Whether they’re brilliant or bombs, old or new, movies inspire a lot of talk, and there are countless movie-themed podcasts out there to plug into. We dove into the stream (more of a raging river, really) to narrow down the eight essential podcasts a real film fan should subscribe to.
The Flop House
The Basics: Imagine if The Daily Show only covered movies that flopped and did so with even more zany random tangents. While hosts Dan McCoy, Elliott Kalan (both Daily Show writers), and Stuart Wellington have plenty of jokes to make at a bad movie’s expense (After Earth, Zookeeper), it’s their riffs on everything from Chekhov to Garfield that make this a can’t miss.
For Starters: Episode #139: The boys deconstruct Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones
The Basics: You may think you love 007, but after listening to cheeky comedians Matt Gourley and Matt Mira bond over Bond, you’ll soon realize you’ve got much to learn about spy craft. In each episode, the two Matts and a special guest investigate the many merits of one of the films in the franchise. Unfortunately 20 episodes in, they’re almost out of material, giving us one more reason to look forward to Bond 24.
For Starters: Episode #014: a symposium on Diamonds Are Forever with Doug Benson (host of another great movies podcast, Doug Loves Movies)
The ‘Do You Like Prince Movies?’ Podcast
The Basics: Grantland writers Alex Pappademas and Wesley Morris bring the site’s signature deep-dive treatment to film, with the show’s intellectual but accessible musings. You’re guaranteed to learn lot — like which trailer includes the best rhetorical-question party song alternative to “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
For Starters: Last year’s inaugural episode, in which they manage to fluidly discuss the disparate careers of James Franco, Pam Grier, and Beck.
How Did This Get Made?
The Basics: Hosts Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael gather with funny guests to, as the cheeky theme song says, “have a good time, celebrate some failure, not just be a hater” and hilariously dissect such fascinatingly awful failures as Hudson Hawk, Gymkata, and Howard the Duck.
For Starters: Try episode #30 Director’s Edition: Cool as Ice, which brags a visit from the cool star himself, Vanilla Ice!
Elvis Mitchell’s The Treatment
The Basics: At this point, it’s nearly impossible to go to a high profile Q&A around Los Angeles without seeing former New York Times film critic Mitchell moderating it. There are many reasons for that — his wealth of cinematic knowledge, his incisive questions, and his engaging style — and they’re all on display in his podcast/public radio show, in which he interviews everyone from directors (Wes Anderson) to writers (Dave Itzkoff, author of the Network history Mad as Hell).
For Starters: January’s enlightening interview with Leonardo DiCaprio about The Wolf of Wall Street
The Basics: Screenwriters John August (Go, Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (Identity Thief, The Hangover Parts II and III) will help get your story out of your brain and onto the page. For both would-be screenwriters and all-around movie lovers, August and Mazin (and frequent guests like Fifty Shades of Grey scribe Kelly Marcel and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss) get to the heart of the art, the craft, and the business of all things script.
For Starters: A chat with Frozen screenwriter/co-director Jennifer Lee and guest host and The Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna.
How Was Your Week?
The Basics: As host/comedian Julie Klausner says during one episode, the real title of her show should be “Enjoy Your Window to My Process.” And honestly, what’s not to enjoy about Klausner’s intricate yet kooky stream-of-consciousness explorations on pretty much everything? It’s not solely a film podcast — she monologizes on all things pop culture and celebrity — but when Klausner talks movies with actors, filmmakers, and journalists (like Seth Rogen, Jill Soloway, and Julianne Moore), magical moments happen.
For Starters: Episode #159: “Python Run” with film critic and Meryl Streep expert Karina Longworth
The Basics: Coming to you from Chicago since 2005, Filmspotting offers high-brow reviews, interviews, scene re-enactment competitions, and top 5 lists (like Top 5 Hostage Films, Wes Anderson Scenes, and Long Takes) from University of Chicago film school academic Adam Kempenaar and Sun-Times media critic Josh Larsen. There’s something very comforting about two passionate cinephiles from Chicago finding so much to disagree about.
For Starters: Episode #453, Pacific Rim/Top 5 Movie Robots
Photo credits: © Getty Images, Sarah Hampton Photo, Earwolf Media, Craig Barritt/Getty Images