So you’ve topped the country, nay, the world’s rankings in movie categories on Quizup. You’ve squeezed every point out of Popcorn Trivia. Your friends aren’t taking your 3am calls to debate which is better, Marvel or DC. You keep getting shushed when you yell out facts at the cinema. What’s a person to do then? How can you fulfil your love of movie facts, trivia and games? Well, let’s look at two great (and free) ways to exercise that competitive movie knowledge you hold without being shunned by society at large.
How about a 3-person debate show where contestants argue movie questions such as best film with 3 words in the title or improve a franchise by replacing guns with magic? Running for nearly 3 years, Movie Fights is brought to you by Screen Junkies, the producers of the famed Honest Trailers series. It’s a longer form companion to the shorter, more shareable faux trailer series, and when I say longer form, I mean it has episodes that can routinely go for an hour and a half. While the length may put some people off (hey, I’m not watching something that long on YouTube!), it can also be downloaded as a podcast so you can get your Movie Fights fix while pumping iron at the gym. Movie Fights has become a juggernaut and each week garners huge viewing numbers, as well as inspiring fan leagues, Facebook and Reddit groups, and rabid supporters who collate and collect the stats from each fight as though it’s a sport.
As a debate fan in high school (read: nerd, lonely nerd), I love this show. It speaks to something I once was good at. It makes me feel (I imagine) the way an older athlete feels watching his sport of choice through halcyon-coloured glass. This is a sport for those amongst us who feel about movies the way others may feel about their favourite sport, cheering on their favourite fighters and even creating factions based around them. Then there’s the celebrities, Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood and Greg Proops, just to name a few. There is nothing better than watching a contestant try to argue why The Green Hornet isn’t a good “Seth Rogen film” against Seth Rogen himself.
Movie Fights is also surrounded by an incredibly lovely community and, for the hardcore fans, offers a Premium paid “Screen Junkies Plus” service that has more shows, exclusive content and interaction from the fans. Australian fans are often represented in these shows, highlighting that our competitive, sunburned country has a deep love of movie games. So much so, at the time of writing there is a Change.org petition to bring Movie Fights down under. If you haven’t joined the Movie Fights train yet, now might be a great time to get a free ticket and jump on board, who knows, it might just become your new favourite obsession.
Doug Loves Movies
You may have heard of this one. Doug Loves Movies is a movie game podcast hosted by comedian Doug Benson, known for the weed doco Super High Me and the weed-smoking talkshow Getting Doug with High. Unlike Movie Fights, this is primarily a podcast, although the odd live version does pop up on YouTube. Benson and his celebrity guests have an obvious passion for movies, providing many opportunities for you to discover some films you may have otherwise not thought to watch.
The games they play on Doug Loves Movies range from the hilarious to the ridiculous, but they’re always entertaining. This podcast often has me changing from screaming out answers to cracking up at the gym. Classic games include “The Bane Game”, in which Doug mentioned a famous movie quote in a (terrible) Bane voice and had people guessing which film it was from, to the cheekily named “Clusterflicks”, in which guests would yell out the actor that three films share in common (not as easy as it sounds). Perhaps my personal favourite game was “The Leonard Maltin Game”. The rules were constantly evolving with this one, but it basically centred around naming a date and line from a Leonard Maltin review and contestants having to guess which movie they were from. Adding to that one: Leonard Maltin himself was involved every now and then.
The whole podcast has a do-it-yourself vibe and it makes you feel like gathering your own friends together and launching into a round or two of these games. Perhaps that’s the best thing about Doug Loves Movies. After a few episodes you’ll begin to feel like you know the people and the format, like you’ve joined in on a fun night with a good group of friends, a place where you can be yourself and let your ‘love of film’ flag fly proudly.
There you have it, two great and free shows to quell your movie trivia and competition thirst. I’m sure there are many others out there in the world. Some honourable mentions must go to “Tournament of Nerds” as well as the broader, more pop culture-based @Midnight hosted by Chris Hardwick.
These shows are not only a fun way for movie lovers to pass an hour or two, they are also inspiring, showing would-be creators what they can do with some cameras, microphones and a love of movies. Why not think about starting a podcast or YouTube show with your own group of film friends? Who knows? Someone might be writing an article about it in the future. It’s not hard to get started, especially these days! You can get help to produce narrative podcasts with professional companies who will help get you started, it’s not as hard as it may seem! It may also be wise to start early considering podcasting is oversaturated nowadays, meaning starting podcast episodes that gain an audience can be quite a feat at the moment.