Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 151: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Episode 151

Welcome to Episode 151 of Movie Podcast Weekly. In this show, Jason, Karl and Ryan bring you two Feature Reviews of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and later Andy shows up to help Jason review Straight Outta Compton. We hope you’ll join us!

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


I. Introduction

[ 0:01:25 ] II. Movie News and Mini Reviews
Jason: “Fantastic Four” second week box office numbers; Secret agent poll question results: Bond vs. Hunt; Batman is dead; R-rated movies at the library
Karl: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Ryan: Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Netflix series), Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Straight Outta Compton
Mistress America [ Limited ]
People Places Things [ Limited ]
Fort Tilden [ Limited ]
10,000 Saints [ Limited ]
Final Girl [ Limited ]


[ 0:34:37 ] IV. Feature Review: THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Buy it from the $5 bin! )
Ryan = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )

[ 0:50:34 ] V. Feature Review: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015)
Jason = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Andy = 8 ( Theater / Rental )

If you dig hard-core gangster rap music, one of Jay’s all-time favorites is Ice Cube‘s GHETTO BIRD (**NSFW)

VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Thank you to Catherine
— Thank you to Tamara
— Thank you to Steve from Wheeling, WV

Episode 152 where we’ll probably review “Sinister 2” and “American Ultra.” Join us!


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31 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 151: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and Straight Outta Compton (2015)

  1. What happened to Jason’s coverage of “Game of Thrones”? Is it just going to go the way of “True Detective”? I hope not because I’ve been very much looking forward to hearing his reactions.

    • I’m no Jay of the Dead, but I got your back, David. I’ve been watching Game of Thrones and I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts, but I think I’ll wait until I’m done with season 5, which will have to wait because I started True Detective. You already knew that I loved GOT, and I’ve shared a few thoughts with our better third over Twitter, but True Detective’s first episode really took me by surprise. Sadly, I haven’t had much time to get onto episode 2, but I’m all in, man. McConaughey’s character seems super interesting. I can’t wait to see where that leads to.

      • Spoiler alert (not really): it leads to awesomeness. I actually think episode 1 of TRUE DETECTIVE (season 1) is the weakest of the season, so you need to get on with episode 2.

        p.s. I think I should be referred to as The Better Third from now on.

  2. J, just a quick heads up that your spoiler alert is wrong. It should have been for the fifth Harry Potter movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.

  3. I’m not familiar with LDS or Mormons in general, so maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t understand this this library protester’s concerns. If she’s concerned with her kid watching a rated R movie, isn’t that why it’s rated R? I would assume that a librarian wouldn’t let her child check out a rated R movie unless they had proof that they were old enough to check it out.

    I believe I was 16 and I tried to check out DELIVERANCE from my then-local library. When I tried doing that, the librarian needed to confirm that I was seventeen (I believe that’s the age to watched rated R movies, correct?) When I couldn’t do that, I wasn’t able to check out the movie even when I explained that my seventh birthday was only in a couple of months.

    As long as you have a system like that implemented, I don’t see how concern for the youths of today can be your real issue.

    • Some people just seem to have nothing better to do than to force their own lack of understanding of morality on others. That kind of presumptuous attitude that ones own ideals and tastes are the definite article is just the height of small mindedness and arrogance as far as I’m concerned. I mean bloody hell, if The Bible were adapted word for word into a movie then you can be damn sure it’d be R-rated.

      I certainly understand that R-rated movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and absolutely everybody should have the right to not have to watch them and to prevent their children from watching them but there’s always someone who takes the sanctimony way too far. I don’t even really understand where the argument that presentations of violence/sexuality are inherently evil comes from anyway. I mean, both of those elements are extremely relevant to the human experience and simply presenting that in a narrative is NOT the same as promoting immorality. Morality is a far more complex beast than that. A movie that shows the true horrors of war in all it’s gory detail could easily be of more moral value than the most watered down kids film where all the good people are beautiful and the bad people ugly. Or where all the characters are gender stereotypes, or overly materialistic. I wish if people were going to be moralising bores they’d at least spend a little introspective time considering the actual nature of morality first!

    • First I was trying to guess what the eight R-rated films could possibly be. Redeeming social value + history and/or badass awesomeness, right? The initial roster in my head: “Schindler’s List,” “Glory,” “Amadeus,” “Gladiator,” “Die Hard” and the Holy Trinity of Mel Gibson: “Braveheart,” “The Patriot” and “Lethal Weapon.” Then Jay actually read the list and I realized that the Pleasant Grove Library apparently had a firm “no R-rated movies” policy until about 6 months ago when, it would seem, somebody from California or New York, or possibly even Idaho or Montana, moved to town.

      You can’t always get what you want, Pleasant Grove, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find … you get what you need.

  4. I think Andy shined in this episode. I love the comedic sensibility he brings to the table as “just a guy who loves movies,” but I think his biggest value to the show is when discussing societal and civil issues. He always brings a well-thought, intelligent, measured and balanced perspective to the discussion. I generally cringe when the conversation turns to political or social concerns, but Andy can usually be counted on to keep the discourse level.

    This episode was no different.

    I haven’t seen either of these films, but have interest in both. I’m glad to hear they’re both entertaining at worst, really good at best. Will probably wait until they’re available to stream before I catch them, though.

    Quick question for J – You talked about THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. being a period piece and that possibly being a reason for its poor box office performance (or, at least, a main reason why you passed on it), but isn’t STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON just as much a period piece?

    • “Quick question for J – You talked about THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. being a period piece and that possibly being a reason for its poor box office performance (or, at least, a main reason why you passed on it), but isn’t STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON just as much a period piece?”

      See what happened there, folks? I stumped J… left him speechless.


      • Of course STRAIGHT OUT OF COMPTON isn’t as much of a period piece as U.N.C.L.E. The one is set in 1963 while the other is set between 1985 and 1995. That makes COMPTON twenty to thirty years less of a period piece than U.N.C.L.E. That makes all of the difference considering the majority of those who likely went to see COMPTON were alive during that time period and may remember some of the key events. Unless you’re an old fart* U.N.C.L.E. takes place entirely before the viewer’s life even began.

        *No offense intended towards those old farts, what do I know? I’m just some young whippersnapper.

        • Sorry, Sal, but I disagree. That’s like asking a pregnant woman how pregnant she is – “so, are you REALLY pregnant, or just a little pregnant?” There are no degrees of pregnancy; you’re either pregnant or you’re not.

          Same deal with a period piece. Just because one happened 20-30 years ago as opposed to 50 years ago doesn’t make one more or less a period piece. What makes a film a period piece is if it takes place in the past and contains elements of that historical period. I haven’t seen STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON yet, but I imagine it fits this definition considering it (at least) contains music and historical events of that time.

          • I’d say a movie can technically be a period piece without actually “Feeling” like a period piece. It feels even less like a period piece when guys like Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are still relevant today.

          • Also, for your pregnancy analogy, I disagree there. Sure, you’re either pregnant or you’re not pregnant, but there ARE degrees of pregnancies. There’s trimesters, months, or just generally going on the size of the baby bump. You even have the newly pregnant girls who may not actually look pregnant (Very similar to my stance that a period piece my not “Feel” like a period piece).

            • You’re talking about stages of pregnancy. Different. If you don’t like that example, though, then I can use the “unique” vs. “very unique” example…

              But, we’re getting into semantics, here. Point is, just because something doesn’t “feel” like a period piece to you doesn’t make it any less a period piece. After all, not everyone will share your same perspective. For example, I’m sure plenty of teenagers and young 20-somethings went to see COMPTON and thought all the clothes and hair looked funny.

              I know J didn’t/doesn’t consider COMPTON a period piece because he grew up during that time, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a period piece. It just means he’s (we’re) getting old. That’s why I was calling him out on it.

    • I don’t mind the three characters at the top, but Han Solo looks like someone’s grandfather that was photoshopped in after the fact.

    • Well it’s by Drew Struzan who’s generally amazing and has done most, if not all, of the Star Wars posters so far but I do agree that Old Man Solo looks kind of like an afterthought, all hunched over down there in the corner shaking his walking stick at the kids on his lawn.

      I have heard that this isn’t the official poster though and was only done as a give-away/limited edition at that Disney convention the other week.

      • Drew Struzan is the man! His poster for THE THING is one of the most iconic images of all time in my humble opinion. It perfectly and brilliantly encapsulates what the movie’s about without giving away a single bit of information. In a way, a good poster is the best trailer there could be.

  5. So I watched THE GIFT. In my opinion, Andy and Jay overhyped it way too much based on the twist ending. Yes, the ending is indeed twisted in a way that neither gore nor shock value was needed. The rest of the movie though, was a bit slow for the type of movie this is. I’m not an impatient viewer. I love slow paced films when there’s a good reason behind it. THE GIFT just seemed awkwardly paced and very repetitive. The acting was also a bit bothersome. Perhaps it was the characters themselves that were really bothering me, but I was having a very hard time liking anyone onscreen. In the end, I think I liked the idea more than the execution. It’s a 7 for me.

    • I think I fall somewhere between you and J/Andy. I agree with you that they probably over-hyped the movie, but I also didn’t have that much of a problem with the things you mentioned. That said, I totally get where you’re coming from and wouldn’t argue against it… just didn’t seem to bother me as much.

      I do still love that sick ending, though.

  6. It’s too bad that the general public seems not to have cared about “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” I think it looks like fun, and Karl and Ry have definitely talked me into seeing it. I don’t remember which of them had the beef about Henry Cavill, incidentally, but I think his accent (to judge from the trailers) is perfect. He even sounds like he’s from the ’60s — just not from the counterculture corner of the block.

  7. By the way, Jay, kudos on adding some much needed rap music into the podcast. I’m a big fan of the genre and it seems that it’s just you and me (and sometimes Dino) that are able to appreciate it. I love that you like gangsta rap haha, it’s so random!

    My long history with rap music dates back to 9th grade and my introduction to the genre was none other than mister Tupac Shakur. Actually, by the time I found out about him, he was already dead and didn’t find out until years later. Crazy uh?! Anyway, he made such a big impression on me that I had to seek out more of his music and eventually land on groups like N.W.A. which I became a fan of long after their popularity had waned. A big testament to the power of their music if you ask me. How did you get across gangsta rap, Jay?

    • I’m a big old school rap fan from the late ’80s and into the ’90s (until Nirvana slowly began to turn me). It was the first kind of music I listened to growing up. I was definitely east coast, but there’s no denying the brilliance of Tupac and NWA. I even occasionally liked some of the sillier west coast acts, like Cypress Hill.

      I’m not much of a fan of the newer stuff, but I’ll throw on some older rap when I’m feeling nostalgic. I don’t know if anyone on here is familiar with the now-defunct service, but an old buddy of mine from NY and I used to rock the old school rap on there all day long. Good times…

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