Tuesday, 3 March 2009

CHIN STROKER VS PUNTER – Who will survive and what will be left of them?

We’re back to the wonderful world of podcasts and this time we’re looking at Chinstroker vs Punter (or CvP as I’ll be referring to it from here on in). It’s another UK-based film review show and appears roughly fortnightly. But rather than a round-up of the latest releases hitting the theatres, CvP takes an in-depth look a single film. And they have a killer twist which is the show’s title encapsulates.

For those of you unfamiliar with the vagaries of UK slang, allow me to explain. “Chin stroker” is a mildly derogatory term for an intellectual, whereas a ‘punter’ is the ordinary guy in the street. So then in this ‘cast, we have our genial hosts discussing and arguing the merit of a movie from these perspectives – Mike as an ex-film student is the chin stroker, and Paul represents the punter massive.

Each episode sees them take turns to select a film for dissection. And dissect they certainly do, in great detail - it’s not uncommon for the shows to run as long as the film under discussion. The format generally is to go through the movie from start to finish, commenting and criticising along the way. And while certainly helps to be familiar with the works under the microscope - and be warned that the shows are spoiler-heavy - the discussions are always interesting and entertaining in their own right.

The show’s pretension versus popcorn approach ensures some fascinating debates and part of the fun is guessing how divisive of the show will be. And aside from the polarities of viewpoint, the guys present a wealth of background detail on the films. The show uncovers a great many little known facts and production anecdotes which will delight any movie buff.

The alternating picks also deliver a varied and diverse of menu of cinema. One week we could be looking at arthouse, and another venturing into the relams of schlock. And the boys are not above throwing in the odd curveball – for example, Paul recently selected the classic Powell and Pressburger Black Narcissus.

However if all the above sounds like a little dry, I must point out that this is a very funny show. Often recording under the influence of the old vino collapso, there’s frequent hilarious outbursts and digressions. Generally when listening to an episode of CvP, you’ll be alternately marvelling at the excellent critiques and rolling on the floor with laughter.

Recently they have done a cross-over episode with one of my other favourite movie podcasts Cinerama, and the boys will be joining Ian again soon for a Watchmen spectacular.

This is a great ‘cast with a winning combination of insight and humour.

Find the latest shows here http://chinstrokervspunter.podomatic.com/

The older shows are archived at http://chinstrokervspunter.mypodcast.com/

And there's a blog at http://chinstrokervspunter.blogspot.com/

So open a bottle of red wine and join the party!

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