December 10, 2018

The Vultures continue their journey through Middle Earth with the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers. How does this fan favorite from 2002 hold up? What are the challenges of adapting Tolkien for this middle chapter? Should you ever toss a dwarf? These questions and more are discussed in this epic episode.

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November 27, 2018

Hairy feet, little people, jewelry, and magic are the ingredients to many a fantasy… and The Lord is the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is no exception – the first of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy adaption of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy masterwork that took pop culture by storm and brought Hobbits into the cinematic zeitgeist. Join the Vultures as they journey through Middle Earth to discuss part one of a trilogy so good that you won’t want to keep it secret, keep it safe.

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November 12, 2018

Muppet Treasure Island (1996) saw our favorite felt puppets star in a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of pirates and buried treasure. Grounded by Tim Curry’s performance as Long John Silver and helmed by Brian Henson (son of Muppet creator Jim Henson) the film arguably marked the last time the Muppets really felt like themselves, with the signature balance of heart and absurdism. Join the Vultures as they set sail to rediscover this long buried childhood treasure.

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October 29, 2018

John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) was a turning point for horror cinema. The low budget independent film tells the simple story of an expressionless killer stalking babysitters on Halloween night. The resulting movie was so iconic, it has lasted four decades and spawned numerous sequels and reboots in an attempt to recapture the magic and mystery of Michael Myers, the latest of which is Halloween (2018) — a direct sequel to the original that ignores everything else. Does this latest movie make the cut? Join the Vultures for this years Halloween… Halloween special!

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October 15, 2018

Murder, cannibalism, and furniture made out of people are just a few of the reasons Tobe Hooper’s horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets under our skin. The movie spawned 8 sequels/remakes/prequels, including the 2003 remake from Marcus Nispel. Hitchhike with the Vultures as they compare and contrast the original with the remake, and debate amongst themselves what works and what doesn’t. Put on your best face, and join us for this delicious episode.

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October 8, 2018

Who drew the dicks? Who is the Turd Burglar? These are some of the most important questions of our time. American Vandal is a Netflix true crime mockumentary series in its second season. In this Scraps, the Pop Vultures delve into the seedy world of dick jokes and poop humor to get to the bottom of why this crass mockumentary delivers the twists and turns with laughs and humanity. Grab some lemonade and join us!

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October 1, 2018

Few films helped to define the hyper-masculine action films of the 80s like Predator (1987), which saw Arnold Schwarzenegger and his elite team of soldiers become prey for an alien hunter. The genre bending, self-aware film spawned three sequels, including the latest entry, The Predator (2018). The Vultures join the hunt to look at why the first film is a classic, and to see how far the simple premise can be stretched for its sequels. Get to the choppa (or wherever you listen to podcasts) and enjoy this episode.

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September 24, 2018

Pop quiz, hot shots! In this scraps episode the Vultures take on their first ever Pop Quiz, in which they respond to listener-submitted questions from Instagram. Join the conversation and answer these questions along with the Pop Vultures. Follow us @popvultures on Instagram to participate in the next Pop Quiz, and we’ll give you a shout-out on the episode – anything goes! 

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Episode 34

Touch of Evil

September 17, 2018

Touch of Evil (1958) would be any other filmmaker’s masterpiece, but for Orson Welles this classic has always lived in the shadow of Citizen Kane, and has been marred by its unfortunate post production issues — namely being taken away from Welles by the studio, resulting in three different cuts of the movie. The Vultures take a look back at this phenomenal piece of work from one of the all time greats. Also Charlton Heston plays a Mexican.

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MINISODE

SCRAPS – FanX

September 10, 2018

Many thousands of nerds, fans, and the culture curious attended FanX (previously know as Salt Lake Comic Con prior to a lawsuit) this past weekend. These conventions are for fans of every niche, where people can be themselves and celebrate whatever they love – but is this Utah iteration worthy of their support? In this short episode the Vultures set their sights on a local issue with universal resonance – FanX’s ugly track record with sexual harassment.

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September 3, 2018

The Pop Vultures are turning one! Eli, Chris, and Pat answer eleven questions in an attempt to reflect on their first year of podcasting, what the future may hold, and their gratitude toward the ever growing Pop Vultures community. Join us as we celebrate a year of talking movies with some hot giveaways… and maybe even a few laughs.

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Episode 32

Jumping the Shark

August 27, 2018

While Jaws is widely considered a masterpiece, no shark film made since has been able to swim in its wake. Jaws spawned three sequels, the 90’s gave us Deep Blue Sea and more recently we’ve seen the likes of The Shallows and The Meg — but why have none of these movies been able to do what Jaws accomplished? Will there ever be another great shark movie? Dive into this mystery with Vultures in this episode.

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Episode 31

Heat

August 15, 2018

Michael Mann’s film HEAT (1995) is many things – an epic crime drama, a canvas for the paring of acting legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, an existential meditation on the cause and effect of choices, a modern tragedy, and the movie with arguably the best shootout in cinema history. Join the Vultures as they dive into this seminal 90’s classic. Have nothing in your life you cannot walk out on in 30 seconds flat if it prevents you from listening to this episode.

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August 14, 2018

We all make mistakes folks. Several of you wrote in about something we said in a previous episode – something we got wrong. Dead wrong. In this minisode, we come clean. Forgive us. We’ll do better.

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Episode 30

The Dark Knight

July 31, 2018

Ten years have passed since The Dark Knight (2008) debuted in theaters around the world. Christopher Nolan’s film introduced us to the spectacle of IMAX and Heath Ledger delivered a villain worthy of the canvas. Why is this still the comic book movie by which all others are compared, and does it still hold up after a decade? Why so serious?

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Episode 29

Jaws

June 25, 2018

Few movies are as universally admired as Jaws (1975). It was the first real blockbuster, the highest grossing film of all time (at that point) and the movie that made Spielberg… Spielberg. Before its release the film was anything but a sure bet with it’s B-movie plot and endless production woes that sent the production way over budget and schedule. Listen as the Vultures discuss the filmmaking lessons to be learned and how Jaws became one of the greatest films ever made. Here’s to swimming with bow-legged women!

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Episode 28

Jurassic Park

June 11, 2018

Few movies can match the wonder, terror, and cinematic splendor of Jurassic Park (1993). Twenty-five years after its release the movie remains an iconic benchmark in pop cinema, outshining the latest blockbusters by a T-Rex sized margin. We all remember the dinosaur effects, the music, and the Goldblum, but there’s a lot more to admire in this beautifully crafted summer movie. Hold onto your butts and join the Vultures for a podcast 65 million years in the making.

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Episode 27

Tron Legacy

May 28, 2018

Everyone remembers the score by Daft Punk, but the 2010 film Tron Legacy can be admired for a lot more than the music. Director Joseph Kosinski delivered a visual triumph that took the ideas from the original 1982 film and updated them for the 21st century. It’s far from perfect, but Tron Legacy possesses many qualities that most of today’s blockbusters lack. Enter the grid with the Vultures to talk about this flawed delight of a film.

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May 14, 2018

The Vultures are back with the first ever Pop Vultures Guilty Pleasure Debate (PVGPD), in which Pat, Chris, and Eli each propose a different movie as the superior guilty viewing pleasure. While no one would call these movies art, many would call them highly enjoyable. Listeners will determine the winner, so pop in your earbuds and pull up your debate pants. We also have a special announcement at the end of the episode!

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April 25, 2018

The 2018 comedy Game Night and the 1997 thriller The Game are two wildly different movies separated by genre that actually share a lot of similarities under the surface. Listen as the Vultures discuss what they liked about these two overlooked movies, both featuring premises designed to make you question what is real and what is part of… the game.

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Episode 24

Ready Player One

April 9, 2018

Steven Spielberg slides back into the blockbuster driver’s seat for the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One. Is it really just nostalgia porn, or merely the latest target of superficial hipster chiding? The Vultures sit down to discuss the overlooked craftsmanship of the film, the book’s baggage, and the movie’s place in the contemporary blockbuster scene. Begun the hipster war has.

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There are cult classics and then there are cult classics, and then there’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. The Vultures sit down to discuss this endlessly quotable, charming oddball of a film.

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March 12, 2018

Some movies live or die by how well they walk the tight-rope of tone, and few do it better than Barry Sonnenfeld’s action / comedy / sci-fi mashup, Men In Black (1997). Suit up, throw on your shades, hit the red button, and join the Vultures as they look back at the inner workings of MIB – from Will Smith’s masterclass on charm, to Tommy Lee Jones’ perfect deadpan delivery, to Vincent D’Onofrio’s hilarious villain. Here come the MIB.

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Episode 21

Waterworld

February 5, 2018

The Vultures take a swim in Waterworld and discuss why you shouldn’t write off this post-apocalyptic action-adventure epic. At one time the most expensive movie ever made – and unfairly picked on by critics before its release – Waterworld is a fascinating piece of film history. So dive in and give Kevin Costner’s Mariner another shot – webbed feet, gills, and all. 

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Episode 20

Titanic

January 22, 2018

For a year in the late 90s James Cameron’s Titanic conquered the box-office, the Oscars, the hearts of countless teenage girls, and Debra from accounting saw it twenty times. While many of us remember that horrible song, or it being our first experience with PG-13 boobs, what about the actual filmmaking? In this episode the Vultures take a look at Titanic.

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Episode 19

Year-end Wrap Up

January 8, 2018

Happy New Year everyone! In this episode the Pop Vultures take a look back at some of the major trends in pop culture in 2017 – despite our best efforts, Star Wars comes up again. We also take a peek at what the Vultures have in store for 2018.

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Episode 18

Christmas Special

December 26, 2017

For those who celebrate Christmas the holiday comes with a bevy of traditions, not the least of which are the movies we watch to get in the holiday spirit. Everyone has their favorite from the ultra classics, to something a little more Die Hard. Listen as the Vultures share a selection of their favorite Christmas movies, drink enough spiked egg nog to kill a small horse, and argue over the merits of A Christmas Story. From the Pop Vultures to you, Happy Holidays, and yippee-ki-yay motherf**kers.

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December 18, 2017

After two years of anticipation and waiting cliffside to see what Luke Skywalker does with the return of his lightsaber, the latest installment of the Star Wars saga has arrived. With Episode VIII, Rian Johnson (writer, director) has delivered a critically acclaimed but fiercely divisive entry in the saga.

In this episode the Vultures discuss Star Wars: The Last Jedi and attempt to answer the tough questions — did it meet expectations, where does it fit in the larger saga, and did anyone else get turned on by the thing Luke milked?

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December 11, 2017

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. the iconic words that precede the epic adventures many of us started as children. Those adventures continue this week with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With the growing anticipation for the new film, the Pop Vultures use this episode to reflect on Star Wars as a series films, a modern mythology, and its cultural importance as a shared history.

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Episode 15

Trailer Roundup

December 4, 2017

Captain America has a beard! That’s what we learned from the hot new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War – now the most mentioned movie trailer in the history of Twitter… so that’s something. With all the trailer excitement these days, the Vultures decided to sit down and look at a random cross-section of current movie trailers, discuss the coming attractions, and ponder what makes a good trailer in the first ever Pop Vultures Movie Trailer Roundup™!

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November 27, 2017

Everyone loves The Ministry of Silly Walks, the Parrot sketch, and the Black Knight getting delimbed — but Monty Python’s Life of Brian is not only their most thoughtful, intelligent, and complete film, but also their most divisive work.

The Pop Vultures discuss Monty Python, Life of Brian, the high art of silliness, seeing John Cleese in person, and why nothing should be taboo in film. Then again don’t listen to us, you don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!

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November 20, 2017

Ewoks and diabetes abound in this episode as the Vultures hangout to loosely discuss a formerly canon Star Wars universe movie that has long since been buried, forgotten, and lost… and for good reason. Ewoks: The Battle for Endor is a TV movie, from 1985, which stars Wilford Brimley (of diabetes commercial fame) and Ewoks. You need know nothing else.

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November 13, 2017

Modern film criticism has largely been distilled down to thumbs, stars, and percentages of freshness. So what’s the point of modern film criticism? Is it to direct the viewer toward the box office with as little information as possible, reinforce and push good filmmaking, or to make money? The Pop Vultures discuss the current state of film criticism – the good, the bad, and the certified douchey.

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November 10, 2017

Real talk – Thor: Ragnarok was neon garbage. In this minisode we sit down with an old friend and the officially unofficial fourth Pop Vulture, Jeremy Goldenberg, to discuss his work on big Broadway shows (before they open on Broadway), and why Thor: Ragnarok sucks.

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November 6, 2017

With seventeen movies and more on the way, no real failures, and over $13 billion dollars in worldwide box-office grosses, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated blockbuster filmmaking for the last decade. The MCU’s success has had a clear impact on big Hollywood productions, changing not only what gets made, but how things are made. These movies, to a large extent, are determining audience tastes. The Pop Vultures assemble to discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe and seek to determine what we should demand from our popcorn movies.

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November 2, 2017

A Justice League movie joke gone awry leads to the Vultures coming into contact with toxic, ravenous fandom on the Twitter. Personal attacks and therapy bills ensue. The Vultures crush on a new fave podcast from their peers, Epic Film Guys.

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Episode 10

Halloween Special

October 30, 2017

The night is upon us where armies of ravenous kids will trick-or-treat, others will put on slutty outfits and get too drunk, while the rest of us pretend not to be home and throw on those coveted horror movies we wait all year to watch. For those needing some Halloween movie recommendations, this episode is for you. The Vultures talk about some of their favorite horror movies — covering everything from known classics to the obscure and bizarre. Light your jack-o’-lanterns, grab that candy dish, and sink your teeth into this special Halloween episode.

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Keeping with the flavor of Halloween season, the Vultures circle a selection of contemporary horror TV shows. In this episode we discuss The Walking Dead, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and Stranger Things – three wildly different and successful horror television shows. So kick back, throw on your chainsaw hand, grab Lucille, and get ready for a casual conversation in the Upside Down. Groovy!

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October 18, 2017

In this minisode the Vultures seek levity from talking about heavy movies and real world monsters by talking about the new Netflix series from David Fincher, Mindhunter… a show that goes deep into the psychology and actions of real world serial killers. Oops. The Vultures also stumble upon a movie idea that could make or break their filmmaking careers. 

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Episode 8

Alien 3

October 16, 2017

“This is rumor control.” Alien³ is a very divisive film. The first two installments in the Alien franchise were critical and box office successes that went on to become classics – Alien³ was a different beast. Unable to agree on a final script, and chasing a studio-imposed release date, first-time feature director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, Gone Girl) was placed in an impossible no-win scenario. The resulting film is relentlessly bleak, visually stunning… and miraculously full of merit.

In this episode the Vultures come to the defense of Alien³ as a movie that deserves another shot, and to be viewed on its own terms. It may not be the sequel to Aliens everyone wanted, but that doesn’t nullify its value as a movie or justify the hate it receives. The bitch is back.

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October 9, 2017

Endless rain, burning neon, ethereal music, and urban pyramids — Blade Runner is one of the most influential films of all time with its impossible visual splendor and a philosophical existentialism that’s more human than human.

Thirty-five years later the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, brings us a new vision of those timeless ideas. Join us as the Vultures discuss the original, the sequel, and ideas that are far bigger than all of us.

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October 4, 2017

IT (2017) is now the most successful horror movie of all time. How could the Pop Vultures not talk about… IT? Eli, Chris, and Pat also touch on the new Star Trek Discovery series and The Orville, while Eli commits a nerd sin of epic proportions. Let’s get scrappy! 

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October 2, 2017

Hey youuuu guyyys! Remember the kid adventure films that helped form the foundation of our childhoods? These movies sharpened our sense of wonder and sent us searching for adventure atop our bikes. Why don’t we make these movies anymore? What happened?

Even if you saw these films in the 90s or possibly the 00s, odds are they helped define your adolescence and trigger major nostalgia. Chris, Pat, and Eli discuss The Goonies & The Monster Squad, the heyday of kid adventure films in the 80s, the absence of them today, and where Stranger Things fits in all of this. This episode’s got nards!

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September 27, 2017

Toys, fascinating smells, and crowds of generally nice people – in this minisode Eli, Pat, and Chris briefly reflect on their experience at Salt Lake Comic Con.

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September 25, 2017

Modern movies rely heavily on the visual effects work done by thousands of artists that work long hours, get few accolades, and work collectively to create much of what we see on the screen. In many respects VFX artists are the backbone of modern filmmaking.

On this episode, Eli, Pat, and Chris continue looking at the world of special and visual effects by talking with vfx artist and supervisor Ryan Wieber. Ryan has worked on such projects as La La Land, The Tick, Heroes, The Walking Dead, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Eli’s soon-to-be-released digital series, ATROPA. Ryan talks about his early work, the role of the visual effects supervisor in guiding a project, and what it was like working on a Star Wars film.

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September 18, 2017

From movies to television our entertainment has been enhanced by special effects almost from the beginning. Back in the day filmmakers used various in-camera techniques including optical tricks, makeup, matte paintings, and miniatures to help fool us into believing the seemingly impossible. These days filmmakers employ thousands of digital artists to help create other worlds and stunning visual effects through computer generated imagery.

But are the older in-camera practical effects dying off, and is CGI really a one-size-fits-all replacement? In this episode Chris, Eli, and Pat delve into the world of special effects & visual effects, and debate the merits of each.

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Episode 3

Temple of Doom

September 11, 2017

We all know and love Indiana Jones. The films raised the standard for cinematic adventure and gave us a hero with a neat hat. Everyone has their favorite, and until the 2008 sequel there was one movie in the series that was generally thought to be the worst — Steven Spielberg’s own bastard child, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Chris, Eli, and Pat dust off this priceless relic to try and convince you that it doesn’t belong at the bottom of your list or in a museum, but in your heart (unless Mola Ram pulls it out — then you’ve got bigger problems).

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Episode 2

Citizen Kane

September 4, 2017

In 1941, Orson Welles released his first film at the age of 25. Since then, Citizen Kane has been shunned, rediscovered, embraced, and lauded as one of the greatest films ever made. In this second episode of Pop Vultures, Chris, Eli, and Pat discuss what makes Citizen Kane so damn good, and debate why a growing number of people have written the film off.

We’ll cover the groundbreaking technical aspects, the storied feud between Welles and William Randolph Hearst, as well as the influence the film has had on modern cinema. So join us as we take a trip to Xanadu and attempt to unravel the mystery of America’s Kubla Khan – Charles Foster Kane.

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September 1, 2017

Who are the Pop Vultures? In this introductory episode Eli, Chris, and Pat answer eleven questions to help you get to know them, their diverse tastes in pop culture, and their odd opinions of directors with the last name Anderson. Why eleven questions? Because it’s one more than ten and This Is Spinal Tap is a great movie.

Topics range from the basic, to the deep, to the downright scandalous. You’ll get to know them faster than you can say Klaatu Barada Nikto. So hold on to your butts and join the vultures on their debut episode!

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