Cantankerous Episode #12: Friend or Foe?

This could be a record. Just when you thought Reed had put the final nail in the Cantankerous coffin, we surprise the fudge out of you with a second episode in the same month! This time it’s just me (Jay) and Reed discussing the reaction to our Inception episode (are we mean to Reed?), how to tell if you are going insane (and when a friend should intervene) and what we look for in a good film. We also go head to head in a movie trivia showdown, pulling questions from the Scene It! movie trivia game (along with a special Star Trek bonus round). Everybody strap on your heart monitors…it’s time for Cantankerous!

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  • Nick Robertson

    Hey Reed,

    Based on your criteria of film – do you like Terminator 2? Main character dies AND it broke boundaries in CGI and showed the whole world incredibly NEW things.

    You are a very mysterious man – I hope to discuss film one-on-one some time.


  • Claudette and RC, I enjoyed your comments, and I’m not going to say either of you is incorrect in your observations, but I must say how Jay has won again in getting the Film Junk audience to side with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he deliberately let me win the Scene It competition in order to soften his image. He has a very astute PR team whom Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson should hire.

    Nick, strange you should mention Terminator 2, because I was thinking about it in relation to a post by FatBologna in the Film Junk Forums. I liked how the characters were written, and I thought the action was well done. I did nod off during the climax even with all the noise, because the action started getting tedious for me. Overall, I enjoyed the film. (That being said, I don’t quite understand the hate for Terminator 3.)

    BTW, I haven’t listened to the podcast, but I think I may have missed some criteria for what I like in films. I like when a character sacrifices himself, especially when he does things for humanitarian rather than personal reasons. People might think I would cite The Wrath of Khan, but I’ll mention an earlier film that’s not really a great film. In the movie Earthquake, Charlton Heston sacrifices his life trying to save his divorced wife. He didn’t love her anymore, but he just had to try to save her. I also like love triangles, but I can’t think of a film I liked with a love triangle. I know that love triangles are key to many of the television series I like.

  • Claudette Wilson

    LOL@ Reed! Jay’s taken his knocks for being harsh with you in the past but credit to him for creating a way to redeem himself – if it was totally strategic, it worked but people aren’t blindly siding with him, they’re just responding to your admission that Jay never ACTUALLY said he doesn’t have time for the show anymore. . .HOWEVER, i’ve seen the numerous requests/questions from Facebook fans and on the FJ site (particularly between ep 9 & 10) when it took a millenium for Jay to edit/produce the xmas episode – hence my assertion that ‘many’ of us thought Jay was the hold up contrary to RC’s view). When the hoards enquired via FJ mail Jay would often sound non-commital & disinterested but he never said he wanted to stop. His Beauty Day project seemed like his priority but I think you presumed he was about to blow up and wld be too famous to want to continue, no? You know how much your loved so stop competing! Keep doing you – there’s a reason people rabidly tune in & I’m still your no1 fan! :-) :-)

  • Matty

    Wait – so you always claim to have this disdain for humanity, but you like it when people sacrifice themselves for humanity? Isn’t that contradictory?

  • Defendor

    I’m crying tears of joy! Cantankerous is back.

  • demonhead6

    What is the last song?

  • First song: Friend or Foe by Adam Ant
    Second song: 3000 Flowers by Destroyer

  • bard


    You never really answered WHY you don’t like being photographed or on video. Care to answer here? Or maybe the next episode?

  • Matty, I can see your confusion, but there’s a subtlety here that I consider. Overall, I hate humanity. But the quality of self-sacrifice is one that I do admire in humanity. It may be enough to redeem humanity in some people’s eyes, but not mine.

    Well, Jay and I had another opportunity to record another Cantankerous today, but he made the excuse of having to go to the dentist to have a tooth filled.

  • Xidor

    The world is a safer place thanks to you Cantankerous. Fighting for Truth, Justice, and the difficult or irritating way.

  • About a specific topic that was discussed during the “what we look for in films” segment…

    I’ll try to explain why I love cinema even if I don’t think most of the films I watch are good. I love watching movies of any genre, any time period, any country. I’m not very picky about what I watch and try to keep as open a mind as possible and as consistent a critical sense as I can, whether I’m watching a comedy starring Carrot Top or a certified Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. The more cinema I see, the more I believe that you never know when greatness (or tedium) is going to hit you.

    For example, I never thought I’d be a fan of Jerry Lewis before I forced myself to watch THE BELLBOY after reading some people who’s opinion I respect praising the man’ skills as a director. I was always under the impression that he was this unbearable and unfunny old-fashioned comedian starring in grade-Z movies (which is unfortunately a common perception, at least in North America). Well, if I’d only listened to my instincts, I never would’ve discovered a director (and performer) that I now love and respect immensely.
    Of course, taking risks in selecting what movies you watch will sometimes bring you into undesired territories and make you regret your viewing habits, but I think the benefits are far greater than the losses and anyway, most movies feature at the very least one or two things that make the experience of watching them worthwhile.

    In the long run I don’t mind watching films I end up not liking because they still deepen my film knowledge and often lead to interesting reflections, but I will definitely follow five duds with something I’m absolutely sure I will or already love – a Hitchcock or Hawks film from time to time doesn’t hurt and always restores my faith in the medium.

  • I love Jerry Lewis.

  • Mason

    Man, I knew more of the movie and Star Trek trivia than Jay or Reed. My brain just retains a lot of actor and character name information. And I like watching the newer Trek series (haven’t seen a lot of the Original). I don’t collect any Star Trek toys or products, however, so I suppose I’m not a “Trekkie.”

  • Zoo

    Reed , I would love to hear more about your love for Jerry Lewis in a future podcast of Cantankerous. Specifically, I would like to get your take on Lewis’ The Nutty Professor in comparison to Eddie Murphy’s remake.

  • SurlyMona

    Jay you are my hero!!hahaha

  • Ian

    This was a great episode. The discussion was quite good. The ideas of criticism and such … all great.

  • Thx, Ian.

    Jay created Cantankerous to focus on my weird notions, but I hope I am able to reveal a bit about Jay’s secretly guarded personal life in these conversations whenever I can. As Jay becomes more famous, I’m sure people will listen to these old Cantankerous episodes to get some insight into Jay. As you mentioned Ian, Jay talks about how he evaluates film.

    I read something in “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schulz that is so apropos to people who disagree with each other about the quality of a film. When someone disagrees about the quality of a film with a peer, he immediately thinks the other person is ignorant. After explanations are given, and the other person still disagrees, he thinks the other person is stupid. After further discussion in which he finds out the other person is rather intelligent, he thinks the other person lacks moral judgment or taste. Ha ha.

  • Loren Adam

    Jay C,

    Since you were comparing documentaries to dramas in a court setting. What is your take on “Murder on a Sunday Morning” compared to “The Staircase”? Since both films are by the same director do you think the director took advantage of the audience in the latter? How did you feel about these films if you have seen them?

    Enjoy the great podcasts!


  • Antonio

    R.I.P Cantankerous ?

  • @Antonio: I suppose as long as both Jay and I are alive that there will always be a possibility of another Cantankerous podcast. The only reason that Cantankerous #12 exists is that Jay had to prove me wrong when I said earlier that the podcast was defunct. Maybe years from now when I’m hosting a charity event for Reed’s Kids, Sean will arrange for Jay to make a surprise appearance. Oh, wait. I don’t believe in charity.