Pod 9 From Outer Space – Guns Akimbo

Nick

It’s another episode of pod9 from outer space.

Liz

Cue the music!

Opening music.

LIZ

Ok so I don’t know why I always start like that but I picked this one, which is probably the shortest amount of time between a film coming out and us watching so far. It came out last year.

NICK

Yes, last year the world was a very different place. Daniel Radcliffes or Daniels Radcliffe were free to roam the streets unimpeded. But we put a stop to that and ended the menace.

LIZ

You can probably guess from the title we watched Guns Akimbo, starring Daniel Radcliffe and also Samara Weaving who is very good. The general gist – it’s a dystopian future, obviously, there’s some kind of secretive organisation running I think they can only be described as murder games. There’s two people and they’ve got to kill each other.

NICK

Yeah, it’s fairly simple.

LIZ

And thousands of people tune in to watch and Dan R had the hobby of trolling the trolls as he put it in an ameriucan accent.

NICK

Which I can describe as adequate. It sounds average to me.

LIZ

Probably what they were going for, this is a very average man. He does coding but not for anything particularly exciting for his regular job.

NICK

I enjoyed that. Apart from the whole snuff films but on twitch thing it’s quite an ordinary world really, this guy is very much an everyman but slightly nerdy he’s got some action figures but the kind of level you expect of a programmer.

LIZ

Yeah it’s not a dark and gritty dystopian future it’s a future where this one thing is happening. It’s a lot easier to suspend your disbelief for than for a full on dystopia. I know we are getting very close to living in a dystopia at this point, but it’s easier to have it like it’s now and this one thing is different as opposed to everything has changed.

NICK

It definitely works and one detail I enjoyed was the job he was able to get is programming on one of those free to play mobile games.

LIZ

Like candy crush that kind of thing.

NICK

Yeah draining your wallet, cause you want to buy things to get ahead. Cause by the sounds of it stuff like that is always hiring, always expanding cause it’s basically gambling where you can only lose money it’s a great business model.

LIZ

Apart from that one woman who got to the end of candy crush without spending any money. I remember nothing about her apart from this but I remember it being a thing. So he trolls the trolls too much, and the people who run this game called Skizm, cause they’re cool.

NICK

It’s believable the people who are into that would spell it like that.

LIZ

They nail guns to his hands and say ok you’ve got to kill Nix, the reigning champion you’ve got 24 hours try to leave town we’ll kill you good luck.

NICK

It’s golly…

LIZ

You can see why we picked this it sounds so bad.

NICK

It’s so much it’s… The way I can describe it is it’s one of those films that feels like a comic book movie but not in the Marvel DC sense but in the kind of this is a weird comic book somebody picked up but for all I know it isn’t, it’s got that vibe, that aesthetic.

LIZ

I should say it’s directed by Jason Lee Howden.

NICK

Known for Deathgasm but we won’t get into that.

LIZ

Also Rhys Darby is in this known as a werewolf in What We Do in the Shadows and the guy from New Zealand in the Jumanji movies and he just plays this random homeless guy that Daniel Radcliffe’s character meets. I think he’s called Miles, DR’s character and you think he’s going to be a weird mentor homeless guy which is very much a Rhys Darby role but he’s just a regular homeless guy. And I adore rhys darby in all things and he’s very good in this he’s very minor in this but I love him so I’m bringing him up.

NICK

I will protect him with my life and my knife. I don’t have a knife it’s just my life.

LIZ

You’ve got kitchen knives.

NICK

I’ll cook him a nice meal keep him safe and warm.

LIZ

He’s not actually a homeless guy.

NICK

We must protect our character actors.

LIZ

They do get the short end of the stick. Which is a weird phrase. Anyway, I don’t know what my anyway is…

NICK

Anyway… We were talking about the tone of the film. It’s an odd one I didn’t expect to like it it’s very brash, lots of high energy camera movement, lots of full on flips of the camera and neon and pumping music.

LIZ

It’s a bit guardians of the galaxy in terms of just… If there’s a fight there will be a song underneath it.

NICK

Sometimes I was down with it, sometimes less so.

LIZ

The choices were odd. Ballroom blitz, obviously but some of the choices were… On a couple of occasions they had you spin me right round.

NICK

Yeah that seemed to be the theme of the Skizm guys.

LIZ

Yeah it seems to be the theme when the main guy is fighting somebody.

NICK

That’s ok it kinda fitted…

LIZ

It fitted the first time.

NICK

I feel like it could’ve done with a score. It feels like there’s too many nods and winks to the camera.

LIZ

Too many films idk how to phrase it general music in their soundtrack rather than scores, I don’t mind if there’s one or two scenes that have a song that fits, but more than that it’s like you didn’t want to hire a composer.

NICK

Yeah if you’re going to do this you need to do a whole lot more with it.

LIZ

Like guardians of the galaxy where you tie it in to the plot and the songs fit. It’s largely diegetic isn’t it GotG, which makes it better.

NICK

Yeah the first scene, it shows who the character is as an adult. I’m in space isn’t it cool, I’m on an adventure.

LIZ

Whereas in this it’s very much this fight would have been better with just some instrumental stuff over it.

NICK

Yeah if they’d got a score and toned down some of the wacky aspects especially how they talk, it’s a bit dated.

LIZ

But in a very weird way cause like I’m pretty sure this is near future as we said and someone who spends all their time on forums and comment sections not knowing some basic internet slang, the main one unfortunately containing a swear which I’m not going to say but it rhymes with duckboy and he didn’t know what that was which makes no sense for the character.

NICK

Duck… Toy.

LIZ

Yes, so Nix calls Dan R a ducktoy and he doesn’t know what that means.

NICK

And someone says fail at one point.

LIZ

Yeah that was dated.

NICK

It’s odd as it’s a film made by someone who is aware of twitch and youtubers, very much inspired by that world.

LIZ

It started out with us going is this just Black Mirror the movie?

NICK

Yeah that kind of thing is fine, it’s not inspired, but the Daniel Radcliffe with guns on his hands thing is what I came for, that’s a good thing in and of itself…

LIZ

But the general concept is fairly neutral.

NICK

Yeah I’m fine with people making films about the internet going too far, it’s serviceable, it’s like a modern day hitchhiker it’s just what you use.

LIZ

And toronto international film festival liked it, it’s a very film festival concept.

NICK

Got into a TIFF.

LIZ

Oh dear.

NICK

So it’s a very contemporary twitch like thing but someone says fail which throws you back to the past a little bit.

LIZ

What they should’ve done is put Fs in the chat.

NICK

It felt very epic bacon. Half of this film was written with somebody with an awareness of the internet in 2019-20 and the other half felt like it was made by the guy who writes The Oatmeal.

LIZ

despite the fact it’s written by one person. You get the feeling it could’ve been put out 4 years ago and quickly become dated but it’s already dated so it’s fine. Oddly.

NICK

It felt like one of those ideas you have when you can’t do anything with them. It’s very much a wouldn’t it be weird if thing which is fine and great but it sits in the drawer for a while and you spruce it up a little but you don’t necessarily get to all those lines where someone says something that doesn’t fit.

LIZ

Especially makes sense if they don’t watch streams themselves which is entirely likely.

NICK

It’s an odd mishmash.

LIZ

Overall it does work.

NICK

Yeah. One thing I like is they kept the character relatively consistent. He was very much not happy with guns on him, not happy shooting anyone, it was a series of gradual baby steps to him shooting anyone.

LIZ

Yeah went from I can’t to I did, to I did it to save my life to okay we’re doing this.

NICK

It’s good cause it could’ve been he stopped being a character, a person, and become…

LIZ

A gun puppet. One good thing to talk about is Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who plays Miles’ wonderful ex. I love her character, Nova, and the way she plays her is wonderful. It was an amicable breakup they’re going to work on this new project she’s a very techy person and Miles immediately goes to her for help and goes O-kay this is happening and tries to help, gets kidnapped, but is not a damsel in distress. It’s very much a yes you’ve got me now what thing. Miles saves her – there’s a voiceover, wonderful line, seeing your ex kill someone doesn’t make you want to run over it gives you PTSD which is correct. Bordizzo’s face acting is phenomenal. Can we give her an award for her face? MVP.

NICK

We’re giving out the first Pod 9 Podtastic Award for Face Acting which is the only one in the world so it’s quite an honour.

LIZ

What did we learn from this film? Personally I learned not to be a gun puppet.

NICK

Cocaine gives you superpowers.

LIZ

Oh yeah cause of one scene where someone drops cocain and Nix is hurt and runs over and she can’t have been able to get much and she’s like WARRRRGH let’s do this gets superpowers..

NICK

Yeah it’s like gamma radiation, or being rich. It helps.

LIZ

Where does it fall on the camp scale? Cause there’s a lot of stuff in this that isn’t very camp, but also has you have 24 hours to X and a voiceover and it ends with the events of the film being put into fiction.

NICK

So it’s like a series of single person pop-up tents. You bring them to a festival when you’re going alone and can’t be bothered with anything fancier. Stick it down there and it’s done. Feels like those camp elements were just kind of done to get things moving.

LIZ

Honestly the ‘and then Nova wrote a comic book about miles’ felt like we had to end it somehow.

NICK

It’s a shame that what was really fun but not up to the standards of Swiss Army Man.

LIZ

We need to cover Swiss Army Man.

NICK

it took an odd subject and made it touching and good. What was fun was brought down by the need to bring in conventional narrative elements, the voiceover the comic book, the 24 hours, there’s hack moves. I shouldn’t be hugely surprised to see that from a new director but I think if you can get the funding for a film called Guns Akimbo then you can do better. Like Octodad.

LIZ

You’re saying Dan R should be a regular human guy who definitely doesn’t have guns on his hands.

NICK

And there’s one chef who wants to eat him. Played by Mads Mikkelsen. Nobody steal this copyright me 2020 I am writing the octodad dan R guns akimbo crossover we need.

LIZ

Ok, it’s time to wrap up. If you want to help us you can donate to our ko-fi podnine. Do you know what we’re doing next time?

NICK

No earthly idea.

LIZ

I’m very excited and we will be back with you next week.

NICK

Oh yes. We will never leave you, even when everyone else has.

LIZ

If we never leave how can we be back?

NICK

…Quiet you.

Closing music.

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