Episode Archives

State Of The Geek Garage Union

What is up, my fellow nerds? I hope all of you have been well! I wanted to take a quick minute to throw a few things out there, and catch y’all up on the most recent developments.

First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude to all the amazing folks over at AkaiCon for making it an amazing experience for the podcast. I personally (along with the other guys at Two Player Media) have been attending AkaiCon for the last 4 or 5 years now, but this was the first time that I got to go and set up a booth in the Vendor/Artist Alley! If you by chance are reading this, and you took the time to stop by and talk to us, I want to thank you sincerely, because it means the absolute world to me! It is true that we weren’t as prepared for the convention as we could have been, but it was for sure a learning experience. It only gave us fuel (and ideas) for what to do next time. So we’ll definitely be back July 2020, and we’re also hoping to attend a few other cons between now and then. Right now, the ones we have our eyes on are GalaxyCon 2019 in Louisville, KY, ConNooga 2020 in Chattanooga, TN, and of course the one and only MTAC 2020 in Nashville, TN. We, of course, will keep you updated as to which conventions we will be attending, so that you can stop by and see us if you also plan on attending.

Now, to talk about the elephant in the room. By now, it’s pretty obvious that the podcast has been on a bit of a hiatus recently. A while back, I posted on social media about how my family and I were in the process of moving, so we wouldn’t really have a recording setup for a few weeks. Well…it’s clearly been more than a few weeks now, so you are probably like “WTF, David? What happened to your promise of new episodes on a consistent basis?” This is why I’m taking a few minutes to catch up all of our loyal listeners with the recent goings-on.

My wife Lindsay and I were supposed to close on our house in Murfreesboro, TN, on July 19th, but we found out last-minute that it was having to be pushed back. I will spare you the boring details, but the short of it is we had to go with a new loan company. Our goal *crosses fingers* is to be closing by next Friday, August 9th. Whether that will actually happen or not, remains to be seen. But as I said, we are hopeful.

So why am I telling you all this? What does this have to do with the podcast, or geek media in general? Truth is, it doesn’t. At least not directly. I’m only filling you in, so that perhaps you will take mercy on me and the podcast. The duty of manning the podcast, keeping it afloat, and producing quality content on a consistent basis is not something I take lightly. Recording new episodes of the main show, the Goes To The Movies side show, writing articles, and posting on social media are things that I absolutely LOVE doing, and take pride in. But all of those things are difficult to do, while living with your wife and children in your in-laws’ basement, with zero space to call your own.

As I said, I will continue to keep all of you up-to-date with the recent developments on my side of things. Not because I think my life is amazing, and that you all are just at the edge of your seat waiting for my latest life news. I want to keep y’all updated, because the sooner we get moved into our new house, the sooner things get back to normal, and I can get back to recording amazing podcast episodes on a regular basis!

Once again, I simply cannot express my gratitude enough for your continued support throughout this whole process, and of course just in general. You guys absolutely rock! So make sure you keep an eye out on all the social medias for the latest developments and all that.

And remember: Be kind, stay geeky, and eat lots of cheesecake.

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Review | Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home was released in theaters this past week, and so far it has been pretty well-received. Film critics and moviegoers alike have been praising the film regarding everything from its originality and ability to be a stand-alone Spidey flick, to the more-than-decent job it did at playing “cleanup” after we had our hearts torn open (again) from Avengers: Endgame. Currently, it’s sitting at a comfortable 96% fan rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and for the most part I personally agree with the overall consensus.

Also, I should say right now, SPOILERS AHEAD!

Honestly, when I walked out of the theater when the movie was over, I didn’t feel the excitement or joy that I typically feel after seeing an MCU film (especially Spider-Man). I didn’t hate it or dislike it, but I didn’t love it either. I feel like a lot of the reason I had a difficult time attaching myself emotionally to Far From Home was simply due to being a little burned out on the MCU. With Endgame just hitting so many good beats, it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that there was still one more film before the curtains close on Phase 3. However, after giving the film a few days to marinate, I’m beginning to like it more and more. So, let’s dive into a few of the film’s aspects that I thought worked well.

Playing “Cleanup” After Avengers: Endgame

It’s an incredibly tough gig for any MCU film to follow up an Avengers film, and obviously Endgame is no exception. Not only did Far From Home have to deal with the fallout and life-after-death regarding Steve, Tony, Natasha, and Vision, but it had to address one of the fattest elephants in the room: Why the fuck are Ned and Peter still in high school!?!?!?

The whole “How do they handle life after being brought back from being dusted” was maybe one of the biggest questions we as fans were left with after Endgame. We pretty much all assumed that they would use Far From Home as an opportunity to explain the logistics of everything, but it was simply a matter of “how”. I personally had an inkling that they would take the quick and dirty approach (as they did), mostly because of how they handled a certain event that took place in Spider-Man: Homecoming. If you recall the trailer, you see a bored Peter Parker in class, obviously distracted by a video on his phone, which captured the events at the airport in Civil War. The big question here was “Who TF took that video?!” To some folks, it was pretty obvious that Peter set it up, being a photographer himself. And this of course turned out to be true, and was addressed almost immediately within the first 5-10 minutes of the film. The same happened with FFH: Within the first few minutes, we learn that they now refer to the incident of half the population being dusted, then reappearing again, as “The Blip”. I was a little perplexed by how the events of “The Blip” weren’t discussed more than they were during the film, but I wasn’t too worried about that. One thing I’ve really liked about this latest incarnation of Spider-Man is it’s ability and courage to skip over unnecessary details, and trim the fat when needed. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could handle watching uncle Ben die AGAIN.

The Action Sequences and CG

The second thing(s) I really enjoyed about FFH were all the action scenes, and the cool CG. The MCU’s tendency to overuse campy CG and green screen effects was really starting to bother me. It was getting to a point where it was taking me out of the movie, because I could just tell so easily they were on a soundstage, and not an actual location. This is something I feel FFH improves upon. Even though it uses its fair share of of CG, it’s really good in places where it is utilized. Possibly one of my favorite moments though, when it came to CG, was the scene where Peter starts designing his new suit, using the “Iron-Man-like” tools that we’ve all come to know and love. What was so great about that scene is that, not only did it look super cool, but it was a confirmation to viewers that Peter decided to step up. Not in an attempt to replace Iron Man, but to be a small part of the continuation of Stark’s legacy AS WELL AS your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Now, on to the action. I personally felt like there were a few callbacks to the PS4 Spider-Man game, especially when it came to the action sequences, and the final battle was no exception. These were a lot of fun to watch, coming from a huge fan of the video game. And of course, there were several mentions of his “Peter Tingle” throughout the movie, so when Peter finally gets his groove back and takes out all those Stark drones, it was nothing short of epic.

Of course I wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t criticise the film at least a little bit. So if you didn’t find any faults in the film, maybe just skip this part.

Maybe the biggest issue I had with it was that it was missing a lot of what made the first film so great. Homecoming had a lot going for it: it was the first solo outing for our newest incarnation of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. It had a lot of charm, especially when it came to getting to know Peter’s character. However, I think the biggest gap between Homecoming and FFH has to do with each film’s respective villains. Jake Gyllenhall did a wonderful job as Quentin Beck/Mysterio, and I do not feel in any form or fashion he half-assed his performance. But damn, following Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Vulture is certainly a tough gig. Let’s just say that it’s going to be a while before I can get the scene out of my head where Keaton looks at Holland through the rear-view mirror, and says “Good ole Spider-Man!”. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

Additionally, the whole “Quentin turning out to be a bad guy because he hated Tony Stark” thing felt a little…lazy. On one hand, it was definitely neat to see the film’s writers weave into the storyline some of the old characters, as well as the Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing (or B.A.R.F.) system from Captain America: Civil War. But on the other hand, the whole thing kind of felt cheap and second-hand. We as MCU fans have experienced this thing before, where we get our bad guys from a collection of people that Tony Stark wronged once upon a time, several hundred years ago. I was never a huge comic book reader, but from what I’ve heard Mysterio’s MO is not too far off in the film from what actually occurs in the comics. In a nutshell, Mysterio loves to make himself look like the good guy, and Spider-Man look like garbage. Naturally, I understand why the writers would gravitate towards making Quentin a vengeful ex-Stark Industries employee, especially given the timing of the film. But as I said earlier, it just felt a little overused and tired.

Well, there you have it. My amazing review of Spider-Man: Far From Home; the review you didn’t ask for, nor wanted. Please don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. And remember: Be kind, stay geeky, and eat lots of cheesecake!

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Geek For Your Week | July 8, 2019

What is up, my fellow geeks? Welcome to the first week of “Geek For Your Week”! This is a brand-new weekly segment, where we discuss the happenings in the geek-media-related world during the week prior to the segment’s release. For the first couple of weeks, we’ll be releasing blog-style updates (like this one). Eventually, we’ll be moving to a recorded and live-stream version of the weekly segment. We thought it would be fun to live-stream, and get some viewer/listener participation. So if you happen to come across something in geek-media news that we should discuss during our weekly segment, please feel free to holler at us on social media, or during the live-stream!

Now, on with week 1!

The Little Mermaid Live-Action Remake

Image result for halle bailey ariel
Photo courtesy of IndieWire

Arguably the biggest in geek-media news last week was the announcement of actress Halle Bailey, slated to portray Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Now, before I get into my personal thoughts and feelings regarding this decision, and the film as a whole, let’s take two seconds to discuss the elephant in the room. Yes, there are in fact big, fat, entitled a-holes out there that believe that, scientifically, mermaids cannot be black, nor does Ariel have the right to be anything but white. Honestly, I didn’t even want to address this “issue”, because I firmly believe that talking about these people only gratifies them even further, and gives them an undeserved platform to make their silly-ass argument. But I do feel like I have to throw my two cents in: My official stance is that those people can go fuck themselves. Caucasian princesses have completely dominated the Disney canon basically since Disney was a thing. So if having a black mermaid-princess is rocking your world right now, please take a chill pill. Trust me, it’s going to be ok. Oh, and mermaid science isn’t a thing. Also, Ariel totally had a family member or friend that was black. So suck it.

Moving on…

Personally, I don’t have any issue with Disney’s choice of Halle Bailey as the new Ariel (if you couldn’t tell already from my remarks above). I am not familiar with any of her work, but I am sure she will do a fine job in her portrayal. What I do take issue with, however, is the laziness on Disney’s part, and their quest to do live-action adaptations for EVERY. SINGLE. ANIMATED. FILM. EVER. I know it can’t be that difficult to get a couple writers together, and come up with a script at least a little bit original. There’s absolutely no excuse why a company of that size, with the financial resources they have, cannot produce something that’s not a spin-off, sequel, reboot, or live-action remake.

*SIGH* I suppose that’s Hollywood for ya.

Mulan Trailer

I know, I know. Right after I went off about Disney’s never-ending mission to force us to relive our childhood through shitty remakes, I talk about the Mulan live-action trailer. Well, guess what? This is Mulan, and Mulan is fucking boss. End of story. I am so pumped for this, it’s not even funny. As I said, I know this almost completely negates my argument of there being too many remakes, but whatever.

You’ve probably already seen the trailer by now, but here, watch it again:


Stranger Things, Season 3

Image result for stranger things season 3
Photo courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock

We’ve all been waiting for like 5 years for the 3rd season of Stranger Things to be released on Netflix. And this past week, on July 4th, our wait finally came to an end…for like a few days (for those of us that binge-watched the whole season immediately).

Also, SPOILER ALERT!!!

Overall, I am quite happy with season 3. I’m glad they decided to branch out, and do some experimenting, so the show continues to push the boundaries of…whatever you classify Stranger Things as. A horror/sci-fi/thriller/80s throw-back TV show?

Anyways, the show did a great job of holding onto the things that make it so great, but without being afraid to branch out a bit. From the very beginning, the banter between characters has been one of my favorite elements. When season one aired, the majority of the fun back-and-forth conversation took place between Dustin, Mike, and Lucas (and Will, considering his short on-screen time). But over the last two seasons, it has spread like wildfire to other characters like Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, Max, and of course El. The show is definitely beginning to hit its stride now, in terms of character development and interaction.

Another thing that has grown substantially, much to my pleasure, are the horror elements of show. With season 2, I wasn’t let down per se with the direction they went with in terms of horror, and specifically the Demo-Dogs and the Cloud-Based Mind Flayer (not the technical name, but you get it). But let’s just say it didn’t really satisfy the incredibly demented side of me, that needs to see sick shit. However, season 3 definitely upped the ante. There were TONS of oopy-goopy grossness to be seen (see exploding rats, and people turning into slime), which was a lot of fun to experience. But I think the two major MVPs in the horror department should go to Billy and the Mind Flayer. I suppose they could be considered one? Either way, both were fantastic. Dacre Montgomery (Billy) was absolutely insane in this season, and really showcased his abilities to be maniacal, sadistic, and horrific. And as I said, the Mind Flayer was pretty goddamned terrifying, with that CG being on point. I was quite curious as to what the “creature” was going to be this season, because as I stated earlier, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Demo-Dogs from season two, or the shadowy Mind-Flayer (although the football field scene was pretty fucking dope). However, I was super pumped to see that they found a way to revive the Flayer, but in a 100% physical form that everyone in the show can experience and enjoy and shit their pants from.

I know I already spoke a bunch to the characters/actors in this season, but I want to make special mention of Maya Hawke, who plays Robin. Introducing new characters in a show with an already well-established fan base can be super risky. When done not-so-great, they can seem tacked-on, forced, or just have that “added at the last minute” feel. But none of these cases pertain to Robin. One second, she’s a Russian-language-code-hacking badass, and the next she’s spilling her heart out to Steve, via some incredibly potent truth serum/psychedelic hybrid. I am completely baffled as to how well the Duffer Brothers were able to round out her character in just the one season. Another thing I was a little concerned about was the writers relying too much on Eleven and the other kids for the dramatic, poignant moments, as per usual. And don’t get me wrong, the kids always do a fantastic job with their dramatic acting, but one can only deal with so much drama. So it was nice to get a breath of fresh air, via Robin and her eccentric, well-rounded character.

There’s WAY too much that I can say about this season of Stranger Things, but for the sake of brevity, I shall end it here. There’s a distinct possibility that a podcast episode on this season may be coming down the pike here soon, which would be a good opportunity to explore and discuss season 3 in greater detail.

Well, that about wraps up week 1 of Geek For Your Week. I know it’s a bit light, but I feel like I rambled a bit on the few topics I did discuss. If you feel like there’s anything I missed with these topics, or anything else that happened last week, please feel free to comment here or drop it in the comments section on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Thank you my nerds, and remember: Be kind, stay geeky, and eat lots of cheesecake.

FEATURED

GG Goes To The Movies: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

We teased toward the end of our previous “Goes To The Movies” episode that we would be covering Tarantino’s 9th film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. And we have delivered!

Since the film has been out for several weeks now, the majority of what can be said about it has probably already been said. However, we did our best to come up with some relatively unique talking points, criticisms, etc.

The main takeaway here is that we both really enjoyed this movie, and we hope you do to. If you haven’t seen it yet, and have any interest in seeing it, here are a few disclaimers: 1) The episode is SPOILER HEAVY, so please proceed with caution; 2) If you enjoyed Tarantino’s earlier works such as Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction, you will for sure get a kick out of OUATIH.

Please let us know what you think of the podcast by leaving us a rating a review, wherever you listen to your podcasts. It helps us out tremendously when our listeners leave us reviews, because apps like Apple & Google Podcasts will place us higher in their algorithm, making it easier for new listeners to find us!

The main Geek Garage show will DEFINITELY be back this week. I know that I’ve said this before, and do I apologize, but I promise it’s for real this time!

Memento Movies

Movies are art. Even movies that I hate, from genres that I find useless – I can admit it, and include them. Art is subjective, after all, and you should not dismiss things outright.[1]We all have our tastes and preferences when it comes to everything, and art is of course no exception. There are films and genres for everyone.

You like flying people in tights who punch other people in tights? Covered. Maybe you prefer quiet romantic films that express a deeper yearning, and question why humans are weighted down with the ability to feel these things? It’s out there. Maybe you just like to watch Keanu Reeves be the greatest human being alive.[2]I am one of those people. Luckily, we have that, too.

The act of liking a specific genre of films isn’t bad, in and of itself.[3] It only becomes a problem when you limit yourself to watching only that particular sort of film. If box office numbers, streaming algorithms, and the Twitter are to be believed, a lot of people limit themselves. Here’s the thing with that, too much of a good thing is, actually[4], not good.[5]

If you limit yourself to one genre or one type of movie, you also limit yourself to experiencing other things and branching out. You set yourself up to only be able to connect to and participate in that experience to which you have limited yourself.

Art is designed with the purpose to make you feel, to make you think, and to provoke – limiting yourself defeats all that. Be daring with your choices. Watch something out of your comfort zone, within reason. I would advise against seeking out something you think/know will seriously upset you. There is nothing wrong with challenging yourself – it’s encouraged! – but don’t feel like you should harm yourself by watching something traumatizing.[6]

Make no mistake, though – you also don’t have to feel obligated to like everything you watch.[7]I have watched a number of the MCU movies, for example. I could not tell you which ones because they all sort of ran together, but I’ll focus on Avengers: Endgame.[8]This movie was popular, and well liked.[9]Comparatively speaking, I didn’t really have a desire to see it; at least, not in the way I have a desire to watch, say, every movie John Woo has ever or will ever be even tangentially involved in.[10]

But, in some ways, I felt obligated to watch it. I’m a nerd. I’m on a podcast called “Geek Garage… Goes to the Movies.” It’s the largest property ever in geek and/or film media. I need to see it, if only because of those reasons. Parts of it I enjoyed.[11] Parts of it made me want to roll my eyes so hard they fell out of my head.[12] Overall, it was… fine. Not great, not terrible. I could see why it was so popular: it was easily digestible and played the hits. It’s fine to like movies like that, and the MCU films are decidedly not the only examples I could have used. The issue is, again, if that is all you seek out it’s all you engage with.[13] Challenge yourself. Watch something out of your comfort zone. Be daring. Listen to your records backwards and try to summon a lesser demon.[14] In short, live a little.

And of course, as always, watch more movies. Because movies make life better.


[1]There are certain exceptions to this rule that prove worthy of derision. Examples of things you can fairly, safely, and understandably dismiss include, but are not limited to: Suicide Squad (D. Ayer, 2016), a solid 70% of movies starring The Rock, and the oeuvre of Joss Whedon. 

[2]I am talking, of course, about Point Break. However, you really can’t go wrong with his filmography. He is a saint that we do not deserve. He also may be immortal. Jury’s still out.

[3] There are exceptions to this, too. For example, liking the movies I named above is bad and you should feel bad for doing it. But also, if you are watching actual propaganda, you probably suck.

[4]https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/021/665/DpQ9YJl.png

[5]With all respect to Mr. Barry White, who tried to argue against this theory by proposing that he could not get enough of his lover’s, well, love. That may be one of those notable, “proving the rule” exceptions. Hard to say. 

[6]Like Suicide Squad

[7]Although if you watch Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) or Chung-King Express (1994) and say you don’t like either of them, you are wrong.

[8] Episode #31 of Geek Garage covers this, but we don’t talk about that episode. It’s basically the Titanic disaster of the podcast medium. It is our The Room, but without the charm or accidental comedy.  

[9]Shockingly, almost offensively understated I know. 

[10]Listen to Geek Garage… Goes to the Movies episode “John Woo-mp There It Is” for my takes on The Killer (1989) and Hard-Boiled(1992). Spoiler alert: I like them a whole lot. 

[11] Scarlet Witch finally getting a moment to show that, canonically, she is one of the strongest characters. Like, look, in House of M she literally rewrites the human genome so that mutants don’t exist. That is hard AF.

[12] No Adam Warlock, no care. There are no real stakes. Forcing in dumb, unfunny quips every thirty seconds – I’m looking at you in particular “America’s Ass.” I could go on, but you get it.

[13] It’s also makes you boring and safe, which are both just dreadful things to be.

[14]Don’t actually do this, duh. The real action is with the Great Old Ones; everybody knows that.

GG Goes To The Movies: Midsommar & The Art of Self-Defense

Aaaaand we’re back! Thank you so much to all of you amazing, loyal listeners for hanging on with us during our temporary hiatus. Words simply cannot express how grateful we are for your continued support, especially through trying times!

For our first episode back (and very first episode recorded in the new studio!), Ted and I discuss two summer films that we really enjoyed.

Midsommar, the sophomore effort by Ari Aster (Hereditary, 2018), is a psychotropic-induced fever dream (or nightmare) that explores unconventional ways of making audiences extremely uncomfortable. Ted and I discuss just that, along with some of the cinematography choices, the actors’ performances, and how we’re both officially scared shitless of traveling to Sweden. If you were a fan of Hereditary, you will most likely enjoy Aster’s follow-up film!

The Art of Self-Defense, directed by Riley Stearns, brings new meaning to the Dark/Black Comedy genre. We talked about how Jesse Eisenberg was born to play this role, of a socially awkward geek-type who learns to stick up for himself, by enrolling in Karate lessons. There wasn’t much that we didn’t like/love about this film. It came out of nowhere, and totally blew us away. If you are a fan of dark comedies (such as Death to Smoochy, Seven Psychopaths, and Burn After Reading), then you will most likely get a kick out of this film.

We will be back VERY soon with our next episode of “Goes To The Movies”, where we talk about Tarantino’s 9th film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood! Additionally, the Geek Garage main show will also be back soon, with our brand-new segment titled “Geek For Your Week”, so stay tuned!

GG Goes To The Movies: Booksmart & Anna

Booksmart is the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde, and Anna is the latest effort by the one and only Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita, Lucy). This week on “Geek Garage Goes To The Movies”, Ted and David discuss their thoughts and feelings on both films.

Please subscribe to The Geek Garage on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. Also, make sure to subscribe to our brand new YouTube channel, and like/follow us on all social media!

GG Goes To The Movies: John Woo-mp There It Is

This week, Ted is flying solo yet again. But, there is a silver lining to every cloud, and he is back to cover two more movies he loves: The Killer and Hard Boiled, both by legendary director John Woo. As always, spoilers abound, so stop and check these out before listening to the podcast.

Be sure to like, subscribe, and review the podcast. Follow us on IG, Twitter, Facebook, etc, and listen on your preferred streaming platform. We’re probably on it, and if not we want to be!

GG Goes To The Movies: More “Arthouse” Than “Grindhouse”

On this week’s episode, Ted is flying solo and discussing a couple of movies that are a little more arthouse than grindhouse: Mandy and Under the Skin. As always, spoilers for the movies discussed.

Be sure to like, subscribe, and review the podcast. Follow us on IG, Twitter, Facebook, etc, and listen on your preferred streaming platform. We’re probably on it, and if not we want to be!

GG Goes To The Movies: Godzilla King of The Monsters

RAWR! For our third episode of “Goes To The Movies”, Ted and I chat about the latest film in the ever-expanding “Monster” universe with Godzilla: King of The Monsters. This film is definitely not without its faults, which we definitely discuss to an extent. However, this movie is overall a LOT of fun, and would definitely recommend, especially if you’re a long-time Godzilla fan!

Don’t forget to Like and Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as subscribe to the podcast on your favorite streaming platform!