Ep. 55: Starship Troopers

Nate and Ryan continue their unofficial tour through 1997 by watching director Paul Verhoeven’s divisive sci-fi cult classic, Starship Troopers.  Joined by guest (and Starship Troopers fan) Dan Wartsbaugh, Nate and Ryan try to find out if this is a scathing, brilliant satire, skewering the tropes of violence-worshiping blockbuster action flicks, or a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, silly violence-worshiping blockbuster action flick.  The movie’s stock has certainly risen in the 20 years since its release, as many critics have revisited the movie and praise Verhoeven’s incisive anti-war spin on Robert Heinlein’s pro-military novel.

But are claims of a satiric vision enough?  What are your thoughts on Starship Troopers?  Has your mind changed over the years?  How much schlock can be forgiven in the name of satire?  Is it ever not cool to watch alien bug explosions?  Let us know!

Ep. 52: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Nate and Ryan rewatch Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the other sci-fi classic released 40 years ago.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters solidified Spielberg’s aesthetic and helped bring hard(ish) sci-fi into the mainstream.  With all the hallmarks of great Spielberg movies wrapped up nicely in one movie, Nate and Ryan explore what makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind an unusually under-seen classic, and what we all love about Spielberg.

Was Close Encounters of the Third Kind a part of your childhood?  Where does it rank among Spielberg’s movies for you?  How has Close Encounters aged?  Let us know!