Sci Fi Movie Podcast Flash Gordon

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Hosted by Remi Lavictoire, Ian Fults, Jonathan Colbon

Podcast length: 56:40

Sci-Fi Movie Podcast - Flash GordonThis week on The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast, Rem, Ian, Jonathan dig deeper into “Flash Gordon” from 1980 and directed Mike Hodges.

The Positive
Flash Gordon is a fun, campy movie and you’ll have to know that to really appreciate it.  We really liked how the Producers put huge effort into costumes and sets, and tried very hard to realize the original Flash Gordon comic on the big screen.  Even though we can’t take the movie seriously, there was serious effort put into it.  Special kudos to Max Von Sydow and Brian Blessed for their delicious over the top performances.

The Negative
Coming out in 1980, Flash Gordon had to contend with ‘Star Wars: Episode VI’ and ‘Superman II’, which might have contributed to its poor performance at the box office.  Ian was quite distracted by the ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) that was done for Sam Jones.  Sam’s voice was not used in the film, another voice was brought in to be the voice of Flash Gordon.  Jonathan found the story was a bit underwhelming and the middle chunk of the film was quite dull.  Rem found it hard to criticize the movie because it was hard to tell what what was done badly vs what was intentionally done badly.

The Verdict
Flash Gordon is not a film for those who like their films dark and introspective. Flash Gordon is light, campy and fun, and if you’re ready for that going in, you might just enjoy it!

Director: Mike Hodges

Writers: Lorenzo Semple Jr, Michael Allin, Alex Raymond

Cast
Sam J. Jones – Flash Gordon
Melody Anderson – Dale Arden
Max Von Sydow – The Emperor Ming
Topol – Dr. Hans Zarkov
Ornella Muti – Princess Aura
Timothy Dalton – Prince Baron
Brian Blessed – Prince Vultan
Peter Wyngarde – Klytus
Richard O’Brien – Fico

 

Listener Feedback

Jennifer Robertson
I’m gonna have that song in my head for weeks now.

Ton de Witte
All together : Gordon’s alive?! Very campy movie, Max von Sydow is deliciously over the top as Ming and the design of the movie is interesting. I will now dispatch war rocket Ajax to get me my dvd, far too long ago that I watched this movie. Not essential scifi viewing but a lot of fun.

Michael Simshauser
Why oh why didn’t more movies have a Queen soundtrack. I enjoyed it for what it was. An enjoyable piece of Pulp Sci-fi and really got a kick out of Seth McFarlane referencing it both in Family Guy and Ted.

Shawn Smalldridge
Hey boyos, it’s been awhile. Oh man oh man, Flash Gordon ahaha. As a kid way back when and even now I love this campy flick. I’m always amazed that it even got made, eight different directors tried their hand on this film and each and every one of left a portion of themselves in it. It’s not noted for anything great, it has crappy over acting, terrible set pieces with backdrop paintings that bring shame to low budget science fiction, but it has a great soundtrack and tons of fun. The movie is saved at the onset by knowing to not take itself seriously and to just glorify in it’s campiness. I mean how can you not help but love a movie who has a hero in it that wears a shirt with his name on it, and the reason why he does this. It is a shirt made for him by a fan and he wears it because in his mind it is a beautiful girl and he wants her to recognize that he is wearing the shirt so that they can hook up, BRILLIANT!

Balbinder Bhatia
Hello Again Esteemed Gentleman,

Flash Gordon is one of those films that though may not make any Top Ten Films list (unless it is a Top Ten Campy Science Fiction films with a flying Brian Blessed List), however it is still one of those films that if it is showing on TV I will stop and watch.

I am a British Expat living in Prague, and one of the things I love to do is have film nights over at my place, where I will cook for and then introduce my friends to films that they may not have seen or Even heard of, and as the Czech Republic was behind the Iron Curtain, there are a lot of films that they missed out on. Anyway I digress, A couple of years ago I showed Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure and Flash Gordon. Both Films went down a storm, with the evening ending with an international group (some of who where a bit tipsy) singing at the top of their lungs Flash! (ah aaaa)

This film is a great reminder that Science fiction can be fun and joyful.

And the kickass Soundtrack doesn’t hurt either.

Brian Campbell
As a post-Star Wars teenage boy, I remember HATING this movie! The only things that kept me in the cinema were the facts that it was a one show cinema (yes this is horse & carriage days), AND the hormonal effects that Princess Aura and Dale had on this teenager. I had yet to develop my appreciation for high “camp” which this movie achieves effortlessly. Were the gaudy outfits, the cheesy dialogue, and amateurish special effects meant to be so campy? Apparently, that’s what De Laurentiis and Hodges were shooting for. That being said, as much as I didn’t like Flash Gordon in 1980, I absolutely love watching the film now, as an adult. Its sometimes unintentional humor and gaudiness are, to me, captivating. And the acting? What happens when you mix thespians like Max von Sydow, Topol, and Timothy Dalton with Playgirl centerfold, Sam J Jones? Um, lots o’ fun is what you get! Is it must-see? Anyone who says “no” should be strapped into a chair and given the Clockwork Orange treatment with this movie until they loudly proclaim that “Gordon’s alive”. Now, if you’ll excuse me gentlemen…HAWK-MEN, DIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

Jason Langlois
I Love this film. Showed it to my 10 year old and he thought it was silly and okay, but probably cooler “when you were a kid, Dad”. He immediately identified Dale Arden as “the girl” (“She’s just there so Flash has a love interest.”), and thought Brian Blessed was pretty funny.

Feedback on ‘The Matrix Revolutions’

Nick Jensen
The first movie is definitely required sci-fi viewing, the rest of the trilogy is not required viewing at all. Loved the first movie and it is still really rewatchable. I own Reloaded but definitely not even close to the first movie, some good scenes but even the effects are worse and the series goes downhill quick. Don’t own Revolutions, only seen it a couple times and I feel no urge to see it again. I own the Animatrix and I think that is better than Reloaded and Revolutions. Should’ve stopped after the first movie, the sequels really bring the series down. The Wachowskis seem to be a one-hit wonder in my mind. Bound was a pretty good movie but was sort of a proof of concept to show studios they could handle a big movie, Matrix is amazing and their one truly good movie. The films to follow were really disappointing: Reloaded, Revolutions, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending. None of these movies are very good, too bad when they started out so strong.

Josh Adams
I love the second film so much though. I tried to defend it on our show; not sure I convinced anyone.
Josh has a website called The Film Fan Perspective.

Michael Simshauser
Totally with you guys on this. Have not watched another Wachowskis movie since this one. And with the naming convention. So we have Reloaded, Revolutions and if you get the making of for the first movie, Revisited. Confusing much ? Great show though, looking forward to Flash now.

From The MailBag:

Hi,
This is Paul Dudley from Melbourne, Australia. I am enjoying listening to your podcasts, I only discovered them a few weeks ago so I am gradually getting through them and listening to those podcasts for movies that interest me. I suggest that you add to your list the criminally underrated and overlooked Predestination from 2014 starring Ethan Hawke, and also if you consider Gravity to be sci-fi then you should add that to your list as well.

Regarding Batman

Hello guys,
My name is Odysseus Bailer and I am a late comer to your podcast and you guys are thoroughly enjoyable to listen too, and your sci-if knowledge is frabjous (meaning; wonderful, elegant and superb). I’m glad I started listening to you guys. AND…AND…I laugh when I hear the Canadian accents…eh!😀. I’m an American living in NYC

Ok now the pleasantry out of the way, I can’t believe you guys liked the third batman movie. Now, let me preface by saying out of all the DC characters I love Batman the best. I grew up watching the animated series and read a lot if the comic books, and played a the recent video games and anxiously waiting for the new one to drop this year. So seeing the third batman broke my heart. And I felt Chris Nolan have a big fuck you to all batman fanboys all Over the world.

Now here are my reasons why I didn’t like the third movie. 1.) Eff’ing…BAINE!!! There are over 5 million Latino/Hispanic people living on this planet and you’re telling that not ONE Latino person could play Baine. If there was never a Baine character on any batman universe and Chris Nolan wanted to introduce a whole new character and came up with this character, then that’s fine. But Baine is a character that is already established in the batman universe, and to pick an actor that wanted everybody to know that he has proper acting training from some British school. I know you guys liked his voice, but I couldn’t stand it because I couldn’t understand what he was saying half the damn time.

2.) CAT WOMAN: GGGRRRR!!! She was a complete waste of freaking space. She served no purpose. Ok, let’s look at what she did. She tries to steal Bruce’s mothers necklace, she pretty much sets up batman to almost get killed by Baine in the sewer system (now I part of this blame on batman, because she did somewhat warn batman of Baines’ brutal side). She turns her back on the city (after she says, nobody is gonna run out of my city, or something to that effect), just to have a change of heart right when she gets to the exit. I didn’t feel anything for the character, and a complete waste of space.

3.) It hurts me to say this but…BATMAN!!! Ok what is batman known for?, anyone…anyone.. Bueller? His detective skills and prowess. Why on gods green earth would batman, go into a situation with Baine the first time in the sewer and not at least have 2-3 backup options in case he need to get out and almost gets killed by Baine. Why in the hell is he trusting Selena Kyle. She almost stole from, she sends him down to his death with Baine, and then she turns her back in the city, and after all of that he still trusts her. Who in their right mind would trust anybody after all of those situation.

Misc: 1.) how they introduce “Robin” was just plain stupid at the end of the movie. 2.) Alfred would never, ever, ever…leave Bruce Wayne. Yes Alfred warns Bruce on a multitude of times to take it easy with his activities but he would never walk out on him. 3.) the forced romantic interest between cat woman and batman before he goes off with the nuclear bomb that took FFFOOORRREEEVVVEEERRR…to deteriorate and explode was a joke 4.) how in the hell did Bruce Wayne get for the cave prison to Gotham city that is on lock down, to his home and then light a huge freakin bat symbol made out of fire, without anyone noticing. Really how in the hell did he do this? When he got out of the cave there was no time reference.

Ok I need to stop, but I couldn’t stand this third installment of the batman trilogy. I love…loved the the first two and this was a huge letdown for me. Thank you guys for all of your work, and I truly do enjoy the playful banter.

Thanks & Regards
Paul

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Sci Fi Movie Podcast Flash Gordon