Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 190: Money Monster (2016) and The Darkness (2016) and Sing Street (2016) and The Dark Knight Trilogy

Episode 190

It is a good week to be a fan of Movie Podcast Weekly … sorry we can’t say that every week. But here in Episode 190, your hosts bring you a Considering the Sequels-style review of the entire Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, namely, Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). We also bring you new 2016 Feature Reviews of Money Monster and The Darkness and Sing Street. And we’re excited to introduce special guest Scott “The Coach” Welsh, whom you can follow on Twitter @SWelsh66. Andy was planning to join us on this episode but was called away.

And if you haven’t gotten enough movie talk after this episode, be sure to enjoy this must-listen Geek Cast Live Podcast: Top 5 Movies Lists with Jason Pyles as their guest!

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. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— Welcome special guest Scott Welsh (aka The Coach)
— Karl’s mini review of “Green Room”
8.5 out of 10 ( Rental ) – Jason wins the bet.

II. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Money Monster
The Darkness
Love and Friendship
The Lobster
Last Days in the Desert
Search Party
Kill Zone 2
Sunset Song
What We Become


— Voicemail from Mario from California!

[ 0:16:28 ] III. Feature Review: MONEY MONSTER (2016)
Jason = 7.5 ( Theater / Strong Rental )
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Scott Welsh = 7 ( Theater / Rental )


[ 0:55:18 ] IV. Feature Review: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
Jason = 10 ( Must-See / Must-Own )
Karl = 9.5 ( Buy it! )
Ryan = 8 ( Buy it! )
Scott Welsh = 9.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:29:09 ] V. Feature Review: THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
Jason = 10 ( Buy it! / Top 5 of All Time )
Karl = 8.5 ( Buy it! )
Ryan = 10 ( Buy it! )
Scott Welsh = 10 ( Buy it! )

Inspiration for Heath Ledger’s Joker performance: Tom Waits interview (a must-watch for all Heath Ledger Joker fans)

Jason and Jon recommend Jim Emerson Dark Knight Chase Sequence Breakdown

[ 1:50:52 ] VI. Feature Review: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)
Jason = 9 ( Buy it! )
Karl = 9 ( Buy it! )
Ryan = 8.5 ( Buy it! )
Scott Welsh = 8.5 ( Rental )

[ 2:11:18 ] VII. Feature Review: SING STREET (2016)
Karl = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! / Buy Soundtrack! )

[ 2:16:25 ] VIII. Feature Review: THE DARKNESS (2016)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )

Dave Eaton’s All About Autism Podcast

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Episode 191 where we’ll be reviewing “The Nice Guys,” “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and probably “The Angry Birds Movie”: Join us, despite all that!


Catch up with The Coach Scott Welsh:
Follow Scott on Twitter: @SWelsh66
Scott’s retirement advice: The Retirement Lie – Part 1 of 4
E-mail Scott here: ScotWelsh ( AT ) gmail ( DOT ) com

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

Ry’s BIO
Ry’s flagship show: Geek Cast Live Podcast
DONATE here to facilitate the creation of more Geek content!
Blog: Geek Cast Live
Web site: Geek
Twitter: @GeekCastRy

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

Listen to MPW:
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Josh’s links:
Hear Josh named as one of the Top 5 Up-and-Coming Directors on The Film Vault Podcast!
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Hear Josh on The SciFi Podcast
Hear Josh on Horror Movie Podcast

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:

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

18 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 190: Money Monster (2016) and The Darkness (2016) and Sing Street (2016) and The Dark Knight Trilogy

  1. Ry, Scott and Karl make great points. I have to add to the point about finance education.

    Yes, there should be more basic, real-world, usable finance education in high school. I believe I had that. A class we had, “Marketing” was exactly that. The teacher probably took it in a direction that wasn’t supposed to be the intention of it, but it was great. To me, it was interesting, but I have more than a passing interest in finance. To the majority of the other teens, what did they care about this stuff? It’s hard to get teens involved and excited about anything, let alone practical, financial info that will help them down the road. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taught, just that having it in schools isn’t going to be the amazing fix to the basic person’s misunderstanding of basic finances.

    What will help, I believe, in conjunction with more of this education in our high schools, is more of this at home.

    Like many other issues that arise around our children and their futures and what-not, making changes only to education is not the complete answer. Parents need to take control of their family’s education on this front and guide children into stuff like this.

    “Well, gomez, what about the adults that don’t know, how are they supposed to teach their children about this stuff?” My answer to that is those adults that don’t, should grow up. In this situation they are the adults…the onus is on them to guide their children responsibly. Karl touched on it nicely when he spoke about personal responsibility. People suck and are lazy. But we all have the interwebs, we all have access to info that we can use/digest to give ourselves what we need in this realm. One just needs to sift through it all and discern the good stuff to use. Yes, that’s not easy, but you’re the adult….wise up, figure it out.

  2. Hello MPW,

    Another wonderful podcast and im just not saying that because you played my comment on the podcast!

    First I want to congratulate Jason on winning the bet and I want to hear you enjoying your PB Prafait while Andy is eating his humble pie! Karl 8.5 and coming from him that is a respectable rating and to hear him give “Sing Street” a 10 is going to make me go out and see it this week…. Also Andy better pay up no welching on this bet… LOL :)

    As for your review on Money Monster I am glad you enjoyed it and gave it good ratings I enjoyed it a bit more but you guys were fair and honest in your reviews. I still stand by 9 rating and really enjoy the girlfriend scene which totally blew me away while watching it. I am very glad you guys mentioned that. Having Scott review to was an added plus he gave wonderful sight on the movie and although I did not feel sorry for Kyle losing all his money, I don’t think that was his goal to get his money back but to prove a moral point that what goes on in business is not always a correct judgement of human morals. I do agree that the younger generation should be taught some basic financial classes on how to budget, invest, and do basic finances in their lives. I find it so disheartening that all over the colleges, that credit card companies are preying on young kids to apply for credit cards with high interest rates. This is why so many young adults are in debt right from the gate. It is sad but true.

    I really loved your guys insight on the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy and I will have to re-watch it again to get a different perspective on it now. Also based on Scott and GCR im going to read the graphic novel of “the killing Joke” which I am sure I am going to Geek out on that in about 2 business days!! I am not a huge comic book guy but im slowly getting into it after reading Preacher!

    Jason I really want to see your list for the top 10 PG-13 horror movies, you totally teased it please let me know….

    For GCR I watched an interesting documentary last night on Amazon called the “The Nintendo Quest” about a guy who has 30 days to collect all 678 NSN games without using the internet. I am not a gamer but I found it so riveting to watch and did bring me back to a time when I played on NES game console. I would like to know if you have watched it or would that be something your interested in? I give it a 6.5 and to at least queue it.

    Karl for the Trifecta of seeing all Three movies this weekend I did it but nothing really stood out for me and I look forward to your reviews on the following and here are my ratings for them.

    The Nice Guys- 7 it was okay has it moments but the plot was dumb and it seemed like it they tried to play every song from the 70’s in it…. Rent it

    Neighbors 2- Jason was right on with this one I gave it 6.5 and has it moments but nothing special. Can Zac Efron doing anything else, he seems to be playing the same guy in every movie so far from Dirty Grandpa, Neighbors, and Mike and Dave needing wedding dates. It would be nice to see him do something different and where he doesn’t have to take his shirt off.

    Angry Birds- 5 but that is me im not a big cartoon guy so I always fall asleep must be something with my childhood that always puts me out….

    Well looking forward to hearing your reviews and have a great week at the movies!

    Mario (Loon) Leon

  3. Okay, I normally only ever drop comments on the HMP board with the occasional pop on the SFP, but let me chime in here because I have to get something off my chest on “The Dark Knight Trilogy”… and I think this is going to be a bit controversial and might even incite some anger.

    I loved the first two movies- but the honest truth is that the third movie was SO awful for me that it ruined most of the good will in the trilogy. And this is not just me being contrary or nitpicky- I have one reason and you inadvertently hit on it throughout the course of your podcast.

    Bane is not the villain of the third Dark Knight film. He’s a red herring and Tom Hardy’s performance and the costuming makes him an intimidating and chilling character- but he’s only ever distraction to the real villain of the film; Talia Rhs Ghul. And the handling of her character is one of the biggest reason this film just annoys the hell out of me- to be more specific, the way she is handled in this film is the same way they handle “Robin” and “Cat Woman” and other secondary characters. There’s no depth, there’s no conflict, there’s no real solid meaning behind any of them- they only exist for Batman to react to. He passes his mantle on to Gordon Levitt, he falls “in love” with Catwoman, and he is betrayed by a dalliance with Talia but there are never any real stakes for any of those characters. And it betrays everything they set up in the first two films- where a hired goon for the Joker who appears in one interrogation film has a deeper and more nuanced arc than the MAIN VILLAIN of the third film.

    And it comes down to precisely what you mention in the podcast- Bane is seen as the “villain”… but he isn’t and that’s not the impression that we, as an audience, should have had. We should have felt betrayed by Talia but she’s almost an afterthought, if even thought of at all. In your entire podcast not one of you mentioned Talia or the effect she had on the story. And so many people rate this film so highly but it’s all based on a lie- the lie that Bane is the villain, the lie that this is Bane’s scheme, the lie that this is a good film that could possibly exist on it’s own. It’s a clustermess of tragedy and I’m shocked that so many people hold it in such high regard. It is the precursor to the wretchedness that was Superman vs. Superman.

    3 out of 10 for “The Dark Knight Rises” and may the lord of pity on the miserable wretches who created this film.

    • I think you’re WAY overreaching there. Bane is still very much a villain. Whether he ends up being the main villain isn’t necessarily that important, as his role is still huge in the overall scheme of things, and his impact in the film is not negated by his lower villainy status. There are many films where there’s the cerebral villain and the muscle villain working together. I agree they might have given her character some more depth, and it might still be considered a cheap fake-out that it turns out to be her, but I appreciated that it didn’t go quite as thought.

      TDKR is the weakest of the three, but works well enough within the whole trilogy. BB: 9, TDK: 10, TDKR: 8

      Haven’t gotten that far in the podcast yet, so more later…

    • I can agree that Talia was at best forgettable. It is no coincidence that the MPW crew didn’t refer to her once. TDKR isn’t a masterpiece because of a few problems like the Talia one. To me, the film is a bit to convoluted. It seems to struggle at times to support all of its characters, plot devices, and themes.

      I do love how it completes the Bruce Wayne arc and ties in so nicely with the other two films, especially “Batman Begins.”

      The third film in a trilogy so often falls flat (“Spider Man 3,” “Alien3,” “Jurassic Park III,” and “Godfather Part III”).

      But I don’t think TDKRs was a failure like those were. As far of sequel ranking goes, I’d put it up there somewhere between sequels like “Return of the Jedi” (meh) and “Captain America: Civil War.” (pretty great).

  4. Great show and fun conversations. I’ll try to remember all of the things I wanted to comment on.

    1) Rotten Tomatoes: The guys hit most of these points on the show, but in a nutshell, broadly speaking, an RT percentage does not indicate anything about the quality of a movie relative to other movies. It is not a qualitative measure. It is a quantitative measure. If Adam Sandler’s “The Ridiculous 6” has an RT score of 85 percent, all that means is that 85 percent of the reviews aggregated gave the movie a “positive” rating.

    What’s tricky about that is that RT considers anything above the 60 percent mark on whatever scale the reviewer uses to be “positive.” If the reviewer rates movies 1 to 10, with 10 being the high end, then anything 6 or higher is considered “positive.” If the reviewer uses A-B-C-D-F, then anything C+ (generally) or better is “positive.” On a 1 to 100 scale, 60 and up is “positive.” So a movie could get an 88 percent RT score even if the vast majority of reviews scored it the equivalent of 6 or C+. Most people wouldn’t see “6 out of 10” or “C+” and think, “Movie I gotta see,” whereas “88 percent” sounds much closer to, “Movie I gotta see.”

    One reason why RT is particularly kind to (for example) Pixar movies, is that reviewers generally acknowledge how well made those movies are, even if they don’t find the story or characters particularly appealing or compelling. Even a lukewarm opinion like “not really for me, but made with admirable craft and precision,” generally results in something the equivalent of 6 or C+. So even a weak sauce Pixar movie like “Cars 2” could theoretically run up an RT score of 92 percent (not its actual score; the real score is a myth-busting 39 percent), because few reviewers are likely to actively hate/despise it.

    RT uses the same system for both its All Critics/Top Critics scores, and its Audience scores. So while an RT number can give you a general sense of whether a movie is at least sort of liked by most of the people who’ve seen it, that’s really all the hard info that you’re getting. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that 60 to 100 is a pretty broad range. If I think a movie is only 60 percent, or even 70 percent good, then I’m generally not thrilled to have paid theater prices to see it.

    Personally, I think RT is most useful/reliable as an indication of general rottenness. If a movie tops out below 60 percent, then you know that a significant number of reviewers (whether professional critics or moviegoers) didn’t like it any more than than the equivalent of 5.5 or C *at best.* The lower the overall percentage, the smaller the number of people who liked the movie at least 60 percent. If a significant majority of people who’s seen the movie can’t even get at least 60 percent behind it, then it’s probably pretty likely to suck.

    2) To address Scott’s point about “Money Monster,” my understanding (without having actually seen the movie; I’ve just read a handful of reviews and articles) is that the Average Joe character got his $60,000 as a one-time inheritance from a deceased relative, but was otherwise living a hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck existence. It’s still stupid to put it all on a single stock, of course, but the point is more that he saw himself as having one chance to rise above the hand that life seemed to have dealt him. He felt stuck, didn’t see a way that he was ever going to do more than scrape by, and happened to get a one-time golden ticket that he thought he could maybe cash in and break the cycle. Generally speaking, I’m pretty sure that movie is just using the $60K/single stock thing as a stand-in for the overall frustration with (and simmering resentment of) what many people believe is a rigged system. “Money Monster” is just keeping things simple.

    Here’s the kind of story that they’re trying to encapsulate: I know a guy who is a thoughtful, intelligent person. He provided for a large family for years while employed in accounting. Keep in mind that he worked in money management for a living. After becoming an empty-nester, he wanted to retire a few years early and attempt to increase his retirement nest egg by trading stocks. He had read various books and followed the financial markets for decades. He never tried to hit the jackpot and stuck to most of the common sense principles Scott was advocating for on the show. It took him about three years to lose everything he’d saved. He unretired close to age 60 and took a full-time job again to rebuild his retirement savings. Are there probably any number of reasons that things didn’t go as expected? Sure. But after people hear enough stories like that, all they end up hearing is that “normal” people can’t get a break, which leads to the assumption that the system must be rigged. And, fairly or not, there’s a ton of news reportage out there that leans in that direction.

    3) Loved all of the Batman coverage, especially the summarizing of “Year One” and “The Killing Joke.” If even Lego Batman gets to be part of the Best Batman conversation, however, then I’m making a plug for the Batman in all of the “How It Should Have Ended” videos, who hangs out at the Heroes Cafe with Superman. That guy is at least as funny as Will Arnett’s Lego Batman (who is pretty funny; I’m mildly stoked that he got his own movie).

    • I have yet to see Money Monster, but I get what you are saying about the point it’s trying to make, or what general/overall public feeling it’s trying to touch on. This whole ‘rigged system’ feeling and that ‘normal’ people can’t catch a break. It’s understandable, but I would suggest this. I think it’s dangerous for this movie to perpetuate this feeling/idea. Almost as bad as the idea that was discussed earlier about Hollywood perpetuating negative stereotypes by casting all/most terrorists as Muslims or individuals of Middle Eastern descent.

      Is the system rigged? Possibly. If the system is rigged, are there systems or methodologies to use that take advantage of it rigged-ness? Also possible. My opinion on that doesn’t matter. What matters is that whether it is or isn’t, everyone can ‘catch a break.’ I put catch a break specially there because that break we can all catch involves crazy hard work. I would suggest that anyone that’s made it in the financial or investing world has worked like a madman to get there. Who always gets mentioned when talking about mad-rich investors? Buffett. You can bet there was a period of time when he flat-out worked his balls off to get where he is now. Can things be brought up about insurance companies and how he gets breaks on sweetheart deals and what-not? Sure….now. But his road to his riches was not all lined with bluebirds and sunshine. Suggest anyone else that isn’t a trust-fund baby and I would bet on them having a terrible work/life balance, but also being able to poop gold bricks.

      Someone who wants to take $60k and turn it into something magical in a relatively short period of time is delusional. The emotional side of trading/investing is fraught with many perils. Greed being chief among them. It’s greedy to think you can treat trading/investing as a get rich quick scheme.

      I think you’re right by saying that when people hear a story such as the one about your friend, the assumption that the system is rigged is perpetuated. I suspect there is more to the story about your friend. No offense to him, or you, as I don’t know his full story, but why hadn’t he paper traded first? What type of risk management rules did he have in place? Did he adhere to those rules? Hopefully Scott can come back around to comment on this, as I’m sure he would assign a huge amount of importance to risk management. And taking a sudden windfall, inheritance or whatever, and dropping it on something that some bloated talking head shouts about on a TV program is certainly not proper risk management. I’d rather plunk it down on red at a casino and at least get a comped beer out of it.

      Man, the more and more I think about this movie, the less and less I want to see it. :-)

  5. great show , but i feel like that nolan was scared to make a batman that feel like he does in the comics .

  6. plus conroy is the best batman , and if u want to see the most truest form of batman is the batman mask of the phantasm , while i like heath as the joker , mark hamill yes luke skywalker is the best joker , and dark knight rises made batman look like a dummy .

  7. I’m with J on The Two Towers. It’s my favorite of the three. The first and last are great, but the first is a little slow while setting things up, and the last is awesome in spectacle and majesty but a little bit more-of-the-same and overstays the ending. Two Towers, though, has all kinds of wonderful moments that feel more fresh and vibrant… That whole opening with Gandalf and the dragon is mind-blowing, and there’s the Ents, the epic Helm’s Deep battle, the introduction of Gollum and the creepy Dead Marshes scenes, and that amazingly powerful Sam speech at the end. Like the Dark Knight Trilogy, LOTR is just best as a whole, but if I had to pick a standout, it would be Two Towers.

    Loved the commentary on the DK trilogy. Great comments, Scott!

    Bale is the best Batman, hands down. But I’ll admit that he gets a boost from having the best writing… similar to how Cumberbatch is great as Sherlock, but its the amazing writing that helps elevate that. Clooney better?? Ugh. I’m writing you out of my will, Ryan. :) I do love Adam West, though, because I grew up watching that series and it still holds up for its campy nature (which I didn’t realize was intentional until watching it again a few years ago).

    Glad you loved Sing Street so much, Karl! It’s wonderful. J, as a musician you will love it. But it works well enough, regardless.

    • Man, I love The Two Towers, but all those dull, overlong scenes with Merry and Pippen talking to the Ents take it down a notch for me. Ugh. Those are literally the only scenes in the whole trilogy (extended edition) that truly bore me. I always get tempted to skip those scenes, but I fight through them because it feels wrong to skip an epic like LOTRs.

  8. I’m bummed that Val Kilmer doesn’t get more love as Batman.

    Okay, okay, he wasn’t a great Batman, but he’s freaking Val Kilmer. That guy was my childhood hero (“Willow”, “Heat”, “Tombstone”). I’m still crossing my fingers that he will make a comeback. C’mon Val!

    • Val Kilmer is God … at least in “The Prince of Egypt.”

      Dude probably hasn’t aged well enough to ever resurface as a matinee idol, but he could probably get as many character roles as he feels like showing up for. My totally uninformed impression of VK is that he got tired of acting and is happy doing other stuff.

  9. Am I crazy for thinking Scott Welsh sounded a lot like Andy? Maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me. My mind deciding that since Andy wasn’t here, it was going to have me believe that one of the guests was an Andy from another dimension that loves superhero movies.

    Speaking of which, a question for Ryan.

    I’ve heard about The Killing Joke for quite some time now, but after the praise the comic received in this podcast, I finally decided to give it a read. I loved it. It was intense, shocking, and far more adult in nature than I would have imagined. So that leads to the question, are there any other issues of Batman that I should read that could be similar? I’m someone who has read very little comics in my lifetime, but if there’s more like The Killing Joke, I’d be into checking them out.

    • Sorry for the delayed response….

      It’s safe to say that if you like The Killing Joke you will most likely enjoy most of the stuff written by Alan Moore, The Watchmen and Sawpthing come to mind . However for the specifics I’d go with….

      The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

      Fables by Bill Willingham

      Animal Man by Grant Morrison

      And if you want to stay with the Joker ,… The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker

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