Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 164: The 33 (2015) and Love the Coopers (2015) and Cartel Land (2015) and Boulevard (2015) and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode 164

Bonjour! Welcome to Movie Podcast Weekly, Episode 164. This is Part 2 of our 7-Part series where we’re reviewing the entire STAR WARS franchise. We welcome back special guest Steve Hernandez to help us Feature Review Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), as well as these new 2015 releases: The 33 and Love the Coopers and Cartel Land and Boulevard.

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
— Movie news that is unnecessary to write here because Karl and Ryan already posted these headlines on their personal Facebook accounts…
— The Paris Attacks
— Listener feedback: Jenifer, K. Porter, Chad Downey, Vance

[ 0:29:58 ] II. Feature Review: STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2015) with guest Steve Hernandez
Jason = 7 ( Buy it! )
Andy = 5 ( Fans should Buy it!; otherwise, Rental )
Karl = 6 ( Buy it! )
Ryan = 5.5 ( Buy it! )
Steve Hernandez = 5 ( Fans should Buy it!; otherwise, Rental )

III. The /Filmcast agrees with Jason regarding “Spectre” (2015)

IV. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
The 33
Love the Coopers
My All American
By the Sea [ Limited ]
Entertainment [ Limited ]
Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words [ Limited ]
Kilo Two Bravo [ Limited ]
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo [ Limited ]


[ 1:37:49 ] V. Feature Review: LOVE THE COOPERS (2015)
Karl = 6.5 ( Theater / Rental )

[ 1:51:35 ] VI. Feature Review: THE 33 (2015)
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )

[ 2:03:30 ] VII. Feature Review: BOULEVARD (2015)
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )

[ 2:08:58 ] VIII. Feature Review: CARTEL LAND (2015)
Jason = 8.5 ( Excellent documentary, but proceed with caution )

IX. Weinstein Co. Planning Layoffs

X. The Dismal Box Office Numbers for JEM and Rock the Kasbah

XI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

XII. The Scariest Nightmare That Andy Has Ever Had…

Episode 165 where we’ll be reviewing “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” “The Man in the High Castle” and “Kidnapping Mr. Heineken” with special guests Steve Hernandez and Jason Diediker. Join us!


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Twitter: @GeekCastRy

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

41 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 164: The 33 (2015) and Love the Coopers (2015) and Cartel Land (2015) and Boulevard (2015) and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

  1. Create your own image for this caption: “I want it all in Spanish!!”. I’d especially like to hear what Karl comes up with.

    Also – I thought that the Star Wars geeks were excited for #7 because of the brilliance of the past movies. Based on the reviews of the first two movies, I’ve now come to the realization that the geeks are excited for a “good” Star Wars movie. I can only hope that the movie meets your expectations, otherwise you’re headed to a massive bout of depression.

    • Thanks, Chuck. I think there’s wisdom in your words here.

      I know people are tough on the prequels, and it seems like the majority of Star Wars fans were ultimately disappointed by them. I would consider myself in that camp, too, but I’ve been a little disheartened with how dismissive some of my co-hosts and people who comment have been.

      I don’t love these prequels. They’re not perfect. But I think there’s a general lack of appreciation for these movies, and I’m just worried that many people aren’t willing to acknowledge the good aspects because they are still too angry about being disappointed by the bad.

      I get it. I guess that’s why I’m honestly cringing for Episode VII. Mostly I’m excited because my kids get their Star Wars trilogy. My son is going to see “his” Star Wars movie on the big screen. But when it’s all said and done, and the hype is over, I’m expecting we’ll have something similar to the prequels but better. I’m calling it now.

      But Chuck, let’s really get down to the issue here: The original trilogy — 4, 5 and 6 — is what people love and what they’re hoping for. But it’s never going to happen, and here’s why: When you look at them in the bright light of day, those original three movies aren’t “Citizen Kane,” either. But we all have a nostalgic love for them because we grew up with them as motion picture technology grew.

      So, unless Episode VII can somehow evoke the same sort of nostalgic ties for us cynical Star Wars fans, we’re headed for disappointment with “The Force Awakens.” (Perhaps the original cast members will help.)

      Final point! Here is my evidence: Ask any Star Wars fans who grew up in the Aughts with these prequels as “their trilogy”… They love them! Much like we love 4, 5 and 6.

      So, who’s going to love 7, 8, 9 and the spin-offs? My kids. Your kids. The “younglings” who are growing up with this forthcoming, new generation of Star Wars.

      We might be pleased with Ep. VII (I sure hope so), but I just don’t think there’s any possible way for it to ever hold the same nostalgic magic for us old guys and gals as 4, 5 and 6.

      May the Force be with you, Chuck.

      • I don’t HATE the prequels, but they are very weak compared to 4-6, for many reasons that are objectively quantifiable. Technically, sure J, they are laudable and worth some praise. But what really matters is story and character. The best special effects are wasted if the overall story and characters aren’t memorable.

        Just compare the characters, and nothing else, between 1-3 and 4-6, and it’s not even close. What’s memorable and identifiable about the characters from the different trilogies?

        HAN SOLO: rogue, dashing, sexy, bad boy, dangerous, cocky, sarcastic, has a heart underneath it all

        QUI GONN JIN: uhhh, he has a beard

        C-3PO: quirky, effeminate, complainer, comic relief, scaredy-cat, talks too much

        QUEEN AMIDALA: uhhhh, she’s monotone, wears weird makeup

        And so on… There is so much more definition and *character* in the 4-6 films, and so we care about them. And of course we have Luke as a focused primary character that we root for and who has a compelling life journey and adventure that we follow and feel connected to.

        The light saber duels at the end of Phantom Menace were impressive in terms of the physical movement, but had no emotional impact like the Darth vs. Obi Wan or Darth vs. Luke duels, which had so much more meaning and power and impact because there were emotional undercurrents and consequences to those fights, not just flashy visual choreography.

        I really appreciate you guys covering all of these films, but I disagree that there’s any real comparison. 4-5 are still high-quality adventure films that do hold up, not just because of nostalgia.

      • I’m totally with Eric.

        Jay, I feel like you’re doing that thing again where you dismiss peoples appreciation of objectively great films from the past as little more than rose-tinted nostalgia.

        I was born in the late 80’s and never saw any of the originals in the cinema but I still know that they’re amazing films and I still love them. Sure if you want to nitpick then you can find problems with the original trilogy but I’d argue that they ARE up their with “Citizen Kane”; they’re certainly as important to cinema history and are probably responsible for just as many groundbreaking advances in filmmaking techniques. Ultimately though they’re timeless, not because we loved them as kids, but because they’re just incredibly well told stories featuring loveable and compelling characters and the visuals created a tangible world that we believed in our hearts these characters were a part of. I can’t say that any of that is true for the prequels.

        My mind was blown when you described “Attack of the Clones” as being a “joy to watch” because for me this is the very worst of the series. I find it painful and horridly boring to watch. I saw it in the cinema and then got it on DVD for the following Christmas, I started watching it and literally turned it off after about 45 minutes because I was so bored and disconnected from anything happening. It’s just a series of boringly shot, terribly acted dialogue sequences linking together a bunch of overblown, fake looking action scenes that have no real effect because the characters involved are so dull and everything’s just so overdone. It’s like the difference between a delicious meal made with a few high quality, locally sourced ingredients and someone going into a supermarket, purchasing every single thing that’s edible and them mixing it all together into a disgusting mess. I believe that the assertion regarding Lucas surrounding himself with spineless yes-men is totally correct. That lack of restraint afforded by this sycophantic environment on top of the “limitless possibilities” of CGI are huge factors in why the prequel trilogy is so bad. The scene you referenced where Anakin rides that giant tick/cow creature is a perfect example. That scene doesn’t tell us anything about the characters, it doesn’t add to the story or atmosphere and it looks ridiculous and horrible. It’s a straight up ugly scene. So why did Lucas put it in there? Because he could. He was acting under the skewed logic that by filling these films with scenes showing off visuals that he could never have accomplished in the OT he would somehow prove that they were better movies. He couldn’t have been more wrong. And on top of that the visuals here are just horrible. It’s all so shiny and fake looking that there’s nothing impressive about it. I don’t look at it and think “wow! how did they pull that off!” I think “Oh a computer rendered all of this. Yay, the actors are stood awkwardly saying wooden dialogue in a boringly framed shot with a cartoon background again. great.” The Yoda fight scene is a novel concept but executed in such an obnoxious and chintzy fashion that there’s nothing enjoyable about it. It feels like pandering to Jedi-fanboys brought to life with video-game excess.

        The original trilogy had a far more limited palate and I guess some of it looks dated now (I’ve never understood why indications of a films age are so often construed as being a negative aspect though) but maybe those limitations imposed a greater need for imagination and characterisation. Not to mention the fact that they seemed to be far more creatively collaborative efforts. Look at the scene in “Empire Strikes Back” when Han is about to be frozen and Leia tells him she loves him. Lucas wanted Han’s reply to be a generic “I love you too” but instead we get Harrison Ford improvising the famous “I know” response. Now which of those is better? The Lucas approach which is cliché and dull? Or the Ford approach which is more in keeping with Han’s dry, sardonic humour/cocky attitude, far more memorable and offers insight into the complexities of his character. I have a feeling that this is the kind of thing that just wasn’t allowed to happen in Lucas’s dictatorial reign over the prequels.

        And yes, I am a cynical curmudgeonly old jerk but no, that’s not why I dislike Episodes 1 to 3 so much. I’m being objective and I’m 100% certain that if these films had been released as something entirely separate from the Star Wars franchise then my feelings would be no different. I’d still think they were terrible films.

        And I don’t know how you can watch the Force Awakens trailers and still think that the film is going to be near-prequel level. There’s more heart in the brief characterisation we’ve seen so far than in all of those movies. There’s more tangibility to every little detail of the world the shots are composed and executed beautifully. Visually it’s the difference between chalk and cheese. Everything I know about the film suggests that it is expanding upon the most beloved elements of the original movies. Maybe it won’t be as great as those classics (it’ll be hard to judge that considering how long we’ve had to dwell on those films) but my prediction is that it’ll be a 10/10 and you’ll eat your words, Jay!

    • Hi, Chuck. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘good’, but I think I know what you mean: something that’s so palatable for the mainstream that real SW fans are left high and dry without the depth the saga has generated? For me, as a Star Wars fan, I just want more. More of the saga I love, more of the cool tech. that drives sci-fi, more saber scenes, more lore, more characters, more worlds, etc. Just . . . MORE. Even if Force Awakens is on the level of Phantom Menace, I’d still want it. Especially now that the EU has been largely nullified. My only bout of depression is if they (Lucas, Disney, and whoever the hell else will own its rights . . . Walmart probably will at some point LOL) stop making more!

  2. I’m glad J brought up THE FAMILY STONE during the discussion of LOVE THE COOPERS, because I was thinking the same exact thing. Also, THE FAMILY STONE is a great example of what I think Karl was getting at with his mention of not liking when it feels like a movie shoe-horns in homosexual characters just for the sake of it; the gay characters in THE FAMILY STONE actually serve the story, as does the fact that one of them is deaf and the other is African American.

    Anyway, I agree with J and Ryan – it’s a good movie, and definitely worth seeing (THE FAMILY STONE, that is).

    • I feel like the description Karl made, of a male character who refers to his husband without any other significance to that, is the kind of depiction of a gay character that we *should* see more of.

      Out of every 30 or so people, one is likely to be gay. And inasmuch as gay people in real life are often gay without any need for attention or agenda to that, and have increasingly become accepted as normal in society, then we should see that depicted from time to time without any real expectation for their being gay to be some kind of important factor or issue within the story.

      Of course it *can* be an issue in the story, if relevant and meaningful, but I’m saying that we should also see gay characters now and then who are just gay and who we know are gay, but for which there is no other significance to that. I think I’ve seen a couple of films in recent years where there was a character kind of like that, but offhand I can’t remember what they were.

      I agree with Karl that sometimes it feels like an obligatory thing to include an obviously gay character for the sake of, well, including an obviously gay character. For every Andrew Beckett, Frank Serpico or Simon (from As Good As It Gets), there have been a dozen stereotypical depictions of flamboyant queens or hot kissing lesbians. But as far as seeing more casually or unassumingly gay characters in films and TV shows, that is closer to reality and actually feels like less of a “token” thing to me.

      • Eric – I agree completely with what you said. What bothers me (and I *think* what Karl was getting at, but I don’t want to speak for him) is when there’s the token gay caricature (rather than character). Unless the caricature element is applicable to the film in some way (whether in story or tone), that takes me out of it.

        • It’s the caricature thing that’s the problem. When attention is drawn to the characters sexuality to the extent that it becomes offensive/exploitative.

          I do disagree with Karl’s point that a character should only be presented as gay if it adds something to the narrative though (although I could be horribly misconstruing his point, in which case I apologise). There’s a whole bunch of stories out there where the sexual orientation of a heterosexual character adds nothing at all to the plot so I don’t know why we can’t have characters portrayed as gay while keeping their sexuality mostly irrelevant to the flow of the story. Nobody says “we shouldn’t just throw straight people into this narrative unless there’s a good reason for it”.

  3. My suggestion for the title of this episode….

    Movie Podcast Weekly Episode #164: Return of the **MEEPS**!!!

    (cue the majestic and orchestral score) Duh, duh duuuuuuhhhhhhhnnn

    I love it!! :-)

    • Modesty be damned (or meeped), but perhaps my proudest podcast production moment this year is my organic switching out of Andy’s meeps in this episode to a censoring sound that’s thematically more relevant to this particular episode. : )

      Even if it amuses no one else, I’m cracking myself up with the seismic depth-charge noise…


      • Yeah, the SW themed meep was sweet, but I’ve a soft spot in my heart for the original. I’m trying to get my wife to agree to making out doorbell that sound.

        **MEEP**, **MEEP**, **MEEEEPP**…..the pizza’s here!

        • Ive actually always kind of disliked the Andy meep (Sorry Andy). Not sure why but it is always sort of jarring and a bit too loud. I’d rather just have it unbleeped. The “depth charge” was even more jarring, so it has made me appreciate the Andy meep more than before.

      • The “depth charge ” was one of my favorite parts of the movie and sooooo great in the podcast. Good call, Jay! (Although I’m left wondering what exactly we are calling the terrorists).

  4. It’s his news to tell, so I won’t SPOIL anything here (such as name, gender or any other details)… Other than to say:

    Congrats to Ryan and his sweetheart. Their little bundle of joy has arrived today, and mom and baby are doing great! : )


  5. For the record, I’m pretty sure we never see Boba Fett in The Cantina in Episode IV and he was never in the original cut of that movie. He was added in to that awful scene with Han Solo and Jabba in the Special Edition but the Special Edition can take it’s gross looking CGI and *meep* itself.

    His first appearance was actually in the cartoon segments of the dreaded Star Wars Holiday Special but his character was first seen portrayed live in Empire Strikes Back.

  6. Andy is SO going to get Jay fired next week. Ha

    Gotta say, I found Andy hilarious in the Star Wars review. Granted, he was coming close to getting his ass kicked by Steve, but Andy’s whole in Spanish rant is one of my favorite MPW moments.

  7. I’m surprised we’re missing a huge, valuable component of the Star Wars films. The Music! John Williams has scored all seven of these films, and I don’t think his work has ever fallen below perfect, despite any lacking of a given film.
    The Duel Of The Fates theme he wrote for the final battle in Episode I is what gave the double-bladed lightsaber reveal its power.
    The love theme he wrote for Episode II, Across The Stars, is an incredible composition. The melody, dynamic arch and emotion are on par with his greatest themes, e.g. The Jedi theme, Harry Potter, Schindler’s List.
    Battle Of The Heroes, written for Star Wars Episode III, is the theme representing the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Around 1:57 the Jedi theme is introduced underneath dissonant choir effects, perfectly symbolizing the deterioration of the “Chosen One”, the hope of the Jedi falling into darkness. (That part takes me back to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s “Requiem”; a super dissonant chorale piece that amplifies the creep of the monolith to an infinite degree.)

    Interesting trivia about the music played during the parade at the end of Episode I. The theme follows the melodic pattern of the Emperor’s theme from Return Of The Jedi identically except that it’s in the major key instead of minor; the Empire’s tune per-se, before the seeds of the dark side begin to grow.

    Some other cuts for your consideration…

    Star Wars – The Hologram/Binary Sunset, 2:14-2:53. This is the first time in Star Wars history that we hear the Jedi theme accentuating Luke Skywalker looking off into Tatooine’s twin suns, frustrated with his dismal future, unaware of what’s soon to come… This is a likely “John Williams Lifetime Achievement Award” theme. “Ladies and gentlemen, Mister John Williams” and this is what you’ll hear swell as he walks on stage… a very distinguished theme.

    Empire Strikes Back – The Imperial March, Classic theme that all 7 billion of us know as Star Wars. My favorite part of the track that many people aren’t really aware of is at 2:15. There’s actually a focused breakdown of sorts, where the full orchestration cuts out and the down beats are emphasized, making for some excellent head-banging.

    Return Of The Jedi – The Battle Of Endor I, 1:01-1:59. The build of this theme is epic and deservedly so. The rebel fleet has just come out of hyperspace and is mounting its full “surprise” attack on the second Death Star. All wings report in, May the force be with us, and then just before it’s too late we discover that the attack has been anticipated and the Death Star shields are still up. It’s a trap!

    The Force Awakens – Official Trailer 1. If this is any indication, the music for this installment will be Star Wars on steroids. Catching me quite by surprise is Princess Leia’s theme being utilized as the action of this preview opens up. It’s been orchestrated more fully with strong choir and a slower tempo, I think foreshadowing much gravity for the Skywalker lineage in this film. In fact all the themes that come out in this trailer are slower. There’s more bass. They’re more deliberate, more dramatic. I have a wonderful feeling about this. These guys are gonna be pulling our fanboy heartstrings harder than ever before…

    • Jeremy,

      Having watched nearly the entire 10 hour appendices for the final Hobbit film, I can say that this Collider article really doesn’t paint the full picture.

      The YouTube video ends before Jackson and crew return after the hiatus. Upon returning, Jackson talks about how he now has the whole battle of the five armies scenes mapped out.

      If you want a good example of ‘winging it’ moments in the Hobbit trilogy, look to the end scenes with Smaug vs. the dwarves in “The Desolation of Smaug.” To me, that was a more jarring admittance from Jackson and the crew of The Hobbit trilogy that they were really winging it.

      In my opinion, any problems with the final film have less to do with Jackson ‘winging it’ and more to do with him being a bit overindulgent, dependent on CGI scenes, embracing cartoony action, and trying to stuff too much in. And that is just classic Peter Jackson as a director–just watch the extended edition of “King Kong” or “The Return of the King.”

      At one point in the ‘making of’ special features, Jackson admits that at least one action scene (the chariot scene) was “indulgent, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.” I agree. The Hobbit films are far from perfect, but I find them enjoyable. But I’m kind of into elves and orcs and nerdy things like that.

      And if you enjoy seeing how movies like this are made, the 10 hours of behind the scenes footage is amazing. However flawed you consider the final product, you can’t help but appreciate all the time and effort that went into it.

        • Once the extended editions were made available, that is the only version I watch. They are overlong to be sure, but I love most of the additional scenes in all the films. And I don’t mind long films on occasion.

          Like most everyone, I enjoy the “Lord of the Rings” films more than “The Hobbit” films and that holds true for the extended editions as well.

          I think the final films of both trilogies benefit the most from the extended cut. Just like in “The Return of the King” extended edition, the “Battle of the Five Armies” extended cut does a much better job creating a narrative within the battle. In the theatrical version of BotFA, the final battle felt very disjointed. The only thing holding things together was Gandalf’s statements explaining what is going on. I think the extended cut helped quite a bit. (It added some silly overindulgent scenes also. But hey, still kind of fun if you are a fan of the films.)

          How about you? Do you enjoy the extended editions or do you just think the people that gobble up the 3+ hour films are just crazy?

          • I’ve only actually seen parts of the FELLOWSHIP extended edition, so I can’t say. I have been keeping an eye on the extended trilogy of LOTR on iTunes for awhile, though, waiting for the price to come down. I’m sure it’ll be on sale soon enough (I’ll grab THE HOBBIT extended editions then, too).

  8. Steve and Ryan are making me want to read the books. Mandalorian armor… who knew? I had to find out more so this is what I found.

    As of the Clone Wars, these colors were known to have significance:
    Gray=Mourning a Lost Love
    Red=Honoring a Parent
    Orange=A Lust for Life

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