Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 144: Dope (2015) and the Third Annual Jason’s Big Birthday Bash: 20 Movie Masterpieces!

Episode 144

Happy birthday to Jason! On July 2, 2015, Jason turns 39! This show — Episode 144 — is the third annual “Jason’s Big Birthday Bash” for Movie Podcast Weekly. In this epic show, your four hosts bring you a Feature Review of “Dope” (2015) and then lists of 20 Movie Masterpieces! Each host will choose five Masterpieces each (and we have no repeats). Also in this show, Andy learns several new vocabulary definitions, and he also discovers that “Bronies” are a real phenomenon… We also get a great voicemail from Dino, who sends Jay a wonderfully generous birthday gift. Don’t miss this show! It’s Jason’s actual birthday party, and you’re all invited!

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
— Jason’s Third Annual “Big Birthday Bash”

[ 0:04:01 ] II. Warm-Up Miscellany
— Karl’s Mini Review of “San Andreas” (2015)
— Cody Clark’s enlightening feedback about the definition of “grundle”

[ 0:13:41 ] III. Voicemail and Jason’s Birthday Present From Dino

— Dino’s voicemail

Mad Max: Fury Road (Redux)
Jason = 7.5 ( Theater / Buy it! ) – Revised Rating

IV. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Ted 2
A Little Chaos [ Limited ]
Escobar: Paradise Lost [ Limited ]
Big Game [ Limited ]
The Little Death [ Limited ]
A Murder in the Park [ Limited ]
Batkid Begins [ LA / NYC ]


[ 0:25:42 ] V. Feature Review: DOPE (2015)
Jason = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )

[ 0:36:48 ] VI. JASON’s BIG BIRTHDAY BASH: 20 Movie Masterpieces from the hosts of Movie Podcast Weekly
— 20 Movie Masterpieces: 5 for each host
— Other Masterpieces that nearly made our lists

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Listener feedback question from James

Episode 145 for our Feature Review of “Terminator Genisys” with special guest, Ryan’s Dad. Join us!


Movie Podcast Weekly’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles Commentary

Hear Dario Russo and David Ashby of “Danger 5” on Geek Cast Live Podcast, Season 2, Episode 23

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Blog: Geek Cast Live
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85 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 144: Dope (2015) and the Third Annual Jason’s Big Birthday Bash: 20 Movie Masterpieces!

  1. Great show guys! Some excellent and interesting picks for your masterpieces.

    Thought I would have a go at putting my own list together:

    Soylent Green: Edward G. Robinson (in his last ever role) in one of the few movies where someone is able to steal the show Charlton Heston. Robinson and Heston together on the screen are a joy This film is beautifully shot, incorporates some terrific and realistic ideas of a dystopian future and with a twist to rival (another Heston classic) Planet of the Apes.

    The Man with Two Brains: I think perhaps The Jerk is the most celebrated of the Steve Martin/Carl Reiner collaborations, but I think this movie is the funnier. They both just get it, run with it and bounce it around! There is barely a scene in this that isn’t just laugh-out-loud funny.

    King of Comedy: Who’d have thought a movie with Jerry Lewis and Robert De Niro in the major roles would work so wonderfully? This has got to be up there as one of Scorsese’s best. Lewis is an exceptional, as well as unusual piece of casting.

    Oldboy: Such incredible attention to detail! Every scene appears to be constructed with such great precision. The attention to detail ranks alongside that of Kubrick. Memorable for may scenes (including THAT fight scene). Disturbing and uncomfortable to watch, this movie is…grotesquely beautiful.

    Fitzcarraldo: Been wanting to see this for a long time and only really had the chance to see it recently. Appreciate it was one of Jason’s discarded picks, but had to bring it up as I was blown away. Also saw My Best Fiend (Herzog documentary about Klaus Kinski) which is a fantastic accompaniment to this. Rarely will see an actor throw his all into a production as Kinski does here (even if he is unlikely to win any friends on set for it). Results are there to see!

    • Thanks for your picks, Ali.

      Yeah, I have TONS to say about “Fitzcarraldo,” and I almost covered it again, but we’ve discussed it so many times on this show before and my rule for us was to try to pick different movies that we haven’t championed before.

      But I’m still going to just freak out and go in-depth on why “Fitzcarraldo” is literally one of the greatest films ever made!

      I’ve said it many times, but what I love most about is how the film is a fictional representation that was conveyed through reality: Or in other words, “Fitzcarraldo” is a film about a madman who wants to build an opera house in the middle of the jungle by dragging a huge boat up over a mountain — and the film was made by a madman wanted to shoot a movie in the middle of the jungle and did so by dragging a huge boat up over a mountain! Crazy! I love that!

      • Thanks Jason. Great call! Simply an astounding piece of film-making. One of my favourite things about this movie is that so much points to a negative ending and although the primary objective ends in failure, you could not wish for a more magnificent and memorable ending.

        Terrific work on this and HMP! I’ve just started listening from the UK and have recommended HMP to my horror-loving friends. Thank you so much for such excellent and informative content.

  2. Talk about the world’s worst party crash #fail, showing up to crash the party after it already happened. :-/

    Anyway, I think the moral of the story is that if you troll J about a movie long enough he’ll eventually change his tune… probably just to shut you up, but whatever works!

    • I know! But I call BS. I’ve been trolling Jay about The Conjuring for a very long time and he hasn’t even so much as given it a thought. Then you come along with your devilish charms and throwing money around and he bumps his score of Fury Road a whole two points! Not cool, Jay. I guess I’ll have to step up my game if I want you to change your score of The Conjuring.

      I do want to give Jay props for bringing up Dark City. I think his comments were on-point. It’s truly an underrated sci-fi/horror masterpiece. I placed it at number 7 in my honorable mentions list over at the sci-fi podcast. Anyway, that was a very pleasant surprise and an awesome pick right off the gate. Good job, Jay!

      • Well, here’s the truth. So many people that I respect (including you guys) went bananas over “Mad Max: Fury Road,” so I came to terms with the fact that I was probably missing something. Or perhaps that midnight screening when I was exhausted affected my mood, etc.

        I am going to revisit and probably re-rate “The Conjuring,” as well. I’m pretty sure I was too hard on that film. I feel in my heart it’s probably an 8 out of 10, but I’ll let you know for sure when I revisit it.

  3. To continue Dino’s masterpiece trend, here are my top 5 masterpieces of the last five years:

    Gravity – 11
    It Follows – 10
    Enemy – 10
    Nightcrawler – 10
    Drive – 10

    And here are my original picks before listening to Dino’s message. The idea was to bring to light lesser known movies that I consider to be masterpieces in the hopes to get attention drawn to them. Some of them have been mentioned briefly, but a few others have never been brought up at all (at least, not to my knowledge). So, please give these a try and enjoy!

    Teddy Bear (2012) – 10
    A coming of age story (of sorts) about a 38 year-old bodybuilder who tries to find love despite his mother’s possessiveness. The acting here is spectacular and the film-making is top notch all-around. Even if you don’t find this movie as dazzling as I did, I guarantee you that you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time watching it. Jay, I know you’re not big on dramas, but I have a feeling that you’re going to love this one.

    Robot & Frank (2012) – 9
    Another very touching story about aging and how the people that surrounds us and we ourselves deal with it. It’s a low-budget sci-fi that does a lot with very little. Here the science fiction comes out mostly out of ideas rather than visuals, although one of the more pleasing aspects of the film is the robot, which is achieved via practical effects. Character development is where Robot & Frank really excels at. The chemistry between the two titular characters is so strong that what little weaknesses the movie has are quickly forgotten whenever these two characters are on-screen.

    Time Crimes (2007) – 10
    One of the best time travel movies out there. It’s smart, scary, tense (and intense), thrilling, and if you just let it take you for a ride, the time travel logic actually makes sense.

    Pusher (1996) – 10
    Quite possibly my favorite gangster movie of all time (ok maybe second after Pulp Fiction). I only watched this a few years ago right after the release of Drive, which is another crime movie by the same director. Pusher is relentless, it’s beautiful in all its raw, grimy, gritty, violent, uncompromising vision. If you like crime movies, this is a must. I also highly recommend its two sequels.

    Memories (1995) – 9
    Last but not least, a fantastic piece of Japanese animation that happens to be an anthology. There are three stories to be found here, one of which (Magnet Rose) is a masterpiece all its own. All films are visually stunning and they all varying degrees of success. If you’re not an anime fan, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you are then this is a must.

    The End.

    • It’s so awesome that you included “Memories”, Juan. Especially because I agree that “Magnetic Rose” is an absolute masterpiece. I think I actually recommended that segment sometime last year over on the HMP comments as an example of a great animated sci-fi/horror film. It’s so beautifully animated too.

      • I couldn’t remember if you had brought it up. I know you’re a fan of Japanese animation, so if anyone had brought it up, it had to be you. I’m super happy that you agree with me on this one. It’s truly a breathtaking film. Dino, I know you’re pretty receptive to animation, but would you consider yourself a fan of anime?

        • I can’t say I’m a fan of anime, but that’s because I’ve never really tried it. I’m open to it, though, so MEMORIES is on my queue. Might as well start at the top.

    • It was hard for me to leave GRAVITY off my “last five years” list. In the end, GIRL narrowly edged it out, even though I rate GRAVITY higher. I went with GIRL because of its truly original, genre-blending story. Was a tough call, though. I considered NIGHTCRAWLER, as well… such a good movie.

      Also, I noticed that your rating of IT FOLLOWS has increased. That warms my heart. What made you finally come around to give it that last 0.5 point (pretty sure you gave it a 9.5 initially)?

      Admittedly, I took the easy way out with my “last five years” theme. Making a masterpiece list like this is daunting, so I gave myself a bit of a pass.

      Juan, your full list is amazing. I honestly don’t think I’ve heard of any of those films, so you definitely accomplished your goal of bringing light to lesser known films (for me, at least). PUSHER, in particular, seems like something I’ll love, but I’m adding all five of them to my queue right now.

      • I feel your pain, man. I also had a hard time narrowing down my choices. Making lists is always though. My heart, soul, and mind are always at odds with each other whenever they come to a crossroad. I feel pretty happy with my picks this time around and I’m glad that I was able to reach you in a way. Hopefully you’ll be pleased with my selections. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of these movies once you get a chance to check them out.

    • Yes, Timecrimes!

      I’ve seen the “Pusher” trilogy, but are you referring to the one off movie remake of “Pusher”? If so, I really need to check that out…


      • I meant the original Pusher. I haven’t seen the remake and I don’t think I want to. What did you think of the Pusher Trilogy?

  4. J, thanks for actually going back to see FURY ROAD a second time. I obviously said that in jest, but I’m glad you enjoyed your second viewing. To say I’m surprised you went would be an understatement; I thought, for sure, you’d go see JURASSIC WORLD a fourth time instead.

    By the way, I loved this episode. Easily one of my favorites from the MPW catalog. So many great films discussed (I guess that was the intent), and I was very pleasantly surprised that THE DESCENT, 28 DAYS LATER, and ZOMBIELAND worked their way onto the show. J, I also liked your mention of MINORITY REPORT, which is one of my top 10 favorite sci-fi films of all-time, and ENTER THE DRAGON, because, like horror, I feel that martial arts films are often overlooked and dismissed in cinema.

    J, speaking of martial arts films and Bruce Lee, have you seen any of the Ip Man movies?

    • The first Ip Man is insane. I wasn’t as big a fan of the second one, but it’s still pretty great. I absolutely back Dino on his recommendation.

      There has been some great stuff these last 15 years. Here are some that come to mind and please fill in the gaps for me if I missed anything. I love recommendations. By the way, I’m excluding non-Asian productions, so I’m not including movies like The One (American) or The Brotherhood of the Wolf (French):

      Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon*
      Ip Man
      Ip Man 2
      Kung Fu Hustle**
      The Protector
      The Raid
      The Raid 2
      Shaolin Soccer**
      Storm Warriors***

      *Technically not a martial arts movie, but still worth including
      **They’re comedies first and foremost, but have enough martial arts culture to include.
      ***Highly fantastical and heavy on the CGI, but still a high recommend from me. Its prequel just missed the cut being that it was released in 1998.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAY! I love that you’re eleven years older than me yet still so young at heart!

    And this episode was brilliant. Dino turning on the charm with his voicemail and then such great selections for your masterpiece lists!

    To me sometimes it’s the flaws of a movie that can make it a masterpiece. I try to avoid the concept that a film bestowed with such praise must be conventionally high quality in every way. I think you can have a B-movie masterpiece as much as you can have an academy award nominated art-house masterpiece. And with that said here’s my list of five slightly obscure masterpieces:

    This is England (2006)
    Possibly my favourite independent British film of all time this movie shows that you can take totally unknown actors, naturalistic narrative and grimy locations and make something beautiful. As an early 80’s period piece it’s perfectly executed (complete with a brilliantly relevant soundtrack) and as a commentary on the way extremists can co-opt the counter-culture of disenfranchised youth it’s pulled off with gut churning realism but it’s the charming, tragic, hilarious and harrowing coming of age tale at its centre that is the truly timeless element. 10/10

    One Hour Photo (2002)
    Robin Williams might mainly be remembered for his comedic roles but his turn here; tragic, creepy and beautifully realised, is probably my all time favourite of his performances. Everything about this tale of obsession, delusion and loneliness exudes an expert minimalism. It racks up the tension with Hitchcockian nuance while maintaining a solid but complex emotional core. 10/10

    In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)
    This is one for fans of documentaries such as “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, “Jodorowsky’s Dune” and “Marwencol”. While not as cinematically compelling as some of those movies it absolutely delivers when it comes to fascinating and inspiring subject matter. The lonesome tale of Henry Darger, an outsider artist who created one of the longest fantasy novels ever written as well as innumerable collages/illustrations depicting his narrative, all unbeknownst to the world in the solitude of a tiny cluttered apartment. Magical! 9/10

    The Mascot (1933)
    A wonderful and enchanting stop-motion film by Russian innovator Ladislas Starevich. It might seem pretty rudimentary by today’s standards of animation but for me it’s timeless and bursting with imagination. The Devils Ball section is particularly otherworldly and unforgettable. 9/10

    Basket Case (1982)
    This was my first introduction to the world of B-movie horror and it has been growing on me like a conjoined twin ever since. Bursting with punky, low budget charm it’s equally sick, hilarious, compelling and creepy. The effects are brilliantly hokey and exploitative but the locations capture the cesspool of early 80’s New York lovingly and each character, no matter how insignificant, is thoroughly entertaining to watch. Blood, sleaze, tragedy, full frontal male nudity and claymation monster sequences. What more could you ask for? 9.5/10

    • Nice, David!

      “One Hour Photo” is brilliant and grotesquely under-loved, under-mentioned, under-appreciated, etc. Good job. I need to revisit it again. I loved it (and I’m not a huge Robin Williams fan, either).


    • I second you on Basket Case, David. It’s such a gem of a movie. It took me a long time to discover the wonders it has to offer, but I’m so glad that I finally know why you speak so passionately about it.

      I know you’ve spoken highly of This is England in the past, so that one’s been on my list for a while. This is the first time I hear of The Mascot and In the Realms of the Unreal. I’m particularly interested in The Mascot because of its stop-motion nature.

      This is going to be a little controversial, but I didn’t love One Hour Photo. It’s been years since I last saw it, so given all the praise it gets from everyone on here, I’ll attribute my dismissal of it as my failure to grasp its brilliance. I will try to revisit this soon.

  6. I just finished a hellacious week at the grocery store and I’m pooped…thank you holidays…but I will post my 5 masterpieces soon…

  7. Ok I guess I’ve been thinking about it all day so I’ll throw out my first gut instincts…
    The One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
    Sid and Nancy
    The Outsiders
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    Dazed and Confused
    I find all these movies very real honest depictions of life…and I can relate to them on an real human emotional level…

    • I can see what you mean by honest depictions of life, Shannon. I haven’t seen the first two movies you listed and I’m not a fan of The Outsiders, but I definitely agree with Fast Times and Dazed. There is a very organic way in which the comedy unravels and the characters aren’t soulless caricatures like in most coming of age comedies. Excellent picks by the way.

    • I haven’t seen “Sid and Nancy” or “The Outsiders” but I’d definitely class “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Dazed and Confused” as absolute masterpieces. They’re all up their in my favourite movies of all time. Cinema at its best!

      • Can’t believe you haven’t seen Sid and Nancy since you live in Sex Pistols land…It’s a Gary Oldman tour de force performance…wonder what Josh thinks about it cause he’s a punk rock kid…

        • I’m actually a little bit of a punk rock kid myself I guess but for whatever reason I’ve never been that interesting in “The Sex Pistols”. I would like to check out this movie though.

        • Gary Oldman is great in Sid & Nancy to be sure, but Sid Vicious embodies everything wrong with punk for me. He’s cool as shit onstage and in the photos–don’t get me wrong–but what a waste in real life. The movie is worth checking out for Oldman, but I don’t love the Pistols.

  8. Hey, guys. Great episode as always.

    I absolutely agree with Karl that when an actress or actor is so beautiful and handsome it’s distracting from what’s going on in certain scene. I remember being amazed by Megan Fox in Transformers. I just couldn’t figure out how it’s possible for her to look so perfect in every single scene. In fact the same was with another Transformers part and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. No matter how messy she got or how dirty she still could manage to look disgustingly beautiful. Must be something with the franchise…

    Your masterpiece picks were interesting and I think I’m dumb as you said because I haven’t seen some of those movies you mentioned;
    Dark City (1998) – I’ve never even heard of it, like Andy. I’ll put it on my “to-watch” list, Jay.
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) – I’ve heard about it here and there but I guess it never sounded enough appealing to me to actually watch it and if it is so boring as Andy said I think I’ll pass it. Although, as my excuse I’ll add that I’ve seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and I’ve read the book. I’ve rated the movie 7/10.
    Player (1992), Tombstone (1993), This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – I admit first time I’ve heard about those films in this episode.

    When Jay mentioned watching martial arts movies I automatically reminded myself about my childhood when me and my brothers and father were watching a lot of those movies mostly with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris and of course Bruce Lee. Plus, a lot of asian martial arts movies that just happened to be streaming on TV back then.

    Also, I love the fact that Chuck Norris was Bruce Lee’s student and I think that Seagal knew him, too. There’s a cool magazine’s cover from 1994
    where we can see all four of them because when I think of martial arts movies I think mostly of those wonderful and crazy talented four men.

  9. Guys I’m back to watching Game of Thrones. I’m on episode three so far and it’s so freaking good! I’m glad I decided to start from the beginning because there are so many characters and I’m just getting reacquainted with them. I already know what’s ahead, so it breaks my heart a little that I’ll have to relive that moment haha.


    • The wifey and I will be starting our full re-watch of GoT soon. Probably around the end of the summer. Can’t wait.

    • We’re actually in the middle of watching a documentary series on Netflix called MONARCHY that depicts the history of the British monarchy, which isn’t all that different from the themes and events in GoT.

      • I’ve always felt like George R.R. Martin takes a lot from real world history. The war of the roses in particular seems like a prominent touchstone. Even the names of the houses are kind of reminiscent; House Lancaster (Lannister) and House York (Stark). I also can’t help but see a stereotypical vision of Britain as being a sort of semi-template for Westeros. The arrogance of the affluent southerners, the grim, weather beaten stoicism of the North and then Hadrian’s wall and the dangerous wilds of Scotland beyond!

        • Bang on, David. Don’t forget crossing The Narrow Sea to… err… Ireland, a completely foreign world to the Westerosi.

          Funny that you mention the Wars of the Roses and houses Lancaster and York. The episode we watched last night touched on that and into the rise of Henry Tudor and the House of Tudor.

  10. I think an episode ago you had discussed “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. I think I have to stick up for this movie a little, well stick up for Steve Carrel. I’ll have to admit performances by some of the other actors and actresses were not great. The lead Alexander actor was not very interesting but I guess he was the best choice out of the options available.

    IMDB has it at a 6.2 and I tend to agree with that rating as it is a decent watch if you are looking for a family movie, and tired of animated movies (or have seen all of them with your kids). I would say about 6.5 if you are looking for a family movie and you are a Steve Carrel fan.

  11. Just bought my ticket for TERMINATOR GENISYS… going to see it this Wednesday afternoon. I’m really looking forward to it even though I’m sure the movie will suck. Call it the naive hope for a good post-Cameron Terminator film.

    • I’m with you, bro. I can’t wait to see it even though I have very low expectations which will probably not even be met. But, it’s a Terminator movie, so how can I say no? :/

    • Sure, I’m happy to call it that. Dino, your expectations for “Genisys” are the naive hope for a good post-Cameron “Terminator” film.

      The Cameron “Terminator” twosome is so good that I’d have been satisfied with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s entire career if he’d retired after “Judgment Day.” I think Linda Hamilton DID retire after “Judgment Day,” and who would ever fault her for that? Why not quit while your supreme badassery is at its absolute zenith?

        • I feel everyone’s pain who loves those first two films. “Rise of the Machines” and “Salvation” both have some fun ideas and cool stretches, but the franchise definitely started to break down after “Judgment Day.”

          I’ll probably go see “Genisys” eventually, but only for Arnold and only out of respect for the first two films in the franchise. Although those “Genisys” trailers — yeesh! I can’t shake the little voice in my head (it’s probably Disgust Cody) saying that if I *really* wanted to show respect for “The Terminator” and “Judgment Day,” then I would stay far, far away from “Genisys.”

  12. I always enjoy the episodes that have lists in them. (Although how come the lists weren’t included in the show notes?) Happy Birthday, Jay! This was a fun show, and not just because Andy made up his list on the spot. (Not really, I know, but it’s such a fun persona.) I loved the tension of Andy coming within one or two snide syllables of getting Karl’s goat by trying to guess his first pick … and then having it turn out later on that one of those snarky guesses was actually on Karl’s list.

    To Karl (and anyone else who cherishes “This Is Spinal Tap”), I highly recommend the documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil.” It’s about an actual semi-legendary Canadian hair metal band (including a drummer who, no joke, is named Robb Reiner). These guys have actually been around longer than “This Is Spinal Tap,” or you might honestly think they’d created their entire persona as a totally straight-faced and worshipful homage to the movie.

    Interesting that we almost got halfway through a Rob Reiner Masterpieces list with Karl picking “Spinal Tap” and Ry choosing “The Princess Bride.” (Ah, “The Princess Bride.” Such a delightful film. Such a worthy selection. I interviewed Mandy Patinkin once and he’s a classy, lovely person. He said he always does the Inigo Montoya line at live shows and never resents it a bit. His exact words about “The Princess Bride” were: “I would say a day never goes by where somebody doesn’t bring it up, or ask me to say a line. I pinch myself all the time, because I can’t believe I’m that guy.”) Reiner has churned out a lot of crap lately, but you could round out a five-movie masterpieces list with any three out of the following four: “Stand By Me,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery” and “A Few Good Men.”

    Andy briefly mentioned it, but I don’t think the Coen Brothers version of “True Grit” gets nearly enough masterpiece love from people who like Westerns. There’s also the Holy Trinity of Kevin Costner Westerns That Are Masterpieces: “Silverado” (this one’s really a Lawrence Kasdan film, but still), “Dances With Wolves” and “Open Range.” And Kasdan and Costner’s underappreciated “Wyatt Earp” (also mentioned by Andy) almost qualifies for that list.

    Since MPW sometimes undervalues and/or overlooks animated movies, here’s my entirely random list of Five Non-Pixar Animated Movies That Are Masterpieces:

    1) Kung Fu Panda (I get mad at people who think it’s “just” a comedy. Is it funny? Absolutely. Is it also a moving, character-driven story that fully honors kung fu cinema? Without doubt. Check out both this one and its worthy sequel if you scoff at the notion of an animated movie that delivers on the level of something like “House of Flying Daggers” or “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”)
    2) Spirited Away (My favorite Miyazaki movie. I’m not really Japanimation Guy, but that’s definitely a worthy subset of world cinema. This is just such a gentle, stirring, wonderfully imaginative movie.)
    3) Wreck-It Ralph (I’ve met very few people who dig this movie as much as I do, but man, does it ever push my buttons. [See what I did there? A video game movie that “pushes my buttons”? Anyone? Anyone? Is this thing on?] I’m as passionate about “Wreck-It Ralph” as Andy is about “The Lego Movie,” and even less successful at rallying people to my flag than Andy is.)
    4) Fantastic Mr. Fox (For me, this is Wes Anderson’s finest achievement. I bet Roald Dahl would have LOVED this movie. It might even be my favorite performance by George Clooney in anything not titled “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Anderson makes wonderful movies, and I enjoy watching most of them to varying degrees. Ry’s pick of “Rushmore” is a good one, though I’d probably go with “Moonrise Kingdom” among the non-“Mr. Fox” films.)
    5) Treasure Planet (It would probably be impossible to make a bad movie out of “Treasure Island,” but this is a very good “Treasure Island” movie. I will be bitter all the way down into my grave that U.S. moviegoers so thoroughly rejected it.)

      • GeekCast Ry’s pick of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” made me think of another underappreciated animated movie. It doesn’t quite make my list, but it’s still awesome and should have been more groundbreaking than it ended up being (at least so far). Robert Zemeckis’s “Beowulf.” Both in its day and in retrospect, I think a lot of the movie was/is overwhelmed by the “naked Angelina Jolie” angle, but it’s actually a very worthy telling of the old legend, and the final battle scenes are awesome. I’ve always been a little bummed that it never inspired any imitators.

        • That’s what I thought the future would be like when Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within came out, but we all know how that turned out. It was a huge flop and almost bankrupted Squaresoft (now Square Enix). I haven’t revisited it in years, but I remember it was years ahead of the competition when it came out. That was truly a film ahead of its time. Have any of you guys seen it? What did you think of it?

          • I actually saw “Spirits Within” and reviewed it for Mr. Showbiz back in the day. The MSB site is long gone (Disney pulled the plug in 2001), but I have the text of the review kicking around my hard drive at home. I don’t recall the gist of what I said, but I do remember being wowed by the animation.

  13. Mister Cody Clark, everyone! Dude (may I call you dude?), you almost brought tears to my eyes with the second half of this post. A random list of non-pixar — and I assume non-Disney as well since you could’ve made a list just on Disney alone yet you didn’t include a single one. Surely The Little Mermaid and/or The Nightmare Before Christmas would’ve made your list — and a damn good one at that. I agree with every single one of your picks although, as much as I love Treasure Planet, I would have substituted it for How To Train Your Dragon. Other than that, your list is flawless.

    With regards to Kung Fu Panda, YES! It absolutely is a homage to martial arts cinema. Anyone who didn’t get that is a fool, a fool I tell ya! I loved that you compared it to such highly regarded movies as the ones you mentioned. I think it’s fair for Kung Fu Panda to stand alongside them.

    Spirited Away is fantastic and a landmark in animation. It raised the bar so high that I don’t know that Studio Ghibli themselves have been able to top it. The film is chok-full of inventive and highly original ideas that could only exist in a mind like Miyazaki’s. He’s truly a master of his craft. Cody, have you seen Nausica of the Valley of the Wind? It’s my favorite Miyazaki film. It might seem dated by now, but I remember watching it and leaving me with a sense of wonder (and sadness) like I’ve never felt before.

    Wreck-It-Ralph just wrecked it! It’s the love letter to videogames that I always wanted. There’s so much passion and love behind that movie that it’s palpable. I absolutely love it in ways that are too graphic to tell. For censorship’s sake, let’s just say that I hide it under my pillow and give it secret kisses.

    I don’t consider myself a Wes Anderson fan, but Fantastic Mr. Fox was the movie that made me go “uh, I think I get it”. It’s beautifully animated and the intricacies of the character design and their personalities are mind blowing. There’s nothing else quite like it.

    Treasure Planet is a movie that I have a lot of love for, but I don’t think of it as a masterpiece as much as a highly, criminally underrated gem. I’m glad it’s getting some love from you and hopefully it’ll get some love from the people that read your comment.

    Jay, I think you should invite Cody and have an all-animation episode where Cody schools everyone on what makes animation so special and why Josh is wrong in dismissing it as just kid’s stuff.

    • “Cody, have you seen Nausica of the Valley of the Wind? It’s my favorite Miyazaki film.”

      That movie is so underrated in his oeuvre. It’s probably tied with “Spirited Away” as my favourite by Miyazaki but it seems to barely ever get mentioned.

    • Juan: You, and anyone else who wants to but has always been afraid to ask, may call me Dude. (Just don’t me The Dude. There is only one The Dude.) I have deep affection for the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies. They’re fine films, and the first one, in particular, does some mind-blowing stuff with the flying. No other movie experience I’ve ever had has conveyed the thrill of flight as convincingly as seeing “How to Train Your Dragon” in IMAX 3D. I just don’t, well, “treasure” the “HTTYD” films quite as much as I do “Treasure Planet.” Such a fun spin on an all-time classic adventure yarn.

      Shamefully, I have not seen “Nausicaa” — it’s in my Miyazaki blind spot. It looks very similar in spirit and execution to “Princess Mononoke,” which is awesome, so I should probably check it out. One of my own favorite semi-obscure Miyazaki films is “The Castle of Cagliostro.”

      It’s great to hear from somebody else that “Wreck-It Ralph” is beloved. Even just thinking about that movie makes me happy. Jay and the Gang kicked it around pretty dismissively when it passed through MPW back in the day, which broke my heart a little.

      • Andy seems to be the one who enjoys animated films the most, but he grinds my gears whenever he ends his reviews with “it was pretty good for a kid’s movie” or something along those lines. I’m glad you’re not of the same mindset. You bring back a little bit of sanity to an otherwise great podcast.

  14. Have ye the link to the trains, planes and automobiles commentary?

    Good to see John Hughes getting a mention – he was really anti sequel.

  15. Happy Birthday, Jay. Glad I could make the party as a listener this year.

    To be honest, this is only the fourth or fifth time I’ve listened to the show since I’ve left. I don’t feel too bad because I’m pretty sure Andy and Karl have never heard an episode of Movie Stream Cast and Horror Movie Podcast. I’m a longtime fan of the three amigos here, having listened faithfully since CTS, but the show was hurting, in my opinion, and GeekCast Ry has really helped the show rebound from some of the lower points. He was excellent here. Wonderful, funny and knowledgable addition to the fun dynamic you guys already have.

    20 great movies mentioned, guys. I can almost half of them as masterpieces.

    I will second:

    Dark City
    No Country For Old Men
    Glengarry Glen Ross
    Planes Trains & Automobiles
    Enter the Dragon
    This is Spinal Tap

    Lots of other great picks and I love many that fall just short of masterpiece for me personally. A few notes: How in the living dead do you name Zombieland over Shaun of the Dead?! Oh, yeah, Emma Stone. You guys are nuts there. Not a fan of The Descent either, Jason, but I’ve only seen it once. I will keep an open mind there until rewatch. Just recently saw Willy Wonka for the first time as well, thanks to a gift from William Rowan Jr. It’s good times. Love the odd inclusion of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

    • Josh,
      I could never forget you, Brother … except for that time when I was a complete dumb-a** and inexplicably forgot to invite one of my very best friends to this birthday bash… I’ve apologized privately for that, but I also wanted to make everyone uncomfortable and apologize publicly.

      Seriously, Josh… We need to review both “The Descent” and “The Descent Part 2” on HMP in-depth, then. It is a mind-blowing horror film…

      Thanks for writing.

        • I don’t know about way > you guys. They’re both 10s to me, but I have to give it to Shaun of the Dead. You know what this means, right? Top 10 zombie movies list. Go!

          • Meh. The way was solely added to further antagonize Josh. Tallahassee was just such a great character and the cast had such great chemistry they it’s impossible for me to not give it to Zombieland.

          • Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on… but do you hate it or dislike it? I could live with a 9, but anything lower than that would be a crime. What about the movie didn’t you like?

            • Haha… Juan, I didn’t say hate or dislike at all. In fact, the actual words that came out of my fingers were “I like SHAUN…”

              There’s nothing about it that I disliked, it just didn’t click with me the way ZOMBIELAND did. Z is a 9.5/10 for me, SHAUN is an 8.5/10.

          • Sorry, but the “it was way for me” blinded me for a second there. Ok well, I guess I can live with an 8.5. For not “clicking” with it, you scored it pretty high.

  16. Hey guys! Awesome show. I make it easy on myself and define both a 10/10 and a masterpiece as a film that I wouldn’t change anything about. That might sound a little too simple but I’m pretty nitpicky, for instance, as much as I enjoyed It Follows, there’s several things I’d love to change that I feel would have made it stronger. So with that said and using Dino’s Five Films of the last Five Years, here’s my list:
    Gone Girl
    The Descendants

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