Episode 8: Engage the Dark Side—er, Darkness

Episode 8 · May 25th, 2013 · 1 hr 18 mins

About this Episode

Activate your seat restraints, because tonight’s going to be a bumpy ride through space as the Screeners take a long, hard look at JJ Abrams’ newest addition to the Star Trek franchise. Before we jump to warp, though, let’s take a few minutes to acknowledge that a couple other things did actually happen during the last two weeks.

Republicans and Books Relevant in the 21st Century? Who Knew?

For starters, John McCain—someone who might not normally be associated with media innovation—introduced a bill to end the time-honored tradition of cable channel bundling. In case the jargon is new, “bundling” is that thing where you get a cable subscription because you want to watch Mad Men and Doctor Who, but you end up subsidizing UFC Fight Night and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo in the process (or, um, vice versa). Turns out McCain’s been working on this for awhile, with little success thus far. Does he have the Screeners’ support?

They know they talk about trailers a lot, but Chad can’t resist a quick chat about two he saw during his recent trips to the theater:  Elysium and Gravity. The trailer for Gravity is really just a teaser, and maybe that’s what’s so appealing about it. The other one—well, the other one has Matt Damon. (If you haven’t seen Team America:  World Police, you’re welcome. And don’t worry; we actually do like Matt Damon.)

Next, Josh holds true to his roots as a book snob and forces the group to discuss Baz Luhrmann’s vision of The Great Gatsby. In a mini-review of the adaptation, the Screeners touch on the merits of narration, Luhrmann’s tendency toward grandiosity, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s screen presence. Do they think the reboot is worth seeing?

A Long, Long Trek

Unable to hold back any longer, the Screeners kick off the main event by reciting their Star Trek nerd credentials—after all, you can’t just walk in off the street and review a Trek movie. Chris and Melody win the contest by a long shot. A LONG shot. Josh, knowing a Star Trek conversation can be a tough thing for non-fans, spends some of his introductory time recounting the story of a touching real-life romance stoked by the Federation in hopes of keeping some listeners around...for a little while, at least.

Then the fun begins. Many have already weighed in on the movie (spoiler alert for the link), and hatahs gonna hate—as will a certain stripe of fan—but you’ll have to listen to see where the Screeners come down on the latest installment of the beloved franchise. There’s just too much to be said and too little that can be summarised without spoiling “surprises”. We will say this, though:  Josh seems to have some kind of sworn Klingon blood feud with JJ Abrams, and we’re not sure why.

As If They Had Any Emotion Left...

To cool off from the intensity of a Star Trek review, the four take some time in the Cutting Room Floor to discuss other movies that caused an emotional reaction, but which they wouldn’t want to watch again. United 93 is mentioned more than once, and some other popular and not-so-popular tearjerkers get praised and shunned in the same breath.

After a few quick shout-outs to fans, the Screeners sign off. Want to have your voice heard on the show? Drop us a note here or on Facebook; we’ll be watching!