Movie Podcast Weekend Ep. 185: Midnight Special (2016) and Hardcore Henry (2016) and Ryan Visits Utah

Episode 100

Ryan visits Utah in Episode 185 of Movie Podcast WEEKEND! Jason, Andy and Karl met co-host Ryan face to face, for the first time ever, as he visited Utah from April 8 through April 10, 2016. This episode is comprised of rough, live recordings that were captured on-the-go as your four hosts drove around and saw movies on April 8 and April 9. We managed to bring you two Feature Reviews of Midnight Special and Hardcore Henry. We also get Andy’s very sleepy and underwhelming reaction to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” If you’d like to know what it would be like to hang out with us and chat about movies after leaving the theater, this is your episode!

Also recorded this weekend: Our MPW: Ghostbusters (1984) Commentary! Uh, not a must-listen by any means… but if you like this episode, it’s more of the same.

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Geek Cast Ry — along with frequent guests. We give you our verdicts on at least one new movie release from the current year that’s currently playing in theaters, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— Andy is hosting this week
— Ryan visits Utah!

II. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Hardcore Henry
The Boss
Everybody Wants Some
Mr. Right
The Invitation (Jason recommends this!)
A War (Krigen)
Term Life
Wedding Doll
Louder Than Bombs
High Strung
It’s So Easy and Other Lies
Havana Motor Club


[ 0:03:06 ] III. Feature Review: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2016) (Sorry, but this review contains SPOILERS!)
Jason = 7.5 ( Rental )
Andy = 8 ( Theater / Rental )
Karl = 8 ( Rental )
Ryan = 7 ( Rental )

[ 0:22:31 ] IV. Andy’s Half-Conscious Reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

[ 0:24:55 ] V. Ryan Endeavors to Teach Jason Why the Death Star Story Lines Are So Important
— Discussing the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” trailer

[ 0:43:58 ] VI. Andy Pays His Debt to Jason: A Peanut Buster Parfait From Dairy Queen

[ 0:47:29 ] VII. Feature Review: HARDCORE HENRY (2016)
Jason = 7 ( Rental )
Andy = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental but can’t recommend to anybody )
Karl = 4 ( Avoid )
Ryan = 6.5 ( Theater / Rental )

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Don’t miss our MPW: Ghostbusters (1984) Commentary

Episode 186 where we’ll be back to normal with our usual audio quality, reviewing “The Jungle Book,” “Criminal” and “Mr. Right.” Join us!


Seriously, don’t miss our MPW: Ghostbusters (1984) Commentary

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Thanks for listening, and join us again next week for Movie Podcast Weekly.

39 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekend Ep. 185: Midnight Special (2016) and Hardcore Henry (2016) and Ryan Visits Utah

    • Well, if that was a serious question and not just a great setup for Juan…

      Here’s the real, eight-part answer:

      – The episode is only about 70 min. long.
      – There were only two Feature Review trailers to deal with.
      – There were no “meeps” necessary.
      – The editing was very minimal.
      – I didn’t have to worry about editing out spoilers (because we gave the warning).
      – I didn’t have an HMP recording to prepare for this week.
      – The recording was finished on Saturday; whereas, it usually doesn’t occur until late Monday night.
      – And since we didn’t record Monday night, that gave me another night for post-production.

      I know, I know. Riveting. : )
      Thanks for listening to it.

      • It was 1/3 serious, 1/3 a backhanded compliment to you, 1/3 setup for Juan… you gotta dangle some low-hanging fruit to grab from time to time. That’s what friends are for.

        This all makes sense. Thanks for sharing a little inside baseball.

  1. My original review is at the bottom of episode 182, but I’d like to add to it, after listening to the boys give their take on it…

    ***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***SPOILERS*** for Midnight Special

    I really liked Jason’s analogy to Christ coming of age. I don’t think what we are witnessing in the third act is heaven, but what we (mankind) have perceived to be heaven for all of history. To me, they’re actually inter/extra-dimensional beings that are somehow linked to us and exist just outside our plane of existence. I really want to go back and re-visit the movie to study Shannon and his actions with this premise in mind:

    The inter-dimensional beings are what we perceive to be angels, and in some instances, aliens. Along the angel theory, there are all manner of these beings…ones that come to our plane of existence willingly to study us and possibly interact with us…and others that are ‘fallen’.

    Those that are ‘fallen’ might chose to stay here, perhaps for love. And that’s what Shannon is. He came here to study us, fell in love, had a child and decided to never leave this plane for his own. His child is now coming into his own and Shannon is willing to let him go back to this other plane of existence to learn more of his (Alton’s) origin. The very end has Shannon’s eyes starting to glow and that was the start of my theory. When I saw the very last scene, I thought of Greek/Roman gods and their intermingling with mortals.

    I was struggling to really dig the third act until the very final moment. Then I loved it. I also immediately thought of the end of Take Shelter and the way it left me hanging, to make up my own mind about the ending.

    I’m sure there’re other theories, that’s just what I have, so far….

  2. Was an incredible time for me last weekend! Not only did I get to watch two movies in the theatre in one weekend , a rarity to be sure, but I got to do it with three of the best dudes a guy could do it with. These cats rolled out the red carpet! I never had to call shotgun or carry a bag or pay for popcorn. I also got to help Karl eat an entire serving tray of sausage. It was

    Fairly certain a good time was had by all.

    Already devising plans and constructing an itinerary for when Jason, Karl, and Andy head to flat , rural Indiana.

    The only thing I can promise is more booze!

  3. Hello MPW,

    I am shocked on your review on “Midnight Special” and can not recommend this movie it is slow paced and has so many unanswered questions.

    Why does the cult what him back?
    Why is Sam Shepard only in one scene?
    Why does Paul Sevier after get to question Lucas in Jail?
    Is Sarah his mom?
    Was he born or found like Superman?

    That is just some of the questions I have many more but don’t want to bore you them like I was watching this movie. Andy can not rate this movie and he should take a point off every time he fell asleep and an additional point for every snore!!!!

    I give this a movie a 5 and to avoid it. It is a horrible movie and a better movie to see than this is “Close Encounters of third kind” which I thought had the same themes.

    Maybe im wrong but this is just my opinion!!! Thanks for the travel show it was great keep up the good work!!

    Mario (Loon) Leon

  4. Hey Mario :-)

    I agree it was very slow-paced, but I still dug it. Here’s my take on your Qs:

    1) The boy is somehow in tune and can control all manner of energies, both normal and possibly temporal. When he shoots beams outta his eyes into another’s, the receiving person gets/feels something profound, about his/her life and/or about all life. The cult has had many experiences with the boy and his powers, so, in a sense, they are all addicted to him, just like the former cult-dude that helped while on the lam. The cult also believes (while being addicted to him) that he’s their ‘savior’ and he’s important for their future.

    2) More Sam Shepard could never hurt. I have no answer for this. :-)

    3) With no officials knowing that Sevier was in on the break-out, he’s the one with the most contact with the group, so he might have the best insight or ability to get info out of them, possibly.

    4) I believe, yes, she is.

    5) He was born.

    I’m like you. My thoughts/feelings could be misguided, so I could be wrong. :-)

  5. First: loved the episode. Glad I don’t have to waste my time with Hardcore Henry.
    Second: many Bothans died retrieving the plans for the SECOND Death Star, not the first one. So maybe Rogue Two would happen…hope not.
    And Third: loved the episode.

  6. Jungle Book, y’all. Amazing! Wonderfully entertaining and creative and engaging. The cast is outstanding, and Christopher Walken as King Louie is so cool, especially when they first show his face. Many great moments throughout. 9.5

      • Ah, it’s hard for me to answer that, as my girls were watching LOTR at that age and fine with it. There are some scary and violent moments. Shere Khan looks and sounds *very* intimidating. In a good way to me, but I can see some younger kids being genuinely scared. Also, a fair amount of “peril” throughout.

        • My daughter is 4 and there were a couple of moments where she tensed up but overall I didn’t feel it was too scary. She enjoyed the hell out of it as did I. I was going into this with no expectations but I’m still surprised how much I ended up enjoying it.

  7. Just for the record, I have to say that this is saddest moment I have ever experienced listening to MPW. I feel so bad for Jay that, after many long-suffering months of patient and good-natured wager shaming, Andy FINALLY pays up on the Peanut Buster Parfait bet. Only to have “Oops, splat!” be the ultimate fate of the long-promised payment of Andy’s obligations. No lie, Jay, I had a whole-body sympathetic wince when this happened. I’m not even teasing, brother. I almost feel like Andy should buy you a second Peanut Buster Parfait, since you didn’t get to actually enjoy the first one.

    I’m just gonna leave this right here:

  8. Jeff Nichols is one of my favorite filmmakers. I left the theatre KNOWING Midnight Special will be in my top ten of 2016. Just as Mud, Take Shelter, & Shotgun Stories were a part of three previous “best of” lists. I’ll go as far to say that Take Shelter is a masterpiece & easily in the top 25 films of this decade. The last line, spoken by Jessica Chastain, is classic.

    • I’m so glad you liked the movie. I’ve been looking forward to it and have a feeling it’ll be, at the very least, in my honorable mentions.

  9. Juan,

    I think you’ll love it. Obviously I have no idea if you have seen Jeff Nichols’ previous films. If you have, then you know what you’re in for. Characters with difficult life decisions to make & strong messages about faith paint his pictures.

  10. Listening to the Ryan in Utah episode of MPW right now. I don’t know if the listeners mentioned this yet, but the director of Midnight Special is the same guy who directed the Michael Shannon movie you thought was cheesy, Take Shelter, and my favorite and Karl’s favorite, Mud. I just thought it was interesting that you said those films were the same tone and it is actually the same filmmaker.

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