Monday, May 5, 2014

Live Goods: Humans From Earth Podcast w/ Joe and Anthony Russo

The latest endeavor from Nerdist and former L.A. Times and Entertainment Weekly writer Geoff Boucher is Humans from Earth, a monthly movie screening and podcast series.  The inaugural event was a showing of Slither with director James Gunn appearing after for Q&A.  Slither is a great horror-comedy flick about alien slugs that attack a small town but made little impact upon release in 2006.  You'll probably be more familiar with his work after this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy hits screens in August care of Marvel and Disney.

Humans From Earth is one of Nerdist's latest podcasts.  At WonderCon, Chris Hardwick mentioned they were going from 26 current programs to something like 50.  Taking place in the cozy Spielberg theatre inside the Egyptian theatre, writer/actor/director Jon Favreau kicked off the podcast series and ran 20 minutes late into Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo's slot.  Being their first time out, the show has some kinks to work out such as the online ticket sales not working, the guest line up not being announced until the day before, our session started late but then ended on time thus cutting 20 minutes out of the advertised 60 minutes and so on.

It felt a little like Howard Stern as you had the guests, host, a kid reciting the birth and death dates of actors and a co-host on the side chiming in.  Boucher informed us he at one time had 14,000 comic books in his collection and handed a few out to audience members.  I can't recall which Russo brother was the bigger comic book fan as a kid but never loved Captain America.  He mentioned having to picture Steve McQueen as the Star-Spangled Avenger in his head in order to give the character more machismo and less straight laced Boy Scout earnestness.  It was an interesting choice as 70's Cap is of course the personification of Robert Reford because even though Steve Rogers has been through a lot like losing both parents at a young age, growing up during the Depression, being sickly, rejected from the Army then becoming Cap through a crazy science experiment, watching his partner get blowed up by a booby trapped rocket hatch, going into suspended animation and being revived in an era not his own...I don't think the character lets that weigh on him in an obvious sense.  His eyes are still wide and his mind open because he can deal with his issues on an internal, brooding level, not externally obvious like McQueen's chip on his shoulder.

Beyond that, there were some tidbits about Easter Eggs in the movie as the Brothers believe it's better to have them than not.  Their prop team is responsible for most, such as the jar of Newman's own pasta sauce in Redford's refrigerator.  The comic loving Russo cited The Winter Soldier run of comics as it's Dark Knight era and how important Frank Miller's work was to him in the 80's.  It was a fun 40 minutes and would definitely attend again if the guest list piqued interest.  Boucher invited the audience to stay for the next podcast featuring Fanboys director Kyle Newman but we were off to Glendale to see Bob Peak and Drew Struzan's movie poster exhibit!

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