Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 119: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) and The Search for General Tso (2015) and Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife (2015)

Episode 119

Happy new year! It’s 2015 on Movie Podcast Weekly. (So sorry this show was late!) In this episode, Jason and Andy bring you Feature Reviews of The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death and The Search for General Tso and Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife. We also bring you our usual Mini Reviews segment, as well as a brand new recommendation segment from the MPW sleeper himself called “Andy’s Unseemly Homework.” Join us!

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features three hosts — Jason, Andy and Karl — 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!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction
— No Karl this week.


[ 0:05:43 ] II. Mini Reviews
Jason: Like Father, Like Son; In Your Eyes; G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987); The Woman in Black (2012)
Andy: Ordinary Decent Criminal, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues… (The Super-Sized Version), Parkland, Now You See Me


III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
The Search for General Tso
A Most Violent Year [ Limited ]
Leviathan [ Limited ]
[REC] 4: Apocalypse


FEATURE REVIEWS HAVE TIME STAMPS:

[ 0:51:59 ] IV. Feature Review: THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH (2015)
Jason = 2 ( Avoid )


[ 0:58:49 ] V. Feature Review: LET’S KILL WARD’S WIFE (2015)
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )


[ 1:04:47 ] VI. Feature Review: THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO (2015)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )


[ 1:14:33 ] VII. Specialty Segments:

ANDY’S UNSEEMLY HOMEWORK:
Unseemly homework: Attack of the 50-Foot Cheerleader (2012) = (Avoid)
Other Andy recommendations:
The Equalizer
Edge of Tomorrow
Locke

JAY OF THE DEAD’S 1970s HORROR-THON:
The Last House on the Left (1972) = 7 ( Rental )


VIII. BONUS Recommendation: The Son (2002)

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending


COMING UP ON MPW NEXT WEEK:
TAKEN 3 and SELMA with special guest Willis Wheeler! — Join us!


LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Andy appears as a guest on Josh’s podcast: Movie Stream Cast 40: Nick Offerman: American Ham

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48 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 119: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) and The Search for General Tso (2015) and Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife (2015)

    • So by your own logic, Maleficent was a better movie than Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? And if we go down further the rabbit hole, does that mean that Titanic is *gulp* a better movie than all of the Transformers movies?

      Disclaimer: notwithstanding box office numbers, Titanic is a better movie than any of the Transformers movies.

          • Watch who you’re calling old Willis!

            Now I’ve got to go and chase those damn kids off my lawn. My stories are coming on soon and I won’t be able to hear the wireless over all their hollerin’ and that noise they call music!

          • Willis, come on bro! I can have fun. I’ve loved lots of comic book movies like the Sam Raimi’s Spider Man (1 & 2), The Avengers, Captain America, Thor, etc. I’ve even liked some toy-based movies like 1987’s masterpiece (in it’s own way) Masters of the Universe. But I won’t champion a bad movie just because it’s based on a property that I like. Can you seriously tell me with a straight face that you enjoyed the G.I. Joe movies? Now, I may be pulling and Andy here because I haven’t seen the last Transformers movie, but judging from everything that I’ve read (bad and good), I can already tell that it sucks. The first one was good, the second one bad, the third one was ok, and if you can see the pattern here, the fourth one is terrible.

    • Ha ha. Well done Willis. I like to see a man sticking up for his movie despite the opposition. I wish I could provide more support, but I wasn’t a fan of Transformers 4. In fact, I kind of hated it…

  1. To me this was the most relaxing episode I’ve listened to…Andy…you melted my heart and I just can’t believe I said that!!!

  2. I don’t know where to put this cause it could go anywhere but I need one of your guys opinions on Southern Comfort 1981..you will see this again…I loved it!!!

  3. Hello MPW hosts & group,

    Completely unrelated to this episode but, you’re the only people who could possibly enlighten me on this topic. I’m looking to explore the films of Werner Herzog and would love some guidance on where I should start. Currently I’ve only seen, “Grizzly Man” and I LOVED it. Although, I’m sure there are many other very worth while films; considering how often they’ve been referenced throughout the podcast. So, any input you guys could give would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • I actually prefer his documentaries to his fictional films, despite Jay calling a couple of them the very essence of cinema, but he is a extremely interesting filmmaker all around.

      MUST SEE DOCS BY WERNER HERZOG
      Grizzly Man
      Cave of Forgotten Dreams
      Into the Abyss

      OTHER GOOD DOCS BY WERNER HERZOG
      Encounters at the End of the World
      Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
      From One Second to the Next (short)
      Little Dieter Needs to Fly (basis of Rescue Dawn)

      MUST SEE FICTIONAL FILMS BY WERNER HERZOG
      Rescue Dawn (contemporary and great)
      Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (contemporary batshit crazy)
      Aguirre, the Wrath of God (all-time classic)
      Fitzcarraldo (all-time classic)

      OTHER FICTIONAL FILMS WORTH SEEING
      Invincible (2001)
      Nosferatu the Vampyre (weird 1979 remake of the classic)
      My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (contemporary, heavy)

      MUST SEE DOCS ABOUT WERNER HERZOG
      Burden of Dreams
      My Best Fiend
      Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

      • Wow, thank you so much for this list! I will begin immediately pumping through these. Once I watch them all, I’ll comprise my thoughts and ratings and email them to Jay so he can forward them along to you! I’m excited to experience this mans body of work & find out why he’s held in such high regard. :)

  4. Hey guys. Today i watched “Cold in July” so I went back and listened to Jason’s review of it in Episode. 106 and boy was he too hard on this movie. It was pretty great Jay!

    This is just a good old fashioned testosterone fuelled 80’s style crime thriller. Yes the plot isn’t particularly cohesive and the tone shifts about a little inconsistently but I took the whole thing as a riff on 80’s crime/action fare. Stuff like “To Live and Die in L.A” and the “Death Wish” sequels. It doesn’t totally make sense but it’s a hell of a ride. Jay said that he got bored somewhere in the middle but this movie had me transfixed throughout wondering what twist was round the next corner. The dynamic between the 3 main characters was lots of fun, the pacing was excellent, the action was subdued and minimal but intense when it needed to be and the atmosphere was tense and gritty. Pretty much everything I want from this kind of film. Also the score was an awesome homage to John Carpenter; minimalist synth pulses wracking up the tension. This is certainly a flawed film but compared to most of the mainstream crime/action/thriller schlock that we get it was great. 7/10.

    Also this week I watched:
    Housebound (2014) which is a 7.5/10
    Animal (2014) which is a 6.5/10

    And I rewatched a couple of the better Godzilla movies, namely “Gojira” (1954) and “Return of Godzilla” (1984) and I came to the realisation that most of these criticism’s thrown at the 2014 movie must be coming from people who haven’t seen many Godzilla flicks or who are only familiar with the lamer ones like “Destroy all Monsters” which is just a bunch of monster fight footage clumsily stuck together. The two movies I watched probably had less “Godzilla” screen-time than the new one, way less action and monster vs monster action and WAY more scenes of humans talking about politics and nuclear weapons and such. And these are the better movies from the series because they know not to blow their load all at once instead slowly building up to the titular beast in all his glory. Just like the 2014 movie.

    I also rewatched “The Neverending Story” which is still amazing to me. All i can say is that I wish they still made fantasy films with this much imagination and heart (and practical effects) today. 9/10.

    • My score is not too far from yours, but you seem a lot more enthusiastic about it. I don’t know why I didn’t like it as much. It certainly was my kind of movie, but I don’t know, I guess I just didn’t “feel” it. It’s a 6 for me, but I’ll probably revisit it. It bothers me a little that I felt sort of neutral about it.

      • It is a bit of an odd duck narrative wise but I think I tend to be pretty forgiving of plot incongruities and contrivances if the atmosphere and characters draw me in enough and that’s probably the case in this instance. I loved the feel of the film and I found the characters pretty compelling.

  5. Also I’m quite eager to see “The Search for General Tso”, partly because I love documentaries about food but also because I’ve always been curious as to what General Tso’s Chicken is. As far as I know Chinese restaurants and takeaways here don’t serve it. We have Salt and Pepper Chicken and Kung Po Chicken and Satay Chicken etc but not General Tso’s.

    I’d be quite grateful if anyone could recommend me some more food oriented documentaries. I’ve yet to watch “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” though it’s definitely on my list but if there are any more good ones let me know!

    • David, I haven’t seen The Search for General Tso, but just from the trailer alone I can tell that your time will be better spent watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I have a few Chinese friends and I’ve been told by them that General Tso chicken is not a Chinese invention, but an American one. Don’t be sad for the lack of GTC in your area. You’re not missing much. In fact, Kung Pao (which is available to you) chicken is far superior in my opinion. You also have to consider the fact that not everything labeled “Chinese” in a menu makes it authentic. A large portion of “Chinese” restaurants in the U.S. don’t serve authentic Chinese food simply because the ingredients needed are either hard to come by or impossible find. That’s why I’d recommend having a good mix of Asian friends so they can guide you through your culinary quest. I know in my case, that’s been very rewarding.

      • Oh I have no illusions about General Tso’s Chicken being an authentic Chinese dish or the authenticity represented by the majority of Chinese restaurants. I guess GTC is similar to a Chicken Tikka Masala which is a dish you’ll find in almost every single Indian restaurant in the UK but is actually somewhat an Anglicised bastardisation of proper Indian cuisine. Maybe I’m weird but I’m fascinated by the way exotic cuisines adapt and mutate when they’re introduced to other countries.

        “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is definitely higher up my list of must watch Docs though. I think I’ve heard both Josh and yourself praise it so I won’t let it slip past me.

        And as for having lots of Asian friends, unfortunately my town is only slightly more multicultural than a Klan meeting but I did make friends with a Chinese guy down in Cambridge and he really loved his food but would often complain that the so-called Asian restaurants here were inaccurate and stingy on the portions!

  6. By the way, I’ve been on a crime thriller mood lately and if anyone remembers those movies from the 90s-early 2000s, they weren’t all great. Still, I’m having a pretty good time and this cold weather only enhances the movies’ effectiveness. I’m saving the better and more original ones for later. Here’s what I’ve been watching:

    Taking Lives (2004)
    Not bad, but not memorable. You get to see a Angelina Jolie’s best asset (and not, I’m not talking about her lips), so if you still haven’t seen that side of her then this is your chance! I’ll give this movie this much: it has one of the craziest (and laughable) endings I’ve ever seen. It’s a 6 and it’s streaming on Netflix.

    Murder by Numbers (2002)
    Now this is a pretty good one. It stars Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling, and Michael Pitt. All three are great and you can see Gosling and Pitt starting to flex their acting muscles to great effect. The story is like Karl (or the movie’s tittle) would say by-the-numbers, but it’s very entertaining nonetheless. It’s no Seven, but then again, what is? It’s an 8 and it’s streaming on Netflix.

    The Glass House (2001)
    A crime thriller with teens. What could go wrong? Apparently plenty, which is why thankfully we didn’t see many of these. It’s amazing though that three great talents were wasted on this: Bruce Dern, Diane Lane, and Stellan Skarsgard. Skarsgard gets the most screen time and he does what he can with what he has. But the script is ridiculous so all he does is ridiculous things. This is a 5 and it’s streaming on Netflix.

    Primal Fear (1996)
    Straightforward as can be, but with a great final twist that sends chills down your spine. I’m not a big fan of Edward Norton, but he excels here even if his character is a bit of a caricature. This is a 7 for me and it’s streaming on Amazon Prime.

    Copy Cat (1995)
    I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. I think it’s a great premise but it didn’t deliver as much as I wanted it to. It’s very entertaining and it has one of Sigourney Weaver’s better performances. It also stars the lovely Holly Hunter, who I love and who’s always great. This is a 7 for me.

    Any good ones or obscure ones that y’all would like to recommend?

      • Hey! I can’t speak for the others because I haven’t seen them but I do enjoy “Primal Fear” and “Copycat”.

        And Juan, I hugely back Josh’s “True Detective” recommendation as it’s of a FAR higher quality than most movies in this vein though I also can’t remember if you’ve watched it or not.

        But if your heart is set on feature films then off the top of my head I’d suggest “Resurrection” from 1999. It’s very much a “Se7en” rip-off but is fairly enjoyable and has some pretty strong gore.

        And two Stallone movies: “Cop Land” (1997) which is amazing (and you’ve probably already seen) and “D-tox” (2002) which I’ve not actually seen the end of yet but the first hour or so seemed kind of promising.

        If you’re wanting something a bit more 80’s and a bit more actiony there’s “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985) which I mentioned in my “Cold in July” review. It’s loads of fun, very stylish and sleazy and it features an amazing car chase sequence. It’s also directed by William Friedkin and has Willem Dafoe playing a bad guy!

        • Yes, sorry. PRIMAL FEAR is great. But, the others … uughhh.

          For some 80s classics in the genre (and sorry for the obvious recommendations if you’ve seen them), try De Palma’s BLOW OUT (one of my all-time favorite films), The Coen Brothers’ BLOOD SIMPLE, Lawrence Kassdan’s BODY HEAT, and David Mamet’s HOUSE OF GAMES.

          Also, if you’re interested, I’d be curious to hear what you think of the little indie Mormon murder thriller, BRIGHAM CITY. It has some non-professional actors that are a bit rough, but I really enjoy it and find it pretty thematically interesting.

          • I have not watched True Detective yet, but it’s at the top of my list.

            You don’t like Murder by Numbers, Josh? Come on, it’s not that bad. And look at all that talent on screen! But hey, I like watching crappy movies too and with no guilt whatsoever.

            David, I’ve seen both Stallone movies. Cop Land is great. I like it a lot and I think it’s Stallone’s best movie besides Rocky of course. D-tox is called Eye See You in the states and it’s ok. I think the beginning was much better than the end.

            I’m not as well versed in 80’s crime thrillers so I’ll add all of those recommendations to my queue. Blood Simple is one of my favorites, Josh. It’s got to be in my top… something… top 20 of all time maybe. Did you know that there’s a Chinese remake called A Simple Noodle Story? I haven’t seen it, but it’s from the same director that did Hero, which I’m a big fan of. I’d be curious to check it out.

          • I think MURDER BY NUMBERS is pretty damn silly. Yes, good cast, but probably the worst film either of the guys has done and neither of them were names when this movie was made. Sandy is extremely hit or miss for me and this is on the miss list.

            I haven’t seen any of these in years, but if I was going to rate them now, I’d give PRIMAL FEAR an 8 and the rest of these somewhere in the 3-4 range.

            Other 90s films of this ilk, that I think are a bit better than these, are the Clint Eastwood flicks BLOOD WORK and ABSOLUTE POWER. And if you like that political angle in the latter, I’d add MURDER AT 1600. I’d also say the Alex Cross movies with Morgan Freeman are better than these, KISS THE GIRLS and ALONG CAME A SPIDER. DOUBLE JEOPARDY is okay too. Normally, none of these are go-to recommendations for me, with ratings in the 5-6 range, but if you are in the mood, these will do the job.

            A movie I like better than any we’ve discussed (from the 90s) is Fincher’s THE GAME. That’s basically a 10 for me. If you haven’t seen that, I’d give it a go. I also really like the Hitchcock remake of DIAL M FOR MURDER with Michael Douglas and Gweneth Paltrow, A PERFECT MURDER, which is probably a 7-8 for me.

  7. I’m not nearly as annoyed with you guys trying to get under my skin as I am with your new(ish) incongruent bumper music and Andy’s terrible segment intro. Get with the program, Jay!

  8. My revised list, as I have seen some more movies: (I took off a couple of mine because they are listed as 2013 films on letterboxd)

    1. Intersteller 2. Gone Girl 3. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies 4. The Babadook 5. Noah 6. Edge of Tomorrow 7. The Grand Budapest Hotel 8. Boyhood 9. The Lego Movie 10. TIE: Guardians of the Galaxy / Captain America: The Winter Soldier / X-Men: Days of Future Past

    Still to see (that could possibly make the list):Whiplash, Nightcrawler, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Fury, The Imitation Game, American Sniper, The Gambler, John Wick, Force Majure

    Couldn’t be upset that Willis won the contest last week – when I heard his name a big smile crept on my face.

  9. Very nice episode, guys. Jason, thank you again for considering women. I look forward for Cindy’s opinions. Although, don’t take it too seriously. Just keep on doing great show as you, guys, did. I definitely send some recommendations for Andy to watch but are you, guys, limited to Netflix and Amazon? I don’t have access to that, don’t know what’s streaming there and what not…

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