May 26, 2020
Pod Hard bid The Roaring Twenties a fond farvel as we move into the 1930s. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist see their first sound film, the Howard Hughes-directed air battle-extravaganza that is Hell's Angels.
Sure, the story is a drag and the two male actors playing the leads give the adjective "wooden" a bad name but Jean Harlow virtually explodes on screen in her first starring role and the action, the action is flabbergastingly good!
We are treated to not only one, but TWO greatest-explosions-of-all-time, a zeppelin is shrouded in a ghostly vibe, the spectacular air battles are interlaced with funny reaction shots, a waiter does an excellent pratfall and faceplant some soup and the explosions explode.
Ladies and gentlemen - we have arrived at action cinema!
"I'm a shotgun you son of a bitch!"
May 19, 2020
Bring out your lederhosen and your trusty pick axe - it's time to go mountain climbing with Pod Hard!
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch The White Hell of Pitz Palu (Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü), a bergfilme nowadays perhaps most known as a reference - and part of a cover story - in Inglorious Basterds.
And it's a very odd movie, to be sure. Action fans might be disappointed as the movie in total only delivers around 10-15 seconds of undeniably great doll action in the Swiss mountains.
But there is a lot to talk about! Anders details a sexual suggestion theme and trace the many faces of the brooding hero Gustav Diessl, Jonas have only contempt for the clean shaven German actors and discuss headpieces. And where does Spongebob Short Pants fit into all of this?
"The ice seems foreboding."
May 12, 2020
Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich sure know how to destroy large populated areas with computers, but when you need to wreck a town for real there's only one lunatic for the job: Buster Keaton.
Steamboat Bill Jr is a powerhouse of a movie and utterly, utterly bonkers. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist loose themselves in a discussion about stop and continue-pans, compare hands to toilet lids and reads way too much into facial hair.
Meanwhile Buster pulls out all the stops as he glides through the streets on his ear, flies on a tree, takes a quick peak inside a loaf of bread, crosses his legs while unconscious, wears Gary Daniel-sized jackets and face a falling wall with balls the size of cocoanuts.
Also featuring in this larger than life episode of Pod Hard: Bebe Daniels Feel my Pulse, Harold Lloyd's Speedy, Vsevolod Pudovkin's Storm over Asia, Shôzô Makino's Chushingura: The Truth, Kanjûrô Arashi's Kurama Tengu and... Buster Keaton's The Cameraman.
"He'll ruin 21 years of antiseptic supervision!"
May 7, 2020
Up, up and away!
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist reach for the sky in this episode of Pod Hard. The first ever Oscar-winner for best picture, Wings, soars high above the rest of the action films of 1927 with spectacular dog fights, ingenious camera movements and daredevil movie making at the forefront.
The film also include a (serial) killer impression of Crispin Glover, a bromance turning gaymance, an American flag on a trembling biceps, Clara Bow playing hide and seek with German bombers, Hayao Miyazaki-clouds shouldering set pieces, two swanky butts moving away from camera and bubbles. Lots and lots and lots of bubbles.
"H'ray for bubbles!"
April 28, 2020
Silent movies sure love their trains. So when Pod Hard reach the year 1926 Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist come face to cowcatcher with the train movie to rule all train movies - Buster Keaton's The General.
The podcasting duo battle each other for the fanciest superlatives when describing this masterpiece, talk about how the curves of the railroad tracks sets up for one of the most impressive shots within a shot in movie history, discuss the gliding capacity of Buster Keaton and desperately tries to keep up as the money shots are ramping up in quick succession.
Also featuring in this jam packed episode: Harold Lloyd's For Heavens Sake, Douglas Fairbanks The Black Pirate, Tom Mix's The Great K & A Train Robbery, Larry Semon's Stop, Look and Listen and Daisuke Ito's Chokon.
"When I get through with that uptown dude, they can put a lily in his hand and close the lid!"
April 20, 2020
What do you get if you add some under-cranked action footage of samurai warriors moving in unison, staccato-like editing of emotional turmoil, a camera moving away from the fight with everybody chasing after and the presence of fear and respect amongst the participants to one and the same movie reel?
Well, first and foremost you'll get some good stuff in your hands - and you're most likely watching Japanese samurai flick Orochi (The Serpent).
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist discuss this delightful little nugget when manhandling the year 1925 in their ongoing quest to trace the history of action cinema. Also appearing in this episode: Harold Lloyd's The Freshman, Buster Keaton's Seven Chances, Douglas Fairbanks Don Q, Son of Zorro.
"The Dean of the College - he was so dignified he never married for fear his wife would call him by his first name."
April 7, 2020
Silent movies - a bore? Prepared to get schooled!
Jonas Högberg and Anders Hultqvist are flabbergasted. Never would the podcasting duo have imagined such heights for action cinema as they are confronted with when watching Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr and Harold Lloyd's Girl Shy in this episode of Pod Hard.
One thing's for sure: all the people making lists about the best chase scenes in movie history have apparently not watched any 1924-flicks!
Buster is riding a motorcycle sitting on the steering wheel, breaks up a strong man competition, escapes a collapsing bridge and enter a disguise through a window. Harold does a daring transition from car to horse by way of tree branch, highjacks a tram, goes bonkers with a fire hose on a rampaging fire truck and goes looking for a postman's whistle.
"I'd like you to meet my city cousin from Grand City - she was the first person there who could pronounce Mah Jong."
March 28, 2020
Move aside! The comedy giants of the 20s are back with a vengeance when Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist turn the clock forward to 1923. Harold Lloyd is climbing buildings, Buster Keaton is leaping off of them.
In this episode of Pod Hard Lloyd's Safety Last and Keaton's Our Hospitality form a highly enjoyable double feature filled with real perils high above street level in skyscraper town and in the wild rapids of the West.
Buster Keaton's father show off his kung fu-skills, an old geezer attacks a toy train, people shoot out of their chairs, Lloyd has a tug-o-war with a pack of rabid house wives and the font size of intertitles gets the last laugh.
"The idea of working in your shirt sleeves! Think of the shock to your customers: women of culture and refinement."
March 17, 2020
Disappointment cradles Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist in this week's episode of Pod Hard. 1922 isn't a great year for action. Not even the loopy mad-man Douglas Fairbanks is able to save the day with his adaptation of Robin Hood. Some fancy fencing and drawbridge-climbing aside, it's a spectacularly boring movie.
Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd isn't up to par either. Apart from the beautiful finishing brawl in Lloyd's Grandma's Boy there's simply too much plodding plotting going on.
But wait! There is hope! And that hope is signed Max Linder, the French comedy superstar and his parody of Douglas Fairbanks The Three Musketeers - called The Three Must-Get-Theres! Which essentially is a madcap merry-go-round, Mel Brooks-style, only way better.
Linder's hero Dart In Again fights a horses hooves, catches a sword in his hands, dances up stairs, professes his love for a woman mid-fight, loses his breath almost a century before Old Boy made it cool, catches bad guys by the dozen with a lasso and rides in slow motion. This is what it's all about, folks!
"Exempt me sire. I am afeared of women!"
March 8, 2020
Take note, action movie-buffs, in the year 1921 a movie called Action was made! Unfortunately it appears to be lost, which means Jonas Högberg and Anders Hultqvist turn their scrutinizing gaze to Douglas Fairbanks and his swashbuckling ways yet again.
The Three Musketeers is the feature of the week as Pod Hard keep steaming on through cinema history, chasing pratfalls and fisticuffs. Harold Lloyd's Never Weaken, Buster Keaton's The Goat and Shōzō Makino's Gōketsu Jiraiya provide some silly extra content.
Some lessons learned: suicide comedy was all the rage in 1921, you don't need a puff of smoke to transform into a toad, you charge a bully like a bull, hats before horses, no tailor can ever take Douglas Fairbanks measurements and if you need a servant chose one who reflects before he acts.
"Pardon me madame, I must kill your friend."