It’s just gone midnight on Christmas Eve, which means those of you who have managed stay up past your bedtime and wait for Father Christmas can officially open one of your presents early! I’ve got the perfect one for you, right here…
This brand new episode is a three and a half hour long ‘best of’ the Failed Critics Podcast from the past 12 months, all cobbled together into some kind of Christmas TV type compilation episode. There’s all of our favourite bits, including Paul’s famous quizzes, reviews of Mob Handed and Killer Bitch, every single booby-prize that Owen and Steve put each other through, all of our pre-titles and post-credit stingers, and loads more.
It’s not gift wrapped. It’s not store-bought. There’s no receipt so you can’t go and exchange it for any other podcast during the Boxing Day sales. But hopefully it’ll keep you company should you be enduring any agonisingly long car journeys over this festive period.
Merry Christmas all and a happy new year from everyone here at Failed Critics!
This week’s Failed Critics Podcast is a two-part Netflix Original special as hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by guests Chris Haigh and Phil Sharman. Similar in format to our TV specials, this episode is all about the Netflix – with very little chill. Some chill. A bit of chill. But not a lot of chill.
In part one, the team discuss the rise of Netflix Originals, from their conception to recent additions. With no movies to review, there’s chat about the shows that we’ve been watching lately, plus a few of our other favourites.
Before the results of the Failed Critics Awards are published here in writing, Phil Sharman (one of our contributors to the end of year podcast) has created this beautiful document, highlighting which films he enjoyed and not-so-enjoyed last year.
(Seriously, it’s pretty darn gorgeous and combines the use of spreadsheets and fantastic writing to read like something right out of the middle of a popular newspaper pull-out (that’s meant as a compliment). What’s not to like?!)
Having seen exactly 64 films released in 2015, Phil decided to run his very own knockout tournament to find out what were his best – and, just as importantly, his worst – films of the entire past 12 months. But I will let him explain his own rationale in the finished article below…
You can find all of Phil’s appearances on the Failed Critics Podcast throughout 2015 here, including reviews of Transporter: Refueled, Ted 2, Crimson Peak, Beasts of No Nation, and of course the end of year awards show.
As Fifty Shades of Grey hit the big screen in February, we invited Matt Lambourne and (for the first time ever) Paul Field onto the podcast to review the not-so-erotic erotic-thriller. It was almost left up to Paul to review the movie on his own as both Steve and I welched and Matt did his best to ruin Valentine’s Day. The podcast also featured reviews of two other new releases, with Will Smith’s con-film Focus and the sci-fi indie movie Predestination.
Quickly becoming one of our favourite guests on the show within just three months, Andrew Brooker was invited back onto the podcast again to discuss Neill Blomkamp’s latest action thriller, Chappie. Also joining us that week was Jack Stewart – then of Not This Again fame, but now one part of the Wikishuffle trio. It’s fair to say that there were some mixed opinions about this new release!
If you’re actually a fan of the Failed Critics Podcast, then April 2015 was quite the month for you as we put out 15 individual episodes, including a five-hour long triple-triple bill podcast with Matt Lambourne, Andrew Brooker and Paul Field, to celebrate reaching a pretty incredible milestone of 150 episodes. It was also the episode where we debuted our new logo and theme tune, which was a remix of the old tune by professional musician James Yuill.
Andrew Brooker was back on the podcast as we reviewed the film that would go on to win first place in our Top 10 of 2015 list at the awards, Mad Max: Fury Road. From the way Brooker and Jackson Tyler reacted to it back then, it’s hardly surprising it had such a lasting impact. This was also the podcast that saw us change our opening quiz format for the first time to some degree of success, as I made up a few Albert Pyun film descriptions.
With the legendary Sir Christopher Lee passing away, it seemed somewhat fitting that we had our resident horror expert on the podcast that week in Mike Shawcross. We paid tribute to the iconic film star, as well as reviewing the biggest film of the year, Jurassic World.
In our first podcast of the second half of 2015, Callum Petch joined us to review one of the highest grossing movies of the year, Minions. We also had some-time guest writer Nick Lay join us for review of yet more low-budget indie movies. We also ranted once again about another Spider-Man reboot news.
After much persuading by Paul Field, the ‘slice’, he convinced us to dedicate and entire episode to the work of British actor Danny Dyer … and it turned out to be our most downloaded podcast of the entire year! A lot of work went into it, with Paul watching every Dyer film in existence. We even got professional stand-up comedian James Mullinger to appear on the show, as well as an interview with film producer Jonathan Sothcott, who co-authored the book The Films of Danny Dyer with Mullinger.
With Steve on a week’s break, Jack Stewart was back on the podcast – but this time in the host’s chair. Phil Sharman (also from Wikishuffle) appeared on this episode, fresh after the pair of them won Best Comedy Podcast at the UK Podcaster Awards. Andrew Brooker also helped join in the collective sigh of disappointment at Legend, starring Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy.
Inadvertently spawning a new catchphrase, my review of a Columbo TV movie (that Steve forced me to watch) led to ‘it’s Columbo’ causing a few chuckles amongst our guests. Both Tony Black (of Pick A Flick and The X-Cast fame) and Brian Plank helped us to review the latest James Bond film and somewhat underwhelming SPECTRE.
In a re-hash of an idea we tried out in 2014, we invited listeners to send questions in to us and our guests for the episode (and world cinema aficionados) Liam and Andrew Alcock. We also discussed the new Cristiano Ronaldo documentary that had just been released, as well as lesser known international movies Nocturna, Green Butchers and Train of Life (yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either!)
Every October, we have a Halloween special podcast. In April, we celebrate the “birthday” for Failed Critics. In December, of course we always have a Christmas special episode. It was the last of the year that both Steve and I were on (as he missed the end of year awards and I was booted off the Star Wars: The Force Awakens episode) so why not listen to both of us (plus Andrew Brooker and Brian Plank) spread some Christmas cheer!
Some others not mentioned above:
Field & Mullinger’s Underground Nights: Fred’s Pocket – Although I didn’t appear on this podcast, I am its Producer and Editor! Paul Field and James Mullinger started off their new podcast series with a look at their favourite Canadian films and interview WolfCop director Lowell Dean.
TV Specials: 2.5, (S3, Ep1) and (S3, Ep2) – In 2016 we’ll be hosting our first Netflix Original podcast, but earlier this year we hosted three TV specials, including episode 2.5 with Paul Field and Andrew Brooker, which reviewed Entourage: The Movie, and then again with episode 3 split into two parts. James Diamond (founder of Failed Critics) and Matt Latham (creator of The Bottle Episode) joined us in part 1 for a chat about the Emmy’s and in part 2 to talk more generally about our favourite TV shows.
The Blair Witch Project (Commentary) – Less of an actual film commentary and more like a watch-along (as I tried to explain on my blog), Steve, Matt, Brooker and I all watched cult 90’s found-footage phenomenon The Blair Witch Project and released our running dialogue as an episode people could either listen to whilst watching the film themselves, or just as a stand alone podcast. We’ll be trying it again at some point in the new year. If there’s any suggestions as to what we should watch next, leave a comment in the box below!
2016 is already shaping up to be another successful year for us. The first three months of podcasts have been scheduled and we’ve got two Corridor of Praise episodes lined up, our usual Oscars special, a world cinema triple bill, episode number 200 (!!) and of course all of the big releases including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Hateful Eight, Creed and loads of others too.
All of you that have never listened before and have seen your family die [from laughing], huh, you now have something that stands for you! That would be the Failed Critics Podcast: Halloween special.
OK, so it is a couple of weeks early, but think of all that extra time we’ve given you to source the incredible horror movies from a whole host of different decades that we discuss during our spooktacular (urrgghhhh sorry) triple bill. With picks by hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes, and guests Carole Petts and Phil Sharman, there’s plenty for you sink your fangs into (aahhhhhh sorry sorry sorry).
Before all that, we begin as we always do – with a quiz! Steve is in control of the questions and still 2-1 up after last week’s disaster (get it?) leaving Owen teetering on the edge of being handed a potentially diabolical booby prize should he be unable to prevent a joint Carole and Phil triumph. Perhaps regardless of whatever film might await either Owen or Steve, nothing could truly be more distressing than the news that a Die Hard prequel has gone into production. Still, at least there’s the London Film Festival round-up and Godzilla vs King Kong news to discuss, eh?
We even found time to sneak in a couple of new releases alongside our main triple bill feature. With reviews of Guilermo Del Toro’s latest visual gothic tale in Crimson Peak, and the very first Netflix original movie, Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, there was plenty to talk about in this week’s episode.
Join us again next week for DE NE- NEEERRRR, DE NE- NERRRR, DE, DE NER NER NERRRR… 007 is back for his longest outing yet with the release of SPECTRE.
Do you want to hear a magic trick? How many C’s are there in Failed Critics?
Answer: Four! Specifically, Owen Hughes, Phil Sharman, Andrew Brooker and special guest host, Jack Stewart. I will leave it to your imagination to work out what the ‘C’ stands for…
…All right, it was ‘critics’, of course! Failed ones, but what else could I have possibly meant..?
Unfortunately there’s no Steve Norman on this week’s episode, but the award winning duo of Phil and Jack from the comedy podcast Wikishuffle join Owen and Brooker to review two new releases. Whilst Phil prepares a rant on M. Night Shyamalan’s latest twisty-turny-twist-again-turn-again horror The Visit, the group also review British gangster movie Legend, starring Tom Hardy as Ronnie Cray and Tom Hardy as Reggie Kray.
Also on the podcast: Brooker walks the line with Oscar winning documentary Man On Wire; Phil tentatively recommends Jonathan King’s (yes, that one) self-produced Vile Pervert: The Musical; and Owen shouts from the stands about indie doc Sons of Ben: The Movie. There’s even time for Phil jump into the host’s chair briefly for this week’s quiz, and we rant over SPECTRE‘s potentially 160 minute run time.
Steve Norman returns as host next week along with Owen and guest Callum Petch to review Everest. Join us then!
Welcome to another edition of the Failed Critics podcast. This week, hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by Paul Field (making his first appearance since the Corridor of Praise: Danny Dyer episode) and Phil Sharman, one third of the award nominated comedy podcast Wikishuffle.
On top of the news about Danny Boyle confirming production will begin on Trainspotting 2, there are two new release films reviewed by the team this week; Nima Nourizadeh’s stoner comedy American Ultra, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, and the Statham-less Statham-vehicle Transp4ter (…no? AKA The Transporter Refueled.) As well as the new releases, Owen discusses the documentary Welcome to Leith (which is screening this week at the Cambridge Film Festival) with Paul, who also reviews Fort Tilden. Phil rewatches a recent favourite in The Adjustment Bureau and Steve follows up on a discussion from last week’s FrightFest summary by checking out Australian pre-post-apocalyptic thriller These Final Hours.
Fans of our classic debates will also be in for a treat as plenty of our most popular topics were brought up for discussion at various points! A conversation about the Netflix series Narcos somehow ends up as a rambling stream of thought about the BBC and future of broadcasting. The Transp4ter review leads into another rant about film classification. We even manage to squeeze in a quick chat on the merits of found footage horrors, American remakes of English language movies and a short quiz complete with dodgy fake accents.
Steve will be on holiday next week but you can join Owen and Phil again, who will be ably assisted by Jack Stewart and Andrew Brooker to review Legend, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Visit.
Welcome to another edition of the Failed Critics Podcast where Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by not one, not two, but three guests in Jack Stewart, Chris Wallace and Phil Sharman from the excellent Wikishuffle podcast!
The last time you might have heard Wikishuffle appear on our podcast was back in April during the Quizcast and, as ever, Steve kicks off this pod with a quiz of his own before the team discuss latest new releases. There’s disappointment over Seth McFarlane’s controversial comedy sequel Ted 2. The Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominated dramady Dear White People doesn’t quite live up to its hype. Even the animated Irish fantasy film Song of the Sea squeezes its way into this edition.
Despite this episode being shorter than our most recent efforts, there’s still time for: Owen to review the much lauded 1994 sports documentary Hoop Dreams; Phil rewatches The Guest, his favourite film of last year; Chris tries to figure out why this season of True Detective isn’t working for him; Jack actually has fun (no, really) whilst watching Minions; and Steve finally gets around to Marvel’s Netflix show, Daredevil.
Welcome to the Failed Critics podcast– or should I say, “quizcast”! For the first time in Failed Critics history, we’re teaming up with some fellow podcasters for 60 minutes of quizzing.
With our regular host Steve Norman in the quiz master’s chair, it was up to Owen Hughes and Matt Lambourne to represent Failed Critics. Up against them, from the weekly film review podcast Black Hole Cinema, was Tony Black and Matt Latham. The third and final team on the quiz (and the only non-film related podcast) was Wikishuffle, with Jack Stewart, Chris Wallace and Phil Sharman. Claims of shenanigans were respectfully kept to a minimum, although promises to rein in competitiveness were hastily abandoned during the first round.