Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 142: Norm Wilner

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 142In this 142nd episode, Mike chats with senior film writer for Now Magazine Norm Wilner about his years at The Toronto Star, his brother Mike, TIFF, Rob Ford, Roger Ebert, Mad Max, Bell Media cuts, and his podcast, Someone Else's Movie. This episode is exactly 1:45:26.

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Really enjoyed this, despite being unfamiliar with Norm's work.

I was prepared to cheer his review of Golden Compass, but then cringed so hard when it turned out who his critic was. Awesome story. Personally, loved those books, but thought the movie was unfortunate.

I appreciate movie criticism, but much like your discussion, I basically try to avoid "knowing" anything before walking into a movie.

November 18, 2015 @ 11:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I was wondering what people would think of this episode. Norm's not that well known, and he's a well spoken but soft spoken guy, so I'd bet if you judged a book by its cover you might skip this one.

But it's actually very close to my vision for this podcast. We talk about a bunch of stuff for almost two hours and I was sincerely interested in his experiences and opinions.

I got a couple of notes from people I respect who loved this episode, so I hope listeners give it a shot. Don't worry if he sounds too quiet in the first two minutes, once I remind him to get on the mic it gets much better.

November 18, 2015 @ 4:55 PM


I plain subscribe to the podcast, so I listen to everything you put out. But I mean, it's guests like this that keep me subscribed. I really appreciate the breadth you bring in. While I grew up listening to the 102.1 people and love those interviews, I generally don't care much for the sports writers/broadcasters ... but they're still interesting. If it was all sports guys, I'd probably quit.

I've loved the episodes though with really off-the-beaten path people like Raymi the Minx and Ed the Sock. The Retrontario one stood out for me too.

November 18, 2015 @ 5:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I don't mean to go so heavy on the sports guys, I just seem to gravitate towards what I like, and sports happens to be high on that list. I just want to talk to people I find interesting.

I will have Emm Gryner on soon, and that should be really interesting, if I can conduct the interview without balling.

November 18, 2015 @ 5:23 PM


Good episode, time flew by on this one. Would have liked to hear Norm for the full episode (20 minutes of Mike Wilner. I know you were setting up the relationship, but, 20 minutes?)
Wasn't aware of his podcast, now subscribed. I listen to a few film review podcasts but this sounds more along the lines of The Dork Forest.
I was getting super annoyed when you pulled him away from the story about Under The Skin, I didn't think you were going to get back to it, and then when he did- no story, that was the end! Clunk.
Hope you have him on again.

I didn't like Mad Max, it was all style little substance. Similar to Thunderdome which was crap too. Road Warrior is superior. Even Waterworld is better than both Thunderdome and Mad Max.
Charlize Theron was excellent though.

Have you considered doing remote interviews? Still think you could use a funding model for transport and equipment costs. Don't some potential guests back out do to transportation issues?

November 18, 2015 @ 6:42 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


We were only going to record for an hour, so even if you subtract the Mike Wilner chat at the beginning you still came up 25 minutes ahead.

November 18, 2015 @ 6:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Yes, I've lost some guests became they wouldn't (or couldn't) come to my hood, but I'm okay with that. I'm trying very hard to prevent this from feeling like a job. So far, so good, but if I'm hitting the road to record elsewhere, that might change.

The other move I get from some bigger names is the request to do the interview by phone. I get that they're busy, and appreciate that they'll do a phoner, but I just have no interest in that. After the Down Goes Brown interview, I decided I'd never do another phoner ep.

November 18, 2015 @ 6:58 PM


Thoughts from this podcast:

I really prefer entertainment personalities over sports. But I am a film junkie who went to film school. So I am a little biased.

See The Martian. It’s great.
Mad Max isn’t deep. It wasn’t supposed to be. There’s a guitar that shoots flames! It’s not an allegory to anything. It’s just a really good chase movie with extraordinary visuals. But I wouldn't say it is worthy of an Oscar nomination.

Have Norm come back. I found him to be an excellent interview.

I really wish I pursued film criticism. I love a good discussion about movies.

November 19, 2015 @ 10:47 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You might like Edward Keenan, who might be visiting next week.

November 19, 2015 @ 11:16 AM


Norm is my favourite guest so far - I'm a huge fan of the Norm/Kate/Dexter clan :)

Glad you mentioned the Nerdist podcast, which I follow religiously. Chris' recent interview with Paul Bettany led me to his new film, Shelter. I most likely would never have seen it if not for that interview.

Oh and Mad Max? Brilliant. That opening scene with Max looking over the wasteland, then grabbing and eating raw the two headed lizard establishes the brutality of the post apocalyptic world (complete with genetic mutation) in moments with no dialogue.

Thoroughly enjoy your podcasts, even if I've never heard of your guest.

November 20, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Thank you.

I'm the first to admit I'm likely alone with my opinion of Mad Max, although at least one guy on Twitter agrees with me. :)

November 20, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

Al The Royal Pain

Being a big movie fan, I really enjoyed this podcast and I hope you have Norm back.

November 20, 2015 @ 3:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al The Royal Pain

I will, but first I need to have Richard Crouse on.

November 20, 2015 @ 3:31 PM

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