Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – This is the 5th movie in the series and by no means the worst. Maybe not as good as some of the other movies. Amazing stunts. Tom Cruise — still got it. His co-stars are great, too, especially Simon Pegg. The villain is weak, though. Still, go see it on the biggest screen you can. Adam gives it 8/10 (his full review here) and Andy gives it 7/10.
Vacation – a sort of reboot, sort of sequel. Rusty’s all growed up. Let’s go to Wally World… and hijinks ensue. “Do Anything Debbie.” Special spirit son keeps playing Seals and Croft. Cameos, cameos, cameos! Chevy Chase is the worst. These guys are writing the next Spider-Man movie. Adam gave it 8/10, Andy gave it a 7/10 (his full review here).
We review Paper Towns, Southpaw, and the abomination that is Pixels. Warning: the Pixels review contains some NSFW language and plot spoilers, but, seriously? Pixels was spoiled long before we started talking about it.
Paper Towns – Good high school coming of age story as Quentin tries to follow clues to find Margot, but the real movie kicks in with the story about three friends going on one last adventure before high school ends. Andy thought there wasn’t anything new here not done by a half dozen John Hughes movies or Me and Earl and the Dying Girl earlier this year, plus this has obvious Millenial-pandering. Adad can forgive that because it’s still a great story about friends. Our favorite part involved the Pokemon theme. Andy gave it 6.5, Adam gave it 7/10.
Southpaw – Jake Gyllenhaal got YOKED for this movie playing boxer Billy Hope. Predictable storyline as Billy goes from on top of the world to losing it all to fighting his way back to the top, but the acting and direction make up for it. Andy gave it 8.5, Adam gives it 7.5.
Pixels – Adam hated it. Andy refused to directly review it, instead summing up his feelings with clips from other, better Adam Sandler movies. Lots of nit-picking about how terrible and lazy this movie is. A STUNT DOUBLE FOR WHAT?!?!? It’s racist, it’s sexist, it’s just awful. Adam gave it 1/10, Andy gave it 0.
Songs from this episode (and the movies’ soundtracks:)
Trainwreck has all of the problems most Judd Apatow movies suffer from: somebody get that guy an editor. Really funny. Amy Schumer is awesome. LeBron James and John Cena try to steal the movie. It’s a role reversal of a rom-com. Adam gives it 7/10, Andy is 6.5/10.
Ant-Man is awesome. Andy has a man crush on Paul Rudd. Funniest Marvel movie ever. This might be Brooke’s favorite Marvel movie. Michael Pena was awesome. Edgar Wright vs. Peyton Reed. Paul Rudd and Adam Mackay’s script rewrites. Hank-Hope-Scott are like a little family– and it’s going to be split by Civil War.
The Gallows – A high school play production is haunted by the ghost of a cast member who died in the same school 20 years earlier. Andy was bored the first hour, think they didn’t do a good job as a found footage movie, but liked the last 20 minutes. Likes it was done in a high school auditorium. 3/10. Adam thought they earned the found footage and loved what they did with this. He was genuinely scared in some parts and the ghost itself was super scary. 7.5/10
Self/less – What is this movie? Sci fi? Action? How did it become a chick flick for a minute? Who would enjoy this? 3/10. Andy thinks this sounds par for the course for Tarsem Singh.
Minions – The plot and lead actors weigh down the movie. Andy and Adam’s opinions diverge on whether or not you can enjoy this movie as a series of skits and gags or whether you think those are boring. Andy says yes: 7.5/10 Adam says no: 4/10
Prequels: We’re getting a Han Solo prequel– what Andy doesn’t want to see and why that’s what makes a bad prequel. Good prequels deepen character and build the world. Star Wars prequels. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Godfather Part II. You don’t even know they’re prequels!
Andy’s prequel: X-Men: First Class.
Adam’s prequel: Prometheus
Fassbender is the common denominator. Because he denominates.
Magic Mike XXL – Andy says it’s a pale imitation of the original. Anyone who wants to see this movie should just go watch Magic Mike instead. 4/10
Best review ever from Brooke: “Well, that’s worth the $1 rental from Redbox…” A movie about male strippers with only 4 dance scenes in it?!!? 3/10
Terminator: Genisys –
This thing gets totally retconned. Adam likes it and how it resets the timeline– like X-Men: Days of Future Past. 8/10
This made Andy’s head hurt. He’s too close to the other movies and they didn’t explain well how they were making time travel and alternate timelines worked. They missed out on exploring the coolest parts of the movie an the best part of what makes a Terminator movie. 6.5/10
Brooke’s never seen a Terminator movie, so it was ok, but she was missing something. She saw a lot of missed opportunity, especially with Sarah Connor. Did not like the ending. 6/10
Brooke: Blue Crush. It’s like Magic Mike with surfer girls and surfer guys.
Andy: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
It’s like the Muppet Movie in reverse. Don’t tell my wife about Eliza Dushku in a skintight leather catsuit. Mark Hammil!
Adam: Orgazmo Trey Parker and Matt Stone from South Park made a movie about a Mormon missionary who accidentally becomes a porn star. We could watch every day and laugh at it. It’s rated NC-17 for dialogue, but there is almost zero female nudity. Lot of dudes’ butts, though.
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