There’s a whole world of movie-related podcasts out there, and finding the great ones is sometimes a challenge. There’s a handful that are pretty well-known, at least in Pajiba circles — the often hilarious How Did This Get Made, the incredibly popular Doug Loves Movies, and one of my personal favorites, the almost devastatingly witty Pop Culture Happy Hour. It was from PCHH’s Glen Weldon that I got a recommendation for what has rapidly become one of my all time favorite, which is coincidentally possibly the geekiest movie podcast you’re likely to hear.
I mean that as a compliment.
So let me ask you: Are you a James Bond fan? No, I mean, are you an actual fanatic about the James Bond franchise of films? Then my friends, James Bonding is for you. Hosted by actors/comedians/podcasters Matt Mira and Matt Gourley, it is an in-depth, insightful, and often hysterically funny examination of each Bond film. And when I mean in-depth, I mean it. The podcasts range from 90 minutes to two hours, and each one focuses on one film. I know what you’re thinking — listening to three people (each episode features a special guest) blather on about Goldeneye sounds like torture. Believe me when I say that it is not.
What sets it apart is that Mira and Gourley are absolutely bananas about the series, giving more insight and information than you ever could find on a simple Wikipedia page or listening to a DVD commentary. They’re obsessives, and each episode features discussions about the score, direction, editing, acting, continuity arguments, and of course, who is the better Bond. One of my favorite features is how they’ll usually open each episode by playing alternate versions of whatever the theme song was for that particular film, as well as provide fascinating and voluminous information about the producers and directors. The level of detail is staggering, from the type of watches and suits that he’s wearing to the auction price of the vehicles. It’s a film nerd’s dream, and it’s bolstered by the fact that they seem to be genuinely good friends, and also extremely funny people. Another clever twist is how they’re releasing them: They started with Dr. No, then Skyfall, then From Russia With Love, and so on, alternating chronologically to prevent it from dragging (which becomes especially important during the not-very-exciting Brosnan era).
Also, they’ll often feature a sort of “British-off,” where they’ll play a clip of the most ridiculously British dialogue from the film. It works better than you’d think (as does Gourley’s insane Ian Fleming imitation).
The guests are usually excellent as well, and often provide a whole new take that keeps each episode fresh. The Cooking Channel’s Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark were brutal in their feminist critiques of Goldfinger, while producer and Kevin Smith co-collaborator Scott Mosier brought some terrific commentary to their examination of Thunderball. The best guest so far has probably been Paul F. Tompkins (who’s done two, including the most recent entry for Live And Let Die), but they’re almost all excellent.
There are podcasts that give you some trivia, and podcasts that make fun of movies, and podcasts that review them. James Bonding is a bit of all three. And anything that keeps me from smashing into other cars and driving them off a bridge during my morning commute is something to be commended.
If you’re interested, you can check them out at The Nerdist, or follow them on Twitter. You can also find me on Twitter here, should you be pathologically bored and want to follow someone who will occasionally insult you without cause or restraint.