Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 113: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) and Stretch (2014) and #Stuck (2014) and Mom’s Night Out (2014)

Episode 113

Happy Thanksgiving! Jason is profusely sorry that this episode is two days late, but it’s got great news that will make up for it! The actor and our favorite Irishman Karl Huddleston returns! We also bring you special guest William Rowan Jr., while covering Feature Reviews for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Stretch and #Stuck and Mom’s Night Out. And of course, we bring you Mini Reviews and some talk about trailers! And if you like what you hear, leave us a review in iTunes or leave a donation through our PayPal buttons or both! Above all, subscribe for free in iTunes.

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Josh — 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 or on VOD, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. And we usually provide specialized genre recommendations. New episodes release every single Tuesday. Join us!


I. Introduction
— Welcome back, Karl Huddleston!
— Welcome special guest William Rowan Jr.

II. Mini Reviews
Karl: Forever (TV series), soundtrack to Interstellar
Jason: The Proposition, Scenic Route
Josh: Venus in Fur, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
William Rowan Jr: Happiness
Andy: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Art of the Steal (2014), Chelsea Peretti “One of the Greats”

III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
The Theory of Everything [ Expanded ]
Happy Valley [ Limited ]
The Sleepwalker [ Limited ]
V/H/S: Viral [ Limited ]
Extraterrestrial [ Limited ]


[ 1:01:43 ] IV. Feature Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (2014)
Jason = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Josh = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
William Rowan Jr. = 7 ( Theater / Rental )
Natalie Pyles = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 1:27:33 ] V. Feature Review: #STUCK (2014)
Jason = 4.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

[ 1:37:36 ] VI. Feature Review: STRETCH (2014)
Jason = 7.5 ( Rental )
Andy = 8.5 ( Rental )
Josh = 6 ( Rental )
William Rowan Jr. = 6.5 ( Stream it. Low-priority Rental )

[ 1:54:48 ] VII. Feature Review: MOM’S NIGHT OUT (2014)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )
Natalie Pyles = 5 ( Rental )

VIII. Movie Trailer and Other Cinema-related News:
— Star Wars Ep. VII teaser trailer
— Jurassic World teaser trailer
— Project Almanac trailer (formerly Welcome to Yesterday) returns
— Insurgent trailer (Jason double-dog dares you to watch this!)
— The passing of director Mike Nichols (The Graduate)
— Steve Carell, potential Oscar nominee!

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— We’d like to thank Randy, Shane and Michal for their continued support with their monthly recurring donations of $2 each month! You guys are the best! Jason is extra sorry to you that this week’s show was posted two days late…



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

38 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 113: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) and Stretch (2014) and #Stuck (2014) and Mom’s Night Out (2014)

    • I thought the trailer was just fine. It didn’t exactly erase the abysmal Jurassic Park III out of my mind, but it got me in a nostalgic enough mood to give me hope that it will be better than that movie—which wouldn’t be a great accomplishment, really. Anyway, I like Chris Pratt.

  1. Man, I’ve just watched the Jurassic World trailer and it looks like it’s going to be kind of lame. Why are the special effects in this less convincing than those in its two decade old predecessor. Why with such a large budget does everything have to be CGI? With the original they knew that the success of the film was riding on the believability of it’s creature effects so they went to extreme measures to integrate extremely impressive CG with practical animatronics. Now it’s almost like audiences just expect over-polished, shiny CGI as opposed to actual real things on the screen. Where’s the grit? I want grit dammit.

    Also it looks like the most ridiculously dangerous theme park to ever be allowed to exist. it looks more dangerous than the abandoned theme park me and my friends used to break into until a ghost chased us away. And why is Noomi Rapace from Prometheus hybridising dinosaur DNA and why is the main guy a burly heartthrob instead of wrinkly old Sam Neill. I want scruffy wrinkly oldman Neill dammit.

    And those kids have been on my lawn again!

    • Pretty much agree with everything you said (about Jurassic World), except I really like Chris Pratt. He does seem like he would be a burly heartthrob for the ladies (and some men). Yes he has the looks but he is also very witty, charming and funny at the same time. I find him to be the closest thing to Harrison Ford we have had in a long time.

      • Well at that point of my post I was becoming a more than a little facetious; in reality I’m sure Chris Pratt will do the best job possible with the material given to him.

        I don’t like being judgemental based on actors looks but I do sometimes feel that a lot of modern movie stars are very generic looking to me. I like actors with weird faces.

        • I agree with your take on heartthrobs vs weird faces … hahaha … but I’ll make an exception for an interesting actor like Chris Pratt. After you finish your run with the American Office, make sure you check out Season 3-4 of Parks & Recreation and you’ll fall in love with him as well.

          • I’ve been meaning to check out Parks & Recreation for a while actually. Is it a similar style of comedy to the American Office?

            I’m actually already on season 6 of The Office. I’m addicted. I love it!

          • So glad you like it. Now, we have something to talk about!

            Yes, Parks&Rec is very similar to The Office and just as funny in it’s own way. Leslie Knope is the new Michael Scott (but unique to Amy Poehler). Ron Swanson is the new Dwight Shrute (but is unique to Nick Offerman). And characters like Chris Pratt’s Andy Dwyer and Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger are incredible, original characters. This is also an awesome showcase for actors Adam Scott (who is always good) and Aubrey Plaza (at her career best). The only character I actively dislike on the show is Jean-Ralphio. He’s only in 19 episodes of 125, but they are all exhausting.

            This is from the same Producers as the American Office and was initially going to be a spin-off show that featured Andy Bernard and Karen Filipelli. Rashida Jones is still in the cast (as a different character than The Office, but just as lovely), it’s also in the mockumentary style, and it is a nice place to go for laughs once you’ve exhausted your Dunder/Mifflin resources. I think it is hilarious, but I think it takes awhile to get going. It starts to find it’s legs for me in the 2nd season and the real heart of the show are seasons 3 and 4. It never gets better than that.

          • It sounds great. I’ll need something to help me out when I finish The Office because it’s become somewhat of a warm blanket to me in this miserable November weather.

            P.S. My copy of Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans arrived the other day and I’m already a big fan after only a few listens. Thanks for yet another great recommendation Josh!

    • This trailer actually got me really excited. I’m guessing there will be a lot more grit to come in the movie. This is just teasing the concept to a mainstream audience who wants it to look like Whedon’s The Avengers or Abram’s Star Trek. Also, it is VERY rare that trailers have finished CGI shots in them, so those may improve as well. I don’t like the hybrid-dino-DNA idea, but the rest looks like fun to me. I’m off to watch The Lost World now (for the first time since it was in theaters), thanks to this.

      • Well you could be right Josh. There’s certainly some potential there but I’m not convinced. And it’s not that the CGI is atrocious or anything but it’s things like the dead shark. I’m pretty sure that’s CGI. Why does that have to be CGI? Is it that hard to make a realistic model of an inanimate shark? I don’t know. I’m just in a real curmudgeonly mood at the moment.

        As for The Lost World, that’s one of those movies that everyone seems to totally hate but I actually have a soft spot for. Maybe it’s nostalgia because I saw it in the cinema with my dinosaur obsessed friend when we were only 10 but I always thought it was a fairly entertaining popcorn movie. Nothing close to the original but kind of fun.

        • The Lost World is not terrible, but it’s not great either. It’s ok + Jeff Goldblum. If he hadn’t been involved, the movie wouldn’t have been as tolerable. I don’t know, it’s like a 6 for me.

          • Juan, I think I’d probably come in with a 6 too. Not great but not as bad as people make out. Again though, that could just be the nostalgia talking.

  2. And is Andy purposely trying to drive me insane? Last week he’s talking smack about The Killing and this week he’s hating on The Graduate? THE GRADUATE!!!

    We need to hold an intervention. Andy’s zoloft abuse is obviously affecting his brain.

      • Basically it’s about a guy who’s just graduated college and finds himself in a listless state. He’s seduced by an older woman; a married friend of his parents and then more stuff happens. It’s not exactly a high concept movie, rather a nuanced character piece that expertly captures the aimless malaise and spontaneous disregard for consequences that so many of us experience in our early twenties. It’s also got a classic soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel and a brilliant turn by a relatively young Dustin Hoffman as the lead. It’s a 10/10 for me and a must see.

  3. Hi guys! Sorry for not showing you love during Thanksgiving, but there was just too many delicious foods to eat. Anyway, I don’t have any comments to make on the movies cover on this episode, but here’s what I’ve been watching these last couple of weeks along with a few thoughts:

    Burt’s Buzz
    A very endearing, if shallow, look at the figure behind Burt’s Bees. Not the most exciting thing to watch, but there’s no denying that Burt is quite an interesting and unique character that demands your attention. The documentary doesn’t go very deep into Burt’s mind, which is a shame because I feel that there’s a lot more to him than he lets on. There were a lot of questions left unanswered that bugged me, but I was still fascinated by the kind of life Burt leads. This is an 8 and it’s streaming on Netflix, so check it out!

    Sin City: Recut
    This is not a director’s cut. These are Sin City’s stories re-cut in sequential order. We get all four stories told separately from beginning to end. It was kind of a weird experience to be honest. I didn’t enjoy the movie as much, but I appreciated seeing the stories uninterrupted. It just goes to show you how big of an impact editing has on the final product. I’m not sure I’d recommend this, but if you’re curious it’s available through Netflix’s DVD-by-mail. The original Sin City is a 10 for me and this recut is a 7.

    Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
    My original plan was to watch the original Sin City and then watch A Dame to Kill For, but I instead watched an inferior version of the original, so I couldn’t really fully compare the two like I intended to. Even so, after watching the much inferior recut of Sin City, I was still disappointed by A Dame to Kill For. It’s not a bad movie at all. It does everything the first movie did, but I think it ends up falling into the been-there-done-that territory. Not only that, but it never reaches the heights of the first Sin City. This new cast isn’t as strong as the previous one in my opinion, so that’s another minor complain. All in all though, this was still very entertaining. It’s a 7.5 for me.

    The Final Member
    Funnily enough, the most disturbing thing about this documentary is not its subject matter or its depiction of all kinds of genitalia, it’s the characters. And to be fair, not all of the characters here are disturbing. There is one character in particular hailing from the good ol’ U.S. of A. that is so creepy and quite unlikeable too. It’s an entertaining watch, but not much else and it’s a 7 for me.

    A Lonely Place to Die
    This was such a disappointment. Like Jay, I’m a premise guy. I loved this movie as soon as I read the premise and being a big Melissa George fan, I thought I was in for a great time. I was wrong. This movie starts out pretty strong, but it begins to burn rather quickly and it completely crashes in a big ball of fire by the movie’s end. The movie didn’t even deliver on its premise, so yeah, don’t waste your time on this one. It’s a 4 and it’s streaming on Netflix.

    Batman Returns
    It’s a shame when you go back to movies that you watched as a kid and think very highly of them and after watching them as an adult you realize that they’re not as good as you thought they were. That’s how I feel about this movie. It’s a solid watch. Burton delivers the goods as far as art direction and cinematography—the movie looks gorgeous. I love the cast and they do as much as they can with the script, but unfortunately there’s not much there. While not as unashamedly loud and silly as the upcoming Schumacher movies, Burton’s version of Batman is still pretty silly. It’s definitely not as dark as I remembered. This is a 7 for me.

    It’s quite remarkable how unlikeable the characters of this movie are. I literally hated every single character on screen from beginning to end. How they managed to do that and more importantly, why they would do that is beyond my grasp. I’m all for violence in movies. I think when done correctly it enhances the tension of action scenes. In here, it does nothing. There’s just violence for the sake of violence and it ends up being tiring and annoying, much like the movie itself. Avoid this at all cost. It’s a 2 and blah.

    Robocop 2
    As with Batman Returns, this is another sequel from my childhood that I held very dear to my heart until I revisited it not long ago. It’s still a very entertaining movie, just not as good as the first Robocop. There are still hints of greatness, just not enough. This is a totally biased score, but it’s an 8 for me.

    Dumb and Dumber To
    As a huge fan of the original, I was extremely pleased when I found out that my favorite comedy of all time was getting a sequel. I had my reservations going into this movie, but to my surprise, it didn’t disappoint… as much as it could have. Dumb and Dumber To is most definitely not the hit that I was foolishly expecting, but it manages to be almost as funny as the original in more than a few parts. The movie starts out pretty weak, but it picks up and maintains a steady flow of funny jokes for a good while until it ceases to be funny altogether. But the biggest problem the movie has is that Carrey and Daniels are not able to fully get into character. Most of the time it seems like you’re watching two actors who are trying to play their part, but can’t. Jim Carrey succeeds the most by being able to channel his Lloyd-isms and get them right for the most part. Daniels, on the other hand, fails miserably most of the time. I still have to give them props for trying and I’m just glad that this wasn’t as horrible as it could’ve been. It’s a 6.5 and stay for the stinger at the end. It’s very nice fan service.

    Django Unchained
    I love Quentin Tarantino. He’s probably my favorite director and his work has never disappointed me—even the “lesser” films are still great films in my mind. Django Unchained is not a lesser film, it’s far from that. It’s one of Tarantino’s best and proof that he hasn’t ran out of steam yet. My only real complaint is Jamie Foxx. He did a great job and he brought a certain amount of “coolness” to the character, but he just seemed a bit out of place compared to everyone else. That may have been intentional but it can be distracting at times. Other than that, everything is of the highest quality as usual. In my book, this is another Tarantino masterpiece. It’s a 10 and it’s streaming on Netflix, so get on it!

    • Great reviews all around, Juan.

      I’ve been meaning to see Burt’s Buzz. Sounds worth seeing. I have seen the Final Member. Did I ever talk about it? I don’t think I did. Weird movie all around. I agree with your points there.

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