Superhero Podcast Review: Hero Movie Podcast
This is the first in a series that I’ve been considering doing for a while now. I tend to listen to quite a few podcasts including several movie podcasts that specifically focus on superhero or comic book movies. You know, kind of like this site. I’ll be starting off with podcasts that I have listened to, and as I run out of those, I’ll be expanding to other new podcasts that I discover, or if anyone would like to submit a podcast for me to review – either from a listener or a podcaster, just leave a comment, tag me on Twitter or send me an e-mail at Bubbawheat@msn.com. I will be giving my thoughts based on my personal preference, but will also try to break down the podcast based on several different categories so that you may be able to determine if it is a podcast that you would be interested in as well.
Hero Movie Podcast
Episode count (as of 5/28/16): 106
Episodes listened to: 95+
Release schedule: Weekly, typically on Mondays
Episode Length: 1:00 – 1:45
Audio Quality: Clear, with rare Skype glitches.
Language rating: generally PG, PG-13 at worst
Production format: A single conversation with opening & closing music cues and a single trailer.
Each episode the three friends: Adam, Bruce, and Sean pick a superhero movie and review it in full. There’s about 5-10 minutes in the beginning that covers random small talk, iTunes reviews, and whatever else may be going on. There’s a short section, prepared and read by Bruce that covers some aspect of how the film relates to comic books, often it’s just background of the comic itself when it comes to single, direct adaptations, other times when it’s a movie in a long running series like Batman or Superman he will focus on either one of the other characters or some aspect of the story. The majority of the run time is dedicated to going through the entire movie, often attempting to go through the plot beat-by-beat though they are often sidetracked by tangents focused on some overall aspect of the film. You can tell by listening that the three of them are friends in real life, even though they often talk over Skype, the flow of the discussion is very conversational and has a nice flow between devolving into a funny tangent onto the details of a fictional character to enter into the Leslieverse along with the likes of Li’l Steel and talking about much more critical aspects of the plot or cinematography of the film. The episodes wrap up with their patented Robin Rating system which is essentially a letter grade with a few opportunities to get creative and a fun bit where Sean weaves a tale about how the film is connected to Sylvester Stallone, usually through a common crew member but it’s more entertaining than it sounds.
Comics vs Movies vs TV
All three of the hosts are comic book fans and it shows. With many of the movies, at least one of the hosts will have some familiarity with the original comic and in some cases it will have been one of their favorites. But make no mistake, this is a podcast about the movies. While comics talk will come into play here and there, the main focus is on what works or doesn’t work for the movie itself, rather than just spending time talking about the differences between the comic and the movie. It will play some role in the discussion, but it’s typically just a small role. And the movies covered cross the entire spectrum in a similar way that this site does, while they haven’t quite covered some of the depths of obscurity that I have come across, they are willing to check out some of the TV and straight to video movies like the 70’s Dr. Strange, the 90’s Nick Fury, and even the Power Pack pilot. They also hit every major theatrical release the weekend that it comes out, but there’s a wide variety for them to cover on the other 42 weeks in the year. They also cover some of the non-superhero comic book movies like Road to Perdition and superhero movies that weren’t based on comics like Darkman. And while the title of their podcast is “Hero Movie Podcast”, they do spend a few episodes here and there to discuss one of the many Marvel and DC TV shows a few episodes at a time, including the Netflix series.
This was one of the first superhero movie podcasts that I found after I started doing Filmwhys. I started listening to the show around the 3rd or 4th episode and have been listening almost every week ever since. Typically the only episodes that I avoid are the TV episodes on the shows that I’m not watching and some of the new release episodes because every podcast will cover those films and I can only listen to so much discussion on a single movie. Two of the three hosts have also guested on my own show, and I never asked Sean just because he seems like the busiest of the three, and Bruce also spent quite some time writing about Batman: Brave and the Bold for my sister site Channel: Superhero before getting too busy with his own multiple podcast empire. And I will take a page out of the first site where I saw a written podcast review, Bill’s Movie Emporium (who is on an extended blogging hiatus currently, but has reviewed tons of movie podcasts in his archives) and rate the podcasts on a simple pass/fail: whether or not they convinced me to subscribe to them. And remember, this will often be based on my personal tastes which is why I have this longform written review so you can make your own judgement on whether or not the show will be a good fit for you.