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Hugh Likes Movies: Deadpool 2

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Deadpool 2
Directed by David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz

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The Skinny: This sequel to the 2016 surprise hit takes far fewer risks than the original, but it has a lot of fun playing in the 90’s X-Men toy box.

Deadpool 2 is a fun action comedy, if a bit stuck in the formula of the original. This action-adventure-comedy routine follows Wade Wilson, (Reynolds) a regenerating mercenary living entirely outside of the fourth wall, as he struggles to find a purpose after a tragedy and stumbles into the life of 14-year old mutant Russell Collins, who is being raised in an abusive orphanage and also being hunted by Cable, a cyborg from the future (Brolin.)
As you might expect from the above description, “Deadpool 2” deals with some heavy material, poorly. But while it does dip its toes into some extremely vile and worn-out comics tropes, it does actually subvert them, for the most part. In one particular case, it avoids a pitfall that “Avengers: Infinity War” plows right into. Deadpool 2 is crass, but at this point you should know what you’re getting into, and it at least tries to have some heart.
The movie does a good job staying lighthearted in the face of some weighty subjects, and the fight sequences are all over the top fun. Deadpool’s corner of the X-Men universe is full of complicated, confusing, and downright contradictory continuity, and the movie does a great job of presenting just enough for the characters to work in context. Particularly great is Zazie Beetz’s turn as Domino, a mercenary with luck powers who lands her gags with aplomb.
Deadpool 2 doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but it’s a welcome popcorn flick for fans of the original, or fans of that magical time in superhero comics called ‘the 90’s.’

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Hugh Likes Podcasts: Gosh Darn Fiasco

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HLP-Gosh-Darn Fiasco
Hosted by: Angela Webber, Richard Malena and guests
Goshdarnfiasco.simplecast.FM
GDF Podcast.jpg
Gosh-Darn Fiasco is a live-play role playing game podcast hosted by musician Angela Webber.  But where most of these kind of gaming shows feel like audio dramas, this one is more like improv.  The difference lies partly in the source material, and partly in the rotating team of talent that comes to play.
“Fiasco” is a GM-less roleplaying game in the style of classic caper movies.  Written by Jason Morningstar and published by Bully Pulpit Games, it is a storytelling RPG.  This means the goal of the game is to play out a scenario, rather than winning a battle.  As the name implies, the fun isn’t in winning, it is in snowballing the story from a small problem into a huge catastrophe.
Each episode, Weber and her guests play through one single play Fiasco game from beginning to end.  There are a variety of settings, or ‘Playsets’ that they have gone through, from a Colonial Salem to McMurdo Station to a heist at the Jim Henson Workshop.  Each episode takes the Cohen Brothers aesthetic of the game and turns it even more towards the comically ridiculous.
Frequent guest such as Lucia Fasano and Kevin M. Arnold add improv chops to the game, making it a lighthearted, gonzo joy to listen.  Gosh-Darn Fiasco is a monthly podcast that runs about 90 minutes per episode.  It’s not something you’re going to get through in a single commute, but it is a heck of a lot of fun.  Find it at Website, in iTunes, or in your preferred podcatcher.

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Hugh Likes Podcasts: The Dork Forest

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Hugh Likes Podcasts: The Dork Forest
Hosted by Jackie Kashian
TheDorkForest.com
There are a lot of nerdy podcasts out there.  In fact, the later almost always implies the former.  But The Dork Forest is a nerd podcast in an entirely different vein, and it is one of the best.
Hosted by comedian Jackie Kashian, this is an interview show that dives deeply into the  unexpected and delightful things that we all dork out about.  Everyone has something they love, and Jackie finds out about the unusual obsessions of celebrity geeks.  This isn’t just Dungeons and Dragons and comic books, although subject have been covered in the past.  Anything could be a topic, from Presidential biographies to 70’s McDonalds advertising mascots.
A show like this could focus on the bizarre and incomprehensible aspects of these dorkdoms, but Kashian approaches her subjects with an empathy and sense of humor that celebrates their interests rather than points fingers.  The Dork Forest is a podcast that celebrates wonderful and weird corners of nerd culture at a time when so much of fan discussion has devolved into mean-spirited yelling, internet trolling, and attempts to dictate how other people should enjoy things.
The Dork Forest is a geeky ray of sunshine that always shows me something delightful and surprising.  The show can be found in your favorite podcatcher or at JackieKashian.com