Podcast Review: The Film Thugs Movie Show

I wouldn’t take pride in being a thug, film or otherwise!

The Film Thugs Movie Show

The Gist

Jim Dirkes and Clarkson Campbell are the hosts of The Film Thugs Movie Show. I believe that the podcast is based out of Texas, but don’t quote me on that. Every week the guys put out an episode at around an hour and a half. They choose a theme for the show and the moment the episode starts the two hosts jump right into discussing said theme. The Film Thugs Movie Show has been around since March of 2010.

Episodes Listened To

#Unknown: Part 3
#Unknown: I Was Wrong.
#Unknown: Austin Film Festival 2011 Wrap Up

My Thoughts

There are some podcasts that rub me the wrong way right from the start. The Film Thugs Movie Show is one such podcast. Halfway through the Part 3 episode I knew this wasn’t the podcast for me, but I kept listening to all three episodes under the hope that the podcast might improve. To be fair the hosts did show a level of interesting discourse in parts of the Austin Film Festival episode, but that was a case of too little too late. The problems that I found in The Film Thugs Movie Show were rather large and they never went away.

For starters there was a point in the Part 3 episode where while discussing The Lord Of The Rings series of films they started making fun of the fans of that franchise by employing a nebbish voice and referring to them as nerds. They did this in regards to the ending of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. The hosts reason for disliking the multiple endings of that film were sound and well thought out. However they then proceeded to bash and make fun of the fans of the franchise who would have complained had the ending been any different. They again adopted the nebbish voice and use of the word nerd when later discussing The Karate Kid franchise. I don’t understand this archaic mentality and the way of thinking the hosts employed in those instances and throughout all three episodes instantly put me at odds with the podcast. It’s not 1974 anymore, the great divide between popular culture and the supposed nerd/geek culture no longer exists. Trying to pretend that divide still exists is infantile and ignorant, and the irony of this line of thinking taking place on a podcast is not lost on me.

Something that was not lost to either host of The Film Thugs Movie Show was a frat boy mentality. This is present in the above examples but it’s also present when, I believe Clarkson Campbell, refers to Chris O’ Donnell in Batman & Robin as a “fruit sandwich.” That sort of homophobia isn’t funny, nor is it something I want in my film discussions. Even if it wasn’t intended to be homophobic and it was just a wrongly turned phrase I didn’t care for it and it played into the prevalent frat boy mentality of the podcast. The hosts can swear as much as they want and they can yell as loudly as they want to. That, however, does not make them interesting to listen to, knowledgeable about film, all it does is make them obnoxious and annoying.

The Film Thugs Movie Show is not a podcast I can relate to, nor does it feature conversations I can become engaged with. I wanted my time with this podcast to end and was very thankful when the final seconds of the third episode clicked off my iPod. If you’re into rambling discussions where the hosts always agree and have nothing to offer as far as actual worthwhile film talk is concerned then by all means check out The Film Thugs Movie Show. I, however, am looking for more in the podcasts I choose to listen to. It’s for that reason that I recommend everyone unsubscribe from The Film Thugs Movie Show and avoid their frat boy way of looking at the world and discussing film.

The Bottom Line



4 responses to “Podcast Review: The Film Thugs Movie Show

  1. First, thanks for at least giving our show a listen. I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but we know that we aren’t for everyone. We are just two guys who met at a theatre workshop 21 years ago and have been best friends ever since. We talk in shorthand and have a very deep well of inside jokes that we draw upon.

    I just wanted you to know two things. First, we are by no means anti-nerd, nor do we attempt to draw any lines between popular and nerd culture. Hell, we host a movie podcast and met at a two week long drama camp, how anti nerd can we be? The nebbish voice was not a dig at nerds, but rather at the people who are so insular in their thinking that they drain all the fun out of everything. I believe you know the people I am talking about. It actually goes back to the last time I saw “Unforgiven,” of which I am not a fan and was corrected by someone else in the audience during a discussion I was having with a friend about how I didn’t like it. The person said, sounding exactly like I do when I put on the voice that “I should view it as an anti-violence piece.” My problem was never thematic, but narrative and no thematic flourishes would have made me less bored. So, in that we are simply attempting to take a very specific type of know it all critic to task.

    Second is that “fruit sandwich” is not intended as homophobic, but rather a reference to a former co-worker of mine with whom I have an ongoing feud. He made a fruit sandwich one night and wouldn’t stop talking about it. It’s sort of become a code word for a generally annoying and useless person.

    I just wanted to straighten those two things out. You seem like a well reasoned cat and so I figured you might not take offense to me addressing it with you.

    So far as your review goes, other than that (and the fact that we are both Theatre nerds rather than frat boys) your review is pretty spot on. We are pretty loud and obnoxious and we agree with each other most of the time. Your points are well thought out and reasoned, so I can only applaud you for putting them out there as eloquently as you did.

    Again, sorry that the show isn’t your cup, but if you are ever up to give us a try again I would recommend our Shane Black show. We go a bit more in depth on the writing side of things, which is more in my wheelhouse. All we ever wanted to do is share our conversation with anyone who cares to join it.

  2. Thanks for clearing up the inside jokes/references. I hope you can understand why I took them the way that I did, but the fact that you were willing to address them pretty much clears up the issue and I know where you stand, so thanks for that.

    As for your show in general, it wasn’t my cup of tea, but by all means keep doing your thing. As long as you are getting enjoyment out of what you’re doing then that’s all that matters. And I’m sure that for every person like me who doesn’t gel with the show there is at least one other person who really digs the show.

    Thanks for the kind words about my writing, and having talked to you for a bit I apologize for jumping to the conclusions that I did about your nature and attitude. Maybe I will give the show a listen sometime in the future, but if nothing else thank you for the friendly discourse. All the best of luck to you and your podcast as you move forward in the future. 🙂

  3. Thank you for a reasoned and civil response. Kind of rare these days.

    I absolutely hate the state of discourse on the internet and refuse to add to it. Yeah, we talk shit on our show pretty much all the time, but we aren’t closed to everything else. I always try to see things from the point of view of whoever I am interacting with. You don’t hate us, you just don’t like the show. No crime. No foul. No harm done. So why should I act like you insulted me personally. I go more for the MCA philosophy of communicating and understanding other people instead of fighting and trying to “win.”

    Anyway, thanks again for being open and listening to us/me, we could use more of this in our world.

  4. No problemo amigo, best of luck with the podcast in the future. 🙂

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