Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 200: Star Trek Beyond (2016) and Lights Out (2016) and Celebrating 200 Episodes!

Episode 200

200 episodes in 4 years! Movie Podcast Weekly has finally hit Episode 200! In this momentous and monumental episode, we bring you Feature Reviews of Star Trek Beyond and Lights Out. We also hear some great voicemails from our listening community to help us celebrate 200 episodes. And because of listener request, we bring you 15 additional feature reviews of films and portions of TV series that our hosts have assigned to one another, round-robin / The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast-style… It is must-listen material. If you love movie and TV reviews, MPW 200 brings you 17 of them! 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 to Ep. 200
— Our celebratory drinks of choice for this momentous occasion
— Andy drove 28 straight hours to join us
— A brief history of this podcast and its hosts
— Hosts’ thoughts about reaching 200 episodes

Listener Voicemails Celebrating MPW 200:
— Lance in Provo, Utah
— Gomez98
— Dino
— Eric Herman

[ 0:26:59 ] MPW Short-Form Miscellany:
The Dark Tower Series (and its forthcoming adaptation to film)
Andy’s brief thoughts on the 11/22/63 novel by Stephen King
Comic-Con trailers (Wonder Woman, Justice League)
Sing Street Blu-ray release
Jason’s Mini Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

II. New in Theaters This Past Weekend:
Star Trek Beyond
Lights Out
Ice Age: Collision Course
Absolutely Famous: The Movie
Cafe Society
Into the Forest
Don’t Think Twice
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party


[ 0:35:43 ] III. Feature Review: STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)
Jason = 7.5 ( Theater / Strong Rental )
Karl = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )

[ 0:47:24 ] IV. Feature Review: LIGHTS OUT (2016)
Jason = 9 ( Must-see / Theater / Buy it! )

[ 0:56:07 ] V. EPISODE 200 – THE MAIN EVENT: – In 2011, Jason and his horror podcasting cohort, BillChete, came up with the format to Jason’s show, The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast. Each host would assign a movie for another host to watch and review. Then we’d meet together on the podcast and discuss what we had watched. Well, the MPW listenership requested that we adopt this TWHMP, round-robin format for our 200th episode, except in this case, each host assigned a movie to each of the other hosts, totaling 15 bonus reviews. Enjoy!

[ 0:56:48 ] Review: BLADE RUNNER (1982) -Theatrical Cut (Karl assigned this to Ryan)
Ryan = 8.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:05:02 ] Review: GENTLEMAN BRONCOS (2009) (Ryan assigned this to Andy)
Andy = 7.5 ( Rental )

[ 1:10:30 ] Review: TRUE DETECTIVE SEASON 2 (2015) (Andy assigned this to Jason)
Jason = 8.5 ( Must-see / Buy it! )

[ 1:23:03 ] Review: SORCERER (1977) (Jason assigned this to Karl)
Karl = 9 ( Must-see Once / Strong Rental )

[ 1:29:26 ] Review: …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL (1979) (Karl assigned this to Andy)
Andy = 7 ( Rental )

Andy’s article: And Justice for All, or Why I Hate Attorney Movies
Karl’s article: And Justice for All – When I Discovered Actors

[ 1:34:30 ] Review: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – SEASON 2: EP. 9: MEASURE OF A MAN (1989) (Karl assigned this to Andy)
Andy = did not watch this homework assignment.

[ 1:36:16 ] Review: MERU (2015) (Andy assigned this to Ryan)
Ryan = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:40:18 ] Review: VISION QUEST (1985) (Ryan assigned this to Jason)
Jason = 7.5 ( Strong Rental )

[ 1:47:12 ] Review: FITZCARRALDO (1982) / BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982) (Jason assigned these to Andy)
Andy = 9 ( Must-See Rental for Both )

[ 1:51:36 ] Review: THE WIRE – SEASONS 1-3 (2002-2004) (Andy assigned this to Karl)
*Karl = 4 ( Avoid ) – after only watching one episode (Season 1, Ep. 1)
*Note: Karl Huddleston’s views and opinions do not represent the collective views and opinions of Movie Podcast Weekly, its hosts or any of its listeners.

[ 2:00:01 ] Review: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – SEASON 5: EP. 25: THE INNER LIGHT (1992) (Karl assigned this to Jason)
Jason = 9 ( Must-see stream on Netflix )

[ 2:05:17 ] Review: A PRAYER FOR THE DYING (1987) (Karl assigned this to Jason)
Jason = 5.5 ( Rental )

[ 2:10:13 ] Review: HIGH NOON (1952) (Jason assigned this to Ryan)
Ryan = 6 ( Avoid )

[ 2:19:33 ] Review: THE FALL (2006) (Ryan assigned this to Karl)
Karl = 4 ( Avoid )

VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Thank you all for your support, patience and interaction with us. … Here’s to 200 more!

Episode 201 where we’ll be getting all caught up with our release schedule by reviewing the following films:
Jason Bourne
Bad Moms
Suicide Squad
Into the Forest

Join us!


If you’re a new listener since Episode 100, be sure to check out Jason’s MPW Rap to celebrate Episode 100!

Contact MPW:
E-mail us:
Leave us a voicemail: (801) 382-8789.
Follow MPW on Twitter: @MovieCastWeekly
Leave a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Ryan’s new Facebook page
Ry’s BIO
Ryan’s New Facebook Page
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

Listen to MPW:
Add MPW to your Stitcher playlist:
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MPW’s RSS feed
Right-click to download the MPW 100 Rap

Josh’s links:
Hear Josh named as one of the Top 5 Up-and-Coming Directors on The Film Vault Podcast!
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Hear Josh on The SciFi Podcast
Hear Josh on Horror Movie Podcast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

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

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

66 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 200: Star Trek Beyond (2016) and Lights Out (2016) and Celebrating 200 Episodes!

  1. Happy 200th, you guys! I’m glad I could add some laughter, and I really enjoyed the other call-ins from my fellow listeners.

    More later… still working through the ep… but my favorite ST:TNG episode is “Tapestry.” I assume Karl has seen it, but I’d recommend it to check out for anyone else. Great message.

    I’m amused to hear Karl talking about Mormon theology while swilling whiskey. LOL Should we call you Jack instead of Karl? 😉 I’m just joking, though… I’m about as heterodox as you can get, so absolutely no judgment. Just a funny observation that endears Karl more to me. He’s complicated. :)

    • Eric, great minds think alike. ‘Tapestry’ might be the best episode of Star Trek (although ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ would be a strong candidate).

      Loved the song as well, man. You are very talented, sir.

  2. Congrats on 200 episodes. Thanks for keeping at it with the Podcast. I am a longtime listener, all the way back to the Considering the Sequels days. I have had some amazing movie experiences thanks to you guys (and some pretty terrible ones, but you can’t win em’ all). And you guys are wrong all the time, while I am right, and that helps my self-esteem immensely.

    And boy, I’m glad I missed the fan voicemail recording wagon. Mine would have paled in comparison. Lance, Gomez98, Dino, and Eric, those were fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I blundered unintentionally into a 3D showing of “Star Trek Beyond” and boy, the 3D was terrible. It was so dark in the early action scenes that I couldn’t tell what the heck was going on. I am assuming it was my theater’s problem, though I’ve had some good 3D experiences at the same theater. Even with the darkness and 3D confusion, I enjoyed the film alright. I would have liked to see more of Chekov, Sulu, and other crew members. They didn’t have much to do.

    Karl, if you thought the action should have been cut in Beyond, I can only imagine the type of butchering you would like to do to J.J. Abrams first two Star Trek reboots. I watched Star Trek Into Darkness last night and that thing, while entertaining, is an action CGI bonanza–zero exploration and wonder, substituted instead with explosions and action set pieces (and of course, LOTS of lens flares).

    Star Trek: 8/10
    Star Trek Into Darkness: 6.5/10
    Star Trek Beyond: 7/10 (I think)

  4. Happy 200th episode, team! Eric’s vocal tribute cracked me right up; a truly inspired blend of songwriting, performance and Andy shmeeps. Stop being such a hater, Jay. And have a Peanut Buster Parfait. (Yeah, yeah … )

    Karl’s line-in-the-sand unsentimental dismissal of the “The Wire” on the basis of a having watched a single episode would probably be one of the funniest things ever to happen on MPW, but then GCR swooping in to get his back on the basis of having seen *two* episodes cranked the whole incident up to 11. Karl, the least you could have done was return the favor and give a brother some cover when Andy and Jay were unloading on Ry with both barrels for hating on “High Noon.”

    RY: ‘High Noon’ sucks. Damn shadows!
    JAY and ANDY: Smooth-brained Philistine! I got your ‘honest remake’ right here!
    KARL: Heh. Yeah, dumbass.

    I grant Karl’s point that truly great television should at least set the hook, if not entirely reel in the viewer, the first time that you sit down with it. Even if the overarching complexity of the storytelling means that the plot won’t deeply involve a first-time viewer until four or five episodes have passed, there should be some other remarkable element — intriguing character shadings, a promising performance, hints of an atmospheric milieu, generally strong production values — that provides at least a strong nudge in the direction of the next episode. I think it’s an entirely defensible generalization that there’s either something there from the start that leads the viewer on, or the show, at least for that particular person, just doesn’t have it.

    I’m also very sympathetic, however, to Jay and Andy’s point. Especially when it comes to television, full appreciation often takes time and repeated exposure. My very favorite TV sitcom is “Parks and Recreation,” but I watched the entire first season without being completely sold. I wasn’t locked in and determined to go the distance with Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson until about the middle of Season 2. Upon reflection, I hate to think what I’d have missed if I’d said, “There’s some funny stuff here, but I don’t have the time,” and washed my hands of the show and characters in the middle of Season 1.

    In that regard, it’s interesting that Karl assigned episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to Andy and Jay. I’m a hardcore “Trek” enthusiast, and even I think there’s some pretty hilariously bad stuff scattered across the first two seasons of “TNG.” Sometimes you have to keep watching because of the potential for awesomeness, even if the goods don’t seem to be there right from the start. One of the reasons “The Inner Light,” in particular, is so powerful is because of everything viewers have been through with Picard by the time the show gets there.

    Really enjoyed this one, fellas. Here’s to 200 more!

    • Parks and Recreation is a great example. Going back and watching that first season makes me wonder why I stuck around for more but glad I did. If it had been more than 6 episodes I might not have kept watching.

      The first season of ‘Mad Men’ was a little rough as well but that turned out to be such a rewarding experience (well, until the last season).

      I think with ‘TNG,’ if you were a fan of the property you were going to stick around for at least a little while, but yeah, that 1st season is pretty horrid. ‘Datalore’ might actually be the only good episode and Season 2 has some highlights but things didn’t really start kicking until Season 3.

    • Ry, I enjoyed your “honest remake” discussion. Nice phrase for a solid concept. It’s a truly risky business to faithfully remake something that already has its own legacy and following. When it’s done right, however, the result can be pure magic. The ultimate example of that, to me, is the 2010 “True Grit” by the Coen Brothers. Different cast and filmmakers. Same characters, story and tone. And while I love the original “True Grit,” the 2010 version is one of my very favorite films. No disrespect to The Duke and his crew, but the later version is a better movie in every respect. It has a far stronger cast, far more authentic and immersive period detail, far better all-around production values, and much stronger storytelling bones.

    • “I grant Karl’s point that truly great television should at least set the hook, if not entirely reel in the viewer, the first time that you sit down with it.”

      That would only make sense if I believed that *all* of a particular type of art should be created with the same set of rules (no offense to Karl, but his ideas about screenwriting are incredibly hackneyed and out-of-date) – and if I always wanted to experience a particular type of art in exactly the same way and always for the same reasons.

      But I don’t…. I don’t read all books, or listen to all music, or watch all films or TV series for always the same desired effect. I want art to surprise me in new and interesting ways. Sometimes I want to be entertained, sometimes educated, sometimes devastated, and sometimes…. yes, even challenged. The best, of course, is when all of those things happen simultaneously – as in The Wire.

      Simon and his writers created an incredibly realistic, complex, layered, and challenging world for people to enter. It takes a little work – that’s the price of admission – but it’s worth every second of time.

    • Thanks for saying that, Jonathan. I’m not fishing (at all), nor am I bitter (whatsoever) sniffle, sniffle, but I could not believe how relatively minimal the reaction was to that rap. I must really be a sucky rapper. ha ha

      But I’m glad you liked it. I liked it, too. ; )

  5. I have to disagree with Karl and Jay’s assessment of the opening of Star Trek: Beyond. I believe that set up the fun nature of the film immediately and found it to be very Simon Pegg esque. Also, I loved how they played with matter of perspective in the opening; great stuff.

    I thought the movie was a lot of fun and very reminiscent of my favorite of the Star Trek films, Undiscovered Country. While I’ve seen the 2009 ‘Star Trek’ too many times to compare it at this time it would not shock me at all if ‘Beyond’ is my favorite of the three in a few years. I’d give it an 8.5 and it’s easily my favorite movie I’ve seen this Summer. For the record the other two would be rated as follows:

    Star Trek – 9
    Star Trek Into Darkness – 6

  6. I am firmly on Camp Karl/Ryan with being unimpressed with the Wire. I tried watching the series a couple of years ago due to all of the high praise, but I was so bored with the first episode that I just had to throw in the towel. I realize not every series is going to be like Lost where the first episode ends in a huge way to keep you watching, but I at least want the episode to be enjoyable enough that I can stomach watching episode 2.

    There’s far too many fun movies and TV shows to watch to waste time enduring five or so episodes of the Wire until that series gets interesting.

    • Oh, Sal, you’re killing me!

      Has there never been any piece of art in your life – whether it be TV or film or a book or music or a comic book or anything – that has seemed ‘difficult’ at first, for whatever reason, only to be thought of as brilliant by you later?

      I’ve had many things like that. Many books, films, pieces of music, and yes, The Wire. Like Jimmy McNulty, it’s a big fat pain in the ass at first – lumbering, scattershot, seemingly pointless – and then you start to decipher what it’s doing – and the shades just fall away.

      Forget what everyone else says and just give it until Episode 4. I don’t want to spoil it, but there is one of the all-time best “detection” scenes ever put to film. It’s what sold me forever on the series lock, stock, and barrel. It’s both extremely realistic, gripping, and darkly funny (and a tiny bit sad) – and that’s not an easy combination to pull off successfully. But The Wire does it – over and over and over again – throughout it’s entire run – as you’ll start to realize more and more.

      That’s why people say it’s the best drama ever made – because there has simply been no other show like it that has managed to balance all of those things so well so often. But like many good things in life (like watching a sunset from the top of a mountain), it requires a little extra effort to get there.

      IMO, if someone doesn’t recognize the show’s brilliance and uniqueness after watching through the first 4 episodes, they can rate it honestly any way they think, but if they haven’t seen at least the first 4 (Hello Karl and Ryan!) their opinion don’t mean shit 😉

      It’s like rating “Blue Velvet”, after watching all of the opening shots of the happy, small-town life, as a boring film about a small-town kid.

  7. Hey Jason. I took your recommendation from a few weeks ago and rented Lego Batman: DC Super Hero’s Unite, and I loved it. Although I did not think it was better than The Lego Movie, it was far superior than Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Although, like Andy, The Lego Movie is one of my top movies of all-time (number 2 in fact), so it would take a lot to be better than that one. I give it a solid 7/10.

    • Thanks, Brandon. Glad you watched it. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. I’ll be reviewing “Batman: The Killing Joke” in Ep. 202 of MPW. Not LEGO stuff, of course, but you should watch it if you haven’t yet. Animated feature that’s rated R.
      P.S. If you’re one of our community members who doesn’t watch R-rated movies (because we do have some), then I noticed “Batman: The Killing Joke” is also available on VidAngel.

      • Yes, I went and saw Batman: The Killing Joke in theaters for the special theatrical release. I really enjoyed it and I was so thrown off by the way the way it ended I wasn’t ready for it and want/need to re-watch it to try and understand what happened. I love watching special features and Fathom events had a special short documentary following the movie that went into detail about the voice cast and score for the movie. I’m sure the DVD/Blu-ray has this feature and is definitely worth the time.

  8. “Hey Jay”
    How can you diss on your Mother? So, I didn’t care for “Sorcerer;” nor did I care for “Adaptation” which both films were HIGHLY recommended by you. I will leave the latter go for now. While it’s true, “Sorcerer” did not have an ending I enjoyed; it was not the only reason I didn’t care for the film. During the first hour, I was hoping my TV would blow up; and by the end; I wished someone would have blown me up. Really, you cannot expect people to believe a 5-ton truck would be held up by a foot bridge. All the to-do over the bridge scene and the bridge wouldn’t hold a 200 lb person let alone a 5-ton truck. And, that Cinema Jay is why I didn’t care for “Sorcerer”–what a dumb name for the movie. “Blow Them Up Sam” would have been a much better title in my mere opinion.
    However, I thoroughly enjoyed “Hey Jay;” and also, the fight over “The Wire.”
    Congrats to all of you on the 200th episode of Movie Podcast Weekly! Great job!

  9. Happy 200th guys! Thanks for all the laughs and reviews. In terms of The Wire… Karl/Ryan camp member here. It IS a good show, but it is also very overrated. It seems to resonate particularly strongly with a certain audience, while turning missing the mark for others. I call it the ‘Firefly phenomenon’, which is another show that I could appreciate but did not care for personally.

    Anyway, here’s to another 200!

  10. Ok, first… If you’re going to review Sorcerer than I hope you also review the ORIGINAL film that it’s a remake of: the wages of fear. Superior in all respects.

    And now weighing in on The Wire… It was awful. Praised for writing, acting. And direction the work itself is pedantic and annoying. After six episodes I just didn’t care… It didn’t hook me. I get that people do like it, but some people also like black licorice.

    • Here’s another set of opinions on Sorcerer.

      They mention the original that it’s based on too, Mark. Sounds like that one’s a winner too. :-) Would love to hear Jay’s opinion on that.

      They also talk about the prologue a bit more, which I felt was nice to have to explain the motivation of these guys to live in hell and then to transport such dangerous materials to get a chance to get out.

      • Wages of Fear is a great film as well, but I actually somewhat prefer ‘Sorcerer.’ Don’t have a good reason; I like them both a lot though but if you were to force me to pick I’m going with the latter.

        • I prefer ‘Wages of Fear’, but they’re both excellent films.

          Younger people are apt to go for the more modern version, but Clouzot’s original is a film noir classic from the same period as Welles’ ‘Touch of Evil’ and Reed’s ‘The Third Man’. I think I like the ending in Friedkin’s ‘Sorcerer’ better, but the staging and direction of the road-driving sequences in the original is a master-class in film-making..

          • Not sure how young I am; I’m 40. But I see your point.

            And for the record, ‘Touch of Evil’ and ‘The Third Man’ are two of my all time favorites.

            • I wasn’t specifically commenting on you, Jonathan – just the fact that many younger viewers often prefer more modern-looking movies than the stylized B&W films of the past, and as such, might prefer ‘Sorcerer’.

              But there are other good reasons to prefer Friedkin’s version of the novel over Cluzot’s; the bridge scene alone is amazing. :)

              • I didn’t think you were. All good.

                And yes, I know what you mean. I’ve sadly talked to plenty of youngsters who think Zombie’s Halloween is superior to the original and I try really hard not to throw up all over them.

          • I have never been as tense while watching a film as I have for “Wages of Evil”… It is the most tense film I’ve ever seen. I was dripping with sweat and caught myself holding my breath throughout.

            • Yep, totally agree – that’s quite similar to my own feelings when watching it (and why I called it a master-class in film-making).

              The way Cluzot stages the unexpected reveal of the last truck blowing up (i.e. with the wind) ranks with any Hitchcock sequence in the history of cinematic language.

    • RedCapJack,
      You’ve been hanging out with Juan and Dino too much, with your sharp pen and even sharper wit…

      But you’re exactly right… We need to review “Wages of Fear.” True enough.

  11. :) :) 😕 😕 😕 😮 😮 😕 😕 :) 😀 :) XD :) o_O :) >:D 😉 :/ 😀 :) XD 😛 😛 XD :) :) 😐 😕 😕 😐 :) 😮 :) 😳 :) 😛 😀 :) 😎 :) o_O :) :/ 😀 XD 😮 :) :) 😮 😉 😀 :) 😐 😕 😕 😕 :) :mrgreen: :) 😎 :) 😐 😛 :/ :) >:D :) 😕 :) :) o_O :) 😀 😀 😀 :) 😐 :/ :) =^-^= :) XD :) 😛 😎 :) 😀 😮 😮 :) :) >:D >:D :) :) o_O o_O 😕 😉 😀 :) 😎 :) 😐 😛 😳 😕 😕 :/ 😮

    To The Illustrious Hosts of The Movie Podcast Weekly:

    Many thanks for your tireless (except Andy) efforts, your wonderful body of 200 podcasts, and your constant ability to make it always seem like a party!!

    Hip Hip Hurrah – and to the next 200!

  12. Congratulations on 200 episodes, boys! I thought the show format was a lot of fun, so thanks for putting in the extra time to make this episode a special one.

    Jason, you were able to get Karl to watch Sorcerer and Andy to watch Fitzcarraldo. Why not go all the way and complete your trilogy by having Ry watch Aguirre, The Wrath Of God?

    Regarding The Wire, I see both points. My wife and I decided to start watching the series earlier this year, but after about 15 minutes we decided to stop it and start a complete series re-watch of Game of Thrones. I still plan on getting back to The Wire and giving it a fair shake, but I can empathize with Karl and Ry on this one.

  13. I’m with Dino. I’m just about middle of the road on The Wire. There are many great points to the show. Some of the characters are great…Bubbles, Stringer, Omar….but some were terrible and/or trite (I’m looking at you McNulty).

    I think the case with McNulty for me is that Dominic West was terrible. That might be heresy to some, but I couldn’t stand the combo of him in the role of something I’ve seen a googolplex times before. I haven’t seen him in the affair show he’s in on Showtime, maybe I need to check that out to change my opinion.

    In the end, I made it to the end of season 3….and at that point my interest had severely dropped off and I just didn’t get the huge portion of the public whacking it over the series. I don’t think it’s to be condemned to television hell, just let’s all stop exalting it so much….is my humble opinion. :-)

    • “I think the case with McNulty for me is that Dominic West was terrible. That might be heresy to some, but I couldn’t stand the combo of him in the role of something I’ve seen a googolplex times before.”

      I thought Dominic West was fine (although not as great as many of the other actors), but I’m not sure what role you saw “a googolplex times before”. A cop that constantly disobeys and goes over his superiors, is busted down repeatedly until he’s eventually fired? The closest role to that I’ve seen many times before is the cop that constantly disobeys his superiors and never suffers any lasting consequences whatsoever (but is usually hailed as a hero eventually). Different animal altogether; i.e. realism..

      “I don’t think it’s to be condemned to television hell, just let’s all stop exalting it so much….is my humble opinion. :-)”

      So you think the consensus of viewers that have recognized it’s brilliance should just stop liking it so much? Nope – not gonna happen :-)

      • Great point, Mark, about there being actual consequences of McNulty’s actions. I hadn’t considered that.

        I was just stuck on the Irish drunk, rogue, womanizing, unable to hold down a family, character whose personal problems overshadow his ability. Him getting fired was a big dose of reality. I stick to my ‘the actor was bad’ point until I see more of West.

        Listener Request: A series of All Things Coppers (TV Edition) episodes. It’d be great to hear a compare and contrasting of The Wire, NYPD Blue and Hill St Blues…maybe throw in Barney Miller for comedic effect. I guess that could be problematic given the 4 thousand combined seasons and the time it would take. Sure would be fun though. :-)

        • Yeah, I know some people don’t like West – and I would agree he’s not a great actor – but, IMO, ‘The Wire’ is so well-written it tends to counter-balance some of the lesser actors (they used some ‘real’ people from Baltimore in the series that couldn’t act that well either). Also, West doesn’t appear much in S2 and hardly at all in S4, so there’s that as well.

          I think Karl’s refusal to watch more than 1 episode of the homework Andy gave him would make a serious comparison of TV series difficult (but if they did it, they should definitely include the great. ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ series). Perhaps Andy should have given Karl the much more manageable ‘The Corner’ to watch instead.

          For those who haven’t tried ‘The Wire’ yet: you could watch the 6-part miniseries ‘The Corner’ first. It’s the first thing David Simon did for HBO based on his reporting in Baltimore, it uses some of the same actors and touches on many of the same themes as ‘The Wire’, and it’s what convinced HBO to give him a complete TV series. It’s pretty damn devastating, and if you like that, it’s highly likely you will like ‘The Wire’. It’s also a great fix for people that saw and loved ‘The Wire’.

  14. I’m with Karl and Ry wagon about the Wire. After your recommendation I’ve watched 5 or 6 episodes and don’t care anymore. Not for me, lucky Karl who wasted less hours of his life on this before coming to the conclusion. I think I was trusting too much. In any case I prefer to rewatch Game of thrones or Dexter or Boardwalk Empire than this. Sorry guys, but if you can please make a pool who thinks about the Wire as you do, if you dare of course 😉

    • Telegraph

      “The Wire: arguably the Greatest Television Programme Ever Made” – London – April 2, 2009


      “The Best TV Show of All Time: The Wire” – Rebbeca Traister – Sep. 15, 2007


      “It’s Time To Revisit The Greatest TV Show Ever (That No One Watched)” – Kelley L. Carter – Dec. 25, 2014


      “The Greatest TV Drama of the Past 25 Years, the Finals: The Wire vs. The Sopranos” – Matt Zoller Seitz – March, 2012

      Winner: “The Wire”


      The 25 Best TV Dramas Since ‘The Sopranos’” – Oliver Lyttelton – Feb 10, 2016

      1. “The Wire” (2002-2008)


      “The 50 Best TV Dramas of All Time” –

      1. “The Wire” (2002-2008)


      “The 10 Greatest TV Dramas of This Century” – Sam Parker – Dec 14, 2015

      4. “The Wire” (2002-2008)

      TV Guide

      “TV Guide Magazine’s 60 Best Series of All Time” – Matt Roush – Dec. 23, 2013

      6. “The Wire” (2002-2008)

      One could literally keep making lists of these types of articles all day long :)

      • Oh, I believe in all lists. Nevertheless, on this forum I’ve counted more people who haven’t found The Wire any special.

        • Well, if you believe in lists – i.e. the fact that the majority of TV critics and audience members think it’s (one of) the best drama(s) ever made – it seems to me the only thing the numbers here would indicate is the general level of poor taste in TV dramas (e.g. Ryan thinks The Walking Dead is great TV). :)

          • Why do you find it important to call names? I can assure you that not only Ry finds the walking dead a great show. Moreover, I am sure that there are also people who like both the wire and the walking dead, and people who dislike both shows.

            • “Call names”? You think saying someone has “poor taste” is calling them a name? What was it when Andy said disliking The Wire was indicative of “a character defect” – an assault? I think you missed the joke.

              And I have no doubt there are other people that think The Walking Dead is great, or who like both it and The Wire. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make it great or keep me from wanting to stick knitting needles into my eyes when watching it [but in a good way :) ].

              Now if you wanted to get into an in-depth conversation about why the Walking Dead is *not* great – and why The Wire is – we can do that. But in the meantime, poking fun at someone’s opinion about a piece of culture is not the same thing as calling them a name – at least where I come from.

              • I’d say The Walking Dead is an occassionally great show. I usually watch it passively, while reading or playing on my phone, but then certain times or episodes are particularly well done and worth paying full attention to.

                I am in the group of those who have never seen The Wire. It sounds like the best of it starts several episodes in. Would you guys who love it say that a newbie could jump ahead to where it gets great, or watch passively until then, or should you really see it all to have the full background in order to best appreciate it all?

                • I agree completely, Eric – my comments have been (partially) in jest. ‘The Walking Dead’ has been occasionally great (Darabont’s pilot was especially good) and only occasionally makes me want to gouge my eyes out 😉

                  In terms of The Wire, it really builds a huge cast of characters very meticulously (which is why it’s often compared to Charles Dickens’ writing), so I wouldn’t advocate skipping ahead. Every episode adds important facets to characters, and some details are seeded in a particular episode which come back into play in an important way 2 or 3 seasons later.

                  But as I mentioned in a previous comment, ‘The Corner’ is a 6-episode HBO miniseries made right before ‘The Wire’ – written and created by the same people, using some of the same actors and many of the same themes, and just as meticulous and emotionally wrenching. It won 3 Emmys in 2000, including Best Miniseries of the Year.

                  I’m not sure of it’s current availability on the various platforms, but assuming it’s watchable, it’s a much smaller commitment in time. It wouldn’t spoil anything from ‘The Wire’, and if you like it, you will most certainly love ‘The Wire’.

                    • Yeah, it’s pretty great – I’ve never seen any other series do so much development of it’s characters – even many of the small roles. They give you something to like (and something to hate) about almost every character – even the stone-cold killers – although sometimes it takes many episodes for certain details or backstory to appear.

  15. Hey, guys! Congratulations on your 200th episode. I’m glad to say that I’m with you since almost the beginning. I enjoy every show. =)

    Thank you so much for the effort you put in making them. For inspiring to watch movies, especially those ones that seemed very boring to me.

    Also, to make it very fun to listen to. I love all the stories about experience in cinemas (sandwich lady was especially funny). Please, share more and never stop podcasting! =)

  16. I’m so disappointed in Karl and Ry about The Wire. I agree that it’s one of the best TV shows ever made. I watched it a few years ago now but I remember that I just couldn’t stop watching it. I had many nights of “just one more episode and then i’ll go to bed” and then realizing that it’s 4am.
    Congratulations on 200 episodes, I am a fairly new listener but I am getting through the back catalogue lol. My list of movies that I want to see is growing daily as I listen to more episodes.
    I went and saw Lights Out the other day on Jay’s recommendation and thoroughly loved it. It was such a fun movie to see at the cinema. We had one lady screaming in some of the scenes. I literally jumped in my seat in one part of the movie. There were nervous laughs and people saying things like “no don’t do that” and my wife clinging to my arm in fear. I had so much fun in this movie. Thanks Jay I loved it. I would rate it a 9 and say see it in the cinema for sure.
    Some of the other movies I have watched lately:

    Bone Tomahawk – 9.5/10 Awesome movie, I am a big Kurt Russell fan and I love westerns. I have been telling anyone who will listen to see this movie.

    The Edge – 8/10 I really enjoyed this movie. Anthony Hopkins was great as always, the bear was really scary and it had me glued to the screen for the entire movie.

    Manhunter – 6.5/10 This movie seemed a bit dated. I wanted more Hannibal Lecter scenes too. I was a bit tired while watching but I just couldn’t get completely into this movie (sorry Karl).

    I am going to watch Absentia next so I will let you know what I think. Loving the podcast, keep up the good work.


  17. Some Hard Truths (or Blasphemies – Depending on Your Viewpoint) about Blade Runner

    1) The most dated thing about ‘Blade Runner’ is the Vangelis soundtrack. Let’s face it: Vangelis had his moment – and it was 35 years ago. I’m a huge fan of analog synthesizers (I own a few myself) and I enjoyed Vangelis’ work back in the day – but damn, his soundtracks seem as old-fashioned as Baroque music. If the existing movie was re-scored with a modern (or at least, classical) soundtrack, it would feel much more contemporary.

    2) The worst thing about ‘Blade Runner’ – and I know this will make some peoples’ heads explode – is Harrison Ford. I’m afraid Harrison Ford has never been a great actor, although he Harrison Fords extremely well. But what he doesn’t do well at all is narration – he sounds like a 7th grader forced to stand up in front of the class and read a poem. When I saw ‘Blade Runner’ in the movie theater with friends, right after Rutger Hauer gives his great monologue, there was a collective groan that rose from our row of seats when Ford’s terrible, “I don’t know why…” narration kicked in.

    • Agreed on the narration… I hate it. Apparently Ford did too, and he says that he purposely delivered it terribly in hopes that they would not even consider using it. That being said, the director’s cut leaves it out and makes the ending much more bleak, which I feel serves the feel of the movie much better.

  18. I did NOT go to see Sausage Party the other day. Because I didn’t go, I can’t tell you how it is a pretty clever look at the comfort of religion and has a fair amount of laughs throughout. If I had seen it, I would warn others about how incredibly filthy it is, and how you might feel the need to watch a Lifetime movie afterwards. But I did not see it the other day, and therefore I can’t give it a 6 rating.

  19. Congrats on 200 Episodes! I try to listen to every episode, makes work a little more bearable listening to MPW every week.

    Saw “Pete’s Dragon” with my daughter this weekend. I think it was a good movie, if you’ve seen the trailer you know exactly what is in the movie. My daughter and her cousin both around 6 said they enjoyed the movie, but I have to say the movie did not keep their interest throughout the entire film. I have to say it was a little uncreative, and a little boring. It seems to have good reviews, maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood. Don’t expect anything magical, or unexpected. I would say within the first 10 minutes of the movie I guessed what the ending would be, and it was exactly what it was. I can’t remember the original so I don’t think it was stuck in the back of my mind or anything, but the ending (and maybe the whole movie) just brought back memories of a John Lithgow movie, don’t want to spoil anything, but I enjoyed that movie more than this, and I think kids might as well. Older kids may like it, but I didn’t think the whole film worked, would say a 5.5-6 range. I would save money and show your kids the John Lithgow movie instead, and rent this later when it comes out.

    I also watched “The Big Short”. I have to say I should have watched this sooner. I loved this movie. I would say to anyone that hasn’t seen this movie go see it since it is streaming on Netflix. I suggest also if you like this movie see the Frontline “The Retirement Gamble”. Ugh…the system is disgustingly ran by greed. Good thing we have our politicians that look out for the small guy. haha

    Also, in a late night viewing, on Netflix after the kids were finally in bed, maybe I was a little drowsy and more prone to laugh at dumb stuff, but I watched “Goon” on Netflix with Seann William Scott. I’m not a hockey fan or anything but I thought Seann William Scott was pretty funny in this, and the movie has just enough storyline and characters to keep your interest. Does anyone else think that Seann William Scott is pretty damn funny? I am not saying looking back to his Stifler role. But why is he not given more roles, anyone know? He is not the best actor I know, but enough to pull off a supporting role in a comedy, he seemed like a little breath of fresh air, maybe I’m the only one here, but getting a little tired of every comedy seeming to cast by the Seth Rogen clan.

  20. It would be great to believe that the snippets of cinema history mentioned in the comments here from time to time do eventually trickle down to the hosts, but I’m starting to have my doubts 😉

    As mentioned before, no, ‘High Noon’ is most definitely not the first ‘real time’ film made. According to Wikipedia, it was the fourth one produced.

    Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ (1948) is both the first ‘one shot’ film of all time (actual or edited to appear as “one shot”), as well as the first English language ‘real time’ film.

    While I think ‘High Noon’ is the better film, ‘Rope’ is almost as good, and there have been a few other really good ones too (‘Run Lola Run’, ‘Before Sunset’, etc).

    Since links cause problems sometimes, I’ll just list the Wikipedia entry titles for anyone interested:

    Wikipedia: One_shot_(film)

    Wikipedia: Real_time_(media)

  21. * REPORT CARD FOR EP.200 *
    Average rating for assignments
    J gave: 7.6
    J got: 8

    Andy gave: 7.8
    Andy got: 6.5

    Ryan gave: 7.1
    Ryan got: 6.3

    Karl gave: 5.6
    Karl got: 7.5

    All assignments: 7.1
    Median rating for assignments
    J gave: 8
    J got: 9

    Andy gave: 7.5
    Andy got: 7

    Ryan gave: 7
    Ryan got: 7.5

    Karl gave: 4
    Karl got: 7.7

    All assignments: 7.5

    I’m not sure what this says about our illustrious hosts’ taste, or how their tastes align, or how well they know their fellow hosts – but it’s interesting trivia nonetheless :)

    • I think it means Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Jay wins! ; )

      Thanks for taking the time to do this, Mark. This is very cool.


      • J – You’re welcome – but it was my pleasure :)

        And I think you definitely won – by a healthy margin. You gave assignments that were more highly-rated overall by your co-hosts, so it seems to me you likely went the extra mile (as you often do on this podcast) to chose assignments they would appreciate.

        In honor of your win, I suggest the very first EmPy Award, which comes with a statue of 4 guys in a circle simultaneously throttling each other. The inscription shall read:

        EmPy First Award
        Jason Pyles
        For Most Enjoyed Assignments
        And Other Non-Cinema-Hating

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