The neo-noir sci-fi Blade Runner is considered one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time and features many of the same themes as Westworld. In anticipation of the sequel Blade Runner 2049, we thought it would be good to visit the original. Craig, Heather, and Jake preview their discussion of the film.
So much has happened this offseason, we thought it would be good to recap everything. Craig and Heather discuss Creative Arts Emmy wins, Funko bobble heads, season 2 teasers, returning characters, and new cast members.
Ex Machina is one of the best new sci-fi films of the past decade. And it deals with many of the same themes as Westworld. Craig, Jake, and a new guest Lauren Faber discuss the background of the film (0:49), their general impressions of the film and Alicia Vikander’s performance (8:00), Domhnall Gleason as Caleb (13:47), Oscar Isaac as Nathan (16:12), the setting and how it played a part of the story (25:04), the ending (31:19), the film’s low budget being a huge benefit (37:40), the idea of sexuality (42:17), and their favorite moments (48:40).
Hector returns! Rodrigo Santoro has been confirmed for Westworld Season 2. Also, Dolores doesn’t have a monopoly on female robots on the verge of sentience. In Ex Machina (2015), Ava was kicking ass and realizing consciousness. Craig, Jake, and Lauren Faber (a new voice on the podcast) preview their discussion of the sci-fi thriller.
Michael Crichton created another theme park that went horribly awry. Jurassic Park (1993) is one of the greatest and most influential sci-fi films of all time.
Craig and Jonathan talk about the background of the film (3:01), our memories of seeing the film for the first time compared to what we think of it now (8:37), how Jurassic Park isn’t a movie about dinosaurs (15:27), the 90s nostalgia (17:53), the superb acting (21:35), the raptors as villains (25:21), the theme park (34:24), the film’s major flaw (38:11), and their favorite moments (40:36).
Exciting Westworld news! Jimmi Simpson announced he will be returning for season 2 and we have three new cast members joining the fold. Also Craig and Jonathan preview their discussion of another theme park gone awry, the 1993 sci-fi classic Jurassic Park.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is considered one of the greatest and most influential westerns of all-time and for good reason. Craig and Jake discuss the history behind the film (2:10), the music (6:41), Clint Eastwood (11:37), the costumes and sets (13:16), the details (16:01), the influence (21:10), the lack of a great villain (26:40), unnecessary scenes (30:49), the horrible dubbing and the need for more silence (32:08), and the amazing bridge scene (41:35).
In another jam-packed mini-episode, Craig and Jake talk about new cast members, interview someone who was able to attend the Westworld experience at Comic-Con, and preview our discussion of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Dolores and Maeve aren’t the only strong female television characters in a western setting. The 90’s gave us Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. Special guest Vanessa Cole from the fan site Westworld Watchers joins Craig and Heather to discuss the pilot episode. They talk about the history behind the show (6:46), their memories of watching it when it originally aired (10:47), themes of sexism and racism (15:45), issues of class and status (19:00), Jane Seymour (23:48), Quinn’s plans for independence (25:22), the treatment of Native Americans (29:45), “Sullyclaus” (36:20), and our favorite moments (37:20).
The season 2 trailer for Westworld dropped at Comic-Con. Craig, Jake, and Brian discuss their general impressions (1:42), the bloody player piano, Bernard, and the tiger (7:11), the man hanging from the tree (9:55), Sizemore and Maeve (11:08), Dolores and Teddy mowing down guests (13:09), dead people and dune buggies (15:25), and The Man in Black (17:35).
Do you remember watching the teaser trailer for the first time? That sense of awe and wonder got us so excited for this mysterious new show from HBO. I was watching it again recently (because I clearly have a lot going on in my life) and I realized there was one short scene that never made it into season one. This robotic hand.
We did see robotics like this in a flashback in episode three The Stray. However we didn't see this specific image during that scene. We know Westworld had quite a few production issues so perhaps taking this scene out was one of many changes.
You can see this image very quickly in a flash of images toward the end of the trailer.
A new cast member has joined the cast of Westworld! We discuss the exciting news along with the ridiculous number of Emmy nominations.
We also preview next week’s discussion of the pilot episode of Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman.
If you love dystopian sci-fi and you haven’t watched Black Mirror, you need to change that immediately. A great episode to start with (and one that relates heavily to the themes of Westworld) is “Be Right Back.” Craig and Jake discuss the episode’s commentary on grief (3:19), how we portray ourselves online (8:59), consumerism (16:45), the problems with the androids (27:59), the brilliant foreshadowing (31:47), and the literary tradition of this episode’s premise (35:23).
A lot of Westworld fans are speculating about the world outside of the parks. A certain episode of Black Mirror provides some interesting ideas into what that might be like. Craig and Jake preview their discussion of “Be Right Back.”
Louis Herthum is the breakout star from Westworld. His performance as Peter Abernathy set the tone for what would be one of the best new shows on television.
Craig was able to interview him and they discussed what is was like growing up in Baton Rouge (1:52), how he decided he wanted to get into acting (7:10), the original Westworld (12:50), how he found out about the HBO show and his preparation for the role (14:33), his time on set and his cold storage experiences (32:23), the reception from his incredible performance (43:21), praise from Ed Harris and Emmy nominations (46:52), season 2 (51:15), his experiences as a fan of the show (56:42), and a little Shakespeare (1:00:57).
Louis Herthum, otherwise known as Peter Abernathy, provided one of the biggest highlights of season one. His performance at the end of the pilot episode was the moment we knew Westworld was going to be a special show. Here’s a preview of the full-length interview coming next week.
A couple days ago, Redditor Brew_Swillis (great username) published a post titled "Can we end the endless maze image posts? It was mostly met with comments such as “welcome to the off season.” However, there was one comment from Jonathan Nolan—THE Jonathan Nolan.
It read simply “nope” along with a link to an image. As you can see below, it looks like the script for the season two premiere. And the title appears to be “Journey Into Night,” which you may remember as Ford’s final narrative in the season one finale. So if you’re keeping track, the show runner behind Westworld casually dropped the title of the season two premiere in a Reddit discussion thread. How cool is that?
Love Ed Harris as a cowboy in black? Then you should watch Appaloosa (2008). Co-written, directed, and starring Ed Harris, this western is one that subverts just about every expectation. Craig and Jake discuss their general impressions (2:02), the brilliance of Viggo Mortensen (10:32), Virgile and Alli’s relationship (21:35), and their favorite parts of the movie (37:41).
Do you like watching Ed Harris as a cowboy? Good news! There’s a whole movie where he does just that. Craig and Jake will be reviewing Appaloosa (2008). Here’s a quick preview along with some news about the podcast.
If you have an HBO subscription, Appaloosa is available in the movie library right now for free.
The Seven Samurai (1954) is considered not only one of the greatest samurai films ever but one of the greatest films ever. Craig and Jake discuss the the film’s history and Kurosawa’s brilliance (1:36), our general impressions of the movie (20:05), the use of movement and weather (27:40), the women in the movie (30:12), 13 Assassins (36:30), their favorite moments (39:47), and Craig’s trip to Japan (43:18).