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Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b

Eric Johnson and Emily Jones

The good news: The internet has made it easier than ever to watch, read, play, or listen to just about anything ever made. The bad news: Same. It's easy to get buried, even for two of the biggest pop culture geeks we know: Ourselves. Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b is what happens when we try to make each other -- and everyone who wants to listen along -- discover the good stuff. Join us!



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Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
Dec 13, 2021 Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Technology doesn't materialize out of thin air; it's made by people. And those people aren't necessarily good people. This week's movie, "The Social Network," is a heavily dramatized telling of how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg disrupted Harvard University, then colleges everywhere and then the world. The only problem — at least as seen here with Aaron Sorkin's name on the screenplay — is that he also upended his personal relationships along the way. You can stream "The...
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Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
Feb 7, 2020 Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Geek: Emily AND Eric That's right, it's Harry Potter time! Now, you might have noticed that Eric and I are both serious Harry Potter enthusiasts, and we have been since it all started. We read the books as they came out, pre-ordered each new one and devoured it immediately, the whole nine yards. In fact, we went to the midnight premiere of the last movie together. As delightful as all of this is for us, it presents a podcast problem: since neither of...
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Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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"Weird Al" Yankovic has been writing and performing song parodies since 1976. But he only made one feature-length movie — for good reason. "UHF" did not do well at the box office when it was released in 1989. It made $6.1 million on a $5 million budget. But in the years since, it has become a must-watch for any kid discovering the joys of "Weird Al" and a cult classic for geeks of all ages around the world. You should definitely watch "UHF" before you...
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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All right, all right, so that's from The Godfather. But they idolize those movies SO MUCH on this show that it makes it ok to use the world's most overused mafia cliche, right?   Right.   So in case you haven't gotten this, we're watching The Sopranos this week. Specifically, we're watching Season 1 - Episodes 1, 2, and 5. It's ok, you can start nodding along with the theme song...now.   For the somehow uninitiated (do you exist?), this HBO series starring James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco,...
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: Stick It Geek: Emily Today we venture into the world of elite gymnastics - but we're not going to take it too seriously. Stick It is part snarky teen comedy and part inspirational sports movie, part send-up of the gymnastics world and part homage to the sport. I've been a fan of this beautiful little movie, complete with its high-profile gymnastics cameos, for quite a while. The balance of sarcastic humor and genuine heart is just too good to resist. But can Eric warm to a movie about a...
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: Watchmen (first half) Geek: Eric This week, we finally get to something I've been wanting to discuss since before we started this podcast: The graphic novel Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Even if you saw the mediocre 2009 film and didn't like it, don't close this tab. I saw it, too, and was confused more than anything else. It's only in the shadow of the far, far superior book that its problems come into clarity. But we're not here to talk about a lousy movie (well, Emily and...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: Four Weddings and a Funeral Geek: Emily
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Hello and, again, welcome to the Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b Podcast Enjoyment Center. Your specimen has been processed and we are now ready to begin this week's episode. On this week's episode, [MALE CO-HOST NAME HERE] challenged [FEMALE CO-HOST NAME HERE] to try playing Portal, a 2007 video game made by Valve Software. For your own safety, and the safety of others, please subscribe to Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b on iTunes. The Enjoyment Center would also like to inform you that this podcast is also...
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
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Christmas special! Eric's favorite Muppet Christmas movie is "A Muppet Family Christmas," a TV special originally released in 1987. Emily's is "The Muppet Christmas Carol," which was released theatrically in 1992. So, who is right? Naturally, we watched both of them, and to get the most out of this episode, you should, too. "The Muppet Christmas Carol" is available to rent for $3 from Google, Vudu, Sony and Apple. And "A Muppet Family Christmas" is...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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After a slightly longer-than-expected break (several months instead of several weeks), we're back! Last year — when we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town — we pitted two Christmas movies against each other. This year, we're doing the same thing. Well, sort of. This weekend, we're watching two not-quite-Christmas movies, the first of which is "Gremlins" (1984), which was directed by Joe Dante, written by Chris Columbus and stars Zach Galligan,...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Hooray for trying new things. Unless those things are psychotropic drugs that permanently damage your brain. On this episode of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, Emily and I tried the good type of new thing: For the first time, we discussed a music album. Specifically, we listened twice over to "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys, one of my all-time favorite albums to listen to all the way through, for reasons that will become clear as you listen to the podcast. Don't want to listen right now?...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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We've all been there: 40 million people love watching you perform, and you hate it, so you decide to start wrestling women. OK, actually one person has been there: Andy Kaufman, the subject of the 1999 biopic "Man on the Moon," directed by Milos Forman and starring Jim Carrey as Kaufman. This week on Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, we are diving deep into alternative comedy, engineered outrage and how well Lorne Michaels and David Letterman can act as themselves. You can...
Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b
- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: The Music Man Geek: Emily Welcome to season four! Let's watch a musical. As you might recall, last season we watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and - spoiler alert - Eric loved it and immediately embarked on a binge. While this warms my little geek heart, it also poses a problem: CXG is packed with musical parodies, including one of my favorite number from one of my favorite musicals, and Eric has never seen it. Enter the Music Man. This musical has been a favorite since before I can even...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Hey, Upper East Siders (and, you know, all listeners). I've got the biggest episode EVER. Ok, maybe not. But it is the second episode stemming from the Golden Globes bet we both lost. Today, it's time to torture Eric. And what better way than with the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite? For the uninitiated, Gossip Girl is an anonymous blogger who chronicles (and tortures) a bunch of extremely wealthy high school students. With tipsters all over the city - especially in the fancy private...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: The Tour de France Geek: Emily And now for a sport that's a bit off the beaten track (or well-ridden road, as the case may be): cycling. I've been watching the Tour de France religiously for many years, and back in July I made Eric take the Tour plunge - albeit on a somewhat limited basis. For the purposes of our podcasts, we watched highlights of the first eight stages of the 2016 Tour with the help of some detailed planning and my NBC Sports Gold subscription. The full replays usually...
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Hello friends! We'll be back this week with another new episode, finally rectifying the fact that although he is obsessed with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Eric is oblivious to Sarah Michelle Gellar's other iconic teen starlet roles of the late 90s and early aughts. Yes, that means we're watching Cruel Intentions. As always, be sure to watch it before you listen! There will be many spoilers. Find it here: Amazon; Google Play; Vudu.
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Pacific Rim is not currently available to stream for free anywhere (well, anywhere legal), but here are the links to places you can buy it: Amazon - $10iTunes - $10Google - $10Xbox - $10PlayStation - $10DVD on Amazon - $6Blu-Ray on Amazon - $12Netflix - DVD subscription required
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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It only took us seven weeks (not counting part one of Sabriel and another episode, the audio for which was exterminated by Daleks) to get back to Doctor Who -- and there's a good reason for that. As we noted earlier this week, Emily binged on Doctor Who after our second episode, The Angels Have the Phone Box, and Eric wanted to make sure he had a chance to discuss two of his favorite episodes, The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor, with her in podcast form. Dumb, dumb Eric. What he/I...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: A View to a Kill Geek: Emily For the second part of our super special double-whammy season finale we're circling back to where we started: James. Bond. We're vaulting from one end of the Bond spectrum to the other, from the sublime(ly awesome) to the ridiculous(ly sublime). A View to a Kill is Roger Moore's last movie as the superspy, and he's got the world's best possible Bond villains opposite him: Christopher Walken as a psychotic genetic experiment and Grace Jones as his unspeakably...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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And now, it's time for round two of Star Trek: a foray into The Next Generation. Set long after the original show, this popular series returns to the Trek universe for another set of adventures aboard a later iteration of the Enterprise. Its crew of beloved characters include Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, LeVar Burton's Geordi Laforge, and Brent Spiner's android Data. But since we've never actually watched it, dedicated TNG fangirl Sarah Weitman (who you might recall from our 30...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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The last time we visited the zombie apocalypse, when we watched "The Walking Dead," most everything was bleak: People were fighting, some of them got killed, and there was little hope for the future. What if, instead, we all decided to have fun? That's part of the appeal of this week's movie, "Zombieland," a roadtrip comedy that just happens to coincide with the world's destruction via flesh-hungry monsters. And — as if you needed another reason to watch this movie with...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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What's this? Why, it's another bonus episode of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b!   Most of the time, people who say "Happy Holidays" aren't thinking of Halloween, but that might change once you see "The Nightmare Before Christmas," a 1993 stop-motion classic directed by Henry Selick and inspired by a poem written by Tim Burton. Emily, despite being the more musical half of the podcast, has never seen it, so whether you're a n00b like her or a geek like Eric, join us! If you're...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Life in a sleepy small town is turned upside down when a teen girl - pretty, blonde, a good student, the prom queen - is found, brutally murdered. Before long, the secrets start tumbling out, and we learn she's not as innocent nor is the the town as quiet as it seemed. It's the premise of, rough estimate here, seven million movies, books and TV series? Just a ballpark figure. And any of them made since the early 90s (and plenty of other TV shows besides) owe a TON to a defining classic of the...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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  What if you could put your finger in a machine and find out how you were going to die? What if that machine were always right? And what if that machine was also kind of a jerk, dispensing cryptic predictions that often came true in cruelly ironic ways?  That is the delightful-slash-terrifying premise of "Machine of Death," an anthology of short stories collected and first published in 2010 by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo and David Malki. And it's what we're talking about today on...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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And now for the REAL story of Watergate. This movie offers a bit of a lighter take on the scandal, as well as a guess at the identity of Woodward and Bernstein's infamous source, Deep Throat. Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams pay a pair of teenagers who couldn't be less interested in politics or world events - until they stumble into the middle of the biggest story of the century, befriend Richard "Dick" Nixon, and learn that you can't let Dick run your life. You can rent or buy the...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: The Third Man Geek: Emily And now, we venture into noir. What better way to dive into the genre than with Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, and World War Two-ravaged Vienna? That's right folks, this week it's "The Third Man." I probably first watched this movie on TCM, or in a fit of classic film VHS rentals, but I've returned over and over because there's just so much to love here. It's got intrigue, mysterious death, crosses and double crosses, and a perfect score to hold it all...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Emily has played very few video games in her life, but watches a lot of rom-coms. Eric has played way too many video games, and generally avoids rom-coms. What happens when they watch a rom-com that's all about games? In this episode, your hosts Eric Johnson and Emily Jones discuss Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a 2010 film starring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Also appearing: lots and lots of funny people, including Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman and...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Topic: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Geek: Emily This week's topic hasn't been around for very long, but oh boy has it made a splash. It won a Golden Globe. Vulture named it best show on TV. I am madly in love with it. We're talking, of course, about the CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's an hour-long comedy from the brilliant mind of Rachel Bloom, who also stars alongside a refreshingly diverse and seriously talented cast. The plot follows Bloom's character as she moves across the country in an attempt to...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Look up! Look down! Look out! Here comes the very first episode of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, in which your hosts Emily Jones and Eric Johnson discuss the 1965 James Bond film THUNDERBALL. The film's description, via IMDb: "James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme." Directed by Terence Young Starring Sean Connery, Claudine Auger and Adolfo Celi. Read more about the film and how Emily...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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We recorded our first episodes of this podcast in August of last year, and Eric's first pick was one of his favorite shows, Doctor Who. Spoiler alert for episode two, Emily really liked it -- so much so that she binged nearly 100 episodes of the show in the ensuing weeks. That took her up to the two end-of-2013 specials, The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor, which are also two of Eric's favorite episodes in the whole series. You can see where this is going. Join us this week for a...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Way back in January, Emily and I made a bet: Whoever could predict the winners of the Golden Globes more accurately would subject the other to a Geek vs. n00b pick that they would definitely hate. And I'm just gonna say it up front: If watching a bunch of dudes play Grand Theft Auto V for two hours is not your idea of a good time, then this episode may not be for you. Emily, however, had no choice. We both lost the bet (because we tied), so this weekend we're both torturing each other, no ifs...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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I never really got into anime in the way that a lot of other geeky kids did. Dragonball Z? Did not care. Pokémon? I watched the first season or two of the anime, but the video games were always first in my heart. Digimon? Yeah, no. So, I was surprised in college to really get into the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which borrows heavily from anime. It tells the story of an epic war fought by element-"bending" humans, a group of children who must save the...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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  "Beauty and the Beast," the first animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, is now ... a live-action movie, too! But how does it stack up to the original? On this bonus episode of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, we did the same thing that we did with La La Land last month: Emily and I watched the movie on our own, and did not share any thoughts about it with each other until we started recording. Turns out, we both had a lot of thoughts to share. You can find...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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It's no secret that we both love 30 Rock. A lot. Tina Fey's seven-season comedy for NBC is, in our opinion, one of the best ever, and we've both watched it countless times. But that's no fun for this podcast! So we've brought in a guest n00b to the world of TGS, night cheese, and Dr. Spaceman: Georgia's own Sarah Weitman, who's only seen a handful of random episodes. For our purposes, we're starting from the beginning and watching season one, episodes 1-3 and 5-7. Will Sarah like them? Will we...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Think about a Tom Cruise action movie. Okay, now forget everything you just thought of, because we're watching a Tom Cruise action movie where most of that won't apply. That will make sense after you watch this week's film Edge of Tomorrow, later re-titled for marketing purposes as Live Die Repeat after it bombed at the box office. The less you know about this film going in, the better, so go watch it and then join our Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b discussion! For more like this, check out the other...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Imagine, if you will: A seemingly ordinary podcast suddenly re-emerges after more than a month of silence. Except this is no ordinary season premiere. The two hosts of this podcast have just made a life-changing visit ... to the Twilight Zone. We're back! And to kick off Season 5, we watched five episodes from the seminal TV anthology, "The Twilight Zone." After the intro to this episode, we talk about them with spoilers in depth, so you should watch these episodes before you listen!...
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Topic: The Sopranos Geek: Emily Oh, the Sopranos. We (here defined as "the TV-obsessed population of the internet) are so caught up in the last set of Mad Men episodes at the moment, or the latest season of House of Cards, or how Breaking Bad ended, or whatever prestige show we're focusing on at the moment. It's easy to forget how much we used to focus all this energy on this one amazing show about the modern-day mafia in North Jersey. Or maybe - if this week's hubbub about that infamous...
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Surprise again! Although if you listened to yesterday's bonus episode, then this will not be surprising: On this show, we talked about the new movie adaptation of "A Wrinkle in Time," directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon. Technically this is not an episode with a "geek" and a "n00b" like usual, but we still had plenty to say about it. At the time of this episode's publication, you can probably still...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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The zombies are coming! Grab a knife and a gun, get in your car, lock the doors and pray that your iPhone is charged so that you can listen to this podcast. Is that a sound survival strategy? Nope. But really, most of us would not last a day in a real zombie apocalypse. That's why we love shows like this week's topic, "The Walking Dead." And since the show is filmed in Emily's state of Georgia, she had to watch it. Can't listen right now because you're too busy looking for a friend...
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- Eric Johnson and Emily Jones
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Sometimes, there's a podcast... And I'm talkin' about the Giant Geek versus the Mega n00b here... Sometimes there's a podcast and, well, it's the podcast for its time and place. It fits right in there. OK, just imagine how much better this description would sound if Sam Elliott were reading it. And now stop imagining how wonderful his voice is, because it's time to go watch a movie with us: The Big Lebowski. You can stream The Big Lebowski for free if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, or...
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Topic: The Big Sleep Geek: Emily Bogart is back on the podcast! This time with his real-life wife and frequent on-screen partner Lauren Bacall. The Big Sleep is quintessential noir: a private eye, an array of untrustworthy dames and sketchy suits, and enough blackmail and dead bodies to turn a mobster's stomach. It has the added benefit of an almost hopelessly twisted plot you get to sort through every time almost like you're watching for the first time.
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You've heard the term on the news, you've seen it thrown around on Twitter, and now it's time to go to the source. We're talking about gaslighting, the practice of manipulating someone into doubting their own experience and sanity. It comes from a 1944 film starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten (and a very young Angela Lansbury in her first film role). Many years after her aunt was killed, Bergman moves back into the house where it happened with her new husband (Boyer), and...
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Instead of a beloved and critically-acclaimed feature, today we're watching a cheesy-as-hell TV special by Rankin and Bass. They're the same folks that brought us the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer we've all seen a million times - but this is better (in my humble opinion). Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is a Santa origin story, tracing his life from orphaned baby to jolly old man delivering toys. Along the way, it answers all the burning questions you've always had about Santa (how do the...
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Does When Harry Met Sally really need an introduction? It isn't just a classic romantic comedy; it is THE romcom. Though far from the first, it's the ultimate and quintessential romcom, the movie that defines the genre, the movie that launched the romcom boom of the 1990s and 2000s, the movie that all others since aspire to. Even those who somehow haven't seen it, which until recently included Eric, know the basics: Meg Ryan. Billy Crystal. Nora Ephron. Rob Reiner. Carrie Fisher. Classic lines....
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We're closing out the season with a pick that's somewhat surprising for a show with this premise: The Sound of Music. Yes, there is (or was until recently) someone who'd never seen this movie before. As you likely know, The Sound of Music is the Oscar-winning film adaptation of the Tony-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, starring Julie Andrews as a wayward nun-in-training and Christopher Plummer as the father whose kids she's sent to care for as governess. Set in Salzburg, Austria before...
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After exploring the line between public and private - and the notion of faking your death - with "Man on the Moon" last week, there was only one direction we could go in: "Velvet Goldmine." This one isn't actually a biopic, but it DOES star Jonathan Rhys Myers as a glam rocker inspired by David Bowie, Ewan McGregor as another star based on Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, Christian Bale as a journalist writing about them, and Toni Collette as Myers's wife. They're all very pretty. The...
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Topic: The West Wing Geek(s): Emily and Eric We've got American politics on the brain (can't imagine why that would be), so it seems high time we get to a particularly stellar bit of political fantasy we're both more than a little obsessed with - the West Wing. Since we need a n00b to enlighten/inflict this on, we're enlisting help from my dear friend Reilly Mesco, who has somehow never seen the show. A travesty, we agree, and one that must be corrected. In case you're somehow also in the n00b...
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Hello again, fearless listeners, and sorry for the slight delay on this week's podcasting! For our latest episode, Eric ventures into territory he's not super into while Emily gushes endlessly about Hugh Grant. Have you guessed it yet? It's Four Weddings and a Funeral! This is also known as the best Hugh Grant movie of the very Hugh Grant-heavy 90s (disagree? I'll fight you.) And yes, sure, Andie McDowell is also in it, so huzzah for her if that's your thing. In any case, you have no excuse not...
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We're nearly at the end of the fifth season of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, but there's still a lot we haven't done (just you wait). This week, we talked about the super-zeitgeisty new TV show "This Is Us," and — unlike most weeks, when the n00b enters with very little knowledge — that zeitgeistiness put Emily and myself at odds from minute one. In case you've missed the polarizing cultural discussion, "This Is Us" is a dramedy about the intersecting lives and families...
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Surprise! Just in time for Thanksgiving, have an extra serving of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b! While you're recovering from your food coma this week, join us for six delightful episodes of turkey-flavored TV: Three from "Bob's Burgers," which Eric has seen relatively little of, and three from "WKRP in Cincinnati," which Emily hadn't even heard of. The three Bob's Burgers episodes on tap are: S3E5, "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal"; S4E5, "Turkey in a...
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Topic: Sabriel by Garth Nix Geek: Emily Yeah, you knew there was going to be an episode by this title eventually. Also, let me preface this by saying that half of our Sabriel discussion, originally a two-episode set, has vanished. We’re blaming it on Daleks and/or internet goblins even though it’s 100% my being an idiot. What follows is a combination of the usual introductory post and the main point you’re missing from that disappearing tape. Sabriel is a Young Adult fantasy novel, and I...
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How did a bastard orphan immigrant become one of America's founding fathers? How did the country forget about him? And how — and why? — did he become the subject of a wildly popular hip-hop musical 200 years after his death? In trying to answer these tricky questions, we quickly struck a roadblock: Neither Emily nor Eric had seen or listened to the soundtrack of "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit 2015 Broadway musical about the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton. Enter...
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  This week, Emily and I played a video game with several great features, including offices, hallways, doors, a broom closet and existential dread. And as if that's not enticing enough, then try this on for size: "The Stanley Parable" is a hilarious interactive ride that answers a question no one was asking, "What if Tom Stoppard wrote a video game?" In it, you play as Stanley, an office drone whose coworkers mysteriously vanish. And I'm not kidding about the broom...
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Tomorrow will be the 46th anniversary of one of the most important political events of the 20th century: The break-in and attempted bugging of the Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C., at the Watergate office complex. That break-in and its historic aftermath have been rendered many times on film, most recently as a cameo in 2017's "The Post." But today, we're watching the best-known cinematic rendition of Watergate, "All the President's Men," a 1976...
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Topic: A Tale of Two Cities (books one and two) Geek: Emily This week embark on our lengthiest bit of culture yet: reading Dickens. I'm not sure when or why I read A Tale of Two Cities the first time, but I was pretty quickly hooked - and immediately started rereading it. You must understand, I'm not a big re-reader, in general. There are very few things I read over and over (basically this, Harry Potter, and Sabriel), and this tops the list BY FAR. It's just so good! And frankly so complicated...
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Ancient dinosaurs that have been living under the ocean floor for millions of years (for some reason) are attacking! What do you do? Correct answer: Build giant robots to beat the crap out of them. Pacific Rim is not an intellectually challenging movie, but it is a lot of fun, and it's the topic of this week's episode. It stars Charlie Hunnam as robot pilot Raleigh Becket, Idris Elba as a shouty general, and Rinko Kikuchi as aspiring pilot Mako Mori. In case you missed the promo post on...
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quae vigilate in silvis Cameram Also, don't watch the trailer for this week's movie, The Cabin in the Woods. It's super-spoilery and we strongly recommend going in to this 2012 horror flick cold, knowing as little as possible about it. That said, if you're anything like us you may care to know that it shares some creative DNA with Buffy the Vampire slayer; it was written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, and directed by Goddard. For fans of the Whedonverse, there's also more than a few actors...
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As we explained last week, this season we're shaking this up by bringing in guests to help fill in some gaps in our shared pop cultural knowledge. This week's is a big gap: Star Trek. Created by Gene Rodenberry and premiering in 1966, the seminal sci-fi series is famous for both its extensive cultural impact and its extremely dedicated fan base. We're lucky to have two of those fans with us to guide our voyage, Zach Powers and Josh Powers. For this introduction, we're watching season one's...
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Up-front caveat: If you haven't seen "The Room," go watch it. Then come back to this post. In case you ignored that instruction and are still reading ignorantly, "The Room" is widely considered to be one of the worst movies ever made -- and it's wonderful. Also, insane. Even more wonderful was the fact that one of its stars, Greg Sestero, wrote a tell-all book in 2013 about everything that happened behind the scenes; "The Disaster Artist" shows that the insanity...
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The Mario games are full of important life lessons for kids: Get regular exercise! Help your friends! Do mushrooms and kill turtles! But will those messages resonate for someone (Emily) who has never played one of the official Mario games? Will that someone, who has barely played any video games, be able to clear the first level? On this week's Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, we find out! If you don't still have an old Nintendo console from the 80s or 90s, fear not — you can find Super Mario...
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"The Court Jester" has everything: Medieval palace drama! Implausible hypnotism! Acrobatic dwarves! ... Oh, I'm being told that "The Court Jester" is not New York's hottest nightclub, but rather a 1955 musical comedy starring Danny Kaye. It's also the subject of this week's Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, featuring guest geek Yoichi Shiga. Loyal listeners may remember Yoichi from our Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone episode, where he was one of our Potter n00bs ... but what...
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You might use Siri, or Cortana, or Alexa — but you would never think of them as real people. But what if you did? What if you could have a conversation with an artificially intelligent person that felt real and human? And what if that person looked like a beautiful woman? Those are just the surface-level questions of this week's movie, "Ex Machina." DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THIS MOVIE. It has spoilers, as does this podcast after the 3-minute mark. So, skip the trailer and go...
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The IMDb description of the first thing we watched for this episode is: "The executives of several ceramics companies are being driven crazy or killed by fear." And that's not even the craziest thing. Yes, it's the 1960s British TV series The Avengers (no relation to the superheroes -- sorry, Iron Man fans), starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg. In this episode, your hosts Emily Jones and Eric Johnson watched three episodes from season 5: "The Fear Merchants,"...
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And now for the second part of our after-Christmas discussion of movies that are not exactly about Christmas. Much of this one, fittingly, takes place in the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The movie is The Thin Man (1934), based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name and starring William Powell and Myrna Loy in one of their many on-screen collaborations. It launched a whole series of Thin Man films, all focused on Powell and Loy as the delightful Nick and Nora Charles. Give...
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You've been waiting patiently for it for months, and now it's finally here: Season 6 of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b. This season, we're shaking things up by bringing in friends and colleagues to school us on the pop culture that Emily and I have both missed. And first out of the gate are the Kill Bill movies, brought to the podcast by my former schoolmate David Ruiz. Directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Uma Thurman as "The Bride," Kill Bill is the story of a "roaring rampage...
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With the exception of that one episode about the Tour de France, we haven't done a lot of sports here on Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b. But a TV show about a SportsCenter-like show, written by "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin? Sign us up! But wait, there's more: Joining us for our introduction to "Sports Night" is Sorkin superfan Walt Mossberg — although he may be better known as the former Personal Technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal who co-founded AllThingsD and...
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Topic: In A Lonely Place Geek: Emily We're doing more film noir this week, with another of the greats of the genre: Humphrey Bogart. I more or less stumbled on "In A Lonely Place" by accident. I was in the midst of a weekend-long Bogart marathon (a reasonable life choice that I strongly recommend), wandering around his IMDb credits, and this one's description intrigued me. Boy was I right. Bogart plays a screenwriter who hasn't had a hit in years and ends up accused of murder. But did...
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- OK, so It's a movie about vampires. - Oh I love it! And they're terrorizing Los Angeles? - No, they just hang out in Wellington, New Zealand. - You've lost me. - They argue about household chores and have to deal with how to get dressed for a night on the town when you can't see yourself in the mirror. - ... - They also befriend a boring, pudgy man who works at a tech company. - ... - ... Thanks for your time. -- "What We Do in the Shadows" isn't for everyone. But if you're the sort...
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Topic: Steely Dan Geek: Emily Steely Dan is a 1970s band that gets knocked a lot for being stereotypical dad music. But have you ever really listened to them? Eric never has. But even if you think you know them, I'd encourage you to pay closer attention this time. There's a lot going on there, folks. We're diving in to our close read with their 1976 album The Royal Scam. Give it a listen, then listen to this.
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Topic: In The Loop Geek: Eric I went back and forth on whether or not to star-star-out the swears in that title, but I don't want to risk getting in trouble with iTunes. So, here we are: You win, Linton Barwick. If you don't know that name or what it has to do with censoring swears, you should go watch In The Loop. That's the topic of this week's podcast discussion, and we do spoil several of the best jokes! OK, enough nagging. Hat tip to the /Filmcast (which is an excellent podcast, by the by)...
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It's time for another book! And that means another two-parter. This week, we're tackling the first half of Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen is no ordinary book. It's what some folks call a "comic book," but those of us who know better call a "graphic novel." Unlike the innumerable serialized Superman or Spider-Man stories, it's a self-contained work, starring characters that don't appear elsewhere. It's also a goldmine of ideas to discuss. Given that...
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Last week in this space, we listed all the ways to find our movie of choice, Pacific Rim, online. This week, the job is a bit easier: We're reading a book! I know, I'm as shocked as you. Emily had to explain to me how all this worked, but if I understand it right: You can go to a physical store out in the real world to pick up a copy of Sabriel, which was written by Garth Nix and first published in 1995. This is the first book in a tetralogy (that's like a trilogy but for four books, yo!), so...
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Surprise! We're back with a bonus episode. In honor of the movie coming out (more on that later), we're rereading A Wrinkle in Time. The book follows Meg Murry, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin on a trip through time and space to save the Murrys' missing father. Be sure to read it, as we're about to spoil everything that happens! Tomorrow, we'll be back with a follow-up episode on the new movie. Keep an eye on your favorite podcast place.
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Two lovers, both alike in artistic yearning, in fair Los Angeles where we ... ok, you know what, I'm not going to try and do the Shakespeare thing. "La La Land" is a story about two white people in L.A. who want to be famous and/or artistically respected, and it tied the record for most Oscar nominations ever.  In this special bonus episode of Giant Geek vs. Mega n00b, recorded shortly before the Oscars, Eric and Emily offer their harsh critiques of a movie that has enchanted much...