Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 066: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013) and Runner Runner (2013) and The Best Movies of 2013

Happy new year this week! And welcome to Episode 066, where your boys at Movie Podcast Weekly each list THE TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013, so you get 40 (not necessarily all unique) take-it-to-the-bank, must-see “buy-it’s.” But we also list off all our honorable mentions, which gives you about 60 Honorable Mentions (again, not all unique) that are take-it-to-the-bank, guaranteed good rentals. We also list off 40 of our Biggest Disappointments of 2013, which aren’t necessarily bad, just disappointing. But Karl, Andy and Jason give you 15 movies from 2013 that they absolutely freakin’ hated, while Joshua “take-the-high-road” Ligairi alternately gives you 8 movies that he thought he would dislike, but were pleasant surprises.

Oh, yeah, and we also Feature Review “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Runner Runner.” All this and so much more awaits you during this 3-hour and 44-minute episode of Movie Podcast Weekly.

Note: For your convenience, we’ve listed most of our picks in the show notes below (as opposed to a password-protected listing). So, if you opt not to listen to this hilariously entertaining show, please at least give us a download out of it. Thanks! Happy 2014.

Movie Podcast Weekly features four hosts (and frequent guests), who give you their verdict on at least one new movie release that’s currently in theaters, mini-reviews of what they’ve been watching lately, and specialty recommendation segments. New episodes release every single Monday.


I. Intro

II. Feature review of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET:
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )
Andy = 9.5 ( Andy can’t recommend seeing it, and please don’t tell anybody that Andy saw it. )
Karl = 7.5 ( Rental )

Jason = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )

IV. Feature review of SAVING MR. BANKS:
Josh = 7 ( Theater / Rental )

V. Feature review of RUNNER RUNNER:
Jason = 5 ( Rental )

VI. Listener Feedback
— Bobby Que from Australia
— Martin from Germany

VII. Year in Review: The Cinema of 2013
— A few MPW and Jason stats
— The loss of Roger Ebert this year

VIII. Our Biggest Disappointments of 2013

— Andy’s Biggest Disappointments of 2013
American Hustle — Andy’s biggest disappointment
Gangster Squad
Olympus Has Fallen
Only God Forgives
The Counselor
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

— Josh’s Biggest Disappointments of 2013
— Josh’s movies that were OK but still disappointing:
American Hustle
Delivery Man
Gangster Squad
Only God Forgives
The East
The Lone Ranger
The Way Way Back
This Is the End
Bad Milo!

— Josh’s movies that were just plain bad:
Frances Ha
Now You See Me
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
The Lords of Salem

— Karl’s Biggest Disappointments of 2013
12 Years a Slave (Hasn’t seen it, but Karl worries it’s too much…)
Gangster Squad (Hasn’t seen it, but Karl believes us…)
Now You See Me
The Counselor

— Jason’s Biggest Disappointments of 2013
2 Guns
Broken City
Gangster Squad
Monsters University
Now You See Me
Runner Runner
The Conjuring
The Counselor
The East
The Family
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
The Lords of Salem

XI. Our Honorable Mentions of 2013 (GOOD, SOLID, SURE-BET RENTALS!)

— Josh’s Honorable Mentions for 2013
12 Years a Slave
20 Feet From Stardom
A Hijacking
About Time
All Is Lost
Before Midnight
Blue Jasmine
Evil Dead
Fruitvale Station
Out of the Furnace
Prince Avalanche
Sun Don’t Shine
The Conjuring
The Crash Reel
The Frozen Ground
The Iceman
The To Do List
Tim’s Vermeer
To the Wonder
You’re Next

— Andy’s Honorable Mentions for 2013
All Is Lost
Man of Steel
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Place Beyond the Pines
Zero Dark Thirty

— Karl’s Honorable Mentions for 2013
Beautiful Creatures
Side Effects
The Call
The Iceman
The Lone Ranger
The Purge

— Jason’s Honorable Mentions for 2013
Insidious: Chapter 2
Man of Steel
Pacific Rim
The Call
The Purge
Warm Bodies

X. The Worst Movies of the Year (That We Freakin’ Hated)

— Movies That Karl Freakin’ Hated: ( All AVOIDS )
21 and Over
A Good Day to Die Hard
Fast & Furious 6 — The movie Karl hated most!
Grown Ups 2
Spring Breakers
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
This Is the End

— Movies That Andy Freakin’ Hated: ( All AVOIDS )
A Good Day to Die Hard — The movie Andy hated most!
Only God Forgives
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

— Movies That Jason Freakin’ Hated: ( All AVOIDS )
Bad Milo! — The movie Jason hated most!
The Last Exorcism Part II
Upstream Color

— Movies That Josh Thought He Would Hate (But Was Pleasantly Surprised):
Hell Baby
Monsters University
Pacific Rim
The Great Gatsby
The Internship
World War Z

XI. Critics’ Self-Reflection: Critiquing the Critics — Are there any movies that you may have praised too lavishly or rated too harshly?


———————— KARL’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013 ————————

1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2. Mud
3. About Time
4. The Fifth Estate
5. Man of Steel
6. The Grandmaster
7. The World’s End
8. The Internship
9. Disconnect
10. Warm Bodies

———————— ANDY’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013 ————————

1. Gravity
2. Mud
3. 12 Years a Slave (Note: Andy hasn’t seen this.)
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Captain Phillips (Note: Andy hasn’t seen this.)
6. Out of the Furnace
7. Pain & Gain
8. Dead Man Down
9. Dallas Buyers Club
10. This Is the End

———————— JOSH’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013 ————————

1. The Act of Killing
2. Upstream Color
3. The Place Beyond the Pines
4. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
5. Gravity
6. Mud
7. Cutie and the Boxer — tie — Stories We Tell
8. Spring Breakers
9. In a World…
10. The World’s End

———————— JASON’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013 ————————

1. Out of the Furnace
2. Gravity
3. Captain Phillips
4. The Imposter
5. Zero Dark Thirty
6. The Place Beyond the Pines
7. The Impossible
8. Oblivion
9. You’re Next
10. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

***Note: During this episode, “All Is Lost” ranks in at No. 5 on my list, while “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” is one of my Honorable Mentions… But my friend and astute listener, Jeff Hammer, brought to my attention that I broke my own rules. According to my own Year of Release determination, “All Is Lost” will end up being a 2014 film, and is therefore, ineligible for consideration this year. I will also note this in next week’s audio podcast episode, Ep. 067. Thanks, Jeff.


XII. Movies We Wanted to See (But Didn’t Get to Yet) — AND — Other Titles That Have Received Critical Buzz (That We Still Haven’t Seen)

XIII. Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2014
3 Days to Kill
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dracula Untold
Edge of Tomorrow
How to Catch a Monster
Inherent Vice
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Loomis Fargo
Magic in the Moonlight
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Monuments Men
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Voyage of Time
X-Men: Days of Future Past

XIV. Wrap-up / End

Next Monday on MPW: Next week we’ll be reviewing “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” and no doubt, another film or two, so subscribe to Movie Podcast Weekly on iTunes to make sure you don’t miss it! Subscribe FREE here!

Links for this episode:

Jason and Josh discuss Christmas Horror with Dave Becker on Horror Movie Podcast 005:  Bad Santas, Freaky Phone Calls and Klaus Kinski

Get help managing you Netflix queue from Josh on: Movie Stream Cast

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram and the voice talents of Midnight Corey Graham from The Electric Chair Podcast, Willis Wheeler from The Donut Show Podcast and Mr. Ron Baird for their help with our recommendation segment intros.

We’d also like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave Eaton himself for the use of his music for our theme song.

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Thank you for listening and join us again next Monday for Movie Podcast Weekly.

25 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 066: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013) and Runner Runner (2013) and The Best Movies of 2013

  1. Haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole show yet but I scanned the top 10s, I’m shocked to say that my top 10 is almost surely going to be closer to Josh’s than anyone else… who woulda thought?

      • I might have lied Josh, I currently have 2 of Karl’s and 2 of yours. There are certainly more near misses from your list and honorable mentions though. I’ll send my top 10 to you guys early Sunday morning.

      • How is that a “problem,” Josh? This actually makes perfect sense. Please read my argument below. Here is my simple rule for determining a film’s year of release:

        I will determine the year of release by the first date that a film becomes widely available to a U.S. audience. In other words, I will use the following information, in this order of priority:

        1. When the movie receives a widespread theater release in the U.S.
        2. When the movie is released on DVD or Blu-ray or is available on VOD (such as Amazon).
        3. When the movie becomes available through services like Netflix or Redbox.

        So, this means that I will completely disregard the following information:
        — Film festival screening or premier dates
        — Limited theater releases
        — Any type of foreign releases, theater or DVD
        — Any other system for determining year of release

        ***Here are my two very good reasons for this method:

        1. When I review a film, I believe my audience should be able to check it out at that time, if they wish. So, I want the release year to be when U.S. movie-lovers can easily find the film (especially since I’m in an area that doesn’t always get limited releases).

        2. But perhaps the biggest reason is illustrated in the following example (and I dare you to argue with this, Josh or Hammer or anybody):

        Example: It was impossible for me to see “Zero Dark Thirty” during the year 2012. (It didn’t play anywhere near me during its Limited Release on December 19, 2012.) So, the soonest possible date I could see “Zero Dark Thirty” (which is precisely when I saw it) was January 11, 2013.

        Now then, since Ep. 014 (our Best Movies of 2012 show) was released on Dec. 31, 2012, then it was impossible for me to consider “Zero Dark Thirty” for my Top 10 running. (After all, I’m not Andy.)

        So, Josh: What would you have me do? Completely disregard “Zero Dark Thirty” altogether, just because it’s “too late” for me to rank it for 2012 by the time I can view it — and since many organizations don’t consider it to be a 2013 film?

        That’s insane! This is why I refute, defy and disregard any year-of-release system that would forbid me from weighing in on some key films that slip through the cracks of critical ranking for small-town critics like me. That makes zero sense to me.

        If I can’t rate “Zero Dark Thirty” in 2012 or 2013, then when would you have me rate it? That’s why I like my system best:

        “I will determine the year of release by the first date that a film becomes widely available to a U.S. audience.” —Jason

        • I’d simply suggest that you save your “Best of the Year” list until the end of January, or until you have seen all of the films that you wish to consider. The only reason that I can think of to do it when you do it is to be timely. But, that is a strategy that goes completely out the window when you sit on a movie like ZERO DARK THIRTY for a year. So, I think the “problem” comes in when, although it appears perfectly reasonable on the surface, your release criteria are unfortunately in conflict with the rest of the movie reviewing world, and so those aspects of your list are rendered rather irrelevant. These movies have all won Oscars by now. What I did, in contrast, was simply state a few weeks later “BTW, ZERO DARK THIRTY would have been my number one movie of the year had I seen it.” I assume I’ll be saying the same for HER this year. It is not my preference. I wish they would release them wide sooner, but there are marketing concerns behind those choices (for the most part) and I also want these excellent movies to do well financially, so I can’t have it both ways. Holding off “Best of the Year” discussion for a few weeks seems to me to be the easiest solution. Personally, I find the Academy’s release date criteria to be a bit outdated, but it is a good one to go by in order to be a part of the national (and international) conversation. And on that note, I’d also suggest that your most passionate listeners appear to be outside the United States altogether.

          • Smart answers, as always, Josh. And I acknowledge everything you’ve written. … And then I dismiss it, thusly: ; )

            Releasing a Best of the Year list or episode later in the next year (even if it’s as soon as the end of January) is absolutely not an option for me. Yes, it’s a matter of timeliness, mainly to engage in the buzz with all the other film-lovers.

            And yes, while I’m proclaiming “Zero Dark Thirty” a year later, I’m still officially recognizing it in an official capacity. As for timeliness and relevance there, this is exactly why we always do a “Other Titles That Have Received Critical Buzz (That We Still Haven’t Seen)” type of listing.

            Indeed, we simply can’t see every single film released in a year (though, I probably could if I lived in NYC or LA), but I feel pretty good about MPW’s collective coverage this year of 108 releases in 2013 (and at least 84 films for me personally). I’m very proud of that.

            The next debate is more philosophical than anything else… But a critic’s Top 10 of the Year, regardless of when it is released, is relevant as long as someone values that critic’s opinions (even if that someone is himself, such as in my case). Ha ha. So, for example, I never cared what won the Oscar or whatever when I was browsing Ebert’s end-of-the-year picks, because I was just there to hear what he liked most. So, that doesn’t phase me that I’m out-of-sync with the rest of the critical community: For one, I pay for all my own damn movies now (no free critics’ screenings for me anymore), and nobody sends me “For Your Consideration” screeners to my front door anymore… Indeed, all four of us are in this dedicated boat. So, I think the fact that we’re holding down the fort on MPW in our own little critical corner of the world gives us some license to set our own parameters. We don’t belong to the Academy.

            Honestly, I think this year-of-release stuff needs to be rectified on a large scale (preferably, according to my criteria), because I think many great films are slipping through the cracks (in many ways) with the myriad idiotic ways they’re doing it now.

            Finally, I appreciate that we have international listeners, but as a citizen of the United States myself — and never traveling outside the U.S. — then I have no other choice. So, going with U.S. releases is my only option.

            I think you should join me and my way of thinking, Joshua.

          • Oh, brother. Let your hair down! Actually, although this drives me crazy, it is exactly why I love you. I will never join you and your way of thinking, however. Agree to disagree.

        • The problem with this, Jay, is that All Is Lost isn’t eligible for your list then. It had yet to receive a widespread release. Apparently you all in Utah are part of the cool kids club on that one. So it violates rule #1 and you haven’t completely disregarded a limited release.

          • Touché, Jeff Hammer! You are absolutely correct, Sir. … Dammit. Every time I underestimate Jeff Hammer, he takes me to school … OK. I concede that I must revise my Top 10 of 2013 list, according to my own rules. And I have corrected this oversight above in the Show Notes and below. Thanks, Jeff.

            1. Out of the Furnace
            2. Gravity
            3. Captain Phillips
            4. The Imposter
            5. Zero Dark Thirty
            6. The Place Beyond the Pines
            7. The Impossible
            8. Oblivion
            9. You’re Next
            10. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

            You can pretty much bet that “All Is Lost” will most likely appear on my Top 10 of 2014 next year.

  2. A couple of good article recommendations:

    First, from Slate by Aisha Harris, a brief investigation into the historicity of SAVING Mr. BANKS: Then, from Salon by Laura Miller, a critical eye on the representation of the MARY POPPINS author in BANKS: And finally, from the LA Times by Rebecca Keegan, an article in which the BANKS filmmakers defend some the film’s questionable historicity:

    Also, a fun one from Film School Rejects by Christopher Campbell which gives you “12 Films to Watch After You Watch THE WOLF OF WALL STREET”

  3. OH NO !!! One glaring omission that got misplaced during my tie shuffle was one of my favorite film of the year, a documentary called A BAND CALLED DEATH (it is this year’s SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN). Since Jason is revising his list, I’m making that a tie with IN A WORLD, suckers. A must watch for any student of music history, punk rock, or African American culture.

    • Another update … I finally saw HER, and it would have likely slipped into my list around #3. I stand by the list I gave, no need to update it at all. Just notes for the die-hards.

  4. I’m not mad at you Jason – just been busy :). I’ve been meaning to have you guys over again for another movie. I was actually thinking of suggesting “The Act of Killing” which is coming out next week, but Its probably time that we watched something like Tron (or something similar) like Karl suggested.

    By the way I watched “The Way Way Back” recently and went back and revisited Josh and Karl’s review. I really loved that movie and was surprised it was not rated higher by Karl in particular. Seemed like it would be right up his alley. Was a bit surprised it was mentioned on the “disappointment” list. I had no expectations going in, so maybe that is why I liked it so much.

  5. Michael Mann’s Thief comes out on blu-ray from the Criterion Collection on the 14th. I’ll likely be doing a screening of that shortly after release if anyone is interested.

  6. Great show guys – really enjoyed it. The back and forth on here between Josh and Jason is almost as good as the show itself. Got to admit I am with Josh on the release date of a film and would usually take my lead from IMDB. This would make Zero Dark 30 a 2012 movie and All is Lost is 2013 but I can see merits in what Jason is saying also.

    Have had a little time off over the holidays and have caught up on a few movies I missed.
    Must say was not a fan of Gravity (found it a bit boring) but loved Oblivion and Man of Steel.

    Anyway guys was a great show and I for one am extremely grateful for the time you guys put in.

    take care and all the best for 2014

  7. Andy should watch Devil’s Pass, it’s about the Dyatlov Pass Incident in the Ural Mountains and features a hiker/mountain climber named Andy who has climbed all the highest points in the U.S. and leads a group of filmmakers to the area where the previous deaths occurred.

  8. I freakin’ loved this episode. It got me through three days of working out and shoveling snow, and reminded me of the old epic-length episodes of Considering the Sequels. I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s picks, anti-picks and honorable mentions. Couple of thoughts of my own:

    1) I’m thinking about seeing “Don Jon,” but I don’t know whether the sexual content is more explicit than what’s in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Have any of you guys heard anything about that?

    2) “Enduring Love” is the movie that Jason thinks it is, but not the movie that Josh thinks it is. “Enduring Love” is the one about Daniel Craig being stalked by Rhys Ifans after they both participate in a hot air balloon rescue that has a tragic aftermath. Josh is thinking of “Danny Deckchair,” which also stars Rhys Ifans (aha!), only playing a goofball who ties a bunch of weather balloons to a lawn chair and is borne aloft. That’s the one that has the Darwin Awards connection, though the real life guy who inspired the movie actually lived through his experience. The Darwin Awards link came from a copycat. More details:

    3) I’ll double down with Karl and Andy on their hatred of “A Good Day to Die Hard.” Man that movie is weak sauce.

    4) What’s even more weak sauce than “A Good Day to Die Hard,” however, is Andy picking movies for his list BEFORE ACTUALLY SEEING THEM. That is the weak sauce-est. (Weakest sauce?) It does not get any more weak sauce than that. Come on, Andy. Nobody sees everything. Just give us the best of what you actually saw. If someone else chooses something you weren’t able to see, just add it to your Netflix queue and resolve to see more movies next year. I get the impulse to align your list with the best and brightest, but that way lies madness. Also, what happens if you see “Captain Phillips” or “12 Years a Slave” now and think, “Bummer, I didn’t really like/respect/respond to that as much as I thought I would.” It’s not like you can go back and change your list after declaring it on the podcast. Who pulls crap like that?

    5) I have an awards screener of “12 Years a Slave.” I haven’t watched it yet, but apparently the time has come. The only question is when and where are we getting together? No excuses, Andy. Let me save you from yourself.

    6) Jason, you’re good to go with “All is Lost.” It opened in 6 theaters Oct. 18, expanded to 82 the next week, and hit its widest release (483 theaters) on Nov. 15. It’s gone all the way back down to 71 as of last weekend. The ship has sailed. Theatrical release is almost over. Next stop, DVD. For the sake of comparison, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” opened Aug. 16 at 3 theaters and never got wider than 44 before checking out altogether at the end of September. Many, many more moviegoers had a chance to see “All is Lost” in 2013 than got a shot at “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”

    7) Karl, I loved “Star Trek Into Darkness” for almost all of the same reasons that you did. Good call including it on your list. (Don’t know where I’d have ranked it myself, alas. The change in employment really threw off my movie watching.) I can’t love it unreservedly because I have too much deep and abiding affection for “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” (an all-time fave for me) to entirely tolerate the where “Into Darkness” eventually ends up. Still a very good movie in its own right, though.

    8) I love Roger Ebert, but I used to hate that crap he pulls about how certain movies are of a nobler breed because of subject matter. A truly world class superhero movie is just as worthy of four stars as a truly great drama about human relationships, or tragic ambition, or whatever. I call B.S. on Ebert’s weaselly business about how his three stars for Movie A should be viewed as carrying less weight than his three stars for Movie B. That’s making your readers do your job for you, Roger. If you insist on viewing ratings in aggregate then you don’t get to pick and choose when a 10 is really a 10 and when it’s actually more of an 8.5. My own personal opinion is that the words in the review should always be viewed as carrying the most weight in determining the critic’s opinion. Whether most critics will admit it or not, I think the letters, numbers and stars almost always represent more of an “in the moment,” gut-level reaction than being the result of some carefully considered formula that ranks each new movie in comparison to every other film the critic has ever seen.

    Anyway … keep up the good work, gentlemen. And remember Andy, I have a screener with your name on it.

    • Cody, regarding #6, it still doesn’t qualify under Jason’s rule set. I couldn’t see All Is Lost in 2013, because it never had a wide release, the reason Ain’t Them Bodies Saints does qualify is because it was available on DVD and even at Redbox December 13. If not for Jason’s special rules, I’d agree, both are 2013 films.

      I agree with you on Ebert’s scores. I don’t remember exactly what was said about a 3 for a super hero movie being different than a 3 for a drama but it just sounds ridiculous to me. To me… whatever I feel about the film is where my rating lies. There Will Be Blood is like a 5, well-constructed be damned… it was completely boring to the point I no longer appreciated the high level of acting or anything else about it, Attack the Block was a brilliant enjoyable film about an alien attack and (in my opinion) is a far better film despite not being perhaps as well-crafted and it’s like an 8.5.

      • Jeff: Right you are. I’d heard Jason discuss his criteria before, but I hadn’t actually read the Release Date Manifesto before commenting. And I also hadn’t realized that “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” got to DVD before the end of December. I should have known that Jay wouldn’t just retract a Top 10 selection willy-nilly. He is far, far more methodical than that. (Admirably so, I hasten to add.) Now I understand why a movie that was far less widely seen theatrically gets the nod over something that played at enough theaters that it probably showed up in at least one city in every state. Very illuminating.

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