A very special episode. But no spoilers– we will save those for another time. A few minor plot points and character descriptions, but little more than what is in the trailer. It’s a war movie! But there’s a lot of Star Wars in that Star Wars movie. This is great. Go see it, minor problems aside.
Our long-awaited, spoiler-fueled breakdown of all things Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’re joined again by the irrepressible and redoubtable Brooke Heym. All music in this episode to celebrate the life and legacy of David Bowie, who Andy has always been a little too obsessed with. (Fun drinking game: drink any time Andy used a Bowie song on the podcast)
Spoilers. Spoiler culture. Avoiding Harry Potter spoilers. Encounters with Joss Whedon.
Why we love Rey. “Strong Female Characters.” Lara Croft vs. Rey. Men’s Rights Activists. Who is Rey? Possible parents. Rey’s vision. Ewan Macgregor, Alec Guinness, James Arnold Taylor all playing Obi-Wan. Force ghosts.
Episode VIII and Rian Johnson will blow our minds. Is Finn force-sensitive? Maz Kanata was great on The Golden Girls. We want to see her in the standalone prequel movies. Rogue One!
Han and Kylo Ren. Dad voice. Struggling with the Light Side. Is Kylo Ren a double agent? No way. This isn’t The Departed. This is Star Wars. Rey’s name. Balance of the Force. A critique of fandom. The nature of the force. What awakening?
BB-8. What parents do for our kids. Dark times. Personal confessions.
Oh, The Road Chip. You are a literal piece of crap. Because you are a franchise who advertises poo-eating in your trailers, and the pee and poo jokes continue in this 4th “film” in the series. We wish all the talented people well who worked on this film: may the checks you cashed sustain you well until your next project. 2/10 and a more full review here.
Star Wars!! The Force Awakens! A spoiler-free review that does include discussion of minor plot points and character descriptions that describe what transpires in the first 15-20 minutes of the film. All major real spoilers are kept under wraps. Rey is a new feminist hero. What made us well up with tears. We all give it a 10/10 or higher.
Macbeth is bloody, violent, dirty, sexy, and altogether not Macbeth. The performances are good, but they tried to change this so much and focus on big overt things like battles, it just didn’t gel and didn’t “get” the source material. Andy gives it 4/10.
In the Heart of the Sea has the same problems. Why make this movie when you could’ve just made a great Moby Dick movie? There’s no excuse for this to be as boring and padded as it is. Andy gives it also a 4/10.
Return of the Jedi is not just the movie we grew up with, but it’s a movie that grows up with you. Changes in the Special Editions. “No!” Grey Jedi. Star Wars comics. Klaatu Barada Nikto.
Krampus – If the idea is appealing to you of an evil cloven-hoofed Santa demon punishing a family of sociopaths who are like The Griswolds^10, then you might like this movie. Andy gives it 5/10.
Trumbo – Hollywood’s best writer gets blacklisted, starts writing under other names. The Blacklist and why it was so terrible. The actors in this. Louis CK. Joan Allen. John Goodman. Helen Mirren, Alan Tudyk. ALL amazing. And Bryan Cranston is beyond phenomenal. Andy gives this a 9/10.
The Empire Strikes Back – Andy thinks this is the greatest movie of all time. Adam thinks it’s up there, and it’s the best Star Wars movie. An even weirder movie than Star Wars– it plays backwards. John Williams. Boba Fett. A strange birdwalk about Ewan Macgregor and Michael Fassbender and their. . . ahhem. . . Han Solo and the Princess. That Carbon Freeze sequence tho. Willrow Hood!!! Oh, and Lando, I guess.
This week we review Mockingjay Part II, Victor Frankenstein, The Good Dinosaur, and Creed. We continue our countdown to The Force Awakens by talking about the movie that started it all: Star Wars – A New Hope.
Mockingjay Part II – It’s the final Hunger Games movie! Everyone gets a moment to shine. We forget Jennifer Lawrence can actually act. You finally won me over, Josh Hutcherson. Veteran actors Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore all shine. Has too many almost endings — like Return of the King. 7.5 out of 10.
Victor Frankenstein – This cast could read the phone book and it would be entertaining. They should’ve stuck to reading the phone book. More style than substance. Why was this released at Thanksgiving instead of Halloween? 5 out of 10.
The Good Dinosaur – It’s a “A Boy and His Dog” movie. Except with a dinosaur and the dog is a little human. Jaws references. It turns into a Western with Sam Elliot. Sure to be a crowd pleaser but Pixar is usually capable of more than just pretty animation and a good story. We expect more. Andy gave it 8.5 out of 10 and Adam gave it 7 out of 10.
Creed – Watch this review by Scott Stapp of Creed. It’s a Rocky movie! And almost exactly what you’d expect. Maybe a little long. Maybe too many training montages. But the last few minutes are amazing.
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.
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