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The Mark Hastings Experience

The Mark Hastings Experience

By Mark Hastings
Having always been a lover of both television and cinema since he was a child, Mark has spent his entire life marvelling at the wonder of the worlds, the characters, and the stories of both "the silver screen" and "the small screen" in films and TV shows from all around the world. Mark is a lover of memorable movies and television shows that leave their mark on their audience, because the stories that they tell and their characters are so compelling that it is no surprise that they are remembered so well. Mark loves sharing his experience of stories that need to be seen to be believed.
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Currently playing episode

Episode #181: "Moon" (2009 film)

The Mark Hastings Experience

Episode #181: "Moon" (2009 film)

The Mark Hastings Experience

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Season 3, Episode #2: "Quentin Tarantino - A Tribute"
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite film writers and directors: "Quentin Tarantino" - whose films he is currently in the process of rewatching the films of.
43:49
July 30, 2021
Season 3, Episode #1: "For the love of it"
In the first episode of "Season 3" of The Mark Hastings Experience podcast Mark talks about writing, his writing process, and he recites his new poem "For the love of it". Check out Mark's poem "For the love of it" @ http://MarkThePoet.Me
29:20
July 29, 2021
Episode #208: "Dexter" (TV series) - S1, E3: "Popping Cherry" + Revival series talk
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite episodes from one of his favourite TV shows: "Dexter" - Season 1, Episode 3: "Popping Cherry". And Mark talks about the upcoming revival series "Dexter: New Blood" and what and who he is looking forward to seeing return in the new limited series coming November 7, 2021. *Potential Spoilers Within*
28:53
July 28, 2021
Episode #207: "True Romance" (1993 film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1993 American romantic crime film "True Romance" directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, and James Gandolfini. The story of the film revolves around newlyweds Clarence (played by Christian Slater) and Alabama (played by Patricia Arquette) finding themselves on the run from the Mafia after stealing a suitcase of drugs.
52:15
July 27, 2021
Episode #206: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #13: "Infested"
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of the animated Disney+ TV series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #13: "Infested".
29:16
July 26, 2021
Episode #205: "The Purge" (2013 film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 2013 dystopian action-thriller film "The Purge" written and directed by James DeMonaco. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, and Max Burkholder as members of a wealthy family who find themselves endangered by a gang of murderers during the annual Purge, a night during which all crime, including murder, is temporarily legal.
51:00
July 22, 2021
Episode #204: "First Man" (2018 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2018 American biographical drama film "First Man" directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. Based on the 2005 book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen, the film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, alongside Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Christopher Abbott, and Ciarán Hinds. The follows the years, the missions, the people, as well as the sacrifices that lead up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969, which culminated in Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, and the film also shows just how influential and involved Neil was behind the scenes in everything that eventually made it possible for him to take one giant leap for all mankind.
56:34
July 20, 2021
Episode #203: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episodes 11 & 12: "Devil's Deal" & "Rescue on Ryloth"
In this episode Mark talks about two of the latest episodes of the animated "Star Wars" Disney+ TV series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episodes 11 & 12: "Devil's Deal" & "Rescue on Ryloth".
45:55
July 17, 2021
Episode #202: "Star Trek: Voyager" (TV series) - S3, E23: "Distant Origin"
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite episodes from the "Star Trek" TV series "Star Trek: Voyager" - Season 3, Episode 23: "Distant Episode". The premise of the episode involves a scientist of the Voth race, who discovers the human remains of a crewman of the USS Voyager left behind on an alien planet, who concludes that his race shares a similar genetic pattern to humanity and may also have originated on Earth - however this theory is considered to be heretical to the millions of years of Doctrine that their race has been lead to believe and as a result this discover may put the life of the scientist and the crew of Voyager in extreme danger.
01:01:27
July 16, 2021
Episode #201: "Loki" (TV series) - S1, E6: "For All Time. Always", a review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the season finale episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" - Season 1, Episode 6: "For All Time. Always".
37:24
July 14, 2021
Episode #200: "Black Widow" (2021 film)
In this episode Mark talks about and does a spoiler review of the 2021 American superhero film "Black Widow" directed by Cate Shortland, the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of films. Starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, as well as the Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Olga Kurylenko, Ray Winstone, Rachel Weisz, and William Hurt, the story of the film - which is set between the events of the film "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Infinity War" - sees Natasha Romanoff as a fugitive from the authorities, while at the same time having to confront a conspiracy tied to her family and her past as a "Black Widow".
01:01:57
July 13, 2021
Episode #199: "The Breakfast Club" (1985 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1985 teen coming-of-age comedy-drama film "The Breakfast Club" written, produced, and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Emilio Estevez as Andrew Clark (the "Athlete", Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson (the "Brain"), Judd Nelson as John Bender (the "Criminal"), Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish (the "Princess"), and Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds (the "Basket Case"), who are all teenagers from different High school cliques who spend a Saturday in detention with the authoritarian Vice Principal Richard Vernon (played by Paul Gleason).
56:30
July 12, 2021
Episode #198: "Loki" (TV series) - Episode #5: "Journey into Mystery"
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" - Episode #5: "Journey into Mystery".
36:05
July 9, 2021
Episode #197: "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 3, Episode 9: "Defiant"
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite episodes from the American science fiction TV series "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" - Season 3, Episode 9: "Defiant" which first aired November 21, 1994. The episode was directed by Cliff Bole, and written by Ronald D. Moore. When Commander William T. River from the Enterprise-D arrives on Deep Space 9, he takes a liking to Major Kira, who gives him a tour of the USS Defiant. But Riker is revealed to be not who he claims to be when he attacks Kira and steals the Defiant.
01:11:30
July 7, 2021
Episode #196: "Arrival" (2016 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2016 American science fiction drama film "Arrival" directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heiserrer, based on the 1998 short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. The film stars Amy Adams as linguist Louise Banks, who is enlisted by the United States Army to discover how to communicate with extraterrestrial aliens who have arrived on Earth, before tensions lead to war. The film also stars Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
58:44
July 6, 2021
Episode #195: "The Tomorrow War" (2021 Film)
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the 2021 American military science fiction film "The Tomorrow War" directed by Chris McKay. The films stars Chris Pratt as Dan Forester, a biology teacher and former Green Beret, who is drafted to fight in a future war where the fate of humanity relies on his ability to learn about an alien army so that he can stop them from irradicating the human population of the world before it has even begun. The film also stars Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin.
54:58
July 5, 2021
Episode #194: "Independence Day" (1996 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1996 American science fiction action film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. The premise of the film revolves around an alien race who wishes to destroy all the major cities of the world with their advanced weaponry. However, a geek, a pilot, the US President and a group of ragtag survivors unite to save mankind from annihilation. The film has an all-star cast, including: Will Smith, Bill Pulman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Adam Baldwin.
57:49
July 4, 2021
Episode #193: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #10: "Common Ground", a review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of the Disney+ animated "Star Wars" TV series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #10: "Common Ground".
29:40
July 3, 2021
Episode #192: "Loki" (TV series) - Episode 4: "The Nexus Event"
In this episode Mark does a spoilery review of the latest episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" - Episode 4: "The Nexus Event". Get yourself a piece of "The Mark Hastings Experience" merchandise and show your support for the podcast @ https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/81059980?asc=u
28:41
July 1, 2021
Episode #191: "Sister Act" (1992 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1992 American comedy film "Sister Act" directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Paul Rudnick with musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman. The film stars Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas lounge singer, who is forced to join a convent after wing placed in a witness protection program. The film also stars Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Wendy Makkena, Mary Wickes, and Harvey Keitel.
57:47
June 30, 2021
Episode #190: "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - S3, Ep 15: "Yesterday's Enterprise"
In this episode Mark talks about one his favourite episodes of television and a universally considered fan-favourite episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - Season 3, Episode 15: "Yesterday's Enterprise", which first aired during the week of February 19, 1990. The story of the episode involves the crew of the USS Enterprise-D encountering its time-traveling predecessor, the USS Enterprise-C, and having to entertain the possibility that to save the United Federation of Planets from being destroyed by the Klingon Empire the crew of the Enterprise-C must travel back in time on an ill-fated mission to fulfil their destiny and realise a prolonged period of peace with their mortal enemy. The episode saw the return of Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Tasha Yar, who had been killed in a previous episode of the series. Whoopi Goldberg also stars as the recurring and mysterious character Guinan, who is essential to the plot of the episode in guiding the decision of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) to order the Enterprise-C back in time because its continued presence in the present was not supposed to happen and as a result of it traveling through time, unbeknownst to its crew, it created an alternate timeline to the one than was supposed to happen.
57:50
June 29, 2021
Episode #189: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode 9: "Bounty Lost", a review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode 9: "Bounty Lost". Get yourself a piece of "The Mark Hastings Experience" merchandise and show your support for the podcast @ https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/81059980?asc=u
37:48
June 26, 2021
Episode #188: "Loki" (TV series) - Episode 3: "Lamentis", a review
In this episode Mark talks about the latest episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" - Episode 3: "Lamentis". Get yourself a piece of "The Mark Hastings Experience" merchandise and show your support for the podcast @ https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/81059980?asc=u
27:01
June 25, 2021
Episode #187: "Drive" (2011 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2011 neo-noir action drama and crime film "Drive" directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, written by Hossein Amini, based upon James Sallis' 2005 novel of the same name. The film stars Ryan Gosling as an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver, and who becomes close with his neighbour, Irene (played by Carey Mulligan), and her son Benicio, and as a result feels beholden to them to secretly help Irene's husband, Standard Gabriel (played by Oscar Isaac), after he is released from prison and his life and the life of his family are threatened by gangsters who he owes a debt to. The film also stars Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, and Albert Brooks.
01:00:45
June 24, 2021
Episode #186: "Shaun of the Dead" (2004 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2004 horror comedy film "Shaun of the Dead" directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg as Shaun, Nick Frost as Ed, Kate Ashfield as Liz, Lucy Davis as Dianne, Dylan Moran as David, Penelope Wilton as Barbara, Bill Nighy as Philip, Jessica Stevenson as Yvonne, and Peter Serafinowicz as Pete, who all struggle to survive a Zombie apocalypse that has overcome London.
39:16
June 23, 2021
Episode #185: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #8: "Reunion", a review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #8: "Reunion".
18:00
June 21, 2021
Episode #184: "Psycho" (1960 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1960 American psychological horror thriller "Psycho" directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Joseph Stefano, based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The iconic soundtrack of the film was composed by Bernard Herrmann.
59:18
June 20, 2021
Episode #183: "Loki" - Episode 2: "The Variant" *Spoiler* review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the latest episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" - Episode 2: "The Variant".
33:53
June 17, 2021
Episode #182: "A Quiet Place" (2018 film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2018 American horror film "A Quiet Place" directed by John Krasinski and written by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and Kransinski. The plot revolves around a father, Lee Abbott (played by John Krasinski), and a mother, Evelyn Abbott (played by Emily Blunt), who struggle to survive and raise their daughter, Regan Abbott (played by Millicent Simmonds), and their son, Marcus Abbott (played by Noah Jupe), in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind monsters with an acute sense of hearing who immediately attack and kill anything that makes any noise.
43:52
June 16, 2021
Episode #181: "Moon" (2009 film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 2009 British-American science fiction film "Moon" directed by Duncan Jones and written by Nathan Parker, starring Sam Rockwell. Get yourself a piece of "The Mark Hastings Experience" merchandise and show your support for the podcast @ https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/81059980?asc=u
36:57
June 14, 2021
Episode #180: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode 7: "Battle Scars" *Spoiler Review*
In this episode Mark talks about the latest episode of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode 7, "Battle Scars", and Mark also briefly talks about the events of the previous two episodes, Episode 5, "Rampage", and Episode 6, "Decommissioned". Beware of Spoilers!
30:28
June 12, 2021
Episode #179: "Loki" (TV Series) - Episode #1: "Glorious Purpose", a review
In this episode Mark does a review of the first episode of the limited Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV series "Loki" created by Michael Waldron, starring Tom Hiddelston as Loki, the "God of Mischief" - but a variant version of the character created within an alternate timeline; and the series also stars Owen Wilson as TVA (Time Variance Authority) agent Mobius M. Mobius, who hopes Loki will help them subdue a threat who Loki knows better than anybody.
40:13
June 10, 2021
Episode #178: "Alien Resurrection" (1997 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1997 science fiction horror film "Alien Resurrection" directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, written by Joss Whedon, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya, J.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif, and Michael Wincott.
52:24
June 9, 2021
Episode #177: "Thor: Ragnorok" (2017 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films and also his favourite film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far: the 2017 American superhero film "Thor: Ragnorok", directed by Taika Waititi. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddelston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins - and it is one of the most enjoyable, fun, entertaining and bombastic films you will ever see, which is why it always brings a smile to Mark's face.
47:31
June 8, 2021
Episode #176: "Alien 3" (1992 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1992 science fiction horror film "Alien 3" directed by David Fincher - the third installment in the Alien franchise - starring Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Lance Henriksen, Holt McCallany, and Pete Postlewaite.
01:00:33
June 5, 2021
Episode #175: "Escape from Alcatraz" (1979 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1979 American prison action film "Escape from Alcatraz" directed by Don Siegel. Adapted from the 1963 non-fiction book of the same name by J. Campbell Bruce and dramaticizing the 1962 prison escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island, the film stars Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris - a criminal with an exceptional I.Q. who has escaped from several other prisons - who finds himself in a battle of wills with the prison warden (played by Patrick McGoohan), as well as making several acquaintances with fellow inmates - including brothers Clarence Anglin and John Anglin (played by Jack Thibeau and Fred Ward), Chester "Doc" Dalton (played by Roberts Blossom), English (played by Paul Benjamin), Litmus (played by Frank Ronzio), and Charley Butt's (played by Larry Hankin) - who all aide in Frank's eventual escape from Alcatraz.
53:26
June 2, 2021
Episode #174: "Blade Runner 2049" (2017 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2017 American neo-noir science fiction film "Blade Runner 2049" directed by Denis Villeneuve. The direct sequel to the 1982 film "Blade Runner", the film stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, and Jared Leto.
01:15:25
June 1, 2021
Episode #173: "Lucifer" - Season 5B (a spoilery review)
In this episode Mark does a review of the eight concluding episodes of Season 5B, or Season 5 part 2, of one of his favourite TV series: "Lucifer" - starring Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Rachael Harris, Aimee Garcia, Scarlett Estevez, and Dennis Haysbert as "Dad/God".
36:18
May 30, 2021
Episode #172: "Star Wars: The Sequel Trilogy - a critique"
In this episode Mark critiques the so called "Star Wars Sequel Trilogy" of films, Episode VII, VIII, and IX - "The Force Awakens", "The Last Jedi", and "The Rise of Skywalker" - and he gives a frank opinion about what he liked and what he didn't like in the three films that concluded the nine-part "Skywalker Saga".
01:02:02
May 27, 2021
Episode #171: "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2015 Australian post-apocalyptic action film "Mad Max: Fury Road" co-written, co-produced, and directed by George Miller. Set in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where petrol and water are scare commodities, the story of the film follows Max Rockatansky (played by Tom Hardy), who joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron) to flee from the cult leader Immortan Joe (played by Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his army of "War Boys' in an armoured tanker truck - leading to a lengthy, furious, exciting, entertaining, and visually stunning road battle, which is also a poignant depiction of redemption. The film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton. The soundtrack was composed by Junkie XL.
53:42
May 26, 2021
Episode #170: "Sneakers" (1992 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1992 American crime comedy "Sneakers" directed by Phil Alden Robinson, starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, and David Straitham.
54:22
May 24, 2021
Episode #169: "Army of the Dead" (2021 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the American zombie heist film "Army of the Dead" directed by Zack Snyder, starring Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Amezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, and Garret Dillahunt.
26:15
May 22, 2021
Episode #168: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #4: "Cornered" Review *Spoilers*
In this episode Mark does a *spoiler* review of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #4: "Cornered" and he talks about what he liked about the most recent episode.
16:36
May 21, 2021
Episode #167: "The Eternal Boy: Staying Hopeful, Optimistic, and Motivated"
In this episode Mark talks about what keeps him hopeful, optimistic, and motivated - no matter what he is going through in life. And Mark recites a new poem called "The Burning Bulb" and he discusses what it means and what writing poetry means to him and what it can mean to others.
45:39
May 21, 2021
Episode #166: "War of the Worlds" (2005 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2005 American science fiction action film "War of the Worlds" directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins - with a memorable narration by Morgan Freeman. Based upon the 1897 novel by H.G. Wells, the film follows an American dock worker who is forced to look after his children, from whom he lives separately, as he struggles to reunite them with their mother during an extraterrestrial invasion of Earth that is devastating the cities of the Earth with giant tripod war machines - during which aliens are abducting and disintegrating humanity en masse and attempting to adapt Earth to their needs.
56:02
May 20, 2021
Episode #165: "Aliens" (1986 Film)
In this film Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1986 American science fiction action film "Aliens" directed by James Cameron, starring Sigourney Weaver.
01:26:01
May 19, 2021
Episode #164: "Star Trek Beyond" (2016 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 2016 "Star Trek" film: "Star Trek Beyond" directed by Justin Lin, and written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. The thirteeth film in the "Star Trek" film franchise and the third film set within the "Kelvin-timeline" - following on from the films "Star Trek" (2009) and "Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013) - the film stars Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, as well as Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, and the late Anton Yelchin in one of his final film appreances, once again as the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, who find themselves being drawn into devastating ambush that results in the destruction of their ship, and the potential massacre of Starfleet personel and Federation citizens aboard the starbase Yorktown by a diabolical enemy called Krall (played by Idris Elba) - formerly Captain Balthazar Edison, the commanding officer of the lost starship USS Franklin. The soundtrack of the film was composed by Michael Giacchino. And the film was dedicated to the memory of Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.
01:07:33
May 18, 2021
Episode #163: "Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 2013 "Star Trek" film "Star Trek Into Darkness" directed by J.J. Abrams. The story of the film sees Chris Pine once again reprising the role of Captain James T. Kirk, as the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and her crew find themselves coming face to face with a legendary "Star Trek" character and a deadly antagonist by the name of Khan Noonien Singh (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), as well as coming up against the war-mongering Starfleet Admiral Alexander Marcus (played by Peter Weller) - who seeks to start a war with the Klingons by any means necessary. The film once again stars Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, and a cameo from the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. The film also stars Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus. And the soundtrack was scored once again by long-term J.J. Abrams collaborator and composer Michael Giacchino.
01:27:33
May 17, 2021
Episode #162: "Star Trek" (2009 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films, and the eleventh film in the "Star Trek" film franchise: the 2009 film "Star Trek" directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. A reboot of the main characters of the original "Star Trek" TV series, portrayed by a new cast, the story of the film takes place in a alternate reality which was created when a Romulan mining ship, commanded by Captain Nero (played by Eric Bana) and a ship piloted by Ambassador Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) arrived in the past after falling into a black hole - essentially changing how events would precede because of their presence, including: the death of the newly born James T. Kirk's father, George Kirk (played by Chris Hemsworth) the first officer of the USS Kelvin. As a result of the destruction of the USS Kelvin - which George Kirk had attempted to use to stop Nero's vessel, the Nerada - certain events played out differently than they they had in the original timeline that had been shown in all the previous TV series and films, and as a result certain characters ultimately met one another at different times and in different circumstances than they would have been expected to previously. Over the course of the film, we see the rapid beginnings of a friendship forged between James T. Kirk (played by Chris Pine) and Spock (played by Zachary Quinto), and the coming together of the iconic crew of the USS Enterprise, including: Nyota Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana), Hikaru Sulu (played by John Cho), Montgomery Scott (played by Simon Pegg), Doctor Leonard "Bones" McCoy (played by Karl Urban), and Pavel Chekov (played by Anton Yelchin), as they become a team and fight against the wrath of Nero who personally blames Spock and the Federation for the death of his family who were destroyed on Romulus as a result of the elder Spock being unable to save them from a supernova explosion. The soundtrack of the film was composed by Michael Giacchino.
01:24:34
May 16, 2021
Episode #161: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode 3: "Replacements"
In this episode Mark talks about the latest episode of the American animated TV series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #3: "Replacements".
24:50
May 15, 2021
Episode #160: "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the tenth film in the "Star Trek" film franchise: the 2002 American science fiction film "Star Trek: Nemesis". The fourth film, as well as the final film, to feature the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", sees Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the USS Enterprise-E be sent on a mission of peace to the planet Romulus - the homeworld of the Romulan Star Empire, a longstanding enemy of the United Federation of Planets - after the Romulan senate is overthrown by a clone of Captain Picard, called Shinzon (played by Tom Hardy), who is the leader of the Remans - a slave race from the neighbouring planet Remus - and who along with some Romulan senators plotted to engineer a coup d'etat to seize power. However, Shinzon - whose body is slowly degeneating - urgently requires a blood transfusion from Captain Jean-Luc Picard in order to stay alive, which leads him to conspire to draw the Enterprise-E to Romulus so that he can capture Captain Picard and use his genetic material, and then wage war against the United Federation of Planets aboard an advanced warship, known as the Scimitar, equipped with a deadly biological weapon capable of exterminating the humanoid crew of a ship or the population of a entire planet. And the film also bids a sad farewell to a beloved character - who choses to sacrifice themselves instead of watching their captain, their crew, their friends perish. The film also stars Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Levar Burton, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Ron Perlman. And the soundtrack of the film was composed by the late great Jerry Goldsmith.
01:02:04
May 15, 2021
Episode #159: "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the ninth film in the "Star Trek" film franchise: the 1998 science fiction film "Star Trek: Insurrection" directed by Jonathan Frakes. Featuring the entire cast of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series - including Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as well as Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis - the film also stars F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, and Anthony Zerbe. The story of the film revolves around the crew of the USS Enterprise-E risking everything to come to the aid of the population of a defenseless and peaceful alien race, called the Ba'ku, who are being threatened with force relocation by another alien species, called the Son'a, who wish to the take advantage of and benefit from the rejuvenating properties of the Ba'ku's planet and the surrounding area of space. As Captain Picard and his crew investigate the situation further they uncover a conspiracy between a corrupt Starfleet Admiral and the Son'a to move the Ba'ku from their planet through any means necessary - unless the Enterprise-E can stop the conspirators in their tracks and forcibly defend the right of the Ba'ku to live wherever they wish, as well as inform Starfleet Command and the United Federation of Planets Council of what is due to take place.
01:00:30
May 14, 2021
Episode #158: "Star Trek: First Contact" (1996 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films and one of the best films of the "Star Trek" film franchise: the 1996 film "Star Trek: First Contact" directed by Jonathan Frakes. Set in the 24th Century, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is having nightmares about his experience six years before of being assimilated and transformed by a cybernetic alien race known as the Borg - during which he was given the identity "Locutus of Borg" and subsequently was forced to lead the Borg in an attack against his own Starfleet of starships with a mandate to eventually assimilate the entire population of Earth. Now, the Borg are threatening to assimilate the population of Earth once again - and after the Borg cube threatening Earth are eventually defeated by a Starfleet armada, with the assistance of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in command of the Federation starship USS Enterprise-E, the Borg launch a smaller vessel that travels into the past with the intention of assimilating the population of Earth in the 21st Century. Captain Picard and the Enterprise follow the Borg to the 21st Century and they discover that the Borg wish to stop the first official "First Contact" of humanity and an alien species - which, if successful, will usher in a profound new era of rejuvenation for the nuclear war stricken planet Earth and its human population, as well as inform them that they are not alone in the universe. Though thought to have been defeated, the Borg proceed to attempt to assimilate the Enterprise-E and its crew - which leads Captain Picard to engage the Borg in a face to face effort to defeat them before they can carry out the apparent goal of assimilating all of humanity; however, while on the surface of Earth, other members of the Enterprise-E crew assist Dr. Zefram Cochrane (played by James Cromwell) - the inventor of the first human spacecraft with a warp drive capable of travelling faster than light - in the launch of his ship "The Pheonix", which if successful will attract the attention of a nearby alien spacecraft and propel 21st Century humanity into the next generation of their evolution as a people and as a result secure the prospect of a future of prosperity that will spread throughout the galaxy. The incredible score of the film was composed by the late great Jerry Goldsmith. The film also stars Alice Krige, Alfre Woodard, Levar Burton, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo, Dwight Shultz, and Neal McDonough.
01:24:17
May 13, 2021
Episode #157: "Star Trek: Generations" (1994 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films and one of his favourite films within the "Star Trek" franchise of films: "Star Trek: Generations" directed by David Carson. The story of the film, which literally bridges and connects two iconic and distinctive eras, characters and generations of the "Star Trek" franchise - featuring characters from the Original Star Trek TV show and as well as the first six "Star Trek" films, and the main cast of characters from the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series. The story of the film sees two iconic Starfleet Captains - Captain James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) - meet within a crossroads of space and time, called the "Nexus", at a pivotal moment in their lives when they are questioning their own individual identities and also reflecting back upon their life and the choices that they have made. When it is discovered that a psychopathic doctor, Doctor Tolian Soran (played by Malcolm McDowell), is conspiring to return to the "Nexus" - a place of infinite joy and contentment, where time has no meaning - by any means necessary, including the killing of the entire population of a planetary star system, it is up to the two iconic captains of the Enterprise, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain James T. Kirk, to join forces, and turn back the clock in order to put the good of the many before the good of the few in order to stop Doctor Soran before he can once accomplish his diabolic plan. The film was the first "Star Trek" film that Mark ever saw at the cinema and as a result it will always hold special place in his heart - and to this day, even after years of multiple viewings, Mark continues to considering every viewing experience of this film to be an emotional one for many reasons. The film stars alumni James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alan Ruck, as well as some other recurring actors who played some memorable characters from the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series.
01:17:47
May 12, 2021
Episode #156: "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films and one the best films of the "Star Trek" film franchise: "Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country" directed by Nicholas Meyer. Following the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis - after which it is believed might see the potential extinction of the Klingon race entirely - the Klingon Empire decides to pursue a path of peace between themselves and their longtime adversary the United Federation of Planets and its Starfleet; and as a consequence Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the soon to be decommissioned USS Enterprise has been volunteered to be the Federation's symbol of peace and also to escort Chancellor Gorkon (played by David Warner) to peace talks due to take place on Earth. However, after the Klingon Chancellor's ship is seemingly attacked by the Enterprise and Gorkon is seemingly assassinated by Starfleet officers, Captain Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy are put on trial and are sentenced to life in prison on the reputed "Alien's graveyard", ice-covered, Klingon prison planet of Rura Penthe - while Captain Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy), assisted by his new protégé Valeris (played by Kim Cattrall), investigate who it was that attacked and killed Chancellor Gorkon in an attempt to preserve the prospect of peace between the Federation and the Klingons. However, parties on both sides who wish to continue the conflict between Federation and the Klingon Empire are conspiring, including Klingon General Chang (played by Christopher Plummer) - and it is all up to Captain Kirk, Captain Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise to do all that they can to reveal the conspiracy and allow for the peace talks between the Federation and the Klingons to take place and be successful. The film is the sixth and the final film to feature the main cast members of the "Star Trek: The Original Series" TV show and it is a fitting tribute to their enduring legacy that will continue to live long and prosper for many years to come.
01:01:50
May 11, 2021
Episode #155: "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the fifth installment in the "Star Trek" film series: "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" directed by William Shatner. The story of the film concerns the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A being drawn into a hostage crisis on the planet of Nimbus III engineered by a renegade Vulcan by the name of Sybok (played by Laurence Luckinbill) in order to take possession of a starship capable of penetrating "The Great Barrier" where it is expected the mysthical planet of "Sha Ka Ree" lies - the purported place of creation - and where they will find the God at the center of many of the religions of the galaxy who awaits them there. However, Sybok is revealed to be none other than Spock's half-brother - and it is Sybok's psychic manipulation of the crew of the Enterprise into doing his will, as well as his personal relationship with Spock, that tests the friendship of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) in ways they have never known before. The soundtrack of the film was composed by the late great Jerry Goldsmith.
01:01:57
May 10, 2021
Episode #154: "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films and one of the films most widely considered to be the favourite film of fans and non-fans alike of the "Star Trek" motion picture franchise: "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" directed by Leonard Nimoy. The third part in an unofficial trilogy of films, the story of the film sees Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew of Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Scotty (James Doohan), Sulu (George Takei), Chekov (Walter Koenig), and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) returning home to Earth from a three month exile on the planet Vulcan to stand trial for the events of the previous film - most notably stealing the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, which lead to the ship's destruction, and taking possession of a Klingon Bird of Prey type starship. However, as a result of an approaching alien probe that threatens all life of Earth if a response cannot be found to answer the powerful transmission of the probe, and after a planet-wide distress signal is broadcast warning all approaching vessels to stear clear of Earth or face the same fate. Admiral Kirk and his crew aboard the Klingon Bird of Prey, the "HMS Bounty", after analysing the call of the probe, realise that the only lifeforms capable of responding to the alien probe are the now-extinct species of humpback whales - which leads Admiral Kirk and his crew to determine that the only solution available to them is to attempt to time-travel to the 20th Century to find some humpback whales so that they can be returned to the 23rd Century so that they may assist humanity in their time of need and desperation. The film also stars Catherine Hicks as Dr. Gillian Taylor, Mark Leonard as Sarek (Spock's father), and Jane Wyatt as Amanda Gryson (Spock's mother). The beautiful soundtrack of the film was composed by Leonard Rosenman. And the dedicated to the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger which broke up 73 seconds after takeoff on the morning of January 28th, 1986.
01:18:40
May 9, 2021
Episode #153: "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" directed by Leonard Nimoy - which is the second movie in a three film arc within the "Star Trek" motion picture franchise that began with the preceding film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". Seamlessly dovetailing with the events of the previous films, the story of the film sees Admiral James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner) and the remaining crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 are mourning the loss of their friend and their crewmate Captain Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) and are attempting to live with the after-effects of their destructive encounter with the diabolical Khan as they make their return journey to Earth - most notably Dr. Leonard McCoy (played by DeForest Kelley) who, unbeknownst to anyone, now has Spock's "katra" - essentially his eternal soul - within his mind. However, as a result of the revelation of the existence of the Genesis Device and its potential as a weapon of unlimited power, Klingon Captain Kruge (played by Christopher Lloyd) engages in a mission to discover the secrets of Genesis and the Genesis planet that has now been created so that he can use it as a weapon of mass destruction against the galaxy. And ultimately the quest of the crew of the Enterprise to somehow resurrecting Spock crosses with Captain Kruge mission to posses Genesis and use it as a weapon - which leads to even more heart-breaking death and destruction that cannot be undone. The soundtrack of the film was composed by the late great James Horner.
01:02:06
May 8, 2021
Episode #152: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #2: "Cut and Run"
In this episode Mark talks about the latest episode of the American animated series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #2: "Cut and Run".
29:25
May 7, 2021
Episode #151: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite "Star Trek" films, and one of his favourite films of all time: the 1982 American science fiction film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" directed by Nicholas Meyer. The story of the film sees Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 face-off against an old adversary of theirs by the name of Khan Noonien Singh (played by Ricardo Montalbán) - a genetically engineered criminal from the 20th Century - who in his opinion was marooned with his crew and his beloved wife 15 years before by then Captain Kirk on a planet that over time was transformed from a world filled with life to one that now resembles a wasteland. However, when Khan learns that there is a secret "Genesis Device" that has been created capable of transforming a lifeless planetoid into a perfect haven for his people, Khan decides to steal a starship in order to obtain this new device that could be seen as a weapon - and Khan also decides to impart his wrath of revenge against the now Admiral Kirk for all the loss that has been sustained. The film once again stars Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and also stars Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Paul Winfield, and Kirstie Alley. And the phenomenon score was composed by the late great James Horner.
01:08:20
May 7, 2021
Episode #150: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the first film of his favourite film franchise: the 1979 American science fiction film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" directed by Robert Wise - based upon and a direct continuation of the television series "Star Trek" created by the visionary writer and producer Gene Roddenberry. The story of the film sees now Admiral James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner) once again take command of the newly refitted starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701, and along with his crew investigate a mysterious and immensely powerful alien cloud known as V'Ger that could potentially pose a threat to the population of Earth. The film also stars Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Majel Barrett, Persis Khambatta, and Stephen Collins. The soundtrack was composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
48:47
May 6, 2021
Episode #149: "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" - Episode #1: "Aftermath" - spoiler review
In this episode Mark does a spoiler review of the first episode of the newly released "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" animated TV series - Episode #1: "Aftermath" - which is an animated TV series on Disney+ that is a direct sequel to the "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" animated TV series and a prequel to the "Star Wars: Rebels" animated TV series and the original "Star Wars" trilogy of films.
34:37
May 5, 2021
Episode #148: "Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - May the Forth Be With You"
In this episode Mark celebrates May the Forth, also known as "Star Wars", by talking about one of his favourite film, television, novel, comic book, and computer game franchises - the world wide phenomenon that is "Star Wars" created by George Lucas. And Mark also talks about his experience of having his vaccination yesterday. May the force be with you!
31:06
May 4, 2021
Episode #147: "Monday, 3 May, 2021 - A Shot In The Arm"
In this episode Mark talks about his upcoming Coronavirus vaccination... Mark talks about watching the hilarious 2009 film "Fanboys" directed by Kyle Newman, which is set in 1998, and whose plot involves some old high school friends who set out to infiltrate Skywalker Ranch to steal a rough cut of the highly anticipated film "Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace" months before its release... and Mark also talks about walking the line between being a fan of the Star Wars franchise of films, TV shows, and novels, and also being a fan the many TV shows, movies, and novels of the Star Trek franchise - and what differentiates the two incredibly successful, divergent, and phenomenonal fictional multi-layered multimedia science-fiction/fantasy universes and what makes them both vital and worthy of fan adulation from all around the world.
31:31
May 3, 2021
Episode #146: "Contact" (1997 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1997 American science fiction drama film "Contact" directed by Robert Zemeckis. Adapted from the 1985 film of the same name by Carl Sagan, the film tells the story of Dr. Eleanor "Elle" Arroway (played by Jodie Foster), a SETI scientist searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life, who discovers a signal that is believed to be from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization who have chosen to make contact with the people of Earth - which leads Elle to speculate and seek the assistance of all the governments of the world to realise the construction of an advanced machine that could potentially make first contact with an alien civilization a reality. The film also stars Mathew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, Jake Busey, and David Morse. The beautiful music of the film was composed by long time Robert Zemeckis collaborator Alan Silvestri.
58:31
May 2, 2021
Episode #145: "Saturday, 1 May, 2021 - Return to Normality"
In this episode Mark talks about life... the ongoing vaccination roll out to combat the Coronavirus pandemic... the slow opening up and the resumption of some kind of semblance of normality... what people are doing to get through life at this testing time for the world in terms of exposing their artistry... and also the difference that Mark feels there is between writing for convience on a phone compared to writing physically in a notebook.
38:33
May 1, 2021
Episode #144: "Nomadland" (2020 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 2020 Academy Award-winning American drama film "Nomadland" based upon the 2017 non-fiction book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century" by Jessica Bruder. Written, edited, produced, and directed by Chloé Zhao, the film centres around the character of Fern (played by Frances McDormand), the recently-widowed, vandwelling nomad - who lost her job after the US Gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada, shut down, taking the entire community and ZIP Code with it - who travels across the United States of America seeking work as well as rendezvousing with other individuals who live the same nomadic lifestyle as she does - including real-life vandwellers such as Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells who play fictionalised versions of themselves. The film is an incredibly emotional, touching, and moving insight into the real lives of people who believe that no goodbye is final and instead is merely a "see you down the road. The film also stars David Straitham as Dave, who has feelings for Fern and who wants nothing more than to spend more time with her in a more stationary environment - however, Fern's gaze is always to the open road and the nomadic lifestyle that she loves and embraces.
38:13
April 30, 2021
Episode #143: "Minority Report" (2002 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2002 American science fiction action film "Minority Report" directed by Steven Spielberg. Loosely based on the 1956 short story "The Minority Report", set in the year 2054, the film stars Tom Cruise as John Anderton, the chief of Precrime - a specialised police department that apprehends criminals before they have committed a crime based on foreknowledge from psychics called "precogs" who are able to the future events before they happen. However, when John Anderton is identified as a suspect in a murder that has not yet taken place he goes on the run to uncover what the events are that will lead to him to commit this murder of someone he does not know, why, and if the predicted murder he is to commit is in fact a "Minority Report" - essentially an alternate prediction of future events than calls into question what is actually going to happen. The film also stars Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow, Colin Farrell, Neil McDonough, Lois Smith, Kathryn Morris, as well as a great cast of other accomplished actors who play some memorable characters throughout the film.
36:27
April 29, 2021
Episode #142: "Con Air" (1997 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about the 1997 action thriller film "Con Air" directed by Simon West, written by Scott Rosenberg and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film stars Nicholas Cage as Cameron Poe, an honourably discharged Army Ranger Sergeant who was sentenced to prison for unintentionally killing one of three men trying to attack him and his wife, Tricia (played by Monica Potter), who was pregnant with his unborn daughter, Casey Poe (played by Landry Allbright). After spending 8 years in prison Cameron Poe is eventually paroled and boards the "Jailbird" flying prison transport aircraft, along with his diabetic friend, Mike "Baby-O" O'Dell (played by Mykelti Williamson) - however he finds himself having to contend with and survive the hijacking of the plane by several other inmates, including Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (played by John Malkovich), Nathan "Diamond Dog" Jones (played by Ving Rhames, Johnny "Johnny 23" Baca (played by Danny Trejo), and Garland "The Marietta Mangler" Greene (played by Steve Buscemi) - and while secretly working with U.S. Marshall Vince Larkin (played John Cusack) and attempting to not be killed along with the other convicts by DEA agent Duncan Malloy (played by Colm Meaney), all that Cameron Poe wants is to finally be reunited with his wife, Tricia, and meet his daughter, Casey, for the first time... but in this throughly enjoyable, action-packed and bombastic film nothing turns out as simple as anybody wants them too.
35:10
April 28, 2021
Episode #141: "Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 - Entertained"
In this episode Mark talks about the thrill that he gets whenever he walks into a bookstore or a library anywhere in the world, or whenever he attends a convention and he is surrounded by people with similar interests to him. Mark talks about his "Homeland" TV show rewatch. And Mark talks about one of the most recent films he has seen for the first time, that he decided to watch on impulse: the 2019 film "Godzilla: King of the Monsters".
38:35
April 27, 2021
Episode #140: "Forrest Gump" (1994 Film) + 2021 Oscar Winners
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1994 Academy Award winning American comedy-drama film "Forrest Gump" directed by Robert Zemeckis - starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field. And Mark also talks about some of the winners of the 2021 Academy Awards.
36:15
April 26, 2021
Episode #139: "In memory of Ernest Eugene Lamb, Aug 6, 1931 - Apr 23, 2021"
In memory of Ernest Eugene Lamb, Aug 6, 1931 - Apr 23, 2021. May he rest in peace.
16:16
April 25, 2021
Episode #138: "Saturday, 24 April, 2021 - Everybody needs a hero"
In this episode Mark wishes the late great William Shakespeare - one of the most renowned poets and playwrights there has ever been, who inspired Mark to become a poet - a belated Happy Birthday... Mark talks about the film "Rebel Without A Cause", starring the late great James Dean, and he talks about what the film means to him... and Mark talks about the last episode of "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier", as well as the Disney+ series as a whole, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, and Mark talks about the recently released news that a new Captain America film is being developed starring a new Captain America in the wake of, and starring characters from, "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" TV show. This episode is an episode essentially about heroes.
44:48
April 24, 2021
Episode #137: "Friday, 23 April, 2021 - It's good to be alive"
In this episode Mark talks about the progress he is making of his rewatch of the TV series "Homeland"... Mark talks about life... and Mark also talks about the ongoing vaccination program that is slowly but surely allowing life to return to some kind of normality in England and all around the world - even though Coronavirus infections continue to increase - and Mark talks about why he believes vaccination is a vital component of finding a way out of the current world wide pandemic we are all living through on a daily basis... Mark talks about how grateful he was to have received so many blessings from both friends and family on his birthday a couple of days ago... and Mark wishes the entire world a belated Happy Earth Day!
36:09
April 23, 2021
Episode #136: "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1991 American science fiction action film "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" co-written, produced and directed by James Cameron. A direct sequel to the 1984 film "The Terminator", as the second installment in the "Terminator" franchise, the film stars Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, and Joe Morton.
57:06
April 22, 2021
Episode #135: "Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 - Happy Birthday to Me!"
In this episode Mark celebrates his fortieth birthday by talking about what life means to him and what he has learned over the last forty years. And Mark also recites his poem "Forty" which he wrote to commemorate his fortieth birthday today.
38:21
April 21, 2021
Episode #134: "Promising Young Woman" (2020 Film) Review
In this episode Mark does a review of the 2020 film "Promising Young Woman" directed by Emerald Fennell, starring Carey Mulligan as Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas who is seeking to avenge the death of her best friend, Nina, who was a victim of rape. This must-watch film powerfully exposes the ongoing and disgusting opinions and behaviours of men who attempt to take advantage of women when they are incapable of giving their consent to engaging in a sexual encounter act. And film also depicts the lengths that someone might go to to meet out their own form of justice upon the guilty. The film also stars Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, and Connie Britton.
37:58
April 20, 2021
Episode #133: "Monday, 19 April, 2021 - another beautiful day"
In this episode Mark talks about the beautiful weather... Mark talks about his ongoing "Homeland" TV series rewatch... Mark talks about the Disney+ "Home Alone" remake... and Mark talks about a news article that he recently read concerning human-monkey embryo experimentation.
34:20
April 19, 2021
Episode #132: "Sunday, 18 April, 2021 - morning thoughts"
In this episode Mark talks about everything from the moving funeral of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh... watching The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values films... an article in today's The Sunday Times talking about language reform... and the birthdays of one of Mark's favourite actors and one of Mark's favourite directors.
34:50
April 18, 2021
Episode #131: "Saturday, 17 April, 2021 - Weekly Update"
In this episode Mark gives an update on what he has been watching, listening, doing, and experiencing over the last week: including rewatching of the TV series "Homeland", the film "Guardians of the Galaxy", and the release of his new book "Vega - The Vampire King".
37:41
April 17, 2021
Episode #130: "Book to Film/Television adaptations: The Good, The Bad, and The Unbelievable"
In the final episode of the podcast Mark talks about his opinion on Book to Film/Television adaptations: the Good, the Bad, and those that in Mark's opinion were a success in some ways but ultimately completely missed the mark when the final result of their adaptation finally made it to the screen.
01:02:13
April 16, 2021
Episode #129: "Short Circuit" (1986 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1986 American comedy science fiction film "Short Circuit" directed by John Badham starring Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Fisher Stevens, Austin Pendleton, and G.W. Bailey with Tim Blaney as the voice of the robot "Number 5".
33:27
April 16, 2021
Episode #128: "An American Werewolf in London" (1981 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1981 horror black comedy film "An American Werewolf in London" directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, and John Woodvine.
46:32
April 16, 2021
Episode #127: "VEGA - The Vampire King" (My New Book)
In this episode Mark talks about his new book "VEGA - The Vampire King" and his his new book's connection to his previous books. Mark also talks about his writing process and about what it takes to get a story translated from an idea on a page to potentially getting published into a book. Mark's new book "VEGA - The Vampire King" is available to own in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon now!
01:02:32
April 15, 2021
Episode #126: "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" (1989 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of my favourite films: the 1989 American comic science fiction film "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" directed by Joe Johnston. Starring Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski, the inventor of an electromagnetic shrinking machine, who accidentally shrinks his own children, Amy (played by Amy O'Neill) and Nick (Robert Oliveri), as well as the kids of his next door neighbours, Russell "Little Russ" Thompson Jr. (played by Thomas Wilson Brown) and Ronald "Ron" Thompson (played by Jared Rushton), to a quarter of an inch in height, who have to make their way through their backyard to return home and back to their own size while fending off insects that are now more than twice their size. Also starring Marcia Strassman as Diane Szalinski, Kristin Sutherland as Mae Thompson, and Matt Frewer as Russell "Big Russ" Thompson, the film is a family favourite and well loved by critics and audiences all around the world. The film has a wonderful and memorable film score composed by the late great James Horner.
55:04
April 14, 2021
Episode #125: "Flight of the Navigator" (1986 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1986 American science fiction adventure film "Flight of the Navigator" directed by Randal Kleiser. The film stars Joey Cramer as David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who on the night of the Fourth of July, 1978, while walking through the woods near his house, falls down into a ravine and is knocked unconscious. After David wakes up, and he makes his way home, but to his shock and horror he discovers that his parents and his little brother no longer live in the house because eight years have passed and the year is now 1986 - even though to David he had only been gane for what seems like a couple of hours at the most. After being returned to his parents, David is approached by NASA after they make a connection between David and a crashed alien spacecraft that has been discovered, hoping that David maybe the key to finding out where the alien spacecraft came from and who is its pilot. David feels drawn to the spacecraft by a compelling voice in his mind, and eventually David finds his way inside the spacecraft - the same spacecraft that abducted him eight years before and who needs the vital navigational information within David's brain to return the other alien subjects that were abducted and taken back to the planet Phaelon for further study. However, NASA wishes to keep the alien spacecraft and David for further study for as long as possible - which leads David and the spacecraft's robotic commander, "Max", to make their escape from the NASA facility they are being held at so that David can help Max complete his mission, and also give David the opportunity to become "The Navigator" and potentially find a way to return himself to where and when he was abducted. The films also stars Veronica Cartwright as Helen Freeman, Cliff DeYoung as Bill Freeman, Sarah Jessica Parker as Carolyn McAdams, Jonathan Sanger as Dr. Carr, Matt Adler as Jeff Freeman, and Paul Reubens as the voice of Max. The music is by Alan Silvestri.
45:31
April 13, 2021
Episode #124: "Truly, Madly, Deeply" (1990 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1990 British fantasy drama film "Truly, Madly, Deeply", written and produced by Anthony Minghella. The story follows Nina (played Juliet Stevenson), an interpreter, who is grieving the recent death of her boyfriend, Jamie (played by Alan Rickman) who was a cellist before his sudden and untimely death. As Nina struggles to cope with Jamie's loss and unable to move on from him, and at a point of utter despair, Jamie suddenly reappears as a ghost - however, there is more to Jamie's reappearance to Nina than meets the eye, and as a result Nina finds herself reevaluating her relationship with Jamie she also meeting someone new who she develops feelings for, a psychologist by the name of Mark (played by Michael Maloney), which ultimately leads Nina to feel torn between the ghost of her dead boyfriend and the potential of a new relationship and a new beginning. The film is so beautifully written, directed, and acted, and it is a truly deep and heartfelt depiction of the power of love that can sometimes be perceived as madness but which in reality is a bond and connection shared that can live on after death.
41:22
April 12, 2021
Episode #123: "Twin Peaks" (TV series)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite TV shows: the American mystery/horror/drama television series "Twin Peaks" created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Premiering on April 8, 1990, and running for two seasons before being cancelled, the series follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle MacLachlan) as he investigates the murder of homecoming Queen Laura Palmer (played by Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. However, as a result of his investigation into the murder of Laura Palmer, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper also reveals and realises that there is more to the town of Twin Peaks than meets the eye - especially after he uncovers that the town is also a gateway to supernatural "lodges" of reality where supernatural and extradimensional entities live and exist, who have been observing, inhabiting, and influencing the people of Twin Peaks to do things that they would not ordinarily do for years. The series has a unique mixture of many elements that run through it - including supernatural events, melodrama, surrealism, off-beat humour, eccentric characters, and distinctive cinematography - that all combine to make the series so iconic and incomparable to any other series or film. The series is superbly written, produced, and directed - and its soundtrack, composed by Angelo Badalamenti, is also unlike that of any other TV series and is considered one of the most beloved and recognisable TV scores ever made. The series also has a phenomenonal cast of actors, including: Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Warren Frost, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Everett McGill, Jack Nance, Ray Wise, Harry Goaz, and many other recurring cast members who play instantly recognisable and memorable characters that all combine to make the series one of the greatest TV shows of all time - which has a devoted cult following of fans from all around the world.
59:49
April 9, 2021
Episode #122: "The King's Speech" (2010 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2010 British historical drama film "The King's Speech" directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Inspired by actual events, the films stars Colin Firth as Prince Albert, Duke of York - the future King George VI - who struggles to cope with a stammer that he has had since he was a child, which over time has lead to him experiencing moments of discomfort while performing the mandatory public speaking addresses that he is required to make as a part of his royal duties. In an attempt to seek out a treatment for the Duke of York's condition, his wife, Elizabeth (played by Helena Bonham Carter), persuades him to see the Australian-born Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), a non-medically trained speech defects therapist, who almost immediately insists on calling the Duke of York the same name that his family members call him, "Bertie", and who over time demonstrates effective speech therapy techniques that help Bertie overcome his stammering. Against the backdrop of the death of Bertie's father, King George V, the coronation and the subsequent abdication of Bertie's brother David (King Edward VIII), and Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939, Bertie must work to traverse feelings of unworthiness, the potential damage to the royal family as a result of his father dying and his brother's selfish act of abdication so that he could be with the notorious Wallis Simpson (played by Eve Best), while working together with Lionel Logue to enable him to find a way to not allow his stammer to define him and debilitate him from rising to the occasion of becoming King and having to address and be a beacon of hope for the British people as they face the looming threat of World War. The film also stars Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, Derek Jacobi as Cosmo Gordon Lang, Jennifer Ehle as Myrtle Logue, Michael Gambon as King George V, as well as a cast of other wonderfully gifted actors who play characters and depictions of recognisable real life people who have influenced the world.
56:50
April 8, 2021
Episode #121: "Big" (1988 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1988 American fantasy comedy-drama "Big" directed by Penny Marshall. The story of the film follows 12 year-old Josh Baskin (played by David Moscow), from Cliffside, New Jersey, who one night - while at a fun fare with his Mom, Dad, and little sister Rachel - encounters an antique arcade fortune teller machine called "Zoltar" and who makes a wish to it for him to be "big" and then overnight grows into becoming an adult version of himself (played by Tom Hanks). When the fun fare moves on, taking the mysterious "Zoltar" fortune teller machine with it, Josh is forced to flee his family home to temporarily live in New York City while they attempt to find out where the "Zoltar" fortune teller machine is so that he can be turned back into a kid again. Josh is assisted by his best friend, Billy Kopecki (played by Jared Rushton), who immediately helps him with money, with finding a rundown apartment in New York City, and with finding a job to survive the six weeks that it will take to find out where the "Zoltar" machine will be next - which leads Josh to innitially take a job as a computer operator at MacMillan Toy Company, before he is recognised by the company's owner, Mr. MacMillan (played Robert Loggia), as having an insight into what toys children like and why, and is subsequently given a promotion to becoming vice president in charge of project development at FAO Schwartz. As Josh's reputation in the toy company grows he begins to attract the attention of a rival at the company, Paul Davenport (played by John Heard), who is jealous of Josh's rapid rise and also of all the attention now being put on Josh. Josh also starts to attract the attention and the affection of Susan Lawrence (played by Elizabeth Perkins), who over the course of the film starts to feel a youthful exuberance because of her interactions with Josh, and who starts to fall in love with Josh - but who has no idea who Josh really is, nor how old he really is. The iconic soundtrack to the film was composed by the great Howard Shore.
49:50
April 7, 2021
Episode #120: "Falling Down" (1993 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1993 American crime-thriller film "Falling Down" directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas as William "D-Fens" Foster, a divorced and unemployed former defense engineer, who is attempting to make his way on foot across the city of Los Angeles to the house of estranged wife, Beth Treviño (played by Barbara Hershey), to see his daughter, Adele Foster-Treviño, on her birthday. William "D-Fens" Foster finds himself stuck in a traffic-jam on one of the hottest days of the year, in a car with no air conditioning, who seemingly spontaneously decides to abandon his car and proceed to see his daughter on her birthday by walking the streets of L.A. - however, along the way, among other things, "D-Fens" decides to take his inner frustrations about society out on a convenience store owner, he is accosted by two gang members, he causes a scene for the workers and the customers at a fast food restaurant, and he comes face-to-face with a neo-nazi. On the same day that William "D-Fens" Foster is having one of the worst days of his life, Sergeant Martin Prendergast (played by Robert Duvall) is spending the last day of his police career before retires at his desk and was not expecting there to be anything in the way of serious criminal activity that would lead him away from his desk to have to go out and investigate; however, as the reports of the victims of William Foster's violent progress through Los Angeles start to come to the attention of Sergeant Prendergast, he finds himself on the trail of "D-Fens" in an attempt to discover who he is, why he is doing what he is doing, so that he may be able to stop him before he carries out any more criminal and violent acts that might see more people put in danger.
01:01:41
April 6, 2021
Episode #119: "The Iron Giant" (1999 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1999 American animated science fiction action film "The Iron Giant" directed by Brad Bird. Based on the 1968 novel 'The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, the story of the film, set during the Cold War in 1957, centres around a young boy named Hogarth Hughes (voiced by Eli Marienthal) - who lives with his Mother Annie Hughes (voiced by Jennifer Anniston) in the town of Rockwell, Maine - who one night discovers and befriends a 50-foot tall metal-eating robot who has fallen to Earth from outer space. Over the course of the film Hogarth and the Giant robot (voiced by Vin Diesel) start to get closer to each other and they enjoy every moment that they spend with one another, while attempting to continue to keep the fact of the Giant's presence on Earth a secret from his mother and also from the U.S. government - especially from the paranoid xenophobic U.S. government agent Kent Mansley (voiced by Christopher McDonald) who is investigating the Giant's whereabouts and is seeking to destroy them when they find them because they believe they are a threat to national security. Throughout the film Hogarth and "The Iron Giant" are assisted by Dean McCoppin (voiced by Harry Connick Jr.) - a beatnik artist and junkyard owner - in keeping the Giant from view and also giving them as much junk metal as they can eat, and who over the course of the film finds himself getting closer to Hogarth's mother, Annie. Throughout the film the threat to the Giant and to the town of Rockwell, Maine, grows - which ultimately leads the Giant to have to decide, as a result of the time that he has spent with Hogarth, their friendship, and the resounding message that Horgath gives to the Giant - that "You are who you choose to be" - to choose to put the lives of others before his own, just like the DC Comics character that the Giant becomes obsessed with emulating: "Superman". The beautiful and memorable score of the film was composed by Michael Kamen.
51:02
April 5, 2021
Episode #118: "Field of Dreams" (1989 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1989 American sports supernatural drama film "Field of Dreams" written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Adapted from the 1982 novel "Shoeless Joe" by W. P. Kinsella, the film stars Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, an Iowan Corn farmer, who decides to build a baseball diamond on top of one of his corn fields, after being compelled by a mysterious voice which tells him: "If you build it he will come" - which leads to Ray Kinsella and his self-built baseball field to be visited by legendary baseball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta), as well as other players that were a part of the so called 1919 "Black Sox Scandal" in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of purposely losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money, as well as other now deceased baseball players. Apart from Ray, only his wife Annie Kinsella (played by Amy Madigan) and his daughter Karin Kinsella (played by Gaby Hoffmann) are innitially able to see the ghosts of the now deceased baseball players after they return to play the game that they love upon the magical baseball field - until Ray is compelled by the same mysterious voice to "ease the pain" of someone and to "go the distance", which leads him to travel across America to seek the assistance of a renowned, now reclusive, author by the name of Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones), as well as fulfill the dream of a long since passed away baseball player by the name of Archibald "Moonlight" Graham (played by Burt Lancaster), who played in a game for the New York Giants in 1922, who ultimately left the game to become a doctor, but who always regretted never getting the chance to bat. However, because of Ray's decision to build his baseball field and with the finances of his family dwindling by the day, he must face the possibility of losing his farm and the baseball field as a result of Annie's brother, Mark (played by Timothy Busfield), attempting to take control of it from them for their own good. Along his journey across the country, Ray finds himself rehashing and attempting to come to terms with the broken relationship that he had with his late father, John Kinsella (played Dwier Brown), who was a devoted baseball fan, as he seeks to reconnect with him and the sport that they both loved. The beautiful score of the film was composed by the late-great film composer James Horner.
52:19
April 3, 2021
Episode #117: "American Gods" (Season 3 *Hot Take* review) + Series Cancellation
In this episode Mark does a *Hot Take* review on Season 3 of "American Gods", one of his favourite TV shows, inspired by the novel of the same name by Mark's favourite author Neil Gaiman + Mark discusses the recently reported news of the series' cancellation.
32:45
April 2, 2021
Episode #116: "Cocoon" (1985 Film)
In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1985 American science-fiction comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard. The story of the film revolves around a group of elderly residents from a retirement community in St. Petersburg, Florida, who start to feel rejuvenated after spending time in the swimming pool within the grounds of the house next door to their retirement home - which unbeknownst to them is being rented by four peaceful aliens (disguised as Humans) from the planet Antarea who have returned to Earth - upon which they had an outpost 10,000 years before - to retrieve twenty of their kin who were encased within rock-looking cocoons that now lie upon the ocean floor, which when retrieved are placed within the same swimming pool that the elderly residents enjoy swimming in, which, also unbeknownst to the elderly residents, has been charged with a "life force" that has many rejuvenating benefits for both Antarean and human biology. The film stars Don Ameche as Art Selwyn, Wilford Brimley as Ben Luckett, Hume Cronyn as Joe Finley, Brian Dennehy as Walter, Jack Gilford as Bernie Lefkowitz, Steve Guttenberg as Jack Bonner, Maureen Stapleton as Mary Luckett, Jessica Tandy as Alma Finley, Gwen Verdon as Bess McCarthy, Herta Ware as Rose Lefkowitz, Tahnee Welch as Kitty, Barret Oliver as David, as well as many other wonderful actors as some wonderfully memorable characters. And the memorable and beautiful soundtrack of the film was composed by the late-great f