Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 141: Spy (2015) and Entourage (2015) and Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and Maggie (2015)

Episode 141

Hi, and welcome to Movie Podcast Weekly, Episode 141. In this show we bring you four Feature Reviews of Spy and Entourage and Insidious: Chapter 3 and Maggie, with special guest Willis Wheeler. Join us!

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Geek Cast Ry — 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
— Welcome back Willis Wheeler

[ 0:04:48 ] II. Mini Reviews
Jason: Game of Thrones Season 1, Episode 1; Home (2015); The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; Les Miserables (1998)
Karl: Seven Years in Tibet, The Island (2005)
Willis Wheeler: Alien3, Godzilla (2014), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, The Powerpuff Girls returning to Cartoon Network
Andy: Unknown (2006), Burning Bright

III. What’s New in Theaters This Past Weekend
Insidious: Chapter 3
Love & Mercy [ Limited ]
Testament of Youth [ Limited ]
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence [ Limited ]
Hungry Hearts [ Limited ]
Police Story: Lockdown [ Limited ]


[ 0:43:54 ] IV. Feature Review: SPY (2015)
Andy = 9.5 ( Theater or Buy it! )
Karl = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 0:56:13 ] V. Feature Review: ENTOURAGE (2015)
Jason = 6.5 ( Rental )
Willis Wheeler = 7.5 ( Rental )

[ 1:07:09 ] VI. Feature Review: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 (2015)
Jason = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 1:12:52 ] VII. Feature Review: MAGGIE (2015)
Jason = 7.5 ( Rental )

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Episode 142 when we’ll be reviewing “Jurassic World” and the entire Jurassic Park franchise!


Geek Cast Ry’s links:
Ry’s BIO
Ry’s flagship show: Geek Cast Live Podcast
DONATE here to facilitate the creation of more Geek content!
Blog: Geek Cast Live
Web site: Geek
Twitter: @GeekCastRy

Willis Wheeler’s links:
Two-Drink Commentaries
NFW Commentaries Podcast
The Wild Man’s YouTube Channel
Willis Wheeler on TV’s Toy Hunter
Terror Troop horror podcast
Cinema Beef Podcast
Willis on Twitter: @NastyWillDC
Willis on Facebook

Hear Jay as a guest on BillChete’s Horror on the Go: Horror Genre Classification

William Rowan Jr’s show: The SciFi Podcast (A must-listen!)

Provo Film Society on Facebook
Provo Film Society on Twitter

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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Right-click to download the MPW 100 Rap

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.

68 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 141: Spy (2015) and Entourage (2015) and Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and Maggie (2015)

  1. I’m interested to hear your review of SPY; I’m not too big into comedies, but this one looks like it could be good. Also looking forward to hearing your thoughts on INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. To respond to Karl (or whoever said it last episode), it’s not much of the same from the previous two installments. I enjoyed the first two in the franchise, but was very pleasantly surprised with CHAPTER 3. It stayed true to the trappings of the INSIDIOUS franchise, but was a new and fresh story away from the Lamberts. (Also looking forward to in depth discussion of this and the first two films, hopefully, over at HMP.)

    Btw, I immediately noticed the new cover art in my Podcasts app when this new episode hit, and wanted to come over here to applaud the change. I think it’s beautiful, classy, and modern – the darker blue, the cleaner typography, the subtle film strip. It’s all good stuff, and I’m glad to see the change translate over to the website banner. I suspect you’re reaping the benefits of this new designer friend of yours who worked on the t-shirts.

    • Dino,
      I’m totally with you on Insidious: Chapter 3.

      And thanks for your compliments on the new MPW artwork. Trump is the name of my designer (cool first name, huh?), and he’s excellent. The changes to HMP are more drastic and very cool. More “horror-ized.” You can see them when tomorrow’s episode releases.

      Thanks for listening.

      • @J – Trump… that’s not real. Can’t be, it’s too good.

        I was hopeful that you’d let him do something for HMP, as well. Really looking forward to seeing what “Trump” came up with.

        Re: INSIDIOUS, I’m a fan of the franchise overall, and like all three films for different reasons. I have a few things I want to say about CHAPTER 3 (and the franchise as a whole), but will save the more in depth discussion for HMP. For now, I’ll just say I thought CHAPTER 3 was the most effective entry in the franchise from beginning to end, rivaling the first half of the original INSIDIOUS.

      • I didn’t even notice the subtle scratching and artifacts on the film strip in the new cover art and banner until this morning when I was listening to the episode. Nice touch!

  2. Hello MPW,

    Thanks for your mini reviews and you guys got me really excited about seeing “Burning Bright” and “Unknown”. I think the movie that Karl was trying think of is “Cube” which is a great Sci-Fi Film about a group of people who wake up in a room and have no idea how they got in there and have to find there way out but wait some of the other rooms are death traps better look out. It is a solid 9 and to buy it.

    J I am totally disappointed in you, I wrote you last week to not watch Entourage before finishing the series. In saying that I agree with you the movie is a 6.5 and Spy would have been a better choice. I did see “Spy” but I also give that a 6.5 but it was a late night and I was so tired after getting off work so I may have to watch it again. But in my defense if a good comedy can’t keep me up how good can it be. I agree with Karl and Andy that Jason Statham is over the top funny and he made me laugh so hard.

    Now Geek Cast Ry I really like your recommendation for “Danger 5” I have watched the first two episodes and find them hilarious. My girlfriend thinks im strange and looks at me all crazy like “how do you find this funny?” but I love it. Keep up the good work. I may have to watch “Game of Thrones” since you recommended that I will have to check that out some time. I also love Peter Dinklage and ever since I saw him in “Train Station” he has really impressed me.

    Well Keep up the good work guys and look forward to hearing about the Jurassic World review plus the trilogy review!

    Have a good weekend at the movies!

    Mario (LOON)

    • Mario,
      I can explain… I would typically follow wise counsel from the listenership on such matters, but here’s why I chose to see “Entourage” after only watching one episode… I’m so weird about sticking with TV series that it is very unlikely that I’ll watch all 8 seasons or however many it is. Therefore, I would have never gotten to watch the movie.

      Plus, on MPW we try to provide as much coverage of new releases as possible, and I knew everyone else was going to see “Spy,” so it just made sense.

      I’m glad I saw it, but now that I’m so hooked on “Game of Thrones,” it’s hard to tell when I’ll return to the series…

      Definitely watch “Burning Bright”!

      • >Jason Pyles on June 11, 2015 at 11:29 am said:
        “I’m glad I saw it, but now that I’m so hooked on “Game of Thrones,” it’s hard to tell when I’ll return to the series…”

        This comment warmed my heart and made me smile inside, though my spoiler-detection suspects it may be a spoiler for this podcast episode. :-/

        Do you plan on listening to the A Cast of Kings podcast once you get to season 2 of the show? I’m not sure if you keep up with the comments on previous MPW episodes, but I posted a comment about it yesterday on the comments for episode 139. Here’s the direct link to that post >>

        I’ve re-watched the entire Game of Thrones series prior to the start of each new season, so I’m pretty well-versed in the show (though, I have not read the books). I’m always jonesing for some good ol’ Game of Thrones conversation, so let me know if you ever want to have a non-spoilery discussion.

        Speaking of not knowing if you keep up on comments from previous shows, I finally posted a few words on MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (the comments were scattered across a few different episodes). I emailed some of them to you last night because I wasn’t sure if you’d see them on the site at this point or not.

      • Hello J,

        I understand please continue to watch “Entourage” I think you really enjoy it. How about this watch at least one episode a week. Each episode is only 30 mins long so I don’t think that will be that hard. Let me know what you think.

        Also how come there was no JASON’S “THE-NEXT-DAY-AT-WORK MOVIE RECOMMENDATION? I really look forward to that!

        Also correction it is “the station agent” with Peter Dinklage. not the Train Station.

        Enjoy yourself tonight at the Jurassic World movie.

        Have a great weekend!

        Mario (LOON)

  3. YES!

    Jay I couldn’t be happier with your take on “Game of Thrones” first episode and I’m so excited thinking about what’s ahead of you. It just gets better, bigger, bloodier and more uncomfortable! And Tyrion lanister must be one of THE best TV show characters ever. If you think he does a good job in the first episode then just wait to see how wonderfully developed and compelling he becomes. I’m also glad you recognised the horror-esque elements. I think I was hooked from that very first scene of the first episode which is undeniably rooted in horror conventions. And it’s in the snow! I’m just about to start a full re-watch of the show so I’ll hopefully be right there alongside you, buddy.

  4. Karl, I think the movie you were trying to remember is Coherence. Let me know if that’s the one. If so, I highly recommend it.

  5. Guys, I know I’m just a little behind when it comes to existing but I just watched “Dirty Harry” and “The French Connection” for the first time ever this week! What awesome movies, exciting movies!

    What does everyone else think of them?

    • THE FRENCH CONNECTION is awesome. I’ve watched that one with my father several times throughout the years, but it’s been awhile since my last viewing. I’ll have to get it back on soon.

      DIRTY HARRY… I’m not sure I’ve seen it straight through, actually. I know I’ve seen parts of it at different times, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen “all” of it with my cumulative viewings. I don’t know why, but I’ve never really had a Clint Eastwood fascination.

      • To be honest I’m not that big on Clint either which is probably why it took me so long to actually see “Dirty Harry” but I actually loved the character he played here. And Andrew Robinson as the Scorpio killer was excellent and unforgettable as well. During my viewing of the film it became quite clear that its influence on crime/police procedural/action/serial killer flicks is pretty inestimable.

        • Not Clint Eastwood fans? What?! Guys, he’s an American cinema icon, a western cinema icon, an icon in American badassery, and he’s a damn good director too boot. What’s not to like? Are you guys just not familiar with his filmography or do you just dislike him in everything you seen him in?

          • It’s not that I dislike Clint, or am NOT a fan. I’ve just never been compelled to seek out and watch his stuff. It’s not him, it’s me.

            And, I agree with your point on his direction. I tend to like the movies he’s directed.

          • I’m in pretty much exactly the same boat as Dino. I don’t actively dislike Clint but until now I’ve never really felt an urge to study his oeuvre as an actor. I think I just always got the impression that his characters were a bit too macho for my tastes but having watched “Dirty Harry” I’d surmise that there’s a delineation between “machismo” and “badassery” and his character, in that movie at least, is more defined by the latter. Which is a good thing I think.

            • “…I’d surmise that there’s a delineation between “machismo” and “badassery”…”

              This made me laugh. I’m definitely going to use it.

          • I don’t think I ever saw his performances as being macho. Rather, he plays the easily irritable, grumpy ol’ guy that has no time nor cares for bullshit and that just so happens to be a badass at whatever job his role demands. At least that’s the vibe I get.

  6. This episode was short, but sweet. There were three things in particular that made me super happy:

    1. J, your appreciation of Game of Thrones’ first episode made me very happy and relieved. Happy, because I love when friends of mine (is it weird that I consider you a friend?) have the pleasure of being introduced to the wonderful Game of Thrones world, and relieved, because you have a tendency to randomly not like things that are absolutely brilliant (see: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD). The best part is that season01episode01 is “just an OK episode” in the Game of Thrones catalog; it gets soooo much better.

    2. I’m really glad that Karl and Andy gave SPY such high praise. Like I said above, I’m not a huge fan of comedies, but this one looked like it could be good. Glad to hear that the movie lives up to the trailer, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in theaters. It’ll be great to shift gears from the majority of serious movies I’ve been seeing lately to a satisfying comedy.

    3. You only touched on INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, but it sounds like our opinions of the film are pretty much in step with each other. I’m really looking forward to getting more in depth with the discussion on the film and franchise once that HMP episode drops (will it be next week, or the week after?).

    • “…..and relieved, because you have a tendency to randomly not like things that are absolutely brilliant”

      Haha, I have to admit I felt similar. Of all the hosts on this network of podcasts I find that Jay is the one whose reactions are the hardest to predict. Just when I think I have a pretty good handle on his tastes he’ll come out with some baffling, left-field opinion or other that takes me totally by surprise (such as his bizarre dismissal of the new Star Wars trailers). I have not a doubt that he’s utterly sincere in his opinions and really, like all of us, it just comes down to him liking what he likes but he’s certainly a hard one to pin down. Example: he’s often admitted to being an impatient viewer and has a tendency to literally count the minutes before a film delivers what he’s looking for yet he’s a fan of a flick like Van Sants “Gerry”!

      And I’m also baffled that Willis DOESN’T like “Game of Thrones”. I would have expected him to be the one defending it if Jay somehow didn’t enjoy it.

      Part of why I love these podcasts is the edge-of-your-seat unpredictability.

    • Dino,
      Of course we’re friends. Genuine friends. And the in-depth review of “Insidious: Chapter 3” will be in today’s HMP episode (Ep. 057), which will be out very late tonight… Basically, tomorrow.

      Three words: “Jurassic World.” Priorities.

      • Wow, that’s sooner than I was expecting. I thought your new HMP rotation meant recording took place at least a week prior to when the episode dropped. This is a treat!

        Looks like JURASSIC WORLD starts for you in about an hour, so enjoy the show. Hopefully it lives up to your decade+ wait.

  7. @J – Re: discussing GoT in a meaningful way without getting into spoilers…

    First off, I think you absolutely did the right thing by not mentioning what happens at the end of the first episode, despite Ry’s position that it’s not a spoiler because it happens in the first episode. As much as I can’t fathom why, there are still a lot of poor souls aimlessly wandering the Earth who still have not seen (or read) Game of Thrones. When they eventually decide to stop hating themselves (why else would they deprive themselves the absolute joy that comes from watching GoT?), they should have as un-spoiled an experience as possible because the story’s unpredictability is a big part of the show’s joy.

    Now, as far as discussing the show in a meaningful, non-spoilery way, I think there’s enough there to focus on without really getting too into the story. Generally speaking, though, you can probably talk about story elements in an abstract enough way that people who have seen (or read) GoT will know what you’re talking about without really giving anything away to the others. That’s a slippery slope, though.

    I assume these will be mini-reviews, so you don’t really need to get into too much detail as it is. Staying away from story, I think there will be merit in discussing your overall impression of each episode, as well as your impression of certain cinematic elements, general progression of storylines, overall episode structure, or other things like that. Just my 2 cents.

    Also, were you planning on giving an individual rating for each episode?

  8. I haven’t had a chance to listen to Ep. 141, but I have a question for Ep. 142, since there will be (unless plans have changed?) an actual factual paleontologist on the podcast. When the first trailers for “Jurassic World” appeared, there was a bit of a paleontological uproar, since science has radically upgraded its view of what dinosaurs actually looked like in the years since “Jurassic Park.” I’d be curious to hear what this guy has to say about the actual appearance of dinosaurs vs. the now (apparently) laughably outdated look that’s presented in “Jurassic World.”

    Here’s a clipping from an article in The Guardian that captures the essence of the hullabaloo:

    “Since 1993, there has been another revolution in our understanding of dinosaur appearance. The naked, scaly dinosaurs of the ‘Jurassic Park’ ilk have been replaced by feather, spine, quill and things-we-don’t-even-have-names-for covered beasts that look every bit as strange as the original ‘Jurassic Park’ dinosaurs did to their original audience. This information has been slow to get into the public perception, as books, many museums, and documentaries have been slow to embrace this new look.

    “So when we heard that a new ‘Jurassic Park’ film was being made, paleontologists and those with a serious interest in dinosaur science were somewhat hopeful that it would do what the first one did: take our current understanding, and write it large and shocking. We wanted to see some dinosaurs!

    “When the trailer for ‘Jurassic World’ was released, it was obvious to us that this was not the film we were looking for. The dinosaurs are actually a retrograde step from the original ‘Jurassic Park.’ Far from showing us the current understanding of dinosaur appearance, ‘Jurassic World’ has decided to stick to what people expect — always a bold artistic move.

    “Understandably, many paleontologists and other dinosaur enthusiasts expressed this disappointment on Twitter, Facebook and their own blogs. This led to some ridicule in the media of the ‘Boffins Blubbering about Jurassic World’ variety. What a silly bunch of nerds, caring about something that we don’t care about! Don’t they realise it’s just a film?

    “Of course we realise it’s a film — but we also recognise the power it will have to shape people’s ideas about prehistoric animals. And in ‘Jurassic World’s’ case, it looks like we’re getting a very dull monsters trope. The original ‘Jurassic Park’ stimulated a huge new interest in dinosaurs and paleontology and even spawned the Jurassic Foundation that invested money back into the research that had helped give them such exciting ideas and information for their film. The trend in the new trailer suggests strongly that the series is stepping away from that interchange between science and spectacle and that is naturally disappointing.”

    Full article is here:

    • Very interesting, Cody. I, too, am now interested in hearing an actual paleontologist’s take on this.

      As for the dinosaur design, I wonder if it was a conscious decision by the filmmakers and/or studio to stick with the “original” design, or if it was even a discussion. I could see two solid reasons for sticking with the “naked” dinosaurs: 1) that is the look the vast majority of people know, so it’s risky giving them something completely different; and 2) drastically changing their appearance would completely retcon the prior three films of the franchise, considering that these dinosaurs were supposedly created by actual dino DNA.

      Of course, if JURASSIC WORLD is supposed to be a reboot or remake of the original rather than a continuation of the story, then you can throw my #2 out the window. And, yes, my spoiler aversion has kept me away from any trailers, news, or story notes on the film, so I honestly don’t even know if it’s supposed to be a sequel or not.

    • This is extremely interesting stuff, Cody! I think they’re a little remiss not to point out that drastically changing the look of the dinosaurs midway through a franchise might be pretty bad for continuity. That said I do think it would be cool to see the more scientifically accurate feathered versions of these prehistoric beasts depicted on film and if that were the case with “Jurassic World” I’d probably be more excited to see it.

    • Dino, David: It certainly makes sense that the “Jurassic World” team would dodge the new science and stick to what viewers are expecting . I’d imagine that the new ideas about dinosaurs and their appearance have penetrated the collective consciousness only minimally, if at all. Why risk your second-weekend (or even first-weekend, really, because lots of people still do read reviews; and that’s supposing that you’d somehow managed to put out trailers for months without showing anything) box-office haul on bad word-of-mouth that boils down to, “WTF? Dinosaurs didn’t have feathers.”

      On the other hand, if I’d been writing the movie, and I’d wanted to showcase the new thinking about dinosaurs, there’s a pretty easy solution. (Mild SPOILER follows). So it’s an important and quickly disclosed plot point of “Jurassic World” that visitors to the the park have gotten “bored” with seeing dinosaurs. Park researchers have been experimenting with gene splicing to create new, more thrilling (and deadly) dinos. Chaos ensues.

      You can essentially use that exact same formula. Just say that the researchers, when rebuilding after the failures of the first, never-opened park, found actual, complete dinosaur DNA to work with … and it grew them the spiny, feathered, bird-like dinos envisioned by the latest science. The investment was huge, so they have to open the park anyway, and the public’s predictable response is “WTF? Dinosaurs didn’t have feathers.” Racing to create something more “traditional,” they get new dinosaurs, but something has gone awry in the design phase. Chaos ensues.

      No one should be surprised, of course, that the creative team chose to play it safe.

    • Thanks, buddy.

      Heading into the summer, FURY ROAD was one of the movies I was more interested in seeing, but I didn’t expect to come out of it with such a passionate appreciation.

      • I just read it too and yes, I think you nailed it and killed it and blew everyone out of the water. I 100% feel the same way you do with the only difference being that there was no way that I could have ever articulated my thoughts in such a clear and precise manner. I bow down to you, like for reals bro. Also, while I think that the film is visually a masterpiece, I didn’t come in as high as you did. It’s a 9 for me. But yes, it’s a MUST SEE and a once in a lifetime experience.

        • Dude, I could talk about this movie forever. There’s just so much there. Nothing in the film is by accident, it’s all by design; literally everything in the movie means something. Honestly, I think about this movie a lot. It’s just so good and unlike anything else that’s come out in a long time, if ever.

          I think that’s why I was getting so frustrated by Jay and the MPW coverage of the film. It was (and continues to be) just so dismissive and one-sided. Even worse, the single voice in support of the film, Willis, was actually hurting it because he completely missed the point. His argument simply, and incorrectly, supported Jay’s (and co.) main criticism of the film – lack of story development.

          I figured enough was enough, somebody needed to be the voice of reason. At the very least, I wanted to pose a counterpoint to the MPW position, one that actually supported the film. I’m not trying to convince everyone to love the movie because it won’t be for everyone. I just hope that presenting a case in favor of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – complete with a handful of examples detailing the depth and complexity of the story, plot, character, and world elements present in the film – might open up the minds of those who dismiss it as simply an action-packed spectacle. Because it’s so much more….

          • If it makes you feel better, my friend Berto feels the same way we do. He’s not on the boards much, sadly, but know that there are people out there that appreciate a film like this. I’m über curious to hear Josh’s opinion, but I’m worried that he’ll be more in line with the rest of the MPW crew.

            Another thing that I love about this movie is the story behind it. When you read how long it took to get this project going, how much work it took, how many hoops they had to jump through to get this made…it’s mind blowing. This is a prime example of perseverance, commitment, and vision.

            • Actually, I’m willing to bet Josh falls more toward our side of the ledger on FURY ROAD. It’s filmmaking at its absolute pinnacle.

  9. Jay,

    I did catch “Burning Bright” last Halloween and really enjoyed it. My wife did also. Good recommendation.

  10. Just wanted to say that I too think Burning Bright is a great film…when I saw it I didn’t know anything about it and came away very pleased…It’s one of those little hidden gems…As for Game Of Thrones there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said ad nauseam…All I can say is seeing is believing and Jason you will be doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t follow through with watching Game of Thrones…I know all of us already in the know will be giddy hearing your thoughts every podcast during your journey…If this doesn’t change your thoughts on “television series” then nothing will…It is a riviting viewing experiance…Lastly I don’t know if anyone has been watching Wayward Pines…but after tonights episode…I’m like WTF!!! My mind is blown!!!

      • Well I was unsure until last nights mind f**k and now I love it because there is no way you saw this coming…now I’m shaking my head in disbelief…but in a good way…

    • You know I’ve never checked out “Fringe”. Do you think I’d like it Shannon? Is it anything like “The X-files” or “Twin Peaks”? Because those are two of my favourite shows ever.

      • It’s one of my favorites…it’s more like X Files but more sci fi…I highly recommend it…I just don’t know what to say without ruining it…

  11. Jason: I heard your joke about the Defender Cards, and it (still) made me smile.

    Ry and Andy: When I first met my wife, I’d been playing “Settlers of Catan” for a few years already. She was convinced it would be sheer nerdery (and, OK, it probably is), but she loved it from the start and we bought the base game and all of the expansions with some of the money people gave us as wedding gifts. We probably played several hundred games with both the Seafarers and Cities and Knights expansions just in the first two or three years of our marriage (we own the River expansion, but we’ve never actually tried it out). Since then, however, we’ve kind of moved on. The Seafarers/Cities and Knights game is so setup intensive that we got tired of it just a year or so after replacing our entire original set. (Also, we found a borderline legit free online emulator that wipes out setup angst and makes scoring/resource distribution SO much easier.)

    In the end, we moved on. We’ve discovered other … dare I say it? … better games. Seven Wonders is very Catan-esque, but 10 times as fast, just as interesting/involving, and has much richer, far more strategically variable gameplay. And there are others: Agricola, Village and especially Castles of Burgundy. We never play Catan itself any more. If you like Catan, you really should seek out those other four and give them a whirl.

  12. I have never read any of the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, and I have never seen an episode of “Game of Thrones” (the title of the first book in the series, but not of the book series itself). If anyone out there doubts how deeply this series has drilled into pop cultural consciousness, however, here’s what happened when I listened to Jay’s review.

    JAY: I’m not going to say what happens at the end of the first episode, because that would be a spoiler.
    ME: Huh. I wonder what happens at the end of the first episode?
    (0.05 seconds pass)
    ME: Oh yeah, that’s probably when they do the part about how [MEEP] and [MEEP] do the [MEEP], and then realize that some poor little [MEEP] saw them [MEEP]. So then [MEEP] decides that he has to [MEEP] the poor little [MEEP] off the [MEEP]. And the poor little [MEEP] is presumed [MEEP], but he didn’t really [MEEP], and that’s sure to be a problem for someone down the road. Yeah, Ry’s probably right, it’s not really a spoiler.

    Again, I’ve never read a page of the books, or seen an episode. You just can’t hide from some of this stuff.

    • Speaking of Game of Thrones, did anyone see the season 5 finale from this past Sunday? I don’t think I can remember a single episode in the series where so many really big things happened.

      The season 5 finale also made me realize that this show makes me hate it passionately every other season (seasons 1, 3, and 5).

      There’s nothing else like it in TV or cinema. So good….

      • Back when the show started and I still had HBO, I remember going into this show knowing nothing about it except that it was based on a series of books that a few friends of mine were big fans of. My brother and I were hooked immediately and so we watched week after week with a devotion that could only be described as religious. Fast forward to the last two episodes and I literally gasped at what my eyes were witnessing. I couldn’t believe it. My body ached, my hands were sweaty, my heartbeat was on the brink of crossing over to a lethal rate, and I felt like my soul was leaving my body. After that most accursed event, my brother got up and left the room. He came back into the room just a few seconds later and with the loudest, angriest voice that I’ve ever heard him speak, he said “They can’t do that. I’m done with this show!” ****SPOILER AHEAD***** Being the huge Sean Bean fan that I am, I too was heartbroken. I still am to this day and I don’t know that I’ll ever get over it.


        • Have you got to the ninth episode of season three yet, Juan? The only time I’ve ever felt like a TV show became a physical being and punched me in the gut while simultaneously making me fall in love with it even more in some crazed ,masochistic haze of utter, disbelieving tragedy, compelling, dark beauty and absolute awe.

          • Yeah, that gut-punch feeling has happened to me, as well. Like I said above, exactly three times (this past Sunday being the latest).

            Juan, I pulled a “your brother” and said the exact same thing Sunday night. I’M DONE WITH THIS SHOW!

            Man, I can’t wait until next season….

          • Haha I’m so excited to start watching it again. I just ordered season 1 from Netflix. I figured I might as well start fresh even if it’s painful.

          • Not yet, David. I know of this Red Wedding episode, which I’m assuming is the episode you mean? I’ve managed to avoid spoilers, but I do hear that it’s brutal.

  13. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been watching some pretty bad movies. I just finished re-watching the entire KICKBOXER franchise :/

    The first one is great. A classic. The rest… well, they’re entertaining in their own right, but what a far cry from the first movie.

    • I saw it on Tuesday and… I don’t know, bro. It was good and I enjoyed it, but I wanted it to be better. I haven’t listened to the MPW coverage on it yet (I’ve gotten through their reviews of the first three JURASSIC films)… I imagine they won’t be beating the horse on it, but it definitely pales in comparison to the original imo. It’s essentially the definition of a summer blockbuster movie: huge spectacle, action packed, visually impressive, a lot of fun, but not much more there. It’s a 7.5/10 for me.

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