TRANSCRIPT The Flop House Ep. 317: Artemis Fowl, w/ Scott Weinberg

The fuck is this? No really, the fuck is this? What is this fucking thing? What? This? From a major studio and established director? What? The fuck? This? Was made? THIS? We talk about Artemis Fowl with critic and filmmaker Scott Weinberg.

Podcast: The Flop House

Episode number: 317

Guests: Scott Weinberg

Transcript

dan mccoy

On this episode, we discuss: Artemis Fowl!

elliott kalan

The movie that dares to raise the question—why is this movie named after an entirely nondescript, personality-less cipher who spends the entire movie inside his own house?

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments.

dan

Hey, everyone, and welcome to The Flop House! I’m Dan McCoy.

stuart wellington

Hey, Dan! It’s me! Stuart Wellington!

dan

Oh hi! [Laughs.]

elliott

Guys, guys! What a coincidence! I’m Elliott Kalan and I’m here! All three hosts of The Flop House! We’re here! Together! On The Flop House!

stuart

Uh-huh.

elliott

But—we’re not alone, are we, Dan?

stuart

Uh-uh.

dan

No we’re not. We are joined by our guest Scott Weinberg, whom I did not write down how he wanted to be introduced—

crosstalk

Dan: —because I thought you were doing it, Elliott. Elliott: Oh, boy. Oh, wow. Stuart: He said it three or four times!

elliott

He said it twice, Dan. I’ll say it. Film critic. Filmmaker. Podcaster. Cat lover. Horror nerd. Scott Weinberg—and I will add in a personal—personal endorsement of his podcast, Science vs. Fiction, in which they talk about the real-life science—or fake-life science and quality—of your favorite science fiction films. Scott Weinberg, thank you so much for joining us!

scott weinberg

I am thrilled to be here. Long-time listener, first time caller! Although—I did get a mention several years ago when Stuart recommended a film I produced. I downloaded, like, 14 episodes and listened to ‘em on an airplane and in one random episode at the end when Stuart recommended Found Footage 3D, I got chills. I was so elated and thrilled and that is why Stuart is my favorite of the three Floppers.

stuart

Ohhhh! We finally get the big reveal! Because I, uh, I guess— [Laughs.] Because I’m the best at promoting.

elliott

Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Yeah. [Laughs.] That’s your hidden strength.

scott

It was a—and you guys also took a recommendation from me several years ago. I can’t remember what it was. But I recommended an ‘80s film and you guys did it. So I’ve always been—I’ve always been a huge fan. And to be on an episode on such a wonderfully rotten movie makes me— [Multiple people laugh.] —makes me happy. ‘Cause boy, this movie is a stink pile.

elliott

Oh, but let’s not jump ahead to Final Judgments!

crosstalk

Scott: Oh! Sorry. Sorry. Cut that. Elliott: But yes. It is. [Laughs.] But it is. It’s totally— [Multiple people laugh.] Dan: No, it’s—it’s a— Stuart: It’s a—yeah. I mean, it’s a stink pile.

stuart

But y’know. Well, whatever.

elliott

This isn’t the first time that we’re gonna say it lives up to its name—“Fowl.”

stuart

Oh, shit!

elliott

Oh, did I do that? [Laughs.]

scott

Why is he called “Fowl”? I thought that was a play on—like, “Valiant.” It was an animated chicken or something. [Dan laughs.]

dan

Well we will return to the stinkiness of this pile— [Elliott laughs.] —in a moment. But we just wanted to take a brief moment here at the top of the show to mention that this is the start of MaxFunDrive 2020. It’s been quite sensibly delayed a couple of times due to world events, but since unfortunately—

elliott

Why, what’s going on, Dan?

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, did something happen? Dan: [Through laughter] Well—

dan

Uh, whoo boy. Uh, I’ll explain after the show. Yeah. Thanks for derailing my train of thought immediately at the beginning. It was delayed— [Elliott laughs.] —but since, unfortunately, the world does not seem to be getting better, uh— [Laughs.] At any particular pace, here! We bring you MaxFunDrive. Let’s listen to me. [Laughs.] Maximum Fun is artist-owned, audience-supported. That means that when you become a member of Maximum Fun, you are a direct contributor to the shows that are made, including our shows. It—you have some ownership of the show, although don’t start telling us—

crosstalk

Dan: —what to do. Scott: You don’t know that.

dan

You’re not our real dad. But— [Laughs.]

elliott

Good way to get—yeah. Open their heartstrings and then cut ‘em. Yeah. Sure.

stuart

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

elliott

Love it. Yeah.

crosstalk

Elliott: Love the hostility. Unnecessary. Scott: On brand. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Uncalled for. Undeniable. Mm. Delicious. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Yeah. But it’s important—I mean, like—especially—

stuart

I would say Dan isn’t gonna be their private dancer. [Dan laughs.] Wait! I’m waiting for them to stop laughing, Dan. That was a really great joke.

elliott

[Through laughter] Yeah. Hold on.

dan

Okay. No. But the money that you donate to Maximum Fun—especially because you get to choose the shows you listen to—goes directly to the show with some overhead to allow the network to actually continue. And especially in this year where we have added, uh… off-week shows? Off-week content? It is nice to have that money coming in that, y’know, really helps us do new things like that. So you can choose a monthly amount that’s comfortable for you. Most people give five or ten dollars a month. Some upgrade to 20, 35, 100 if they have the means. I know that a lot of people do not right now. But it is about what works for you. But we’ll get back to that later in the show.

crosstalk

Elliott: And Dan, where do they— Dan: And now we—

elliott

Where do they go if they wanna join and become—either a member or upgrade their already existing membership?

crosstalk

Elliott: Would it be MaximumFun.org/join? Dan: Yes. Please—

dan

It will be. It would be that. It is that, in fact. [Elliott laughs.] To use that tense. It is MaximumFun.org/join. But let’s get to what we actually do here, which is watch a bad movie and then talk about it. In this case, the movie is Artemis Fowl, which was meant to be a big blockbuster film released in theaters but then the pandemic hit and now it’s on Disney+!

stuart

And it’s based on a series of novels, right? And it was your familiarity with those novels that made you request we do this movie. [Dan laughs.] Right, Scott?

scott

Man. There’s—it’s so weird to see when a—like when a trend ends. And boy, when it ends—[slaps hands together] it hits, like… I thought, like, the end of the Divergent series just kinda fell off the train and then you have these, like, these lingerers. [Stuart laughs.] They’re like, “Well, we still have a young adult movie still percolating for 19 years.” And they invested so much money in it, you have to release it in some way. This thing doesn’t even look finished! I mean, I’m just gonna be Joe Film Critic here. This thing looks like… it looks like one of 12 different cuts and they just said, alright. We’ll release this one. Who cares?

stuart

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s—it’s—I mean, it’s like the sort of thing when, y’know, I’m into YA fiction? So of course I hear about these Scorch Trials? I wanna find out what’s the whole deal there! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.] I’m into maze running!

elliott

Now, Artemis Fowl is a YA series. It’s based on a series about a criminal mastermind kid. You heard me right. He’s a kid, but he’s not a hero? He’s a villain? That’s right—he’s the bad boy of YA fantasy fiction. He is Artemis Fowl!

dan

And I wanna say, like, that appears to be—in the limited research I’ve done—kind of the interesting thing about those books? Is that he is introduced as this criminal and then sort of over time you sort of understand different things about like who might be right, who might be wrong in this story.

stuart

Who might be crazy?

dan

Yeah. But in this thing, they—

stuart

Who might just be a lunatic you’re looking for? [Elliott laughs.]

dan

In this movie they do not identify him as, like, some sort of child criminal at the beginning. He just seems like kind of a dick at the beginning. And he never gets all that much less dickish.

elliott

Well they also keep calling him a child genius and he never really does anything that particularly genius.

scott

He claims to be smart a lot.

crosstalk

Elliott: He does. There’s a lot of hype. There’s a lot of hype— Scott: He claims to be intelligent. Dan: Yeah.

elliott

—of the character going on that is not backed up by what—and then at the end he goes, “I’m a criminal mastermind.” And I’m like, how? What did you do? Like, what crime—you’ve done nothing! You—this is—I’m just gonna say—and Stuart, you’re doing the summary on this one so I won’t—

crosstalk

Stuart: [Faux flabbergasted] I am?! Elliott: —take long.

elliott

Uh-oh! But this is one of those movies—

scott

Oh, poor Stu.

elliott

—where the whole time I was like—I was like—why is this movie called Artemis Fowl? Like, why—I don’t understand why he’s the character you named it after? Since he’s kind of barely in the movie. And I’ll just warn—

scott

It should be called Baby Hagrid!

crosstalk

Elliott: It should be called Baby Hagrid, as played by Josh Gad. Hag-gad. Stuart: It should be called—now—now that we bring up Hagrid—

stuart

—I think it’s an important time for us to do our weekly mention that J.K. Rowling is trash, as are all transphobes. They are trash. Okay. Let’s go back to the show! [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Do we really say that every week?

stuart

Uh, yeah. I mean, any time we have to—any time we invoke her name.

dan

Yeah.

elliott

I mean, did we?

stuart

Yeah. I mean, we talked about her creation, Hagrid.

crosstalk

Elliott: I guess that’s the same thing. It’s just that—I mean, we all— Stuart: Wow. Elliott, you seem— Dan: No, yeah, yeah.

stuart

You seem weirdly defensive right now. [Laughs.]

elliott

It’s— [Multiple people laugh.] Hey, guys! I’m just saying—I’m just saying—y’know. No. I’m not even gonna joke about that. Y’know.

stuart

Yeah. Please don’t. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. Trans rights forever. Come on. Okay. But uh—

scott

I just wanted to say, when I watched this film for the second time—and I know you guys. I know—I’ve heard many, many episodes, aka all of them. And I know that you guys—when you—I know when you see a bad film, y’know, you’ll tear it to shreds. I’m watching this movie for the second time and I’m sitting there thinking, “Who the hell is gonna break down the plot of this one?” Because it’s impossible. Stuart, I’m—please do it.

stuart

Mm-hm. I will do everything in my power. So! Uh, yeah. The movie opens. Seaside. We’re at Fowl Manor, Ireland. That’s right! It’s spelled like the bird. Not like the, uh, I don’t know. State of being? Or the judgment? [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

The ball? The, uh—

crosstalk

Stuart: Yup. Elliott: Yeah, yeah.

dan

The play?

stuart

Uh-huh. You got some more?

dan

[Through laughter] Uh… uh… [Laughs.] No. It’s not—it’s no “fowl intentions.” That’s Cruel Intentions.

crosstalk

Elliott: I mean, you could have foul intentions. Dan: Which was a—

dan

—teen remake of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

crosstalk

Dan: It’s not “foul” [inaudible] either. Elliott: Okay. It’s not foul things, it’s wild things. Uh— [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

It’s not the incredibly true story of the Texas cheerleader fowling mom. It was Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom. Uh— [Multiple people laugh.] It’s not a—hold on. It’s not The Fowl Pit; it’s The Money Pit. Yeah. It’s not The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and her Fowl. Uh, yeah. I think we’re out of phrases! Yeah.

stuart

Although “Fowl Manor” does sound like a caveman death metal band. Or, y’know. [Multiple people laugh.] A slang thing. Okay.

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. that’s pretty cool. Stuart: Outside of Fowl Manor—

stuart

—the news has gathered and they’re flipping out. There’s apparently been a series of high-profile robberies and a mysterious person named Artemis Fowl is the suspect. And they snatch up a—Josh Gad, who—as we have described earlier—looks like a short, dirtier Hagrid. And they— [Dan laughs.] —take him off to a special water prison like the one you might see in Face/Off or The Avengers or Mortal Engines or… uh, anything else, guys? Can you think of anything else? Water prisons?

scott

Convergence?

crosstalk

Stuart: Yep. Convergence. Yep. Dan: Uh, who—who are the— Elliott: Uh, Waterworld’s prison.

elliott

That’s the second Waterworld movie that never got made. Waterworld Prison.

dan

Yeah. One of the many things I was unclear about—and maybe you guys can help me—

elliott

Probably not!

dan

—is who was interrogating Josh Gad? Like, what was this organization?

stuart

Now let’s address—Josh Gad isn’t called “Josh Gad” in this movie. [Multiple people laugh.] He’s called—his character’s named Mulch Diggums. [Laughs.]

elliott

[Through laughter] Because he’s of the lineage of the Diggums frog. From the cereal commercials.

dan

[Through laughter] I mean, later in the movie we will see how apt that name is. [Laughs.]

scott

It’s—that’s so—it’s that lazy, lazy writing of—he later turns out that one of his skills is digging so his name has to be—what? Mulch Shovelhead? [Multiple people laugh.] Like, why? Why?!

elliott

Because everyone’s named after their job. My family kales. We have for generations. Stuart’s family digs wells. Dan’s family is very coy. And Scott’s, yours, of course, is, uh, I guess that would be—what? A white mountain? Or is that Weisberg? Hm.

stuart

That would be Weisberg.

scott

Weinberg is actually—it’s a vineyard. In German.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. Elliott: Oh, okay. Yeah.

scott

So my family’s a bunch of drunks! [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

And you’re a vintner! Yeah, of course! So Stu—so Mulch Diggums—I think he’s being interrogated by, like, INTERPOL or the British superintelligence—MI6. Who knows.

crosstalk

Elliott: It doesn’t matter. Dan, it’s the least of the questions. Stuart: Whoever Dan— Scott: No, but Dan nailed— Dan: Okay.

scott

Dan nailed a key problem is this movie doesn’t have any point of view. You don’t know who’s talking to who. It’s somebody explaining six random adventures. [Multiple people laugh.] And then the movie ends!

crosstalk

Elliott: I mean, not—not Dan: Well that’s the thing!

dan

I texted Elliott during it and I’m like, “Never has a movie tried so hard to explain itself to me while I still don’t know what’s happening.” ‘Cause all Josh Gad does is, like, paper over what the plot is supposed to be and I still don’t know.

elliott

This is a movie—not to get ahead too far—where the bad guy—whose identity we never learn—breaks someone out of—releases someone from jail and they are instantly the most powerful person in the entire community and we never find out who they work for or why they were in jail or what or—I don’t know. There’s no—it’s—anyway. Stuart. But we’re not even there yet. Mulch Diggums is being interrogated by someone who’s not even in the same room with him!

crosstalk

Elliott: You don’t even get to see the interrogator. Stuart: Yeah. Somebody—yeah.

stuart

He’s just, like, staring into a box. Where uh, and he—he talks about a mysterious artifact called the “Aculus.” Not “oculus.” That would be an evil, what? Mirror? Is that the movie? Is the evil mirror movie? And he decides—

elliott

And not “Porculus.” That would be some kind of super-powered pig.

stuart

Uh-huh. [Scott laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Maybe like, a pig— Dan: Uh, Porculus 2: The Next Day. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Which is a terrible sequel to a terrible movie!

stuart

Uh-huh. Uh…

scott

Alright. Porculus Revenge. [Inaudible.] [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

I had to do it.

stuart

So wait. Is Porculus the name of the heroes of the movie? [Dan laughs.] Or is it the villain? Does Porculus actually show up?

elliott

That’s a good question. In the first one they’re searching for Porculus. And he finally shows up at the very end. The second one, they think he’s gonna be a hero but he’s actually a bad guy. And then in the third one, he’s—he turns out to be the good guy ultimately.

stuart

Now we’ve been just burning through—

scott

Also played by Josh Gad.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Now we’ve been— Elliott: Yeah. Also—of course.

elliott

And in the fourth one he fights—what’s that—it’s that Emerson, Lake & Palmer album. What is it? Tarkus? Or something like that?

crosstalk

Scott: Carnevil? Dan: [Through laughter] What? Oh, okay.

elliott

No, no. The one after Carnevil.

crosstalk

Elliott: It’s like, uh—oh. I’m gonna have to look ti up. Scott: Oh, I don’t know. That’s the one I know.

elliott

Hold on. It’s the one—

crosstalk

Elliott: —where it’s some kind of, like, uh— Stuart: So. Um… [Dan laughs.]

elliott

It’s some kind of, like, armadillo tank. Let me look it up.

stuart

Yeah. We should probably pause the podcast— [Dan laughs.] —and let Elliott look something up?

elliott

No, no, no. Keep going. Keep going.

crosstalk

Stuart: Okay. So we’ve been blasting through this— Elliott: Tarkus. Yeah. It’s called Tarkus. Anyway. Tarkis is— Scott: Stuart, I coined a term for you—

scott

—that you might like. IT’s called “Gadsposition.”

stuart

Yeah. So we’re getting some Gadsposition. We’re flying through this plot. Time for Stuart to pump the brakes a little bit and point out that this movie’s directed by Kenneth Branagh. You might know him from Woody Allen’s Celebrity. [All laugh.]

elliott

[Through laughter] That’s probably where you know him from. [Laughs.]

stuart

So Josh Gad decides to tell—wait. I said—I fucked it up again, guys. Mulch Diggums decides to tell us a magical story about a surprising little boy. And the whole time he’s doing it—in addition to looking like a shorter, dirtier Hagrid, he is doing it with a serious Batman voice. Okay? And that’s not the only Batman voice we get in this movie, so get excited.

crosstalk

Stuart: So we learn a little bit about magical Ireland. Elliott: There’s—there’s a lot of gruffness. Dan: I—I—

elliott

There’s a lot of gruff voices in this. For no reason.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Dan: Yeah. And— Scott: Half of the Gads—

scott

Half of the Gadsposition in this movie feels like it was shot at the—like, twelfth in a series of reshoots.

crosstalk

Elliott: At the Gadst minute? Scott: As it—like—

scott

The Gadsposition feels like it was shot a week before the movie came out. That’s how lazy it feels. Like, we’re just glue this all together. Get him back in here and glue these scenes together with exposition and narration. It’s horrific!

dan

Yeah. I wanted to say something about how tremendously lazy the opening is. Because it really sounds like someone fed a bunch of fantasy movies into an AI and they’re like, “Okay. Opening exposition. Opening monologue.” But the thing that I really wanted to highlight was he goes—he says something like, [even deeper than usual, gruff voice] “This is a great story and it starts like all great stories do—with magic.” [Regular deep Dan voice] And then, like, they show him surfing? And then he’s like at school? And you’re like, “Okay. Well, where’s this magic you’re talking about, guys?’

elliott

I’d even go back further and say that The Great Gatsby has no magic in it.

dan

Exactly! [Someone applauds.]

elliott

War and Peace does not start with magic. All great stories start with magic? Mm, I would take issue with that!

scott

I don’t know. Merchant of Venice doesn’t have any magic in it.

elliott

Mm. No, there’s no magic in that!

crosstalk

Elliott: There’s no magic in The Bluest Eye. Stuart: Uh, the great— [Dan sighs.]

elliott

Excuse me. Excuse me, sir. [Dan laughs.]

scott

[Through laughter] Sir?

elliott

Sir? Sir? Can I see your manager, sir? I don’t remember there— [Dan laughs.] —being any magic in the novel The Sympathizer. Excuse me, sir. [Laughs.]

stuart

Uh, so yeah! As Dan said, now that we’re in story mode he tells us about a magical land called Ireland where we see this little asshole, Artemis— [Multiple people laugh.] —surfing around. And it looks way less cool than I think it’s intended. He’s like a super-smart overachiever, but he’s also terrible and… I kinda wanna punch him!

elliott

Well, he’s a real misanthrope, as relayed to us by the school therapist. Who—and I’ll just mention this—the therapist’s office includes a glass wall between the therapist’s office and the waiting room, so everyone in the waiting room can see who’s getting therapy at that moment, which is incredibly unethical. [Dan laughs.] Like, I would turn around and walk away. That is not okay. And uh—

stuart

Well, everything about his—

crosstalk

Stuart: —his therapy is— Scott: Maybe you get a discount.

stuart

Yeah. Everything else he does in his therapy session is totally above board, though. He’s a great therapist.

elliott

Oh, yeah. He just reminds Artemis Fowl of his dead mom and absent father and then brags about an old chair that he has. So that Artemis can show off his genius by telling him the chair is not as old as he thinks it is. That’s right! Artemis Fowl’s amazing ability? To appraise— [Dan laughs.] —antique chairs. How will it play into this—

scott

Imagine Young Sheldon, but mean.

elliott

If Young Sheldon—without the people skills. [Multiple people laugh.] Like—

stuart

Oh, wow. Yeah. Oh man. What a team-up that would be.

scott

Do filmmakers not realize that when you make a kid totally unlikeable, that lasts for the whole movie? That’s—like, you can’t come back from that! [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Well, it’s also not about him learning any kind of lesson. And like I was like, “Who’s this little shit?” Like, when I saw— [Multiple people laugh.] Because, y’know, like, this came on the heels—the books came on the heels of Harry Potter and they were rightly or wrongly sort of, like, looked on as this attempt to jump on that train? But—

elliott

Interesting. I didn’t know “train” was what you were gonna say. Okay.

dan

Yeah. But I mean, Harry Potter

elliott

I thought you would say “bandwagon.”

dan

Uh, yeah. Harry Potter and—again, J.K. Rowling is trash—Harry Potter, like the point of that—

stuart

Thank you.

dan

The beginning— [Someone laughs.] —is, like, he is this kid who’s been through so much hardship and you’re on his side immediately. Whereas this kid is rich and is a dick to [through laughter] everyone.

crosstalk

Elliott:  Well I think—I think it’s supposed— Scott: He keeps comparing himself to—

scott

—comparing himself to Einstein. Favorably.

elliott

It’s like, “Do you respect anybody?” And he goes, “Mm, Einstein.” But I think—here’s where I think they get it wrong. So the difference is—there are two different types of fantasies. Harry Potter is a fantasy about—you’re a lonely kid and it turns out you’re a powerful wizard and everybody loves you and you got—I dunno.

crosstalk

Elliott: You have sex with a dragon. I don’t know what happens. Stuart: You’re rich and—yeah. You’re rich—

stuart

—and you get to become a magic cop at the end?

elliott

Yeah. And with Artemis Fowl, it’s supposed to be the fantasy of, like, “I’m the smartest, most badass kid. And I’m not a goodie-goodie like Harry Potter. I do what I want.” It basically like, he’s—it’s like, the thing that—the fantasy people had when they voted for Donald Trump is the fantasy they’re supposed to be having with Artemis Fowl. Of like, isn’t it fun to pretend to be a bad guy for a little bit? But instead they took that—they took that character and tried to shove him into a story about a lonely kid who needs to find friends? And it was like, hm, this—why—he’s pushed away everybody and he’s a jerk. So it’s—

dan

And as a result, they made a movie as bad as Donald Trump!

crosstalk

Dan: No. I mean, obviously nothing is as bad as Donald Trump. HE’s the worst thin gin the world right now. But uh— Elliott: Uh, come on. Hold on. Hold—hm. A lot of lefty politics in this episode. Scott: Oh, wow. Wouldn’t go that far, sir.

elliott

Anyway. So the—we also learn that his dad—Colin Farrell—taught him all about Irish folklore. Now, do they show us him teaching about Irish folklore, or is this just more Mulch Diggums talk?

stuart

Don’t they just, like, walk around and look at stuff?

crosstalk

Stuart: And the thing is that previously— Elliott: [Laughs.] He shows him a lot of old stumps.

stuart

Now, yeah.

scott

But guys, is—was Colin Farrell—is he an attentive dad? Or is he like absentee and never there?

stuart

Well, I mean, when he’s there he’s great. Y’know, that’s the thing. You just look forward to the times when he’s around.

scott

Oh, okay.

crosstalk

Elliott: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Scott: But he has to—he’s always leaving. Stuart: Yeah. So now—

stuart

So when you see Colin Farrell is cast as Artemis, Sr., you’re probably hoping for a killing of a Sacred Deer situation. No such luck. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

I was hoping it would be a real Lobster situation and their maid would just come in and rub herself on his crotch to force him to make a choice to fall in love?

crosstalk

Elliott: But it doesn’t happen in this. Scott: I would’ve been happy with a little—

scott

—just a dash of In Bruges would’ve pleased me.

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh, very nice. We didn’t even get—we didn’t even get in Tigerland, guys! Stuart: We get—we get none of these things. Although— [Dan laughs.]

elliott

We didn’t even get any Alexander!

stuart

There’s no SWAT! Um, well kind of—there’s a little SWAT.

crosstalk

Elliott: There’s a lot of SWAT. There’s a— Scott: I’d like to swat this kid, I tell it to ya! Stuart: Um— Dan: Yeah. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

But this is a very dour movie? So at this point we’re probably, like, what? Ten minutes in? And I was like—oof! Magic makes everything depressing!

stuart

Yeah!

crosstalk

Elliott: [Through laughter] Wow! Magic is sad! Scott: But—but we’re about to be dropped—

scott

—knee-deep in a digital explosion of fairy creatures! And—and fairy tale lore! Let’s enjoy it!

stuart

Uh-huh. So let’s hit the gas now. He teaches—so dad—Artemis dad teaches Artemis son all about Irish magic and then he leaves on a long, mysterious trip. We’re introduced to Artemis’s only friend, who is a Dom Butler? Who is his butler, but you’re not supposed to call him a butler. But he’s, like, a, y’know. Like a big bodyguard type. Artemis, Sr. has disappeared while on this trip, and he finds out from the news that his dad is a suspected master thief. Which—I mean, all kids—I mean, most kids find out all their information on the news, right? [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Mm-hm. Elliott: Yeah, yeah. Kids love the news. Scott: Smart kids do.

elliott

They love to leave it on. Oh, no, wait! That’s old people. That’s old people leave the news on their TV all day. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: Well—[Laughs.] We don’t want kids learning about— Scott: Stu! You forgot a weird—

scott

You forgot a weird piece of whimsy back there, Stuart. I didn’t get how—

stuart

I’m going to forget a lot of pieces!

scott

He says— [Multiple people laugh.] “Don’t call him butler, even though he is the butler and his name is Butler! But don’t call him butler!” That’s—that’s good writing!

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. He doesn’t like it. Stuart: IT’s multiple levels.

elliott

And we—eventually we’ll meet—well, I guess that hasn’t happened yet. We’ll meet the butler’s, what? Niece? Who is also brought there? And then she disappears for broad swaths of the movie even though they’re all in the same house together.

stuart

Elliott? Elliott? You know what’s great about doing your own podcast? Is you can kind of jump the fuck around if you want. So in fact, we’ll just get to it. [Elliott laughs.] We’re introduced to who you think is going to be the second lead of the movie—Juliet Butler—who is a, y’know, another 12-year-odl who is hyperfunctioning. I think she is introduced, like, fighting like kendo or something in the woods. And she is introduced—and then ,as you said—disappears. Does almost nothing except run away from a troll later.

scott

I think that the—where she works might be the only clever bit that I enjoyed and it might be the only reason the boos ever got greenlit. She works for an outfit called LEP Recon. So—

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh, well that’s—that’s— Stuart: Ohhhhh. Scott: That’s a cute little pun, there!

scott

If you’re, like, trying to incorporate like old-school folklore into modern technology, you LEP Recon! But that’s not enough to build a movie and eight books around. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Yeah.

crosstalk

Stuart: Well we’ll see! Dan: Speaking of—

dan

Speaking of her disappearing for wide swaths; now toward the end of the movie where I wanted to look anywhere but the screen so I can—I can only take Audrey’s word for this. She says that this character who disappears was not even there during her relative—uh, uncle, is it?

crosstalk

Dan: Uncle’s, like, death scene? Elliott: Yeah. Well, during the—

elliott

During the scene when—well, we’ll get to—when Butler—when Butler almost dies.

dan

He briefly dies. He comes back. But.

stuart

So—so you weren’t watching this part so you had tied Audrey to the mast so she could watch the movie? [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Stuart: And you wouldn’t have to? Dan: Yeah. Well I—

dan

She had, like, those Clockwork Orange eye things?

scott

The canary in the coalmine?

dan

On?

scott

[Through laughter] Tell me what happens!

dan

Yeah. And I was just like, you just—yeah. I was like in the other room being like, “You just shout it to me! You just tell me—” [Laughs.]

elliott

Dan, I am constantly so impressed by your dedication to the podcast. That, uh— [Dan laughs.] —rather than pausing the film, you decided not to break up the experience and you said, “I’m gonna watch it like I was in the theater. And just let it keep rolling while I leave the room to—” Was it cutting up a mango this time? That was the excuse last time. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Believe me! Believe me. If I saw this in the theater, I would have, uh, abandoned the entire enterprise.

scott

That’s—you know what? That’s an interesting point that you just nailed. And this was supposed to be a wide theatrical release. And if this final product had come out in theaters, people would’ve been even rougher on it than—I mean, it’s—it’s atrocious! And—yeah.

stuart

Yeah. I mean I feel like if this movie had been released in theaters, there would’ve been a shortage of theater mangoes because so many people would’ve been leaving the theater— [Multiple people laugh.] —to go buy theater mangoes. [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Dan—dan, you’ll be happy to know— Dan: [Through laughter] To cut!

elliott

You’ll be happy to know—I don’t remember if we ever talked about this on the podcast, did we? About how you missed what was going on—no, you did—it was in that mini. You missed what was going on because you were busy cutting a mango. And this is now—whenever I’m complaining about you, Dan, and I’m like, “Oh, Dan wasn’t around for this thing,” Sammy’s like, “Oh, did he have to cut another mango?” [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] That’s amazing.

crosstalk

Elliott: So that’s his— Dan: I love it.

elliott

That’s his go-to Dan slam. Okay.

dan

Every time—every time [through laughter] you complain about me around the house. [Multiple people laugh.] In Sammy’s earshot. Thank you, Elliot.

elliott

Well, it’s only because—only because Sammy always wants to hear about you. I told you about when we were going through our wedding photos and he was like, “Where are the Dan pictures?”

crosstalk

Elliott: “Show me the pictures of Dan!” Scott: Aw. Dan: Awww.

dan

That’s—now, I mean, yeah. You know that Sammy’s my favorite child in the world.

elliott

Oh, that’s sweet. I won’t tell Gabriel that.

dan

Um, hey, uh—[Laughs.] I’ve had less time to get to know Gabriel. Let’s—I—I did want to say one thing. That is brought up by this. Yeah. This was on the mini. This mango story. And this is one of the great things you’re missing if you don’t listen to the minis. I know that the minis have a, like, less of a download and I think there’s been some really good ones lately. So check ‘em out.

elliott

That was in the—that was in the get even—Get Even mini, right?

dan

Yes. Yes. Yes.

elliott

So Stuart—this is when—does Artemis, Jr. find out what happened to Artemis, Sr.?

stuart

That’s what we would call a leading question, Elliott! So, uh, yeah. [Dan laughs.] So Artemis is obviously—

dan

Objection!

scott

Overruled! [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

Hearsay! He saw it in a movie! [Multiple people laugh.] Overruled!

stuart

Artemis, Jr. is tearing out his hair. He’s rending his garments. There is no way that this fake news bullshit would call his father a thief. And around now he receives a phone call from Opal—[Laughs.] Opal Koboi, an evil fairy who is living in a mountain fortress and has his father captured in some kind of crystal trap. I think that’s all correct information.

scott

You are—I—this is why I was glad Stuart got to do the breakdown this episode.

stuart

And makes some kind of— [Elliott laughs.] Makes some kind of ransom demand. You gotta bring me the Aculus.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yadda, yadda, yadda. Elliott: In three days.

stuart

You got three days.

dan

When I was complaining—when I was complaining about this movie while watching it, I was—[Laughs.] I was saying, like, “This movie is just like people staying in one place. Like, you got Artemis at the fucking mansion grounds all the time—"

elliott

Fowl Manor.

dan

And then you, like, cut back to, like, oh, it’s Colin Farrell hanging around. Like— [Elliott laughs.]

scott

No, he really plays like—I mean, I imagine like if I went over to Elliott’s house and he would’ve showed me a photo album of his trip to—let’s say—Mexico. And instead of a movie, he just shows me twelve still photos and for each photo he talks for fifteen minutes. That’s what this movie feels like!

elliott

That’s kind of—now here’s what—I’ll say that maybe they were so prescient and they were like, you know what? When this movie comes out, people aren’t gonna be able to leave their homes! So we’ll have Artemis stay at his house; we’ll have Opal always stay at her—her house? I think “her” ‘cause it’s a woman doing the voice. But we don’t know. We never learn anything about Opal. And we’ll have Judi Dench for most of the movie—‘cause Judi Dench got a bee in her underground fairy world—and we just won’t have ‘em interact very much. And you know what? People will really be able to relate to these characters who go on a wild, magical, mystical, marvelous adventure without leaving their very own home. For days!

dan

And Judi Dench is mostly looking at screens [through laughter] and interacting with people on screens or things on screen. Which, y’know.

elliott

There’s one moment where you can see her thinking, in her mind, about how stupid what she’s saying is. [Dan laughs.] While—[through laughter]

crosstalk

Elliott: While she’s delivering the lines. Stuart: But she’s a professional! Elliott: But she’s a professional! Dan: I mean, she comes out of this the most unscathed.

dan

Much—much like she’s one of the best things in Cats. So.

scott

If anybody can walk out of this movie unscathed, it’s Judi Dench. She made it out of Riddick. She can make it out of this. But she—she looks bored!

crosstalk

Scott: I don’t care if huge stars are in a bad movie—- Stuart: She keeps what she kills.

scott

—but give them something to do! She looks bored.

elliott

I was watching this with my wife and she goes, “How did they get Judi Dench?” And I’m like, “She’s British. She’ll do anything.”

scott

Right? [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Scott: Laurence Olivier did—y’know— Elliott: Just give her the money. Stuart: Mm-hm.

scott

—in his later years did some really questionable films as well. Everybody needs to get paid. But if you’re gonna have Judi Dench on your set, rewrite something. Give her something, like, juicy or funny or scary. She’s just perfunctory. It’s not her fault, but boy. It’s not good.

elliott

I mean, she’s literally riding around on a Segway for a lot of the movie. So she’s not even walking. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Yep. So we find out that—so Artemis learns the hard way that there is truth to all of these stories about fairy stuff. And that his father has a secret office and there’s all kinds of secret bullshit in there. And he uses an old—what, like, bedtime poem or something? To find his father’s secret hidden journal, and he starts reading that shit. And then—

elliott

Now, I’ll mention that a lot of his—a lot of the magical, mystical bullshit is just bottles with glowing liquids in them. And we don’t know what it is. It just looks like cloudy milk. He just is a hoarder who collects cloudy milk. It seems.

scott

And we’re just waiting for him to, like, open the drawer that will take us to the next narration sequence. That’s it.

stuart

Yep.

elliott

Mm-hm.

stuart

Which is, of course, we are introduced to Haven City. That is the underground fairy city, which is like a mix of Coruscant and, like, with a big dash of Shadowrun thrown in there? [Elliott laughs.] And we’re introduced—y’know, there’s like flying buses all over the place and, like, it’s a little bit like—it’s a little crampy. It’s a little, like, beat up. A little, like, cyberpunk-y.

elliott

It’s kind of a mix of like a Star Wars prequel and the Fifth Element and Men In Black and a Sharper Image store. Like, that’s what it feels like.

scott

It’s—[Laughs.] It’s kind of a beat-up, dingy, B-roll of Hellboy 2. [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Yes. And in it— Stuart: Also. Elliott: [Through laughter] Yeah.

dan

I would say that in a better movie? I would find this more interesting. I mean, you could say that about basically anything. But like, the—these fantasy creatures with science fiction technology is a thing that I’m sure is very common in other media? But not so much in movies? Like, you don’t—like, you don’t usually see these high fantasy creatures with this kind of, like… like the say, Star Wars prequel stuff around them. But because this movie is so bad and confusing otherwise? I just found it sort of, like, more confusing. Like, what—what—

elliott

It raises two questions for me that the movie never answers. Which is—one, if they have super magic, why are they shooting lasers at each other and wearing space helmets? They have magic. They don’t need all this junk. And two—they make a point a lot of times in the movie of saying, “We can’t let anyone see us. We can’t let humanity know that we’re down here. We can’t let anyone see any fairies up above.” And it’s like, mm, you seem like you have the ability to wipe out humanity. You can control time and you have lasers and magic. I don’t understand why you need to hide. Like at—best-case scenario, we should be trading partners. Worst-case scenario, you are our conquerors.

crosstalk

Elliott: I don’t understand. Dan: [Laughs.] I mean, maybe they just—

dan

They could just not like us.

scott

[Through laughter] Yes! Children in a backyard do better worldbuilding than this movie does. There’s no worldbuilding! It’s—here’s an establishing shot and some narration. But there’s no actual worldbuilding!

dan

I mean, it could just be like someone, like, pretending not to answer the doorbell when someone they don’t like comes to the door? Maybe the fairies are just like, “Ugh. These humans.”

elliott

“Humans again.” I mean, we do learn that in the world of Haven City it doesn’t matter if you’re a prisoner being taken to the worst prison in the world, or you’re a police officer who’s reentering the city—you have to go through the same gates. So you wait online with each other.

stuart

Yeah. So this is when we’re introduced to—I guess our second lead? Who is a cop named Holly Short, who is the daughter of a famous traitor who originally stole the Aculus. But I guess she’s trying to clear her father’s name or something? Eh, who cares. So this is where we’re reintroduced to Mulch. Mulch is getting sentenced to the worst prison for stealing stuff. I think. Uh, they make—

elliott

Breaking and tunneling. Or, no. Tunneling and entering? Something like that.

stuart

Yep. Tunneling and entering. They make a lot of jokes about how he is tall for a dwarf. I guess he’s a dwarf. And—I don’t know. Like, I think he’s getting 400 years which seems excessive, but I don’t know their—I don’t know. The criminal justice system’s terrible. So—

elliott

I mean, also they live a long time. At one point Judi Dench says to Holly, “You’re 84 years old. You’re still young. You got your whole life ahead of you.” So they live for centuries.

dan

Well, yeah. And Judi Dench is like 800.

scott

That raises a really interesting question, guys. In the world where somebody—say—lives to, say, 900, what effect does that have on criminal justice and jurisprudence? You wouldn’t sentence someone to five years for embezzlement if they live to 900!

stuart

That’s—I guess that’s true. Yeah. I guess sentences would be longer in a—as we’ve already established—a terrible system.

dan

Well, but— [Multiple people laugh.] But would they, though? I mean, like, is a sentence—as it stands now—other than a life sentence, which obviously… is—is in relation to one’s life. Although “life” rarely means life.

crosstalk

Dan: Even a life sentence— Elliott: Dan—Dan—you got so philosophical there. Wow. Scott: Getting so political. [Dan laughs.]

dan

No, no! But like, non-life sentence sentences—are those determined as, like, what percentage they are of someone’s expected lifespan? I don’t think that that’s—

elliott

Yeah. I think that’s what they do, Dan. Yeah. Yeah. That’s how they do it.

dan

Well, no! I’m arguing against that as a notion. Like—

stuart

They do, like, a physical and they’re like, “Hmm, okay.” [Dan laughs.]

elliott

They’re like, “Let’s find out how long you’re gonna live. Let’s count your teeth.”

stuart

So Elliott got really excited. He already mentioned Judi Dench. Judi Dench plays Commander Root. She is also doing a Batman voice. That’s right. We got two Batmans. And Judi Dench has decided to mentor this young fairy cop, Holly Short. I think in her heart she believes that Holly’s father was wrongfully accused, but we’ll find out later.

elliott

And she says to Holly that all of fairyland is at risk unless they find the Aculus. This is never explained.

dan

It also bears mentioning at this point that along with the tremendous amount of negative criticism for Artemis Fowl, there is also minor controversy in that Holly was described as having brown skin in the book and this is another—

crosstalk

Dan: —whitewashing situation. Scott: Oh, I would just like to— Stuart: Ugh.

scott

In response to that, I would just like to also interject that I believe that J.K. Rowling is a piece of shit. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Oh, thank you!

dan

Okay.

stuart

I mean, never a wrong time to say that! Um— [Dan laughs.]

scott

Well, three of you have already said it! I wanted to get mine in! That’s all. I’m sorry. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. There’s a—now, on Wikipedia, if this is true they talk about that Saoirse Ronan was attached to this role at one point. Which seems like it would’ve been maybe the biggest waste of acting talent I can imagine? [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Oh, that’s funny.

scott

I find it—y’know. And I know we’re not, but I always feel kinda bad for the actors in a way. Because you know that the script they got was at least marginally better than this. And guarantee actors that we’re kind of knocking for not doing much had more to do in the movie! But it feels like literally—

crosstalk

Scott: —90 minutes got cut from the film! Stuart: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s the original David Mamet draft. Yeah. Dan: Yeah.

stuart

The—so this is around where the—Elliott had mentioned this earlier. That some person who we have no idea who he is gets released out of prison by Opal Koboi. Saying something about, like, “I need you to spy for me” or something. Uh, whatever. We’ll get to him later.

elliott

His name is Briar Cudgeon.

stuart

Oh, okay. Cool. [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

Thought you were making that up! [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

This is—the only worse names that I can—and you know what? All fantasy names are kinda silly. But there’s—what the show? Is it an Amazon show? Where it’s a murder mystery and they’re fantasy creatures? Uh, it’s called, like, Hollyhock Lane or something like that? Or—

stuart

Yes. Carnival Row.

crosstalk

Dan: Hemlock? Elliott: Carnival Row.

elliott

Yeah. Where—I was reading the review of it and it was like, “Detective-Inspector Gulliver Mickelboss”—and I’m like, “Alright. Forget about it.”

dan

Oh god. [Laughs.]

elliott

“—has to team up with carnival performer Ivy Galindagal—“ and I was like, “Never mind. Forget it.” [Stuart laughs.] I can’t even read the review.

stuart

See, I’d start reading that and I’m like, “Oh, I like this! I like where this is going!” [Elliott laughs.] “Sounds like an adventure!”

scott

It just—by this point—by this late point it’s just—when you see all of the bullet points that are endemic or part of the Young Adult novel and the Young Adult adaptation—by this point you start to get irritated at the cynicism of it. Y’know? It’s not just—“Hey, Harry Potter was a big hit! We have some good stories, too!” By this point it’s just so mercenary how they’re, like, aping the formula.

stuart

Yeah.

dan

Yeah.

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.] Yeah. So around now—so meanwhile, like, Artemis and Dom are like getting into trouble and like they hang out with Julia a little bit. Doesn’t matter. I think they start staking out the—what, like the biggest tree on their property? I don’t know what’s going on.

elliott

That’s a tree where—they’ve been led to believe by his dad’s journals—that fairies come to sometimes.

stuart

Oh, okay.

scott

This is where the movie completely threw me like a rollercoaster I wasn’t strapped into. I watched it twice and this is where I just like, “I don’t know.” [Elliott laughs.] “I feel like I’m watching a Peter Gabriel video. I don’t know what I’m watching, plot-wise.”

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

Wait. Is there a plot to the Peter Gabriel videos? [Stuart laughs.] Like, does Sledgehammer have a plot?

scott

No! That’s the—they’re just avant-garde, hopefully-interesting kind of, uh, visual coolness! And that’s another thing. Except for the establishing shots that they think are all, like, “Here’s our stately castle or our cool warren of—hole—” it’s an ugly movie. Kenneth Branagh has made some wonderfully good-looking movies. This movie is ugly. I don’t get why it looks, like, so brown and grungy.

elliott

Well, it’s—they’re—I think they’re trying to—for—to a certain amount of it is they’re stuck in the kind of classic, I think, Gaelic fantasy color palette of greens and browns? And… they—and they add to that the, uh, the color that is synonymous with dimensional portals and ultra-technology of the movies: glowy blue. And so there’s just a lotta, like, glowy blue and darkly-lit underground scenes and greens and browns. And there’s—it’s a movie where you’re like, “Hey. You know what color I like? Red. You know what’s another fun color? Yellow. I’d love to see these colors. Pink is a color. Can I see some of those, please?”

stuart

Yeah. Let’s drench this in synthwave. Um, okay! So— [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: I mean, [inaudible] that. Stuart: Um—around now—

elliott

I mean, how is that not better? How is that not an improvement?

stuart

I mean, that would’ve been way better.

elliott

Let’s Liquid Sky this thing up! C’mon, guys! [Dan laughs.]

stuart

So we’re introduced to—down in Haven City, we’re introduced to another cool character. That’s right—Foaly the Centaur tech genius.

crosstalk

Elliott: Best character. Stuart: They make it—they—

stuart

They do that clever thing a script does where they make a point of saying, “Don’t ask to ride him.” So you’re like, “Oh, fuck. Somebody’s gonna ask to ride this guy at the end of the movie.” Like, that’s the only way they’re gonna stop it. But, y’know.

scott

You gotta assume that that’s rule #1! Is you would never ask a centaur if you could ride them! [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

So you’re saying that the movie made the subtext text and you’re unhappy about it.

scott

Oh, just seems so obvious to me. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Also—I do like that they took the Irish name Foaly and they spell it “Foal” like a foal. Like a baby horse.

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh shiiit! Dan: Ohhhh.

elliott

‘Cause he’s half-horse foal-y!

scott

Wow.

stuart

Shit! Movie gets points!

scott

I like this movie more now. That you just— [Elliott laughs.]

scott

Scott: I mean, a little bit! Elliott: Mm, I’m just saying—

elliott

The movie’s having a little fun. Or the creator of Artemis Fowl, if there’s a character from the book. IS having some fun.

scott

I still go back to—I still insist that LEP Recon is slightly clever.

stuart

Mm-hm. [Elliott laughs.] So Holly short is given a mission ‘cause all the other fairy cops are dealing with some bullshit. So of course she has to ride some lava to the surface. She goes to a wedding where a troll has showed up— [Elliott laughs.] —and she gets in a fight with a troll.

crosstalk

Elliott: Now, now, she goes to the wedding to catch the troll. Dan: And the troll wasn’t even invited! [Laughs.] Stuart: This is—yeah. This is all very simple.

elliott

Just to make it clear. That there’s a—even though in my notes I wrote, “Sent to the surface in a lava rocket to find… someone? Who escaped?” It turns out there’s a troll on the loose. She goes to an Italian wedding where the troll is there. I assume because the troll heard about their amazing soup. Because is there better soup than Italian wedding soup? Maybe. But I haven’t tasted it.

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.] So yeah. So she shows up to capture this troll. Then they freeze everything and just… take the troll away. Like, why do they send her to… and then the Men in Black all the humans.

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. Scott: Ooh. Elliott: That was the part that—

elliott

That was the part I found the most insulting. Was when they sent fairies to put flashbulbs in people’s eyes to make them forget. And I was like, do you think I didn’t see Men in Black? Like, there were three of them! [Dan laughs.] Like, you can’t just pretend this is your idea!

scott

Yeah! Make it, like, fairy dust or something! Come on! You can’t do the bulb thing.

dan

But I also like the casualness of the making them forget. Because while they’re doing this, like, y’know, the time is frozen. And it basically looks like, y’know, in an X-Men movie when Quicksilver’s going around, even though I—I don’t think she was doing it at, like, super speed or anything.

elliott

Or like when Sonic is running around in that roadhouse in the hit film Sonic the Hedgehog.

crosstalk

Dan: Exactly. So that’s going on— Stuart: Yes. Yes. Thank you, Elliott.

dan

But—and they make ‘em forget—but then all the chaos, the aftermath of the chaos is still there? The destruction when they, like, come out of their time warp thing? And so everyone’s like, “Oh, what the what?!” And it’s just like—I appreciate the laziness of the fairies in that instance. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

That they made them forget everything but didn’t explain why this wedding suddenly was a disaster. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Exactly. They didn’t do any cleaning. Yeah. Scott: They really half-assed the cleanup, is what you’re saying.

elliott

Yeah. It does ask the question, Stuart—yeah, why—why didn’t they—why did they bother to send Holly if they could just stop time and send in a team of agents to get this troll?

scott

Ding!

stuart

Yeah. You would think that would be the whole point. But of course, immediately afterwards, Holly decides to go rogue on the surface because she’s trying to clear her father’s name. Because of course in all situations, the fish rots from the head. Judi Dench broke protocol to freeze time so quickly, so of course her subordinates don’t really care about the rules, either. So I think this is a situation where we’re just gonna have to deal with the entire system. You know what I mean?

dan

Mm-hm. Yeah.

elliott

Yeah. Dismantle it. Defund LEP Recon. Yeah, sure.

crosstalk

Scott: Oh man. This—this segment in Artemis FowlStuart: So—

scott

—just ripped straight from the headlines.

stuart

[Laughs.] Yep. Uh—

elliott

This is also—this is the part where Cudgeon goes up to Judi Dench and is like, “Hey, I’m gonna have your job and your ass if you don’t get in line and do what I say!” And I was like, “Wasn’t he in jail earlier today? Like, I don’t understand! How did he get this job so quickly where he’s in charge of everything?” Very strange.

stuart

Yeah. It is pretty strange. But you know what else is strange? That Arty and Dom have set a trap for Holly— [Elliott laughs.] —outside of this tree. She files to this tree for some reason and then they shoot her with a tranquilizer dart and then the fairies find out about it because—I guess—they’re tracking her? And they’re like, “Okay, well, we gotta rescue our friend.” However! Artemis has already thrown Holly in jail in his house, because he can’t leave his house ‘cause then that would defeat the whole movie! [Dan laughs.]

elliott

That would—this is—Artemis captures Holly and Judi Dench says to Cudgeon at this point, “Get the four-leaf clover out of here.” My favorite kind of joke, guys! A joke in a kids’ movie that needs—necessitates knowledge of a swearword! Love it!

stuart

Smurf happens! [Laughs.]

dan

Now—[Laughs.] Stuart—

elliott

Smurf happens, indeed.

scott

It’s cringey for the reasons—the obvious reason, which is—a five-year-old’s not gonna get that joke. And it’s even cringier because anybody who would get that joke would just groan. It’s cause it’s not funny! [Laughs.]

elliott

It’s a real groaner. It does remind me of the Smurf tagline—“Smurf Happens”—and, of course, “Get Smurfed Up Your Butt.” Which I thought was especially inappropriate. [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

“Smurf my Smurf!”

crosstalk

Elliott: For [inaudible] Smurfs, too. Scott: No, I—I don’t have children but I always—

scott

—did feel like, “Hey, mom, what does that mean?” And you’re like, “Ugh. Alright. It means ‘suck my dick.’ That’s what it means.” Now I—thank you—thank you the producers of Sonic the Hedgehog for forcing me to explain—

crosstalk

Stuart: Like, wow those—[inaudible] Smurfs are all [inaudible]. Scott: —fellatio to my five-year-old kid. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Now, did you mention—I can’t remember that. But they told Holly to—that fairies can’t be seen. Remain inconspicuous. And so she just flies with her fairy wings low enough that people can see from the streets of Italy?

stuart

Uh-huh. Yep. Well, people don’t look up!

elliott

Oh, that’s true.

dan

By the way, I just wanna say that this is around the point where my thin grasp of the plot went to no grasp of the plot? [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: And Stuart? Uh, explained a big portion— Scott: Oh, wow. You lasted longer than I did!

dan

—of it just now, and yet again—my—it’s as if the—the ideas could not find purchase on my brain. [Through laughter] They slid right off as Stuarts said them, so.

elliott

Now, Dan, what’s going on is that in order—so Artemis, Sr., to get—has been kidnapped. And Artemis Fowl, Jr., has to get the Aculus. In order to get the Aculus, he has a plan that involves kidnapping a fairy, even though the fairies do not have the Aculus because it was stolen from them a long time ago.

stuart

And in fact, they want it.

elliott

And in fact, they wanna get it back. And so the fairies then decide to invade Artemis Fowl’s house because… that—yes!

scott

[Through laughter] Because that—yes! [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: ‘Cause—‘cause they want— Stuart: They—they wanna get their—

stuart

—their comrade back!

elliott

They wanna get Holly back. And the way they do this inconspicuously is by almost killing a fisherman and then attacking Ireland. [Laughs.]

dan

We’ve invoked the Aculus several times. I just also wanna say that, like, it is the most Macguffin-y Macguffin in that I still don’t know what it was supposed to do. [Laughs.]

elliott

It’s like a big magic metal acorn that does magic!

crosstalk

Scott: C’mon, dude! I mean, how much plot do you need? Stuart: Yeah. Duh. Elliott: And it—and—

elliott

And all of Haven City relies on it because—yes! Again. So yes.

stuart

Yeah, yeah. It’s the same thing. It’s like, [mocking voice] “In Pulp Fiction I wanna see what’s in the briefcase!”

elliott

Yeah. “Uh, in Battle Angel Alita why don’t they tell us more about this clone war she was in?” [Laughs.]

dan

Shut up! You keep making reference to a thing that hasn’t been released yet, Elliott! [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Well, we better release that episode, Dan, ‘cause I want people to know how much you love backstory! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.] [In infantilizing voice] “Uh, extra backstory, please!”

stuart

“Uh, the Aculus is cool, but who made it?”

elliott

[Still using child’s voice] “Mm, uh, but what was Boba Fett like as a little boy?”

dan

I literally asked for one sentence of clarification about a plot point and now this is Flop House canon. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

[Inaudible.]

elliott

[Child’s voice] “But, uh, tell me—so, uh, what else happened when Scully was a little girl?” [Regular voice] That’s when you’re watching The X-Files.

stuart

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

dan

[Laughs.] Okay.

stuart

Okay. So Holly’s in jail in Artemis’s house. She tries to use her—her powers of mesmerism, but Artemis and Juliet are wearing sunglasses and that blocks her abilities. Holly is not having this. Uh—

scott

What kind of magic can be thwarted by sunglasses?

crosstalk

Stuart: That’s a good question. Elliott: The magic of the sun’s rays. Scott: Good point. Radiation. [Laughs.] Dan: Yeah.

dan

It usually goes the opposite direction. [Elliott laughs.] [inaudible] and they live.

elliott

Yeah. Usually magic sunglasses let you do special things. But these are regular sunglasses that stop things. Now, the other question is—did Artemis build this cage, or did his dad already have a fairy cage in his house? [Dan laughs.]

dan

Well, also—

scott

Or is it a fairy-day cage? Mm!

dan

Let us—I—there was a moment, too, where, like, Artemis is like, “Fairies are real!” And I’m like, “Wait, he didn’t believe that before? It seems like that’s all his dad [through laughter] talked about ever.” [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

And why do you force the butler to stand outside for days in camo gear watching the—or in one of those—what are they called? Goolies? What do you wear when you’re out hunting?

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] “Goolies”? Stuart: It’s a ghillie suit. Elliott: Ghillie. Thank you. Ghillie. “Goolies” are when yoru’e hiding in a toilet. And—[Laughs.] And— Scott: They’ll get you in the end!

elliott

And you need to get someone in the end. Yeah. They—he is—why he’s standing there with a sniper rifle for days. And he’s like, “Oh yeah. Well I’m glad my hunch—[Laughs.] Glad my hunch paid off that a fairy would show up.”

stuart

Yeah. That’s—that was my biggest complaint about the latest Call of Duty is that my sniper character couldn’t wear a “Gooley” suit. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Which is, like, little suspenders? Right? Like, little overalls?

stuart

[Through laughter] Yeah! [Elliott laughs.]

scott

Call of Goolie? I like it.

stuart

[Through laughter] Yeah.

elliott

Call of Goolie.

stuart

Yep. That puts the ‘doody’ into Call of Duty. Okay. Um—so— [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

‘Cause it’s a toilet!

crosstalk

Elliott: I get it! Scott: You—well, Stuart—

scott

—as you’re trying and doing a really good job of explaining all these randomly inserted plot points—

stuart

Thank you.

scott

—your—to a credit to your—I’m sorry. As a service to your listeners, you’re omitting all the different times that Josh Gad interrupts what’s happening. He interrupts what’s—any time a—an isolated sequence gets slightly interesting, Josh Gad is like, “And then… Bob fell over!” And they’re like, “Wait, why is Josh Gad explaining? Just show me a scene!”

stuart

Yeah. Okay. So it’s Josh Gad in this movie, so, of course, it’s not Josh Gad. It’s Mulch Diggums. And he does it in his cool voice— [Dan laughs.] —and he’s like, “Humans would be frightened of fairies. Most humans are afraid of gluten!” And I’m like, wow—

crosstalk

Stuart: —this is a really crazy world that we’re in! Scott: Take… that! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

stuart

‘Cause most people make fun of people who don’t like gluten.

scott

Take that, gluten! [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

And there’s a lot of, like, there’s a lot of like, [deeper, gruffer voice] “Well here’s when the kid does what he does best: he comes up with a plan!” And I—again—

crosstalk

Elliott: —my voice is not really Mulch Diggums’ voice. The accent is all off, but. Dan: Yeah. Scott: It’s better. It’s better.

dan

I—I hesitate to, y’know, shatter Stu’s remaining sanity by putting another halt to the plot summary, but I have a—

elliott

Oh, you mean like the X-Force character Shatterstu?

dan

Yeah. [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

Oh, yeah! It’s pretty cool. I have hollow bones and only three fingers!

elliott

Mm-hm. And double swords!

stuart

Uh-huh!

dan

I feel like this is maybe the place to bring this up. I have no idea about the production history of this movie. Maybe others do. But—

elliott

Well, so here’s—

dan

—it really—hold on. But I just wanted to—

crosstalk

Dan: The reason I bring it up is just, like, it— Elliott: Dan, I have the information you’re looking for.

dan

Okay, but—[Laughs.] I wanna first say the reason I bring it up is like it definitely feels like Josh Gad’s narration is there to paper over stuff that got cut or changes that were made at some point. Like, it feels like a movie that has had surgery done on it but I don’t know if that’s true.

elliott

I think—I don’t know for sure. I know that the movie was in development for a very long time. It was in development since before the book was published. It was purchased—or, uh, the rights were purchased while it was in galleys. And it took years and years and at different points lots of different people were attached. And so I imagine the final script is—either they threw it out and in a short amount of time had to rewrite a wholly new one, or it’s like a mish-mash of different elements that people pulled out of the books or made up or didn’t. It seems like even Kenneth Branagh was—he was not the first director that was attached to it. But he—they—let’s see. They hired him in 2015, and they were—duhduhduhduhduh—they had trouble because Harvey Weinstein was a producer for a while and then he was removed for the film because he’s trash and disgusting and a criminal. And it’s just like—I think it was one of those movies that probably had its fair share of behind-the-scenes mix-ups, but also like I don’t think anyone really cared that much about it. And I could be wrong about it.

scott

I think it’s one of those pot-committed movies. I think it’s like, a studio says, “We’ve already invested 78 million into developing this. We’re gonna spend another 120 just to make it. Because otherwise it’s embarrassing for us.”

elliott

And there’s part of me that wonders if Kenneth Branagh—like, who released, um, uh, Murder on the Orient Express? Because it’s—

crosstalk

Dan: Released it? Elliott: It feels like one of those things where it’s like—or—who—who produced—what company produced it? Scott: Uh, Warner, I think?

elliott

‘Cause I don’t think that was a Disney film, but it does feel like it was, like, “I’ll do this Artemis Fowl garbage and then you’ll let me play Hercule Poirot on a train!”

scott

“One for me, one for you!”

elliott

Not knowing that that would be the hit of the two.

scott

That could be it. Or it could just be he has—obviously has some experience with big-budget tentpoles like Thor and I guess he probably looked at this at one point and said, “Hey, if I’m given freedom! It’s a popular book. It’s an interesting world. I could probably do something with it.” But it seems like either he made a misstep or 20 different studio execs stepped in with scissors and went, “Oh, god. We don’t even know what to do with this.”

dan

Well with—with our—

elliott

So Murder on the Orient Express, turns out it was 20th Century Fox. So it was not—

crosstalk

Scott: I was wrong. Elliott: —the same studio yet.

dan

With our moderate-sized audience out there, there’s a slim chance someone worked on Artemis Fowl. If you have any— [Multiple people laugh.] —hot goss, you can send it to us and we won’t release your name.

stuart

Yeah! We’ll do a minisode that’s called The Goss House[Dan laughs.] —where we talk about that hot goss.

scott

Fowl House.

crosstalk

Elliott and Dan: Mm-hm.

elliott

I’ll play my character that I’ve—everyone knows very well. Ryan Gosling. He’s the man made outta gossip and he just loves to sing. [Singing] I’m Ryan Gosling and I love to sing about things that happen to people who aren’t me! What’s the gossip? Ryan Gosling here! Hey, everybody! [Multiple people laugh.] What do you hear? I rhymed “here” with “hear,” but they’re spelled differently so that’s okay! Ryan Gosling. [Regular voice] So that’s my character everybody knows and loves. My guess is this was not, like— [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

It’s great, ‘cause also—I remember when your character Ryan Gosling got hired to do promotion for Gosling-Stark run with Dark and Stormys, right?

elliott

Mm-hm, exactly. [Singing] Hey, what’s the gossip that everybody hears? I’ll tell you what it is! It’s Dark and Stormys! Everybody’s’ favorite drink—right now. Hey, what’s the news? Well, it’s not really news. It’s gossip. So I won’t tell you who it’s happening to except for one or two of the names, maybe. And I don’t know if it’s true or not. Dark and Stormys. [Multiple people laugh.] [Regular voice] He just—I guess he would just define what gossip is sometimes. So—

stuart

Yeah. Sometimes, yeah. Y’know.

crosstalk

Dan: A real [inaudible]. Elliott: My guess is—

elliott

—this was probably not a disaster behind the scenes like Cats and was more just, like, yeah, a lotta cooks in the kitchen and in the end just trying to salvage something. But I don’t know.

crosstalk

Stuart: Okay. So—the—the— Elliott: Now—now—no, wait! I have a—they—

elliott

Have we gotten to the part where Judi Dench is inside a landing vehicle and the ramp goes down and then she just says “Top o’ the morning” to nobody? [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Love it. I fucking love it. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Just—just to open air! Scott: Four or five moments in this movie that like— Dan: Or, like— [Multiple people laugh.] Stuart: So of course the—

scott

—that make no sense in the context of the movie but seem there because they needed a trailer moment. And that’s one of them. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah.

dan

I like to think that [through laughter] there was a character who was supposed to be CGI’d and there for her to talk to. They just forgot. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

So yeah. At this point, they—the, uh, the fairies have frozen Fowl Manor with one of their, like, flying time-freeze devices. Which—once again—as we’ve stated—it’s such a powerful ability. It’s like, as soon as in Dishonored you unlock the ability to freeze time, it’s like the game isn’t even fun anymore. ‘Cause you can just, like, freeze time and murder everybody. Okay. So, uh—

elliott

And yet they mostly freeze time just to stand around.

stuart

They do a lot—yeah. SO they—it’s like they’re freezing themselves. Y’know?

elliott

And every now and then they’ll be like, “The time bubble’s unstable!” And a fairy will be just sucked away into nothingness. And yoru’e like, “What?!” [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: That’s horrifying. Stuart: Yup! Like, oop!

stuart

I guess Azathoth is eating him. So— [Multiple people laugh.] So, uh, Artemis—

elliott

Is Az—wait, Stuart. Is Azathoth the one who dances eternally to the sound of mad pipers at the center of the universe?

stuart

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s the blind idiot god. Um, so—

elliott

Okay. Thanks.

scott

Oh my gosh. We just—I just stumbled into a Lovecraft podcast! [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

[Through laughter] Yeah. Try to stumble out if you can find the [spooky voice] doooor! [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Oh, it’s non-Euclidean!

stuart

So Artemis and Dom, of course, they’re surrounded. So what do they do? They put on some cool suits and then beat the shit out of some fairies with their own weapons. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Scott: Yup. Take that! Stuart: And in the meanwhile—

scott

Magical creatures!

stuart

[Through laughter] Yep! And the—the fairies’ weapons, as we’ve addressed, are basically like a lot of blasters. They end up stealing a, uh, a… bow and arrow that shoots a laser? And shoots the time device, which makes the time device unstable so we got a ticking clock, everybody. It looks like the fair—we’re at kind of a stalemate situation. SO Commander Root has to go inside Fowl Manor to negotiate with Artemis.

crosstalk

Scott: [Dramatically] Dun dun dun dun doonnn. Stuart: Did I get everything?

stuart

Did I get everything?

elliott

Yeah—that’s—that’s pretty good. I mean, I think—

scott

You made that sound dramatic!

elliott

Yeah. You made—you described it much better than the movie did. Where it’s just them shoot—just firing flat blasters at each other.

dan

I also believe—you can correct me if I’m wrong, Elliott. I believe that both Elliott and I were leaning away from the microphone to burp at that exact moment, too. So that might’ve delayed our response.

stuart

Thanks for clarifying. I’m glad you guys are—you’re burping from all the Dark and Stormys you’re drinking.

crosstalk

Scott: I’m smoking [inaudible]. Stuart: Brought to you by Ryan Gosling!

elliott

Brought to you by Ryan Gosling! Uh, Gosling [inaudible]! Or is it rum?

crosstalk

Stuart: It’s—it’s rum, yeah. Elliott: Yeah, it’s rum. Anyway. So—

elliott

So Dan and I have a connection, much like Elliott and E.T. in the movie E.T. where sometimes we do the same thing at a distance? Whether it’s kissing someone ‘cause we saw a kiss on TV or freeing frogs because, why not? [Dan laughs.] Why should the frogs have to die when we could just look at pictures of frogs?

scott

Wow. That would be funny if—when Stuart drank an extra beer—that’s when Elliott started singing. That would be hilarious.

crosstalk

Stuart: Mmm-hmmm. Yep. Elliott: Mmmmm.

crosstalk

Elliott: Usually what happens when I start singing is— Scott: [Through laughter] Get an extra beer.

elliott

—Stuart gets up to get an extra beer.

crosstalk

Stuart: Uh-huh. Dan: Mm-hm.

stuart

Yep. And I pause extra-long when my hand rests on the door of the refrigerator and I’m like—

scott

He’s still singing! [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

“Here we go again. Okay.” [Multiple people laugh.] Like, maybe—maybe—maybe this’ll make the podcast go faster. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Now did you mention that Fowl has demanded the Aculus to let Holly go?

stuart

Yeah. So he makes his demands. Of course Commander Root makes her demands in her tough voice. But it feels like they’re at yet another stalemate, although—as I’ve mentioned—the time device is breaking and we have a ticking clock. Meanwhile, the fairies have decided to give—

elliott

Meanwhile, Madison’s learning not every problem can be settled by committee.

stuart

That’s—that’s exactly right. Because—

elliott

Also on Disney+! Hamilton.

scott

[Through laughter] I get that joke now! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.] Huzzah! Thank you, Disney+!

elliott

The problem is they’re trying to—they’re fighting over where to put the U.S. Capitol. It isn’t pretty.

stuart

Mm-hm. You got some more history raps for me? [Someone beatboxes in the background.] [Dan laughs.] No?

elliott

[Through laughter] Well, that’s when—[Laughs.] The Virginian insight, dinner & invite—a quid pro quo? I suppose so. And so forth. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Oh, man. What a laugh. Okay. So, uh— [Elliott laughs.] This is when the fairies are gonna need the best deep-core driller—

scott

Harry Stamper.

stuart

On the planet Earth. [Multiple people laugh.] So they can—

scott

Stuart: So they can blow up an asteroid, I’m guessing. Elliott: I mean, that’s a bit of a—

elliott

That’s a bit of an exaggeration. A bit of an exaggeration.

dan

I rewatched that movie recently ‘cause like, it’s afucking pandemic and sometimes I need to find the stupidest thing to watch? And—

crosstalk

Dan: —when—[Laughs.] Stuart: And you don’t wanna miss a thing!

dan

[Through laughter] When, uh, Billy Bob Thornton says, “Get me the world’s best deep-core driller!” I’m like, “What the fu—are there listings? What the fuck is this?”

stuart

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

elliott

Yeah, yeah. in Deep Core magazine.

dan

Yeah.

scott

Not what Deep Core magazine is about, Elliott.

crosstalk

Elliott: Ohhh! Dan: It’s a—it’s a— Stuart: Oh, wow!

stuart

Elliott shouldn’t have splurged on that subscription.

elliott

No, I didn’t even read—look at the magazine first. And—

scott

[Laughs.] You said “splurge.” I thought—is like a porno reference.

stuart

Mm. So, uh, yeah. Of course— [Elliott laughs.] —they decide to break out—

elliott

What if, guys—what if there was a soda called “Splurge” and it was just really expensive? [All laugh.]

scott

Tastes exactly like Coke!

crosstalk

Stuart: I love it. So— Elliott: Okay! So, uh—now, oh, cool.

elliott

Are we gonna talk about Opal Koboi’s motivation?

stuart

I have no idea. I don’t have anything written down in my notes. Do you know?

crosstalk

Stuart: Does anyone know? Who knows! Elliott: So Opal tells Artemis about—she says—she tells— Scott: I’m drawing a blank.

elliott

She tells Artemis Fowl, Sr., “I’m mad that humans reduced fairies to mere stories to frighten kids. I’m gonna take over the world and eliminate humanity.” Somehow the Aculus will help her do this. I don’t know!

dan

Uh, well again—this seems like one of those problems that could be solved, also, just by revealing that fairies exist rather than that—I mean, like, them taking over humanity.

elliott

Well, it brings me back to the old, uh—

dan

There are a couple steps that have been skipped, is all I’m saying.

elliott

The old Zookeeper episode where the animals are like, “Oh yeah, we can talk, but we don’t like freaking people out.” And I’m just like, “Well maybe you should talk, ‘cause we’d probably eat you less. If you did.” [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

The abuse that you could avoid if you just spoke! [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

And, I mean, I feel like attendance at zoos would at least temporarily increase, right?

elliott

There’d be a short increase, and then of course people would get used to it. There’s a—there’s a—

dan

Plus, it’s like—it’s like—

stuart

Although I guess that wouldn’t mean they’d make more money or anything, right? [Laughs.]

elliott

No, the animals—well, they could demand a cut. They could unionize, possibly!

stuart

True, yeah, yeah, yeah.

crosstalk

Stuart: They could actually negotiate at this point. Scott: That would be the—

scott

—depressing version of that story. Is all pets can talk, and then Elliott’s version is like, after five years everyone’s just like, “Shut up! No one cares, cat!” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Well, that’s the thing! Like, also—like, they’re like, “Oh, it’ll freak them out.” Like, well that’s a thing that people would get over [through laughter] with time. Like—that’s one of those people who, like, is just too polite to, like, avoid massive discomfort and can’t say anything.

elliott

There’s a standup that I saw Paul F. Tompkins do years ago, where it was a—if there was—if they found a gorilla who could speak, how many times would you see it on TV before you get tired of it? [Multiple people laugh.] And just him—him imitating a gorilla who is being interviewed and has run out of things to say and— [Multiple people laugh.] [Through laughter] —is really boring.

crosstalk

Stuart: Okay. So, uh— Elliott: Okay. So Stuart—

stuart

So we cut back to the, uh—

scott

No, more Paul F. Tompkins, dude! That guy’s hilarious!

elliott

Yeah. He’s great. [Dan laughs.] If only he was in Artemis Fowl! But he’s not.

stuart

He would’ve been great! Um, so… we go back to the fairy prison, where Mulch Diggums is being threatened by a group of goblins? And he listens to Foreigner. And then he blows up the goblins and right then they break him out and release him so that he can break in to Fowl Manor and help rescue Holly.

elliott

And now—how does he break in? Tell us about the physics of how this works.

crosstalk

Scott: Oh. God. Stuart: Yeah. So this is—

stuart

—so this is where he straps on some goggles. HE pulls out his mouth real wide and then he starts digging a hole using his mouth. And then all of the dirt he consumes just flies out of his asshole. [Elliott laughs.] Uh— [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Okay. I was wondering whether I was hallucinating that. [Laughs.] That is—was intended. Correct? That looks like he’s just shitting a bunch of—

crosstalk

Dan: —dirt. Stuart: Yeah. If you go—I mean, if you go frame-by-frame you can see— Scott: This—this bit— Elliott: And he—

stuart

—his actual butthole, I think.

crosstalk

Scott: This bit wouldn’t work in a great movie. Elliott: You can see his—you can see his anus just ejecting it. Yeah.

scott

I’m sorry, Elliott.

crosstalk

Scott: I’ve talked right over what you said. I just said—all—I was just saying— Elliott: No, no, sorry. No, no. Say what you’re saying.

scott

—this bit wouldn’t work in a good movie. [Elliott laughs.] And in a bad movie, your jaw hits the frickin floor!

crosstalk

Scott: I’m sorry. I— Elliott: Here’s the thing that really got to me—

elliott

—about it. Is—you see his boxer shorts. So he must have, like, a slit in the back of his underpants that allows the dirt to come out?

crosstalk

Stuart and Dan: Yeah.

stuart

So do dwarves have to turn their boxer shorts around so that the slit’s in the back instead of the front? [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

I guess so. Or it’s like those split pants that little kids wear in some Asian countries. That they can just poop whenever they need to.

crosstalk

Elliott: [Inaudible.] Dan: His colon health must be amazing, though. Stuart: Oh, okay.

dan

‘Cause that’s a lot of fiber.

elliott

That is a—I don’t know that there’s that much fiber in dirt. Is there? [Laughs.]

dan

Uh, I mean, I—well, it’s like sandblasting the insides of your colon. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. Sounds very healthy. [Laughs.] Uh, so he, uh, yeah. That was the moment where I was like, “Come on, movie. Come on.”

stuart

Yeah. And I was like—at least in Perdido Street Station the bug people eat paste and it squirts out the back of their head. Not out the back of their butt. That’s weird! [Dan laughs.] Okay. So, uh, so he digs in—

elliott

So this is—and this is when—uh, Artemis Fowl releases Holly from her jail cell for some reason. Oh no! They—didn’t yet. HE’s just—yeah. And he’s—they’re bonding over dads? I don’t know.

stuart

Yeah. I mean, that’s the thing. This is like—like… I don’ tknow if this is a very common thing in YA literature? But it feels like every single character is—their importance is, in part, defined by who their parents are? Which, uh… is the—is so depressing [through laughter] to me.

elliott

Open your eyes, Stu! Welcome to the world we live in!

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Such a bummer. Um— Scott: It’s one of those—it’s one of those things—

scott

The young adult books and movies are so intrinsically connected to that it’s so frustrating. Is that prophecy is not good drama! It’s just—I mean—it’s not! We—like, when you say someone is “the chosen one,” we’re all sitting there going, “Alright, well, he’s gonna go—or she’s gonna go—through a lot of trouble and then be named the chosen one. Because that’s what you told me.” Uh, I—I”d much rather it just be, like, a kid trying to accomplish some things.

crosstalk

Stuart: Mm-hm. And not being defined— Elliott: I think—

stuart

—exclusively by their birth.

elliott

Yeah. I think it’s—I think it—maybe it has to do with the fact that, like, these are books for a younger audience. And they don’t—their life experience is mostly defined by, like, their family and school? And so I think that’s why there’s a lotta YA where it’s like, “It’s a school! For this kind of talented thing!” There’s not a lotta YA that’s about, like, having a job. [Multiple people laugh.] Or like, y’know, like—or having children. Y’know.

stuart

So Elliott, you’re arguing—you—

scott

Elliott, you don’t think Singles is a Young Adult movie?

elliott

I mean, as someone my age, those are now young adults! Unfortunately. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

The, uh, so Elliott, your—your argument makes a lot of sense. That for some reason this book or movie is not targeted to me, Stuart?

elliott

Uh… [Dan laughs.] I mean, in a way, a movie about a criminal mastermind who operates in a fantasy world with elves and goblins does feel like it’s targeted to you.

stuart

That’s the thing! Uh, okay. So. [Dan laughs.] Uh… we’re—where is my notes? Okay. So yeah. Uh… he’s let Holly loose. She punches him in the face. And I’m like, “I’ve been wanting to do that the whole movie! But I keep breaking my television! Uh—” [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

I feel so bad not liking a child performer in a movie. ‘Cause he’s just a kid. And they told him, play this part like you’re a smug dick. But it’s—he really is, uh, I just felt bad the whole movie. ‘Cause I was like, “I hate this kid. Oh, but he’s just an actor.”

crosstalk

Elliott: “He’s just doing his thing.” Stuart: Well, I’m not—I’m not mad at the—

stuart

I’m not mad at the actor. I’m mad at the character. I can differentiate those two things, Elliott! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Like, I don’t— Elliott: I can’t. I can’t.

stuart

Yeah. Uh—okay.

elliott

That’s why when I watch the Golden Girls I’m like, “I gotta go visit these ladies! They seem like they’re a lotta fun!”

stuart

[Through laughter] Yep. And you just drive around Florida looking for their home? [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Well, I just drive around yelling out the window, “Blanche! Rose!” [Multiple people laugh.] “Sophia! Dorothy?”

dan

Yeah. And occasionally—occasionally you get a bite. But it’s never the right one.

crosstalk

Elliott: Well, yeah. Mosquito bite. Scott: Never understood—

scott

—why they were called the golden girls and yet never went outside and tanned.

stuart

That’s a good—good point.

crosstalk

Stuart: They coulda—it coulda meant two things. Scott: Whomp, whomp. Hey look—

scott

It’s like Twitter! I try out a bunch of jokes. Some land, some flop! What are you gonna do, y’know?

stuart

Yeah. Dan’s familiar with that. Um, so— [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Whoa.

stuart

Uh—[Laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: So—so, uh, Mulch is in the house. Stuart: Sorry. I had to sneak in a burn. Um—

stuart

So yeah. Mulch is in the house. He finds, uh—despite it—his—

scott

[Laughs.] It’s gonna be the name of the sequel.

scott

Artemis Fowl 2: Mulch Is In the House. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Uh, so Mulch’s mission was to rescue Holly. But he uses this as an opportunity to rob from, uh, the Fowl Manor.

elliott

That’s the other thing is—we forgot to mention is—dwarves in this world love—they love shiny things. So they’re always pickpocketing and con-man-ing and that kind of stuff. Even a dwarfus giganticus, as Josh Gad calls himself.

stuart

Which plays into some of the troubling, uh, racial connotations that have long been associated with dwarfs! So he finds a safe—

elliott

You mean, uh, mythic Jews?

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.] Yeah. Yes.

elliott

How they’re kinda short and hairy and apparently love gold? But it’s okay—

crosstalk

Elliott: —‘cause we call ‘em dwarves and they live in a mountain? [Laughs.] Stuart: Uh-huh. Apparently. [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Mm-hm. Uh—so. The—he finds the safe. HE opens it up. HE uses his beard and moustache to open up the safe, like you expect he would. And inside that safe— [Elliott laughs.] —is, of course, the Aculus. It was in the house the entire time! Why would he have left his house? The Aculus is there! IT’s great!

dan

This—[Laughs.] This is the most infuriating— [Elliott laughs.] —thing. Because, like, in a movie where… like, he starts out in the mansion, goes on a lot of adventures outside of the mansion—him discovering it was back at the mansion the whole time might be, like, clever or ironic or something interesting about it. But this is just a movie where they’re, like, ugh. I guess there’s no other places in the world other than this mansion! So they gotta hide it in the mansion!

stuart

Yeah. It’s like if—it’s like if an executive got into Mad Max: Fury Road and was like, “Why did they drive away? They’re just gonna come back!”

crosstalk

Stuart: “Let’s just have ‘em stay there!” Dan: [Laughs.] Let’s just stay there! [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Stay there the whole time! It’s—the—I—I… what was Mulch’s mission? He was supposed to go in the house—

stuart

And rescue Holly.

elliott

Okay. ‘Cause he doesn’t do that. He just immediately—and he immediately is their friend.

crosstalk

Elliott: And he’s in— Stuart: And—and Artemis—

stuart

Artemis knew this was gonna happen. He knew that when Mulch got in the house he would fail his greed check. And he would be— [Multiple people laugh.] —forced to break into the safe.

elliott

Is that the case? ‘Cause there’s a bunch of—

crosstalk

Elliott: —they’re like—I guess ‘cause they keep saying, like— Stuart: He says, like—he says, like—

stuart

—“That’s all my plan” and he puts on his fucking sunglasses.

elliott

It’s all—yeah. He never explains his plan? Or relays his plan. He just—every time anything happens he goes, “It’s all going to plan.” And so—[Laughs.]

stuart

That’s how you make people think you’re a fucking genius, dude. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Only it’s— Dan: [Through laughter] Yeah. I was gonna say—

dan

I gotta start just doing that in my life!

elliott

Well, it’s the same thing that’s happened, I feel like, for the past almost four years in politics. [Dan laughs.] Where the government will do something totally stupid and someone will go, like, “It’s all according to plan. You’ll see! Three-dimensional chess! He’s playing a very complicated game.” And then things will get worse. “Just you watch. All—now we—now we’ve played into his hands! Oh, boy!” [Stuart sighs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. So—uh— Scott: Speaking of “foul.” [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Stuart: These clowns in Congress. Okay. So— Elliott: So, uh, so he—

elliott

So he finds the Aculus and he—what does he—is this when he’s—no, he doesn’t swallow it ‘til later. Right?

stuart

So—yeah.

scott

Spoiler!

stuart

Right around now is when we have a little bit of dissention in the fairy camp. That’s right—the character who I just have listed as “bootlicker”— [Someone laughs.] —takes control of Root’s army.

elliott

That’s Cudgeon.

stuart

Pudgeon?

elliott

Cudgeon.

stuart

Pudgeon.

elliott

Yeah. Like… like imagine—imagine Vanessa Hudgens, but her last name was “Cudgen.” And her first name was not Vanessa. And she’s not the Vanessa Hudgens you know. [Dan laughs.] But, in fact, a sort of bootlicker evil fairy.

stuart

Okay. So, uh… he—he kicks Judi Dench out. And decides to attack the manor. Everybody kind of goes along with it. I think they just wanna see a troll in action. So they— [Dan laughs.] —they attack the house with a troll. There is—what proceeds is a troll fight that—gun to my head, I would say, “Just as good as the mines of Moria!” Uh— [Dan laughs.] Right around now, Juliet shows up again. But if the gun was not there I would not say that. Uh—[Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

I mean, gun to your head— [Dan laughs.] —you’d say pretty much anything about this troll fight, right?

stuart

Yeah. I mean, I need to live!

crosstalk

Stuart: I have so much left to do! Scott: Gun to my head, this is a brilliant movie! I mean… [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Uh… so there’s—the troll fight is a lot of running around the house and things getting smashed. So if you like watching furniture getting broken, you’re gonna see a lot of that.

crosstalk

Dan: I mean, to be fair, that’s probably— Elliott: Oh. If you—if you’re—if you’re—

dan

That’s probably accurate to a troll fight.

crosstalk

Dan: If one happened. Elliott: I mean, not to—

elliott

Not to kink-shame anybody. If you are aroused by watching furniture get broken, get ready to explode— [Dan laughs.] —with pleasure. Because so much furniture gets broken and—I’m just gonna say this. Artemis is useless in this scene. At one point he’s got Holly’s laser in his hands and the laser sparks and he drops it? And I don’t know why that happened.

scott

And then she gets stuck in the chandelier for the whole bit! I’m like, why—

elliott

Yeah. She get—

scott

What is that all about?

elliott

She gets stuck in a very elaborate chandelier.

scott

Ay, ay, ay.

dan

But this is one of the few occasions where you catch another glimpse of Butler’s niece, too. Like—

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, Juliet. Yeah. She shows up. Elliott: Yeah. Dan: She’s suddenly back in the—

dan

—Back in the movie.

crosstalk

Elliott: Well, maybe she was just using the bathroom the whole time. Stuart: Mainly she shows up to, like, scream and run around. Elliott and Dan: Yeah.

elliott

Uh, but what happens?

crosstalk

Elliott: With this troll? Stuart: After a while—

stuart

—they beat the troll, but in the process it falls on top of Dom the butler and you’re like, [flatly] “Oh, no, he’s dying” so they, like, take him into another room. And Holly’s like, “I can’t use my magic ‘cause the fairies put a thing on that prevents me from using magic so I guess this dude’s gonna die.” ‘K?

scott

So many—

crosstalk

Scott: So many hastily— Stuart: And then—

scott

Hastily-delivered rules. [Elliott laughs.] Just to—this just came up!

crosstalk

Scott: I just learned that I— Elliott: And also—

scott

I just cast a spell that won’t allow us to undo the—and it’s just like, you just came up with this now? Okay, movie.

elliott

And Dom—if I was a movie doctor I would diagnose him with Movie Injury? Which is where—from the outside he looks fine. Except that he’s very sweaty and he’s having a little trouble breathing. There’s no blood; there don’t appear to be any broken bones. He’s just—I guess that—when the troll landed on him it smashed his life bar and all the life energy— [Stuart laughs.] —juice leaked out? And so he’s just got, like—

crosstalk

Elliott: —one percent, maybe, left. [Laughs.] Yeah. Scott: He’s lost his will to live! You know how that works. Stuart: Yeah, yeah. The medi-bot.

stuart

If the medi-bot showed up that’s what the medi-bot would tell the Jedis. Um—

elliott

They gotta take away that medi-bot’s license to practice. ‘Cause she just keeps writing “lost will to live” on all of her documents. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Scott: Right? [Through laughter] It’s gonna be a scandalous expose— Elliott: And it’s like—it’s truly foul play here.

scott

—about that medbot in 20 years. Like… 34,000 people “just lost their will to live”? Hmm. [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

Oh, gotcha—got your medical license from online classes at Bespin University. Okay. Sure. [Elliott laughs.] Um, okay. So around now—and then Judi Dench takes over again and she’s like, “No, let them use the magic!” And they’re like, “Okay, let her use the magic.” [Elliott laughs.] So then she brings Dom back to life and I’m like… I barely had had time to mourn him. Now he’s back— [Dan laughs.] —I don’t know how to feel. So he comes back to life.

scott

What happened to Bootlick?

stuart

Uh, do they—what, do they throw him in a phantom dimension? I don’t remember. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

He just kind of stops! He just kind of—when she says, “This is my army” and he just kind of stops existing and is no longer… it’s like how, in old He-Man cartoons where He-Man would defeat a foe by throwing him off camera and he was just not a problem anymore. [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

No longer near me! [Laughs.] [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

That’s great. So—now this is where things get a little bit murky in my notes.

scott

[Through laughter] I—yeah! Here! Here! [Multiple people laugh.] Here is where it gets murky!

stuart

Okay. So the—

dan

You did great, Stuart.

stuart

Thank you.

crosstalk

Dan: Better than I ever expected anyone could. Elliott: No, Stuart, you’re—you’re doing fantastic and I—I believe— Scott: No, dude. This is amazing. Stuart: This is like—this is like when I… Elliott: I feel like Stuart is in labor right now—

elliott

—and we’re like, “Stu, you’re doing great. You can get to the end of this. I can see the head.”

scott

I’m not kidding! I’m legitimately impressed that you have this many bullet points and they’re all accurate! I—I—mine would’ve been half this length! [Laughs.]

stuart

This summary feels a lot like when I tried to drink an entire gallon of chocolate milk in an hour? [Multiple people laugh.] And I—I drank so much of it, guys. I was like… there’s just a little bit left and I’m like, on my knees in front of some car’s headlights and somebody’s filming me and they’re like, “He’s gonna barf!” And I’m like, “No, I’m gonna finish it!” But I was never able to finish it. And then eventually—eventually I barfed and I gotta tell ya… most pleasurable thing in my entire life. [Elliott laughs.] It was amazing.

elliott

That’s a situation I’m sure we can all relate to? Yeah, kyeah.

stuart

Yeah. Yeah. That’s a—

crosstalk

Stuart: I mean, that’s why I told that story. Elliott: A nighttime in front of a car—videotaped, uh, chocolate milk prank? Dan: I have a— Stuart: Yup. Uh, it’s not a prank unless the prank is something I played on myself. Dan: I have a lot of—[Laughs.] Elliott: A dare. A dare, I would say.

dan

I’ve got a lot of questions but I don’t wanna shame Stuart, so I think we should just [through laughter] move on.

stuart

Okay. Are you—what? The shame is that I wasn’t able to finish it?

crosstalk

Stuart: It’s really hard to do! Dan: [Laughs.] I just don’t know—no, they’re mostly questions about why you would do such a thing. [Multiple people laugh.] Elliott: Dan, he’s lived with that shame every day of his life. Let’s let it go. Scott: I think the shame is that I wish I had some chocolate milk right now—

scott

—and you wasted so much!

stuart

Yeah. That’s true. I did waste—I mean, not so much. I mean, I guess— [Dan laughs.] —I barfed it out and it was still cold. Um, okay. So—uh… right around—so the time bubble collapses, okay? And the fairies run for it but a lot of ‘em get sucked up into the time vortex. To where they go, I don’t know. Maybe they get—maybe they’re like what the—the prisoner of London—what’s that guy? Who’s stuck in time and keeps bouncing around? Okay. So—

elliott

But he can’t leave the city? Yeah, sure.

stuart

He can’t leave the city. I mean, haven’t we all been there?

scott

It’s like Dark City. Right.

stuart

It’s a lot like Dark City, except they don’t have quite the same level of cool outfits.

elliott

Yeah. Or quick change.

stuart

So our heroes end up with the Aculus, which had been stored in Mulch Diggum’s tummy. And they read a poem and then the Aculus opens and then somewhere in here, Artemis, Sr. shows back up.

elliott

Okay. So lemme—

crosstalk

Elliott: —lemme lay some knowledge on you— Stuart: Thank you.

elliott

—about what’s happening here.

stuart

Thanks.

elliott

Okay. The time bubble collapses. Everyone’s flying around but everyone’s fine. Holly has to save Mulch, who is also suddenly outside and flying around for some reason. Artemis gets the Aculus out of Mulch’s tummy. We have to assume that he pooped it out. I assume. Or that they cut him open and pulled it out, but he’s fine. So probably they just waited for him to poop it out. And Holly stayed behind when all the other fairies left so that she would help him. And he can’t—so… it’s—everyone just kind of knows that the Aculus has the magic power to bring—free his dad and bring him back to the house. But humans can’t use the Aculus. It’s too powerful. It would kill a human. Holly has to use it. And she does a thing… that causes a magic. And the Aculus opens up and spins around and there’s letters flying everywhere and kind of magical glows and so forth. And uh—oh, they also declare—they, uh—and Artemis says—Artemis, Jr. says, “If you help me get my dad back, I’ll trade you the Aculus for my dad and you can take it back to Haven City.” They declare themselves to be friends forever because why wouldn’t they be? He kidnapped her. They talked for a couple minutes. And uh—

scott

[Through laughter] And then he blackmailed her! [Laughs.]

elliott

He’s—yeah. And then he blackmailed her. And so Opal Koboi is like, “Oh, the time limit is up! I’m gonna kill you!” But then Holly uses the magic to do—as my notes right here—“Something?” Question mark. And… and they’re like, “We did it! Okay, what happened? Like, nothing seems to be different.” Artemis, Jr. runs around this amazing house looking for his dad. The movie briefly becomes, like, a… like a House Hunters where we just get to see where all these—oh, that’s—oh, that’s—I see. The kitchen comes off of the family room. Um, but guess who’s back in the basement?

scott

Property Brothers. [Laughs.]

elliott

It’s our—oh, the Property Brothers. Yeah, the Pro-Bros are there. And they’re like, “You could knock down all these walls.” Uh… but you don’t get to keep the furniture. They—who’s there? Is—Artemis, Sr.! That’s right! The Aculus magic worked! And it brought Artemis, Sr. back! And Opal Koboi is so mad that she almost tells us something about why this movie happened or why this character exists or what they’re doing. But doesn’t. And the dad is like, “Hey. Holly Short? Your dad, Beechwood Short, was a hero when he took the ACulus away from Haven City. Now you need to take it back.” Uh, this was all part of a big plot to investigate and take down those who are supporting Opal Koboi. That’s right, guys! Turns out—he was never really impeached! It was all part of his plan to take down the Deep State from the inside and stop their child trafficking ring in the pizza parlors!

stuart

That’s like… that’s like four­-dimensional chess.

elliott

Exactly.

scott

[Facetiously] It’s political?! [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

So the whole time, Artemis, Sr. was not a thief, or maybe he was. But the whole thing was a hoax—him getting kidnapped so that the Aculus could be found in his house so that the fairies would attack his house was a way in.

scott

Was a ruse.

elliott

I guess it was all a ruse to get Cudgeon out in the open so that they could then stop—even though he was in jail before. And now they can go—they have a list of names that Beechwood Short gave to Artemis, Sr., and those were all the names of the people who were working with Opal Koboi. And the names are written on a piece of paper that’s cut in a kind of, like… fortune-telling device way? Like, that little—that teenage girls make where you fold it and then you gotta pick numbers and you lift up a flap and it tells you what’s gonna happen in the future to you? So—

scott

I pick seven.

elliott

Okay. [Laughs.] And what did it—what did it say underneath?

scott

It said I’m gonna have a boyfriend.

elliott

Well, that’s great!

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah! Congratulations! Elliott: But your boyfriend is Artemis Fowl, unfortunately. Scott: Gonna take me to prom! [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

Oh, okay! Wow! That’s a big deal! That’s a commitment!

elliott

And Holly takes the Aculus back to magic town and Root names her the head of the investigation into the Opal Koboi gang, to see who else is in the Haven City Deep State. And uh… that’s when Artemis calls Opal and is like, “Hey. We’re coming after you. I’m a criminal mastermind.” Has he committed any crimes? I guess—

crosstalk

Elliott: —he kidnapped and imprisoned Holly. But... but she was also on his property. Dan: [Through laughter] I don’t know. Yeah. That’s not really a human crime. Scott: And—this is his origin story!

scott

We thought he was a criminal mastermind all this time but this is how he became one.

elliott

I guess so, but then also—if Holly’s dad was a hero for taking the Aculus out of the city and hiding it, why is her job then to take it back to the city and… what? Anyway. Uh, but—what’s important is what’s gonna happen to Mulch. Stu? What happens to Mulch? Diggums?

stuart

Uh, Mulch Diggums. Let’s see. Well, he—he’s in jail, right? And he—

elliott

Yup. Yup. Human jail.

stuart

But the thing is they think he’s the thief. But… I think he has a story about somebody else who’s actually the thief. So he starts telling a story about a very smart little boy named Artemis Fowl. Now, Artemis Fowl is growing up and his dad wasn’t there all the time, but his dad was teaching him stuff—

crosstalk

Dan: Oh, no. Oh, no. [Laughs.] Stuart: —about Irish magic. Elliott: Uh, Stuart, I think—I think—

elliott

Stuart, I think you may have lapped yourself. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Now, meanwhile— [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Meanwhile, Madison was learning not every problem can be settled by committee. Uh, so they—Mulch is in his—is being interrogated and he’s like, “Artemis planned for all this.” They’re like, “Tell us where Artemis Fowl is!” And I don’t even know why the British government wants to know where Artemis Fowl is. Like, I don’t—he didn’t—they’re like, “He stole the Rosetta Stone! And he stole this other stuff!” And it’s like, really? ‘Cause we didn’t see it at his house in his secret basement. But he goes, “Here’s what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna leave us alone… and we’re gonna keep the fairies from leaking into the real world. ‘Cause we planned all this.” And then Artemis Fowls Junior and Senior fly a helicopter over the prison and they just open up the ceiling hatch and he climbs out. And he escapes. [Laughs.] And the whole gang is back together and on the case again. And you’re like… “What?!” [Multiple people laugh.] Like, what?!

dan

Yeah. I wanna tell the listeners who may be baffled that listening to this podcast is actually quite like the experience of watching the movie. Except for—hopefully this was pleasurable. In that—like this podcast—it was mostly just a cavalcade of dumb fantasy names with thin—like, a bunch of silly stuff thrown in that derails everything. And at the end everyone kinda seems to lose interest [through laughter] with what’s going on.

scott

Yup. That’s how I would describe this movie and I—I—I would like to apologize to any of your listeners if I have spoken over your beloved trio or jeopardized their—their—their banter.

stuart

No, please do.

scott

Which is what I listen for. I don’t listen for those stupid guests. Unless it’s Hallie Haglund. [Multiple people laugh.] Then I’m laughing. Um…

stuart

Wow.

scott

But uh, I sometimes talk too much and I hope I didn’t speak over your hosts too—too frequently.

stuart

Scott, you were great. You kept us on track and angry. [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

I mean, usually we—we, uh—

scott

I am legitimately impressed by Stuart. I mean, any one of you guys did it would’ve been fine, obviously, but I am legitimately impressed—

crosstalk

Scott: —that anybody can— Stuart: Dan would’ve done a good job. [All laugh.]

dan

Yeah, that’s true.

scott

That anybody can articulate—

elliott

[Through laughter] I mean—

scott

—anything—

crosstalk

Stuart: It’s a fantasy movie! Dan couldn’t do it! Scott: —about a plot!

elliott

I mean, the fact that Dan couldn’t sit through an hour and a half movie without getting up and doing something else at some point in the room.

dan

Okay. I—I—y’know, I feel like usually we save each of our, like, performance reviews ‘til after the show. [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Do we? So here’s the question I have for you guys. Before we get to Final Judgments. Let’s say you had your very own Aculus and you found out your dad was a super magic spy. What would you do? You think you’re so much better than Artemis Fowl, the boy hero who never leaves his house?

crosstalk

Stuart: [Inhales and exhales deeply.] That’s— Dan: I don’t know what an Aculus is still? So… I don’t know. Elliott: It’s a big metal—

elliott

—magic acorn! What more do you need to know?

crosstalk

Dan: But what does it do? Stuart: Does it—does it grant wishes? Scott: I—if I had this kind of money—

scott

—and this kind of, like—I wouldn’t even let these people in my front door! I’d like—this would never affect me at all! I’d be like, some weird fairy people just knocked on my door and I didn’t let ‘em in. End of movie.

stuart

His—he—so he’s an antiques dealer. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Yes. That’s his—that’s his cover story.

stuart

That’s—so he has all that money because he steals stuff?

elliott

I think—well, it’s family money. They’ve lived there for centuries, we’re told.

stuart

Oh great. Yeah. That’s cool.

elliott

And he steals stuff. But I don’t know where—I don’t know how you sell the Rosetta Stone on the open mar—on the criminal market. Like, I don’t know how you fence—

crosstalk

Elliott: —like, a famous artefact. Scott: Literally priceless. Right. [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. [Laughs.]

dan

Um… let’s, uh—[sighs]. Let’s do Final Judgments. I think we all know where we’re gonna go. But just to—

elliott

Okay, I’ll just say it. So for the record, none of us have a better idea what to do than Artemis Fowl did. Okay. Fair. [Stuart laughs.] I’m glad we spent all this time criticizing if we didn’t have any better ideas!

dan

Let’s tie things up by saying whether we thought it was a good-bad movie, a bad-bad movie, or a movie you kinda liked. Uh, I will start by saying—look. Uh… I wanna make it clear—first off—that this is all a criticism of the movie Artemis Fowl. I have no familiarity with the source material by Eoin [pronounces it “Ian”] Colfer. I hope that’s—I’m pronouncing it correctly. But I did read his book that finished the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books after Douglas Adams died and left everything on a sad note. And— [Elliott laughs.] He wrote—what? You’re not aware of this?

scott

No, sir.

dan

He wrote a sixth—sixth Hitchhiker’s book. Mostly Harmless, of course, ends with a legendarily sour [through laughter] ending.

crosstalk

Dan: And Douglas Adams— Elliott: Uh, I don’t know about that.

elliott

It ends with all of the universe being revealed as a huge joke on us.

dan

Yeah. Well anyway. Douglas Adams always said that he was having a bad time when he wrote that. He had hopes to write a final Hitchhiker’s book that was a little less… sad? And then of course he unfortunately passed away. So the people who own the estate or whatever got Eoin Colfer to write a sixth book and it’s a reasonably pleasing pastiche of Douglas Adams? Like…

stuart

How would you compare it to… Brandon Sanderson’s conclusion of the Wheel of Time series, Dan?

dan

[Through laughter] I, um… don’t have the, uh… [Laughs.] Information—the data to make that kind of—uh—uh—uh—uh—an evaluation.

elliott

How would you compare it to Staurt Wellington’s forthcoming—in the future—conclusion to the Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire series? [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Yeah.

dan

Uh, Stu’s obviously is—surpasses the master.

crosstalk

Stuart: Mm-hm. See— Elliott: Mm-hm. It’s—it’s called— Scott: I—I—Stu—Dan, I would like to know—

scott

—how you would compare that book to the classic book I just read last week, Horse Meets Dog by Elliott Kalan.

elliott

Thank you. Thank you.

dan

I thought that the characters were a little thin? [Laughs.] In Horse Meets Dog?

crosstalk

Elliott: Wow. Wow. Wow. Dan: I mean… all I really learned about them is one of them is a horse and one of them is a dog. Elliott: What more do you need to know? Hey! Scott: Sir—I don’t think we read the same book, sir. While I reclined at the Hinterlands bar in Brooklyn, NY— Elliott: Uh, just for the record I wanna— [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

—and watched The Daily Show on television. Sir.

crosstalk

Stuart: Wow. Dropping hot plugs! Elliott: Wow. The three peak sponsorship! I will—I will—I will mention— Dan: Pandering. [Laughs.] Scott: Just throwing out some [inaudible].

elliott

—that Stuart’s final Game of Thrones book is, of course, called The Game of Goolies. And all the characters get it in the end. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Scott: Uh, The Game of Jeff Gilloolys. Stuart: All—and all of them are goolies now. Do you think— Dan: I just wanted—

stuart

—the fans are looking for more descriptions of food. Right? [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Mm. Yeah. That’s what they want. Elliott: Only two kinds of food.

elliott

Trenchers of gravy, and—

crosstalk

Elliott: —capons. Scott: Wait. You serve food at the Hinterlands bar in Brooklyn? Stuart: Lemon cakes? Yeah! Yeah, of course I do! Have to! Scott: What—what’s on the menu?

stuart

Well, lemon cakes. Uh… [Elliott laughs.] Capons.

scott

Love’ em. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Trenchers.

stuart

Uh-huh. Trenchers. A little bit of revenge, but that’s served [in hokey voice] cooooold!

scott

Oh, snap! [Stuart laughs.] Better not wrong him!

elliott

So Dan, you were gonna finish your Final Judgment?

dan

I—yeah. No, I just quickly wanted to say, look. I have no familiar with the source material, which a lot of people love. So I can only assume that this is a—just a historic botch of a good story. But this movie… the—I think one of the main problems with this movie, uh—[Laughs.] Despite—like, along with everything about the movie. Is that it thinks that we really care the most about action in fantasy action movies. Like, that is the thing that we come to these movies for. Because it basically cuts everything else. And… Kenneth Branagh directed a Marvel movie. One of the—I would say—most… fine. Of the Marvel movies. But those—the MCU films are, y’know, big fantasy… movies, essentially. Where the action is… okay? Most of the time? Some of them have really good action sequences, but—mostly—but they overcome that. And the reason that they’re so beloved is they spend a lot of time on the characters. You know who these people are. You’re amused by them. You like to see them interact with one another. And this movie gives you the barest introduction to the title character, other than seeing that he’s a little shit. And then… throws you into a whirligig of CGI! And has none of the charming moments that you look for in this. So it was—like, other than movies that I find morally reprehensible, this is one of my least favorite movies we ever watched for The Flop House. [Elliott laughs.] [Makes “whew” exhalation.] The end.

elliott

Uh, so, uh, good-bad movie?

dan

Yes. [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

I would—I would call this a bad-bad movie. It is a movie that has a lack of—for lack of a better word—a lack of magic. [Someone exhales.]

dan

Yeah.

crosstalk

Scott: Blam. That is scorched earth! Stuart: Oh, wow. That’s fucking— Elliott: Boom.

stuart

So I was gonna—when I saw the early production—well, not early. But when I saw photos of this movie with Josh Gad dressed up like one of the members of Norwegian space viking metal band Arcturus, I was like, “Oooh, I’m up for this!” I was roundly disappointed. There is no space Vikings. [Multiple people laugh.] It is… yeah. This is not fun. It’s… what, 87—how long is this movie?

crosstalk

Elliott: It’s 96 minutes long. Stuart: 80 minutes—

stuart

That is 90 minutes too long.

dan

Yeah. And it’s the longest 96-minute movie I’ve ever seen.

crosstalk

Elliott: Uh, only because— Stuart: Bad-bad movie.

elliott

—you have no idea what’s going on. It’s like when you—when you know where you’re going and you’ve—and it—on a four-hour drive, or you don’t know where you’re going on a one-hour drive. [Dan laughs.] The one-hour drive feels much longer because you’re like, “Okay! I don’t know!” Or like, there are times when I would get stuck on a Subway train in New York that stopped mid-tunnel? And I’d be like, “Okay. I guess I live here now. I’m never getting off this train.” That’s what this movie feels like a little bit.

scott

Well, I’m going to break the bad-bad streak and say good-bad, only because this movie got me onto The Flop House.

crosstalk

Stuart: Ohhhh! Scott: That’s a lie. This movie—bad-bad. Elliott: Aw. That’s sweet! Dan and Stuart: Ohhh!

scott

This movie—I love fantasy. I certainly have no problem getting behind young adult movies, even so-so ones. Y’know. There’s lots of times you see mediocre big-budget movies where you’re—you give it a little more charity than it deserves because, y’know, people worked on it and it’s a piece of art so maybe it’s not perfect but it—meh, meh, meh, meh, meh. And then you’re halfway through this and you’re like, “Why am I being charitable to this? There’s—doesn’t deserve any charity!” Like, it—obviously the craftspeople—the people who built the sets and the actors and the people who fed everybody and the lighters and the—y’know, those people did their job. But the powers that be did not care about this movie. The end product shows that and it is a terrible, terrible bad-bad movie.

stuart

Yeah.

crosstalk

Dan: Alright. Well. Stuart: Four… buh-buh-buh-bad-bads.

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments.

stuart

Now, speaking of things that aren’t bad-bad, I’m gonna talk a little bit about the MaxFunDrive.

dan

Oh!

stuart

And to do that, I am going to pull up some stuff! So, uh… [Dan laughs.] Before—y’know, before the Drive, y’know, months and months ago before COVID and—etcetera, etcetera. MaxFun sent out an email to all of the MaxFun subscribers to ask a couple of questions—kind of what kind of roles MaxFun can fill for people in times like these. And they sent along a list of these responses to us and—reading through these before the show—I found it—to be honest, I found it pretty moving. [Laughs.] Uh, to read people’s thoughts about what MaxFun provides for them in times when there’s so much chaos. One of the… one of the—one of the lines that kind of stuck out to me from, oh man. Let me mess this up. From Cayton? Uh, from Portland, Oregon? Said, “Stay safe. It’s nice to be in the new abnormal with you together, though.” And that kinda highlights the idea of how, like, strange and—everything seems and how the universe kind of feels so uncertain, at least for me. I mean, I run a small business. But the—doing the show and also listening to the shows in the network has provided me some kind of sense of… stability and… uh… friend—obviously, friendship with my buddies Dan and Elliott. But also the, like, y’know. The extensive, like, podcast friendship? Do you guys—you know what I’m going for, guys? Uh, the feeling of like… the feeling of community by listening to, y’know, other people kind of going through the same thing. And also doing it on a regular—with, like, a regular routine. Do you know what I mean?

elliott

Mm-hm.

dan

Yeah. And I—I also wanna take a moment to acknowledge, too, that, um… obviously, a lot of people are in… bad spots right now. And some of us are better suited to weather the storm than others. I know I have it a lot better than others. But—that being said—a lot of the money from this Drive, y’know, goes to the network in general. It goes to people who—podcasting may be their main job. And podcasting—like every other job—is getting hit hard by what’s going on. So while this maybe seems silly, there—y’know, there are people who depend on the funding that you’re able to provide.

stuart

Yeah. Absolutely. Um… and that’s—that’s kinda—that’s kinda the whole thing. We do the MaxFunDrive to kind of spotlight that the shows on MaxFun are primarily listener-supported, and that’s why I’m talking to you to consider if you are in that kind of a position. And if we—and if you like our show and other shows on the network, you should consider becoming a subscriber. And the way you do that is by visiting MaximumFun.org backslash—or forward slash—join. I can’t tell the difference between those things. And that’ll give you a list of all the different ways you can give. Most of—I think the vast majority of subscribers to MaxFun give at either the $5 or $10 per month level. And—but some have—y’know, there’s options all the way up to $20 a month or more. Whatever you can provide—obviously—we’re grateful for. And even if you can’t, we understand that, too. And part of the incentive and part of the bonus is that we—there’s different gifts that are available to people who donate at all levels. Whether it’s bonus content—which we have been putting out quite a bit of bonus content the last couple years, when I force you guys to play roleplaying games with me. And I make my friend Alex write music and do cool sound effects for.

elliott

An ever-expanding universe of bonus content! [Stuart laughs.]

dan

Mm-hm.

elliott

That seems to take more and more of our time every year! [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Uh-huh. Yep. But you—wait. When we do it you guys say, uh, it’s just fun to get together and you like having an excuse to hang out with your friends.

crosstalk

Stuart: That’s what you—that’s what you say! Elliott: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure. Yeah, yeah. Of course. Yeah, yeah.

elliott

Yeah, of course. Yeah, yeah.

stuart

Uh, one gift in particular that speaks directly to my heart and soul, of course, is the MaxFun game pack. That provides a set of MaxFun-branded dice in a velvet bag with a rocket logo. That’s the MaxFun rocket logo. So if you need to show off and go to your next game night, you can bring that velvet bag and pull out—you can pull out those MaxFun dice. As well as—it also comes with a deck of custom MaxFun-inspired playing cards. So if you and the street urchin that you are fostering need to hustle some rubes out on the street— [Elliott laughs.] —you can use that deck of cards and do some—what—Three-Card Mountie? And—

elliott

Three-Card Mountie. That’s—it’s like Three-Card Monte but with Canadian Mounties.

stuart

Three-Card Mountie. With Canadian dollars! Um— [Elliott laughs.] And… yeah! So once again, I love the network. I love being part of the network. I’ve made some really good friends doing this show and… even the hosts that I don’t know personally all feel kinda like friends to me. And so thank you for listening and thank you for donating. Or subscribing.

dan

That was really… sweet. And lovely.

scott

As a guest, I would just interject—as a long-time filmwriter and film fanatic, I am an avid listener of not only The Flop House but also Friendly Fire and Switchblade Sisters. Both of which are—

stuart

Oh, they’re so great.

scott

—are alliterative and are podcasts on this fine network and it’s also where I found and enjoyed I, Podius[pronounces is with a long “o” like “podium”]—I believe it’s pronounced. I, Podius.

crosstalk

Stuart: Mm-hm. Elliott: Mm, close enough. Close enough. Scott: No, I did!

scott

I actually watched every episode and then listened to each episode in succession like a nerd and had a ball. I, Podius was a blast.

scott

Elliott: Thank you. Stuart: That’s the—

stuart

That’s the show you’re dropping our show to do, right, Elliott?

elliott

Uh, well, I mean, it’s finished. I mean, we did it—there’s no—I mean, maybe we’ll watch I, Claudius through again, and, uh— [Dan laughs.] —do another episode. But… yes. But.

stuart

Uh-huh. That sounds like the best idea of all time.

scott

If anybody out there wants a fun project, get the old PBS series I, Podius. Watch Episode One, then listen to Episode One with a little marijuana in between. And then do the same for Episodes Two, Three, all the way to the end. And then when you’re done, thank Elliott and his cohost, John Hodgman.

elliott

Thanks! Yeah. Thank you for—thank you for that plug for my own thing.

scott

Oh, I had a ball! I think you should do a bonus episode for Caligula, though. If I could just interject that.

crosstalk

Elliott: I… don’t wanna watch that again. [Laughs.] Dan: Oh, wow. [Laughs.] [Scott laughs.]

dan

Uh, let’s do… let’s do a quick ad. Or two, actually. The Flop House is sponsored in part by Hello Fresh. Get fresh, premeasured ingredients and mouthwatering seasonal recipes delivered right to your door with Hello Fresh, America’s #1 meal kit. There’s something for everyone, including low calorie, vegetarian, and family-friendly recipes every week. Hello Fresh’s pre-portioned ingredients mean there’s less prep for you and less food waste. And Hello Fresh donated over 2.5 million meals to charity in 2019, and this year is stepping up their food donations amid the coronavirus crisis. We got some Hello Fresh samples some ways back, and I recall that I asked for the lower-calorie stuff? And it tasted as delicious as it would’ve had it been packed with calories.

stuart

Well you added extra butter, right?

dan

[Through laughter] I did. I mean, that’s—I—y’know. That’s—a true chef puts his own little spin on—

crosstalk

Dan: —anything he cooks. Elliott: I mean—I mean—

elliott

—not every chef just layers the lardo onto— [Dan laughs.] —onto every piece of food they eat.

dan

[Through laughter] Well, they’re missing out. I mean—come on! That’s how it goes. Go to HelloFresh.com/flophouse80 and use code “FlopHouse80” to get a total of $80 off, including free shipping on your first box. Additional restrictions apply. Please visit HelloFresh.com for more details. That’s HelloFresh.com/flophouse80. That was a lotta words, guys.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. I gotta give you— Dan: —and yet—

stuart

I gotta give you credit. Y’know, for somebody whose mouth was clearly watering at those food descriptions— [Elliott laughs.] —you read that very well, Dan.

crosstalk

Dan: Well, thank you. Scott: I think Hello Fresh—

scott

—should team up with Hello Kitty. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

I’m sure that’s gotta—

crosstalk

Stuart: —have been thrown around. Dan: Hello Fresh Kitty.

elliott

They send only the freshest cats to your house. [Scott laughs.] Yep. Hello Fresh doesn’t send you cats! Hello Fresh sends you delicious meals that are already measured out! ‘Cause you know the worst part of cooking? The measuring. I hate it.

dan

Mm-hm. Alright. Moving on to a quick word from Squarespace. Use Squarespace to create a beautiful website. You can turn your cool idea into a new site where you blog or publish content; sell products and services of all kinds, and/or more! The ever-present “more.” Squarespace does this by giving you beautiful, customizable templates created by world-class designers. With everything optimized for mobile right out of the box. A new way to buy domains and choose from over 200 extensions. Free and secure hosting. Wow. Wow, everyone! Wow. Head to: Squarespace.com/flop for a free trial. And when you’re read to launch, use the offer code “flop” to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

elliott

Hey, Dan, that sounds great. I actually had an idea for a website and I was wondering if Squarespace might be able to help me with it.

dan

Uh-huh. Well, just keep the idea short. Since we did a lotta [through laughter] MaxFun stuff, too.

elliott

Okay. I—just that—watching this movie, it made me think about, like, what happens if you’re tunneling through the turn—chomping it down—it comes flying outta your butt. And you accidentally get some minerals in there that are a little bit harder to pass through. And that’s why Rocktologist.com is your place on the internet for telehealth examinations. That’s right—we can do it remotely. To help you diagnose what kind of rock is stuck in your rectum—or “rocktum,” as we call it. And how to get that guy outta there! Because—

dan

Okay, good.

elliott

What’s most important to us is your bowel health over at Rocktologist.com. [Dan laughs.]

dan

For a moment I thought the service was just going to identify the type of rock. And it seems like they’re— [Elliott laughs.] —not only one step in a two-step process. But I’m glad.

elliott

I mean, that is the first, most important step. ‘Cause there’s—you wanna—you wanna treat different rocks differently!

dan

[Through laughter] I—I disa—I disagree with you, Elliott. I think the second step is the most important step.

elliott

Mm, it’s hard to get to the second step without the first step.

dan

Alright. Well. Stuart, I think you have a Jumbotron? And then we can move on?

stuart

Oh, we don’t wanna talk about rocks stuck in people’s asses anymore? [Multiple people laugh.] Okay!

elliott

I mean, we can! Rocktologist.com is here for you!

stuart

Cool, okay. I do have a [announcer voice] J-J-J-J—J-J-J-Jumbotron! [Dan laughs.] [Regular voice] Okay! And it goes like this! [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

You said that as if we interrupted you, but we didn’t!

dan

[Through laughter] Yeah! Come on!

scott

He’s rolling!

stuart

And it goes like this: The Blue Room is a short film about a bored security guard who spends his days wandering the halls of a mysterious research facility. His only company is a sarcastic scientist who claims he can do magic. Equal parts Lynch and Lovecraft, The Blue Room combines the history of 19th-century stage magic with creeping cosmic dread. It’s a puzzle box with something terrifying inside. Open it! [Dramatically] Won’t you? So visit BlueRoomHorrorFilm.com to watch the movie for free! [Dramatically] Won’t you?

elliott

Can’t beat that price!

scott

I might!

elliott

Sounds fun to me!

dan

Hey!

stuart

Yes.

dan

Let’s do Letters.

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh, yeah, why not? Elliott: Yeah, sure. Dan: From listeners.

elliott

[Singing] Letter time, letter time, hey—it’s time for letters! [Regular voice] Okay, let’s do it.

crosstalk

Scott: Letters from whom? Dan: Perfect.

dan

This is from—

crosstalk

Dan: This is from— Elliott: Letters from the listeners. [Singing again] Listeners who write us letters! Letters like you from listeners like them! Scott: That makes sense.

dan

This—[Laughs.]

elliott

Now I know I mentioned—[singing again] I said “letters like you.”

dan

[Through laughter] Goddammit.

elliott

Maybe you’re a person who writes letters! But sometimes letters listen, too, and they write lettesr, too! It’s how letters have babies. [Dan groans.] They write lettesr. To us!

crosstalk

Dan: I mention—I m—[Laughs.] Stuart: I’m gonna need more information. [Laughs.]

elliott

[Singing] Well, you see, when a letter wants to start a family, they don’t have to do it the human way or the animal way! [Dan sighs deeply.] Or even the amoeba way, where they split in two! Instead, they write a new letter for you! It says, “Dear you, here’s my letter to you! It’s my baby. Take care of it, please. Love, a letter.” [Multiple people laugh.] “P.S. Please! Please! Pleeeease. This letter is all that I have in the world! To leave behind and let the future know that I was here! Treat it well. Maybe laminate it.” [Dan laughs.] “Thank you!”

stuart

Okay.

dan

I guess it was my fault for mentally praising Elliott for keeping it short the first time around.

elliott

That’s a mistake!

dan

He can hear my thoughts. [Laughs.] We have that E.T. connection. Anyway. Willie, last name withheld:

elliott

Loman.

dan

Writes: “Dearest Flappers, recently your episode with Felicia Day featured a quip from the aforementioned guest host about a movie being big in Topeka. As a group, you questioned whether or not it was large in East or West Topeka. You also wondered if one side of Topeka was better than the other side. I never lived in Topeka—” [Stuart laughs.] “—but I was in—-” [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.] “—but I was an editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal for six months before they laid off half their staff.”

crosstalk

Stuart: Aw, man. Elliott: I’m sorry to hear that.

dan

“I can assure you that there is no good side of Topeka. The west side is a very large Walmart next to a very large Sam’s Club next to—I am assuming—a now-closed Chuck E. Cheese. And the east side is the Kansas State Capitol and a lot of crime. Topeka has these weird setup where all the rich people live outside of Topeka so they don’t have to pay city taxes. Which makes Topeka a terrible place to live. If you find yourself in Topeka, I recommend the following activities: 1. Spangles is a terrible local fast-food chain that features ‘50s nostalgia theme and horribly bad food. It does, however, have a liquor license and sells margaritas and screwdrivers for, like, $1.”

stuart

That’s a nice price.

dan

“2. Nothing else. Nothing else. Just keep driving until you get to Lawrence or Kansas City or Manhattan on the other end. In conclusion, don’t bother investing in a Rand McNally. Now you got to Topeka, it will just tell you [through laughter] to do boring things like go to the Governor’s Mansion or visit some museum I am assuming they have.”

stuart

Dan—Dan—

dan

[Through heavy laughter] “Keep on Flopping, the free world. Willie—” [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: [Through laughter] I feel like his letter is— Stuart: Dan—Dan—

elliott

—is a little uninformed. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Dan, uh—[Laughs.] Dan, before you get to the postscript of the letter, uh, it might answer my question but I wanna ask it. Is Topeka named after that really lumpy pudding that people eat? [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

Uh, tapioca, you mean?

stuart

Wait—what did I say? [Dan laughs.]

dan

Gar—gar—garminzola? [Laughs.]

elliott

Close enough.

stuart

I said “Topeka,” right? [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Yeah, yeah. Now, my—it didn’t answer my question, which is whether it’s worth stopping in that Topeka Bodega I’ve heard so much about in my acting classes. [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

stuart

But wait—it’s called “Topeka,” right?

dan

Yeah. Tapioca is what you’re thinking of.

stuart

I said—that’s what I—what did I say? [Dan laughs.]

scott

It’s the capital of my fridge! [Elliott laughs. Dan sighs.]

dan

So—[Laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Wait. The town is called Tapioca? Dan: Sorry for— Scott: Yep. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Oh, boy. Oh, boy! [Dan coughs.]

dan

God.

elliott

I will mention I’ve always wanted to go to Lawrence, Kansas. One of my good friends from college, John Ott, was from there. And he always made it sound really nice.

scott

Y’know what’s one city that I’m from? And you guys have been to and I’ve seen you here? Philly. Represent! What! Philly in the house. I don’t remember—I—I can’t remember— [Multiple people laugh.] —what—what show it was, but… I sat in front of one of your significant others and I believe it was Stuart’s.

stuart

Oh, yeah.

dan

Mm.

stuart

If she was asleep during the show, it was probably my wife. [Elliott laughs.] Uh—no, wait. So I got a question. [Dan laughs.] Did they—did they make the pudding there?

scott

Yes! That’s why it’s named Top—Tapioca! [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

That’s why it’s… named.

elliott

I think we’ve got it. This is a common mistake that no one has ever made before, Stu. It’s actually two different words.

dan

And—look. Don’t get mad at me, Topeka. I— [Elliott laughs.] I don’t—as far as I know, you’re lovely. I just—[through laughter] halfway through this letter, I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of how mad people in Topeka were and I apologize for [through laughter] laughing at your pain. It just—

elliott

Yeah, no, no. Dan is—look. Dan’s the social media platform. He’s not a guardian. He believes all speech should be free. [Dan laughs.] He can’t censor these things just because they may be slanderous! [Dan laughs.] Look. Dan’s not here to be a gatekeeper. Just because there might be inaccurate information about Topeka out there.

dan

[Through laughter] I—I love you, Topeka. Uh…

crosstalk

Elliott: Strange way of showing it, Dan. Strange way of showing it. Dan: This is from Wade—[Laughs.] Stuart: Wait. Wait—it’s—

stuart

“Tapioca”? [Dan laughs.]

dan

This one’s from Wade, last name withheld.

crosstalk

Elliott: Wade Wilson. Deadpool. Yeah. Dan: Who writes—

dan

“Hey, Floppers! Long-time listener, first-time mail question that doesn’t suck—or I hope. Occasionally, a movie—rather than having an exceptionally memorable cast, story, characters, or any other prominent feature—is remembered for having an especially original or outrageous central conceit. The bad example—” [Multiple people laugh.] “—of this would be a movie like…”

scott

Who wrote this? [Laughs.]

dan

What? [Laughs.]

scott

It’s— [Elliott laughs.]

dan

“The bad example of this—"

crosstalk

Dan: Well, Wade did. Scott: Probably [inaudible].

crosstalk

Dan: Wow. See, I insulted sort of an abstract idea of a city. Now you’re insulting Wade. Scott: Oh, I’m not insulting! The grammar is just…it’s all over— Elliott: Uh, Dan—not—it was not—

elliott

Wait. Let me just say. It’s not an abstract idea of a city, Dan. [Multiple people laugh.] It’s a city. It’s a physical city that people live in.

crosstalk

Scott: I’m sorry, Wade! Elliott: Insulted both the city and the people who live there. It’s not like there’s some platonic concept— Dan: I didn’t insult the people at all!

elliott

—of Topeka that you went after.

dan

I think that we brought attention to the shadiness of people who live in Topeka not paying the city taxes. The wealthy fleeing from Topeka.

elliott

Oh, yeah. We’re muckrakers. Yeah. We finally broke that story.

scott

I think I’m gonna be splashed with this anti-Topeka mud for the rest of my life, and I don’t appreciate it, frankly. [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Mm-hm. Uh, okay. [Laughs.] So—

crosstalk

Stuart: So guys, I hate to interrupt— Dan: Alright. This is—

stuart

But it looks like when I googled “Tapioca, Kansas—" [Multiple people laugh.] The first result is “Top Ten Best Tapioca in Wichita, Kansas.” [Multiple people laugh.] So I don’t think that’s the name of the town, guys. [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

scott

Fair enough.

stuart

I don’t wanna click on it. I think it’ll mess up my algorithm.

dan

Oh, god. Okay. Uh—[Laughs.]

scott

That’s me with Amazon Prime. Like, do I want to watch this romantic comedy? No! Now it’s gonna offer me 45 romantic comedies!

stuart

[Through laughter] Sure. [Scott laughs.]

stuart

I think you should. I mean, mix it up!

elliott

Yeah. Come on.

crosstalk

Elliott: Don’t be afraid. Scott: Sorry, Wade. [Dan sighs deeply.]

dan

Poor Wade was excited [through laughter] about getting his question answered. Okay.

elliott

So Dan. So finish—so power through it, Dan.

dan

Okay. Uh, it’s about exceptionally memorable central conceits. “The bad example of this would be a movie like Wanted, which basically no one remembers anything about at this point other than it’s the movie where people can bend bullets. My favorite example of this would be a movie like Dread, where the movie invents the conceit of a drug that makes everything into super-slow motion and feasts upon it sumptuously at every available turn. Can you think of some other movies—beneficial or baneful—that you recall having a central or tangential conceit that you consider particularly memorable? Keep flopping on. Wade.” Now which one of you is gonna make the joke about the most baneful movie being the Dark Knight Rises? Anyone? [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Anyone wanna bid on that? Scott: I was gonna say Se7en.

scott

Because Se7en has a great concept and that’s—I mean, like… I think that’s kinda what the question was asking. Like, whether the movie is good or not and I think Se7en is a masterpiece. But the concept of… a killer, y’know… tracking—killing his victims through the Seven Deadly Sins is a fascinating and compelling concept. Plus it’s always raining! I love that!

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

MM-hm.

stuart

Yep.

elliott

I don’t know if you guys have seen this movie called Alien, but it posits a universe where there’s an alien that puts its egg inside your body and then it explodes out of your chest? And that’s a pretty great concept.

dan

[Clears throat.] Yeah. You gotta—I mean, like, it’s sorta hard to say, like, what’s a conceit? Like, where the lines around like that is? But, uh—

scott

The Purge. Anything that makes a writer say—“Damn! I wish I thought of that!” The Purge. What’s the hook? Crime is legal for one day. And every writer in the world went, “Damn. I wish I thought of that.” [Laughs.]

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

Yeah. That’s—that’s a good example of one where, like—where the movie does not live up to the conceit, too.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Well certainly—certainly the first one. Dan: Right. Well I was gonna give—

elliott

Yeah, yeah.

dan

I was gonna give one like that off the top, just looking over Flop House movies. You got something like—I think it’s Upside Down? Where you have those two planets right next to one another? And it’s like visually quite a nice-looking movie in some ways because of that. But it’s not a—it’s not a story. [Laughs.] There’s no—but like, that conceit is pretty interesting. And then… I dunno. I was trying to—like, these are just off, kinda, the top of my head. But one that came to me was Brick, where, y’know, you’re like, “Okay, what if, like, a hard-boiled detective story with like the elevated language even of such a story in a high school.” And then something like It Follows, where it’s, y’know, like, okay. What if… a death [Laughs.] curse of some kind could be passed like a venereal disease, basically. Um… and those are the two that I srot of thought of.

stuart

I’d say… I think the first one that popped into my head was—and I don’t know if I would say this is a central conceit. But it’s something I liked in a movie. And that’s in the movie Elysium, the Neill Blomkamp movie? I love that—I love that, like, Matt Damon and all those guys get the, like, things to, like, anchor a, like, a robo-exoskeleton to their body and they can walk around and be extra tough? I think that’s great. The rest of the movie’s not very good. But I like that part! I’d like to see that in a better movie! [Elliott laughs.]

scott

What was that one with Jude Law? Where—Repo Man! There was one that had a pretty cool concept and not so great of a follow-through.

stuart

I certainly remember it not being a great follow-through, although I don’t remember anything about the movie at all. Is that the one where you get like designer organs and then Jude Law and cuts ‘em out?

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh, right. Scott: Yeah, and then if you don’t pay—

stuart

Yeah. If you don’t pay for ‘em, they’ll come take ‘em.

elliott

That’s like—or, like—did you guys mention In Time already?

dan

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a good one.

elliott

Where it’s like—you get a certain amount of time and you can transfer time as a currency and you can stay young forever? And that’s another one where it’s like… oh, okay. There’s something kidna interesting—there’s—that’s an interesting way to, like… visualize in a concrete way income inequality and wealth inequality. But then it just kinda turns into—what—like a—like a robbery movie?

dan

Yeah.

elliott

Or, like, a—

scott

You know what I thought had a really good concept? That movie—The Adventures of Tantan?

stuart

Wait. “Tantan”?

scott

Yeah!

stuart

Well, what about it? [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

I think… that was fresh in my head because some—one of you gents reposted the, uh, animated, uh, version of that wonderful diatribe that you guys did.

stuart

Oh, okay. [Dan laughs.]

scott

And—I love those animations. Not just your show, but when—any show that [inaudible][Stuart laughs.] I love those.

stuart

I feel like that’s—

scott

Who’s the guy who does those? Or girl? Who does those?

dan

Tony Ochre. I mean, that’s his nom du artist, I believe. I don’t know if it’s his real… name. But he’s—he’s great. He’s been the unofficial—and now sort of the official—Flop House animator for a long time. And this is—I guess—a good plug to [through laughter] go check out our YouTube channel, where all those things live in addition to the live show we did for charity. But! [Clears throat.] Anyway. Moving on to the next segment of the show, which is—Recommendations! Stuart just put his— [Elliott laughs.] —hands back on. [Multiple people laugh.] With a big grin. ‘Cause he’s thirsting to give a recommendation—

crosstalk

Dan: —of a movie you should watch— Stuart: Oh man! I cannot wait!

dan

—instead of this. Um… but I will go first ‘cause I’m already talking. And— [Elliott laughs.] This movie that I’m going to recommend is one— [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Glad that you teased both the audience and Stu!

scott

This—yo. [Dan laughs.] I’ll tell you—if this podcast was a movie, I would say that’s a great line of dialogue. [Multiple people laugh.] “I will go first ‘cause I’m already talking.”

dan

Uh, don’t wanna stop the momentum. So I watched a movie called Lucky Grandma. I saw it—it’s available from Alamo On Demand but I assume it’s available elsewhere as well.

stuart

I mean, it’s a great title.

dan

Lucky Grandma. It is about a… an elderly Chinese woman in Chinatown who—her husband has passed away. She has children but she’s living alone rather than going to live with them. And she gets news that—from a fortune teller—that she’s going to be very lucky. And she goes to the casino, wins a bunch of money. Things don’t turn out so well eventually. She winds up taking some money that gets her in with some bad people and it’s sort of like… it’s got some flavors of, like, maybe a Coen-y, uh, crime movie? Like, a—a crime comedy? But it’s also very distinctly… Chinese. And also, like… Audrey is not Chinese. She is Filipino. But she did confirm for me that this movie plays very much on sort of… a type of, like, a, uh, a—a—a tough older Asian woman. Fiercely independent. And I know that, like, from… getting to know her family? I appreciated a lot more about this movie than I think I would’ve otherwise? Which led me to read, y’know, reviews from Chinese-Americans who also confirm for me that there’s like a lot in this movie that is very, like, cultrally-specific as well. That you may or may not catch up on—catch onto? But it makes it kind of a more special occurrence to see this type of story. And it was just like a lot of fun.

stuart

That sounds good.

dan

Yeah. [Long pause.] Uh, Stuart.

crosstalk

Scott: I— Dan: Oh, Scott. You go. Stuart: Yeah. Scott.

scott

Yeah. I’ll get mine out of—I’ll do mine real quick. I am a huge horror fan, as I know a lot of people are. And I watch a lot of stuff on Shudder and Amazon Prime. Lately I’ve been on a Korean kick and I watched a period piece monster movie on Shudder called Monstrum from South Korea. And it is set in 1527 and it is basically a lot like The Host? Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece? Combined with a—with a 14th-century political back-stabbings and dealings and—it’s got action. It’s funny. It’s got a great monster. And carnage galore. Monstrum.

stuart

That sounds good! I gotta check that out.

scott

Yup! You’ll like it.

stuart

I am going to recommend a movie that is recently been added to the Netflix streaming platform. [Elliott laughs.] I do—

scott

Tell me more of this platform!

stuart

Yep. You drag the movie over into your player and then you hit “play” and it shows up in your eyeballs. Um— [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Scott: Your mail! Elliott: [Inaudible.] Stuart: So I’m gonna recommend—

stuart

—a movie called Old Guard.

crosstalk

Stuart: Uh, yeah! It’s great! Scott: Love it!

stuart

It’s a great action movie.

scott

I’m so glad one of you guys picked it ‘cause I didn’t wanna pick the most obvious thing. So. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

I, uh—now I do have to get out of the way that my buddy Alejandro, who is a friend of the show, is the editor on the—for the comic. He’s the editor for the—for Greg Rucka, the writer of the comic and writer of this screenplay. So I’m a little bit biased. But I’m also a fan of the comic. I think it’s great. And… I feel like this—this adaptation really captures the spirit of the comic. It captures the spirit of the characters. It… it respects it. And at the same time, it is a badass, super-fun action movie. Charlize is great. She is, uh… one of the defining action stars currently working today. And… yeah! It’s a blast. It's probably, like, the—the best… like, action movie I’ve seen. Like, Netflix Original action movie I’ve seen. But I—I could be wrong. But it’s a lot of fun. Check it out. The Old Guard. Or just Old Guard. Uh, yeah!

elliott

Uh, and I will finish out the recommendations! I wanted to recommend an independent film from 1996. It’s currently—I saw it on the Canopy streaming platform, which you may have access to through your local public library. And it’s called The Watermelon Woman? And it was written, directed, and stars Cheryl—it’s either Dunye or Dunye [pronounces it “Dunny,” rhyming with “money] or—I could not find a, uh… how to pronounce her name online. I found several different ways to do it. But anyway. She plays a woman who works at a video store. She is black. She’s also a lesbian. And she becomes obsessed with a background actress—or a supporting actress—in movies from the 1930s and ‘40s who is credited as “The Watermelon Woman” in her movies. And she wants to find out—who was this woman? What was her name? What is her… history? And in doing so… kind of learns more about the… community around her. Learns more about people in the past who were dealing with some of the same issues of being—being gay and being black then that she is now. And at the same time she is kind of starting to date and maybe fall in love with a white woman that she has met, and… their relationship has to deal with the friction that comes with them coming from two different places and having two different ways of thinking about things. But it’s like… there’s some really funny parts and I found that it was like—of all the movies I’ve ever seen that show fake archival photos and archival footage? This—by far—does the best job of creating kind of fake photos and fake footage and things like that. That looks like it was actually from the time it’s supposed to look. And it’s a very indie movie. There are times when you’re watching it when you’re like, “Oh, yeah. This is what independent movies from the 1990s looked like.” Y’know, it doesn’t look like a… slick, glossy movie. I’ll warn you—or entice you—with the fact that there is a surprisingly graphic sex scene during the movie that I was not ready for. And I was like—this is much more intense than I expected. Uh—

stuart

You’re like, “Get outta the room, Mom!” [Multiple people laugh.] “Don’t watch!”

elliott

I was like, “Sammy—” I did “—when I started watching this [through laughter] independent film about someone investigating 1930s bit players, I didn’t think this was gonna be this inappropriate for you!” But, uh… but by the end of the movie—which is done in kind of like a half-fake-documentary, half just… straightforward style? I found, like… the threads of it had just come together in this really fantastic way. And it was exciting to see a movie from… 25 years ago? That felt very, uh… well, exciting and depressing. Seeing a movie from 25 years ago that felt still very relevant to what’s going on today. But there’s—and there’s one scene in particular that deals with disorganized archives that I thought was hilarious. So anyway— [Stuart laughs.] —if you like archive humor—[Laughs.] Then The Watermelon Woman is the movie for you!

dan

Alright! I guess that is that for our regularly scheduled segments. But Elliott, I believe that you would like… to say a few, final words about the MaxFunDrive.

elliott

I would love to. You’re gonna be hearing a little bit more of the MaxFunDrive in future episodes. We won’t be done with it for a little bit, so I won’t take too much of your time. I will just say ahead of time—I wanna thank everybody who has become a MaxFun member in the past and supported this podcast. I wanna thank everybody who is thinking about it or going to. Everybody who’s planning to upgrade their membership. It really means a lot to us. ‘Cause it means that you are literally supporting us. This is the reason that we can keep making the time and putting the investment of energy and money and things like that into this show to make it what it is. Your support really means a lot to us. The fact that we’ve been doing this show for a long time. For over—almost a decade and a half. And the show is a bunch of nonsense, when you get down to it. But that—it means something to us. It means something to the people who listen to it. And it means something to you because you’re willing to support it! And give us… y’know, the—the space and the… the means to really make it happen. We make most of our money off of pledges. It’s the vast majority. And this year, even more so because we aren’t touring. For obvious reasons. We’re not selling merchandise on our tours ‘cause we’re not touring. See the previous sentence. And so your pledge dollars mean even more to us. If you were attaching love to the money? Then that love is even greater this time. And—as said earlier—we know this is a hard time for a lot of people. It’s obviously a hard time and there’s a lot of great, uh… things and—what’s the word I’m looking for?

stuart

Causes?

elliott

Causes! Thank you. Causes. There’s a lotta great causes that I know are also clamoring for your money. We are not asking for yout o choose between saving the world and paying us? We are saying—just pay us. [Stuart laughs.] The world will take care of itself.

dan

Oh, wow! Wow, wow. That did not go the way I thought.

crosstalk

Elliott: Twist ending! Uh, no. Obviously— Scott: Boing-oing-oing! Dan: Thought that was gonna go. Stuart: You Joker-fied it! [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Also—also—obviously—look into your hearts. Look into your pockets and see what you are comfortable with. But we really appreciate it. If you’re not able to this time, we hope you consider it next time. But you’ll hear more from us and we just wanna say—thank you very much for making this something that we can continue to do for as long as we can. And again, that’s MaximumFun.org/join. Whether you are joining or upgrading your membership or just… curious. About the possibilities. Uh—if you’re not doing that, then the least you can do is help us spread the word about The Flop House! Huh? Tweet about us! Instagram about us! TikTok about us! Facebook about us! Uh…

stuart

We talked about—we talked about YouTube a little bit ago? We have a semi-active YouTube channel where we have our recent virtual live show, as well as a collection of wonderful animated videos put together by Tony Ochre.

elliott

We have our fist-ever actual promo that Tony animated for us. And it’s like an actual, real, like… thing you can show people. And be, like, “This is what The Flop House is!” And it only took us 13 years to get to the point where we were like, “Oh yeah!” [Scott laughs.] “We should do that!” So we would like to say—thank you for helping us spread the word. Thanks for considering supporting us. Thank you to our editor, Jordan Kauwling, for taking our usual ramblings and shortening them to… only slightly longer than humans can tolerate.

stuart

Uh-huh. Yep. And I wanna say triple thanks to our guest, Scott Weinberg! It was so much fun to have you on, dude!

elliott

Yeah!

scott

Thank you guys so much! I—again, I have been a fan of the show. I listen to a lot of podcasts—as Elliott mentioned—I do have my own show with my friend Steven DeGennaro called Science vs Fiction. Where we are film lovers and Steven is an astrophysicist and we thought there’s gotta be a way to talk about real science in movies without being pedantic and obnoxious. So we’re trying to do that and be fun and—but what I was saying was, I’ve been a big podcast listener for a long time and… I think what I like most about your show is that it can be critical but it’s never mean. I don’t like mean. Even if a movie is bad—like Artemis Fowl—most of the people involved in that movie tried to do good work and a lot of them did. We just don’t see it because the final product ain’t so hot. And I really respect that you guys are funny and irreverent but you’re never kicking down on filmmakers. And I—as a film critic and a filmmaker, I truly respect that. And… so it just means a lot to me to be on the show for once! I really enjoyed it.

elliott

Thank you very much!

stuart

Yeah, thanks, Scott! And I wanna say that one of the things that I really like about your show is that it’s clear that you guys are… in addition to being knowledgeable about film and science, you are also huge fans. That you clearly love the medium you’re talking about.

crosstalk

Scott: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Stuart: And that ocmes through!

elliott

And—that you love it and that when you guys don’t agree on something, you still—there’s a respect there. That means that you don’t rip each other apart—

crosstalk

Elliott: —for disagreeing on something. Dan: Yeah. Unlike this show. Where… [Scott laughs.]

elliott

I was gonna say—we are mean, but just to Dan. Dan’s the only one that we’re mean to. [Multiple people laugh.]

scott

Yep. Yep. And I also have an older show that is now deceased, but it’s still up and people seem to like it. Called ‘80s All Over, where my friend Drew McWeeny and I covered the first half of the 1980s and it was a very maniacally busy, crazy, hectic show. That will not be coming back, but I really do hope that people love the episodes that we did. And I just—I have two more podcasts coming out in the next year and I just wanna—I just wanna thank all the other podcasters out there. All the creators on MaxFun and otherwise who inspire me to do good work.

crosstalk

Dan: Well, we did it, guys. Elliott: Right back at’cha.

elliott

Right back at’cha. Oh, yeah! And we did it. Yeah.

crosstalk

Stuart: We did it. Time to pat ourselves on the back. Dan: Yeah. So—look. Uh-huh.

stuart

It’s gonna have to be distant, so—Dan, can you pat yourself on the back like I would pat you on the back?

dan

How would you do it?

elliott

It’s more of a rub. Less of a pat and more of a rub, right?

stuart

Are you wearing—what are you wearing on your wrist?

dan

I put some weights on my wrist? ‘Cause, uh… [All laugh.] We’re in quarantine, guys. I don’t—I wanna… I wanna have some exercise but I wanna do it in the laziest possible way.

stuart

Yeah. No. I get it. That’s awesome. [Dan laughs.] Yeah. I’m glad that happened. Okay. Cool. [Elliott laughs.] So what are we doing now? Are we gonna say goodbye?

dan

Now we say goodnight. For The Flop House, I’ve been Dan McCoy.

stuart

[Through laughter] I’m Stuart Wellington!

elliott

I’m Elliott Kalan! And thank you to—

scott

I’m Scott Weinberg! Thanks, guys!

dan

Bye!

stuart

Byeeeee!

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments.

dan

Nice.

elliott

Second one? Wanna do it again, Dan?

crosstalk

Dan: Alright. Let’s do it again. Stuart: That’s accurate. Elliott: A second one? ‘K.

dan

On this episode we discuss: Artemis Fowl!

elliott

The movie that dares to raise the question—what the fuck is going on in this movie?! [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Mmm. Coming in hot! Dan: Uh… which—[Laughs.]

elliott

[Through laughter] Coming in very hot!

stuart

Hot! Ooo! [Music fades out.]

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

The Flop House is a bimonthly audio podcast devoted to the worst in recent film. Your hosts (Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, and Stuart Wellington) watch a questionable film just before each episode, and then engage in an unscripted, slightly inebriated discussion, focusing on the movie’s shortcomings and occasional delights.

Follow @flophousepod on Twitter and @theflophousepodcast on Instagram. Email them at theflophousepodcast@gmail.com.

People

Host & Producer

Associate Producer

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...