Oscars

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Forest Whitaker

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Forest Whitaker

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Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Forest Whitaker on playing Desmond Tutu in The Forgiven

Forest Whitaker has got this knack for taking huge figures from history and portraying them complex, fascinating, sometimes really fragile people. You've seen him as the star of countless great movies for over thirty years now. He has won plenty of awards including an Academy Award for best actor for his role as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.

When we spoke last year, he portrayed Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the film The Forgiven directed by Roland Joffe, who also made the classic 1984 film The Killing Fields.

The Forgiven takes place in South Africa, just after apartheid. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is in full swing- holding public and private testimony from the victims and perpetrators of past wrongs. Archbishop Tutu was the chairman of the commission, appointed by Nelson Mandela himself.

Whitaker chats with Jesse about Tutu's struggle to love the most heinous of criminals and how he himself struggles to love people that have hurt him. He talks about the origin of his movie Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and what he learned about acting while playing the title role. He also explains why he stands by his movie Battlefield Earth – despite the many haters ready to poke fun about how bad the film was.

These days you can see Forest on the tv show The Godfather of Harlem, which is wrapping up its first season on Epix. He plays Bumpy Johnson, the real life mob boss who operated in Harlem in the first half of the 20th century.

Click here to listen to Forest Whitaker's interview on YouTube.

This interview originally aired in March of 2018

Pop Rocket Ep. 214 - We Marie-Kondo the Oscars w/ Matt Rogers

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Matt Rogers

Matt Rogers joins us to help tidy up the Oscars. The 91-year-old institution has gotten a bit cluttered, so the Pop Rocket panel applies the KonMari Method to the Academy Awards. We’ll keep everything that sparks joy, and the rest will be dropped off at an Out of the Closet in a Hefty bag. Will the short film and animated short categories survive? What about song and dance numbers? Find out.

Let us know if you agree with the panel, or take issue by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

All Abouts

Guy remembers his friend and beloved comedian Brody Stevens, who died by suicide last week.

Wynter is all about Kind Hearts & Coronets.

Margaret wants everyone to take a moment to appreciate actress and wordsmith Dame Emma Thompson for her recent letter to Skydance detailing why she will not work with John Lasseter.

Karen Tongson is NOT about the speculation that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are boffing. And for everyone going gaga over their duet, she reminds us of another live performance with off the charts chemistry, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond at the 1980 Grammys singing
You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Matt Rogers, the self-described “roller coaster bitch” is all about Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride that’s coming to Disneyworld.

That's My Jam

Wynter: Dreamgirls Soundtrack - I Meant You No Harm/Jimmy’s Rap - Eddie Murphy

Guy: Gloria Trevi - Todos Me Miran

Karen: Kelly Clarkson - Shallow Live in Green Bay

Margaret: Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

Matt: RBG Soundtrack - I’ll Fight - Jennifer Hudson

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh,
Matt Rogers

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Inside Pop Ep. 146- The Hollywood Apology Trend & Inside Pop Quiz: Oscars Edition

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Show: 
Inside Pop

This week, we bring you another installment of the Inside Pop Quiz - but this time, Sean quizzes Amita on her Academy Award History knowledge and also gets a few predictions for the upcoming awards ceremony. Then, we discuss the increasing amount of apologies in Hollywood - from Aziz Ansari or Kevin Hart, it feels like every day a celebrity is apologizing, or *not* apologizing for suggestive behavior, comments, tweets or actions. The sheer number of mea culpas these days makes it hard to tell who is being genuine and who is trying to get ahead of bad PR. We dissect who seemingly is getting the apology right and who may be a little too late to say sorry.

Plus, Amita reviews Sean's big sell- the Oscar nominated Animated Short - Bao - and shares an album from the soul/funk band with an international vibe, Khruangbin.

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Get Your Tambourine! (Black People and Horror Movies, Election Cycle Tips 2020, Kamala Harris, and Women's March)

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mk
Show: 
Minority Korner

Nnekay and James are a splashing around in the giggle pool reminiscing about Nnekay's wild weekend- first a guest spot on the live taping of Judge John Hodgeman at the legendary Castro Theater! Then a baby shower for what James' dubs The Bay Area's Baby! James managed to help plan the shower from across the country because that's what friends are for (Thanks Dionne). Next Up- We got a little incident of trolling going on James' facebook page, mostly surrounding Kamala Harris and her Presidential Bid... by you guessed it- Nnekay. The wonder twins break down what happened and how we got to that point. In the Korners- Nnekay talks about Black People in horror movies. Some good, some bad, some are Candyman. James then helps us all with some tips on how to survive and THRIVE this next Election Cycle of 2020. We also talk Martin Luther King Jr. and Spike Lee.

Links!

https://www.vulture.com/article/horror-films-starring-people-of-color.html

Inside Pop Ep. 144- Oscar Nominations

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Show: 
Inside Pop

And the nominees are...

In this episode, we share our immediate reaction to the 2019 Academy Award Nominations- what films we think might win Best Picture, what documentaries were snubbed and Sean shares his secret adoration for one of the Supporting Actor Nominees!

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of the Actors on Actors conversation between Mahershala Ali and John David Washington. Then, she sells a thought piece about Hollywood's Disability problem.

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Ep. 11: Go Fact Yourself with Edi Patterson and Wayne Federman.

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(l-r) J. Keith Van Straaten, Helen Hong, Karie Bible, Wayne Federman, Edi Patterson
Guests: 
Edi Patterson & Wayne Federman
Guests: 
Edi Patterson
Guests: 
Wayne Federman

This week, actress Edi Patterson and comedian Wayne Federman will go head-to-head, answering such biting trivia as the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard, the politics of Beverly Hills and the finer points of childbirth. It’s a competition as funny as it is eclectic!

But first, Edi will explain how her time at the Impro theatre primarily leads to the creation of full-length, fully improvised plays (yeah with an intermission and everything). And Wayne will explain what it’s like teaching stand-up comedy… as an actual class at a University.

Edi’s areas of expertise include The Lost Boys, Midsouth Championship Wrestling from the 1980’s and Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show. Wayne’s area of expertise includes films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, drummers who sing while drumming and fast-food.

As always, listen to find out if your trivia knowledge surpasses those of our guests.

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Edi Patterson
Wayne Federman

With guest experts:
Podcaster and pro-wrestling historian Jim Cornette.

Box-office analyst and author of several books on movies Karie Bible.

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show is recorded at the Angel City Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green
David McKeever is the Live Sound Engineer.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Who Shot Ya? Episode 27: Dark Comedies, The Oscars, and Game Night with Inkoo Kang

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Show: 
Who Shot Ya?
Guests: 
Ricky Carmona
Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Inkoo Kang

Game Night

This episode marks the return of the "Professional Contrarian" Inkoo Kang to talk about the new dark, action comedy Game Night. Before they get into the discussion of the film, the crew takes time to dissect this year's Oscars. They point out some of the sweeter moments (Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern, James Ivory's shirt) but all agree there's still work to be done. In discussing Game Night they break down the dark comedy genre and reveal some of their favorites. April professes her love for Todd Solondz, Inkoo sees "competent" as high praise, Alonso gives a shout to Pedro Almodovar, and Ricky inadvertently creates a mash up movie - 'One Flew Over the Vampire's Nest.' PLUS, the gang finishes up by copying Game Night and playing a round of CELEBRITY.

Weekly Movie Recommendations:

April - Zoology
Alonso - Prick Up Your Ears
Inkoo - Oh Lucy!
Ricky - The Gift

PLUS, we have two Spotify playlists. One is for Movie Soundtracks and the other is for Movie Scores. Check 'em out!

Next week we're discussing A Wrinkle In Time with Drea Clark.

With Inkoo Kang, Alonso Duralde, April Wolfe, and Ricky Carmona.

You can let us know what you think of Who Shot Ya? at @WhoShotYaPod on Twitter. Or email us at whoshotya@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep 165: A Nonagenarian Named Oscar w/ Chris Schleicher

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Chris Schleicher

It’s another fun-filled Pop Rocket. This week, special guest Chris Schleicher is all about the Best Documentary Short Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405; Margaret Wappler is all up in season three of Unreal; Karen Tongson wanted to be about Unreal, but Wappler stole her thunder so Karen tells us about the new show Good Girls, and Guy Branum is all about the Great White Way, fresh off his trip to New York with his niece.

Then the gang delve into Oscar talk, sharing tips on how to guess the most wins on the ballot, how they each watched the awards show and all the hot takes they have. There’s just the right balance of reverence and cattiness.

With Karen Tongson, Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Chris Schleicher.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Sufjan Stevens - Visions of Gideon
Karen Tongson - Jackson Brown - Somebody’s Baby
Guy Branum - from Don’t Even Know It - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Chris Schleicher - BeBe Zahara Benet - Drag Up Your Life

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to our Spotify playlists.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Inside Pop Ep. 113- Oscars 2018 Special

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Show: 
Inside Pop

Inside Pop's annual Oscars wrap up is here! Listen to get our take on the fashion, the snubs, the rightful victories, the highlights and the awkward moments. We'll rate Jimmy Kimmel's performance as host and also discuss our favorite musical performances of the night.

Who was the presenter that left Sean speechless? Which acceptance speech made Amita stand-up and cheer? Listen to this special Oscars episode to find out!

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www.insidepoppodcast.com

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Laurie Metcalf, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Laurie Metcalf
Guests: 
Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Guests: 
Robert Lopez

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

Photo: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

First time Academy Award nominee Laurie Metcalf on her long career in theatre and television

You probably know Laurie Metcalf from her role as Roseanne's sister, Jackie, in the TV Sitcom Roseanne. Over the course of nine seasons, Laurie's portrayal of Jackie was warm and kind-hearted but a tad bit neurotic and always on edge. Laurie won two Emmys for that role on Roseanne. Before her career in television Laurie got her start in theater as a founding member of the legendary Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago. At the Steppenwolf she worked with the likes of John Malkovich, Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise.

This year, she's up for the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Lady Bird. It's her first ever nomination for an Oscar. In Lady Bird she plays Marion McPherson, the mother of Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson. The McPhersons live in Sacramento and the whole movie is set in 2002. It's almost like a period piece from the Bush years. As "Lady Bird" approaches the end of her high school career their relationship is tested. The film examines their mother-daughter dynamic in a very realistic way -- it's messy, it's complicated, but there's also a lot of motherly love involved even if Marion doesn't exactly show it.

Jesse talks with Laurie about her long career and the parallels between her life and the mother she plays in Lady Bird. Plus, Laurie talks about what it was like to be reunited with the cast of Roseanne for the new television reboot after more than 20 years.

You can see Laurie Metcalf in upcoming redition of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women this spring on Broadway. And Lady Bird is still playing in select theaters.

Click here to listen to this interview on the Bullseye YouTube page!

Photo: Disney/ABC Television Group

Songwriting power couple Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez on writing Oscar nominated songs

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have written dozens of songs for movie and TV. Together the married couple have won award after award for their co-written songs. You've certainly heard the song they co-wrote called "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. The song was huge success. The theatrical version of the song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2014 and a Grammy in 2015 for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Robert's also written music for The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, Scrubs and more. He's actually one of only 12 people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. Kristen and Robert are up for another Oscar this year -- this time for the co-written song "Remember Me" from Disney's Coco.

They talk to Jesse about the process behind writing that song, how they managed to sneak in adult jokes in children's songs, and how they find time in their busy schedules to be good parents, too. Plus, Jesse asked them about the first song they co-wrote together called "The Wide, Wide World," which is a song from Bear in the Big Blue House a television show from the early 2000's that aired on Playhouse Disney.

You don't want to miss it, the song is sung by a gang of puppet animals including a bear, a green lemur, and two purple otters. They had to rewrite the song about five times because they couldn't quite get the otter jokes right!

Click here to listen to this interview on the Bullseye YouTube page!

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