Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 086: Godzilla (2014) and Million Dollar Arm (2014) and Neighbors (2014) and A Night in Old Mexico (2014)

Episode 086

Welcome to Episode 086 of Movie Podcast Weekly. During this show, you’ll hear four Feature Reviews of “Godzilla,” “Million Dollar Arm,” “Neighbors” and “A Night in Old Mexico.” Karl and Jason serve as your primary hosts in Ep. 086, with intermittent hosting appearances by Andy and Josh via roadside telephone, as well as a very brief guest appearance by William Rowan Jr. Andy regales us with his tales of travel abroad in Italy, and Karl talks about his onscreen appearances in the Aaron Eckhart film “The Core” (2003). Don’t miss it!

Movie Podcast Weekly typically 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. Mini Reviews:
Karl: Romancing the Stone, News: Blade Runner sequel, Sneakers
Andy: Kick-Ass 2, Delivery Man, Nebraska, Her, The East
Jason: Armageddon
Jason and Josh: The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Ep. 1: Birth of the Cinema

III. Feature Review: GODZILLA (2014)
Jason = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )
William Rowan Jr. = 4 ( Avoid )
Josh = Can’t rate it yet; fell asleep in theater
Willis Wheeler via Skype chat = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )

IV. Feature Review: MILLION DOLLAR ARM (2014)
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )

V. Feature Review: NEIGHBORS (2014)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )
Karl = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )

VI. Feature Review: A NIGHT IN OLD MEXICO (2014)
Jason = 5.5 ( Rental )

VII. Listener Feedback
— Question from Christian
— David’s great comments
— Cody Clark’s EPIC comment
— Props and credit to B-Rye

VIII. Wrap-Up

We will be reviewing X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST with special guests JEFF HAMMER and WILLIS WHEELER!

Links for this episode:

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Check out Book Review Podcast

Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 016: The Sacrament and Contracted and We Are What We Are and Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

Josh covers streaming movies: Movie Stream Cast

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

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram and the Blue Claw Philharmonic for the use of their music and the voice talents of Midnight Corey Graham from The Electric Chair Podcast, Willis Wheeler from the Terror Troop Podcast and Spike Real for their help with our recommendation segment intros.

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

28 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 086: Godzilla (2014) and Million Dollar Arm (2014) and Neighbors (2014) and A Night in Old Mexico (2014)

  1. Haha you guys are great. Just wanna say I wasn’t fishing for recognition last week I was just commenting because I thought it was a funny coincidence about The Dirties. I do appreciate the sentiment though. Thanks for another good week of podcasting.

    I am very disappointed however of your Neighbors and Godzilla ratings. I was really looking forward to both of those. I still think I will enjoy them tho.

  2. If u want to hear a really great review of Godzilla , come to the terror troop podcast next week , with people that know about Godzilla . U know these guys know nothing about comic book and sci fi movies come to the experts :)

    • I know a lot about comic and sci-fi movies, as do the others, we just don’t know whole lot about the children’s books some of these movies are based on. 😉

      • Willis, dude you’re obviously a bigger, more involved fan when it comes to comics, but your taste in movies is highly biased and therefore, I have a hard time trusting your movie ratings. And this is coming from a fan of comics, anime, manga, horror, sci-fi, videogames, and ex-pokemon card collector.

    • interestingly, I would like to know in the recent years if you have rated any comic/superhero movie low…. and if you have, what are they?

      just to compare notes, nothing personal. :OP

      • Yeah I forgot to add that I wasn’t attacking you Willis. I like you a lot. I think you’re hilarious. And your guest spots on the show are always welcome!

        • As I read these comments, I am really surprised that anyone takes Willis’ reviews seriously. I enjoy Willis being on the show, and think he is an asset when he is on. I also appreciate his insights and comments about comic book movies, but I have never taken his reviews seriously. He flat out refuses to watch most of the movies out there, and his comic book movie ratings are so far away from where I view them they mean little to me.

          • I see where you’re coming from Chad, I very seldom find myself agreeing with Willis’ reviews either but I don’t think that there’s any reason to not take them seriously. If anything Willis seems the unlikeliest of reviewers to be swayed by the opinions of the film criticism cognoscenti or even by general consensus. He knows what he likes and he’s outspoken with his opinion about it. Certainly it seems he gives some of the crappier comic book movies a free pass, overlooking flaws because the movies contain his favourite heroes, but what critic out there has an outlook unburdened by personal bias of some sort. Similarly I’ve found myself disagreeing with Jay and Josh on quite a few movies, and I also find I’m almost always at odds with the prolific veteran horror podcaster Billchete; that doesn’t mean that I think their opinions are any less viable though. There’s probably a big bunch of cheesy, zero-budget 80’s horror movies that I’d score with a 9/10, the casual film fan however might be infinitely less forgiving of the bad dialogue, cheap effects, terrible acting and cliché plot inherent in such a film. I’d hope however, that my passion for a sub-genre many might consider lowly wouldn’t render my opinion as one not to be taken seriously.

            Anyway, sorry for the ramble, I’m not trying to call you out or anything. You made it clear that you do appreciate Willis’ presence and his various quirks. I just think it’s a little unfair to suggest his reviews are not to be taken seriously. Man, I hope I’m not coming off as a jerk here. You do of course have every right in the world to criticise Willis, but I also think he deserves some defence.

            – David

          • Am not giving them a free pass . It just that most of them have been good lately . . But it all good . I don’t care too much for the dark knight rises . Jonah hex was some trash .

          • Regarding our buddy Willis…
            If I may say — I would call Willis a “niche critic.” But he’s more than that. He’s a niche critic with some strong biases, and he’s unapologetic about those. He likes what he likes. Period. There’s no debating him, because in his mind, it’s a closed case.

            And because I believe my assessment above (and have come to terms with it, somewhat), I can understand — and relate to — Chad’s sentiments. For instance, I probably won’t look to Willis’s opinion for a verdict on the latest Oscar bait films (he usually refuses to watch them), but I’m always very interested to hear his thoughts on comic book movies. And though I think his strong bias toward them skews his ratings very high (by about 4 points), making him their biggest apologist, I also think if a filmmaker missteps and treads upon his narrow criteria (faithfulness of adaptation from the original source material — ie. comic books), then I know Willis will call them out. And I can feel good about that. He has spoken out against “The Dark Knight Rises” for its erroneous portrayal of Batman, for instance.

            But different critics for different genres… I didn’t look to Ebert for reviews on horror; I look to Scott Weinberg or BillChete. I look to Josh for indie art films and docs, and Karl for his thoughts on summer blockbusters and sci-fi fare.

            And I just look to Andy to see if he’s still awake. But usually he’s not.

  3. Guys, Godzilla wasn’t that bad. Although it did get a few major things wrong, I thought overall it actually did a lot of things right. Let’s start with the negatives. The lead actor was miscast. He was not relatable, he was dry, he was not charismatic and he replaced Mr White as the lead about 20-30 minutes into the movie. Not enough Godzilla. I have to agree with Jay. I was getting a little impatient, but I have to say, when Godzilla is onscreen it’s like I’m in heaven. Too much human drama that wasn’t human enough to begin with. I have to disagree with Josh, I really liked the beginning of the movie. I thought it established a strong lead character in Bryan Cranston and a story that I could find myself caring for… but then they took it away! Now let’s move on to the positives. Godzilla is the king of monsters for a good reason and they really, really do him justice here. He looks phenomenal! The details of his skin, the sound effects of his roar, the way this tail lights up right before firing away, it’s all very impressive. I don’t know what Jay was thinking when he said that the special effects were decent. Decent?! This is all top notch CGI eye candy Jay! Another big positive were the fights. They were few and far in between but when those monsters clashed, they CLASHED! And the actual kills were BRUTAL! Let’s face it, Godzilla was not perfect, it was not THE Godzilla movie everyone wanted, BUT it is a very solid entrance in the series, it’s a love letter to the character, and most importantly, it washes away the bad taste that the 1998 remake left us with. I give Godzilla a 7.5 and I say see it in the theater. I give the 1998 version of Godzilla a 5 and say rent it. Now, it has already been announced that Godzilla 2 is happening, so I wonder if the same director will helm it. I vote for someone else to do it. I think Gareth Edwards had a vision and he should be proud of his final product, but I would love it if someone else tackled the next iteration of Godzilla. I have three guys in mind and I think they would do a fantastic job. The names are Neil Blompkamp of District 9 fame, Matt Reeves of Cloverfiled fame, and Paul Verhoven of Robocop fame (but in this case it’s his work on Starship Troopers that makes me think he would be a good fit). Anyway, those are my two cents. Great show guys!

    • Man, I’ve yet to see the new Godzilla but those directors you’ve hypothesised for a potential sequel would all be absolutely awesome choices. I think we’re on the same wavelength here Juan!

    • I think we’re actually on the same page, for the most part, Juan. I was just aggressively avoiding spoilers, so I wasn’t very specific with my complaints. But, if you were to re-listen, I think you’d see that we agree on Cranston, Kick Ass, the monster etc.

      • Josh,

        Since you brought it up, let’s talk a bit about *spoiler alert* spoilers. I appreciate you guys avoiding spoilers as much as possible when reviewing a movie, but I think it’s kind of a double edged sword. On one hand, nothing hardly ever gets spoiled, which is nice. But on the other hand, you’re limiting your reviews from being more in depth. When trying to avoid details, names, events, etc. I sometimes feel frustrated and lost as to what the hell it is that you guys are talking about. Now, if I’ve seen the movie that’s being reviewed, the spoiler free review makes total sense. But if I haven’t seen the movie prior to your review, I feel like a high school kid that missed class one day and when he came back to class the next day, nothing the professor was saying was making any sense. Ok maybe that was a little overdramatic, but I really do want to know where you guys stand on this.

        • It’s a fair point and probably has more to do with our lack of ability in keeping things vague, yet informative. My personal preference is to do a spoiler section of the review and discuss them in full for those who want to hear them, but I think I’m in the minority among my co-hosts. However, if I have to err on one side, it will be on the cautious, anti-spoiler side, because I hate hearing any spoilers myself. As listeners probably know by now, I even avoid trailers, as much as possible. I will, however, make a concerted effort to be more clear in my reviews, when avoiding plot details, in the future.

          • Thanks for the response Josh. I think you’re right, if it comes down to picking a side (spoiler or no spoiler), I guess I rather not be spoiled. When the Sixth Sense came out, my sister spoiled it for me during dinner, and I was devastated. It still hurts when I think about it.

  4. @ B-Rye — I know you weren’t fishing; it’s just one of the things I’m passionate about. There is so little external “reward” that comes from being a cinephile, that if someone brings a movie to my attention, then I think that person should be cited. Example: “Capricorn One” (1977) is such a unique, understated, sci-fi flick, that I’d warmly recommend it to any sci-fi fan — and I’ll always be thankful to Karl for introducing me to it.

    @ Willis — Josh and Karl will definitely be discussing their takes on “Godzilla” next week in Ep. 087 (which you’ll be on with us), so I’ll look forward to hearing why you rate it a 9. … And one more thing, Willis: For your convenience, see Juan’s exceptional “Godzilla” review above in these comments to assist you. ha ha.

    @ Juan — I have seen several “Godzilla” movies over the years. And I will admit that of all the “Godzilla” movies I’ve seen, this new film is certainly the most well made. And while the 1998 version is almost offensively stupid at times, I still find it more entertaining than this new one. This was the Ang Lee’s “Hulk” of “Godzilla” movies… But the trailers for this new film were masterful… And by the way, Juan, your comments here are stellar. Thanks for lifting our Web site.

    • Thank you for the kind comment Jay, but it is YOU and your crew of misfits that make this podcast what it is, man. So thank you all for making this happen. And I apologize if my writing seems a bit unfocused or inconsistent at times, but sometimes I write super fast either during lunch or while at a red light haha and so I don’t have time to organize my thoughts and post cohesive, well versed comments like David, whose comments I thoroughly enjoy.

      • Your writing is always a pleasure to read Juan and probably a fair bit more cohesive and coherent than my own comments. I have a tendency to indulge in a tipple while listening to the show and then ramble on like a loon!

        In truth, every single person who contributes to this comment section has something intelligent and unique to offer, without exception. I’m always amazed at how respectful, passionate and thoughtful the folks who listen to these podcasts are. It’s a truly great community!

        • Nah, your comments are awesome.

          This is true. Everyone here always has something awesome to say and I love reading everyone’s comments. My only gripe with the comments section –and this has already been brought up in a previous episode – is that there is no way to track who replied to your comment and which comments are new. But I know it’s tough enough for Jay and the others to even put this podcast together, so I won’t complain.

  5. Hey guys, another fantastic episode! As usual I have a few comments on different issues raised, so here goes:

    First up, with regards to Karl’s comments about Blade Runner; I agree that Ridley Scott’s quote about giving up on the source text (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) due to it being too confusing is just baffling; it’s hardly Finnegan’s Wake, in fact when I first read it I remember being surprised at how easy it was to read. It’s definitely one of Philip K Dick’s more digestible and coherent works. Also, Blade Runner is probably my favourite movie of all time too!

    Next; I totally empathise with Jason’s strange urges for overblown 90’s action schlock. I found myself suffering this same ailment last year and ended up marathoning the likes of Waterworld, Bad Boys, True Lies and The Last Boy Scout. It may not be the best decade for film as an art form but there’s an undeniable charm and value to those stupidly fun popcorn movies. That said Armageddon is one of those films that just makes me cringe but I must give Jay props for being a film critic who’s willing to be honest with himself and others and for being able to just enjoy a movie and have fun without succumbing to pretension or cynicism.

    Now for Godzilla. This is one of the few mainstream movies of recent months that has actually looked appealing to me so it’s somewhat disappointing to hear you guys come in low on it. Other reviews I’ve seen have been generally mixed though I’ve noticed that the die hard Godzilla fans seem to be a lot happier with it than they were the ’98 movie. I think it’s worth pointing out that if you look back at some of the classic Godzilla movies, the titular beast wasn’t actually in them that much either and often the first part of those films would concentrate on the more human elements of the story. I’m not trying to excuse the new Godzilla for any of the criticisms it has elicited, rather just contextualise the decisions the filmmakers may have made in an attempt to stay true to the franchise.

    And finally thanks for mentioning my comments and taking my recommendation seriously. You guys are the best and it’s so cool that you not only put out great podcasts but take the time to read all the listener feedback too. I feel humbled to be able to contribute to a community that’s so full of insightful, intelligent and friendly folks.

    – David

    • Jay,

      Finally we can agree on something! I too don’t care if a movie has artistic merit or not. I reviews movies based on many things, but at the end of the day, if it didn’t entertain me on some level, then it’s no bueno. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t feel any guilt about liking movies like Armageddon. I can watch Harold and Maude and Happy Gilmore (which I did the other day) back to back without hesitation. To me, all movies stand on equal ground and they all get merits or demerits depending on wether they’re rocking it or sucking at it. I love Armageddon. I can’t get enough of it. It’s a 10 for me *drops the mic*

  6. Godzilla is 6/10 to me. Not toward how accurate the monster was or how realistic it looked in the movie. It is not toward Godzilla but toward the movie itself. Very un-balanced writing, cheesy dialogue, mediocre acting. This movie is one bar below Pacific Rim.

    Jay is right. This movie is less about Godzilla and more about the other monsters. I felt King Kong was a much better king of monster movie now.

    • The writing is largely bad, I’ll give you that, but the acting is far from mediocre. Kick Ass is miscast, but everyone else is excellent. I think the films rides the Pacific Rim line, far exceeding it in some ways and falling short in others. After seeing it in it’s whole, I give it a 7 and say rent/theater. We fought at length on Horror Movie Podcast.

      And Jackson’s King Kong sucks.

  7. Blade Runner is awesome!!! I love every single version that’s been put out…narration and no narration (I also hate the fact that there are so many versions). Wow, a sequel…dangerous, hallowed ground. We’ll just have to wait and see.
    Armageddon is one of my guilty pleasures also…
    No worries, Josh! I just threw it out there in case it worked out! Hope you enjoyed your time in the great Pacific Northwest! Did you get a chance to check out the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria? It’s a fun little place…speaking of the Goonies…
    Jay, I haven’t seen Godzilla yet (can’t wait) but I agree with your assessment of Dark Knight rises in that I went to see a Batman movie and he’s barely in it….
    I’ll definitely check out The Story of Film documentaries.
    Jay, you were talking about Neighbors and you said you weren’t a prude. Does anyone actually think they are a prude? It’s like everyone thinks they have a great sense of humor….
    Anyway, another fun episode! Thanks so much for all your time and effort, guys!

  8. I would like to hear from Carl more about the Home Security business. Personally I had a bad experience here in The Netherlands. I wonder if the stuff he had mentioned is relevant to my situation. If this is too much off-topic for the podcast then I would appreciate if Carl can e-mail me.

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