April 5, 2021
“I smell a rat!”
On today’s podcast, we interrogate a murderers’ row of classic L.A. crime movies like The Big Sleep, Chinatown, True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, Heat, Jackie Brown, and L.A. Confidential. For years, audiences have been captivated by the seedy underbelly of the ‘City of Angels’ depicted on film. We go deep undercover to find out why.
March 29, 2021
Today's episode is a deep dive into Vietnam War movies. We did our best to cover all of the big ones (The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket) and even a few that often get overlooked (Dead Presidents, The Siege of Firebase Gloria, Rescue Dawn). Lastly, we discuss some of the tropes and overused storylines in these films, as well as how patriotic filmmaking can easily turn into jingoistic wish fulfillment.
March 22, 2021
Oliver Stone's 'Platoon' celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. We recon all the classic scenes and unforgettable characters: Charlie Sheen as Taylor, Tom Berenger as Sgt. Barnes, Willem Dafoe as Sgt. Elias, as well as Keith David, Kevin Dillon, Forest Whitaker and John C. McGinley rounding out the rest of the squad.
We also chop up some behind-the-scenes trivia related to the making of the film and discuss Platoon's place in the pantheon of Vietnam War films.
March 15, 2021
Marvel's 'WandaVision' as a series is done, and in our discussion, we are a podcast divided.
Dwight dug it, Swain was woefully unsatisfied, and Adrian is caught somewhere in between in the Meh Zone.
Also, we have questions: After nine episodes, do we know why Wanda and Viz love each other so much? Are two Pietros two too many? And last, wasn't Reed Richards supposed to be the surprise reveal at the end?? I guess we can blame Agatha for that, too.
March 8, 2021
Vaccines are here, people are getting inoculated, and there's hope for the future. But with Covid numbers still surging around the globe, most of us are sticking close to home and avoiding crowds. And that means conventions, too.
Attending comic conventions has been an integral part of fandom since the 1970s. However, with local health boards advising against large gatherings, every major convention in America has gone virtual, as in, online. So your three hosts decided it would be fun (and a little emotional, if we’re to be honest) to sit down and reminisce over some of our fondest con memories.
Step into the Wayback Machine with us as Dwight describes his first Atlanta Fantasy Fair, Swain shares a HeroesCon story involving Kurt Cobain and a comic artist named Kubert, Adrian gets all nervous meeting Silver Age great Nick Cardy, and all three of us recall our favorite moments from Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.
February 27, 2021
Today’s episode is a review of the 2021 Warner Bros. film ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’. Based on the last days and months in the life of Black Panthers leader Chairman Fred Hampton, the film details his revolutionary mission to unite oppressed groups across the city of Chicago, the Black Panther Party's conflicts with the Chicago PD and ultimately the FBI, and Hampton's betrayal at the hands of undercover informant Bill O'Neil, played by Lakeith Stanfield. Daniel Kaluuya delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as Hampton, and actors Dominique Fishback and Jesse Plemmons are also great in supporting roles.
On the podcast, we discuss the effort it took writer-director Shaka King and producer Ryan Cooglar to get the blessing of Hampton's family for this project, the filmmakers' attempts to stay true to real-life events while also staying true to their artistic vision, and despite our quibbles with the narrative, how the film smartly weaves cat-and-mouse thriller with government conspiracy, love story and biopic sensibilities.
February 22, 2021
The brilliant 2016 documentary ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ is available right now on Netflix and Hulu, and you should watch it. We did.
Narrated by actor Samuel L Jackson, the film is based on an unfinished manuscript by celebrated author James Baldwin. Baldwin's intent with the manuscript was to show the overlap in the lives of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all of whom were friends of his.
This podcast has never reviewed a proper documentary before and with it being Black History Month here in the states, we jumped at the chance to change that. In the conversation, we discuss the use of archival footage from the civil rights movement, what makes for an effective documentary, feeling like an ‘other’ in your own country, and the insights offered by ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ into the life and life's work of the late James Baldwin.
February 15, 2021
Originally broadcast in 2012, here is a classic interview from our 'Barchives' with renowned illustrator, the late David Grove (1940 - 2012).
Grove hit the scene in the early 1970s, bringing his illustration to paperback book covers and advertising. His singular style quickly became highly influential and sought after in the industry.
In the early 1980s, Hollywood beckoned Grove and he produced memorable posters and artwork for a slew of films such as ’Never Cry Wolf’, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and ’The Outsiders’. Grove was inducted into the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame in 2007.
This episode continues our re-presentation of classic interviews and roundtables from our previous incarnation as SiDEBAR: The Pop Culture Podcast into our podcast feed. We hope that our listeners, both new and old, will enjoy these vintage back episodes and follow us here for new episodes of Sidebar Forever!
February 8, 2021
In a movie, a death scene is not unlike a dramatic scene, a love scene and even an action scene. They all serve to advance the story and make an impact on the viewer. But sometimes when a despicable character in a film meets a gruesome end, it can also be ... enjoyable?
On today's episode, Dwight and Swain discuss the most outrageous, shocking, and in certain cases, meaningful deaths in popular TV and film. We’re talking Hans Gruber falling off the Nakatomi in 'Die Hard', Quint getting gobbled up by the great white in 'Jaws', the off-screen passing of James Evans on 'Good Times', Carrie's abusive mother being telekinetically crucified by her daughter, and a bunch more.
We also get into surprise deaths that you didn't see coming like Ned Stark losing his head in season one of 'Game of Thrones' as well as deaths that move a central character forward like the untimely demise of King T'Chaka in Marvel's 'Civil War'.
As always, thanks for listening.
February 1, 2021
There are jobs, there are careers, and then there are undeniable careers.
On today's podcast, we get into it as we celebrate three renowned actors with long and studied careers: Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Amistad), Robert De Niro (The Godfather II, Raging Bull) and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Marvel's The Avengers).
From their most famous roles, to their versatility and to their staying power; we salute these fine thespians and all that they have accomplished. We also try to determine exactly where in their careers is the threshold point where they crossed over from working actors — to stars.
As always, thanks for tuning in.
SIDEBAR FOREVER ©2021 Dwight Clark, Swain Hunt and Adrian Johnson