Godzilla vs Kong is a historic rivalry, yet it has been 59 years since these two giants of cinema last traded blows. That seems far too long, but fortunately for the "Monsterverse," the timing couldn't have been better.

In our King of the Monsters (KotM) episode, Chumpzilla and I were bullish about the future of this series. We knew this movie would at least be made, but short of a miraculous run, KotM had sullied the stock. Turns out, we were wrong.

In less than a week Godzilla vs Kong has grossed over $300 million worldwide, already nearing its predecessors totals. This comes amidst an ongoing global pandemic. Its reviews have also far surpassed that of KotM. It sits at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 300 reviews—a striking 33% improvement.

In hindsight, we probably could've predicted the bounce back. After all, these characters are truly the most iconic. Godzilla, for all his miscellaneous adventures, will always be a part of the Japanese zeitgeist due to his metaphorical significance. And the 1933 King Kong remains one of the greatest technical achievements in film; it's a true testament to the power of movies and their ability to suck the viewer into their world.

So, does Godzilla vs Kong do its titular characters proud. Yes and no. The fights are a visual wonder—a feast for the eyes with a brutality that you can almost feel. The plot, on the other hand, mirrors that of KotM; in that, it's convoluted and dumb.

But, hey, we're here to witness the former, so sit back, pound some Colossal Claude Imperial IPAs from Rogue Brewing Co. into submission, and don't exit your ship in the Hollow Earth! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are riding the Skull Crawler infested bullet train from Pensacola to Hong Kong!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – It's a movie about a giant gorilla fighting a giant nuclear lizard. Enough said. (00:00) 
  • Lingering Questions – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we analyze who'd truly win in a fight between these two titans of cinema. (57:52)
  • The "Titan Truth Podcast" Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to a series of trivia questions about the movie, as well as the return of "Name That Kaiju." (1:10:30)
  • Recommendations – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA, and then we offer our picks for the week. Next up: It's the premiere of "Hops and Our Favorite Flops," Pacific Rim. (1:23:00)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Peter Jackson's initial ideas for Kong and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

More Episodes

Hulk – The Incredible Sulk

April 2, 2021

Ang Lee's Hulk is ponderous—absurdly so—and mostly revolves around the gruesome father/son relationship between Bruce (Eric Bana) and David Banner (Nick Nolte). Reportedly, Lee wanted the film to evoke the weighty emotions of a Greek tragedy.

It certainly does generate a palpable response, but it's apathy. For a movie whose title character is a big, green, rage monster, the Hulk is seldom seen for the first hour. When he does show up, he's relegated to fighting mutant poodles with a penchant for crotch attacks.

Now, I'm not saying this movie wasn't ambitious because it certainly was. Unfortunately, all its aspirations are for naught; and it all amounts to little more than odd familial drama and nonsensical CGI fisticuffs. General audiences were just as confused. After winning its opening weekend with $62+ million, it dropped a stunning 69.7% in its second.

That is the steepest decline on record for a film that opened at number one. The Hulk does fight his evil father as a cloud, though, so there's that.

Now, sit back, crush a couple of Voodoo Ranger Captain Dynamite Hazy IPAs from New Belgium Brewing, and try not to fall asleep from boredom! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are wrestling some mutant dogs!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Despite his Oscar pedigree, Ang Lee struggled to find the proper balance between art and excitement. (00:00) 
  • Lingering Questions – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we determine what could have livened this film up. (42:31)
  • The "Hulk Smashed" Trivia Challenge – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA, and then Chumpzilla challenges the field to a series of trivia questions about the movie. (1:24:50)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week; and next up: It's the second of our HBO Max specials, Godzilla vs Kong. (1:38:28)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the comedy stylings of Eric Bana and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Zack Snyder’s Justice League – Little Fish Stick and Big Tuna

March 26, 2021

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a cinematic anomaly. When Snyder had to step away due to a family tragedy, Warner Bros. (WB) essentially hacked the material he left them to bits. Under the guidance of Joss Whedon, Snyder's originally footage was morphed into a soulless attempt to capture the magic of the MCU.

It didn't work—a topic we explored in-depth on our Joss-Stache League episode. That film appealed to no one, but it particularly riled those faithful to Snyder's vision. Thus, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was born—a fan movement spawned from the betrayal many felt the studio had committed.

Make no mistake, folks, this movie is a whole new beast. From Steppenwolf's arc to Darkseid's ominous presence to the return of the Knightmare world, it's the sequel fans of Snyder's work were promised as the credits rolled on Batman v Superman.

And at four hours, it literally crams as much of what he shot in as possible. Heck, Snyder even managed to shoot a couple of new scenes, despite WB's insistence he could not.

Love his vision or hate it—as some members of the pod do—this is a movie that warrants your attention. It's a win for the fans who fought hard—both in supporting Snyder and for the cause of suicide prevention and awareness; and it's a win for artistic integrity.

Most important, though, it's a movie that he lovingly crafted and dedicated to his daughter Autumn, whose suicide led to him walking away in March of 2017.

So, sit back, open a Boom Tube to your tastebuds with a Galactic Cowboy Imperial Nitro Stout from Left Hand Brewing, and initiate the Unity! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are taking turns sniffing Jason Mamoa's sweater!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – With four plus hours of runtime, how different was Zack Snyder's Justice League from Whedon's disastrous theatrical cut? (00:00) 

    • Spoiler Alert (12:22)
  • Lingering Questions – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA, and then I pose some quick fire questions to the crew. Will the Snyderverse live on? (1:15:51)
  • The "Not Us United" Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to a series of trivia questions about the actors portraying our favorite heroes. (1:36:02)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: It's the final entry in our "Hops and Heroic Flops" series, Ang Lee's Hulk. (1:45:36)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the sequels we will probably never see and more—from this week’s episode!

If you are battling depression and in need of helpful resources, or to simply donate to a worthwhile cause, please visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – Ride Angry

March 19, 2021

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which is a sequel to the 2007 original, is so insane it almost works. Nicolas Cage, the Rider or Johnny Blaze, goes full Cage. It's equal parts glorious and dumbfounding.

That is the movie in a nutshell. For everything that works—such as the Rider possessing humongous construction equipment—there are far too many other elements that do not.

From the dude from Empire Records overacting literally every piece of dialogue to Idris Elba's mindbogglingly bad French accent, there are just far too many palm face moments.

That said, it is better than the first—despite what the reviews (18% on Rotten Tomatoes with 114 reviews) and the box office ($132.6 million) may indicate. And, it does feature a whole lot of the Rider murdering bad dudes in all sorts of fire-induced ways. As viewers, that's something we can all get behind.

So, sit back, absolve your sins with a Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Brewing Co., and sign a blood-soaked deal with the Devil! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are scraping at the door!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Was Spirit of Vengeance able to make amends for its disastrous 2007 predecessor? (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA, and then Mayor McCheese poses some questions to the crew. (1:07:53)
  • The Trivia Challenge – Mayor McCheese challenges the field to a series of trivia questions—some relating to the movie and others to unhealthy snack foods. (1:19:50)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: it's finally here! Zack Snyder's fabled Justice League premiered March 18, and we're taking a deep dive into its four hours of superhero team up action. (1:28:14)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the eccentricities of Nicolas Cage and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Joss-Stache League – Stiff Upper Lip

March 12, 2021

Joss-stache League (Justice League) is a cobbled together mess. It's the Frankenstein's monster of movies. I wish that were an understatement, but, sadly, it is not; and though it bears Zack Snyder's name in the credits, it is not his movie.

According to Fabian Wagner, the original cut's cinematographer, up to 90% of what they shot is not in it. That's right, folks: In under two months, Joss Whedon basically reshot the entire thing.

Why? Well, the answer to that is long, winding, and even filled with heartbreak. To keep it brief, the studio was no longer in support of Zack's vision. When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice failed to break a $1 billion, a series of decisions were made.

In retrospect, many of them were stupid. And Justice League paid the bulk of the price for them. It's a mishmash of competing interests and an attempt to please both critics and fans with something more similar to the MCU. That desperation backfired.

At the time of its release, Justice League had the lowest opening of any DCU film ($93+ million). It would go on to gross $657.9 million—also the lowest for a DCU film at the time— against a production budget of $300 million. Deadline Hollywood reported that the film lost the studio around $60 million, scuttling their new plans and throwing DC's big screen universe into further turmoil. It also sits at just 40% on Rotten Tomatoes with 395 reviews—a modest improvement over its predecessor and certainly not worth the hack job they put to it.

Now, despite of all you have just read, this movie is somehow still watchable—even if you are forced to look away as a certain CGI'd mustache burns a hole through your TV.

So, sit back, enter a new dimension with a Mapping the Multiverse Hazy IPA from Surly Brewing Co., and unite the Seven! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzillaMayor McCheese, and special guest Mario Francisco Robles—the Fanboy himself—are struggling to process Henry Cavill's face!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – The road to DC's ultimate team up is rife with speed bumps, and we tackle them all. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA, and then I pose some questions to the crew. What did Whedon nail? And what are we most looking forward to come March 18th? (1:33:59)
  • The "Something's Definitely Bleeding" Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to questions about the movie, as well as the movement it inspired. (1:54:05)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: We rev our collective engines for the third entry in our "Hops and Heroic Flops" series, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance! (2:06:06)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the Release the Snyder Cut book and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Green Lantern – Shallow Hal Jordan

March 5, 2021

Green Lantern is a mess—an expensive one, at that. Its horrid CGI suit tells all the tales one needs to know about how misguided the project was. And it was a misfire that had serious ramifications.

In 2011, Green Lantern was meant to serve as the kickoff to a new DC movie universe. That notion was immediately squashed. On a budget over $200 million, it grossed just $219.9 million worldwide.

Worse, critics (26% on Rotten Tomatoes with 246 reviews) and audiences (45%) reviled it. There would be no sequel, and there certainly would not be an integrated universe with Ryan Reynold's Hal Jordan at its center.

When you watch it, none of the numbers above are shocking. Green Lantern, like its central protagonist, suffers from an identity crisis. It's plot is undercooked—adding characters and elements with little context—and its execution is lacking. The latter no doubt a consequence of the turmoil behind the scenes.

Reynolds was miserable; the director probably more so; and the studio was full-on panicked throughout. The imagination that so often has defined the character, as well as his will to muster whatever comes to his mind, was swallowed whole by the dreaded Parallax—aka movie making by committee.

So, sit back, create a pint class with your Lantern's ring to pour a Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada, and fight the allure of fear! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are furiously taking notes in Ring Slinging 101!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We dive headfirst into the galactic fart cloud of doom that is this movie's plot. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – We hear from our beer bros. at Hop Nation USA and then assess what possibly could've righted this ship. (1:06:57)
  • Trivia Challenge – Capt. Cash challenges the field to a bevy of Green Lantern-centric trivia. (1:27:42)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at The Double Turn Podcast, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: We all avert our eyes from poor Henry Cavill's face for the second entry in our "Hops and Heroic Flops" series, Joss-stache League! (1:33:54)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the on-set acrimony and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Top Secret! – We Know a Little German

February 26, 2021

Top Secret! was the team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker's follow up to their incredibly successful Airplane! It, like its predecessor, is an indescribably goofy movie—full of off the wall gags, jokes, and non-sequiturs.

If you have seen Airplane!, you will understand what kind of humor it is. These guys were the kings of this style of comedy, and Top Secret! certainly lives up to that pedigree. It also introduced moviegoers to Val Kilmer. This was his big screen debut, and it's clear why he went on to become a household name.

Where this movie suffers is a lack of clear narrative focus and a truly defined world. It is set in immediate post-World War II East Germany, but features wisecracks from several decades proceeding it—not to mention that the antagonists are Nazis. 

Really, though, the plot is a big whatever. You come to a film like this to laugh, and you definitely will. As much as theater patrons ignored it in 1984 (it grossed $20 million compared to Airplane!'s $158), it has become a cult hit over time. Deservedly so.

Now, sit back, catch a heavy with a Boom Dynamite IPA from OHSO Brewery, and introduce us to the little German! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are riding waves and blasting pigeons—Skeet Surfin'!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – The plots for spoof movies are generally lacking and Top Secret! is no exception. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – Are we surprised this couldn't replicate the success of Airplane!? (39:30)
  • Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to a host of Top Secret!-related trivia. (54:08)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: We suit up for the start our "Hops and Heroic Flops," series with Green Lantern! (1:07:24)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the oral history and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever – Moaning Techno and Explosions

February 19, 2021

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever is bad. Like truly awful. Its plot is convoluted; its action is often nonsensical and unimaginative; and it does little to capitalize on its star power. Antonio Banderas literally has nothing to do. This guy was El Mariachi in Desperado, for Pete's sake. Let him do more than smoke cigarettes and drink.

Anyway, there is a boat load of slow motion, if you're into that. Most of it is wholly unnecessary, but it's there; and it probably adds 10 minutes to the runtime—a portion of your life you will never get back.

There's also a lot of sulking and staring. There's an abundance of Ray Park in a turtleneck. Yep, Darth Maul loves sweaters, but he doesn't love fighting because he only does it once. Like the rest of the movie, that scene sucks.

If you are noticing a trend, you should. We hated this movie. Critics also hated it. And audiences thoroughly despised it. It is one of our most egregious flops to date, earning barely above $20 million on a budget of $70 million.

You have been forewarned. So, sit back, slug a few H.A.Z.Y. IPAs from Sweetwater Brewing Co., and throw on your best "Tactleneck"! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are stepping on land mines and running for cover!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Well, there's a lot of dumb stuff that happens in this movie. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – Could any of us decipher a way to polish this turd? (29:30)
  • The "Ballistic:"Trivia Challenge – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, Chumpzilla challenges the field to a host of Ballistic-related trivia. (55:07)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week; and next up: We close our "Hops and 00-Flops," series with Top Secret! (1:04:33)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the Game Boy Advance game and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

If Looks Could Kill – Grieco: Far from Home

February 12, 2021

If Looks Could Kill is a piece of vintage 90s cinema. It takes a young star—presumably on the rise—and tasks them with elevating a sub-par film. It's a challenge many budding leading men have been burdened with.

Richard Grieco—most famously Dennis Booker from the 21 Jump Street TV show and its spin-off Booker—is not quite up to the task. His big screen woes mirror that of his small screen ones. Like Booker, audiences did not flock to If Looks Could Kill. His suave appearance and brash attitude were not accompanied by the requisite charm.

Grossing just $7.8 million on a budget as high as $12 million, it served as evidence that Grieco may not be the next big thing. It's hard to argue that point. But If Looks Could Kill is a fun—albeit stupid fun—time. It's a spoof on more serious spy movies, offering up a case of mistaken identity to fuel its hijinks.

It also clearly served as a mild inspiration for more popular films to come. Cough ... Spider-Man: Far from Home ... cough ... With that in mind, watch it for what it is, and do a spit-take when you realize Roger Daltrey—of The Who fame—shows up just to be murdered by the principal from Kindergarten Cop.

Now, sit back, toast to the lady on the moon with a Miller High Life, and stop fidgeting with the spy car's myriad of switches! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are smelting gold and reforming the European Union!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – McCheese and I loved this when were kids. Did it hold up? (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – Is beer chugging required to sit through this 90s B-movie? (47:19)
  • Trivia Challenge – McCheese challenges the field to a host of Grieco-related trivia. (59:10)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: We continue our "Hops and 00-Flops," series with Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever! (1:09:49)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Grieco's soft rock album and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl and Amazon Music!

The Long Kiss Goodnight – This Movie is Pain

February 5, 2021

The Long Kiss Goodnight is obnoxious, loud, and dumb. In other words, most action movies of the 80s and 90s. It's also hopelessly convoluted and botches its central premise—that of an amnesic suburban housewife who has forgotten that she used to be an assassin.

Starring Geena Davis—in her second collaboration with former husband Renny Harlin—as Samantha Caine (the innocent)/Charly Baltimore (the no-so-innocent), The Long Kiss Goodnight just isn't equal to the sum of its parts. The supporting cast is great—boasting Samuel L. Jackson, Brian Cox, Craig Bierko, and David Morse, amongst others—and it was written by Shane Black, the literal master of this conceit (i.e. the mismatched action duo).

Even with those elements, it just never comes together. Sure, there are scenes that work, but not enough of them; and for an action film, its set pieces generally fall flat or down a drain at Niagara Falls, only to reappear unscathed.

Critics didn't agree with our pod's assessment. The film sits at 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, though, were skeptical. It grossed just $89.5 million on a budget of $65. But, its failures set a nice template for future films and proved—however unnecessary it was to prove—that women can also kick ass.

So, sit back, set your sights on a Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head's Brewery, and deal with the fact that life is pain! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are blowing shit up with Charly Baltimore and trying to remember exactly why we're doing it!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Was Davis' second collaboration with Harlin better than the water logged dreck that was Cutthroat Island? (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – Shane Black loves Christmas, but what's his best holiday-centered film? (47:08)
  • The "Life is Pain" Trivia Challenge – After we hear a word from our brothers in beer, Hop Nation USA, Capt. Cash challenges the field to trivia about the movie. (1:10:46)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up: We continue our "Hops and 00-Flops," series with If Looks Could Kill! (1:20:53)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the long-gestating sequel and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, TuneIniHeartRadioVurbl and Amazon Music!