Monday, December 30, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #311 – The Best Films of the Decade, 2010-2019


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

For our final show of 2019, we’re kicking off a three-part podcast series celebrating the best of the decade, starting today with the Best Films of the 2010s. Jonathan’s been a working film critic and film academic for most of the past ten years, and while Sean’s been to the movies less frequently this decade, 10 years is still plenty of time to see some truly great films. So today, we’re counting down the best of the best – each host has a Top 10 list of the decade’s greatest films, and Jonathan also has an additional 40 (!) honorable mentions, bringing his list to a round 50. All told, we’re discussing dozens of great films today, from George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life to the Persona 3 movie series we podcasted extensively about over the years, and sending both 2019 and the decade out with a real bang. 

Enjoy, and thanks for another great year – and a great decade! – of podcasting. See you on the other side. 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #311








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.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Jonathan Lack's Top 10 Films of 2019


2019 has been one of the greatest years for film in my lifetime, and an incredible end to the decade in cinema. We’ll be talking at great length about the best films of the 2010s on this week’s Weekly Stuff Podcastwhere I’ll be presenting my Top 50 films of the Decade. But for today, I’m honing in on what a special year in film 2019 turned out to be; a year of diverse voices churning out great, challenging, and unique films around every corner; a year where well-established masters turned in astonishing visions alongside wildly talented first- or second-time directors; and a year where movies continually found incredibly deep wells of humanity as the world around us seemed increasingly devoid of it. 

My process for creating this list was not as rigorous as it’s been in the past, with no accompanying screener binge. It didn’t feel necessary, as I went to the movies a lot more in 2019 than I have in recent years, motivated in part by what a bounty of promising options were laid out before me. I didn’t see everything I wanted to – no individual can – and there are certainly a few films I never got around to (including The Lighthouse, Marriage Story, and 1917) that I feel pretty sure I would have loved. But so it goes, and the list I have before me is so strong it’s hard to feel much regret. Every one of the films in my Top 5 this year is a genuine all-timer, an instant classic I think we’ll be processing for many years to come. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a densely concentrated set of greatness on a year-end Top 10 – and the films in the ‘bottom’ 5 are, of course, no slouch. Nor are the many Honorable Mentions we’ll get to at the end, a list of 20 additional titles I loved and/or found in some way particularly compelling this year, arranged alphabetically to create an even wider picture of this great year in film. 

So without further ado, continue reading after the jump for The Top Ten Films of 2019…

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #310 – A Weekly Stuff Christmas Carol


It’s time for another Christmas 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

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and welcome to our 2nd annual Weekly Stuff Christmas Special! After we gave a live-reaction to Pok√©mon Christmas Bash, the worst Christmas album of all time, on last year’s special, we’re upping the ante this year with a live performance of the worst adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol money can buy: A ‘Christian’ Carol, an Evangelist stage play that shifts the action of Dickens’ text from Victorian London to the American Old West, transforms the central theme from learning the value of kindness and generosity to accepting Jesus Christ as one’s lord and savior, and includes the phrase “mumbo jumbo churchy talk nonsense” a staggering nine times! With Sean in the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge and Jonathan playing the surprisingly verbose narrator and the ‘Angels’ of Christmas past, present, and future, it’s an extremely silly good time as we read to you one of the few truly awful adaptations of the Charles Dickens classic. 

Enjoy, and come back next week for the start of our three-part ‘Best of the Decade’ series! 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #310








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.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #309 – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 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

Disney’s Star Wars Sequel Trilogy came to a close this week with The Rise of Skywalker, Episode IX in the long-running saga and the final adventure for characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. And it’s a pretty baffling finale too, built on a terrible script with nonsensical plotting, confusing character motivations, and a collection of the worst and stupidest twists Star Wars has ever seen. The cast is game, John Williams does his thing, and the visuals are occasionally nice, but this is bottom of the barrel for Star Wars – and, if we’re being perfectly honest, a pretty fun movie to rip into for three hours on this podcast. We discuss the film in excruciating detail, and finish out the show by chatting about episodes 6 and 7 of The Mandalorian, which were so spectacular they’re pretty much the exact qualitative polar opposite of Episode IX. 

Enjoy, and come back Wednesday for our 2nd annual Weekly Stuff Christmas Special – which will be a crazy amount of fun! 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #309








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, December 19, 2019

Weekly Suit Gundam #12 – Victory Gundam Review & Discussion


It’s time for Weekly Suit Gundam, a show exploring the world of Mobile Suit Gundam from the The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link

Our first year of Weekly Suit Gundam comes to a close as we reach the end of the Universal Century with 1993’s Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, the final full series set in the Universal Century and the last before creator Yoshiyuki Tomino took a break from the franchise and Sunrise branched out into Alternate Universe stories. Victory Gundam is famously one of the darkest installments in the series, with a large cast, a shockingly high mortality rate, and the youngest protagonist so far in 13-year-old Uso Ewin. It’s also one of Gundam’s most commonly underrated achievements, an imperfect but frequently brilliant series that contains some of the best moments, characters, action sequences, and episodes, and which lingers long after one finishes watching. We dive deep with the series, but also reflect on our first year of the Weekly Suit Gundam podcast, look towards the future, and discuss Fathom Events’ recent theatrical screening of Char’s Counterattack to celebrate Gundam’s 40th anniversary. 

Enjoy!

Stream Weekly Suit Gundam Part #12








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. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #308 – Xbox Series X Announcement & Game Awards 2019


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 Game Awards weren’t as eventful in 2019 as they have been in previous years, with the big exception of Microsoft surprising everyone with the formal unveiling of the next generation’s Xbox…and its terrible, horrible, no good very bad name: the Xbox Series X. There’s a lot of promising stuff to be excited for in Microsoft’s new system, but that name is a breathtaking stinker somehow even more confusing than the third Xbox being called the Xbox One, and we have…thoughts. The awards themselves are also discussed, along with trailers for Hellblade II, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Bravely Default II, and we make fun of a very bad looking Fast & Furious game. 

Enjoy, and come back Thursday for the next episode of Weekly Suit Gundam, where we’ll be talking all about 1993’s Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #308








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.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #307 – Death Stranding, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Xbox News, and 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

We’ve got two big video reviews for you this week, as Sean tells us all about the wacky world of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, and Jonathan gives final thoughts on Pokemon Sword & Shield. One of these games is very straightforward to discuss, and one is more…um, confusing, but both are well worth your attention, and they were a lot of fun to talk about. We also talk about our respective Thanksgivings and go over some Black Friday purchases, including Jonathan’s shiny new Xbox One SAD edition, before diving into some news, including reports about Microsoft’s plan for the next-generation Xbox and Disney’s refusal to let Star Wars characters be gay. And at the end, we discuss episodes 4 and 5 of The Mandalorian, which continue the show’s hot streak. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:02:10
Stuff: 0:02:10 – 0:42:10
News: 0:42:10 – 1:23:50
Pokemon Sword & Shield: 1:23:50 – 1:43:34
Death Stranding: 1:43:34 – 2:36:00
The Mandalorian: 2:36:00 – 2:53:33 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #307








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.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #306 – Reviewing The Mandalorian & Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order


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 a Star Wars heavy show this week, as we discuss the first three episodes of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and give final thoughts on the video game Jedi Fallen Order, following up on our initial discussion last week. These are both excellent pieces of Star Wars media, effectively doing things we haven’t seen from the franchise before, and combined, they have us more enthusiastic about the state of Star Wars than at any point this decade. We also talk about the surprising announcement of a new Half-Life VR game, and do a live review of the 8bitdo ‘Lite’ gamepad, which is easily the weirdest controller either of us have ever used. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:05:40
8bitdo Lite Controller Review: 0:05:40 – 0:16:17
Half-Life Alyx Announcement: 0:16:17 – 0:32:33
Jedi Fallen Order: 0:32:33 – 1:08:25
The Mandalorian: 1:08:25 – 1:37:03

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #306







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.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #305 – Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Disney+, Xbox News, Movie Reviews, Streaming Trivia, and 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 one of the busiest, most jam-packed podcasts we’ve ever recorded, we give first impressions of the week’s two major video game releases, Pokemon Sword & Shield for Nintendo Switch and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for the PS4. Star Wars in particular is an incredibly surprising, exciting game, and gives us a lot to talk about without ever touching on any spoilers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jonathan also reviews a slew of November movies – Jojo Rabbit, Doctor Sleep, Ford v Ferrari and Parasite – Sean gushes over Criterion’s Godzilla collection, we discuss Sonic the Hedgehog’s Hollywood makeover, cover all the news out of Microsoft’s X019 event, talk about the future of Bioware’s Anthem, discuss the launch of Disney+, and to cap it all off, play a very silly trivia game about the ridiculous nature of the streaming video landscape. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:07:15
Stuff: 0:07:15 – 0:23:57
Jonathan’s Movie Reviews: 0:23:57 – 0:42:23
Movie News: 0:42:23 – 1:15:37
Gaming News: 1:15:37 – 1:57:13
Pokemon: 1:57:13 – 2:11:18
Jedi Fallen Order: 2:11:18 – 3:01:05
Disney+: 3:01:05 – 3:10:20
Streaming Service Trivia Game: 3:10:20 – 3:26:57

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #305








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.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #304 – Blizzard Announcements, Criterion Recommendations, Star Wars News, and the Long, Sad Story of the Demon Couch From Hell


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. 

Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon event took place this week amidst a storm of political controversy, but the two major announcements the company showed off were incredible, with both Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 delivering jaw-dropping cinematic short films and impressive gameplay reels. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this week’s podcast, though, as we also hear first impressions from Sean on Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds, talk about the latest in a long line of unqualified white guys to be fired from Star Wars, discuss the Game of Thrones spin-off news, and some interesting sales figures for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. We also preview Criterion’s incredible Godzilla box set and, in honor of the November Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble, Jonathan, a Criterion Collection obsessive, gives 15 recommendations for releases worth buying this month. And we cap it all off with a bit of story time, as Jonathan regales us with the long, sad, winding saga of the Demon Couch from Hell. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:04:05
Sean talks Outer Worlds: 0:04:05 – 0:11:49 
Godzilla Box Set & Criterion Recommendations: 0:11:49 – 0:38:18
Star Wars Ideas & News: 0:38:18 – 1:04:22
Other News: 1:04:22 – 1:24:25 
Blizzard News: 1:24:25 – 1:49:25
The Demon Couch: 1:49:25 – 2:06:49

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #304








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 31, 2019

Weekly Suit Gundam #11 – Gundam F91 Review & Discussion


It’s time for Weekly Suit Gundam, a show exploring the world of Mobile Suit Gundam from the The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link

Our journey through Universal Century Gundam continues with one of the strangest and most rewarding corners of the franchise, the 1991 theatrical feature Mobile Suit Gundam F91. Written and Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and reuniting him with Gundam’s original character designer, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and original mecha designer, Kunio Okawara, Gundam F91 was the first attempt to move beyond the original Universal Century saga that had reached its culmination in Char’s Counterattack. Set 30 years later, with an all-new cast of heroes and antagonists, F91 was originally intended to be a full 50-episode TV series, before plans fell through and Tomino and company were left scrambling to fit their story into a 2-hour feature. The result is, indeed, a mess, albeit a fascinating one, filled with some of the richest and most affecting material the franchise has ever conjured, brought to life with some of the best animation ever committed to film. There’s no doubt it’s an oddity and outlier in the history of Gundam, but it’s also essential viewing for fans of the series – and it leads to one of our most enjoyable conversations so far. 

Enjoy!

Stream Weekly Suit Gundam Part #11








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.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Weekly Stuff #303 – Modern Warfare, Witcher 3 on Switch, Star Wars IX Trailer and 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 a packed grab-bag episode this week, as Sean talks about playing the campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and finishing Devil May Cry 5, Jonathan waxes poetic about his rediscovered love for The Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch, and we discuss a bunch of news, from delays for The Last of Us Part II and Watch Dogs Legion, new casting for the upcoming Batman movie, the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and a hilariously tone-deaf interview with the incompetent creators of Game of Thrones. We also figure out the exact circumstances that would cause the two of us to end this podcast and never speak again, and in a moment of Star-Wars-related ennui, Jonathan almost walks off the podcast forever. It’s a crazy one. 

WARNING: This episode contains potential SPOILERS for STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, based on internet leaks about the film. This discussion takes place between 1:05:03 and 1:09:36. Please skip if you do not want to hear any possible leaked information about the film. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:04:10
Devil May Cry 5: 0:04:10 – 0:08:09
Witcher 3 on Switch: 0:08:09 – 0:34:25
Modern Warfare: 0:34:25 – 0:52:16
Star Wars News: 0:52:16 – 1:05:03
**POSSIBLE STAR WARS SPOILERS**: 1:05:03 – 1:09:36
More News: 1:09:36 – 1:44:05

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #303








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.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #302 – El Camino, PS5 News, Gemini Man and 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

Breaking Bad returned this week with the all-new sequel movie, El Camino, written and directed by Vince Gilligan and starring Aaron Paul, proving itself a pretty fantastic opportunity to dive back into seemingly well-explored territory. We talk about the movie at length (with spoilers reserved for our big segment at the end), but before that, there’s also a bevy of news to go over, including the surprise delay of Doom Eternal, Sony’s low-key announcement of the PlayStation 5, and Blizzard getting itself into hot water with its response to a Heartstone player’s pro-Hong Kong freedom remarks. Jonathan talks about seeing Ang Lee’s Gemini Man in 60 frames-per-second 3D, Sean talks about finally getting around to Devil May Cry 5, and we both make a lot of fun of the new Dolittle trailer starring Robert Downey Jr. and some strikingly awful CGI. 

Enjoy! 

Time Chart:

Intro: 0:00:00 – 0:03:24
Stuff, including Gemini Man and Devil May Cry 5: 0:03:24 – 0:28:15
News: 0:28:15 – 1:36:27
El Camino Review: 1:36:27 – 2:35:16 

Stream The Weekly Stuff Podcast Episode #302








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.