Blog Archives

A ‘Blockbuster’ Podcast Is Playing on a Streaming Service Near You

Podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts. They’re everywhere.

Then, when you’re done listening to all of those podcasts — takes about three lifetimes — there are even more podcasts to discover.

However, like in any industry and field of interest, there are pieces of work that rise above the rest. If the premise, coupled with an exclusive sneak peek is any indication, then the ‘Blockbuster’ podcast is one to be listened to for any movie fan generally and any fan of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and John Williams specifically.

io9 Gizmodo columnist Germain Lussier summarizes the exciting recreation of two cinematic pioneers and game-changers along with their equally dynamic and genius musical composer friend John Williams in their early years in the moviemaking industry beginning in the 1970s.

Created by Emmy winner Matt Schrader, Blockbuster is a six-part docu-narrative podcast dramatizing the friendship of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as they were making their formative films, Star Wars and Jaws, with the help of composer of John Williams. Schrader has basically created a modern radio play, blending meticulous research with strong vocal performances, sound effects, film clips, and an original score, all into a highly entertaining audio experience. The show puts the viewer right there, with Spielberg and Lucas, for the moments when they changed movies forever.

The entertainment value of this kind of creative storytelling is a fitting nostalgic throwback (or flashback, since it’s Friday) that is something special. It reminds one of the Golden Age of Radio in America.

Below is an exclusive two-minute snippet (courtesy of Forbes) of the eight-part podcast involving George Lucas and then-wife Marcia Lucas during a possible a-ha moment for the listener (and perhaps George and Marcia at the time) that popular culture was about to change forever in some way with a far-out film that takes place in space. Interestingly, Marcia worked on the original ‘Stars Wars’ in 1977 — famously written and directed by her husband George — for which she won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

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(Marcia and George Lucas)

‘Blockbuster,’ in just a couple of minutes, is intriguing (recreated) eavesdropping that is refreshingly simple and streamlined in its delivery. Ironically, it’s a must-see listen experience for movie fans.

Season 1 of the ‘Blockbuster’ podcast is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Christopher Nolan’s Cinematic ‘Tenet’

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(Christopher Nolan and Kenneth Branagh on the set of ‘Dunkirk.’ Photo courtesy of ABC News)

Breaking News:

Details have been scare — no surprise — yet a few golden nuggets of information have just been revealed about Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming cinematic mind-bender. The film will be titled ‘Tenet’ and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, will have an intriguing premise from the writer and director famous for his imaginative stories filmed with innovative large-scale practical effects (‘Inception,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Dark Knight Trilogy,’ ‘The Prestige’). 

“…is described as an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.

Tenet is being filmed in seven countries, using a mix of Imax and 70mm film.” 

Yes, yes and YES!

Mr. Nolan is producing with his wife and longtime producing partner Emma Thomas and joining forces with Warner Bros. Pictures once again for this epic film centered on international espionage. Surely, there will be a twist (or two) in the story as well as a twist in the filmmaking process involving practical effects that will take the story — and cinema — to the next level.

The cast, of course, features the great Michael Caine. The rest of the cast includes several rising stars:

  • John David Washington
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Elizabeth Debicki
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson
  • Dimple Kapadia
  • Clémence Poésy

One notable absence from this announcement is a longtime friend and musical collaborator, Hans Zimmer. Reportedly, the film’s score will be brought to life by 34-year-old Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson (‘Creed,’ ‘Creed II,’ ‘Venom’).

Robert Pattinson, one of the movie’s lead actors, previously stated the following about the film last month in an interview, which was covered by AZ Central (Part of USA TODAY).

“Like, I’m doing a big movie with Christopher Nolan after this. It’s the craziest thing I’ve seen in years. It’s the length of three movies.”

The length of three movies, huh? Well, I guess I’ll splurge on the large soda for a prime-time sugar rush for opening night on July 17, 2020.

When do the IMAX tickets go on sale?

You’ve Got a Friend (Well, Seven) in ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Spoiler Alert: Content below features a few spoilers (of sorts) from last night’s ‘Big Bang Theory’ series finale.

With last night’s series finale of ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ it seems appropriate to post a video with the show’s cast expressing gratitude for their dedicated fans who watched them for 12 seasons from all around the country and the world.

The hour-long series finale was fantastic, filled with hilarious punchlines coupled with heartwarming moments as was the tradition on the show. It was great. However, there are still a few lingering questions:

  • What caused the immediate change of heart with Penny having a baby?
  • Why didn’t Penny have a last name?
  • Where were Sheldon’s final three knocks? No “Soft Kitty” or reference to “Soft Kitty”? No bazinga?
  • Why didn’t Howard’s dad make an appearance or why wasn’t that mystery — which was teased in an earlier season — firmly resolved on camera?
  • Why did Howard wear an alien pin in every single episode of the series? 

Maybe I’m being too picky. Too mired in the details? An hour sounds like a long time, but the writers did a great job of crafting a cohesive story in about 42 minutes of actual air time to cram in a lot of things for a lot of characters to wrap the series up in a nice way. My questions above aren’t meant as massive critiques of the final show as a whole — they aren’t — but instead, highlight a few missing classic ‘Big Bang Theory’ shout-outs and what seemed like must-see revelations.

Above all, I really thought the writers would reveal why Howard wore an alien pin in every single episode (279 of them). It was there every time yet it was never mentioned or explained as what could have been revealed as a profound characteristic of the character?

Perhaps series co-creator Chuck Lorre put it best on his famous pause-worthy vanity card after the series finale last night:

“The end.”

Lingering questions aside, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had a Nobel ending as one of the great sitcoms.

P.S. The ending of ‘Young Sheldon’ last night was yet another perfect synchronization with its parent show…and its characters.

Just perfect. 

That Brief History of Time With ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Ends Tonight

September 24, 2007 – May 16, 2019. 

Thanks to my dad’s comedic instinct of a new television show about a group of socially awkward scientists working and living in southern California whose world is turned upside down (in the best ways) because of a new beautiful blonde neighbor, he and I attended the pilot episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ back in early 2007.

Even some of the best sitcoms of all-time struggle in the pilot episodes. The first season can be an uphill climb of sorts.

But that wasn’t the case with ‘The Big Bang Theory.’

It was great from the get-go, which includes a scene my dad and I saw live that has, for some reason, been cut from the rerun.

The series opens with Sheldon and Leonard visiting a high-IQ sperm bank. Yes. That’s right. The nurse returned later in the series when Howard needed a, um, hand. One of the punchlines in the sperm bank scene was Leonard helping the nurse with a crossword puzzle by saying “Port-au-Prince.”

And then there was arguably the funniest character intro involving the hilariously politically incorrect Howard Wolowitz.

Back in January of this year, my parents and I miraculously scored tickets to one of the final 10 episodes of this beloved series titled “The Donation Oscillation” to bookend the series experience. This episode, which included Penny’s old boyfriend Zack and his wife, fully delivered on the laughs with fulfilling dramatic moments that fit perfectly with the story. To make things better, there was an electric atmosphere with the audience. Incredibly, there were fans who drove from far away and some who flew from all over the world just to see a live taping of ‘The Big Bang Theory.’

The show undeniably means a lot to its fans.

It also happens that I met a pretty girl, Theresa, while waiting in line who was from Germany and temporarily living in LA. Perhaps we’ll cross paths again.

Hey, if Leonard won Penny over against all odds…

It would be easy to simply include my favorite scenes from the science-centric series. However, that list would be too long. Ultimately, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was/is a brilliant show featuring brilliant characters who were surprisingly relatable for their social awkwardness, in no small part because of their nerd-caliber love of movies, TV and pop culture all while trying to be cool.

But like the Phoenix, they figured out ways to rise from the ashes of constant failure to win the day and the girl.

And these were feelings excitedly and heartwarmingly revealed by my fellow audience members back in January when given the chance to speak to everyone, which added a level of camaraderie between all of us who have been watching ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for more than a decade.

Before the show ends, there are some specific mysteries that will hopefully get resolved later tonight:

  • Does the elevator get fixed?
  • Will Raj meet a girl with a promising beginning?
  • Does Howard meet his father? There were five lies and one truth in letters that Raj (Kunal Nayyar), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Amy (Mayim Bialik), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) read to Howard (Simon Helberg) about his dad who left when he was young. If his dad shows up, what actor plays Howard’s dad?
  • What is Penny’s last name?
  • Why does Howard wear an alien pin in every single episode in the series?

Millions of fans cannot wait to see how the show ends. While sad, at least we know from the past 12 seasons that the cast, writers, and producers of the show know how to get laugh-out-loud punchlines as well as mix in heartwarming moments like when Penny gave Sheldon a napkin signed by his hero Leonard Nimoy (Spock).

Thank you to the ‘Big Bang Theory’ television universe for everything you gave us for, what the late Stephen Hawking would say, that brief history of time.

The hour-long series finale of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET. on CBS.

P.S. Will sitcom legend and recurring ‘Big Bang’ character Bob Newhart as Professor Neutron appear near the end of the hour-long finale and yell “Bazinga!” with Sheldon and the entire cast and crew? If he does, it won’t be a dream. The past 12 seasons happened. And they were awesome.