Five Essential Movie Podcasts

Published: May 11, 2014 00:08am EDT
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated May 11, 2014 @ 12:08am EDT


As an avid podcast listener and cinephile I've heard my fair share of movie podcasts over the past few years. As a mailman there is rarely a time when I'm not listening to a podcast while I work. Its basically part of my job at this point. I must admit there aren't many movie podcasts that I've outright not liked (I can pretty much listen to anyone talk about movies) but there are about 10 that I make sure to listen to every episode that is released. Out of those 10 there are five that stand out as essential listening for anyone that listens to podcasts and also enjoys film. These podcasts motivated me to start my own podcast (The Redbox Report) where I borrowed ideas and formats and mixed them with some of my own ideas. I enjoy recording every week but I can only hope to be anywhere near as good or successful as the following podcasts.

The /Filmcast - David Chen and Devindra Hardawar are the hosts for this movie review podcast. Usually focusing on the more mainstream releases each week they do a great job of giving their opinions in an easily digestable way. Thats not to say that they don't know their stuff, they certainly do, but they can get their opinions across in a relatable way. You can tell they've known each other for some time as the chemistry is very good and they always have a stable of great guests to keep things from getting stale. Theres rarely an episode where I don't agree with at least somebody's point of view. They split most reviews into non-spoiler and spoiler segments to go along with a 'what we've been watching' segment where each person gives a brief thought on a movie or two that they believe is worth mentioning and a segment where they discuss recent movie news. David is a podcasting workhorse, also hosting TV podcasts on the likes of 'Breaking Bad' and 'Game of Thrones' and doing a great job at that. Good production value and a great theme song doesn't hurt either. Keep an eye out for the occasional mini episode focusing on a movie's score as well. Always a delight and does a good job enlightening novices like me on what makes a great score.

Battleship Pretension - Lets get into it shall we? Despite the title of the podcast hinting otherwise, hosts Tyler Smith and David Bax aren't really that pretentious. They just happen to know a great deal about the intricacies behind and in front of the camera and do a great job not talking down to the audience. Their format is unique in the movie podcast landscape choosing to delve deeper into movie related topics as opposed to the standard review/news format, which works on its own but I do like the variety here. They always have good guests as well but even when its just the two of them they really dig into whatever specific topic is at hand. They always make me think and I usually learn a thing or two. They also have certain times when they break from the typical format whether it be a career retrospective every 10 episodes, the Entertainment Weekly "sponsored" seasonal previews, or my personal favorite 'year in review' episodes. If you give them a listen and get hooked like I did make sure to go back and check out their old episodes, for the most part they're timeless due to the format.

Brad 'N Laremy On Movies - The only podcast on this list to release two episodes per week, every Tuesday and Friday, and they've recently become the first podcast I listen to that offers weekly premium episodes. For $2.99 a month you can listen in to the Friday episodes, which carry most of the weekly reviews, as well as bonus episodes as they see fit. I'm more than happy to pay a nominal fee for something I get hours of enjoyment out of each month. And its worth it! Seattle critics Brad Brevet and Laremy Legel have great chemistry together and a laid back conversational style. Both tend to be cynical when it comes to Hollywood and the movie blogging world and who can blame them. The honesty is refreshing. Brad has alot of old school film knowledge while 'generally' Laremy sticks with movies that are his age or younger. The linchpin of the podcast is probably the games that come at the end of each episode. Audience participation is key for over/unders, buy or sells, and playing the percentages as well as listener questions and voicemails. Hit record.

Film Junk - I have to be honest the first couple of episodes of Film Junk that I listened to didn't do much for me. I laughed a few times but I couldn't tell the voices of Sean Dwyer, Jay Cheel, Frank Knezic, and at the time Greg Gaspari apart and the episodes were unusually long. Since then its come to grow into one of my favorite podcasts that I listen to. Greg has since left the show (but does co-host Ball Junk with Frank) and I can never get enough of the baseball game length episodes. This is definitely the funniest of the movie podcasts I subscribe to but also gives you in depth discussion of films from the main review each week to the discussion of every movie they watch each week to the Junk Mail at the end of each episode. Jay is a documentary filmmaker himself while Sean and Frank work in the video game industry (check out Game Junk). The chemistry is fantastic here with inside jokes building every week and bringing the listeners in on them as well. They also offer premium episodes once a month where they can give the long form review treatment to a series of movies from the past (Star Wars, James Bond, etc) for a dollar each. With over 450 episodes they're second only to Filmspotting as far as I know but you don't hear their name brought up nearly enough.

Sound on Sight/Sordid Cinema - Sound on Sight and Sordid Cinema are officially two separate podcasts but they're released into the same feed and share most of the same hosts so they're listed together here. On Sound on Sight, founder Ricky D, Josh Spiegel, and (currently on sabbatical) Simon Howell review the latest movies that come out each week, usually with a guest. They sometimes discuss mainstream movies but for the most part do a good job picking out the lower profile movies that I'm looking forward to. Each co-host has a slightly different taste in movies so in most cases you get some great discussion from multiple angles. Its not very often that everyone agrees on a movie and that makes for good listening. On Sordid Cinema they discuss new movies as well but ones that are in off genres like horror and martial arts as well as sometimes pairing those movies with a film or two from the filmmaker's past. Edgar Chaput (two time guest on The Redbox Report I might add) joins Ricky and Simon for these conversations and all the nice things I said about Sound on Sight apply here as well. The 'week in review' segment gives everyone a good opportunity to recommend other things they've been enjoying, be it a book, television series, or in fact a movie. 

Honorable Mentions: Fighting In the War Room, Filmspotting, Filmspotting SVU, Film Drunk, The Flop House, Screen Verdict


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