Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 196: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) and Free State of Jones (2016) and The Shallows (2016)

Episode 196

It took 20 years, and the sequel finally came — Independence Day: Resurgence. In Movie Podcast Weekly Episode 196, we’ll review the new alien-invasion sequel with special guest William Rowan Jr. (of The Sci-Fi Podcast), and we’ll also bring you Feature Reviews of Free State of Jones and The Shallows. 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. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— Welcome guest William Rowan Jr.
— Updates on The Sci-Fi Podcast
— MPN Meetup: Sept. 15 – 18, 2016 in Indiana
— Germany Theater Shooter
— Ferris Bueller’s Day Off soundtrack
— Info about the Justice League movie

[ 0:20:05 ] II. Mini Reviews
Karl: Downton Abbey Seasons 1-3 (UK version), The Money Pit, The Dream Team
William Rowan Jr: The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms, Circle
Jason: Inside 9/11, Life Boat, Jaws, Independence Day
Andy: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Independence Day: Resurgence
Free State of Jones
The Shallows
The Neon Demon
The Duel
Swiss Army Man
The Fundamentals of Caring
The Phenom
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words


Episode 196b

Pictured above (left to right): William Rowan Jr., Mattroid, “Brain,” STATION

[ 1:13:01 ] IV. Feature Review: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (2016)
Jason = 4 ( Avoid )
Karl = 6.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
William Rowan Jr. = 3 ( Avoid )

Website: War of

[ 1:34:53 ] V. Feature Review: FREE STATE OF JONES (2016)
Karl = 8 ( Rental )
William Rowan Jr. = 9 ( Must-See / Theater / Buy it! )

— Andy’s airline story

[ 1:59:28 ] VI. Feature Review: THE SHALLOWS (2016)
Jason = 6 ( Theater / Rental )
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
William Rowan Jr. = 4 ( Avoid )

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
Thank you to our donors:
Patrick H.
Eric E.
David W.
Vance K.
Lance S.
Bonnie B.
Christian B.
Joshua G.
Tony I.
Shannon N.
Shane W.
Randy G.
Mario L.
Shawn P.
Leigh B.
Tan Tiong Chye
Last but not least: Dino, for Jason’s generous birthday present!

Episode 197 where we’ll bring you Jason’s Big Birthday Bash! We’ll discuss some martial arts movies, as well as Feature Reviews of “The Purge: Election Year,” “The Legend of Tarzan” and “The BFG.” Join us!

Episode 196c

Pictured above (left to right): Mattroid, STATION, “Brain,” William Rowan Jr.


Links from William Rowan Jr.’s appearance:
PBS Nature 2016 “Moose: Life of a Twig-Eater” (National Geographic) Documentary
The True Story of the “Free State of Jones”
The Sci-Fi Podcast Episode 22: Independence Day: Resurgence
Limbeck- In Ohio On Some Steps

— MPN Meetup (THIS IS HAPPENING!) — Sept. 15-18, 2016 in Indiana. See the comments below for details!

O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana
On Facebook

Quoted from its website:
“Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette is a short walk from Wabash Landing, Purdue University, and downtown Lafayette, Ind. Parking is available in our parking lot and in the parking lot directly across Howard Avenue, via valet service (Thursday – Saturday evenings only), or at Wabash Landing. Nine Irish Brothers validates parking passes from Wabash Landing.”

119 Howard Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906

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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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We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave himself for the use of his music for our theme song. Buy Dave’s Eaton’s music:

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

23 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 196: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) and Free State of Jones (2016) and The Shallows (2016)

  1. J,

    Good to see you’re makin your way back. :-)

    I would just like to leave a recommendation that many of you already know about, but if not…

    I had gotten my wife into Home Movies about 2 years ago and she’s been revisiting them as she does little things around the house or prepares for work or what-not. And as I’m hearing bits and pieces of it in the background, I’m remembering what a fantastic cartoon it is.

    It’s about these three little kids and their passion for re-making old movies. It’s similar to Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, but with Paula Poundstone instead of Molly Shannon, H. Jon Benjamin instead of Nick Offerman, and no dying girl.

    The episode Definite Possible Murder pays homage to my favorite Hitchcock Rear Window and is near genius or multiple reasons. It’s a 10 outta 10. And there are plenty other great episodes too.

    All four seasons are a 9.5 outta 10 and I believe they’re all currently on Hulu.

    PS – My next dog will be named after Coach McGuirk.

    • “The episode Definite Possible Murder pays homage to my favorite Hitchcock Rear Window….”

      Totally agree, Gomez – it’s Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

      I recommended his ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ to J in my comment below; another classic which invented many now-familiar thriller tropes – and was apparently his favorite of his own films.

  2. Ryan,

    I know you are a baseball fan. I came across this new documentary on Netflix called “Fastball.” It was just released this year and for baseball fans, it’s great. It’s 1.5 hours long, and it touches on the history of the fastball and who has thrown the fastest in history. There are interviews and appearances from legends such as Goose Gossage, Bob Gibson, and Johnny Bench to current players like David Price, Aroldis Chapman, and Justin Verlander. As a die-hard baseball fan myself and one who loves the history of the game, I enjoyed this one very much. 8/10 for me and if you haven’t checked it out yet, I think it’s definitely worth your time.

  3. First of all, Happy Belated Birthday to Jason! :-) Brother, I hope this year’s bash was a blast, despite having only the “Tarzan” movie, “Purge 3” and “The BFG” to kick around (at least in terms of new releases). Secondly, after vacationing all last week, I listened to Ep. 195 this morning before launching into 196 (I’ve only heard the first 45 minutes, or thereabouts), and I gotta say …

    Jay, why are you a heartless crank who hates the cinema? Yes, this is a “Finding Dory” gripe, and yes, I know I tend to enjoy animated movies more than most. But come on, brother. Between Freestyle Coke machines, confirmed “wuss” Harry Potter and “Finding Dory,” I came out of Ep. 195 wondering how far I would need to back up to get entirely off your lawn. :-) West Lafayette, Indiana? Brooklyn? I probably love “Finding Nemo” as much as the next cinema-holic individual, and I tend to agree that “Finding Dory” is a lesser light in the Pixar constellation. (Though not nearly so dim a lesser light as the likes of “The Good Dinosaur,” “Cars 2” and the second half of “WALL*E.”) I can’t imagine, however, by what calculus it is both detestable and a complete and total “avoid” on the MPW scale. I found most of the new characters no worse than agreeable, and I think Hank the Septopus is delightful, brilliant both in concept and execution. My two cents is that “Finding Dory” tells a clever and kindhearted story with fine returning characters, some fun new creations and a nice balance of humor and adventure. Given the (much-discussed on this episode) inevitability of sequels to billion-dollar hits, I suppose we might even see “Finding Marlin” before “The Incredibles 2.” Maybe that will give the Pixar people a chance to win their way back into Jason’s good graces.

  4. Jason – Don’t worry, I didn’t take your lack of love for Resurgence as a slap in the face. I expected it to be a turd, which is why I sent the follow-up note saying you could use the money for something else, like The Shallows, if you wanted. The reason I sent over an early gift for Resurgence was purely because I know how much you love the original Independence Day.

    If nothing else, I’m glad you didn’t have to waste your own money on such a turd!

    • I feel like the gang has been particularly hard on some movies that didn’t deserve such abysmal scores. Resurgence was not a great movie, but it wasn’t a complete turd imho. There were a lot of contrivances, plot holes, and weird decisions on top of the movie just not being a great story or it having compelling characters, BUT there was definitely potential for a great and serious sci-fi movie that might just exist on a different dimension. I caught some themes, ideas and visual cues that prompted greatness.


      The incorporation of new technology to advance our own was a great idea that wasn’t used to its full potential. We saw instances of new technology but it was never fully realized because most of what we saw was only applied to weapon-based objects like ships and guns, but somehow cars were still the same. A little more consistency would’ve gone a long way.

      The idea of a world united by war was a very interesting idea that was only briefly talked about, but never developed. We saw glimpses of this in the diversity of some of the cast and the use of other languages other than English in some scenes, but it never went anywhere. There was a really brief scene where one of the characters gets a carton of milk from a vending machine and when we see the product up-close the writing is all in Asian characters. It was almost reminiscent of something out of Blade Runner. It’s these types of details, of which we don’t see many, that could have potentially created a rich, diverse, and cohesive world. Of course, the world building was lacking at best, but I at least appreciated the little efforts here and there.

      Resurgence isn’t a great movie, but it’s worth seeing once. Too much action, too many ideas that are never fully realized, too many characters. Avoid only, if you rather not see old characters being tragically mishandled.


  5. J –

    Great to hear your mini-review of ‘Lifeboat’! So I guess you don’t hate the cinema 😉 I’m a huge Hitchcock fan and have seen all 46 of his sound films (as well as 3 of his silent films), and I’d love to recommend another of his films which I think might be more up your alley. Like you, I have a penchant for scary psychological thrillers (e.g. ‘The Gift ‘, ‘The Invitation’, etc), and of course, Hitchcock was a master of this genre – in fact, he invented much of the cinematic language used by every filmmaker since.

    If you haven’t seen ‘Shadow of a Doubt’, the film Hitchcock made right before ‘Lifeboat’, then I would highly recommend it. Hitchcock called it his favorite of his films, with the original script written by triple Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder. The dialogue is both delicious and creepy – and the movie invented the now-familiar trope of dark, sinister things right below the surface in small-town America. Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten give perhaps their career-best performances, and character actors Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn steal the show as small-town neighbors that have a funny, ongoing argument about the best way to murder someone.

    One last tidbit about ‘Lifeboat’: as you might know, Hitchcock made cameo appearances in 39 of his 52 major films, appearing in every one of his last 30 features made from ‘Rebecca’ onward (his first American film in 1940). Some of the ways he managed to do it were quite ingenious and/of funny – including his cameo in ‘Lifeboat’. Did you happen to spot it?

    If not, here is how he manged to make an appearance in the lifeboat – Reduco ad absurdum:

    • Sweet rec, Mark, thanks. :-)

      I saw ‘Rope’ last year sometime and loved it. I’m only really acquainted with his greatest hits, but every so often I stray off the beaten path and look for one I don’t know about. ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ and ‘Lifeboat’ sound like my next two. :-)

      Have you seen ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’? It sounds great but it’d be nice to hear what you think of it, given your love of Hitchcock.

      • Gomez –

        Glad to hear that my recommendation for ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ works for you too. It’s an excellent film (although not, IMO, quite reaching the heights of his greatest work produced in the mid to late ’50’s).

        Not only did I see (and love) ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’, but I actually devoured Truffaut’s book when the revised paperback edition came out in 1985. Hitchcock had a wicked and witty (and often self-deprecating) sense of humor that is a lot of fun to read or listen to.

        This sound test he made with actress Anny Ondra for his first sound movie (‘Blackmail’) is a classic example of his devilish sense of humor:

        BTW, did you spot Hitchcock’s cameo in ‘Rope’s opening shot?

  6. To Andy (and all others that have suffered – or might suffer – from delays to their baggage at airports):

    Keep in mind: one of the least-known and little-utilized benefits of major credit cards is automatic delayed / lost baggage insurance.

    I’m not sure of the exact figures for US cardholders (or for Visa, American Express, etc), but as a European Mastercard holder, I can claim up to $450 for delays of my baggage in excess of 12 hours (and I believe it’s $100 for a delay longer than an hour or so to allow purchasing of toiletries, etc).

    And I’ve used this insurance on two separate occasions: once when my luggage was delayed in Las Vegas for a couple of hours, I asked money back for toiletries and a taxi ride from the airport (claiming the delay caused me to miss my ride) – and another time when my baggage was delayed longer than 12 hours in San Francisco. That time I spent the entire $450 and bought some new wardrobe items (shirts, pants, etc) :)

    Both times I had no problem getting the money from Mastercard; I just had to fill in a simple online form and email copies of the receipts.

  7. Like many, I loved the original Ghostbusters back in its day, but unlike many, it didn’t hold up that well on a more recent viewing. Some classic parts, and points for originality, but not nearly as funny as I’d thought it was. So from that as a comparison, I’d say the new one was about as entertaining, overall. But pretty uneven. Some big laughs, especially earlier on, but also stretches where things happen without too much to care or laugh about. Comes out to a 6.5 for me.

  8. Has anyone began watching the new series “Stranger Things” on Netflix?

    I’m through 6 or 7 episodes and have to say it has impressed so far. I think the first few episodes I was a little hesitant and was unsure if I was going to like the series, because of how I thought the disappearances were happening (e.g. Family Guy…Stephen King…Lamp Monster), but it really has redeemed itself in the later episodes. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the style is straight from the 80’s, and reminded me of 80’s Spielberg mixed with Stephen King (which I read on a review but agree with).

    • Sweet. I keep rolling over it on the way to other stuff, but keep thinking I should check it out. I think I will now, thanks. :-)

      • I’ve finished ‘Stranger Things’, and I was pleasantly and (fairly) consistently surprised by it’s ability to avoid the obvious places and character beats that it seemed to be heading towards.

        I personally thought the last episode or two were the weakest (which is, I suppose, typical for supernatural/horror stories), finishing with a touch too much ‘schmaltz’ (for lack of a better term) than I’d prefer. Still, I’d give the first 6 episodes a solid 8.5/10 – and the whole series a 7.5.

    • I binged through all the “Stranger Things” series this past weekend…I for one loved it. So many ideas pulled from movies like “The Thing,” “Stand By Me,” and “E.T.” (to name a few) and yet it stood on it’s own–not just a mediocre copy.

      A few things pulled me out a bit, so I won’t give it a perfect score…but it is close. 9/10 for me. I felt like a kid again watching that show and I think I cheered out loud a few times.

      • It’s well done; no doubt about it. But a massive percentage of all film and TV production these days is already based on nostalgia – i.e. either existing film/TV/comic book IP or, like this series, a copy of existing IP – so for me, personally, it doesn’t rank as high as something that is both excellent *and* original story-telling, like ‘Master of None’.

        • Original storytelling is in short supply, to be sure. I can’t say I am interested in “Master of None” after watching the trailer…it isn’t really my type of show, but it does look well done.

          • I’d really recommend giving it a shot, Vance; I was also a little dubious at first (not being much of a fan of Aniz Ansari’s other work that I’ve seen), but the combination of him and Alan Yang (the other co-creator) really works well. It’s really something different, touching, and sometimes very funny.

            I’d suggest just watching the first 2 episodes (1 hour in total); if you aren’t hooked by then, it’s unlikely the rest will appeal to you.

        • Agree, isn’t original but pulls together a variety of things well. I still have to finish the last couple episodes. Still patiently waiting for Season 2 of “Master of None”. Someone at work has mentioned “Bloodline” and has said to stick with it after the first few episodes and it will pickup so I might give that a try next.

  9. Check out In the Deep 2016… it got more depth (no pun intended) and more compelling storytelling than the Shallows. The latter was just so unrealistic. Just my two cents.

    Anyways, great episode. Keep on!

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