Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 090: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) and 22 Jump Street (2014) and Maleficent (2014) and The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

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Episode 090

Happy Father’s Day, and welcome to Episode 090 of Movie Podcast Weekly. We bring you Feature Reviews of “22 Jump Street,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Maleficent.” And for this show, we actually have some pre-recorded hosting going on: Josh recorded his thoughts from Boston, so this show still features audio clips from Josh, even though he couldn’t make it live. And since it was Father’s Day when we recorded this, Andy’s daughter, Evan, gives us a couple of reviews, as well! If you dig our show, please subscribe for free in iTunes. Thanks for listening.

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.

Evan Pick

SHOW NOTES:
I. Intro
— Pre-recorded Josh in Boston
— Josh’s tribute to the late Casey Kasem
— MPW receives multiple nominations for the First Annual Podbody Film & TV Podcasting Awards

II. Mini Reviews:

Karl:
Bless the Beasts & Children (1971) = 7.5 ( Rental )
Kiss the Girls = 8 ( Buy it! )
Along Came a Spider = 8 ( Buy it! )

GoldenEye (1995)
Andy = 8.5
Karl = 7.5
(Next week: Tomorrow Never Dies — join us!)

Andy:
Saw = 9 ( Rental )
The Midnight Meat Train = 8 ( Rental )
Pain & Gain = 9 ( Rental ) – streaming on Netflix

Josh:
Edge of Tomorrow = 8 ( Rental )
The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Part V = 7 ( Stream it )

Jason:
The Nut Job = 3 ( Avoid )
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit = 5 ( Rental )
The Descendants = 7 ( Rental )
True Detective, Season 1: Ep. 1 = 7 ( Rental )
21 Jump Street = 5.5 ( Rental )

III. Feature Review: 22 JUMP STREET (2014)
Jason = 5 ( Rental )
Josh = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

IV. Feature Review: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014)
Karl = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

V. Feature Review: MALEFICENT (2014)
Andy = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Evan = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )

VI. Feature Review: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (2014)
Karl = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Andy = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Evan = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! )

VII. Wrap-Up

NEXT WEEK:
We will be reviewing JERSEY BOYS and possibly THINK LIKE A MAN TOO (as well as The Story of Film Part 6 and Tomorrow Never Dies.)

Links for this episode:

All About Autism Podcast (with Jason and Natalie Pyles):
Ep. 092: Focusing on Strengths vs. Developing Weaknesses
Ep. 093: Is Everyone on the Autism Spectrum?
Ep. 094: The Largest Genomic Database on Autism

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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.

19 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 090: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) and 22 Jump Street (2014) and Maleficent (2014) and The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

  1. Hey chaps. Not finished the podcast yet but just thought I’d comment to say that It’s great to hear that Jay has started watching True Detective. I was actually planning on recommending that show to you guys. It’s amazing and just gets better as it goes along. Easily the best TV show (well maybe tied with Hannibal) that I’ve seen since Breaking Bad.

    And on the topic of Hannibal, have any of you guys other than Karl watched that show yet? Because if Jason thinks that what the killer did with that first murder victim in True Detective is unique then Hannibal will blow him away!

    – David

  2. Also it’s fun to imagine that these Josh recordings are coming from a tape player that Jason has attached to a homespun Josh effigy. I imagine a manikin salvaged from the trash dressed in a hoody and a fake beard and perched beside Jason on one of those folding directors chairs. I’ve drunk too much coffee.

  3. I heart Josh. Even if this was simply a ‘Her’ version of Josh.

    Jason, when you said you hate Dumb and Dumber with what sounded like the utmost contempt, I shut off the podcast.

    I’m out.

      • Levi, I’m afraid I agree with Jay on this one. I know a lot of people really love Dumb and Dumber but I’m not one of them. I think I’m similar to Jay when it comes to comedy movies; there are very, very few that I actually like because for the most part I just don’t find any of them funny. Maybe I’m dead inside.

        but I don’t want to knock things off balance by agreeing with Jay too much in one episode so I’m going to give Midnight Meat Train a 4.5/10

        – David

        • Nooooooo…David, you have broken what was left of my frail heart. You too Jay. How can anyone hate Dumb and Dumber? It’s such a harmless yet quintessential American comedy that is as ridiculous as it is funny. Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey are a perfect match and their performances are priceless. It’s one of my personal favorite comedies and it gets a 10 from the bottom of my heart.

          • It isn’t that Jay shouldn’t be allowed to dislike anything he wants. That’s fine. There are movies I dislike that people love, like nearly every musical ever made.

            But when I dislike a film, I make sure to withhold contempt because if someone loves it, I’m not going to make them feel put down in the process!

          • @ my friend Levi, The Unknown Murderer:

            When Roger Ebert infamously reviewed “North” (1994), he wrote:

            “I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it. … “North” is a bad film – one of the worst movies ever made. But it is not by a bad filmmaker, and must represent some sort of lapse from which [Rob] Reiner will recover — possibly sooner than I will.”

            At first blush, this review really seems to be crossing some sort of line of propriety or professional decency. But when Ebert wrote this review, he had been reviewing films professionally for about 27 years at that point.

            A crucial part of a review is the reviewer’s personal, subjective reaction to the movie. And aside from making irrelevant, personal attacks on the filmmakers / actors themselves (which is inappropriate), I don’t think a critic should ever be limited in his or her degrees of passion — positive or negative — when reacting directly to a work of art itself.

            This sort of limitation would lead to bland, milquetoast film criticism.

            For instance, I would have never seen “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” if it weren’t for Karl’s repeated rave and passionate reviews for that film on this podcast. And I’m grateful to have seen it, thanks to him. Exhibit B: http://bit.ly/1vRE1KI

            But what if Karl had tempered his love for that film by worrying that he might offend those who were in its naysayers’ camp? Then, if you read that link above, neither Dave Becker nor I would have ever seen that movie…

            Finally, as you know, Levi, the truest fun of our movie podcasts is the battle element, where you pick a side and draw a line in the sand. And sometimes things can get hairy: ie. MPW 079 — or — TWHMP 024. (Josh and I are still having off-air, residual spats over Ep. 079.)

            But yes, I get where you’re coming from, though, because it makes me want to engage in a physical altercation with anybody who casually dismisses my all-time favorite film, “The Village” (2004). That film’s a Masterpiece, and everybody who doesn’t think so can go to hell! ha ha.

            Your pal,
            Jay

          • You raise an interesting point here Levi. I think for movie fans it’s just as easy to be outspoken and/or hyperbolic about the films we dislike as it is the films we adore. It’s also easy to feel as though our personal taste is being brought into question when somebody excessively berates a film that we enjoy. I can understand you maybe construing Jason’s contempt towards “Dumb and Dumber” as possessing undertones that were judgemental of the films fans but I truly doubt that was his intent at all. Personally I think an important part of being a critic is the willingness to express ones honest emotional response to an artwork and I don’t know that it’s fair or in the interests of objectivity to ask a critic to subdue that response in order to negate the possibility of offending their audience. That said, I also don’t want to listen to some shock-jock spilling unbridled hate towards an artwork (not that I’m suggesting that anybody here resembles that description in the slightest) so I certainly understand where you’re coming from. With “Dumb and Dumber” being mentioned simply as a point of reference I don’t believe that Jay was afforded the opportunity to properly elaborate on and justify his hatred of the film and his remarks may therefore have been condensed to what seemed like particularly harsh and broad criticism, or “contempt” as you put it, but had he been conducting a more in-depth review of the film I imagine his approach would have seemed more reasoned and far less “contemptuous”. So I guess I’m saying that when a lot of movies are being mentioned in a short space of time it’s likely that some opinions might be magnified or intensified by the brevity with which they are afforded to be expressed and I don’t think it’s entirely fair to blame Jason for that but as I’ve already said you do raise a very interesting point and I do see where you are coming from. Also you’re thoughtful approach to criticism is admirable!

            – David

        • Darn! If I’d have refreshed the page before typing out that last comment I’d have seen that Jason himself quite capably responded. Apologies for the now somewhat superfluous essay!

          • I appreciate what both of you have to say about it. And you’re right. I don’t listen to podcasts to hear my opinion and preferences come from someone else, no way! I expect battle and debate and that’s good, because it’s also healthy.

            I’ve read Ebert’s criticism of North before, and that’s fine. And I would like to hear what you have to say about Dumb & Dumber although I know I would disagree with you 100%.

            It’s simply that, with all of the pain, stress and problems I’ve been going through for the last few years, things are reaching a fever pitch and when I hear the episode 79 argument (which was highly stressful), Andy’s comments about superhero movies being stupid without further explanation as to why, if I remember correctly and then hatred towards a film that has been my favorite comedy for 20 years, I just sighed and shut it off. This hasn’t been the place to visit for me lately because it’s adding stress instead of relieving it.

            Sorry to dump here, I just want to point out that there is a way to present a passionate opinion of a film without stomping all over it. I mean, when it came to Godzilla, it sounded like there was some joy taken in tearing the film apart and I can’t listen to that and enjoy it. Again, I’m not actually applying my ideas of what or why you’re feeling what you do, I’m guessing.

          • Having people talk about things that you hold dear in a way that you perceive to be unfair actually is a very stressful thing to deal with, it can be exasperating and frustrating, especially if you feel you want to interject with a suitable defence but can’t. My only advice would be to air any grievances or disagreements on this comment section whenever things get too much (which of course is exactly what you’re doing now).

            Anyway, I don’t know what you’ve been going through in the last few years but whatever it is I’m really sorry to hear that it’s been causing you pain and stress. I always thoroughly enjoy reading your comments and listening to your appearances on podcasts so I really hope you’ll stick around and that things will get way better for you soon.

            – David

          • Levi and David,

            Thank you both for your excellent thoughts. This has been a fascinating discussion about one of the finer points of film criticism; I’m just sorry it’s been stressful for Levi. Naturally, I respect Levi and his opinions immensely, and I hope the hard times dissipate soon, Brother. Many melancholy months can weary a man…

            I must confess right here that I find comedies to be the No. 1 most difficult movies to review. Humor is so subjective, and how does one speak in-depth about nuance and timing and ensemble performance? A comedy review often amounts to the sort of reviewing that I detest, which is: “It was hilarious when X happened. And wasn’t it funny when Y did Z?” I hate play-by-play reviews, and I hate even more how often I’m guilty of them. So, even though I’m definitely weak at Animated movies, Musicals, Political Dramas and Spy flicks, I feel weakest at comedies…

            Having said that, Levi, I’ll tell you what I’ll do — especially for you, if you’d like: “Dumb and Dumber To” is slated for Nov. 14. I can revisit “Dumb & Dumber” and “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” to give them another chance, and then even review the new one — just for you. I can’t promise to love them, but I promise to give them another look and a fair shake. Perhaps you could even join us for that show, if you’re willing and able. (We enjoy having you on HMP.)

            Anyway, take care, my friend. And David, thanks for braving the fray… It’s always enlightening to hear your perspectives. Leave your 2 cents anytime!

            Sincerely,
            Jason

          • P.S. Sorry, two more thoughts:

            1. Yes, I agree. I find this podcast to be stressful, too.

            2. I can honestly say that I share Roger Ebert’s sentiments, which are, if a movie is terrible, it depresses me, and it gives me no joy to report its unpleasantness… I always want movies to be great. I love movies! However, if you pick up on excitement in my voice (as with “Godzilla,” which I still call a Rental) — then I just get giddy when I can sense that a battle is afoot due to a divergence of opinions.

  4. @David — Thanks for helping me sell “True Detective” more … what, with my NyQuil headspace and that naysaying Irishman, I probably didn’t promote it as well as I hoped. But yes, for anyone who loves the crime genre, it’s a must-watch. I’ve only watched one episode thus far, but I have a feeling this first season could be the equivalent of “Se7en” but for cable TV crime. “Hannibal” is still on my list…

    @The Unknown Murderer — Sorry to alienate you, Sir. ha ha. (You should be mad at Karl, too, by the way.) Maybe my prejudice against the “Dumb and Dumber” movies has to do with the fact that I spent an embarrassing amount of time (about 18 months) with a haircut that looked exactly like Lloyd’s… Perhaps my plight will atone for the offense and persuade you to keep listening again. : )

    Thanks for listening and writing, Guys.
    Jay

    • My pleasure Jay.

      And True Detective certainly does have shades of “Se7en” about it but as it progresses it delves much deeper into being a very compelling character study of the two leads. It’s compulsive and extremely entertaining viewing but also presents some very interesting meditations on nihilism/loss of faith as well as hypocrisy, obsession and corruption. It’s fantastic!

      Hope you’re feeling better soon Jay. Between you still podcasting when you’re sick, Josh still podcasting when he’s not even there and Andy still podcasting while asleep, you guys are the definition of dedication!

      – David

  5. Hi guys, another great episode and man, what a trooper you are Jay (and you too Josh!)

    In between Jay’s and Karl’s hateful remarks towards Dumb and Dumber and Andy’s review of How to Train Your Dragon 2, I started to wonder how you guys approach those types of movies. I may be mistaken and if I am, I apologize for misunderstanding your position. It sounds to me like you guys hold certain genres on a lower level as the rest, and so I wonder if you have different scales for different movies. It bothers me in particular when you review animated features and treat them with a bit of contempt just because the intended audience are children. What, in my opinion, some of you fail to see, is that it’s children of all ages. I think it’s a lot harder to come up with a movie that both the young and the grown up can enjoy, let alone appreciate on different levels. It’s great that you give movies like How to Train Your Dragon high scores, but when you end your reviews with phrases like “it’s really good for a kid’s movie”, it just nulls everything good you just said about the movie and makes me think you’re handing out a score you don’t think it really deserves. To be fair, I’m only defending the high quality animation coming mostly from Pixar and DreamWorks. I’m aware that there’s a lot of trash out there *ahem* The Nut Job*ahem* and it’s fine to destroy and even make fun of such films–they deserve it. But the ones that are clearly striving for greatness, give them their due–they really deserve it.

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