Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 195: Finding Dory (2016) and Central Intelligence (2016)

Episode 195

Most of the hosts of Movie Podcast Weekly believe that Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” (2003) is a masterpiece. Join us here on Episode 195, we Feature Review its sequel, Finding Dory to see if it’s a worthy follow-up. We also review Central Intelligence. Also in this episode, we lament the untimely death of Anton Yelchin, and we also discuss the undeniable decline in quality of animated feature films — particularly many of Pixar’s recent releases. Oh, and we also fight about the character of Harry Potter and whether he is, as Jason calls him, a wuss and a disappointment. 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. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction

[ 0:00:00 ] II. Anton Yelchin and Other MPW Miscellany
— The tragic loss of actor Anton Yelchin
— “Green Room” director Jeremy Saulnier’s Tribute to Anton Yelchin
— Article: Hollywood Has a Millennial Problem
“Sunspring,” a short film written by an A.I.
— Jason Rant: Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines
— Listener e-mail question from David
— Listener e-mail question from James

[ 0:38:34 ] III. Mini Reviews
Karl: Extended Edition Blu-ray of “The Martin,” LG’s 65-inch Premium OLED Television
Ryan: * * *
Jason: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Andy: Zootopia, The Death of Animated Cinema, Stephen Fry-narrated Harry Potter audio books, Is Harry Potter actually a giant wuss?

IV. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Central Intelligence
Finding Dory
The Last King
The Last Heist
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever
No Stranger Than Love


[ 1:16:42 ] V. Feature Review: FINDING DORY (2016)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )
Andy = 5.5 ( Avoid / or Redbox Rental for Kids Only )
Evan = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Emerson = 10 ( Theater / Rental )

[ 1:32:36 ] VI. Feature Review: CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (2016)
Jason = 7 ( Theater / Rental / Sure-bet Redbox )
Karl = 7.5 ( Rental )

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Thanks to our donors who support MPW and HMP:
Shannon – steady as he goes…
Tony I. from the UK
Shane W.
Randy G.

[ 1:54:24 ] VIII. Post-Episode Solocast With Jay
— September 2016 MPN Meetup Musings: What to Expect
— Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence

Episode 196 where we’ll be reviewing “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Free State of Jones” and “The Shallows” with special guest William Rowan Jr. of The Sci-Fi Podcast. Join us!

Andy in Valdez


A must: Ryan’s New Facebook Page

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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

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

35 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 195: Finding Dory (2016) and Central Intelligence (2016)

  1. This is pretty classic Jay in regards to Harry Potter.

    I actually completely agree that Harry Potter is a frustrating character in many ways because in most of the movies he’s a person that’s getting himself in to trouble and relying on his friends or last minute miracles to save him. Luckily, I feel that around the fifth film we get a Daniel Radcliffe who has picked up some descent acting chops and a director, Yates, who has given the character a bit more depth. Harry becomes a tortured soul that has to make the challenging decisions that Ryan mentioned.

    However, I totally reject Jason’s argument that he doesn’t want to watch a movie about an average guy who you watch grow. Take any handful of great genre films: Star Wars, Luke is jo blo every man nothing special who grows, learns the force, and saves the galaxy. The Matrix, Neo is jo blo every man nothing special who we spend the entirety of a great movie watching him be fairly mediocre and gradually growing in to his powers. Lord of the Rings, Frodo is jo blo every hobbit who takes on the most challenging task in all middle earth, the smallest person traveling the greatest distance to save everyone. Same with Bilbo in the Hobbit. The list goes on, Marty McFly, Billy Peltzer, Cheif Brody, Sarah Conner, Elliot. All basically average people who grow after being in extraordinary situations.

    Jason “I don’t want to watch a movie about just a dude”. Most of the best fantasy and sci if movies focus around just a dude who gradually becomes badass, which slowly but surely Harry Potter definitely does by the end. Even if he is pretty wussy in the first few movies.

  2. What happened to the Donut show Jay? I was trying to listen to the archive and for some reason I can not play or download the episodes.

    • Hi Meshuggah,
      The person who financed The Donut Show (hosting, etc.) stopped paying for it, so it is now gone. Sorry. : )

  3. I can’t believe how negative you guys were of Finding Dory. There’s no denying that this was a much lesser movie than its original counterpart, but I thought it had glimpses of true greatness scattered throughout that made me like it a lot more than I probably should (as a whole). To me, the movie felt like it was in a rush to set up the “finding Dory” aspect and so the beginning suffered because of it. Finding Dory was at its best when doing what Pixar does best and that is creating interesting worlds full of lovable characters with engaging and emotionally resonant stories. It was the quiet moments when not a lot was going on visually or dialogue-wise when I most connected to Dory, when I most learned about her, and most importantly, when I most cared about her. Her back story and eventual resolution was a big tear-jerker. I couldn’t believe how Pixar once again managed to steal tears from me. Dory is a great character that has enough complexity to be explored much further. Instead, the character–actually all characters for that matter– was mostly reduced to “funny jokes” and ridiculous situations. The movie was full of dull action set pieces that paled in comparison to what we found in Finding Nemo and full of jokes that lacked the subtlety and layered meaning of Pixar’s best efforts. There was nothing clever or memorable about them. It’s as if this movie was purely aimed at kids. Pixar used to be great at finding common ground for both adults and kids to enjoy equally and that’s why I hold their many masterpieces in such high regard. I’m sad to announce that is is one of Pixar’s lesser efforts. It’s not their worst and it’s not all entirely bad, but as a sequel to one of the greatest animated features of all time (in my humble opinion), this fails miserably while at the same strangely succeeds at various moments and manages to tap into some of the greatness of its prequel. This is a 7 for me and it’s not required viewing unless you’re a fan of the original.

    • And I totally disagree with your assessment of the demise of animated films. Not only is Pixar not dead in the water–though admittedly having trouble maintaining the high level of quality they imposed on themselves–but there are plenty of other choices other than 3D animation. Japan is doing a fine job keeping the hand drawn artstyle, so there’s that. Many of the films you mentioned have.been received exceptionally well by both the general public and critics alike, so your dismissal of such films as Ratatouille, Up, Inside Out, Toy Story 3, and Wall-E doesn’t quite reflect reality.

      • A lot of great points, Juan. I quite enjoyed Dory. I’d give it a 7. And just in the past year from Disney we’ve gotten Zootopia and Inside Out which I consider both to be excellent. Inside Out was my favorite movie last year in fact.

        As the father of a five year old I see all of the films aimed at kids and while like in most genres there is a ton of crap or mediocre drivel, there are plenty of gems to be found as well.

        I’m really excited about the new film from Laika later this year, Kubo and the Two Strings. They are three for three in my opinion with Coraline, Paranormal, and The Boxtrolls.

        • Thank you, Jonathan. Animation was a huge part of my life growing up, so I have a very big place for it in my heart. Perhaps that’s why I’m so fond of it, but I don’t think I’m forgiving of it. I’ve seen so much great stuff that I’m quite picky about the stuff I watch. That’s why I’ve been begging Doc Shock (another animation appreciator) to do a special episode with Cody Clark (yet another animation lover) to cover some of the best animated films out there and maybe some hidden gems. Jay, if you’re alive and reading this, please make this happen. But do your homework, bro. Don’t get skimpy on me.

          Kubo looks incredible. I can’t wait for that. I have to admit though, I wasn’t a huge fan of Coraline or The Boxtrolls. I did appreciate the craft and attention to detail, but they just didn’t grab me like other similar movies like Paranorman or The Nightmare Before Christmas have in the past.

          • Thanks for picking up and running with the Pixar torch, Juan.

            I’ve been avoiding listening to this episode because I knew it was going to rile me up: a virtual stew of misinformation and uninformed opinion, mixed with a false nostalgia for something that never existed.

            There is just so much wrong to refute in MPW’s diatribe on Pixar/Disney (Cars is a great film compared to Inside Out? Huh?) put I’ll just tackle one for now:

            Why Cars 2 before The Incredibles 2? Or why, as Karl has asked a few times, did they make whatever their current latest offering is instead of The Incredibles 2 he’s clearly waiting for?

            Well, that’s easy to discover since it’s mentioned in virtually every interview with a Pixar employee: it’s a studio run by the *filmmakers* – not the execs; i.e. the filmmaker that creates the original idea (e.g. Brad Bird for The Incredibles; Andrew Stanton for Finding Nemo; etc) has control of if/when a sequel happens, by virtue of deciding for themselves whether there is further story for a sequel with their characters that they would like to explore.

          • Mark, you’re speaking my language. You’re totally right. The guys haven’t done their homework and I’m glad you brought up some much needed facts. Hopefully they’ll do a little more research in the future before bashing on Pixar again.

            • Thanks, Juan. While I haven’t seen ‘Finding Dory’ yet, I can imagine that aspects of Andy’s and J’s critiques are likely true. As Andy mentioned, it’s always harder to make a sequel – and especially one for a movie that is as beloved as the original. But I find it a little hard to believe that the film is quite as bad as they claim – *if* you resist comparisons to the original – which is what J’s hero, Ebert, would insist you do when reviewing it.

              In any case, if it is, at least with Pixar (as opposed to other studios) you can usually lay the blame at the feet of the creator of the original movie (in this case, Stanton), since they are usually the ones responsible (as I mentioned in my previous comment) for deciding if/when a sequel is made and what story will be told – not the studio. So if MPW ends up hating ‘The Incredibles 2’, the majority of the blame will reside with the creator, Brad Bird – and not with Pixar or Disney.

              Having now finished the whole podcast, I have a few other responses to what amounted to, let’s face it, a (IMO unwarranted) diatribe against Pixar/Disney:

              As someone that has been above 30 years old during the entire existence of Pixar studios, let me assure you guys – Pixar was not producing pure gold in the early years. Both ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘Toy Story 2’ are weaker than the original ‘Toy Story’ (although, granted, both enjoyable movies), and although Pixar had a great run with three classics in a row after that (‘Monsters, Inc.’, ‘Finding Nemo’, and ‘The Incredibles’), the following film, ‘Cars’, was undoubtedly their weakest film until ‘Cars 2’ (and remains their weakest franchise by far), and it was their least original film until at least ‘Brave’ (although some might argue until ‘The Good Dinosaur’).

              So it makes me think that, aside from Karl (who’s response to every Pixar film that I’ve heard reviewed by MPW has been, “It wasn’t funny enough” and “Why didn’t they just make ‘The Incredibles 2”), the other (youngish) reviewers might be suffering a bit from nostalgia – that wistful affection towards things which brought us so much pleasure when we were younger and less discerning. I’m sorry to break it to you, but Pixar’s back catalog is not quite as perfect as you seem to believe.

              Some other comments that stuck out to me in particular:

              Andy (during his ‘Zootopia’ review): “I don’t know, I don’t know what it is with Disney lately, but they just… their stories have just kinda been secondary to either their songs or their attempts to tell jokes, or something like that.”

              …and later he mentions ‘The Jungle Book’ during the podcast as a previous, classic Disney animated film (it’s actually overrated, but that’s a whole different argument). So the question is, when he uses the term “lately” in the above quote, does he mean everything created by Disney Animation in the last 50 years (since ‘The Jungle Book’ is 49 years old)?

              Again, his memory, IMO, is a little bit tinged due to nostalgia. I, OTOH, look at Disney Animation Studios’ output over the last 9 years (since Lasseter became CCO), and I spot at least 4 films (‘Bolt’, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, ‘Big Hero 6’, and ‘Zootopia’) that, IMO, are better than anything the studio produced in (at least) the 17 years previous to that (although some might argue in the previous 29 years).

              J (during Pixar’s ‘Finding Dory’ review): “It’s almost like this really touchy-feely, self-help, psychoanalyzing side of this movie that I’m like, ‘What is this doing in a kid’s movie? This is so weird.'”

              Two points:
              There is a big difference between a movie made specifically for kid’s and a movie made for a general audience which includes kids. No one at Pixar thinks – or has ever thought – that they are making movies specifically for children, and to imply that they are – simply because cartoons have traditionally attracted kids – is to denigrate the massive amount of work they put into their films (typically much more than your normal Hollywood blockbuster).

              Secondly, virtually *every* Pixar film has a “touchy-feely, self-help, psychoanalyzing side” to it, while always dealing with some adult themes that will typically fly over the heads’ of children viewers. Some deal with this aspect better than others – perhaps ‘Finding Dory’ does it clunkily – but to critique the film simply for including this is to simply forget the similar adult themes/messages embedded in the original ‘Finding Nemo’, as well as ‘Toy Story’, ‘The Incredibles’, etc, etc.

              OK, enough of my anti-diatribe diatribe :) But honestly, if you’re going to attempt to critique the complete output of a studio, why not deal similarly with Dreamworks or 20th Century Fox Animation or any of the studios producing mainly big-budget, live-action blockbuster movies – or better yet, *any* studio that you don’t have a whole lot of nostalgia invested in?

  4. Have to say I didnt enjoy Finding Dory anywhere near as muchas the original but it kept the kids entertained which is what its for. The kids did not seem to get too bored and it held their attention.

    My suggesrion for the 80s Martial Arta film (I was an80s Martial Arts movie nerd) is Gymkata which I loved in its day but would hate to watch now as I imagine it will not hold up well

    great show as always guys. I wish I was still stateside for the meetup but have moved bqack home to Ireland five years ago

    all the best and glad Jay and the crew escaped the flooding unscathed

  5. Andy, great analysis of Finding Nemo/Dory. I liked Dory better than you guys (6.5), but agreed with your criticisms.

    I also just saw Central Intelligence and I’m right with you at 7 for that. Not spectacular, but engaging and amusing throughout.

    You’re also spot on about the drop in quality for Pixar. I do think Inside Out is great and Toy Story 3 the best of that series, but otherwise, everything has been weaker. I initially scoffed at the very notion of Toy Story 4, but considering that I also scoffed at TS3 and was blown away, I’ll reserve some hope.

    FWIW, my Pixar ratings would be:

    Toy Story – 9
    A Bug’s Life – 8.5
    Toy Story 2 – 9.5
    Monsters Inc. – 10
    Finding Nemo – 10
    The Incredibles – 10
    Cars – 7.5
    Ratatouille – 8
    Wall-E – 8
    Up – 9
    Toy Story 3 – 10
    Cars 2 – 5
    Brave – 6.5
    Monsters University – 6.5
    Inside Out – 9.5
    Good Dinosaur – 5.5
    Finding Dory – 6.5

    • Gotta disagree, Eric. Neither ‘A Bug’s Life’ or ‘Toy Story 2’ are better (or more original) than either ‘Ratatouille’ or ‘Wall-E’.

      I’m curious: since you seem to be a fairly young guy in your photo, do you mind me asking how old you were in 1998/99, the years those two films were originally released? This ties into the point I made in another comment about the possibility of nostalgia affecting one’s views of certain films.

      The other thing often forgotten by most people – and which affects, I believe, the over-rating of some of the early Pixar films compared to some of the later ones – is that Pixar virtually owned the world of animation from 1995 until at least 2004 (the release of ‘The Incredibles’ and also ‘Shrek 2’, which made 50% more money).

      No other company produced anything close to Pixar’s level of craftsmanship and story-telling in 3D animation until the start of the ‘Shrek’ franchise – and Disney Animation was in a creative slump that produced nothing but crap during this period.

      And while I would never deny that all of those first 6 movies of Pixar are very good, they all seemed especially great at the time because the field of animated feature-length films was simply terrible then.

        • Thanks for the response. Your age certainly blows my theory of adolescent nostalgia out of the water in your case :) In any case, your ratings are your ratings – I can only disagree with them.

          Nonetheless, I still believe the fact that the early Pixar films were released during a dearth of good animated feature films.(except for themselves) equates to higher ratings for some of them than they actually deserve. Feature-length animation is replete with several studios producing the occasional excellent film these days – Aardman Animations, Dreamworks, Disney Animation (finally!), etc. – so it’s a much harsher critical environment for a film like ‘Monsters University’, which I suspect would have garnered much different reviews if it came out in 2002.

  6. MPW listeners, I need your help…

    I have written a parody song for the 200th episode (assuming J allows it), and there is one part that is a big chorus (you’ll know it when you hear it), and I would love if you could sing along with me for that. Even a rough recording into your phone should probably be fine as part of the mix. Please email me at ericendres (at) yahoo (dot) com if you want to be part of that. And actually, I’d love to have Karl, Andy and Ryan be on there, too (not J, though). J, no contacting me with a fake email! :)

    • On second thought, I don’t think I’ll be able to manage getting other people’s recordings in there. As it is, I’ll have to do this a bit on the fly, with upcoming travels and such.

      But one thing I could use from everyone is what you consider some of Jason’s most egregious examples of hating the cinema.

      For me it’s Fury Road and Force Awakens, both of which I think he gave a 7. Not exactly “hatred,” but still, they would work for this song. I need more examples, though. Whaddya got??

    • Eric, that’s a great idea. I’m a terrible singer, so I don’t think I could’ve been of much use to you. As far as examples of Jay hating on the cinema, there was one very glaring one, but he recently corrected that. He rated The Conjuring, a masterpiece of modern horror cinema, a 5, but recently reevaluated his rating and gave it an 8. I’m not sure if that’s something you could use, but I’ll keep thinking about this and post if I come up with anything else.

    • Yes!!!…Kareem and the best ever nunchuck scene…such a rad flick. What they sometimes lacked in production or story telling, they always made up for it with BA fight scenes. Gotta luv classic Bruce…

  7. Hey guys,

    My name is Andrew, and I’m from Kalamazoo, MI. I really enjoy your show, I listen a work, and my coworkers give me funny looks because I’m laughing out loud.

    I just wanted to say that I’m a proud member of the Christian rift, and having said that I would like to add some perspective to your conversation on those who were making issue of the apparent homosexuality in the Finding Dory trailer. As a fan of movies, and someone who doesn’t wave rainbow banners in support of that life style. I understand that good art will reflect all different types of people, but my concern comes from addressing issues of sexuality in a movie that is meant for younger audiences. I don’t think that sexuality of any kind in a medium meant for kids is disconcerting. I think people have a right to live their life in any way they choose, but why raise the conversation among our children. I don’t want my eight year old diss using sexuality at all at this point in his life. I know that wasn’t very eloquent, but hopefully it makes sense.

  8. I just listened to 195 and just wanted to say I love your podcast but I wanted to let you know Kareem Abdul Jabar wasn’t in Enter the dragon He was in Game of death. Also I live in the Logan area so if you ever have a meet up in Utah that would be great. I’ve been listening for over a year now. Keep it up Great podcast.

  9. I had the great pleasure today of meeting the nicest guy in the world, Jason Pyles. J, I almost feel bad for making fun of you as often as I have. Almost. 😉

    • Ha ha. Thanks. Mr. Herman is a very pleasant fellow, as well. Yeah, I had a blast at Eric’s show. (You’ll hear his LIVE, in-the-field review of “Swiss Army Man” in Ep. 198 of MPW.) And just so everybody knows… Eric almost hit me for my low rating of “Finding Dory.” ; )

      • Nah, it wouldn’t have been for Finding Dory… I was only at 6.5 on that. So a 4 for that is questionable, but not cinema-hatred, per se. However, a 4 for The Nice Guys, and only a 7 for Fury Road, well…

        Let’s just say that in episode 200 I will make an attack, in the way that I’m probably most qualified to – with song. :)

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