Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 207: Blair Witch (2016) and Snowden (2016) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) and the First Movie Podcast Network MeetUp 2016

Episode 207

Episode 207b

To show love to our listeners, I’m releasing Movie Podcast Weekly, Episode 207 TWO DAYS EARLY! We just celebrated our first ever MOVIE PODCAST NETWORK MEETUP this weekend, so we wanted to get this coverage to you from the event, as soon as possible. (Plus, we wanted to save you from seeing BLAIR WITCH and BRIDGET JONES’S BABY, and perhaps we can persuade you to see an important film called SNOWDEN. If you didn’t get to join us for this episode in Indiana this past weekend, then please join us via this podcast! Thanks for listening.

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!

Episode 207cLeft to right: Karl, Dino, Ryan, Jay and Juan at the MPN MeetUp 2016 on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. [NOTE: More photos from this event will be posted soon; Jay is still trying to collect them from their photographers.]


I. Introduction
— Preface by Jason

II. New in Theaters This Past Weekend (Sept. 16, 2016):
Blair Witch
Bridget Jones’s Baby
Mr. Church
Hillsong – Let Hope Rise
Finding Altamira
Operation Avalanche
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years
Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
Silicon Cowboys
Wild Oats
Miss Stevens
The Vessel
Cardboard Boxer
Live Another Day


[ 0:03:13 ] III. Feature Review: BRIDGET JONES’S BABY (2016)
Jason = 5.5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Karl = 4 ( Avoid )
Ryan = 4 ( Hard Avoid )

[ 0:13:59 ] IV. Feature Review: SNOWDEN (2016)
Jason = 9 ( Theater / Must-see Rental )
Karl = 9.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Ryan = 8 ( Theater / High-priority Rental )
Juan = 7.5 ( Must-see Rental )

[ 0:29:39 ] V. Messages From the MPW Listeners as They Comment on Andy:
– Juan and Dino
– Mark and Gomez

[ 0:36:07 ] VI. Feature Review: BLAIR WITCH (2016)
Jason = 1 ( Avoid ) – Worst Movie of the Year (So Far)
Karl = 0 ( Avoid )
Ryan = N/A
Ron Martin = 2 ( Avoid )
– – – – – in alpha order – – – – –
Dark Mark = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Dino = 2.5 ( Avoid )
Greg = 5 ( Rental )
James Waters = 4 ( Avoid )
Jeff Hammer = 4 ( Avoid )
Jody = 5.5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Juan = 6 ( Rental )

[ 0:51:31 ] VII. Round-table Discussion: Karl’s Top “Wanna Choke Puppies” Movies:

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Shout-outs to those who attended the MPN MeetUp!
— Join us for live shows in SLC 2017 (probably in August) for our next meetup!

Be sure you’ve tried all the shows on the Movie Podcast Network:
Retro Movie Geek Podcast
Forgotten Flix Remembers Podcast
The Sci-Fi Podcast
Movie Stream Cast
Geek Cast Live Podcast
Horror Movie Podcast
Movie Podcast Weekly

Episode 208 where we’ll be reviewing “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Last Descent.” Join us!

Episode 207f[Left to right: Geek Cast Ryan, Gomez98, Dark Mark, Jason, Karl.]

Episode 207g[Left to right: Dino and Juan.]

Episode 207h[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207i[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207j[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]

Episode 207k[Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana — the site of the first ever MPN MeetUp 2016.]


Oh, and don’t forget to check out Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7 horror podcast

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

57 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 207: Blair Witch (2016) and Snowden (2016) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) and the First Movie Podcast Network MeetUp 2016

  1. Ha. Wow. I was waiting to comment about Blair Witch because I was afraid I might be a downer for everyone, assuming you guys had fun watching it and maybe liked it more than I did. But from reading the show notes, it seems as though I’ll end up rating it higher than most. 😀 But I didn’t like it very much, either, and have several complaints. I’ll comment more on that tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear the episode and how the meetup went. Wish I could have been there!

  2. I was able to catch a viewing of Movies N’Stuff this weekend. What a pleasant surprise! After seeing the trailer, all I could think of was, ‘Man, with something like that, anything can happen.’ The Producer on this flick is a master at his craft, but reportedly hates the cinema, so I went in with an open mind and high expectations.

    This movie’s set in a nice college town….not too big, not too small. Nice set design. The pacing was nice…about half way through, the cast got all meta and went to see a movie. Low ratings for the movie within this movie, unfortunately.

    The plot was a bit Seinfeldian. It was mostly peeps sitting around and talking about movies….and other stuff, so the title didn’t disappoint.

    More on the cast. This is where this movie really shined. The casting director deserves the national medal of honor for movies. The cast of this movie is phenomenal, except for the tallish, goofball character. I could’ve stood for him to shut his yap a little more. :-) For the themes that Movies N’Stuff portrays, though, you couldn’t ask for a better, nicer, more hilarious bunch of people. Maybe, if there’s a sequel, I’d hope for a wolfman appearance.

    Overall, I’d rate this a 10 outta 10 and recommend seeing it in the theater, if it plays anywhere near you, and buy it when it comes out. :-)

  3. Ryan – Sorry for the real-world politics, but Apple’s “refusal” to help the FBI unlock an iPhone was nothing more than a publicity stunt between them and the FBI – for obvious beneficial reasons to both sides. To equate that with Snowden’s whistle-blowing is simply wrong.

    For Apple, it was about shoring up Apple’s terrible corporate image (which is almost as similar to Big Brother from Orwell’s “1984” as the NSA’s is). Everyone that follows the news knows that Apple, Google, and most of the other major US technology corporations typically bend over and offer their asses at the slightest hint of an overture from the US Govt, so with the iPhone lock, they could pretend to make a stand.

    For the FBI, it was about pretending to US consumers that there is an adversarial relationship between them and the technology corporations – which there absolutely isn’t – and also about propagating the idea that the iPhone’s lock-technology is secure – which it absolutely isn’t.

    Edward Snowden himself pointed this out in a video link:

  4. Meeting up with peeps has inspired me to attempt to post more content that could actually be useful…or just terrible reviews. :-) I think I tried this before and then I got lazy and went back to goofballery, so we’ll see how long it lasts. I’m setting the line at 4 episodes…I tentatively take the over.

    So, Mrs. Gomez98 and I are learning Italian, albeit on the slow track. Her command of the language is light-years ahead of mine, but her blowing the dust off her skills is helping my early-stage fumbling around on duolingo and other, various forms of self-education.

    Anyway, in an attempt to dip our toes into self-immersion, we viewed several Italian films at home and with an Italian social/cultural society, I forget the exact name of the organization. Like all movies viewings, there have been winners….there have been losers. It’s all subjective, but fun and good to hear the language from native speakers, not robotic, call center voices.

    My first movie to review sticks out as one of my favorites, so far. It’s called Il Sorpasso. We wanted to get away from the ones we all know about like Cinema Paradiso, La Vita e Bella and Le Grande Bellezza, which are all great films, but we wanted to go off the beaten path a bit, although this one seems to be a classic.

    Wow, was I pleasantly surprised with this flick! First off, it’s old. And I already have a slight aversion to older movies. The more I watch some oldies, the more my ridiculous thought of poor production and terrible plot and dialogue should erode, I hope. :-) Secondly, because of our intentions with these movies, it’s not dubbed (but we left the subs on as a cheat for now). These points had me going in with slight trepidation.

    The plot is basically this: Old-School Italian Vince Vaughn and Old-School Italian Owen Wilson make a buddy road-trip comedy that has a few dramatic/serious sub-themes. When breaking it down to the basics, this movie’s been done a million times since, and probably is even a thematic re-make of something that came before it. OSIOWilson is a nerdy, by-the-books, take-no-chances, straight-man. OSIVVaugh is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, charismatic, gigolo-type. These two get together by happenstance and hilarity ensues.

    The development of the characters is a bit rushed, but you get the point being made of their personalities, and it doesn’t ruin the movie. The movie takes place over the course of one day, so rushing the plot is forgivable.

    Amidst the comedy, the movie touches on some serious notes that provide more exposition for the ‘fun’ character, Bruno. As the film moves on, the two characters develop into more mature and multi-faceted people, each taking on some characteristics of the other, the more time they spend with each other.

    The ending is fantastic. I didn’t realize it until I saw the ending, but it was exactly how I wanted the movie to end. It really intensifies the movie being a commentary on the possible consequences of the good-time, free-wheeling lifestyle. It’s similar to how You’re the Worst took a left turn into something as serious as crippling depression, and I loved it.

    I give this movie a 9.5 outta 10. Down the road the gomez family will own this, but we don’t just yet. Right now, the library WorldCat system is our best friend. :-)

    If anyone has any reviews or recommendations of other foreign films, I’d love to hear them. Italian, definitely….but any others too. A good flick is a good flick. :-)

    • Gomez – these are pretty well known too but if you haven’t seen them.
      “Jean De Florette” and “Manon of the Spring” – in that order as Manon is a sequel. Brilliant stories.

      • Turns out my library had as a double disc package of these films. Checked out JDF last night. Nice pick. It was a great story. Sweet and charming, in its own way, but also a bit tragic. Interesting commentary on old vs. modern ways, which I’m sure is applicable to many pieces of life and not just to farming on a French hillside. Thanks, again, Karl. I plan to do Manon Friday night-ish. Next episode, I use these two as my attempt at useful criticism. :-)

  5. FELLAS!
    I can’t begin to say how humbled and surprised I was by how many of you came to the meetup. It was fantastic – and getting to know each of you (even if you were only a HMP listener) was awesome! Gomez98 (David) thank you so much for the gifts! To call that above and beyond would be the understatement of the year!
    It’s truly an honor to know you all- thanks forever for all of your support. The distance most of you traveled (Dark Mark wins the prize for the farthest) was truly touching.
    Please reach out to me on Facebook – so that we can stay in touch. Except Andy – fuck that guy. :) Andy you were missed. By someone. Just not me.
    Thanks again guys – lets do another one soon!

    • It was awesome meeting you Karl! You’re a very hilarious and personable guy which made it very easy to carry on conversations with you. Hopefully this won’t be the last time we get an opportunity to talk about what a MEEP son of a MEEP that MEEP, MEEPING MEEP Steve Jobs is…LOL

      – James

      • I agree with James….so awesome to meet you and Jay, Karl. Man, I wish I’d been listening to that Jobs conversation. I think I was rapping with Juan about cartoons. Thanks, Juan….for nothing! **eye roll** :-)

  6. A few positives about Blair Witch…

    The premise was pretty interesting, with the brother trying to figure out what happened to his sister. And connecting with the other couple, with the guy who had found the tapes, was potentially a good wrinkle, especially when you weren’t sure what his motivation might be as it went on.

    Setting aside the original (which admittedly was much, much, much better in every respect, including this respect), there is a certain kind of entertainment to this kind of film, where people are lost in the woods and scary-ish things are happening. It’s hard not to feel at least a little of that kind of tension. Purely as a visceral experience, there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes. I remember thinking that it was almost like a scary ride at Universal or Disney, where you’re moving along a track in a car and things come out at you and scare you for a second, but then you move past that until the next thing hits. That was especially the case later in the house. Now, that will also factor into the negatives (jump scares), but strictly as a “thrill ride,” there was a basic element of that here.

    Some of the modern aspects like ear cameras were a good choice, and as Dino said, the drone camera was a good idea, but then wasn’t used in a very interesting way.

    And then the negatives…

    J, you would probably know if there’s a term or phrase to describe this kind of thing, but I hate in movies like this where someone is yelling at the top of their lungs for someone, especially in a place where sound would travel, and they get no response at all, until… that person happens to come out right next to them. Gosh, that is so dumb, and I think it happened twice here. Now, they could do that exact thing in a way that’s clever, where they are yelling and the person jumps out to scare them, which would give reason to why they weren’t responding. That’s probably been done in a film or two. But here, no. No response at all, and then boom, here I am. Oh, were you just yelling my name at the top of your lungs for a minute? Sorry, didn’t hear that. 😛



    Some potentially interesting things either didn’t pay off, or paid off in dumb ways. The girl’s injury in the stream turned out to be just weird. And the crawling in the tunnels was potentially interesting, but then well, she’s just back in the house again. Okaaaaay. Whatever.

    Too many times something was happening, but the camera was just shaking around, and then they didn’t even have any kind of follow-up about what happened. There was one time in particular in the middle, when the main guy and girl were off in the woods, and something big and noisy happened and she screams and is freaked out crying, and then the guy consoles her, but there was no indication of what had happened.

    Anyway, there’s more, but I’m essentially with you about this being very disappointing. I give it a 4.5, which is very low for me. It is pointless, though, as it offers nothing new, and what thrills it does give are given much better in the original (which I would give a 9.5).

    I watched the original again last year to show my girls, and I remember expecting it to be kind of dumb now… more of a novelty at this point. But it held up really well for me, and aside from being so unique (at the time, at least), it really gave a good sense of the kind of paranoia and frustration of people lost in the woods, with something possibly sinister happening around them. It did a great job of keeping the scary/supernatural stuff vague and atmospheric, and focusing on the effect of the fatigue and paranoia of the characters. Other than the very ending, which implies genuine forces of horror, you don’t need it to necessarily be supernatural, and I love that. This new one did a nice fake out at one point, but then pretty clearly jumps to being obviously supernatural. Another reason it is much weaker than the original. Not that there’s anything wrong with something being obviously supernatural in a horror film, but I think the original got so much more mileage out of keeping that more uncertain.

    The disappointment of Blair Witch aside, it was great to hear that you guys had such a good time together, and I was glad to hear my forum cronies like Juan and Dino and Gomez. I’ll definitely be there in SLC next year (well, depending on the date, but odds are I can make that), and I’ll plan some kind of special musical number for that (perhaps making fun of us obsessive fans).

      • Ha. I love it. Had you seen the original Blair Witch Project? I’d be curious if you liked that one. If not, maybe wait a while to get this one out of your memory. But I would recommend seeing that one. Or, just imagine this film that you just saw, but with some actual style and vision to it.

        And glad to hear that you liked Snowden. I’d heard a few mediocre reviews and figured I’d skip it, but now I’ll go see it this week.

        • I haven’t seen Snowden yet (although I will), but I just thought I’d throw out a recommendation for Laura Poitras’ Academy Award winning 2014 documentary, Citizenfour, which is comprised of a lot of footage she shot of the actual secret meetings with her, Snowden, and Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong when he told them about the documents he had – before he had to flee to Russia. It’s both gripping and real – and I’d give it a solid 9/10.

      • I need some sort of “MEEP”-equivalent button for Karl’s written comments…. ha ha. People at the MeetUp heard Karl uncensored.

    • Hi Eric. I completely understand where you’re coming from with this Blair Witch business, but her me out for a second. I really think there’s more to the movie than it seems. I haven’t seen the movie a second time to confirm this, but I have a theory. Blair Witch took place at the same time as The Blair Witch even though it took place years later in the real world. The witch (or the woods?) is able to manipulate time and that’s why when you’re in the woods, you can never leave, because time doesn’t exist there the same way it does in real life. You can see evidence of this with the couple that said had been lost for weeks or months, but it had only been hours for the rest of the group. There were even parts in the movie where things that happened in the original were happening again. It was all happening simultaneously, but time was going faster for some of them and slower for others. So in essence, both movies took place at the same time. I believe this is why we hear doors shutting and voices from the original cast when people are in the house. And when characters separate, they experience time in a different way, that’s why some of them seem like they have aged. There’s also an element of looping. The movie ended where the movie began, with the house sequence. I’m still unsure as to how that would work, but the video we saw at the beginning was the same exact video we were seeing at the end. They were watching their own tape. This is why I need a second viewing, because I think I missed something. It’s also suggested that the woods themselves shift and move. All of the loud crackling we hear are possibly the woods shifting around at night (yet another reason why people get lost).

      As far as the jump scares go, yes, there were a lot of them and it got annoying at some point BUT the movie is very self aware and they even referenced this overabundance of jump scares. Things like “this is too easy” or “I hate it when people do that” or “this is getting annoying” were said around the time of the jump scare scenes.

      I also think this movie wasn’t meant to be something entirely new. It takes the foundation of what The Blair Witch did and expanded upon its mythos. Whereas The Blair Witch was a lot more subtle and open ended with its mythology and conclusion, this new movie is a lot more aggressive and transparent with its intentions.

      Overall, I liked the movie quite a bit. I wouldn’t call it a classic and it’s nowhere near the level of the original, but it was a great effort, I thought. I think I rated it a 6.5 at first and I think I’m bumping that to an 8 pending a second re-watch.

      • Wow, this makes me wanna see this movie. I do love a good mess-with-time flick. I’ll wait for it to be redboxed, which’ll give me time to acquire some donkey dick for the movie to suck, if it so chooses. I don’t think I’ll find one big enough, as K-Hud stated, there probably isn’t one big enough, so I’m gonna go for quantity. I figure a grundle of donkey dick should do it. :-)

  7. Soooooo…did Juan say to Andy what I think he said to Andy?!?! I’m resisting the temptation to run to google translate in a big way. If he did, it’ll be hilarious to see if Andy catches it. Or my Spanish translation could be a bit off… :-)

  8. To all the attendees at the Podcast meet-up.
    It was great to meet you all. Very awesome to meet so many diverse individuals who enjoy films as much as I do. Now I have a few more podcasts that I’ll be listening to..
    See you on the boards.
    -Greg, from Toledo, wearing the Creature from the Black Lagoon T-shirt

  9. I wish I could have been there, it sounded like you guys had so much fun. You definitely need to do a meet up in Australia next. I would love to show you guys around and catch a few movies with you.
    I have to go, I am about to watch Battle Royale for the first time (I’m so excited).
    My other recent purchases (thanks to you guys) are:
    – The Uninvited
    – Requiem For A Dream
    – Daybreakers
    – Trick r Treat
    – Surveillance
    – The Fourth Kind
    I can’t wait to watch them all, I will let you know what I think.


      • Yeah I will try and wait until October if I can lol. I really loved Battle Royal too by the way. I thought it was going to be more gory from the way everyone talks about it though.

        • I’ve never seen Battle Royal. It’s been on my Netflix cue for a few years now. I have no idea why I’ve never pulled the trigger on that film. Hopefully you’ve inspired me to check it off the list.

          • You definitely should Dark Mark, its a great movie. I think I was expecting more because people hyped it up too much, so I think my expectations were too high. Its still a must see movie though. There were a few things that bugged me but I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

  10. I saw the first two “Bridget Jones” movies in the line of duty, and kind of felt the same way about both of those that Jay did about this one. Fun/touching/warmly amusing in fits and starts, but with lots of secondhand jokes and warmed-over gags. In both cases (though decidedly more so with No. 2), the whole is less than the sum of the parts. I’m not surprised that No. 3 was hit-and-miss, especially with Patrick Dempsey attempting to take the place of Hugh Grant. Pass. It was definitely fun to hear both GCR and Karl get so animated during a review, even if the movie was lame.

    I hope the fellas follow through with Jay’s plan to have meet-ups in Utah next year, although I don’t know whether that would be good for Jay’s health. Juan’s worried about his soda consumption, but I’m thinking that the number of gift Peanut Buster Parfaits Jay would potentially get in his own home state might freeze his brain on the spot.

    Hearing Karl rip the ending of “No Country for Old Men” made me think about “The Blair Witch Project.” I sort of feel the same way about OG BWP. I saw the movie a week or so before it opened back in the day and there were crazy amounts of hype floating around from its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. When I finally got to see it, I walked out thinking, “That was it?” All tease, no please, right through to the end of the movie. Also, BWP stole that ending from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” (Kidding!) (Sort of.)

      • Nice pick, Mark! Looks like it has Olivia Coleman in it. She’s awesome in the things I’ve seen her in.

        The article mentions Catastrophe. Have ya seen that? At times, it was pee-my-pants funny. :-)

        • Thanks, Gomez!

          Yeah, Olivia Coleman is fantastic in this too; playing a rather different role than her usual: the “evil” stepmother.

          And yes, I love Catastrophe, and Fleabag often has a similar vibe to it (in a good way). But it also goes into some territory that’s unexpected and different (also in a good way).

          Like Catastrophe, it’s very hard not to binge – and you’ll end up wanting more. :)

          • Had never seen/heard of Olivia Colman until “Broadchurch.” Boy did she hit a home run with that show. I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of Season 3 (Series 3, I suppose, since it’s a British show) next spring.

  11. I caught SNOWDEN yesterday, and yes, it’s great, and disturbing. (I’m writing this message while covered in tinfoil.) I especially loved the cast, and my favorite was Rhys Ifans as Snowden’s CIA mentor. A really nice performance there, and the scene involving him and a big screen was particularly cool/unnerving. Hooray for seeing Nicholas Cage in something significant again. I’m really rooting for him to have a full-fledged comeback, and not end up blowing it on private islands. I’ve generally liked Oliver Stone films a lot, while realizing that some are more creative than others (e.g., JFK is terrific, but more of a conspiracy fantasy than anything resembling actual history), and this did not disappoint. I’m coming in at 8.5, knocking off a bit for pacing and length.

  12. Jay! You gotta hurry up and get Episode 208 posted so that there’s time for everyone to rally around Ry and cheer for the Cubs before they lose in the first round of the playoffs.

  13. My opinion on the wire. I do prefer stand alone crime series like law &order. But the wire is said to be brilliant. I will watch it but not just yet. I got a. mention in a previous podcast but my name was mis pronounced. It is Noel – pronounced Nole. Felicity’s boyfield was Noel .any way I am looking forward to the next podcast. Well done on both the meet up and reaching the 200 episode. Well done all

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