All posts by Jeremy Beck

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Top Summer Movies of 1992

Summer 2022 is officially and unequivocally over. Long live summer 1992! As we continue to sweep the corners on summer movies past, we have arrived at the summer movies of 1992, which looks a hell of a lot different from 2022 or 2002. Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin haven’t yet teamed up for Bowfinger (and are both trying their hands at screwball rom-coms of sorts). Jack Ryan is only on his third actor. Tom Cruise is there, but he’s Irish. There’s just one superhero movie, and it’s way hornier than usual. And girls?!? Playing baseball??! To sort through all of this, we’ve reunited Nathaniel, Ben, Marisa, Becca, Jeremy, and Jesse to talk about our experiences (largely but not entirely facilitated by home video!) with this eclectic and occasionally maddening look at the summer movies of 1992.

If you need to catch up before checking out the latest and greatest, here’s the complete history of this project:

1990
1991
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002

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

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Doctor Strange 2 and the Films of Sam Raimi

All right, you primitive screwheads, listen up: Sam Raimi put out his first new movie in nine years this summer, returning to the world of Marvel superheroes with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We thought it would be a good time to revisit all of his older films and, in the process, analyze just how much of his voice can be heard in the MCU machine. And though Jesse did not edit this episode in a timely manner, Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange 2 is now on Disney+, so you can do a full Sam Raimi marathon, from Evil Dead trilogy to the normal-movie trilogy to the Spider-Man trilogy and beyond, from the comfort of home! Join Nathaniel, Jeremy, Marisa, and Jesse as we discuss every single Sam Raimi feature film, including his latest. Who defends Oz the Great and Powerful? Who was not feeling Darkman? Who loves The Quick and the Dead more now than as a callow teenager? Now dig on this and find out! (And if we don’t talk enough about Spidey for your tastes, there’s always this old episode!)

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of the episode directly here.
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud. We don’t always have it working right but there’s good stuff there regardless!
  • You can listen to the episode in the player below.

The Best Movies of 2021

It’s been a long year. I’m referring, of course, to 2020, which is still going, some 800-plus days after it started. Oh, it’s 2022?! Ah, shit. That means this list is super-late. Sorry! But maybe we could all use some extra time to think about our choices, and how extremely correct they all are. I won’t waste any more time. Let’s get to the list for another year where everything was garbage but the movies. You can listen to us defend our choices here.
Continue reading The Best Movies of 2021

The SportsAlcohol.dom Podcast Double Feature: Best Movies of 2021, and the Oscars

It’s been a quiet winter, podcasting-wise, at SportsAlcohol.com HQ, but now Marisa, Sara, Jeremy, and Jesse are back with two new retrospective episodes! In the first, we continue our annual tradition of counting down our collective top 15 movies of the year (that’s 2021, not 2022). The full list will be on the site soon, but you can get a preview with our discussion of group and personal faves. Then we convened to talk about some of the best-and-other movies of 2021, offering our predictions, preferences, and occasional complaints about the recent Oscar nominations. Sure, it’s March, but the Oscars still haven’t happened yet! So why not take a last listen to us talking about the highlights (and occasional Oscar-honored lowlights) of the 2021 movie year? It’s been a rollercoaster year-plus, but keep in mind: Heartbreak feels good in a place like this.

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of the episode directly here for the best movies of 2021 and here for the Oscars.
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud. We don’t always have it working right but there’s good stuff there regardless!
  • You can listen to the episodes in the players below.

TRACK MARKS 2021: “Final Girl” by Chvrches

Track Marks is a recurring SportsAlcohol.com feature that invites writers to briefly discuss a song that is meaningful to them in any way. Though they can appear on the site at any time, we always run a bunch of them around the turn of a new year, looking back at the previous year in music.

The music of Chvrches has always had a widescreen quality: With its swooning synths and pealing guitars, it’s virtually engineered to soundtrack a Michael Mann epic. But on “Final Girl,” the Scottish synth-pop trio isn’t just making music fit for the movies; they’re placing themselves within the movies. The title, as those steeped in pop culture well know, refers to the sometimes-virginal victim of a horror film, the last woman standing (and screaming) after the killer has eviscerated her hapless friends. Is lead singer Lauren Mayberry equating the burdens of feminine fame to the terrors of haunted-house mayhem, with toxic internet trolls swarming her with the destructive zeal of an inexorable slasher? She certainly seems battered, if not broken; whereas in the past she “could drown it out by filling up the silence with an organ sound,” now she’s wondering if she should just quit and go get married.

Final girls can’t give up, though. They’re defined by their endurance, their pluck, their defiant survival. And if a decade of commercial success has sapped Mayberry of her artistic enthusiasm, that’s news to Chvrches’ listeners, because “Final Girl” represents a band at the peak of its musical powers. Structurally, there’s nothing fancy about the song; it’s just a couple of verses, along with the usual pre- and post-chorus. But the compact, muscular arrangement bristles with precision and verve, the steady repetition paradoxically creating kinetic momentum. All of the harmonizing instruments—the glittering keyboards, the sliding guitars, the punchy percussion—are perfectly synchronized, and appropriately subservient to the clarion beauty of Mayberry’s voice. (During the chorus, she muses whether she should have changed her accent to make herself sound more attractive, a wistful piece of self-reflection which ignores the fact that her accent totally rules.) This exactitude lends the imagery a chilling vividness; when Mayberry conjures the vision of someone finding their daughter in a body bag, you can practically see the coroner pulling up the zipper.

“Final Girl” deftly mingles the personal with the professional—it’s an introspective diary entry that’s been crafted with brash, boisterous confidence—but in the spirit of the best slasher flicks, it saves its biggest twist for the finale. Mayberry has already mentioned the track’s title on her initial run through the post-chorus, but the second time around she asks, “There’s a final girl / Does she look like me?” It’s a jolting question, one that ponders just how much of ourselves we see when we’re staring at a movie screen. “She should be screaming!” Mayberry sings, her voice cresting with urgency as the mix gradually dissolves into an extended hiss of reverb. It’s a fitting non-ending, one that primes you to anticipate a sequel. And why not? With music this rich and taut and assured, Chvrches deserve a whole damn cinematic universe.

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Films of Wes Anderson

How did it take us this long to get to a Wes Anderson podcast episode?! Though The Grand Budapest Hotel was our consensus choice for the best movie of 2014, our site’s very first best-movie-of-the-year pick, we hadn’t yet dedicated a full episode to Anderson’s full filmography. With the recent of release of The French Dispatch, we decided to change that, assembling Marisa, Jon, Sara, Jeremy, and Jesse to rank Anderson’s movies and discuss all ten of them. Which film edged out which other film for the number one spot? Which one was lowest on multiple lists? What do we think of his latest movie (now available to stream, rent, or buy on disc)? And where do the stop-motion animals fit in?! All of this information and more is contained in this podcast episode, our first in too long, but also one of our best. So switch off the Kinks for just a couple of hours and listen up!

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of the episode directly here.
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud. We don’t always have it working right but there’s good stuff there regardless!
  • You can listen to the episode in the player below.

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Top Movies of Summer 1991

As promised, the SportsAlcohol.com panel of summer movie experts is back and bigger than ever, with no fewer than seven all-star contributors assembling (virtually) to discuss the biggest and not necessarily best movies of summer 1991. The panelists are Marisa, Ben, Nathaniel, Sara, Becca, Jeremy, and Jesse. The movies of summer 1991 include R-rated sci-fi action hits that also generated playground buzz from the preteen crowd; a jetpacked retro superhero; Billy Crystal having a midlife crisis; a whole lotta fire; and Kevin Costner in a mullet. And that’s not all! You’ll also find out how Becca’s dad preferred to watch Backdraft, how Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves changed Marisa’s life, how Boyz n the Hood holds up thirty years later, which beloved blockbuster(s) that Ben actually kinda hates, and more, more, more!

If you love hearing us talk about the movies of summer 1991 and long to hear different combinations of us discussing other summer movies of yore, here’s the complete history of this project:

1990
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of the Black Widow/Cruella episode here and the streaming-biz discussion episode here
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud. We don’t always have it working right but there’s good stuff there regardless!
  • You can listen to the episode in the player below.

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Godzilla vs. Kong

After numerous pandemic-related delays, the Godzilla vs. Kong title bout is finally here. For basically as long as SportsAlcohol dot com has existed, we have been your go-to source for monster-movie expertise, especially as it pertains to King Kong and Godzilla. Whether that involves exhaustive Kong History, sharing valuable Godzilla information out in the wild, seeing the Kong on Broadway, cataloging opponents, or re-experiencing the 1998 Godzilla movie, we have been here for Godzilla, Kong, and now, of course, Godzilla vs. Kong, a new movie where the two giant monsters fight and fight and fight. With the invaluable input of our in-house monster expert Nathaniel, we got together to discuss the new movie, which some of us made sure to see twice in the span of half a day, just to give our analysis the extra kick (and punch, and bite) you need. Once you’ve watched Godzilla vs. Kong on HBO Max or, if you can do so safely, in movie theaters worldwide, come back here and listen in on the nerdy conversation you wish you were having at the 24-hour diner!

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of this episode directly here
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud
  • You can listen to the episode (and a bunch of great songs!) in the players below.

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Best Movies of 2020, Again

Back in September of 2020, we wondered whether maybe it was just time to call it on 2020 and move on to other things, so we did our best movies of 2020 podcast four months early. But as it turned out, life continued on planet Earth, and we were able to pull together a list of the year’s best movies at the appropriate time: Well into the following year. In the spirit of, oh, let’s just say an extended awards season, we also got together to discuss some of the movies from this list that we hadn’t already discussed before. So think of this podcast about the best movies of 2020 as a sequel to last summer’s episode, and a testament to the fact that movies really were one actually-good thing in 2020, even if nothing much else was.

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
  • I’m not sure why they allowed it, but we are on iTunes! If you enjoy what you hear, a positive comment and a rating would be great.
  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of this episode directly here
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud
  • You can listen to the episode (and a bunch of great songs!) in the players below.

The 20 Best Movies of 2020

Back in the fall, we were so uncertainly about the prospects of discussing the best movies of 2020 in a timely fashion that we decided to call it early and do a best-movies-of-the-year podcast in September. Who knew when anything would get back to normal, if ever? As it turns out, we’re well into 2021 and things still haven’t gotten back to normal (and no amount of pushing the Oscars into April has changed that). But something that stayed the same, albeit in weird and different shapes, were movies, in that there were good movies all through 2020, and in a hell year–hell, a hell-year-plus–that’s still worth talking about. So here we are, talking about the best movies of 2020 again; this time in writing, though a podcast will soon follow, too. And if we (I, Jesse) didn’t get this up until March, well, we’re still having the conversation earlier than the Oscars. That’s gotta count for something, right? Maybe in a few months, you can even start to think about how you might see revivals of these movies out in the real world again. The best movies of 2020 are here for you well into 2021 and beyond! Herewith, Sara, Marisa, Jeremy, Jesse, and Nathaniel talk about their collective favorites.
Continue reading The 20 Best Movies of 2020