Monday, September 30, 2019

The Breakdown Goes Back to School


It is another special episode this week, and we look at several movies set in school. We are also looking at several movies that by many are considered classics and even defined their decade. We got two John Hughes movies in the Saturday detention comedic drama The Breakfast Club and then the movie about the guy who'd never get stuck in detention, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Then we leave the 1980s to look at a major teen movie of the '90s in Clueless. It may not be as iconic, but it was Emma Stone's breakout role in the 2010 teen comedy Easy A. Just to throw you off, we depart from the coming of age movies and look at Jeremy Saulnier's feature film debut, Murder Party. This week we look at many movies held up as great and we discuss if they deserve that reputation. As always, we really appreciate you listening to us, and if you love the show, please help us out by spreading the word on social media.

Reminder that you can subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes (if you enjoy the show, please help us by giving us a five star review).



The Movies' Four-Star Rating:

The Breakfast Club **** (CS & SM)
Clueless ***½ (CS & SM)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
Easy A ***½ (CS & SM)
Murder Party *** (CS & SM)

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Breakdown of More Reasons for Why We Love Movies


This week we've got another special episode, and this is The Breakdown of More Reasons for Why We Love Movies. This is the sequel to an episode we did a few years ago, and we now have even more things that cause us to be huge movie fans. We could do a show like this a hundred time, because there are so many things that makes movies great. Some of the things we discuss this time are the shared experience you can have, the awesomeness of Denis Villeneuve (who gave us Blade Runner 2049), how memorable moments from movies can stick with you for years and how movies can inspire your own creativity. As always, it was a blast to record and we really hope you love it as well. If you do, please help us out by spreading the word to more movie fans.

Reminder that you can subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes (if you enjoy the show, please help us by giving us a five star review).

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Breakdown Grades the Movie Studios


It is another special episode this week, as we finally do something that I've wanted to do for over a year. We analyze all the major Hollywood movie studios and look at their success in the box office, the diversity of their slate of movies and how consistent they are at delivering creative and high-quality pictures. We will discuss big studios like Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount and Sony, but also look at newer to the game rivals like Lionsgate, STX and even Netflix (we forgot to make any mention of Amazon Studios). As always, we had a blast talking movies and it was a fun show. Thank you so much for listening to us and we really hope you love it as well. If you do, then please help us out by spreading the word about us on social media.

Reminder that you can subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes (if you enjoy the show, please help us by giving us a five star review).



Monday, September 09, 2019

The Breakdown of 'It: Chapter 2', 'Sextuplets', 'Ready or Not', 'Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus' and 'Blinded by the Light'


It is a return to the movie reviews this week on The Movie Breakdown, and we've got five of them for you. The big one is the hotly anticipated horror sequel in It: Chapter 2, which is a follow-up to one of my favourite movies of 2017. We also have a horror-thriller based on children's game in Ready or Not, a feel-good drama about an obsessed Bruce Springsteen fan in Blinded by the Light, we have a Marlon Wayans comedy in Sextuplets and an animated sci-fi adventure comedy based off a TV series in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. We had a great time discussing movies and we really hope you love the show too. If you do, then please helps us out by spreading the word about us on social media.

Reminder that you can subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes (if you enjoy the show, please help us by giving us a five star review).



The Movies' Four-Star Rating:

It: Chapter 2 **½ (CS)
Sextuplets ½* (CS) & * (SM)
Ready or Not *** (CS)
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus ** (CS & SM)
Blinded by the Light ** (CS)

Saturday, September 07, 2019

40 Years of Beauty, Grace and Wonder


I have been married to Emily for over 11 years now. I started dating her in the summer of 2005 and I've known her since the fall of 2004. That is a long time, but it is kind of crazy to think that there was over 25 years where we didn't know each other.

She is my lover. She is my wife. She is the amazing mother to our two kids. She is also my best friend, my muse, my motivation and my comic partner. I can't really picture what my life was like before her and don't want to imagine it without her, and I am thankful for that. I am a better person with her, and our relationship has created the greatest things and memories in my life. 

This summer, we actually got a week without the kids and we packed up the dogs for a several days canoe trip. It was nice just being a couple and enjoying each other's company. You forget how wonderful time alone with each other can be with work, kids and chaos. I am very thankful for all that chaos and love my life, but those few days camping out by the lake were very special. I look forward to many more chances to be reminded how much I love being with Emily.

So, on her birthday, I wish her all my love and my very best. She has been a terrific gift and one that lasts a lot longer than a big screen TV and is even better than wine at getting finer with age.

Happy Birthday, Hon, I love you forever.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

First Day of Junior Kindergarten: All My Kids Are Growing Up On Me


The day has finally arrived. I've become a father of two school-going kids. This is not the first time I've been in the house with only the pets to distract me for the day, but the idea that this is the new normal is what makes it so odd. And if I'm going to be honest, a little sad.


It was big deal four years ago when my little boy Everett went into Junior Kindergarten. Everett, being the oldest and never going to daycare, didn't really have an idea of what to expect at school. The first day also ended up being a bit of a whirlwind as miscommunication meant we never got a package to tell us first day protocol or where to go, and when I called the week before, the very kind principal gave me all the wrong information.

After a day and a morning of prepping Everett for his first day, I got a phone call informing me that the teacher just got Everett's name added to her class and wanted me to know that Junior Kindergarteners don't go to school on the first day (I was told that they did). The next day was a rainy mess, and we ended up entering through the wrong doors and our good byes to Everett ended up being rushed due to the secretary drinking lime juice instead of her morning coffee.



Due to the rush, I didn't really get to say a proper good-bye to Everett on his first day and since my encounter with school staff was rather abrasive, I think I left the school more annoyed rather than working through my feelings of my little boy growing up on me. It hit me when I got home, and I thought about him constantly that first day. It wasn't the first time that he was gone for a day (he often went to grandma's house once a week), but I was struck with the feeling that this was now the new normal. Emily joked that I couldn't get back to Everett quick enough, as I sprinted back to the school to pick him up that afternoon.

I've now learned that it isn't that much easier saying good-bye to your second child on their first day of school either. Danika's first day was today, so the last two days were special 'Daddy and Danika' days. I devoted those days to her as we went to the park, played with Play-Doh, threw the ball to the dogs, went to many magical realms and had a special screening of Frozen. I treasured those two days with her as much as I could, since the two of us having the house to ourselves would not be a common event ever again.


Danika was very excited about starting school today. She had a better idea of what school would be since she saw Everett go to it for the last four years. I was now a pro of first day of school protocol and entrances. Danika is one that spreads her excitement to all who are around her. She would stop strangers on the street to tell them she was going to school. She leapt throughout the house screaming about her future at school. She couldn't wait. She was up early this morning and told me all the things she wanted to show her teacher and couldn't wait to make new friends. She rode her bike to school while singing about how she was now big enough to go to school.


Then we arrived at the school. She got very nervous and whispered she was scared, I reminded her that she wanted to show her teacher her new backpack and her new hot pink indoor shoes. That was enough to have the excited Danika return, but then when the bell rang, she clutched my hand and let me know how much she would miss me.


This is where Everett, the one who for two months was scared to go to school and fought to stop me from pushing him through that Junior Kindergarten door, became the amazing big brother that I know him to be. He took his sister to the kindergarten area and showed her how to line up and encouraged her that she was ready. I was so proud of him, and I think, having her brother at her side helped a lot. After he left, I gave her a few more kisses and hugs, and she was now ready to chat the ear off her teacher and strolled through the doors to her classroom. Then I suddenly learned I had a minor medical ailment, as my eyes started to leak. They remained wet all the way home.

Now, I am in my quiet house with just my two pets. There is no one trying to sneak into forbidden drawers. No one singing that they want to go to the park. No one calling me cookie monster or Superman. I don't need to worry that when I come back in after letting out the dogs that there will be a naked person in the house covered in lipstick. While a quiet house is not new, as Danika went to grandma's once a week, but it is the gut-punching reality that this is the new normal. It is a good change, but one that still makes me feel a little heavy and somber today. I've spent a lot of time today thinking about my kids and cherishing all the magical times that I have had with them.


As I told Danika, school doesn't mean that I won't play with her anymore. It has now just made evenings, weekends and holidays even more precious. It has reminded me to make my time with my kids as special and memorable as I can. It has also made me a frequent traveller on Nostalgia Lane as I think back to when my kids were younger and how lucky I've been to be able to spend so much time with them.


I've learned a lot as a parent. I am pretty sure I've learned more than I've taught my kids. A big thing I've learned is that growing up is happy. Change is a good thing. But change and growing up doesn't take away all those years and memories that I have. I am allowed to celebrate and treasure the past, but I need to also love and live in the moment. My kids were and are amazing human beings, and I need to enjoy each major milestone and all the small pebbles along the way.



Tuesday, September 03, 2019

First Day of School 2019 Edition

This is a huge month in the Spicer house. It is the end of summer vacation, which means Emily is back to work as a high school teacher and Everett is now entering Grade 3. For the first time, Danika is now off to school as she officially starts as a Junior Kindergartener on Thursday.

September is always a crazy mind trip for me with a reminder that my kids are getting older. I tend to go down Nostalgia Lane and look at photos where my kids were chubbier and shorter. I usually hit the stop on the trail that makes me realize I am proud of the kids they have become, and I soak up the blessings of having an amazing family.



It is going to be an interesting year. I am excited about having entire days where I can work without distractions. I can focus on writing without worrying about a little girl who will think the couch needs more seasoning, believe it is time to take a laundry hamper ride down the stairs or feel beautiful is covering her naked body (desks and walls) in lipstick.

I'm also really going to miss all those things. I have some major butterflies knowing my little girl is off to school and this is the end of an era. I don't have anymore pre-school aged kids. My time with them is now hectic morning, evenings, weekends and holidays. Those times have now become more precious than any treasure.



My kids will have many adventures this year. They will have many stories to share. They are going to learn so much. It is going to be a big year for me as well, as the excuses of distractions are gone, and I have many big projects that I plan to tackle and jump head first into.

For today and tomorrow, I'm going to enjoy my last full days with Danika. She will need to get used to life at school and being away from me. But I suspect that it will end up being an even bigger adjustment period for me.


Monday, September 02, 2019

The Breakdown of What We Learned This Summer Movies Season


For Ontario kids, it is time to return to school tomorrow, which spells the end of summer vacation. If you look at the new releases this past weekend at the cinemas, you can also see it is the end of the summer movie season. So, it is time to look back at the past four months and analyze what have we learned about the state of movies and the future of the summer blockbuster movie season. We discuss things like the box office dominance of Disney, emergence of mid-budget genre popcorn munchers and the value of brand names as draws. As always, we had a great time recording the show and hope you really love the episode. We want to thank you so much for listening to us and if you do enjoy the show, please help us out by spreading the word to other movie fans.

Reminder that you can subscribe either to The Movie Breakdown feed (a subscription link is at the top right hand of this site) or on iTunes (if you enjoy the show, please help us by giving us a five star review).