There are movies which sit on Josh's TiVo for years. Literally years. He records them and then never thinks about them again. For this week's episode he decided to do the unimaginable and actually watch one.
It was a mistake. A massive mistake.
A brilliantly funny movie, Neil Simon's "Murder by Death" is not without some moments to make one pause. Chief amongst these is having Peter Sellers in yellowface. Perhaps though the representation is there in order to tear down their very use. Would that make it okay? We examine the issue on this week's podcast.
It is entirely possible, perhaps even probable, that "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" presents an idealized version of the late 1950s as opposed to reality. For our, presumably, last podcast of the year, we argue that it simply doesn't matter. That the series and its star are more than good enough in this bit of escapist fantasy that we should all just enjoy.
One of the best part of the Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol" is the voice of the narrator and no big screen version of the story captures that voice remotely as well as "The Muppet Christmas Carol." But, that isn't the only thing the movie has going for it. This week, we submit to you, that there is no better messenger for the novel than The Muppets.
The sixth "Mission: Impossible" movie is now on Blu-ray and "Scrooged" has a 30th anniversary release. While the latter undoubtedly has a connection to "A Christmas Carol," is it just possible that the former does as well?
Josh certainly thinks so and, what's more, he'll tell you how all of it relates to being the best American you can be. Because clearly Dickens knew a thing or two about that.
Director Maxine Trump's new documentary, "To Kid or not to Kid," has just premiered at DOC NYC, and this week Trump comes on the podcast to discuss the movie and its emotional toll.
The piece focuses on the decision people make about whether or not to have children, and all the societal and other implications that go along with it. It is a difficult, personal, choice and not always an easy documentary to watch. We discuss it all here.
Two movies are now out on Blu-ray, "Midaq Alley" & "BlacKkKlansman," which got Josh thinking about our nation and its problems. The fact that last week was a big election didn't help matters and so, now, he's put together some thoughts on watching movies and how keeping people out doesn't make this country anything remotely approaching great.
What if when Christopher Robin grew up, he was a dull, depressing man whose story was told in dull, depressing fashion? If that's your sort of thing, this week we highly recommend "Christopher Robin." If you'd rather fun and amusement mixed in with family stuff, we suggest "Incredibles 2" instead.
Josh: Did we really need a sequel to "Mamma Mia!?"
You: Why not ask if we needed the original movie in the first place.
Josh: I love that idea! Done! Listen to this week's podcast episode where we discuss both the need for a sequel as well as a need for the original and my inability to get "Waterloo" out of my head.
Mamma mia, here we go again.
Arriving in theaters this week is a documentary called, "Weed the People." Essentially it builds an argument that marijuana may be an effective treatment against cancer. It does this by offering up a tiny amount of science and a whole lot of anecdotes. Unfortunately, at the start of the movie it also explains that anecdotes are not evidence, thereby undercutting its entire argument.
But, that's not the only problem with the film, listen as we discuss.
People lament the lack of movies that aren't reboots or sequels or new films in a larger franchise, but here's the thing -- original stuff still exists, you might just actually have to look for it. Out this week on DVD is "The Catcher was a Spy," and it's new and good and just requires a little more effort than hitting the local multiplex.
The newest "Star Wars" movie, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is out now on Blu-ray and as much as it's supposed to be a part of this separate, stand-alone, series, it really isn't. It is all too connected to everything we've seen before. What is worse, however, is that it chooses to make these connections even when they aren't an important part of the tale.
With the release of the new Amazon Prime Jack Ryan series, we're getting a 4K UHD boxed set of the five big screen takes on the character.
This wouldn't be the Lass is More Podcast if we didn't take some time to watch them all and lament about what could have been but never was.
The Francis Ford Coppola film "Tucker: The Man and his Dream" features a wonderful, dizzying, performance by Jeff Bridges and the film speeds along at a blistering pace. It is wonderful, but does that pace and dizziness exist in order to hid some of its larger flaws?
Just what does it take to put out a horror movie in this day and age? We are living in a world, director Owen Egerton tells us, where nine-year-old kids know the rules of Freddy before they've ever seen "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or any of its sequels.
Egerton has gone with a meta take on horror for his latest, "Blood Fest," and sits down to chat with us about the state of horror, his favorite movies in the genre, and what constitutes a horror film in the first place.
The movie "Book Club" offers up a great cast of leading women, explores things we don't always see in movies, and then hampers the whole thing by tossing in a little bit of "50 Shades of Grey." The unnecessary addition seems like a silly gimmick to get folks into seats rather than being truly germane to the story.
"Avengers: Infinity War" is out on Blu-ray next week, and that means it's time for us to sit down and talk about the MCU once more. Has this monolithic connected universe changed Hollywood, and if so, has it done it for the better or for the worse?
Oh, and is "Infinity War" any good?
A likable cast and an enjoyable soundtrack isn't enough to make 2018's "Overboard" a good movie. On the other hand, there's really nothing there to make it a bad movie either. It just kind of blah. It is the sort of movie that makes Josh utilize one of his new least favorite words/phrases: nothingburger (or nothing burger or nothing-burger, if you prefer).
If Josh created a list of his favorite films for the first half of 2018, "A Quiet Place" would definitely make the cut. A smart, stripped down horror tale of a family trying to survive a monster apocalypse, the John Krasinski directed movie shows the importance not just of visuals in storytelling but of sound design as well.
For 22 years, Tom Cruise has been playing Ethan Hunt and as we gear up for the latest installment in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise to be released later this month, it is time to take a look back at the first five movies. Plus we toss in a little Jack Reacher as well, because the first of those movies, along with "M:I" are now all out on 4K UHD.
Tyler Perry's "Acrimony," the latest from the prolific writer-director, is now out on Blu-ray. If you've seen the ads for the film, you're going to go into it expecting a certain kind of story. What you're going to get, however, is something entirely different.
Are there any takeaways there? You bet there are!
Armando Iannucci's "The Death of Stalin" doesn't only have things to say about the death of Stalin, but modern day political struggles as well. While an exceptionally funny film, it isn't too kind to either Stalin or what is happening today, and that's for a good reason.
Listen as we break it down for you.
"Sherlock Gnomes," the sequel to "Gnomeo & Juliet" is out this week on Blu-ray and while Josh doesn't love it as much as he loves the first entry in the franchise, he does hope that it helps shows the way forward and that more gnome movies are on the horizon.
Listen as he explains.
This week sees new blu-ray releases of "Trading Places" and "Coming to America" as the movies are celebrating their 35th and 30th anniversaries, respectively. They are, undoubtedly, comedy classics, but is all well within them?
There may be sadness just beyond the horizon...
Next week both "Terminator: Genisys" and "Forrest Gump" arrive on 4K UHD. Both these films play with history, the former with its own timeline and the latter wit the history of the United States. Whether or not it works in either (or both) cases, it does lead to some interesting questions about right and wrong.