All posts by Danny Horn

About Danny Horn

Product Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation. I write a daily blog, Dark Shadows Every Day, about the 1960s vampire soap opera. Founder of Muppet Wiki and Tough Pigs, a Muppet fansite.

Episode 9: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

So here’s a thing you don’t do: make a movie that gets 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, and then make a sequel that assumes that we adore the characters. But 20th Century Fox is not always adept at reading the room.

So the 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer begins with a full half-hour of preparations for the painfully traditional wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, two characters who we have not and do not intend to grow to love. Once that’s out of the way, everbody gets upset about the Silver Surfer, a galactic herald who flies around digging inexplicable holes, and not actually telling anybody what it is that he’s supposed to be heralding.

It’s a difficult movie to get your head around, so luckily I’ve got Becca Petunia of the blog The Daily Fantastic and the Muppet quiz show podcast Hubba-Wha?! to help me make sense of it. We discuss Chris Evans’ destiny, what the film is trying to do with Doctor Doom, and whether the ancient Israelites went surfing, among many other fascinating conundrums.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

Continue reading Episode 9: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Episode 8: Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not what it once was. The mighty Marvel method — punch-em-up Pixar movies with hot people — is not crowd-pleasing the way it used to. Second-weekend dropoffs are increasing, action figures are piling up on the pegs, and internet naysayers smell blood in the water.

On this week’s podcast, Ryan Steans of the Signal Watch and I diagnose the problem: it’s Jeff Loveness’ fault! Armed with an interview with the Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania scriptwriter, we dig into the movie’s many fatal flaws, including: why Kang the Conqueror doesn’t understand what conquering is, why Loveness doesn’t understand what socialism is, and why you didn’t actually like the probability storm scene.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

Continue reading Episode 8: Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania

Episode 7: Morbius

Initiate lockdown! This week, Dark Shadows audio producer Joe Lidster joins me on the podcast to talk about the 2021 vampire superhero blockbuster disaster Morbius, the movie that dares to tell the truth about modern vampire science.

Morbius is a tense and unsatisfying movie about a Nobel Prize-denying doctor with an unnamed incurable blood disease, who injects himself with vampire bat DNA and then spends the rest of the movie worrying about it.

This is Joe’s first taste of modern superhero movies, and it does not go down well at all. It is an utterly baffling, underwritten mess of a movie that asks the question: How many fatal flaws can one motion picture have?

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

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Episode 6: Eternals

Long, long ago, a group of clueless, beautiful rich people came to our planet for an extended visit, to screw up our history and take credit for stuff that we invented. Or at least, that’s what they say in the 2022 MCU macrodisaster Eternals, which squandered Marvel’s social capital with too many characters and not enough sense.

On the podcast this week, guest Trevor Bolliger and I dig into the story of what the hell happened, starting with Jack Kirby’s cosmic failures and the white supremacist ideology behind the premise of the film. And it gets even more fun from there!

Join us as we talk about Kit Harington and his tragically small role, why Arishem and Ajak are terrible managers, and which Eternals we wish we could cut from the movie.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

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Episode 5: Hulk

Podcast friends: I’ve got a great new episode for you this week, as Ryan Steans from the Signal Watch returns to discuss Hulk, the 2003 Ang Lee/Eric Bana film about how hard it is to blow up frogs for a living. The film is entirely populated by furious people, and in this episode, you’ll see what kind of effect that has on our personal outlooks.

You don’t have to actually watch Hulk in order to enjoy the podcast episode, and in fact it might work out better for you to avoid it. We walk through the movie and give you all the context you need to appreciate this absolutely terrible and unintentionally amusing mess of a movie.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

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102.1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: Violence, Feelings and Pop Music

So here we are, at the end of an actual era. The big current-events story that I’ve been tracking for a while now is the transition of James Gunn from the writer and director of some of the best Marvel movies, to a role that’s probably going to end up as the writer and producer of all the best DC movies.

James Gunn wasn’t the first writer to make a really good Marvel movie — in my opinion, that was Joss Whedon, in 2012’s The Avengers — but he was the first one who showed that you could do it as a stand-alone film.

If you look at the movies that came after The AvengersThor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier — you can see that Joss Whedon’s work on the first Avengers film didn’t have much of an impact on the rest of the line.

It took Gunn writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 for everybody at Marvel Studios to say, “oh, that’s how you do it!” and start making better films. Basically, the formula is: turn the lights up, create funny characters with interesting backstories, give the lead characters an emotional story arc that drives the action, be visually inventive, and above all, make it fun. In other words: make a Pixar movie.

Continue reading 102.1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: Violence, Feelings and Pop Music

Episode 4: Batman Forever

Ah, I remember the good old days, when the tail wagged the dog so hard it had to go and get a spare dog.

This week on the podcast, Ryan Roe from the Muppet movie podcast Movin’ Right Along joins me to discuss Batman Forever, the 1995 film that set new standards for movie merchandising. We talk about the stars of the film — McDonalds and Kenner Toys — and also, to some extent, the actual movie.

Batman Forever features an unforgettable Jim Carrey as not-quite-the-Riddler and a shouty Tommy Lee Jones as not-really-Two-Face, and involves no actual crime-fighting on Batman’s part. I thought that stories were supposed to feel perfect and powerful, but this turns out to be the other kind.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

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Episode 3: Steel

“First of all,” my guest says, already backpedaling two minutes into the episode, “I didn’t know that your intro was going to say ‘pivotal moments in the history of superhero movies.'”

But you take your pivots where you find them, and in this week’s episode of the Superheroes Every Day podcast, that means Steel, the 1997 Shaquille O’Neal epic that uses a spinoff character from the Superman comics to create something beautiful and utterly goofy.

My guest this week is Anthony Strand from the Muppet movie podcast Movin’ Right Along, and Steel is, non-credibly, one of his favorite movies. We dive head-first into the beautiful mess of this movie, talking about jargon generation, incompetent crime decisions, our new gang program, and the trouble with having a romantic story in which the two lead characters can only touch each other by their fingertips.

This is a high-energy episode with lots of enthusiastic recreations of the movie’s terrible dialogue, which need to be heard to be believed.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Come check it out!

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Episode 2: X-Men: First Class

You know, things were a lot easier, back when you could tell whether someone was a Nazi or not a Nazi. Then X-Men: First Class came along, and all of a sudden, everything was on the table.

Luckily, this week, Trevor Bolliger and I dissect First Class, the 2011 violent rom-com about doomed romance on the high seas, and we try to make sense of this thrilling and utterly bizarre reboot.

We discuss Nazi coins, nuclear missiles, and most importantly: What is happening with women in this movie?

To make things easier for you, the podcast episodes are split into three parts according to the Syd Field three-act structure, and released separately over the course of the week. The episodes are fast, funny and full of surprises, and if you haven’t tried it yet, then my prediction is that you’ll love it.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and lots of other places. Welcome to my facility!

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New podcast! Episode 1: Man of Steel

You know, you hear about superhero movie fatigue, but nobody ever gets superhero movie podcast fatigue, right? Impossible!

So I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Superheroes Every Day podcast, a weekly endeavour discussing pivotal moments in superhero movie history (mostly the terrible ones).

The first episode is about Man of Steel, the 2013 Zack Snyder / Henry Cavill reboot which landed on our planet and made everything worse. My guest is Ryan Steans from the Signal Watch podcast, and we have a funny and insightful discussion about how hot Henry Cavill is, how much Krypton sucks, why we shouldn’t have the concept of “cool” anymore, and why people are not actually afraid of things that we don’t understand.

For your listening convenience, the episodes are split into three parts according to Syd Field’s three-act structure, and released on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The podcast is currently available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, Overcast, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and YouTube!

Continue reading New podcast! Episode 1: Man of Steel