A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one! In the first of (at least) three episodes focused on a certain long-running space opera franchise, Chris and Steven discuss the goofy, lovable Star Wars prequels with a very special guest star: Diana, Steve’s wife of 9 months. Why do they love these movies so much? Has the trilogy been redeemed in the last two decades? What color lightsaber does Chris yearn for? All this, and more, in Episode XVIII of Ruminations!
Ruminations Episode XVII: House of Power, Rings of the Dragon
Ruminations is back for our seventeenth episode, this time to talk about the two prequels to juggernaut fantasy series that premiered in September, HBO’s Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon and Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. For the second time this year, this is the second version of an episode that we, Chris and Steve, recorded. Before you ask, no, no one was too drunk this time! Back in August, we recorded a grab bag episode about our respective summer trips, interesting stuff we recently watched, a wedding and a 30th birthday, and ended with our varying degrees of apprehension towards HoD and RoP, but since each show finished its first season before we could edit the episode… we decided to re-record and focus on the shows in full. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we each enjoyed one of the shows over the other.
– Listen on iTunes
– Listen on Spotify
Ruminations Episode XVI: Apocalypse Now Redrunks
In an episode two months in the making, Chris and Steve delve into the heart of darkness to explore five of the most famous Vietnam War movies made in the aftermath of the war in the 1970s and 80s. Which version of Apocalypse Now is best? Why is The Deer Hunter so dull? Which of us grew up thinking Full Metal Jacket was a comedy? Why does Vietnam have such a visceral place in our pop culture and collective memory? Stay to the end for a game of “Would You Rather?” and a glimpse into the first time we recorded this episode–yes, we liked this topic so much, we talked about it twice! (But only Chris remembers that.) Episode 16 is messy, a bit overlong, and has a dubious history reminiscent of its subject matter, but what else do you expect from this duo?
– Listen on iTunes
– Listen on Spotify
Ruminations Episode XV: Squidnight Mass
Happy Halloween from Ruminations! For the first half of our 15th episode, we chat about the latest movies we’ve seen in theaters, from the ground-shaking sounds of Dune to the earth-shattering disappointment of The Many Saints of Newark. Then, for the main portion of the episode (28:00 on), we break down our experiences watching two of Netflix’s recent shows, the stressful South Korean juggernaut Squid Game and Mike Flanagan’s latest horror slow-burn, Midnight Mass. Why was Matt Damon’s hair so silly in The Last Duel? Will Dune get a sequel (the answer’s yes, but we didn’t know that at the time of recording)? Was Squid Game better in Korean or in English? Was Midnight Mass a good Catholic show, as one Vox reporter lamented? Listen to find out!
– Listen on Stitcher
Ruminations Episode XIV: On Her Majesty’s Secret Agent
For Episode XIV, Chris and Steve discuss the ins and outs of the 59-year-old James Bond franchise, which just saw its 25th movie, and the fifth and last of Daniel Craig’s run as 007, No Time to Die, premiere in theaters this month. Well, it’s less of a discussion and more of Steve talking about a series of movies and books near and dear to his heart while Chris feigns interest. (To Chris’s credit, he has a better grasp on Bond than Steve does many of his esoteric religious interests.) What’s the best Bond song? Who’s the worst Bond? Why did George Lazenby only do one movie and later intimidate a teenaged Steve at a nerdy movie convention? Who will the next Bond be? Most importantly–to Chris at least–what aspects of the franchise directly influenced Austin Powers? Ruminations will return!
Ruminations Episode XIII: The Podcast of the Rings
For Episode XIII, Chris and Steve discuss … not Star Wars for the 4th episode in a row! Instead, due to recent AMC 4K re-releases, they talk about their favorite piece of popular culture ever, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson’s seminal film adaptations, the first of which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary later this year. For the episode’s first half, Steve, having watched 15 hours of behind-the-scenes footage and read a 560-page book on Jackson’s journey through Middle-Earth, focuses on the making of the trilogy and The Hobbit, its much, much worse prequel series. For the second half, Chris channels his inner Elrond and fields Steve’s questions on Tolkien’s themes, alleged plot-holes, and the Bible of Tolkien’s legendarium, The Silmarillion. Altogether, it amounts to 2 hours of Middle-Earth content! A day may come when Ruminations releases a short podcast … but it is not THIS day.
Ruminations Episode XII: Christmas All the Way
Chris and Steve discuss a range of topics relating to Christmas movies with Lou, Ruminations’ second-ever guest host. Questions like: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Is Ron Howard’s Grinch movie worth its two-hour runtime? Why can’t Steve keep the Rankin/Bass movies straight? Will Mel Gibson’s Fatman become a perennial Christmas watch? How many times has Lou seen Jingle All the Way? How does it feel to spit up whiskey and/or to record half of a podcast with the hiccups? All of this and more in the messiest, most laugh-filled episode of Ruminations so far! Give us a listen, and merry Christmas to all of our listeners!
Episode XII Show Notes
Ruminations Episode XI: Underrated Horror
Just in time for the strangest Halloween in memory, we’re back to talk about three underrated horror movies we seem to revisit every year around this time: Wes Craven’s Haiti-set The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), the ’80s pastiche The House of the Devil (2009), and the Nicolas Cage mystery Pay the Ghost (2015). Along the way, we reminisce about Burger King’s Universal horror action figures from our childhood, 10th grade speeches, and our vastly different experiences watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time. Chris is in his element discussing voodoo and Samhain, and Steve enjoys telling Chris off for not knowing directors by name. Lastly, we list our top moments in scary movies! Give us a listen. (We know you all have nothing better to do.)
Ruminations Episode X: Onward and Up-ward!
Ruminations is finally back and, boy, did we miss a lot over the last 6 months! We start off Episode X with a discussion of our experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown and what we’ve been watching to pass the time as society crumbles around us, but the main event is much more fun. In a companion piece to our first-ever episode, we rank the best and worst of Pixar Animation Studios, once the baby of Apple’s Steve Jobs and now an integral part of Disney’s galactic empire. In a departure from our first episode, however, we stick to our own rankings, which means there are some fireworks!
Ruminations Episode IX: The 2010s
Happy New Year from Ruminations! To celebrate the start of 2020 and the end of the 2010s, we talk* about 10 of our favorite movies from a decade that wasn’t all that great when it came to cinema. (At least in our opinions, but our opinions are Correct.) Stick around for some honorable mentions!
Ruminations Episode VIII: What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism
For our Halloween-themed episode, the Ruminations team talks about the Catholic Rite of Exorcism and the movies that have made it famous. Learn the differences between demonic infestation, oppression, and possession, what it’s like to talk to a 90-year-old exorcist IRL, and why even modern Hollywood can sometimes treat Catholicism respectfully!
(In order to get Episode VIII out in time for, you know, Halloween, our show notes will be posted at a later date. Stay tuned!)
Episode VIII Show Notes
Ruminations Episode VII: A Pirate’s Life for Us
After what seems like an eternity, Rum-inations is back with our seventh episode! As promised at the end of Episode VI, this one is all about pirates and rum. To prepare for such an undertaking…we bought a whole bunch of rum and rewatched all 5 Pirates of the Caribbean movies with our friend Ruben, who now joins us as our first guest!
In addition to our episode, check out our show notes full of movie and musical clips, historical tidbits, and mucho rum recommendations!
Episode VII Show Notes
Ruminations Episode VI: Urbs Aeterna
Ruminations is back with its most historical episode yet! In Episode VI, Chris and Steve recount their April trip to Rome, the Eternal City, highlighting the history and splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica, the glory witnessing the Capitoline Wolf and Augustus of Prima Porta statues in person, an unexpected visit to an actual medieval castle, and more. This episode is a bit on the long side, folks–if you make it through the first 45 minutes, you’ll at least be rewarded by two superb anecdotes that practically had the hosts in tears!
Stick around until the end and check out our show notes full of historical tidbits, book recommendations, and lots of pictures!
Episode VI Show Notes
Ruminations Episode V: Disappointment
Everything is Terrible in Episode V of Ruminations! When writing about our last episode, I quoted T.S. Eliot since cruel, cruel April brought us the ending of two of our favorite franchises. Little did I know how cruel it would actually be! Another Eliot quote is appropriate now (this one the conclusion to The Hollow Men):
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.
Whimper to its conclusion Game of Thrones did–and its lackluster finale takes up the full first half of our episode–but it wasn’t alone in its dullness. The live action Aladdin remake and the much-hyped John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, released in back-to-back weekends, were also quite lame, to put it mildly. To top off this whirlwind of recent mediocrity, a bit of (potentially) soul-crushing Star Wars news also leaked this week. When will the suffering end?
Avenger: Endgame was pop culture’s only saving grace and we gladly left it out of our lamentations (until, ya know, the end of our episode, when we decided to actually talk about it. Oops?)
Listen and complain along with us! And, as always, SPOILERS!
Episode V Show Notes
Ruminations Episode IV: Endgame of Thrones
For the fourth episode of the Ruminations Podcast, we discuss the long-awaited endings of our beloved Game of Thrones and The Avengers. (“April is the cruelest month,” as Eliot said.) We recorded hours before the premiere of GoT’s 8th season, but we spend more time talking about the past 7 seasons anyway, so it’s not outdated yet! (One of Chris’s predictions has already come true! Psst. It involves dragons.) For both our GoT and MCU discussions, SPOILERS GALORE!
Ruminations Episode III: Catholic Films Through the Ages
In honor of Lent, we are back to discuss three Catholic themed movies for our third episode. (Well, not all of them are movies, and not all of them are Catholic, but we explain what we mean by that in the podcast.) We tried to think outside the box on this one, focusing our discussion on three ages of Catholicism: antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times.
Below are show notes with a bunch of clips, and they’re all worth checking out. Seriously. We hope you enjoy!
Episode III Show Notes
Ruminations Episode II: The Blah-scars
We were planning on letting the Disney episode sit for a while before recording a second episode. However, we decided at the last minute to rant a little bit about the 8 Best Picture nominees before the 2019 Oscars this Sunday renders them moot. Apart from one movie that the both of us really enjoyed, the nominees are overall quite blah. Hopefully, the ceremony will make up for their mediocrity. (HA! Couldn’t keep a straight face there!) Of course it won’t!
The 8 nominations are (in order of discussion):
A Star is Born
2019 Oscar Predictions
Ruminations Episode I: The Best and Worst of Disney
Welcome to the debut episode of “Ruminations,” a podcast on movies, politics, and religion, discussed over a glass–or three–of some type of adult beverage. In this inaugural episode, co-hosts Chris and Steve (previously known on this site as Flipp) discuss the 57 animated films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This conversation has been 5 years in the making, as it was the summer of 2014 when Chris and Steve began a chronological journey through Disney’s official filmography, starting with 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This endeavor finally came to its conclusion last fall (December 2018, to be exact) with the release of Disney’s most recent movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet.
For ease of discussion, each co-host compiled an individual ranking from best to worst; a combined average was then taken to create a single master list. The master list’s Bottom 10 and Top 10 will be highlighted specifically in this episode. For additional notes, and movie clips, follow the show notes link below. For now, please listen and enjoy!
|2||The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||The Hunchback of Notre Dame|
|3||Beauty and the Beast (1991)||The Lion King||Beauty and the Beast|
|4||The Lion King (1994)||Beauty and the Beast||Pinocchio|
|5||Cinderella (1950)||The Little Mermaid||Alice in Wonderland|
|6||The Little Mermaid (1989)||Sleeping Beauty||The Lion King|
|7||Sleeping Beauty (1959)||The Black Cauldron||Cinderella|
|8||Pinocchio (1940)||Cinderella||Emperor’s New Groove|
|10||Mulan (1998)||Mulan||Sleeping Beauty|
|11||Alice in Wonderland (1951)||Tarzan||The Little Mermaid|
|12||Tarzan (1999)||The Princess and the Frog||Mulan|
|13||The Black Cauldron (1985)||Pocahontas||Pocahontas|
|15||Emperor’s New Groove (2000)||Robin Hood||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs|
|16||The Princess and the Frog (2009)||Lilo and Stitch||The Princess and the Frog|
|17||Robin Hood (1973)||Dinosaur||The Great Mouse Detective|
|18||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)||Emperor’s New Groove||The Black Cauldron|
|19||Lilo and Stitch (2002)||Alice in Wonderland||Robin Hood|
|20||The Great Mouse Detective (1986)||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs||Lilo and Stitch|
|21||Zootopia (2016)||The Fox and the Hound||Wreck It Ralph|
|22||Peter Pan (1953)||Peter Pan||Zootopia|
|23||The Fox and the Hound (1981)||The Jungle Book||Ralph Breaks the Internet|
|24||Wreck It Ralph (2012)||Zootopia||Bolt|
|25||Dinosaur (2000)||101 Dalmatians||Tangled|
|26||Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)||Oliver and Company||Peter Pan|
|27||Bolt (2008)||The Great Mouse Detective||The Fox and the Hound|
|28||101 Dalmatians (1961)||Wreck It Ralph||Fantasia|
|29||Tangled (2010)||Ralph Breaks the Internet||Dumbo|
|30||Dumbo (1941)||Bolt||Atlantis: The Lost Empire|
|32||The Jungle Book (1967)||Brother Bear||101 Dalmatians|
|33||Brother Bear (2003)||The Rescuers||Dinosaur|
|34||Frozen (2013)||Fantasia||Brother Bear|
|35||Oliver and Company (1988)||Tangled||Meet the Robinsons|
|36||The Rescuers (1977)||Frozen||The Rescuers|
|37||Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)||Lady and the Tramp||Fantasia 2000|
|38||Lady and the Tramp (1955)||Fantasia 2000||Lady and the Tramp|
|39||Fantasia 2000 (1999)||The Aristocats||The Jungle Book|
|40||Meet the Robinsons (2007)||Bambi||The Aristocats|
|41||The Aristocats (1970)||Meet the Robinsons||Moana|
|42||Bambi (1942)||Moana||Oliver and Company|
|43||Moana (2016)||Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Bambi|
|44||Home on the Range (2004)||The Sword in the Stone||Big Hero Six|
|45||The Rescuers Down Under (1990)||Home on the Range||Home on the Range|
|46||Big Hero Six (2014)||The Rescuers Down Under||The Rescuers Down Under|
|47||Treasure Planet (2002)||Treasure Planet||Treasure Planet|
|48||The Sword in the Stone (1963)||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh||The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad|
|49||The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)||The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh|
|50||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)||Big Hero Six||Winnie the Pooh|
|51||Winnie the Pooh (2011)||Winnie the Pooh||The Sword in the Stone|
|52||The Three Caballeros (1944)||The Three Caballeros||The Three Caballeros|
|53||Saludos Amigos (1942)||Saludos Amigos||Saludos Amigos|
|54||Make Mine Music (1946)||Melody Time||Make Mine Music|
|55||Melody Time (1948)||Make Mine Music||Fun and Fancy Free|
|56||Fun and Fancy Free (1947)||Fun and Fancy Free||Melody Time|
|57||Chicken Little (2005)||Chicken Little||Chicken Little|