Rundown: In this week’s episode, we review KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, which topped the weekend box office with $39 million. We also talk about ATOMIC BLONDE and wonder if the spy genre is at a crossroads. Are either of these movies any good, and are they the next James Bond? I think Smith and I do not agree on the answers to those questions. In our second segment, friend of the show Mike Richman, our favorite hobbyist historian joins us to talk about the new Ken Burns documentary series THE VIETNAM WAR. And in our final segment, we kick off our weekly recaps and roundtable discussion with Jeff Bond and Alexandra August about STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, which premieres Sunday night. We’ve been talking about this show for more than year.
Topic 1: Kingsman, Atomic Blondes and the Spy Genre?
On Friday,KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, the sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s irreverent spy hit of 2015 opened to mild reviews and we will have our review in a minute. But in this segment we also wanted to talk about this summer’s ATOMIC BLONDE, Charlize Theron’s entry into the genre once, and maybe still, ruled by James Bond 007. Blonde was directed by David Leitch, who also co-directed the energetic gunfight movie JOHN WICK. That movie struck a lot of action fans as a fun, modern take on the gentleman spy/hitman genre.
But this also comes after JASON BOURNE flamed out last year (remember that was a thing?), and Atomic Blonde, while lauded, underperformed at the box office. So, agents, your mission today is to discuss the current state of the spy movie genre.
Topic 2: Ken Burn’s Vietnam War
One of the problems we don’t talk about much on this show is, well, it’s a show about stories we love. And some weeks, it’s just stories we like. Or stories we watched, or read, or listened to, and frankly they were fine for passing the time, but they didn’t leave us with anything that lingered. And stories that linger is why we love stories in the first place.
But last week legendary documentarian Ken Burns released, along with co-director Lynn Novick, THE VIETNAM WAR, a 10-part, 18-hour examination of America’s involvement in that war. Parts six through 10 started last night and will run through this Thursday on PBS. I’m showing my cards here and saying like his previous great achievements in filmmaking, THE CIVIL WAR, THE ROOSEVELTS, MARK TWAIN, BASEBALL and JAZZ maybe better than all of those, and I’ve discussed the impact THE CIVIL WAR had on me, this series is maybe the best documentary on an American subject I’ve ever seen.
To discuss, we brought back friend of the show Mike Richman, co-host of NOR CAL NEWS NOW but more importantly our favorite hobbyist historian.
Status Check: Star Trek: Discovery Episodes 1 and 2
Joining us today to talk about it are two people who will be talking Star Trek Discovery every week. First up is Jeff Bond, my favorite living pop culture critic. He wrote the book on STAR TREK MUSIC, has helped release the amazing STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES COMPLETE SOUNDTRACK boxed set, he even played Dr. Leonard H. 'Bones' McCoy on the late, great STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES. This December his new book, The Art of Star Trek: The Kelvin Timeline will be released and I will be reading by noon on Christmas day.
Also joining us is Alexandra August, one of the quickest, funniest pop culture commenters we know, Alexandra August. You may know her as the co-host for the fantastic GOT Thrones podcast, from her writing at Geek Magazine. If you don’t, well, that’s your loss dummy!
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