Podcast Review: Film Junk

film junk

I’m a big fan of both film and junk, this should be interesting!

Film Junk

The Gist

Since 2006 Film Junk has been providing weekly episodes covering the world of film. A basic episode consists of a review, or two, of a new release, a what we’ve been watching segment, a film news segment, a look at new releases on BD/DVD, and a listener feedback segment. Each episode clocks in around the two and a half hour mark. The hosts of Film Junk are Sean Dwyer, Jay Cheel, Greg Gaspari, and Dirrrty Frank.

Episodes Listened To

#404: Bullet To The Head
#405: A Good Day To Die Hard and Side Effects
#406: Chinese Zodiac

My Thoughts

I have the darnedest time paying attention to certain teachers. I’ve had this problem in grade school, high school, college, and even now in continuing education. For whatever reason some teachers don’t seem to understand the benefit of a little inflection or emotion in their voice. They choose an approach that is based on getting information into my ears as succinctly as possible. I appreciate that approach, but it also means I am going to struggle to maintain interest in what they are saying. The teachers that make an impact on me are the ones who change the tone of their voice, add inflection to their speaking repertoire, and bring the discussion to life. They are never droll and boring, they are the teachers I want to hear more from class after class.

I’m not about to sit here and tell everyone that the guys behind Film Junk don’t know their stuff. When they got into discussing any given topic/film I was impressed with the knowledge they brought to the table. The hosts of Film Junk knew what they were talking about and this enabled them to have a nice variety of free flowing discussions. However, the hosts of Film Junk were also as droll and boring as could be. I nearly feel asleep during their Bullet To The Head episode. Since I listen to most of my podcasts while driving I’m not exactly going to rally behind a podcast putting me to sleep.

Knowing your stuff is a quality asset, but presentation is just as important. They guys at Film Junk speak in a monotone fashion, and without nary a moment of emotion or inflection in their voices. I need some energy behind the podcasts I listen to, I need to know that the hosts are alive and care about what they are talking about. I don’t believe that the hosts of Film Junk view the podcast as a chore. But the drollness of their presentation made it seem at times like the podcast was a chore to them. I know that Film Junk has been around for a while and that they have a lot of listeners. Maybe this is just an issue for me, but I really could not get over the lack of life displayed by the hosts during their discussions.

I’m willing to let certain things slide when it comes to the podcasts I listen to. Being droll is not something I am willing to let slide. It may seem like a trite criticism, but I don’t have the time for a film related podcast that I find boring. The guys behind Film Junk know what they are talking about but they absolutely could not engage me as a listener. I need to be engaged, I need to feel as if I am listening to a great discussion. I don’t need to be put to sleep, and that’s why my vote is to unsubscribe from Film Junk.

The Bottom Line



6 responses to “Podcast Review: Film Junk

  1. Interesting reaction. I could see reasons why you wouldn’t enjoy Film Junk (it’s long, they go off on tangents), but being boring didn’t seem like a possibility. It’s a serious time commitment, so I’m totally with you on not listening if you’re not thrilled by it. I’m a fan and like their approach, but like any podcast, it’s all about what grabs you. I’m the same way with a lot of shows that have a solid fan base.

  2. Yeah, I didn’t have any major problems with Film Junk, other than it not engaging me as a listener. I’m sure for those who do feel engaged by the podcast it’s great stuff, but that was a hurdle I couldn’t get over.

  3. I’ve been following these podcast reviews for a little while now even though several of the ones I listen to regularly go the “unsubscribe” rating (Hollywood Babble-On, Title Pending Movie Podcast, and the LAMBcast). Have you done, or thought of doing any lists of recommendations, like these are great short-form pods (hour or less), these are great long-form pods, this is a great B-movie pod, this is a good new release pod, etc.

    I was also curious as to how you choose the podcasts you listen to.

  4. Thanks for the continued support of this column, I definitely appreciate it. 🙂

    Coming up with various lists like the ones you proposed is not something I have thought of, but it’s definitely a good idea. When my schedule clears up enough for me to invest some time into a project like that I’ll have to think about it.

    I’ve used a few various methods to choose the podcasts I listen to. At first I went through the iTunes ratings for Film/TV podcasts and picked podcasts off of that list. Then I did a few internet searches for the best film podcasts to find some other ones to review. Finally, the method I’m currently using is simply to jot down every single film related podcast that I hear about. They all go into a master list that I am making my way through. If you have any suggestions feel free to send them my way and if they aren’t already in the master list I’ll add them to it. 🙂

  5. Ah, this comes as a disappointment. Reading the first lines of the article I figured you wouldn’t come down positively on the guys at Film Junk.

    It’s funny because I can’t exaclly argue against the ‘droll’ comment. Sean and Jay in particular have a rather monotonous way of speaking that can be a turn off. That said, I think their sense of humor comes through often in their exchanges, not to mention that each of the hosts has a very good understanding on various genres, like Jay knowing docs and horror and Frank knowing comedy. Well, except maybe Greg, whom I like but mostly for his work and social life related stories, perhaps less his film knowledge.

    Oh well, you can’t win them all.

  6. No worries my man, I was ell aware that The Film Junk would have plenty of fans due to its long running status. I tried to present a balanced review, and at the end of the day as long as the podcast is providing discussion that you enjoy, that’s all that matters. 🙂

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