Was Superman Returns really as bad as you remember it? Do you think that people don’t give Mystery Men enough credit? Dylan Duarte and Jeff Morin tackle these questions in their brand new podcast series, Questionable Taste. They look at movies that may have received a bad rap over the years, defending the merits of films that may not have been so positively received. These rotten tomatoes might be certifiably fresh.
I had the opportunity to talk with Jeff and Dylan about their new podcast and gain some insight into what they think about Hollywood. Subscribe to the Questionable Taste podcast through iTunes or your favorite podcast manager. New episodes are released every couple of weeks. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.
What is Questionable Taste?
Jeff Morin: Questionable Taste is a podcast where we defend movies that we feel have gotten an unjust amount of hate whether it’s because they were financial failures, received lots of bad criticism, or perceived as “bad” by the general public.
Dylan Duarte: It’s a podcast! Man, interviews are easy!
Like Jeff said, we geek out about movies that enough people aren’t geeking out about. Sometimes it entails defending a movie that gets a bad rap, but in our latest episode we talk about 1999’s Mystery Men, which didn’t necessarily get bad reviews, but it certainly didn’t get the love it we feel it deserved.
How did you come up with the title?
DD: I like almost every movie I see, which statistically can’t be right.
JM: The title came from the idea that neither of us are film scholars by any degree. We are definitely movie buffs but we’re both willing to admit that we might just have bad taste in movies.
Why a podcast and not, say, a video series on YouTube or a written blog?
JM: The initial idea to do a podcast came from the many hour long phone conversations that we’ve had discussing movies and TV. With a podcast, it’s basically like we just hit record on those conversations. Also, with a podcast it seems easier to reach a large audience. Plus, I don’t have to shave or get dressed.
DD: I’ve had numerous blogs, but I feel I don’t have enough to say on my own to justify producing anything. The podcast is great because we get to go back and forth and build off each other. Plus, we wanted to do something together, and podcasts just work really well for that.
And for me, personally, I’m hoping this project will help me overcome some personal issues. I’m not the most disciplined person, and having someone else rely on me really helps in that regard. Plus, like every other human being on the planet, I’m really self-conscious about my voice, so I’m hoping to either get over that or hone my voice into the perfect podcasting weapon. I’ll probably just have to get over it.
What has been the greatest challenge thus far?
JM: For me, it’s been learning how to talk in full sentences. I have a bad habit of changing my mind in the middle of a sentence. Oftentimes this results in a nonsensical string of words. I think I’m getting better at it though. With every episode I’m learning more about the art of broadcasting.
DD: Making good noises with my mouth and not bad noises. With each podcast I somehow conjure up new sounds from the horrible hidden depths of my body. And to make matters worse, I make these noises in the middle of sentences, making them a pain to edit out. I’m learning as I go along, but usually everything I’ve learned goes right out the window the second I hit record.
And editing still takes me way too long. No joke, editing an hour-long episode takes me at least three hours. I get deep into that audio like a detective trying to isolate some background noise that will help find a missing girl. Expect I’m just trying to cut out my pig noises and Jeff’s burps.
Those are the challenges on the technical side of things. The other challenge is deciding what to talk about. Not necessarily what movies to talk about – though we do make it a point to talk about movies nobody else is really talking about – but what to say about them, too. There are already a bajillion movie podcasts out there, so we need to make sure we’re offering something worthwhile, whether it’s funny, informative, thought-provoking, or whatever. I always joke that we don’t want to become the Chris Farley show, where we’re just reminiscing about the parts of the movie that we like. Though that happens, too.
Both of you come from creative backgrounds. Have either one of you worked in the movie industry? Do you have any ambitions to pursue a career in film?
DD: I’d love to write screenplays, and I really have no good excuse as to why I’m not doing just that. In the past year or so I’ve really developed an interest in writing novels and short stories as well, but movies will always be my favorite thing. I suppose maybe right now I’m a little too content simply watching and talking about them. Jeff’s enabling me!
JM: We’ve both dabbled in film making in our late teens and early twenties. We even made a few short films which are a little too embarrassing to show off now.
At this point in my life, I wouldn’t say that I have any specific ambitions to pursue film but there’s always a chance that my career as an artist will lead there. I’m currently working on doing some character design for a potential animated series so that’s close.
What’s your take on Hollywood milking sequels, prequels and reboots for all they’re worth?
JM: I have a love hate with reboots. Some franchises really deserve a good reboot, others just need a good sequel to fix any problems that it had. I don’t really see the point of rebooting or remaking a movie that wasn’t intended to be an ongoing franchise. Of course, regardless of how I feel, I will be the first in line at the 11th version of Spider-man.
DD: Jeff is right. Studios are quick to scrap and reboot when all they need is a solid sequel. That said, I generally don’t have any issues with Hollywood milking franchises. Movies aren’t fruit. A rotten one doesn’t spoil the whole bunch. And you’re talking to a horror lover here. Crappy sequels are what we do. They haven’t hurt my love for JAWS or HALLOWEEN in the slightest. Not to mention that every now and then, against all odds, we’ll get an umpteenth installment that’s actually really good! It happens more often than you think.
If we get a bad remake/sequel/what-have-you, don’t see it. Other people will, and their money will go to fund movies that you do want to see. If they get greenlit, that is. That’s the only real problem with Hollywood being addicted to franchises and existing properties. Studios are less likely to take chances on original movies, but when they do, they’re funded by the SAWs and the Spider-Men.
Can Hollywood salvage the Terminator franchise at this point?
JM: I think Hollywood could Salvage Terminator. I just don’t see a point. The Terminator story never felt like it needed more than two movies. That being said, I do think they were on the right track with Terminator Salvation. There’s a lot of good stories to be told in that future.
DD: Despite four of the five movies being enjoyable, that franchise is a hot mess. Did you know that every film in that franchise has been produced by different studios? It’s partly due to rights issues, but also because nobody can agree on how to handle it, so it just keeps bouncing around. James Cameron’s films are awesome and iconic, but the series needs to get away from Arnold Schwarzenneger. That’s not a dig on Arnie, I love his T-800 character, but they’re keeping the stories too small.
Like Jeff said, TERMINATOR SALVATION was a step in the right direction. When they do different stories, it works. The TV show with Lena Headey was nothing like the movies and it was really good!
Do you plan on bringing any special guests onto the show at some point?
JM: We’ve talked about it. At this point we’re sort of still getting used to it being the two of us but I definitely like that idea.
DD: Are you hinting at something, Michael? Bring back your weekend movie reviews.
Guests are definitely something we’re open to. It’s just a matter of getting comfortable. We need to work out a format too. One idea is having someone on to help us defend a movie, but we’ve also discussed having a guest that disagrees with us on a movie and battling it out with them. I’ll probably take it to a really personal place and get mad.
What was the last movie you watched that you think everyone should see?
DD: I watch so many movies, and I would recommend a whole bunch, but I have to go with THE INVITATION. Don’t Google it, just watch it. It’s on VoD. I can’t go into detail because the mystery is such a large part of it, but it’s seriously tense, harrowing stuff. And it’s got John Carroll Lynch, one of my favorite character actors. He’s the guy who teaches Morgan aikido on THE WALKING DEAD.
JM: You might be expecting me to suggest some obscure movie that didn’t get that much recognition but I just saw the new Jungle Book and it was incredible. It’s rare to have a big expensive movie get everything so right. The special effects, acting, and the story were all fantastic.
Final question. Team Iron Man or Team Captain America?
DD: Team Cap all the way. A superhero database feels like a very Donald Trump thing to do.
JM: Team Captain America because he’s right. He knows the dangers of working for a government organization. He signed on with S.H.I.E.L.D. after they thawed him and look how that turned out.