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Biopics (Mostly) Suck Podcast

Biopics (Mostly) Suck Podcast

Author: Tol House Productions

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A twice-monthly conversational podcast that meets at the intersection of pop culture, film, literature and doing the right thing. You can find it on all platforms with new episodes released the first and third Thursday of each month. Contact us at biopicsmostlysuck.com/contact
19 Episodes
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One of my favorite films that few people have heard of is this achingly beautiful story about a man who studies wolves in the arctic. The themes are complex, the actors are brilliant, and the film is unique in its depiction of man and nature. ​ While this movie is based on the book that is based on a true story by Farley Mowat, how true is that true story? How do you grade a movie when the true story it is based on is less than truthful? Who determines what a natural resource is? Why doesn't John like this movie and why do he and Dawn have an aversion to nature?
The Beats. Iconoclastic representations of freedom. Romanticized. Criticized. Eulogized. But, what did it mean to be a Beat? "Howl" does not tell you because it is a biography of a poem. A poem that exercised the freedom of spoken word and thought. A poem that reinforced that same freedom as the subject of an obscenity trial. A poem that has spoken to people for nearly sixty years. ​This is our two-part examination of a film. "Howl" While seemingly simple due to its scripts written from transcripts, bears some examination to set the context for the time period in which it exists. John Helix sets that context for us in Part One as we talk about the movie. In Part Two, we will examine the facts and compare them to the film.
The Beats. Iconoclastic representations of freedom. Romanticized. Criticized. Eulogized. But, what did it mean to be a Beat?  ​ "Howl" does not tell you because it is a biography of a poem. A poem that exercised the freedom of spoken word and thought. A poem that reinforced that same freedom as the subject of an obscenity trial. A poem that has spoken to people for nearly sixty years. ​ This is our two-part examination of a film. "Howl" While seemingly simple due to its scripts written from transcripts, bears some examination to set the context for the time period in which it exists. John Helix sets that context for us in Part One as we talk about the movie. In Part Two, we will examine the facts and compare them to the film.
What do you know about "Norma Rae"? I mean, aside from the five second clip which is shown at the Oscars every year of Sally Field standing on top​ of a table holding a sign that says "UNION". Did you know she was a real person? Did you know that the movie helped union efforts in the United States (briefly) before Ronald Reagan came into office? If you are reading this on Labor Day, did you know that unions are the reason you likely have today off? There are so many questions. Thankfully, myself, Dawn and our friend and union organizer Lolita are hear to provide the answers.
What happens when you plan a great episode and forget to hit the record button? You end up with no episodes to release and a date coming up quick. What to do, what to do. I know! Let's do a personal journey episode. If I ever use the term "influencer" please put me out of my misery.​
What happens when a ​true story about corporate greed and mental illness become a comedic film? The answer is a lot of great things. But, what happens when you talk about what really happened? It turns out that it is not as funny anymore, and I think I ruined the film for John. Join us as we talk about the real story behind this movie based on a true story.
This is one of those movies which you are always told is great, but you never get around to seeing it. To tell you the truth, if it had not been for Lolita, I don't think I ever would have seen this film. And, I would have missed out on what is probably the biopic that sets the bar for all other biopics. Is it true to reality? Hint: We have never given an A grade before. ​
Did David Frost "get" Richard Nixon to apologize to the American people for Watergate? Was it a winner-take-all situation? How did checkbook journalism play into the Nixon/Frost Interviews. Rob is joined by John Helix and Dawn to talk about the true story behind "Frost/Nixon".​ Will they be nattaling nabobs of negativity. Oh, yeah. They will.
What happens when you don't come from the right stock?​ What happens when you aren't accepted? Do you rebel? Do you succeed? Do you whack a fellow skater on the knee? Maybe not. ​ "iTonya" is the brilliant movie about the life of Tonya Harding. The things that are true in this movie will surprise you, as will the amount of sympathy that comes gushing out for Tonya Harding. Yeah, we were surprised too. ​ I am fortunate to have as my guests, Dawn, Josh and Diana to discuss this amazing film about an incredibily talented staker.
What a surprise to see a piece of history that has never been brought to the forefront. "Hidden Figures" is an enjoyable, feel-good film, but does it provide the tribute the filmmakers intended? Listen as Rob and John talk about White Savior Trope and white privledge in an episode that is topical and timely. Boy, do we have a lot of work to do.
What happens when a writer becomes a public figure? How much of yourself should you have to give to the rest of the world, just because you wrote a book? Can you trust that a reporter will present the person you are? ​ These are the questions that David Foster Wallace wrestled with when his book, "Infinite Jest" became a bestseller. Rob, John and Dawn talk about these questions and more we find out the truth behind "The End Of The Tour".
Jake La  Motta was a monster. But is there a value to having monsters like him in our society? Rob will talk about that, and much more with his guest, musician John Helix. as we gain some insight into the mind of a boxer.
P.L. Travers was a fascinating and flawed woman who stood on her own. Walt Disney was a man who knew what he wanted, and he knew how to get it. Is "Saving Mr. Banks" the story of a woman who has a cathartic experience and comes to terms with issues with her father, or is it about a woman who is trying to protect her intellectual property? Mariam will join me to dissect the messages contained in "Saving Mr. Banks".​
Do grown men really play a game of tag? Do  they really break into each others' homes to tag each other. Do they let girls play?​ In the spirit of tag, John and Dawn will visit the podcast to talk about men playing a children's game and why Isla Fisher is inspiring and scary at the same time.​
Trailer - 2020

Trailer - 2020

2020-03-2801:01

New episodes of Biopics (Mostly) Suck will be escape on April 2nd. This should give you a good idea of what you are in for.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is the story of Freddie Mercury and the rock band Queen. How much of the true story is in this movie based on a true story? Join me and my friend, John Helix, San Diego area singer and songwriter, as we talk about the movie and the facts.
Chess Records in Chicago is influential in the world of rock and blues music. The artists that came out of this label include Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Etta James. ​ ​Chicagoland blues musician Joel Tarpinian joins me for this episode to talk about the music of Chess records, and why we really, really enjoy this film - despite its historical flaws.
Yes, another biopic about a British rock star in the 70's. And, it's a musical!. Join us as John Helix and I talk about the life of Elton John and how it compares to the movie, "Rocketman". We'll also find out why John won't see the movie. And. we discover the life of Long John Baldry. Who's that? Listen and find out.​
Jim Morrison. Poet. Rock Star. Icon.​ ​In Oliver Stone's movie, "The Doors", a version of Morrison is shown to us. Is this the real Jim? Are we really seeing Oliver? Rob and his guest, John Helix break down what is true and false in this movie about excess as they provide rarely heard details of Morrison's life and death.
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