Monday, March 19, 2018

They Can't All Be Disasters

Scott has finally completed his punishment for losing last year's Summer Box Office Challenge. For those that listen to The Movie Breakdown podcast, you know we have an annual competition where both Scott and I both pick ten summer movies that we think will get the biggest opening weekend and the person with the biggest total amount wins. The winner then gets to choose three movies that the loser has to watch and write a review. As is the annual tradition, I won, so Scott had to write reviews for Courageous and The Perfect ManThe pick that I was proudest was the Tyler Perry directed The Single Moms Club, because while I have avoided all his directorial efforts, the trailers seem to promise the most excruciating kind of pain. It seems that it didn't make Scott question his existence or make him detest the fact that he has eyes. He also didn't like it, even if I was expecting more torture and anguish. You can still check out his latest review and the final one for his punishment over at his blog, A Movie a Day Blog.

The Breakdown of 'Tomb Raider', 'Love, Simon', 'Fullmetal Alchemist' and 'Forgotten'

This week on The Movie Breakdown we are loading up on reviews on movie adaptations. The big one is the Alicia Vikander starring action-adventure based on a popular video game series in Tomb Raider, which also has the distinction of being a remake. We also have an adaptation of a popular novel in a movie that is a coming of age and coming out of the closet teenage romantic comedy in Love, Simon (based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda). We also have a live-action adaptation of what I assume is a very popular manga and anime series in the Fullmetal Alchemist. Then we have an original Korean movie though it reminded me of some classic thrillers in Forgotten. After we review movies, we discuss the box office success of movies like The Greatest Showman and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. 

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.

The Movie Breakdown Outline:

00:46 Fullmetal Alchemist review
16:47 Fun fact about Roman Holiday
18:46 Tomb Raider review
32:50 Forgotten review
43:51 Love, Simon review
57:23 What can studios learn from the box office
1:10:53 Rating Rundown

Star Ratings:

Fullmetal Alchemist ** (CS & SM)
Tomb Raider ** (CS)
Forgotten **½ (CS & SM)
Love, Simon ***½ (CS)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time to Enjoy Scott Suffering Through 'The Perfect Man'

For long time listeners of The Movie Breakdown podcast, you will know that we have an annual contest called The Summer Box Office Challenge. It is a game where both Scott and I pick ten summer movies that we believe will have the biggest North American opening weekend grosses, and whoever has the ten movies whose opening grosses add up to the highest is declared the winner. The other annual tradition is that I beat Scott every time, and as my reward, I get to pick three movies that Scott has to watch and review. Scott has already reviewed the Christian drama, Courageous, but now it is time for romantic comedy fun from 2000 era sweetheart, Hilary Duff in the movie, The Perfect Man. It took several months but finally, Scott has delivered the review and it seems he went through a lot of pain. I should add pain that he went through twice, because he had watched it months ago but waited too long so he couldn't remember it enough to write a review. Now, he can proudly tell the world he has seen Hilary Duff's The Perfect Man two times, and you can enjoy his suffering over at his blog, A Movie a Day Blog.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Breakdown of 'A Wrinkle in Time', 'Red Sparrow', 'Lady Bird', 'Darkest Hour', 'Gringo' and 'The Strangers: Prey by Night'

The Movie Breakdown is bursting out at the seams this week with six big movie reviews. We have the highly anticipated family fantasy adventure in the Ava Duvernay directed A Wrinkle in Time. We also discuss two Best Picture nominees in the coming of age dramedy Lady Bird and the other movie about the battle of Dunkirk this time from the political perspective in Darkest Hour. We also review two more 2018 releases including the action comedy, Gringo and the slasher picture, The Strangers: Prey at Night. We cover a whole slew of genres this week along with some big recommendations. As always if you enjoy the show then please spread the word to other movie buffs. As well, we always welcome feedback and really appreciate you choosing to listen to us.

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.

The Movie Breakdown Outline:

00:44 Oscar Talk
07:52 A Wrinkle in Time review
21:22 Lady Bird review & skipping the awkward pause
34:16 Red Sparrow review
46:36 Darkest Hour review
1:01:41 Gringo review
1:09:19 The Strangers: Prey by Night review
1:17:26 Rating Rundown

Star Ratings:

A Wrinkle in Time *** (CS)
Lady Bird ***½ (CS & SM)
Red Sparrow ***½ (CS)
Darkest Hour ***½ (CS) & *** (SM)
Gringo ** (CS)
The Strangers: Prey by Night * (CS)

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Breakdown of Stars We Love to See Every Time

It is a special episode this week that we're calling The Breakdown of Stars We Love to See Every Time. Scott and I each pick the four actors or filmmakers who when we hear they are attached to a project that we automatically get pumped. We don't need to know the plot or genre, it is just their name that is enough to convince us to get a ticket. They may not always produce a great movie, but there is something about them that draws us in every time. We discuss and dig deep into why these eight are some of the very best. This list includes a break-out director like Ryan Coogler who just delivered the massive hit Black Panther, an actor who has succeeded in small and huge movies like Oscar Isaac, an acting chameleon who transforms herself every time like Jessica Chastain, or a cult hit-making filmmaker like Edgar Wright. We had a great time gushing about our favourites, and if you enjoy it then please tell 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.

The Movie Breakdown Outline:

2:11 Shane Black and quick mention of Taylor Sheridan
11:53 Jessica Chastain and quick mention of Amy Adams
24:03 Oscar Isaac
31:16 Ryan Coogler
41:02 Edgar Wright
51:39 Jake Gyllenhaal and the failure of using silence to provide hints to the co-host
1:02:30 Reese Witherspoon
1:10:26 Wes Anderson
1:18:37 Closing

Thursday, March 01, 2018

3 Years of Cuteness and Adventure

I can't believe that it has already been three years since Danika was born. It is also incredible to see how different she has become compared to her brother. One thing they both have is their incredible imagination, which is an attribute I am most proud to see in my two children. Danika has become a smart and independent girl who is the first to console you if you're crying but also likely the one who swung the fist that caused the crying. Every single day with my daughter has been a grand adventure and I look forward to many more.

It is crazy to see how much she has grown and changed just over a year, and here are some pictures below to look at the excitement that was Danika over the last 12 months.

Happy Birthday Danika. I love you, my little princess.

February Movie Review Round-Up: Big Event Movie and a Comedic Surprise Deliver

It was another pretty impressive month at the movie theatres. February started off slow with some big disappointments in the unscary horror in Winchester and a misguided biopic starring the real life non-actor heroes, The 15:17 to Paris. Then things really picked up as we got what will be one of the biggest movies of the year that really delivered on the anticipation in Black Panther. Then the quality kept on rolling with a decent animated adventure in Early Man, a very chilling sci-fi thriller in Annihilation, and an absolutely delightful surprise in action-comedy in Game Night.

Sadly, the Netflix Originals were mostly a fart on a church pew. The little known foreign romance On Body and Soul was a nice and sweet movie and my lone recommendation coming out of Netflix. The big anticipated sci-fi movies turned out to be massive disappointments in The Cloverfield Paradox and Mute. But at this point, I just expect everything to come out of the streamer to be filler anyway.

Here is the list of all my February 2018 reviews:

2018 Movie Reviews:

1. Black Panther ***½
2, Game Night ***½
3. Annihilation ***
4. Early Man ***
5. On Body and Soul ***
6. Seeing Allred **½
7. Love Per Square Foot **½
8. When We First Met **
9. The Ritual **
10. Irreplaceable You *
11. Winchester 
12. Mute
13. The 15:17 to Paris *
14. The Cloverfield Paradox *

Movies Not from 2018 That Were Reviewed: 

1.  The Post ****
2.  Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri ***½
3.  Shape of Water ***
4.  Say Anything ***½
5.  Roman Holiday ***½
6.  Barefoot in the Park ***
7.  The Return of the Living Dead ***

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

If You Love 'Game Night' Stick Around for the Stinger

It is early into 2018, but Game Night is still one of the most delightful surprises of the year. It is the first genuinely funny comedy since last summer's The Big Sick. Unlike most of the dreadful comedies of the last several years, this one has likable characters, a cheerful spirit, and earns its emotional moments. It was nice to see a movie that avoided cynicism and actually has affection for its main characters.

Of course, I successfully covered all this in my review on this past Monday's The Movie Breakdown podcast episode. But my review did have one significant failing, I forgot to mention that the movie has a final scene after the end credits. I usually like to add to things in my review that I think will be helpful for listeners/readers like if a movie is worth being seen in 3D (this movie is happily only in 2D) and if there are any stingers (the name for the scenes that happen after the credits finish).

I forgot to mention the stinger in Game Night's, which is my latest reminder why I need to have notes during the show or why I need to push myself more to have my written review done before recording. It is a shame that I forgot to mention the stinger, because it is one of the better ones of the past several months.

If you dig the humour and tone of Game Night, then it is worth sticking around to the end of the credits. It has a pay-off to two of the movie's running gags and gives a scene to two of the minor characters. It is a fun and lighthearted scenes that delivers a final punchline to two of the movie's great long-running jokes. 

Definitely a comedy worth checking out in the theatre and make sure to stick around to acknowledge all the people that worked hard to actually deliver a funny movie and enjoy a stinger worthy of the movie. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Breakdown of 'Annihilation', 'Game Night', 'Mute', and 'Irreplaceable You'

The Movie Breakdown is rocking out four movie reviews for new 2018 releases. The big one is Alex Garland's follow-up to Ex Machina with his sci-fi thriller starring Natalie Portman in Annihilation. We also have our first theatrical comedy of the year in Game Night. From their we have Duncan Jones' latest sci-fi thriller in a movie he has been working on for over a decade in Mute. We also discuss the romance picture aiming for tears in Irreplaceable You. Then we look at the success of Black Panther and analyze what studios should learn from the picture being a huge hit. As always if you love the show then please spread the word to all big 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.

The Movie Breakdown Outline:

1:14 Annihilation review
16:42 Mute review
33:33 Game Night review
50:46 Irreplaceable You review
1:01:00 What should studios learn Black Panther's box office success?  
1:18:10 Review Rundown

Movie Star Ratings:

Annihilation *** (CS)
Mute *½ (CS) & ** (SM)
Game Night ***½ (CS)
Irreplaceable You * (CS & SM)