As you might have guessed from this blog's sidebar of linkage, I listen to alot of podcasts. The great thing about podcasts is that they are content I can consume while working, and having a rack of shows to listen to certainly helps while away the hours sweating in Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Indeed I now listen so many podcasts, one of this New Year's resolutions was to make time to listen to more music again.
The wonderful thing about podcasts is the chance to hear people who actually know what they are talking about intelligently discussing a subject in depth. I'm sure alot of you like myself have grown very weary of the mainstream reviews - not only do we have reviewers demonstrating that they know nothing of the genre they are looking at but we get regularly get gibberish like this from the likes of Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian's resident film critic - in conclusion to his Public Enemies review he writes:
It's a picture with virility and confidence, and unlike Dillinger's machine-gun, which the man himself expertly takes to pieces, it never quite jams, and gets off one or two lethal rounds.
So if you're tired of cack handed metaphors like this, reviews that are more concerned with sounding clever than making any proper points, and frequently completely miss the point, I'm strongly urge you to leap into the podosphere! Would you really rather hear some media fop who doesn't know The Beast from the Hulk stumble throuhg a Wolverine review OR a pair of die-hard X-Men fans who known Cyclop's inside leg measurement rip this meh-tastic movie a new one?
To guide you on your way, I thought I start throwing in reviews of some of my favourite shows, and first up is Cinerama. This 'cast is, as you can probably guess from its title, a weekly movie show hosted by the very affable Ian Loring. Each week he has in-depth reviews of the latest releases and a round-up of the latest trailers and movie news. Also there is the Marathon Review; in this section, Ian watches a selection of films by a particular director over several weeks. Previous subjects in this section have included Michael Haeke, the Coen Brothers and Dario Argento.
There's also a "What I Watched This Week" spot, which gives the show the opportunity to review some older films and assess their releases on DVD and Blu Ray. Listener feedback is actively encouraged and this segment of the show often throws ups up some interesting debates.
The show superbly balances intelligent discussion with witty banter and covers the full range of cinema from arthouse, through the mainstream right down to schlock. Generally the shows run at an hour plus which will give some indication of the detail Ian goes into for the reviews. He's a great presenter, never pretentious but always passionate and serving up his comments with a large side order of humour. Also Cinerama review are usually spoiler free though you can hear Ian's uncut thoughts on a movie on the 35mm Heroes podcast.
Ian had the great ability to talk seriously and at length about the art of cinema without ever losing the perspective of the ordinary movie-goer. To give you an idea of how talented he is as a broadcaster, when he recently floated the idea of having a co-host a great many of his listeners e-mailed in against the idea, fearing the Voice of Loring would be diluted!
That said though, this year has seen several team-up episodes which seem to have gone down well with the faithful. Chinstroker Vs Punter - very much the sister show to Cinerama - have appeared a couple of times. And Film Rant's Noel Mellor has guested to debate Terminator Salvation. Further team-ups are planned including an appearance from Dan of Cult Fiction and the truly titanic Chineramarantapunta dissection of Blade Runner.
Cinerama is a great show and if you like cinema, you should really subscribe. For me it's the best weekly show on current movies. And the best testament to his skills is that I have gone to see movies I might well have passed by thanks to his glowing reviews.
You can find Cinerama here and hear cinema reviewed the way it should be. You can also follow Ian on Twitter here. And if that wasn't enough you can read his reviews, articles and features over at EatSleepLiveFilm!
UPDATE - 2nd February 2011
It is my sad duty to inform you all that Cinerama is now no more! After a wonderful three year run, Ian has decided to end the 'cast in order to concentrate on his writing for the award winning EatSleepLiveFilm. However he has not left the podcasting world and will continue to be 'the sweary one' on 35mm Heroes, not to mention guesting on other film related shows.
UPDATE - 15th March 2011
Well it seems you can't keep a good man down! Cinerama is returning! On the 20th March 2011, the show is comimg back, much to mine and many others delight! The retooled 'cast will be slimmed own, souped up and still one of the best 'casts out there for intelligent discussions and dissections of the latest cinema releases!
JIM MOON, 30th January 2009, revised 13th July 2009