Monday, December 30, 2019

The Breakdown of the Worst of 2019

It is finally here, it's our favourite time of the year: The Movie Breakdown's Year-End episodes. It is the time where we form top ten lists to reflect on the year that just passed. This year it will be a three-episode series, because we are also saying good-bye to a decade as well. First, we want to kick it off by looking at the crap that polluted 2019. This week, Scott and I both rank our top ten worst movies of 2019. I skipped out on many of the potential stinkers this year, but I was still bombarded with some bad cinema.

After we dance about in the waste, it is time to end the episode on a more positive and optimistic note. We will look ahead to 2020 and both rank our top ten most anticipated movies of the upcoming year. There is a lot of exciting looking movies on the way.

This is a huge episode that is over two hours of movie talk. We had a blast recording this episode and we really hope you love it. We also want to thank you for listening to us throughout 2019 and can't wait to provide more shows for you in 2020.

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).

Top Ten Worst Movies of 2019:

10. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
9. Men in Black International
8. The Prodigy
7. 6 Underground
6. Cats
5. Shaft
4. The Silence
3. Replicas
2. Sextuplets
1. The Fanatic

10. The Silence
9. Godzilla: The Planet Eater
8. Replicas
7. Eli
6. Sextuplets
5. Paris is Us
4. Assimilate
3. Final Wish
2. 6 Underground
1. The Fanatic

Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies

10. Malignant
9. Jungle Cruise
8. The Eternals
7. Trials of the Chicago 7
6. Wonder Woman 1984
5. Last Night in Soho
4. Tenet
3. A Quiet Place Part 2
2. Onward
1. Dune

10. A Quiet Place Part 2
9. Malignant
8. New Mutants
7. No Time to Die
6. Black Widow
5. Bill and Ted Face the Music
4. Last Night in Soho
3. Tenet
2. The Witches
1. Dune

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Breakdown of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker', '6 Underground', 'The Two Popes', 'The Lighthouse' and Remembering Dann Aiello

It is our final traditional movie review show of the decade and I can't think of a bigger way to end it. We will be reviewing the movie that is being promoted as the end of a massive nine movie saga in the sweeping space adventure, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We also look at two movies that garnered critical acclaim during the festival circuit in the based on true events The Two Popes and the bizarre period piece horror The Lighthouse. If that isn't enough, we've got ourselves some Bay-hem in the action picture, 6 Underground. It is the kind of show where we have both best of the year and worst of the year candidates. We also take some time to look at the inspirational career of character actor Danny Aiello.

We apologize for the show being delayed again this week, but we got swept away a bit by some of Santa's magic dust. Before that happened, we had a great time recording this episode and we really hope you love it. We also wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

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 Two Popes ***½ (CS) & *** (SM)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ***½ (CS)
The Lighthouse ***½ (SM)
6 Underground *½ (CS) & ½* (SM)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Breakdown of 'Jumanji: The Next Level', 'Jojo Rabbit', 'Marriage Story', 'Arthur Christmas' and 'The Fanatic.'

It is another huge show, as we have a few movies that are destined to make our 2019 year-end lists. We have the big trapped in a video game adventure sequel in Jumanji: The Next Level. We also got some powerhouse directors in Taika Waititi's new satirical, but heartfelt comedy, Jojo Rabbit and Noah Baumbach explores divorce in Marriage Story. Fred Durst rolls out a thing that is best described as a movie, I guess, in the John Travolta starring The Fanatic. We top it off with a family Christmas adventure in Arthur Christmas. It was a great time recording this show for you and we really appreciate you listening to it. The best thing you can do for us is spread the word to other movie fans.

Apologies for the show being up late but there were a few technical issues on the host site.

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:

Jumanji: The Next Level *** (CS)
Marriage Story **** (CS & SM)
Jojo Rabbit **** (CS)
The Fanatic 0 stars (CS) & ½* (SM)
Arthur Christmas *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Breakdown of 'Knives Out', 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood'. 'Earthquake Bird', 'The Hole in the Ground' and 'Avengement'

It is another huge show as was we have five movie reviews and two of them are gunning for some Oscar recognition. One of my favourite modern directors Rian Johnson is dipping into the whodunit realm with the murder mystery, Knives Out. We have Tom Hanks playing another real-life person with this time it being the wonderful Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Then we have some 2019 indy release including the Alicia Vikander starring relationship thriller Earthquake Bird, the latest creepy kid horror in The Hole in the Ground and a revenge action picture, Avengement.

We had a blast recording this episode and we really hope you love it. If you do, please help us out by spreading the word to other movie fans. Thank you so much for continued support.

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:

Earthquake Bird ** (CS & SM)
Knives Out **** (CS)
The Hole in the Ground *** (CS) & ***½ (SM)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood *** (CS)
Avengement *** (CS & SM)

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

'Black Widow' Trailer Review: Spy-Thriller Throwback Gets the Big Event Marvel Treatment

Many fans have been asking for a Black Widow movie for a long time. While I would agree that Scarlett Johansson's iconic character has deserved her own movie for over 5 years now, there is something special about this kind of story landing now. I love that Marvel has been able to get a mainstream audience to embrace bizarre, geeky, far-fetched, cosmic, galactic and time spanning, space adventures on a big scale blockbuster level. 15 years ago, I wouldn't have guessed that you could get the casual movie audience to flock to see stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and even Avengers: Endgame. As much as I love those movies, there is feeling of freshness mixed with deep nostalgia seeing the Black Widow trailer hint at a more grounded back to basics with an old-school spy action-thriller.

Don't get me wrong here, this is very much going to be a Marvel movie. The villains are concealed in robotic armour, the heroes are decked out in gadget-filled suits, there will be massive explosive set-pieces, there will be many science fiction elements sprinkled throughout and the classic Marvel tongue-in-cheek humor is splattered all over the place. Its number one goal is to be a giant roller-coaster thrill-ride that Martin Scorsese warned us all about. I appreciate after the recent big-scale Marvel events that this one appears to be sticking on earth, there will be hand to hand combat action, maybe a little old-school car chases and a mission that is more intimate and personal.

For that type of picture, they landed a terrific director in Cate Shortland who gave us the tense and claustrophobic thriller, Berlin Syndrome in 2017. She has proven she can mix deep drama with some well-paced thrills and tensions. She knows how to knock out the twists and keep you riveted on the dilemma the hero faces. I'm really excited to see a talented female director get a chance to helm a huge blockbuster event film.

It will be interesting to see if a 'smaller-scale' action picture can gross Marvel numbers, and my prediction is that the Black Widow and Marvel name combined is going to make this a pretty massive hit. Especially, when you realize we haven't had a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie since Spider-Man Far From Home. Plus, this will likely be one of the last appearances of Black Widow, and the synopsis promises an intriguing concept of filling in the blanks of Widow's life between the hero dividing Civil War and the unifying Infinity War.

I love that the trailer follows the recent Disney strategy of not giving out too much plot and story. We do not know the mission, why Black Widow has 'returned home' and really any story details. Marvel just gave us enough to tease us and promise us another high-octane adventure with humour and mixes of emotion and family drama. 

What a family that they have for us. Florence Pugh has been one of the stand-out young stars of the past few years and I am excited to see what she does in her first major role in a big tentpole. In the bits we see of her here, she looks absolutely terrific and seems to have a substantial part here.  It is almost always magic when we get Rachel Weisz, and I am interested to see if her character does a heel turn.  I am a big fan of David Harbour, who is best known for his work in Stranger Things, and it looks like he is having a blast in this movie. I can't wait to see this group play off each other and deliver the emotional core of the action picture.

I love the old-school spy-thriller action vibe that is being mixed into the big Marvel event movie. This should be a spectacular kick-off to the newest Marvel phase, and based off what is coming up, this looks like it will be very different than all the other proceeding pictures. I'm sold!

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Breakdown of 'The Irishman', 'Midnight Express', 'Arctic', 'Girls Trips' and 'About Time'

I can't believe we're marching towards the end of another year. This week we have a wide assortment of different movies we discuss and review this week. The big one is Martin Scorsese's return to the gangster epic realm in The Irishman.We also review a smaller 2019 release in the man vs. nature thriller, Arctic. We go all the way back to the 1970s to discuss a prison drama in Midnight Express. Then we go much lighter with two comedies in the raunchy buddy picture, Girls Trip and the time travelling romantic comedy, About Time.

We had another great time recording this episode, even though you may notice we had a few technical issues (one review we had to keep on rerecording and I then turned into Alvin), but we aimed to deliver our usual insight and style of humour. We really hope you loved the episode, and if you want to keep on supporting us then please spread the word on social media about us.

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 Irishman **** (CS & SM)
Arctic ***½ (CS & SM)
Midnight Express **** (CS & SM)
Girls Trip ***½ (CS) & *** (SM)
About Time ***½ (CS) & *** (SM)

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Reflecting on the 2010s: An Introduction

The year of 2019 is almost over and with the passing of this year, we are also saying good-bye to another decade. This will be the fourth decade that I've been in from start to finish (I was in diapers and just figuring out the English language for all of my stay in the 1970s), and it was a pretty wild and amazing one.

From a broad perspective, this is the decade that saw social media become a major influencer to the point people became rich celebrities from it, a racist reality TV star became President, the Avengers movies were unleashed to restructure the cinematic landscape, a new generation of Star Wars movies entered the zeitgeist, streaming services threatened traditional entertainment, the political far right got a prominent foothold in many nations, while in other cases nations saw their people rise up demanding great social stage, #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter became real movements that demanded we look at the current landscape and the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series.

On a personal side, it was game-changing as I lost my father-in-law, saw the birth of both my children, experienced my first decade where I was married the entire time, landed my first paid film review, started The Movie Breakdown podcast that changed how I view Sunday mornings, and landed the wonderful house that I currently live.

My point is that the 2010s were a big deal for me personally, but also a rather significant time on a global stage. Some of it has been amazing and other parts of it have been a flaming bag of dogshit. You mix it all together and it came out a very memorable decade that will be remembered in the annals of history or for the personal stuff, I will at least still be reflecting on it several decades from now (I still have a few decades left in me).

While we start getting ready to bid adieu to another year and decade, I want to look back at some of the major moments from the 2010s. I will reflect on some things from poo culture and politics and news and sports and such, but I also want to look back on the major milestones from my personal life (there isn't much that will ever top the birth of my two children). Over the next month, I will be writing a few pieces that will be reflections of the 2010s, and it will hopefully, be a delightful and thought-provoking jaunt down nostalgia lane.

I know. I know. Over the last year, I've promised a few series including reviewing every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and they are still coming, promise. I just ended up hyping them a year early. What I will be doing this month is a few pieces reflecting upon the 2010s. This means that the blog will actually be active this month and you should have a decent amount of stuff to read. On top of those pieces, I'll have a few movie reviews and whatever else ends up being worthy of my words posted on here.

Here is to the 2010s. You were interesting, and for the next few weeks, I'll analyze why.