40 episodes

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin use the tried and true method of the single-elimination bracket to find out which movie from the IMDb Top 250 is the best one.

Middlebrow Madness Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin

    • TV & Film
    • 4.7 • 9 Ratings

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin use the tried and true method of the single-elimination bracket to find out which movie from the IMDb Top 250 is the best one.

    It Has Nutrients

    It Has Nutrients

    NOTE: This episode contains discussions of suicide.

    Sometimes the Universe gives you a gift, and sometimes that gift is a poisoned chalice. Sports fans, I have to tell you, our second matchup in this episode has no business happening in Round 1. But the Bracket Gods are capricious, and they will do as they please. In between discussing four very good-to-masterful movies, our intrepid hosts take the time to talk about Oddworld, arena football, #WhiteBoySummer, bar bands, and noted Isabelle reclamation project, Renny Harlin. There's even metagaming in this one.; In short, another classic episode!

    This week's matchups:
    The Apartment v. Mission: Impossible — Fallout
    Star Wars v. Jaws

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

    • 1 hr 50 min
    We're Gonna Cancel Abraham Lincoln

    We're Gonna Cancel Abraham Lincoln

    Sports fans, as we being a-tumblin' down towards the end of round one, we encounter in these matchups a couple of mirrored pairs. We have two movies that our intrepid hosts revisit for the first time in a long time, and two masterpieces of their form, each close to one host's heart. Who will gracefully bow out? Who will live another day to possibly become the Greatest Movie of All Time*? What the f**k is up with Cluck Klosterman? The answer to these questions, dear listener, is yes.

    This week's matchups:
    Amélie v. Shutter Island
    Raiders of the Lost Ark vs. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

    Orson Welles vs. John Landis | @JFrankensteiner on Twitter

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

    Tennessee Williams for Stupid People

    Tennessee Williams for Stupid People

    In the words of the great American philosopher Jon Bon Jovi, we're halfway there! Well, we're halfway through the first round of this white elephant we call the Middlebow Madness bracket, which means we're really only a quarter of the way there. In any case, our intrepid hosts take a load off and contemplate the road travelled between episodes 17 and 32. We name some superlatives, do a little metagaming, and crack a few jokes about spinach and morgellons. In short, sports fans: another classic episode!

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

    My Gay Trans Costellos

    My Gay Trans Costellos

    It was bound to happen sooner or later, sports fans: we finally cracked two hours. Naturally, this episode is packed to the gills with tangents about crawdads and Twitter Jail and Derek's dubious acting career. Not that there isn't any movie talk at all: Isabelle has a galaxy-brain take to end all galaxy-brain takes regarding one of our competitors, and Derek, well, he mostly just puts on his Film Bro(tm) hat on for this one. But any way you slice it, once these two matches are through, we will officially 25% of the way to figuring out what exactly is the #1 movie of all time!*

    This week's matchups:
    Incendies v. The Third Man
    The Godfather v. Close-Up

    Derek's Planes: Fire and Rescue review, via PopOptiq

    NOTE: While discussing Incendies, Isabelle makes a few statements that are unclear and appear to directly conflate the Iranian revolution with the work of Sayyid Qutb. While Qutb was very influential both during and after the Iranian revolution, conflating his work with the revolution (and specifically Ruhollah Khomeini) is imprecise and simpler than she meant to imply.

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

    • 2 hr 4 min
    Dog Food-Flavoured Human Food

    Dog Food-Flavoured Human Food

    Sports fans, a good podcast episode is only as good as its digressions, and this one has several (shocking, I know). What do our intrepid hosts talk about that isn't the four movies listed below? Isabelle's corny jokes! Derek's pet theory about musical theatre! One of them reads a little Faulkner! Which host, you ask? Listen to yet another classic episode on the road to crowning The Greatest Movie of All Time* and find out! Punctuation!!!

    This week's matchups:
    Witness for the Prosecution v. Rang De Basanti
    Coco v. Stalker

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Bladder Game on Lock

    Bladder Game on Lock

    Sports fans, we nominally talk movies about on the show, but you know what else crops up a lot in this, our landmark 30th episode and our first missive of 2021? Racism in Hollywood, and piss. Lots of it. Not necessarily in that order. We go short on some masterpieces and long on what Derek loves to call "rich texts." There's even a little metagaming going on. All in all, another classic episode on the road to crowning The Greatest Movie of All Time*.

    This week's matchups:
    The Kid v. Gone With the Wind
    Diabolique v. The Green Mile

    A spot of context for both our matchups today:
    Magical Negro | Wikipedia

    See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
    Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
    Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
    Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
    Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g
    Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Arfcar ,

Middlebrow madness, the series ( up to now)!

This is a discussion series which usually makes me watch deeper into movies than I ever have before. Typically movies are like art, I don’t know much but I know what I like.
I defer to these two for the in-depth minutiae that I have no energy to unearth. My digging time is spent with the political battle between humanity and Insanity.

This road has become a favorite trail for me to take but there are 3 points I need to make.
1) Derek, under no circumstances is “Two Lane Blacktop” to be referred to as a good movie even as it relates to engines. “Grand Prix” is what you should reference when comparing the F1 movie “RUSH” motor photography.

2) Isabelle, The Stargate sequence in 2001 a space “Oddity” is 4:57 of wasted film, Additionally, the first Star Trek movie has a scene where the Enterprise’s approach to V’ger’s core, lasts as long as one would think crossing 82 Astronomical Units (82x93million miles), in a Yugo might take. Finally I don’t understand how HAL didn’t even get a best actor nomination, he ruled!
Combine the 2 and you now understand why movies are now shot and stored digitally. there is a finite limit to how much celluloid exists and how much this population actually cares or is willing to waste.

3)Both of you! I liked “3 billboards...”. Yes it’s confused by its attempt to glean any moral messages however it is no more confused than “Machete Kills” which I accept is more fun to watch.

Isabelle, you often make my head hurt. I love you to death but if you’re gonna continue your sex life on air, please send me a powerful jar of medical marijuana. Derek, you hang around a bad crowd but you’re an adult!

Stay happy, watch movies!

eelbucket ,

Fun hosts, fun premise.

I began listening because I think the hosts are enjoyable people with interesting and informed perspectives, but I've also found this podcast to be genuinely useful as I've always avoided what actually makes up the Top 250 bro-list (from what I understand none are directed by women). This gives me a chance to analyze some of the gems that are buried within and build a deeper understanding of film history. And it's simply a fun premise.

asseater1official ,

now that’s a podcast!

i am going to destroy marc maron

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