Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 199: Ghostbusters (2016) and The Infiltrator (2016)

Episode 199

Welcome to Episode 199 of Movie Podcast Weekly. Even though we don’t have Andy this week, in this show, we bring you Feature Reviews of Ghostbusters (2016) and The Infiltrator. Ryan and Jason also give you their thoughts on the popular new Netflix series “Stranger Things,” and Ryan introduces us to an amazing new movie website called Cinesift.com. 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!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction
— No Andy tonight
— Ryan’s vacation report
— 8-year anniversary of The Dark Knight’s U.S. release
— Teaser (for Ep. 201): Andy’s Confession
HMP Ep. 093 and Ryan’s take on Pokemon Go
— Nintendo NX release
— Trailer talk: Mel Gibson’s Blood Father
— Arriving at the theater early to “establish the tone”
— Dr. Shock’s Twitter question: If you could only watch one actor’s filmography for the rest of your life, whose would it be?
— Karl’s BB8 trivia (Read more here)
— Ryan encounters great new movie site: Cinesift.com
— Next in Episode 200
— Karl: “Masterminds” (2016) finally has a release date!


[ 0:37:21 ] II. Mini Reviews
Ryan: Stranger Things, Triple 9, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Jason: (Stranger Things Ep. 001), Toad the Wet Sprocket concert in SLC, Oscar
Karl: Used All-in-one HP Envy for only $200, Downton Abbey (UK version) — Thanks, Cody!, Batman (1989)


III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Ghostbusters
The Infiltrator
Cafe Society
Equals
Free to Run
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party


FEATURE REVIEWS HAVE TIME STAMPS:

[ 1:05:41 ] IV. Feature Review: GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)
Karl = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )


Episode 199b

[ 1:16:16 ] V. Feature Review: THE INFILTRATOR (2016)
Jason = 9 ( Must-see / Theater / Buy it! )
Karl = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )


VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending


COMING UP ON MPW NEXT WEEK:
Episode 200 where we’ll be reviewing a lot of movies to help celebrate 200 episodes, as well as Feature Reviews for “Star Trek Beyond” and “Lights Out.” Join us!


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Blog: Geek Cast Live
Web site: Geek Harder.com
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Twitter: @GeekCastRy

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

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


42 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 199: Ghostbusters (2016) and The Infiltrator (2016)

    • Yeah, I was worried somebody might sound bite that portion (without having my whole quote in its jesting context). But then I realized I’ve said much more damning things on this podcast…
      J

  1. One actor’s films… Harrison Ford.

    All the good Star Wars movies, the Indiana Jones franchise, and some other great ones like The Fugitive, Mosquito Coast and Blade Runner. He was also briefly in classics like Apocalypse Now and The Conversation.

    • Good one….hard to go wrong with Harry Ford.

      Great question too….gotta take some time with that one.

      I’m thinking Tobolowski or some other character actor that’s been in a thousand movies. Bacon?….he’s been in a ton. I guess I’m possibly going with quantity over quality. :-)

      • The idea of a character actor is a clever one and probably the way to go. Tobolowsky has 246 credits on IMDB, although I don’t know how many are films (and I’m too lazy to count 😉 ).

        Paul Newman would be a good choice – with both great dramas and comedies and quite a large filmography.

        Also, if you’re into classic films, during the heyday of the Hollywoo Studios, actors starred in more films than they do today. For example, Humphrey Bogart was in around 80 films and died at the age of 57; in comparison, George Clooney is around that age now and has been in around 50 films.

        • Word…Newman would be a great choice.

          Heh, heh….Hollywoo….I hope to god that’s a BoJack ref and not a typo… :-)

          • Oh Mark…that’s sooo sweet. The last season trailed off a bit, but still some nice gems throughout the season. The quick New York City salsa line had me peeing, for sure. And I still love the opening and closing songs, even though they’re drastically different.

            Anyway…you for prez…nice ref :-)

  2. I saw the new ghostbusters, it not really good , it the same thing over again , and the humor was very forced , it was a not needed movie , am not a huge ghostbusters fan , but the og movie just feeling natural in its humor because they are not playing it for jokes

    • PS, Jay… Stranger Things is NOT what you think it is. And while people are comparing it to Super 8 and Amblin -esque films, that’s not where we wind up. This series goes places you won’t expect… I know what you really mean by Amazing Stories and that’s not what Stalranger Things is. And I get why Amblin and stuff ate used, but this is fat closer to It and it gets much darker in some places. See the show all the way through. You will be all in by the time it ends.

      • OK, RedCapJack. Pretty persuasive salesmanship. I do like what I’ve seen of the series thus far. (As long as you’re promising me that it’s not too “kiddie-fied.’ I want to try to get my wife to watch it all with me. She’s a sensitive viewer. What do you think?

        Also, if there’s interest among the MPW community, I’m thinking it might be fun to do a lengthy, spoiler-filled review of this first season. Yes? Any takers?

        J

        • Stranger Things is amazing…I relate so much to this show because I was the same age as these kids (12 to 13) in 1983…Please Jay…This is something you can do…Only 8 episodes…You won’t be disappointed…You finish this I will forgive you for the Game of Thrones fail!!!

        • That’s kind of what I’m saying- believe me, I thought I was going to get “kiddie” stuff and that’s kind of what I was hoping for– but what it gave me was definitely NOT that and it went places I did not expect along the way. And the thing is- I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure if your wife will like where it ultimately goes. But it’s such a satisfying conclusion to everything and it will leave you a little speechless. I would love to hear a full spoiler review with the crew when all is said and done- and I would recommend bringing in some guests from the Sy-fi podcast. Specifically, Station and Mattroid would probably have some very interesting views on the show.

          PS Sorry for all the typos, I was typing it from my phone and I’m clumsy.

    • BTW: Christopher Lee?

      You get LOTR, at least two (admittedly sucky) Star Wars movies, The Colour of Magic, Wicker Man, Hammer Horror movies, one Bond film, Sleepy Hollow, Welcome to Discworld, Gremlins 2, Howling 2, The Last Unicorn, An Eye for an Eye, 1941, one of the Reb Brown Captain America movies, Return from Witch Mountain, Three Musketeers, I, Monster, Ten Little Indians… The sheer volume of his work is exhausting and I’d be able to last weeks before I had to repeat a film or television show.

      Actress would be a little more difficult: Probably Karen Black.

  3. I thought Harrison Ford too, but then I remembered: MORGAN FREEMAN.

    You get The Dark Knight trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption, a couple of Eastwood movies (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby), a couple of Cruise movies (War of the Worlds, Oblivion), Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Glory, Se7en, Kiss the Girls (and the other ones: Along Came a Spider, High Crimes), The Sum of all Fears, Lucky Number Slevin, Amistad, Outbreak, Wanted, Olympus (and London) Has Fallen, Driving Miss Daisy (for when you need to take a nap), and last but not least…THE LEGO MOVIE.

    Sit back and enjoy that dude’s super smooth voice

    • Yes, it was between Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman for me. Shawshank alone almost pulled it Morgan Freeman’s way, and I had forgotten about him being in LEGO Movie (J is wrong about that!). But still, with two of my all-time favorite franchises (SW and IJ), and several other great films, I had to go with Ford.

  4. J –
    I can’t say for certain what the first ‘real-time’ feature film was, but I do know that Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ (1948) beat ‘High Noon’ by 4 years. ‘Rope’ was also the first feature film (and the only one for at least 35 years) to try to shoot the entire movie as one continuous take. Of course, in those days, they didn’t have magazines that could hold more than 10 minutes of 35mm film, so the movie is composed of eight 10 minute takes, with the camera swooping behind something dark when they had to change magazines, and then edited to appear as ‘one shot’.

    Basically, you can usually assume that the correct answer to most questions of “who did X first” involving cinematic language will be Alfred Hitchcock :)

    • Rope popped in my head as well, Mark. I think ‘High Noon’ is the better film, bu Rope is very fun as well.

  5. Man I think I’m with Ryan…Brad Pitt is the way to go…My second choice was Kurt Russell.

  6. I’ve been thinking about what actress’s filmography I would choose and this one is tough.

    • “Dame Judi Dench or perhaps Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio” he says with a mouth full of snark and sarcasm.

    • Yeah. Can you believe how easy this is with actors and how hard it is with actresses? Crazy!!

      • I’d probably go with a classic like Bette Davis (over 100 films). You’d get everything from the perfection that is Mankiewicz’ “All About Eve” to Robert Aldrich’s camp-noir classic, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane”.

  7. Karl, while I did not like ‘Ghostbusters’ as much as you did (and I definitely think the original holds up and is a much better film), I liked it overall.

    I’ve actually seen it twice. I have a five year old daughter who was dying to see it so I had to give it the parental once over before I just blindly took her. And I’m glad I took her because she absolutely loved it and I think this is the one area this film succeeds well, it is a hit with younger girls. She’s been at a couple of different camps over the last few weeks and all the girls apparently all play ‘Ghostbusters’ together when they have free time; a lot of her art she brings home is centered around ‘Ghostbusters’ as well.

    It kind of reminds me how the original hit me and my friends when it came out in 84; I was eight. So maybe my love of the original is a bit nostalgia based but I watch at least once or twice every year and I never get sick of it. But with that being said, I wish fanboys could accept this movie just really wasn’t made for you and that’s okay. Let our kids have some films too they can look back on in thirty years and be pissed they are remaking it. And the ‘ruin my childhood’ avenue is an insane one to go down. For anyone that honestly believes this or any other film has ruined your childhood then your childhood wasn’t very interesting to begin with.

    I’m leaning more towards a 6.5 or a 7 for the new one. I think the villain is very weak and a huge problem during the finale (although the Stay Puft Marshmallow substitute was fun). I also felt the movie tried to pay way too much fan service and the cameos didn’t really work for me.

    However, seeing this film through my daughter’s eyes almost makes me want to bump it up to an 8. I’m sure I will enjoy many more viewings of this in the future with her. And it’s better than ‘Ghostbusters II’ so that’s something.

    I hope they make another one.

  8. My thoughts on this film, reposted from my blog and from the HMP board…

    GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

    There has been a LOT of controversy surrounding the latest Ghostbusters film. Let me get that out of the way right off the bat, because it’s going to be relevant to what I have to say about the film in general. The basic thing is this- there was a lot of flak from people regarding the “all female” cast of the new Ghostbusters. To some, it felt like “stunt” casting- to others, it felt like a long overdue recognition of female empowerment. The honest truth is that this pretty much felt a little “in the middle” for me- it felt like a stunt, it could have been decent, but I was incredibly skeptical with hope for a good feature. And then the trailer hit- and the backlash was almost immediate and it was brutal. Let me say that I think it’s a poor trailer at best- it kills the comedy, highlights poor special effects, and it relied too much on familiar iconography to sell something that was supposedly moving away from the original source material.

    But all of that would be almost meaningless if not for the backlash from Sony and, specifically, Kevin Feig. They decided that the best way possible to spin all of this controversy would be to attack anyone with an accusation of sexism- and they proceeded to unleash one of the most bizarre instances of “shaming” an audience into attendance. Seriously?

    Well, my son is a big Ghostbusters fan. My wife was interested in seeing the movie as well. And I had nothing better to do than to make certain my family spent some time together at the cinema…

    And it wasn’t awful.

    It was a fairly standard film utilizing the best elements of CGI in order to create some truly awful looking effects that we could ultimately dismiss as being far too colorful, goofy, and cartoonish than it was frightening. It introduces a villain that is, quite frankly, one of the most boring representations of male ego and rage. This is, literally, a basement dwelling troll who hates the world above him- and he has no real personality, no real identity, and nothing all that impressive in his performance. His interest in the paranormal is barely scratched, his ability to create the technology is dismissed and never addressed, and whole of the plot seems lost with an inability to actually tell a story arc with any real beginning, middle, or end. The film, largely, manages to exist and does little more than that.

    Actresses Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are school friends grown apart in recent years. A recent resurgence of an earlier book published by the two scientists provokes their reunion when the uptight Wiig finds herself up for tenure. Supernatural stuff, they’re both humiliated, they both decide to start investigating the paranormal once again, and so they do. And while McCarthy is an interesting character to follow, Wiig seems largely over directed with only a few moments of pure comedic brilliance. Her scenes with Chris Hemsworth and a few other moments with the ensemble allow her to shine, but she seems largely pulled back from any real reactions in a number of scenes. Actress Leslie Jones seems to be a little lost in the mix- a character searching for her voice and relegated to screaming, yelling, and over-acting in a number of scenes. She’s somewhat shoe-horned into the group as their resident Local Expert.

    Now, I know it seems I’ve been real negative till now- but here is the kicker: The first two women are joined by Kate McKinnon in what has to be one of THE best comedic and iconic performances I’ve seen in years. She absolutely owns her scenes, owns her character, and delivers in each and every moment that she is on screen. Whether she is delivering her lines or just reacting to the situation, this is a fully realized performance and it deserves some serious praise. What’s more, I want to see more movies with this character- and there’s enough in her performance to make me want to see her interact with the other characters in the film, as well.

    And that brings me to the weird crux of the film- this is largely a Jeckyl and Hyde kind of film- when it works, it’s really good. Moments between the four leads are fairly well done and establish their characters, interaction, and relationships with one another. There are moments caught on film where the four women seem to be having some genuine fun with the script and their story; interviewing for a secretary, challenging a hoax debunker, and some of the earlier “investigation” scenes work to their strengths. Their eventual confrontation with a series of ghostly creatures is excitingly cut. But all of this is cut with a poor script, a terrible story, and a lackluster villain- a number of plot contrivances pull the characters toward one scene after another and many jokes are left dangling or fail to hit.

    The film itself is actually about a 6 out of 10- EXCEPT for the performance from Kate McKinnon, whose presence alone elevates the film a whole two stars. So 8 out of 10.

  9. Ryan, thanks for the Cinesift recommendation. It’s a little clunky on my phone, but I do really like the idea of it and will probably use it quite a lot.

    However, speaking of Hunt for the Wilderpeople being the #1 movie on there, I saw that today and may bump it down a tiny bit with my 7 rating. I think if it wasn’t for some of the hype and buzz about this, I’d have felt like it was a fine sweet little film (which it is, regardless), but with some very high expectations, it felt just a little like a disappointment.

    In a broad sense, it’s kind of like a live action version of Up, with an overweight teenage kid stuck together with a cantankerous older guy whose wife has died, and they are off on an adventure together. And that whole side of the film was pretty sweet and amusing and often charming, though even in that sense it didn’t quite hit me as strong emotionally or comically as I thought it might (though the beginning section was excellent, and there were a few other strong moments). But then there was a side to it involving people trying to find these two in the woods, and a lot of that felt a little odd in tone to me, and trying to be amusing in a way that often wasn’t. So that also brought it down a notch for me.

    That being said, there was a lot to enjoy, and I will definitely be following this writer/director from now on (Taika Waititi, who also did the awesome What We Do in the Shadows), but best movie of all time it definitely ain’t.

    • On further reflection, I need to bump this up to an 8. Compared to other films this year that I gave a 7, this had much more originality and heart and humor. It did fall short of the hype for me and has some issues, but still, very recommended.

  10. Hi guys, I’m still listening to the show, but you’ve already made a big error that Ryan should’ve been able to correct. The Nintendo device you’re referring to is simply a miniature version of the regular NES. It’s been simply referred to as the mini NES on various videogame sites although the official name si NES Classic Edition. The Nintendo NX is an entirely different system. It’s the successor of the Wii U (although Nintendo has been adamant that it’s not the successor of the Wii U, but everyone knows it is). NX isn’t even the real name, it’s just the codename used until they officially unveil the system and its name, which is due to happen later this year. Anyway, big videogame fan here, so check your facts or I’ll make sure to keep you in check 😉

  11. I can’t believe I missed the Infiltrator…. I live in a city of 800,000 and it is already come and gone. What a shame.

      • I caught it yesterday in Seattle and loved it! As Jason and Karl described, it’s exactly what you want from a Brian Cranston crime vehicle. The fun thing about this is, as an undercover agent, he gets to play both sides. Some nicely tense scenes throughout and I thought the performances were great across the board. 8.5

  12. Sooooooo….I bozo’d the weekend watchlist…

    Meant to watch ‘The Lobster’ on iTunes movie thing-y…and then saw that it’s not available for rent until 8/2. Well that was on 7/29, so I decided to get ‘Sing Street’. Yes, I know it’s already past 8/2, but my wifi is poo-y and I was already getting ‘Sing Street’….for three days, no less.

    Anyway, my point is, I watched ‘Sing Street’ and I want to echo some of Eric Herman’s thought’s about it. Yes, it’s terrific. Yes, it shouldn’t be missed.

    BUT….it’s definitely not a 10….or even a 9.5. (The following is all meant in a jestful, respectful manner :-) )

    ***SPOILERS AHEAD-ish****

    There were sooo many cutesy, charming parts of dialogue. I know alot of reviewers have been calling out ‘Once’, but this movie is really if ‘Once’ and ‘Moon Boy’ had a weird, cinematic baby, it’d be this. Cutesy. Charming. At times, touching. But, unfortunately, nothing mind-blowing. The music was great throughout 87.75% of this movie, but the last song at the end….the one that’s supposed to rock my socks off and blow my mind….kinda disappointing.

    The real-life tragedy that occurs throughout the movie was great…real and believable. The very end…was a bit much. Oh, she finally shows up, and puts on the mask and dances to the song and loves everything?!?! What happened to when the dude walked away from her in the park because she just dissed her future life with him?!? That was real. I guess he would go back to her when she walks back into the gym, because that’s what a teenager would do. But he shouldn’t. And could they really take a mini-tugboat to England? Seems far-fetched. Maybe that’s splitting hairs. And maybe I need to stop yelling at those damn kids to get off of my lawn!! :-)

    All that said…I really enjoyed this movie. It really was fun and had a ton of great scenes and writing and music. I definitely give it a 8.5 and tell everyone to spend $5.99 on a rental and wait 3 days for your poo-y wifi to download it. :-)

    Hopefully, ‘The Lobster’ will be this weekend….fingers crossed. :-)

    • Eh, I can’t necessarily disagree with those comments, but for me, especially on the second viewing, it all flows together so beautifully. And yes, there is the uncertainty about the relationship between him and Raphina, but I think that is all played through in an interesting way, where her background is tragic (and in a worse way that I didn’t even catch the first time) and you can see why she would waffle. But at that crucial moment in the park where she has dissed him hard, he has also become confident enough by that time (in a way that is wonderfully depicted over time) to walk away. But ultimately they still have a deep connection, so when that connection is offered back, of course he will take it, and in this case, with bigger stakes.

      The ending is a little bit Hollywood, but not much so, because you get a sense that the reality is as likely that they’ll fail, if not much more likely. And yet, we’re left with hope, which I think is a better resolution than showing an actual success. And a lot of this was played through his brother, and I loved that whole dynamic. As I said, this has some personal bias and resonance for me, so adjust accordingly, but it’s a perfect 10 movie for me.

      I saw The Lobster last night from Redbox. Very interesting and amusing satire about being single and society’s demonization of that. Again, personal resonance for me. It’s a slow and arty movie, so probably not for Karl, and maybe not J, but I really liked it. As 2016 films with a strange premise go, I give a slight edge to Swiss Army Man, but The Lobster gets a strong 8.

      • I hear ya. I didn’t necessarily hate the ending. And yeah, I did still get the feeling that this could all end in tragedy, but for that moment, right at the end, it was all good….and a little part of me loved that. I think more of me, however was hoping for something a little different. I loved that confidence that the main dude acquired throughout the movie.

        The coda I wanted to see was the main dude rocks the night. He sees her come in the gym, his jam goes over well, everyone adores him, he walks past the girl, gym door closes. Flash forward briefly, two years or so. It’s London. It’s somehow shown that the dude is rocking little clubs here and there. He steps in a coffee shop or pub or whatever….sees her there…quick smile from both of them…End. We don’t know if they get back together. We don’t know if they don’t. But we know they both made it to London and everything’s cool.

        I realize I never rated it. I’m gonna go 8.5 for now, but possibly a 9 after another viewing. It is really good. Maybe I just like playing devils advocate on this one. Not sure why. :-)

        Good to hear about The Lobster. I’m hearing good things about it. Nice to hear you were on-board with it. I think I’ll dig it over Swiss Army Man, but still plan to catch both. I really am trying for The Lobster this weekend.

        Did you say you’re able to make the meet-up or not? Able to get any gigs this way to make it a business trip, maybe?

        :-)

  13. “Stranger Things” is a 10. You could pick nits all day with this and that plot point. (The biggest WTF in the show is how [MILD SPOILER ALERT] the town of Hawkins loses its collective crap over Will’s disappearance while, to all appearances, having almost no reaction at all to a similarly insidious incident later on. The entire attention paid is along the lines of, “Yeah, [gender pronoun] appears to have run off. The Staties are looking into it.”) The acting, writing, storytelling and overall atmosphere are so darn good, however, that nothing else matters. (Which is also a pretty good song by Metallica.) David Harbour is one of my new favorite actors. And the cast of kids is SOLID. GOLD. Gaten Matarazzo (I’d love to know whether he’s related to Heather Matarazzo of “Welcome to the Dollhouse” fame) steals the series as Dustin, but the other kids are all great, too.

    Jay, I got Heather to watch the whole series with me, and she loved it. So you could tell Nat that Heather, who is pretty conservative in her viewing, was riveted by “Stranger Things.”

    If Karl is going to punch me for anything, it should probably be for taking five or six years to return his copy of “Fletch Lives.” I did enjoy hearing yet another review of “Downton Abbey” (which is good, and should be watched, so actually I don’t really mind all that much when Karl continually pubs it up).

    I’m glad to see Harrison Ford getting some love in the Movies of Just One Actor conversation. Seemed like an obvious pick to me. I’m particularly surprised that both Karl, given his love of “Blade Runner,” and Jay, given that “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is already his Desert Island Movie, didn’t call Harry to mind right away. I thought of a dark horse candidate while listening to the show, and while there’s a lot dead weight in his extensive filmography, I think it’s worth mentioning Jeff Bridges: “True Grit,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Starman,” “Tron,” “Crazy Heart,” “The Giver,” “Iron Man,” “The Fisher King,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Seabiscuit,” “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” “Blown Away,” “The Last Picture Show.” Shoot, I’d be happy with just “True Grit,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Starman.” The last thing I’ll say about this is that I think Ryan got mixed up in his head and said “Patrick Swayze” when he meant to say “Kurt Russell.” It’s understandable, GCR. A lot of people think they look alike.

    Finally, while the mystery of Andy’s confession appears not to have taken off much on this thread, I’ll take a stab at it. Andy is finally going to come clean and confess that he has not actually watched all of the movies on both AFI Top 100 lists. Actually, he just counted up the handful he’d seen already (stuff like “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), realized that there would never be enough time in his life to climb mountains and watch “South Park” if he started messing around with the likes of “Metropolis” and “Birth of a Nation,” and gradually began to exaggerate his AFI viewing credentials until the tale grew so much in the telling that it assumed its present form. A similar phenomenon occurred when it came to climbing all of the state high points in the United States. And really, we should have guessed it all along. It’s a given, for example, that Andy has never actually been to West Virginia. And when he realized that hitting all of the high points would require visiting states that don’t even have actual mountains, like Kansas and Iowa, as well as going to made up states like “Rhode Island” and “Delaware,” Andy decided that 32 states was close enough and just started to claim he’d been to the other 18 as well.

  14. Just watched Netflix’s version of The Little Prince. It is amazing!!

    I loved the way they framed the traditional tale within a modern setting, interestingly depicted with a girl and her demanding mother who move next door to the Aviator. The CGI animation for the modern side of it is done well-enough, if not spectacularly, but it especially works well to show off the stunningly beautiful stop-motion animation for the Little Prince parts, which the story bounces between.

    Jeff Bridges is perfect as the old Aviator, and check out this voice cast: Rachel McAdams, Albert Brooks, Ricky Gervais, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti. Also, music by Hans Zimmer. Seriously, it is top notch, and had me tearing up a few times and charmed throughout.

    The only shortcomings are that at 1:45 it’s just a bit long, and some of the CGI characters aren’t as unique or well-designed as others (for example, one character seems like a rip-off of the food critic from Ratatouille). So for those things only, I’m dropping a half-point, but it’s a 9.5 and a must-watch, especially as a family movie.

    • Thanks for the review, Eric. I was trying to get my daughter to watch that with me this weekend but she chose Hotel Transylvania 2 which was the opposite of what you described below.

      Maybe I can talk her into it this week,

    • Hi Eric,

      I just saw “The Little Prince”, and agree with virtually everything you said. Great animated film – without a doubt, one of the best of the year.

      I would just add one other shortcoming: the actors are stellar and perfectly cast – with one exception – James Franco. His line readings rang false for me (in fact, they sounded like exactly that: line readings), which is rather a shame in an important (metaphorically) role. But luckily, he’s not around long – and the film goes back to being mesmerizing.

      I’d knock it down an extra half-point from your rating (because of Franco), and say it’s a 9 out of 10, and a must-watch for everyone – especially adults :)

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