Happy Neo Year

Hey, look! It’s 2024 and we’re all still alive! Those of us reading this, anyway, and that’s … us? I don’t know how to structure an optimistic post, if I can be honest; it’s harder and harder to sound positive about The Future when everything is on fire all the time.

But I recorded this week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie back in October, when things were a little bit brighter, and maybe some of the fun I had with my guest Orson Oblowitz will rub off on you now.

Orson is the director of the new movie Showdown At the Grand, a charming retro thing starring Terrence Howard as a fully committed movie nerd whose refusal to sell his beloved theater to developers puts him in a great deal of danger … and only Dolph Lundgren can save him. Newly available on disc and on digital, it’s like a big warm hug of nostalgia, and also it has ninjas.

There are no ninjas in Orson’s podcast pick, Akira, but there might be some hiding in the elaborate design of Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime sensation, a cult movie for the nuclear age that continues to amaze and thrill [checks watch] 36 years after it exploded onto the cultural landscape.

We didn’t have a lot of time, but we talked pretty quickly. Subscribe at the usual locations — Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotify — or download the episode directly from the web and listen as you race your tricked-out motorcycle through the ruins of a devastated city.

And then catch up on your reading! I wrote three editions of Shiny Things last week, making lists of the best movies and discs of 2023 and taking a trip to Toronto’s very own Vinegar Syndrome brick-and-mortar store, which was downright therapeutic. You can read that one on the site for free, but why not subscribe? That’s also therapeutic, I bet.



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