Knives Out – Popcorn Not Included

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We discuss Knives Out, Agatha Christie, detective stories, and murder mystery films.

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Knives Out

Directed by: Rian Johnson
Produced by: Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson
Screenplay by: Rian Johnson
Edited by: Bob Ducsay
Cinematography: Steve Yedlin
Music by: Nathan Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer
Distributed by: Lionsgate

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Popcorn Not Included

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We finish off the Harry Potter film series. In our longest episode to date we talk about the ending, the series as a whole, and rank the films.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Directed by: David Yates
Produced by: David Heyman, David Barron, J. K. Rowling
Written by: Steve Kloves
Cinematography: Eduardo Serra
Edited by: Mark Day
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendon Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Jason Isaacs, Kelly Macdonald, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis
Production company: Warner Bros. Pictures

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie – Popcorn Not Included

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There’s new Breaking Bad… sort of. We discuss the new movie that serves as an epilogue to the series.

If you haven’t heard, we did a Breaking Bad episode previously.

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El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Directed by: Vince Gilligan
Produced by: Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Vince Gilligan, Aaron Paul
Written by: Vince Gilligan
Cinematography: Marshall Adams
Edited by: Skip Macdonald
Music by: Dave Porter
Starring: Aaron Paul
Production company: Sony Pictures Television

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 – Popcorn Not Included

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We’re almost through with our Harry Potter series. Join us as we discuss the penultimate film and Matt makes some terrible predictions about the ending.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Directed by: David Yates
Produced by: David Heyman, David Barron, J. K. Rowling
Written by: Steve Kloves
Cinematography: Eduardo Serra
Edited by: Mark Day
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendon Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis
Production company: Warner Bros. Pictures

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Popcorn Not Included

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It’s the beginning of the end as we discuss possibly the most funny and most tragic of the Harry Potter series.

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Directed by: David Yates
Produced by: David Heyman, David Barron
Written by: Steve Kloves
Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel
Edited by: Mark Day
Music by: Nicholas Hooper
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Julie Walters
Production company: Warner Bros. Pictures

Favorite Movies: Forrest Gump – Popcorn Not Included

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We’re starting a sub-series where we cover our favorite movies. Technically we already began this with The LEGO Movie episode (one of Matt’s favorites). Now join us for a discussion of Maggie’s favorite film: the 1994 classic Forrest Gump – which Matt had never seen before!

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Forrest Gump

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Produced by: Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Steve Starkey
Written by: Eric Roth
Based on: Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
Edited by: Arthur Schmidt
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field
Production Company: Wendy Finerman Productions
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – Popcorn Not Included

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It’s been 5 years since the first movie. Is everything still awesome or does the sequel fail to click? The answer to that hackneyed, pun-laden question can be found in yon podcast!

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The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Directed by: Mike Mitchell
Produced by: Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee, Jinko Gotoh
Written by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Edited by: Clare Knight
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Maya Rudolph
Production Company: 
Warner Animation Group

Favorite Movies: The LEGO Movie – Popcorn Not Included

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In 2014 at the beginning of the LEGO movie franchise, everything was awesome. We talk about one of Matt’s favorite movies in preparation for its sequel. Also features a micro-review of The LEGO Batman Movie. This is the beginning of a periodic ongoing series where we’ll talk about some of our favorite movies.

The LEGO Movie

Written & Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Produced by: Dan Lin, Roy Lee
Edited by: David Burrows, Chris McKay
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman
Production Company: 
Warner Animation Group

The Meg – Popcorn Not Included

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It’s been a while! Join us for a discussion of The Meg, bad shark movies, good shark movies, and what makes a good “fun” movie as opposed to a lame one.

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The Meg
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay by: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography: Tom Stern
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Captain Phillips

Once a journalist, Paul Greengrass changed careers and entered the film industry. He became a director and proceeded to make a career of doing movies about about tragic events. His films Resurrected, The Fix, Bloody Sunday, United 93, and now Captain Phillips are all “based on a true story.” Most audience members probably only know Greengrass as the director of The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum.

Greengrass brings his experience as a director of those action thrillers to bear on the story of Richard Phillips and the crew of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama who are beset by Somali pirates. It’s quite a marvel that I was brought to the edge of my seat watching the story unfold. After all, those of us who remember the news stories from a few years back have already had this “spoiled” for us.

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Greengrass’ signature handheld “shakycam” style seems befitting for a movie set largely on the high seas. The direction is really superb and the action engaging. It all feels very authentic.

But the best thing about the movie is Tom Hanks as the titular Captain. At first I was really bothered by the odd New England accent he was affecting. It’s true-to-life but I’ve heard Hanks’ real voice so many times in other roles that it sounded put on. By the time the pirates were spotted on the horizon I had adjusted to it. When the emotional close of the film rolled around, I was completely sold on Hanks in the role.

As a movie, I really like Captain Phillips. It’s effective, well-paced, and Tom Hanks turns in one great performance as the lead. It portrays the whole event as being pretty unfortunate for all involved. It’s not waving a lot of American flags nor portraying the U.S. as some kind of bully.

The story is a sad one. Out of desperation and greed a couple young Somalis got themselves into the crosshairs of U.S. Navy SEALs where they stood no chance of survival. Although frightened for his life, Captain Phillips is also aware that the Somalis are doomed once the Navy shows up and practically begs them to let him go so they won’t get themselves killed.

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I really appreciated how the event was handled. Except for one thing…

Hey, remember how I mentioned that Paul Greengrass did the second and third Bourne movies? The great thing about them is they were entirely fictional. Unfortunately, to properly consider and discuss this movie, we have to look at how it compares to reality.

Apparently not very favorably.

According to the movie, Captain Phillips was a paragon of virtue. He’s overly cautious about the threat of piracy. He’s shown as a brave and sacrificial leader. In a word: a hero. On the other hand, you get the impression that his crew has a little trouble lining up under their Captain. They’re actually portrayed as a bit lazy in one scene.

The real-life crew tells a different story. The real Captain Phillips was allegedly reckless, arrogant, and a liar when recounting the events of the hijacking. There’s some pretty harsh criticism leveled at the man. If it’s true, that’s really disappointing.

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips."

For me, that controversy does mar the film because it’s so concentrated on one man who may have been portrayed very, very inaccurately. Captain Phillips is a good movie for its filmmaking and acting, but when it comes to veracity I really have to question it. Then again, what do you expect from these “based on a true story” movies?