80 episodes

Everyone’s favorite literature and pop culture site is now a podcast. Entertaining, enlightening chat about books, film, streaming TV, and more with Neal Pollack, editor of Book and Film Globe and its top writers. Pollack is the author of ten semi-bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction, including Jewball, Never Mind the Pollacks, Downward-Facing Death, and the memoirs Alternadad and Pothead: My Life as a Marijuana Addict in the Age of Legal Weed.

Book and Film Globe Podcast Book and Film Globe

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    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Everyone’s favorite literature and pop culture site is now a podcast. Entertaining, enlightening chat about books, film, streaming TV, and more with Neal Pollack, editor of Book and Film Globe and its top writers. Pollack is the author of ten semi-bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction, including Jewball, Never Mind the Pollacks, Downward-Facing Death, and the memoirs Alternadad and Pothead: My Life as a Marijuana Addict in the Age of Legal Weed.

    BFG Podcast #157: 'MaXXXine', 'Axel F,' and the J.K. Rowling/'Lolita' "controversy"

    BFG Podcast #157: 'MaXXXine', 'Axel F,' and the J.K. Rowling/'Lolita' "controversy"

    It's six degrees of Kevin Bacon and J.K. Rowling on this week's podcast, as we discuss two movies that feature Kevin Bacon and one online controversy that definitely features J.K. Rowling.
    First up, special guest Kat Rosenfield, a columnist for the Free Press, appears to talk about her recent column on last week's ridiculous online tumult that went down after a millennial on X discovered an old Rowling interview where Rowling called Vladimir Nabokov a "love story." That's about as stupid as it sounds, but Kat and host Neal Pollack pick it apart quite intelligently. The conversation is a riff on Rosenfield's take: "People, in their fervor for recreational hatred, are rendering themselves functionally illiterate." Amen to that.
    Stephen Garrett shows up on the podcast like he does nearly every week. This time, he and Neal discuss 'MaXXine,' the "thesis" movie from director Ti West, if a thesis movie can be an artsy riff on 1980s direct-to-video horror movies and also the sleaziness of the 1980s porn industry. Needless to say, this is not a family film. Stephen thinks it's a little cold, studied, and pretentious, but there's no denying that MaXXXine is true to its pulp sensibility, and it really captures a certain kind of 1980s vibe. Highly recommended, or not, depending on your sensibility.
    Eddie Murphy is back, not on the podcast, but in 'Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F'. Resident Beverly Hills Cop JP Guinn joins Neal to sass-talk the ultimate cinematic sass-talker. JP places this new Netflix number somewhere between Beverly Hills Cop 2 and the disastrous Beverly Hills Cop 3 on the Axel Foley timeline. There's not much good to say here, though "Neutron Dance" remains a fun song for a dumb action sequence, even if that action sequence involves a snowplow destroying downtown Detroit. "What are we really being nostalgic for here?" Neal asks. Good question.
    From high to low, we cover it all on BFG. Enjoy the show!

    • 38 min
    BFG Podcast #156: 'A Quiet Place: Day One,' 'Kinds of Kindness,' and a new season of 'The Bear'

    BFG Podcast #156: 'A Quiet Place: Day One,' 'Kinds of Kindness,' and a new season of 'The Bear'

    BFG serves up an unpretentious meal of pop-culture criticism in this week's podcast. Stephen Garrett enters the room quietly to talk to noisy host Neal Pollack about 'A Quiet Place: Day One.' After dodging brief accusations of misogynoir, Stephen admits that the prequel is well-made and that Lupita Nyong'o is beautiful and talented, but he just cannot get around how stupid the aliens are in the movie. They don't eat anything. They just hate noise. It's a jump-scare franchise and nothing else. If you like that sort of thing, you will like this flick. Stephen does not like this sort of thing.
    Greg Ford doesn't like The Bear at all. He tried, oh he tried. Neal also really wanted to like The Bear, but in Season 3, the show is clearly high on its own supply, over-enamored with its own artistry and gorging on self-importance. We are not alone in taking on The Bear here. Critical opinion has flipped quickly. Our beloved new TV restaurant changed its menu, and people don't like what it's serving. Neal and Greg certainly do not.
    But Neal and Stephen DO like Kinds of Kindness, the new film from Yorgos Lanthimos, starring a "fearless" and occasionally naked Emma Stone. Neal likens the film to a short-fiction anthology, sort of a sexy Kafka set in Louisiana, with sex cults. It's kind of a great film, Neal and Stephen agree. Willem Dafoe also gets naked.
    Enjoy the podcast!

    • 35 min
    BFG Podcast #155: 'The Bikeriders' and new seasons of 'House of the Dragon' and 'The Boys'

    BFG Podcast #155: 'The Bikeriders' and new seasons of 'House of the Dragon' and 'The Boys'

    Host and editor Neal Pollack has returned from the World Series of Poker, where he did pretty well, not great, but pretty well, to deliver steaming-hot pop-culture takes on a new episode of the BFG podcast.
    Neal came home from Las Vegas and immediately started mainlining as much TV as possible. The first priority was a new season of House of the Dragon, now airing on Max. Omar Gallaga, the world's greatest House of the Dragon recapper, joins Neal to talk about season 2. Neal loves HOD, he finds it reminiscent of the early seasons of Game of Thrones, when we were all much younger and the world was a happier, more innocent place. Omar is entertained, in the classical sense, but he also sees HOD as more of a faux-Shakespearian history and less of a faux-Shakespearian tragedy. It's based on a fake history book by George RR Martin, as opposed to GOT, which was a novel adaptation, so Omar regrets that the characters don't have the rich interior lives they need to make this show great. Neal just wants dragon fights.
    William Schwartz joins Neal to talk about the new season of The Boys. They parse the "controversy" surrounding the show. The right-wing expresses outrage that The Boys satirizes the right wing, which it always has. But stupid liberals also come under the microscope. As do corporate diversity programs. The Boys takes the piss out of our superhero-saturated culture like no other cultural property ever could, and any critique of it is essentially invalid. Season 4 is just as wild and gross and outrageous as ever, and Neal and William both love it.
    Meanwhile, at the movies, The Bikeriders has opened Stephen Garrett saw this film a year ago and barely remembers it, but Neal saw it last week and found it surprisingly effective. Jodie Comer is as Midwestern as a British woman has ever been, and Tom Hardy and Austin Butler give filthy greaser biker-guy star turns. As Neal said in his review, The Bikeriders is a 1960s Village Voice article, but in movie form, and it's one of the entertainment year's most pleasant surprises.
    Enjoy our show!

    • 38 min
    BFG Podcast #154: 'The Acolyte,' 'Inside Out 2,' and 'Dancing For The Devil'

    BFG Podcast #154: 'The Acolyte,' 'Inside Out 2,' and 'Dancing For The Devil'

    On this week's podcast, guest host and site contributor Scott Gold discusses some of the biggest pop-culture recent releases from the big and small screen.
    First up, Scott and fellow Star Wars nerd, author and TV writer Rob Kutner discuss whether the latest Disney+ series to tap into a galaxy far, far away, The Acolyte, gets far enough away from the Skywalker saga to make things interesting again. Does switching the tone and theme to something darker and more mystery focused shed fresh light on what makes Jedi the way they are? And it it all enough to make casual fans as excited about this show as we all were when The Mandalorian exceeded expectations?
    Next, film critic Stephen Garrett gets in our heads with a discussion of Pixar's much-anticipated sequel Inside Out 2, which continues the story of Riley Andersen as puberty brings a whole new set of personified emotions including Anxiety and Ennui. How does it measure up the the beloved original? Did you happen to catch that Bing Bong Easter Egg?
    Last but not least, Sharyn Vane explores Netflix's wildly popular true-crime story Dancing for the Devil, a three-part docudrama about the 7M TikTok cult. Sharyn talks about the internet rabbit hole she fell down getting to know these personalities long before Netflix came to the party with its own twisty take on the church that was producing popular dance content.
    Enjoy the show!

    • 41 min
    BFG Podcast #153: Richard Rushfield - Special guest and columnist for 'The Ankler' discusses the "catastrophic" summer box office and why he hate-watches 'Hacks,' among many other topics

    BFG Podcast #153: Richard Rushfield - Special guest and columnist for 'The Ankler' discusses the "catastrophic" summer box office and why he hate-watches 'Hacks,' among many other topics

    This week, special guest Richard Rushfield, columnist for 'The Ankler' and one of the sharpest observers of the entertainment business, joins host Neal Pollack in the pod dome to discuss this summer's "catastrophic" box office. "What is Garfield to you?" Richard challenges Neal. "Is it not entertainment?" It is, but the summer box office performance for the adult-facing movies has been bad. But, Rushfield posits, in an average summer 'The Fall Guy' and 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' wouldn't be considered disasters, they would be filler movies between blockbusters. But there are problems in the pipelines, studios are consolidating. The "ecosystem" depends on 120 movies a year, but will fall way short of that number.
    But the studios have only themselves to blame, Rushfield says. You can't blame the strikes. "It's like saying, I had to do my homework but went to the beach instead, so of course I didn't do my homework. What do you expect?"
    Later, Rushfield has praise for Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin and for 'Masters of Air,' and says that he is hate-watching Season 3 of 'Hacks,' though he does like Jean Smart essentially playing Joan Rivers. He finds the rest of the show "amateurish." His aesthetic judgment is golden. Neal also forces Rushfield to talk about 'For All Mankind' on Apple+, which hasn't aired new episodes since January but which Neal has been bingeing much to the chagrin of his wife. Rushfield considers For All Mankind one of the top 5 shows of the streaming era, and Pollack agrees.
    Two grumpy old Jewish dads discussing the entertainment industry. It's why podcasts exist! Check it out.

    • 39 min
    BFG Podcast #152: 'Furiosa,' 'Hit Man,' and 'Back To Black'

    BFG Podcast #152: 'Furiosa,' 'Hit Man,' and 'Back To Black'

    BFG goes to the movies this week even if no one else is. We cover three recent releases with the comprehensiveness they deserve.
    Stephen Garrett is back from Cannes to review 'Furiosa' with host Neal Pollack. He calls it "one of the great prequels ever made," and Neal can't really disagree. Yet there's an element of surprise missing from this 'Fury Road' origin story that has left it somewhat high and dry with audiences. Chris Hemsworth really chews the scenery, Anya Taylor-Joy does a lot of grunting, and there are plenty of exploding glider attacks on truck convoys if you like that sort of thing. We do!
    Gillian Gear returns to the show to talk with Neal about 'Back to Black,' the Amy Winehouse biopic. Gillian was bored by the movie. Neal said it pales in comparison with any Amy Winehouse documentary from a decade ago. It's a minor film trying and mostly failing to capitalize on the massive success of Bohemian Rhapsody from a few years back. The music isn't as central to Back in Black as it should be. Though Neal liked the two leads, Gillian was too bored to really care about them. This movie should go to rehab, HEYO.
    Saving the best movie for last, Omar Gallaga stops in to talk to fellow Austinite Pollack about 'Hit Man,' the years most Austin movie even though it takes place in New Orleans. Richard Linklater directs a script by himself and the movie's star Glen Powell, adapted from a Texas Monthly article. Powell and Adria Arjona steam up the screen in the hottest comedy crime-romance since Clooney and Lopez hooked up in Out of Sight, and that was a long time ago. It's a small-screen Netflix project in a lot of ways, but it still warrants a big-screen viewing if that's available to you. Highly recommended by us at BFG.
    Enjoy the show!

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Marceyb ,

Informative!

BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is one of my favorite books and is now one of my frequent favorite podcasts :) Keep the episodes coming!

John Packel ,

Thoughtful, funny, relevant

I don’t ever have nearly enough time to read Book & Film Globe, so the podcast is essential. And it actually adds a lot, as Neal’s commentary and wry asides are enjoyable.
The guests are excellent - published authors discussing good books and their craft, but in a way that’s totally accessible for the lay reader.
How is it that such quality content - and easy to consume format - continues to be free? I would gladly pay to ensure it continues; otherwise we’ll be left with the schlock of much mainstream media.

Ken K ,

Lively, informed, funny and erudite

Neal Pollack does a Cavett-like job of eliciting thoughtful observations from his cast of knowledgeable writers and reviewers. Through five episodes so far, I’ve learned a ton about what’s happening in publishing, film, television and more. Just as notable, the rapport between host and guests is a pleasure to experience. I am biased here, but I recommend highly.

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