and Catch Fire is an interesting way to take the temperature of our current television climate. It is a very, very good show, with all of the hallmarks of a prestige cable drama, and yet it’s nobody’s favorite. Still, we’ve been covering Halt and Catch Fire since the first season, and Marisa has always found something about it that spoke to her personally, so she decided to write about the individual episodes as it heads into its final stretch. Read her reaction to the previous episode, “Who Needs a Guy?” here

In the very first season of Halt and Catch Fire, we learn that Joe took notice of Gordon because of something he’d written in Byte magazine: “Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.” (Now, having spent four seasons with Gordon, I can picture his exact tone as he wrote that.) The series mirrors Gordon’s quote, in that it’s also not necessarily interested in The Thing. As I said before, it’s more likely to skip over The Thing entirely in favor of what emotional work has to be done after The Thing in order to get through it and go onto the next Thing.

Continue reading Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “Goodwill”: Everyone’s Terrible

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Romantic Comedies

The most recent episode of our podcast actually went up last weekend, and then the various events of this week happened and suddenly it didn’t seem like such a great time to talk about lovey-dovey stuff that comprises our discussion of what makes a good romantic comedy. But now that we’ve had a few days, maybe you need a break from the news, and would like to hear our majority-female panel talk about what makes us swoon-laugh-smile-whatever when watching rom-coms, as a companion piece of sorts to our discussions of what makes us cry and what makes us scared. Join Marisa, Jesse, Nathaniel, and two different Saras as we sort out various eras of romantic comedy, key ingredients, which classics of the genre we love (and/or hate), and try to figure out why the genre is going through such a drought lately.

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “Who Needs a Guy?”: Dry Your Eyes

Halt and Catch Fire is an interesting way to take the temperature of our current television climate. It is a very, very good show, with all of the hallmarks of a prestige cable drama, and yet it’s nobody’s favorite. Still, we’ve been covering Halt and Catch Fire since the first season, and Marisa has always found something about it that spoke to her personally, so she decided to write about the individual episodes as it heads into its final stretch. Read her reaction to the previous episode, “A Connection Is Made,” here

Halt and Catch Fire isn’t really a show that depends on being spoiler-free, but if you haven’t seen “Who Needs a Guy?” and plan on catching up, you probably shouldn’t read behind the cut.

Continue reading Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “Who Needs a Guy?”: Dry Your Eyes

Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “A Connection Is Made”: Stronger at the Broken Places

Halt and Catch Fire is an interesting way to take the temperature of our current television climate. It is a very, very good show, with all of the hallmarks of a prestige cable drama, and yet it’s nobody’s favorite. Still, we’ve been covering Halt and Catch Fire since the first season, and Marisa has always found something about it that spoke to her personally, so she decided to write about the individual episodes as it heads into its final stretch. Read her reaction to the previous episode, “Nowhere Man,” here

For most of us, our lives orbit around two loci: The place where we show our public selves, and the place where we get to be who we really are . Most often, those two places are work and home—but that’s not always the case, especially on Halt and Catch Fire. Cameron is unable to separate her work from who she is, for example, so her code follows her wherever she goes. Her public place is in Joe’s apartment, where she’s performing the part of Good Girlfriend; her Airstream is where, mostly alone, she gets to be the real Cameron and admit to herself that she’s not really as “sick of tech” as she claims.

Continue reading Halt and Catch Fire Reaction, “A Connection Is Made”: Stronger at the Broken Places

David Gordon Green quietly made another very good movie: STRONGER

A Jake Gyllenhaal movie about the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing is coming out this weekend, and it’s currently within a few percentage points of a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s both wrenching and uplifting as it grapples with the idea of heroism and the expectations that come along with it. It debuted on the prestigious fall festival circuit. And hardly anyone seems to be talking about it. Welcome to the serial underestimation of director David Gordon Green, where even an accessible and critically acclaimed drama can fly under the radar.

Part of Stronger’s high marks is just that old Tomatometer math where if enough critics give a movie a pass, it has a “higher” score than something more divisive. Hardly any critics I’ve read on Stronger seem to prefer it to, say, the less universally beloved mother! Indeed, I don’t prefer it to mother! either. But given my lack of excitement when I heard that Green was prepping a movie about the Boston bombing – concurrently with Mark Wahlberg booster Peter Berg, no less, whose Patriots Day came out last Christmas – and the lack of buzz around the finished product, I was taken aback when I saw Stronger by just how damn good it is. It tells the story of Jeff Bauman, a genial Beantown fuckup who attended the marathon in an uncharacteristic show of dedication to his on-and-off girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslaney), hoping to cheer her on. The bomb went off next to him, and he lost both his legs, attaining an unsettling kind of celebrity in the process.
Continue reading David Gordon Green quietly made another very good movie: STRONGER

SportsAlcohol.com Founder in the Wild: Sharatoga Tech Talks

By now, you are well aware of the fact that we have a podcast. (If not, we’re doing a bad job—but, hey! We have a podcast. You should totally check it out.) But have you ever thought to yourself, “Hey, how does one create a podcast?” Or “What even is a podcast?” then SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Rob has an event for you. He’s giving a talk on the ins, the outs, and the what-have-yous of podcasting as part of Sharatoga Tech Talks in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Rob’s talk is entitled, “I Made a Podcast so It Can’t Be That Hard: Someone Who Knows Slightly More About Podcasting Than You Explains the Journey from Recording to Distribution.” I think that tells you all you really need to know about it. He’ll be sharing a bill with techies talking about Jira API, Kotlin, craft beer design in upstate New York, and Go (“A Modern Language with Classic Roots”). And if the sound of the word “Jira” is enough to make a little shudder of revulsion go down your spine, rest assured that it all goes down in a venue with some classic video games (Rampage!), so you can always retreat into that.

RSVP HERE

The nitty-gritty:
Sharatoga Tech Talks featuring Rob
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Sinclair Saratoga Springs
17 Maple Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hors d’oeuvres and video games start at 5:30 PM,
presentations start at 6 PM sharp on the second floor

If you do this and become a world-famous podcaster, remember the little podcast that started you off.