Episode 64: Hope, Suffering, and Really Big Budgets

Episode 72 · January 3rd, 2017 · 1 hr 44 mins

About this Episode

This episode just might set a record for the Screeners’ most popular main event...if you judge the popularity of episodes based on the popularity of their topics, at least. That’s how we do it, and we’re entitled to our opinion. It’s another double feature this time, and what a combo: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and HBO’s new (remade) hit Westworld.

Rebellions are Built on Franchising (or was that the other way around?)

So Rogue One is “officially” a Star Wars movie, but something about the marketing and the whole “we get a new one every year now” thing hits a sour note with some people, one or two of the Screeners included. They’re an open-minded lot, though, and they’re willing to give Disney a shot to turn side-plot off-year releases into watchable cinema. Did they deliver this time?

What if the Only Thing That Makes Us Human Is Wondering What Makes Us Human?

Another franchise connected to J.J. Abrams? Fine, Chris, but next time we’re talking about someone else. The guy’s going to get a big head.

Anyway, most of Westworld takes place in the Wild West, but it’s not a Western. And those people you see? They’re not people. Or are they? Throw in some violence, nudity, and things you can’t say on CBS, and you’ve got yourself an HBO show.

Westworld is a remake of a Michael Crichton movie...or maybe two of them, actually, but it takes a slightly different approach than the original (and the subsequent short-lived 80s TV series). For one, the first season cost $100 million, twice the average per-episode budget for Game of Thrones. Money won’t necessarily buy you quality, though; just ask Michael Bay.

Notice how this description has been rambling on for four paragraphs now but hasn’t said anything of substance yet? Yeah; that’s on purpose. Go watch the show, then listen to the episode. You’ve been warned.

It Was Either This or Josh Humming Movie Themes

To round out the episode, the Screeners decided to let Chris exercise some creative control and invent his own game. The jury’s still out on whether they’re happy with that choice. He found a list of movie taglines somewhere, and he’s forcing everyone to guess the movie from its tagline. Play along at home and see if you can do better than the rest of the Screeners (not as hard as it sounds, actually).

OK, that wraps up the last new release episode of the year. Join us next time for our Best of 2016 episode, where we’ll review our favorite movie, TV, and video game releases of the past 12 months, a list that Josh has totally been keeping since January. He’s really serious about these things. A serious, responsible adult and podcast host. Promise.

Alright; done for real now. See you on Facebook!