Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 088: A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) and Filth (2014) and Night Moves (2014) and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014) and Ida (2014) and The Other Woman (2014)

Play

Episode 088

This episode is dedicated to film critic Jeff Vice…

For Episode 088 of Movie Podcast Weekly, your favorite four film critics review “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” “Filth,” “Night Moves,” “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” “Ida,” and “The Other Woman.”

Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts (and frequent guests), who give you their verdict on at least one new movie release that’s currently in theaters, mini reviews of what they’ve been watching lately and specialty recommendation segments. New episodes release every single Monday.

SHOW NOTES:
I. Intro
— The untimely loss of film critic Jeff Vice
(Eric D. Snider’s Jeff Vice Obit)
— Poll question results: The winner for Jason’s birthday bash = The Terminator franchise

II. Mini Reviews:
Karl:
The Frozen Ground = 8 ( Definite Rental )
The Other Woman = 7 ( Rental )

Josh:
Comedy Central Presents (Stand-up Specials):
Rory Scovel (Must Watch / Stream It)
Kyle Kinane (Must Watch / Stream It)
Chelsea Paretti (Stream It)
Pete Holmes (Stream It)
Marc Maron (Stream It)
Doug Benson (Stream It)
Maria Bamford (Avoid)
Donald Glover (Avoid)
Anthony Jeselnik (Avoid)
The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Part 3 – The Golden Age of World Cinema = 5 ( Stream it; lower priority )

Jason:
Twister, Forrest Gump, Avatar (and Titanic)
Saw = 8 ( Buy it! )
The Living Daylights = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Next Week’s Bond: License to Kill (1989) – join us!

Andy:
The Starving Games = 4 ( Avoid )
InAPPropriate Comedy = stopped watching it – 4 ( Avoid )
Austenland = 5 ( Rental )
Jackass 3D = 8 ( Avoid )

III. Feature Review: A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (2014)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )
Andy = 5.5 ( Avoid )
Josh = 2 ( Avoid )

IV. Feature Review: NIGHT MOVES (2014)
Josh = 6 ( Rental )

V. Feature Review: THE ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN (2014)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )

VI. Feature Review: IDA (2014)
Josh = 8 ( Rental )

VII. Feature Review: FILTH (2014)
Jason = 7.5 ( Strong Rental )

VIII. Wrap-Up and Witless Banter

NEXT WEEK:
We will be reviewing EDGE OF TOMORROW and CHEF and BLENDED and THE DOUBLE (as well as The Story of Film Part 4 and License to Kill.)

Links for this episode:

From Josh: Star Wars Influences Feature-length Mash-up

Josh was joined by the late Jeff Vice (and others, including Jeff Goldsmith) when they covered Sundance 2012 on: The Documentary Blog Podcast

NEW! Remember to add Movie Podcast Weekly to your Stitcher playlist here: Stitcher.com

Follow Movie Podcast Weekly on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly

Check out Book Review Podcast

Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 016: The Sacrament and Contracted and We Are What We Are and Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

Josh covers streaming movies: Movie Stream Cast

We’d also like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave Eaton himself for the use of his music for our theme song.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram and the Blue Claw Philharmonic for the use of their music and the voice talents of Midnight Corey Graham from The Electric Chair Podcast, Willis Wheeler from the Terror Troop Podcast and Spike Real for their help with our recommendation segment intros.

If you like what we do here at Movie Podcast Weekly, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons in our right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month.

You can always contact us by e-mailing MoviePodcastWeekly@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Thank you for listening, and join us again next Monday for Movie Podcast Weekly.

33 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 088: A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) and Filth (2014) and Night Moves (2014) and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014) and Ida (2014) and The Other Woman (2014)

  1. I’m with Josh on this one, Pulp Fiction should’ve won that year Jay. And Jay, don’t you think that if a movie is parodied, it just means that it was just that good and iconic enough to make you want to make a parody of it? Please stop taking points off of movies because they’re “parody material”. To this day, it still hurts that you took so many points off of The Conjuring based on that rule of yours. But Jay, I’m with you on Avatar. I think it’s amazing and hands down the best movie going experience of my life. I saw it with a group of my closest friends and we went to a theater in Houston that was incredibly far from where we lived, but that had just upgraded two of their rooms with high end equipment in anticipation for Avatar. The visuals and sound were incredible and it was a magical experience. Though the experience is lessened when seen in a smaller screen, I still judge Avatar based on that one experience I had. Avatar is a 10, The Conjuring is a 9, Pulp Fiction is a 10, The Shawshank Redemption is an 8, and Forest Gump is a 9. Sadly I haven’t seen either Quizz Show or Four Weddings and a Funeral.

    • Correction on myself: “The Searchers” (1956) was directed by John Ford, not Howard Hawks… Shame on me.

      Thanks for your comment, Juan. I want to clarify that what I criticize is not the fact that a film could be parodied; I criticize a silly scene or event that strikes me as comedic when it’s not intended to be. So, when I first saw “The Conjuring” and the girl was being dragged around the house by her hair, knocking over stuff and scattering family members, that didn’t seem scary to me. It struck me as stupid and laughable. Or later in that film when a person in a chair ends up sitting in that same chair but upside down on the ceiling! Very dumb. That’s what I deduct points for. (But yes, I was probably too hard on “The Conjuring” with my rating.)

      However, in this episode of MPW, I actually argue that “Forrest Gump” is still a great film, and should be revered — despite the fact that it has been parodied so much.

      Thanks for writing and including your ratings.
      Jason

      • Hi Jay, and thank you for your prompt response. I’m sorry if I misunderstood your point of view on The Conjuring, but in all honesty, I do remember you correlating parodies of horror movies and scores. Granted, I haven’t listened to that specific podcast in a very long time, so I may be blatantly accusing you of something that you’re not guilty of. But then again, Josh himself called you out on this episode 😉

        Anyway, let’s move past that. A few comments on this episode:

        Josh, did you really think that Avatar had no cultural impact? As far as I recall, when Avatar came out, nothing other than Avatar came out of people’s mouths for a good while. It was everywhere. It was on the news, it was referenced on many shows, the cosplay world flooded with Na’vi costumes and even Ben Stiller cosplayed as a Na’vi during the Oscars. Roger Ebert gavie it 4/4 stars and Steven Spielberg himself said that Avatar was the most evocative and amazing science-fiction movie since Star Wars. People got the blues after leaving the theater and some even committed suicide! I mean guys, this is the highest grossing movie of all time. It made that much money for a reason. There’s just no denying its cultural impact.

        Speaking of cultural impact, Jay I’m pretty sure that Pulp Fiction had a much greater cultural impact than Forrest Gump. Just saying. Also, flying cows in Twister, was not that ridiculous. I’m pretty sure that happens in real life. If tornados can tear houses apart, I’m sure they can lift a cow. But yeah, I get it, it was a simpler time and Twister is not a very sophisticated movie by today’s standards… or even by yesteryear’s standards I suppose. Still a lot of fun in my opinion.

        I agree with your views on Seth McFarlane. I don’t like the guy, and I don’t like his work or sense of humor. I hate Family Guy and because I know that everything he does is more of the same, I haven’t bothered to check out his other shows or movies.

        Question. Some of you guys said that you stopped watching R rated movies at a point in your lives. Why is that? I mean, if it’s not too much of a personal story to tell here that is.

        A few scores on the movies that you talked about:

        Twister: 8
        Saw: 8.5
        Seven: 9.5
        Jackass 3D: 8
        Titanic: 7
        Back to the Future part 3: 8

        Also, I saw Maleficent and it was just ok. The art direction and special effects were pretty uneven in my opinion although there were some really beautiful imagery at times. Angelina Jolie was amazing and she did her part, but the movie as a whole just wasn’t very good. Also, I hate that in order to make Maleficent a more sympathetic character, other characters had to be made into something they were originally not. I think that it would have been more clever if they somehow told the story they told, BUT not changing anything from the original story. More like a behind the scenes kind of thing. I give Maleficent a 6.

        • Good question, Juan. In response to why some of us stopped watching rated R movies at one point or another in our lives… here’s a broad answer, since you asked. (These are just Jason’s feelings and opinions and do not represent the sentiments of my co-hosts or any other organization, such as the LDS Church.):

          As I understand it (and I think I do), our church leaders have counseled us not to watch R-rated movies, due to their “objectionable content.” And they have also encouraged us to be selective about any media that we consume, regardless of its rating. (Josh actually made a great documentary that covers this subject — and other great debates — called “Cleanflix” (2009). Definitely check it out! You can also hear an in-depth podcast episode where we review and debate Josh’s film here: http://bit.ly/1kAOmah )

          So, it’s part of a moral code, of sorts, which is pretty common for churches — living IN the world, but not OF the world… Most churches discourage their members from using profanity, pornography, etc.

          But long story short, as you have heard, some of us have tried to abide the counsel to avoid R-rated movies at one point or another in our lives, but for whatever reason (and we each have our reasons), we could not maintain that abstinence.

          To be honest and to over-share here, I am ever-conflicted about it (especially as a horror fan!), but I honestly don’t believe that I’ll ever stop watching R-rated movies, at least until I’m dead.

          In my Christian faith, we also believe that God gave us the freedom to choose, and while I try to be as “faithful” as possible in all other aspects of my faith, I simply choose to watch R-rated films, much to the chagrin of my wife and others… Even though I don’t broadcast it at church, I’m honest and open about my movie-watching, if someone asks… In short, I sincerely believe that God would prefer that I not watch the “unsavory content” found in R-rated movies, but I personally don’t believe it will “keep me out of Heaven,” so to speak, so I’m risking it.

          To me, the films that ring truest and closest to this life happen to be R-rated movies. Much of life is rated R. Generally speaking, I believe they are better films than the non-R-rated lot. (I counted it up once: Most of the Best Picture nominees have been rated R.)

          Thanks for asking. I hope I haven’t mischaracterized any of my co-hosts’ feelings or offended anyone.

          Please watch “Cleanflix.” I’d love to hear your thoughts.
          Jason

          • Juan asked a really great question and Jay this response is extremely interesting.

            I guess I identify myself as Agnostic. I have a sceptical personality however I try to remain open minded but I’m ashamed to say that my knowledge of the intricacies of the many variations of the Christian faith is severely lacking.

            I’m interested to know what the underlying reason is for your Church taking issue with the “Objectionable Material” in R-rated films. I hope this question doesn’t seem insensitive or critical as it is not intended to be, rather I’m just curious if such material is considered to promote outwardly transgressive behaviour or if it’s considered corruptive to the purity of the soul/spirit. So is it more of a societal or a spiritual issue?

            Also is the material considered objectionable simply by virtue of it gaining an R-rating or is there a specific element (violence, sexuality, profanity) which may be the main problem. Is it simply the depiction of sin that is objectionable, or more so the depiction of sin for entertainments sake. Would an educational film with an R-rating be excused?

            You’ll have to forgive me if these questions seem ignorant or overly inquisitorial, I just find this kind of thing exceedingly interesting and your openness and insight is encouraging my curiosity.

            And I will definitely give the Cleanflix discussion a listen.

            – David

          • David,
            Those are all great questions. And fair ones, too. I’m not offended at all. Before I answer, everybody take note that David (and Juan) asked for this:

            I’m no longer an “official spokesperson” for my church, like I was when I was a full-time missionary. But I’ll try to answer your question by quoting from two official documents about our beliefs. (Don’t worry — this won’t be preachy.)

            One of the “Articles of Faith” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says , “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” And so the exact opposite of this statement is also true. (If there’s anything not virtuous … we avoid these things, etc.)

            And there is a pamphlet that we give our teenagers called “For the Strength of Youth.” And under Entertainment and Media, it reads:

            “You live in a day of marvelous technologies that give you easy access to a wide variety of media, including the Internet, mobile devices, video games, television, movies, music, books, and magazines. The information and entertainment provided through these media can increase your ability to learn, communicate, and become a force for good in the world. However, some information and entertainment can lead you away from righteous living. …

            “Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit.

            “Pornography in all forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as an unexpected exposure or a curious exploration can become a destructive habit. Use of pornography is a serious sin and can lead to other sexual transgression. Avoid pornography at all costs. It is a poison that weakens your self-control, destroys your feelings of self-worth, and changes the way you see others.” (This last portion about pornography makes Josh’s film “Cleanflix” especially interesting…)

            So, those are the sentiments and concerns of the LDS Church leaders. I hope that answers your question.

            Thanks for asking.
            Jason

            P.S. There’s a whole different booklet to deal with people like Karl … ha ha (kidding).

          • Thanks Jay, your response is hugely appreciated and very insightful. It also puts your love of horror movies in a very interesting context. Is it your stance that defining material as “virtuous” is to an extent a matter of subjectivity and personal choice?

            Personally I try to live by what I’d like to think is a righteous and ethical moral code and I do tend to be of a pretty introspective and sometimes self-critical mind-set so I’ve certainly found myself questioning my love of fictionalised violence/horror from a moral, though not religious, standpoint and I’ve found that I do genuinely believe that there can be “virtuous” elements inherent in such material. If, for example, a story is being told about a war I think that it is more virtuous that the violent cost of war be expressed graphically and realistically rather than glossed over or underplayed. Similarly I believe that if violent acts are depicted in such a way that highlights how morally abhorrent they are then there is virtue in that. Of course I went into more detail with regards to this kind of thing in the comments of The Horror Movie Podcast a good few episodes ago when I brought up Carl Jung’s “Undiscovered Self” but I stand by those observations and they have helped to inform my belief that the better we understand evil the more equipped we are to recognise and guard against it.

            Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the matter and I write them with the utmost respect for your Faith and only with the intent of exploring the matter as, like I’ve mentioned in the past, I think it’s a fascinating and poignant subject.

            Thank you wholeheartedly for your patient and informative responses Jay, it’s great to learn about people’s different beliefs and it’s wonderful that you’re willing to be so candid and elaborative with us listeners.

            -David

          • Hi Jay,

            Thank you so much for answering with such honesty and detail. I myself was raised in Catholicism and everyone in my family are avid practitioners except for me, so I can definitely see where you’re coming from. For me though, watching R rated movies was never a problem. Catholics in general are a little bit more loose when it comes to “avoiding sin” and R rated movies are not really a focus or concern for them.

            The thing that I find curious is how R rated movies are generalized when in fact, two R rated movies can have varying degrees of explicit content within that R rating that I think affect the degree of tolerance from person to person. Take the original Terminator for instance. Totally well deserved R rating. There’s violence, gore, sex, and brief nudity. Now take A Clockwork Orange. Totally well deserved R rated movie that also contains violence, sex and heavy full frontal nudity. But there’s one that is clearly more explicit. Which one would you rather see with your family? And then there’s the MPAA’s rating system which is totally flawed and so just because a movie is rated R, doesn’t really mean that it’s a hard R and viceversa. Did Lost in Translation really deserve an R rating? Shouldn’t Taken have been an R rated movie? And I’m not criticizing the avoiding of R rated movies. I’m just pointing out that just because a movie holds a certain rating, it doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable or not. The rating system is flawed and even tolerance for mature subject matter varies from person to person. It can get tricky.

            I’m still curious about the rest of the cast since there have been instances where some of your co-hosts seem to align to a certain kind of faith, but they’re always very careful to not be too specific about it. But I can understand this being a touchy subject so no one has to answer if they don’t want to.

            I have seen Cleanflix. It deals with very interesting subject matter that I wasn’t familiar with, so everything explained in the documentary was pretty much brand new to me. It was presented in a clear and straightforward way, which I think worked well in this type of story. I liked that you tried to stay as neutral as possible and showed both sides of the story without giving preference to one or the other. I liked Cleanflix, but I did have problems with it. My biggest problem was presentation. Being a graphic designer, I’m huge on visuals and the choices made here irked me quite a bit. First of all, I didn’t understand the type choices. Why use a font associated with Russian propaganda? Unless there is a clever idea behind it that I totally missed, I think it was a poor choice. The use of motion graphics and graphic elements in general were kind of ugly in all honesty. The use of grungy textures seemed dated and made things way too busy. Less is more, and I think a nice, sleek, simple, flat design should’ve been the way to go. The choice of music was also a bit odd. It was annoyingly joyful for the kind of subject matter that was being presented. One last thing that I didn’t like was the switch of focus from the bigger picture to a more personal focus on Daniel Thompson. I appreciated the twist of his story, but I just didn’t find him a compelling enough character. Josh, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for the harsh criticism, but graphic design is extremely important for me. I am aware that not all stylistic choices were yours as this movie was a team effort between you and Andrew James, and I’m also aware that budgetary constraints may have played a role too. But I did like your movie and I’d love to see more of your work. Which by the way, where can I see it? And if you’re ever in need of a graphic designer, well, you know where to find one :) I rate this movie a 6.5 and gave it 3 stars on Netflix.

          • I’ve talked about Cleanflix ad nauseam elsewhere, Juan, so I hope you’ll forgive me for not going into detail here. Anyone who knows my personality should know that a lot of thought was put into all of the choices in the film, including font, filters, and design. For instance, there are so many media types in the film, each was given a specific look, so as to distinguish one from another: newsprint vs web content vs television vs film stock, etc. As for the propaganda style, it is all clearly symbolic, representing the lack of nuance and broad strokes that the opposing parties in the film tried to paint one another with, a call to rally the troops and demonize the enemy, rather than speak honestly about one another. Our personalizing of the themes set up in the beginning of the film with the story of Daniel in the second half of the film, shows how messy the reality is and is intended to combat that propagandistic rhetoric we felt was coming from both sides. And there are actually many intricate nuances to the film that I think someone would have to see 3-4 times before they are going to notice. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of film do to the look and music. You are right that the budgetary constraints and co-directing situation impacted some of those creative decisions as well, but I stand by the thought processes the creative decisions, despite the execution not being on the level I’d have liked them to be on my own (with a singular creative vision) and/or with more money (so that we could have given more notes to our collaborators to get their work where we wanted it to be). All in all, I’m very proud of the work of our entire crew, although there are definitely things I would alter, were I given the budget and opportunity. As for feeling dated, well, that is the problem with doing something of the moment. It just becomes an artifact of the time it was created in. We started making the film and became married to some of those choices in 2006. I’m not surprised that feels dated to someone like you, who follows design trends, nearly 9 years later. And I’m actually fine with that, since Cleanflix represents a very specific period of time. But, just for record, the graphic elements were based on the fact that Shepard Fairey was commissioned to design our poster. We were and continue to be big fans of his work and style. We felt it captured exactly what we wanted from the tone of the film. At the time, Shepard was not well known to the mainstream and had only ever done one other movie poster, Walk the Line. Unfortunately for us, he hit it big with his Obama “Hope” poster in 2008, a year before our film was completed, but two years after we were married to his style, and he became far outside our budgetary reach. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I’ve said it all before somewhere. If you are interested, the DVD commentary has a lot of that kind of background information.

        • In truth – I might commit suicide if I had to watch Avatar repeatedly. :)

          I actually never did not watch R rated movies. Always have and always will. Because once you turn 17 – the motion picture rating system no longer applies to you.

          I did my senior college English research paper on the rating system and learned some amazing things. Perhaps I can point a few out on the next show. 😉

          • Karl, I’d actually love to hear a discussion of the ratings system on the show. There seem to be quite a few differences in the way the MPAA and BBFC approach ratings, so I’d be curious to learn more about your rating system and all the hosts opinions regarding it.

            Over here the common ratings are U, PG, 12, 15 and 18 and I guess 18 would be our equivalent to your NC-17 but it seems to me that the NC-17 rating is pretty rare for you guys, even in the horror genre. Furthermore it seems to be a rating considered undesirable by filmmakers and unmarketable by studios. Here however the 18 rating is probably the most common rating for films in the horror genre: Se7en, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs, Predator, Scream; all these movies are 18 rated for us. 18 seems like a much more acceptable rating here than NC-17 is for you guys but it could be the case that the BBFC are just stricter than the MPAA thus making the 18 rating far more common. It’s just something that’s always confused me a little.

            – David

          • The BBFC has their own podcast which is a very interesting listen. It gives you an insight on how films get the rating they received etc.Some of the back episodes are very good

  2. Apologies to Andy but I’ve got to come in on Jason’s side with regards to “Saw”. I’ve no idea whether or not Karl will enjoy it but it has certainly got a lot more to it than scenes of gory torture. It is suggestive of some very grotesque moments and we get glimpses of grue in the odd quick cut sequence but I actually felt that the filmmakers took a page out of the Hitchcock book (not that I think the movie is anywhere near the same league as his work) with the build up of tension between the two main characters trapped in a room for the majority of the movie. In keeping with the killers moniker the film is presented in the fashion of a “jigsaw” presenting us with pieces of the whole one by one in gradual revelations that culminate in a few great twists (although I did actually guess who the real killer is while watching it in the cinema for the first time but it was definitely nothing more than a lucky shot). For the most part I think it’s a relatively clever horror/thriller and they got a lot out of a fairly low budget.

    I’d definitely say that “Saw” is far closer in tone to “Se7en” than it is “Hostel” and my ratings for these movies would be as follows:

    “Saw” 6.5/10
    “Se7en” 9/10
    “Hostel” 4/10

    – David

      • You’re welcome Jay and it was a great episode as always.

        I also want to note that I’m glad Terminator won the pole. That got my vote as I think, of the franchises listed, it has the best balance of good vs crappy movies. Two masterpieces for you guys to analyse and two sub-par disappointments for you to tear to shreds! Or maybe you’ll surprise us with your views as is often the case. Either way it should be a really fun show.

        – David

    • You two misunderstand my position. I am NOT saying that “Saw” is just a slasher film. I liked “Saw.” I am looking forward to seeing it again. Karl, however, hates horror movies. My bet is effectively that I know Karl’s movie tastes better than Jason. I predict that Karl will not like “Saw.”

      As we all know, Karl likes a certain type of movies. He also hates certain types of movies (we can’t even get him to watch “Inglorious Basterds.”). The bet that Jason and I have should not be construed as support from me to Karl’s movie-watching preferences.

      • My apologies, Andy, if I have misconstrued your opinion on “Saw” however you did say: “She’s got a device around her neck that’s about to chop her head off. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.” which to me suggested a lack of acknowledgement of anything other than the films gruesome setpieces. I think this attitude underestimates the films reliance on suspense and mystery and greatly over-estimates its fairly minimal (though certainly suggestive and creative) use of gore.

        That said, I make no judgement with regards to what Karl’s opinion of the film might be. It’s not like Jay’s cutting me in on his Peanut Buster Parfait or anything…..

      • Clearly Andy forgets that I HAVE seen IB and that we’ve discussed it. Silly lawyers. Also, I don’t hate horror movies – I do dismiss the bulk of them because so few are intelligently put together. But I love a good horror movie if it’s done well and is truly scary.

  3. The Frozen Ground – RENT 7/10 A very entertaining free-view on Netflix streaming. I love how the past few years have been Cusack’s time to play deranged/weirder roles. Nic Cage is actually very good as well.
    Fargo (TV series ) – 7.5/10 (saw the first 3… was waiting till I had ’em all on demand… so far it’s a 7.5, but if all goes well and they elaborate more on certain parts and explore what needs explorin’… who knows, maybe it will become a TV classic)
    Twister – 7.5/10 BUY (Always a guilty pleasure, PSHoffman is good in a minor role, Paxton is great as always… needs a new James Cameron role, he always shines in those. All in all though, still a great blockbuster.)
    Forrest Gump – 10/10 BUY (I actually contemplated this film’s rating very heavily. After much consideration, yes, Forrest Gump deserves a 10. People may criticize for various ‘flaws’ like the character of Forrest and what they think it says about America, certain story-telling beats, script, etc… But I think this film was made with the purest of intentions, with the perfect players, a stupendous soundtrack, and many, many memorable moments. It’s a highly assessable and re-watchable CLASSIC.)
    Avatar – 8/10 BUY
    Titanic – 10/10 BUY
    Saw = 7.5/10 BUY
    Jackass 3D – 7/10 RENT

    Just wanted to say… still love the podcast, and I’m so excited week to week. I wish it was bi-weekly (as in twice a week). Very anxious to see what you guys think of Edge of Tomorrow, especially you Jay. Also, please see if Willis would like to check out Edge of Tomorrow and appear on the podcast. Thanks guys, you give me so much entertainment.

    • Love to see your ratings as usual, B-Rye. Totally on the same page as you with Frozen Ground, Fargo, and Twister, on opposite end of the spectrum with Forrest Gump, Avatar, and Titanic, and wouldn’t argue with you much about your ratings of Saw or Jackass. Glad you’re enjoying the show. Wish we could release more content as well, but remember that Jay and I have other podcasts if you can’t get enough … though it is never the same without Andy and Karl.

    • B-Rye, I intended to mention your comment during my episode 89 Fargo TV series review and how similar our take was, but I forgot. Sorry about that.

  4. Excellent show, as always, gentlemen. I enjoy all of your guest hosts, but I find that it’s also always enjoyable to simply soak up the four-way back-and-forth between the regulars. And now … I’ve got another of those mega-comments up my sleeve, where I unload thoughts on three or four different episodes.

    In Episode 86, Jason professed his love for “Armageddon” (a movie that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns, incidentally), and made an interesting comment about really enjoying the parts of the movie that involve tense, closed-room presidential briefings and strategy hashing. Jay, when you wondered aloud whether there’s ever been an entire movie that’s nothing but scenes like that, I thought of one that I think you would enjoy quite a bit if you haven’t seen it: “Thirteen Days.” It’s a historical drama about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and my memory (it’s been more than a decade since I saw it) is that the movie is pretty much aces all the way through. It stars Kevin Costner as Kenny O’Donnell, who was a top aide to JFK (played by Bruce Greenwood, who’s great in the role). Director is Roger Donaldson, who did “No Way Out” with Costner in the ’80s. My memory is that it’s more or less exactly what you were asking for: two-plus hours of the president and his advisors sweating out a major national crisis. Also, if you enjoy that stuff, then you should check out all seven seasons of “The West Wing,” one of the best TV shows ever. There’s not “situation room tension” in every episode, but there is quite a bit of it, and the more mellow episodes are equally fantastic. A great, great show. (Ignore the haters who say it fell apart after Aaron Sorkin left at the end of Season 4. The whole series is excellent.)

    In Episode 87, Josh, Jason and Willis batted around Michal’s question about why review movies that you hated. What interested me the most about that is what you didn’t say, particularly in light of both “Godzilla” and “X-Men” (these are the points that I would have raised in response to MIchal; not criticisms of MPW): Nobody knows for certain whether they will like a movie or not before they see it. You have to see something every week or there’s no show. Would you just cancel the show because nobody liked that week’s movie? Of course not. Josh was totally pumped for “Days of Future Past,” and then didn’t like it. I (and most of your listeners, I’d imagine.) immediately wanted to know why. “What went wrong?” is a fascinating question for a movie podcast, and that’s especially true when there are people present (Jay and Willis, in the case of “Days of Future Past”) who don’t believe that anything went wrong. I enjoy learning about good movies from the podcast, and I’d imagine that most other listeners do, too. But it’s asinine to suggest that there’s no value in discussing why a movie was bad. Especially since the odds are good that not everyone is going to agree that it WAS bad. The discussions of both “Godzilla” and “Days of Future Past” were a) highly entertaining, and b) highly informative, in large part because there was such a disagreement. And again, there’s just no way to choose to go see only movies that everyone can recommend, because a) people disagree, and b) MOVIES ARE UNPREDICTABLE. Not all of them, certainly — I don’t think the podcast really suffers when, say, everyone decides to take a pass on “Blended.” Enough movies are surprising, however, in some way or another, that you just can’t skip the ones that are obviously going to waste the podcast’s time (as Michal apparently sees it) because no one will recommend them. Also, I don’t have an interest in seeing every movie that comes out, and most other people are probably the same way. But we all disagree about what does or does not look enticing. My list of the movies I’m either planning to skip or looking forward to seeing is not going to be exactly the same as anyone else’s. That’s why a critic’s job is to see everything and give an honest report of his (or her) feelings. If I really want to see something, and any of the four of you says it stinks, then I want to know your reasons. That’s valuable intel. And even when a movie comes along that I had no particular interest in seeing anyway AND everyone says it was awful — I’m looking at you, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” — I still enjoy hearing that discussion.

    SPEAKING OF WHICH, Episode 88: Come on, Andy. I KNOW you’re smarter than this. It doesn’t make a lick of difference to the quality of “A Million Ways to Die in the West” whether Seth McFarlane has 20 fans or 20 million. He could have a dozen grundles of cash and STILL make a lame, labored comedy that’s just not very funny. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Every artist is capable of creating bad art. Besides, I’m pretty certain all four of you would give me crap if I tried to defend, say, “Blended,” by making the point that lots of people think Adam Sandler is funny and he’s made millions of dollars in his career. Also, Andy, when three sharp critics pretty much share the opinion that the movie was at least below average (you yourself gave it a 5.5/Avoid), why would the natural assumption be more “Guys we just didn’t get this; we’re too old/not hip for Seth McFarlane’s humor” than “Gee, Seth McFarlane must have been really off his game with this one”? I know the latter is what I took away from listening to you guys discuss the movie.

    A question for Andy: What part of your job can you do and focus on watching a movie at the same time? (Even a movie that demands as little from you intellectually as “inAPPropriate Comedy.”) I’m honestly curious; I’ve wondered this many times while listening to the podcast. What repetitive task do lawyers do that wouldn’t suffer at all from focusing most of one’s attention on a movie while doing it?

    Glad to hear some love (at least from Josh) for “The Living Daylights.” In my book, that’s a vastly undervalued and overcriticized Bond film. I loved it when I was younger, and I still love it. Josh, don’t back down to these punks. “The Living Daylights” blows most of the Roger Moore/Pierce Brosnan entries out of the water. Dalton is a MUCH better Bond than he ever got credit for. His two films are two of the best, and the hard-edged tone of “Licence to Kill” (the exact thing that everyone LOVES about the Daniel Craig Bonds) was essentially MIA for the entire Brosnan run. The Brosnan Bonds were mostly just Roger Moore movies with a better actor.

    Josh, I was sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy “Night Moves” more than you did. I really, really, really enjoyed “Meek’s Cutoff” (haven’t gotten around to “Old Joy” or “Wendy and Lucy” yet) and I’ve had my eye on “Night Moves” for a while. (Also: I apparently stand apart from all three of the MPW’ers who have seen “The East.” I think that movie is awesome.)

    I’ve never seen “Saw,” so I’m curious to find out who wins the bet. Based on what I’ve learned about Karl from never meeting him in person but listening to him discuss movies for hundreds of hours, I’m leaning toward Dr. Howell. Sorry, Jay. I think you might have to buy your own Peanut Buster Parfait.

    • I almost forgot about the Bond discussion in this episode but I am totally with you when it comes to Dalton, Cody. In fact I’d say he’s my favourite James Bond of them all and “License to Kill” is probably my favourite movie of the franchise. Dalton is a more serious Bond than Moore, more believable than Brosnan and not nearly as misogynistic/arrogant as Connery (I’m sorry, I know he’s the quintessential choice and he’s great but in some of his movies I can’t help thinking “What a dick!”) and I think it’s a real shame that he only ever did two movies.

      – David

      • Dalton, in his brief tenure, just seemed to “get” James Bond. It’s too bad he ended up just being a Pierce Brosnan seat warmer; he definitely deserved a longer run. And I’ve always thought it was a little ironic how that played out, since Brosnan never got a script as good as either of Dalton’s.

    • Another excellent movie that is all “back-room” strategery (George Bush word) is “Deterrence” starring Kevin Pollack from 1999. An awesome surprise ending and “what if” movie.

      • “Deterrence” was the first film directed by film critic turned filmmaker Rod Lurie. I’ve seen the two he did immediately after that, “The Contender” (pretty good) and “The Last Castle” (mixed bag), but never caught up to “Deterrence.” I’ll have to check it out some lonely weekend. For some reason, I have it in my head that Jason has seen “Deterrence” and is a fan. It might have come up during Considering the Sequels.

    • I will say that Night Moves has stuck with me, Cody. In fact, I almost went and saw it again a couple of days later, so I obviously liked it more than I must have let on. I do like the movie. I just wanted to like it more. Being such a big fan of Reichardt’s other work, I’m obviously fine with a quiet film with minimal plotting, but this film seemed to have more to say, in terms of social commentary, and said it with some classic genre flourishes, and so, I think the lack of traditional character set-up, real-world plausibility, plot, and conventional tension building and payoff, becomes more pronounced and more problematic here than with her other work. I’m interested to see what you think.

      • By the way, Cody- I loved reading ALL of your feedback, not just the part I responded to. Very keen insights into the job and function of a critic. I’m still floored that someone like you who knows VASTLY more about movies and criticism than any of us can even stand listening to us ramble on. Your attention and comments are always appreciated.

        • Well, it’s very kind of you to say that, but I’m pretty sure I don’t know even a smidge more than any of you, let alone vastly more. Frankly, I’d probably be lucky to pass myself off as even a peer, in many respects. :-) And I’ve lost a lot of my game being on the sidelines for almost a year now. The movie world marches full steam ahead.

          Now, I do probably know vastly more than Jay, Andy and Karl about “Survivor.” (MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT)



          Great season finale. The right player won, but I was also happy to see decent showings by Woo and Kass. Too bad that Spencer couldn’t finagle his way in there. Spencer vs. Tony would have been a final tribal for the ages.

          • I agree. Best possible winner of the final three. I’d have liked to see Kass in action during a final tribal and I’d have liked to see Spencer earn a win, but I love the Heroes vs Villains dynamic that existed in the final tribal as it was and I like that the jury awarded game-play (even though I felt like Tony floundered and Woo’s opening speech was pretty impressive).

            Do you ever listen to the “Survivor Know-It-Alls” podcast, Cody? It is Rob Cesternino from Amazon and All-Stars and Stephen Fishbach from Tocantins. They basically just re-cap the episodes, but it is a lot of fun listening to them break down the strategy and evaluate all of the moves from that week. If you don’t listen already, I’d recommend listening-along next season for Blood vs Water 2. It’s a lot of fun.

          • I haven’t listened to any “Survivor” podcasts in the past, but on your recommendation, I’d be interested to give “Know-It-Alls” a whirl. I didn’t like Cesternino very much when he was on the show (either time), but I’ve always thought Stephen was cool. He might have done better against J.T. if he didn’t suck so much at presenting himself to the jury. And J.T. is just one of those force-of-nature types who everybody loves. Kind of a bummer that Stephen has never been invited back. He was a runner up, after all. I guess the fact that he’s never had a repeat appearance is Exhibit A in why he lost: Excellent analytical skills, zero personal magnetism. (Or maybe he’s just Yul, and once was enough. I wish I knew how many times they’d asked Yul to go on the show again.)

            I also thought Woo did quite well for himself, despite having almost zero chance of winning. It’s hard to sit there and take crap from the jury, but he never folded. Tony could have done better with the jury, but he stood his ground in a few key spots, got a big assist from Spencer, and benefited greatly from the fact that what Spencer told the jury was true: Tony played harder than anyone else, played smarter than anyone else, and kept himself around at all the key points. Woo was never going to win short of Tony completely wiping himself out.

Comments are closed.