Episode 15: If I Had a Hammer...

Episode 16 · November 19th, 2013 · 1 hr 3 mins

About this Episode

This episode marks a milestone in Screeners history:  For the first time, literature has made its way to the main event. Well, science fiction literature. And it’s only there because it was made into a movie. And we had to temper even that by following it with a review of a comic book movie...look; stop harshing our buzz, alright? We’re trying to encourage Chris to read here; cut us some slack!

Old People and the Pixels They Can’t See

Before the Screeners get into the double-feature main event, though, you know we gots to have us a lightning round. The questioning this time starts out with a winter movie preview. The fall/winter season it typically the bulwark of your more artsy/contemplative films, but Josh seems somehow saddened by this year’s prospects. At least Keanu Reeves is back in the spotlight; that has to be good news, right? Wait, no; “good” wasn’t the right word there…

If the winter’s disappointing, at least next year will bring the advent of 4K (or UHD, or whatever the marketers are calling it this week) streaming—or so says Netflix. For now, they’re making good on their claims with test footage of flowers growing, people riding bikes, and (we assume) shockingly crisp-looking blades of grass growing before our very eyes. Let’s play the cable news game on this too:  Good thing, or bad thing?

From streaming video to the boxes that deliver it to us (and supposedly do other things):  The Playstation 4 has just hit the streets, with the Xbox One close on its heels. Will the Screeners be participating in this gaming generation—and if so, where do their loyalties lie? If you don’t know the answer to those yet, welcome! We love new listeners!

Finally, our resident senior citizen advocate raises awareness for an issue near and dear to his heart. It seems that television shows are geared toward the demographics that advertisers want to reach, and that people who aren’t part of those demographics get upset by this. Some of them even write convoluted and self-contradictory op-eds about it. Agism’s bad! Bring back Harry’s Law!

Wait...It was All Just a Game?

OK, on to the fun stuff. Orson Scott Card has won a number of science fiction awards for his work on Ender’s Saga, the series that began with Ender’s Game back in the late 70s. The Screeners had originally planned to read the book in advance of the movie and review it on an episode sometime this summer, thus completely ruining the movie for everyone and giving Josh an opportunity to be truly pretentious on air.

However, due to contingencies the astute listener will have already predicted, that didn’t happen. Instead, our dauntless hosts decided to combine the book and film reviews into one mega-review...and then talk about Thor as well. What resulted is a rambling sociopolitical diatribe that Josh will be happy to elaborate if asked...oh, and there was a mention or two of a movie in there somewhere. We can’t really remember.

After Josh has exhausted everyone's patience, the Screeners dedicate some Thor, which we really shouldn’t downplay so much since it’s the next in a series of relatively strong Marvel properties and is maybe more entertaining than some people give it credit for...but it’s somehow just more fun if we relegate it to a single sentence at the very end of the notes.

One overly long, awkward sentence. That’s how we roll.

‘Til next time.