42 episodes

The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast discusses and reviews a variety of science fiction movies and films! We talk about sci-fi films that are old, new, and iconic. Some of the topics for each movie we discuss are film themes, characters, music score, and more! Join us weekly as we take you on adventures that include an in-depth look and discussion of some of your favorite sci-fi films!

The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast Chris, Sean, Jeremy | Force Fed Sci-Fi

    • Film Reviews

The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast discusses and reviews a variety of science fiction movies and films! We talk about sci-fi films that are old, new, and iconic. Some of the topics for each movie we discuss are film themes, characters, music score, and more! Join us weekly as we take you on adventures that include an in-depth look and discussion of some of your favorite sci-fi films!

    Robocop (1987)

    Robocop (1987)

    This time, Force Fed Sci-Fi welcomes its first guest, Brian McLeod, to take a look at Robocop! During our review, we discuss how the character of Robocop himself actually accomplishes little to no police work, could technology offer a solution to areas infested with crime, and is Robocop worthy to get a statue in Detroit? Let’s dig in…..

    Robocop (Original) Cast

    Directed by Paul Verhoeven: Born in the Netherlands, Verhoeven had a solid reputation as a filmmaker prior to taking on Robocop. His early collaborations with Rutger Hauer earned him worldwide fame and even earned an Academy Award nomination for Foreign Language Film in 1974. Robocop was Verhoeven’s first major Hollywood film and was able to blend many complex themes together to create an entertaining and memorable story.



    Starring Peter Weller as Alex Murphy/Robocop: Prior to his casting, Weller was relatively unknown, but starred in the cult hit The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension in 1984. He was not the first choice for Murphy as Rutger Hauer and Michael Ironside were considered, but their large frames would not fit into the Robocop costume. Weller has since gone to have a respectable career appearing in films and television and has earned his Master’s Degree in Roman and Renaissance Art as well as a PhD in Italian Renaissance Art History.



    Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis: While she does not have a ton of memorable credits to her name, she remained a consistent presence in the Robocop films and would go on to appear in this film’s sequel as well as the third film even after Peter Weller left the franchise. It’s unclear exactly of her feelings towards Murphy whether it’s professional or romantic, but she offers a unique morality to the film as no one comes out smelling like roses at the end.



    Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker: Before he was known as Red Forman on That 70’s Show, Smith turned in a rather convincing performance as this drug kingpin. Boddicker clearly has a bevy of mental issues including narcissism and megalomania and has a near total disregard for human life. Everyone around him is either a means to an end or they’re just a target. The filmmakers have commented that making Boddicker an intellectual was intentional even down to the rimless glasses he wore as it made Smith look like infamous Nazi officer Heinrich Himmler

    Is Robocop a Good Cop?

    Any police officer will tell you that most of what is seen on television and film is dramatized. Most of the job is filling out paperwork as every stop and movement must be documented and cataloged. Robocop seems to not be familiar with these procedures.



    First, he just leaves his precinct without informing the Desk Sergeant where he’s going or what area he plans to patrol. Second, he engages in both breaking up a convenience store lobby and an attempted sexual assault without returning to the precinct to fill out any sort of paperwork or arrest log. In addition, we don’t even see him arrest anybody! One of our show's hosts, Chris, is pretty sure that the convenience store robber was also just left dead in the freezer as Robocop drops a cool one-liner and exits the store.



    Finally, Robocop has a clear disregard for due process. After he interrogates one of Boddicker’s henchman, he breaks into a warehouse without obtaining a warrant and begins shooting up the joint. Not only would any normal cop be removed from patrol duty after a shooting,

    Star Wars: The Rise is Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise is Skywalker

    This time, Force Fed Sci-Fi is concluding its look into a galaxy far, far away after reviewing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and along the way we asked, how much fan service is too much, are there any enjoyable moments in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga and what lies ahead for the future of the Star Wars franchise. Let’s dig in...

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Cast & Crew



    Directed by JJ Abrams: Originally, Colin Trevorrow was slated to direct this entry, but left the project due to “creative differences” with LucasFilm executives. Kathleen Kennedy and Abrams were quickly hired following his success after directing The Force Awakens. It could be that Trevorrow was more interested in taking the story in a different direction while LucasFilm/Disney was more interested in finding a “yes man” for the Star Wars saga

    As with The Last Jedi, most of the cast like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver returned to their respective roles once again with some surprises along the way:



    Harrison Ford returned in a Force memory as Han Solo and appeal his son’s conflicted nature but it’s likely he got the Marlon Brando treatment with cue cards shown off-screen along with a massive payday.

    Ian McDiarmid returned to the role of Emperor Palpatine as the shadowy evil pulling the strings behind the First Order. While his casting serves as a link to the Prequel and Classic trilogies. It almost diminishes the direction LucasFilm was attempting with this new group of characters.

    Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde: Grant is easily one of the best additions to the film as well as the best villain. He’s ruthless, cunning and has a unique history as it’s clear he served in the Empire during the timeline of the Classic Trilogy.

    Keri Russell as Zorii Bliss: While her character doesn’t receive much screen time, she’s a welcome addition to the film as she shines light onto Poe’s checkered past and her character seems to only serve as an additional deus ex machina during the final battle - we could see her pop up in a film or Disney+ series with Poe in the future (more on that in a bit).

    Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian: Williams returns to his role after 30 years and has become something of a reclusive hermit following an ...

    • 43 min
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    This time, we’re continuing our look into a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and along the way we ask, why does Sean hate this film so much, just how toxic are Star Wars fans, and what exactly is the theme that Rian Johnson is going for? Let’s explore this far away galaxy...

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi Crew and Cast

    Written and directed by Rian Johnson: Johnson has been the subject of a previous episode on the show (please check out Looper), but we feel like he kind of dropped the ball this time around given his convoluted mix of themes, plot lines that remain unexplored, and a disregard for the narrative set forth by The Force Awakens.



    With the exception of Harrison Ford, the entire cast from the first film returned including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson.



    Several new characters were cast in the film including:



    * Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo: Dern is an incredibly accomplished actress, but it seemed like her character only served the purpose of clashing with Poe Dameron and it’s only a disservice to her talent (she was previously covered on our Jurassic Park review, check it out if you get a chance)

    * Benicio Del Toro as DJ: Del Toro may be phoning it in this time around. His character has a stammer and almost seems to act as this foreshadowing device for him being a traitor/snake. Rian Johnson almost considered this part being portrayed by the character of Lando (after all, just like Han, he once was someone looking to make some money). We're glad Rian Johnson did not go this route. Check out more about Johnson's thought process on this idea here. Another question though, did he end up getting killed in the explosion? We think most likely, but I suppose you never know (we didn't actually see it!)

    * Kelly Marie Tran as Rose: Tran drew the most criticism of any actor in the film, but it wasn’t directed at her character or her use in the film. Instead the attacks were directed to her personally. We should reiterate that faults with the film lie with the filmmakers and not the actors themselves unless there is a legitimate argument to be had.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    This time on Force Fed Sci-Fi, we are beginning our look into the Star Wars sequel films with Episode 7: The Force Awakens. Along the way we ask, is 30 years simply too long a time to simply resume the saga, how can someone like Kylo Ren have both daddy and granddaddy issues and how much nostalgia is too much? Let’s take our first steps and dive in as we discuss and review The Force Awakens …..

    Disney's Acquisition of LucasFilm and the Beginnings of the Next Triology

    To properly begin the story of The Force Awakens, we have to go behind the scenes for a little bit and travel back to 2012 when Disney acquired LucasFilm. A hefty price tag of $4 billion for the acquisition and with that, the announcement of a new round of Star Wars films would be produced.



    George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise, had actually developed ideas for a new round of films as far back as the 1980’s, but made the prequels first to round out the story that the original trilogy started. However, Lucas never got around to making Episodes 7, 8 or 9. Our hosts speculate that the effort of making the prequels and the backlash he was receiving for those in addition to the near constant changes he was adding to the original films probably didn’t motivate him to direct another film.



    Following Disney’s major purchase, legendary producer Kathleen Kennedy was placed in charge of LucasFilm and tabbed JJ Abrams as the director for Episode 7 who quickly moved to say that Lucas’ ideas for the sequel films would not be used and they would proceed with their own creative group and ideas. There is much speculation as to why Abrams and Kennedy would go this route (probably Disney execs), but the bottom line is that Lucas had plenty of time to make those films and he simply chose not to do so.

    Star Wars The Force Awakens Cast List

    Original Cast

    Harrison Ford as Han Solo: Obviously Ford has had a great career outside of playing Solo, but he returns to the role that made him a star and is a bright spot for this film. Unfortunately, we are met with his death at the end. We won't lie, it got us feeling sad as we see a beloved Star Wars character's story come to an end, killed by his own son too!



    Carrie Fischer as General Organa: Fischer returns to her legendary role and contributes to the reunion of the original trilogy cast. The years were not exactly kind to Fischer as she struggled with alcohol and drugs, but it should be noted that she publicly spoke about it, even in seminars, to bring awareness to alcoholism and addiction. We thank you Carrie!



    Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker: While Hamill has no lines of dialogue, his presence in the film serves as a McGuffin. Our hosts believe that he was not made a bigger part in the film as it would be distracting from the newer, younger actors (as it was we already had Solo and Leia taking attention away from the newcomers).



    Anthony Daniels as C-3PO: It was nice to see him come back once again to reprise his role adding to the reunion of the original trilogy cast.



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    • 51 min
    The Thing From Another World (1951)

    The Thing From Another World (1951)

    This time, Force Fed Sci-Fi takes a look at an overlooked classic in The Thing From Another World (1951 film) and discussed during our review about how problematic an author can truly be, why American history from the 1950’s provides context for the film, and does this film actually surpass its subsequent remakes? Let’s dig in and find out...

    Differences Between the Film and Novella

    It’s important to note that this film is based on a novella originally titled Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell and let’s just say there were many differences between the source material and the final product:



    * The novella takes place at a research station in Antarctica while the film is set in the Arctic Circle.

    * The design of the Thing is actually considerably different. In the novella, it’s described as having three eyes and is noted for having telepathic abilities and the ability to shapeshift. In the film, The Thing has become a plant-based humanoid creature with the ability to regenerate and subsists on blood.

    * The crew of the research station in the novella is notably all male while the film contains a somewhat diverse crew of male and females. The film is still male heavy, it is the 1950’s after all

    * The novella is much darker than the film with the research station containing a

    full working farm containing a whole stable of cattle who are then slaughtered so

    they will not be killed by The Thing and the story ends with 14 of the station’s

    inhabitants being gruesomely killed whereas in the film, only 2 of the researchers

    are killed along with the sled dog team



    John W. Campbell

    In addition to the notable differences between the novella and the film, the author Campbell, wasn’t exactly the nicest of people. He is described as taking the “devil’s advocate” approach to many topics and had many problematic views on slavery, integration and the Civil War.



    He was also a notorious chain smoker and even disputed the link between smoking and lung cancer and even embraced many branches of pseudoscience in the hopes of expanding medical discovery.



    He also wrote and glowingly praised the historical (villain) L. Ron Hubbard and began to experiment in Dianetics. Let’s just say Campbell was problematic to say the least.

    At The Time of the Film..

    The Thing From Another World was released in 1951 and it’s important to understand the American cultural lexicon at the time.



    The Korean Conflict was just ramping up and would end in a stalemate a few years later. This was a serious blow to American morale as we were coming off a victory lap following World War II and would affect our fighting forces for years to come.



    The McCarthy Hearings on Communism were being televised across the nation and would abruptly end when Senator McCarthy was called out during a now infamous hearing with the quote “Have you no decency, sir?” and his reputation ruined following numerous reports by now legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. For further context on the McCarthy Hearings, we definitely recommend the film Good Night and Good Luck.



    In addition to these historical events, Hollywood was ruled by what has become to be known as the Hays Code, a set of self-governing rules film studios went by in order to make their films as non-offensive as possible. For a complete breakdown of the rules outlined in the Hays Code, check out this link here or make sure to lis...

    • 42 min
    I Am Mother

    I Am Mother

    On this edition of Force Fed Sci-Fi, we took a look at and reviewed the Netflix film, I Am Mother. Among many things, we debated about how the world ended in this film, is society simply allowing technology to raise our children and just how freaky is that underground base? Let’s jump in and begin….

    I Am Mother Cast and Crew

    Directed by Grant Sputore

    As far as we can tell, this is the only major film that Sputore has directed. His only searchable credit was an Australian television show where he directed several episodes, but for his first time in the director’s chair, he did a fairly decent job. While the concept may have been a bit too ambitious for him, we’re hoping to see more of him in the future.

    Clara Rugaard as Daughter

    Rugaard is another newcomer to the scene with not many credits to her name other than several Danish television shows. She brought a certain grace and naiveté to the film as her character has been sheltered for her entire life without any knowledge of the world beyond their bunker. Surprisingly, she

    outperforms the other two actresses in this film.

    Rose Byrne as Mother

    Technically, she was only the voice of Mother and Luke Hawker was the physical stand in during filming. She voices Mother as very even keeled and matter of fact, but that’s almost a given considering she’s voicing a robot. She has an accomplished resume, and while this is a fair performance, it's not going to be a role that's to notable on her resume.

    Hilary Swank as Woman

    The two time Oscar winner brings her acting skills to this film ... kind of. As mentioned previously, Rugaard outshines her counterparts in many regards in I Am Mother as we get no real insights into her background - how did she end up on the beach in a shipping container or who shot her near the beginning of the film? It’s

    hard to connect to a character when we don’t know much regarding their backstory, but of course we can't always blame the actor/actress as some of the blame can be put on certain crew members.

    For Starters, What Happened in I Am Mother? (a bit confusing...)

    I Am Mother mostly takes place in an underground bunker where the no-name daughter is being cared for by a robot simply known as Mother, but a question that our host Chris brought up in the podcast episode is how did this world come to be the way it is?



    It seems like there was some sort of cataclysm, but it is not immediately clear as to exactly what the event was - was it war, famine, a combination of both?



    We don’t find out until later in the film that Mother is part of a larger entity that was created by the military. Was its true purpose to really re-create humanity in the event of destruction? We're pretty sure that Mother and the robotic entity Mother is associated with eventually turned on humanity which, sounds eerily familiar to us but we suppose this idea isn’t exclusive to The Terminator.

    Set Production and Its Contribution to the Film

    The underground bunker does look great on film and the production design team deserves a lot of credit for what they accomplished, but the layout of this facility isn’t exactly clear. There’s an expansive living facility for all of the humans that will be grown and what we assume is a very large warehouse for storage, but there is also medical facilities and classrooms.

    • 35 min

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Informative!

It's interesting to hear these perspectives on movies that everyone loves!

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