A Podcast Called FRED #76

Kendall, Fulya and Wyane deliver the latest in nerdy news and geeky goodness in the pop culture podcast that refuses to behave—it’s A Podcast Called FRED!

 

Nerdy News includes:

  • Marvel Studios announces an epic Phase 4;
  • Brandon Routh to play Superman in Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover;
  • Halloween sequels confirmed;
  • Harry Styles in talks to play Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid;
  • and so much more!

Trailer Park discussions:

Quickie Reviews:

  • The Lion King (2019)

Popcorn Culture:

  • This week, the team discuss their favourite one-hit wonders—featuring responses from you!

 

Check out A Podcast Called FRED #76 ⬇️

Remember to let us know your response to the Popcorn Culture question so you can be featured in the next episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: A Podcast Called FRED #75 ⬇️


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Non-Scripted Ramblings #42

Pop culture queen Kendall Richardson reacts to and rambles about the second, and apparently final, trailer for IT: Chapter Two. Check it out ⬇️

 

Haven’t seen the trailer yet? Check it out here ⬇️

 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #38: IT: Chapter Two Trailer Reaction ⬇️


Non-Scripted Ramblings #41

🚨 THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS 🚨

Kendall Richardson returns to Spider-Man: Far From Home to deliver an in-depth review!

Check out her spoiler-filled ramble ⬇️

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

RELATED EPISODE: Non-Scripted Ramblings #19: Spider-Man: Homecoming ⬇️


FRED Watch Episode 19: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

GAME ON, RALPH!

Walt Disney Pictures / Walt Disney Animation Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Phillip channels his passion for gaming and brings Wreck-It Ralph to Wayne for this month’s FRED Watch discussion.

The boys are a little conflicted about the moral of Disney’s animated story, so will Ralph win the day or will it be game over…?

 

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the trailer:

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Joe Lo Truglio, Ed O’Neill, Dennis Haysbert, Adam Carolla, Horatio Sanz, Rich Moore.

Director: Rich Moore | Producer: Clark Spencer | Writers: Phil Johnson, Jennifer Lee (story: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon) | Music: Henry Jackman | Cinematographer: Rob Dressel | Editor: Tim Mertens

Available: DVD and Blu-ray

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Quickie TV Review: Stranger Things Season 3 (2019)

STRANGER THINGS SCOOPS IT FOR A THIRD TIME!

I’m a Kendall Richardson and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s series is the third season of Stranger Things

21 Laps Entertainment / Monkey Massacre / Netflix

In the summer of 1985, the new and contentious Starcourt Mall has become the focal point of Hawkins. Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is conflicted over Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Mike’s (Finn Wolfhard) budding relationship, while Joyce (Winona Ryder) considers moving out of town for better prospects.

However, strange power fluctuations trigger Will’s (Noah Schnapp) awareness of something otherworldly, while Eleven and Max (Sadie Sink) sense something is off about the town’s residents. Despite having closed the portal to the Upside Down, the girls fear that they are all in danger from it still…

I’d say it’s official: Stranger Things has replaced Game of Thrones as the world’s most popular TV show. Season three has already become the most watched thing on Netflix and, at the time of writing, has only been out for a week. But there is good reason for this. The two-year wait between seasons was a long one, so anticipations and expectations were high. And given its completely natural binge-ability, it really feels like an eight-hour movie, and one that is paced extremely well. Also, we are addicted to the nostalgia fix Stranger Things is more than happy to provide. It offers so much more than just basic escapism like other films and TV shows do; for many it returns them to their childhood and brings happy memories flooding back. But enough of why Stranger Things is so successful, let’s get into the nitty gritty of season three…

The creators of this excellent series, the Duffer brothers, are in complete control and know exactly what they’re doing. The big challenge this season, a part from finding a new way to enter the Upside Down, or rather the Upside Down enter our world, was dealing with the kids growing up. It’s been less than a year since the events of season two, yet so much has changed. The older kids, Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), are all graduated from high school and working adult jobs. Well, as adult as one can get dressed as a sailor working in an ice cream store. Here is where we meet the wonderful Robin (breakout star Maya Hawke), the perfect foil for Steve’s ego and just an amazing character in her own right. Hawke is definitely a major highlight of season three, which is no surprise given her famous parentage: Mum is Uma Thurman and Dad is Ethan Hawke. Keery is hilarious as Steve Harrington in this environment, trying and failing miserably to pick up girls, and I love his budding bromance with young Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). Steve’s career path aside, this season did so well in reiterating why Nancy and Jonathan got together. Now both interns at the local Hawkins newspaper, the pair make an excellent journalistic team as well as a romantic couple, with both actors absolutely crushing it with their performances. Despite appearances, there are no damsels in distress in this show, with Dyer’s Nancy taking that trope and shoving it where the sun don’t shine.

As for our younger heroes, puberty is definitely happening, and the Duffer brothers have truly captured the innocence and awkwardness of it all. El (Millie Bobby Brown) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) are now an inseparable couple, much to the chagrin of all their loved ones, especially temper-prone Hopper (David Harbour), who is now in full parent mode as El’s adoptive father. Brown and Wolfhard make an endearing on screen team, with the actors capturing the highs and lows of teen romance perfectly. Max (Sadie Sink) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) pair off as well, but are less intense than El and Mike. Hell, even Dustin gets a girl in the form of Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo). This, unfortunately, leaves poor Will (Noah Schnapp) alone and he only ever wants to play D&D. Given everything that Will has been through, you really feel for him this season and kind of start hating the rest of the gang a bit for pushing him to the side. The entire essence of high school is portrayed wonderfully.

The story of this season is so well written, as it is told through three separate sub plots that all link up in the season’s final episode. The combination of Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper was so entertaining, and their dynamic was thoroughly enjoyable. Joyce herself has come such a long way from the hysterical mother she was in season one and it is so good to see her become stronger through all these tragic experiences. Speaking of character growth, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) had a really surprising arc this season and your thoughts on him as a character will definitely be changed by the time the final credits roll. Big bad Mind Flayer’s physical presence was terrifying to be sure, but it felt so much more foreboding and sinister when in its shadow form in season two. Nevertheless, the evil creature was once again an epic villain, leaving so much more destruction in its wake than ever before.

There is so much to love within season three, including things beyond the acting and story. Of course the nostalgia is at an all-time high with this season, as the fashion and pop culture references take full advantage of the 1985 setting. Standouts include El and Max’s mall shopping spree (I seriously love those outfits), the music naturally, and the cinema in the mall, showing classics like Day of the Dead, Cocoon, and of course one of 1985’s biggest films, Back to the Future. Watching Stranger Things is basically like travelling through time as it is, and I cannot wait for season four to bring us straight back to that decade we all love so much. 5 / 5

 

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Cara Buono, Joe Chrest, Andrey Ivchenko, Brett Gelman, Cary Elwes, Peggy Miley, Jake Busey, Francesca Reale, Michael Park, Alec Utgoff, Rob Morgan, John Reynolds, Arthur Darbinyan, Misha Kuznetsov

Directors: The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, Uta Briesewitz. | Writers: The Duffer Brothers, William Bridges, Kate Trefey, Curtis Gwinn | Producers: Dan Cohen, Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Rand Geiger, Shawn Levy, Iain Paterson, Emily Morris, Curtis Gwinn, William Bridges, Paula Kramer | Music: Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein | Cinematographer: Tim Ives | Editors: Nat Fuller, Dean Zimmerman

 

Available: Netflix

Let us know what you thought of this season in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Kendall Richardson and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


Beta Test #19: Cluedo

Beta Test

Was it Puddin in the bronze age, with the big daddy? Fuji in the Cemetery with the gun? Or Listernator in the recording studio, with the loud obnoxious voice? NO. Fool! It’s Bethany, in a new apartment, with nothing but her whits and 5 kilos of uncooked white rice!

Share houses are hard, and I’m scared. 

Headder

Good evening my murder suspects and welcome to my home, I’m Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I, a lonely, family-less, 25 year old, choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

Much like the vast population of mid 20 year old’s, I have decided to do the stupidest thing imaginable for a person with a casual job, hella HECS debt, and no feasible credit score. I’ve decided to move out. Into a share house. With a cat. Let’s just say I was in the mood to John Mulaney this month’s review, in that ‘I said I was going to write my two cents – And then I didn’t’. However, John, no matter how alluring a testimony you present, I am once again at the mercy of the gaming world. Oh the feeling of staying up late after moving all my furniture seven suburbs away. I am in agony. Please kill me (With hugs, and chocolate). Also, Cluedo. 

Developed and published by Marmalade Game Studio Ltd, Cluedo is an interactive online single/multi player version of its’ board game predecessor. With all your most of your favourite characters, this whodunit aims to bring the next level in murder mystery technology, as you strike out names, places and murder weapons in the hopes of finding the killer. 

I was not disappointed with this game (Yes, that’s the bar for this month. Half the FRED team play it and I’ll probably be out of a job if I slander it too hard). There are some nice elements, like the auto checking of the cards if you guess something and a character doesn’t have it, and the game play was reasonable; you go round taking turns rolling die and  crossing off clues until you have a pretty fair judgement on the murderer. Nothing wrong with that. But I felt like there could be something – more. A twist, a catch, something that makes me go ‘yes it’s Cluedo, but it’s so much more’. And really, look, Did I expect Tim Curry to prance onto my screen, blasting stories of yore? No. But it would have been nice.  

What I should commend though, to be fair, is the art. As always I’m a sucker for good art; and though the music may be repetitive, the characters old hat, the game play pretty much the same as the board game, I do and can appreciate a good artist. There was a lot of time and effort in making the base game backdrops, and characters. They look appropriately mysterious, and they did my girl Scarlett justice, which really is all I could ever ask for. (I would die for her. Let me fight you)

From that though, I feel like they missed an opportunity for accessibility in the way of colour. For the most part, the characters are bright vivid colours, which for someone with colour blindness would make the game hard to play, what with the scorecard keeping tabs by colour only. I noticed it when one of the FRED fam was doing a run through, and how that seemed unnecessarily unfair. It would have been good to monogram the card accordingly to allow players ease of access. It would also have been cool to see a character sheet with colours that are on, say the Deuteranopia colour spectrum. (Baron Taupe, Mrs Peacock, Ms White, Lady Gold, and Pastor Olive are all ideas that spring to mind…some of them aren’t original. Sue me). With that said though, there are some things that do make the game just a wee bit more tight around the edges. When you go through the characters, a handy highlighted area helps guide you to who’s guessed what. It’s very helpful if you have a processing disorder, or have trouble concentrating. 

In the end, Honestly, With Cluedo I got what I paid for, and I can’t really argue with that. I just wonder how much more could have been done to this to make it a show stopping game. As it is, you have to pay to play in different locations, and different characters. Mrs. White isn’t in the free version for example, so if you like that character, better hobble on down to Micro transaction town to buy yourself some white maid-ey goodness. (MMMM milk maids *gurgle*)

Because of the ‘we been knew’ of the whodunit, and the micro transaction fee, I give this game:

3/5 Dead Dudes for style
0/5 Dead Dudes for plot
4/5 Dead Dudes for easiness
Eh/5 Dead Dudes for having to pay to play, (Roger voice “ugh, it costs Money”)

So, my dudes! I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been Me, in the blog, with a  Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review. If you have a game that you want me to give my two cents on, Please let me know!

Until next time,

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A Podcast Called FRED #75

Kendall and Fulya deliver the latest in nerdy news and geeky goodness in the pop culture podcast that refuses to behave—it’s A Podcast Called FRED!

 

Nerdy News includes:

  • Rip Torn (aged 88), Cameron Boyce (20), Denise Nickerson (62), Stephanie Niznik (52), Eddie Jones (84), and Stewart the Corgi (13) die;
  • Sith Trooper From Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker unveiled;
  • Christoph Waltz returning as Blofeld in twenty-fifth James Bond film;
  • and so much more!

Trailer Park discussions:

Quickie Reviews:

  • Parasite (2019)
  • Stranger Things Season 3 (2019)

Popcorn Culture:

  • This week, the team discuss their favourite sitcoms that were/are ahead of their time—featuring responses from you!

 

Check out A Podcast Called FRED #75 ⬇️

Remember to let us know your response to the Popcorn Culture question so you can be featured in the next episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: A Podcast Called FRED #74 ⬇️


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: The Gruffalo (2009)

NO SUCH THING?

I’m a Fulya Kantarmaci and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is the animated short The Gruffalo

Magic Light Pictures / Studio Soi

Based on Julia Donaldson’s children’s book, The Gruffalo is a short animated made-for-television film about a mouse who goes into the woods in search of food. On his way, he crosses paths with a fox, an owl, and a snake. All three think the little brown mouse would be good to eat. To their surprise, the mouse has a great imagination and tells them about a monster he makes up just to escape their clutches.

“Don’t they know, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo!”

The Gruffalo is quite the adorable animation and very different to most other animated films that I have watched in my time. The visual style is unique and resembles claymation. The CGI used to create it works really well and it has a lovely aesthetic.

I enjoyed the innocence of the story and is definitely aimed at a younger audience around the five- to eight-year-old range. Although, I must say, there are a couple of moments that might seem a little scary for the kids but nothing they can’t handle.

Helena Bonham Carter does a wonderful job narrating as the mother squirrel with a calmness in her voice. James Cordon, for the first time according to me, doesn’t actually sound like himself when voicing the mouse. I was kind of relieved, actually! It made the story more interesting and I was engaged the whole way through.

Parents, if you need a short break from the little ones, chuck on The Gruffalo, it will give you twenty-seven minutes of uninterrupted quietness (at least I hope so). And remember, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo! 3 / 5

 

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson.

Directors: Max Lang, Jakob Schuh | Writers: Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (based on The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson) | Producers: Martin Pope, Michael Rose | Music: René Aubry | Cinematotgraphers: Ulli Hadding, Hubert Märkl | Editor: Robin Sales

 

Available: DVD and Stan.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Fulya Kantarmaci and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

A Podcast Called FRED #74

The team are so excited to have Kendall Richardson back in the studio, that every host is in the FRED Shed this week!

So, join Kendall, Fulya, Phillip, and Wayne as they deliver the latest in nerdy news and geeky goodness in the pop culture podcast that refuses to behave—it’s A Podcast Called FRED!

 

Nerdy News includes:

  • Avatar holds onto box office record;
  • Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in live action The Little Mermaid;
  • Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, a prequel series to the films, in the works;
  • Mad magazine to stop publishing new content after sixty-seven years;
  • and more!

Trailer Park discussions:

Quickie Reviews:

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Men in Black: International

Popcorn Culture:

  • This week, the team discuss their favourite misheard song lyrics—featuring responses from you!

 

Check out A Podcast Called FRED #74 ⬇️

Remember to let us know your response to the Popcorn Culture question so you can be featured in the next episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: A Podcast Called FRED #73 ⬇️


Non-Scripted Ramblings #40

Our pop culture queen Kendall Richardson might be far from home, but there’s always time for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie!

Join Kendall as she rambles about Spider-Man: Far From Home. Check out her spoiler-free review ⬇️

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

RELATED EPISODE: Non-Scripted Ramblings #19: Spider-Man: Homecoming ⬇️