Aaron Goldhammer, The Matrix, and Pearl Jam Unplugged

What a week it’s been here at WFNY. We’ve been facing down the dead periods and trying to keep our heads high above the water line. The Browns slowed down their free agency assault. The Cavaliers are awkward as they integrate new teammates and those returning from injury. March Madness is finally here, but that tourney is so insane that previewing it hardly makes much sense, you know, except if you’re talking to TD. So that’s where we are. Thanks for being here just the same. Thanks to those who continue to support on Patreon. Now let’s get to it.

My chat with Aaron Goldhammer…

I had a really great time talking to Hammer this week. I know everyone in the market knows him and everyone has an opinion of him. Just having him on the podcast gave me a tiny view through the lens that he lives his public life as a media personality. No sooner do I post the podcast and let people know that it exists, people are trashing it on Twitter. Never mind that there’s been no possible way they could have listened to it. It’s fascinating to me because he’s still considered the new guy and an outsider, but with every year he’s spent more and more of a percent of his lifetime in Cleveland. He’s approaching a third at this point and still remains one of the most polarizing figures in the media market.

Regardless, I’ve always found him friendly and passionate about his work. Whether you like him or not, I think he’s a great guest and I was really happy he spent some time telling us about what it’s been like to be him over the first ten years of his career in Cleveland.

The Matrix trilogy is far from perfect, but it shouldn’t be rebooted…

This week we found out that The Matrix will have more life in the future. Warner Brothers is doing some kind of follow-up, but we’re not sure yet whether it will be a sequel, prequel, reboot or something else in the Matrix universe. The report on Hollywood Reporter used the word reboot, and that’s a little bit scary to me. I’m fully on board with more Matrix movies, but I think it only makes sense to build off of the originals rather than start from scratch.

Brian Spaeth and I have spent a lot of time talking about issues like this on the WFNY podcast – usually related to Spider-Man, I think – and this isn’t a movie that needs to be rebooted. A reboot is preferable if there’s some kind of technological change that makes a reboot some sort of marked improvement over the original. When technology is one of the unlisted cast members of a movie, totally consider rebooting it completely. Zombies have been overdone, but it made perfect sense to re-do those movies. Some horror movies would benefit greatly from this as well as I think about The Blob. The Matrix, however, was so cutting edge that it won’t benefit substantially from the technological advances we’ve made since the movie’s original release in 1999.

So, if I get a vote, which I don’t, I have to say that whatever Warner decides to do, they shouldn’t pretend like the original trilogy doesn’t exist. They should ride that wave, expand and improve on parts where the original sequels fell short. Use the already-understood universe and bring us back to the magic of that original movie.

Pearl Jam’s Unplugged turns 25 years old…

Everyone always talks about Nirvana or even Alice in Chains’ Unplugged – and trust me I love them – but Pearl Jam’s is often left out of the discussion as one of the best. Part of that’s due to the fact that there was no official album release other than overpriced record store bootlegs until a DVD cropped up in 2009. While the adult contemporary world was still squealing in delight over Eric Clapton’s Unplugged, I was watching Pearl Jam lose their minds performing Porch. It was also a full year before Nirvana’s life-altering performance.

For my money, this version of Black is as good as any the band has ever done live to my vast Pearl Jam knowledge.

That’s it from me this week! Enjoy the tourney.