Monday, November 20, 2017

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #215 - Justice League, Star Wars Battlefront II Debacle, and Remembering Hiromi Tsuru


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.

The headline topic this week is DC’s disastrously boring Justice League movie, an incomprehensible, empty shell of a movie we spend over an hour of today’s show discussing in spoiler-rich detail. Suffice it to say, the film feels like the nail in the coffin for DC’s ‘shared universe’ film plans, which we’ve been covering on the show for years. But we also discuss two of the week’s big game releases – Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch and Pokemon Ultra Sun for the 3DS – and cover some major news items, including the ongoing debacle over EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II lootbox controversy, and the passing of beloved Japanese voice actress Hiromi Tsuru, who voiced Bulma in Dragon Ball for over 30 years.

Enjoy!

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:02:58
Stuff, including Skyrim on Switch and Pokemon Ultra Sun: 0:02:58 – 0:19:28
News, including Hiromi Tsuru and Star Wars Battlefront II: 0:19:28 – 0:59:22
Justice League Review: 0:59:22 – 2:19:06

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #215








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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #214 – Thor Ragnarok, Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein II, Sonic Forces & More


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 the second episode of the week, we offer a slate of reviews for recent games, giving final thoughts on Wolfenstein II and Super Mario Odyssey, while Sean waxes poetic about the magic of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone on the PS4 and Jonathan discusses the hollow shell of Sonic Forces. But for the main event, we dive into Thor Ragnarok, one of the very best Marvel films to date, devoting a full hour to discussing all the wonderful characters, colorful visuals, and surprisingly poignant themes of this excellent superhero adventure.

Enjoy!

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:01:35
Stuff: 0:01:35 – 0:14:05
Wolfenstein II: 0:14:05 – 0:21:12
Super Mario Odyssey: 0:21:12 – 0:26:48
Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone: 0:26:48 – 0:41:35
Sonic Forces: 0:41:35 – 0:56:28
Thor Ragnarok: 0:56:28 – 2:05:23

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #214








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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #213 – Industry Harassment, News Round-up, 13th Doctor Costume & More


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.

It’s the first episode of a two-podcast week, as some unforeseen craziness in Sean’s life left us taking last week off. So we’ve split this week’s topics into two episodes. First, in today’s podcast, we cover two weeks’ worth of news, from PlayStation’s big event in Paris, to Universal bailing on their Dark Universe after just one movie, to Amazon potentially making a Lord of the Rings series, to Doctor Who revealing Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor costume. But we also spend the first hour diving deep into the flood of sexual harassment and assault allegations that have consumed the entertainment, media, and political spheres these past few weeks, listing every story we could find, and striving to comprehend what this moment means for our culture and society going forward.

Enjoy, and join us again Thursday for our second show of the week, where we’ll review Thor Ragnarok, give more thoughts on Super Mario Odyssey and Wolfenstein II, review Sonic Forces, and more!

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:06:35
Industry Harassment: 0:06:35 – 0:52:43
Gaming News: 0:52:43 – 1:18:46
Movie News: 1:18:46 – 1:34:22
TV News: 1:34:22 – 1:45:18
13th Doctor Costume Reveal: 1:45:18 – 1:51:26

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #213








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.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ranking the Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - 2017 Edition


With the release of Thor: Ragnarok this past weekend, Marvel has closed the book on what is perhaps their best year of releases to date, as ‘Phase Three’ of the company’s aggressive release schedule has proved to be the studio’s most creatively fertile period. We’re 17 films deep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and far from being burned out on these films, I find I’m enjoying them more than ever, the films becoming funnier, deeper, and more visually inventive with each passing year.

In May of 2016, just as this third phase was about to begin, I published a list ranking what were then the 12 films of the MCU. Now, a year and a half later, and with some of the company’s best films having debuted in the intervening months, I wanted to update those rankings and add thoughts on the five films that have come out since. I’ve written entries on each of those movies, adjusted the rankings accordingly, and edited the original text to better reflect my current thoughts. I have also included links to either my original written reviews of each of the movies or to the Weekly Stuff Podcast episodes where Sean Chapman and I discussed, so you may see how my thoughts have evolved over time.

So without further ado, continue reading after the jump to see my updated rankings on the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe…

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #212 – Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein II, Doctor Who News & More!


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.

This week saw some of the biggest video game releases of the year, and we review two of them on today’s show, with Jonathan diving into the wonders of Super Mario Odyssey and Sean throwing hatchets at Nazi heads with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Both reviews are more or less spoiler-free, unless you want to go in completely cold. Before those big topics, though, we also cover a week’s worth of news, including a big cast announcement for the next season of Doctor Who, a bizarre Sonic Forces demo, and a follow-up to our thoughts on last week’s news about Visceral and EA.

Enjoy!

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:04:28
Stuff: 0:04:28 – 0:16:40
News: 0:16:40 – 0:57:35
Wolfenstein II: 0:57:35 – 1:32:53
Super Mario Odyssey: 1:32:53 – 2:22:53

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #212








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.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Super Mario Games


Super Mario Odyssey launches tomorrow on the Nintendo Switch, the culmination, for me, of one of gaming’s all-time most remarkable years, with killer entries in many (if not most!) of my favorite franchises (Zelda, Persona, Metroid, Sonic, Fire Emblem, Uncharted, etc.). And yet, despite the incredible line-up 2017 has offered, I don’t know if I’ve been as purely excited for any one title as I have been for Mario Odyssey, and the reason is simple: If forced to choose, the Super Mario games comprise my favorite series of titles in the history of gaming.

I’m sure that true for many of us, of course. There probably wouldn’t be video games, at least in the form we enjoy them now, if it weren’t for Shigeru Miyamoto’s plucky Italian plumber hero, and the catalogue of titles Mario has built since 1985 is almost certainly the most staggering resume in video game history. Time and again, Mario has pushed forward and reinvented himself, rarely sticking with one set of ideas for too long, always innovating into new and exciting territory. If a game has Super Mario in the title, it is probably a great one, and if it isn’t, then it will almost certainly be an interesting experiment or reasonably fun time. We call Mario games ‘platformers,’ because it is the broadly-defined genre into which they most neatly fit, but over the last 30+ years, Mario has advanced so much that it feels like that one simple label is woefully non-descriptive of all the wonders these games contain.

So today, in anticipation of Mario’s next great adventure, I’m ranking my Top 10 Favorite Super Mario games, ranked with a mixture of critical appreciation and nostalgia. I’m including mainline Super Mario games, 2D and 3D, on handheld and on console (Super Mario Odyssey is, after all, finally obliterating that distinction on the Switch). I am not including spin-off titles in the series, even if the original releases of Yoshi’s Island and Wario Land had Mario in the name. Both of these examples would rank quite highly for me, but they’d also distract from the purpose of the list, which is to celebrate Mario’s finest hours as leading man.

So without any further ado, join me after the jump to count down my Top 10 Favorite Super Mario games…

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #211 – Fire Emblem Warriors, Nioh, and EA Closing Visceral


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 have two game reviews and a big piece of gaming news on this week’s show, as we await a flood of film and game releases over the next few weeks. First, we talk a silly Star Wars title reveal and an amazing second trailer for Black Panther, before diving into EA’s closure of Visceral and the ‘redevelopment’ of their long-in-the-making Star Wars game, all of which is perhaps one of the most surprising industry developments in years. And for our reviews, Jonathan talks this week’s Fire Emblem Warriors for the Nintendo Switch, while Sean takes a belated look at the samurai action game Nioh on the PS4. Both are excellent games well worth your time.

Enjoy, and come back Wednesday for our third monthly classic Doctor Who bonus podcast, on the Third Doctor story “The Daemons.”

Time Chart:
Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:02:25
Stuff (mostly Doctor Who rambles): 0:02:25 – 0:13:55
News, including EA closing Visceral: 0:13:55 – 0:56:25
Fire Emblem Warriors: 0:56:25 – 1:27:25
Nioh: 1:27:25 – 2:01:24

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #211









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.