Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 135: Ex Machina (2015) and Summer 2015 Blockbuster Popcorn Movie Preview

Episode 135

Movie Podcast Weekly Episode 135 is an important show for two reasons: First, we bring you a Feature Reviews of Ex Machina, a film that two of the three hosts on this podcast considers a bona fide Masterpiece! And second, we bring you the MPW SUMMER 2015 BLOCKBUSTER POPCORN MOVIE PREVIEW. Join us! You’ll probably have a good time. Don’t forget to leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.

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 Wednesday.


I. Introduction
— A shameless Paul Blart 2 ad
— Adam Sandler’s controversy with The Ridiculous 6
— Jason’s existential, pre-screening theater realization

[ 0:07:07 ] II. Voicemail from Dino! (Thanks, Dino!)
— Regarding “Extended Editions” on DVD / Blu-ray
— Poll question results on preferred show length

[ 0:20:00 ] III. Mini Reviews
Karl: Sunshine, Remember the Titans, Finding Forrester
Jason: Innerspace, Penguins of Madagascar
Andy: Rosewater

IV. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
Ex Machina [ Nationwide Expansion ]
The Age of Adaline
Little Boy
The Water Diviner [ Limited ]
Adult Beginners [ Limited ]
Misery Loves Comedy [ Limited ]


[ 0:39:41 ] V. Feature Review: EX MACHINA (2015)
Jason = 10 ( Theater / Buy it! / Masterpiece )
Andy = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Karl = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy it! / Masterpiece )

— May 2015 lineup
— June 2015 lineup
— July 2015 lineup
— August 2015 lineup

[ 1:28:47 ] VII. Specialty Recommendation Segments:

Films: Star Trek series
Great Performance: Brent Spiner as Data

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) = 10 ( Must-See )
12 Angry Men (1957) = 10 ( Must-See )
I Saw the Devil (2010)
The Gate (1987) = 4.5 ( Avoid )

Galaxy Quest (1999)
Jason = 8 ( Buy it! )

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
Andy: None.
Karl: None.
Jason: Check out Horror Movie Podcast and The Sci-Fi Podcast
— Special thanks to David for his generous donation.

Episode 136 when we’ll be reviewing “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Join us!


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E-mail us:
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
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Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

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

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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 Wednesday for Movie Podcast Weekly.

57 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 135: Ex Machina (2015) and Summer 2015 Blockbuster Popcorn Movie Preview

  1. Jay, I promised myself I wouldn’t chew you out this week but you don’t make it easy!

    4.5 /10 for “Innerspace”!!?

    Why do you hate joy so much Jay? Why?

    • David,
      When is the last time you’ve watched “Innerspace”? You had better take your nostalgia goggles off, Sir, and revisit that movie first… It’s fun — and it won an Oscar! But it doesn’t hold up like you’d hope…

      P.S. I know you don’t make it to the cinema as often to see brand-new releases, but you should definitely try to see “Ex Machina” asap!

      • The last time I watched “Innerspace” was probably no more than a couple of years ago. I do admit that I have a very sentimental attachment to that movie though. It’s one of those films that takes me right back to being a kid watching TV on a Saturday afternoon with my dad after going for a drive to the beach or a trip to the video game arcades or something. I think Joe Dante is great at capturing that sort of feeling in general actually. His films communicate the kind of things that would spark up a kids imagination. Anyway, “Innerspace” is certainly not a brilliant film but for what it is I think it’s a lot of fun. The characters aren’t offensively obnoxious like they might be in a modern equivalent and it’s pleasant, entertaining and fairly unique (though it obviously has a lot in common with the “The Fantastic Voyage” from 1966).

        As for “Ex Machina”, I’m not sure it’ll be playing round here but I am eager to see it, especially given what I’ve heard so far in this episode’s feature review (which I’m currently in the middle of).

      • Why would you say such awful things, Dino? Are you trying to make me hate you? because there’s no way I can bring myself to hate you after hearing that sexy voicemail.

  2. Hello guys,

    another great podcast and per your review will be watching ex machina tonight and im looking forward to it.

    Jason I have to agree with innerspace it is a great movie with Martin Short at his best and reminds me of the Fantastic Voyage which I loved when I was a kid…. I give it a solid 8.

    I would like to know if either you or Willis has seen “Kung Fu Killer” with Donnie Chen. I think you would like it as it is a police action drama movie with intense action sequences. It is about a martial arts teacher who sets out to be the number one master and accidentally kills a man and goes to jail. While in prison another master takes up his quest and begins to challenge all kung fu masters of the martial arts and killing them one by one. It is a classic police chase drama to get your man and the only man that can help is released from prison to help catch the killer. The fight scenes are outstanding and the villain in the movie is terrific. I give it a 9.5 and to see it in the theater. I think J you would like it for the police drama side and Willis is going to love it just for the action. It is in Theaters now so check it out and let me know what you think. Oh it is subtitled hope you dont mind.

    Well look forward to hearing your next podcast and keep up good work.


      • Hello J,

        I would recommend seeing it before Avengers, saw it last night it was ok im giving it a 7.5. Not a great way to start the summer movies! Look forward to hearing your review on it next week. Also dont forget to do your homework and watch “Coldwater” want to hear what you think on that also.

        Have a great weekend and enjoy the movies I will be working it cant wait to handle the crowds at the movies…

        Until next time

        Mario Leon (LOON)

  3. Even worse than Jason’s lack of appreciation is Andy’s condemnation of “The Gate” as terrible. Is there a deficit of fun in Utah at the moment? This is just insane!

    “The Gate” is certainly dated but that’s where so much of its charm comes from. Surely all of those wacky and imaginative effects alone are worth a half decent rating. It’s an especially fun film to watch around “Halloween” time with junk food and beer. I don’t know how you guys can be so dismissive of movies that exude such obvious creative effort and imagination, regardless of how goofy they might seem by today’s standards.

    And no, I didn’t see “The Gate” when I was a kid thus distorting my appreciation through a haze of sentimentality. In fact I didn’t see it until I was about 25.

    • The first sentence should read: “Even worse than Jason’s lack of appreciation for “Innerspace” is Andy’s……etc”

      Give me a break, I was simultaneously trying to eat a sandwich and type in a fit of rage.

  4. Andy questioning whether or not it’s “ever fun to see Sean Connery in anything?” has inspired me to recommend a movie for his segment. A movie that might prove (in more ways than one) that it is indeed fun to see Sean Connery in “anything”.

    Andy, please watch and review “Zardoz”.

      • I don’t like my segment any more. I feel like it should be entitled “Make Andy hate movies”. I’m struggling to get through “Daredevil” season 1 right now. I’ll get to Zardork or whatever the hell it’s called shortly.

        • Are you serious?! Daredevil is awesome, Andy. You clearly lack a soul. I mean, you ARE a lawyer after all, just saying…


          • By the way, could you add these to your queue? I promise they’re much better than what you’ve been watching. So far, you’ve liked my homework the best remember? I have a good track record. Anyway, enjoy:

            Grizzly (1976)
            Teddy Bear (2012)
            The Guest (2014)

          • “You clearly lack a soul.”

            He’s called “The Graduate” a terrible movie on several occasions. His lack of a soul needs no more concrete a confirmation.

            “So far, you’ve liked my homework the best remember?”

            I contest that statement! Andy would have given “Tokyo Gore Police” an 8/10 had it not gotten him in so much trouble!

            That said, I’m pretty sure “Zardoz” will be the one that gets me banned from giving Andy homework.

  5. I must have hallucinated during the podcast…it sounded like Jay gave Penguins of Madagascar an 8/10 (and Lego Movie a 6/10). Nah, that can’t be right. I was definitely hallucinating.

    Regarding extended cuts, I saw the Director’s Cut of “Kingdom of Heaven” a few months back. I liked it much more than the theatrical version, though neither version is something you need to own in my opinion. I also recently watched the unrated edition of “Robin Hood”, which was also superior to its theatrical cut. Apparently I like Ridley’s extended cuts.

    I prefer extended cuts for my epics, story-driven dramas, etc. What I don’t need is extended cuts for comedy films. Jokes are left on the cutting room floor for a reason, and more jokes does not mean a funnier movie.

    Good episode so far (as always). I look forward to hearing more tomorrow.

    • Vance,
      To be clear… I just want to make it crystal clear:
      If you ask me, “Penguins of Madagascar” REALLY IS better (and funnier!) than “The Lego Movie”! : ) ha ha


      • Man, I just need to let it go. I mean, I’m a grown man…

        But “Penguins of Madagascar” was just a Saturday morning cartoon stretched out to 90 minutes! And you gave it the same score as “Big Hero 6”! For shame!

        One day you will plunk down on your couch with a bowl of cereal and watch “Penguins of Madagascar” again and you will wonder what the heck you were thinking. (Similar to how I felt when I re-watched the “Red Dawn” remake, which I thought I enjoyed the first time. Turns out it was underwhelming drivel that only got a favorable response the first time because my expectations were in the dirt.)

    • To weigh in on Dino’s question about extended cuts, it’s probably best to make the call on a case-by-case basis. My rule of thumb is often that if the extended version doesn’t add at least 30 minutes to the original film, then it’s probably not worth my money.

      For example, I don’t get all that much out of the Special Edition of “Aliens.” I love the film, I just don’t feel like what’s added back (a lean 17 minutes) makes it a measurably better experience.

      My all-time favorite extended version is “Untitled,” the director’s cut of “Almost Famous.” “Untitled” adds 40 minutes and includes a monologue from Jimmy Fallon (playing a slick record producer), cut from the original film, that is the high watermark of Fallon’s enitre acting career.

      Sometimes, of course, more is just more. The extended version of “The Fellowship of the Ring” is a better film than the theatrical version, but the extended versions of “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” waste a lot of time adding in cheesy FX shots, like the avalanching skulls encountered by Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas on the Paths of the Dead.

    • @Vance – What you said about extended cuts for comedy films definitely makes sense. A part of me wonders if that’s also the case, generally speaking, for films of all genres, though. I mean, if the “cut” scenes really add to the story then why would they be cut in the first place?

      That said, the extended editions of the LOTR series definitely are superior, imo, and the point that Karl raised about ALIENS also makes a lot of sense (i.e. the studio wanting to keep movies under 2 hours).

      • I’m with Cody on this one. Adding for the sake of adding isn’t worth my time. The example of Aliens that he cited is a great one. The scenes added don’t add much to the overall experience and as a big fan of the movie, the scenes really stood out because I’d seen the movie so many times that all of this extra content just seemed out of place. I actually prefer the theatrical cut of Aliens. In all honesty, I couldn’t care less about the director’s cut or extended cut or whatever they call it these days. If I have the opportunity to watch both, great. If not, no biggie.

        • @Juan – My initial thoughts were essentially the same: if it’s something that was worth including in the film then it probably would have made the theatrical cut in the first place. That is, until I watched the extendeds of LOTR, which I think add a lot to both the story and the experience. That really muddied the waters for me.

          In the end, not a big deal either way, but I hoped it might spark a somewhat interesting discussion. Besides, Jay’s always complaining about how MPW never gets any voicemail.

  6. So I just checked out the second trailer for “Terminator Genisys” and it looked pretty bad to me. I know the effects might not be finalised but some of the CGI looks just horrible and Arnie just doesn’t seem convincing any more. More importantly though, the trailer gives away a HUGE spoiler regarding a pretty big twist in the film. I honestly couldn’t believe it. So I urge anyone who is actually looking forward to the new entry in this franchise or who simply doesn’t want any of it spoiled: DON’T WATCH THE SECOND “TERMINATOR GENISYS” TRAILER!!!!

    Who allowed them to show so much contempt for the audience by doing this? I can only imagine that the original trailer failed to garner as much interest as anticipated so some clueless executive with dollar signs in his eyes forced them to show way more than they should have in this newest preview. But who knows.

    • The most recent “T:G” trailer is spoilerific in the extreme. Although I’m not even sure I mind, because the movie looks really, really bad. What a clustercuss. I don’t think I’ll even mess with it before it’s Redbox-able, and possibly not unti l I can stream it for v free onAmazon.

      • My feelings are pretty much the same, Cody. The major spoilers didn’t personally bother me a great deal because it looks so terrible that I have almost no interest in seeing it aside from a twinge of morbid curiosity. My love of the first two movies in the franchise doesn’t even factor in because from the looks of things this new film will piss all over them. But for anyone who actually intends to check it out in cinemas without previous knowledge of major plot revelations the latest trailer is a real kick in the groin.

  7. And Jay, I always dismissed “Galaxy Quest” as another lame Tim Allen vehicle. Now I’m really tempted to check it out though, especially with the knowledge that you’re normally about as hard on comedies as I tend to be. Do you think it’s something I’d enjoy? I’m not a huge trekkie (Star Wars was always my preferential franchise) but I do have a soft spot for The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine and I consider the original series a classic of 60’s TV.

    • David: “Galaxy Quest” is a treasure. A gem! Not only is Jay not overrating it, he may actually be underrating it. Great performances by Tim Allen (his finest film work ever, aside from Buzz Lightyear), Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, a young and then-unknown Sam Rockwell, a young and then-unknown Justin Long, and an entirely unrecognizable Enrico Colantoni (Veronica’s dad on “Veronica Mars,” and also the star of the Canadian series “Flashpoint”) as the lead alien, Mathesar. The humor is spot-on, start to finish, with both in-the-moment jokes and some terrific running gags, but there’s also a surprising amount of sincere and warmhearted celebration of “Star Trek” in particular and TV fandom in general. Well worth seeking out.

      You don’t have to have a very deep or specific knowledge of “Star Trek” to get anything. Some of the jokes may resonate a bit more for fans, but the humor is entirely comprehensible just from context.

      • I’m so glad that you like Galaxy Quest, Cody. I love this movie so much and I think it’s much better than people give it credit for. I don’t remember if I gave it an honorable mention over at the sci-fi podcast, but if I didn’t, I’d like to correct that mistake now. Galaxy Quest is great and one of the best sci-fi comedies ever (not that there are many, at least not that I’m aware of).

    • This movie was already made called “The Krays” that was ok but with Tom Hardy playing the twins should be awesome. Looking forward to it!

      Mario (LOON)

    • Tom Hardy is so good. He’s one of the greatest actors of this generation. I agree with Andy, he’s so dreamy.

      The one thing that this trailer did to make me laugh—and I thought about it before they showed the credits—was that they showed Tom Hardy’s name twice haha. Hilarious.

  8. You know, something interesting dawned on me when Andy was describing the slow pacing of “Ex Machina”: I’ve become so tired of the ADHD, quick-cut approach favoured my so many modern film-makers that hearing a film described as slow in any way has become an instant point in it’s favour for me. I think we’re generally conditioned to consider “fast-paced” as being synonymous with “exciting” and therefore “good” with slow most often equated to “boring” and therefore “bad” but for me this dynamic is opposed. If I hear a movie described as slow, deliberate, restrained etc then it’s far more likely to catch my interest than something being sold as a “non-stop thrill ride” or “wall-to-wall action”.

    Why do so few modern films have the courage to really take their time establishing characters and tone and situations? Is it just a case of pandering to the youtube generation? To me it seems totally detrimental to not give a piece of cinema space to breathe and to build-up an atmosphere all of its own.

    • David,

      Agree with your comment about pacing….actual life and the dynamics of interaction between the great acting of Ava and porno-watching geek boy are where the drama occurred. Andrei Tarkovskii’s classic sci-fi film Solaris, was also slow, as were some many scenes from 2001 A Space Odyssey, but people are so conditioned to quick cut, post-MTV crap, that they have been “cultured” to respond uncomfortably to contemplative modes of interaction, it is happening at the level of the subconscious now.

  9. Thanks for discussing my voicemail, fellas. It was interesting to hear your feedback on the topic, and I’m definitely going to check out the extended cuts of the two Dan Brown movies. Very much appreciated.

    @Karl – Here are Amazon links to the Harry Potter extended versions:

    Sorcerer’s Stone >>
    Chamber of Secrets >>

    I believe these are the only two extended versions that were released (they’re the only two I’ve seen, at least), but I think the plan was to release extended versions of each of the films. These versions of the first two films originally premiered on ABC Family.

  10. @Andy – Thanks for doing the homework.

    I didn’t necessarily expect you to like THE GATE, which is partly why I was interested in hearing your thoughts. Jay is right in that it holds some nostalgic value to me. I was about 8 or 9 y/o when I first watched it; it was a relatively new release at the time and was one of my early horror movie experiences. That said, I recognize that it definitely isn’t a movie that holds up well, so now it’s more of a guilty pleasure for me.

    I didn’t realize you already reviewed DEVIL (I checked the Ratings and Podcast Episode Archives beforehand, and it didn’t show up). I’ll definitely go back and listen to episode 62 for your thoughts on it. Actually, I really need to go back and listen to the complete back catalog. I think I came in sometime around episode 70-something.

    Anyway, thanks for being a trooper and watching THE GATE.

  11. Also I think it’s worth noting that although the “War of the Worlds” movie from 2005 might be a good example of a deus ex machina resolution, that ending is, as far as I can remember, pretty much true to the original novel. The novel was written in the 1890’s and I believe is set around that time so the resolution was unlikely to come from then contemporary science or technology. I think it’s actually a beautifully ironic little twist and quite refreshing from the much more standard ending we’ve gotten accustomed to in this type of narrative where mankind always has to be the one who saves the day.

    I seem to remember that the 1953 adaptation ends with a similar, if not identical resolution too.

      • It’s a really cool book. It always boggles my mind to think that a story about aliens invading with giant tripedal robots was written when most people were still travelling by horse and cart.

    • Yeah, about that ending, I think it’s perfect. How cool is it to go through a movie where hope is in short supply and chaos rules until the very last moments when out of nowhere these tiny microorganisms obliterate a threat so large that even our biggest weapons and defense systems were useless against? Is the ending a deus ex machina resolution? By definition, yes, but not if you take into account that there’s a concept behind it. It’s not that the writer(s) ran out of ideas and made up an ending to wrap things up, they meant it to be that way. The ending has a message, and a layered one at that. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone in this universe, that we sometimes forget that we are someone else’s universe, that even the tiniest of beings have an impact, that nature always finds a way, that big weapons of mass destruction aren’t always the answer, and so many more layers. I think you’re thinking about the ending in a very literal way, Jay, but even then it’s beautifully ironic like Juavino already stated.

  12. Glad to see that someone addressed this. The things she addresses were extremely disturbing to me, as they address an actual existing attitude towards non-european women. An actual horror in real life for those not in a position of relative privelege due to skin color in real life. It has spoilers, so I expect you would not post this, and I’m OK with this, it’s not my blog (though I do have the position that not discussing the contents of the film makes for impotent film criticism). Initially, I was giving Garland a pass, that his depiction of “non-white” robots simply made Isaac more criminal. Now, I think it simply adds a dimension to the issue of man as creator, in this case, calling into question the ethics/morality of the filmaker himself, possibly a closet racist.

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