Monday, July 30, 2018

The Breakdown of 'Mission Impossible - Fallout', 'Teen Titans Go! to the Movies' and 'Father of the Year'


Do you ever say to yourself, "I hate it when movie review shows jump right to the movie reviews that are the reason that I am listening to this show. I need more filler!" Over here at The Movie Breakdown, we have heard your cry and so we go a good seventeen minutes before we even start reviewing movies. This week Christopher talks about taking the kids to Canada's Wonderland and several movies that Everett got to see for the first time this weekend. Then we also review movies, we've got one of the most anticipated movies of the summer in the big action epic, Mission Impossible - Fallout. Christopher also took his kids to see the animated comedy, Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, so he discusses the movie and the experience. To really make it a special episode, we review the latest David Spade comedy in Father of the Year. Then we look at movie clich├ęs that we hate and admit to the times that they actually work and why we liked them those few times. We also discuss the James Gunn firing and analyze if filmmakers should be fired for comments they made in the past. It is a huge episode and we really hope you love it, and if you do, then please help us out by spreading the word.

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 animated feature would you love to see adapted into a live-action movie that has not happened or has not yet been announced?

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

Star Ratings: 

Mission Impossible - Fallout ***½ (CS)
Father of the Year * (CS & SM)
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies *** (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $84 420 489
2. Incredibles 2 $182 687 905
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout $61 236 534
4. Ocean’s 8 $41 607 378
5. Equalizer 2 $36 011 640
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again $34 952 180
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies $10 411 189
Total: $451 327 315

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $148 024 610
2. Deadpool 2 $125 507 153
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp $75 812 205
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation $44 076 225
5. Skyscraper $24 905 015
6. First Purge $17 374 280
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew $15 242 781
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $17 886 075
Total: $469 092 666 

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Breakdown of 'Equalizer II', 'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again', 'How It Ends', and 'White Fang'


Fun fact for the week, we have had two billion sequels this summer and after this weekend, we can add two more to the pile. This week it is sequels to movies geared towards adults, which makes it a bit different than the usual summer movie fare of the last decade. The Movie Breakdown is reviewing the sequels along with two Netflix originals this week. We discuss Denzel Washington starring in his first sequels in the violent action picture, Equalizer II. The other sequel is something very different in the romantic ABBA musical, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. Then we go from the bright to the dark in the post-apocalyptic road trip picture, How It Ends. We have something for everyone as we review a family animated feature in the latest adaptation of a classic in White Fang. After all the movie reviews, we analyze the recent trend of movie studios rebooting the reboots of once successful movie franchises. As always if you love the show then help us grow by telling other movie fans about us or increasing our iTunes ranking by giving us a positive review. We are always very appreciative of you taking the time to listen to us each week.

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 movie that was adapted from a TV series?

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

Star Ratings: 

How It Ends * (CS) & ** (SM)
Equalizer II ** (CS)
White Fang *** (CS & SM)
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again **½ (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $84 420 489
2. Incredibles 2 $182 687 905
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 $41 607 378
5. Equalizer 2 $36 011 640
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again $34 952 180
7. Crazy Rich Asians
8. The Meg
9.  The Spy Who Dumped Me 
10. Teen Titans Go to the Movies 
Total: $379 679 592

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $148 024 610
2. Deadpool 2 $125 507 153
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp $75 812 205
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation $44 076 225
5. Skyscraper $24 905 015
6. First Purge $17 374 280
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew $15 242 781
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $17 886 075
Total: $469 092 666 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

10 Movies That Were Box Office Hits But Never Got a Sequel


Over the last several years, movie studios will schedule sequels to movies that haven't even been released yet, just in case they become a major success. Even before that became a trend, if a movie was a hit then studios were quick to get things moving along so there could be a follow-up movie. Sequels have always been a thing in Hollywood.

This is why it is surprising when a movie is a major success but a second movie isn't made. I can promise you that almost every time there was an executive trying to figure out a way to make a sequel but circumstances just didn't pan out. Or maybe, they just haven't panned out yet. Next summer, we will finally have the sequel to 1986's highest grossing movie, Top Gun, which is proof that the threat of an unwanted sequel is never truly dead.

This is also means that the ten movies that I list below may still one day have a sequel. Here are ten movies that were huge hits when they came out, but for various reasons never got a follow-up movie . . . for now. I will also look at what made them hits and give some reasons why that sequel never came.

E.T the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)



Box Office Success: Highest Grossing Movie of 1982. Highest grossing movie of the 1980s. Adjusted for inflation the fourth highest grossing movie of all-time.

Why was it a hit? Director Steven Spielberg's name was a huge draw after mega-hits like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Science fiction was at one of its strongest points at the box office with movies like Close Encounters and Star Wars triggering a boom for the genre. The story also had broader appeal with its themes about children dealing with divorce, importance of friendship and the pains of growing up, so it had enough charm and story to connect with non-science fiction fans. It was a great family movie but also a masterfully crafted nostalgic road to childhood for adults too, so it nailed every demographic. As well, video rentals were still at its infancy and E.T. ended up playing in most theatres for over a year in its first run and then re-released a few times over the 1980s until finally going on video in 1988. It was very likely that most people saw this more than once in theatres.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? They tried, a sequel was greenlighted, and a script was even written by Spielberg and Melissa Mathison. It was planned to be called E.T II: Nocturnal Fears, and was loosely based off another script written shortly after Close Encounters that was supposed to be a horror version of aliens coming to earth called Night Skies. This time Elliot and his family were to be tormented by evil aliens and they would try to contact E.T. to rescue them. It would have been a drastic shift away from the tone of the original and Spielberg scrapped it after feeling it would ruin the legacy of the original. The script for the sequel did have several scenes and elements that would end up being used in the Spielberg produced Gremlins.

Casablanca (1942)



Box Office Success: Highest grossing movie of 1942.

Why was it a hit? It is a classic and enduring love story that even today probably tops many movie goers and critics' all-time favourite movies list. It became the template for unrequited love stories. It put together two of the biggest stars of the time in Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and on top of that, they had a red hot chemistry that people connected with. It also helps that during the time the only way to see it would have been at the theatre, so you'd have many people who would return several times to live through it again. As well, war pictures were huge box office at the time, but this one played it differently by making romance the focus but still had lots of twists and thrills to appeal to everyone.

Why hasn't there been a sequels? It is another case where they tried, with a script written and plans in place to produce a sequel called Brazzaville. Newspapers were also already reporting that Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet would be reprising their roles. The problem was that it was pretty quickly acknowledged as a classic, so filmmakers didn't want to dare going back to that story with fear of tarnishing the legacy. Even though there has never been another cinematic movie, author Mike Walsh wrote a follow-up novel in 1998 called As Time Goes By, there have been two short-lived TV series, and several radio adaptations of the movie. Of course, threats of a remake have been lingering for decades with countless talks of modernizing the story, but for now, filmmakers have continues to be hesitant about revisiting the timeless classic.

9 to 5 (1980)



Box Office Success: Second highest grossing movie of 1980 being beat out by a little movie called Empire Strikes Back.

Why was it a hit? 9 to 5 was one of the first female-starring workplace comedies during a time that society was riding a new wave of feminism and women were entering the workforce at a record rate. It was a comedy about three women getting revenge on their sexist and luring boss, which sadly, was probably something many women could relate to at the time and played as a visceral fantasy. On top of that, you had huge stars at the time in Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton, and it was a really funny movie that garnered super positive word of mouth. It was one of those type of movies that everyone was talking about and was a big part of the 1980s' zeitgeist.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? 20th Century Fox really wanted one, and Tom Mankiewicz even worked on a script. Even though Dolly Parton was excited about returning to the role, apparently Jane Fonda wasn't very interested in a sequel and even the original director, Colin Higgins wasn't keen on doing a follow-up. When one of the biggest stars of the first doesn't want to return, it is usually best to scrap plans (though many sequels haven't followed that rule like Short Circuit 2 and The Sting II). Though talks of a reboot/sequel have persisted even as recent as earlier this year, but nothing has become official.


Ghost (1990)



Box Office Success: Second highest grossing movie of 1990,

Why was it a hit? Ghost was the ultimate date movie and as would be proven later in the decade with Titanic, big budget romance spectacles could draw (Titanic is of course one of the biggest movies of all-time that never had a sequel but I think even executives realized that one was almost impossible to repeat, so I left it off this list). Ghost was a romance story that would make many swoon with a message that even death cannot overcome love but also was a well-made thriller and had some great special effects (for the time) that drew in those less sold on the romance. It was a something for everyone movie. It also got a lot of buzz for its five Oscar nominations that included a Best Picture, and as well as wining two in Best Supporting (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay (Bruce Joel Rubin).

Why hasn't there been a sequel? After a huge hit, the stars got really busy. Demi Moore became one of the most sought after female leads with her gorgeous looks and distinct husky voice in movies like Mortal Thoughts, A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, and Disclosure. Whoopi Goldberg became a hot new comedy act with big hits including Sister Act. Patrick Swayze remained a sturdy leading or strong supporting role in movies including Point Break. Even if the stars' slates weren't stuffed, it really wasn't a story that opened itself up to a natural sequel and I think it was accepted as a lightening in the bottle type hit that would be hard to recapture.

On Golden Pond (1981)



Box Office Success: Second highest grossing movie of 1981 only defeated by box office phenomenon Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Why was it a hit? The movie studios made way more movies geared toward adults forty years ago, and it was much more common that adult dramas would do very well in the box office. This was long before "Prestige TV" and streaming, so going to the theatres was the best place to find well-scripted and intelligent stories geared towards adults. Even back then, it was a bit of a surprise that On Golden Pond ended up being such a massive hit. Some of the major factors were that it was based off a popular stage play, it had the first ever onscreen pairing of Hollywood legends Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, it has the first on screen pairing of real-life father and daughter Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda, it was critically acclaimed, and the gentle nature made it something very different than most other offerings.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? A huge part of the appeal was the stars that were in it, and this turned out to be Henry Fonda's final theatrical movie. He would pass away in 1982, so a key part of the movie's success was gone. It also wasn't a movie that really opened itself up well for a sequel, so instead studios started adapting many stage plays with big stars attached but it never was this successful again. Surprisingly, there has recently been talks of making an updated version for the big screen.

Inception (2010)



Box Office Success: Sixth highest grossing movie of 2010 and the highest grossing 2010 movie not based on an existing story.

Why was it a hit? After the success of Dark Knight and creating buzzworthy cult hits like Memento and The Prestige, Christopher Nolan's name started to become a huge selling point for anything he was attached. Plus Leonardo DiCaprio was a major box office draw especially since he had proven to be choosy about the roles he took and it made each appearance feel like an event. It got huge critical praise and the twisty concept made it a widely discussed movie. It quickly became something ingrained in pop culture and as social media grew, its twists and turns were one of the most debated items. It created an event feel that you needed to see to be a part of the excitement.

What hasn't there been a sequel? Christopher Nolan has been open to a sequel, but he also has had so many other projects that he wanted to tackle. The challenge has been to make a movie that feels like a worthy follow-up and to somehow come off bigger and more mind-bending. There also has been concern from Warner Brothers because the first movie was very expensive and a sequel would likely cost more while sequels often makes less. I'd also say at this point that the buzz has died down and there isn't any big signs of anticipation for a follow-up anymore.

The Sixth Sense (1999)



Box Office Success: Second highest grossing movie of 1999 that was only beat out by Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Why was it a hit? It was a creepy and chilling horror movie that due to it not being overly violent and focusing on a sweet relationship between a psychiatrist and a young boy that it was very accessible to a broad audience. Bruce Willis also was still a huge draw. Of course, there was the iconic twist ending that was so big that people felt like they had to see the movie so they could be part of the conversation. The Sixth Sense was a massive part of pop culture at the time where it was both mocked and analyzed on television, plus it gained a lot of momentum by also being a horror that not only got huge critical acclaim but snagged 6 Oscar nomination including Best Picture. Director M. Night Shyamalan immediately became the 'it' filmmaker.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? The Sixth Sense was very much a director-driven movie and it wouldn't have had the same buzz if someone else took over. Shyamalan was more interested in making other twisty movies like Unbreakable and Signs. It was also likely a case of Disney not sure if there would be the same anticipation now that the twist has been revealed, and there would need to be a really appealing story to justify a return.

Hancock (2008)



Box Office Success: Fourth highest grossing movie of 2008.

What was it a hit? In 2008, Will Smith was one of the biggest box office draws. The previous success of The Incredibles, Iron Man, and the Spider-Man series showed audiences had an appetite for superhero movies. Since the powerhouse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had just launched their first movie (Iron Man two months prior), audiences were still open to various superhero movies rather than just from one particular world or only adapted from comic books.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? Even though it was a huge hit, audience reactions were very mixed. On Rotten Tomatoes the audience score sits at 59%. A lot of movie goers were put off by a crass and vulgar Will Smith who usually played charming and charismatic characters. While both director Peter Berg and Will Smith have expressed interest in doing a sequel, Sony was likely nervous that the less than strong audience and critical reaction would harm a return engagement. Also it was released the year the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched and within two years became the undisputed box office powerhouse and every studio was now more interested in adapting stuff from actual comic books. Today this movie would likely need to come in with a small budget and would risk being lost in the ocean of big super hero epics

Cobra (1985)



Box Office Success: Fifteenth highest grossing movie of 1986.

Why was it a hit? Sylvester Stallone was one of the most iconic action stars of the 1980s. He also was playing a vigilante cop, which was a very popular action subgenre for the past decade. While I wouldn't say Stallone was stretching himself, it was a little different than some of his other iconic roles. It also was a time that violent one man taking down the team of baddies action movies were the piping hot thing.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? While Cobra was a definite hit, it also had to be considered a disappointment when compared to Stallone's other super successful franchises Rambo and Rocky. It made nowhere near those numbers, so for Stallone it probably made more sense to return to his hits rather than try to keep a less successful and more controversial character alive. It also did not help that it was reviled by critics and it has not aged well with audiences. It also was way less fun than his Rambo and Rocky movies.

Elf (2003)



Box Office Success: Seventh highest grossing movie of 2003.

Why was it a hit? Will Ferrell was at peak drawing power and it was his brand of humour but was broader appealing by being a family holiday movie. This was a movie that entertained families looking for optimistic and fun cheery entertainment but also delivered the type of humour that drew out Ferrell fans too. It also was the most critically acclaimed Ferrell starring movie and the type of film that got endlessly quoted by fans.

Why hasn't there been a sequel? Will Ferrell does not want one. He has said on numerous occasions it was one of his favourite movies he has done and he believes a sequel will just cheapen the original. Warner Brothers and director Jon Favreau have expressed a strong desire to make a sequel but it is hard to do that without the star returning. I am sure Favreau and Warner Brothers are well aware of Son of the Mask and Evan Almighty.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bruce Willis Shoves the 30 Year Christmas Debate Off a Tower


Die Hard just turned 30. The majority of movie fans can agree it is one of the all-time classic action movies. Where there is a bit more debate is if you can consider it a Christmas movie. I am sure the longstanding argument that it is a Christmas movie first came from a group of people just wanting to be contrarian and subversive by choosing a violent action that is set during Christmas time as a holiday movie rather than any real belief it should sit alongside Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooge, or It's a Wonderful Life. 

If someone wants to make it a Christmas Eve tradition to watch Die Hard every year, then that is one cool family to me. I actually do think that Die Hard has enough themes and story elements to be considered a holiday movie. After all, it is about a man who is sacrificing everything to be with his family, which is something quite common in many classic Christmas movies. It at least has as many Christmas elements as Home Alone.

But this week, the 'Die Hard is a Christmas movie' was dealt a solid blow. During the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis, he spoke a few words after the onslaught of mocking for Hudson Hawk, having the reputation of being ass, and doing the same movie over and over. Some of the words he chose where exactly, "Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It is a god damn Bruce Willis movie." Not sure why it can't be both, but obviously it hasn't just been grandmas and store Santas that get annoyed when fans try to pass the classic off as a Christmas movie. Clearly, he needed his voice to be heard, and as the star of the movie, I'd say it is a pretty strong vote for it not being considered a Christmas movie. If that wasn't enough, he solidified it with a harmonica solos, because nothing says truth like the music from a harmonica.

Somewhere right now, a quick-witted hipster is crying into his bird nest-like beard. 

The Breakdown of 'Skyscraper', 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation', 'The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter' and Remembering Tab Hunter


We are already halfway through July and the kids are getting deep into their holidays now. The Movie Breakdown has reviews for three big summer movies. We've got the latest grand Dwayne Johnson action picture in the very heavily Die Hard inspired, Skyscraper. We also have the latest animated adventure in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. As always we discuss a Netflix original, this time it is the Josh Brolin and Danny McBride starring father and son dramedy, The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter. As well, we discuss the news of two different production companies greenlighting a movie about the Thai cave rescue and debate if it is ethical or insensitive to push through making a movie before the events are even fully over. We also look at the career of Tab Hunter and discuss the history of how Hollywood handled the personal lives of their star. As always, we had a great time recording this show and we really hope you love it. If you did, then please help us out by telling others about it.

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 childhood memory of going to the theatre?

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

Star Ratings: 

Skyscraper *** (CS)
The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter ** (CS & SM)
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation ** (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $84 420 489
2. Incredibles 2 $182 687 905
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 $41 607 378
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: $308 715 772

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $148 024 610
2. Deadpool 2 $125 507 153
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp $75 812 205
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation $44 076 225
5. Skyscraper $24 905 015
6. First Purge $17 374 280
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew $15 242 781
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party  $17 886 075
Total: $469 092 666 

Monday, July 09, 2018

McFails


I'm always fascinated by the evolution of major companies and the different ways they try to reshape or rebrand themselves. It is interesting watching successful companies try to branch out by offering different products outside of what made them successful, as well as the different forms of marketing they try to use to capture a consumer's imagination over their new offerings. One of the reasons McDonald's has been a global powerhouse in the fast food industry (and essentially, the company that invented the industry), is that they are always trying out new food items and attempting ways to break into different markets.

A lot of risks have paid off as they've become the champion of breakfast with their coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwiches (I'm positive when this was introduced that there were many analysts betting against them), made an iconic burger like the Big Mac, won over children with the Happy Meal, and offered more than burgers with a huge hit like Chicken McNuggets.

All those major victories have brought along a fair amount of big financial losers as well. The part that I find really fascinating as shown in the Watch Mojo video below is that many of the flops were not all caused by the food tasting awful but actually were decent (for fast food) dishes that misfired for other reasons. It was over stuff like creating a menu item that was much better and more established elsewhere (Mighty Wings could never replace Buffalo Wings) or food that contradicted the reason people went to McDonald's (pizza isn't a great item for a place that promises food ready in minutes). I love digging into the history of a company that took various gambles and I am also amused by some of the obvious wacky "how did they think this would sell?" attempts.

While watching this video, I was surprised by how many I did not remember or ever hear about (the chopped beefsteak sandwich looks to be before my time but surprise its legend alluded me until now) but others were a fresh air of nostalgia as I remember the big marketing blitzes. I had a friend that swore by the McPizza and said it was better than any other pizza. I remember trying it and deciding it wasn't worth the wait. I also remember a marketing campaign where McDonald's was going to start delivering their pizza but not sure if that ever made it here to Brantford (my dad stuck to the dinosaurs like Domino's or Pizza Pizza). Considering my deep love for wings, I feel like Mighty Wings must never had made it here either because I never tried it. I do remember the Arch Deluxe, but can't remember if I ever sank my teeth in one. I also remember as even a highly impressionable to hype and marketing kid that the McDLT sounded like a really stupid and more work than it was worth idea.

This was a fun nostalgia trip and a great ride for pop culture history nerds like me.

The Breakdown of 'Ant-Man and the Wasp', 'Sicario: Day of Soldado', 'The First Purge', 'Brain on Fire' and 'Tau'


The Movie Breakdown is a huge episode this week with five big movie reviews, but exciting things can also happen in small packages too. We have a review of the smallest superheroes in a big movie event with Ant-Man and the Wasp. Sequels are a big thing this week with a follow-up that I had never expected in the dark war against drug cartels thriller, Sicario: Day of Soldado. Then we also have the fourth movie in a horror-action series in The First Purge. But what about the Netflix offerings, you say? We've got movies with some big rising stars in Chloe Grace Moretz starring in the based on a true story drama, Brain on Fire. We also review a 'girl stuck in a robotic house with a psycho' thriller starring the great Maika Monroe in Tau. As an added bonus, this episode doesn't sound like garbage! We always have a great time doing this show, and we are always thankful you listen to us each week. If you enjoy the show then please help us out by spreading the word or giving us a five-star review on iTunes.

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: Past or present, who is your all-time favourite action star?

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

Star Ratings: 

Brain on Fire ** (CS) & *½ (SM)
Ant-Man and the Wasp ***½ (CS)
Tau ** (CS & SM)
Sicario: Day of Soldado **½ (CS)
The First Purge **½ (CS)

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $84 420 489
2. Incredibles 2 $182 687 905
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 $41 607 378
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: $308 715 772

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $148 024 610
2. Deadpool 2 $125 507 153
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp $75 812 205
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
5. Skyscraper
6. First Purge $17 374 280
7. Disney’s Christopher Robin 
8. Uncle Drew $15 242 781
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $17 886 075
Total: $400 111 426 

Friday, July 06, 2018

Apologies for the Latest 'The Movies Breakdown' Episode and My Guess on What Went Wrong


Last summer, was The Movie Breakdown's big 200th episode, and to celebrate it, we lost at least 30 minutes of the recording. Now to commemorate that moment, one of our biggest episodes' of this year, The Breakdown of the Best of 2018 So Far (posted this past Monday) ended up riddled with serious sound issues and is a bit of a mess to listen through. Part of it is that my audio drops many times throughout the show, but also because our Skype call was a disaster on both ends, neither us were really playing off each other. I think the actual content still turned out pretty decent, but the sound quality is sub-par and can make it a bit of a challenge to get through to the end (get a cookie from your cupboard if you made it through).

We wouldn't normally even try posting something like this, except this was already our second attempt at recording and had spent about four hours both days trying to get this episode listenable for you. At this point, we just wanted something to show for our efforts and crossed our fingers that it turned out listenable. Depending your definition of 'listenable' it did.

I still want to apologize for the sound quality. Our hope is that this was a rare occurrence, just like how we lost a half hour plus of recording last summer. It seems like technical issues ramp up with the heat. Our show has definitely suffered through some more glitches and issues ever since we had to stop recording in person and started to do the show with us in separate locations (for a few months my voice was loud and echoey, we had way too many dropped calls causing choppy episodes, delays in conversation, other stressful things).

Shortly after we finally got this recent episode recorded, my cable started freezing and suffering awful glitches. Then to add to the fun, the internet completely conked out for the rest of the day. It turns out my area was having some major issues for anyone who was a Rogers subscriber. Then the next morning, I got a text saying all was well in my area again except it wasn't and the cable still was a mess and the internet wasn't working. That afternoon, I saw an ominous Rogers' truck drive by and half hour later, I haven't had any issues since.

My hope is that little annoyance was connected with the awful recording, and that everything now is a giant two thumbs up. I have to confess to some anxiety about this weekend's recording and I am afraid in discovering it was something besides my ISP having technical issues. We have a few strategies in place in case there are issues this weekend, and if there are serious issues, we will then start implementing a new way of recording to make sure there aren't any major sound issues again. It will mean more work on our end, but sound quality is a major part of a podcast working. We want to at least trick you into thinking we are professional.

Thanks for still checking out this week's show (it is one of our highest listened to episodes of the year) and again, we apologize for the less than stellar sound quality.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

You Can't Win Them All But You Should Admit Your Defeats


A writer that I have often championed on here, Nathan Rabin, wrote a piece about how he is okay that he isn't right about everything he predicts in his articles that really resonated with me. I find one of the most toxic things that has seeped out of social media and political entertainment shows/podcast/Youtubers is this need to be conveyed as a paragon of truth and an infallible purveyor of truths. It also comes from this misguided idea that you are either conservative or liberal, right or wrong, a gamer or non-gamer, 'true' Star Wars fan or Rian Johnson defender or numerous other ridiculous us vs. them faction creations.

Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time, knows that I revel in the shades of grey and feel the idea of absolutes is often pretty ridiculous. I hate how you can defend something on the left but then someone of a conservative persuasion blasts you for something that has nothing to do with that issues because they decided you wallow in all things liberal. This idea that my beliefs are the true and sacred one is what has made social media into a cesspool. It has led to toxic things like when the goons posing as Star Wars fans ran Kelly Marie Tran off Instagram because she is a women and Asian who dared to play a significant part in Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi (which I want to reaffirm is one of the best Star Wars movies).

I'm all for a podcast saying something with authority or a political pundit trying to infuse passion that draws an audience, but sometimes (read all the time) it is important to remember there is more than just two sides to an issue and often the "right" answer is a bit of a combination of everything. Of course, when it comes to art there is no right answer but just your own very passionate subjective view -- this means there is never a reason to be angry with the opposing view to how you viewed or read or listened to something.

I think I could swallow any political expert, if just once they actually admitted they were not a god and that some of their bold predictions were way off target. Just a little nimble of humble pie would add back some credibility to many of these writers or podcasters or personalities that seem to mistakenly believe their brand will be tarnished if they confess to many of the clear errors they've made and can easily be found out by simple fact checking.

If you write about real events and do some prognosticating, then there is a 100% chance you've got some things wrong. Getting things wrong is not a detriment to your writing or show or brand, because you shouldn't be selling yourself as a fortune teller. You have an audience because you have interesting insight and ideas, and that stuff doesn't lose value when things don't turn out the way you believed. If anything, it opens up for more interesting discussions when you admit your failings and try to explore why things are not the way you had once believed.

Scott and I have on numerous occasions on our podcast admitted we were wrong about Blumhouse when we railed against them 5 years ago and now happily champion their movies. It isn't a big deal, but I think it helps our credibility when we admit that we were wrong but are now open to see things differently. I could happily write a book about all the things that I've got wrong and how I've steered my opinions in a new direction over the years. I'm sure in 10 years, I will have some very different views and cringe at some of the stuff that I've rattled on about now.

I commend writers like Nathan Rabin who are not afraid of being wrong. I think that type of courage allows for more honest, insightful, raw and interesting writing. It is the type of bravery that I need to have more often on this blog. A need to write about the things that I am passionate about and not be afraid to be challenged by my readers or end up having a piece that gets completely torn apart for missing the mark. The greatest writers and creators are those that are not afraid to fail but also admit when they have failed and learn how to grow and improve from that.

I hope my writing is one that continues to be an example of a writer who may often fail but from that improves, grows, and shines.

RIP Harlan Ellison


If you read at any significant volume, especially in the science fiction genre, it is hard to not at least be vaguely aware of the name, Harlan Ellison. He was a science fiction heavyweight up there with the great Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. He was a prolific writer who wrote more than 1,700 short stories and articles, more than 100 books and more than a dozen movie screenplays and TV scripts. He deemed writing the 'holy chore' and crafted some of the most popular and influential works in genre fiction like A Boy and His Dog and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. 

Ellison was a professional writer for 60 years, but he may be best remembered for his personality. If Bradbury is best known as a popular writer who never lost his inner-child then Ellison was always harnessing his inner-grumpy old man chasing those pesky kids off his lawn. He was a curmudgeon and volatile individual, but also was always passionate and entertaining. His hostility towards almost everything around him is what also likely drove his incredible creative and energetic works. Bradbury was one of my favourite science fiction writers that I wish that I got to meet then Ellison is one of my favourite writers that I enjoyed being entertained from a distance. Despite that, there are great writers like John Scalzi who did know him personally and described him with great affection (thought does not deny his rough personality).

I have great respect for Ellison, because writers are notoriously mistreated and often we do it to ourselves by being so willing to accept the abuse. Ellison would challenge one to the death before allowing himself being taken advantage of by a publisher or a studio. This is a man who didn't back down from major players like Disney (fired on his first day of work after joking about making a porno with Mickey and Minnie), Frank Sinatra (let the legend have it over insulting his boots), James Cameron (filed a lawsuit with the belief the director plagiarized his Outer Limits script "Soldier" for Terminator - won so he got acknowledgement in the credits), Gene Rodenberry (held a decades long grudge over rewriting his script to an episode for the original series) and his rampage against big names can fill an entire book (and would be very entertaining).

There are a lot great things that I can say about Ellison, including he was one of the most imaginative, smart and entertaining writers that I've ever read. He also was without a doubt his own person and was not afraid to go against the norm. His film review book Harlan Ellison's Watching (a compilation of 25 years' worth of movie reviews and editorials) is not only very insightful, but is very memorable because he goes against the critical consensus by liberally panning accepted classics like Star Wars, Back to the Future, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but then praising less beloved movies like Dune and Return to Oz. As I write my own movie reviews, I always try to remember to follow my gut and instincts when I watch the film and not be guided by other's praise or disdain. Ellison was always a champion for the underdog, be it movies or even more importantly, those who were mistreated in life.

The thing that I will remember most is his mantra "pay the writer." He was a huge advocate that writers should be paid for everything that they do and get paid well for it. This is also why he so often had lawsuits over potential copyright infringement of his work, as he often felt they were trying to adapt his stories without paying him a dime. His vitriol and passion over how a writer must fight for their rights and make sure they are properly compensated is something that I will always remember about him. 



There will never be another Harlan Ellison. But he has many amazing prose and stories that will make sure he lives on.

RIP Harlan Ellison May 27 1934 - June 27 2018

Monday, July 02, 2018

The Breakdown of the Best of 2018 So Far


We did it! We have hit the halfway point of 2018, while in the news and politics things are still a disaster, it has been a great year for movies. The big studios have actually offered up a pretty good slate and there has been some really fantastic genre fare. We want to celebrate the best of 2018 cinema, and as we've done most years on our mid-year show, we'll be handing out some awards like 'Best Scene', 'Most Delightful Surprise' and 'Best Underrated Movie.' From there, we will then reveal our Top 5 Movie of the Year So Far, and then we will look ahead with our 3 Most Anticipated Movies. We really love this annual episode and think it is important, because often by the end of the year many great movies from the first half get forgotten, so this is their chance to be acknowledged and praised one more time. Doing this show really reminded me what a great time it has been going to the movie theatres. We do want to apologize that we had some serious technical issues and hopefully, the sound quality isn't too irritating. But as always, we hope you love the show and please help us out by spreading 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 comic or cartoon would you love to see adapted into a movie that has never happened?

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

The Movie Breakdown Awards:

Favourite Scene: 
Paddington 2 (Paddington starting his morning) (CS)
Deep Blue Sea 2 (Eavesdropping shark) (SM)

Best Performance: 
Hereditary (Toni Collette)/Deadpool 2 (Ryan Reynolds) (CS)
The Death of Stalin (Jason Isaacs) (SM)

Delightful Surprise:
Game Night (CS)
Set It Up/ Steel Rain (SM)

Most Underrated Movie:
Red Sparrow (CS)
Early Man (SM)

Best Underseen Movie:
Sunday's Illness (CS)
The Endless (SM)

Worst Movie:
The Outsider (CS)
Game Over, Man (SM)

Top 5 Movies of 2018 So Far:

Christopher:
5. Black Panther
4. Love, Simon
3. Incredibles 2
2. Hereditary
1. A Quiet Place

Scott:
5. The Death of Stalin
4. Love, Simon
3. Revenge
2. Black Panther
1. Paddington 2

Most Anticipated for Second Half of 2018:
Christopher:
3. The Girl in the Spider's Web
2. First Man
1. Widows

Scott:
3. Halloween/Suspiria
2. Aguaman
1. The Predator

Summer Box Office Challenge:

Christopher's Picks:

1.
 Solo: A Star Wars Story $84 420 489
2. Incredibles 2 $182 687 905
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout 
4. Ocean’s 8 $41 607 378
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: $308 715 772

Scott's Picks:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $148 024 610
2. Deadpool 2 $125 507 153
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 $15 242 781
9. Mile 22 
10. Life of the Party $17 886 075
Total: $306 924 991

Sunday, July 01, 2018

The Movie Breakdown Delayed This Week

We tried our usual Sunday morning recording of The Movie Breakdown, but technology laughed in our face and kicked our pets. Then after that bruising, Canada Day snuck up on us and declared no more recording attempts today. We won't be recording the show until tomorrow morning and that means the show won't be up until sometime Monday afternoon or early evening. Sorry about the delay.

The Positive Preview of July 2018 Major Theatrical Movie Releases


We are plunging deep into the summer movie season, and even though all the really huge summer movie events have been released (Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), there are still some hotly anticipated movies coming our way. Not all the movies coming out in July can be winners, but I can at least try to be optimistic before they're released. Here is my strictly positive preview of all the major releases scheduled for July As always, avoiding negativity is a lot easier for some movies than others.

July 4

The First Purge (Universal): We've all been there, we're having a nice, refined dinner party and then some oaf bellows out, "But how did the Purge even become an annual event?" Well, you now have this movie to distract him.

July 6

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney/Marvel Studio): The original was a really fun surprise that made great use of Paul Rudd's charm, and had enough humour and an intimate story to make it stand-out from the other movies in the Marvel Universe. The early reviews are promising this one will be more light and breezy fun, plus we thankfully get way more Evangeline Lilly.

Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna Pictures): A comedy that is trying something new with a black telemarketer that starts becoming more successful and rising up the company after discovering his "white man" voice (or more specifically, the voice of David Cross). If that isn't enough to garner intrigue, then it stars the always entertaining Lakeith Stanfield and has a supporting role from the just as incredible, Tessa Thompson.

Whitney (Roadside Attractions): Whitney Houston is one of the most iconic and popular musicians of all time, and early reviews seem to hint that this is an in-depth documentary that all her fans will want to see.

July 13

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony/Columbia): By this point your kids have been home for two weeks, so this can at least afford you almost two hours of peace.

Skyscraper (Universal): It gives off the vibe of an old-school 1980s one-man army type action picture, but also may even give a little shine to the wife as Neve Campbell gets a few action moments in the trailer. Plus who doesn't want to see bionic Rock battle bad guys, fire, and gravity? I sure do.

Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot (Amazon Studios): Gus Van Sant is always a filmmaker worth getting excited about, and when he is at his best then we get movies like Milk and Good Will Hunting. He has an amazing cast in Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill and Jack Black that all seem to have meaty and nuanced characters to really take advantage of their talents. Plus I am always a sucker for stories about how creativity helps one overcome extreme challenges, and this seems to have enough sharp wit and edge to balance out the sentimental elements.

July 20

The Equalizer 2 (Sony/Columbia): This is Denzel Washington's first ever sequel, since he has been clearly picky about that sort of thing, there should be confidence that there was a story worth him coming back. He also has a pretty solid history with Antoine Fuqua with the great picture Training Day.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (Universal); The original movie came out 10 years ago, which means Pierce Brosnan has had ample time to practice singing in the shower.

Unfriended: Dark Web (BH Tilt): Sometimes you need horror movies like this to remind us how great we've had it with horror movies like Get Out and A Quiet Place.

Blindspotting (Lionsgate/Summit): The best way to tackle modern social issues in a movie is to have an entertaining and complex story. This tale about a former convicted criminal witnessing a police shooting an unarmed black man is obviously relevant but also looks to have humour, strong performances, nuanced characters, and even some intriguing thriller elements. It has an obvious message but it is wrapped in an ambitious movie.

July 27

Mission Impossible - Fallout (Paramount): It is the movie that caused Superman to have a CGIed upper lip, because you just can't shave the stache. If that isn't enough to stir up excitement, then this has been a franchise that consistently delivers the most exciting and thrilling stunt-filled spectacle movies of the last several years. The stories have always had some great twists and interesting characters, and this one feels like a big culmination that they've been building towards, even if Jeremy Renner is absent due to being too busy playing Tag.

Teen Titan Go! To the Movies (Warner Bros.): If you ask Everett, this is the biggest movie of the summer.

Hot Summer Nights (A24): You need a coming of age story in the summer and this one takes an interesting dark take about a boy who starts selling weed and getting mixed up with some shady characters. The lead is owned by current 'it boy' Timothy Chalamat and he has a great romantic lead in Maika Monroe, plus any movie is worth seeing when we have a William Fichtner in it as well.