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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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.

Oct 24, 2018

For his second horror flick recommendation, Emmet makes the case for George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Not just a classic of the zombie genre, but a game-changer for independent cinema as well. 

Night of the Living Dead poster

Oct 23, 2018

For the second Hallowee Horror Bite Stevie chooses Tremors - and gives a sneaky shout-out to Irish horror flick Grabbers. 


Oct 22, 2018

Hereditary is our first pick for this Halloween season. Not just a good scary flick, but a genuine horror classic. 


Oct 21, 2018

This year we're trying something different. From now until Halloween, Hopscotch Friday will be posting short reviews of our personal favourite horror films - in case you're looking for something to watch over the season. 

Betty Grable classic Hollywood Halloween

Oct 8, 2018

This episode we review - Damien Chazelle's biopic of Neil Armstrong First Man, Tom Hardy's cannibal alien flick Venom, and the latest adaptation of Nick Hornby 'Juliet, Naked'. 

And we also shout-out Fearscape from Vault Comics, by Ryan O'Sullivan and Ram V. 

Venom poster

Aug 13, 2018

Mission Impossible: Fallout follows on from the events of Rogue Nation, and continues to mark the franchise's upswing in quality. 

Partly this is due to the rewarding collaboration between star Tom Cruise and director/writer Christopher McQuarrie. 

But this is also a franchise that has found its feet after the initial post-Cold War confusion as to who the enemy is. 

Turns out, it's us. Anyway we dive in to what we liked about the most recent entry and trace the series' growth over the years. 

Jul 14, 2018

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Neve Campbell star in this Hong Kong-set riff on Die Hard. There's a building - but a bigger one. There's terrorists - but they're beefier. And there's an unstoppable family man on the loose to stop them - but instead of Bruce Willis, it's the Rock. 

What did Emmet and Stevie make of it all? Listen to find out.

Skyscraper with Dwayne Jones

Also discussed - 

Ant-Man and The Wasp/Incredibles 2
Top five 'good' comics from the past ten years

Eleanor Davis - How to be Happy
Roger Langridge - Snarked.
The Long Weekend in Alice Springs - Joshua Santospirito.
Gary Spencer Millidge's Strangehaven serialised in the Meanwhile... anthology from Soaring Penguin Press.
Emily Carroll - Through the Woods.

Jun 17, 2018

Cinemascore be damned - Hereditary is great!

Gee people whaddya want?

Hereditary - Toni Collette

Beyond the conversation about the difficult measures horror cinema is held to by both critics and fans, we also review Ari Aster feature film debut. 

J.A. Bayona's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is discussed, as well as the declining appeal of Chris Pratt. 

In addition:

The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein 

Bloomsday in Melbourne, as well as the Bloomsday theatrical production Holy Cow! 

PCAF - Perth Comics Arts Festival, featuring both a symposium and a market day 

Halloween (2018) and Here Alone (2016)

May 29, 2018


Firstly - Stevie is back! And then we open our review episode of Deadpool 2 by discussing Ireland's Repeal the 8th Amendment referendum. Other points raised include

  • Marvel UK's Knights of Pendragon and Schitt's Creek
  • Deadpool 2
  • Was Shatterstar ever cool?
  • Deadpool as a blend of badass and camp.
  • Did the screenwriters employ the hoary comic book trope of 'fridging?'
  • 'Would that this hoodie were a time hoodie'.
  • Black Tom Cassidy!

Deadpool and friends

May 12, 2018

Neevon is back - and he comes with reviews of Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty and the Martin Freeman zombie flick Cargo

This episode we:

  • Talk about Avengers Infinity War quickly, without any spoilers
  • What comics you should read to catch up on the events of that film, including Jim Starlin's Warlock
  • I Feel Pretty's theme of body confidence
  • Emmet's simmering resentment that Cargo didn't win Tropfest
  • The use of Indigenous peoples as fantasy figures in genre stories
  • The potential advantage of Cargo landing on streaming for horror in Australian cinema

Till next time, cheers folks. 

Mar 27, 2018

Blockers cast Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon

Kay Cannon's Blockers really surprised me. While I went in expecting a grossout comedy after catching the trailer (which caused Stevie to bow out), what I discovered instead was a sincere and sharply witty film about our attitudes to sex. 

Concerned more with the hang-ups of parents played by Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz than their onscreen children (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon), Blockers does indulge in scenes with bodily fluids flying hither and thither - but it's also an interesting investigation of the pressures we put on young women when it comes to sex. 

Next we discuss Alex Garland's long-awaited Annihilation, adapting the first novel of Jeff VanderMeer's The Southern Reach trilogy to the...well our smallscreen as it turns out. 

Mar 12, 2018

This episode we discover the playful (yet terrifically black) comedy The Death of Stalin from director Armando Iannucci. 

The Death of Stalin

This is a fantastic piece of political satire that challenges the safe revisionism of historical dramas onscreen through the choice to have the actors use their actual accents. 

We also talk about the Marimekko exhibition currently on at Bendigo Art Gallery and Altered Carbon on Netflix.  

Also - let us know for an upcoming episode what films personally disappointed you. Email, or drop us a line on social. 

Feb 25, 2018

And we're back - Hopscotch is now a fortnightly podcast, giving us more time to do this whole 'life' business we've heard so much about.

Ladybird with Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf

This episode we talk Ladybird and Black Panther. 

Emmet attempts to link the two by arguing that Ladybird, directed by Great Gerwig, occupies the position of 'sensitive young person comes of age' vacated by male film-makers - who are now applying that model to superhero films. 

Black Panther poster

But is the quickly becoming familiar Marvel model holding back film concepts like the rich world of Wakanda in Black Panther? We discuss. 


Feb 3, 2018

Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are receiving Oscar attention for their daughter/mother roles in I, Tonya. 

But does Craig Gillespie's film play too loose with facts, or is the approach he takes an astute method of confronting audiences too willing to look the other way to stories of domestic abuse? 

 Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding

Also - from next week Hopscotch is going fortnightly. 

Jan 21, 2018

Neevon Mohtaji joins the show to discuss The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as owner Kay Graham and editor Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post during its transformation into the paper of record.

The Post - Meryl Streep as Kay Graham

Is this another Oscar contender for Spielberg given its themes of the importance of the Fourth Estate - or a formulaic 'prestige picture'?

Emmet and Neevon discuss. 

Dec 17, 2017

Star Wars and Paddington - two films that smack of adult nostalgia for their childhoods, now re-marketed to children today. 

Paddington 2

Paddington 2, directed by Paul King, conjures up a sense of Englishness that is at once classic, but also modern. 

It's a charming film that is well worth your time.

The latest Star Wars - which Stevie has not seen, so Emmet is left to be interrogated on its merits - is brought to the screen by Rian Johnson. 

Star Wars The Last Jedi

Instead of heavily relying on the established Star Wars formula, Johnson chooses to highlight the use of those repeated plot threads - temptation by the dark side, a Jedi mentor crippled by failure, a resistance army forced to continually retreat from an evil empire in pursuit - then flips these narratives in interesting ways. 

This is a spoiler free discussion that treats of The Last Jedi's position in relation to the original films - and the whole Star Wars marketing phenomenon. 


Dec 10, 2017

Star Wars redefined Hollywood by creating the blockbuster and sfx technology - but does it still work as a continuing story?

And what does it mean for franchises like Star Wars, and Harry Potter, require constant immersion even outside the movie theatre?

Star Wars boring

Dec 3, 2017

The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco and based on the tell-all memoir by Greg Sestero about his experience of starring in The Room, hits Australian cinemas on December 7. 

And folks - this may be one of the best films of 2017!

The Disaster Artist starring James Franco and Dave Franco

With an all-star cast and a stunning central performance that is more sympathetic recreation than mimicry (Tommy Wiseau being a living cartoon in his own right) - The Disaster Artist has finally made something great out of The Room. 

This week is all about trash cinema meeting the mainstream, but seriously - catch this film. 

Nov 19, 2017

Dr Matt Finch joins the podcast to talk Justice League, Jason Momoa, the DC universe, Jason Momoa, and the impact of the male gaze - and Jason Momoa.

Justice League Ezra Miller The Flash

(pictured - Not Jason Momoa)

This is a spoiler-filled discussion so be warned if you have not yet seen the film. 

But if you're looking for a giddy, rifferific take on the culmination of Zack Snyder's DC movieverse - here it is. 

Oct 29, 2017

When the likes of David Avocado Wolfe are being regarded as medical experts in place of practicing doctors, what does that mean for the discussion of health?

It's a question that has been on my mind lately, particularly in the social media space where expertise is now diffuse. 

Urine Aid Steven Williams

Screening as part of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Urine Aid is a documentary all about people who practice urine therapy. These are people looking for answers who have turned their backs on so-called "Western medicine" - so I was interested to learn what lies behind their decision to, well, drink their own piss. 

Finally apologies for the quality of the recording. There were some technical issues on the night that we decided to push through to capture the interview. 


Oct 8, 2017

How do you review a film with a plot so tightly under wraps?

Well we are giving it a shot. 

Ryan Gosling as blade runner K

Ryan Gosling plays K, a Blade Runner on the trail of his long-missing predecessor Deckard (Harrison Ford).  Mysteries are uncovered, human nature gets yet another shake up - and Roger Deakins serves up some visual excess for your enjoyment. 

Blade Runner 2049 Denis Villeneuve

This is also a movie about making a sequel. Is it possible to follow-on from the sacred cow of genre cinema, Blade Runner - a Citizen Kane for the science fiction set? Villeneuve does not simply try to do so, he makes the film about recycling - or replicating - what has gone before. 

Lot's to think on here - but did we like it? Listen to find out. 

Sep 24, 2017

**SPOILERS be here - move on if you do not want to be spoiled**

mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem has been released to confounded review notices and furious audience response - but is this really a film that warrants the controversy?

mother! jennifer lawrence

This week Stevie and Emmet review mother!, discuss the controversy surrounding the film - and Stevie get's stuck in to the very idea of spoilers, particularly where it comes to Aronofsky's film. 


Sep 16, 2017

Originally posted on our youtube channel, here is a short review of Andy Muschietti's IT starring Bill Skarsgard. 

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 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. 

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