Monday, June 18, 2018

The Breakdown of 'Incredibles 2', 'Hereditary', 'Hotel Artemis', 'Alex Strangelove', and 'Ali's Wedding'


I hope dads everywhere had a great Father's Day and were able to spend some time with their families. Speaking of families, several of the movies we review this week have a major focus on familial bonds. We kick it off with a super heroic family in one of most hotly anticipated animated sequels in Incredibles 2. We also have something much darker, in a supernatural horror where Toni Collette plays a mother trying to protect her family while also uncovering some dark secrets in Hereditary. Then we have two bank robbing brothers who after a robbery goes bad end up in a hospital for criminals called Hotel Artemis. Love is in the air as well with two romantic comedies from Netflix in Alex Strangelove and Ali's Wedding. We had a great time recording this show and hope it is just as fun for you. And if it is, then please spread the word to other big movie fans, so we can help grow this show.

Reminder that 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.



We apologize but there won't be any outline for The Movie Breakdowndue to the crazy mystery that the media player runs different times and so the timestamps have no value. If you know how to solve this problem then it would be greatly appreciated.

Question of the Week: What is your favourite 2018 movie so far?

Send us your answers via email (themoviebreakdown@gmail.com), on Facebook, or Twitter (@MovieBreakdown1)

Movie Ratings:

Incredibles 2 ***½ (CS)
Alex Strangelove ** (CS & SM)
Hereditary **** (CS)
Ali's Wedding ** (CS) & *** (SM)
Hotel Artemis **½ (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $83 325 000
2. Incredibles 2 $180 000 000
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 41 500 000
5. Equalizer 2 
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies 
Total: $304 825 000

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
2. Deadpool 2 $125 000 000
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp 
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
5. Skyscraper
6. First Purge 
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew 
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $18 500 000

Total: $143 500 000

Monday, June 11, 2018

UPDATED 2018 Catch-Up: One Sentence Reviews and Star Ratings of Every 2018 Release I've Reviewed This Year


The title is straight-forward so there is your article description. I am not ranking these movies but will order them by their release date.

Insidious: The Last Key **½: It is awesome seeing 74 year old Lin Shaye as the kick-ass lead, but the story suffers from feeling a little well-worn.

Open House ½*: If misplacing your cereal bowl is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you then this is the horror you've been waiting to see.

Paddington 2 ***½: A joyful, kind-hearted and energetic family movie about acceptance and friendship that has one of the most adorable and likable leads in years.

The Commuter **½: A ridiculous but fun thriller that wears out its welcome by hitting some absurd but predictable beats in the finale.

The Polka King **: Jack Black and Jenny Slate craft unique performance in a very generic and dull biopic masquerading as a comedy.

12 Strong ***: A well-made standard brothers in arms picture elevated by well-choreographed action sequences and a commanding lead performance by Chris Hemsworth.

Step Sisters **½: Great dance sequences with some charming moments stuffed into a formulaic comedy about relationships.

Blockbuster **: Much like myself in high school, movie mistakes "complete idiots" for "charming."

Maze Runner: The Death Cure **½: No mazes were run through during this movie.

Den of Thieves **½: The Heat but way more Gerard Butler and far less people using showers.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture **: Good job movie, you made Will Forte unlikable.

On Body and Soul ***: A sweet and touching romance about broken people who connect through their dreams.

Seeing Allred **½: Gloria Allred is a fascinating figure, but the documentary suffers from a lack of focus, but the subject is enough to keep it interesting.

Winchester *½: Helen Mirren is in a horror movie as an eccentric woman in a creepy house then does nothing interesting and is given a role any older actress could play.

The Cloverfield Paradox *: The insane plot twists like the magically appearing women in the wall and the sentient hand are not enough to overcome the horribly predictable and generic sci-fi thriller.

The 15:17 to Paris *: The guys who stopped the terrorist attack on the train to Paris are definite heroes but they also are definitely not actors.

When We First Met **: This movie bravely ignores the rule that your leads in a romantic comedy should be the least bit likable. 

Irreplaceable You *: It is Love Story except the entire story is designed to make you hate the lead who has terminal cancer rather than feeling sympathy for a witty and kind woman with terminal cancer.

Love Per Square Foot **½: The movie is colourful and full of energy but is undone by a meandering plot and eye-rolling plot turns. 

Black Panther ***½: Ryan Coogler proves to be one of the most exciting directors around and does a big movie event that has one of the best Marvel villains, has incredible emotional moments, thrilling big action sequences, and war rhinos!

Early Man ***: The most cheerful and delightful cavemen playing soccer movie ever.

The Ritual **: This is the movie for the person who always wished The Blair Witch Project had mid-life crisis men as the lead characters and a duller story.

Annihilation ***: Alex Garland proves again that he is a master of thoughtful and chilling sci-fi that questions things like what makes us human and our role in nature and this time we also get a captivating performance from Natalie Portman; I need to re-watch this as I think it will get an uptick in the star rating.

Game Night ***½: It is wondrous to see Rachel McAdams back in a comedy and she has a terrific chemistry with Jason Bateman in a really fun, action comedy that earns its heart and has several memorable gags, plus a stand-out supporting roles from Jesse Plemons.

Mute *½: The terrific Duncan Jones has unfortunately delivered his second straight great looking jumbled mess.

Fullmetal Alchemist **: This movie was made for someone who was not me.

Forgotten **½: A decent, atmospheric, moody thriller that unravels with a way too convoluted twist ending.

Steel Rain ***: An old school race against time to stop the nuclear threat movie that would have been considered a big event movie in the 1970s and 1980s, another proof that Korea has some fine filmmakers.

Red Sparrow ***½: Jennifer Lawrence nails it in her most challenging and gruelling performance as a former ballet star turned Russian spy in a movie that is tough to watch and very dark, but delivers adult storytelling that is rare in modern mainstream movies.

A Wrinkle in Time ***: Ava DuVernay proves she is capable of doing imaginative, big budget spectacle with this sweet, ambitious, creative movie that may be disjointed and messy at times but is always sincere and audacious.

Gringo **: The biggest noteworthy thing about this movie is Sharlto Copley's performances is almost something you'd call normal and fine.

The Strangers: Prey at Night *: Has everything you remember from a 1980s slasher with an 80s soundtrack, awful dialogue, stupid characters and bloody kills, but doing a decent purposeful recreation of bad movies doesn't make the movie any better.

The Outsider *½: The movie thinks it is about a Yakuza turf war but is actually about how Jared Leto rises in power because he is white.

Tomb Raider **: Alicia Vikander sure is great at running and hanging over CGI pits.

Love, Simon ***½: A coming of age and coming out high school comedy that would make John Hughes proud.

Game Over, Man! *: I can't believe there was a time that I wanted to see Adam DeVine in movies.

Benji **½: The dog is adorable, and who doesn't love dogs?

Roxanne, Roxanne ***: A well-made biopic about an interesting rap pioneer that has a great lead performance and some great musical sequences.

Pacific Rim Uprising **: The good news is the sequel trades for John Boyega as the new lead but unfortunately, we lose director Guillermo del Toro for filmmaking that is far more pedestrian big budget action.

Take Your Pills **: Another documentary with interesting subject matter but suffers from a lack of focus and never really sticking to a decipherable message.

Ready Player One ***½: It is a gorgeous and action-packed homage to 1980s pop culture and proof that Steven Spielberg still has the magic to make enthralling big movie events.

Happy Anniversary **: A fluffy, forgettable sitcom pilot stretched out to be a feature.

First Match ***½: A heartbreaking character-driven story about a teen using wrestling to earn the affection of her estranged father that is a break-out movie for the lead and filmmaker.

The Titan *: A reminder why I never get excited about a Sam Worthington starring movie.

A Quite Place ****: A great horror movie has always been about way more than the scares or the monster, but rather about the bond of family, how we move past grief, and provide window into some of the fears of modern society, and this movie is even so much more than all of those things.

Blockers ***½: A progressive movie because it simply allows female teenager to go on a virginity ending journey like the boys have done in sex comedies for 40 years, but also some great comedic performance from Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz, but also must mention a star in the making performance by Geraldine Viswanathan.

6 Balloons **½: There has been a lot of great dramas about drug addiction, and while Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson are fantastic as siblings, the movie sticks a little too strong with formula and never fully fleshes out motivations.

The 4th Company **½: Another movie that has great atmosphere and interesting ideas, but has a tendency of reminding one of much better movies.

Orbiter 9 **: Watch Moon instead.

Amateur **: The drama about a 14 year basketball prodigy has a fascinating first hour, but then message starts to clunk and the final 30 minutes is a slap in the face for daring to invest time in this movie.

Truth or Dare *: As much as we are in a mainstream horror renaissance, there is always going to be lazy and unscary apparent horrors trying to appeal to the teenage crowd.

Come Sunday **½: Chiwetel Ejiofor is fantastic as a preacher who starts questioning parts of his faith, but unfortunately, the script isn't quite up to his level.

I Feel Party **½: Amy Schumer is hilarious and charming and elevates a movie that has a sledgehammer message and very messy plotting.

Kodachrome **½: Fantastic performances from Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ed Harris help out what is a very predictable and formulaic estranged family members go on a road trip picture.

Avengers: Infinity War ***½: The Russo brothers pulled off the big grand epic adventure we were salivating to see and created one of the most intriguing villains in the Marvel universe in Thanos.

The Week Of *½: Rich, successful Adam Sandler does his take on a working class dad trying to figure out ways to afford his daughter's upcoming wedding while Chris Rock acts like he'd rather be in any other movie including Pootie Tang.

Candy Jar **: The movie about two high school rivals needing to team up for a debate competition is a peppy and energetic reminder of much better past high school movies.

The Rachel Divide **½: A well-crafted documentary with some powerful emotional moments from supporting players, but the subject proves to lack complexity or self-awareness making for a disjointed movie.

Sometimes **½: At its best, it feels like the waiting room version of 12 Angry Men, but it misses the mark by having too many characters that are not developed and lack motivation, plus a really overt and hamfisted ending.

Forgive Us Our Debts ***: A well-paced and terrifically acted drama that makes the life of a debt collector into an intriguing character study.

Life of the Party **½: Melissa McCarthy is hilarious and heartfelt and proves once again she is one of the most talented comedians in movies, and even though the film avoids some typical clich├ęs, it lacks focus and suffers from several undercooked subplots.

Anon ***: Director Andrew Niccol proves his skills at smart and slow-building sci-fi aimed at adults with the noirish and layered thriller-mystery that also delivers on top notch leading performances by Clive Owens and Amanda Seyfried.

Manhunt **: The action sequences are top notch John Woo but the story lacks focus and the characters lack any interesting motivations.

The Kissing Booth *½: It makes me question why I was excited about Joey King and wonder why I like high school set movies.

Catching Feelings **½: A very funny and witty film that suffers from inauthentic characters that do frustrating things to drive a rather routine plot.

Deadpool 2 ***½: Delivered on the irreverence, bloody action, and fourth wall-breaking humour that made the original stand out but justified the sequel with a meatier plot, exciting new characters (Domino!) and ample amount of sincerity,

Book Club **½: It is great spending time with talented icons like Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen, but unfortunately, they are stuck in a very sitcomy plot, though at least it does respect older women.

Cargo ***: A chilling and dramatic take on the zombie genre that delves into the various human responses to apocalypse that is anchored by a great Martin Freeman performance.

Solo: A Star Wars Story ***: It is not up to the standard and complexity of the previous Disney Star Wars, but it still works as a breezy and fun space adventure along with a stellar Donald Glover take on Lando.

Adrift **½: Shailene |Woodley is incredible as she transforms into a women fighting for survival on her damage boat, but the flashbacks drag the movie down and leave some dangling plot points.

Ibiza **: Gillian Jacobs and Vanessa Bayer are great but unfortunately, the meandering and formulaic story is not.

Sara's Notebook ***: A gorgeously shot adult dramatic thriller about a woman going deep into the Congo to find her sister that offers some tense moments along with some thought-provoking drama.

Alex Strangelove **: An important story about a teen trying to figure out his sexual identity that is hampered by clunky broad comedy and too many undercooked subplots.

Ocean's Eight **½: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and the rest of the cast are really fun, but it suffers by not being as creative or interesting as past heist movies.

Hereditary ****: A slow-building but incredibly chilling supernatural thriller that has audible "gasp" worthy twists and an award worthy performance from the amazing Toni Collette.

Incredibles 2 ***½: A heroic follow-up to a classic that has some of the best action sequences in any big budget movie and some memorable moments including Jack-Jack's hilarious showdown with a raccoon.



Revised: May 7 after originally posted May 1

Revised the Revision on June 11


The Breakdown of 'Ocean's Eight', 'Adrift', 'Ibiza', and 'Sara's Notebook'


This week The Movie Breakdown has reviews of four new 2018 movies that all happen to star women in the lead roles. The biggest of the bunch is the comedy heist film with a huge and talented female cast headlined by Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean's Eight. We also have the very talented Shailene Woodley in the battle with nature mixed with a love story in Adrift. As well, there is Gillian Jacobs in a romantic comedy called Ibiza. Finally, we have a Spanish film about a women who goes to the Congo to find her missing sister who was last seen with a group of violent warlords and child soldiers in Sara's Notebook. After the movie reviews, we once again explore the toxic side of movie fandom and why some fans feel they need to harass actresses and what can studios and filmmakers do to prevent this awfulness. As always, if you love the show then please spread the word to other movie lovers.

Reminder that 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.



We apologize but there won't be any outline for The Movie Breakdowndue to the crazy mystery that the media player runs different times and so the timestamps have no value. If you know how to solve this problem then it would be greatly appreciated.

Question of the Week: What movie from at least 14 years ago that never had a sequel, would you love to see have one?

Send us your answers via email (themoviebreakdown@gmail.com), on Facebook, or Twitter (@MovieBreakdown1)

Movie Ratings:

Ibiza ** (CS & SM)
Ocean's Eight **½ (CS)
Sara's Notebook *** (CS) & ** (SM)
Adrift **½ (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $83 325 000
2. Incredibles 2
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 41 500 000
5. Equalizer 2 
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies 
Total: $124 825 000

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
2. Deadpool 2 $125 000 000
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp 
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
5. Skyscraper
6. First Purge 
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew 
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $18 500 000

Total: $143 500 000

Thursday, June 07, 2018

10 Years


There are many things that I have learned during my first decade of being a married man. There is such thing as too much paper towel for a spill. A cook must always taste test when making dinner and that not all spices are meant for all dishes. If you think you are an awesome parent because your first child was "easy" then your second will be an ego buster. If you do not groom yourself, prepare to be tweezered when in compromising positions. But the most important thing that I've learned from my 10 years of being married is that I can always be better and I should strive to be the best.

The status quo is the comfortable but is also where the passion gets sucked out and a person can find themselves trapped. After 10 years of marriage with Emily, we've had our ups and downs. When we decided to toss in kids at the end of 2011, there were times that we've been roommates who are pretty good at raising kids. Over the last few years, I've have had my own personal emotional battles where my days are trying to get work done and look after Everett and Danika (who dares for me to spend 5 minutes not watching her) while toxic emotions and anxiety whittle me away until 8pm hits with my body drained and my brain foggy, In the evening if I am not catching up on work then I spend more time on a pillow than with my wife. Then I wake up at five in the morning to try to get more work done before the family wakes, so the cycle of spending little time together continues.

If I wanted to be pessimistic, I could say that those stagnate times or moments the passion is absent means our marriage is imploding. But my ten years has proven that there are time our marriage is full of love and magical moments but are sometimes followed by those harder and more challenging days or weeks or months. A relationship flows and bounces and bumps and soars and crashes, and I think some relationships that enter the graveyard are examples of people not realizing that. Things change and change can be good and bad, but one must adapt and aim for better no matter the situation.

Marriage is a lot like most things in life such as careers or hobbies or projects or other relationships. All these things present challenges or have their rough patches, but it doesn't mean they will always be bad or stagnant. Or it also means that things won't always be amazing and wonderful. You have to accept the dark and the light. One also has to realize the need to do their part to try to make it better and closer to their goals and desires.

In all these cases, I've learned the most dangerous idea is thinking relationships are static or that the status quo is good. Marriage has taught me that like almost everything in life, I should always strive to be better. It has taught me that I can always be better and you never truly reach your best. The best is the unattainable goal but on that journey, we improve, learn, teach, cry, love, grow, tumble, climb and celebrate. My goal is to be the best husband, father, son, friend, writer and human that I can possibly be. There are a lot of times where I end up failing, but in that failure, I learn where I can be better.

On this journey to be the best. I have realized that I do not have to stay on the path in front of me but can always redirect the route by getting that machete and chopping down the vines that cover the path to my real goals. If what you've been doing for the last few years has got you farther away from the golden city then check the compass and map, and recognize there are multiple paths and routes. It is easy to blame those around you for making the journey hard, but it is more rewarding to learn that it is time to alter the direction yourself and figure out how you can be a better traveller. The more I am in the relationship with someone else, the more I have learned to take self-ownership for the state that I am in.

Hitting ten years of marriage reminds me of a story that my mom told me. She loves and adores my dad, but for the first ten years of their marriage, he wasn't able to comprehend that his dirty clothes should go in the hamper. Over those ten years, she would delicately tell him it would be nice if he picked up his clothes and made use of the hamper. She even once wrote him a note detailing the wonders of that basket in the corner of the room (likely a letter far less sarcastic than the one I would write, obviously). The first ten years, my dad was an amazing husband in many ways but he failed at getting those dirty clothes into the laundry hamper. Until one day, he figured it out. After a while of the clothes landing in the hamper every single day, my mom asked him what changed. My dad's response was that he decided it was time that she stopped picking up after him. It is a minor thing, but it shows a good marriage is one where a person is willing to change and adapt to make it work (just may take a decade to get there, but that also means my mom has had 30 years of clothes free floors).

I've always said my parents are my role models of a loving and working marriage. I know they both are still smitten with each other even after 40 years. My dad has been a shining example of having a willingness to change and adapt for his marriage (even if it was a slow and methodical change). When I was young, if my mom was out for the evening that meant my dad was ordering pizza, which meant a tower of boxes awaiting my mom when she came home after being away for a few days. In my teenage years, I remember my dad cooking dinner every Sunday because my mom had piano lessons that afternoon and so there was always food waiting for her that did not come courtesy of Domino's. The older that I got, the more I saw my dad contributing to things like doing laundry or vacuuming if my mom was away for a weekend. Emily has always known my dad as someone who is very affectionate and quick to help my mom. She can't fathom that when we were kids at theme parks that my Type A and tunnel vision dad would abandon my mom with all the kids (and strollers) while forging ahead into the crowded sea of people to his destination. This would never happen today, and has been my example of how I should always recognize my weaknesses and turn them into growth points and eventual strengths.

I want to be the best husband that I can possibly be for my wonderful wife, Emily. I know part of achieving that is realizing that I can always be better and our marriage can always be improved. That type of outlook is important for all things in my life including being a dad, writer, cook, photographer, and interpretive dancer (some of these things may have a lot less or none of my focus). I recently started doing workshops for writing and looking at various writing courses, because even though I've been doing this professionally for several years now and I am confident in my skills, I am well aware that my writing can always be refined and there is still lots to learn. It is why I need to humble myself to listen to other's advice on writing or parenting or dodgeball. It is why reading and experiencing and observing and just being open to all around me is vital daily activities. Life is organic and evolving, and everything contained in it is as well.

My hope is as several more decades go on that I continue to become a proactive, compassionate, receptive and loving partner and husband for Emily. I don't care about actually being the world's greatest husband, because I don't even know what that would be. My goal is that as the years go on that Emily will know without any doubt that she is deeply and truly loved by me, and I am the best husband for her.

Monday, June 04, 2018

The Breakdown of the Forgotbusters: 'Anaconda', 'Problem Child', 'Salt', and 'Wild Hogs'


A pop culture writer who I am a huge fan of his work, Nathan Rabin, had a column called 'Forgotbusters' on the now defunct movie site The Dissolve (I could write a week's worth of articles on the heartbreak and impact of losing that incredible place). Rabin described Forgotbusters as movies that were one of the top 25 grossing pictures of their respective year but have since receded culturally. This could either mean that the film is no longer talked about in anyway or that the feelings are now much more negative rather than nostalgic. It is a pretty subjective distinction and Rabin was taken to task for some of his picks like Space Jam or Avatar. I find it to be such an intriguing idea looking at films that were once pop culture landmarks but have not endured and sometimes not endured as well as movies that made far less in the box office that same year.

This week we are doing the Breakdown of the Forgotbusters and will be reviewing four movies that were once hot but have since chilled. We've got a giant creature feature that also was one of Jennifer Lopez's first big starring roles in 1997's Anaconda. Then we go to 1990 where movies about precocious kids were all the rage, as we discuss the John Ritter starring Problem Child. Remember when every studio wanted their own Bourne Identity? One of those years would be 2010 and, how about one starring Angelina Jolie in the action thriller, Salt. Finally, it isn't Forgotbusters without a John Travolta flick and he brings along some friends in Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy in Wild Hogs.

After the movie reviews, we look at the box office disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story and look at why this was the first Star Wars movie to flop at the box office. Then we discuss if this failure means that Disney needs to change their plans for Star Wars. As always, if you love the show then please pass on the word to other movie fans.

Reminder that 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.



We apologize but there won't be any outline for The Movie Breakdowndue to the crazy mystery that the media player runs different times and so the timestamps have no value. If you know how to solve this problem then it would be greatly appreciated.

Question of the Week: What two stars who have never headlined in a movie together, would you love to see team up?

Send us your answers via email (themoviebreakdown@gmail.com), on Facebook, or Twitter (@MovieBreakdown1)

Movie Ratings:

Anaconda ** (CS) & *** (SM)
Problem Child * (CS) & ½* (SM)
Salt ***½ (CS) & *** (SM)
Wild Hogs * (CS) & *½ (SM)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $83 325 000
2. Incredibles 2
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 
5. Equalizer 2 
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies 
Total: $83 325 000

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
2. Deadpool 2 $125, 000, 000
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp 
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
5. Skyscraper
6. First Purge 
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew 
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $18, 500, 000
Total: $143, 500, 000

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Positive Preview of June 2018 Movie Releases


June is almost here and if it follows the lead of May, it could be a real hot one. The best way to solve that problem is to hang out in an air conditioned movie theatre with a bunch of sweaty strangers. There are some exciting big event movies coming out in June, but as always, there are some less than appetizing movies threatening to appear as well. Except to be honest, I haven't screened any of them at this point, so every movie has a chance to be a cinematic classic. Since every movies has a chance to be great. I'm going to only bestow positive comments while previewing all the wide releases and significant movies coming our way.

June 1

Action Point (Paramount): The movie about a should-be-condemned theme park that attracts crowds by being more dangerous and has a marketing campaign  promising to have real stunts, finally gives you an answer to your mom's recurring question at the dinner table, "What are those Jackass boys up to now?"

Adrift (STX Entertainment): For fans of Shailene Woodley, it is awesome to see her back in a movie that will likely require some of her strong dramatic chops. For those that dislike Woodley, they get to see her trapped in the middle of the ocean.

Upgrade (BH Tilt): Leigh Whannell has proven to be a very talented writer and director of genre fare and he teams up with Blumhouse again in this violent actioner about a paralyzed man (Logan Marshall Green) who is given a computer chip that not only gives him the ability to walk again but to seek revenge on those who murdered his wife. This is a perfect B-Movie action plot and I have a lot of faith in Whannell to deliver here.

American Animals (The Orchard): A darker and more dramatic Ocean's 11 except you replace the casino money with a rare book and the eleven expert thieves with four naive and stupid college students. The cast also has some great rising stars in Evan Peters (X-Men: Apocalypse), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), and Blake Jenner (The Edge of Seventeen).

June 8

Hereditary (A24): Every year there seems to be an independent horror movie that has a trailer where the plot is hard to decipher but is captivating due to having imagery that chills your bones. My bones are still frosty after the first time that I saw this movie's trailer on the big screen, and while I am not really sure what is going on, this movie looks to have nailed the creepy atmosphere and is boosted with a lead performance by the great Toni Collette.

Hotel Artemis (Global Road): A movie about a secret, members-only hospital for criminals definitely makes me think about the world of John Wick, but that is a pretty great world to draw inspiration. This also has the vibe of feeling more like a dark comedic drama with action moments rather than trying to catch the John Wick magic. Plus this is stacked with an intriguing cast that could really make this concept shine with standouts in Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista (Guardian of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049 has won me over with him in supporting roles), Charlie Day, and Jeff Goldblum.

Ocean's 8 (Warner Bros.): A heist movie is a fun popcorn muncher when you've tired of the big CGI spectacles, or is just as fun when you aren't fatigued. This offers up a big event feel while being different than most of the other major releases of the summer. The cast alone should be a blast as we get to see Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson play off each other. This feels like a throwback movie, and I am excited to just spend some time with these stars having some fun. 

Won't You Be My Neighbour? (Focus Features): If you were a child at some point from 1968 to 2001 then you probably have a soft spot for the legendary man of kindness, Mr. Rogers.

June 13

Superfly (Columbia/Sony): It isn't a remake of Weekend at Bernie's or Armageddon but rather a popular movie from a subgenre (blaxploitation) that no longer exists. It also takes the style and feel of the original movie but modernizes the story to apply to themes and issue that are relevant today. Basically, all the creative reasons one should do a remake.

June 15

Incredibles 2 (Disney/Pixar): The title sells itself. The original was an amazing send-up on the super hero subgenre before said subgenre was dominating pop culture. It isn't only one of my all-time favourite animated movies but easily one of my favourite movies. There are very few movies that I feel really need a sequel, but I've been eager to revisit this world ever since the first time that I saw the original in 2004.

Race 3 (Yash Raj): If you loved Race 1 and 2, then I am sure this is the summer movie for you.

Tag (Warner Bros.): Finally, my dream that the game that I played with my friends when I was four years old would be turned into a big movie event has been realized.

Loving Pablo (Universal): There has been a lot of movies and TV series about Pablo Escobar but this may be the first that focuses on the trials and tribulations of his lover, Virginia Vallejo (Penelope Cruz). Plus Javier Bardem is not immediately recognizable as Pablo and looks primed for another stand-out performance. The real-life married coupled seems to have a pretty hot chemistry together.

June 22

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal): Dinosaurs!

Under the Silver Lake (A24): David Robert Mitchell is a director who will always be on my "super-excited to see what he does next" list after his terrific It Follows. This time he is doing a movie about a stoner goes on a mind-tripping mystery where he uncovers clues to find a girl who has suddenly disappeared. I love Andrew Garfield's latest phase of tackling interesting but smaller movies and his talents makes any movie worth watching. Riley Keough is a rising star who has already impressed in movies like Mad Max: Fury Road, It Comes at Night, and Logan Lucky.

June 29

The Hustle (MGM): It is a gender-reversed remakes of 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that now stars Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, and if that idea annoys you, then rest assured that the lack of a trailer means that we are just days away from the announcement that it is being moved to next January.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sony/Columbia): Benicio Del Toro was incredible in the original and now, we get more of that incredibleness as he looks to be taking the lead role.

Uncle Drew (Lionsgate/Summit): Lil Rel Howery was hilarious in Get Out. Wow, Get Out was such a great movie, you should totally see it if you haven't yet.



Monday, May 28, 2018

The Breakdown of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', 'Cargo', 'Catching Feelings' and 'Forgive Us Our Debts'


It is the end of a long weekend in the United States and that means a big movie was just released. This time we go an even longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away with the origin story of a popular iconic movie character in Solo: A Star Wars Story. We review that big movie as well as three Netflix originals. We talk about the Martin Freeman starring Australian zombie movie called Cargo. We also have a South African romantic comedy in Catching Feelings. We finish our global tour with an Italian drama called Forgive Us Our Debts. From there, both Scott and I admit we are old and that maybe not all movies are targeted towards us. So, we discuss if a film critic should reviews movies that are not designed for their demographic or personal tastes. As always, we had a great time recording the show and we hope you loved it, and if you did then please spread the word to other movie fans.

Reminder that 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.



We apologize but there won't be any outline for The Movie Breakdowndue to the crazy mystery that the media player runs different times and so the timestamps have no value. If you know how to solve this problem then it would be greatly appreciated.

Question of the Week: What movie were you dreading to see but when you eventually did, you really liked it?

Send us your answers via email (themoviebreakdown@gmail.com), on Facebook, or Twitter (@MovieBreakdown1)

Movie Ratings:

Cargo *** (CS) & **½ (SM)
Solo: A Star Wars Story *** (CS)
Catching Feelings **½ (CS) & *** (SM)
Forgive Us Our Debts *** (CS & SM)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $83 325 000
2. Incredibles 2
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 
5. Equalizer 2 
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies 
Total: $83 325 000

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
2. Deadpool 2 $125, 000, 000
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp 
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
5. Skyscraper
6. First Purge 
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew 
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $18, 500, 000
Total: $143, 500, 000

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Introducing Piper

Over the last few months, I've been asked if our family will ever get a dog again. The question was emphatically answered this weekend with the latest addition to the Spicer clan, Piper. She is an energetic and affectionate four month old puppy whose breed is unknown but may have some terrier and will probably grow up to be a big girl.

The house has felt a little empty since the passing of Summit in November, and everyone in the family was itching for a dog to love again. Emily has spent the last few months talking to breeders and also doing daily searches PetFinder. She discovered Piper from Paws United, a dog rescue organization operating out of London, Ontario. Piper has had a busy life already as she was first living with a homeless man who passed her off to a family that turned out to not be ready for a dog. Piper then was passed along to another family who was just as ill-equipped where she then was passed on to the rescue organization. For the last few weeks she has been living with a foster pet family. This weekend, we went there to meet Piper and instantly fell in love with her, so in less than 24 hours she became the newest Spicer.

Piper is fitting in fairly well. For a puppy that has been passed around as often she has been, it should not be a surprise that she has some pretty serious separation anxiety. After a few days, she is getting better at going into her dog kennel and sleeping there at night, but she still will bark and whine her dissatisfaction for a bit. I am pretty confident after a month of being in the family and it starting to become clear to her that she isn't being moved again, then her anxiety will go down.

The kids already adore her, and she plays well with others. Or at least, plays as well as an enthusiastic puppy can be expected to play. She has only knocked down Danika a few times and I've only heard a few cries over a foot being pounced on. Danika more often laughs over have her face being licked and watching the dog play tug of war. Everett was always pretty closed off over talking about dogs after Summit passed away (he is our introspective child), but he already admitted to me that he really did want another dog and is very happy with Piper.


Mittens is less thrilled about the arrangement. The day Piper arrived, she greeted her at the door with a hiss and then has camped upstairs ever since Sunday. When Mittens arrived on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (October), she hid behind the piano for a week because she wasn't happy about Summit being here. Summit never once showed any interest in chasing her, while Piper has lunged towards Mittens whenever they are in the same room. It will likely take quite a bit of time before they start playing cards together. At least, Mittens has had several months now to declare this her house and family, so she seems relatively content to prowl upstairs where Piper is not allowed. I remember way back in 2009 that our other cat Crosby was very anti-any-other-animal in the house, yet he eventually accepted Summit. My hope is that eventually Piper and Mittens will be in the same room.

As for me, I had mixed feelings about getting another dog up until this weekend. As I wrote a few times on this blog, I have had a hard time moving past the passing of Summit. Every day felt really weird not walking him or having him snuggle up against me as I wrote. I thought that I needed to finish mourning before I could get a new dog, because I feared I'd be comparing the next dog too much to Summit. I am well-aware that there will never be another Summit, so my thought was it would be hard to connect to the next dog.

I've finally realized that I will always miss Summit. He was our family. He was my dear companion. He played a huge part in my life for almost a decade. I will always love him. This weekend, I realized that I can still miss Summit but also have lots of love to spare for a new dog. Piper has already won me over, and I have to say it is pretty wonderful to be back on walks (losing Summit has led to me gaining over 20 pounds) and to have a dog sleeping by my feet while I write. I'm expecting another wonderful friendship.


Piper has proven to be a pretty teachable dog, though she will pull down mountains if she sees another dog. 'Sit' is really the only command that she has down pat, even then if she is excited then it takes a few seconds. We've only had one accident in house so far, though Everett thought it was just Piper staring at the fireplace rather than anything messy. At this point, we are trying to be vigilant with the commands, make sure to socialize her as much as possible, and we will be going to puppy training classes too. Summit was a great dog, but we learned with him that we may have stopped a little too soon with the training sessions.

It is amazing to have a dog again. It took only a few minutes to realize this was something my soul and emotional health really needed again. This also means that those who have really missed random dog barks in the podcast for the last 6 months will finally get your fix again (maybe even starting this Monday),

I've tried taking a few photos, but Piper being puppy means most turned out to either be a blur or way too close as she tried to kiss the iPhone. In the coming weeks, I am sure Piper will make a few appearances on this blog. If you live nearby and personally know me then Piper will definitely love to meet you formally.

It is mighty good to be a dog family again (unless you ask Mittens).