Sock Talk Episode 64: It Doesn’t Matter

Episode Runtime: 1:14:00
Episode Summary:

Welcome back to Sock Talk! This week Phil Healy and Jon Caron, the producers of the documentary  “My Name Is Jonah”, chat, argue, laugh, and love. It’s the beginning of the end. Listen, won’t you?

Music intro and outro: Provided by The Blues Dream Box

If you’d like to donate to Sock Talk Jon’s animated project you can do so here: www.patreon.com/progenitor

Phil Healy Website: I Hunger Productions
Jon Caron Website: Jon Caron Art

Sock Talk Goes To TerrifiCon

Episode Runtime: 00:17:42

Episode Summary:

Welcome back to Sock Talk! In this snippet, Sock Talk Phil, one of the producers and directors of the documentary  “My Name Is Jonah”, interviews Mitch Hallock. Mitch is the organizer of one of Connecticut’s biggest comic conventions, TerrifiCon. It’s a bit nerdy and perhaps a bit more sincere than Sock Talk Phil would’ve liked, but he did it. He did it and you need to love him for it! Also, please forgive him for soundy ASMR-ish in the outro.

Music intro and outro: Provided by Glow Power

If you’d like to donate to Sock Talk Jon’s animated project you can do so here: www.patreon.com/progenitor

Phil Healy Website: I Hunger Productions
Jon Caron Website: Asylum Studios Photography + Design

Game Review: Uncharted 4

“Greatness from small beginnings…”

I spent the week before the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, replaying the original trilogy. I must have played these games at least a half dozen times each by now and I can’t help but be in awe of them yet again. The Uncharted series are arguably  among the greatest games ever created.

Nathan Drake’s adventures are like being part of an Indiana Jones film that goes on for 15 hours. These are beautiful, well written games, filled with characters who you immediately fall in love with and root for. This series always has it’s small share of minor annoyances…and after playing all of them consecutively, I can say that the first Uncharted can be a bit jerky control wise, sometimes making finding cover a chore. Uncharted 2 is rather flawless and EASILY my favorite of the series, with some of the most amazing action set pieces and well balanced gameplay. Uncharted 3 while smooth playing and filled with great moments, is very clunky in the shooting aspect of things, with a rigid cross-hair that you never quite get used to, making combat a genuine chore. These are very minor grievances however, as the pros of this magnificent series far outweigh the cons, making Uncharted an absolute delight to revisit over and over.

Which brings us to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End…Naughty Dogs final adventure with Nathan Drake. And what an adventure it is.

Let’s just get the most noticeable aspect of this game out of the way first, it is absolutely breathtaking visually. Never have I seen visuals on any platform that come close to the level of detail and beauty on display here. This is one gorgeous video game. The sheer amount of time it must have taken to bring this creation to life is unfathomable. This is truly the first “next gen” game to truly showcase what is possible with the power of the Playstation 4. Lush jungles, sandy beaches, ancient castles, all stunningly created and interactive. On more than one occasion, I would stop just to take in the scenery around me and marvel at it’s beauty. It’s that gorgeous.

Uncharted 4 is also the best the series has ever played. Never before has taking cover, shooting and scaling walls felt this good. Some minor button placement changes took a little adjusting, but after a while it truly felt how this series should have played this entire time. New elements such as the grappling hook and sliding down steep hills are a welcome addition and handle wonderfully as well.

My only real problem with Uncharted 4, is a bit hard to put into words without coming across as too critical…and that’s with the pacing. This adventure (like all Uncharted games) is very story driven, but there were times where I felt I was doing a bit too much cut scene watching and not enough playing, a first in this series. Action set pieces, while spectacular as always, do feel a bit few and far between here. There are also some gameplay elements that feel repetitive and tedious…I mean, how many times do I really need to push a crate? I felt myself being taken out of the game quite a few times due to some very oddly placed elements. I also feel that the story being told here, while engaging, well written and furthering the story of young Nathan Drake is kind of a wimpy Macguffin for a final adventure. Nathans brother Sam is a great addition and the chemistry is really great. I also enjoyed the villainous Nadine, who is an absolute badass. Also returning are Sully (who has less of a part to play here) and Elena, who now married to Drake brings a whole other level of complexity and understanding to their already great relationship.

Beautiful, perfectly controlled, wonderfully acted and as marvelous a game as they come, Uncharted 4 stalls a bit here and there, but a bittersweet, yet satisfying ending really wrap things up nicely for this now decade old series.

As much as it makes me sad that there will not be another Uncharted game to look forward to, I am feverishly waiting to see what developer Naughty Dog creates next. After the success of Uncharted and The Last of Us, they have proven they understand that gaming is a medium that can transcend a narrative driven experience in ways that books and cinema cannot.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune 4/5
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 5/5
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception 3.5/5
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 4.5/5

-Sock Talk Jon-

Sock Talk Podcast Episode 63: This is the End

Episode Runtime: 1:26:32
Episode Summary:

Welcome back to Sock Talk! This week Phil Healy and Jon Caron, the producers of the documentary  “My Name Is Jonah”, start the slow, painful slog to the shows ultimate demise. Or possible rebirth. Either way, it all ends with Episode 69.

Music intro and outro: Provided by Timothy Fife (Progenitor Soundtrack)

If you’d like to donate to Sock Talk Jon’s animated project you can do so here: www.patreon.com/progenitor

Phil Healy Website: I Hunger Productions
Jon Caron Website: Asylum Studios Photography + Design

Sock Talk Podcast Episode 62: Grandma’s Peach Tea

Episode Runtime: 1:29:13
Episode Summary:

Welcome back to Sock Talk! This week Phil Healy and Jon Caron, the producers of the documentary  “My Name Is Jonah”, come back after a two month long hiatus and discuss the vibrant and colorful world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Hugs!

Music intro and outro: Provided by Timothy Fife (Progenitor Soundtrack)

If you’d like to donate to Sock Talk Jon’s animated project you can do so here: www.patreon.com/progenitor

Phil Healy Website: I Hunger Productions
Jon Caron Website: Asylum Studios Photography + Design

Sock Talk Podcast Episode 61: Take a Risk On LaChance

Podscreen Logo

Episode Runtime: 1:40:02
Episode Summary:

Welcome back to Sock Talk! This week Phil Caron and Jon Healy, the producers of the documentary  “My Name Is Jonah”, welcome to the show master artist, Jeff LaChance and we discuss all things art! Art sadness, art happiness, Art Garfunkel…

Also, if you’d like to donate to Sock Talk Jon’s animated project you can do so here: www.patreon.com/progenitor

Music intro and outro: Provided by Derailer

Phil Healy Website: I Hunger Productions
Jon Caron Website: Asylum Studios Photography + Design

Sock Talk Jon’s 2015 Cinematic Best of the Best

As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on all of the great cinema from this year! And this year was very exceptional. There are still a few films I never got a chance to screen due to availability in my area, but I certainly watched more of my must see list than ever before.

So, without wasting anymore time, here are my top 15 must see films of 2015!

15. What We Do in the Shadows

A hilarious, reality tv style, horror/comedy with fantastic characters and spot on comedic timing. One of the funniest films in recent memory.

14. Mississippi Grind

Incredible performances by Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds (whose chemistry works wonderfully), Mississippi Grind is a terrific road movie about two gamblers chasing that pot of gold.

13. He Never Died

Henry Rollins plays biblical figure Cain, giving an incredibly subdued, hilarious and ultra violent performance. I enjoyed this more than just about anything else this year and see myself watching it over and over again.

12. Legend

Tom Hardy takes on a double role as real life mobsters the Cray brothers, in what is essentially a British Goodfellas. Watching Tom Hardy act out both of these completely different/volatile characters is nothing short of amazing.

11. Results

A romantic comedy that is actually funny, Results is the story of a couple of personal trainers who come to terms with their bizarre relationship. Eccentric characters abound here and it earns extra points with me, as it perfectly nails the various types of insane mind sets of people who make fitness a lifestyle.

10. Inherent Vice

While it’s not my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson film, it is a Paul Thomas Anderson film. Which means it’s gorgeous, eccentric and hilarious. This film is worth watching for the incredible back and forths between Josh Brolin and Joaquin Phoenix alone.

9. Ex Machina

A brilliant film on the subject of AI and it’s inevitability. Spectacular performances by Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac make this an absolute must see.

8. Bone Tomahawk

Much like He Never Died, Bone Tomahawk is another film in which I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. On the surface, a gritty/realistic western…but also a surprising horror film. Just brutal, brutal, brutal.

7. Youth

Simple on plot, but big on performances, Youth is an astounding film with some of the best cinematography/locations I’ve seen in a long time. This is a film where you immerse yourself in the world with these characters and get lost for a couple hours. Rachel Wiesz also gives what is undoubtedly one of the best performances/tirades I have ever seen.

6. Partisan

Set in a dystopian future/present/it doesn’t really matter, Partisan is an incredible film. Vincent Cassel runs what is essentially a commune where he raises children to be hitmen. A really interesting take on nature versus nurture, with wonderful performances by Cassel and newcomer Jeremy Chabriel.

5. Hateful Eight

I saw the special Road Show version of Hateful Eight in glorious 70mm and it was astounding. One of the greatest opening scenes in recent memory, a killer score by Ennio Morricone, spectacular performances of some truly loathsome/lovable characters and it’s got that Tarantino wit to boot. Be prepared to laugh and be equally repulsed as Samuel Jackson tells what is arguably the most disturbing fellatio story ever.

4. Mad Max: Fury Road

At 70 years old, George Miller has created one of the greatest action films, well, possibly ever. Fury Road never lets up and never lets you catch your breath. There is also some tremendous world building on display here, as every vehicle, character and set piece tell a thousand stories while not even saying a word. With the hellish production this film went through, it’s amazing it was made at all, let alone turned out this good.

3. Sicario

This thriller puts you right in the shoes of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) as she goes into the seedy underbelly of the Mexican drug cartel. A dirty, violent, palpably tense and brutal film.

2. It Follows

Probably the movie I’ve seen the most this year, It Follows is a modern horror masterpiece. The fear that this movie manages to put into your head is incredible. What it doesn’t tell you about the monster is arguably more horrifying than what it does. A killer soundtrack by VG musician Disasterpiece adds a genuine terror to this film that compliments the visuals wonderfully. An absolute must see.

1. 99 Homes

While scarier than It Follows, 99 Homes is not a horror film whatsoever. What it is, is a very realistic and terrifying look at the modern housing market model. One of the things that 99 Homes does best in my opinion, is leave a rather ambiguous hero/villain role. The premise of kicking people out of their homes is certainly not an easy one to side with and I like that Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield’s character arcs are so well written and have valid points for both sides of the argument. This in itself is such a rarity, a topical film that doesn’t have an agenda, it’s just stating the facts. 99 Homes is gut wrenching and certainly not an easy film to watch subject matter wise, but is an important film and easily my favorite of 2015!

Honorable Mentions:

The following are all films that either came close to making my top fifteen, or I just really enjoyed…either way, I highly recommend seeing all of these.

Ant-Man
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Beasts of No Nation
Big Short, The
Black Mass
Black Sea
Bridge of Spies
Call Me Lucky
Cop Car
Cut Bank
Drunk Brilliant Stoned Dead
Escobar: Paradise Lost
Good Kill
Inside Out
Kingsman
Krampus
Maggie
Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Martian, The
Mr. Holmes
Night Before, The
Paddington
Slow West
Southpaw
Spotlight
Spring
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Steve Jobs
Stung
Tomorrowland
Trumbo
Voices, The
White God
Yakuza Apocalypse
Z For Zachariah