Podcast Review: Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

I head back to the United Kingdom yet again, this time I’m hoping for success!

Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

The Gist

Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews is another UK based podcast, but it’s probably the most well known of all the UK Based film podcasts. The reason for that is simple, the show originated, and remains, a radio show for BBC Radio 5 Live, and its hosts are both professionals in their given field. Mark Kermode has been a movie critic for many years, with a few published books and tenures at various respected film magazines to his credit. Simon Mayo is a highly respected individual within the radio industry, he has been hosting radio shows, and very popular ones at that, for many years now. Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews in its current incarnation has been around since 2001, but the show originated and was briefly around in 1991 before the duo split due to Mr. Kermode leaving the radio station they were on at the time. Every hour and a half episode features a bevy of reviews, sometimes an interview or two, and listener feedback.

Episodes Listened To

#Unknown: The Tree Of Life, 08 July 2011
#Unknown: Horrible Bosses, 22 July 2011
#Unknown: Captain America, 29 July 2011

My Thoughts

All the elements are in place for me to really dislike Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews. The show adheres to a strict time based structure, Mark Kermode has the tendency to resort to voices too often and I do tire of his dismissive attitude. Simon Mayo isn’t around for his film knowledge, rather he is present because of his voice and his radio acumen. All the pieces are in place for a Bill doesn’t like this puzzle, but truth be told I still love Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews just as much now as I do when I listened to my first episode a few years back. The reasons why I love the podcast are simple,

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo have great chemistry, they play incredibly well off of one another. There’s always a tinge of contempt when they disagree or start going at it, but it’s never actual contempt but the sort of friendly contempt that two friends show towards one another while smiling all the time. Mr. Mayo is the perfect personality to reign the Good Doctor, a nickname for Mr. Kermode, in and keep the show on track. I get a lot of enjoyment out of the conversations that take place between Mr. Mayo and the Good Doctor.

Mr. Mayo may be present as a professional voice, but he isn’t a dope when it comes to movies. He knows just enough to contribute to the discussions about the movies he has seen and the solo reviews he contributes from time to time are always informative and well done. Mark Kermode is present to bring professional criticism to the show and he does not disappoint. I disagree with what Mr. Kermode has to say more often than I agree, but at the same time I know he is coming from an informed place and I respect that. I do wish he would cut down on the voices somewhat, and I wish he would pull back on being as dismissive towards the opinions of others as he is (even if most of it is obviously tongue in cheek), but when I want to hear an opinion on film Mr. Kermode is always one of the first people I turn to.

What continually surprises me about Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews is how much fun the show is. Mr. Kermode has become quite famous for a few of his rants, and honestly, whether I agree with him or not getting to hear Mr. Kermode launch into a movie with a spirited rant is loads of fun. The back and forth banter between the hosts leaves me laughing most of the time, especially when Mr. Mayo starts taking the piss out of Mr. Kermode. I often find myself smiling while listening to Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews, and in the often far too serious world of film criticism that’s a great feeling.

Lastly, I like the variety of films that the show reviews and the way they go about reviewing them. It does get annoying when the time structure problem of being on radio limits what the podcast can say about any given film. That issue notwithstanding I never get the sense that Mr. Kermode says less than he wants to about a film. Sure, I could do without him bagging on 3D (I get it Mr. Kermode, you hate 3D, can we move on now?), but as far as actual reviews and film talk goes Mr. Kermode says his mind and isn’t afraid of what anyone will think in return.

It should be obvious by now, but my recommendation for anyone reading this is to subscribe to Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews. Getting to hear an international take on cinema that is educated and fun to listen to is always welcome. I’ve been having fun listening to Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews for a few years now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews is a great blend of informed opinion, fun, and witty banter, it’s not just a podcast I think everyone should subscribe to, it’s one of the best film related podcasts out there.

The Bottom Line



13 responses to “Podcast Review: Mark Kermode And Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

  1. I’m a subscriber to the show and I do enjoy it because it’s entertaining. Yet, there’s times where Kermode can go overboard and be very dismissive. I really disliked his review of “Somewhere” by Sofia Coppola because of the way he reviewed it. I wanted more substance if you’re going to pan a film like her’s and I know “Somewhere” (which I loved, obviously) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. He also goes overboard with the voices where at times, it works and sometimes, it doesn’t. I do like his rants though and he should stop plugging Nick Lowe’s album. Sorry, I’m not really into Nick Lowe.

  2. It’s absolutely wonderful. When the new episodes of the week come out for the podcasts I’m following, usually during the weekend, Kermode & Mayo is always the first one I’ll listen to. It’s so entertaining that I just can’t stay away from it. They’re really good with words, I actually tend to agree quite a lot with them (although not always) and the bashing rants are incredibly funny. Oh, I enjoyed the latest one, a lustmurder on Transformers 3!
    The quality of the interviews they make is high and they have a nice mix of guests. Only complaint I have is that they’re off for a long vacation right now. The replacements they’ve brought in are better than nothing, I suppose, but it’s really not anywhere near as good show without our ordinary hosts.

  3. I’ll try it at your recommendation. We’ll see.

  4. Steven: All of your criticisms are true, and sometimes they do grate on me, but on the whole I enjoy the podcast enough that those criticisms don’t bother me a great deal.

    Jessica: I don’t mind the replacements, Boyd & Floyd, but they are a big step down from Mark and Simon. Everything you say about the podcast is spot on, that’s why it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

    Steve: Hopefully you like it 🙂

  5. This show is pretty great. I haven’t listened in a while (time just isn’t allowing me to tune in to as many shows as before), but I’ve always liked the way the Good Doctor goes about his reviews. He is rather astute, even if he has an occasionally dismissive way of going about expressing himself. The hosts have fantastic chemistry and I think you can tell, as stated in your review, that they are never truly angry or frustrated with one another when it might sound as if they are.

  6. That’s probably my favorite aspect of the show, their camaraderie. It never feels forced, and even when they are reviewing a movie that you can tell neither guy really wants to review their genuine playfulness towards one another helps make the review fun.

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  9. Dr. Kermode as the nickname suggests 😉

  10. I reserve the doctor term for medical doctors, I don’t personally like attaching it to people who have doctorates in non-medical fields. I think he’s doing just fine being called Mr. by my insignificant little blog. 🙂

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