BFG Podcast #111

‘Barbenheimer’ and actors on strike

Barbenheimer has arrived at last, a cultural moment more significant than anything we’ve experienced this decade, and BFG is ON IT.

Neal Pollack welcomes Josh Flanders and Sheri Flanders to talk about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Both Neal and Josh, while they enjoyed the movie, felt a bit like strangers in a strange land among the pink-wearing influencer audience in Barbie World. Sheri, on the other hand, is happy to finally see a very mainstream movie acknowledge the difficulties and contradictions of modern womanhood, while also being a fun take on the ironies and joys of a beloved childhood toy. No one faults the performances, the saturated color design, or Ken’s musical number at the end. All agree that the plot became a little convoluted in the second half, and there were several characters who just kind of dangled out there with nothing to do. But you can’t deny Barbie’s cultural power.

On a more serious note, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Stephen Garrett has seen it twice already, a significant outlay of time since Oppenheimer is three hours long. Neal and Stephen have nothing but praise for the movie’s morally nuanced portrayal of the creation of the atomic bomb, and though the McCarthy-era court intrigue could maybe have been a little shorter, you can’t really fault any performance or any choice that Nolan made. Less fun than Barbie, but also less ambiguous and controversial, despite its literally incendiary subject matter. Listen up as we dive deep into this atomic-age masterpiece.

Rob Kutner is also here to talk about serious matters of the moment: SAG-AFTRA joining the Writer’s Guild Strike. As all of Hollywood seethes with terrified outrage over the rise of AI, and just plain old-fashioned outrage at the greed of the big studio heads, Rob tries to keep his spirit up, and at least he got to meet one of his daughter’s favorite sitcom actors. Neal and Rob break down the issues facing Hollywood, which should be celebrating one of its biggest weekends ever, but instead is marching around treeless streets, begging for pennies.

It’s our Barbenheimer show! Enjoy!

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