Chaotic Neutral Film Commentary

#213: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Matthew and Josh take the lead this week as Dean and Jessica lounge around post-honeymoon. The lads got this episode off the ground at the behest of listener Benjamin Prugh who had a great idea for a charity episode. All those details will be covered on the pod. As for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome there was plenty to like, and although Josh was salty because his cartoon Transformers lost the vote, he enjoyed this flick. Matthew was also high on ‘Beyond’ after a second watch. One of the most fascinating aspects of this week’s episode was that Matthew was forced to take notes for scene transitions because he didn’t have his binky Dean to lean on. Josh says that Matthew is “all grown up now” and LSG Media is hopeful for Matthew’s continued growth.

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#212: Alien: Covenant

Remember, Alien: Covenant will be our last episode until we cover Sicario on September 25th. We are off next week.

Join Dean, Matthew, and Jessica as they dive into Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien franchise. It’s no secret that the glorious hosts at LSG Media are not fans of Prometheus, and consequently, they had low expectations heading into their coverage of Covenant. That said there are still plenty of problems with this go-around, and we are starting to see that Ridley Scott’s breathtaking vistas aren’t enough to overshadow whisper-thin characters and dialogue that is, at times, outrageous. Is Danny McBride the highlight of this film? Spoiler: It’s probably Fassbender, but outside of being named Tennessee and having a cowboy hat, McBride is one of the more believable characters in this flick. Ultimately, this film suffers from the same problems that Prometheus did: it’s trying to be smarter than it is. One the one had you have alien schlock and on the other you have passing fancies into the philosophical underpinnings of David’s synthetic morality. You should watch it, but it is what it is… not that good.

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#211: John Wick: Chapter 2

Prepare yourselves for a total sausage party as Dean, Matthew, and Josh offer up a three-man band dedication to an excellent second installment in the John Wick franchise. Most of this podcast episode is spent with the lads all happily patting each other on the back as they drop to their knees in service of John Wick and his martial prowess. Does it lack the initial surprise that the original offered when you first see the incredible gun-play and stunt work? Sure. But this film does a wonderful job of tweaking the action without slipping on the water skis and jumping the shark. Nay, it is a film that is obviously created with love and a firm grasp on the Wick universe. Was Mike Tyson asked to play the Bowery King role? No, but we sure like to pretend at LSG Media, and if you are a fan of the RPG setting “World of Darkness” then you’ll enjoy hearing Josh and Dean yap about it. If you have no idea what that previous sentence means, don’t worry, neither did Matthew and he was on the show. Grab your earbuds, your favorite AR-15, that gorgeous Benelli M4, and let’s get to work on loving Wick for a second time.

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7-7: Game of Thrones “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Jon and company head to King’s Landing to present their show-and-tell project to Ms. Lannister. The Hound comes face-to-face with his brother. Jamie (bold, handsome, and true) rides north, and Littlefinger overextends his reach. Did all the set-ups lend weight to the pay-offs? Did the finale stick the landing? Are we still complaining about travel times and the lack of character death? For the most part Dean and Jessica are happy with the finale. They both agree it isn’t the best finale, but they also both agree that it doesn’t have to be. Join us for our coverage of “The Dragon and the Wolf”, but fear not brave listeners, there will be one more episode that recaps the entire season! Stay tuned for details!

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#210: Gladiator

Matthew and Dean have been on a bit of a critical tear lately (okay, maybe only for “Local Hero”) with their commentary, but this week shifts into unabashed love for what Matthew is hailing as a “modern classic”. Commodus gets the nickname “Little Boots” once reserved for Caligula – the other crazy Roman, Dean has a little too much rum, and the lads really get after Joaquin Phoenix’s manner of speech and need for love. Did we cheer for the subjugation, domination, and murder of many Germanic people? Yes! Did we discuss the horrific wounds caused by the gladius (which apparently also means ‘penis’)? Yes! Don’t miss Dean’s love for Lisa Gerrard and Dean Can Dance, and watch Matthew riff on Dean’s lispy villain by invoking Ed Wynn as Commodus. If you hate laughing, skip this episode.

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7-6: Game of Thrones “Beyond the Wall”

Originally both Jessica and Dean were low on this episode, but after a re-watch they both looked past some of the flaws which have creeped into this season. The internet is found of pointing out things like travel times, and plenty of information is out there on how long it takes ice to freeze, and how fast ravens fly, but it all comes down to one thing: how well are they telling the story? On the one hand you have some great dialogue and character moments between our “Suicide Squad” that has traveled north of the wall. On the other hand you have what appears to to be a more forgiving world in which named characters escape situations that would have killed them in season three. You also have the Arya and Sansa stuff flailing somewhere between inscrutable and down-right ludicrous, and some inexplicable behavior from Jon Snow… commander of men. All in all there was plenty to like, and this mostly comes by way of performance and character. Emilia Clarke shows some vulnerability, hesitation, and hopefulness. Richard Dormer’s presence is a stage-setter for all things Lord of Light. Kit Harrington uttering “Uncle Benjen” was heart-wrenching. Kristofer Hivju brings not just comedic timing, but some believable wisdom to Tormund, and the always consistent Rory McCann knocks “The Hound” out of the park with his “I don’t care” attitude and bevy of crass insults. Although not the series’ best episode, but we are hopeful that the finale will bounce back.

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#209: Tron (1982)

Tron provoked some hilarious discussion between Matthew and Dean. For example: how many 5-year olds do you think you could defeat in hand-to-hand combat before succumbing to exhaustion? Matt thinks about 200. Dean thinks a lot on account of their undeveloped and terrible legs. The lads also discuss a skirt that Jeff Bridges had to wear on account of his crotch bulge. “Disney Deep” becomes a term, and the lads get into their memories of arcades and video games. Thanks again for the folks who made this episode possible by way of the Guild Bounty system!

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7-5: Game of Thrones “Eastwatch”

Jessica and Dean abandon the more comedic aspects of their routine and they dive deep into the ethics of Westeros. How much blood is on the hands of the characters we all care about? Is Dany just like every other lord in her pursuit of breaking the wheel? Is Jaime Lannister still handsome, brave, strong, and clever? Jessica and Dean also pivot into some of the weaker elements of the plot this week, and really go after some of the issues of travel times, character behavior, and wight abduction capers. Has this episode exposed the lack of direction from George R.R. Martin? Does the plotting feel a bit rushed? Thanks again to our our listeners for all their great content this week!

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#208: Local Hero

Matthew and Dean go hard in the paint with the barn-burning Forsyth classic, Local Hero. The lads both admit that this flick wasn’t their cup of tea, and not because of bad film making, but more so because not a lot happens. With Local Hero, understated becomes plodding. The shining part of the film is Burt Lancaster and Wedge Antilles. Matt says he will watch it again, and Dean says he will just take Matt’s word for it. He’d [Dean] rather  watch Wicker Man (’73) instead. Special thanks again to listener Jo Pulcini for offering up the bounty to have this one covered.

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7-4: Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War”

Dean and Jessica are at odds with one another this week. What side will you fall on? Dean’s love affair with Jamie Lannister continues, and Jessica’s love/hate relationship with… well, EVERYONE continues. Jessica suddenly hates… Bronn? Well, don’t worry listeners we will all get to the bottom of that reason this week. Read: he is in her deadpool. Dean and Jessica also battle back and forth for the righteousness of things like incest, the Dothraki slave traders, how Jorah (pushing 60) killed a blood rider, and how Bran is now called… BRANDROID. There is no denying the fun that our glorious hosts had this week. Buckle up!

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#207: Stand By Me

Matthew and Dean talk life, death, growing up, old friends, death some more, and the fleeting years of childhood. They also manage to toss some meaty “Stand By Me” into their existential sandwich. Join the lads for another romp through their childhood memories and the perspective of adulthood that only adults can have.

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