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The Stale Popcorn Podcast Posts

117. 1 | You Get A Bad Movie! And You Get A Bad Movie! (A Wrinkle in Time Review)

117. 1 | You Get A Bad Movie! And You Get A Bad Movie! (A Wrinkle in Time Review)

 
 
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It is with great sadness that we report the failure that is A Wrinkle in Time. At one time, AWIT looked to have so much possibility and wonder, intrigue and magic. A nice trailer, an interesting premise, and…Oprah!

What. Happened?

Let’s discuss.

The Stalie Index Says:

Avoid!

Reflecting on the Oscars \\ Episode 116

Reflecting on the Oscars \\ Episode 116

 
 
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What a time to be alive, folks. We’re here to recap the Oscars for you, and we hope you enjoyed watching as much as we did. There were a lot of surprises, some good, some not so good, but overall, we have to say it was a rousing success! (sorry for the late upload)

Check out one of our least edited episodes now!

Why I’m Rooting for Get Out at the Oscars

 

The Oscars are this Sunday, and a case can be made for just about all of these Best Picture nominees. They are all different and they each cater to a different audience. There are no films on this list that you say to yourself, “Man, I just don’t get why this is here.” And no film represents that concept more than Get Out, a film that really caught a lot of people off guard with how well-made it was. It became one of the most talked about films of the year and it is absolutely deserving of a Best Picture nominee and, dare I say, a Best Picture Award?

I’m rooting for Get Out this Sunday at the Oscars, and let me tell you why.

1 – It came out in February!

In a day when we have very strong recency bias, Get Out has stayed with us for over a year now. It was released in February of 2017, and with each passing month, it became a stronger film for its themes, for its dark comedy, for its brevity in storytelling. And as the months went on and more and more films came out, it became evident that Get Out was beginning to prove itself to have staying power. The mere notion that we are just as hyped about Get Out now as we were when it first came is a testament to how well-constructed this movie is. Most of the films on the Best Picture list came out during award season. They have the aroma of award season. Get Out isn’t like that. It doesn’t “feel” like it was made for the awards. It feels like it was made for the people. And as such, it doesn’t cut corners. It doesn’t try to manipulate the audience in any way. It allows the audience to take in the story and form their own thoughts on it. It’s not a preachy film. It’s a movie that knows the story it’s telling and goes all in on the unique concept.

2 – Watch it once, get hooked. Watch it again, get educated.

When I watched the film the first time, I was terrified by the things on that screen. The subtlety of the themes, the dark humor that was boiling, the oddities of character that hovered over everything, I was pretty much blown away. It’s easy to just watch and film and move on. That’s what happens most of the time. But when I saw Get Out, my jaw dropped, and I was left wanting to learn more about the universe that Jordan Peele created. And finding out the attention to detail that went into weaving the themes throughout the narrative was quite eye-opening. This film wasn’t made haphhazardly. It was made with great care. So going back to watch it again, you begin to see those little details start to stand out so much more, and it’s like watching a completely different film. When there’s a story within the story, you know you’ve got something special. It’s unlike any of the other Best Picture nominees in that regard. And while they all tell their own unique story, Get Out does it in a way that keeps you coming back to figure out what you can learn. And you’ll learn a lot.

3 – It’s flat-out entertaining!

There’s a problem that I’ve seen with Best Picture nominees. Not all of them, but a lot of them, tend to be just…hard to watch. They aren’t easily accessible. A movie like Phantom Thread was riveting, engrossing, and challenging, but it’s not all that entertaining. Three Billboards was built on the shoulders of great performances, but it’s not something that everyone can get into. It’s a tough watch. Dunkirk is telling a complex story of hope in the middle of despair, but it just isn’t that intriguing with its lack of character growth. Lady Bird is highly enjoyable, but it’s eccentric and odd. Gary Oldman gives an incredible performance in Darkest Hour but he’s on the screen for 90% of the time. The Post may find itself to be too on-the-nose for our current times even though it has an all-star cast. The Shape of Water looks great, but it’s a quirky, R-rated story about a fish-man and a woman that you’ll either love or hate. And Call Me By Your Name, with its abundance of nominations, isn’t going to be for everyone.

Get Out, for my money, is incredibly thought-provoking about the landscape of covert racism and low-key relatability (“I would have voted for Obama for a third term”) while also being highly entertaining. It’s something that everyone can watch and gain something from. It can be a popcorn film if that’s what you want, but it can also be a deep journey into the human complexity.

All of the nominees in the Best Picture category feel like Best Picture nominees. Get Out feels like the one that shouldn’t be there, and yet, it’s the one that deserves to be there the most because of its bold approach to taking a lot of ideas and allowing each of them to breathe within the film. It never forces the viewer to see the film from a pushed point of view. Rather, each viewer is able to take something different and significant away from this near-masterpiece. That’s why I’m rooting for it to win Best Picture. It’s a head above the rest.

115.3 Oscar Predictions

115.3 Oscar Predictions

 
 
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Today we make our final predictions before the night of the Oscars! Be sure to let us know what your predictions are!

115.2 Game Night

115.2 Game Night

 
 
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After the somber tones of Annihilation, we bring you the lighter side of film with Game Night. A simple comedy/mystery about a group of friends who love to play games. They love game night so much that when an actual real life crisis happens, they don’t know what’s real and what’s just a game. It’s not a complex premise, but hey… it’s not a complex movie.

115.1 Annihilation

115.1 Annihilation

 
 
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Annihilation is a 2018 drama/fantasy/thriller from director and writer Alex Garland, starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Tessa Thompson, that centers on the story of Portman’s character, Lena, and a group of others, as they try to unravel the mysteries of the “Shimmer.”

 

 

114.3 Previewing March 2018 Films

114.3 Previewing March 2018 Films

 
 
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114.2 Debating the Phase 3 MCU Villains

114.2 Debating the Phase 3 MCU Villains

 
 
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We’re taking a look at all of the Phase 3 MCU villains on today’s episode.

Villains include:

  • Baron Zemo (Captain America: Civil War)
  • Kaecilius/Dormammu (Dr. Strange)
  • Ego (Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2)
  • Vulture (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
  • Hela (Thor: Ragnarok)
  • Erik Killmonger (Black Panther)

114.1 Black Panther Review

114.1 Black Panther Review

 
 
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Black Panther is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we give our spoiler-free review. If you love MCU films, you’ll find so many things to enjoy about this movie, starting with the strong world building and ending with a third act that rivals anything else we’ve seen from a superhero film.

Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Laetitia Wright, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Sterling Brown, and many more.

113.3 Black Panther Preview

113.3 Black Panther Preview

 
 
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113.2 Krispy Kreme Closes! MoviePass Bans “Everyone”! What is Going On?!

113.2 Krispy Kreme Closes! MoviePass Bans “Everyone”! What is Going On?!

 
 
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113.1 15:17 to Paris / Cloverfield Paradox

113.1 15:17 to Paris / Cloverfield Paradox

 
 
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Something unique on this episode — two bad movies!

112.3 MCU Fantasy Draft

112.3 MCU Fantasy Draft

 
 
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Ahead of Black Panther, we’re drafting a 5-character MCU roster.

5 Rounds. 10 Superheroes. 1 Winner. Let’s do this.

Oh, That’s Why The Cloverfield Paradox Went to Netflix

In what was originally looked at as a stroke of genius, we were all treated to trailer spots for The Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl, and as the game went on, more information starting flowing, and it became apparent that we were going to treated to a new Cloverfield film immediately following the game.

This all happened really quickly.

The Cloverfield Paradox, at one point named God Particle, has been in the pipes for a while–many Cloverfield fans had been anticipating it, and we thought we were going to be getting a theatrical release in February. However, as the date got closer and closer, with no news, no trailer, nothing at all, it became clear that we weren’t getting this film in February, and so rumors started floating that it would get a release around April. But–still, no trailer?! Where’s the news for this film? Where’s the marketing? Where’s that Cloverfield charm that we all know and love so dearly?

We didn’t get any of that.

But then, the Super Bowl spots. And a lot of excitement. Hey, this is a big deal, and not just to fans of Cloverfield. To have a full, feature length film, one that was scheduled to be released in theaters, to now be released moments after the Super Bowl ends? That’s a trailblazing moment.

The problem with this, however, is that the movie needs to deliver. It needs to resonate with folks. For this movement of releasing big budget films straight to Netflix or other streaming platforms to gain true momentum, yes, the name matters, but the results matter even more.

And The Cloverfield Paradox is a complete sham on almost every front. It’s an embarrassing film, and it hurts all the more because this was supposed to continue in the lineage of Cloverfield films–to say, they are unique, they have an aura of charismatic frustration, and they rely on tense performances to maneuver the story along and continue to cultivate the enigma surrounding this universe.

But…the movie has to be good. The Cloverfield Paradox is awful. Perhaps even more frustrating is that the Cloverfield mythology feels completely squeezed in to this film. On its own, it’s already not very good–mainly due to a really flat and boring story that is convoluted enough to make your head spin, and some of the worst characters you’ll encounter. Sci-fi, to a large extent, should be campy and have an element of oddball fun. But spoiler–when a guy loses half his arm to the deep unknown, and doesn’t at all respond in any significant way but to crack a joke when he sees the hand slithering around on the ground–whatever fun and creepy element the movie is going for just loses its attempt to surge the story in a palpable direction that is satisfying.

10 Cloverfield Lane worked because A) the cast was legendarily good. John Goodman owned his role and was subsequently snubbed at the Oscars for it (I know, it was always a longshot, but hey, he deserved some award recognition there), and B) it actually felt like it was apart of the Cloverfield universe. We all saw the first Cloverfield and knew what the little details of 10 Cloverfield Lane were alluding to. We knew there was a greater presence at play within the overall context of the story. The ending notwithstanding, this was a film that was pretty dang good, and even if you take all of the Cloverfield stuff–it’s still a really, really good movie. Paradox plays off like a film that’s trying way too hard to conjoin itself with the great Cloverfield franchise, and it really leaves a bad taste to view this film as a continuation of what this franchise has done, and what it’s trying to do moving forward.

Let’s be real here: there’s an opportunity with this property. A real chance to do something good and unique and interesting. It’s clear at this point that we’re never going to get a true sequel to Cloverfield, and yes, that is definitely a punch to the gut. But if they’re going to keep trying to expand our surroundings and the scope of what is happening within this world, they’ve got to do a better job of injecting stories that at least make sense within the context of what we’ve gotten so far, without trying to manufacture the Cloverfield brand.

J.J. Abrams, you’ve got a fanbase here that is giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I believe patience is running thin. If Overlord doesn’t pan out, I just don’t know how this franchise can regain its footing.

Or you could, you know, just give us the true Cloverfield sequel we all want and stop playing with our emotions. That would fix this right up.

112.2 Let’s Talk Through Our Problems

112.2 Let’s Talk Through Our Problems

 
 
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We’ve all had bad days, and sometimes those days can turn into a bad week. So let’s air out our frustrations and work through them on a therapeutic episode of the Stale Popcorn Podcast.

112.1 Phantom Thread & I, Tonya

112.1 Phantom Thread & I, Tonya

 
 
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Today, we’re reviewing two films on the Oscar watchlist, Phantom Thread, and I, Tonya. These films are certainly on different ends of the spectrum, but they do share one similarity: they both have really great performances, and their stories are pulled together by the characters more than anything else.