In the second part of our review of movie podcasts, moviescramble takes a trip across the Atlantic to review a couple of US-based movie podcasts. As with the UK ones there are dozens of movie related podcasts to choose from either via the website associated with the cast or, as I was introduced to them, via the corporate wonder that is iTunes. All of the podcasts reviewed below can be found via the iTunes store at no cost.
First up is the /filmcast (slash filmcast). This a weekly podcast from the /film website with nearly two hundred episodes available. Featuring hosts Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley, the ninety minute podcast is split into three main sections. They begin by discussing what they have been watching in the last week. This covers films, TV shows, Anime and web shows. The group has varied and diverse tastes so there is always something that sounds interesting. The middle section is a discussion about the major film news including stuff about the latest trailers and casting news. Some of the team have strong opinions regarding certain movie franchises and stars so this section tends to generate the most debate. The last section is an in-depth review of a new movie released in the US. They discuss the movie in general terms covering themes actors and directors. At the end there is a spoiler section where major plot points and the ending are discussed. Beware if you don’t want to know how the film ends. As a rule I tend to listen to the podcast about six months behind the release date to give me a chance to see the films they are discussing without switching off before the end. A nice touch is the addition of a different guest host each week. These guests range from actors and directors to print and web journalists. Having this additional input keeps the format interesting and fresh. As a bonus the team release an after dark bonus edition most weeks. These feature discussions of items that could not be accommodated in the main podcast and have no set format. They usually last for about thirty minutes or so and are the ideal accompaniment to the main show.
Clocking up four hundred episodes, Filmspotting is one of the best movie podcasts out there. Since 2005 Adam Kempenaar and co hosts (Sam Van Halgren, Matty Robinson and most recently Josh Larson over the years) have produced consistently entertaining programs. The podcast is split into a series of short sections separated by music from a usually unknown artist or group. The format is fairly standard. The first part discusses one or perhaps two releases. They tend to shy away from discussing blockbuster releases and instead concentrate on the more interesting non mainstream releases. The second section features the massacre theatre where the team read a scene from a movie. The movie chosen normally has some link to other items on the show. The other sections are taken up with opinion pieces and ends with a top 5 section again based one of the themes raised by the main reviews. The dynamic between the two hosts, especially during the time that Matty was opposite Adam, is great to listen to. They have wildly different views about movies and their reviews and conversations are always lively. A highlight was the discussion of the Casey Affleck film I’m still here.