Failed Critics Film Podcast

Failed Critics Film Podcast

United States

The slightly shambolic weekly film podcast, where each week we review new theatrical releases, as well as revisit some classics (and not-so-classics), trawl through film news, and maybe even chat to the odd special guest.


Character Unlock: Racer's Paradise Achievement Unlocked  

Welcome to our second episode of Failed Critics' basement lingering, video game-centric spin off, Character Unlock! Hosts John Miller and Andrew Brooker have stolen the keys to some of the shiniest and fastest cars you can ever imagine getting your hands on and they plan to tear around the streets for an hour or so. Celebrating the beginning of Silly Season 2016 by completely avoiding new releases for a couple of weeks, the boys delve into this year's FIFA iteration and the disappointing sequel Homefront: The Revolution, before digging into futuristic follow-on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and wondering what's next for the fan-favourite franchise. They pick apart newly released PlayStation VR and the games that were (and weren't) allowed out for review before the hardware came out, all whilst waxing lyrical about why that might be. The pair also kick the tyres on Forza Horizon 3, the latest in the free-roam racing series. Finally, stealing more of the Failed Critics patter, Brooker and John list out a triple bill on 'racing in games', picking their three favourites and checking them against listeners' suggestions. Join us again in a couple of weeks when the lads talk all things horror games - or maybe come join the conversation on Twitter (@CharacterUnlock) and Facebook (

Failed Critics Podcast: The Guys On The Pod  

All aboard! Every week Owen Hughes rides the Failed Critics steam train from host Steve Norman's caravan park in Swanage all the way to guest Andrew Brooker's residence in Milton Keynes, stopping at the exact same point along the way to peer through the windows of the FC HQ in Oxford. Unfortunately there are no affairs or murders for him to observe and fantasise about, only a depressed version of himself wondering why the bloody hell he sits through these uninspiring movies that 2016 keeps on churning out. Specifically the latest to cross the team's path, The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt. This week's journey also pulls in at the games and tech podcast Super Pixels Radio stop. Failed Critics debutant Elliot Beverley chats with Owen about the animated stop-motion family movie, Kubo and the Two Strings. We also have the buffet cart stocked with the latest trailers from the New York Comic Convention. It's got all of your favourites only slightly overpriced, including Power Rangers, John Wick 2, Iron Fist, and the new Resident Evil and War of the Planet of the Apes teasers. In What We've Been Watching, Brooker leaves the quiet carriage to shout about the Ghostbusters extended edition, while Steve shimmies out of the bog after feeling less than Supersonic to review the new Oasis documentary, as well as revisiting The Martian for the first time since its cinema release. Join us again next week for a triple bill of film franchises that should've ended before reaching a

Character Unlock: You Have Earned The Episode One Trophy  

Ejecting the Blu-ray from our PS4 and using it for its intended purpose for a change, the Failed Critics have booted up a computer game or two and put the movies back on the shelf for the first ever episode of our brand new sister-podcast, Character Unlock. Andrew Brooker and John Miller host the pilot episode, kicking off with a run down from EGX 2016. It's not just top-down racing games that John got to play, as Battlfield 1, Forza Horizon 3, FIFA 17 and plenty of indie games went under his microscope at the event. Plus, this week Brooker chats with game reviewer-turned-game developer, Kevin Van Ord, about his career, what he thinks about early access for Original Sin 2, and sneaking Scottish euphemisms into Dwarven dialogue. They round off the podcast by answering your questions that you sent to us via our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Want to get to know Brooker and John? Listen to find out how they met, what their favourite games are, which games series' they would combine, and how many worms they think it takes to change a lightbulb. Hey, you asked. We answered. If you enjoy the episode, if you have any feedback or things you'd like to hear on future podcasts, please let us know either on Facebook or Twitter (both @CharacterUnlock) or email

Failed Critics Podcast: Mr Peregrine's Podcast for Peculiar People  

Wahey look how quirky and gothic we are as hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes stumble around for far longer than they should on this week's podcast discussing Tim Burton's latest zany fantasy film, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Ooooh we're so weird. Steve's got a face full of wasps and Owen constantly props himself up with sticks else he sinks into the ground. It's fine though because of the randomness and wacky way we present ourselves so you'll have to love it. (Oh, by the way, I was being sarcastic.) In less annoying Burton-esque tropes, the pair struggle to get a handle on why Disney are bothering to remake The Lion King and end the show rather unusually by trying to figure out exactly what's wrong with the BBC's sitcoms lately. In What We've Been Watching, Steve also finally gets to see Don't Breathe after its glowing review on the podcast a few weeks back, whilst Owen revisits the remake of one of his favourite ever movies in 2008's Day of the Dead. Join us again next week for a slightly more on track podcast (presumably).

Failed Critics Podcast: The Not-so-bad Four  

Yeehaw, listeners! It's a darn tootin' mighty fine show we've got for you this week. Hosts Steve 'the kid' Norman and Smilin' Owen Hughes are joined by pardners The Liam With No Surname and Django Brooker for a special westerns triple bill episode. Their pistols are cocked and ready to fire on each of their favourite three westerns in honour of this week's big new release, Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Lee Byung-hun amongst others. A 'west' inspired quiz opened the podcast with the score delicately poised at 2-2 between Owen and Steve, who was just one loss away from watching the abhorrent Killer Bitch. There was also time for a short chat about the furore over the latest images from the Jumanji sequel. Join us again next week for reviews of Deepwater Horizon and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Failed Critics Podcast: Blair Witch or Killer B*tch  

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Failed Critics Podcast. Proving that they're not just a pair of losers with no friends, hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are back again but this time Paul Field and Tony Black join them. As ever the podcast kicks off with a quiz, this week hosted by Steve, that puts the Failed Critics' soap knowledge to the test, before they move on to What We've Been Watching. Paul makes a bold declaration that Park Chan-wook's Handmaiden is the Oldboy director's best film yet; Steve also takes a trip to Korean cinema with zombie-thriller Train to Busan; Tony reaches peak noughties teen melodrama as he continues his run-through of Smallville; and Owen laments ever letting Paul know his address after receiving a copy of British gangster-exploitation flick Killer Bitch in the post. The big new release this week for the team to chew over is Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard's eagerly anticipated Blair Witch, the sequel to the iconic cult classic, The Blair Witch Project in case you were wondering. It also leads to the second quiz of the week, with Paul surprising the other three with a game of 'Bitch' or 'Witch'!

Failed Critics Podcast: Drunks on Film Triple Bill  

Welcome to another episode of the Failed Critics Podcast where hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes were left entirely to their own devices as both guests bailed on them faster than Gareth Bale operating an AB 43HS-series. (It's a waste-handling baler. It bales stuff.) Hastily rejigging the content of the show just hours before recording, the podcast this week features a triple bill about drunks on film, suggested to us by Underground Nights co-host, Paul Field. Presumably in honour of the fact he and Jonathan Sothcott got legless recently and professed their love for Failed Critics down the phone to us. Either way, it produced some interesting choices from both Owen and Steve, even if we do say so ourselves. Also on the podcast this week, the pair discuss the news that Dev Patel is absolutely unequivocally 100% not in a new Slumdog film (or is he??) plus Joe Manganiello being cast as the only villain in Ben Affleck's solo-Batman movie (or is he??). There's also time to squeeze in a couple of reviews. Steve discusses the unwanted and totally pointless Ben-Hur remake that makes a mockery of the original and flagrantly disregards the lack of audience for modern epics. Owen fares slightly better with the Fede Alvarez horror / thriller / home-invasion / psychological-drama / thing, Don't Breathe in all of its Sam Raimi produced glory. Join us again next week as Paul and Tony Black help us to review the latest Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett collaboration, Blair Witch.

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Going out on a High-atus  

No, your podcast player of choice has not gone insane. You are receiving two entirely different episodes of Front Row with Owen and Paul within the space of three days. To make up for the very late publishing of the previous episode, we're putting this one out early. It's also the final episode of Front Row for the foreseeable future. Series three has been a blast to record and produce. Both co-hosts Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland are hugely appreciative of all the input we've received from listeners during the live Bucks101 Radio broadcasts over the past seven weeks. It's meant a lot to us, but like most good things, it has to come to an end. At least temporarily. Owen and Paul explain the reason for the hiatus on this week's podcast edition of Monday's live show during the final roll-the-dice section. Elsewhere, Owen reviews adult-animated comedy Sausage Party, whilst Paul has a fully prepared sports round-up leading to a conversation about Sam Allardyce's first game in charge of the England football team. Thanks again for all your support over the past three series. Who knows, we may see the show reincarnated in some form or other. In the meantime, why not listen to the Failed Critics Podcast for more of Owen's film reviews, or read Paul's blog to keep up to date with his antics.

Failed Critics Podcast: Sausage Party  

It's getting a bit musky in the FC HQ this week as Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Callum Petch engage in their very own sausage party to review Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's latest collaboration. The foul-mouthed animated comedy pretty much divided the group down the middle, but you'll have to listen to find out who hated it, who thought it was fine, and who loved it. Elsewhere on the pod: hooked on an Ashton Kutcher-fix, Steve reviews time-travelling sci-fi The Butterfly Effect; Owen realises he should watch a film before coming on a film podcast so squeezes in a first viewing of Roger Corman's Piranha; and Callum revisits an old favourite in Scott Pilgrim vs the World to see if he still likes it in the same way as he used to. Plus there's quizzing, recommendations, chat about who is a chan of Jackie Fan (who isn't a Jackie Fan chan?) and Callum comprehensively guides us through this year's London Film Festival line-up. Join the same trio again as well as the returning Tony Black next week for (sigh) Ben Hur.

Front Row with Owen and Paul: And You!  

Quite possibly the longest we've ever left it between the live Bucks101 Radio broadcast of Front Row with Owen and Paul, and the eventual podcast edit of the show. In fact, in the meantime, we've even broadcast an entire other show. Sorry about that. But this was a good one, we promise. Mainly, I suppose, because most of the content was decided by you, the listener, and not us! To tie into the fact that one or the other of Owen and Paul have been missing at least once this series, we thought the best thing to do would be to let you choose the music - and we had some crackers! Idgy Dean, I Start Counting, erm... AC/DC... It wasn't just music last week. We also talked a little about The Purge: Election Year, the (then) latest football results amongst the sports round-up and even managed to fit in enough time to roll the dice and rant about E4's new barrel-scraping bottom-feeder of a show, Celebs Go Dating. Urgh.

Failed Critics Podcast: Rubber Faced Bottom Buckets  

Welcome to this week's episode of the Failed Critics Podcast where we're once again Steve Norman-less. But don't panic! Tony Black is here to spare you the agony of having to listen to Owen Hughes attempt to host the show. Tony and Owen were also joined by special guests and lovely chaps Daryl Bär and Ben Challoner from the Sudden Double Deep podcast, whose wit, intelligence and fantastic insults make them a more than welcome addition to Failed Critics. Together the team try to come to terms with the news of Gene Wilder's passing breaking just minutes before recording started, as well as perusing the BBC Culture poll of the top 100 films of the 21st century, plus a quick glance at the latest figures around who earns what in Hollywood. The main releases this week include: the latest Jason Statham action vehicle Mechanic: Resurrection; a barrel of laughs and a barrel-sized Jonah Hill in the "based on a true story" black comedy War Dogs; and dystopian thrills and not-much-bloody-spills with The Purge: Election Year. There was even a teensy bit of room for us to chat about all the films we've been watching lately. Found-footage horror As Above, So Below crossed Owen's path, whilst documentaries were the order of the day for the remaining trio. Daryl takes us through the insightful Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig, Ben was lucky enough to catch Weiner, and Tony spreads the love about the unambiguous Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman's the Fantastic Four. Join us again next week as the line-up returns to normal as Callum joins Owen and Steve. It'll be a real Sausage Party.......... what?

Front Row[en]  

Welcome to this week's episode of Front Row with Owen and Paul-- wait, let me start that sentence again. Welcome to this week's episode of Front Row with Owen. That's better. Unfortunately, Front Row co-host Paul Rutland couldn't make this week's broadcast of their Bucks101 Radio show (Monday, 2pm) and Owen Hughes left it too late to find a replacement so ended up running an entire episode on his own. Oops. Nevertheless, short though the runtime for this week's podcast may be, we still squeeze in a recap of Ricky Gervais' career thus far as well as a round-up of the previous week in sport - including the Olympics closing ceremony that nobody watched and one mind-boggling football statistic. Rather unusually, the entire broadcast of this week's episode of Front Row including the music is also available to listen back to via Owen's YouTube page until it is deemed to contravene some copyright law or other:

Failed Critics Podcast: Fright Night Triple Bill  

Murdered in his sleep, chopped up into tiny pieces and stuffed down the back of Paul Field's sofa. That's what we presume is the reason behind the Underground Nights co-host taking over duties from the absent Steve Norman this week as he joins Owen Hughes and Andrew Brooker for this week's triple bill podcast. Each of the trio picks three films that have frightened them - not necessarily the scariest films they can think of, but rather, those that have at some point in their lives scared them beyond their senses. The theme for this triple bill was chosen with FrightFest in mind, which kicks off on Thursday this week and has a mini-preview of a couple of films that the team are keeping an eye out for. There's also room in the whopping 2 hour run-time for the Failed Critics to chat about more controversy over Sausage Party after last week's damning indictment of the way that film's producers have been treating the animators. This time, it's the Swedish age-rating system that feels the full force of the podcast. Take that, Sweden! New releases this week includes the return of Ricky Gervais's comedy character David Brent in feature film Life on the Road hitting cinemas this past Friday. Brooker also shines a light on the latest horror-by-numbers, Lights Out.

Front Row with Owen and Paul: BadmintohmyGod  

Just like that time they tried to watch a football match at the same time as recording their Bucks101 Radio show (Monday's at 2pm!), Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland are at it again this week as they outro the podcast with a bit of live Olympics coverage. Specifically the mens badminton quarter-finals, which Paul gets a tad over-excited about! Also on this week's episode of Front Row, there's a little bit of music, a round-up of Team GB's impressive haul out in Rio and a movie review of shark-vs-woman thriller, The Shallows. Also, to be a good friend, Paul put himself through Suicide Squad, which turned out exactly as you expected it might've.

Failed Critics Podcast: Pod Handed  

Awright, settle down you slags. The Failed Critics Podcast is here, keep your hair on you bunch of Berkley Hunt's. Influenced by the paedo-hunting vigilante killers in the expectedly awful geezer-movie Mob Handed, hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are up to no good with their partner in crime, Callum Petch. As well as a full-on dismantling of the aforementioned since-proclaimed "worst movie" that Owen and Steve have ever made each other watch (nudging out the likes of Kill Keith, United Passions and Spice World), we also cover the news this week that the animators on Sausage Party have been dicked on. Or.. weinered on? Anyway. We also have reviews of the first ever entry into the expanded DC universe* with Wes Craven's 1980's cult creature feature, Swamp Thing (*that's a joke), the bizarre / wonderful / strange / odd / quirky / surreal / [delete as applicable] film The Lobster, plus Callum deals a blow for nostalgia as it turns out that Highlander isn't actually all that good, really. Main releases covered this week also include four new films. The latest YA novel to be adapted into a movie sees Callum find a glimmer of hope in Nerve; Owen rips junks out of shark + girl film The Shallows; Pete's Dragon is just a one decade too late for this Failed Critic; and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is fine but find out why Hollywood really needs to just stop this now. Join Owen again next week sans Steve, with Paul Field stepping in the hosts chair and Andrew Brooker joining the pair for a triple bill on the films that have frightened them the most.

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Evil 'kin Evil  

Better late than never? And only a day before the live broadcast of the next episode on Bucks101 Radio (1pm, tune in here), it's the Front Row podcast! This week hosts Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland discuss Olympics medalists and the start of the football season (which leads to another rant from Paul in roll the dice), whilst Owen reviews the latest comic-book action blockbuster, Suicide Squad, much to Paul's delight. All of this while being soundtracked by the sound of passing motorcyclists. The joy's of recording live radio in a tiny study with a window onto a busy road!

Failed Critics Podcast: Suicide Pod  

Wearing skimpy clothes and carrying a baseball bat with a miserable face carved into it with a compass, Steve "Har-leaky Quim" Norman is not about to let your perception of his sexual promiscuity define him as he wanders in to lead this week's podcast, all about DC's latest entry to their extended movie universe: it's David Ayer's rogues-done-good ensemble actioner, Suicide Squad. Taking pot-shots at the film with his uber-cool Nerf missile launcher strapped to his bogey-covered sleeve, Andrew "Deadsnot" Brooker lends a slightly-crusty hand on this week's episode. As does Owen "The Inch-and-less" Hughes, possessed by the spirit of a stroppy old misanthropic witch, but you probably can't tell that there's anything different about him compared with any previous podcast appearance in fairness. Suicide Squad gets a once over from the ragtag bunch of misfits spoiler-free, before a post-credits review that delves more deeply into some of the finer points of the plot, should you wish to listen to us prattle on even longer. We also preview Hunter Johnson's upcoming indie-horror 2 Jennifer - the sequel to James Cullen Bressack's 2013 indie thriller To Jennifer - shot entirely on an iPhone, as well as Steve's rewatch of iconic American TV series Homeland, plus a first watch of this year's folk-horror The Witch. The Asylum doesn't escape criticism on the pod either after releasing yet another entry in the unbelievably popular franchise, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens.

Front Row with Owen and Paul: Return to Owz  

Welcome to the second episode of our third stab at this Front Row malarkey. Dan Morris has clicked his heels and returned to Kansas, or Wales, or Stoke, or wherever it was he was from, and it's led to a poorly received, slightly odder follow-up, as we Return to Owz. Owz... like, Oz, but with 'Owen', because he's back this week alongside co-host Paul Rutland. (Owen+z. Owenz... Owz... You know what? Never mind.) On last week's Bucks101 Radio show (broadcast Monday's at 2pm) both Owen and Paul delved into just why exactly it was that one of them walked out on a screening of Star Trek Beyond - an issue raised on the first episode of this series. We also have our regular sports round-up, replete with a preview of the Olympics in Rio - something you can watch Paul do again in a slightly more organised fashion for Buckingham News: We also roll the dice and end up extolling the virtues of more Netflix shows as Owen gushes over both Stranger Things and the third season of BoJack Horseman.

Failed Critics Podcast: Sports Triple Bill II  

Refusing to stay down on the mat and not allowing our coach to throw in the towel, the Failed Critics are steadily climbing to their feet for one final round of the sports triple bill. The first of which was concluded back in August 2012, in time for the London Olympics. This one, coincidentally, is being released just ahead of the Rio Olympics! Almost as if it were intentionally planned that way... Hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by Andrew Brooker and - fresh from his local Richer Sounds with a brand new microphone - Brian Plank. Each Failed Critic chose their three favourite sports movies. Did Owen try and shoehorn in Brewster's Millions again? Did Steve just list the three Mighty Ducks movies? Did Brooker choose a film featuring a sport that isn't American Football? Is there a single book about sports that Brian hasn't read? You'll have to listen to find out. Also this week, due to the quick turnaround in podcasts, with the last Star Trek Beyond episode only released a few days ago, not much has happened in the world of film that wasn't discussed previously, so the team forgo the news section for a slightly extended Olympics-themed movie quiz and a chat about the Bourne franchise - including a review of this weekend's big release, Jason Bourne. Join us again in just over a week's time as we get back to our regular recording schedule for a review of the hotly anticipated Suicide Squad.

Front Row with[out Owen, just] Paul and ... Dan?  

A new University term begins (yes, that's right, we don't get a summer break!) and it's also a new hour-long time-slot on Bucks101 Radio for the third series of Front Row with Owen Hughes and Paul Rutland, every Monday from 2pm. With it comes our weekly bitesize podcast edition of the show as the duo chat about films, sports and whatever else their topical dice lands on. Although the series kicks off in a slightly unconventional fashion as co-host Owen was unable to make the opening episode, so Dan Morris ably steps in to cover. With no specific movie review to speak of, Dan instead leads a conversation about the latest batch of trailers straight from San Diego Comic-Con, which in turns causes Paul to drag up a favourite debate on Front Row about comic book films in general. The sports round-up also takes a slightly different slant as Paul questions why Dan supports Wales in rugby and England in football - and why that's quite possibly the most unfortunate way around at the moment. Paul also lauds the achievements of Chris Froome after his Tour de France triumph. Unfortunately, Owen is still in possession of the only dice in the Bucks101 Radio studio, so instead our final section of the show allows Dan and Paul to chat about the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go.

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