Monday, January 14, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #272 – Dragon Ball Z Broly Trilogy Retrospective


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link

With Dragon Ball Super: Broly arriving in American theatres this week, we look back on the original three Broly films from the initial run of Dragon Ball Z films (DBZ Movies 8, 10, and 11). The original Dragon Ball movies are a strange beast to begin with – they can be a lot of fun for fans, but they’re also heavily formulaic and mostly plotless – but the Broly films are the strangest of all, creating an infamous antagonist and leaving a huge mark on the franchise without being particularly good. Broly himself doesn’t even feel like that much of a Dragon Ball character, and because of him, these movies tend to lack a lot of what makes the series so enjoyable. We talk about all of that and much more, while also discussing why, despite our antipathy to Broly up to now, we’re so excited for the new film – which we’ll be reviewing in depth next week! 

Enjoy! 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #272







The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapmanis a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #271 – Dragon Ball Super Retrospective & Doctor Who New Year Special


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link. 

We kick off a new year of podcasting by finally dedicating an episode to one of our favorite franchises of all time: Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball! With the new film Dragon Ball Super: Broly hitting theatres later this month, we take a look back at the most recent TV series, discussing why it worked so well where other attempts to extend the story beyond the manga have not, and discussing each of the major arcs in detail. We also review the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special, “Resolution,” and come away feeling very glad we don’t have to talk about Chris Chibnall’s abysmal take on the series for at least another year. Jonathan also reviews the surprisingly enjoyable Aquaman and we look forward to the movies and games we’re most excited for in 2019. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:10:45
Doctor WhoNew Year’s Special: 0:10:45 – 0:47:11
Aquaman Review: 0:47:11 – 1:05:54
Dragon Ball Super Retrospective: 1:05:54 – 3:28:55

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #271







The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapmanis a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #270 – The Top 10 Video Games of 2018


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link

In our final episode of 2018, we reflect on another amazing year in gaming with countdowns of our Top 10 Video Games of the Year. This was a rich, varied, and incredibly surprising year for video games, with some expected hits and out-of-left-field delights making both of our lists. There’s more crossover this time between our two countdowns than in recent years, but also some big points of departure, which makes for a really great conversation as we reminisce upon the year’s great games. 2018 has been the biggest year for our podcast ever, in more ways than one, and we’re so grateful to have had all of you along for the ride! Enjoy the show, and we’ll see you in 2019! 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #270







The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman is a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Jonathan Lack's Top 10 Video Games of 2018


After a few lean years at the start of this console generation, it is abundantly clear that we are living in an absolute golden age for video games. At the end of 2016, I remember thinking I was never again going to have a Top 10 list as brutally competitive to construct; then 2017 came along, delivered bold new entries in almost all of my favorite ongoing franchises, and made 2016 look like child’s play. 

2018 has been a similarly great year, one perhaps even more surprising than the great years of recent memory. Amazing video games came from all directions, some expected (Sony and Nintendo’s first-party development continuing to hit it out of the park), some completely out of the blue (indie developers delivering a steady string of jaw-dropping artistic visions). And once more, I find myself at years’ end struggling mightily to narrow things down to a mere 10 titles – and mightier still to actually rank them. 

A few short observations on the list itself before we begin: For the first time, I played all of these games on a grand total of just two consoles – the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch – as Microsoft for the second year in a row failed to produce any notable exclusives and the Nintendo 3DS, a stalwart of my countdowns, survived mostly on ports and remakes. That said, there are more third-party and cross-platform games on this list than I had last year – five, if you count console/PC as cross-platform – despite the strength of exclusives. My Honorable Mentions list is just chock-full of genuine greatness, and looking at what did and didn’t make the cut for the Top 10 itself, I’m pleased with just how completely this countdown reflects my personality, interests, and obsessions, as all honest ‘best of’ lists should. 

Oh, and this Top 10 technically contains 11 games, though when you see why I think you’ll forgive the incongruity. Read about all of them after the jump…

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #269 – A Very Weekly Stuff Christmas Special


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link. 

Since Monday fell on Christmas Eve this year, we thought we’d put together a special Holiday-themed episode this week, complete with gift-giving, Jonathan’s impromptu list of the best (and worst) Christmas movies, a shared rant about people who care too much about Die Hard being a Christmas movie, and more! We also chat a bit more about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Hitman 2, before arriving at our main holiday topic: A live reaction/review of the worst Christmas album ever recorded. I won’t spoil the album’s identity here, but suffice to say, it makes for one of the silliest and most entertaining segments we’ve ever recorded. 

Enjoy, and happy holidays to all!

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #269







The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapmanis a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review: "Mary Poppins Returns," and I'm glad to have her back


Mary Poppins Returns is a film that has no business working, and that it somehow does, even counting a small multitude of imperfections, is a minor miracle. Here is a 54-years-later sequel to what is undoubtedly the second-most iconic movie musical in Hollywood history, lagging only The Wizard of Oz in its grip on our cultural memory, arriving on the same wave of weaponized nostalgia that’s seen Disney cranking out remakes, reboots, sequels, and ‘reimaginings’ of every property in their vault, most of them as soulless as they are profitable. (In today’s context, Mufasa’s famous “Everything the light touches is our kingdom” line, repeated in the trailer for next year’s remake, sounds less like fatherly wisdom than it does a pointed corporate threat). It doesn’t help that the movie musical is a genre all but dead and buried today, with few alive who know how to construct a competent example, nor that the director chosen for this particular task, Rob Marshall, hasn’t made anything less than ‘disastrously terrible’ since his film debut in 2002’s Chicago (which worked in large part because of a strong cast and adherence to Bob Fosse’s singular choreography). 

And yet…Mary Poppins Returns works. Not perfectly, nor all the time, but beautifully enough and often enough to elicit smiles, laughter, awe, and, if not a tear, than at least a strong twinge of pathos. Its performances are outstanding, its musical numbers frequently marvelous, and it avoids even a hint of the crass, winking postmodernism or overwrought expository ‘world expansion’ that has defined Disney’s recent live-action output (I’m looking at you, Alice in Wonderland andBeauty and the Beast). This is a far more heartfelt, human, and purely, passionately creative endeavor than any of Disney’s recent catalogue mining expeditions, and if it doesn’t ultimately sit on the same shelf as the original, well, it obviously never could. That it exists as a more-than-worthy complement to Walt’s most beloved classic is no small thing. 

Continue reading after the jump...

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #268 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link. 

Spider-Man’s incredible year continued this week with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the web-head’s first animated movie and the first to star Miles Morales. It’s also one of the best superhero movies ever made, not to mention maybe the single most innovative and imaginative use of CGI animation since Toy Story pioneered the format in 1995. This is a truly special movie, one with tons of heart, a lot of laughs, and a big dose of eye candy, and we dive deep with all of it. Jonathan also talks about his continued enjoyment of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, Sean reviews more of Hitman 2, and we answer some listener mail to round out a really fun episode of the podcast. 

Enjoy!

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #268







The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapmanis a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.