Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 128: Chappie (2015) and Unfinished Business (2015) and Man From Reno (2015)

Episode 128

Joshua Ligairi is back for a visit along with our friend and special guest, William Rowan Jr. So, welcome to Episode 128 of Movie Podcast Weekly! In this show, we bring you three Feature Reviews of Chappie and Unfinished Business and Man From Reno. This is one of our weirdest shows, tonally, ever. But we bring you all our usual shenanigans, including our Mini Reviews and a Continuing Education segment from our very own Joshua Ligairi! 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, 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.


I. Introduction
— Joshua Ligairi is back for a visit!
— Welcome special guest William Rowan Jr.

II. Mini Reviews
Josh: The Captive
Jason: Big Hero 6, Hear Jason’s new “5 Minutes of Horror” review of The Remaining, and Jason says check out William Rowan Jr’s new show The Sci-Fi Podcast
William Rowan Jr: Romantics Anonymous
Andy: Stand-up comedy: Russell Brand’s “Messiah Complex,” The Rover (again)

III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
Unfinished Business
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Coup
Merchants of Doubt
Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank


[ 0:42:49 ] IV. Feature Review: CHAPPiE (2015)
Jason = 3.5 ( Avoid )
William Rowan Jr. = 9 ( Rental )

[ 1:18:03 ] V. Feature Review: UNFINISHED BUSINESS (2015) — with complete and total major plot spoilers by Andy
Andy = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 1:37:34 ] VI. Feature Review: MAN FROM RENO (2015)
Josh = 9 ( Theater / Rental )
William Rowan Jr. = 9 ( Rental )

[ 2:02:44 ] VII. Specialty Segment:

Cinematic Oddity: Roar (1981)

Also from Josh: The lions at Tippi Hedren’s house. Nuts.

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Episode 129 when we’ll be reviewing “Run All Night” (since “The Following” is only going to be in Limited release) and Karl will be reviewing “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”


Don’t forget to check out William Rowan Jr.’s The Sci-Fi Podcast

Provo Film Society on Facebook
Provo Film Society on Twitter

Jay’s 5 Minutes of Horror review on “The Remaining” (2015)

Jason highly recommends trying out Mattroid and William Rowan Jr.’s new, must-listen show — The SciFi Podcast

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

Contact MPW:
E-mail us:
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
Follow MPW on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly
Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

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Keep up with Josh:
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

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

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

48 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 128: Chappie (2015) and Unfinished Business (2015) and Man From Reno (2015)

  1. It’s great to have Josh back but there’s a weird undertone to this episode, like one of those group therapy sessions where everyone’s pent up frustrations and passive aggressive tendencies boil to the surface.

    It’s kind of awkward but fascinating.

    • What you’ve described here, David, just seems like a regular old episode of Movie Podcast Weekly to me. ha ha. Yeah, there is definitely a weird tone to this show.

      • I don’t know what y’all are talking about. I can only speak for myself, but I came to podcast. I had three movies I really wanted to discuss (The Captive, Man From Reno, and Roar), I was happy to be there to share them, and I was ready to do my job.

        I don’t exactly know what was up with William’s shenanigans (although I wasn’t phased) or Jason and Andy saying that I was upset (or whatever they were saying), but there was zero going-on on my end.

        Of course, I missed the entire Chappie/Unfinished Business portion of the show, so perhaps all the “awkward, pent-up frustrations and passive aggressive tendencies boiling to the surface” took place there. Otherwise, I really have no idea what you guys are talking about when you refer to a “weird tone.”

        • Yeah I second Josh’s comment. I didn’t pick up on any weird tones either. Could you maybe point out a moment so I could pay close attention and see if I can pick up these vibes that you speak of? Or I guess I could just listen to the whole thing again haha.

  2. Hello Guys,

    Really glad I have found your show and I am catching up on old your old podcasts and enjoying each one of them at work. You guys are always on point and sometimes I disagree with you and sometimes I agree but always the conversation is so much fun to listen to.

    As for seeing movies at a drive in I have to say for me at least it is the worst experience. The picture is grainy and the sound is horrible. If you guys could recommend a good drive in place and what is needed when going to a drive in. Your must have to have a great drive in experience.

    Also I would love to hear your review of my one of my all time favorite movies.

    “Midnight Madness” it is corny but in the tradition of Rat Race, its a mad mad mad mad world, and scavenger hunt. Please tell me what you think for me it is an 8. I know sad but I do own it and it is my guilty pleasure and go to movie to make me feel better.

    What are your guilty pleasure movies?

    Well look forward to hearing back from you and keep up the good work.

    Thank you
    Mario Leon

    • Mario,
      Jason here. Thanks for your comment. We’re so glad you like the show.

      I absolutely LOVE “Midnight Madness”! I have watched that movie, probably, 30 times in the ’80s. It’s in my Top 10 all-time favorite guilty pleasures, for sure. Here’s proof that I’ve seen it: Doofus on the blue team: “Uh … Fag-a-beefie?” There’s a deep cut for ya…

      One more thing on “Midnight Madness”… When I was in my twenties, I actually planned one of my birthday parties to be an elaborate scavenger hunt race, patterned after this movie. Thanks for reminding me of it.

      Other favorite guilty pleasures of mine:
      Flash Gordon (1980)
      Alien: Resurrection (1997)
      Battlefield Earth (2000)
      and my two most frequently watched guilty pleasures:
      Independence Day (1996)
      Armageddon (1998)

      Tell us more of yours!
      Thanks for writing.

      • Are these your guilty pleasures for the Sci-Fi Podcast or it it just a coincidence that all of them approach science fiction? A few comments …

        First, I wouldn’t call Independence Day a guilty pleasure. It’s one of the best action movies of the 90s. It has to be somewhere in the Top 10 with T2, The Rock, Mission Impossible, Speed, Bad Boys, Point Break, Face Off, The Fugitive and The Matrix.

        Second, I didn’t think you were ashamed in any way of your love for Alien: Resurrection. I thought you defended it as an actual good film. No?

        Third, the rest of these are nearly unwatchable, they are so bad. I get the guilty, but how does pleasure enter into the picture?

        • Jay, great list bro. You and I don’t see eye to eye often, but it seems that our guilty pleasures (well, guilty for you, not me) are basically the same.

          Josh, stop hating on a CRITERION MOVIE please? Armageddon is a classic and it is one of the greatest action flicks of all time. You can quote me on that bro. BUT I do agree with your list of best action movies of the ’90s. May I add these to the mix? Most of them aren’t top 10 material, but I’d say FOR SURE True Lies is top 10.

          Demolition Man
          Die Hard 2
          Die Hard with a Vengeance
          Con Air
          True Lies
          Lethal Weapon 3
          Lethal Weapon 4
          Universal Soldier
          Robocop 2
          Leon: The Professional
          Total Recall

          • Oooohh, uuuugghh … No, you may not add those to my mix, Juan! Haha

            Leon and Heat, okay … I just don’t think of either of those as primarily action, but there is plenty to warrant inclusion.

            True Lies is fun, but not Top 10 worthy. Same with Die Hard 3. The others … blech.

            Armageddon is pure trash and it is only part of the Criterion Collection because Disney owned Criterion at the time (still does? I don’t know).

          • But seriously, those are all classics in their own way. They’re almost like the B-movies of the action world.

            True Lies is MILES ahead of The Rock, Bad Boys, Point Break, and Face/Off. Come on, Josh! If you were ever out of your element, this is it bro. THIS. IS. IT!

            • @Juan – I’ll ignore that you mentioned POINT BREAK in the same breath as those other movies. It’s a classic, bro.

        • Come on Josh! “Flash Gordon”, “Alien: Resurrection” and “Independence Day” are all pretty good. And “Battlefield Earth” is a fascinating and hilarious collage of stupidity. It’s so staggeringly miscalculated that it’s beautiful.

          Jay: I am curious if your appreciation for “Battlefield Earth” is of a similar nature to mine or if you somehow have the ability to appreciate it as a simple old fashioned action movie or something?

          What kind of evil alien overlord bangs his head on the overhead structure of his spaceship and says “Crap lousy ceiling!”

          • Ok, I’ll concede that Flash Gordon is fine for a list like this too, but not GOOD. And I’m not bending on Alien Resurrection, Battlefield Earth, Demolition Man, Con Air, Universal Soldier, etc. Terrible. And Armageddon is just the worst.

          • “Armageddon” makes me want to punch Michael Bay in the face.

            I still remember the first time I ever heard of that movie. It was on the coach coming back from a school trip to France. We passed by a big “Armageddon” billboard and being a dumb kid I said “What the heck is Armageddon?” and the kid beside me said “It’s a movie about giant Armadillos.”

            That’s a movie I’d much rather have seen.

            And if I never again have to hear a drunk guy singing that Aerosmith song to his pregnant girlfriend in a karaoke bar then I will die a marginally less angry man.

      • Hello Jason,

        Thank you for your reply and since you wanted to know more of my guilty pleasures here you go:

        1) Midnight Madness (1980)
        2) Sgt Bilko (1996)
        3) Bugsy Malone (1976)
        4) Newsies (1992)
        5) The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) LET THEM PLAY!!!! love that chant.

        As you can tell I like my kid and musical movies.

        I will have to defend your pick on two of your guilty pleasures.

        One Flash Gordon, who does not love that line “Flash Gordon quarterback New York Jets!” and a movie that you see and come out chanting the song for the next few days at home is a winner. You know the song Flash Gordon

        Just in case your forgot it sticks in your head for awhile!

        Also number 2 Armageddon have to love this movie I saw this movie in the theater with my son who was seven at the time. Any movie that can make a seven year old cry when Liv Tyler says goodbye to Bruce Willis has me for life. My wife picked him up and hugged him and said why are you crying. To this day I love his response. “I’m going to miss him to…”

        Also if you have time I would like to recommend two movies that I saw recently:

        1) Sushi Girl 6.5 very violent some nudity but a great cast and seeing Mark Hamil play someone other than Luke Skywalker is always a treat!

        2) Desert Runners 7.5 Documentary about a group of ultramarthons who try to complete the grandslam of running all 4 deserts in one year. I found it fascinating and motivating that people do this. I loved the stories.

        Please let me know what you think and look forward to hearing your review!

        Thank you


    You know I had a very curious experience with Chappie. When I initially watched it for the first time, I kind of hated it—not nearly as much as Jay—but I didn’t love it. There were too many distracting things going on that took me out of the experience, namely Die Antwoord. For those who don’t know this musical oddity, Die Antwoord is a rap trio from South Africa that mixes dance and rave music into their sound, creating a very unique style of music that they themselves label as Zef, which also doubles as a style of subculture. Anyway, I’ve been a fan of them for a while, so when I went into Chappie knowing that they were going to be in it, I was very excited. Little did I know that they were going to be such a major part of the movie AND that they were basically not only going to play themselves, but brand every freaking thing with their style. My impression coming out of the movie the first time was that Chappie was basically the most expensive, most elaborate commercial for an artist. I mean, their logos, their faces, their clothing line, their music, their everything was all over the place. It was a very weird and surreal experience. I was caught so off guard that I didn’t know how to react. I hated Die Antwoord for ruining one of my most anticipated movies of the year and I hated Blomkamp for allowing it to happen.

    After the rage subsided and my brain began analyzing the movie itself, I found a lot of things to like, and after hearing one of the smartest people I know rave about it, I decided to give it a second chance. Knowing what I didn’t know at first, I was able to look past my initial problems and concentrate on the meat of the movie. I loved Chappie the second time around. I think it’s everything a science fiction movie should strive to be. It’s smart, meaningful, emotional, complex, humorous, and it has a lovable titular character that’s as memorable as any science fiction character that has come before it. Chappie, as in both the movie and the character, isn’t perfect. I have my fair share of problems with it. I feel like there were scenes that felt rushed that could have benefited from a little fleshing out. For instance, the programing of the A.I. didn’t feel earned. It just sort of happened and there was no sense of accomplishment. I understand that there was a need to introduce Chappie as fast as possible in order for it to grow and learn throughout the course of the movie, but a few more minutes might have helped. The cinematography was also lacking a bit. Going back to District 9, that movie looked gorgeous. Chappie, although it retains the same look as District 9, doesn’t look as well framed. There were many scenes where the framing was just bad and distracting, which is a shame because there were some beautiful scenes that I wanted more of, but didn’t get. One last complaint is the villain. I love Hugh Jackman and he was fine here, but his character is so weak for a villain. There was never any real threat from him until the very end. But even the big robot itself had weaknesses that were exploited and was dealt with fairly easily. Aside from these petty complaints, I think Chappie is quite an accomplishment. One thing that Jay and Solo forgot to mention were how incredible the special effects are. I mean, Chappie looks so incredibly real! And for CGI to be able to interact with humans for the entire movie without ever looking fake, is quite the feat.

    Chappie asks some very deep and hard to answer questions and for the most part it answers them even if in the most subtle of ways. I like that we are given food for thought and we’re not given definitive answers, but rather we’re given the freedom to make up our own and in some cases even come up with questions of our own. The most powerful moment in the movie for me was when Chappie asks “If you’re my maker, why did you make me so I would die?” As someone who struggled for the majority of his life with the concept of life and death and never found a satisfactory answer, this reached a part of me that I tend to shut off for my own sanity. The film might not have answered this question for me, but it reminded me of the question, and sometimes that’s good enough.

    Anyway, sorry about all the fluff. Chappie is a 9.

    • I’ve still not even seen “Elysium” never mind “Chappie” but I adore “District 9”.

      And I loved the point in this episode when someone suggested that those 3 movies might actually be a trilogy of sorts.

      • David, I would say that District 9 is a sci-fi masterpiece and it’s probably my favorite sci-fi movie from the last 20 years or so, maybe just behind Inception. Chappie is a close to being a masterpiece, but it falls a bit short of that status. Still, it’s definitely in my top 10 and maybe even top 5 favorite modern sci-fi movies. Elysium for me falls more on the pretty good range. I really need to re-visit it, it seems like a blur in my mind. Perhaps because it wasn’t that memorable.

        • As someone who has seen all 3 movies do you feel that they are in anyway re-contextualised by the consideration of them as a trilogy? The violent-shanty-town-science-fiction-ethics-lesson trilogy.

          There’s something really appealing to me about a filmmaker producing a trilogy of sci-fi films that are in fact a series of 3 modern parables; each film being a different lens by which to view our own sociological dilemmas. To me that’s what science fiction is all about at its roots, it’s a prism that refracts the social anxieties of the present into a pattern of futuristic entertainment.

          • Hmm… that’s a very good question, David. And that’s a very well put examination of what sci-fi is or can be. Let me gather my thoughts and really take the time to answer. I think your question deserves more than a few lines.

        • DISTRICT 9 is so good. Even the heavy-handed social commentary works well because of the movie’s format. I think its high achievement is a big reason why ELYSIUM was so disappointing. It really is just a run-of-the-mill action movie in comparison, like DISTRICT 9’s loser sibling. It’s the other Manning.

          I actually think there’s a pretty great action movie that happens in the middle-third of ELYSIUM. For this, it’s probably worth seeing… once.

          Interestingly, whereas most people like DISTRICT 9 and most people dislike ELYSIUM, CHAPPIE seems to be an extremely polarizing film. That alone makes me want to see it.

    • Juan,
      Exceptional comments, my friend. As always. I have a couple of comments about what you wrote:

      1. When you wrote, “after hearing one of the smartest people I know rave about it,” were you referring to William Rowan Jr? : )

      2. I completely agree with you that Chappie’s question, “If you’re my maker, why did you make me so I would die?” That line would have been even more incredible if Blomkamp had not insisted on repeating it at least twice, if not three or four times… When a filmmaker belabors a point for fear the audience will miss it, then it diminishes said point, no matter how powerful it was in its initial iteration. A little subtlety goes a long way, Neill.

      I have to say, “Chappie” is another one of those movies that I was sure everyone would detest, but I’ve been astounded at how many smart people (like you and William) love it.

      Thanks for your review, Juan.

      • The smartest person I know is my boss, Jay. He is just on a different level. He happens to be a cinephile too, but he’s very selective. He doesn’t watch everything, just films that he feels will stimulate his mind. But our friend William is a very smart person too, don’t get me wrong.

        I don’t remember that question being brought up more than once. But if it was, I think it’s fair to say that Chappie’s childlike curiosity is a good excuse to repeat such a hard question, don’t you think?

    • Juan, I’ve avoided your comments on Chappie until I’d seen and reviewed the film because I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. Having now read your comments here and at, I think you’re going to appreciate our review. It’s crazy, we agreed about almost every single aspect of this movie, except that you didn’t think I’d like Ninja and Yolandi – I loved them! I meant to mention the “creator” line, it was my absolute favorite as well. I almost burst into tears at that moment (and several other moments throughout the film). This is my favorite movie of the year so far, I think, just edging out It Follows. So, so stoked about this movie. Head over the the sci-fi show and let us know what you thought of the review. I want to discuss this with you further.

    • Juan,
      How far are you from Vulcan Video? Man, thanks for posting this link. I loved this for so many reasons. First, I used to enjoy a similar video store in the late ’80s called Stone Church Video in Elm Grove, West Virginia. It has a similarly impressive selection and an incredible collection of martial arts films (my old genre).

      Next, I have grown to absolutely love Matthew McConaughey, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve proudly jumped onto the bandwagon of what The /Filmcast calls “The McConaissance.” He has blown me away on so many occasions. I’m just genuinely impressed.

      The other day I saw a real commercial McConaughey did, and I actually loved it. Watch this. I rate it a 7.5 out of 10. Seriously: In fact, most of his Lincoln commercials are quite good.

      • Jay, Vulcan Video is located in Austin. I live in Houston which is roughly 2.5 hours away from Austin. So, not close enough to go there often haha.

        I also share your love for Matthew McConaughey. I think he’s the coolest. He’s been making great movies for some time now and he seems like a decent human being. I’ve liked him ever since Dazed and Confused and I’m glad he’s where he’s at right now.

  4. Chappie does not compare to District 9. No where near it.

    Whilst Chappie certainly have the look and feel of D9, it is not nearly as polished or thought through. Not to say that the movie is bad, to me there are just a few too many things that makes no sense, or too convenient, or too obvious, or else. These things bugged me through-out the movie and keep taking points away from the experience.

    1. Award winning engineers working in cubicles.
    2. weapon carrying office clerks.
    3. none-existing security everywhere you look in the company.
    4. everyone knows everyone else’s super admin password.
    4. TV reporter knows its name.
    5. Firearms requires no magazine changes.
    6. Commercial placement. Redbull anyone?

    the movie was trying to be ambitious by asking big questions but not really addressing well to the answers. Personality wise, the maker, the mother, the father, the company CEO, none stand out enough to really make me to care. it is not deep enough or believable enough. and I just don’t buy that mother/father/child thing. not done subtle enough or smart enough. I laughed a few times through the movie, and that weren’t really good laughs.

    and the company setting look like “the Office”.

    all in all, really sorry that the movie didn’t pan out for me. could have been a much better but unfortunately, it didn’t make strong and accurate enough punch.

    it is 5/10 for me and I say it is low priority rental. seriously, I rather watch D9 again.

    • It’s too bad that you feel that way que, but I understand where you’re coming from. To address some of your negatives:

      1-3. I know these may seem weird, but it’s what they established their world to be like. It’s a third world country, they don’t necessarily follow the same rules that everyone else does. If you look at the engineer’s home, you’ll see that it’s consistent with what they show in the office space too. The weapon carrying personnel is due to the lack of security in that country. The reason why the robots were created in the first place is because of a very high crime rate. It makes sense for everyone to carry a weapon for protection. And if you paid attention, the weapon wasn’t loaded. The character carrying around the weapon said so himself “why would I carry a loaded weapon in an office?” Add to that the fact that they are a company developing military equipment and I think it all makes sense.

      The red bull placement was just that, product placement. I can’t say it bothered me a whole lot.

      Firearms not requiring a change of magazine is pretty common in action movies. I mean, in the heat of the action you can’t really show people changing their magazines every time. It’s a fair complaint, but I think that’s being too picky. And it doesn’t affect the overall impact of the movie, which are its themes.

  5. Question for the room: I’m curious to know this after listening to Yolo Jr.’s* impassioned, yet strangely reticent defense of “Chappie.” How good does a movie have to be before you don’t equivocate when recommending it? Yolo gave Chappie a 9, and it’s clear that he enjoyed the movie and found it both emotionally engaging and thought provoking. He also quite clearly held back from recommending it, however, except to people who like science fiction. Most of us do that from time to time. And before I go any further, let’s separate this question from the issue of respecting someone else’s tolerance for certain levels of objectionable content. I think we can all agree that sometimes you have to be sensitive about nudity/violence/profanity/whatever it is when making a recommendation.

    So, bearing in mind that you may occasionally (or frequently) sidebar your recommendation of a great movie by quantifying its objectionable content, how good does a movie have to be before you don’t bother with the kinds of qualifiers like “if you like sci-fi,” or “if you’re into superhero movies,” or “if horror is your thing,” and so forth? Couple of examples: I would never tell anyone, “I think ‘Star Wars’ is great, but don’t see it unless you like sci-fi (or fantasy, space opera, etc.).” I would never say, “I think ‘The Incredibles’ is awesome, but you should only check it out if you don’t mind animation and if you’re OK with the whole superhero thing.” I would never say, “I really, really like ‘True Grit,’** but it’s probably not for you unless you really dig Westerns.”

    * I’d never heard the Yolo Jr. origin story before. I’ve always assumed it had something to do with the You Only Live Once meme. I had no idea it was just an accidental mangling of “Rowan.” That cracks me up.
    ** Both of them are great, but the Coen version is my much preferred take.

    • That’s an excellent question, Cody Clark. I tend not to warn people about a movie unless I know that particular person’s taste, in which case I do give out a warning. Generally though, if I like a movie, I try to recommend it to everyone unless I feel like it’s either too out there for the general viewer (i.e. Under the Skin) or if its content can be offensive to some (i.e. Cannibal Holocaust). I suppose, for me, it’s more of a case by case basis and less about how good a movie is that it transcends time, space, and caveats.

    • I’m not totally sure that is the correct Yolo origin story. I’d have to see that exact reference. As I remember it, there was some mispronunciation that was riffed on due to the YouOnlyLiveOnce meme, it gained momentum thanks to David here on the boards, and then I used it the following episode with him to solidify it.

      • Apparently, even Yolo himself doesn’t correctly recall the origin of his own nickname. This is exactly how politicians get into trouble: “I chaired the appropriations committee that approved funding for ARPANET which originated some of the network protocols that provided the foundation of the modern internet” becomes “I invented the internet as we know it today.”

        Also, glad to see that this is the part of my post that actually inspired a discussion. Thanks anyway for trying, Juan. :-)

  6. Just wanted to chime in about a brief convo. that happened in this episode: I really like the longer podcast that MPW does compared the shorter podcasts that exist out there. When I listen to others these days I’m genuinely bothered at how short they are. Leaves me feeling dissatisfied . . . kind of like how Jason said he would watch and review Robot Jox but never did. :)

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