Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

ANCC: TV Revivals: A New Trend?

This week, Jennifer and Nick talk about the relatively recent trend of TV Revivals.  Where did they come from?  Are they here to stay?  Which ones make sense and which others are odd?  Are they even worth it?  And what is Netflix’s (partial) role in it?  Or does it have one?  Lots to talk about!

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image.

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ANCC: Election Special! – Favorite Fictional Presidents

In honor of the upcoming US Presidential Election, Nick, the Gorehound, and Jenn talk about their favorite fictional presidents!  From TV to movies, they have 11 to discuss!  Who would they vote for?  Who would they not want as president?  Find out in this episode!  Plus, get ready for a super-surprise guest host!

To listen to the episode, click here on on the image below!

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ANCC: Donnie Darko

Check out the newest edition of the All-New Culture Cast, Halloween-style! Join the Gorehound, Nick, and Jenn as they discuss a Halloween favorite, Donnie Darko.

To listen to the episode, click here or the image.

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ANCC: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Nick is back and he joins the Gorehound and Jennifer to talk about a classic comedy movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn, George “Hannibal Smith” Peppard, and Orangey the cat as “Cat”!  Check out what they have to say about this unforgettable film from the 1960s.

Also, due to Jenn’s request, this article: What the Posters in Your First Apartment Say About You

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image!

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Also, be sure to check out Nick’s review of Breakfast at Tiffany’s here!

What Went Wrong?: Vol. Whatever – The Love Guru

Mike Myers has long been considered an egomaniacal nightmare in Hollywood, but the success of both the Austin Powers and Shrek franchises largely allowed him to run roughshod all over Hollywood for the better part of a decade. Because his films brought in big box office receipts, Myers’ self-indulgent ego went completely and utterly unchecked. Even his relative box office misses, 2003’s The Cat in the Hat for example, still somehow made money. This all changed in 2008 when Myers’ notorious The Love Guru not only bombed spectacularly, but also drew some of the most dire reviews of any major theatrical release ever. So what exactly went wrong?

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Let’s start by going back to 1992 for a moment. In the winter of 1992, Wayne’s World (Myers’ first starring role), shocked box office pundits, grossing over a hundred million dollars domestically. The film, based off of a Saturday Night Live sketch, was also met with enthusiastic reviews and is still funny today, almost 25 years later (I re-watch it about once a year and feel it’s one of the best comedies of the 90s). The film was a resounding success for Paramount, beginning a long and mostly successful relationship between Myers and the film studio. However, behind the scenes Myers was considered a nightmare, so much so that the film’s director, Penelope Spheeris, did not direct the sequel, Wayne’s World 2.

Speaking of Wayne’s World 2, that Stephen Surjik (who?)-directed sequel grossed less than half the original film despite its placement as a big Christmas season would-be blockbuster. Though I (mostly) like Wayne’s World 2, it’s hard to argue that it’s as good as the first (because it isn’t). It was met with lower critical reviews and audience disinterest. The film, released in 1993, would be Myers last big theatrical-starring release until four years when the first Austin Powers movie came out. That film, shot on a budget of about 16 million dollars, turned a modest profit at the box office but immediately caught on with home video, becoming a significant cult crossover hit.

The post-theatrical success of the first Austin Powers movie was so enormous that it led to Austin Powers 2 grossing a whopping 300 million dollars worldwide, becoming one of the biggest hits of 1999. Back on top of the world, Myers gained even more prominence voicing the title character in the Shrek series of films, beginning in 2001. The four theatrically released Shrek films have grossed over one billion dollars in the United States alone. A third Austin Powers film grossed over 200 million stateside despite mediocre reviews, becoming another significant hit for Myers back in 2002. Shrek 2 became one of the biggest animated hits ever in 2004, but the cracks began to show in 2007 with the release of the third film in the franchise.

Though it grossed a healthy amount upon release in 2007, it was almost universally disliked (and failed to build off the success of part two). Franchise fatigue had set it, as it had with Wayne’s World and the Austin Powers films. Additionally, Myers had a falling out with Universal Studios over a proposed “Dieter” film. Based on a recurring character from Saturday Night Live sketches in the early 90s (where have we seen this before?), the Dieter film was expected to be the next Austin Powers-type franchise. A script disagreement between Myers (who helped pen the script, it should be noted) and Universal execs led to a lawsuit, the results of which are fascinating and easily Googled. I suggest checking it out. The Dieter lawsuit began around 2000 but followed Myers for years afterwards, contributing to the perception that he was a perfectionist at best and an egomaniac at worst.

Whatever made Myers rescind the Dieter contracts obviously didn’t stop him from making The Love Guru, however. The critically derided Love Guru (14% on Rotten Tomatoes), released in the summer of 2008, became Myers biggest and most notorious flop. For a guy who had only had two significant career flops (Wayne’s World 2 and The Cat in the Hat, the former of which was still a good movie and the latter of which still made money), the failure of The Love Guru hurt Myers so badly that he essentially took refuge in Shep Gordon’s famed Hollywood famous person retreat in Hawaii. Myers has not starred in a comedy film since, opting to appear in minor roles for mainstream directors like Quentin Tarantino or make documentary films instead. Myers has admitted publicly that the failure of The Love Guru caused him to spiral into depression, which is honestly something I hope he received professional help for.

It wasn’t that The Love Guru was just a bad movie that makes it a significant What the fuck? in Hollywood history – it’s that it is considered one of the worst movies of all time. Littered with product placement (Hotdog on a Stick, Cinnabun), celebrity worship/cameos, and all of the stuff Myers finds personally interesting (pseudo-Hindu mysticism, Maple Leafs hockey, Canada in general), The Love Guru isn’t just any old commercially released comedy film. It’s a passion project meets a big Hollywood studio release that cost millions of dollars, lost millions of dollars, and ended up appealing to no one except for the egomaniacal person at the center of the production – in this case, Mike Myers. The Love Guru was such a failure that it killed Myers’ career as a leading comedy film actor. He hasn’t appeared in a leading role since.

-Z-

ANCC: Bridget Jones

Check out the newest edition of the All-New Culture Cast! Still a trio but this is the first episode sans Nick as he is venturing the hills of Ireland in search of hidden sources of culture. Join the Gorehound, Jenn, and Thor in an incredibly off-topic podcast but an adventure nonetheless!

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image!

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ANCC: The Blair Witch Project

Not only is it’s the All-New Culture Cast’s first anniversary, but we also kick off the Halloween Season with a big discussion over the modern-classic horror movie The Blair Witch Project!   Does this movie hold up?  Does it make sense?  Does it give viewers “chills to the core”?  The All-New trio discuss!   Also, they lightly talk the new Blair Witch movie!

Also, we welcome a special guest, Thor from Thor’s Hour of Thunder!  You can check out his podcast here.

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image below!

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ANCC: Favorite Disney Movies

The trio are back to talk about their favorite Disney animated movies!  Which ones make the cut?  And what do they consider a Disney movie (spoiler: pretty much anything that Disney has its hands in).

Also in this episode, Mark Ruffalo.

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image!

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ANCC: The Book of Mormon

The All-New Trio (is that their nick-name, now?) get classy and go to the theatre to discuss the award-winning The Book of Mormon (from the creators of South Park)!  What did they think of this future classic musical?  Check out this episode to find out!

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image!

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ANCC: The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films

Labor Day Special (but not really)!  The Gorehound, Jenn, and Nick talk the top 100 movies of the 21st century as determined by the BBC article aptly titled “The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films”. Listen as they discuss the best, the worst, and the oddities found on this article that has been floating around the internet as of late.

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image below.

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