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    Introducing: Thoroughly Manly Musicals

    So I'm extremely psyched to show off the latest addition to the Crosstawk family: Stan Ferguson's Thoroughly Manly Musicals. With each iteration, Stan's going to be tackling a different outing in musical theater, be it good or bad. With the introductory episode, the topic of discussion's going to be RENT, directed by Chris Columbus, adapted from the stage play by Jonathan Larson.

    Enough of me squaking, though - let's get to the show:


    Box Office Poison: Episode 2

    Box Office Poison returns!

    Mike Sklens couldn't make recording this month, but Karl, Jonny, Evan and Stan are back with tons of movies to discuss, from recent releases like Scott Pilgrim and The Kids Are All Right to classics like F For Fake and Twenty-Four Eyes to not-so-great outings like Across the Universe and Rent.

    In our second segment, our Movie of the Month for August is the infamous Caligula. Will the gang like the movie as much as Jonny does? You'll have to listen in to find out!

    Direct Download



    Rough Draught: Episode 3

    Ahoy-hoy, folks.

    For this month's edition of Rough Draught, Mike Sklens unfortunately couldn't make it, but Jon and I are both back to rock your skulls with some brand new beers. Here's what you're in for:

    1. Sam Adams Black Lager

    2. Terrapin Gamma Ray

    3. Victory Golden Monkey

    4. Kasteel Donker

    5. Coney Island Human Blockhead Tough as Nails Lager

    So now that you know the beers, check out the show to hear the tastings!

    Direct Download


    TAWK Rewind: TAWK-112 Episode 16

    Hey there, folks!

    Sorry for the late update this week. I just got back from a trip to New York / Philadelphia / New Jersey, and I haven't had much time to put anything together. I also know I promised "something special" this week, but that also unfortunately fell through.

    Never fear, though! This week you'll have another window into the past via the show that started it all, TAWK-112. Numbers have shown that you guys love this stuff, so feel free to dig right in. This week Karl, Jon, Casper, Jesse and guest star Logan discuss the early rumblings of the recent Predators movie, the worst remakes and sequels and get an email from a very special listener.

    Direct Download


    Check it Out: Track Rep

    Hey folks,

    So Antonio Siqueira, who you'll all remember from his guest spot on Rough Draught: Episode 2, just started up a new blog about hip hop called Track Rep. You should definitely head on over. Antonio's gonna be providing links to what he's listening to and what you ought to be immersing yourself in.'s all about our family, and Antonio's Track Rep is absolutely a part of it, so this isn't something you wanna miss!


    TAWK Rewind: TAWK-112 Episode 15's taking the week off (again), but we'd never leave you hanging, so here's another classic from the show that started it all: TAWK-112. On this episode, Karl, Jon, Casper, Jesse, Matt and Phillip discuss vinyl sales being way up, give their first thoughts on the upcoming Green Lantern movie, review Observe & Report (which had just come out when Episode 15 was recorded) and bring it home with their Top 5 Guilty Pleasures.

    Oddly enough, the first few minutes of the show are dedicated to addressing technical difficulties, which would end up being the death of the show. On a lighter side, we finally got that website going! is what would've been, so in a way, we kept our promise.

    Come back next week for something special!

    Direct Download


    TAWK Rewind: TAWK-112 Episode 11

    With no new episodes to release this week, now's as good a time as ever to start re-releasing the best episodes of the podcast that inspired Crosstawk, TAWK-112. In it, Karl Castaneda hosts a panel consisting of his roommates (and regular co-hosts) Jon Rind, Michael Casper and Phillip Snyder, in addition to frequent guest stars like Tyler Craig and Jesse Laier. In Episode 11, the gang discusses the possibility of real-life mutants, a bunch of comics talk, and the Top 5 Things From Our Childhood That Are Still Awesome (aka '90s fuckyeah).

    Enjoy, and see you next week!


    Direct Download


    As Promised: The RSS Feed

    As I said a while back, a podcast RSS feed has been in the works, and as of today, we've got one. It'll still be about a week before the show's visible in iTunes (it usually takes a while to get through their verification process), but if you'd like, to can plug the RSS feed right into your media player of choice (be it iTunes or otherwise):

    Furthermore, episodes from here on out will be hosted at rather than Squarespace. What this means for you is that in addition to direct download links, future episode posts will also have an embedded flash player.

    Also, for those of you with iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, a App is on the way - it should be downloadable within the next week or so.

    As always, check back for updates on upcoming happenings!


    Introducing: Box Office Poison

    Ahoy there, folks.

    So I'm really proud to present the latest addition to the family of podcasts: Box Office Poison. Each month, the crew and I will talk about what we've been seeing lately and then transition into a Movie of the Month, where one of us will pick a classic (or not-so-classic) gem for the whole group to watch.

    So who's on the show? Besides myself, we've got Mike Sklens (Rough Draught, formerly of Radio Free Nintendo), Jonathan Metts (Radio Free Nintendo), Evan Burchfield (formerly of Radio Free Nintendo) and Stan Ferguson (formerly of Radio Free Nintendo, God's Favorite Podcast). As for the Movie of the Month, it was Evan's pick, so we all took the time to watch North by Northwest, directed by the one-and-only Alfred Hitchcock.

    Aside from NXNW, you can also look forward to some Inception talk, The Red Shoes, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and many others.

    Dig in, everyone, and see you next month!


    Download Here


    Film Review: Inception

    Inception's a movie that I'd keep forgetting about, only to be occasionally reminded when a new trailer or bit of news would be released. I'm a big fan of Chris Nolan (Memento ranks up there as one of my all-time favorites, and as a comic book fan, Dark Knight's obviously near and dear), so I'm not sure why it was always off my radar, but here we are - it's done, it's out, and I've seen it.

    If you're not acquainted with the premise, Inception stars Leo DiCaprio as Dom Cobbs, a thief who specializes in the art of extraction (stealing information from a person's subconscious via constructed dream worlds in which the victim doesn't know they're dreaming and the thief is able to break through their mental defenses). When a job goes south, Dom's offered a way out (along with another incentive he's been after for quite a while): performing inception. Whereas extraction is all about attaining information, inception is about planting information - an idea that grows and spreads once the victim wakes up. Supposedly no one's been able to pull it off, but Dom takes the job anyway.

    Along the way, he assembles a crack team: Arthur the Point Man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), in charge of researching the target and providing pre-mission intelligence, Earnes the Forger (Tom Hardy), a master thief in his own right who can pose as different people in the dream world to fool and manipulate the victim, Saito the Tourist (Ken Watanable), the employer who's bankrolling the operation, and Ariadne the Architect (Ellen Page), who lives up to her namesake by designing "levels" for the dream world to manifest as. They also pick up Yusuf the Chemist (Dileep Rao), who's there in more of a support role as the person supplying the compounds that allow shared dreaming to take place.

    The job's fairly simple: they need to put Robert Fischer, Jr., (Cillian Murphy) under with these compounds, get deep into his subconscious and plant Saito's idea. Things get complicated when visions associated with Cobb's dead wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) start interfering with the mission, and improvisations begin shaking apart the plan.

    So if you want to know if I liked the movie, I'll just go ahead and say it: I liked the movie. It was great, and I can easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thinking man's thriller. Everyone delivers an at-least solid performance, and a few actors (Tom Hardy in particular) honestly surprised the hell out of me. In typical Chris Nolan fashion, the film's gorgeous to look at, and as with his previous collaborations with Nolan, Hans Zimmer provides excellent accents with a booming score.

    If that's all you needed, there you go. Having said that, I'd like to go into a few specific points.

    As I said earlier, Tom Hardy really shocked the crap out of me. Up until this point, I'd only really known him as Shinzon from that awful Star Trek: Nemesis flick and as the titular character in Bronson, which was suitably tense, but ultimately just kind of disjointed and unsatisfying. But here in Inception, he really steals the movie, whether it's with his buddy cop-like arguments with Arthur or his dynamite action choreography. It's not hard at all to see why he was cast as the lead in the upcoming Mad Max 4.

    Equally impressive was Ellen Page, who's always bordered right on the edge of annoying for me. She played things down with Ariadne, though, and it's with that subtlety that she's able to succeed at being the window into the world of Inception (being the newbie to the group, most of the exposition is brought on by her asking questions).

    As for Leo, there wasn't necessarily anything to complain about, but I can't help but feel like he's been turning in the same kinds of performances for some time. There's even a point in the movie where Dom splashes water onto his face that looks like it could've been right out of Shutter Island. DiCaprio's been picking these tortured, humorless leading-man parts for years, and it's starting to take it's toll. On the bright side, he delivered on some great action set-pieces - especially a chase scene almost reminiscent from the parkour scene from Casino Royale.

    And speaking of the action choreography, I really have to hand it to Noaln - he's come a long way. The Bourne-like fight scenes from Batman Begins were all kinds of nauseating, but he improved a greet deal with Dark Knight's practical effect set pieces, and Inception just takes it up another notch. There's one scene in particular where Arthur has to navigate a hotel while the point of gravity keeps shifting, and it's handled masterfully. It effortlessly handles the feeling of dreamlike disorientation without it being confusing or uncomfortable for the viewer.

    Finally, there's the script itself. As the first film Chris Nolan's written on his own since his debut with Following, I think he's shown us exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are. He's obviously adept with high concepts and constructing intense moments, but Inception definitely has moments where it lags, and I can't help but feel like Nolan's brother Jonathan would've been an asset in reigning it in and giving the movie a much tighter feel, as he did with Dark Knight, The Prestige, and Memento.

    So that's Inception. I don't feel like I'll be ready to truly rate it until I've seen it a few more times (it's definitely a film that seems like it'll reward repeat viewings), but I had a great time with it last night, and if you're looking for a sci-fi/thriller epic, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better this year.