Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 111: Interstellar (2014) and Horns (2014) and Big Hero 6 (2014)

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Episode 111

Episode 111 may be the jump sharkiest Movie Podcast Weekly yet! Jason, Andy and Josh welcome back Karl for a visit to help them bring you a 50-minute (spoiler-free!) Feature Review of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. This episode also has reviews for Horns and Big Hero 6. And of course, we bring you a few Mini Reviews and our recommendation segments. Be sure to weigh in on our controversial poll question:


If you like what you hear, leave us a review in iTunes or leave a donation through our PayPal buttons or both! Above all, subscribe for free in iTunes.

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features three hosts — Jason, Josh, and Andy — 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 or on VOD, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. And we usually provide specialized genre recommendations. New episodes release every single Tuesday. Join us!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction

II. Mini Reviews
Josh: Zia Record Exchange in Las Vegas, Survivor: All Stars
Jason: The Killing (TV series), Episodes 1 and 2
Andy: Breaking Bad


III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
— Interstellar
— Big Hero 6
— The Theory of Everything [ Limited ]
— Jessabelle
— The Better Angels
— Open Windows (which we reviewed in MPW Ep. 109)
— On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter
— National Gallery


FEATURE REVIEWS HAVE TIME STAMPS:

[ 0:22:30 ] IV. Feature Review: INTERSTELLAR (2014)
Jason = 7 ( Theater / Rental )
Andy = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Josh = 8.5 ( Theater IMAX / Buy it! )
Karl = 10 ( Theater IMAX / Buy it! )


[ 1:09:11 ] V. Feature Review: HORNS (2014)
Jason = 5 ( Rental )


[ 1:21:52 ] VI. Feature Review: BIG HERO 6 (2014)
Jason = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )


VII. Specialty Segments:

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT ONE MOVIE? – WITH A GUY NAMED ANDY:

Andy announces two winners:
Juan
Jennifer
E-mail us your movie preferences at MoviePodcastWeekly@gmail.com

“PREVIOUSLY ON SURVIVOR” WITH SURVIVOR JOSH
— Josh brings you the latest on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur (Blood vs. Water 2) and discusses his Survivor Fantasy League status… Catch-up with Josh on this season of Survivor with free episodes on CBS.com!

JAY OF THE DEAD’S 1970s HORROR-THON:
Salem’s Lot (1979) = 7.5 ( Buy it! )


VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Thank you to Scott Teal for another generous donation!


COMING UP ON MPW NEXT WEEK:
FORCE MAJEURE and DUMB AND DUMBER TO and AUTOMATA and VIRUNGA — which is currently streaming on Netflix Watch Instantly in the U.S., so join us!


LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Josh says watch this for next week: “Too Many Cooks” – Adult Swim

Contact MPW:
E-mail us: MoviePodcastWeekly@gmail.com.
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
Follow MPW on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly
Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Listen to MPW:
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Right-click to download the MPW 100 Rap

Josh’s links:
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave himself for the use of his music for our theme song. Buy Dave’s Eaton’s music: BandCamp.com


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


38 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 111: Interstellar (2014) and Horns (2014) and Big Hero 6 (2014)

  1. Jay please keep going with “The Killing”. By the end of episode 2 the real momentum of the plot has yet to gather. It’s a show that gradually but totally satisfyingly unfolds and it’s definitely worth sticking with in my opinion. As for your suggestion that the ending of episode 1 felt contrived (with the whole phone thing) I can’t say I really felt that and I actually found that device pretty harrowing. I will say that with The Wire so fresh in my mind and both shows having a similarly multifaceted procedural feel a thing that really stood out to me as a little melodramatic in The Killing was the use of non-diegetic music. There were admittedly a few instances where I found myself thinking “This scene would be more effective without the stirring music” and maybe that element is also responsible in part for your observations of melodrama? Either way that was something that stopped bothering me the deeper into the show I got and it’s not that the music is bad at all, I was simply so used to The Wire’s almost entirely diegetic soundtrack that it took me a little time to adjust.

    • And Jay with regards to the end of the second Season you might be thinking of my comment in the show notes of Ep. 109 that the final episode of that season was “a punch in the gut”. I meant this with regards to both a very upsetting twist and the emotional clout of the end of the Rosie Larsen arc.

      P.S. Getting two new podcasts in one day was awesome!

      • OK, David. I totally trust your opinion and your tastes, so I will continue. Thanks for teaching me, Buddy. And thanks for being gracious and forgiving about episode release-times…
        Jay

        • I can’t take credit for being forgiving because there’s nothing to forgive Jay. You’re the ones providing hours of free entertainment and discussion. Anyone who’d begrudge you delivering such an altruistic service a little late would be a jerk indeed.

  2. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!!!! Scott Pilgrim and Chronicle are crappy movies? No way, Josh, no way! I don’t care that you’re “dead serious about movies” or that you’re friends with “Cody” aka YOLO Jr., those movies are anything but crappy. They might not be on the same level as the classics that you listed—of which I’ve only seen two—but they are very, very good films. But I digress. Coming from a Survivor fan, I should’ve seen it coming.

    Hi guys! Thanks for the prize, but if this becomes controversial, I will gladly renounce the prize so it can go to someone else that deserves it.

    Josh, I have seen both Nightcrawler and Birdman. HOLY SHIT MAN! I’ve so many things to say, but it’s late and I’d like to do justice to both movies so… to be continued.

    Andy, I am a boy.

    Jay, please don’t be late again or I will have to strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.

    • Amen, Juan. “Chronicle” was my No. 1 film for 2012 (and is quite possibly, the very best Found Footage film period).

      And yes, “Nightcrawler” is one of the very best films of 2014, no question.

      And I will accept your smiting.

      Jay

      P.S. You’re getting your prize, Juan. You won both fair and square.

    • I actually double-bought Chronicle (which is fine, not great) and Scott Pilgrim (which is excellent, but not exactly my cup of tea), so don’t worry your pretty little head, I still have both of those. I was mostly referring to Wanderlust (which is crap) and X-Men: The Last Stand (the worst), but none of those movies compare to the fist several on my list which are some of the greatest movies ever made, so I’d still say that they are the worst of the bunch. BTW, Juan, I also found a double-purchase of A Perfect Getaway, if you want that. But, any are on the table. Let us know.

      • Aww you think I’m pretty? Thanks Josh! But enough about my looks haha. I will gladly take your movies off your hands, so I’ll email Jay and let him know my final decision. Thanks for donating your movies by the way, it’s very generous of you. I think it should be a rule that past winners should not be able to enter the contest for at least a year in order to keep things fair. I don’t know, I’ll let y’all handle the legal stuff.

    • B-Rye,
      Thanks for setting William Rowan Jr. straight. I hope your intelligent comment persuades Josh to believe us and watch “Natural Born Killers.”
      JP

      • I second everyone on Natural Born Killers. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely worth watching one time. If anything else, watch it because the original screenplay—before it was revised—was written by Quentin Tarantino. So, if you’re completist and a Tarantino fan you have to watch this, Josh. Just lower your expectations a bit. Natural Born Killers is bizarre, violent, bloody, excessive, and self-indulgent and it’s a 7 for me.

    • Natural born killer is on my all time top ten, it is the movie that opened door of movie magic to me. it is THE oliver stone movie. Josh you need to run now to get it.

      the door is way too amature.

      Any Given Sunday is not for young minds but you should really appreciate it very differently by now, i bet.

      go, josh, go!

  3. Wow, I can’t believe you guys got Christopher Nolan as a guest! I hope he discusses my favourite movie of his: Batman Rises Again.

    And I’m not finished the episode yet but with regards to the whole “Jump the Shark” argument I’d suggest that it works okay if applied to a film franchise but not a singular movie. The implication of the idiom is that the gimmicky moment is a desperate attempt to win back a declining viewership. When the idiom is applied to a single film this doesn’t gel because once it’s been made that’s generally the end and if it’s poorly received by viewers: tough look Shyamalan. Unless a filmmaker can see into the future and insert gimmicky alterations to make up for poor box office or can recall the movie and retroactively replace an actor with a green screened Hayden Christensen then it’s impossible for them to have inserted a gimmick due to prior knowledge of poor reception. And the Star Wars trilogy isn’t even a proper exception to that because those changes weren’t made due to declining viewership but because George Lucas had an itchy beard.

    • I haven’t made it that far into the podcast, but I’m intrigued by this “jump the shark” business.

    • I agree with david here. The term can certainly be used in movies but should be used in relation to series or franchises where you refering to episode quality continuity, not a plot turn with in the film.

      I voted yes.

      • I’m voting yes simply because language is always evolving. Jumping the shark might mean something now but it might mean something else tomorrow. For all we know Jay and Andy’s linguistic choices are changing the course of history.

        Vote yes on proposition shark!

        • Juan, I agree with you to an extent and I try to be pretty liberal when it comes to semantic extension but I think the re-purposing in question just fails to acknowledge enough of the original idioms connotations.

          I’m going to withhold from voting though as there’s no option for “Yes but only with regard to the episodic continuity of film franchises” and I like to be a pernickety git!

  4. Hi team,

    Your No-spoiler policy makes discussing this interstellar film, but i will try…

    interstellar – 8.5/10, see it on big screen now!
    Interstellar is an excellent, excellent movie, but in my personal opinion it is not nolan’s best work. As visionary and talented as nolan is, he is better at creating stories with very sophisticated and complex stories with layered inner threads and subplots, but with very clearly defined plot boundry and scope. His master pieces such as prestige, momento, inception and even dark night, all happens in a reachable story boundries where his story telling can shine the most. When the scope start to bleed out more, like badman rise, then it is not Nolan’s comfort zone anymore.

    So to me, this is certainly the movie compare with 2001 space oddesy and is an important sci-fi piece, but not Nolan’s best.

    The con –
    # michael cain talked a bit too much;
    # anne H’s love as dimension speech;
    # robots was under-used – could have a lot more potential;
    # the third act involving black hole. I am sorry that part just making me feel the movie dumbed down so much to meet the plot requirement. Blackhole is slightly different to how i understood it.

    The pro –
    # the visual. Directly compare with Gravity, putting you into the space. Can’t get enough of that.
    # the acting. Every one is solid. This movie put matt officially to my actor watch list.
    # smooth story telling – smooth curve of story flow, Nolan’s personal style
    # the score.

    This is weird – in the space station, there is a scene where jessica chastain’s character was chatting with old professor on the upper floor looking out to the rocket building scene, she was holding a paper soda cut with a straw. You’d think in the resource starving future like that, people would stopped using wasteful packaging like that?

    And why all the pick-up trucks in the movie still burn fussil fuel? Shouldn’t solar power be a little more advanced in future?

    Question to the interstellar lovers –
    Which one is better acting, the saying goodbye or the video watching?

    • Hi Que,

      I don’t agree with some of your cons. First off, Michael Cane was not a prevalent character throughout the movie. Yes, he was a very important character, but I just don’t see your point of how he “talked too much”. Although they didn’t share as much screen time as the other actors, the robots were a major part of the movie and I think they had plenty of screen time. Not only that, but they were used in very cool and interesting ways.

      Did you guys notice that the robots were shaped like a monolith? Very in your face 2001 homage. Also, the scene explaining how a wormhole works is very reminiscent of the one from Event Horizon. There are actually tons of other references and homages, but those two come to mind right now.

      • I felt Brand was talking too much when Cooper broke into the base and professor started to introduce him around. that is without him clearly stated the answer to “how he found the base” and the one-sided intro to bring Cooper into the picture – near 3min of monologue of what is going on.

        as a character in whole professor Brand is a very figure – he represents rational thinking and realistic decision making, the ultimate sacrifice by making tough decisions and taking responsibilities. this is a very masterful character, the only Con moment from me is that 3min intro.

        thought it could be done a little more subtle.

  5. This is a response to Jason mostly.

    How could I ignore you throwing down on me with phrases like “William is dead wrong” and “Thanks for setting William Rowan Jr. straight” referring to something I supposedly said to Josh 20 years ago.

    Them’s fightin’ words, brother!

    First off,
    Just because you don’t recommend a movie to someone you know, doesn’t mean that you don’t like it or that it’s not necessarily a good movie. I always take my audience into consideration. And even though I don’t remember, I must have thought at the time that Josh wouldn’t like it. If I did that, I’m going to assume that I must of been projecting my own emotional response of the film on to him.

    Second off,
    I don’t think that “Natural Born Killers” is the kind of movie that fits the category of “A must see for everyone”. It’s a very specific cinematic style of film for a specific type of audience. Anyone who is going to recommend a film like “Natural Born Killers” should take this into consideration.

    Third off,
    I can’t remember what I said or didn’t say to Josh 20 years ago. And I really don’t think it’s very fair to be accountable to it. Meaning, I was a different person then, with an entirely different perspective and approach to life.
    For example, if Josh was to ask me today, if he should watch “Natural Born Killers” (or if I was going to volunteer my recommendation to him), I would probably say something like “I don’t know” or “sure, if you’re looking for that kind of movie to watch right now”. Because I know better than to assume that I can predict anything Josh would like or not like.

    Back off,
    So my overall point, Jason, is that you really “jumped the shark” with your criticisms about me not recommending to Josh to not watch “Natural Born Killers” 20 years a go.

    Hope all is well with you and yours,

    Sincerely,
    William Rowan Jr.

    Side Note,
    Please take into consideration that my sense of humor is rarely identified in my writing. For example, I find it hilarious to have an extreme emotional tone when I write people about things that don’t really matter.

    • Dear William Yolo Jr. I love that your screen name is still William Yolo Jr.

      And similar to Josh I’ve also never seen “Natural Born Killers”. There’s something about it that just never appealed to me. Stupid as it may sound I think it’s those John Lennon glasses on Woody Harrelson on the poster. I guess they were cool in the 60’s/70’s but in the 90’s I just associated those glasses with Liam Gallagher-esque pretentious cultural theft. I’m not sure what that means but my Irish Coffee made me type it.

      • LOL, are we judging a movie by the cover now? :)

        I watched the movie in a night marathon session when I had no idea what was going to be played – was trying to find a cuddle spot with a girl back then in 1996 i think… and the movie woke me up from 25 min in – it looked so lateral, breaking all the rules and just simply different from anything i have ever seen. I came out of the cinema trying to look for what that movie was called – and couldn’t believe it when i saw the poster!

        anyway i understand that this is not going to be everyone’s favourite, but for being a MPW regular i suppose you at least should have the stomach to give it a try, it is not like it is full of blood, sex and gore. for today’s standard it is nothing challenging really.

  6. So guys the guest appearance in this episode was a lovely little treat. Great to hear that voice again!

    Also I thought I’d let you know that I’ve taken a light-hearted break from The Killing and followed your advice to check out “The Office”. I decided to skip to Season 2 because I really didn’t want to start with the sour taste of a beat-for-beat remake.

    I have to say that I’m really, really enjoying this show. I love Steve Carell way more than I expected to and I think I almost like Rainn Wilson better than Mackenzie Crook! I’m glad it retains the extremely awkward humour of the original as well as some of the more heartfelt moments but takes it in its own direction. It’s so addictive that I’m actually already a few episodes into season 3. My only real complaint is that I prefer the character of Tim to that of Jim. It seems like they’ve tried to make Jim a bit cooler and more extroverted but it can come across as a little smug and part of what I love about Tim is how in spite of him being one of the most relatable characters in the original he’s still a bit of a self-effacing loser. All in all though it’s definitely way better than I anticipated and I’ll keep watching. Does it continue at this level of quality?

    • Told ya! Seasons 2, 3 and 4 are all unquestionably as good. From 5 on, you have to be a bit of a fan, and for 8-9, you have to be a die-hard fan.

      • I’ve also found that it’s sort of less depressing than the original series. Which isn’t to discredit the original because that’s integral to its tone but it makes for a slightly lighter watch. But maybe that’s just me? I think I’d rather work in the American Office than the UK one.

        P.S. I finally replied to your last post from our music conversation in the last episode comments. Apologies for the belatedness!

        • I think that’s why we’re always talking about it, even though the UK version is superior art as an original concept, the American version is endlessly re-watchable. Way less depressing, in fact, it’s a great depression cure. More blatant jokes. It’s a very funny show and I think that’s why it succeeds in escaping the shadow of the original.

  7. Hi Guys

    Really enjoyed the show and was really nice for an old friend to check in for Interstellar. I am so behind with my movie watching these days (3 kids 5 and under)and every week my list is growing. I worked in a video rental shop in the 90s for years while at school (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Speed, Shawshank Redemption to name but a few during my time there plus I got to see them all the day or soon after they were released).

    I have been watching a lot of tv lately and have a recommendation for you all and one in particular for JAY

    I have watched a new show which just started on BBC over here inn Ireland and I believe is going to be shown on STARZ in the US. Its called The Missing and is about a fathers search for his son after he goes missing on a family holiday. The first two episodes have been excellent, I hope it continues this way and the ending is not a letdown.

    Also a show I have recommended before but season 5 has just finished over here and that is Love/Hate. Dare I say Ireland’s version of “the Wire”. Good thing is that TV shows over seasons only typically last 5-6 episodes (That’s why I would persevere with The Fall Jay as if you saw 2 episodes you only have four left). What I am saying is it doesn’t take a big time commitment to get into these shows. I am not sure if available in the US or not but hopefully it is

    Anyway have to say I am loving YOUR every week, it really helps me out on my daily commute.

    Thanks again
    Gerdywerdy

    PS I am definitely on for Survivor fantasy league when the next season starts in the New Year

  8. Hi guys!

    So I finally got to see three of my most anticipated movies of 2014 and they didn’t disappoint. You guys already did a great job reviewing them, but here are a few words on them:

    Nightcrawler (10/10)
    A very eery, relentless, and captivating look at the current state of sensationalism that plagues t.v. news and the lengths to which people seemingly go in order to attain footage of it. Nightcrawler can be tough to watch, not only because of the questionable choices that the main character makes, but the tension with which some of the crime scenes escalate. The amount of tension was such that on the way back home from the theater, my fingers hurt from the many times that I clenched my hands at the atrocities that I was witnessing. Because of the subject matter, there is a certain level of gore on display during some of the more violent scenes and it’s graphic enough, but it’s effectivity is taken to a whole new level thanks to the way it’s presented and the situations surrounding said scenes. Dark morality questions envelop much of the film, and though there is humor sprinkled throughout that helps ease the tension and darkness, the humor is as dark as the film’s subject matter. Expect to laugh out loud and feel guilt at the same time. Jake Gyllenhaal turns one of his finest, if not his finest performance yet. The character that Gyllenhaal plays is so iconic and quotable that he’ll probably end up on many top characters lists and the film itself is worth watching just to see him transform into the most likable monster that has ever graced the screen.

    Birdman (10/10)
    From beginning to end, this is a sublime and flawless experience that needs to be seen on the big screen to be fully experienced the way it was meant to be. Out of all of the 2014 movies that I’ve seen so far, this is probably only second to Interstellar as far as must-see movie theater experiences. The technical and artistic achievements are awe inspiring. For a film that doesn’t rely on explosions or special effects—both of which are present, but are not the main focus—it’s very impressive that the film is able to retain a very kinetic energy throughout the entire running time without faltering a single time. To top it all, the whole thing was made to be seen as a single take. Although the transitions are very obvious, the technique still impresses because even when it’s clear that the scenes are not played in real time—there are indications that time lapses from scene to scene—they play in a very seamless way. The scenes don’t overlap, but rather flow at a very steady pace partly because of the amazing cinematography and partly because of the incredible acting. The energy put forth from all of the actors is mesmerizing and really makes the movie take flight (pun intended). Visually, Birdman is stunning, but the music here is a real standout. The soundtrack is entirely comprised of drums and it’s brilliant in and of itself, but the way it works together with everything that unravels on-screen is very satisfying. Birdman is a masterpiece. It’s a movie that because of its subject matter, might not reach the audience it deserves and that is a shame.

    Interstellar (10/10)
    I had very high expectations for this film because of Christopher Nolan’s track record and for the most part it delivered. I like to think of Interstellar as a flawed masterpiece. It’s a masterpiece because of its excellence in most aspects. As is usual with Nolan’s films, the technical aspects of the film are flawless. The direction, cinematography, visual effects, sound effects, and music are all of the highest caliber. Where the movie fumbles a bit is with the story, characters, dialogue, and even some of the acting. This might sound weird considering that the movie is three hours long, but I wish it were a bit longer. I think with a slightly bigger running time, some of the problems could be fixed. Scenes that felt rushed could have been as poignant as they were probably meant to be. But the scope and ambition of the film are so large and epic that the problems that I had with the film didn’t have a major impact in my enjoyment of the film. I left the movie theater with a level of satisfaction so high that I can’t give this movie a lesser score. And perhaps that’s not the most objective score, but it’s what I feel the movie deserves in terms of its accomplishments and its ambition. I didn’t get a chance to watch this on IMAX, which was a big mistake. When the more sic-fi scenes took place, the screen wasn’t big enough for me to fully immerse myself in the film’s world—just the perfect excuse to watch this again and this time on an IMAX screen.

    Guys, this has been a great year for movies. I’ve seem some pretty incredible stuff and I’ve yet to catch up. I’m so excited to watch what the rest of the year will bring us along with what I’ve missed of the year so far.

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