Thursday, 22 November 2018

Episode 128: Star Wars Is Screwed

Has it come to this? The 80s Kids have never done a Star Wars show before, and now they are doing one it's one about this... and things were looking so good a couple of years back. Round about the time of Rogue One the future of the galaxy far, far away (or the past as it was, a long time ago) looked rosy, the new owners of Lucasfilm were feeling their way into their new acquisition and appeared to be making many of the right noises.

A couple of movies later and it's all gone to pot, however. How could it all have gone so wrong? And is there anything to be done to fix matters?

The 80s Kids pull on their blancmange resistant shoes and wade into the mire of poor decision making and awkward problem-solving that has resulted in Star Wars being a thing that Star Wars fans are feeling it hard to care about any more. Oh, the misery! Oh, the sadness! Internet message boards are still full of posts that say: "Discovery doesn't feel like Star Trek but I'm watching it anyway" but equally are they full of "Star Wars still exists but I am finding it hard to give a crap". When we recorded Star Trek is Screwed little did we know that it's flashier cinematic rival would soon be in worse shape.

Let's send 80s Kids Season 3 into its slumber until Christmas with a consideration of how the whole business just appears to have gone, well, totally Jar Jar.

This episode uses Excerpts of John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Episode 127: Conan The Footloose and The Iron Tower

If you tuned in last week then you'll get the picture here right away. 2011 was a year that, cinematically, mostly happened around the edges. Nothing in the Top 10 was breaking new ground or enticing the keen movie-goer with more than the promise that you were getting something where you knew what it was. All the action was happening outside of the big box office.

Maybe part of this was down to the death of wave-1 3D where 3D was slapped onto everything whether it warranted it or not and a few titles, Drive Angry I'm looking at you, were only released cinematically in 3D for no good reason whatsoever. Thankfully, however, where the 80s nostalgia was strong, 3D was seen as an unnecessary distraction from all the AWESOME 80s ACTION. At least, that's how we're choosing to read it.

In some ways the 80s wasn't so strong with 2011, a Conan reboot attempt, a Fright Night remake, a Footloose remake and the prequel to The Thing makes a solid if unremarkable effort. But then we did get a Margaret Thatcher biopic thrown in the mix and, despite not being genre, that makes a solid 80s foundation to show the decade where all the best movies happened is still present in spirit.

In a way, though, the very best 80s stuff was in the films that hadn't forgotten the spirit of the 80s whether that be in the robot karate kid form of Real Steel, the Eddie Murphy starring heist in the tower or the "Yoot On Bikes" alien invasion comedy Attack the Block. Whichever way you slice it the spirit of the 80s was strong in 2011 and that's just the way we kids like it.

This episode uses Excerpts of John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

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Thursday, 8 November 2018

Episode 126:A Popcorn Bucket Full of One-Star Reviews

It's 1-Star Reviews all around this week as we look at the top ten movies of 2011 and it's not the world's most inspiring list, filled with franchise bloat and soaked through with sequel sogginess. There are a couple of gems and some fun times, but, for the most bankable movies of any year, the general picture is pretty sad.

Smurfs, Transformers, Muscle Cars, more sodding sparkly vampires, it's enough to make you want to drink, drink, drink until oblivion takes you, only to wake up the next day in some unknown location with no hair and a leopard in the bedroom. And yet, we didn't, and neither did anyone we know. All in all 2011 appeared, upon the surface of it, to be a pretty enjoyable year for movies, certainly the upcoming summer of 2013, infamous as the "Summer of Various Disappointments" had more to be glum about, so what gives?

It would appear that the masses were swayed towards big, solid, bankable, critic-proof franchise fare, which is fine and fair enough when you're talking martial arts pandas, talking cars or super spies who may, or may not, be getting on a bit now. But the wonderful thing about 2011 is that it allowed us to have our own dreams, there were many smaller, non-top ten movies that filled in the aching void of hunger for something a bit more substantial.

Great, Leo managed to get through that whole set up blurb without mentioning Captain America or Thor. Now to move on to next week, where he won't be mentioning them either.

This episode uses Excerpts of John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

EDITOR'S NOTE: At one point in this episode Leo boldly proclaims that Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor made x "thousand" dollars at the box office, he, of course, meant x "million" dollars but failed to catch his own mistake. I have covered it up as seamlessly as I can, hope no one notices...

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Episode 125: Halloween Special - Stranger Kids

It is the weird time, the time of long shadows, where the cold bites harder, above the ragged fingers of blackish clouds claw at the bone-white surface of the moon. It is the time of bizarre happenings, of disquieting omens and of throwback 80s nostalgia weird fiction that you can binge watch on a popular streaming service.

Grabbing the chance as the kids whizz by (you know, on their bikes) those other kids, the ones from the 80s mull over the new hotness of all things 80s throwback. Is the current fad any more than that? Are kids on bikes integral to the vibe? Are these artefacts true to the era, or just fluffy (if tentacly) nostalgia for the time of the 80s? Does any of this matter if we're all having a good time?

Taking in the sights along the way the 80s kids stroll, unaided by human-powered bi-pedal assistance, through the cultural thicket, and wonder what happened to the good old family weird fiction movie of yore. Has the double whammy of IT and Stranger Things created the illusion of a new phase of the 80s culture revival, or is there more to be gained in the future from the neon past of the Goonies, the Monster Squad and, of course, Explorers?

This episode uses Excerpts of John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Episode 124: Summer Review 2018

So the time of reckoning has come once more unto the kids from the 80s. It was a summer of blockbuster box office but also some bluster and blocked profits for titles that surely should have been bankable even though they were... erm... going solo. We ruminate for the mandatory amount of time about Sci Fi shenanigans, underwhelming dinos, overwhelming Star Wars ennui and purple dudes with universe-altering bling. But we are the 80s kids, and we are disciplined so on we trot in good time.

Horror movies, kids movies, comedies, how did they fare in the summer of 2018, well, a hell of a lot better than your straight action thriller, that's for certain. As we ruin the Quiet Place with our noise and moan about the annoying rabbit we have to wonder, will Joe Carnahan ever get a break?

In the comedies it would appear to be all about those Crazy, Rich Asians, leading to a question about whether things are as questionable as we first thought if they're making bank at the box office. One thing's for certain the summer of 2018 had its ups and its downs but Action Point still didn't make any money.

This episode uses Excerpts of John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Metasode 2: Hello Anchor People

Hey, regular fans! This is by way of an explainer for people joining us on where we're also going to be releasing future casts.

Welcome Anchor-ites to the land of the 80s Kids. This isn't one of our real podcasts and, as you can see from the 2 in the title, isn't even the first "Not An Episode" of our little endeavour.

If you want explanations of what the heck we're on about then this is what this "not an episode" has in spades. If you want a "real" episode of 80s Kids goodness then you might want to check back here next week. Until then you can head over to our Facebook page or our archive (link on our profile description) to get all Revenged up in the meanwhile.

This episode uses Excerpts of Coconut Monkeyrocket's Juicy Jungle and John Bartmann's My Time Done Come, both available on Bandcamp and used under a Creative Commons License

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Episode 123: Star Trek is Screwed

Indeed it is, and has been for so long that the title of this episode has been baking since 2013 when Ian first suggested it. Things weren't much better then, when Ian thought of the idea because a certain Time Lord's 50th Anniversary was coming up. The Doctor had bunting in his Tardis, cake and a War Doctor incarnation played by John Hurt to celebrate.

At almost the same time Star Trek was coming up to its 50th. What did Kirk et al. get? A re-sequel of a re-boot and then forgotten for a couple of years. Then, like a zombie a second sequel to the re-boot came along as well as a shiny new series unavailable except via extortion in the country of its birth. Star Trek did not have the best birthday or aftermath of birthday.

Has it ever been thus? The plug was pulled on Classic Star Trek but it wouldn't die, resurrected in the girdle-clad flesh to shamble on to cinema screens in competition with Star Wars. Then brought back to television and it seemed the rough years were over. Until, three patchy spin offs down the line, we crashed headlong into the shuffling embarrassment of awkwardness that was Enterprise, along with the crushingly awful Nemesis and that appeared to be it.

But you shouldn't count your tribbles until they've been to the vet for neutering (no, seriously). There was the reboot, which was delayed in release so long it looked like it might just get shelved and then... well, here we are, spore drives and a movie franchise that may, possibly, have flatlined. Is this any way to run a Space Federation? Join the 80s kids in their final show for this season and let the moaning commence.

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This episode features an excerpt from Cutting To The Chase by the outstanding Kai Engel.