Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 099: The Expendables 3 (2014) and Let’s Be Cops (2014) and The Giver (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Locke (2014) and Saints and Soldiers: The Void (2014)

Episode 099

This is Episode 099 of Movie Podcast Weekly, where we bring you reviews of at least one new movie in theaters. But for this epic show, we bring you six Feature Reviews for “The Expendables 3,” “Let’s Be Cops,” “The Giver,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Locke” and “Saints and Soldiers: The Void.” We also bring you two special guests: Willis Wheeler and William Rowan Jr. Episode 099 also features more reflection about the late, great Robin Williams and some discussion about theater etiquette. Oh, and we have a great listener voicemail from our friend Jennifer, who’s a black belt. Don’t miss it!

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.


I. Introduction
— Welcome guests Willis Wheeler and William Rowan Jr.

II. Listener voicemail from Jennifer, who’s a black belt
— “Stories We Tell” and documentary filmmaking

III. Some final thoughts about Robin Williams

IV. Mini Reviews
Jason: The Bridge (2006), 2 Little Monsters [ aka Little Monsters (2012) ]
Andy: RoboCop (1987), 30 Days of Night, Insidious: Chapter 2, Nosferatu (1922), The Halo Effect, Congo: The Grand Inga Project, Return to Millen Mountain
Willis Wheeler: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, WWE Summerslam 2014
William Rowan Jr: Odd Thomas
Josh: Dark Passage, Key Largo, The Lego Movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Saints and Soldiers, Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed

V. Feature Review: SAINTS AND SOLDIERS: THE VOID (2014)
Josh = 6 ( Rental )

VI. Feature Review: THE GIVER (2014)
William Rowan Jr. = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )

VII. Feature Review: THE EXPENDABLES 3 (2014)
Willis Wheeler = 6.5 ( Rental / Watch it on cable )

VIII. Feature Review: LET’S BE COPS (2014)
Andy = 7 ( Will not recommend to anyone )

IX. A Few Matters of Theater Etiquette with William Rowan Jr.

Jason = 4.5 ( Avoid )
Willis = 7.5 ( Rental )

XI. Feature Review: LOCKE (2014)
Jason = 7 ( Definite Rental )

XII. Wrap-Up / Plugs

We will be celebrating EPISODE 100 of Movie Podcast Weekly. We’ll bring you 8 different Top 10 lists and 4 different Top 5 lists from your four favorite movie podcast hosts! We’ll also bring you a Feature Review of SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR.

Links for this episode:

Willis’s plugs:
Willis Wheeler on TV’s Toy Hunter
Terror Troop horror movie podcast
Cinema Beef Podcast
On Twitter: @NastyWillDC
Willis On Facebook
Willis on the NFW Movie Commentary Podcast (mostly horror-related)

Horror Movie Podcast: Episode 023

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

Follow Movie Podcast Weekly on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly

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 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.

25 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 099: The Expendables 3 (2014) and Let’s Be Cops (2014) and The Giver (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Locke (2014) and Saints and Soldiers: The Void (2014)

  1. What seraphic harmony is this? Is that Angels I hear? No! It’s Willis Wheeler and William Rowan Jr!

    This episode was excellent and there’s a bunch of stuff I’d like to comment on:

    First off that was a great voicemail from Jennifer with some very astute questions and it was fantastic to hear from both Josh and William on the topic of documentaries. “Documentary Theory” as I’d like to call it is something that’s become really fascinating to me recently and I believe this podcast is to blame because, although I was already a big fan of certain films in the medium, it’s not until listening to you guys that I’ve really sat back and thought about the DNA of the documentary format. The concept of convergence between creative art and factual reportage just raises so many interesting questions about what both art and journalism can/should be. On that note I’ll say I’m really looking forward to Josh’s top ten list on episode 100!

    Now I’d like to offer a little insight with regards to “2 Little Monsters”, or more accurately the case that inspired it. The movie I haven’t seen but the James Bulger murder case and it’s representation by the British tabloids is something that I’m pretty familiar with and that I feel is relevant to cinema, horror cinema in particular (apologies if this would seem more at home on Horror Movie Podcast but it’s here):

    2 yearold James Bulger was abducted from a busy shopping centre (mall) by two 10 yearolds who proceeded to brutally torture and murder him. This occurred in 1993 when I was only 5 but I remember it very distinctly and even more so I remember the huge and ridiculous media furore that surrounded the case and linked the murder to, of all things, the horror movie “Childs Play 3”. The fact is that this horribly tragic and disturbing event was co-opted by the conservative press and used as fuel for their ongoing “moral” crusade against “video nasties”. Newspapers printed articles which altered and exaggerated elements of both the film in question and the murder so as to draw parallels between them despite the fact that all evidence provided by police reports indicated that neither of the perpetrators had watched “Childs Play 3” or were even fans of horror films. I don’t know about everyone else but to me taking details from an event such as this and twisting them to suit some personal agenda is morally repugnant, more-so than any horror film I’m aware of, not to mention incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible. Rather than looking at societal elements with actual potential influence on this case these Daily Mail hacks decided to hijack it and in doing so misdirected the gaze of an entire country who were asking “why?”. I still remember my admittedly naive parents referring to the “Childs Play” movies as “Those awful films that made those boys kill that baby” and I cringe. I don’t believe that this kind of unspeakably sad and terrible crime happens because of a movie but I do believe that it might happen because of a society that’s happier to divert blame to some misunderstood scapegoat than confront any actual contributing issues.

    Anyway, I must apologies for this depressing rant/essay but it’s just something I feel very strongly about.

    Now on a lighter note, I’m really glad that Willis is a fan of “Temple of Doom”. That movie often seems to get a lot of hate and I don’t for the life of me know why. It’s dark and fun and everything an Indiana Jones movies needs to be. I guess it’s probably my least favourite from the original trilogy but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome!

    Also, I’d love to call out Andy on his dismissive stance with regards to “Robocop” but I have to respect his refusal to be at all swayed by general consensus or critical acclaim.

    I have more stuff to say but for now I think I’ve rambled quite enough.

    – David

    • If I’ve been able to get even one listener to think think a little deeper about non-fiction filmmaking, I’ve done all I set out to do. I certainly haven’t impacted Jason’s perceptions at all. Thanks for the thoughts, David.

      • I’m just grateful to you guys for always bringing such interesting discussions to the table. I think it’s easy for people to view the documentary form as a vessel by which subject matter that is of interest to them can be delivered, without really considering the craft and artistry of the filmmaking process itself. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been guilty of this sort of attitude in the past. Even something like “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, which I’ve previously mentioned as being a favourite of mine, was something I really just thought of as a documentary about a musician I’m a fan of, without consciously acknowledging or considering what an amazingly crafted piece of art it is in it’s own right. It probably wasn’t until I heard you guys discuss that movie on various podcasts that I really sat back and realised what a fantastic piece of cinema it is. So I really appreciate being gifted with a bit more insight into the non-fiction filmmaking world. It makes me feel slightly less culturally-handicapped.

        Also, although it’s not my place to say, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve probably had more influence on Jason’s perceptions than you might think.

    • The pleasures all mine Willis. One of the things I love about this podcast is the contrasting opinions of you hosts and you always add even more diversity (of both perspective and vocal tonality) to the mix!

      – David

  2. Because I could not think of more than one example of ‘Movies So Bad They’re Good’, here is my top 10 favorites in no particular order.
    ‘Super Mario Bros.’ (1993)
    ‘Transylvania 6-5000’ (1985)
    ‘Battlefield Earth’ (2000)
    ‘Mannequin’ (1987)
    ‘Cutthroat Island’ (1995)
    ‘The Wicker Man’ (2006)
    ‘Over the Top’ (1987)
    ‘Howard the Duck’ (1986)
    ‘Masters of the Universe’ (1987)
    ‘Troll 2’ (1990)

    Thanks to everyone for listening to this great podcast and thanks to Jason, Andy, Josh and Karl for doing such a great job hosting and all the other work that it takes to keep this thing going.

    • Hello there William.

      Those are some very great examples of the “So Bad it’s Good” phenomena.

      In the past I’ve noticed that people tend to confuse the “So Bad it’s Good” concept with straightforward low-budget genre films. I’ve seen people call stuff like “Basket Case” and “The Toxic Avenger” so-bad-they’re-good but to me those are just examples of movies where the filmmakers were very much aware of their limitations and the expectations of their target audience. They’re supposed to be low-brow, campy B-movies and they succeed entirely. To me what makes a movie “So Bad it’s Good” is when there’s an unbelievable divergence between the filmmakers perception/vision of their project and the actuality of the finished product. With hilarious results. To borrow from your excellent examples: “Battlefield Earth” was intended to be a Sci-Fi epic and ended up being a bafflingly ridiculous and obvious vanity project. “Howard the Duck” was intended to be an iconic comic-book blockbuster but instead formed the basis of a whole generations fear of anthropomorphic Anatidae.

      Also those asylum movies tend to get lumped into the “So Bad it’s Good” category but I personally wouldn’t class something like “Megashark Vs James Franco” as “So Bad it’s Good” because the creators obviously know exactly what they’re doing and what their target market want, which stands in stark contrast to something like “Birdemic” where James Nguyen actually thought he’d made some kind of important Hitchcockian horror with an environmental message, or “The Room” where a creepy space alien that had been observing mankind thought it was ready to try it’s hand at creating an accurate simulation of human social situations. But it wasn’t.

      – David

      • David,
        I couldn’t agree with you more. I will concede, that it is up to personal preference, on what someone thinks is so bad it’s good, but that being said, you and I are on the same page as far as personal preference on what is so bad it’s amazing.

        • Thanks for the reply good sir. You are of course totally correct about it being a matter of personal preference, though I do think some people can miss the fact that a movie like “Basket Case” is kind of supposed to be a little tongue in cheek, rather than being funny because the filmmakers failed.

          Also, I’m now filled with a weird urge to watch “Cutthroat Island”. Oh dear.

    • Screw you, William. The Wicker Man is a mostly great movie with a few small failures due to a leading man (with final cut bc he also owns the production company) who was swinging for the fences and had a few whiffs. It’s a 6 or 7 at worst. I also think Transylvania 6-500 is exactly what it is trying to be. The others all suck on accident, yes. But, I’m not sure Battlefield Earth or Super Mario Bros are more than just plain bad. I find them both unwatchable. Mannequin, Cutthroat Island, Over the Top, Howard the Duck, Masters of the Universe, Troll 2 … all solid entries for my taste.

      • Oh I have to disagree with you on “Battlefield Earth” Josh. It can be kind of a depressing watch simply due to how remarkably misguided it is but if you factor in the uncurbed use of dutch angles and Travolta’s mesmerising performance then there’s definitely a lot in the way of unintentional entertainment value there:

        • Haha. That clip is brutal. Brutal. I guess I can see the appeal–if you are in the right mood with the right people and drinking the right beer–but just the looks of both of those films alone, from the lighting, to the character designs, to (yes) the copious dutch angles, just makes my head hurt. In fact, I feel a migraine coming on now.

          • Beer may very well be a contributing factor in the enjoyment of “Battlefield Earth” though all those dutch angles have a tendency to make even the most stone sober viewer feel utterly toasted.

            It is one of the most hideous looking films (design, cinematography, lighting etc. all horrendous) that I’ve ever seen though, so I can understand it being a hard-sit, particularly for someone fluent in the visual language of film. That’s part of what I find so fascinating though. How it’s just terrible on almost every level imaginable. It makes me wonder if it’s a prime example of auteur theory gone wrong or just an amazing convergence of talentless hacks.

      • There is no reason to “Screw Me”, we can just agree to disagree. Which really means we both think we are right and don’t want to fight about it anymore. I do wonder how many people would take your side though about ‘Wicker Man’. And I mean that, I could be in the minority, it would be interesting to know.

  3. And yet another long and rambling comment from me is to follow. This will raise my percentaged contribution (based on quantity of comments, not quantity of text, thank god) on this page to 62.5 and for that I can only offer my sincerest apologies.

    Anyway, once again it’s been a week of few movies for me, in fact the only feature length film I’ve managed to watch in its entirety was “The Act of Killing”, which, as I mentioned last week, I was inspired to check out by the podcast though I’ve heard it discussed on this show as well. The rest of my viewing time was taken up by season 5 of “The Wire” which I’ve now finished. A gaping hole in my life has thusly opened. I was wondering if any of you guys have checked out any other series that David Simon has been involved in? “The Corner” in particular is appealing to me at the moment. Should I check it out?

    Okay, so “The Act of Killing”:

    Wow, this was intense. The only other time I remember a piece of media conjuring up such a distinct combination of rage and despair in me was when I read the book “Four Hours in My Lai”. “The Act of Killing” was similarly harrowing, as much of an unpleasant experience and just as, if not more, important.

    I recall Jason finding this movie immoral/objectionable and of course I have a great respect for his opinion but personally I thought that there was a definite morality at this films core. It could be that this morality is somewhat obscured by the consistently disturbing subject matter and it may also seem a little elusive due to the relative lack of commentary offered by the filmmakers on the events unfolding, but personally that’s the way I think this kind of film should be presented. We don’t need to be told how abhorrent the actions and attitudes of these people are and in taking such an objective approach the filmmakers leave us, the audience, enough thinking space to draw our own conclusions. To vilify these characters any more than they themselves do by their own admissions and actions would have seemed manipulative and exploitative to me. Not only that but it could have negated any point the film might have been making about the potential negative applications of propaganda.

    I think this was a story that needed to be told. It’s my opinion that when such inhumanity is fostered, such hypocrisy, cruelty and evil allowed, and such a level of ideological myopia imposed by a regime then it needs as much exposure as it can get. These killers lived in a society that glorified their evil actions and I can only hope that this film, with its objective and thought provoking execution, will allow more people to consider and truly comprehend the difference between what they are told is “right” and what is truly “right”.


    And now I really need a cold beer, but I’ll no doubt be back with some thoughts on “The Wire”.

    – David

  4. Last week it was Robin Williams … this week I was sad to miss the TMNT conversation. I’d never have guessed that I am the biggest Ninja Turtle fan of the group. Haha. That’s embarrassing!

    I’ve heard great things about Locke and I’m glad to hear that you appreciated it, Jason. I realized, listening to you talk about it that all of these one person, one location movies have a phone as a major plot point. Phonebooth, Buried, and Locke all utilize the phone to bring in the plot elements. You could sight 127 Hours, but they venture out far more in that. I’d love to see a one person, one location film that was as creatively shot as 127, but as solitary as Buried or Locke and really forced the actor, filmmakers, and audience to find something interesting int hat space.

  5. So after several cold beers and a requisite shot of Jamesons I’m ready to show my face at the wake of “The Wire” and eulogise:

    The character of Eliot Rosewater in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” said that “everything there was to know about life was in The Brothers Karamazov” and as melodramatic as it sounds, I almost feel that “The Wire” is the closest thing television has given us that is worthy of similar praise. I’ve never been to Baltimore, heck I’ve never even been to the United States but there was so much in this series that I related to and felt compelled by. In this age it’s hard for all of our lives not to be touched by corruption of some sort and in this economic/political climate it’s likely that most of us have suffered at the hands of the many systems that we cling too seemingly more for the sake of routine and familiarity than their actual effectiveness. What I loved most about “The Wire” is that it’s a very political show but it also doesn’t ever feel one sided or partial. This is a show that acknowledges that honour can manifest in the lowliest of criminals and that even those with the most honourable intentions can eventually succumb to chicanery and deviousness. Also it’s really god damn entertaining. I’ve seen so many folks describe this show as “challenging” and I personally think that’s somewhat misleading because this was some of the most addictive and involving TV I’ve ever seen. Sure it’s multifaceted and deals with a lot of very serious issues but sitting down and taking it in was never challenging in the least. I urge anyone who, like me, was initially put off checking this show out because of reviews suggesting a level of impenetrability or inaccessibility to just dive in. You won’t be sorry.

    At the end I’m going to have to give all 5 seasons a straight 10/10. Individually and as a whole. Season 2 remains my favourite and the more I think about it the more I believe it’s simply the arc that I relate to most from my own personal experience. I’ve never worked at The Docks, but I worked full time in a factory since I was 18 until about 3 years ago and I watched it slowly drift into the doldrums. I saw the disenfranchisement and disappointment on the faces of guys who had to go home to their families and tell them that they weren’t going to get paid for the 4th week running or that they’d been put on a 3 day week or eventually that they no longer had a job to go to at all. That sense of desperation and betrayal is something that’s stayed with me and I don’t think I’d ever seen a TV show before that dealt with those feelings and issues in such an engaging way.

    I’ve got to thank you hosts for inspiring me to check this show out. I don’t know if I can say it’s my favourite show ever, I think I’ll need a few re-watches to establish that, but it’s definitely up there with the best of them!

    – David

    • Beautifully put as usual, David.

      Loved the insights and the reference to Vonnegut.

      While not close to to my FAVORITE series of all time, The Wire is definitely in the discussion of the BEST television series of all time. A true narrative epic to explores more of life–particularly in this Baltimore setting–in one season than many shows do in their entire run. And it does it, nearly flawlessly, five times in a row. Incredible.

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