Low Key


'Cannon Busters,' 'The Witcher,' 'The Irishman' and More 2019 Projects We're Excited About (Podcast)

Season 1, Ep. 38

Usually on the "Low Key" podcast, we talk about pop culture moments we think others may have missed, often through a racial lens. This week, we just talk about some projects we're excited about, from "Cannon Busters" to "The Witcher" to "The Irishman" to "The Mandelorian," "Dolemite is My Name" and "Harriet."

Of all those films and TV shows, only one -- the Netflix anime series "Cannon Busters," has been released. Aaron, a hardcore anime fan, tell us how intrigued he was to see anime with black characters in key roles.

Keith, meanwhile, wonders if "The Witcher," starring Henry Cavill, can overcome the curse of many video-game adaptations.

And Tim is eager to see if "The Irishman" -- from the super team of Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci -- can win its big CGI gamble to become the instant gangster classic we hope it will be. 

We also talk about Kasi Lemmons' upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic "Harriet," Eddie Murphy in "Dolemite Is My Name," and Jon Favreau's mysterious "The Mandalorian."

Netflix is very well-represented on the list of projects we're excited about -- "Cannon Busters," "The Witcher," "The Irishman" and "Dolemite" are all Netflix projects. But we also talk about how Netflix may change in response to Disney+, future home of "The Mandalorian" and many more "Star Wars" and Marvel Cinematic Universe stories.

Here are some highlights of the episode and timestamps:

00:40: A quick recap of the great Tennessee Wing-Off (Congratulations, Sarah!)

2:15: The majesty of "Cannon Busters"

4:56: Why we think "The Witcher" looks good, and the risks of video game adaptations. We also try to name as many video game adaptations as we can, off the top of our heads.

7:59: How bad movies get made (featuring some advice by William Goldman)

10:44: Let's nerd out about "The Irishman" and digital de-aging

14:40: Speaking of de-aging... "Gemini Man"!

18:40: What would it take go get Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to play Goro?

22:00: Why it's hard to be the movie trailer before the one for "Harriet"

25:10: "Who's asking for this?"

37:30: Dolemite!

40:16: Don't forget to please subscribe and review us on Apple, please.


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Do the Right Thing

Season 1, Ep. 67
Today’s episode revisits the 1989 classic that put Spike Lee on the map, Do the Right Thing. Over 30 years later, the film’s raw depiction of racial relations in Bedstuy remains controversial - every group feels aggrieved, lashing out with both words and actions. By the time the film is over, one could make a strong case that no one did the right thing. The bubbling tension under the surface during the hottest day of the summer explodes into a riot that feels unavoidable once 911 is dialed.Lee refused the urge to give the audience simple good versus bad character depictions. Singular characters act on their righteous impulses but are often guided by misplaced, unspoken misunderstandings. By the time Mookie throws the trash can through Sal’s pizzeria, his actions are about more than simply the death of Radio Rahim. The audience is given several reasons Mookie could be at the end of his rope with Sal and his family from Pino’s liberal use of the n-word to Sal’s supposed flirtation with his sister - Mookie’s frustration is macro and micro, legitimate and illegitimate.Although Do the Right Thing takes place almost entirely on one neighborhood block in 1989, it represented situations happening nationwide. Gentrifying neighbors and passersbys still have the same tense interactions with the black and brown youth today.. No wonder the film continues to resonate in the summer of 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests continue.Do the Right Thing is available for rent today on several streaming platforms.Episode Breakdown0:48 - Where did ‘Sweet Dick Willy’ get his name from?1:50 - Themes echoing in the modern day5:05 - Is Mookie a passive character?11:36 - Does anyone do the right thing?16:50 - Radio Rahim’s intimidating presence and killing21:00 - Real life police brutality comparisons23:15 - The shock of police brutality, camera phones, and Black Lives Matter31:40 - Mookie’s future and parenting in the film35:50 - Closing thoughts