Monday, September 18, 2017

The Breakdown of 'mother!', 'First They Killed My Father', 'American Assassin', 'Strong Island' and 'The Chronicles of Riddick'

The Breakdown is loaded up with five sizzling hot movie reviews, and even some glorious four stars get tossed out. It is definitely a show were we recommend some movies, but then there are a few to flee away from as well. For the new theatrical reviews, we have Darren Aronofsky's latest in the psychological mind jumble, mother! and then it is time for a bloody spy thriller in American Assassin. We also discuss the new Netflix originals in Angelina Jolie's latest directorial effort, First They Killed My Father and then a very personal documentary about race and the legal system, Strong Island. Then we jump out of 2017 to celebrate Vintember with the sequel to Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

Breakdown Outline:

1:23 First They Killed My Father review
19:10 mother! review
32:50 Strong Island review
46:08 American Assassin review
57:57 The Chronicles of Riddick review
1:10:28 Trailer Reviews: Blade Runner 2049 Prequel Short: "Nowhere to Run", Downsizing, The Disaster Artist, The Commuter, All the Money in the World
1:25:20 Box Office Analysis
1:30:21 Review Rundown

Rating Rundown:

First They Killed My Father **** (CS) & *** (SM)
mother! **** (CS)
Strong Island ***½ (CS & SM)
American Assassin ** (CS)
The Chronicles of Riddick ** (CS) & * (SM)

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Breakdown of 'It', '#realityhigh', 'xXx', and 'The Gallows'

The thrills and excitement of Vintember continues on The Breakdown this week, as we look at the launcher of Vin Diesel's third would-be franchise, xXx. Last week, I was delightfully surprised by Pitch Black and thought it was one of the better Alien knock-offs, but will I be lured by the Diesel charm again? As well, in a year where there are plenty, the most anticipated of the Stephen King adaptations has arrived in the bloody and creepy coming of age tale, It. We also head to high school with two movies targeted at the teenage crowd including the social media obsessed comedy, #realityhigh and the trapped in a school play horror, The Gallows. We also look at the failure of many movies this summer hoping to launch as cinematic universe and look at the studio responses and make some predictions for the future. As always if you love the show then please spread the word.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

The Breakdown Outline:

00:55 It review
30:14 #realityhigh review
42:43 xXx review
59:02 The Gallows review
1:13:42 The Implosion of the Cinematic Universe
1:27:13 Box Office Analysis
1:37:55 Trailer Reviews: Insidious: The Last Key, Early Man, Lady Bird, The Current War, Three Billboard Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
1:52:11 Review Rundown

Rating Rundown:
IT **** (CS)
#realityhigh * (CS & SM)
xXx ** (CS) & **½ (SM)
The Gallows ½* (CS & SM)

Monday, September 04, 2017

The Breakdown of 'Little Evil', 'Wnd River', 'Fences', 'Pitch Black' and 'Lake Placid'

Vintember has finally arrived! This month on the Breakdown we will be reviewing a Vin Diesel movie every single week on the podcast. We kick off with the movie that launched Diesel's career as an action star in the sci-fi horror actioner, Pitch Black. We also review four more movies including the horror comedy, Little Evil, Taylor Sheridan's murder mystery thriller set in the snow covered Native American reserve in Wyoming, Wind River, Denzel Washington's directorial debut in the 1950s character drama, Fences, and the homage to the B movie creature feature, Lake Placid. As always if your love the show then please spread the word to other movie fans or leave us a five star review on iTunes.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

The Breakdown Outline:

1:08 Little Evil review
15:23 Wind River review
32:46 Fences review
50:02 Pitch Black review
1:09:16 Lake Placid review
1:24:27 Trailer reviews: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Blade Runner 2049 Short Movie Nexus Dawn: 2036, Super Troopers 2, Killing Gunther, Brawl in Cell Block 99
1:41:16 Box Office Analysis
1:51:12 Review Rundown & Shout out to Ed Skrein

Rating Rundown:
Little Evil **
Wind River ***½ (CS)
Fences ***½ (CS & SM)
Pitch Black *** (CS) & **½ (SM)
Lake Placid ** (CS) & **½ (SM)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Conservative or Liberal: You Don't Need to Be One or the Other

My beliefs and politics usually lean heavily towards the left. If I was told that I had to choose between labelling myself conservative or liberal, then liberal it would be. The problem that I have with outright calling myself liberal on the Internet in 2017, is there is a significant portion of people who would then make assumptions about my beliefs or demand that I hold to certain ideas and values. There is a misguided belief that conservatives have to believe one exact way and liberals have to believe another exact way. Both sides see politics and social issues as things that are black and white (in more ways than one). But they aren't. If anything, I would say my "liberalism" comes from my belief that life and politics and social issues are largely shades of grey and there are very few universal truths. 

My time on the Internet has made it clear that many people are very uncomfortable with accepting shades of grey and many want to declare that there is one almighty correct answer for every issue and question in life. It is why often when someone makes the mistake of trying to debate on the Internet that it almost always devolves into somebody pulling out an unrelated incident and using it as evidence that the other person is wrong -- like if a person dares to think cops are right in defending themselves in one specific incident then they must be okay with the time they shot an unarmed man or if you speak out against police brutality then it means you must be sympathetic to every non-white criminal of the past decade. In both cases, that is absurd and ridiculous and false.

Being liberal means I promote progress and diversity, but it doesn't mean I am ashamed of every aspect of my country's past.

I may be liberal, but I did not vote for either the provincial or federal Liberal parties that are in power.

I think black lives matter and there is proof of institutionalized racism, but I do not support everything about Black Lives Matters.

I despise Nazis and the modern rise of white supremacy, but I also disprove many actions by Antifa too.

I think Donald Trump is xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, petty, and unfit to be president, but also do not think his every decision has moved us to the apocalypse.

Hearing people say the word "fake news" drives me crazy, because I think it is a harmful stance that undermines free press. I also think there is both good and bad reporting from liberal and conservative media, and it is important to fact check all news you agree and disagree with.

Political podcasts are a million dollar business, but all have become pandering to politics of their listeners. It is exhausting to hear the verbal gymnastics taken to defend the very hateful and racist alt-right (aka Nazis and white supremacists) but it is just as tiresome to listen to shows that label someone alt-right the moment they are pro-Republican or Conservative policy.

There is a middle ground. Or even, someone has the right to agree sometimes with conservative beliefs but also champion for progress and diversity. The most unfortunate thing to be sprouted out from social media and the most recent American election, is the myth that believing in progress and diversity means you then have to believe in every far left group that has been birthed. On the other end, many wrongfully deride all who vote Republican and Conservative as being opposed to diversity and progress.

We have entered into a phase where some people can be over sensitive. I've often seen people Twitter who are quick to sharpen the pitch forks and scream racism or sexism the moment the right breathes. Not every piece of art or joke or comment was designed to be dissected with the lens of gender or race. Not everything has an agenda or is meant to be an attack. But I also will confess that I am a heterosexual white male, and despite my regular battles with depression and anxiety will concede being those things allows for an easier life than many. One thing 2017 has been pretty clear about and spending 10 minutes on the Internet will prove, sexism and racism is still strong and there is a backlash against progress. Things need to change, even if those pushing for that change could use a sense humour and some more open mindedness too.

My point is that it is complicated. We have pressed a little too hard on the politically correct button, but we also need progress even more. The problem is there are too many people obsessed with being right rather than being willing to understand the other side. It has turned into yelling and frothing and punching rather than trying to figure out why there is this gigantic rift between those who consider themselves conservative and those that consider themselves liberal. To the point that I now consider both pretty irritating and those words to be damaged.

It is why 2017 is the year where writing about politics on here scares me. I largely just ignore Facebook, because 99.9% of what is posted on there causes me to go into fits. It is the first time in my adulthood where I have started to think that as a society we are actively regressing, and there are moments that I am terrified what kind of world I am leaving my children. 

Of course, then I decide to stop thinking about the world as strictly political and take some time to play dress up with my beautiful son and daughter, and I actually get filled with hope and joy and love again. They don't see the world as liberal or conservative, and they don't have a stance on Donald Trump. Yet they somehow have found a way to love and embrace life.

I'm not preaching ignorance here. I do think it is important to be aware of the world. But I think, it is also important to realize this world is complicated and messy and beautiful and exciting and scary and most definitely, hard to define and categorize. The people that live in it are also all those things, and it is okay to not be one or the other. It is okay to not always be right or to at least, confess you don't know about a few things here or there. We are more than how we vote or worship or joke or watch or paint or eat or skip or believe. 

People don't like messy or complicated. This is why we seem to be in a state where you're either liberal or conservative. Republican or Democrat. At least in Canada, we have more than two major parties, even if usually only Liberal or Conservative get voted in (but we have the illusion of more choice). 

You spend 10 minutes on Twitter, and you are to believe you are either politically correct or politically incorrect; pro-choice or pro-life; atheist or religious; think the police are heroes or abusers of power; feminist or misogynist; capitalist or socialist; cat or dog. Guess what. It isn't true. It has never been true. If we can just take five minutes to realize the purpose of debate isn't to be right, but rather to explore different ideas, then maybe we can accept that there isn't just two sides but rather a bountiful field of beliefs and ideas and values. When you start to listen then you start to realize that two people can both believe a women has a right to choose what to do with their body but still think about the issue in very different and complicated ways.

In anything that matters or has real value, you cannot describe your position with one word or label. I realize that makes things a bit more difficult and what it means is that person who disagrees with you or even that person who you think agrees with you, you are going to need to actually talk to them. You have to listen to them. In the end, you probably will not agree with them, because we as human are stubborn and insecure. Maybe, just maybe, you will start seeing them as something far more than just a word and label.

'Courageous' is Awful and I Rejoice

Another summer is coming to an end, so of course that means Scott has once again lost the Summer Box Office Challenge contest, which resulted in him having to review three movies of my choosing. If you listened to this past Monday's Breakdown, you will know that I revealed my picks. To my surprise, it seems like Scott is not going to let the months drag on with the movie reviews this year, as he wants to rip it off like a week old Band-Aid. This means I get to revel in my prize a little earlier this year, and have more time to decide on my picks for when I inevitably win again next year. The first movie Scott has reviewed is the Christian propaganda drama, Courageous, and to my great pleasure, it sounds awful. You can head over to Scott's blog and delight in Scott's obvious pain.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Breakdown of 'Logan Lucky', 'Death Note', 'The Hitman's Bodyguard', 'The Message from the King;, 'The Bye Bye Man' and Remembering Tobe Hooper

The Breakdown is jam-packed with five reviews of 2017 releases this week that include the highly anticipated adaptation of a popular manga series, Death Note, and the return to filmmaking from auteur Steven Soderbergh in Logan Lucky. We also look at the career of Tobe Hooper and discuss what makes a strong female character. As always if you love the show then please spread the word.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

The Breakdown Outline:

00:56 Logan Lucky review
22:48 Death Note review
40:51 The Hitman's Bodyguard review
51:30 The Message from the King review
1:02:38 The Bye Bye Man review
1:15:20 Remembering Tobe Hooper
1:22:27 What makes a strong female character?
1:27:58 Box office analysis and revealing Christopher's three picks
1:38:57 Trailer reviews: mother!, Molly's GameLast Flag Flying, Death Wish, Tulip Fever 
1:55:35 Review Rundown

Movie Ratings:

Logan Lucky ***½ (CS)
Death Note *½ (CS) & ** (SM)
The Hitman's Bodyguard *** (CS)
The Message from the King *** (CS & SM)
The Bye Bye Man ½* (CS) & * (SM)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Breakdown of 'Atomic Blonde', 'Annabelle: Creation', 'The Dark Tower', 'The Incredible Jessica James', 'Icarus', 'Naked' and Remembering Jerry Lewis

It is a special Thursday episode of the Breakdown. But why are doing two episodes in one week? Well, if you haven't noticed the last month of shows have not had reviews for any new releases. This is due to the fact that we recorded them all before any of the August theatrical or Netflix movies came out. This is due to the fact that I was too busy chasing lobster and not falling off cliffs out in the beautiful Maritimes. I am back now, and it time to catch up on several of the movies that I missed. Today's show we have six reviews of relatively new releases that includes the latest chapter in the horror cinematic universe, Annabelle: Creation, as well as the romantic comedy The Incredible Jessica James, and the cold war actioner, Atomic Blonde. As well, we pay tribute to the comedy icon Jerry Lewis. As always if you enjoy the show, then please spread the word or give us a five star review on iTunes.

As well, both Scott and I apologize for the technical quality of this episode as we had major Skype issues and then some problem with the editing software. It is clunky in a few parts, but we still gab it up about the movies.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

The Breakdown Outline:

1:16 Overview of our last month
16:23 The Incredible Jessica James review
28:47 Atomic Blonde review
42:15 Icarus review
57:55 Annabelle: Creation review
1:12:51 Naked review
1:22:42 The Dark Tower review
1:39:17 Remembering Jerry Lewis
1:48:35 Review Rundown

Review Rundown

Rating Rundown:

The Incredible Jessica James ***½ (CS & SM)
Atomic Blonde *** (CS)
Icarus ***½ (CS & SM)
Annabelle: Creation *** (CS)
Naked *½ (CS) & ** (SM)
The Dark Tower ** (CS)

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Breakdown of Genre Filmmakers

One of our favourite episodes of The Breakdown is where we spotlight some incredible talents that may not be as well-known among the casual movie fan. This week it is The Breakdown of Genre Filmmakers, where we look at eight talented directors that specialize in low to mid budget fare that is usually in the genres of horror, thriller or sci-fi. It is a great variety from the very well-known in James Wan, to the absolutely legendary in Wes Craven, to the becoming red hot in Jaume Collett-Serra, to indy director on the rise in Karyn Kusama (pictured), to a South Korean genre-master in Joon-Ho Bong. It will be a great show to give you several movies to put on your "must watch list" and spotlight what is a pretty shining future for some of our favourite genres. As always if you love the show then please spread the word to other movie fans.

Remember you can now subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes.

Breakdown Outline:

00:44 Robert Eggers
14:39 Mike Flanagan
28:33 Karyn Kusama
42:18 James Wan
57:30 Bong Joon-Ho (yes, I realize he is South Korean not Japanese)
1:08:53 Wes Craven
1:20:55 Jaume Collet-Serra
1:32:15 Matthew Vaughn

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks: WINNER

1. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2$145 049 000 
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming $117 015 000
3. Wonder Woman $100, 505 000
4. Transformers: The First Knight $45 300 000
5. War of the Planet of the Apes $56 50 000
6. Baywatch: $18 100 000
7. The Mummy: $32 246 120
8. The House: $9 000 000
9. Atomic Blonde $18 286 420
10. Captain Underpants $23 500 000
Total: $564 937 540

Scott's Picks:

1. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $62 179 000
2. Despicable Me 3: $75 410 275
3. Alien: Covenant $36 000 000
4. Cars 3 $53 547 000
5. Dunkirk $50 500 000
6. Annabelle: Creation $35 040 000
7. Snatched $17 500 000
8. All Eyez on Me $27 050 000
9. The Emoji Movie $24 531 923
10. The Hitman's Bodyguard $21 600 000
Total: $403 358 198