We’re All Mary Poppins, Y’all — Talking GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #119
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017) Written & Directed by James Gunn Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures 136 minutes, rated PG-13
In this special episode of Level Eleventy-Seven, we take a spoiler-ish look at the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with a few digressions along the way, of course…).
From Groot’s greatness (and not so greatness) to Yondu’s arc, from the wild “Hey, that’s…!” beginning to the climactic battle between the stars, Vol. 2 has all the pieces that make a Marvel film … a Marvel film. It’s got humor, pathos, family issues — more than just Peter and his father — great character moments, and Groot.
Plus, plenty of possible setups for the next chapter, as Vol. 3 will be James Gunn’s swan song (at least for now). What pieces of this story will inform the last installment in the first trilogy? Will it be… nope, you gotta listen.
The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Jason Hunt
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Team Zombie Reviews ALIEN: COVENANT
Alien: Covenant (2017) Screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper
Story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green Directed by Ridley Scott Scott Free Productions/Brandywine Productions/20th Century Fox 122 minutes, rated R
Team Zombie got a chance to attend a press screener of Ridley Scott’s latest foray into the universe he created over 30 years ago, and Mr. Adair and Mr. Harvey sit down with Miss Inlow to have a chat about it. It… isn’t pretty.
Timothy: “Science Lady” is Karine Oram, played by Carmen Ejogo.
Dustin: I can’t remember names, you know that.
Timothy: “Capable Pilot Lady/Tennessee’s Wife” is Maggie Farris, played by Amy Seimetz.
Dustin: I liked her, but nope. Not going to stick.
Timothy: She was good in Wristcutters: A Love Story and Upstream Color, and she’s a director and writer in her own right.
Dustin: What are you doing here, with this?
Timothy: Well, considering one of the problems with this film is how it is crap at establishing relationships between characters, or even defining most of the characters outside of the jobs they do, making them either interchangeable or making some people – you, for example – have to use nicknames like “Science Lady” to remember what they actually do in the film…
Dustin: You decided to try and help me by telling me their names and who played them. You know this doesn’t work, right? Beth from The Walking Dead was “Daughter-Fodder” for two years, Tim. Two years.
Timothy: I continue to hold out hope. Demián Bichir played Sergeant Lope, the head of security. His character was married to the security guy who got sick and, well, spoilers, I suppose. That guy was Nathaniel Dean, playing Hallett, who we know was married to Lope because the Wikipedia page says so.
Dustin: I do know who played the young couple I liked, who did the things on the ship and stuff. That was Jussie Smollett and Callie Hernandez. I don’t remember the names of their characters because the film doesn’t care about that stuff either.
Mindy: So are you two going to sit here and throw shade at the film or just let people cut the chase and hear what you really think about Alien: Covenant? Sheesh. Hey Folks-at-Home? Listen to these two tell me all about the movie they saw, here on this special movie edition of Zombpocalypse Now. Then tell us what you think and we’ll be back with more undead things next week.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Hits Us Over and Over with Emotion Hammers — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #118
Episode 422 “World’s End” Written by Jeffrey Bell Directed by Billy Gierhart
It’s the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and we have got confirmation that the show will be back next season, only on Friday nights (more on that later).
Aida/Ophelia takes crazy to the extreme with her Scorched Earth policy, and it looks very much that Jemma… wait, what just happened? Fitz is still broken a bit, and we have to wait to learn the fate of Philinda. While Coulson and May do get to have a few moments about the bottle and what led to drinking it, we don’t get everything we’d like to see between the two of them.
Plus: the return of the Ghost Rider! Chasing the Darkhold, and all the terrible that comes with it, including the organic body Aida inhabits. Because it comes from a very bad place.
What happens next? Where are our heroes being held? Will this be the introduction of S.W.O.R.D.?
Next season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes way for Inhumans, which will have an 8-episode running following Once Upon a Time on Friday nights.
The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Timothy Harvey
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: The SANTA CLARITA DIET Season Finale!
With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the first season finale of the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet! It’s Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 1, Episode 10 “Baka, Bile and Baseball Bats” Written by Clay Graham, Directed by Dean Parisot
Timothy: Could you cough a bit more? And maybe tap on the table a few more times?
Dustin: I was sick, and you know it. And I… tap on things. Sometimes. Not all the time.
Timothy: Mmmm hmmm. You know I can’t cut all of those out, right?
Dustin: You know I don’t think about that at all, right?
Mindy: While these two descend into petty bickering, as is their wont, I would just like to point out that we did get the podcast back under 35 minutes for the first time in weeks, which would be even more impressive if the actual episode of Santa Clarita Diet we were talking about was actually over 30 minutes itself, but hey. We take our victories where we can. Also, for whatever reason, we again have a lot of air noise in the recording that fiendishly resisted removal, so maybe Mr. Harvey needs to check on the recording gear and see what the issue there is. We’ll keep you apprised, because we do want the listening part of this thing to be as pleasant as possible.
Stay tuned for a special Movie Review edition of Zombpocalypse Now, out later this week, where Tweedledee and Tweedledum over here will explain to me what went wrong with the latest film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant. Be advised that they swear a lot, so bleeping will be plentiful. They really are not meant to be out among the civilized peoples.
Mindy: ALSO, if you enjoy this podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes and Podcasts.com, because that helps new listeners find us, and that’s always nice. If you don’t enjoy this podcast, it’s Tim and Dustin’s fault.
Timothy: Hang on…
Mindy: AND, please listen to all the other great podcasts we have on SciFi4MeRadio, because very few of them have as many squabbling children as this one.
Timothy: Lady has a point.
Dustin: It’s a fair cop.
Mindy: We’ll see you all next week, where we’ll talk about things and stuff, and probably American Gods. Thanks for listening!
ROGUES GALLERY #53: Barry is Still Dumb, Supergirl Needs Focus
This week: it seems that Barry Allen is still not through making dumb decisions. And even though we now know the identity of Savitar, there really doesn’t seem to be any kind of a plan from the writers room. And Supergirl has yet to get out of being about all the lovebird characters and get back to being about … well… Supergirl.
Arrow continues to slide into irrelevancy. Powerless is cancelled, but we have Black Lightning waiting in the wings.
Plus: we’ve decided to weaponize Mr. Townley’s recaps and unleash him on Gotham…
BOMB SHELTER Drill #4: Jay and Kevin Roll Snake Eyes with SSSSSSS
Episode 4 ~ Sssssss (1973)
This month, Jay and Kevin take a look into the snake eyes of Strother Martin and Dirk Benedict in Sssssss, as a college student becomes a lab assistant for a scientist working to develop a serum that can change humans into snakes. Because that’s a thing, right? The film also features known genre actors Tim O’Connor (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) and Reb Brown (Captain America), along with The Sound of Music‘s Heather Menzies-Urich.
Planet Comicon has come and gone, and this year we got a great opportunity to repeat what we did at Worldcon: broadcast live online from the event floor. With the help of our friends at TV25.tv, we were able to stream interviews and live coverage from PCC pretty much all weekend.
In this episode, we take a look at how things came together and how the weekend went. Our post-Planet analysis continues, and we’re still posting video to SciFi4Me TV, so check back frequently for updates. We think we may have an angle on this live video thing, but we’re still getting a feel for what the equipment can do, should do, and what our team is able to deliver — which is a lot!
Programming note: H2O is now on a bi-weekly schedule, so every other Saturday is when you’ll get a new episode.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Marks a Return With Whedon Banter — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #117
Episode 421 “The Return” Written by Maurisa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon Directed by Kevin Tancharoen
Our intrepid Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are back in the real world, and it’s not without its hangups. What with Mack still being in the Framework and May trying to shoot Ophelia and Fitz getting in the way and the two of them whisking out BAMF-style and Coulson not wanting to admit he cracked open the bottle and oh, how many robot copies of the Russian are there now?…
But at least it appears that Fitz won’t be the villain of next season (is there a next season?), at least not yet. He again demonstrates just how good a heart he has, even in the face of utter sociopathic murderous rage from his wanna-be girlfriend who suddenly finds that she’s… not? uh-oh. What was that about a woman scorned?…
Next week: the Ghost Rider returns!
The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: A Little Salt For The SANTA CLARITA DIET
With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the final episodes of the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet! It’s Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 1, Episode 8 “How Much Vomit?” Written by Aaron Brownstein & Simon Ganz, Directed by Steve Pink
Season 1, Episode 9 “The Book!” Written by Sarah Walker, Directed by Tamra Davis
Dustin: I really don’t remember recording this episode. My sinuses are trying to kill me.
Mindy: You did. We were there.
Dustin: I’m not sure I believe you.
Timothy: Dude. Your voice is right there. You use the words and everything.
Dustin: You could have constructed it out of pieces of previous episodes.
Timothy: I so don’t have the time for that. Are you insane?
Dustin: Mindy is a cyborg now. She could have… used her cyborg powers.
Mindy: This is true. I do have the vast and terrible cyborg powers.
Timothy: Uh huh. Sure you do. Anyway, I would like to apologize to the folks at home for some weirdness with the audio. The levels are off, so it jumps up and down a bit on the volume in places.
Mindy: You can understand us though. Well, as much as anyone can ever understand us.
Timothy: We do make sense at least some of the time.
Dustin: Do we though? Eh. Maybe. I still don’t remember recording this. My sinuses are trying to kill me. Have I mentioned that?
Mindy: You have. And I’ll just mention that we have a lot of other podcasts you can listen to on iTunes and Podcasts.com, and we would love it if you’d rate and comment on this podcast. It helps people find it and build our audience.
Timothy: That would be great, yes. Thanks for listening folks, and we’ll be back next week with more Zombpocalypse Now!
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Back in the Real World, and Yikes! — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #116
Episode 420 “Farewell, Cruel World” Written by Brent Fletcher Directed by Vincent Misiano
Back to our regular programming as the gang gathers in the post-convention bunker to discuss the latest really tough to watch episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and not because it was badly written, but because there was plenty of emotionally-charged scenes that really worked. It’s a really solid episode with a lot of moments that build to a few gut-wrenching final minutes. As we predicted, Fitz looks like he’s going to have some … issues. And our intrepid heroes inside the Framework will have to live with the knowledge that they’re not “real” in the traditional sense, but then what are they?
And now that most of the team is out of the Framework, what does it mean for everyone? How does Fitz cope with the monster he became inside? How does everyone process Mack’s decision? What will happen to PhilLinda?
The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt
From Planet Comicon 2017: LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN Episode 115 Live
Episode 419 “All the Madame’s Men” Written by James C. Oliver & Sharla Oliver Directed by Billy Gierhart
Live from Planet Comicon 2017!
The gang takes time to discuss Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the episode where Daisy uses her powers without pain, May becomes a traitor to Hydra, and Coulson goes on television to claim his place as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Dan Handley, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Live From PLANET COMICON! (Well, Sort Of)
We didn’t just livestream from Planet Comicon, we also recorded this week’s Zombpocalypse Now in front of a LIVE audience! Listen!
Dustin: Well, we, as usual, said we were going to talk about one thing last week, and here we are, talking about something else.
Timothy: We did, and we are. We said we were going to talk about the last three episodes of Santa Clarita Diet, but instead…
Dustin: We recorded an episode in front of a live audience at Planet Comicon!
Timothy: … just like the last few years. Like the last, what, three years?
Dustin: I am trying to make this sound exciting. You are not helping.
Timothy: It was fun.
Dustin: It was. It was also kind of a greatest hits episode, where we talk about The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and Santa Clarita Diet, and take questions from the audience. Who were awesome.
Timothy: It’s always a great time talking to other fans of these shows we love to hate to love. To hate. To love.
Dustin: It is complicated. But this show isn’t. And you can actually hear the audience! Sort of. Mostly.
Timothy: And every time you tapped on the table. All the times you tapped on the table.
Dustin: I… do that, yes. It’s a thing I do. That table was loud. It’s not my fault.
Timothy: And you can hear it all its glory. We had a good time out there, and we hope you have a good time listening to it.
Mindy: Oh! Hey! Hi! And rate and comment on our podcast and all our other podcasts on iTunes and Podcasts.com!
Dustin: Where the hell have you been?
Mindy: Working the floor, getting interviews and SO MUCH MORE! Check out all our great Planet Comicon Coverage! Here at SciFi4Me!
H2O #154: In Which We Discuss the Premiere of DOCTOR WHO
The Doctor has returned! And he’s got a new companion (two, really). And he’s got photos on his desk! And he’s got a desk! And a vault! What’s he got in the vault? Probably the thing that’s going to keep him Earth-bound this year, very much as he was in his Third incarnation…
After having seen the episode twice, we found plenty of things to like and plenty of things to wonder and speculate about. Sonic screwdrivers. Penguins. Lectures about physics and poetry (they both rhyme). And Susan! That photograph isn’t there by accident. With the original Cybermen making an appearance later this season, it’s a sure bet that the photo of the Doctor’s granddaughter is there for a reason.
AGENTS OF HYDRA Gives Us Fits About Fitz — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #114
Episode 418 “No Regrets” Written by Paul Zbyszewski Directed by Eric Laneuville
Finally, the introduction of Dad… and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is starting to lose a little of that self-assured swagger he’s been sporting in the Framework. Is Madame Hydra (Mallory Jansen) telling him everything? Or is she manipulating her lover at the same time she’s digging her claws into the rest of everyone’s world?
It’s clear that the elder Fitz (David O’Hara) has had a profound impact on his son’s upbringing and resulting character and personality, and it’s also clear why the “real” Fitz doesn’t want to have anything to do with the man. The lovable Leo Fitz is a product of his mother’s influence, and it remains to be seen what happens when the team gets out of the Framework and Fitz has to confront his memories of this twisted version of himself.
Likewise with Mack (Henry Simmons), who’s going to eventually have to give up the idea of being with his daughter Hope (Jordan Rivera). And though Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) is affected by that one relatively happy tableau, she’s still keenly aware that this is all just a digital make-believe world. Jemma faces a crisis of conscience, of a sort, complicated by the fact that Mace (Jason O’Mara) and Ward (Brett Dalton) don’t buy her story.
May (Ming-Na Wen) also faces a crisis of conscience when faced with the notion that Hydra will brainwash and kill people to keep them compliant. In the face of her failure at Baharain, her failure at Cambridge, and the way Daisy (Chloe Bennet) has been trying to get through to her, maybe — just maybe — there are things finally not adding up. Unless 1 + 1 = terrigenesis and a lot of whoopins…
Props to O’Mara for his very solid performance this week. His life in the Framework as the Patriot is worthy of song.