Max – 2.5/10 – The weirdest, worst afterschool special ever. The good? A boy and his dog. Robbie Ammell fighting in Afghanistan. Lauren Graham. The bad? Thomas Haden Church’s wooden acting. The ridiculous plot about the gun smuggling. Andy’s longer review here.
Me, Earl and the Dying Girl – 8/10 – Won ALL THE AWARDS! at Sundance. Lots of great stuff in here for cinephiles. Not a typical love story, but very touching and smart.
The Overnight – 6/10 – Lots of fake dong. This movie is the Venn Diagram of Funny + Awkward. Duplass Brothers executive produced– makes sense. Andy’s “longer” review (or is it a prosthetic?) here.
Ted 2 – Adam: 3/10; Andy: 5/10 – Seth Macfarlane is just ripping off his own jokes. Ted was funny. Ted 2 is not. Some funny nerd humor and easter eggs, but it felt a little mean-spirited. Seth Macfarlane can’t do smart political/ethical satire necessary to carry this plot.
Dope is about young Malcolm growing up in Inglewood, Los Angeles, as a self-proclaimed geek who is into “white shit” like skateboarding, Game of Thrones, manga, his trip-hop punk bank named Awwreoh! and getting good grades and going to Harvard. Through a series of misadventures, the day before his fateful alumni interview that could determine his future, he gets a bunch of drugs planted in his backpack and then is placed in circumstances where he has to sell them. Sorry for plot spoilers– that’s not the point. Lots in here about racial identity– what it means to be black and expectations based on your race. There’s also a strong commentary about drugs and how the impoverished African-American community deals with the violence and problems of delivering drugs to white folks.
Strong performances by main cast, a GREAT soundtrack (which you can stream here) and lots of laughs and real drama. 8/10
Inside Outis Disney/Pixar’s return to form after not having an incredibly spectacular movie for a while. Perfect cast. The purpose of Sadness. Bing Bong.
Our childhood imaginary friends.
What is the purpose of criticism or critics?
Ratatouille – the main message here was Gusteau saying that “Anyone Can Cook.” Remy was challenged by knowing that a critic was coming in to eat their food, and he made something to blow his mind.
Chef – Jon Favreau and Oliver Plat get into it on social media over a bad review. Chef says critic doesn’t understand how to cook. Critic says his dishes are uninspired. So chef gets fired, gets inspired with a food truck, and critic ends up wanting to financially back his restaurants. What what what?!?!
Critics are chefs’ friends– they demand more, and point out where things can be improved. What do you need to be a critic? Anyone can cook, so anyone can critic– just use critics as a lens or filter, not infallible arbiters of good and bad.
Birdman – theater critics are way mean. Why are they so broken? We wanted to like TMNT. Really. Sometimes a movie is just escapism. The law of large numbers and critic aggregation sites.
Agree with us, disagree with us– let’s have a discussion.
Closing song is from Lava, the short that played before Inside Out. We forgot to review it, but it is excellent and worth the price of admission alone.
Jurassic World – It has its flaws, but we both loved it. Buy the premise, but the bit. Lots of easter eggs and nods to the first film. Maybe too many nods– and outright aping shots and score from the first one. Christ Pratt is awesome. Least annoying kids. Wasted D’Onofrio. Adam gives it 7/10, Andy gives it 7.5/10. For more and to read us arguing with Bryan Young, read the roundtable review over at Big Shiny Robot.
In Memoriam: Christopher Lee – Yes Saruman and Dooku, but so much more. Andy talks The Man with the Golden Gun. Lee’s Nazi-hunting days. Tolkien expert and stabbing expert. Adam talks heavy metal and Christmas albums.
Music in this week’s episode taken from the Jurassic Park score by John Williams, the Fellowship of the Ring score by Howard Shore, and “The Bloody Verdict of Verden” from Christopher Lee’s metal rock opera about Charlemagne.
Pitch Perfect 2 – If you saw the first Pitch Perfect and The Mighty Ducks 2, you’ve seen this movie. But it’s still pretty good. Andy gives this a 7.5/10.
Spy – Not a spoof of spy movies– an actual spy movie with comedic elements. Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig work great together, and the supporting cast is amazing. But Feig needs an editor. Both Andy and Adam give this an 8/10
Entourage – Why? We didn’t need this movie. And there simply aren’t enough celebrity cameos and mindless T&A to make this interesting. 3/10 says Andy.
Love and Mercy – Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, played by Paul Dano in 1967 as they’re recording Pet Sounds, played by John Cusack in the 80’s as Wilson deals with mental health issues and being dominated by his live-in therapist (Paul Giamatti) and Elizabeth Banks is there to try to save him. It’s like a lot of musical biopics, but Andy really liked it: 9/10
Our recommendations for the week, based on the theme of LGBTQ Pride:
Adam: Weekend (2011)A great story of a weekend hookup that becomes something more. Beautiful story, great acting, great direction. Immediately released as a Criterion and so deserving.
Andy: The Case Against 8 (2014) – As a political junkie, Andy loved this documentary about the court case and the couples who served as the plaintiffs to overturn California’s Prop 8. Former opposing attorneys during the Bush v Gore Florida recount, Ted Olson and David Boies are the main lawyers in this case. Olson provides a strong, conservative case for recognizing marriage equality. Truth is better than fiction. Available on HBO Go, so also check out Angels in America and The Normal Heart.
Music in this episode:
Theme song: Boyz in the Hood performed by Dynamite Hack
Pitch Perfect cast: Cups (When I’m Gone), Das Sound Machine performs at Das Car Show, We Belong
Duran Duran – A View to a Kill, Theme from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger
Jane’s Addiction – Superhero (theme from Entourage)
Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby, God Only Knows
Songs from the 2015 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical – Fun Home — “Ring of Keys”, “Welcome to the Fun Home”
Our philosophy on movie ratings: a 1-10 scale that is essentially a Bell Curve: most movies are going to be in the 3-7 range, and 1s and 10s are truly rare and equally awful as they are spectacular. But taking your entire family to the movies and buying popcorn can be as expensive as movie ticket, so you want to choose wisely.
Tomorrowland – It’s good to go into this movie relatively blind of what it’s all about. Know that it’s a slower burn, more thinky movie. But it’s still good for kids– depending on your kids. The acting is great: Clooney and Britt Robertson are great, but the breakout star is Raffi Cassidy.
The third act has some problems, and the ending is a little preachy. Andy likes the preachiness.
Tron 3 gets cancelled. Why Adam’s mom hates Tron. The dumbing down of sci-fi.
Hugh Laurie and George Clooney on Graham Norton this week was great. Next week Chris Pratt!
Mad Max: Fury Road – the movie that shouldn’t have been made. Max is basically a feral creature, captured by Immortan Joe’s cult of War Boys and used as a bloodbag for Nux, played by Nicholas Hoult. When Imperator Furiousa (Charlize Theron) takes off in her war rig with Immortan Joe’s harem, they go after her with all the fury they can muster. And then you have a 2 hour car chase.
Remember when Warner Bros was going to let George Miller make a Justice League movie? Andy thinks this is not only the best movie of the year, but the best of the last several years– the best since the first Avengers. Tiny moments and glances mean so much. You can dissect so much of this movie. The War Boys’ religion and nerding out about it for an hour and a half.
This is the opposite side of the same coin of Tomorrowland. Both directors present visions of the future and we can choose our destiny. Is the movie about feminism? Sure, but it’s also about a ton of other issues and layered. Nux probably has the best character arc of the movie.
Go see this a bunch of times.
What we’re excited about, what we’re concerned about for the rest of the year.
Andy: Get a Hulu Plus subscription. Catch up on tv you missed, plus Hulu is adding Seinfeld on June 24th. They also have every Criteron movie available to stream.
Adam: Criterion Collection dvds/blu-rays at Costco. Why Criterion is great. This month’s Criterions at Costco is Seven Samurai and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The podcast so you don't end up bored as hell at the movies