The New Year is finally upon us. 2011 brought some good times for us here at Monkey in the Cage, namely the birth of our wicked cool podcast (that’s for any fans we may have in Boston). But, as awesome as 2011 was, 2012 is going to be a thousand times better. This year is going to be a geeks dream year come true – everything from video games and movies to conventions and podcasts. Like everyone else, we look forward to the new year and what it brings, but at the same time, we can’t help but take a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
This week, as everyone is looking forward, we’re looking back. Join us as we talk about the a crap load of things from our childhood and adolescence that we both love an miss. Be it cereals, tv shows, cartoons, or professional wrestling, nothing is off-limits as we babble on and on and commit the cardinal sin of dating ourselves and feeling old. Let your ears take a listen and your mind reminisce on the things that helped make us the geeks we are!
(01:45) – Before we look back over the last 20 years or so, we look ahead to 2012. Robert eagerly awaits the long-awaited release of Team Ico‘s The Last Guardian as well as the return of Archer: Season 3. He sure loves him some spies and dragon caretaking, but fails when it comes to knowing all about The Neverending Party. Get with the times, son!
(03:49) – It’s a big year for movies and Matt is both excited and enraged! Undoubtedly, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Hobbit are top of the list, but he’s also excited for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Iron Sky. Alternative history is all fun an games for our resident historian, but when Keanu Reeves is plugged into a 3-D version of The 47 Ronin, the Nerd Rage cannot be contained!
(07:05) – Aside form movies, Matt is also excited for two upcoming video games. Dishonored, produced by Bethesda Softworks and created by Arkane Studios followed by Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Two more games for Matt to never finish, and one by Robert’s nemesis… 2012 is going to be a lot like 2011…
(09:01) – 2012 seems like it is going to be the year of geek movies fo’ sho’! Karen is excited for Underworld: Awakening and the return of Kate Beckinsale to the series (as are the guys, because she’s hot, duh!). Additionally, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton looks too good to pass up as well and who can forget about Max Brooks‘ World War Z, starring Brad Pitt!! So many movies, so many concerns for Robert…
(13:23) – Let’s not forget the small screen and gaming, now. AMC‘s The Killing makes it’s return this year as well as the second half of The Walking Dead season 2 and Southland season 4. Additionally, Karen is looking forward to the sometime-in-2012 release of Plants vs. Zombies: The Board Game. Oh, and even though he doesn’t have the plague like the rest of the crew, Matt has an iPad gaming injury. True story.
(14:29) – Games, movies, television shows…. and Conventions!! Seriously!!! WonderCon 2012 will be in Anaheim this year and as always, Comic-Con International will be down in San Diego, so we’re making it our mission to attend and report back to our faithful listeners. With all the geek greatness coming, we really just need to quit our jobs and win the lottery… in that order… right?
(15:23) – Ramses, our illiterate crew member, looks forward to reading The Night Eternal, the third installment of Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Strain trilogy. When the words get to be too much and he needs pictures, he’ll be turning his eyes upon the upcoming Ridley Scott film Prometheus and The Dictator, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Ramses sure is excited about the balls and butt.
(17:38) – Rumors abound about the possible release of Sony‘s PlayStation 4 sometime this year. We talk the scheduled releases of new gaming consoles that may hit this year and now need to figure out which banks we need to rob in order to afford all the awesome. Let’s just hope the PS4 is without a boomerang controller.
(19:30) – Matt is confused by the Japanese and the crew “learns” him on the ways Capcom and Square Enix number their sequels. We’re not sure he gets it, even after exhaustive explanation, but then again, we’re not surprised. We also discuss game production cycles to ease Ramses’ 2012 game release angst. NO GAMES FOR YOU!
(22:48) – Speaking of games, we jump right into our own self-induced flashback and talk about some of our first gaming memories! For Ramses, it was Super Mario Brothers / Duck Hunt, complete with his mom pressing the Nintendo Zapper against the screen. Robert and Ramses also have a discussion on the incredibly hard Mega Man series. Thank the video game gods for Nintendo Power!
(23:56) – Even though he was deprived the joys of owning an NES, Matt sure did love him some Contra, especially because of the good ole’ Konami Code. Robert has a little Nerd Rage moment over gaming codes going by the wayside, and we talk JRPG‘s – The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, and Lunar. OG open-world gaming at it’s finest.
(27:08) – No Nintendo, no worries! Back in the day, all you needed was a pocket full of quarters to get your game on! We talk the greatness that was the video game arcade of our youth and Matt re-tells his greatest childhood gaming victory, courtesy of World Heroes Nazi-esque Inspector Gadgety Brocken. What a Matt…
(30:33) – We all know attention spans are getting shorter, but what about video game campaigns? Robert poses the question as we think back to how much of our youth we “invested” in classic games. Our parents had a way better return on investment, Ramses never slept, and Matt worked hard to earn those F’s in college, for sure! We think it’s a marketing conspiracy…
(34:16) – Back in the olden days of our youth we spent plenty of time unplugged and playing board games too! Karen had a broken Hungry Hungry Hippo, Ramses was annoyed by Simon, and Matt’s parents only gave him Monopoly, Life, and Trivial Pursuit. Thankfully, Robert can totally relate. Oh, and John L. Sullivan was the last bare-knuckle boxing champion.
(37:31) – No Nintendo, no good board games, and no good cereal!?! Matt reveals further generational deprivation provided by his parents as we talk about some of our favorite childhood breakfast choices. Robert had Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch (balls in your mouth) and Ramses always got the worst of the worst and loved Cookie Crisp. Matt and Ramses also reminisce on Mother’s Iced Oatmeal Cookie sludge. They really are cosmic twins…
(41:14) – If anything made a kid of our generation willing to get up early and go to school every morning, it was a bowl of sugary cereal (except for Matt) and morning cartoons. Matt loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe, and Thundercats was Robert’s go-to. Ramses, on the other hand, kept it Japanese and watched Robotech and Voltron while Karen rounds the group out with the girly cartoons – Care Bears, Jem, Rainbow Brite, and My Little Pony. Additionally, we all enjoyed the Disney cartoon explosion of the early 90′s – Gummi Bears, Gargoyles, TailSpin, Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers, and our personal favorite DuckTales. We would also like to thank Warner Brothers and The Animaniacs for helping us pass Geography class in high school.
(42:48) – When we were young, we all got a taste of television program from generations past. The Addams Family and The Munsters were always in re-runs (syndication as it’s called these days), Matt watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Dick Van Dyke with his parents (this is all explaining a lot about him) and Ramses sure did love him some Lawrence Welk. Also, Ramses has some deep-seated issues regarding the Romper Room magic mirror.
(44:05) – Most of us DID keep up on the shows for our generation when we weren’t watching black-and-white reruns. Married With Children wasn’t supposed to be for us, but it helped balance Silver Spoons, Punky Brewster, Mr. Belvedere, and The Cosby Show. Also, Robert wants more patriarchal families on TV, because he hates women… just kidding… He hates oafish male leads… Good thing we have Modern Family.
(45:58) – Who can forget Transformers? We talk the iconic cartoon series making a comeback in our adulthood and other great toy franchises from our youth. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Micro Machines, WWE Action Figures, and Nerf products. We’re pretty sure our generation was bred as a test market for toy maker / cartoon producer conglomerates. Capitalist conspiracy, we tells ya!
(49:50) – McDonald’s had awesome Happy Meal toys, not like these days. Karen used to get Pound Puppies, Matt collected The Lion King toys, and Ramses couldn’t get enough of the Chicken McNugget Buddies. Robert, on the other hand has always been creeped out by anthropormorphic food, like The California Raisins.
(50:50) – Legos are awesome, always have been always will be. Matt is jealous of kids nowadays while Robert argues that the random tubs we used to have were the way to go. Plus, Ramses stuck true to his heritage and made Lego Lowriders. Odelay!
(52:38) – What would a nostalgia episode be if we didn’t talk about the movies we all grew up with? While Karen, Ramses, and Robert were enjoying The Goonies, Gremlins, and The Princess Bride, Matt was watching Predator and Total Recall (this explains A LOT). We also talk Howard the Duck, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Buckaroo Bonzai, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and the ever classic Time Bandits. Time traveling midget theives that work for God, plus Sean Connery, you cannot go wrong!
(54:55) – It’s back to children’s programming, but now it’s the less mainstream stuff. We all remember The Snorks, the Shirt Tales and The Ghostbusters, but Fraggle Rock will always hold a special place in our hearts… especially for Karen and her sympathy for the oppressed Dozers… Plus Matt is the only one that remembers The Cartoon Express, or does he?
(56:00) – The discussion takes a turn for the Super! Karen was a fan of Captain Planet, Ramses keeps it strong with the Japanese theme and The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Robert kept it old school with the Adam West Batman series. Additionally, Karen throws a curveball with The Wuzzles while Ramses incorrectly refers to The Power Team as NARC.
(57:04) – It’s time to get real, as in real-life entertainment. Monster truck rallys, WMAC Masters, G.L.O.W., and Roller Derby all make it to the table while Matt talks C.O.P.S. (the animated version). Also, if you’re going to totally rip off a successful franchise idea, just go Gobots style and be blatant, because subtlety makes you look stupid. We’re looking at you, Charlie Bone.
(1:00:33) – Three quarters of us close strong with a brief talk about the life lessons learned by Saved By The Bell. Considering the fact that Matt never watched it, plus everything else in his childhood, we are really surprised he’s not locked away somewhere… yet.
Closing Song – DuckTales Theme – written by Mark Mueller and sung by Jeff Pescetto