Episode 3: Behind the Magic
About This Episode
The Screeners host a double-feature this time, heading to the theater for both Oz: The Great and Powerful and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Before the conversation turns to wizards, monkeys, and the somewhat blurry line between them, though, they spend a little time outside Hollywood with a round of Jump Cuts.
How to Raise Money, and Where Not to Spend it (01:23)
The lightning round opens with a nerdfest about the increasing accessibility of cinema and video production. The Black Magic Cinema Camera gets a nod for its recent use in a feature-length movie, and the Screeners talk about their experience with it and other increasingly affordable theater-quality digital cameras.
Next, the round gets charged, but maybe not so lightning-fast anymore, as the Screeners take on the recent Veronica Mars Kickstarter success, touching on everything from the revolutionary nature of crowdfunding a studio-backed movie to Joss Whedon’s reaction to the news.
Having talked enough about worthy causes, the Screeners move on to one of the newest trends in the gaming market: Microtransactions. CliffyB’s defense of the practice isn’t winning too many hearts over here, though Chad does note the extreme difficulty of building a successful virtual farm while juggling a career and family on the side. A magic grape every now and then might just be a good buy; you decide.
Moving on to a less visually assaulting medium, the Screeners spend some time talking about what they’re currently reading or have just finished. Josh mentions a couple good books and totally shafts the authors by not giving their names (sorry about that), and mysterious forces try to prevent Chris from talking about his recommendation. Links are at the bottom of this post, but don’t look down there before you listen if you want to be surprised by the titles.
Now, to Pull Back this Curtain... (Oz, 27:00; Burt Wonderstone, 42:00)
So, does the modern-day prequel to the The Wizard of Oz make us all feel like kids again? What’s it like to see Jim Carrey be funny in a movie again? Or was he funny in Burt Wonderstone? The main event has the answers to those questions and many more (including the perennial favorite, “How annoyed does Josh have to be before he becomes completely incoherent?”). Oh, and a little pro-tip for producers: Spend the extra coin on those opening credits; Melody’s watching closely.
As with other Screeners reviews, there's a spoiler-free overview for each movie, but then thar' be spoilers, so head out when you hear Vader if you want the plots to be farmer's market fresh for you when you get to the theater.
Nothing Beats Nostalgia (51:50)
Longer reviews behind them, the Screeners offer an homage to a favorite from the Totally Rad Show: A Flickchart battle royale. In it, we learn that the 90’s was a golden age of cinema (who knew?), and that Chris and Melody can’t stand movies with more words than explosions (guess who doesn’t write the show notes...). Since the movies in this segment are the only ones on there so far, you, um, might not want to check out the Screeners’ Flickchart page, but hey; everyone could use a good laugh, right?
That’s it for this time. We’ll be back with a new episode in a couple weeks; until then, stay occupied by leaving us some feedback or ideas in the comments here or over on Facebook (and go ahead and like us while you’re there; we like you too, we promise).
Here are those links we promised earlier. Reading’s fundamental, folks (and yes, these are Amazon affiliate links, because you can’t spell “fundamental” without “fund me”):