Podcast Choice #06 – Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

I have been asked a fair few times about the different podcasts I listen to. I not only have a lengthy commute to work, but also travel a fair bit for work, so it’s vital to me to have something to listen to. This series will discuss and review the different podcasts I listen to or have listened to. In a previous blog post I spoke about the why and how I listen to podcasts, now we look at the actual podcasts I listen to.

This week’s podcast is Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews.

Mark Kermode discusses the latest film releases with Simon Mayo. Lively, controversial and unmissable movie discussion. Broadcast live on Fridays at 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live.

I have often thought that the best movie critics to listen to are the ones that correlate with your own views on films. If you like films they like, then films they recommend will probably be ones you will enjoy.

Unfortunately I don’t go to the cinema as much as I use when I was younger, now that I have a young family. However I do find that I enjoy the weekly banter about what is coming out in the cinema between Mark and Simon. It keeps me informed about what is fresh and new in the world of cinema, whilst also enabling me to make a list of films that I will buy on Blu-Ray, download from iTunes or rent from my local library. I often refer back to previous shows when a new film is released on DVD to check what Mark thought of it before making a purchase decision.

On the surface I would not have correlated the films I like with the ones that Mark likes. He is a fan of horror films, in particular the Exorcist, and I really don’t like horror films and probably would never see the Exorcist. However I do remember when Mark reviewed Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro. A Spanish language film I would probably never have seen if I hadn’t heard Mark Kermode rant on about how good it was on what seemed at the time a weekly basis. When it did come out on DVD, I did go out and buy it and thought what a wonderful film it was. Since then I have listened and learned from Mark about films and cinema and have enjoyed many movies that I otherwise may have missed. I also enjoy the regular rants on those cinema releases that are not really up to scratch and the discourse is really entertaining to listen to. I also like the fact that Mark can surprise me, a film I would be sure he would hate, he loves and vice versa.

The show or podcast itself is though more than just a series of film reviews the banter and discourse between Mark and Simon is as much of the why I listen to the show as for the reviews. There are a few in-jokes that add to the enjoyment too; hello Jason Isaacs! You can tell this is an important part of the show, as I rarely listen to the podcast if Mark and Simon are on holiday and some other people are doing the show; I would even say I was disappointed to find that they are not doing the show. The key factor I think for me for the podcast is the fact that it is Mark and Simon. I also rarely watch or listen to Mark on other shows when he is on his own, it certainly is for me the relationship and energy that this pair have that makes this an entertaining and a must listen podcast for the week.

The show has “evolved” or “mutated” over the years, it use to be under one hour, but since Simon Mayo moved to drivetime on Radio 2 it is now a two hour show which equates to a 90 minute podcast. They have guests to talk about films, usually an actor or director who has a new release as would be expected. Within a typical show you will get a review of the top ten in the cinema box office, a good chance to hear what Mark thinks of the current films in the cinema in an amusing pithy one sentence usually. As well as the interview there will be reviews of the new releases, sometimes long, sometimes quick and a recommendation of the film of the week.

At the end of the day you will either really enjoy this podcast or hate it, and a lot of that will depend on what films you like. If you like what Mark likes then you will enjoy this, if you don’t you may find that even with the banter this isn’t the film review podcast for you.

Subscribe to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews in the iTunes Store.

2 Replies to “Podcast Choice #06 – Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews”

  1. Personally, I hate it. That’s because I hate the Hollywood view of the world which modern cinema, and, therefore, modern cinema reviews, promote. Still, chacun à son goût

    1. You quite obviously haven’t listened to their podcast have you?

      What an incredibly narrow minded way of looking at things, writing off an entire industry like that.

Leave a Reply