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Join Lewis and Nick as they analyze, from a leftist perspective, some of the most under-performing and underappreciated films they can find, and honor those workers whose contributions would otherwise go unnoticed.

Join Lewis and Nick as they analyze, from a leftist perspective, some of the most under-performing and underappreciated films they can find, and honor those workers whose contributions would otherwise go unnoticed.
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Join Lewis and Nick as they analyze, from a leftist perspective, some of the most under-performing and underappreciated films they can find, and honor those workers whose contributions would otherwise go unnoticed.




Episode 38: Niko Bellic Speedrun ("Behind Enemy Lines," 2001) feat. Jose

Hop in your F/A-18F Super Hornet and plot a course for 2001, because Lewis and Nick have brought in amateur Bosnian War scholar Jose for consultation on "Behind Enemy Lines" (2001). Jose teaches us more about the Bosnian conflict of 1992-95 in 10 minutes than we've learned in 10 years, and he's just as eager to wallop this trash as we are. Starring a horribly miscast Owen Wilson and a sleepwalking Gene Hackman, "Behind Enemy Lines" is most interesting as one of the earliest relics of War on...


Episode 37: Blackpilled Boomer Bloodlust ("Death Wish," 2018)

Lewis and Nick experience strong pangs of thanatos as they suffer through 2018's "Death Wish." Truly an exercise in courting the death drive, this morality fable from Eli Roth re-imagines the 1974 original, depicting vigilante fantasy through a contemporary, smartphone-saturated lens. Curiously enough, the narrative of Bruce Willis taking the law into his own hands presents an inadvertently leftist critique of reactionary violence. "My Son Killed Adolf Hitler" by Sheldon Roth:...


Episode 36: Media Mass - Worldbuilding

Pro/Con's first Media Mass episode! This series explores the tension between audiences, art, and the influence of capital in storytelling across all media. Our inaugural sermon discusses the concept of worldbuilding, a term and approach that has garnered something of a contentious reputation. Lewis and Nick explain their problems with the concept, and discuss positive and negative instances of "building worlds." "Against Worldbuilding" by Lincoln Michel - "In Defense...


Episode 35: CHOAM Nomsky ("Dune," 1984) feat. Cooper Cherry (@podcastcocooper)

"The pod must post." Welcome, Fremen, to the Pro/Con review of "Dune" (1984), featuring guest host Cooper (@ Podcastcocooper). This infamous Lynchian feature is an odd beast, interminable and byzantine--which isn't necessarily a knock against it!--yet buckles beneath the scope of its source material. Nevertheless, there's plenty here for the Herbert neophyte and disciple alike. Prepare your soul for a spicy one, folks. Cooper's Patreon: Our...


Episode 34: Hey, We're Barkin' Here! ("Look Who's Talking Now," 1993) feat. Molly (@socialistdogmom)

Merry Christmas in August! Molly (@ socialistdogmom) joins Lewis and Nick to tackle the first Pro/Con holiday film, "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993). The disastrous third entry of a quirky, ADR-laden trilogy, the film features strong voiceover performances from Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton as a couple of lovable mutts. John Travolta and Kirstie Alley also appear. Molly's Patreon: Our Patreon: "Why Look At Animals" essay...


Episode 33: Bringing Sexy Time Back ("In Time," 2011) feat. Mark (@Rhea_Wept)

The neoliberal hellscape we live in was brought to life right before our eyes...just in time for the end of the summer. Mark (@ Rhea_Wept) brought one of his favorite movies to Pro/Con: "In Time" (2011). A horrifyingly accurate vision of the present, "In Time" strips away all pretense, eradicating any perceived boundaries between time and capital. Such an archetypal sci-fi premise demands strong performances and writing, which the cast and crew, led by one Justin Timberlake, somewhat...


Episode 32: The Minions Meme Master ("Minions," 2015) feat. Lucas (@OofMadonn)

CALLING ALL MINIONS--CALLING ALL MINIONS: Pro/Con has devoted an entire episode to cracking the code behind "Minions" (2015), and they've recruited their own minion to do so. Lucas (@ OofMadonn) joins Lewis and Nick to lend his expert Minion Opinion, gleaned from exhaustive posting across various Minions Memes Facebook pages. The film is a late capitalist masterpiece, uncomfortably representative of the state of labor today. The Minions themselves are perfect as farcical representations of...


Episode 31: Zack Snyder's Bechdel Test Scantron ("Sucker Punch," 2011)

Take a bunch of up-and-coming young actresses, a slew of guns and katanas, and a few tabs of acid. Drop everything in the blender of a 14-year-old boy's mind and you get "Sucker Punch" (2011), Zack Snyder's homage to fantasy ultraviolence, surviving the toxic patriarchy of the U.S. mental health system, and independent female characters. A very weird film, "Sucker Punch" devotes too much of its run time to its convoluted frame story structure at the expense of the emotional development of...


Episode 30: Snipes Was Right ("Blade: Trinity," 2004)

Pop on those shades, strap on your knives, and step into the daylight with Lewis and Nick as they take the fight to this week's target: "Blade: Trinity" (2004). Following the groundbreaking "Blade" and the spirited "Blade II," Trinity is a disappointing finisher to say the least. Wesley Snipes knew the score, nevertheless putting in admirable effort to this bloodless finale, elevating certain sequences and infusing the flick with enough zest to keep it stumbling until it reaches its demise....


Episode 29: Hardboiled Bolshevism ("Red Heat," 1988)

Who's a more believable badass, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jim Belushi? Correct answer: Fred Hampton, because all three star in 1988's "Red Heat" (a caricature of Hampton has a strong supporting role, at least). Given that this flick was the first American film with the distinction of being allowed to film in Moscow's Red Square, follow the Pro/Con boys as they travel from the USSR to Chicago, doggedly chronicling the tired Schwarzenegger/Belushi buddy cop energy. Shockingly enough, "Red Heat"...


Episode 28: Hulk SMASH Military Industrial Complex ("Hulk," 2003)

You wouldn't like us when we're also probably wouldn't like us when we're trying to remember D-list Marvel character names. Join Lewis and Nick as they tackle "Hulk" (2003), one of the more infamous of the pre-Disney Marvel movies. Directed with admirable aplomb by Ang Lee, "Hulk" is as big and as bold as its titular character. Catholic repression, the War on Terror, nerds being too pedantic to appreciate a good thing before it's gone...this one's got it all....


Episode 27: Antifa Buffalo Supersoldiers ("Posse," 1993)

A lean, hardened outlaw rode straight onto the Pro/Con screens from the dry, dusty wasteland of the 90's this weekend: "Posse" (1993), directed by and starring Mario Van Peebles. Join Lewis and Nick as they follow the winding, wayward quest of a group of Buffalo Soldiers on the run from Cuba to New Orleans to the Western US Territories. An uncommonly political film for the 90's, "Posse" captures a bold, revisionist snapshot of a history more fascinating than is commonly remembered....


Episode 26: PLO Rangers ("Saban's Power Rangers," 2017)

Coming to you from a team of podcasters with attitude is Pro/Con's review of "Saban's Power Rangers," (2017). This is one of the more unique genre films reviewed on the show in that it's pretty good, based primarily on the strength of the fairly deep characterization of all five leads. This is 90's nostalgia done about as well as it can be done, folks. Lil Nas X surprising the kids of Lander Elementary - Music- "when...


Episode 25: A Star Is Bored ("Glitter," 2001)

We picked a real bomb coming off Star Wars Month: 2001's "Glitter," shockingly *not* Mariah Carey's film debut, but certainly the role that cemented her diva reputation. Inversely, of course, this movie is pretty boring, only managing to differentiate itself from the legions of other artist narratives by presenting a surprisingly cynical depiction of show business. Come for Carey's voice, stay for the weird, wonky edits and special effects. Music- "when the...


PREVIEW Episode 24: Ewoks: The Rise of Brimley ("Ewoks: The Battle for Endor," 1985)

Our very first Patreon-exclusive episode demands an exceptional film, and "Ewoks: The Battle of Endor" (1985) certainly delivers. A direct sequel to 1984's "Caravan of Courage," "The Battle for Endor" is the more uneven film, yet the one that achieves greater emotional extremes--from camp to whimsy to sincere grief. Featuring space orcs, a sweet castle, and Wilford Brimley, you couldn't in good conscience ask for much more from a 1980's TV film. "The Battle for Endor" proves that Star Wars,...


Episode 23: There and Back Again: An Ewok's Tale ("Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure," 1984)

The description to Episode 22 stated that it was the final film of Star Wars month. Well, as Obi-Wan said, "Your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them." Anyway, there's an argument to be made that "Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure" (1984) technically isn't a Star Wars film because it doesn't have the term "Star Wars" in its title, and because it's a straight-up fairy tale in the mold of an Amblin Entertainment flick or a poor man's Tolkien/Lewis mashup. And for all of that...this film...


Episode 22: Execute Order 69 ("Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," 2005)

The final film of our Star Wars Month, is, of course "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005). By far the biggest disappointment of the saga, RotS is audacious in its tedium. Fittingly enough, however, turns out the story of the prequels parallels that of Anakin himself: a stumbling, awkward mess, whose precious few bright spots only serve to highlight the manifold missed opportunities. Music- "when the struggle itself becomes identified with a...


Episode 21: Mr. Binks Goes to Coruscant ("Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," 2002)

Coming off their Phantom Menace high, Lewis and Nick nosedive faster than a LAAT/i Republic Gunship divebombing a platoon of IG-227 Hailfire-class droid tanks. That's right, it's time for "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002). This one is pretty much exactly what you remember; despite continuing with the (largely unintentional) criticism of neoliberal technocracy, Episode II proves to be inferior in virtually every aspect to its predecessor.


Episode 20: Phantom Menace II Society ("Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," 1999)

Continuing our Star Wars month retrospective, Lewis and Nick finally arrive at the reason they pretty much started this podcast and review "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999). It's good! Its flaws aren't as awful you remember! And not just because we have a bone to pick with Jar Jar Abrams! Episode I is not only better crafted than Episode VII, but also offers a much sharper and more timely political perspective. Music- "when the struggle itself...


Episode 19: Pan Solo ("Solo: A Star Wars Story," 2018)

Time to kick off Pro/Con's very first Star Wars Month! It's only fitting that the first Star Wars film to be a true box office bomb is also the most dirtbag lefty of the bunch. Join a rogues' gallery of failchildren as they bumble across the gritty underbelly of the galaxy in a mad dash to pay the bills. An exasperated Lewis and an overenthusiastic Nick agree: we stan "Solo" (2018) -- Han Solo. Music- "when the struggle itself becomes identified with a series...