Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 174: Room (2016) and The Boy (2016) and The 5th Wave (2016) and 400 Days (2016) and MPW’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made

Episode 174

Happy birthday to Karl! It’s Karl’s Big Birthday Bash on Movie Podcast Weekly, and this very special show is Episode 174! We’re pleased to bring you four Feature Reviews of Best Picture nominee Room and The 5th Wave and The Boy and 400 Days. But our Main Event for this episode is when we celebrate Karl’s birthday by bringing you MPW’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made! We also have a delightful special guest, television critic Laura Tilton on the podcast to review a couple of TV shows. Your MPW crew also weighs in on the potentially controversial “Oscar So White” debate. 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 week.


I. Introduction
— Happy birthday to Karl!

[ 0:03:38 ] II. The Oscar Race
— #OscarSoWhite
— Jamie Foxx a real-life hero
— Listener requests / complaints
— More on “Making a Murderer” [contains major plot spoilers]
— Special guest TV critic Laura Tilton:
-The Flash Season 2, Episode 10
-Arrow Season 4
-DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Pilot

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Dirty Grandpa
The 5th Wave
The Boy
Ip Man 3
Monster Hunt
Monkey Up
All Mistakes Buried
Rabid Dogs
Prescription Thugs


[ 0:59:36 ] IV. Feature Review: ROOM (2016)
Jason = 10 ( Must-See / Theater / Buy it! )

[ 1:03:24 ] V. Feature Review: THE 5th WAVE (2016)
Karl = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 1:07:44 ] VI. Feature Review: THE BOY (2016)
Jason = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 1:12:09 ] VII. Feature Review: 400 DAYS (2016)
Jason = 3 ( Avoid )

[ 1:15:30 ] VIII. Karl’s Big Birthday Bash: MPW’s TOP 10 MOST IMPORTANT FILMS EVER MADE

Ryan’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made:
1. Animal House (1978)
2. Deep Throat (1972)
3. Lone Survivor (2013)
4. Easy Rider (1969)
5. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
6. Blazing Saddles (1974)
7. Do the Right Thing (1989)
8. The Breakfast Club (1985)
9. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
10. Captain America: Winter Solider (2014)

Andy’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made:
1. The Godfather (1972)
2. Casablanca (1942)
3. The African Queen (1951)
4. Titanic (1997)
5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
6. The General (1926)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
8. Psycho (1960)
9. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
10. Gone With the Wind (1939)

Karl’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made:
1. Gattaca (1997)
2. Charlie Wilson’s War (1997)
3. The Insider (1999)
4. Schindler’s List (1993)
5. All the President’s Men (1976)
6. Glory (1989)
7. 12 Angry Men (1957)
8. Apollo 13 (1995)
9. Roots (1977)
10. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Jason’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made:
1. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
2. Tokyo Story (1953)
3. Joyeux Noel (2005)
4. Downfall (2004)
5. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
6. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
7. Bully (2011)
8. 12 Angry Men (1957)
9. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
10. Fed Up (2014)

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
Sincere thanks to:
Lance in Provo
Eric E.
Joshua G.
David W.

Episode 175 where we’ll be reviewing “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “The Finest Hours” and “Brooklyn” from 2015. Join us!


Jason says this is a must-watch: WWII deaths short film by Neil Halloran

And Jay also highly recommends listening to KCRW’s Interview With Ryan Coogler

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Ryan says check out a show called “This Freakin’ Show.”

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

66 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 174: Room (2016) and The Boy (2016) and The 5th Wave (2016) and 400 Days (2016) and MPW’s Top 10 Most Important Films Ever Made

  1. I cannot believe you scored The Boy that high, Jason Pyles. Had you disclaimed that your review of it was 100% subjective, then I would be ok with it. But there is no way that anyone would objectively give that movie a score higher than average. Not only was the execution of the premise mediocre, but the dialogue and acting were unintentionally hilarious throughout most of the movie. The twist at the end was almost insulting. It was poorly done, silly, and flat out stupid. For a guy that complained that The Conjuring suffered from kitchen sink syndrome, which it doesn’t, it appalls me that you’ll give a pass to a far, far inferior film that not only suffers from said syndrome, but also heavily and unabashedly steals bits and pieces from various movies—better movies— to form a fractured Frankensteinian and bastardized version of those movies but that fails to come up with anything new or remotely cohesive. I will say that the film does have some positives. The atmosphere is suitably creepy, the movie looks good, and Lauren Cohan is as lovely as always. She’s not given much to work with, but she gives it her all. Poor Maggie. She deserves better. This is bad. Like a 5.5 bad. Shame on you for recommending this to your fans, Jay.

    • Juan,
      Incorrect, Sir. You are off on this one, Brother. And frankly, it is I who am disappointed in you, young man.

      I’ll talk about “The Boy” more in-depth, explaining its greatness, on HMP (that episode releases this weekend), but in the meantime, to address your comment, Juan: If you think my rating is too high; I think yours is too low, and others do, too:

      For instance, out of more than 2,000 IMDb voters, “The Boy” was rated 6.6 out of 10. (Not as high as my rating, but not as low as yours, either.)

      And the user reviews on Metacritic rated it 6.8 out of 10, citing “generally favorable reviews” out of 33 raters.

      And the users at Dread Central, for example, rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

      When I saw this movie, it was the late showing, 10 p.m.-ish. And much to my chagrin, the theater was filled with numerous, rowdy 16-year-olds in huge groups. Very loud and rambunctious crowd. In fact, Juan, even the manager came into the theater before the film started and scolded the audience to settle down. I was worried they were all going to ruin the experience. It was clear they had originally come to the theater to try to be funny and MST3k the movie…

      But very quickly, they were drawn in and disarmed. The crowd grew very quiet and engaged. And by the end, they loved it. I loved it, too!

      I suspect you saw this in a bad mood, or you expected it to be a different kind of film, but you’re being very dismissive of this one, Juan. And you make me sad, my friend.

      • I like how you manipulate your statistics, Jay. Not very professional of you, but I’ll let it slide since we’re friends. Here are the real statistics as of this moment:

        Rotten Tomatoes – 23%
        IMDB – 6.6 (you got that one right)
        Metacritic – 44%

        Now, I know of at least one person who scored it lower than me. His name is Sal. You might recognize him. There’s my proof that I wasn’t the only one who disliked it. Who are these “others” you refer to? Are they the rambunctious kids that were told to be quiet by the manager whose quietness throughout the movie you mistakenly associate with the quality of it? The same kids who are clearly the target audience of the movie? Come on, Jay. This is a teenager’s horror movie and not a very good one.

        Look, I’m glad that you had a great experience, but that doesn’t excuse your inflated score. I had a really good experience too. I had pizza, which I never get because I don’t like eating meals at the theater, but I had skipped lunch that day and I was hungry. Anyway, I had pizza, I had a lady friend with me, and I was in a great mood. I was about to watch my first horror movie of 2016 and I was excited. So, no, your mood theory doesn’t apply, I’m afraid. As far as how people reacted in my theater, it was as if everyone was watching the comedy of the year. It started with a few chuckles here and there and it escalated to full out top-of-the-lungs laughing. I was laughing too, and it wasn’t a reaction to the laughter from the crowd. I was genuinely laughing at how unintentionally funny some of those scenes were. Even you admitted to this during your review.

        I’m not familiar with Dread Central, so their score of 3.5 doesn’t mean much to me other than your agreement of it. I do follow a site called Modern Horrors and they scored it a 5.5/10, so again, I don’t seem to be the only one out there who thinks the movie is subpar. Regardless of how low you think my score is, I don’t think “greatness” is a word that should be associated with this film.

        ****FULL SPOILERS BELOW****

        For the ones that have seen the movie or the people that don’t care about spoilers or about watching it, the movies The Boy steals from are:

        Bad Ronald
        Child’s Play
        The People Under the Stairs

        If you’ve seen those movies, you’ll know exactly how The Boy plays out. Actually, I recommend that you watch those instead and skip The Boy. And that’s the bottom line ’cause Juan said so.

        • Also, if we go by your logic from past arguments, my score is closer to all three aggregate scores we both listed and higher than two of them, which makes me the clear winner. Hurray for sound logic!

          P.S. We’re still friends, right? :)

          • Juan,

            I have to agree to disagree with you, sir. I liked ‘The Boy’ quite a bit.

            I found the first 2/3rds to be a slow burn for sure but I thought it was very creepy and loved Cohan’s performance. She especially stood out when the ex boyfriend showed up.

            And I think the twist was brilliant and totally holds up if you start thinking about things that preceded it (such as instructions on saying everything loudly, not throwing the food away, etc.).

            I do believe a scene involving the elderly couple that pops up about halfway through the film was oddly placed and also ends up making a scene where Cohan discovers a letter about something we already know ridiculous.

            Overall, I’d be a little lower than Jay but I’d give it a 7.5-8 and I’d be surprised if it was not on my top ten horror list at the end of the year. But that’s just my two cents.

        • I love all these comments! (I’m always so flattered when you, my friends, jump on these comment boards and start posting responses the day of release — even if you are coming after me (Juan)! : ) Thank you!)

          I want to get to all of Eric’s great comments below, but just one quick note for Juan: You are correct. I did not cite all the mainstream critics’ ratings for “The Boy.” Give me some credit, Juan: I knew you were smart enough to check on my stats reporting — an obvious fact that should provide credibility when I tell you: I purposely omitted mainstream critics’ ratings, because we all know, generally speaking, mainstream critics “don’t get” horror, and they’re unreasonably tough on it. So, their 2 cents isn’t relevant here…

          And since these comments are presumably read by “general audiences” (true movie-lovers like you and me), I wanted to cite numbers from general audiences only and not snobby critics. : )


          • Willis – I love you, but I can’t take your opinion seriously when you refer to The Babadook as a “hot mess” and The Boy as a “really good and creepy movie”.

            Jonathan – I agree that the first 2/3 of the movie were a slow burn, but that’s actually my favorite part. I count those slow burn, creepy, and atmospheric moments as a big positive. The ex showing up was a huge mistake. It didn’t make sense at all. Not only did it convolute the already convoluted story, but it got in the way of the chemistry between the lead characters.

            I would never use the word brilliant when referring to this movie. First of all, it’s a rehash of other movies and secondly, it fails to match, let alone surpass any of the movies it steals from. That alone is a big detractor for me.

            The elder couple’s fate felt shoehorned in, I agree. It doesn’t add or detract anything for me though.

            Jay – If you’re going to only address certain numbers and facts, then also let the audience know about the ones you chose to leave out. Otherwise, it only looks as if you’re manipulating data to your advantage 😉

        • Your spoiler portion was one of the big things weighing on my mind once the film was over and I left the theater. I felt like I had already seen the film before I had even actually seen it.


          When hearing that Jay loved The Boy, my first thought was “…duh”. It begins as a supernatural film, something Jay has went on record of saying he’s not a big fan of. When the twist comes, it becomes known that it’s not ACTUALLY a supernatural film. With that, it’s no longer the type of sub-genre film that Jay tends to not like.

          I’m 40 minutes into this episode of MPW, so I’m curious if Jay brings this up.

      • Jason –

        I am so, so glad you brought up the Metacritic user ratings for The Boy, a film you loved. I have a few aggregate numbers** for comparison I’d like to share with you…

        The Boy

        – Metascore (critic reviews): 42 (1 positive / 6 mixed / 3 negative)
        – User Score: 6.8 (24 positive / 9 mixed / 8 negative)

        Rotten Tomatoes:
        – Tomatometer (critic ratings): 21% (average rating 4.2/10 / 6 fresh / 23 rotten)
        – Audience Score: 47% (average rating 3.2/5 / 10,722 user ratings)

        Jason Pyles’ rating: 8.5/10


        – Metascore (critic reviews): 59 (14 positive / 12 mixed / 4 negative)
        – User Score: 5.8 (87 positive / 47 mixed / 46 negative)

        Rotten Tomatoes:
        – Tomatometer (critic ratings): 62% (average rating 6/10 / 91 fresh / 56 rotten)
        – Audience Score: 37% (average rating 2.8/5 / 28,428 user ratings)

        Jason Pyles’ rating: 0.5/10

        Now, let me preface this by saying I have not yet seen The Boy (I do plan to soon), so I am not speaking to my opinion of the film and/or how that may or may not be in-line with your opinion. The point I’m getting at, however, is your chosen path to justify your rating of the film (and what you’ve chosen to omit) seems a bit curious given your past. Namely, you cite the Metacritic user score as a representation of the general audience opinion of the film, and discredit mainstream critics for “not getting” horror.

        So I decided to look at the aggregate numbers (and critic’s reviews) of what is arguably your least favorite movie ever, Unfriended, and compare those to the numbers for The Boy.

        As you can see by the numbers above, the general audience reception of the two films has been relatively similar, with the Metacritic User Score aggregate being within 1.0 of each other and the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score aggregate similarly being within 10% of each other (so, 1 point separation if reduced down to a 10-point scale). The breakdown of positive/mixed/negative user reviews on MC are also similarly proportioned between the two films, while the RT average user ratings are equally similar, separated by 0.4 (which equates to <1.0 difference on a 10-point rating scale).

        Now, where things get really interesting is when looking at the critical reception of the two films by the so-called "mainstream critics who don't get horror." Here, we see that Unfriended was actually much more well-received than The Boy. Every way you look at it, whether looking at the aggregate ratings on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, the breakdown of positive/mixed/negative reviews on MC, or the RT Tomatometer, there is a more statistically significant gap between the two films with the advantage going to Unfriended in every instance.

        Yet, your ratings of the two films are separated by 8.0 points, with Unfriended receiving the absolute lowest rating of a film you could give!

        Now, again, I have not seen The Boy, so I am not speaking from the subjective perspective of whether or not I agree with your opinion of the film. I am only commenting on your chosen method of support for your rating. If that is a valid approach for justifying your rating of The Boy, then what does that say about your rating of Unfriended?

        And, for the record, I have seen Unfriended and I basically fall in-line with the general critical reception of the film – it’s a slightly better than average horror flick, a 6.5/10 for me. But that’s neither here nor there.

        **Numbers are as at 2/3/16

  2. So glad you loved Room, J. Sorry to keep pushing it, but I had a feeling you would appreciate it. I liked your comparison to Life is Beautiful (one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time). I hadn’t thought of that.

    An absolutely wonderful meditation on life itself, and the “rooms” that we define our worlds by, and re-contextualizing how we view things depending on our perspectives and circumstances. Powerful and beautiful.


    I went into seeing it last October having seen the trailer (which completely spoils that they get out of the room), but it didn’t diminish anything. I think the much more powerful and meaningful part is the second half. I can see where it might work on a different level without the spoiler, but the problem with that is that I think people might expect it to be only a thriller about whether they might get out of the room. And so the whole second half, which is more of a straightforward emotional/spiritual drama, could feel like an anticlimactic bore for people who were expecting a suspense thriller. You know what I mean? So I think that’s why the trailer intentionally spoiled the escape, because they wanted it to be clear that the movie wasn’t really about that, but really about SO much more.

    • Btw, J, a tangent here, but speaking as a fellow Mormon, Room is the kind of movie where it bugs me a little that my recommendation will be ignored or even bristled at by the vast majority of my fellow Mormons, merely for its R rating. Talk about a work of art that is praiseworthy and life-affirming and full of deep meaning and beauty and spirit. But nevermind… the MPAA has spoken. Argh.

      I’m curious if you ever get any flak from church members for reviewing (or even watching) some of the films you do.

      • Which reminds me that I saw the Clean Flicks doc on Netflix a couple years ago and loved that. Kudos to Josh L. for his great work on that.

        I’m amused/annoyed by the hypocrisy depicted in that movie about the adherance many Mormons had to something that never was an actual doctrine (i.e., avoiding rated R films), which caused them to hugely support an enterprise that was editing movies illegally, thus essentially defying an *actual* doctrine (adhere to the laws of the land). And that by avoiding rated R films but justifying watching *edited* rated R films, they ended up watching much more junk, overall, rather than using discernment to just watch good films, whatever the rating. Not to call Saw “junk,” but I found it interesting when they said that Saw was the most rented film from Clean Flicks, as if *that* is what we would consider uplifting and valuable entertainment now that the violence is removed?? (And is it even worth seeing without the violence/gore?)

        Anyway… our “cultural doctrine” is a subject that bugs me.

        • This is an element that I find really fascinating about this group of podcasters. From listening to Jay discuss this topic in the past I get the feeling that he feels like a bit of a non-conformist in his community with regards to his intake of cinema. I kind of admire that rebellious streak of navigating potential awkwardness for the sake of something he genuinely loves (and hates I guess!).

          He’s definitely discussed this sort of stuff before a few times but I’m afraid I’m not useful enough to offer specific episode references. I guess it maybe comes up a bit more over on Horror Movie Podcast.

          • Yes, David, I would like to hear that.

            J, rather than reiterate what you may have already said earlier, if you have spoken about that kind of thing before on MPW or HMP, and can point me to the episode(s), then I can just check that out to get your take and experience with that.

            Or, we can certainly discuss it here as well. It’s an issue I tend to champion a bit as more of a liberal/heterodox Mormon… that I feel we sometimes close ourselves off to potentially meaningful art and inspiration by adhering to a very specific standard, which I don’t believe was ever meant to be perpetuated.

            That being said, I can totally understand that many people in our church would not appreciate viewing things like Fury Road or Hateful Eight or It Follows, and so forth. I have no intention of evangelizing more intense or abrasive films to them. It’s more about the principle of being absolute about something that should not be absolute (i.e., artistic depiction, inspiration, etc.). It becomes Pharisaical, and building a fence around the law, in essence. And there wasn’t really even a law to begin with, just some general guidelines, and one statement specifically to the youth to avoid media that is more sexually enticing.

            And there’s the hypocrisy that many Mormon adults I know say that they have watched Schindler’s List and say things like, “well, that was an exception,” but wouldn’t want to give a chance to something like Shawshank Redemption or Room, which are also incredibly powerful and meaningful. (I’ve referred to Shawshank Redemption as being rated R for “required.”)

            Heck, I just finished reading The Book of Mormon (it occurred to me that in 25 years of being a member, I’d never read it all the way through), and that would not just be rated R, but more of a Game of Thrones R. There is some brutal stuff in there, and quite a lot of it. :)

            Anyway, I look forward to your experience and thoughts on that.

        • Oh, geeeez… I hadn’t listened all the way through the show when I posted that last comment. I’ve basically insulted your wife for using Clean Flicks. Good grief, I’m so sorry. :(

          It’s more about the institutional sense of that, as portrayed in the documentary, that I find objectionable. Of course there are many Mormons who I know and love and greatly respect who have used Clean Flicks.

          There’s a Frank Zappa album series called Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar. Before I say dumb things like that, I wish a voice in my head would say that… “shut up and play your guitar, Eric.”

    • I understood but was disappointed by the short discussion of Room. I’m making a formal request for a spoiler-contained review once all the members have seen the film.

      This was a very uncomfortable watch. I’m claustrophobic, so that feeling crept in during the first half of the film. Probably the bigger issue is I have a 4-year old grandson. I know how he absolutely desires and enjoys being outside. He loves to run, jump, roll, throw balls, etc. Seeing a young boy constrained was very tough to watch It was so apparent how his entrapment was stunting his growth – physically and emotionally.

      Lastly, I loved the fact that the shed was referenced as “Room” not “the room”. It ended up being referenced as a proper noun,. For Jack, Room was the same as Earth. I thought that was a master stroke.

      I was in tears at end of the movie and I’m thankful for the experience.

  3. Good discussion of the Oscar issue. I think the Academy made a smart choice to expand the demographic of the Academy. That’s the right way to do it, rather than trying to mandate anything.

  4. Movie Podcast Whitey

    On the episode where four white dudes talk about #OscarSoWhite, Willis Wheeler is not brought on to give his thoughts.

    For shame…FOR SHAME!

  5. My thoughts after seeing Room originally posted in the comment section on December 16, 2015:

    I watched Room last night and man, was it emotional. At some point in the movie, I felt seemingly every emotion that I could feel. At times it’s heart wrenching and you feel as if your soul is dying watching it. Then there’s points where you experience the beauty and wonder of the world and it’s incredible. While Room’s plot might be taking the easy way in order to get their viewers to be emotionally invested (With that subject matter, it’s so easy to be sucked into it), but it came off as being so much better than a Lifetime Original Movie, something the plot reminds me of.

    I don’t know if it’s just pure talent or if she’s been lucky to land awesome scripts, but Brie Larson has been on a roll as of late. The boy, Jacob Tremblay did a fantastic job as well. At times he’s annoying, but it came off less as the actor is annoying and more like the character is supposed to be annoying in those moments since it made you feel more for Larson’s character when all you wanted to do was slap the kid around.

    The fact that the movie was broken in half with the first half being in the room and the second half the aftermath nicely summed up the idea that once you’re safe, you’re not automatically okay. That second half is something we don’t see often in these sort of movies.

    Room is fantastic and go out of your way to watch it however you can. Right now it’s my #1 movie of 2015.

    (2016 Sal sez: Room is still my #1 pick for best movie of 2015)

  6. In regards to the idea of changing the theme song, personally I’m not fond of change and I wouldn’t be in favor of it. I find the theme songs for MPW, HMP, MSC, and TSFP as being such a vital part in setting the tone for each episode. I’d compare it to firing Andy. Sure, you could end up with something much better, but it wouldn’t be the same.

  7. I was listening to this week’s episode and although I can’t think of 10 movies off the top of my head that are culturally significant, I can’t stop thinking about one documentary: “Dear Zachery.” If you haven’t watched this yet, I think it is a must see. Fair Warning: if you have kids, it can be very difficult to take in. Maybe in 5 years or so when my wife and I decide to have kids, I’ll think of this differently, but at the time of seeing this film I was a single guy 23 years old. I have never cried during a film, but this was the closest I ever came. I never got so emotional over a story before. I don’t think that that was the intent of the film, but more to show you how flawed the justice system is when it comes to child custody laws. If you thought “Making a Murderer” got you riled riled up, wait until watch this. I know it seems like I am giving every reason to not watch this, but I think that every story that has this much significance has a really dark side to it. The movie so exceptionally well put together with the biggest twist not only in documentaries but one of the most chilling in all of film. It’s been a while since seeing this film, and will probably never see it again, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this while listening to your show’s top 10. If anyone decides to watch it, let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  8. Hey, what happened to “Legend” with Tom Hardy? I thought the trailers looked pretty good, and I was excited to see him playing those twin brother gangsters, and then….nothing. It came out in November and I don’t remember anyone mentioning it after that. Did anyone see it? Did anyone say anything about it?

    • The only little blurb of a review I heard was that Hardy was a force to be reckoned with but overall, the movie was **Stop it bear!**

      I was highly anticipating it, but even in a large metro area, it was a pain in the caboose to get to see it. :-( Ive opted to wait for a streaming release of it.

  9. Um…does Ryan know that Steve Nash won the MVP (twice)…and Dirk Nowitzki. Also, the reason the Rooney Rule exists is because of institutional biases. It was created to combat the racism and open up the field a little more. It’s by no means perfect, but almost had to be put in place. I would love for Ryan (the scholar on racial bias in America) to come up with an alternative solution.

  10. This was a fun episode. Loved the top 10 most important (socially) films lists.

    Re: #OscarsSoWhite…

    I agree there shouldn’t be some sort of affirmative action for the Oscars. In fact, I feel like if I was a minority, I might find the term “affirmative action” to be offensive. However, to Ryan’s point of equality I will say that a person of color does generally need to be more exceptional to succeed in our country (read: America) than a white person. It’s much more possible for a mediocre white person to succeed. In fact, it happens all the time. Maybe it’s a numbers thing, but I think it’s important for us to recognize this social reality.

      • Any and every “term” is probably outdated and offensive to some. Difficult to tread lightly on such topics in a public forum like this.

        But, I am married to an Indian woman, and we have two beautiful half Italian-half Indian boys, so that should earn me some street cred on the topic. :)

        Btw, when Ishani was working on her Masters degree (psychology), they were very big on training for cultural empathy and sensitivity. There was another girl in her program, an Italian, who would always share sob stories in class about how she was constantly discriminated against while growing up… you know, being a minority and all. Far be it for me to judge anyone else’s life experiences, but, come on….

        • I personally don’t find it offensive towards me. I just always thought that “person of color” or “colored” was derogatory towards black people. But I’m not an expert on the subject. I didn’t grow up on the states, so I lack a lot of knowledge that people growing up here have*.

          You totally have street cred in my book, but I’m not sure it works like that haha. Besides, some people are far more sensitive than others. The majority of my friends are Asians and we constantly make fun of each other’s backgrounds. But just because I can do it with them doesn’t mean I can just approach anyone and sing in fake Chinese. Anyway, about your Italian friend, I get what you’re saying but at the same time, you’d be surprised how racist people can be even if the tone of your skin is as pale as theirs. Personally, I’ve only been the recipient of racism one, and a witness to it twice. Not bad, but zero times would be better.

          *I just learned about pez a couple years ago. We didn’t have pez in Mexico. How was I supposed to know that was a thing?!

      • Ha! No, it’s far less heroic.

        The setup would be long and laborious to cover, so I’ll skim over that and get to the meat. Suffice it to say that, in my previous life, I found myself heavily involved in the production of the 12/12/12 concert at Madison Square Garden (to raise money for Superstorm Sandy relief). As part of the gig, I had contact with several of the celebrities who were a part of the show.

        One of those people was Jamie Foxx. He arrived at the arena later than expected, but that’s ok because he was only there to do a quick minute-or-so spot talking about some of the storm’s devastation (think: telethon).

        After his spot was over, he came up to the suite I was in to watch the rest of the show. Kanye was going to be performing later, so Foxx came over to me and said “can you let Kanye know I’m here, so I can come on stage for ‘Gold Digger’ or anything else.”

        So, I went down to Kanye’s dressing room and relayed the message to the big dude who was guarding his door. He told me to wait there so he can ask Kanye. So, I waited… and waited… and waited. I was waiting for at least 30 minutes – annoying, yes, but not so bad in the end because I got to watch The Who finish their set (Kanye’s dressing room was right next to the stage entrance), met Jake Gyllenhaal (who was shockingly shorter than I expected; definitely not the 5’11 he’s listed at), and saw Paul McCartney role in along with his set as he passed by toward his dressing room. #namedropping

        Finally the big dude came back out and said Kanye couldn’t figure out a way to work Foxx in because he is doing a medley of songs. At the same time, Kanye and his entourage of 20+ people (mostly teenaged-looking girls) came pouring out of the dressing room, as he was up next to perform. Kanye was wearing a black leather skirt, as one would.

        I made my way back up to the suite. By this time, Kanye had already started his set. Still, I went over to Foxx to let him know, but before I could say anything he looked at me and just said “let me guess… he said ‘no’.”

  11. Still hoping to hear from J about my comments above. Or just a link to earlier episodes where that’s been covered would be fine.

    Side note about some TV…

    I’ll recommend MAD DOGS on Amazon. I’m three episodes in of the ten show run, and it’s been quite fun. Four long-time friends are invited to their mutual friend’s fancy villa in Belize, and are caught up in a web of crime, trying to figure their way out of it in a way that feels pretty realistic. It’s been entertaining, very well shot, and includes a good cast of character actors like Steve Zahn and Billy Zane.


    Conversely, after three episodes of the new X-FILES, I’m feeling like she just ain’t what she used to be. The most recent show was hailed by critics as being a strong return to form, but still, I didn’t really love it. Some amusing parts, and fun enough, I suppose, but not great. I’m a big fan of the original series, so of course I’m going to watch it all. But I think this, more than other reboots, is suffering from a sense of my not being in the same place I was in the mid-90’s, speaking personally, and also television having moved past that. We’ve had Lost and House and Sherlock and other shows since then which were likely influenced by The X-Files, but I think have also done similar kinds of things better. I don’t just mean the special effects, but the writing and acting and production in general.

    In a way, this new series is a perfect reboot because it does share so much of the aesthetic and feel of the original show. I think the best thing is that it will introduce a new generation to the show and they will probably geek out on discovering the original series. But for me, beyond the obvious nostalgia appeal and some basic appreciation of the new episodes, it’s been kind of like walking into your old elementary school and feeling like, wow, this used to seem so huge, but not so much, anymore.


    AGENT CARTER is rocking again. To be honest, I would watch a show featuring Hayley Atwell sitting in a chair and doing nothing for 42 minutes. But even aside from that, the show is fun and has a cool vibe to it.

  12. Juan and I saw The Revenant today. This film has been well covered on here, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it now. But, I did want to quickly say that I really liked the film. I thought it was excellent, and would probably rate it somewhere in the 8.5-9 range (still processing).

    I do have a serious bone to pick with Jason, though, but I’m going to wait until he posts the next show.

    I’m sure Juan will share his thoughts later.

    • I have a bone to pick with you for even thinking about an 8.5. This movie is a 10 no questions asked, bro. Had this been released in 2015, it would’ve been a toss up between it and The Hateful Eight. Wow, wow, wow, what an experience!

      P.S. I think I know what you want to say to Jay and I wholeheartedly agree 😉

  13. I just wanted to say I agreed with just about everything Ry or Andy said about Making a Murderer, particularly what Andy says about the police completely undermining the entire investigation, when things are done that poorly, it’s almost impossible to figure out what actually happened. And I had the exact same people pegged for the killers that Ry had mentioned, but I am curious if he has heard and what his explanation for the following is: Steven Avery’s phone records indicate he called Teresa Halbach three times the day she died. Twice using *67 and a third time not. On the third call he left a voice mail saying (paraphrasing) “where are you, you never showed up?” This more than anything else in my opinion makes him look guilty. But it’s up to the prosecution to remove any doubt and up to the police to properly secure evidence and neither did their job, so even with that they both certainly should not have been convicted.

    • The idea that he left a voice mail saying “you never showed up” was pure speculation by Nancy Grace. There wouldn’t be a documentary if he did that. Voice mails can be recovered… Thus, the question about some potentially being deleted.

      That being said, I’ve waffled about whether I think he did it or not. The amazing thing about this story is that it seems to give you almost equal inclinations for both views. Regardless, justice was not served and there were serious issues with the investigation. Still, there are many reasons to think him innocent, and others who had equal (perhaps better) opportunity. And apparently, his new lawyer has some evidence that she is convinced will exonerate him.

      • Wow, I didn’t realize that. I’ve read it so many places that I just assumed his lawyers somehow got it thrown out. If that’s the case; lots of people, myself included, need to get their facts straight. I’m shocked Dr. Phil allowed her to speculate so wildly about that 3rd phone call on his show since he shut her down on most of her tangents. And also that kind of makes her just like the police in the case, essentially saying: “I don’t care about doing things right I just want to make him guilty any way possible.”

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