January 22, 2021
Well, first things first: we're sorry to have left all of you hanging. But as you all know, it aint over until the fat lady sings and we've been dealing out dieting recipes.
This is our bon bons of the past year: that is, the best stuff from the movies we watched for Pod Hard in 2020.
We list, among many things, best geezer alert, best taken aback-moments, best doll-action, best chase scenes, best camera techniques, best all around stunts and best douchebag behaviour from the hero.
Thanks for listening!
August 14, 2020
Yeehaw! Pod Hard is finally trampling all over the western genre and starts off in the best possible way - by watching one of the all-time greats, John Ford's Stagecoach.
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist are instantly smitten with the iconic stock characters that share a ride through Apache territory in 1880 and applaud Ford for his flawless tension building. Orson Welles saw Stagecoach 40 times before directing Citizen Kane. This film was his film school!
John Wayne is the original Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Meek plays his own name, Monumental Valley is all that and legendary stunt man and stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt is showing off.
Stagecoach is Michael Curtiz-approved, geezer-approved and Pod Hard-approved.
"Well, I guess you can't break out of prison and into society in the same week."
August 6, 2020
Pod Hard is back... with another swashbuckler?
Well, yes. But don't worry - The Prisoner of Zenda absolutely nails a key aspect of action films: the banter. The swordplay is okay at best, but the relentless and poisonous banter between Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr is simply tops.
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist discuss slippery handshakes, the opposite of baby skinned David Niven, how to hold a cigarette like a nazi officer, elevator gazes, the framing of castles and a geezer going down on his own mustache.
Kick yourself in the garden and get back in.
"Touché, Rassendyll! I cannot get used to fighting furniture - where did you learn it?"
July 23, 2020
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist celebrate the twentieth episode of English speaking Pod Hard with a swashbuckler-special! Three adventure movies directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn are on the menu today.
To help seal the deal the Pod Hard-duo is accompanied by their first guest: Alex Rallo, better known as the enigmatic and all-knowing action connoisseur @HeadExposure on Twitter.
Alex is a die hard fan of swashbucklers and brings class, wit and analytical prowess to the proceedings. Needless to say, Jonas and Anders are relieved to finally be joined by a smart person.
The tantalizing threesome discuss mighty naval battles, the sounds of arrows, fencing shadows, people falling like fruit from trees, how to capture several levels of action in one shot and the tumultuous relationship between Curtiz and Flynn.
And of course, a big shout out to Olivia de Havilland, now 104 years young!
"We'll board a ship that's not sinking!"
Captain Blood (1935)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
The Sea Hawk (1940)
July 15, 2020
Another musical? Has Pod Hard lost track of it's purpose, to investigate the evolution of the action genre and... oh wait, Fred Astaire is machine gunning down his entire entourage of background dancers while tap dancing the sound of the bullets? Carry on.
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch Top Hat, the perhaps best of the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers-pairing, and are once again energized by a zany musical with great character actors, funny dialogue and amazing dance numbers.
The dynamic pod-duo discuss the dynamic dance-duo, compare Astaire to Jackie Chan, salut Rogers finishing touches, hails the bug eyed butler, are skeptical to the mansplaining of nature phenomenons, enjoy the small klink of two glasses and give praise to where it's at - to Edward Everett Horton, the Fred Astaire of taken aback-reactions.
"Oh, some more of these plural personalities."
July 8, 2020
Some say he's the best director of all time - but can he handle oneliners, epic brawls and gun ballets like a McTiernan or a Woo?
Yes and no.
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist face off with their first Alfred Hitchcock-film in their ongoing quest through action movie history: The Man Who Knew Too Much.
And while it certainly isn't one of the best flicks signed by the Master of Suspense it does have an absolutely fabulous scene where Leslie Banks is throwing chairs at villains while an old lady with a gun is playing the organ.
Hitchcock is bebopping and scatting all over the place with his ideas. A knitting is wrapped around a pletora of foxtrot dancers, Leslie Banks & Hugh Wakefield psalm-sings their suspicions of certain characters during a sermon, taken aback-reactions are complemented by toy trains, Peter Lorre upstages all the British actors despite not knowing English and Edna Best saves the day with her sharpshooting skills!
"This is a scrap, not a smoking concert."
July 4, 2020
Film noir was "invented" in America in the 40s right? Well, it all depends on how you wanna define it. Some say the German Expressionism of the 20s was film noir in a sense, but one thing is for sure: Tomu Uchida's Keisatsukan (Police Man) is film noir.
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch a movie of two halves: the first a pedestrian insight into life as a police man in Japan during the 30s, the second a descent into sleuth territory. Isamu Kosugi's cop turns into Humphrey Bogart stalking his prey in alleyway after alleyway, conning his suspect to unknowingly hand over evidence and donning a trenchcoat and Stetson hat for style.
But the real star of the show is the camera man. Soîchi Aisaka pulls out every trick from the tool box: whip pans, focus pulls, trolley rides. And when the climactic ending arrives we are treated to some amazing searchlight action!
"Do you ever recall von Hardenberg?"
June 26, 2020
Time to unleash the legs of Jimmy Cagney!
Pod Hard-cicerons Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch their first musical in their ongoing quest through action film history and are utterly mesmerized by the insanity that is Footlight Parade.
Cagney plays a theater director who start making prologues, small live musical numbers set before movies in cinemas. Everybody involved in the productions are fast-talking on a Groucho Marx- or Katharine Hepburn-level and zingers, comebacks and sexual innuendos flood the screen in a matter of seconds!
The musical numbers, directed by theatre legend Busby Berkeley, is the epitome of old Hollywood with beautiful women swimming in elaborate patterns (like the mobile game Snake), suave guys and gals tap-dancing on bardisks and cute cats inspiring crazy ass ideas.
One thing's for sure: this is one pervy movie!
"Outside, countess. As long as they've got sidewalks YOU'VE got a job."
June 15, 2020
It's time to pull out the big guns - in the form of one big-ass ape hell-bound for destruction!
This week Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch one of the all-time classics: King Kong. The special effects may be a bit dated in some regards, but for the most part they hold up surprisingly well - as does the ingenius sound design.
The main monkey is showing off a lot of emotions and nuanced character traits. Kong is idly checking out dead bodies, wrestles a T-Rex with the pizzazz of a showman, pulls out his Peeping Tom when window shopping in New York and goes full drama queen at the very end.
"It was beauty killed the beast."
June 6, 2020
Once upon a time, in the early 30s, gangster movies were all the rage. Tommy guns, the Chicago skyline and prohibition speakeasies filled the big screen as hardboiled men treated the world as their own personal oyster.
In much the same vein Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist share their opinions on Scarface, the perhaps most "dangerous" of the early gangster movies. Paul Muni excels as the titular hoodlum in a performance that combines the mannerisms of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld and the Italian American-schtick of Chico Marx.
Director Howard Hawks shows his dick, people are ducking bullets for real, a secretary pulls a gun on a telephone, The Penguin plays a police chief, cigars the size of logs are being chewed and people say things like "Say, what's the big idea".
Oh, and there's no music. No music! At all! Jonas & Anders are enthralled.
"I'm all hollow inside."