All posts by Nathaniel

The Podcast: Bill & Ted & Trilogies

To celebrate the recent release of long-awaited trilogy-creator Bill & Ted Face the Music, your pals at got together to talk about the new Bill & Ted movie, discuss our wide range of opinions of how well it works, and then have a broader discussion about the state and mechanics of movie trilogies these days. What are the best ones? What one-offs have been ruined into trilogies, and what great trilogies have been ruined with a part four? What makes a great trilogy, any? Are there even any? These questions and more are answered by your most excellent participants!

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

The Podcast: Best Movies of 2020

Usually around this time of year, we do a seasonal episode about the various indie movies of the summer, and then an episode in January about the best movies of the preceding year. But honestly, who the hell knows what the rest of 2020 has in store for us? So this year we’ve decided to just call it off and talk about some of the best movies of 2020 right now, in August. Would Tenet or The New Mutants have made our informal list? Who knows?! And who cares?! We had more than enough good movies to fill a supersized episode anyway, all of which you can currently watch at home without getting covid! Join Marisa, Sara, Nathaniel, Jeremy, and Jesse as we console ourselves with cinema!

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

King Kong on Broadway

“Why, in a few months, it’ll be up in lights on Broadway: Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World.”
– Carl Denham

Eighty-five years after Robert Armstrong uttered that line in the original King Kong, the king of Skull Island has made the leap off of screens and onto an actual Broadway stage, with the debut of a new musical now in previews at the Broadway Theatre. It’s not exactly fair to critique the production before their November 8th opening (and there are plenty of folks much better suited to give you a real theater review), but I’m more interested in talking about how the show stacks up as an entry into the Kong canon anyway.* Continue reading King Kong on Broadway

The 10 Best Revival Episodes of Futurama

I may be showing my age, but I’m pretty excited for Disenchantment, the new Netflix series created by Matt Groening (with an assortment of writers, animators, and voice actors from his previous shows). I was around for the glorious peak years of both The Simpsons (1991 through 1997ish I guess, don’t @ me) and Futurama (late 1999 through 2003), so the promise of a new Groening TV show rates very high on my personal hopes/expectations chart. It’s also why I’m unfazed by mixed reviews of the early episodes, as both of those previous shows offer a template for how this show might develop. Continue reading The 10 Best Revival Episodes of Futurama

Stories from the Antebellum Planet of the Apes

The last time a new Planet of the Apes movie hit theaters we took a look at the tie-in novel and short films that were meant to fill in a little of the story between the movies. With the release of War for the Planet of the Apes, we decided it was time to update that list and run through all of the stories that have been released in this iteration of the series. If you want to catch up on the current Apes timeline (or want to know which ones are worth checking out) before going out to see the new movie, this is the list for you. Continue reading Stories from the Antebellum Planet of the Apes

King Kong Week!

Hail the power of King Kong week on! If you’re looking for Kong coverage, we’ve got:

…a King Kong primer for the uninitiated.

…a list of all of Kong’s movie opponents.

…a look at Kong’s creator Merian C. Cooper and his connection with non-Kong protagonist Carl Denham.

…a rundown of the expanded Kong mythos in Joe DeVito’s Skull Island series.

…a tag-team review of Korean baseball-playing gorilla movie, Mr. Go.

…a tour of the many full-sized King Kongs throughout the years.

King-Size Kong

How big is King Kong?

Everyone who’s heard of him knows the answer is “big,” but the real answer is, “it depends.” Because in his seven film appearances (including this week’s Kong: Skull Island) his height has varied dramatically, at times within the same film. So if we’re going to look at the history of life-sized King Kongs, we’ve got to talk about what “life-sized” means. Continue reading King-Size Kong

Kong: Pulp Fiction

Friends, we’ve talked about the sequels and knock-offs of King Kong. And you can probably guess how excited we are to see Kong: Skull Island when it opens this weekend. But I’m here today to talk about a world of new King Kong stories you can read right now! I’m talking about the work of Joe Devito, Brad Strickland, and Will Murray chronicling the authorized history of “King Kong of Skull Island.” Continue reading Kong: Pulp Fiction

Merian C. Cooper, King Kong, and the Carl Denham Connection

– Say, is this the moving picture ship?

– The pictures? Yeah. Are you going on this crazy voyage?

– What’s crazy about it?

                                   – I don’t know, but everybody around here is talking about that crazy fella that’s running it.

– Carl Denham?

                                         – Guess that’s the name. They say he ain’t scared of                                                  nothin’. If he wants a picture of a lion, he just goes up to him and tells him to look pleasant.

– He’s a tough egg all right.

For all the remakes, sequels, and knock-offs that followed in its wake, the original King Kong still stands apart as something special. Now sure, some of that is down to the tremendous craft involved in its creation. And some of it is down to its trailblazing place in cinema history. And some of it is down to just the dumb luck confluence of right-place-and-right-time grouping of people and resources that can be found behind the scenes of so many truly classic movies. But I think the real secret to King Kong is how personal it is. That’s right, the fantastical story of an ape-god lording over a mysterious lost world also happens to feature a fair amount of autobiography, a fact perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Carl Denham, the adventurer and filmmaker who is essentially responsible for all of the destructive events in the film, is also its hero. And that’s because Carl Denham is basically King Kong‘s director, Merian C. Cooper. Continue reading Merian C. Cooper, King Kong, and the Carl Denham Connection