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: Category: Film

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.

Sep 6, 2021

Remember Black Widow? The movie that inspired its own Marvel's Civil War between the star and studio? 

Well we talk about it here!

(Mainly because Stevie watched it for a second time and has thoughts!). 

And Emmet bites his tongue to not blurt out his Taskmaster nerd rant - but here's his favourite comic panel featuring the character:

Jul 24, 2021

Director David Freyne's follow-up to Irish zombie drama The Cured is this heartfelt coming out drama set in Co. Kildare. 

Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew star as Eddie and Amber, two gay teens just trying to survive school. Spotting that Eddie is equally estranged from their classmates, Amber proposes a solution - they pretend to date until they can finish school!

Shenanigans ensue. This is a sincere and heartfelt film, and the semi-autobiographical touches stir up memories of surviving the 90s for Stevie and Emmet also!

(and before the trip down memory lane, Emmet briefly touches on Kevin Smith's Masters of the Universe for Netflix and the apparent 'controversy'). 

Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew star in Dating Amber (2020).

Jun 30, 2021

"Cruella De Vil
Cruella De Vil
If she doesn't scare you
No evil thing will
To see her is to
Take a sudden chill
Cruella, Cruella De Vil"

Stevie and Emmet review Craig Gillespie's Cruella

Is it a harmless camp foray into Disney villainy with a sidelong glance at the style innovations of Vivienne Westwood, or a heartless corporate product aimed squarely at merchandising aisles? 

Emma Stone in Cruella

In other news, Emmet was recently interviewed by Zoran Ilievski for his podcast Graphic Nature, where he discusses coming to comics, a weird coincidence involving a lost script from the early 2000s and The Beating of Wings

May 30, 2021

How does Emmet draw a long bow connecting Wild Mountain Thyme and Army of the Dead

He finds a way. 

Army of the Dead directed by Zack Snyder

In happier news we also discuss the Matt "Ireland's favourite uncle" Le Blanc meme and if that brown bread ice cream took your fancy, here's where you can get it

Mar 25, 2021

'The Snyder Cut', officially known as Zack Snyder's Justice League, dropped this week on HBO's streaming platform. 

The three year campaign by fans to restore director Zack Snyder's version of Justice League, which we reviewed in episode 42 with Dr Matt Finch, was endorsed by the film-maker and eventually the cast. Additional footage was shot late last year, in combination with original footage and special effects sequences. 

Zack Snyder's Justice League 2021, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller
If I could turn back time...Ezra Miller as The Flash. 

So what did Tan and Emmet make of it?  

Also you are strongly advised to check out Leslie Jones's delightful live tweet of Zack Snyder's Justice League here

Feb 14, 2021

Save Yourselves! is an alien invasion dramedy with touches of horror starring Sunita Mani (from Glow, much-missed in this parish) and John Reynolds (Search Party) as a couple who escape to the country just as society starts to fall apart. 

And they've just cut themselves off from the internet so for a number of days the couple remain blissfully unaware of their impending doom. 

Save Yourselves with Sunita Mani and John Reynolds

Emmet and Stevie discuss Save Yourselves as an unlikely response to COVID-pandemic and quarantine boredom, and its indie-feature budget inventiveness. 


  • Emmet delivers some bad news to Stevie.
  • The Eileen Jones article on John Carpenter can be found here.

Just to note as well, this episode was pre-recorded before the latest lockdown in Victoria. 

Jan 4, 2021

"Die Hard is a Xmas movie? You don't say!"

Insert Willy Wonka meme here. 

Stevie and Emmet missed the boat on their planned 'unexpected Xmas movie run-down', but no matter! They're going to talk about Die Hard anyway. Because, as Stevie says, it's a good film anyway. 

Also she has thoughts about Batman Returns she wants to share. 

Emmet also raises examples of Die Hard-likes, such as Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper (which we reviewed here) and the bloody good fun of Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving going on an office-workplace rampage in Mayhem

Also mentioned:

Nov 3, 2020

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror film documentary with a lot to say. 

Focusing on the experience of actor Mark Patton, who starred as Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, it explores the impact on the actor of the gay panic response to the homoerotic themes and imagery of the film. 

Patton's candid and pained reflections on homophobia in Hollywood, and the wider world, in the era of AIDS and religious lobbyists targeting gay rights, form the spine of this emotional film. 

Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen also features the contrast of 'Freddy fans' who mock the perceived gay content of the film with advocates reclaiming both Freddy's Revenge, and Mark Patton, as an icon for queer cinema. 

Stevie and Emmet discuss the film and the emotional highs and lows of this sensitive subject matter. 

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street poster


Jul 5, 2020

Eurovision, a heady brew of camp and pop music, has finally landed in the consciousness of American pop culture zeitgeist thanks to this Netflix film starring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Dan Stevens. 

Stevie and Emmet discuss the film, their connections to Eurovision, and throw in a nod to John C. Reilly flick Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

May 9, 2020

Alejandro Landes's film Monos has screened to rave reviews around the world. Our roving reviewer Neevon Mohtaji attended a screening back in March. In this episode, Emmet challenges Neevon to try and remember a film he saw two months ago, in the before-COVID-19 times!

Monos Alejandro Landes chose a cast of young non-professional actors

For digital release details, Australian listeners should check Madman for updates. Stay safe folks! 




May 3, 2020

Oh why oh why did we agree to this!

In the last episode Emmet joked about watching the sequence of films that led to Alien Versus Predator in 2004 - and a listener thought that was a great idea. Apparently this was more a geas than a simple request, so Stevie and Emmet watched:

  • Predator
  • Predator 2
  • Alien Versus Predator
  • Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem

Alien versus Predator


The credit due to Randy Stradley, Phil Norwood, Chris Warner, as well as Mark Verheiden's comics work in setting this franchise in motion, published by Dark Horse, is also discussed. 

Also discussed:

Apr 19, 2020

Handily collected on Netflix, the Jurassic Park franchise has been a blockbuster staple for almost thirty years. 

Jurassic Park 3, Sam Neill and the raptors

Stevie and Emmet discuss the first, third and most recent 'Jurassic' flicks, the underrated Jurassic Park III, the overall theme of capitalism and science being turned to deadly or humanist ends - and just how creepy was Jeff Goldblum's Dr Ian Malcolm? 

Also in this episode:

We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often being in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Mar 9, 2020

Belatedly we catch up with the critical furore around Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn ( rebranded as Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey). 

After wading through all of ...that... we cover Queen & Slim, out in Australia this week.

Queen and Slim

Written by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas, this film takes head on the themes of 'black lives matter' and police violence head on. Emmet argues Waithe's screenply juxtaposes the figures of Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith), with the idea of the outlaw so precious to American folklore. Full of sudden bursts of violence and artfully staged sequences that point to Matsoukas' history as a music video director, Queen & Slim is a provocative and rich picture for our times. 

Also mentioned:

Feb 25, 2020

Stevie attended the premiere for Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears and interviewed stars Essie Davis and Nathan Page, as well as author Kerry Greenwood. 

Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears stars Essie Davis and Nathan Page at the Melbourne premiere screening

This cinematic outing for Miss Fisher, out in Australian cinemas this week, follows a successful crowdfunding campaign, a testament to passionate fans of the television series. Stevie got to meet some of them in person at the 1920s costume themed event at the (appropriately art deco) Rivoli cinema in Camberwell


Feb 13, 2020

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

In part two of Stevie and Emmet's chat about films they relate to in particular - and it's a long 'un - you can hear discussed:

  • The popularity of The Castle
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • Australian film and cultural cringe
  • The Dish
  • Romper Stomper
  • Hugh Sullivan's The Infinite Man
  • Shirley Temple's The Blue Bird
  • Trading Places
  • Wayne's World
  • Hackers
  • Scully from the X-Files as a role model
  • Morgan Freeman in Seven
  • Tea With The Dames
  • Pontypool
  • The Godfather
  • Raging Bull
  • David Harbour
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Luc Besson's Lockout
  • Jurassic Park
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger movies - The Last Action Hero, Kindergarten Cop, Terminator: Dark Fate and Maggie


Jan 28, 2020

Tip of the hat to Brett Goldstein's Films to be Buried With.  We borrowed his structure of an interview on film based around the premise that the subject has died and is looking back on their favourite flicks. 

We in turn asked one another a series of questions about the films that make us who we are. 

So join us on this trip at times nostalgic, sometimes regretful, and listen as we learn a bit more about one another. 

Part one of two episodes. 

Scene from Cinema Paradiso


Jan 14, 2020

Making a welcome appeal to kindness and care for others, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood follows on from last year's documentary on Fred Rogers Won't You Be My Neighbor

Impressively this fictionalised account of a journalist (Matthew Rhys) encountering Rogers when his life is at a low-point manages to combine the needs of narrative and a genuine impression of the television entertainer's life. 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys

As a complement to Heller's film, we also discuss John Mulaney And The Sack Lunch Bunch. (available on Netflix) While the approach is not the same as Mr Rogers, the sincere interest in what children are thinking allows for the comparison. 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is out in Australia from January 23. 

Dec 31, 2019

We are not reviewing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And that's because, well, we've already said everything we needed to.

While this household is a The Last Jedi is good household, two years ago in episodes 44 and 45 of this podcast we had already discussed how narrow the focus of Star Wars as a franchise had become. 

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

So here are extracts from those episodes highlighting concerns we already had with the franchise, which The Rise of Skywalker...let's say it leaned into them and leave it at that. 


Dec 20, 2019

Jake Kasdan and cast return to Jumanji for the sequel that provves if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Then a change of pace for Scarlett Johansson vehicles Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit.

Jumanji: The Next Level poster

Dec 10, 2019

We're taking a trip back to 1980. 

That is, we're revisiting the worlds of The Shining and The Empire Strikes Back, courtesy of Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep and The Mandalorian from Disney+. 

Doctor Sleep

Also discussed, Diane Johnson's account from 2018 on adapting the Shining with Stanley Kubrick.

Are these films plumbing the nostalgia dollar? Where's left to go after recycling elements of works that were themselves recycled versions of 1950s pop culture? 

Finally Emmet plugs his story Kill Screen, w/ Jeferson Sadzinski and Colin Bell, which was published in The Art of Hate


Oct 31, 2019

It's Halloween, so we've got zombies, satanists, space necromancers - and killer robots from the future. 

Ready or Not

In this episode we discuss:

  • the deliberately repetitive zombie humour of the sequel to 2009's Zombieland
  • Samara Weaving vehicle Ready or Not, an Eat the Rich fable for our time
  • Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth (with a tip of the hat to the author interview on Death//Sentence)
  • and Linda Hamilton's triumphant return in Terminator: Dark Fate. 

So something spooky and ooky for everyone. 


Oct 8, 2019

What two episodes in one week!

Well we do like to spoil you. 

This episode sees the return of guest, film-maker Tanzeal Rahim, to discuss all things The Joker. 

The Joker Joaquin Phoenix

Now in something of a change of format, here Tanzeal has been asked to *convince* Emmet to go see the film. Listen to find out if he was successful. 



Oct 6, 2019

This week we try to look past the Ad Astra hot takes (daddy issues in space, Apocalypse Now in space, Space Cowboys 2....did we miss one?).

Is this a film loved by critics, but not by the punters? 

On an entirely unrelated note, we also review Dark Phoenix...let's get it over with. 

Ad Astra moon pirates

Sep 2, 2019

20 years on we take a look at The Matrix, its influence on the broader pop culture and the reported return of the franchise courtesy of Lana Wachowski. 

Plus we oo and aah over the ageless Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. 

The Matrix

In addition:

  • The Matrix as a gateway to cyberpunk
  • The changing meaning of 'red pilling'
  • That time Grant Morrison thought The Invisibles was ripped off
  • And when Australia was the site of film culture in 1999!

Our recommendations this episode –

High Weirdness by Erik Davis

Television by City Calm Down

Aug 16, 2019

This episode, director Tanzeal Rahim – who previously appeared on episode 39: Urine Aid – returns to discuss Quentin Tarantino's latest Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The discussion takes in the use of violence, Tarantino's essential convervative vision, the choice to cast the Manson family with the daughters of Hollywood actors and directors – as well as Tarantino's own critic-proof reputation as a cinematic genius.


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