Review: Stranger Things 2 (Episode 1)

Forgive me legions of 80’s leg-warmer enthusiasts for I have committed cardinal sins of my generation. I never swayed to the Truffle Shuffle. I never shouted “Goonies for Life.” I never sought a treasure hunt with a deformed behemoth. As a point of fact, I never felt a kinship with The Goonies despite my age bracket. Movies in which an entourage of kids are quippy and unfathomably resourceful  have always rubbed me raw (Monster Squad being the exception to the rule). Due to my bias, I was adamant not to succumb to the hype of Stranger Things Season 1. Now Halloween is upon us and I’m swallowing my pride and jumping into the deep end of the mythos and hoping to stay afloat. Did Season 2 work on a neophyte like myself?

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The Reviewinator: Fear the Walking Dead (Season 3)

Another year, another Fear. Admit it, if the real Walking Dead show didn’t exist, this one wouldn’t have lasted even this long. And the longer the two shows are both on, the harder it gets to mentally juggle multiple non-related subplots between seasons, especially when one of those shows has truly compelling characters and situations, and the other one is…this.

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The Reviewinator: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

It seems Hollywood (or maybe just Harrison Ford) is always pushing the envelope when it comes to long-awaited sequels. The original Blade Runner under-performed at the box office in 1982, but later achieved cult classic status, especially after the release of the 1992 Director’s Cut. So I was curious about Blade Runner 2049‘s $150-Million budget. Would it just be a big explosive sci-fi extravaganza, or would it maintain the immersive, slow-paced mystery approach of its predecessor? Because after 35 years, if it didn’t get everything exactly right, it would be a colossal disaster that would forever tarnish the original.

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Horror Octoberfest – The Hand (1981)

The Hand Poster.jpg

The radical rascal Oliver Stone’s second directorial foray is this monotonous, psychogalvanic thriller. Given his political leanings, one can be forgiven for assuming this is a biopic on the Mano Blanca death squad in Guatemala. Firstly, the inciting incident in which comic book artist Joe Lansdale’s (Michael Caine) extremity is decorked like a champagne bottle is alternately ghastly (the blood spray on the rear of the truck is too delayed though) and campy because of the cleanliness of the disembodiment and the tawdry prosthetic for his stump (in fairness, a twitchy lizard tail is more conspicuous because of its limited mobility).

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Mysterious Skin

Based on Scott Heim’s acclaimed novel of the same name, Greg Arraki’s 2004 film Mysterious Skin is a tough and disturbing watch, but also an incredible cinematic experience. It tells of two boys Neil (a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Brian (Brady Corbet) who are sexually abused by their baseball coach, and how these terrible actions affect them for the rest of their lives, alternating between their boyhood (1981) and their adulthood ten years later.

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 289 – The Final Curtain

Try to choke back the tears as Shouts From the Back Row ends its run after seven years of movie and television discussion. Gill, Robin, and TK reunite one last time for a retrospective where we look back on almost 300 episodes of podcasting. How far we’ve come! Click here to download the episode.

Shouts From the Back Row’s theme music was composed and performed by Vince Nitro!

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 288 – The Bucket List

It’s the penultimate episode of Shouts From the Back Row! And on this show, Gill, Robin, and TK are finally crossing off some items from their movie and TV bucket lists as they fill in the glaring omissions in their pop culture knowledge. TK hasn’t seen The Godfather trilogy! Robin has never watched Game of Thrones! Gill hasn’t see a single episode of The Sopranos! Until now, that is! Click here to download the episode!

Shouts From the Back Row’s theme music was composed and performed by Vince Nitro!

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 287 – The Pantheon

Shouts From the Back Row only has a very limited number of episodes left, so Gill, Robin, and TK decided to go back to their Pantheon of Films to talk about some of their favourite movies of all time. They each chose a film from their Pantheon lists for their fellow podcasters to watch, and now they’re doing to discuss them. TK chose the Frank Capra classic farce Arsenic and Old Lace, Robin picked the groundbreaking zombie movie Dawn of the Dead, and Gill opted for what he considers to be one of the most underrated Westerns of all time: Tombstone. Click here to download the episode!

Shouts From the Back Row’s theme music was composed and performed by Vince Nitro!

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 286 – Summer 2017 Catch-up

The boys are back! After a long summer break, Gill, Robin, and TK return to Shouts From the Back Row with a big announcement: the podcast is coming to an end. August marks seven years since we started recording this show, and so it seemed like an appropriate way to send it off as well. For the rest of August, we’ll be diving into some fun topics to celebrate seven years and nearly 300 episodes of the podcast, and this week the guys are giving their thoughts on all the summer blockbusters! Click here to download the episode!

Shouts From the Back Row’s theme music was composed and performed by Vince Nitro!

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Castor’s Underrated Gems: Dragnet (1987)

Before 21 and 22 Jump Street popularized the gimmick of updating dated, melodramatic television shows of yore into self-effacing, comedic ore, 1987 gave us a skewering of the 1950’s police procedural Dragnet. Since the template was relatively novel, I can imagine nostalgic Baby Boomers being apoplectic about their beloved crime drama being “bastardized” into a big-screen spoof.

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