A Quiet Place Review

For episode 8, the podcast reviews the new horror thriller ‘A Quiet Place’ and debates how long Eric would last in the movie.

Movie Grades for A Quiet Place:
Eric – A-
Conor – B+

A Quiet Place Review: [8:20] mark
Movie Trivia: [31:45] mark

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong (andrewdavidv.com/)

Isle of Dogs Review

For episode 7, the podcast (special guest Chris Thomas filling in for Sam and Eric) reviews Wes Anderson’s new stop motion film about a pack of dogs banished to a trash island.

Movie Grades for Isle of Dogs:
Conor – A
Chris – A

Movie Trivia: [35:00] mark

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong (andrewdavidv.com/)

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 6: Robocop Review

For episode 6 the podcast reviews what could be Sam’s favorite movie of all time, Robocop. Eric talks about just now seeing it for the first time, Sam tries to make Eric feel bad for not seeing it earlier, and trivia finally goes Sam’s way.

Movie Grades for Robocop:
Sam – A+
Conor – A-
Eric – B

Robocop Review: [13:30] mark

Movie Trivia Round: [51:40] mark

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong (andrewdavidv.com/)

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 5: Tremors Review

For the podcast’s first retro review Conor and special guest jerk Charlie Blowers review the cult classic ‘Tremors’ and try to predict how long Charlie would last as a character in Tremors.

Movie Grades for Tremors:
Conor – A+
Charlie – A-

Tremors Review: [4:45] mark

Movie Trivia Round: [24:30] mark

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong (andrewdavidv.com/)

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 4: Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

Conor and Eric detail their most anticipated movies of 2018.

Apostle – (Dir. Gareth Evans, Star. Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen and Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) – A man attempts to rescue his sister after she’s been kidnapped by a religious cult.

Release: 2018

Hold the Dark – (Dir. Jeremy Saulnier, Star. Alexander Skarsgård, Jeffrey Wright, Riley Keough) – After three children are killed by wolves, a writer is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Release: June 1 on Netflix

Parasite – (Dir. Joon-ho Bong, Star. Kang-ho Song) A man is infected with a parasite that changes his world in unforeseen ways.

Pros: Joon-ho Bong and Kang-ho Song reunite for the first time since Snowpiercer

Release: 2018 (If I’m being honest, I highly doubt it will be out this year)

The Predator – (Dir. Shane Black, has one of the strangest casts: Tom Jane, Keegan Michael Key, the little kid from the room (Jacob Tremblay) (Trevante Rhodes (grown up Chiron in Moonlight) Alfie Allen (aka Theon Greyjoy) Yvonne Stahovski, Edward James Olmos and Jake Busey) – A sequel of the 1987 sci-fi film “Predator”
Pros: Tom Jane.
Cons: There might be some non Tom Jane scenes.

Release: September 14

The Meg (Dir. Jon Turtletaub (famed director of National Treasure), Star. Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, going hard after the Chinese market with BingBing Li, Ruby Rose and Cliff Curtis) – After escaping an attack by what he claims was by a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

Pros: Everything.

Cons: None. I can’t foresee a single thing that could be wrong with a giant shark movie directed by the director of National Treasure starring Jason Statham and Dwight from the Office.

Release: Aug 10

Farenheit 451 – (Dir. Ramin Baharani, Star. Michael b. Jordan, Michael Shannon) HBO’s adaption of Ray Bradbury’s famous novel about fireman who burn books in the future. My favorite book. The cast is great, but nothing about the

Pros: Great source material

Cons: Hard to translate to screen.

Release: May 2018

Creed II – (Dir. Steven Caple Jr., Star. Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson) – Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, newly crowned light-heavyweight champion Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.

Pros: Great momentum from the first film

Cons: No Ryan Coogler (Caple is supposed to be a Coogler protégé though)

Release: Nov 21

Under the Silver Lake (Dir. David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) Stars Andrew Garfield) – A man becomes obsessed with a kidnapped girl and must rush to save her before it’s too late.

Pros: David Robert Mitchell’s first movie since It Follows

Cons: Looks like one of those movies that could unravel effortlessly

Release: June 22

Solo: A Star Wars Story (5/25) – They haven’t made a bad star wars film, so this could be good, but I don’t have high hopes. Still, it’s a Star Wars movie so I’ll see it.

Avengers: Infinity War (April 27)- Gonna be a huge film with a lot of surprises

Incredibles 2 (June 15) – Sequel to one of Eric’s favorite Pixar films

A Quiet Place (Apr 6) – Well reviewed horror, reminiscent of M. Night’s ‘Signs’.

MI-6 (7/27)- The sixth movie of that Tom Cruise franchise where he runs a lot.

The Death of Stalin (releasing now)- From the creator of Veep.

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 3: ‘Annihilation’ Review

Conor, Sam and Eric review Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation’, unsuccessfully attempt to finally name the culture segment, and talk Sean Bean deaths.

Movie Grades for Annihilation:
Sam – A
Eric – A-
Conor – B+

This Week in Culture [1:00] mark

Annihilation Review: [11:30] mark

Lightning Trivia Round: [44:30] mark

Sam’s infamous Black Death answer [59:55]

Trivia Rankings:
1. Sam- 6/10
1. Eric – 8/10

All time rankings:
1. Eric – 22/30
2. Sam – 19/30

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong (andrewdavidv.com/)

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 2: ‘Black Panther’ Review

This week we reviewed Black Panther, a small independent film not many people have heard about. Enjoy.

Movie Grades for the Black Panther:
Sam – B+
Eric – A-
Conor – A-

Black Panther Review: [10:00] mark

Lightning Trivia Round: [56:40] mark

Week’s Trivia Rankings:
1. Sam- 6/10
1. Eric – 7/10

All Time Rankings:
1. Eric – 14/20
2. Sam – 13/20

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong

Mandatory Reshoots Episode 1: ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Review

Our movie review podcast has finally taken shape as ‘Mandatory Reshoots’. For our first official episode we review the trash fire that is Netflix’s new secret Cloverfield movie, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’.

Movie Grades for the Cloverfield Paradox:
Sam – D
Eric – D-
Conor – C-

Lightning Trivia Round begins at the [54:09] mark in the podcast.

Music By: Andrew David Vilaythong

Best Movies of the Year Podcast

In addition to written best of lists and movie mashups, this year I recorded an absurdly long podcast with Sam Alcarez and Eric Sweeney where we discuss our favorite movies of the year. At two and a half hours long, it’s just under the runtime of Blade Runner 2049. No podcast should be this long, and yet, here we are.

Liz and Eric’s Best Movies of 2017

Liz’s Top Five Movies of the Year 

2017’s Theme: I’m not crying. You’re crying.


1. Lady Bird – I’m sure many can say that Lady Bird reflected some part of their teenage life, but I’m also pretty sure it reflected MY teenage life so closely I tried not to tear up, especially during every scene between Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. The misunderstanding between daughter and mother but constant need for love and approval? Check. The desire to move far away for college and apply to schools I couldn’t afford? Check. Falling in love with a cute boy who ended up not feeling the same? Yep. The crying in the car while listening to Dave Matthews Band? Several times check. The film is brimming with emotion and beautifully depicted both tempered and quiet relationships Lady Bird had with everyone in her life. Bonus points for getting to watch little Briony not be a punk while coming of age and completely smash this role.


2. Step – Come for the stepping, stay for the feels. The documentary follows a group of seniors from an all-female high school in Baltimore. These young ladies all find refuge in the step team while battling to make it through school just to graduate. They have a lot standing in their way—from poverty to inner city social injustice—but their families, teachers and friends all stand together to get these women into college. The documentary might be missing a few steps (pun not intended) in the overall story, but it managed to keep me sitting up straight and paying attention to what it takes to get an education when resources are scarce and spent the whole time rooting for them as they found out their futures.


3. Okja – All of the personalities in this movie were as colorful as the costumes they were in, but Okja was the one who really stole the show. I wanted to cry and hug that animated hippo pig as much as I did with Bing Bong. The opening scene where we meet Okja, along with Mija is more heartbreaking to watch a second time through because of the pure innocence the scene encapsulates, knowing what lies ahead for the pair—corporate greed, deception, animal abuse—barely scratches the surface. The dark material may show a very real side to how humans are hungry for blissfully ignorant tasty meats at the expense of how animals and the planet itself are treated, but at the same time there are the little guys (or girls, rather) who fight with all of their heart to keep a little piece of it safe from harm. It gives me hope.


4. The Big Sick – I found myself relating to yet another movie about a strained child/parent relationship. It was even more relatable coming from an Asian background and having the same pressures of what parental expectations were and at the same time trying to find a voice. How many films can one watch as a minority and laugh cry at the exact same conversations I’ve had with my parents that are culturally relevant? Not many. If this movie had come out when I was younger, I would of stole all of Kumail’s comebacks in those conversations. But put that aside and there is the real story. Watching Kumail Nanjiani depict a version of his real life relationship with Emily Gordon—the distress he ends up in trying to figure out what she means to him, meeting her parents for the first time (the exchange between them in the hospital cafeteria is pure gold) and having to choose between a career and family/Emily—all while she is in a coma is well written, hilarious and shows a lot of heart.


5. Get Out – I don’t know what was more creepy. The poetic message of racism and ignorance, which is strongly relevant today in the form of a truly uncomfortable horror film, or watching the whitest white girl do the most white girl thing by eating Fruit Loops one at a time while slowly sipping a tall glass of white milk through a straw … while browsing the internet for her next victim. Not even with Google. Bing. BING. As I watched it was a slow unraveling of terror, as any brilliant horror film would do, but also a perfect blend of truth and comedy in true Jordan Peele fashion.




Honorable Mentions:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Apart from the extreme sadness and anger laced throughout the entire story, the moments I latched onto the most were the exchanges between Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. They showed that even in utter disappointment in another person whom one might even despise down to their very living matter, there was still room for compassion and understanding.




Blade Runner 2049

My top five is pretty heavy material so watching Ryan Gosling be really moody and running through a wall in a visually stunning world doesn’t hurt. This slides under the Top 5 because of Jared Leto and whatever performance that was.






Sweeney’s Top 10 Movies

1. Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villenueve continues to be on a roll. Arrival was my #1 last year, and he now has another one atop my list this year. I legit think this is better than the original (which I believe is a bit overloved) and they’ve expanded the universe even further. I want to see more films from this universe.

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This is my favorite of the three new Star Wars films. This one looks the best, has the most meaningful character arcs and plots, and includes some of the best sequences ever filmed for Star Wars. It really shakes up what was an already-derivative story, meaning I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next installment and I find that exciting and refreshing.

3. Baby Driver

Edgar Wright doesn’t make bad films. This is stylish and funny from start-to-end, and I wish he wouldn’t take so long between films.

4. War for the Planet of the Apes

The final film in a surprisingly-good trilogy is probably my favorite of the three. Has to be one of the best trilogies of all time too.

5. Dunkirk

Nolan takes a simple war story and applies his unique take on it, creating three timelines (at different lengths) and weaving through them until they all meet at an exhilarating climax.

6. Wind River

A well-made mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, from the guy that wrote Sicario and Hell Or High Water.

7. Get Out

A horror film with social commentary laced into it. I really hope this gets some Oscar nominations because it’s a great script and directorial debut by Jordan Peele.

8. Thor: Ragnarok

Had a lot of fun with this, which was not the case with the first two Thor movies. Taiki Watiti (had my #2 movie last year) brings his comedic chops to the Marvel universe with great success.

9. Molly’s Game

I’m a sucker for Sorkin, so there was no way I wouldn’t enjoy this movie. And of course I loved it. This is his directorial debut, and he directs the way he writes – with style and speed.

10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dark but funny, which is where Martin McDonaugh wants to be with his films that I all love. Tho I’m not sure how I feel about the resolution of the main mystery in this one.

Honorable Mention

The Big Sick, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Logan Lucky, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Split, Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, John Wick: Chapter 2, It

Still Haven’t Seen

The Beguiled, Okja, mother!, Phantom Thread, The Post, Lady Bird, Columbus, The Florida Project, A Ghost Story

Most Looking Forward To In 2017

The 15:17 To Paris – Clint Eastwood true story film, starring the actual people who lived it.

Annihilation – Didn’t like the book but love the concept and the director

Avengers: Infinity War – Gonna be a huge film with a lot of surprises

Black Panther – Trailers have made it look like something we haven’t seen before in a Marvel film

First Man – Neil Armstrong’s life story, as told by the La La Land guy

Incredibles 2 –  Sequel to one of my favorite Pixar films

Isle of Dogs – Wes Anderson returns!

Mute – A return to grounded sci-fi for Duncan Jones

The Predator – Shane Black takes on the franchise he helped start 30 years ago

Ready Player One – Book is fun but not well-written – Spielberg’s first big tentpole in awhile and I hope he has fun with it

Roma – Alfonso Cuaron’s follow-up to Gravity

Sicario 2: Soldado – Loved the first, but I wish they just called it Soldado. This one features Benicio more.

Solo: A Star Wars Story – They haven’t made a bad star wars film, so this could be good, but I don’t have high hopes. Still, it’s a Star Wars movie so I’ll see it.