Miami Vice: The Sundae Presents Bonus Episode 4

Ciara and Dean co-host The Sundae Presents, a podcast in which they each make the other watch films they haven’t seen. For the first time ever, they have a guest! Darren Mooney of The Escapist and The 250 joined the pod to show Ciara and Dean a film neither of them had seen: Michael Mann’s 2006 big-screen adaptation of Miami Vice. They talk about Colin Farrell’s accent, Jamie Foxx fleeing the set mid-production and why a Miami Vice film barely takes place in Miami.

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My Year of James Bond [Paste]

At the start of last year, I had seen one James Bond film: No Time to Die, in late 2021. Even though I loved it, I felt like I was missing out on so much context. James Bond felt like a huge black hole in my cinematic knowledge, too big to know where to begin stitching it together. Everyone I know, it seemed, grew up watching Bond movies—and has a particular actor they instinctively consider “their” Bond—leaving me without a model of how to get into Bond in the first place, at least without a time machine. At times, I used my preconceptions about Bond movies as a shield justifying my ignorance: Bond is misogynistic trash, anyway. British imperial propaganda. Cheesy and embarrassing besides.

Seeing No Time to Die with my dad, mostly because it happened to be on, I determined that I needed to get around to watching some James Bond films, misogyny and imperialism be damned. Then, because 2022 marked 60 years since the release of Dr. No, all the Eon-produced James Bond films were re-released in Ireland and the U.K., one each Wednesday.

I wrote about watching all the James Bond movies last year for Paste magazine. You can read it here!

Samurai vs Cowboy: Best of Seven: The Sundae Presents Episode 25

Ciara and Dean co-host The Sundae Presents, a podcast in which they each make the other watch films they haven’t seen. A year after Whedon v Snyder, it’s another “versus” episode: Dean brought Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Ciara brought its US remake The Magnificent Seven. They look at how each film examines the cultural figures of the samurai and cowboy, what changed in adaptation (and what didn’t), and how much craic they are.

Samurai vs Cowboy: Best of Seven The Sundae Presents

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Watchmen: The Sundae Presents Bonus Episode 3

Ciara and Dean co-host The Sundae Presents, a podcast in which they each make the other watch films they haven’t seen. It’s an emergency episode! (Though maybe not released on an emergency schedule.) Ciara watched Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen, so she and Dean recorded an episode about it. They talk about the assassination of JFK, whether Rorschach is cool and the absence of a squid.

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2022 in Film(s That Didn’t Come Out in 2022)

Check out previous installments here.


2022 was a long, dreary year that overstayed its welcome many times over and we’re glad to see the back of it. But it had its highlights. Dean fell in love with James Whale and Claude Raines, fell back in love with superheroes and finally got 2001: A Space Odyssey after seeing it on the big screen. Ciara got Cruisepilled by Top Gun: Maverick, Bazpilled by Elvis and Brian Trenchard-Smithpilled by the films of Brian Trenchard-Smith. We saw My Chemical Romance live (!!!) and Dean accidentally bought two tickets to Michael Flatley’s Blackbird, which isn’t good, but is funny. Ciara watched all the Fast and Furious movies in February and Dean watched a bunch of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff films in October.

We released a load of really good episodes of our podcast, The Sundae Presents, and published excellent essays on Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road and Anglophilia, the death of the Queen and Herman’s Hermits by guest contributors Jennifer O’Callaghan and Will Shaw. We appeared individually on The 250 podcast to talk about It Happened One Night and Modern Times, and together to talk about The Conversation. Ciara got published a bunch of different places and Dean genuinely came up with around 200 original superhero and supervillains just for fun.

We’ll have our piece to say about the films released this year when we do the Sundae Film Awards in March, but suffice it to say, despite the bright spots, now more than ever, we’ve found our greatest joy in cinema past. Eras when the medium seemed full of potential instead of peril. This year, we’ve watched films famous and infamous, forgotten and forsaken, celebrated and slandered, from around the world and across time. Over a hundred for Dean, and over four hundred for Ciara. These are just some of our very favourites, and we highly recommend all of them.

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Morvern Callar: The Sundae Presents Episode 24

Ciara and Dean co-host The Sundae Presents, a podcast in which they each make the other watch films they haven’t seen. For our second Christmas Special, Dean showed Ciara that timeless seasonal classic, Lynne Ramsay’s 2002 suicide drama Morvern Callar. They talked about how funny it is, whether the main character is a psychopath and if it’s even a Christmas film.

Morvern Callar The Sundae Presents

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On Anglophilia

On the seventh of August 1965, Herman’s Hermits had a Billboard number-one hit with ‘I’m Henry VIII I Am.’ It is a profoundly lazy, minimum-viable-product of a song. The freeze-dried remains of a once-vibrant musical style, the music-hall charm of Harry Champion’s 1911 recording is stripped back to nothing but the chorus—

I’m ’Enerey the eighth I am
’Enerey the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before
And every one was an ’Enerey (’Enerey!)
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam!)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m ’Enerey
’Enerey the eighth I am!

—sung in Peter Noone’s mockney squawk. The most affecting moment, that smug proclamation of “Second verse, same as the first!” is an open admission of creative lethargy; three choruses, a cheerleader spelling-out of H-E-N-R-Y, a few perfunctory guitar licks, and that’s your lot. One minute and fifty seconds. That’ll be four dollars, please.

And I do mean dollars. Because ‘I’m Henry VIII I Am’ is the kind of superficial crap that British artists have been selling to Americans for decades now. The tourist-friendly historical allusion, the pre-modern comedy subject (the lusty widow archetype is far older than Henry VIII), but above all Noone’s cartoon Londoner delivery, all bouncy diction and dropped aitches. He’s not quite as bad as Dick Van Dyke in the previous year’s Mary Poppins, but he’s still not fooling anyone who’s ever spoken to an actual Londoner for longer than it takes to ask the way to Big Ben.

It’s worth reflecting on the ersatz Londoner as the face of British cultural exports. Just as, colloquially, a ‘British accent’ usually means received pronunciation, i.e., an upper class southern English accent, a phoney version of the London proletariat appears in the American imagination as an easy shorthand for the loveable British everyman. The regional and class identities of several nations are collapsed into a caricature of the Greater London upper classes and a caricature of the Greater London working classes. And this framework can be exploited even if, like Noone, you’re actually from Manchester. It’s so easy, tempting even, to write the song off as a piece of UK kitsch; the sort of plastic tat I constantly brushed past on my commute through King’s Cross Station; a snowglobe Buckingham Palace full of whiteness and carcinogens.

But to do so is to ignore some important context.

This sort of transatlantic pandering was genuinely new at the time. Herman’s Hermits were among the most commercially successful of the British Invasion bands of the mid-1960s. (Indeed, substantially more successful than better-remembered acts like The Who and The Rolling Stones—at least at first.) Prior to 1964, British artists had scored precisely four US number ones, ever. (And two of them were instrumentals, meaning no room for those all-important accents.) Between 1964 and 1966, there were thirty-one, beginning with the hat-trick of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand,’ ‘She Loves You,’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ in early 1964. Most of those number ones went to The Beatles, of course, but Herman’s Hermits had both ‘Henry VIII’ and ‘Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’ in 1965, part of a straight run of US top-five hits. Herman’s Hermits were not just cynically exploiting American Anglophilia; they were also helping to create it.

Another reason not to denigrate ‘I’m Henry VIII I Am’ as a British record cynically sold abroad is more straightforward: it isn’t one. The song was never released as a single in the UK.

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Kramer vs. Kramer: The Sundae Presents Episode 23

Ciara and Dean co-host The Sundae Presents, a podcast in which they each make the other watch films they haven’t seen. For the last regular episode of the year, Ciara showed Dean one of her first favourite films, Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer. They talk about whether it’s balanced, whether it’s antifeminist and which of the characters Dean wanted to kill at various points.

Kramer vs. Kramer The Sundae Presents

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I Know I’m Not Your Favourite Record #3

This article is part of In Defense of the Genre, a series of critical and personal essays in praise of pop punk. Previously, a history of pop punk in seven ages.


Breaking news: we still love pop punk! It’s been five years since we started this series and two years since we did one of these album roundups, and we’re very pleased to say we still love pop punk. More, if anything. And after all these years, the rest of the world is finally getting on our level. The pop punk revival is here, it’s queer, and we both had very different reactions to it that are somewhat reflected in this list.

Ciara ventured into the mists beyond Obama’s first term and found so much great pop punk there, she was able to achieve a long-term ambition of this blog by periodising the history of the genre. Dean listened to SOUR a lot and then got really into noughties New Jersey pop punk for some reason. Please enjoy this selection of albums based on both our recent findings and also our many, many years of listening to pop punk.

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Lucio Fulci: So Much More Than The Godfather Of Gore

Lucio Fulci “was sort of an Italian Hershell Gordon Lewis,” Roger Ebert wrote in 1998, dismissing The Beyond as a plotless and dim-witted movie full of bad special effects and worse dialogue. It’s not surprising that Ebert didn’t like The Beyond – he thought Friday the 13th was disgusting enough trash to warrant a letter writing campaign, after all – but what is surprising is how much Fulci’s legacy is framed more or less as Ebert had it, just with a positive inflection.

Ciara wrote about Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece Don’t Torture a Duckling for Fangoria on its fiftieth anniversary! You can read it here.