Thursday, January 8, 2015

How Is This Movie? - Matthew Jacobson


If you're not already aware, I write a Blu-ray column for Gannett. In it, I review not only the movies but also the bonus content. After all, many of us buy Blu-rays because we get extras in addition to the film.

Why else would we shell out close to $30 per film? We want more than just the movie we paid $15 to see in the theater.

By the way, you can read my Blu-ray reviews, plus my weekly geek column, by clicking this sentence.

I'm personally interested in everything that goes into making a movie. I eat up those behind-the-scenes mini documentaries found on most Blu-rays. It's fascinating to see what makes movies work or what makes them fail.

That's why I love the podcast, "How Is This Movie?"

Host Dana Buckler researches movies and movie stars and then gives us behind-the-scenes information on topics like Wes Craven films, Star Wars and Eddie Murphy, just to name a few. This podcast is basically an audio version of the Blu-ray behind-the-scenes bonus feature. It's a fascinating look at the process behind our favorite films.

This is one of about 10 podcasts that I listen to regularly. If you love movies, you should listen, too.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

OH NO, Ross and Carrie! - By Matty Jacobson


Podcasts on the strange and mysterious have always fascinated me, and to this day I think it's a shame that AM Coast-to-Coast isn't available in podcast format.

However, I've never really been interested in listening to those skeptics' podcasts that tear apart all the fun of occultism, the Illuminati, mysticism and whatnot. But as I happened to hear a plug for this particular show, "Oh No, Ross and Carrie!", when I was listening to another podcast.

It piqued my interest because the hosts, Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy, don't just sit and talk about why dousing rods are just a bunch of hooey. No, they actually go and investigate. Since they delve pretty deep into topics, the show is released monthly.

I wasn't sure if I planned on actually investing my time in this show, but as I scrolled through old episodes, I saw they had a two-parter on Mormonism. Well, considering everything that's going on currently with Utah and the denial of equal rights of its citizens because of the aforementioned church, I had to take a listen.

Ross and Carrie are true investigators. They sat through all the missionary discussions (back when the missionaries did that sort of thing), attended church, legitimately prayed about their experiences and -- gasp! -- also got baptized.

I was astounded at the level of commitment to getting the whole story. But Mormonism isn't the only topic they cover. From Kabbalah to juice cleansing, this duo goes in strong under the guise of being legitimately interested. And, from listening to a few episodes, it seems like the two do get legitimately interested in some aspects of the things they investigate.

They wrap up with informing the listeners about the dangers, the financial impact and the scientific probability, among other things, of whatever religion/belief/superstition they've spent their time on.

You can check out their website and stream the show here. You can subscribe to the show through iTunes here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Dead Authors Podcast - by Matty Jacobson


Podcasts come in every shape, size, color and any other noun that would metaphorically but not literally apply to something you listen to.

But one thing you'll usually find is podcasts tend to stay within their genres. If you're downloading an educational podcast, its goal is to educate. If you're downloading a comedy podcast, its goal is to make you laugh, and so on.

So when a podcast can combine genres, it's something special, and "The Dead Authors Podcast" does just that.

"Dead Authors" is hosted by a time-travelling H. G. Wells, of "The Time Machine" fame (and played by the multi-charactered Paul F. Tompkins), who pulls dead authors (played by an array of comedians) out of time and brings them to the UCB stage in Los Angeles. The authors then discuss their lives and works with Wells -- unscripted.

It's educational because Tompkins and the guests talk about the authors' lives. We get insight into what an author was like, what he or she found inspirational, what his or her vices were, etc. Of course, since they're all comedians, the podcast is less of a lecture and more of an improv show.

And best of all, "Dead Authors" also benefits 826LA, which is a non-profit writing and tutoring center "dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write," according to 

Some of my personal favorite guest authors were John Hodgman as Ayn Rand, Kristen Schaal as Tennessee Williams, and Jessica Chaffin as Agatha Christie. Make sure to check those out!

You can get information about the podcast and stream it here. You can subscribe to it on iTunes here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Femme Fatalacast - Matty Jacobson


OK, this one should definitely come with a disclaimer. Now usually I don't do reviews of things I am personally tied to in some way. I don't have anything to do with this podcast, but I should say one of my buddies is a host, and I am Facebook friends with one of the other hosts and a producer.

So, that being said, take my review as you will. I'll try not to be biased. But... no guarantees. Sorry.

Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and listen to other people gripe. Well, a lot of podcasts do this, but it's fun when you can get one with a local flair.

Femme Fatalacast started off as just a women-oriented type of deal, but it didn't take long before the gals, Cori Hoekstra and Syd Werner, started adding sausage to the taco.

Please, forgive me for that last sentence. It has to stay, though.

While this show is eventually sent to the podcast format, your best bet for listening will be live. Unlike your regular talk shows, "Femme Fatalacast" is broadcast through, so it's commercial-free and uncensored.

Each week focuses on a new topic, from "Gnarly Sex Germs" to "Gratitude." The ladies take calls and chat with folks via Google Hangout. It's fun to get interactive with them, although I personally haven't been able to do the whole Hangout thing. However, I have written in and had my stuff read on air while I've been editing at work.

It makes for a good time.

The thing that sets "Fatalacast" apart from the others is it's way more personal. Your input is almost assured if you're willing to call/text/write/Google Hangout.

Check them out Sundays at 8:15 p.m. Mountain Time at You can also subscribe to this podcast here. Hook up with the show on Google Hangouts here. And if you're listening live, call or text during the show to 385-215-9225.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Put Your Hands Together - Matty Jacobson


Sometimes it's worth it to invest in a standup comedy album. Even if we haven't heard the comedian's latest set, we can still make an educated bet that Tig Notaro or Louis C.K. will offer up something worth hearing.

But what about the lesser-known comedians who haven't quite established themselves?

We know they exist. Every Kevin Hart had to start somewhere. But how do we find out who the funny up-and-comings are without having to blow a bunch of cash on a comedy album craps shoot?

Well, thanks to "Put Your Hands Together," I can listen to an entire smorgasbord of comedians and then order more of the ones I like. It really is the Chuck-o-Rama/Golden Corral/Casino Buffet of comedy.

Comedian Cameron Esposito hosts the weekly live show at the UCB Theater in L.A. She's great. Her significant other, stage manager Rhea Butcher, is equally as funny and often takes the stage with Esposito to deal out some funny. Someday I hope to go check out the show live and in person. But luckily, I can download it for free in the meantime.

Check it out. It's worth a listen. This podcast drops weekly. Listen to it here. Subscribe to it here.
Be advised: The content is pretty much explicit, no matter which episode you're listening to.