movies

Wham Bam Pow Ep. 30 - Dredd

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Wham Bam Pow

This week, we become the judges, juries, and executioners for the 2012 sci-fi/action flick Dredd. Plus, feeling inspired by Gravity and Dredd, Rhea and Ricky pitch some hot "places to be trapped" movie premises.

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages. Or you can email us: whambampow@maximumfun.org.

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Wham Bam Pow Ep. 29 - Gravity

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Wham Bam Pow

This week, Cameron makes her triumphant return, and we celebrate by chatting about the Clooney/Bullock sci-fi thriller, Gravity -- you might want to tie yourself down to something for this one. Plus, let us teach you about what's poppin', sippin', AND munchin'!

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages. Or you can email us: whambampow@maximumfun.org.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nick Offerman, The Birthday Boys, Brandon Bird

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Nick Offerman
Guests: 
The Birthday Boys
Guests: 
Brandon Bird
Guests: 
Linda Holmes
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

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Nick Offerman Talks Mustaches, Woodworking, and Luck

Nick Offerman is a man accustomed to being recognized. As Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, he sports one of the most revered moustaches in recent television history.

It would be easy to conflate Offerman with Swanson. They’re both masculine, moustachioed men with a penchant for carpentry, but Offerman is quick to distinguish himself from his civil servant counterpart. He credits the writers of the show for giving Swanson possession of larger-than-life quirks, such as the ability to ingest mountains of bacon or guzzle moonshine by the jug. Offerman, however, has a much more relatable story to tell.

He grew up in small town Illinois and studied theatre in college before performing in several Chicago-based theatre and improv companies. He joins us to talk about his rural roots, why woodworking has remained an important part of his life (and not an affectation), and the public perception of Ron Swanson as the personification of manliness.

Nick Offerman's new book of essays is Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living. You can also catch him on the sixth season of Parks and Recreation, airing now.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour Talks Movies and Comics

Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour stop by to recommend a couple of their current favorite things.

Linda recommends 12 Years a Slave, a film about the true story of a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Steve McQueen, tells the story of a man thrust into a life of injustice he doesn’t deserve. And as Linda explains, it's more than just an "important" movie.

The movie is in theaters on October 18.

Glen recommends the new comic Sex Criminals, written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdasky. It may have a racy title but, at its heart, it’s the classic coming of age story about a girl who discovers that by doing the deed, she can stop time.

You can hear Glen and Linda weekly on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, and find Linda's writing on NPR's Monkey See blog.

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Brandon Bird's "Lazy Sunday Afternoon"

Brandon Bird on Painting, Mr. T and Learning How to Make Art

Brandon Bird is a painter, but the purpose of his work isn't to capture the light dancing across a lake. Or to make a broad point about society. The point of his art is to make people laugh.

Brandon tells us about the day he became an artist, and how he went from making fan art to creating something really special.

His new activity book, Brandon Bird's Astonishing World of Art, includes Law and Order SVU valentines, a page where you can draw Nicolas Cage a new hairstyle, and a painting of Peter Dinklage as Wolverine (among many other things).

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Comedy Sketch Group The Birthday Boys Asks: "What if Seven Morons Were Doing That Thing?"

The Birthday Boys' work is silly. Really silly. They're a group of seven comedians, and their sketch comedy is warm, almost never obscene or profane, sort of uniquely American. Not too long ago, they caught the eye of comedy superstar and Mr. Show co-creator Bob Odenkirk. He's now the executive producer, cast member and an addition to the writer's room on their new television show for IFC.

Group members Jeff Dutton, Tim Kalpakis and Chris VanArtsdalen join us to talk about why they commit to the silliness, what makes a good sketch and how one of their idols became creatively involved in their first TV series.

The Birthday Boys premieres on October 18 on IFC.

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The Outshot: Michael Palin

You probably know him from hamming it up for Monty Python in the ‘70s, but since then Michael Palin has released a steady stream of travel documentaries. Jesse talks about Michael Palin and why he’s everything good about British colonialism.

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Wham Bam Pow Ep. 28 - Rush

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Wham Bam Pow

This week, Rhea and Ricky are back at the helm, and they deliever the dish on the Formula One biopic Rush, which is currently in theaters. Plus, prop up your feet, lean back in your sweet leather chair, and let their pitches for hot new sports movies wash over you; you're running the movie studio now, listeners.

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages. Or you can email us: whambampow@maximumfun.org.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nicole Holofcener, Brad Bell, Jane Espenson

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Nicole Holofcener
Guests: 
Brad Bell
Guests: 
Jane Espenson
Guests: 
Erik Adams

“Human Behavior is Entertaining”: Writer and Director Nicole Holofcener on Enough Said and Creating Realistic Film

The writer and director Nicole Holofcener projects are specific, personal and character-driven, and always feature strong female leads. Her fifth feature film, Enough Said, is no exception and stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and the late James Gandolfini in one of his final film roles.

Holofcener's films (which include Lovely and Amazing and Friends with Money) show characters as real people: self-interested, jealous, regretful, loving, but not always likable. Enough Said was purposefully designed to be a more mainstream film than Holofcener's earlier work, but it packs no less of an emotional punch. The movie is about two divorcees, both with teenage daughters, who are facing loneliness and the fraught relationships with and memories of exes.

Holofcener sat down with us recently to talk about divorce, perceptions about men and women as funny people, and how hard it is to make friends as an adult.

Enough Said is now in theaters nationwide.

Related:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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The AV Club's Erik Adams Makes the Case for Fall TV: "Trophy Wife" and "China, IL"

The AV Club's Associate Editor Erik Adams knows that, just as a book shouldn't be judged by its cover, a television show shouldn't be judged by its title. His picks for shows to give a chance this fall are Trophy Wife and China, IL.

Both shows have an impressive acting pedigree, whether it's Trophy Wife's Bradley Whitford, Marcia Gay Harden, and Malin Akerman (as the show's titular spouse) or China, IL's Greta Gerwig and the incomparable Hulk Hogan.

Trophy Wife airs Tuesday nights at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.
The second season of China, IL airs Sundays on Cartoon Network's [adult swim].

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Brad Bell and Jane Espenson on Gay Marriage, Crowdfunding and Creating "Husbands"

A few years ago, the TV writer Jane Espenson was browsing YouTube when she came across a video she loved. It was recorded with a webcam and was a response to Carrie Prejean, a contestant in the Miss USA pageant who gave a particularly inarticulate answer to a judge's question about gay marriage. The video was from "Cheeks", the alter-ego of Brad Bell, and it was the thing that sparked a partnership between Bell and Espenson and a web series called Husbands.

Bell co-created the show with Espenson, a former writer and producer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Caprica. Husbands follows two gay men who get married in Las Vegas on a whim – and stay married to avoid damaging the argument for marriage equality.

Bell and Espenson talked to us about dealing with the stereotypes of gay men and their relationships, their writing partnership, and why and how to make crowdfunding work.

New episodes of season three of Husbands arrive Thursdays on CWSeed.

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The Outshot: The Spirit of Sir John Soane

Sir John Soane was an important 18th century English architect, but that's not really why Jesse is so taken with his house. It's an incredible physical legacy of a man and his many interests.

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Wham Bam Pow Ep. 27 - Tuff Turf

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Wham Bam Pow

Cameron's out this week, but Rhea and Ricky are totally in and stoked to dish about their favorite 80s movie moments! Plus, we dust off the James Spader teen action flick Tuff Turf, so heat up your crimping iron and polish your switch blade -- you'll need 'em both.

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages. Or you can email us: whambampow@maximumfun.org.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Junot Diaz, Carrie Fisher, and My Brother, My Brother and Me

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Junot Diaz
Guests: 
Carrie Fisher
Guests: 
Griffin McElroy
Guests: 
Travis McElroy
Guests: 
Justin McElroy

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

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Junot Diaz on Immigration, A Love of Books, and Why His Writing Isn't "Sexist Claptrap"

Junot Diaz was already a rising star when his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was published in 2007 and subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. His short stories had netted him attention, acclaim, and a published collection of short fiction, Drown.

He's continued to accrue major literary awards and recently received a Genius Grant from the Macarthur Foundation, which noted his use of "raw, vernacular dialogue and spare, unsentimental prose to draw readers into the various and distinct worlds that immigrants must straddle.”

There have been a number of constants throughout Junot's career. He's continued to write fiction about the immigrant experience, specifically from a Dominican-American perspective. And he's returned again and again to the character of Yunior de Las Casas. Like Junot, Yunior was born in the Dominican Republic and was transplanted with his family to New Jersey in the dead of winter. Like Junot, Yunior is intelligent and over-educated, an academic who lives in Cambridge. Like Junot, Yunior grew up with Dominican women who wanted to get the hell out of Dodge, who would do better not to mess with him (or any dude).

That is to say -- Yunior is a well-developed character by now. In his book This Is How You Lose Her, now in paperback, Junot explores Yunior's issues with intimacy and the psyche of a cheater. The reader roots for Yunior to find love, even as they wince, watching him sabotage one relationship after another.

Junot joins us this week to talk about the immigrant experience, accusations of sexism, and the soundtrack that kept him writing through many late nights.

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Ian Cohen Recommends Heavy Rock for October

Ian Cohen, contributing editor at Pitchfork, stops by to recommend some new heavy rock releases.

He recommends an album that "finds people at the edge of both pop and metal", the new release Everyday I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came from the solo project Jesu.

Ian also suggests checking out the Tim Hecker's upcoming release, Virgins, an ambient album that doesn't fade into the background.

Jesu's Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came is out now via Avalanche.
Tim Hecker's Virgins is out October 14 via kranky records.

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Pop Culture Advice from My Brother, My Brother and Me: Water Cooler Talk, Comic Book Movies, and Vinyl Snobbery

Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Griffin McElroy return to Bullseye to answer some of your most pressing pop culture problems and end up taking on Duck Dynasty, James and the Giant Peach, Lionel Richie, grandparents and more.

If you've still got questions that need anwers, the McElroy brothers host a weekly advice show for the modern era called My Brother, My Brother, and Me. You can subscribe wherever you download podcasts, and send your queries to mbmbam@maximumfun.org.

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Carrie Fisher on Growing Up Famous, Star Wars, and Shock Therapy

Carrie Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the seminal Star Wars films, but she began her celebrity life as a baby -- as the daughter of America's sweethearts, the actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher.

Carrie has battled addiction, bipolar disorder and the ups and downs of celebrity to reinvent herself as a successful novelist and memoirist. Her book Shockaholic recalls her relationships with Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and her parents, self-medication with drugs, and the last resort of electroconvulsive therapy.

Today, we're revisiting our conversation with Carrie Fisher from 2011. Her book Shockaholic is available now in paperback.

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The Outshot: Bubba Sparxxx

So maybe The Accidental Racist didn't go over so hot. But this week, Jesse will tell you about a record that actually mixed country and hip-hop to the benefit of both. It's Bubba Sparxxx's 2003 release, Deliverance.

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Wham Bam Pow Ep. 26 - From the Vault: The Warriors

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This week, we take a trip to the past and revisit an early recording -- a recording so old, in fact, it pre-dates the Wham Bam Pow name. Listen to us discuss the 1979 celebration of weird, ten person gangs, The Warriors. Enjoy Rhea's spirited pitch of a Back To The Future sequel. Revel in our youth and inexperience! Can you dig it?

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

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Wham Bam Pow Ep. 25 - Haywire

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This week, we chat about the Soderbergh action-thriller, Haywire. Plus, inspired by Haywire's kickass lady protagonist, Rhea and Ricky pitch reimaginings of action flicks helmed by women. Hoodies up, people!

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages.

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Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Jon Mooallem & Elmore Leonard

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jon Mooallem
Guests: 
Elmore Leonard
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin
Guests: 
Tasha Robinson

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

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How To Save A Species: Jon Mooallem At The Corner of Imagination and Extinction

Whether it's The Lion King, Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man", or the last kitten video you saw on Youtube, we are constantly inundated with stories about animals. Wilderness has taken a deep hold on our collective imaginations. And at a time when conservation science is making gigantic leaps, while dozens of species are disappearing every single day, the narratives that humans weave about animals have never had such drastic consequences.

It's this phenomenon that inspired Jon Mooallem to write his new book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America. Mooallem is interested in how people see, and have seen, wild animals. Focusing on three specific endangered species--the Polar bear, the metalmark butterfly, and the whooping crane--the book explores the intricacies and the repercussions of America's relationship with the wild. Mooallem has contributed to New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Harper's, Wired, The New Yorker, and Radiolab.

Jon tells us about North American dire wolves (yes, dire wolves), America's strange relationship with Humphrey the humpback whale, and the philosophical questions that conservation scientists must ask themselves while donning giant bird costumes.

Black Prairie, a Portland-based band featuring members of The Decemberists, recorded a soundtrack for the book called Wild Ones: A Musical Score for the Things That You Might See in Your Head When You Reflect on Certain Characters and Incidents That You Read About in The Book. They will begin touring with Jon Mooallem next week.

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Kurt Braunohler: "How Do I Land?"

Comedian Kurt Braunohler thinks he can make the world a better place through stupidity, absurdity, and fake Hallmark cards.

His new stand-up album, How Do I Land is available now.

The Dissolve Recommends Documentaries: A Band Called Death and Stories We Tell

Staff Writer Nathan Rabin and Senior Editor Tasha Robinson, from The Dissolve, join us to share two documentaries out now on DVD.

Nathan recommends A Band Called Death, a look at the rise, fall, and eventual resurrection of a band of three black brothers from Detroit who played punk music in the early 1970s.

Tasha recommends Stories We Tell, directed by Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley. Stories We Tell explores the nature of truth, memory, and family secrets, as Polley tries to uncover her own family's history through personal interviews that start seeming more and more like myth than fact.

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Remembering Elmore Leonard (1925-2013)

Author Elmore Leonard died last month. To honor the great pulp fiction writer, we are airing an excerpt from our interview with him from 2007.

Leonard had a style, a story schema, and a voice of which he was truly a master. His characters got into trouble, the problems grew larger, and they spoke to each other with honed dialogue that influenced readers, writers, and filmmakers for decades. His novels inspired such films as Get Shorty, Out Of Sight, Jackie Brown, and 3:10 To Yuma.

He talks about his love for Hemingway's style, why his dozens of Western novels were more true to life than the stuff he saw on TV, and how nothing gave him more pleasure than sitting down and getting characters to talk.

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The Outshot: Drunk History

Drunk History on Comedy Central has a pretty simple, crude concept: get comedians roaringly hammered and have them talk about their favorite moment in American history. Jesse explains why this is more beautiful than you'd think.

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