Podcasts in ReviewDecember 31, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in Episode VII, Movies, Podcasts, Podcasts in Review, Regular Feature, Reviews, Star Wars | Leave a comment
Here is this week’s Podcasts in Review. With so many Star Wars: The Force Awakens discussions, keep in mind that most of the podcast episodes contain major spoilers unless otherwise noted. Some are special spoiler free episodes and are labeled as such.
The 602 Club: Episode 61 is their Star Wars: The Force Awakens film discussion which is hosted by Matthew and includes guests Bruce, Darren and John for a multitude of viewpoints. They start with their experience at the theater, Matthew talks about needing time to process the film which brings up an interesting point: is their a case of being too much of a fan hurting the film experience? They talk about the plot being a rip off of A New Hope, the film being divorced from the prequels, yet one of the guests counters that it’s a nice transition to introduce us to a new era. Then they dive into the characters, Poe, Finn–who they compare to Jar Jar as the comic relief but better, BB-8 being just right and the best practical effect in the movie, Maz Kanata being the best CGI character in the movie, Rey the female proto-Luke Skywalker, Han, Luke, Leia, Phasma, Snoke, Hux aka space Hitler, and Ren. Their biggest criticism is the lack of originality in the movie, but Matthew also calls it out for not having enough slow scenes, exposition and explanation. They give their thoughts on the humor, the music, the ships, and the need for multiple viewers. All in all it’s an episode that doesn’t pull any punches. They keep it honest, sometimes brutally so, but it’s a thorough discussion with legitimate criticism but also praise. It’s a long one though at a couple minutes shy of three hours.
Assembly of Geeks: The Force Awakens Spoiler Free Reactions episode starts out with highlights from past shows. Many podcasters have said that it would be fun to go back an listen to all the rumors in the lead up to the film. This episode gives a nice taste of that by highlighting those moments, moving ever closer to the film’s release, and showing the early opinions based on various rumors. It’s pretty fun and a heck of a lot quicker than actually listening to a dozen or more rumor podcasts to get the same experience. Afterwards they have feedback from a bunch of people in the Star Wars community chiming in with their spoiler free thoughts after seeing the movie. Good episode.
Bombad Radio: Early Spoiler Free The Force Awakens Review is unfortunately an episode that is not hosted by Jeremiah. As with any podcast, a big reason why I listen is because I like the host, so it was disappointing that there was no Jeremiah in this episode. Jason gives a spoiler free review but manages to talk about a lot, which I have to hand it to him is no small feat. There’s also a lot of criticisms. To be honest, it wasn’t an episode I enjoyed listening to. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. The audio quality is okay, but not professional quality.
Fictional Frontiers: Episode 349 was a nice change-up for my playlist as it was not another TFA discussion episode. Instead, Sohaib interviews Star Wars author Christie Golden to talk about her last novel, Dark Disciple. They get into Star Wars: The Clone Wars, how Quinlan should be the perfect Jedi but is shaped by the missions he is sent on, Asajj, the two of them being ships passing in the night, hints at the stuff in the unpublished scripts, and some general discussion of what was left out or changed. They keep it spoiler free so that’s a plus for anyone who hasn’t read the book, but if you have read the book, it’s a negative as it keeps them from getting into the really good stuff in the book.
Fly Casual: Episode 70 is their TFA discussion. They give their thoughts on the movie, the acting, the elements, and more. Good review overall.
Hyperspace Theories: The Force Awakens Has Arrived! episode details their full thoughts on the movie including what scenes got reactions from the audience and a near complete beat-by-beat breakdown of the film. They skip from Maz’s castle to the showdown on Starkiller Base, otherwise it starts out with a very thorough scene-by-scene discussion. There’s some criticism, good audio quality and good discussion value in this one.
Rebel Force Radio: Episode 12.22.215 continues their discussion of The Force Awakens but with very special guests. First up is Arti Shah who played Gonk, Maz Kanata, and Fueler in the movie. She talks about what it was like shooting in Abu Dhabi, Greenham Commons and Pinewood Studios, working with Harrison Ford, what her scenes were like and what parts she played as Maz. Very nice interview. Then they talk with D.C. Barns, the Force For Change winner. He talks about what that was like, getting to go to England, meet J.J. Abrams, see the sets, get fitted by the costume department, playing a bit part in the movie and his thoughts on the movie. Keep in mind they do delve into major spoilers so only listen if you’ve seen the movie.
Star Wars Report: Episode #200 features Mark, Riley and Bethany as they discuss their initial feelings and thoughts on The Force Awakens. Some really good discussion. I especially enjoyed some of the things Bethany brought up including Han’s forgiveness of Luke. Really good stuff. Definitely give this one a listen.
Star Wars Tonight: Episode #22 features Riley and Bethany and Steve via phone in the car on his way to them for their TFA road trip. Unfortunately there’s some Skype issues and a lack of editing which hurts the episode. Riley gets emotional, they talk about the global premiere and red carpet event, George Lucas being there, and for a nice surprise, they bring in Matthew from The 602 Club at the end of the episode to talk Star Wars. Someday Matthew and Steve need to do a podcasting episode together. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Star Wars Tonight: Episode #23 features Steve, Riley and Bethany on the road to Texas for The Force Awakens. They give some thoughts on early reviews setting expectations, an aside on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, bringing it back to Star Wars fun, and just a general conversation. It’s a fun listen with decent audio quality for a car recording, and it’s not too long. Just right.