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The Hopscotch Friday Podcast

Hopscotch Friday is an informed and impassioned pop culture binge. What does that mean? Well, it means we’ll review stuff and give you a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s probably worth a cheeky watch anyway. Importantly, we also give you the *why*. Online we mostly focus on movies and DVDs. But we also like music, games, telly, comics…you name it. If you like what you hear, give us a shout at hopfriday@gmail(.com). Join Stevie and Emmet O'Cuana each week for a bit of pop culture pillow talk.
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Now displaying: August, 2017

Hopscotch Friday is an informed and impassioned pop culture binge. What does that mean? Well, it means we’ll review stuff and give you a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s probably worth a cheeky watch anyway. Importantly, we also give you the *why*. Online we mostly focus on movies and DVDs. But we also like music, games, telly, comics…you name it.

If you like what you hear, give us a shout at hopfriday@gmail(.com).

Join Stevie and Emmet O'Cuana each week for a bit of pop culture pillow talk.

Aug 27, 2017

The BBC has done it again. After last year polling film critics on the best films ever made, the Culture team polled 253 writers on film on the movies that make them laugh out loud. 

His Girl Friday - Howard Hawks

Not LOL. Oh no. Because very few of the 100 film titles listed here date from this century

Emmet and Stevie discuss whether this poll represents the best comedies of all time - or the films that have been safely judged by critical consensus. 

Also what did they miss? Here are a few suggestions - including the much-maligned Death to Smoochy.

Death to Smoochy

What did you make of the list - and what films did we also manage to miss? 

Aug 20, 2017

We're talking all things Stephen King this week. Firstly Emmet went out solo to view The Dark Tower, a fantasy epic a decade in the making that's limped into screens with bad press and critical takes. 

The Dark Tower poster

Does the film have a responsibility to be as faithful to the text as King fans wanted - and is it serviceable as a standalone film? 

Then the conversation turns to adapting books to film. 

The Dark Tower - Tom Taylor

Stevie focuses on the anti-fascism besteller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and how its various adaptations to film interpreted the late Stieg Larsson's vision. 

Emmet returns to King and discusses the author's rejection of Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, with an emphasis on mood and madness instead of gore - The Shining. 

 

Aug 13, 2017

In a week when everything has been pretty terrible, Emmet makes the case for Valérian and Logan Lucky being two films about hope. 

While Luc Besson's spiritual sequel (or response to) The Fifth Element has attracted criticism, is this is misreading of the film's naive sincerity?

Dane De Haan plays Valérian as a young man who has read Romantic Heroes for Dummies, partnered with the far more competent Agent Laureline (‎Cara Delevingne). They chase McGuffins, uncover a conspiracy to destroy the peace enjoyed by humanity's space-faring utopian future - and all the while try to discover the meaning of love. 

It's a film that lives or dies on its appeal to the audience's sense of sentiment. Also, it's very pretty. 

Logan Lucky is a far more recognizable world of working class Americans ground down beneath corporate greed. Our unlikely Robin Hood is Channing Tatum, whose Jimmy Logan conspires with brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and Mellie (Riley Keough) to rob Nascar. All they need is an explosives expert - enter Daniel Craig's wonderful creation Jimmy Bang.

This is another film with heart and soul, skillfully made by Soderbergh while not eschewing emotion. Strongly recommended. 

Aug 13, 2017

First off - apologies for the sound quality in this episode. But as promised in episode Episode 27 here is a mini-episode on Kumail Nanjiani's The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter and starring Zoe Kazan and Holly Hunter. 

Here is a romantic comedy with a difference. First it draws on the real life experience of Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon, so the tropes of cinematic romance are skewed with a nice dose of real-life insight. 

On top of that we have an Apatow comedy-stable film that is tighter and less indulgent than the free-form improvisational pictures the producer has previously served up. 

It's also a movie about race that both utilises that in its plot - but does not employ tokenisms. 

 

Aug 7, 2017

This week we take a tour around Spain with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, and then revisit the cold calculations of murder in 1989 Berlin.

Michael Winterbottom's The Trip to Spain is the third in a series of would-be travelogues that blends reality and farce to excellent effect. Brydon and Coogan play versions of themselves, again musing on death, fame, sex - as well as the passing of David Bowie.

The Trip to Spain Rob Brydon Steve Coogan 
In between driving each other to distraction with dueling impersonations, the pair enjoy amazing food lovingly prepared onscreen and go on yet another literary tour, this time following the foolhardy exploits of Cervantes's Don Quixote. 

Less literary fun is to be had in David Leitch's Cold War espionage thriller Atomic Blonde - although Bowie *does* of course pop up again. This is Berlin after all. 

Atomic Blonde - Charlize Theron James McAvoy

Adapting Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's comic The Coldest City to the big screen, Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 operative sent to Berlin to recover a McGuffin taken from a murdered former lover by a KGB agent. 

There she encounters James McAvoy's gone-native agent Percival, who clearly knows more than he's letting on, and is tailed by a French agent played by Sofia Boutella. 

Complete with a stormer of a soundtrack of 80s hits, Theron carries the picture with a heady mix of cool glamour and a capacity for savage violence. 

This week Stevie and Emmet also recommend -

Tim Powers's Medusa's Web
Birthright by Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan
Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed

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