Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Podcast Review: Movie Geeks United

One thing I love to do is listen to a good podcast. Sometimes when I’m lying awake in bed, unable to sleep, I close my eyes, relax, and listen to a podcast and unwind. When I go on a long walk either to school or around town for exercise, I have my IPod on and I listen to a podcast. My favorite podcasts, of course, involve sports and movies. One of the best podcasts out there is Movie Geeks United hosted by Jamey DuVall, Jerry Dennis, and Dean Treadway. They have done over 600 interviews with people involved in the movie industry, everyone from writers, directors, actors, cinematographers, producers, composers, critics, authors, and movie related experts. Some of their top interviews involve Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Robert Duvall, and James Cameron.
I first discovered the show back in 2007 via Jerry Dennis. This was back in the days of MySpace, where we had a big movie group involving all of us who loved to write film reviews. The group has since moved onto Facebook. The show started with Jerry Dennis, Jamey, and Chris. If I’m going to be frank, I was initially not a fan of the show and struggled to get into it. I listened to it because I knew Jerry very well and did it to support him. I was unfamiliar with Jamey for the most part. My initial thoughts on the show were that it seemed too serious about film and too stuffy. I love film just as much as the next guy and take it seriously, but felt as though it didn’t have a fun factor to it yet. It didn’t really develop its serious tone while adding some fun to the mix.
I made an appearance on the show to give a film review for Hostel Part 2 back in June 2007 and talk about my interview with Eli Roth. You can listen to the show via this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moviegeeksunited/2007/06/10/the-sopranos-and-can-movies-inspire-real-life-violence
I enjoyed the appearance and got along well with all of them. As they usually say, real life gets in the way, and I sort of went through my own personal and professional issues and sort of fell off the face of the earth in terms of writing and reviews. Ever since then, I’ve been sort of off and on with my reviews, more on lately. For me, it’s sometimes hard to balance writing, real life, career, family, and everything else. I feel like I have learned to balance it more, which is why I’m writing more and producing more content.
Through my return, I have been listening to more shows from Movie Geeks United, and let me tell you, this is a show that has found its groove and is really running like a well-oiled machine with Dean, Jamey, and Jerry.
Let’s first of all talk about the host: Jamey DuVall. He has a great balance of comedy, intelligence, and charisma to host the show. He knows how to handle all of the moods of the show, striking just the right notes when the time calls for it. It allows viewers to know the man behind the host as a humorous, thoughtful, sometimes tired and overworked, but always game personality. One of his best traits however is the fact that he can talk to any type of entertainment personality with relative ease. You can tell they feel comfortable, relaxed and eager to share their thoughts with him. From the random shows I’ve listened to here and there, via the archives, I haven’t seen him give a bad interview or come unprepared. Even when rarely dealing with a subject who can be difficult, he handles it with class and dignity. He builds a real connection and rapport with the personalities.
Jerry Dennis has been his loyal co-host since the inception of the show. Jerry brings self-deprecating humor, encyclopedia knowledge of film, and an incredible sharp and quick sense of humor. When it comes to letting you in, Jerry is unafraid to say what’s on his mind at any time. He also lets the random F-bomb fly, which adds to the unpredictability of the show. His chemistry with Jamey is impeccable and they bounce off each other just perfectly. For a successful show to work, you need to have opposite hosts who are able to blend together to create a magical mix. The one thing they have in common is a knowledge and passion for film, but other than that, they are vastly different, and it produces a tremendous formula for the show.
Rounding out the cast is Dean Treadway, who runs a film blog, and has been involved in journalism in many aspects throughout his career. One of the more interesting things about Dean is his telephone, which often cuts in and out or as Jamey said one time, “Are you calling us from a urinal?” Dean is a gamer and always brings his A-game to every single show. He knows about all types of films, from all walks of life. Film is his life, and you can tell that by talking to him. He goes to film festivals and informs of the Movie Geeks about upcoming movies, foreign films, and everything in between.
Movie Geeks United is easy listening while also taking film seriously as an art form that influences the world and our changing times. As I’ve mentioned, they also know how to have fun at each other’s expense without ever becoming mean spirited or cruel. Movie Geeks United has a voice, and it’s by far the best movie themed podcast on the Internet. I admire them for what they are able to do. I’ve always wanted to do a podcast and I’ve done random ones here and there, but I’ve never been fully comfortable with it. If you get me writing, talking off the record with someone, I can riff, be comfortable, talk all day, and feel like it’s good content and informative. The minute you tell me it’s recorded or going to be on the air, I freeze up.
So let me tell you, I give them all the credit in the world for what they do, and it is not easy. You have to prepare a ton, research, and be ready for anything that could happen on the show, in an interview, or otherwise. They are the best at what they do. Not only that, and this might sound biased, but so be it, you will be hard pressed to find three nicer individuals than Jamey, Jerry, and Dean. It’s all the more reason to support them and what they do.
For more information on Movie Geeks United, you can use the follow links:
-Tony Farinella

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