Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 192: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and The Ones Below (2016)

Episode 192

Get ready for some controversy on Movie Podcast Weekly, Episode 192. During this show, your favorite movie podcast hosts bring you Feature Reviews of X-Men: Apocalypse and The Ones Below. Please be sure to vote on our poll below. Thank you!

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. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— MPW weighs in on the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla-shooting incident: Watch the Video
— JAWS “Dive-in” movie
— Dino’s movie idea list
— E-mail from Jeff

[ 0:19:45 ] II. Mini Reviews
Karl: Roku 4 Streaming Media Player, TURN: Washington’s Spies
Jason: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Season 1, Ep. 11 “Panther’s Quest,” Mr. Holmes, Ip Man (2008), Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Hear GCL’s episode about this Scientology documentary), Seduced and Abandoned
Ryan: Jeopardy!, Kung Fury, Preacher
Andy: The Good Dinosaur, Annie (1982)

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
X-Men: Apocalypse
The Ones Below
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Presenting Princess Shaw
The Idol
Holy Hell
As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM


[ 1:00:29 ] IV. Feature Review: X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (2016)
Jason = 5 ( Rental )
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )
Ryan = 7 ( Redbox Rental )

[ 1:28:41 ] V. Feature Review: THE ONES BELOW (2016)
Jason = 5.5 ( Rental )

VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Should we change the meet-up dates? Vote on the poll above.
— No Karl next week.
— Karl explains “The Zion Curtain”

Episode 193 where we’ll be reviewing “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” and “The Final Hours.” Join us!


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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

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

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Josh’s links:
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Twitter: @IcarusArts
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If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

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

42 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 192: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and The Ones Below (2016)

  1. As sad as it is that an endangered gorilla was shot and killed, I can’t say I feel right in judging the zoo staff. Ultimately, I’m not the gorilla expert, they are. If they believe the gorilla was unpredictable and could have a change of mood at a moment’s notice, that carries far more weight than whatever opinion I may have from watching the video.

    Frankly, I feel pretty bad for the zoo staff. They must be dealing with so many emotions, with not only trying to handle the backlash for what they’ve done, any concerns of possible lawsuits, and the fact that they had to put down one of the animals they cared for every day for years.

    It’s so frustrating that just because one child wasn’t watched closely enough, all of this had to happen.

    • I’ve got to come down on the other side and state that I think this gorilla’s life (or virtually any gorilla’s) was much more precious than this child’s – or, for that matter, even the lives of a whole bus full of the parasitic organisms that are breeding uncontrollably and exterminating all other species while simultaneously destroying the planet.

      The only reason this gorilla was killed so quickly was because the USA is lawsuit-crazy, and the zoo would likely have been sued had the child been hurt by the animal. I think most places here in the EU would have understood that all of the blame for any potential injury lay fully with the parents and child, and would have attempted first to sedate the gorilla (or try other methods to retrieve the child).

    • Sal, I’m with you on this one. If there’s even a chance a human life is in danger, action must be taken. It sucks, but there’s nothing else that can be said. And it has nothing to do with fear of legal action or anything like that – simply put, it’s about protecting that child.

      I haven’t watched the video because this story sickens me (and I don’t like seeing animals getting killed or hurt), but I know a lot of animal experts from all over the world have said the zookeepers made the right move. Sedation was not a reasonable option in this case since the #1 priority was protecting the child.

      And speaking of protecting the child, I agree with Mario’s comments below that Child Protective Services should at least look into the situation. As a parent of two little boys, I know it’s easy to lose track of them in a public setting. But this is different. This is not your run-of-the-mill scenario of temporarily losing sight of your child in the grocery store because they’re hiding in the next aisle or got distracted by some candy bars while you kept walking. This is losing your child in the freakin’ gorilla habitat of a zoo!

      I’m not familiar with the Cincinnati zoo, but there’s no way the gorillas are separated from the zoo visitors by a simple post and rail fence. Gorilla exhibits are typically one of the most protected and separated areas in zoos because they are such powerful animals. The sort of child neglect necessary to allow a young child to enter a gorilla exhibit goes above and beyond the typical “losing sight of your child in public” scenario.

      The ironic twist in this story is that, I believe, the mother of the child actually runs a children’s daycare. Well, ran is probably going to be more appropriate, because I can’t imagine parents will continue to trust this women to watch their children when she can’t even get a handle on her own.

      • “…but I know a lot of animal experts from all over the world have said the zookeepers made the right move. Sedation was not a reasonable option in this case since the #1 priority was protecting the child.”

        Vehemently disagree… but perhaps we’re watching/reading different news outlets. I live in the EU, and over here many *primate* (not “animal”) experts are saying the exact opposite thing.

  2. Hello MPW,

    Thanks for a well done podcast and im glad to hear that Andy made it safe to his destination for his trip.

    I hope Ryan is not to badly burned but when he started talking about it I could not stop giggling because this what I pictured!!!

    Put the lotion in the basket when your done Ryan LOL :)

    Jason as for a movie that you, your family, and friends can watch is one I watched the other night it is a great movie and will make you appreciate your dog or any pet you have. It is the 2009 movie “Hachi” please watch it and let me know what you think of it I give it a 9 and highly recommend it for the entire family! If you have already seen it please let me know what you think.

    As for the Gorilla in the zoo story I am saddened to hear about what had happened and I think the parents should not sue the zoo but in fact I think Child Protective Services should get involved as the safety for the child was endangered by the neglect of the parents. That will put a good scare in them and im sure it will never happen again. If they do sue and win any type of money that rewards bad parenting. Lets just get past this and move on. On a lighter note I am sure the child would have been ok just look what happened to “TARZAN” when he was left with the gorillas for his childhood… He became King of the Jungle just saying…. Looking forward to that movie now!!!

    Karl also glad you have updated your streaming service ROKU is the best and so easy to use I love it for streaming movies in my room and I love my Smart TV too it makes watching movies so enjoyable. Welcome to the 21st century !!!

    As for my movies I watched on Amazon that I am going to recommend to you guys is “The Program” the story of Lance Armstrong, the rise and fall of of Americas greatest cyclist. It was so fascinating to watch and Ben Foster gives a great performance!

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

    Mario (Loon) Leon

  3. Roku is awesome, especially if you have family members that still get satellite TV and don’t mind if you use their username and password to access subscription based Roku channels like WatchESPN, HGTV, Syfy, FOXnow, etc. Not to mention a bunch of other worthy channels* besides the standard Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and Hulu.

    And the new Roku Streaming Stick model is only $50 and is apparently just as fast as the Roku 3. Check out a review:

    Jay, the headphone jack in the remote is so awesome. I can watch movies late at night without disturbing anyone. (There is a headphone option through the Roku Streaming Stick but it is through your phone, not through the remote.)

    Big fan of Roku devices. If you are still trying to stream content using a gaming system or the almost always awful Smart TV apps, Roku is a must. If you are stuck in the Itunes or Amazon ecosystem, you might instead try Apple TV or Amazon Fire stick. But honestly, IMO Roku is still the one to get.

    *A Roku channel we enjoy is Vidangel, which is a movie rental service that allows you to filter out objectionable content. Unlike Cleanflix of old, you can select what exactly you want to filter (and it is not illegal). It is a great way to get the hesitant wife in on the movie viewing action. I got my wife to watch the movie classic: “Grosse Pointe Blanke” the other night through Vidangel. I set the filter to edit out the dozen or so F-Bombs while still keeping everything else. It was a good time. It is also cheaper than most other movie streaming rental services.

  4. Just wanted to chime in on the gorilla thing…As a parent of two children I know how spontaneous and unpredictable a small child can be…I don’t know what exactly went down but if I was a parent and knew there was some way my child could possibly fall into an animal hapitat there is no way I would take my children anywhere near that possibility…There should have been no access to the animals by child or adult for the animal and persons safety…I can’t blame the parents because this is something that shouldn’t have been able to happen in the first place…I feel bad about the death of the gorilla…it’s just a bad freak accident all around…I’m with Andy though and I would have been down there in a heartbeat to try and get my child back…

  5. I think this article is a must read, regarding the gorilla incident:

    One quote:

    “I must be mistaken. Apparently all the emergency rooms are filled only (with) the broken arms and concussions of kids with irresponsible parents; the gashed knees and dislocated elbows only riddling the bodies of those with negligent moms and dads. All of my scars must be evidence of my parents’ unfitness for the job. These people have either never had a toddler or are in deep denial about their own parenting prowess—because I’m respectfully calling B.S. on all of them.”

    But read the whole article… It’s great. Suffuce to say, it’s horrible what happened, but throwing stones at the mother is not helpful.

    It is a zoo’s first responsibility to do everything they can to protect their paying customers, not the animals. So considering the serious danger to the child, they probably did the right thing, even aside from worrying about a potential lawsuit.

    But of course, that points up the question of whether zoos are a good thing or not, if the animals are not ultimately the first priority, which is another issue. I love what the Bloom County strip said about that. Everyone is asking questions like, “Why did a parent let a kid get in the cage?” “Why didn’t they use a tranquilizer dart?” “Why did they shoot the gorilla in Cincinnati?” And then Opus walks away and asks, “Why was there a gorilla in Cincinnati?”

    • “All of my scars must be evidence of my parents’ unfitness for the job. These people have either never had a toddler or are in deep denial about their own parenting prowess—because I’m respectfully calling B.S. on all of them.”

      This is a completely false equivalency. There’s a huge difference between children hurting themselves in normally safe places (where most injuries happen) or being brought somewhere with potential risks, which requires heightened caution and care from the parents.

      “It is a zoo’s first responsibility to do everything they can to protect their paying customers, not the animals.”

      According to who?

      “So considering the serious danger to the child, they probably did the right thing, even aside from worrying about a potential lawsuit.”

      Sorry Eric, but this is unsupported by the evidence and is just a repetition of the Zoo administration’s position. All of the available video shows the gorilla was not acting aggressively towards the child, and actually appears to be attempting to protect him on several occasions. Primate experts (i.e. people with more gorilla experience than the Zoo administration or the employees that carried out the execution) have stated that it was unnecessary, and can’t believe that simple “negotiation” with the gorilla (which was raised in captivity and completely understood the concept) was never even tried.

      And before I hear any more about the “serious danger” to the child, will someone please post statistics about how many human children under the age of 10 have *ever* been recorded as seriously hurt or killed by an adult gorilla?

      • I was with you on most of your refutations (even though it seems we’re coming at it from different angles), until this…

        “And before I hear any more about the “serious danger” to the child, will someone please post statistics about how many human children under the age of 10 have *ever* been recorded as seriously hurt or killed by an adult gorilla?”

        You want to talk about false equivalencies?…

        • Really?

          I’m just curious if there is even *one* confirmed instance – at any time throughout history – of a gorilla seriously harming or killing a small human child. Maybe there are many and I’ve just never heard of it, but surely it’s not an odd thing to wonder about?

          I’m sure you know that, on the other side, there is *at least* one confirmed instance of a gorilla helping and protecting a child that fell into an enclosure before, right?

          And one other point: people seem to keep forgetting that this *wasn’t* a wild gorilla – Harambe was born and raised in captivity and had never exhibited violence towards humans. Was he incredibly strong and could hurt the child if he wanted to? Yes, of course – but there was no history, motive, or indication that he would.

      • The point is not the nature of the scars, self-inflicted or otherwise, but the limits to the attention of any parent to be able to prevent them. And I’m not saying the mother is blameless… That’s on her, though. I can’t throw stones at her. I think I am a very concerned and attentive parent, but I have taken my kids to parks and zoos and theme parks and lost them temporarily (to my panic). Without a tether or leash, it is next to impossible to be completely aware of a toddler at all times.

        Whether it *should* be the case when precious animals are involved, or is only driven by money (i.e., losing large amounts of it in lawsuits), is another question, but when you open a business for the public, their safety is of first concern. It’s just the nature of understanding that without an audience that feels safe and that their safety is of utmost importance, you don’t have an audience to visit your zoo or theme park, and thus, no longer have a zoo or theme park.

        Have you seen the video?? I totally agree that the intention of the gorilla was probably not harmful and meant to be protective, and that other options should have been considered. But just by dragging the child the way the gorilla did, so quickly across the ground, there was serious danger. One hit of the head on a rock…

        • “…but when you open a business for the public, their safety is of first concern. It’s just the nature of understanding that without an audience that feels safe and that their safety is of utmost importance, you don’t have an audience to visit your zoo or theme park, and thus, no longer have a zoo or theme park.”

          I disagree. Zoos are not (or shouldn’t be) commercial businesses. Their main purpose is (or should be) one of study and conservation first. The public is *allowed* (or at least, this is how it works at the best ones over here) to visit and see and, in some cases, interact, with the dangerous/’wild’ animals (for their own edification), assuming they accept a certain amount of personal risk and responsibility. I think there is *way* too much concern with abrogating the personal responsibility of the public there. Before too long, you’re going to have 20 foot-high curved wire fences all along the rim of the Grand Canyon.

          “Have you seen the video?? … But just by dragging the child the way the gorilla did, so quickly across the ground, there was serious danger. One hit of the head on a rock…”

          I’ve watched any video I can find, but I haven’t seen Harambe dragging the child over any ground – only through the water in the moat. Is that what you’re referring to? If it is, I’d just point out that:
          1) There is quite a difference between being dragged through water and over solid ground. Both have happened to me on a number of occasions, and while I’ve certainly been hurt being dragged over solid ground, I’ve never gotten a scratch being dragged through water. This simple law of physics is true for both humans and gorillas – you learn it as a child.
          2) Gorillas are smart. You can bet Harambe also understood this difference.

          One last point: it should probably be mentioned that this incident seems to once again evoke, in many people here, the feeling that the policy of shooting first, asking questions later, that seems to permeate the American mentality and every facet of the culture – from policing to drone strikes, and now, to animal management.

          • Yes, Harambe was probably being as careful as he thought he could be. But the sheer force of movement, over water or not, is pretty jarring and potentially very dangerous to a 3 year-old human.

            Zoos are commercial businesses. Or at least, they often are. Sure, with some public funding… But there is a gate entrance fee (often a hefty one).

            The mother had three other children with her (including twin 4 year-olds, yikes). Apparently, the boy was saying that he wanted to go in there, and she told him no, to stay away. And then she was distracted by one or more of her other three kids. The responsibility rests with the zoo to make sure that a three-year old kid, whose mother (who they surely eagerly advertised to bring her whole family to the zoo!) may be distracted by one of her other kids, cannot get inside that enclosure.

            • “The responsibility rests with the zoo to make sure that a three-year old kid… cannot get inside that enclosure.”

              No, their responsibility is to take “reasonable precautions” that a 3-year old can’t easily get inside the enclosure – the rest is the parent’s responsibility. Expecting the zoo (or any company) to make everything on their property completely childproof is absurd. A 3-year old can get into an area that causes them injury virtually anywhere on the planet, like, for example, right in front of their home; i.e. the open roadway.

          • I think we’re all making assumptions with the best of intentions and to the best of our judgement and knowledge, but bottom line is, none of us were there, none of us work at the zoo, and none of us know the procedures or ramifications (to the full extent) of such an event. I understand people are upset, but the deed is done. The only thing anyone should be concentrating on is how to prevent something like this from happening again.

        • Mark and Eric; I have loved reading your conversation about the two sides of this controversial story. The thing is, I just really, really appreciate it when people can express their point of view not only clearly and eloquently, which you both have done, but most of all, humanely. Thank you both for having a conversation that remained respectful and sane. It allowed me to continue reading ( and learning something in the process) without throwing my hands up in disgust as I do so many times when online conversations go completely off the rails. You are scholars and gentlemen.

  6. Is it just me, or has 2016 been somewhat lackluster with theater releases thus far? We’ve definitely had a few standouts, but I feel like we’re going through a pretty bad dry spell right now.

    • I’m very much with you, Dino. A few smaller gems, like Sing Street, Green Room, 10 Cloverfield Lane, but most things have just been alright; entertaining enough, but not mind-blowing. Especially compared to last year’s crop of amazing films.

        • True. But thinking about this, I wonder if it might reflect something that happened 4-5 years ago. Any movies we see now germinated at least a few years ago, so perhaps something earlier inspired what I would deem as a more creative and meaningful crop of films in 2015. But then just after that, maybe there was a wave of failed creative films and people got more conservative or less bold. Hard to say, but there might be some kind of historical reason for this.

          But as you say, sure, by comparison to 2015, 2016 was likely to seem like a weak year. I think it’s more than that, though, and this would seem like a weak year, regardless.

          • Eh, Jungle Book and Zootopia are great, too, and Deadpool was quite fun and different. And surely last year had its duds among the gems. I suppose we’ll need to wait until early 2017 to really evaluate the year. It doesn’t feel as strong as last year, though, but I’m not sure I’m able to be that objective yet.

          • I think it’s still too early to make that judgement. We still have 6 more months to go. Patience, fellas.

            And you’re forgetting The Witch, unless it wasn’t your cup of tea. I honestly can’t see anything topping it in my personal top 10. I thought The Jungle Book was exceptional. I doubt there will be anything else like it in theaters this year.

          • I haven’t forgotten The VVitch, my friend, and I don’t mean to be making a sweeping final judgment on 2016. I just feel like, at this point last year, the theater releases were much stronger. Maybe my view is slanted a bit by a handful of early 2015 movies that just blew me away, like It Follows, Ex Machina and, of course, Mad Max: Fury Road.

    • Yes Dino I totally agree this weekend at the movies was horrible and very slow…..

      I have been going over my list of movies I have liked this year so far are

      The finest hours
      Jungle Book
      Green Room

      Not much else.

    • How often do we really get great films in the opening few months of any year? It seems like it’s all about the summer months and the very end of the year for possible Oscar winning films to be released that the only great films we get prior to that are the ones that may not be anticipated as being anything special.

      Technically speaking, there are some notable Oscar winning films that only received a proper wide release in 2016, not 2015. For example, Room and The Revenant fit that bill. I believe that’s how Jay classifies which year a movie came out.

  7. Funny that you guys covered Going Clear now. I’d been meaning to watch that for months, and finally did about a week ago.

    Like Jason, I’ve always been wary of any Scientology exposé, as they often seem to sensationalize things in a way similar to what things like “The God Makers” have done with Mormonism. (And yes, there is some sensationalizing in Going Clear.) So I’ve been willing to cut Scientology some slack for being an easy target and probably being misunderstood and misrepresented on some levels. And my spiritual path has been long and winding enough that I can’t begrudge or question anyone else who finds enlightenment and insight in whatever religion they follow (or if they don’t follow any). I can accept that faith and practice in anything might yield positive results, including in a system like Scientology.

    But something that elevates this documentary’s impact is that it includes some interviewees that were very high up in that hierarchy. They would be the equivalent of General Authorities or even apostles in my church (LDS), and I think that gives some more weight to the claims presented and the experiences they describe. The only LDS analogs I can think of are people like Tom Phillips or Hans Mattson, but they never reached even that high of position.

    The thing is, though, I came away from this documentary not more disturbed about Scientology (that was already my general feeling), but more disturbed about my own religion. The parallels between Scientology and Mormonism, in terms of practice and methods and some history, are pretty sharp. Now, I think most people outside of both religions would objectively look at both and say that Scientology is another level or two of cuckoo than Mormonism, but that’s not the point. The point is that there are strong similarities (I don’t intend to list them here, though I will discuss the similarities more if someone wants some further explanation), and I think the illuminating thing about this show is that it can serve to give people of any religion or belief system or political party or exclusive social group pause about what they are a part of, or what they are getting out of their commitment and what is expected of them for being part of it.

  8. Jay,

    I’m game for any of the meet-up dates.

    Keep us posted as that date approaches.

    Looking forward to it.

  9. I think both Dino and I (and perhaps a couple of other listeners) pointed this out the last time Karl made this silly claim, but it bears repeating again since it seems Karl doesn’t read these comments very often, but perhaps one of the other hosts can refute him the next time he brings it up?

    Pixar categorically did *not* “take a nosedive” after being bought by Disney. These are the films they’ve released since the deal was closed:

    Toy Story 3
    Cars 2
    Monsters University
    Inside Out
    The Good Dinosaur

    In fact, the acquisition of Pixar by Disney was a fantastic deal for Pixar in virtually every way, because Disney CEO Iger realized that Disney had been losing money on animation for 10 years before the purchase, and was only making “animation money” from the films Pixar created which they were distributing. In other words, their animation department was in the crapper, so they were willing to give Pixar the keys, so to speak, to the Animation Kingdom.

    Firstly, the buyout did not mean the two studios merged. Instead, conditions were laid out as part of the deal ensuring that Pixar remained a separate entity, with it’s HR policies (such as the lack of employment contracts) intact, it’s location remaining at its established Emeryville, CA. studio, and that branding of films made post-merger would be “Disney•Pixar”.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, John Lasseter, Executive Vice President of Pixar (and my old CalArts mate), became Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as the Principal Creative Adviser at Walt Disney Imagineering (which designs and builds the company’s theme parks).

    And what films has Disney Animation produced and released since Lasseter became CCO there?

    Meet the Robinsons
    Tinker Bell
    Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
    The Princess and the Frog
    Winnie the Pooh
    Secret of the Wings
    Wreck-It Ralph
    The Pirate Fairy
    Planes: Fire & Rescue
    Big Hero 6

    Needless to say, Lasseter has turned Disney Animation around, making it into a “filmmaker-driven studio” like Pixar, and both highly creative and highly profitable once again.

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