The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Filmspotting"

| 2 comments

In our regular feature Podthoughts, freelance journalist Ian Brill helps you navigate your way through the thousands of podcasts available on the internet. This week, he looks at the film criticism podcast Filmspotting.

When regular Filmspotting co-host Sam Van Hallgreen was out for a week it was The Onion AV Club’s Scott Tobias that sat in to discuss films with the podcast’s other host Adam Kempenaar. This choice for a substitute should inform you of the tone of this podcast. The hosts of Filmspotting have that same knack that the writers for the AV Club have for taking their knowledge and passion for pop culture and turning it into informative and typically entertaining content.

Van Hallgreen and Kempenaar’s discussions often reach the best type of criticism. The two aren’t giving “liked it/didn’t like it” reviews. Their analyses compliment a viewing of the film itself. A recent argument on Ocean’s 13 involved determining the film’s place in not just the “Ocean’s” series but in director Steven Soderbergh’s entire career. The critics paid careful attention to the acting styles and screenwriting of the film. The talk is always calm and intelligent, never colored by bias. One of the reasons to keep coming back to Filmspotting is to hear how Van Hallgreen and Kempenaar can be both in-depth and brief about a film. They can provide a review and still have time for plenty of other segments in each roughly hour long podcast.

Filmspotting is a rigidly structured podcast. Every entry for an episode on the website has it down to the time codes. There are one or two reviews, a look at new DVDs and gratitude for donations, Massacre Theatre (not a weekly tribute to Tobe Hooper but instead a segment where the hosts butcher a beloved screenplay), Polls and listener feedback, and then the Top 5 lists. They’ve also recently added “The Noir Marathon,” in which Von Hallgreen and Kempenaar dissect a classic like The Killers or Out of the Past. Occasionally a show will feature an interview with a filmmaker, such as a recent talk with A Might Heart director Michael Winterbottom. I was impressed how later in that same show one of the hosts talked about having a Filmspotting meet-up with fans. The podcast does a good job of straddling the line between journalistic professionalism and the looser, more fun feel of podcasting.

What keeps the show fresh is that, thanks to the hosts’ endless familiarity with film, these dependable segments can touch on virtually any subject. One episode can feature the hosts’ top five best films on music, then next week it can be top five best films on journalism. The fun of these lists is telling the other party how wrong they are, which is where the listener feedback comes in. These are the segment that best illustrate the main appeal of Filmspotting: the joy of being a movie geek.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: The Onion

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

The Onion has been reporting fake news since 1988, when it was created by two juniors in their University of Wisconsin dorm room. Today its empire covers nearly all forms of media, and its hilarious wit and satire has never dulled. On this week's show, we talk with staff writer Joe Garden and editor-in-chief Carol Kolb.

Also -- Recorded comedy from the Sklar Brothers and Hard N Phirm!

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

Download This Week's Show
Subscribe to TSOYA Classic in iTunes
Please Donate to Support the Show

Listen to This Week's Show


Special Free Screening of The Ten in SF

| 1 comment

Our pals at SF Sketchfest and ThinkFilm are presenting a special FREE screening of David Wain's newest magnum opus, "The Ten" in San Francisco:

Tuesday, July 24
7:30 pm
Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre
1572 California Street, San Francisco.
To attend, you must RSVP to thetensf@yahoo.com. Be sure to give your full name and let us know if you will be bringing a guest. Please note the theatre will be slightly overbooked to ensure capacity; an RSVP will not guarantee you a seat.

For those of you who aren't in San Francisco, you can just watch the trailer above and drool. You can also listen to this interview with Wain on TSOYA last year.

Happy Birthday to Dr. William Cosby

| 4 comments

The greatest standup comic of all time turned 70 yesterday. Here's his brilliant special "Bill Cosby, Himself" in all its hilarious glory.

Jordan Morris Needs Clothes!

| 0 comments

We've been talking a lot about Jordan's clothes on Jordan, Jesse GO! lately, and on last week's show, Carl from Detroit suggested something truly brilliant. Specifically: The Jordan Morris Paper Doll Project.

Here's how it works. We've uploaded three photos of Jordan in his underwear to our Flickr group. #1, #2, #3. Your job is to add clothes. Draw them on, use photoship skills, cut-and-paste. Make Jordan look nice.

Then, upload your pictures to our Flickr group with the tag "jordandoll." We'll highlight favorites on the forum, and probably give out some prizes if we can think of some good ones.

THIS IS THE GREATEST CONTEST EVER.

DJ Quik vs. the White Girl

| 1 comment

DJ Quik rocking a Fader party... which is great and all, but the really funny part of this video is the big white girl in the front row. She's all, "ohhhh... rap? (looking around) uhm.... huh.... errrrr.... (clutches purse tighter)"

What is she doing there? Why does she look like she's waiting for Madonna to hit the stage or something?

The 50th Anniversary of "What's Opera, Doc?"

| 2 comments

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of "What's Opera, Doc?", one of the greatest animations ever created.

"I killed da wabbit!"

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe, Ep. 13: Foot Apple

| 0 comments


In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varied as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle & Sharpe talk seriously with a man about apples growing human feet, and how, if need be, he might herd them across the country.

Subscribe in iTunes
Podcast Feed
Discuss the show on the forum
Download This Episode

Hear This Episode


(Please give our server a moment to load after clicking play)

The NEW TSOYA T-Shirts: $18 shipped

| 0 comments

Not only are these handsome TSOYA t-shirts printed on high-quality American Apparel t's, they're also only $18, including shipping!

And what's more, they GLOW IN THE DARK!

AND IN CONCLUSION: FREE MAX FUN PINS WITH EVERY ORDER!!

These are some of the finest t-shirts available today. You should buy yourself one. Seriously.


T-Shirt Size


Tom Lehrer performs "Werner Von Braun"

| 3 comments

The greatest comic songwriter of the 20th century? Could be.

Tom Lehrer was my prof for a class at UC Santa Cruz, and he is a way awesome guy. Very crotchety in the best way possible. The only songwriters he likes since the 60s are Sondheim and Randy Newman. He always made fun of my announcements about my improv group or radio show, but he always let me do them. King of teachers.

Syndicate content