Agents of Q.U.E.E.K. – Agents of SHIELD / Love, Simon

After 6 seasons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. somehow continues to raise the stakes, and the Queeks are HERE for it. Cody and Ben discuss the latest season of the MCU’s longest running show, before switching gears and discussing the gay teen rom-com Love, Simon.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  2. [04:18] Meet the Team

  3. [07:33] The Story So Far (Kind Of)

  4. [10:39] Raising the Stakes/Revisiting the Past

  5. [16:51] Agent Faux Coulson, AKA Sarge

  6. [25:47] Season 7: Rise of the Machines

  7. [31:33] Intro to Love, Simon

  8. [35:34] Teen Dialogue and Gay Stories for Straight Audiences

  9. [40:13] Martin the Douche: Villain or Comic Relief?

  10. [43:36] Rom Com Movie Tropes

  11. [46:40] Gay Confusion & Bi Visibility

  12. [51:22] Accurate Depictions of the Gay Experience

  13. [54:30] The Sister, The Best Friend, The Teacher, & The Out Kid

  14. [61:04] Love, Simon & Call Me By Your Name::Apricots & Oranges

 

Links

Watchers on the (Stone)Wall – Game of Thrones / Stonewall

It seems like everyone watched the finale of Game of Thrones, but one of our Queeks (Ben) was not caught up. After binge watching the entire series, he and our other Queek (Cody) lend their unique perspectives on the landmark TV event. Then we travel back in time to Pride Month 2019, when the Queeks hit the road and visited New York’s historic Stonewall Inn, the spiritual birthplace of the American LGBT movement. It’s our first ever Queeks road trip!

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Ben Binges Game of Thrones

  2. [05:08] The Final Season vs. The Books

  3. [09:55] The Long Night

  4. [17:28] Daenerys’ Wild Ride

  5. [22:32] The Finale: Jon & Daenerys

  6. [26:00] Crowning King Bran

  7. [31:45] Ben Makes a Solemn Vow

  8. [32:42] Queeks Road Trip: Stonewall

  9. [35:18] A Brief Interlude on Manhattan Driving

  10. [37:06] Queer in 1969

  11. [43:05] Greenwich Village & The Stonewall Inn

  12. [46:42] June 28, 1969

  13. [52:32] The Immediate Aftermath & Stonewall Today

  14. [56:47] The First Pride March & The Legacy of Stonewall

  15. [63:26] Stonewall 50: WorldPride NYC

  16. [67:00] Road Trip Reminiscence

 

Links

The Gays – The Boys / Ellen

Join the Queeks (Cody & Ben) as they discuss Amazon’s new original series The Boys, a show that looks at a world where superheroes are everywhere and can do pretty much anything they want. Then, we take a look back at the famously controversial coming out episode of Ellen Degeneres’s ’90s sitcom and how it changed the way America talks about sexuality.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Content Warning/Intro to The Boys

  2. [08:03] Celebrity Superheroes, Inc.

  3. [10:05] The Deep: Abuser to Comic Relief

  4. [12:43] Drug Abuse, But With Superheroes

  5. [15:17] Evangelical Christianity, But With Superheroes

  6. [21:19] American Exceptionalism, But With Superheroes

  7. [23:32] Bioethics, But With Superheroes

  8. [25:15] Are We Supposed To Like Butcher?

  9. [28:45] Starlight, Queen Maeve, and Black Noir

  10. [33:46] Does The Boys Fill A Niche?

  11. [37:36] Intro to Ellen’s “Puppy Episode”

  12. [40:15] The Lead-Up to Coming Out

  13. [45:41] The Fallout & Ellen’s Resurgence

  14. [48:22] Queer in America in 1994 & 2019

  15. [50:17] The Media Landscape Around “The Puppy Episode”

  16. [53:17] Ignorant Opinions on the Gays

  17. [58:41] Oprah Winfrey & Ann Heche

  18. [62:08] The Act of Coming Out

 

Links

Rocketqueek – E3 / Rocketman

This week, the Queeks (Cody & Ben) look back at the biggest announcements coming out of the E3 gaming expo earlier this summer. Then they switch gears and discuss Rocketman, the Elton John biopic.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to the E3

  2. [03:53] Where’s Sony?

  3. [07:03] “Notoriously Awkward and Horrifying Press Conferences”

  4. [10:47] Cloud Gaming

  5. [16:41] Subscription Gaming

  6. [20:44] Cyberpunk 2077

  7. [23:46] Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order & Elden Ring

  8. [27:04] Marvel’s Avengers

  9. [30:32] Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Story Creator

  10. [32:17] Luigi’s Mansion 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC

  11. [34:26] Our Favorite Trailers: The Outer Worlds, GhostWire: Tokyo, & Deathloop

  12. [37:28] Intro to Rocketman

  13. [39:38] Comparison to Bohemian Rhapsody

  14. [43:33] Getting to Know Elton John

  15. [47:52] Critical/Audience Perspective

  16. [50:22] Historical Accuracy in The Musicverse

  17. [53:55] Does It Work as a Stage Musical?

  18. [56:20] Elton John vs. Freddie Mercury

  19. [58:33] Oscar Futures

  20. [61:33] Our Favorite Elton John Songs

 

Links

Dragzilla: Queen of the Monsters – Godzilla (2019) / Drag Race Season 1 II

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) talk about the latest Hollywood-made Godzilla movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Then they finally get around to finishing Season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro/Happy (Late) Pride
  2. [01:54] King of the MonsterVerse
  3. [09:31] A History of Godzilla
  4. [17:13] Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review
  5. [25:47] Shared Universe of Possibilities
  6. [30:11] Ranking the MonsterVerse
  7. [32:43] What Makes a Monster Movie
  8. [37:55] Revisiting Drag Race Season 1
  9. [40:42] “I’m Not Here to Make Friends”
  10. [42:32] “This Isn’t the Last You’ve Seen of Me”
  11. [44:12] Vaseline on the Lens
  12. [46:12] What Did They Get Wrong?
  13. [48:00] The Final Queens
  14. [50:30] Where We Go from Here
  15. [52:36] The Queeks Do Drag
 

Links

CODY: Hi.

BEN: Hello.

CODY: I’m Cody.

BEN: I’m Ben.

CODY: And this is Queeks. We’re gonna talk about nerd stuff, and then we’re gonna talk about gay stuff, in that order.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Ben, how are you?

BEN: I’m good, you know? I’m alive. I’m awake.

CODY: Happy Pride!

BEN: Yes, it’s Pride Month!

CODY: This is the first time we’ve recorded in June.

BEN: The big month.

CODY: And I’ve celebrated by looking at Target ads.

BEN: For Pride-related —

CODY: I just keep seeing ads on Facebook that are Target ads, but they have rainbows in them.

BEN: Target ads is in ads for Target, for the store?

CODY: Ads for Target.

BEN: Okay. I wasn’t sure if you meant ads that are targeted at you.

CODY: I get plenty of those, too.

BEN: Whenever I get a gay targeted ad at me, I get a little offended, but also like, oh, this is really useful.

CODY: Like Calvin Klein ads?

BEN: I mean, that’s offensive because I don’t want to see those amazing bodies that I can’t be near.

CODY: I feel personally victimized by each one of those. Yes, and they show up way too often. And I do buy them, but not because of the ads. I’ve just always liked them.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: But no, it happens a lot.

BEN: Yeah, I get that.

CODY: But I meant Target having Pride ads.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Okay.

BEN: There was an ad for their Pride set-up that they had, like in one of their stores, that was like children’s clothes. And I love looking at comments on progressive posts from companies just to see the people get really angry at progressive policies. So it was a lot of people saying, like, ‘stop trying to indoctrinate our children.’ And I was like, I mean, but —

CODY: Same people yelling at libraries for having people in drag reading books?

BEN: Yes.

[laughter]

CODY: How dare they.

BEN: I know. How dare they read to children for free and bring joy to millions. I don’t think there’s millions of people attending drag storytimes at the library.

CODY: I do. I’ve seen millions at one library for it.

BEN: One library? That’s more people than have ever been in a single library ever.

CODY: Yeah, that’s true. Let’s talk about something very representative of Pride Month —

BEN: Yes.

CODY: — and of the gays in general, Godzilla.

BEN: Yes, Godzilla.

CODY: We saw Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which just came out recently. It is a sequel to the 2014 movie, which you also saw.

BEN: Yes. It was called Godzilla.

CODY: It was called Godzilla. This is the third movie that they’re doing. So Legendary Pictures has started doing their own what they’re calling the MonsterVerse.

BEN: Not to be confused with the Dark Universe that Universal attempted to launch, featuring the classic Universal movie monsters.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which I originally called the monsterverse. And then they were like, nope.

CODY: Yeah, that really is what it should have been called.

BEN: The monsterverse?

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Oh, for sure. Because they’re known as like, the monsters, whereas this could have been, like, the kaijuverse.

CODY: And it also could have worked if they’d done it competently.

BEN: Right, if they put any amount of effort into it.

CODY: I mean, I say that. I didn’t see any of it.

BEN: I did not see The Mummy. Well, they’ve only done one.

CODY: Right. Why would I watch that?

BEN: They planned a few others, and it did not pan out.

CODY: Why would I would have watched The Mummy?

BEN: I mean, with Tom Cruise?

CODY: Right.

BEN: After that one IMAX trailer that had the sound not in it.

CODY: That happened?

BEN: Do you not remember that?

CODY: No.

BEN: That was a big thing. So when the trailer for The Mummy with Tom Cruise first came out, it was accidentally released by IMAX on their YouTube page without any of the sound in it, except for, like, filler sound. And so it was just, like, hilarious because it was just the same scream over and over again whenever anyone was screaming. It was so great.

CODY: Interesting.

BEN: And I think that kind of helped to sink the movie, on top of the fact that it was what it was.

CODY: Yeah, it didn’t seem good.

BEN: No, so we don’t need those monsters. But we have Godzilla.

CODY: Different monsters. Right now, three movies. It’s Godzilla, and then Kong: Skull Island, and then this one, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. This one was not made by the same people who did the first one.

BEN: Really?

CODY: As in the director.

BEN: Oh, okay. It was Gareth Edwards, of Rogue One.

CODY: Right, made the first one, and he was going to do this one, but then dropped out for some reason or another. It was directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty, who also made Krampus, which I didn’t see, but seemed fun.

BEN: I got a lot of scenes Krampus vibes from Godzilla in this.

CODY: Yeah, well, Krampus made that appearance in the post-credit teaser.

BEN: Well, yeah. I mean, he’s part of the MonsterVerse, obviously. They teased Krampus.

CODY: He also made Trick ‘r Treat. I don’t know what that is.

BEN: I assume it’s Krampus, but Halloween.

CODY: The point is he’s a horror filmmaker.

BEN: Which is good because I think there certainly should be elements of horror in, like, big ole’ monster movies, rather than just the hilariousness of a giant monster.

CODY: Right. They should be horrifying, to some degree.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: This also doesn’t really have too much of a cast carryover from the original, other than Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins.

BEN: The best advice.

CODY: And also David Strathairn as Admiral Stenz, that like Navy Guy or military man.

BEN: He was in the first Godzilla?

CODY: He was in charge of finding the MUTOs or whatever. I didn’t realize that at the time.

BEN: Oh, I didn’t remember that at all.

CODY: I couldn’t have told you his character’s name. He is sort of just the military opposition to the scientists who take a more measured approach.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So he was also in it.

CODY: But this one introduces new characters, like a family it focuses on, with Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown.

BEN: Millie Bobby Brown, who is great, from Stranger Things.

CODY: Right, she is great, and this was her blockbuster debut.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: Because, you know Stranger Things.

BEN: But like big screen, hadn’t really been in a big role yet.

CODY: Right. There’s a bunch of other people in it, too. It’s a pretty wide cast.

BEN: It is, yeah.

CODY: And a pretty good cast, I think. Interesting to note before we actually talk about, like, the content of the movie itself, it has not been performing super well.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Yeah, no.

BEN: Not even overseas?

CODY: Well, better overseas. So weekend box office was $49 million domestic, which was at the top, but that’s still not great.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: The original Godzilla, as in the 2014 one, not 1954, took in $93 million, so almost double.

BEN: Wow. In the opening weekend?

CODY: Right.

BEN: Oof.

CODY: Part of that is fair because I think, you know, that’s the appeal of a new Godzilla movie with new, you know, modern day effects sort of carried that one. Also, the amount of Bryan Cranston in the trailers.

BEN: And the lack of Bryan Cranston in the movie.

[laughter]

CODY: Right, coasting off of Breaking Bad hype, and then him not being in the movie all that much.

BEN: I didn’t think about that, that they were coasting off Breaking Bad from him.

CODY: Oh it was.

BEN: And they were kind of coasting off of Stranger Things for Millie Bobby Brown in this.

CODY: I still hear people, in conversation, refer to that one as ‘the Bryan Cranston Godzilla,’ even though he’s really not in it much at all.

BEN: They pulled, like, a Psycho with him, and killed him pretty early in the movie.

CODY: Right, which is fair.

BEN: And that movie ended up mostly being, you know, the twins.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: I can’t think of them as anything other than Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

CODY: Right. It was weird to say Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, who had just played twins in Age of Ultron

BEN: In a different franchise.

CODY: — playing a married couple very soon after.

BEN: Same year? Year after, maybe?

CODY: I don’t remember what year Age of Ultron was, but yeah, no, that was a little odd. But then neither of them are in this one either, even though they both survived that one.

BEN: That was strange.

CODY: Well, I think it was necessary because it really wasn’t — the characters they did carry over were like, you know, lead scientists at Monarch and, you know, this top military guy. They were tied to the events specifically of that movie, but not really of the whole universe.

BEN: I mean, speaking of Monarch, Monarch is the intergovernmental organization that is kind of the main connecting thread between all of these monster movies in the MonsterVerse.

CODY: Yeah, that’s sort of the big thing that ties them together. And it is worth noting that even before this movie came out, there is a sequel coming out next year, next March, Godzilla vs. Kong, in which, I didn’t realize at the time, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are returning for that movie.

BEN: Huh.

CODY: And also, I hope I’m close to pronouncing this correctly, Zhang Ziyi, who played Dr. Chen. I don’t know if she was a doctor, but she seemed like she had a doctorate.

BEN: I could see it.

CODY: I really liked her also.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I think we noted after the movie, she was a really fun character.

BEN: Yeah, she was.

CODY: The sequel is being written by Terry Rossio, who wrote Shrek and wrote Aladdin, the original, and also the first four Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

BEN: Okay, so he is good at writing movies.

CODY: He is. And I think a lot of the story was developed by a writing room that they had for just developing this whole universe.

BEN: That makes sense, yeah.

CODY: But he’s writing the screenplay for it.

BEN: Nice. I wonder if that means that Mike Myers will provide the voice of Godzilla.

CODY: I think it should.

BEN: I think that would be great.

CODY: I didn’t realize, while I was researching this, a lot of the monster work is still performance capture.

BEN: I thought that was the case because I was reading the credits for the 2014 Godzilla, and I saw that someone was credited as being Godzilla, and I was like, I don’t understand. And then I looked at the cast list for the MonsterVerse, and all of the monsters had actors listed next to them.

CODY: Right.

BEN: That’s crazy.

CODY: Yeah, because I mean, I like that it’s still tied to its roots.

BEN: Oh, yeah.

CODY: Man in suit.

BEN: Yes, but it’s not like men in suits stomping on miniatures.

CODY: Right.

BEN: It’s like, man in suit in front of green screen stomping.

CODY: Weirder suit in green room, just sort of prancing about.

BEN: Right, which is lovely to think about.

CODY: I think it’s even more fun.

BEN: Yes. It could be anywhere.

CODY: It’s pretty great. This movie also takes a lot from a lot of the other Godzilla movies, and then just the kaiju movies in general, Japanese monster movies. I was looking into how this fits into the greater Godzilla picture because it’s a big one.

BEN: It is. There’s how many movies?

CODY: This was the 35th Godzilla movie.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: And that is not including the sort of Americanized re-cuts of the older ones.

BEN: I thought you were going to say not including the Matthew Broderick.

CODY: It does include that one, because those are original productions, but there were several, three or four maybe, that they just took and re-edited the Japanese versions and changed the script and added actors in some cases, like American actors. That was the big case with the original one. They added — the actor is escaping me at the moment — but they had to have a terrified white guy at the center so that they would care about it.

BEN: Well yeah, why else would you care about it?

CODY: That’s an interesting one. I’ve seen both versions of that.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: What do you prefer?

CODY: Well, the original. They sort of take out a lot of the — I mean, the original Godzilla is pretty political in its theme because Godzilla originates from nuclear war.

BEN: Right, which Japan as a country is more familiar than pretty much anywhere else.

CODY: Right. That’s pretty much where that all comes from, and the American one pretty well sanitizes that.

BEN: Understandably.

CODY: So it’s interesting to compare them. I haven’t — It’s been a while since I’ve seen both those, but it’s an interesting watch. Not only is this the 35th movie, this is the fifth time, with the MonsterVerse, that Godzilla has had a re-boat. Reboot. Not a re-boat.

BEN: A re-boat!

CODY: A reboot of some kind.

BEN: He does often destroy boats, though, so.

CODY: That’s true. He’s a menace.

[laughter]

CODY: I have a literal overview here that I think is really interesting, just because this is a very wacky franchise and storied because of how many movies they’ve had and how long it’s been going.

BEN: There were different phases, right?

CODY: Right. So it’s divided into all these different phases. So all of the Japanese movies are produced by Toho.

BEN: Toho. They own the rights to a lot of the kaiju properties.

CODY: They do. And a lot of the ones that are featured in this movie, Ghidorah and Rodan and Mothra, they all started in their own movies, not in Godzilla movies, but then they ended up crossing over with each other.

BEN: So anyone who has complaints about shared universes nowadays —

CODY: Right, well, we can get into that, too, about how it’s sort of one of the predecessors of modern shared universes.

BEN: Oh, for sure.

CODY: That, with the Universal Monsters. So the early periods of Godzilla movies are named after the periods of imperial rule in Japan that they loosely fall under because they just happen to mostly align with them. Like, the first 15 movies are all the Shōwa period because of the emperor at the time And I think it was Emperor Hirohito, but it I don’t know what he was the Shōwa emperor. I don’t know what that means.

BEN: I don’t know.

CODY: I don’t know a lot about Japanese history or imperial rule.

BEN: Is that like the Show Me State? That’s a state motto joke. Couldn’t tell you what state. Missouri?

CODY: I have no idea.

BEN: I think Missouri is the Show Me State.

CODY: I don’t — I can’t say I know really any state mottos. So that was the first 15 movies, and then the next seven roughly fell under the next emperor. That first one, Return of Godzilla, is a direct sequel to the original 1954 movie, so it starts the timeline over.

BEN: I was going to say, does that, like, retcon out everything since?

CODY: Yes.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: So it cuts out 14 previous movies, and then starts it over.

BEN: There are 14 movies in the Show Me period.

CODY: And that goes from ‘84 through ‘95.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: And then that was when the first American adaptation attempt was made.

BEN: What do you mean attempt?

CODY: Well, an attempt to be a successful franchise.

BEN: Okay, fair.

CODY: It did perform well at the box office, but I think it was pretty quickly realized that it was not going to last.

BEN: Well, it performed well on home media because I bought it on VHS.

CODY: Well, and funnily enough, they did — so they had planned two sequels to that.

BEN: Ooh, yikes.

CODY: This is the 1998 Godzilla made by TriStar.

BEN: Starring Matthew Broderick as Godzilla.

CODY: And funnily enough, not starring Godzilla technically because in the aftermath of that movie, Toho has registered that character, the monster from that Godzilla, as an entirely different character called Zilla.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Right, because he’s really not the same at all.

BEN: No, he’s not.

CODY: He doesn’t look the same, doesn’t have the same abilities or origin, even. I think there’s something different about it.

BEN: He is also a she.

CODY: Right. It’s all — it’s a mess. So instead of doing —

BEN: What, do you think women can’t lead their own movies?

CODY: Uh, not in this case, no.

BEN: Alright, well.

CODY: Just not that woman.

[laughter]

CODY: #NotHer.

BEN: #NotHer.

CODY: So instead of the two sequels, they put that money instead into doing the animated show, which I forgot existed.

BEN: Show?

CODY: Right. There was a Fox Kids animated series, Godzilla.

BEN: Well, I remember the Godzilla, I think there was an anime movie, Godzilla 2000 or something?

CODY: This is not the one with an animated one, but that’ll come up a little later, which might be one of the ones who are thinking of.

BEN: That could be.

CODY: This was called the Millennium Period, and it’s six different movies that all —

BEN: Was that the name of the emperor, Emperor Millennium?

CODY: Yes, Emperor Millennium. This one isn’t tied to imperial rule.

BEN: Oh, that’s disappointing.

CODY: Because these are all six movies that are all their own timelines. They’re all direct sequels to the original that have nothing to do with each other.

BEN: Huh.

CODY: And then after that, we get the MonsterVerse currently.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And then the current Japanese side is they’re doing, they made one sort of modern reimagining of the original Godzilla, Shin Godzilla, or Godzilla: Resurgence, which I really want to see, and I’ve heard very good things about it.

BEN: What’s the reimagined part of it?

CODY: So it’s modern day, and it’s instead of —

BEN: So everyone’s texting the whole time.

CODY: Right, exactly. There’s a big social media component.

BEN: Does it turn out that Godzilla is just a giant iPhone?

CODY: It should.

BEN: Because that’s what it really is.

CODY: When you think about it, no.

BEN: Okay.

CODY: This is, instead of him being borne of the nuclear sort of — you know, the bombings. Instead he comes from the Fukushima disaster from the 2011 tsunami.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: So it’s a whole different set of —

BEN: Odd. So does that change the messaging from the dangers of nuclear war to the dangers of nuclear power?

CODY: I’m not sure. I don’t think that’s it, but it definitely does change the angle of it.

BEN: Well, it’s not antiwar exactly.

CODY: And supposedly it’s very good. I remember at the time it was very well received, but it also doesn’t have any direct sequels. Everything after that that’s come out of Toho has been three animated movies.

BEN: Huh.

CODY: And they have also said, directly mentioned, they were inspired by the Marvel Universe. They are starting their own shared universe, which is, ‘starting’ is one word to use —

BEN: Continuing.

CODY: — because they’ve been doing this for half a century.

BEN: Much longer than Marvel has.

CODY: They are starting a new one, I suppose, called World of Godzilla, that’s starting with a movie in 2021.

BEN: Oh.

CODY: So that’s a thing.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: So this movie shares the stage with a lot. There’s a lot going on in the Godzilla franchise.

BEN: Yes, including a pretty good video game in the last chunk of time. I think it was called Destroy All Monsters, that I was very tempted to buy, but I don’t remember what system it was on. I don’t think I had it.

CODY: I believe I played that one a little bit, but not enough to really say anything substantial about it.

BEN: I love any monster fighting game. Like Pacific Rim, if it had a competent game made from it, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

CODY: It seems like it would be a good thing, just a fighting game, but with monsters instead of other things.

BEN: It’s a fighting game, but with monsters. You could even just re-skin another fighting game essentially, and like half the work’s done for you.

CODY: True, and the other half is just monster sounds.

BEN: Just monster sounds, yeah, which any child and/or rooster can do.

CODY: Right. And we’re ending this episode with you doing your best Godzilla roar.

BEN: I will, yeah.

CODY: So let’s talk about how this is, not in relation to all of those other 34 movies, because one, we haven’t seen all of them. Two, if we had, no thank you.

BEN: This would be a very different podcast if we had.

CODY: That’s too much of a task. But to the other two movies in this MonsterVerse that they’re doing, so Godzilla and Skull Island, where do you think it sits among those?

BEN: I think my overall impression of it was that it was super enjoyable. Like, any movie where I get to watch monsters fighting each other is awesome, and the fact that there were more monsters in this one than there were in the 2014 Godzilla made it enjoyable in that sense. But I also think that the human drama was more compelling in the first Godzilla in 2014. So I feel like they kind of evened out in that sense, but then at the same time, I also really loved the additional world building that came from this Godzilla. So they talked about a little bit more about the hollow earth theory that was first referenced in Kong: Skull Island. They talked about the like, ancient civilizations that worship them as gods. All of that world building stuff I love. Like, I could watch an entire movie that was, like, 50% just world building exposition and 50% monster fights.

CODY: Yeah, no, I think there’s a lot of good stuff in there.

BEN: Yeah, and then Kong: Skull Island, I thought it was fun. It was enjoyable. Again, I think that the human drama didn’t feel super compelling to me. I think the motivation of the military guy who just wants to destroy the monster and the scientists trying to stop him and eventually teaming up with the monster to stop him is for sure, like, I know that’s a common trope, but like, I feel like it’s already been done to death, so I kind of wish there had been more of a twist on that.

CODY: Yeah, I think, for this movie coming after the first Godzilla, which I really enjoy — I really like the 2014 Godzilla — a very common criticism I hear about it is that it doesn’t show enough of Godzilla, and that you’re just watching these people the whole time and you don’t get to see the monster, and then when you do, you see part of him. I think this movie proves why you have to do that.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because there’s no teasing of the monsters at all. You see Godzilla very early in his entirety.

BEN: He swims right up.

CODY: In his full glory, fighting against another giant monster, and it’s cool. And then about halfway through the movie, for me, you get really bored with the action, even though it’s technically impressive. It’s just, we’ve been watching this already for 45 minutes, and there’s still a lot of movie to go.

BEN: Yeah. They didn’t ramp up to the action. They jumped right in, and then didn’t really escalate the stakes.

CODY: The pacing of this movie was definitely my biggest problem with it. It was all over the place because in some sense, it is sort of nice to get a lot of action right off the bat so that you’re excited, but then it, you know, it sort of just jumps around and bounces up and down —

BEN: Godzilla does, that is. There’s a dance sequence.

CODY: Right. He does a lot of jumping and dancing. He has a pogo stick.

[laughter]

BEN: Yes, he does.

CODY: And it’s a lot of fun, but I don’t — that was one thing that I really loved about the 2014 Godzilla

BEN: The dance sequence?

CODY: Yes. Not just waiting until towards the end of the movie to show him —

BEN: In his full glory.

CODY: Right, but also the fact that they were showing pieces of him. I think the best seen from that movie is the skydiving.

BEN: Oh my god, yes.

CODY: When they’re jumping out of the plane, just to see how —

BEN: It’s horrifying.

CODY: It is, and it really it makes the scale come across easier, that you’re seeing these people, you know, dropping out of the sky in a super wide shot, and you’re only seeing just, like, a piece of skin of Godzilla.

BEN: Right. It’s terrifying, and that’s one thing, I’m not sure you really ever get a good sense of scale in this movie. And I mean, obviously they’re huge, but to get that sort of, you know, that realization that oh, they’re really, really big, and this is, the humans are way out of their depth. Most of that is from, I feel, like, buildings and things in this. You don’t really get a whole lot of, you know, the humans directly up against them, or if they are, it’s sort of, you know — towards the end, there’s Millie Bobby Brown’s character like running away from lightning, so it’s like, the monster’s way in the background, and it’s a threat, but you’re not getting a sense of just how outmatched they are, which I think is a big part of monster movies.

BEN: Yeah, agreed. I mean, I think you get an okay sense of how big King Ghidorah is when he’s first introduced as bursting out of the ice in Antarctica, which was awesome to watch. I hadn’t seen him in any of the movies before, other than, like, you know, funny clips of just like a three-headed puppet being wacky, so that was really cool to me. And I was kind of worried that it was gonna play as almost funny because, like, a three-headed monster isn’t — I mean, none of it’s grounded in reality, but like they’re taking the kind of reboot, gritty, you know, post-2010 approach to movies that has been happening a lot lately, and so the fact that he still came off as intimidating, I think, was impressive.

CODY: And I feel like they didn’t sacrifice much of his design because he doesn’t look like a super grit-ified dragon.

BEN: No, he’s still a scaly, three-headed dragon. 

CODY: And it’s a very eastern dragon, too, with the sort of characteristics of the face of a Chinese dragon.

BEN: Right.

CODY: That’s sort of wacky, but it also works, I think.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because it’s still — the effects for the movie, even though it gets to be a little much sometimes because of the way it’s written, I thought all of the action in the movie was technically great.

BEN: Yes, it was.

CODY: Because like, that’s, even the — I think where I started to really tire of it is when Rodan fights Ghidorah across the water, when he’s coming across. That was when I started to feel really sort of bogged down by it. But I think if you went back and watched that in isolation on its own, I think it would really hold up really well as looking good.

BEN: But after a movie of a lot of really crazy monster fights, it was kind of, like, alright. Loved Mothra, though.

CODY: So I was wondering how hard it would be for them to incorporate all of these, the big four Titans in this, Godzilla, Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra. I thought they all got really good screen time.

BEN: Totally.

CODY: And satisfying, but maybe not too much. I mean, Mothra is cool. There’s only so much you can do with Mothra in a serious movie because it’s a giant singing moth.

BEN: Yes, and glowing.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Who’s summoned historically in the older movies by two swinging fairy — swinging? — two singing fairy children.

CODY: Which is sort of referenced in this movie as well, because Dr. Chen, who may or may not be a doctor, has a twin sister who also works for Monarch.

BEN: She does! Oh wow.

CODY: Which they show in, like, the picture.

BEN: Well, yeah, in the pictures, when they showed the two, they were showing Dr. Chen, maybe not a doctor, they were showing Chen’s family, and she was saying that she’s, like, one of many in her family to work for Monarch, which is this monster studying organization, and they show a picture of her with another little girl who looks just like her, and I was like, oh my god, it’s the twins! They’re gonna sing! And they didn’t sing, and I was a little bummed because I was hoping for some.

CODY: She was credited, though, in the credits as playing both of them.

BEN: Good.

CODY: As both twins, so maybe the time will come.

BEN: The can pretty easily pull a Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap in the next one to have them summon Mothra, especially because Mothra — I mean, I was gonna say spoiler alert, but we’ve already discussed the entire film — does not super survive.

CODY: Right.

BEN: She kind of turns into fairy dust at one point.

CODY: I did read something about there being maybe a headline on a TV in the background about some possible discovery of another Mothra egg after that.

BEN: I was hoping it would be like the mothman in the US.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Someone was like, ah, it’s Mothra! And it’s just some tiny ass mothman.

CODY: Just a regular moth.

[laughter]

BEN: It’s just it’s just a big moth.

CODY: Yeah, just a slightly larger than usual moth.

BEN: Is this a titan?

CODY: Yeah, that’s the thing, especially with Mothra. Really, you can handwave away any sort of explanation for bringing it back.

BEN: It’s a magic, glowing moth.

CODY: Right, which you can really do with any of them.

BEN: Right.

CODY: So this idea of this current MonsterVerse as a shared universe of movies, how do we think that’s working or can work? Because I think it’s definitely the easiest approach that you can take to it, which is why it was so successful so long ago with Universal and with these kaiju movies, because the only — you know, with Marvel or DC or something like that, you have to, there’s a lot of rules, really, that you have to understand going into any given movie in the franchise.

BEN: Or relationships, even.

CODY: What’s possible in this world, or what are the stakes? You know, what are the laws here? Is there magic? Different things like that. All you really need to know for any of these is there are monsters.

BEN: Yes, and the rules can change movie to movie.

CODY: Right. Really the only steadfast rule is there are monsters.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And that’s pretty much it. And they are incorporating other elements in there, but it’s, um — you know, even though I had seen it, I didn’t really pick up on the Monarch thread until watching them back to back, just because I’d sort of forgotten, but because you don’t need to.

BEN: No, that’s totally true. And I don’t even think Monarch was named in the 2014 Godzilla when I rewatched it. I don’t remember the name coming up or even necessarily seeing the logo. It was a big part of Kong: Skull Island, though, which we watched after.

CODY: I think that’s what Sally Hawkins’ character was working for, was Monarch.

BEN: It was. I don’t know if she said it in the first one. I don’t know if she named it.

CODY: Okay. It just wasn’t as prescribed. I think that there’s a lot of room there for them to grow.

BEN: No pun intended because they’re giant monsters.

CODY: Right. So we have Godzilla vs. Kong next year, which is really teased very heavily in this movie. They kept referencing Skull Island and Kong.

BEN: Constantly, and showing full clips from Kong.

CODY: We’ve got Titans everywhere. Don’t forget about Kong.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: To the point where you might have thought, and I thought, like, is he gonna maybe make a little cameo at the end?

BEN: I would have thought so because the Titans from all over the world came to the coronation of Godzilla.

CODY: Well, and I think that will probably be maybe one of the inciting incidents, that he bows to no one, or something along those lines. Who knows?

BEN: Right. He is the king.

CODY: But there is also a lot of other things teased in here that I think is sort of more interesting. One, there is a reference to the Loch Ness Monster.

BEN: Is there?

CODY: But I think that’s more of a sort of a jokey thing. I don’t think they would do an entire movie about it.

BEN: I would be fine if the MonsterVerse also just became, like, a cryptid-verse.

CODY: Well, see, a lot of the other monsters are just things that may be based on a legend or myth, but they’re mentioned in there. And I think that could be even more of an opportunity for them than these because, you know, there’s been a ton of Godzilla movies and a ton of King Kong movies.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But we got references to, like, Abaddon and Leviathan and Quetzalcoatl.

BEN: Leviathan as in the —

CODY: Big sea monster.

BEN: Got it. And then Quetzalcoatl, the —

CODY: The Mesoamerican myth.

BEN: Yes, god. Bird god.

CODY: Bird snake thing.

BEN: Bird lizard snake, which is awesome.

CODY: Mm-hmm. And then, like, the bunyip, the Australian legend, which is like an alligator thing or something.

BEN: Was it big? Well, everything in Australia is big.

CODY: A ton of things like that where you really could just go around the world, taking these legends and make monster movies about them.

BEN: And I would watch them all.

CODY: And I think those would maybe, they wouldn’t — I think part of the reason why this movie maybe isn’t connecting with audiences as much or getting as much of an audience is because they saw the last Godzilla, and that was a new Godzilla, new effects, brand new thing, and this is sort of maybe more of the same. You know, we’ve seen Godzilla, and it is, even though I think it’s an enjoyable movie, you’re not getting a whole lot new from that because it’s still sort of the same Godzilla.

BEN: He did become a fire Godzilla version at the end. I know there’s, like, kind of different powers that he has in the different iterations, so before he was kind of like a bright, hot white flame, nuclear powered Godzilla. And then in this one, as he was dying, he ended up getting charged up by a nuke, which was either going to make him explode or just turn him into fire, and instead he turned into fire, which was awesome.

CODY: Yeah, it was cool. So in terms of your rankings numerically of the new MonsterVerse, how would you place this new one?

BEN: I would say this would be in second place, with the 2014 Godzilla in first and then Kong in third. Primarily, if I had to figure out why, it would probably be because it was weird watching a Kong movie after having watched these two Godzilla movies where Godzilla was, like, still kind of grounded in reality, in that there was still a dude in a suit, and Kong was not at all. Like, I think they might have still had mo-cap.

CODY: They did.

BEN: But there was definitely not a time when there was a man in a suit, from what I could tell.

CODY: Yeah no, I don’t believe so.

BEN: Which makes a bit more sense. I think it’s harder to make a realistic giant ape suit than a lizard suit. But, you know, technology just hasn’t gotten there yet.

CODY: I see.

BEN: What about you? What are your power rankings?

CODY: I would also put the 2014 Godzilla at the top just because I am still a fighting champion of that, the way they treated the monster.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But I would put Kong above King of the Monsters.

BEN: Yeah?

CODY: Just because it was fun.

BEN: It was fun.

CODY: You know, Godzilla was pretty serious, and the new one was pretty serious as well, and because of the pacing issues, just got to be a little much. Kong doesn’t really take itself too seriously and sort of plays around a lot. So I think that made me enjoy it maybe just a tad more. And I like the, you know, the setting was really fun, doing this post-Vietnam thing, and I thought it did a pretty good job differentiating itself from other Kong movies, if not other monster movies. It definitely is comfortable being a pretty tropey monster movie, but as a King Kong movie, you’re not getting as much of the, you know, the typical capturing King Kong, and —

BEN: Bringing him to New York.

CODY: Beauty killing the beast, you know.

BEN: ‘Twas beauty killed the beast.

CODY: Yeah, so I really liked that.

BEN: I assume It’ll happen in Godzilla vs. Kong.

CODY: Right. Also, it had John Goodman in it.

BEN: Who’s great, and unfortunately died in the movie. He’s alive in real life.

CODY: Yeah, don’t get me worked up.

BEN: I’m not putting that bad juju on him. He’s too important.

CODY: You should not be. But yeah, I still think that King of the Monsters is still a solid movie.

BEN: It was a lot of fun to watch.

CODY: It was, and I would watch it again.

BEN: Yeah, I would.

CODY: I don’t think that I would say that I wouldn’t do that. So about the human stories —

BEN: Yeah, I know that’s not really the focus.

CODY: Maybe should have talked about this before the numerical ranking because that feels like there’s a finality to that, but because it gets brought up so often. You know, some people say, why do we have to watch these humans in the movie? We don’t need a human story. There are people who are adamant about that, you can make a successful traditional monster movie without really focusing on any human story at all. I disagree with that pretty forcefully. I don’t think that you can really accurately portray any sort of scale or threat or stakes without getting something to latch onto. I don’t think there’s enough there for a monster movie to work without having some sort of smaller story to ground it.

BEN: Well, I mean, the monsters are certainly humanized. Like, I mean, they are capable of communicating. I mean, that’s one of the big plots of King of the Monsters, is that they kind of can all communicate amongst one another with this echolocation-esque type thing, and then the humans then can use that to try to control them. But, you know, life finds a way. So the fact that the monsters are all intelligent, for the most part. They’re capable of communicating with each other. They’re capable of understanding human motivation and knowing, like, this human’s good, this human is bad. I think there certainly can be conflict with the monsters beyond just they’re trying to kill us, but rather, like, are they here to help us or are they not? Rather than just purely they’re a force of nature with no mind, which I think was kind of where the original Toho movies were, was more just like these are forces of nature that we can’t possibly comprehend, whereas now I think they focus more on they’re more than just mindless monsters. They know to some degree what they’re doing. They act with motivation. They plan things out. Even so, I don’t think that a somewhat-humanly-behaving Godzilla with a somewhat-humanly-behaving Mothra movie would really work. Like, that relationship wouldn’t be super engaging to watch. Like, we can’t really relate to a moth and a lizard the way we can to a white man screaming in the OG American adaptation. So if they made a white man version of Mothra, just slap some wings on a guy, I would watch it.

CODY: I think, ignoring that entirely —

[laughter]

CODY:King of the Monsters does make a pretty decent point about the way humans factor into the monsters’ views because it’s sort of revealed at the end, this sonic communication device that Vera Farmiga’s character has developed, they can’t figure out what it is, the other signal that she’s using in it to develop these ways to communicate with the Titans. And it’s sort of revealed at the end that it uses human signals because they are another apex predator. You know, top of the food chain.

BEN: Titans in their own way.

CODY: I think that fits. I don’t think a monster movie means much if you’re not getting not just the way that it affects humans, but how — I mean, one of the reasons Godzilla stuck so well initially is because it was sort of our fault.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: We helped create it, and it was nature biting back. I think you need that. At least with a kaiju movie, that’s a really integral part of it. It’s how humans factor into how and why it’s happening. And they get into that, too, in this movie, that it’s all — they say it’s a force of nature, but it’s for balance. You know, humans are destroying the planet, so this is the way that the planet fights back, that sort of thing.

BEN: The planet has a fever to wipe out the virus, the virus being humans destroying the planet.

CODY: If you’re just having monsters, not even just fighting — because people who say, you know, I go to a monster movie to see them fighting the whole time — no, you don’t, and you would hate that.

BEN: Yes, if it was us that for, like, an hour and 40.

CODY: And then you would look at me with those doe eyes, not knowing what was wrong with it. That’s what is wrong. You can’t just have them fighting the whole time. But I just, I don’t think, even if you had a Godzilla movie where you, you know, in between his fights he goes and hangs out in his underground home and does…what?

BEN: Watches TV?

CODY: Like, who cares?

BEN: Right.

CODY: I don’t buy into any of those arguments. So if you see any of those out there, if you happen to look at reviews of this movie, and for sure, you will see those opinions out there, take it with a grain of salt because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

BEN: That’s fair.

CODY: It’s just ridiculous.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You gotta have the humans.

BEN: You gotta have heart.

CODY: I think we can make a really good transition from Godzilla into RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is what we’re talking about after this break.

BEN: Well, I mean, yeah, the transition makes itself. Dragzilla, Queen of the Monsters.

CODY: Good one.

BEN: Thank you.

CODY: We’ll be back in just a sec.

BEN: Yes.

Mini Queek #1 – Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4

When Marvel Studios announced their slate of upcoming projects at Comic-Con, we knew we’d need to make our first ever minisode to Queek out about it! We take you one-by-one through the next 3+ years in the MCU, outlining what we know, what we predict, what we want, and how excited we are, on a scale of ‘very’ to ‘unfathomably.’ Then, they finally get around to…nothing else. It’s a MiniQueek!

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Phase 4
  2. [01:33] Black Widow
  3. [04:08] The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  4. [05:51] Eternals
  5. [07:33] Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  6. [09:10] WandaVision
  7. [12:06] Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  8. [14:07] Loki
  9. [15:00] What If…?
  10. [16:51] Hawkeye
  11. [18:23] Thor: Love and Thunder
  12. [20:16] The Far Future
 

Links

CODY: Hello.

BEN: Hi.

CODY: This is “Queeks.”

BEN: It is. I’m Ben.

CODY: I’m Cody.

BEN: That’s the first time I’ve ever started us off with names.

CODY: Because I pointed to you to do it.

BEN: Yes, you literally told me to.

CODY: I wanted to change things up.

BEN: Oh.

CODY: This is a minisode because we had some big news come out over Comic-Con that we want to talk about, but maybe not in a full episode because we’ve done so many full segments on Marvel things.

BEN: I don’t think we’ve done that many.

CODY: We have done quite a few.

BEN: It’s been at least half.

CODY: Which is fine by me, of course.

BEN: There’s a lot going on.

CODY: But just to, you know, get some variety. But we had to talk about this because —

BEN: Lots coming out. So basically, Marvel’s Infinity Saga/Phase Three/just kind of everything they’ve been doing has come to a close with “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” both of which we’ve talked about in past episodes. But now they’ve announced sort of the next slate of movies to be coming out through the next few years. All of this was announced at Comic-Con through different panels, different news drops.

CODY: I kept thinking they were done announcing things, and then I’d see something else and be like, whoa.

BEN: Which is why this is coming out a little bit after this news has come out, because we kept learning more.

CODY: We wanted to wait and make sure there weren’t any more details trickling out that we were gonna miss.

BEN: I would not be surprised if 20 minutes before this episode drops, Kevin Feige tweets something about, like, and then this other movie too.

CODY: Oh, I’m sure. Or someone else saying something that we missed that is sort of a big deal.

BEN: Oh, for sure, but I think we have a pretty good grasp of the main chunks.

CODY: Yeah, so let’s talk about it.

BEN: Here they are. So first up —

CODY: The next movie.

BEN: You knew it, and I was like, it could be something else. It wasn’t. It’s “Black Widow!”

CODY: Just in production terms, it had to be. It’s filming.

BEN: Yes, that it was the only one in production. Well, I guess others are in production. It was the only one that was already filming.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Yeah, so that’s going to come out in May of 2020, I believe. So it’s gonna be a prequel, which I think we all kind of predicted based on the conclusion of “Endgame,” although you were sort of hoping that it might —

CODY: I’m still a little upset that it’s a prequel.

BEN: Yeah. You were kind of hoping that it might explore the Soul Realm.

CODY: Yeah. That was a big ask because that’s very ethereal.

BEN: Although, for all we know, it could be her in the Soul Realm reliving the worst moments of her life.

CODY: Yeah, it could.

BEN: So who knows?

CODY: I’ll still hold out a tiny bit of hope for that just because that would be nice. But I’m still excited to see it, even if it’s a prequel.

BEN: Right, so we’re finally gonna get a chance to see the Budapest instant — instadent!

CODY: The instadent.

BEN: The instadent in Boostapest.

CODY: Yeah, whatever happened there that she mentions with Clint several times.

BEN: Clint, who is Hawkeye.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Right, constantly. David Harbour is in this, playing a character named Alexei, who famously was also another character in “Stranger Things” that was kind of connected to his character in “Stranger Things,” so that’s kind of fun.

CODY: He was also in the recent “Hellboy” reboot.

BEN: He was in “Hellboy,” yeah.

CODY: Which was supposedly amazing.

BEN: Really?

CODY: No, apparently everyone hated it.

BEN: Yeah, not well received.

CODY: Rachel Weisz is also in this, fresh off of an Oscar nomination for “The Favourite.”

BEN: Yeah, so that’ll be really good.

CODY: Yeah, and Taskmaster is the villain in this.

BEN: Is that confirmed?

CODY: Yes.

BEN: People were kind of going back and forth.

CODY: Yes, the Taskmaster.

BEN: I’ve also heard that Rachel Weisz is the pick for possibly being kind of switcheroo as Taskmaster.

CODY: Ooh, interesting.

BEN: Because Taskmaster is apparently, from the footage that was seen/concept art, is fully covered, like in a costume where it’s fully obscured. So the theory is that it’s going to be some kind of switcheroo where the character ends up becoming Taskmaster, Taskmaster, whose ability is — god, what is it called? He can see some — it’s like intuitive something, where he sees some kind of physical action happen, and then can replicate it instantly.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Which makes him basically impossible to fight because as soon as he sees you do any fighting move, he can now do that. He can throw a shield like Captain America. In the concept art/stills that we saw, he is holding, or she is holding, a shield very similar to Captain America’s shield.

CODY: Yeah, he or she can do, just sort of mimic any sort of combat or actions or anything. That’s cool.

BEN: Yeah, I’m excited.

CODY: I think that’s a great pick for Black Widow.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: A good match.

BEN: For sure.

CODY: After that, we’re getting our first Disney+ release for the MCU.

BEN: Disney+, the streaming platform that Disney is launching later in 2019 that’s gonna have a lot of originals, including this.

CODY: And different from the other Marvel shows we’ve gotten before because, since this is a very direct platform for them, they are using them to intertwine with the movies more directly.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So first we’re getting “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” in fall of 2020.

BEN: Very exciting.

CODY: Right. This comes after “Endgame,” picks up right after it, and it’s about the Falcon taking on the mantle of Captain America and teaming up with the Winter Soldier to take on his responsibilities. We also get Daniel Brühl returning as Baron Zemo, who was in “Civil War.”

BEN: Which is awesome.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: I thought he was really good, and I was kind of bummed that we didn’t get as much of him.

CODY: I’m also realizing that I made a typo in our notes for this.

BEN: Baron Zermo?

CODY: Baron Zermo!

[laughter]

BEN: Which is a great off-brand version or DC villain.

CODY: Yes. So I’m still so happy that they picked Falcon to be the new Cap.

BEN: Yes. I mean, I guess theoretically, every character by now has basically been Captain America. Ditto for Thor.

CODY: Well, and Bucky has been explicitly, too.

BEN: Yeah, but I’m very excited to see that. I know, I think the Falcon has been Captain America for quite some time in the comics.

CODY: Yes, he has.

BEN: So it makes perfect sense, and I’m really excited.

CODY: Mm-hmm.

BEN: It’ll also piss off Nazis, which is always a fun bonus for any media.

CODY: Especially Captain America.

BEN: Yeah, famous Nazi puncher. In fact, that’s why his character was created, was to punch a Nazi.

CODY: True.

BEN: I literally wrote a research paper about that.

CODY: Oh nice.

BEN: Yeah. Anyway, punching Nazis, thumbs up. Next up after that, we have “Eternals,” coming in November of 2020. So this is gonna be Angelina Jolie —

CODY: [angelic singing]

BEN: — who is wonderful, and I guess probably just on retainer by Disney at this point.

CODY: I love Angelina Jolie.

BEN: Because she’s Maleficent.

CODY: True.

BEN: She’s gonna be playing Thena. Thenna? Theena?

CODY: Yeah, it’s sort of, so the Eternals are similar to Thor in that it’s —

BEN: Gods, basically.

CODY: — sort of their basis for Norse mythology on Earth, but they were actually just aliens. These sort of draw mostly from Greek mythology, and then some other stuff, so this is sort of the take on Athena.

BEN: Right. Very cool. We’re also gonna have Richard Madden, who has been in “Game of Thrones” and a bajillion other things, multiple things we’ve covered on this very podcast.

CODY: “Rocketman.”

BEN: “Rocketman,” yes. He’s gonna be playing Ickarus. Salma Hayek as Ajak, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos.

CODY: Who is also in everything.

BEN: Is he?

CODY: He’s in “Atlanta.” He was in “Widows.” He was in a ton of movies this past year. Really great actor.

BEN: Nice. I’m very excited for this.

CODY: Yeah, oh definitely.

BEN: This is thoroughly grounded in the cosmic Marvel world, in that the Eternals are potentially left over from before the Big Bang, I believe. No, I always mix him up with the Celestials. I’m the worst. God.

CODY: They’re close.

BEN: Ugh, the worst.

CODY: They’re created by —

BEN: Created by the Celestials, who are left over from before the Big Bang.

CODY: Right. So we’ll see how that how the lore shapes out for the MCU as compared to the comics because the comics are quite confusing in this area.

BEN: One of them might be Thanos’s parent or something.

CODY: Right. Next after that, we’ve got “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”  Great title.

BEN: Lot of subtitles this time around.

CODY: Which I love.

BEN: I know there’s always subtitles, but like ‘and the blank.’

CODY: I always prefer that to them doing 2 and 3. That’s coming in February 2021. So Shang-Chi is sort of similar to Taskmaster, but in that he’s just sort of a martial arts master.

BEN: Kind of Iron Fist-y, too.

CODY: Like he has a kind of mastery, yeah, of martial arts, specifically kung fu because this character came about during a sort of popularity for kung fu. Canadian actor Simu Liu has been cast in the role.

BEN: I don’t know him, really.

CODY: I don’t either. He’s in “Kim’s Convenience,” which is on Netflix. I’ve never watched that.

BEN: A Netflix Original?

CODY: I don’t know. I just know that it’s on Netflix if you’d like to check him out before this movie. Also, Hong Kong action star Tony Leung, who’s in “Ip Man” and several other things, is playing The Mandarin.

BEN: Again?

CODY: Not the fake one.

BEN: Round seven. You may recall from “Iron Man 3,” Ben Kingsley played “the Mandarin,” but it turned out the twist of the movie was that he’s not The Mandarin.

BEN: Right, but that there is a real Mandarin out there who was partially using that Mandarin as an obvious decoy, sort of.

CODY: Yeah, and is sort of in hiding. So he’s just playing THE Mandarin.

BEN: The actual Mandarin.

CODY: That’s pretty cool because a lot of people were upset that it wasn’t the real Mandarin.

BEN: Yes, at the fake-out.

CODY: I thought it was a cool twist.

BEN: I thought it was, too. Also, The Mandarin has been mentioned now in the multiple Marvel movies, but never really shown.

CODY: Yeah, so that’ll be cool to see him. Awkwafina is also in this movie.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Which is great.

BEN: Yeah. I still haven’t seen “Crazy Rich Asians.”

CODY: She’s very funny.

BEN: Yeah? Well, then after that — I’m really excited for this one — “WandaVision” in spring of 2021. So this is another Disney+ show. It stars Wanda and Vision.

CODY: Wanda being Scarlet Witch.

BEN: Yeah, I should clarify. Wanda is Scarlet Witch. Vision is —

CODY: The Vision.

BEN: The Vision, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.

CODY: Respectively.

BEN: Respectively. Two of my favorite characters, both in terms of just Marvel and in terms of their portrayals in the movies.

CODY: Yeah, I am pumped.

BEN: Yeah. It also stars Teyonah Parris, I believe, as a grown up version of Monica Rambeau. Did not know that.

CODY: Who we saw as a child in “Captain Marvel.”

BEN: And some time has passed since then.

CODY: Who, in the comics, becomes Captain Marvel and leads the Avengers.

BEN: And eventually becomes her own hero as well.

CODY: Big thing.

BEN: Which is gonna be really cool.

CODY: Yeah. Interesting to see how she’ll factor into this specifically.

BEN: Yeah, but I’m very excited for that. And apparently it’s leading directly into the Doctor Strange movie.

CODY: Which we’ll talk about in a second because it’s the next one, but they’ve said they are very directly connected. Something I’m — I’m really interested in what this show is about. They really have not said anything other than who’s in it.

BEN: I think to me, what made the most sense beforehand was that it would be about the time when Scarlet Witch and Vision were together between — what?  I guess between “Civil War” and “Infinity War.”

CODY: Right.

BEN: Because they were living together and, like, having on the secret romance on the run. I thought that would have made a really good show. Given the fact that we’ve now had a major time jump, for a show to take place 5 years before the rest of everything that the MCU is doing might not make the most sense.

CODY: And tie into the next movie.

BEN: Exactly. So I would be interested to see if this is how they resurrect The Vision because he is dead.

CODY: So, my thought: one of the most, if not the most famous story involving Scarlet Witch is “House of M.”

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Which involves her after a tragedy. She loses their children and creates, just constructs with her powers, a new reality, basically, where mutants are —

BEN: Most mutants are gone.

CODY: No, mutants are in control.

BEN: Oh, I always mix this up. What was the one where the mutants go away? “M-Day?”

CODY: “Days of Future Past?”

BEN: No, there’s one where she, like — someone says, like, ‘no more mutants’ and basically does a Thanos snap for like 99% of mutants.

CODY: I’m not sure.

BEN: Well, anyway.

CODY: This one, they’re in control, and humans are like second class citizens. So technically, I mean, could be that she instead of the tragedy of losing her children, it’s her trying to bring back Vision, and so she constructs her own reality, has a mental break.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: And that sort would make the title make a little more sense. The title “WandaVision” as one word, so it’s Wanda and Vision, but it also would be like her reality.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I think that’s a pretty good candidate for what this could be.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: Which I think would be fascinating, and also, I think, wouldn’t make sense as a tie-in with “Doctor Strange.” So let’s get to that. Coming right after that, in May of 2021, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” co-starring Scarlet Witch.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Which is awesome.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And I hope we get to see, both in the show and in this, more exploration of her powers.

BEN: Me too.

CODY: Which we haven’t really seen since her introduction.

BEN: In “Age of Ultron.”

CODY: Which is fair.

BEN: The extent of power background was that, through experiments by Hydra, experiments using the Mind Stone, which, of course, is the same power source that created The Vision and also was in Loki’s staff originally, her and her brother, who is now dead but was Quicksilver, were given their powers through some kind of experimentation, or potentially maybe had their powers, but they were augmented with the Mind Stone. Who knows? And what the Mind Stone has to do with super speed and Wanda’s powers, kind of up in the air. So my hope is that maybe the Mind Stone somehow activated something innate in their genes, like a mutation, and that they’re just gonna be mutants. But who knows?

CODY: True. I’m more interested in seeing — we got to see how her powers can affect people’s minds, in seeing those, like, visions that she gave them because since then, we’ve really only seen the physical manifestation.

BEN: Right.

CODY: But it is magic-ish.

BEN: Yeah, it is magicky.

CODY: They’re called hexes.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So just exploring more of what it can do I think would be cool.

BEN: But anyway, Doctor Strange.

CODY: Yeah. This is also the same director as the first one, and he says — he’s a horror director. He’s done a lot of horror work, and he says that this is the MCU’s first horror movie.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: I’m so excited.

BEN: So they’re experimenting with genre more.

CODY: This is also the first confirmation that there is a multiverse.

BEN: Right. I mean, it was sort of briefly touched on in the first “Doctor Strange,” in that, like, there’s more than one universe and they all overlap, but that was more kind of in a dimension sense rather than there are multiple versions of this story happening in different ways.

CODY: And in “Endgame,” by creating different timelines they also address it, but they’ve never used the term multiverse.

BEN: No, they haven’t.

CODY: Except for in “Spider-Man,” —

BEN: As a fake-out.

CODY: — but he was lying.

BEN: Yes, he was, as we now know.

CODY: Let’s get to the what comes after that.

BEN: Yeah, the next one’s gonna be “Loki.” So that’s gonna be also in the spring of 2021. It follows Loki after he disappears with the Tesseract in “Endgame.”

CODY: And this is on Disney+.

BEN: It is also on Disney+.

CODY: And the logo for this show is ass.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Straight up terrible.

BEN: I think I’ve seen.

CODY: It looks gross.

BEN: Isn’t it just, like, his name in different fonts or something?

CODY: Weird fonts. It looks bad.

BEN: Yeah, it’s really weird.

CODY: I’m sure there’s purpose for doing that. I don’t like it.

BEN: But this show also is going to have to touch on the multiverse thing because it takes place in a parallel universe in which Loki survived, wasn’t killed eventually by Thanos, stole the Tesseract, which, as we know from “Endgame,” when you take a Infinity Stone out of that timeline, that timeline diverges. So it’s gonna take place in a parallel universe, possibly featuring him trying to get back to the primary timeline. Who knows? But that will be interesting for sure.

CODY: We’ll see. After that is, I think, the most interesting thing that we’ve got on the slate just because of how different it is.

BEN: I’m very excited.

CODY: I’m very excited as well. This is in summer 2021, “What If…?” This is the first animated project for the MCU.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And for anyone familiar with the comics, the “What If” series of comics are really cool. So they’re non-canon hypotheticals. So it’s like, you know, ‘what if Captain America had never been revived?’ Or, ‘what if Bruce Banner didn’t become The Hulk?’ It’s just different things, and they tell the story of what would have happened if these big events changed.

BEN: What if Peggy became Captain America? I know that was one.

CODY: That’s rumored to be one of the episodes.

BEN: Right.

CODY: It’s not confirmed.

BEN: That I would love.

CODY: That would be cool, but she is confirmed to be in it.

BEN: Cool.

CODY: This is going to be presented by Uatu the Watcher —

BEN: Ohh!

CODY: Exciting — played by Jeffrey Wright from “Westworld.”

BEN: Did he do — well, I guess we didn’t have voices of Uatu, but because Uatu maybe showed up. CODY: Well, it was the Watchers. We didn’t have confirmation it was Uatu.

BEN: That’s fair. They all kind of look the same, though.

CODY: Was that in “Guardians?”

BEN: It was in “Guardians 2,” yeah, when they were doing some jumps.

CODY: Right. So the Watchers are in the Marvel canon. They watch.

BEN: They do. They like to watch.

CODY: They’re sort of cosmic beings that watch the events of history unfold, and don’t do much.

BEN: Bunch of blue-ass perverts.

CODY: And Uatu is the most well-known of this, so this is cool, presenting all that. He’s gonna be narrating it.

BEN: That’s awesome.

CODY: And a ton of the MCU characters are gonna be in this, played by their actual voice actors.

BEN: Which is very cool.

CODY: Yeah. We’ve got Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Nick Fury, Nebula, Peggy Carter, Thanos, Loki, Hank Pym, Scott Lang, Jane Foster.

BEN: Thanos?

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: And more. I couldn’t list them all.

BEN: What if Thanos wasn’t a douche?

CODY: So it’s legit.

BEN: Yeah. I’m very excited for that.

CODY: Another one rumored to maybe an episode, ‘what if Loki found Mjolnir?’

BEN: [gasp]

And he became the God of Thunder.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Wow, cool.

CODY: After that, we’ve got another Disney+.

BEN: Yeah, Disney+ is really — I mean, they have my money. They didn’t need to make any of this. I would have paid them everything I had, but I’ll pay them more now.

CODY: Just for the back catalog.

BEN: Literally.

CODY: But I’m so excited about this stuff.

BEN: I know, me too. So after that is “Hawkeye,” which is gonna be the fall of 2021. That takes place after “Endgame” and is about Hawkeye, possibly now kind of Ronin, but Hawkeye as we know him training his daughter.

CODY: Well —

BEN: It’s not about him training his daughter?

CODY: It’s about him training Kate Bishop.

BEN: [gasp]

Who?

CODY: Who is Hawkeye in the comics. She is one of the other Hawkeyes.

BEN: Oh, I for sure assumed it was about him training his daughter since he was training her in the movie.

CODY: Well, I thought that, too. And maybe they do something where his daughter is Kate Bishop or something because they haven’t announced the casting for her.

BEN: Oh, okay.

CODY: Or, like, maybe she has a different — or did she, did he call her by her name?

[laughter]

CODY: Not referencing the movie.

BEN: The film “Call Me By Your Name.”

CODY: But I don’t know.

BEN: I don’t think so. He called her Hawkeye in that scene.

CODY: Right. So not clear how that pans out, but it’s Kate Bishop, they have said, for sure is gonna be in the show.

BEN: Cool.

CODY: They also said they would explore a little bit of —

BEN: Linda Cardellini will probably be in it, thank god.

CODY: — the time we didn’t see for him during the time jump between “Infinity War” and “Endgame.”

BEN: Yeah. It’ll probably deal with some of the ramifications of him becoming a possible villain.

CODY: Eh, antihero.

BEN: Antihero, I guess, is probably more fair, yeah.

CODY: After that —

BEN: I am so excited.

CODY: I’m quivering about this, “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So Taika Waititi is returning to write and direct this. He did “Ragnarok” previously.

BEN: Which was amazing.

CODY: It was a great sort of — not, you know, reboot, but a new direction for the “Thor” movies.

BEN: It was a departure.

CODY: Natalie Portman is back, baby!

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: In this one as Jane Foster, but as Thor, which, if you are confused by that —

BEN: Don’t be.

CODY: — welcome to Marvel.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But yeah, so other people can take up the mantle of Thor, technically.

BEN: Isn’t it basically whoever picks up Mjolnir is endowed with the powers of Thor.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: So by that logic, Thanos, The Vision, Captain America, a number of other characters have already wielded the power of Thor, in a sense.

CODY: Right. This is, the director has said, based on Jason Aaron’s comic run of “The Mighty Thor,” which sees Jane as Thor.

BEN: And I think it’s worth noting she first appeared as Thor in a “What If” scenario.

CODY: Right. And that series is wonderful.

BEN: Yeah. It was one of the best-selling Thor series, from what I’ve heard.

CODY: I don’t want to say too much about it.

BEN: Yeah, please don’t.

CODY: Because it’s just really great.

BEN: Is it part of the main timeline, like Earth 616?

CODY: Yes, I think so.

BEN: Earth 616 is the primary timeline of Marvel Comics.

CODY: I don’t — the timelines are so crazy.

BEN: They are.

CODY: But I think it is. Valkyrie is also going to be back. She has just confirmed to be bisexual.

BEN: Bi visibility!

CODY: Which she is in the comics, and was supposed to be initially. They had a deleted scene from the first movie.

BEN: It was pretty heavily implied.

CODY: Yeah, she is. The actress, Tessa Thompson, has hinted that since she has been crowned the new king, as she said, of Asgard, that she needs a queen now, so maybe we’ll get some of that.

BEN: That makes me so happy.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: Would you like to talk about the last bits of announcements we got, which came out after the other things we were talking about?

BEN: Yeah, so a few things have been touched on as coming down the pipeline, where there’s work being done, but it’s not exactly — like, there aren’t dates set, particularly. But there is some casting, so possibly Phase Five, possibly who knows. We have confirmed “Blade” starring Mahershala Ali as Blade.

CODY: Lots people excited about this.

BEN: Very excited.

CODY: I never watched “Blade,” I never read “Blade.”

BEN: “Blade,” “Blade 2,” and “Blade Trinity?”

CODY: I’ve never — I’m very, like, as someone who knows a lot of Marvel, very unfamiliar with Blade in general.

BEN: I liked him a lot in “Marvel Ultimate Alliance.”

CODY: Oh, true.

BEN: I think he was in one of those games. He’s just cool. He’s like a half vampire, half not vampire. Good times. He’s also gonna be the first time when we have a pretty major role of a character appear twice as — like, the actor appears twice as different characters in Marvel canon.

CODY: Right. He was in the first season of “Luke Cage.”

BEN: He was in “Luke Cage,” but I think pretty firmly Disney is probably just gonna officially de-canonize all of the Netflix shows.

CODY: Yeah, excommunicate.

BEN: Yes. And they are not part of the canon.

CODY: I would love for them to carry over Jessica Jones, though.

BEN: Oh my god, I know. Maybe they will. Maybe we’ll do a separate series and just continue it. Additionally, we’re getting a Black Panther 2. I think that was kind of a given. We’re gonna get Guardians Vol. 3., kind of a given. Captain America — Jesus, Captain Marvel 2, definitely a given. Spider-Man 3, for sure a given.

CODY: Hopefully a direct remake of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3.”

BEN: Yes, which we thoroughly covered in our review.

CODY: We did.

BEN: That was really what the episode was about. And then —

CODY: The biggies.

BEN: Kind of shockers, the big ones. The really exciting things are the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. They’re being brought in. So we knew that Marvel had gotten the rights — well, I guess Disney got their hands on the rights — to all the Fox properties that previously had been made. The X-Men, obviously a long, very lucrative franchise that just kind of closed up shop with “Dark Phoenix,” which we covered previously, and the Fantastic Four, that not so much has done well.

CODY: Yeah, they didn’t say really anything about how they’re going to be included or when, but just that it’s being worked on it, which is exciting.

BEN: Very exciting.

CODY: So that’s all the info we got.

BEN: That’s our very long minisode.

CODY: It’s a ton of information.

BEN: There’s just so much to talk about.

CODY: So, yeah. Obviously we’re excited.

BEN: I’m so excited.

CODY: And obviously we’re going to watch all of these in their entirety.

BEN: Of course we will.

CODY: So you’ll be hearing about it.

BEN: Be on the lookout for those across the next five years.

CODY: Yep.

BEN: We’ll see you in five years.

CODY: Check it out.

BEN: Okay, bye.

CODY: Thanks for listening!

BEN: Yeah, thank you so much. Please be sure to like and subscribe here on YouTube.

CODY: You can listen to full episodes of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you listen. And keep up with us for updates, behind the scenes, and more on Instagram @QueeksPodcast.

BEN: We’re also on Facebook, and coming to LinkedIn soon!

Stranger Queeks – Stranger Things / Special

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) share their thoughts on season 3 of Stranger Things. Then they finally get around to watching Special, the Netflix miniseries about a gay man with cerebral palsy. We say “finally” but the show was just released this year so we’re actually pretty ahead, OK? Just cut us a break. Jesus.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Stranger Things
  2. [02:45] The Story So Far
  3. [04:40] “Piles of Blood and Flesh Crawling”
  4. [07:48] Raising the Stakes
  5. [11:05] Cold War Nostalgia
  6. [14:51] All Grown Up
  7. [19:17] Splitting Up the Gang
  8. [21:43] Stranger Things 4
  9. [24:19] Who is the American?
  10. [26:58] Stranger Things Spin-Off?
  11. [31:12] Intro to Special
  12. [33:11] Thoughts on the Minisode Format
  13. [36:33] Intersectionality
  14. [41:24] Gay Pool Party/The Women of Special
  15. [45:35] Codependence & Parenting
  16. [51:34] Sex & Disability
  17. [54:43] Season 2?
 

Links

Spider-Man: Far From Homo – Spider-Man: Far From Home / Paris Is Burning [Spoilers]

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) get into the final Marvel movie of the Infinity Saga, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Then they finally get around to watching the landmark drag documentary Paris is Burning.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intros

  2. [00:48] MCU Up-To-Now

  3. [02:43] In-depth analysis of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3

  4. [06:58] Rumours (Ben correctly predicts the Sony-MCU split)

  5. [07:45] The movie as a sequel

  6. [10:15] Introducing…Mysterio!

  7. [18:30] The movie as a finale

  8. [19:50] Spidey’s other friends and foes

  9. [26:40] What will happen to the gang next time?

  10. [35:00] Why we keep making Spider-Man movies

  11. [38:10] Paris is Burning

  12. [39:55] Setting the drag ball scene

  13. [41:32] Influence on queer culture

  14. [44:12] A look into the gay underworld

  15. [48:38] A big gay glossary

  16. [51:01] An actually good documentary

  17. [54:38] Criticism from the original release

  18. [59:49] Is drag anti-trans?

  19. [64:27] Closing Thoughts

  20. [66:02] Next Queek…

 

Links

The Category Is: DAZZLER! – Dark Phoenix / Pose [Spoilers]

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) chat about the final X-men movie, Dark Phoenix. Then they finally get around to watching Pose on FX.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Dark Phoenix
  2. [04:41] Captain Marvel, Skrulls, and Namor the Submariner
  3. [09:26] Are the Bad Reviews Accurate?
  4. [12:48] “Totally Unlike the X-Men”
  5. [16:16] Jean, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix
  6. [20:48] What Stakes?
  7. [23:37] The Things We Did Like…Kind Of
  8. [26:18] DAZZLER
  9. [28:26] Magneto’s Team: Both Whack and Weak
  10. [31:17] Is This the Worst X-Men Movie?
  11. [36:59] Intro to Pose
  12. [40:11] Paris Is Burning
  13. [42:15] What is a Drag Ball?
  14. [45:51] Drag Houses
  15. [49:24] The Stories of Pose
  16. [52:45] Trans Representation
  17. [54:13] “The Really Intense Presence of HIV/AIDS”
  18. [58:55] Elektra…
  19. [62:21] Household-ifying Gay Culture
 

Links

Detective Queekachu – Detective Pikachu / Drag Race: Season 1

This week the Queeks discuss Detective Pikachu. Then they get around to watching Drag Race season 1 part 1.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Detective Pikachu, Starring Danny DeVito

  2. [03:14] Who is This Movie For?

  3. [07:22] Rita Ora & Cyndi Lauper

  4. [09:50] The Torterra Disaster

  5. [13:04] Bill Nighy & Ryan Reynolds

  6. [15:44] Lucy the Love Interest

  7. [18:42] CGI vs. Costuming

  8. [21:07] Horse Doping, Dog Fighting, or The Flintstones?

  9. [25:44] The Sequel/Other Video Game Adaptations

  10. [30:04] Intro to RuPaul’s Drag Race

  11. [35:05] A Lizzie McGuire Movie Detour

  12. [37:42] The Evolution of Drag Race

  13. [41:11] The First Season

  14. [45:38] Season 1 Heroes & Villains

  15. [48:27] Spoilers for Reality Shows (and Historical Dramas)

  16. [50:20] Drag Lingo & Standard Definition TV

  17. [54:27] Where To Next, Dorothy Cyclone?

Links

CODY: Hi.

BEN: Hello.

CODY: Welcome to “Queeks.” This is queer stuff and geek stuff.

BEN: It’s both of them.

CODY: At the same time.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: How’s it going, Ben?

BEN: It’s going pretty good. How’s it going, Cody?

CODY: Pretty well. We’re recording this on Mother’s Day.

BEN: Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

CODY: To you as well, Ben.

BEN: Oh, thank you. Yes, I’m a mother of none.

CODY: I’d like to think of you as a mother to me.

BEN: I am your mother.

CODY: Thank you.

BEN: I’m your mommy. We had kind of a big week. We did a lot in preparation for this because we have two new things that we had not seen this week that we had to watch in preparation.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So we went to see “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was an experience.

BEN: It was something.

CODY: Yeah. One, we kept having to push it back because it kept being sold out because of children.

BEN: Yeah, the fact that children are going to the movies is garbage, even though it’s literally a children’s movie. I mean, when we looked at the tickets the night before, the seats were pretty much entirely clear, other than, like, a chunk in the middle.

CODY: Right, which, I’m usually pretty good about being like, I don’t think it’ll fill up, and usually being right, not anticipating that most parents taking their kids are not going to be buying tickets ahead of time in case their kid, like —

BEN: Vomits or puberty something.

CODY: Throws up on the dog or something and can’t go.

BEN: Throws up on the dog.

CODY: That’s what kids do.

BEN: Throw up on dogs.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Throw up on clothes.

CODY: So we had to push it back several times.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But we did end up finally getting to see it.

BEN: We made it.

CODY: So I was not familiar before I saw this movie with the fact that it is based on —

BEN: Based on a video game.

CODY: Right.

BEN: That was only released in Japan.

CODY: I knew it was based on a video game series.

BEN: You’d never heard of Pokémon before this.

CODY: No. I knew of the Pokémon.

BEN: Ah, yes, the Poké-mans.

CODY: I was not familiar with “Detective Pikachu” itself. Although, I mean, I think I had heard of it. I think I’d just forgotten about it entirely.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was released worldwide.

BEN: They did?

CODY: Yes, just much later than that. So the Japanese version, it was a shortened version of the full game itself, what it later came to be, that came out in 2016.

BEN: Oh. Good year.

CODY: And it was released, I think worldwide, in 2018, so it did eventually come out.

BEN: I mean, there was a lot of buzz when they announced that they were gonna do a movie. There was, like, a kind of pop culture campaign to try to get Danny DeVito to do the voice of Detective Pikachu.

CODY: Really?

BEN: Yes. That was, like, a whole thing.

CODY: I was unaware of this. I didn’t know it was a thing until the first trailer came out, actually. I had not heard they were doing this. DeVito would have been a pretty good choice.

BEN: I know.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Especially for the ending, which we will get to.

BEN: Just him waddling up.

CODY: I was looking at the stuff for the game. It did take the characters and, like, basic plot elements like the mystery chemical that they have and all the different locations.

BEN: Oh, really?

CODY: That all comes from the game.

BEN: Oh, wow. That’s impressive.

CODY: It is, but the story is pretty different. Like, all the scenarios are pretty different.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It still involves, I think, his dad being a detective and all that. Um, so what were your initial overall thoughts?

BEN: Well, I came up with this great line, ‘Detective Pikachu? More like Detective P.U.’

CODY: Alright. Well, we can build on that.

BEN: No, that’s it. That’s it for me.

CODY: That’s all.

BEN: That’s all. That’s everything I have. That’s all my collective thoughts.

CODY: Fair enough. I was not the biggest fan.

BEN: Yeah, I think my biggest complaint about it is that it couldn’t decide between whether it wanted to be a movie for the original fans of Pokémon as, like, a nostalgia trip, or if it wanted to be a movie for a new generation of Pokémon fans. And there’s definitely been movies that have been able to bridge that gap. Like, “Toy Story 3” does a really good job of appealing to both new fans to those characters and the fact that, like, just under the surface, the entire plot is about, like, growing older and letting go of childhood and how sad that is. And I mean, it’s, you know, a whole other level for parents, too, which, despite me being a mother, you know, at the time I wasn’t, and so I didn’t necessarily know what that was like.

CODY: Right. Yeah, I feel like the initial response to someone saying they didn’t like this movie would be, ‘It’s a kids’ movie. You’re just not thinking about it like that.’ But I was thinking about it like that, and to me, it failed more as a kids’ movie than it did as a just a movie or someone who knows about Pokémon. Because we — there were a good amount of kids in the theater when we saw it.

BEN: It was mostly kids.

CODY: I mentioned this afterwards, there weren’t a lot of times, maybe a few, where there were a bunch of kids laughing, like burst out in laughter, or even, like, aahing and oohing over a cute Pokémon. That happened like once or twice. There really wasn’t a lot of reaction from them, which is the best part about seeing a kids’ movie in the theaters. You should always see a kids’ movie with kids.

BEN: Unless it’s something like this, but again, I think they partially marketed this as both for a new generation of fans and the OG nerds, but I think in an effort to not go too far in either direction, it just didn’t really go in any direction. Like, it wasn’t super satisfying for me as someone who played Pokémon Red and Blue, and that was the last Pokémon game I played.

CODY: Nor for me, who has played all of the main ones.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And most of the — not most of, actually, but a good number of the side titles. I can’t say most of because they have —

BEN: There are thousands.

CODY: — like, 400,000 games.

BEN: Yes. Well, I’ve played “Pokkén Tournament,” which is really fun.

CODY: Yeah, the fighting game. That one is very fun. Yeah, there just wasn’t much there, and even for ones who maybe were fans when they were younger, like we were, it was very rehashy of the original. Did you see any of the other movies, the cartoons? I only saw the first one, “Pokémon: The First Movie.”

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Did they call it “Pokémon: The First Movie?”

CODY: Yes.

BEN: I don’t even remember that. Is that the one with the scene where Ash turns to stone?

CODY: Yes, that’s it.

BEN: And then all the Pokémon combine all their friendship magic?

CODY: That’s the big Mew/Mewtwo story, yeah.

BEN: Okay. I saw that.

CODY: And it’s, like, that’s cool. And they’re actually making a remake of that as well.

BEN: Are they going to do it like live-action/CGI?

CODY: I don’t know.

BEN: Because I feel like remaking an animated movie is an interesting choice.

CODY: There’s a trailer for it. It is a Japanese production, as well.

BEN: Oh, it is. Okay.

CODY: I think it’s still animated, but maybe it’s like CGI.

BEN: Do they remake animated movies very often? Because I feel like it’s just basically tracing at that point.

CODY: Oh, you mean like animated to animated.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Yeah, no, not that I can think of.

BEN: I mean, kind of “The Lion King,” but like —

CODY: I remember I saw the teaser for it. I think it is very, like, updated.

BEN: Okay.

CODY: It’s not, like, you know, cel shaded cartoons or anything, which, that, to me, makes more sense if you’re going to go that kind of way because they only did it halfway, where it’s like yeah, we remember, the whole Mewtwo being experimented on. He breaks out of the lab that’s  run by scientist Rita Ora, which, I was still shocked to find that out at the end.

BEN: I don’t know who that is, and I mixed her up with Ore-Ida, the potato people.

CODY: I don’t even — which is, I mean, come on.

BEN: Well, I don’t know.

CODY: I can’t even name one of her songs.

BEN: Can I at least name an Ore-Ida product, though? I bet you can.

CODY: French fries, crinkle cut.

BEN: Yeah, there you go.

CODY: In the oven.

BEN: In the oven.

CODY: Thumbs down.

BEN: But whaa, you don’t like them?

CODY: I oppose Frenched fries that are baked.

BEN: Frenched fries that are baked?

CODY: Yes. Baked Frenched fries.

BEN: Baked Frenched fries.

CODY: Yeah, it’s not my favorite.

BEN: It’s not the same, for sure.

CODY: But yeah, no, I still don’t understand why she was in it. I guess probably, I think she did the song at the end as well. I’m not positive, and I didn’t check, but I’m going to assume that’s true. Because why wouldn’t it be?

BEN: Who else would it be?

CODY: Like Madonna doing the song for “Die Another Day” and also appearing in it.

BEN: Cyndi Lauper doing the song for “The Goonies,” but not appearing in it.

CODY: Did she?

BEN: She was not a fan of — so apparently she had written the song, and the studio basically was like, Yep, we’re also releasing “Goonies,” so can we just add, in parentheses, “The Goonies Are” before the title, “Good Enough?” And she was like, no. And then they said yes, and that was it.

CODY: Oh, that sounds fun.

BEN: And that it gave birth to an amazing music video that’s about 20 minutes long that’s on the DVD of “The Goonies,” that’s mostly just her and some pirates, and then also the Goonies show up with shirts that say ‘Goonies,’ just in case you didn’t know they were Goonies.

CODY: I’m not familiar with this. I’ve not seen “The Goonies” in a very long time.

BEN: We could do a full episode just about that music video.

CODY: We might have to.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, regarding Mewtwo, very cool, but don’t just use him and toss away the details. It’s just like, Oh, he’s a clone. By the way, man-made Pokémon. You don’t need to worry about that. He’s just here to look cool.

BEN: Right. We’ll hint at his origins and make it sound like we’re trying to explain it to you, but if you’re not a longtime fan, you’ll have no idea what we’re talking about, and if you are a longtime fan, you’ll just be either bored at the rehashing or annoyed at the lack of commitment.

CODY: And it’s not like it mattered.

BEN: No, no.

CODY: It was immaterial.

BEN: Right. They could have just thrown it in as an Easter egg of, like, showing an ancient ruin of Mew somewhere in the background in the lab, and that would’ve been it.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Like, that would have been fine.

CODY: And there was a lot of that, little things that didn’t really matter. I have to get to this now before we get sidetracked because the scene that makes the least sense in the entire movie is the Torterra garden scene.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, I mean, they find these Torterras, the big tortoises with land on their backs, which is cool. They see them in there, and then they read a little read-out in front of the display.

BEN: On the exposition machine.

CODY: Right, that they’re doing growth experimentations on evolution to make them bigger. And then later, the entire world starts crumbling, apocalypse-style.

BEN: We’re led to believe that’s because of a Greninja throwing a grenade. Is that where they’re called Greninjas?

CODY: I didn’t think that. I thought there was something else, like there was some machine under the ground or something. Did you just ask if they’re called Greninjas because they throw ninja stars?

BEN: Grenades.

CODY: Oh, excuse me. Yeah, I think that is why they’re called grenades.

BEN: No, not why they’re called — not why are grenades —

CODY: No, they’re called grenades because Greninjas throw them.

BEN: Yeah, that’s where the name comes from. That’s so cool that they knew that even in, like, World War I and stuff.

CODY: I know. Which is when grenades were invented, during the war.

BEN: Right. Yeah, in the middle of the war.

CODY: On the battlefield.

BEN: Some scientist was like, Oh, a Greninja grenade.

CODY: Lieutenant MacGyver was his name. It goes all disaster movie.

BEN: It does, for like four minutes.

CODY: And then you — and it’s very disaster movie, like, the ground is vertical.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But somehow they don’t die, which — usually I never really care about “plot armor” about people not dying in crazy situations because it’s like, that’s how you make a movie exciting.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But it was a little ridiculous considering the stakes of the movie before that were not at that level.

BEN: Not especially high.

CODY: And it immediately ends because as soon as they find out they’re on the back of a giant turtle, the turtles then lay down to rest.

BEN: Sit back down.

CODY: Everything’s back to normal.

BEN: I guess I didn’t think about it till now. They were probably just irritated from the Greninjas throwing their ninja stars.

CODY: I guess so.

BEN: And that made them all wake up?

CODY: Make them wake up, stand up, and then be like, Oh, back to bed.

BEN: Oh boy.

CODY: And then get back down.

BEN: Enough.

CODY: Stop moving. And I guess the implication is that they’re also, they never move.

BEN: Is that, like, canon?

CODY: I don’t think so.

BEN: I guess if they’re land, they have to stay where they are, right?

CODY: Well, it’s just, they have land on their shells. It’s like they have an ecosystem on their shell. But it really, that scene was just, I mean —

BEN: It didn’t contribute really anything to the plot.

CODY: No.

BEN: Like, we already knew that they were experimenting with growth.

CODY: But it also wasn’t a movie that has, like, a ton of scenes that are just for action that don’t contribute to anything.

BEN: That’s true.

CODY: This was really the only time it happened because it wasn’t a very exciting movie.

BEN: No, it wasn’t.

CODY: Not much happened.

BEN: Which is rough for kids.

CODY: That’s the thing. There’s so much exposition, but it’s not explaining to kids what they’re seeing on screen. Most of the action of the story did not happen within the narrative limits of the movie.

BEN: Yeah, that’s true.

CODY: It’s mostly, like, flashbacks at best.

BEN: Holograms.

CODY: Holograms. At worst, it’s just them talking about what has happened.

BEN: It’s a classic telling and not showing.

CODY: Yeah, the entire movie.

BEN: Which doesn’t go great with kids’ movies.

CODY: No. That’s, I really don’t —

BEN: I mean, Bill Nighy was fun.

CODY: He was, as he always is. I adore Bill Nighy.

BEN: It is Bill Nighy, right? As opposed to Bill Nigh?

CODY: I just say that.

BEN: I say that to make sure it’s not Bill Nye.

CODY: Right, to make sure no one thinks that the Science Guy was the villain in “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: I guess we should have done a spoiler warning of the start of this with it.

CODY: Well, I think if anyone’s foolish enough to listen to 20 minutes of us talking about “Detective Pikachu,” they should —

BEN: — by now have been like, Oh, well, maybe I shouldn’t.

CODY: Also, in fairness, anyone that’s, I assume, an adult that’s listening to this —

BEN: Doesn’t care enough?

CODY: — is smart enough to realize that he’s the villain within, like, the first minute. Which is fair. It doesn’t need to be a big twist.

BEN: Did you also make the connection, as soon as they made the reveal that you could put human souls inside of Pokémon, that Detective Pikachu was the dad?

CODY: I figured there was something going on with that initially. The old ‘your dad was with you the whole time.’

BEN: Yes.

CODY: What is that movie where the dead dad becomes a snowman? Is that “Jack Frost?”

BEN: I believe that’s “Jack Frost.” And isn’t that Michael Keaton as the snowman?

CODY: Is it? I don’t know.

BEN: Like, not the voice. He’s just inside the suit.

CODY: Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it since —

BEN: Warwick Davis was the voice.

CODY: — before I really know who Michael Keaton was.

BEN: Yeah, I don’t even know when that came out. I believe it was —

CODY: I just remember I was a kid, seeing the, like —

BEN: The snowman looked terrifying.

CODY: It did. I remember seeing the opening scenes, and I really, really hated it.

BEN: Is it just kind of like a snow version of “The Santa Claus?” Like if you punch a snowman’s head off, you become a snowman?

CODY: I don’t think so at all.

BEN: Oh. How would he become a snowman? Did he die?

CODY: I think he died in, like, a car crash, and then he —

BEN: But then these kids make a snowman, and it’s him?

CODY: Yeah, I think.

BEN: What a sad message to tell children who lose their parents.

CODY: Right. Hey, if you lose your dad, maybe there’ll be a snowman.

BEN: If you miss him hard enough, maybe a snowman will become him.

CODY: I don’t remember the details. I just remember a specific scene of the kid outside shoveling snow furiously, and the mom being like, ‘it’s okay to cry.’

BEN: It’s your father!

CODY: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Put your father down!

CODY: Yeah, I assume that’s how it went down. We should watch that for our next episode.

BEN: “Jack Frost” as a Christmas special?

CODY: Oh, good call.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You’re right, Bill Nighy was fun. Bill Nigh-y.

BEN: The Science Guy-y.

CODY: Ryan Reynolds was good. I’m still, like, the whole thing of Pikachu with his voice is, like, it’s more just it’s still kind of just Ryan Reynolds being funny as himself, and there’s a Pikachu there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But whatever. I did like the main character as well, played by Justice Smith.

BEN: I did, too. I thought his performance was good.

CODY: Yeah, I did, too. I do have to address his companion.

BEN: Pikachu?

CODY: No, the lady.

BEN: Oh, her performance was very cartoonish.

CODY: It was, and I think part of it is because of the script.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because I don’t know if you noticed, a lot of the dialogue in the entire movie was pretty, like, grounded.

BEN: Mm-hmm.

CODY: Especially the main guy, Tim. His stuff almost seemed improvised a lot, where it was very, like, natural reactions.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And maybe it was partially improvised. I don’t know. Hers were written like —

BEN: Hers felt like video game dialogue.

CODY: It felt exactly like dialogue straight out of a GameBoy Pokémon game.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Like, ‘I’m a detective’ — or, ‘I’m a reporter.’

BEN: ‘I’m the best there’s ever been.’

CODY: ‘I like to get the scoop.’

BEN: Right.

CODY: It was the most cartoonish, like, wacky reporter who’s up and coming, played by what I thought of immediately as thrift store Amber Heard.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: But apparently she has — I’ve seen her in other things because she’s in “Big Little Lies.”

BEN: Oh, wow. Of the new season?

CODY: She’s in the first one.

BEN: I need to watch that show.

CODY: Yeah, you do need to. She’s also in other things, like “Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri.”

BEN: Oh. Was she the mom?

CODY: She was the kid who had died.

BEN: I thought it was a son. Oh my god, yes. Of course, duh.

CODY: And she’s in other things, too. So I think she probably — I mean, I thought she was fine in “Big Little Lies,” so I think that is mainly a dialogue problem. But, yes, she was — that character, Lucy, was grating.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I mean, it was rough. It got better towards the end of the movie when they stopped giving her lines.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Or not even giving her lines —

BEN: When they just edited her out of the entire film?

CODY: — but they stopped writing her as a character and wrote her as, like, a plot device, I guess.

BEN: Right. Before the end of the movie, a lot of the characters just kind of became plot devices.

CODY:. Right? She kind of stops — I mean, she’s still trying to be a reporter, but she doesn’t have the attitude she has in that first. The first scene where she’s, like, hidden in shadows on the staircase is really just, I mean, that one almost got an audible groan.

BEN: And the gag of her being an unpaid Buzzfeed intern is cute, but like, it doesn’t really — it’s not a character.

CODY: Right.

BEN: It’s a trait.

CODY: Yeah, and also, I mean, I know this is not an uncommon thing for kids’ movies, do we — can we stop doing the shoehorned romance plots for kids’ movies?

BEN: Yeah, in Pokémon, it wasn’t needed. If anything, there should have been a romance between two Pokémon. That would have been really cute.

CODY: And it didn’t even have a payoff because it’s not like they kissed at the end or anything.

BEN: Which is what all the kids wanted to see.

CODY: Which I also don’t want, but it just seemed unnecessary. Why can’t they just be friends?

BEN: I was really tempted to sing.

CODY: You should’ve.

BEN: I didn’t.

CODY: You’re gonna have to at some point.

BEN: Yeah, eventually.

CODY: Or else.

BEN: It’s in my contract.

CODY: Yeah. You really gotta fill that out, or else we’re finding someone else.

BEN: My contract? Oh shit, okay. I’ll get on it.

CODY: I don’t — I do have to say that the heroes of this movie were definitely the animators and the, like, character models designers because they are stellar.

BEN: The design was awesome.

CODY: It was. But I still have to say just the designs of the Pokémon because one, I think they could have had a lot more fun with, like, the human characters and the costuming because, I don’t know, they look pretty wacky from source material. And if they had wanted to go that route, that could have made people look a little more interesting.

BEN: I just wish they picked a route to go.

CODY: Right. They didn’t.

BEN: If they had decided to go, like, gritty noir style, that could have been really cool. Like a noir interpretation of this wacky world would have been really, really fun to watch.

CODY: But they chose to do this, like, grounded realism for all the people.

BEN: But then, like, full-on cartoonishness — well, I guess they weren’t really cartoony. They were kind of realistic with the Pokémon.

CODY: They were, which could have — but I still think they were still fantastical, but it’s still like a crazy element to have in there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You can’t just have all these monkeys with hands for tails running around, but then, I don’t know, have people dressed in slacks. I don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: It could have been fun, though.

CODY: I just, I usually don’t have such a problem with costuming when it’s not anything special, but for some reason, it really stood out to me as being, like, why isn’t anybody wearing, like, a Pokémon trainer jacket or something? Or a fun hat?

BEN: Right. Well, I think his T-shirt in it might have been an Unown, right? I think.

CODY: Oh, I didn’t even catch that.

BEN: Possibly. I’m not sure. I kept looking for little Easter eggs because I figured, like, if they were gonna make a movie that was not necessarily overtly appealing to older fans and was more catering to the younger audience, then I would have hoped that they would have sprinkled in more Easter eggs and cameos, which, maybe they did and I’ve just played one or two games, so I might not be the target for those Easter eggs and cameos.

CODY: True, and I’m sure there are ones that we didn’t catch, just little things. And I guess a lot of it maybe was for the game itself, the “Detective Pikachu” game.

BEN: That could be.

CODY: Because a lot of the locations, like the cafe they’re in at one point, or like the — I think maybe the fighting arena they’re in, a lot of them are from the game.

BEN: Interesting. Okay.

CODY: But we didn’t have any frame of reference for that.

BEN: Right.

CODY: The environments themselves were fine.

BEN: I keep thinking of what this movie would have been like in other interpretations of it. Like, imagine how interesting it would have been if it was a drama talking about, like, performance enhancing drugs with Pokémon. They could have focused on that. Like, a, what are the ethics of Pokémon fighting at all? And b, what are the ethics of, you know, performance enhancing? Because I think there was just some article recently with the Kentucky Derby, where the winning horse was disqualified because of doping or something. But apparently doping is, like, rampant in all animal sports because the animals aren’t considered the athlete. And so it’s like, who cares? Like, that — no kid’s gonna wanna watch a movie about an allegory for horse doping.

CODY: Right.

BEN: But I don’t necessarily think I would either, so I don’t know where I’m going with this.

CODY: Funnily enough, one of the games you haven’t played does very lightly touch on —

BEN: Horse doping.

CODY: The subject of — yeah, it does.

[LAUGHTER}

CODY: One of the Pokémon games is entirely about horse doping.

BEN: It’s a Ponyta just doped out of its mind.

CODY: They do lightly touch on the aspect of maybe Pokémon are slave.

BEN: I mean, they are.

CODY: Yeah, I mean, it’s sort of unclear in the movie.

BEN: And that’s a premise in the movie, though, too.

CODY: It’s sort of unclear in the movie. Like, we don’t ever see an animal, do we? That’s not a Pokémon?

BEN: Well, that’s been a running joke in the Pokémon games of, like, what do they eat for meat? Do they eat Pokémon?

CODY: Right, so it is a little confusing. Because it’s hard — I mean, I think it’s fair enough that they don’t address it because it’s hard to keep it being Pokémon that we know without being, like, is this any different from dog fighting? It’s not.

BEN: It’s dog fighting.

CODY: It’s a little worse.

BEN: It’s worse because they’re super sentient.

CODY: Also, the element that’s always been present to make it okay that they’re fighting is that they just faint.

BEN: Yes, they don’t die. They faint.

CODY: But there’s like Pikachu near death scene in this movie, so I guess that doesn’t count for this one?

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It was hard to tell.

BEN: I mean, Mew, like, lit him up and made him glow to come back to life, I guess.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which implies he was losing his life.

CODY: Well, it seemed from the reactions of Tim that he was losing him, and not that he was just — because he was saying we’ve got to get him to a healing Pokémon. There was a sense of urgency, not like, let’s just take him back to the healing center and throw him on the conveyor belt.

BEN: Right.

CODY: It also was a little — I mean, clearly Pokémon pretty central to lifestyle in this whole world.

BEN: In Ryme City.

CODY: But yet, Tim has taken on the position of like, I don’t really —

BEN: I don’t need one.

CODY: Yeah, or not even that just that. But it’s like, I don’t deal with that. I don’t like them. Like, at one point Pikachu asks him, he’s like teasing him, “you like Pokémon, don’t you?”

BEN: Right.

CODY: It’s like, that would be so weird for someone in a movie for their position to be, like, I don’t like animals.

BEN: Yes, and then someone else later to be like, You do like animals, don’t you? You do see that they’re valuable.

CODY: And it’s especially even more comical in this because they have, like, a Flintstones-like place in society, where they’re being used to fight fires.

BEN:  And as a shower.

CODY: And to light a grill for a wok.

BEN: Was there one of those?

CODY: Yeah, a street vendor was cooking —

BEN: Charizard, or something?

CODY: There was a Charmander, and his tail was lighting it. It was cute.

BEN: That’s wonderful.

CODY: Yeah, those elements are really cute.

BEN: I really enjoyed the Squirtles as firefighters.

CODY: Yeah, I thought they did that kind of stuff pretty well. I wish there would’ve been more of it, actually.

BEN: I agree. I would have watched, like, an hour and 25 minutes of just that.

CODY: Of just Pokémon in society?

BEN: Just like a clip show.

CODY: And also making sort of self deprecating, dejected comments to the camera like the dinosaurs do in “The Flintstones.”

BEN: Oh yeah. Like, ‘It’s a living,’ as it puts out a fire.

CODY: Right. Exactly. It needed about 1000 times more of that.

BEN: Except it would just be saying its name over and over again into the camera.

CODY: Yeah, true. I need to go back and watch the trailer because I feel like there were at least a couple things in there that I didn’t see in the movie.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Yeah, I don’t know. One particular image from the trailer with Ludicolo, who was the server in the bar in this, with his sombrero.

BEN: Yeah. That was in the movie.

CODY: It was, but there was a part in the trailer that I seem to remember — I might just be going crazy, but it seemed like he was in action of some sort.

BEN: That would’ve been fun. He was great.

CODY: He was funny.

BEN: He was the breakout star of the film.

CODY: He really was.

BEN: I want him to have a spin-off.

CODY: I think he should. Detective Ludicolo. They are making a sequel. There’s a sequel development.

BEN: Already.

CODY: They announced that before it was released.

BEN: Okay, big mistake. That’s what they did with “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” and it didn’t work out.

CODY: In fairness, I do think this is going to do a bit better than “Herbie.”

BEN: They thought that “Herbie” would do great.

CODY: I think — I feel like the stakes are a little bit different. I think Pokémon is a more bankable property than Herbie the Love Bug.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: I would like to see a Herbie the Love Bug-verse.

CODY: I have not seen either of the — I’ve not seen any of the Herbie. I’m not familiar with the Herbie cinematic universe.

BEN: Are you not?

CODY: I’m not.

BEN: It’s fine.

CODY: Lindsay Lohan is in that, right?

BEN: Yeah, she was in “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”

CODY: Okay.

BEN: I think that was one of her last movies before she went off to Mykonos. Or the Poconos?

CODY: Mykonos. Maybe she’s been to the Poconos as well.

BEN: She could’ve been to the Poconos, I don’t know. I mix up my -onoses

CODY: That was when she left for Mykonos to develop her dancing skills.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Interesting to note, this movie sits at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest rated video game adaptation ever.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: How depressing is that?

BEN: Yeah, that’s a bummer. Well, I mean, have you seen the live-action “Super Mario Bros.?”

CODY: I have.

BEN: I have it on DVD.

CODY: I was looking through the list because RT did a list of ranking all these.

BEN: Russia Today?

CODY: Yes, Russia Today did this ranking of all the video game movies, and the “Super Mario Bros.” movie was not as low as you’d think.

BEN: I think it was fine for what it was.

CODY: Yeah, I think it’s fair enough that they had a lot under it that we’re just, like, these Z-list movies, where it’s like, who and why? I only recognized them because they were directed by Uwe Boll.

BEN: Who’s this?

CODY: Notoriously terrible director of video game adaptations.

BEN: Oh, wonderful.

CODY: Seriously, look at that list. In the bottom, it’s astonishing how many of them he made.

BEN: How? Why do people keep giving him money to do them?

CODY: I don’t really know. I haven’t looked into it much. There has to be some — I mean, I don’t know if he’s, like, helping to finance these things.

BEN: Oh, that could be.

CODY: I have no idea, but it’s really alarming. And I’ve never seen a full one of his movies, but I have seen clips and, like, best-of reels. But it’s 73%. The next highest, tied for second, are “Tomb Raider” and “Rampage,” both from 2018 —

BEN: I forgot about “Tomb Raider.”

CODY: — at 52%.

BEN: Yikes.

CODY: That’s so crazy that we’ve only had one.

BEN: Wait, so does that mean this is the only one that also has a Fresh rating?

CODY: Only Certified Fresh.

BEN: Is it Certified Fresh or just Fresh? Because there is apparently apparently a difference.

CODY: Maybe it is just Fresh. I don’t know.

BEN: How do they determine what is certified and what is not? Does certified mean, like, we promise you’ll like it?

CODY: I think certified has to have a certain number of top critics.

BEN: That would make sense.

CODY: I think.

BEN: But bottom critics don’t get a say.

CODY: Right. Classic. Yeah, that’s kind of crazy that we’re this far into the video gaming era and still only have one, according to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, one decent video game movie.

BEN: Right.

CODY: I’m hoping we’ll get more. We do have “Sonic” coming out, which I have very high hopes for.

BEN: That’s a joke, yes?

CODY: That is a big joke.

BEN: Excellent. Yeah, the fact that they are binge remaking the entire movie in nine months based on negative Internet response to the trailer is concerning.

CODY: Well, let me say this unequivocally, them fixing the animation is not going to fix the movie.

BEN: Which is so disappointing because it’s Ben Schwartz as the voice.

CODY: I mean, his character model looked bad. It didn’t look as bad as the script did.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: Because none of those jokes landed.

BEN: No.

CODY: And you should be putting some pretty good ones in the trailer.

BEN: Yes. Especially — I mean, Jim Carrey, like, he can make things funny, even if they aren’t funny.

CODY: Him and Ben Schwartz, I think, was pretty good casting.

BEN: It  was great casting.

CODY: But I don’t think they’re gonna get to do anything worthwhile.

BEN: Aw man, that’s disappointing.

CODY: Yeah, but I don’t know. We should probably still see it and talk about it.

BEN: I mean, I think we have to.

CODY: So, any last thoughts on “Detective Pikachu?” I would say take your toddler to see it. Don’t take your kid if they’re —

BEN: Over 10.

CODY: Or if they’re old enough to go see a better movie.

BEN: Yeah. Just go see “Avengers” again at that point.

CODY: Yeah, do that. Let’s take a break and talk about something else.

BEN: Okay.