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January 8, 2024 51 mins

Movie Mike and Kelsey share all the movies they have seen over the last 2 weeks which includes Wonka, Anyone But You, Saltburn, Migration, Rebel Moon and so many more! They share which movies were their favorites and recommend vs. which movies let them down and you should probably avoid. In the Movie Review, Mike shares his thoughts on A24’s The Iron Claw starring Zac Effron. He talks about the amazing performances, if he believes in the family curse and how the movie differed from real life. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hello, and welcome back to movie Mike's movie podcast. I
am your host, Movie Mike, joined by my wife and
co host Kelsey. How are you. I'm great. We're gonna
do a movie review dump of all the things we
watched over the break. That's what people say, right, dumps.
I don't know if we're saying that anymore, photo dumps,
movie review dumps. Can we just say like a collection
of movie reviews collect? It doesn't sound as fun. I

like movie review dump, and then we'll get into a
full movie review. Talk about the Ironclaw and in the
Trailer Park we have Adam Sandler in a role that
you're probably not expecting Adam Sandler to be in. Thank
you for being here, Thank you for being subscribed, and
now let's talk movies. In a world where everyone and
their mother has a podcast, one man stands to infiltrate

the ears of listeners like never before in a movie podcast.
A man with so much movie knowledge. He's basically like
a walking IMTB with glasses. From the Nashville Podcast Network.
This is Movie Mike's movie all right. So we saw
a lot of things over the holiday break. We did.

We're just gonna rip and read these reviews, we'll kick
it off with the first thing. We will do them
all in order that we saw them first. One up
is Wonka, which I loved the first original Willy Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory. It's one of my favorite ones
of all time. Hated the Johnny Depp one. So going
into this one, I was a little bit hesitant, mainly
because of how Willy Wonka was going to be portrayed.

And you have Timothy Shallomey here and all to me,
tim wasn't that his rap name, and all of my
expectations were completely met from the very first opening number,
right when he comes out singing, I'm like, oh man,
I'm gonna like this movie. I thought I was gonna
hate it. Why did you think you were gonna hate it?
I don't always love musicals. There's some that I like,
but I was like, M like, the original Willy Wonka

is just so hard to top, and I really thought
it was gonna be cheesy. Damn it if he didn't
sell that character, well, let's be like it is kind
of cheesy at times, like sometimes his will his portrayal
of Willy Wonka is so extra and so over the
top that I feel like if you were like a
casual fan didn't really know what the essence of Willy
Wonka is, you would think, oh, that's kind of weird

the way he's playing. You even said, like, what would
who is he dating? One of the Jenners dating Kylie Jenner? Like,
what would she think about going to see him in
that room? Do you think Kylie Jenner got the itck?
Because it's a very extra role and you have to
really own it. But it really for me, it really works.
I would get the itch though you think so. Yeah,

But if you're doing something at his level as good
as he does it, you think you would watch that
movie and think, oh, man, I just would forever picture
him singing about a hat full of dreams. Oh, but
the songs in this movie are so infectious, Like, you
didn't make us listen to the soundtrack. Yes, that's what.
The first time ever that I went to go see
a movie and wanted to listen to the soundtrack. I

don't do that, like you were saying. I have said
for the longest time that I don't consider myself to
be somebody who likes musicals. I really don't. It's not
something I seek out, but when I go out to
a really good one. Now I love them, so I
think maybe in the back of my mind, I do
enjoy them. I just don't want to say it that
I love musicals, which I don't know why I would
have a problem with liking musicals. But this is the

first time that we went to go see a movie,
and I'm like, I want to listen to some of
those songs. The other day we were singing this Chocolate
and this Chocolate, Like we just started singing these songs.
And it's different from the first one, which was a musical,
and some people were like surprised to remember that that one,
the Johnny Depp one, wore musicals. But this one was
a lot more straight on because I feel like there

are big, important songs in the original one with Gene Wilder,
but this one is just straight up almost song after song,
them just busting out, you know, randomly singing, kind of
like how people expect musicals. So I still feel like
it's a little bit different than that first one. But
I think the story in this one is just really
good too, And I think that the greatest part was

putting Hugh Grant in his place. Oh yeah, he hated
this movie and making him play a small orange man
because he notoriously is hard to work with, and in
this one, he's like, I really just did it for
the money, and he perfectly fits the role because Baluba
is in this movie at least the grummy character, and yeah,
that's Hugh Grant, so you get what you kind of

expect from Hugh Grant. But the interesting thing about this
one is I feel like Willy Wonka. In the original,
he's a little bit more cynical. He's a little bit
weird and does things that you could kind of view
from a dark point of view, and this one it's
almost like Willy Wonka before he gets super jaded. Yeah,
this is Willy Wonka before he has his chocolate factory,

and it's like, yeah, it's him. Like you find out
the reason he wanted to start the chocolate factory and
that's really heartwarming. And sometimes I feel like in prequels,
when you learn about a character, I feel like it's ah,
I don't really care about that, But in this one,
I was really invested in it and all the other
characters that were introduced. I really enjoyed it great. The
side characters were great. I think that's what made it

even better. I now want a pocket sized chocolate factory.
A pocket sized chocolate factory. That's what he had his
little suitcase suitcase maybe not pocket sized, but was like
briefcase chocolate factory. I would like to building chocolate on demand. Oddly,
after watching this one, unlike watching the first one, I
did not crave sweets after it. After I watched the
first one, obviously I was a lot younger, but I

like wanted that piece of chocolate. I wanted to find
the golden ticket. In this one, it was almost more
of the whimsical effects of the chocolate that made it cool.
Aside from the way the candy itself looked like in
that first one when they're first walking through the factory
and just eating everything, taking bites out of things, that
just made me want everything. But visually I thought the

movie looked amazing. There was like one really great shot
of just like the Willy Wonka silhouette that I was like,
oh man, they're really going for that classic vibe here.
So overall, I gave it a four out of five.
What would you give it? I would agree I would
give it the same. Moving on to the next movie,
we saw in theaters this one we both equally wanted
to go see, and you're have kind of put me

into a position of really enjoying a good rom com. Finally,
and the movie is Anyone but You starring Sydney Sidney Sweeney.
I was gonna say the artist Sudney Sweeney, Sidney Sweeney
and Glenn Powell. I was gonna say, fellow Longhorn, you
didn't let me get my anger. Oh yeah, you introduced
them then, fellow Longhorn, Glenn Powell. He did go to
the game the other day I saw, Yeah, if only

we would have won that one didn't win. I'm sad,
but yes, Glenn Palell. So it's about them faking like
they're in a relationship to get their family off their
One of them get their family off their back and
the other make their ex jealous so they could get
back together. Yes, but also the other premises they did
once hook up and then didn't date after that, so

then it's like them being forced. They have like mutual
friends and so they're like in this at this wedding
in Australia. Did maybe want to go to Australia? The
movie I felt I enjoyed it. It was so good,
but I almost it was going to be funnier than
what it was, and I felt like I gravitated more
towards their chemistry than the comedy. So it was more

on the romance side of it than the comedy side
for me, because you probably differ than me. But I
thought a lot of the funnier parts were in the trailer,
and there wasn't anything totally new in the movie that
I found as funny that I did watching the trailer
for the first time. But the romance was there. They
have undeniable chemistry, and that's how do you sell a

rom com chemistry? And we went on opening night. It
was full, it was fun. It was a Thursday night,
It's Christmas. And to think now how hard it is
to sell a movie like this that you could just
put on Netflix. That has really become the model. They knew, Yeah,
they knew. They were like, we got a moneymaker on
our hands because she's hot off the press, off of
Euphoria White Lotus. He did top Gun. I feel like

he's been a lot of other things recently. It was
in Devotion too, yes, and that was good. I feel
like he is about to be on that level, like
like being that a list star. Glen's popping off. And
the thing about this movie that I knew they were
gonna do is have any excuse for either of them
to take their clothes off and sell that by the

way they sold the trailer, by the way they were
selling the poster. It was rated R. You're selling Oh
I forgot. It was rated for some reasons and nothing gratuitous, No,
not at all. But anytime he took off his shirt,
I was like, oh my gosh, Like he doesn't even
look like a real human. It's quite incredible. I'm not
gonna say anything, I'm a married woman, but anyway, I
feel like that is also a big part of it.

But you can you can just put attractive people on
the screen, but if they don't have chemistry, you can't
sell the rest of the movie. There's been plenty of
rom coms where people don't have chemistry and you're just like, oh,
this was like watching Oil and Water, because it makes
the story and the lightheartedness of a rom com just
that much more believable. The R rating in this instance

does help, not just because of like like you said,
there's nothing completely explicit, but it's also like to the
comedy of it. They do curse, which I think helps
the overall comedy. So I would give anyone but you
a three point five out of five. Oh interesting, where
do you give it? I'm gonna go four and a
half qualas. Oh really, I loved it. Will this enter

into your rom com classics like one you just have
in rotation? I need to watch it more often. It
could get there to be a classic. I have to
be able to watch it over and over and over,
and I don't know if it's there yet. And ask potential,
would you want to see a sequel? No? Leave it
at once. Sequels for rom coms are funny. Leave it
at one. Next up we have Migration, which is the

only kids movie on this list, and we were the
only adults. We were without children, and the trailer got
us on this bood. The trailer was funny, mainly the line,
what's duck Laurente? It's you with Lorente. On to those
dang integrations. We were watching Shark Tank and they did
a Migration integration that was weird. So maybe there was
subliminal messaging by the advertising guy that told us we

need to go see Migration. We have to talk about
the best part was that there was a short before
the film. Yes, so it's from Illumination, which does all
the Minions movies and something that they still do that
Disney really I think maybe Pixar still does them. Disney
doesn't really do them anymore. It was always more of
a Pixar thing anyway. But they have a short that
plays before the movie. During the short, this little kid

was so confused and says out loud, but where are
the birds? The kid was so concerned because they're going
on this entire short with the minions and there's no birds,
and there's no birds, and the kid is like, where
the bird? Funniest part of the entire movie going experience
to see migration And we just quote that now, But
I thought, I think Illumination is doing it better than

Disney right now. One Like last year they had Super Mario,
which was just a fun, just all out kids movie.
This one was a little bit more on like that
Disney realm of there was a lesson here, you know,
teaching kids and showing the relationship between parents, going outside
of your comfort zone to live life. That is essentially
what the message is of migration. I don't think this

movie really pushed the envelope in any way. As far
as the animation, I think it was pretty standard. So
aside from that, the interesting thing I found out about
this movie is nothing really bad happens in kids movies anymore.
And it made me think of like Bambi, where we
were all traumatized before time. Yes, kids that we grew

up with, there was always something so sad that like
just ripped your heart out. They don't really do that anymore,
Lian King. Yes, thinking about sad things, sad sad thing,
and here they're still teaching that lesson. No parent dies,
but there's no nothing sad anymore, which I don't know
if that's a good or a bad thing. I feel
like like kids are too soft these days. I'm not

saying that, but I feel like, for me, who my
parents weren't able to teach me all those lessons. I
went to movies to learn about things like how to
deal with grief my dad dad when I was little.
So yeah, you didn't need a movie. You're like, separate
me from reality. I don't want anything like that. I
think for me, I look to movies to teach me

lessons like that, and to learn about those emotions and
kids movies of today, there really aren't that many Pixar
movies still do that on the emotional level. You think
about Coco and Inside Out all about your emotions at
the new one coming out this year. So that's what
I was thinking of while watching this movie, of like
everything is everything is good in this movie. There's some conflicts,

but it's like it's resolved nicely, but overall. I love
the performance from ankle Fina. I did think she was
gonna be a bigger part of this movie. And sometimes
people ask me, like why I still go watch kids movies,
and I think it's because if I ever had a
chance to interview some of the people who were a
part of this movie, I would want to know their
entire work. Why not ask them about Migration if you're

to ask them about something else, So in order to
make myself the most well rounded, and also that we
both thought this is gonna be just like a fun time.
That is why I won't try to watch everything, but
for Migration, I would give it through out of five,
I would do the same. I bet if I was
a kid, especially that kid who really wanted to see
the birds i'd be like five out of five. I'm
gonna give it three out of five. Lorange A La Range.

Next up, we did go see The Iron Claw with
all of my family, which I'm gonna do a full
review of this movie coming up. You can give me
your thoughts and what you thought about it. Loved it
emotional so good. Didn't think I'd be into wrestling, but
it's like, not really about wrestling, It's about the family
and how wrestling affects them. Thought it was great, great

performances by zac Efron, Jermill and White. Just talk about
its Calvin kline, Uh, you're just really feeding me today
what this podcast by asking about. I'm the one who
brought it up and I saw it. I was like,
oh my gosh, I gotta give me some Calvin Klin underwear.
But we did go see this with my entire family

over the Christmas break and my mom is a way yeah,
She's like, hey, what kind of movie are you watching?
It's about wrestling. Oh. It was then, oh that we
knew she would not be awake for the whole thing.
She fell asleep pretty instantaneously and then was snoring throughout
the movie. She was the one she did loud, and
then my brother had to wake her up, and then

she I think she forgot where she was and she
was in such a deep sleep because she was snoring
that she got upset at him waking her up and
like smoke out loud and then he was like, hey,
you can't. You gotta keep it down. I don't think
anyone heard. I think it was fun. It was just
funny because we were sitting here watching this emotional movie
and then to my left it's, oh it was I

guess my mom is not enjoying this one. But what
would you give? Iron Claw four point seven five out
of five body slams. There you go, almost perfect. Next
of a wrestler. Next up is one we watched at
home on Apple TV plus The Family Plan and already forgot.

We watched it with Mark Wahlberg. This was kind of
just one that we wanted to throw on. Didn't think
a whole lot about it. It's about his character, who
was a former elite government assassin, gets away from doing that,
starts a family and doesn't tell them about it, and
then it comes out that the people who are involved
with all of that figure out where he is living

and then coming after him, and he ends up trying
to take his family on a vacation to essentially escape
and start a whole new life. But throughout this entire
thing is not telling them. Still, it was giving the
pacifier with Finn diesel M from like two thousand and five,
I think almost yeah, basically the same lines of yeah,
this dude who has this elite set of skills and

he is now a family fan. But the hardest thing
about watching this movie for me was the cgi baby.
It looks so unbelievable. There is a scene where Mark
Wahlberg gets into a fight with this other assassin guy
in a grocery store and he has the baby like
strapped onto him and those little carrying things baby carrier, Yeah,
baby carrier, and the baby looks so fake, and I

was like, this obviously a baby. It was so hard
for me to for this movie to come back after
that scene. I was like, this is so dumb, so terrible,
and it looks awful. I guess they don't have like
stunt babies like they have stunt Yeah. I guess so
normally they just put like a fake like just baby
doll in there. But I guess that probably look too
fake and they're like, hey, we can see guy it in.

Sometimes they get a little too ambitious with the CGI,
a little too confident about their abilities over the course
of the rest of the movie. It did win me
back a little bit when I didn't hate it. Yeah,
I thought I was gonna really really hate it and
not want to finish it after that. But it's just
one of those movies that's a very casual watch. It
almost feels like something that would go straight onto TBS.

And it's like, I've come to like Mark Wahlberg as
a comedic actor ever since Ted. I feel like he
can do it pretty well. This one felt a little
bit more like a cash grab to me though overall.
Oh for sure it was cash grab, but it had
some charm to it. I feel like if you were
looking for just like a new family movie that you
wanted to watch. It's just compared to all the other

things that Apple has on their service that I go
to them looking for, like quality things not just from
the plot lines but just how they look. But they
were also putting things out that like you could watch
while your kids were at home. Yeah, overbreak and Apple
also just goes for a list star so getting Mark
Wahlberg in a movie like this. Michelle moynihan, she's a
fairly big name. It had almost like a knockoff We're

the Miller's type vibe to it. Not as good as
that in any regard, but it kind of felt like
a bad version of that in a way. For the
family Plan, I would still give it a one out
of five. Really, yeah, okay, I'm gonna give it a two.
Next movie I watched that, I did not think you
would like whatsoever it was. Did watch the last twenty
minutes of it with you? Of Rebel Moon, Zack Snyder movie?

That was? That was my snorre fest. Yeah. So essentially
what this movie is is a bugs life meet Star Wars.
The thing was that the Internet was just hating on
this movie altogether before I even sat down to watch it,
and that's kind of the way that Zack Snyder movies go.
My issue with this movie going into it is I

felt like the title was horrible. I despise movies that
have a really lazy title. Rebel Moon, I don't know
anything about it. Sounds like a energy drink. It just
sounds lame, like to spend all his money on a movie,
and it's called Rebel Moon. I also hate the fact
that this is part one of two and the second
one comes out in a couple of months. Yeah, it
just feels like one big movie split in the middle. Well,

that's how Zack Snyder does things. Ten hour movie. Why
not just make one solid movie? And then he's out
there saying, oh, but part two is gonna be so
make the first one the best one. Like, why would
you want people to get invested to go watch a
second part of a movie when the first one kind
of sucks? It makes no sense to me. Question, And

he's like, oh, well, wait for the second one. That's
where the real action starts. All right, we'll just put
out part two as part one and then later make
part one the prequel. That's actually a pretty good idea.
That is what you need to do when people would
have been so disappointed. Maybe now they're disappointed by the
first one, happy with the second one, because usually you're
good with the first one disappointed in the sequel. Yeah,
And the thing is, this movie is still two hours.

In like ten minutes, I'm gonna need you to bring
your blood pressure, Okay, angry over here. And this movie
it just looks. It looks terrible. It does not look good.
It looks like it was filmed entirely in front of
a green screen, so it looks like a pandemic project
that somebody made, like a dire rom I'm so aware,
I am so aware that I'm just watching people in

a warehouse. It's mainly due to the backgrounds. The backgrounds
are so lifeless and feel like nothing that it forces
you to look at all the characters. And then he
also does like this weird blur of effect. I hate
this blur effect. It's me on my zoom calls because
why what did you do one day while I was
on a zoom bo I watched out with no shirt
and you were on a meeting, So I now have

to blur the background. So Zack Snyder had been on
Zoom during the pandemic and thought, I want a movie
to look like that, he said, the zoom filter. But
on a movie. The thing is, there is some good
action in this movie, but it it just feels like
it's doing an impression of something else, which I think
initially this was turned down because it was so much

like Star Wars, so it just feels like it's trying
to create this big world. Even the title is Star
Wars esque Rebel Moon. It sounds one. So overall, there
were some cool visual moments, but it was really just
like a series of events roped into each other and
made it feel like, oh, here's a movie, but nothing
was really that cohesive. It just kind of went from

here to hear to hear, and then it gets to
an ending and then it makes you think how it
goes into part two. There was no journey. There was
nothing super engaging about this movie. We It was really
just painful for my eyeballs. So overall I would give
it a two out of five. That is what I
got for Rebel Moon. We'll move on to one of
the movies that has been most talked about on TikTok

and I think one of the most highest just sought
out reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. The movie is Saltburn.
Oh I thought we were going Aquaman. That's oh not yet. No,
Saltburn is disregard my sigh. I forgot it was another
one in between. We watched that at home. And the
thing about this one that everybody has been talking about
are the bizarre things that happened in this movie. Don't

watch this one of your kids around. Yeah, it's definitely not.
It's more of a couple movie or even watch on
your own time movie. You seen a lot of people
that accidentally thought it was going to be a family
friendly watching their parents. Did happen to me once when
I watched Black Swan with a friend over and my parents.
That was that was weird. So this is essentially a
story about a guy who goes off to college means

a rich guy. The rich guy feels bad for him
so invites them back to his estate called Soulburn, and
it takes place over the summer of two thousand and seven,
and then some other unfortunate things happen, But it's mainly
just like a really kind of dark, very artsy movie
that has some really strong performances despite the things that
are happening. So I feel like you ended up not

liking this movie as much as I did, or did
you even like it at all. I liked it. I
thought the performances were good. There are couple scenes, and
it's not because they were gratuitous or graphic, and be honest,
it just made me a little queasy. See when I
hear people talking about this movie of how weird it's
going to be, how gross it's gonna be. I was

expecting a lot more. I wanted it to be weirder.
I thought it was going to be not so much
on the gross side of it. But I just thought
this movie was gonna be a little bit more zany
and weird, and it really wasn't weird enough. There was
like three major things that happened, and I would say
of those three majors things, only one was that I

was like, oh wow, that's I haven't seen that in
a movie before. The final I would say third of
the movie was really strong when kind of oh yeah,
the pieces fall into place. The third where I was
really like, okay, the third act of this movie was strong,
and I think it's really what says this movie just
apart from everything else I've seen in the last year,
I was gonna say, it's very different. Like Emerald Finnel

does an amazing job at creating movies that I haven't
been done before. She does want repeating things, she's not remaking.
She has very original ideas. And also just the look
of this movie of using the four to three ratio
where it's like the Instagram square instead of the full screen.
I thought that was a great Yes, the colors of
it just looking filmy and warm. I love that aspect
of it. I had one issue with it that I

kept calling out. The movie takes place, Oh yeah, in
the summer of two thousand and seven. But all of this,
a lot of the songs, the major songs, were not
out yet. Yes, you did google that during the film,
and they were watching super Bad on TV, so they
either had to have the DVD or the Blu ray
or the VHS. That movie didn't come out on any

physical media until December of two thousand and seven. How
would they be watching super Bad? Are they super rich
and have that subscription service where they can watch new
movies or not? Rich? They were, but it didn't really
appear to me that they had that kind of service.
So I hate when movies take place during a certain
period and they're playing songs that aren't out yet. I mean,
you have the continuity of it, It's kind of it's

a little lazy. It's like you could you have a producers. Oh.
I always google that stuff though, because I know. I
was like, if they're telling me that this is the
time period, this takes place in I'm gonna hold them
to it, but I feel like they did that probably
because it puts you in that state of mind in
that timeframe, the biggest songs that come out during that time.

But I'm going to call that out every single movie
that does that. That was the only thing, and that's
just because I'm very particular about if you're gonna put
me in a timeplace, keep it within that timeplace. You
also for your job, fact check a lot of things,
like a lot of people probably wouldn't even realize that. Yeah,
I pick it out, but overall, I would give Saltburn

a strong four out of five. I'd give it a three,
give it a three five runny eggs because I didn't
feel like it it didn't reinvent anything, but what it
did it did really well. And it also has those
moments that our talking points, the shock value. So I
feel like that is why that is a notable movie.
Next up, now, can I say yes a Comman two,

which I've already said and put into my top three
worst movies of the year. What are your thoughts on
Acaman two? As somebody who hasn't really enjoyed the DCEU movies.
It was terrible, I have no words. Cheesy dialogue, terrible,
CGI overall awful. The only redeeming part was the cute

baby and it like Aquaman's dad, they were good together.
The only redeeming point. I feel like Nicole Kidman and
a lot of the other actors did this as a paycheck.
I knew from the very beginning, when it was Aquaman
just retelling the story and giving this intro that this

movie was gonna have a weird tone to it. The
references made a castaway reference at one point, yeah, but
then also referenced like Loki, and I was like, what
world are we living in? Yeah? So Marvel does a
great job at think about Guardians of the Galaxy. They
go to all these other planets. They have the weird
looking creatures that they create. For some reason, they make

sense in a Marvel world. These are the strange looking
creatures I've ever seen. Just the whole esthetic of the
film was terrible. Amberherd's hair color was terrible, awful. Just
when Nicole Kidman talks in her amc thing about going
to the movies to make you feel things and movies
make you cry, and I was like, yeah, this movie
makes me cry because it is so awful. He's like,
this is this is why you want us to go

back to the theaters to watch this. I've never wanted
to boo while watching a movie. I wanted to boo
while watching Aucaman. And the best part for me, there
was an orca cameo whenever he actually uses his powers
to harness all of the animals in the ocean, and
then he has like all the dolphins and everything and
there's some orcas helping him out. I was like, yes,

the orcas. I said, this was like the super hero
version of scary movie or scary movie, the parodies of
like actual scary movies. That's what this felt like to me.
It was a parody amalgamation of all the superhero worlds.
What felt like they were doing a parody of Iron
Man because he was almost doing a Tony Stark Robert
Downey Junior impression throughout the entire thing, even the last

scene where they have the press conference. And I'm not
really ruining anything here because I think a part of
this was in the trailer. I saw it on TikTok
that he essentially says the Iron Man line. But Aquaman
and it's like, so you're living in a world where
you're referencing another superhero movie. What would you give Aukaman?
I give it a point five at a five. I'm
gonna give it a point two five point two five

for the cute baby. We have two more to get
through American fiction. I'll let you run off on this
one because I know you loved it. This was by far.
We saw this on the last day of the year.
One of the best films of the year. It was great.
It was so good. It was funny, the writing was amazing,
the plot, the cast, the wit, everything it wins. It

just wins in my book. So the movie is about
a writer who is in a bit of not not
only having writer's block, but also his books just aren't
popular anymore. He's not even writer's block. He wrote a book,
they just don't want to publish it. Yeah, and he
hasn't published a book in a very long time. He's
a black guy, so he also feels like everything that
he writes gets grouped into being, you know, in lumped

in with black fiction or black whatever, African American studies,
and he feels like like that's not me, just because
I'm these are fantasy books. These are fiction books, and
I'm getting limped in over here. So then he has
this idea to give the publishers what they want of
writing a quote unquote black book, because he's like, well,
I'm black and this I'm writing this book. Why don't
people like it? So he's like, okay, well I'll give

you exactly what you're asking for, and he goes so
over the top and just makes it as a joke
and they prove a point and they love it. So
he has to create this entire alias to back this
personality that he made in this fictional book, and it
just goes and escalates from there. And his family on
the side. Sterling K. Brown is fantastic, so great in

this movie. Tracy Ellis fross the whole casting, and the
thing is this movie is funny from the very beginning
because he's a teacher at the start of the movie
and he gets in trouble and he's like in this
meeting with like principles and all these things at college
and it's just like one liners and the dynamic. He's
just so good. I didn't want to have to get
up to a p during this movie. I had to

go really quick one time, and I was so sad
to have to go because it was so funny, and
I was like, I'm gonna miss the wit and you
did miss a good part, I know. But the lead
is Jeffrey Wright, who was also in The Batman. He
played Commissioner Gordon, and man, he has some range because
I recognized him. He can do a movie. He was
also in The Hunger Games. He can do all these

different types of roles. And then I guess I really
didn't know how funny he was and how much comedic
timing he had and the chemistry. But between him and
Sterling K. Brown was amazing because they're brothers in the
movie and them roasting each other was great. So this
is an amazing movie that I feel like it's probably
gonna win some awards once all these started coming out.

You give your rating. I have mine prepared. I give
it four point five out of five. I get five
out of five. Chefs at an omelet station on a
cruise ship. That's a great reference. Yeah, it's almost perfect
for me. It was perfect for me. The last movie
we have to talk about is Ferrari, which was start
the year on the strongest note with that one. Yeah,

I thought it was going to be a lot better.
So what the movie is essentially is the story of
the creator of Ferrari, and it's at a time before
they are just the powerhouse that everybody knows. So Ferrari
back in the day was a racer and then he
started Ferrari, and then essentially what Ferrari really was was

like a racing company. They wanted to win races and
from them becoming notorious, from winning, they would sell cars.
But at this point in time where the movie takes place,
they're not selling cars and they're at a risk of
going under. So the movie is him trying to bring
back his company. Win this big crazy race saved the company.

But that's almost like the b storyline because a lot
of it is the family dynamic of him and his wife,
him and his mistress. Yeah, it was what I would
describe I described to some of the slow burn. There's
no like chapters, there's not really like there's like one
big action. Watching this movie felt like reading a book
to me. Yes, there was also, again, you make a movie,

you spend a lot of money. There was a part
where you can obviously tell it's not a real human
driving yeah, they forgot to see gi that out. There
was also some weird adr lines which whenever they go
back and replace lines in post production that I feel
like some of the lines didn't sync up with their
lips or the accents Chilians accents in and out, which

is she's a good actor. But there were moments in
this movie where I was like, what exactly, like is
she Italian? Is she American? Because it would fade in
and out. Yeah, this was I wasn't racing. I wouldn't
race to the theaters to see it. Whenever it got
to the actual racing portion of the movie, it was good,

like that's where the intensity and the action was. There
was one action scene where the entire theater gasped. But
overall it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going
to be, but also like exactly what I thought it
was going to be. So Ferrari, I would still give
a three out of five that was gonna be mine. Yeah,
I don't think it's one you need to go watch

right now. I'll have to race to see it, But
later down the line, when it's streaming somewhere, I feel
like it's still a worthy watch. The only one we
didn't get to to go see is the Boys in
the Boat because I haven't finished the book and it
fell behind on my reading on that one, so that
one is still to come, and then I'll come back
and get my full review on The Iron Claw. Let's

get into it now. A spoiler free movie review of
The Iron Claw, a movie I've been waiting to talk about.
I've been sitting and living in this movie for so
long now, and I wanted to dedicate an entire movie
review to talking about how much I love this movie
that after seeing it, easily entered into my top ten
movies of twenty twenty three. What the movie is about

the von eric family who rose to dominating the wrestling
industry in the early nineteen eighties. And I was really
in wrestling in the late nineties early two thousands, but
I don't really remember a whole lot about their rise
to fame and their dominance in wrestling. And the movie
takes place in Dallas, Texas, which I grew up just
thirty minutes south of. I was quite honestly surprised how

unfamiliar I was with their story, but I think that
led me to really loving this movie more because I
was discovering all about the von Erik brothers for the
very first time. What the movie focuses on is the sad,
sad history of their family and their association with their
last name and this family cursed. So you have four brothers, Carrie, Kevin, David,

and Mike, played by Zach Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harrison Dixon,
and Stanley Simmons. So what the movie is about is
these four brothers and their relationship with their dad. It's
not even so much about the wrestling, which does drive
the story, but it's not the primary focus, and I
think that's what makes this movie so great. I found
it really interesting how people were reacting to some of

the things in the movie, which I guess you don't
really get the tone from the very first opening scene,
in the first dynamic between the family, because whenever their
dad is ranking all of the brothers on who is
his favorite and who is his least favorite, people in
my theater were laughing, And I found that to be
the most depressing thing ever to think about your dad,

the person who is supposed to be the one who
loves you the most, the one who wants to see
you succeed is straight up ranking you. I found that
to be one of the saddest things out of the
entire movie. He is trying to live through them. It's
really a textbook situation of a parent trying to live
through their kids and them struggling with making him happy

and also wanting to do the things that they want
to do, when really at the core of it, they
just want to be brothers. And I think that is
really what I identified with in this film. I have
a brother who is my best friend, and we just
happened to grow up loving wrestling, never tried to actually wrestle.
But what I really took away from this movie was
that power of having a sibling that you love and

you grow up with and you have these big dreams
of doing things that you want to do together. For
me and my brother, it wasn't wrestling. We wanted to
do music together. We were in bands together from when
I was a teenager in my early to mid twenties,
and that was something we bonded doing and we loved doing.
Our parents were never supportive of it, but they were
never really not supportive of it. So we don't really

have that same dynamic here that's in this movie, but
seeing them chasing these goals and doing them all together
really made me feel that connection that I also had
with my brother, and I also went to go see
this movie with my brother, sister, my mom, and my
wife Kelsey. So there was just all these dynamics of
family happening that I feel like was the main focus

in where this movie really shine. But it all came
out through the performances with zach Efron just really stepping
into that lead role like we've seen him. And what
I loved about this story is that every single character
had their time to shine and once it was cued
up for them, they nailed it. And that is really

what leads to the effectiveness of this storytelling. There's just
so much drama packed into this movie and so many
sad things that it left me wanting more in a
very weird way. I've never seen something so sad. And
sometimes people tell you all this movie is gonna be sad,
and you watch it and you're like, oh, yeah, that's
pretty sad. You know, you expect of what a sad

movie is. It is very rare for me to feel
this level of emotion. I told you in my Best
of twenty twenty three. All the times I cried in movies,
but this one hit just a little bit different because
it was picking at me the entire time. With as
tragic as their story is, all of the things were
kind of just picking at my inner sadness. But it

wasn't until it was all said and done where I
realized all those little pickings at my soul, picking at
the scab, that all of the blood just came rushing
out of my body and allowed myself to be in
a sadness that I've never really felt before. And I
think it goes back to showing how they all bonded
as brothers. There's one scene in particular where the littlest brother,

who has been kind of an outcast, who out of
all of them, really never wanted to get into wrestling.
He just wanted to play music. So he has this
gig and his parents don't want him to go perform
because they don't see that as a real job. But
as brothers, they all go sneak out to this party
and watch them perform. And it's the one scene in
the entire movie where everything is great and if there

was one thing I wanted to see more of in
a film like this was more of those bonding moments.
I think that really would have drove this movie to
a level five for me if I just had another
good win for them, because as much as you love
all these characters, you feel bad for him more than
you feel like, Oh really reached triumph and I know

there had to be more triumphs that they could have
shown in this movie, and maybe they were just leaning
on that dramatic element of it, which it really worked.
But if I just had one more bonding moment, oh man,
it really would have took this movie to an entirely
different level for me, because at the core, it was
really just stripped down filmmaking. There was nothing flashy, there

was no emphasis on the action. The action was actually
very subdued in this movie, and showing the wrestling in
a really raw form I think is what added to
the effectiveness of this film. And it also never really
focused on the level of fame that the van Erik
family achieved. It showed some of the things like them
signing autographs, but when you look back on history, which

I did and went to see some articles and things
they were doing at this time, they achieved quite the
level of fame. The movie doesn't focus on it, because
I think that would kind of take away from the
wrongness of the storytelling. They also don't focus so much
about the actual wrestling business, which I think that would

have been an entirely different movie. I think it kind
of would have changed some of the dynamics in this
story if they would have focused on a lot of
how matches are determined. They kind of touch on the
fact that wrestling gets criticized for being quote unquote fake,
which I hate that criticism. And you watch a movie
like this and see how it affects people, being on

the road, putting your body on the line, having to
perform like this multiple times a week. Yes, maybe the
outcomes are determined. There's a script, there's an entire plot
line of how they want these matches to go. Sometimes
things go wrong. Yes, it is sports entertainment, but at
the center of wrestling, it is a very real and

raw thing, and you see it in this movie. You
see how it affects people. How you have to fight
through injury, you have to reach that level of being
an elite wrestler, being great behind the mic, but also
being great on the screen. It is so physically demanding
and what a way to earn a living. And again,
I don't want to spoil this movie, even though if

you just google the Van Eric family you realize what
happens to every single body in this movie. But the
very last scene is one of my favorite final scenes
in any movie I've seen in years. And I just
reached this level that I didn't expect me to reach.
These emotions. I didn't think a movie could make me feel.

And it all goes full circle because there is this
song featured in this movie called Live that Way Forever,
and I've been listening to it now that the actual
version from the movie has been released, and I just
keep hearing that song in my head every single day
I've been listening to it, and that is something I
haven't really felt from a movie. Yeah, maybe I went

to go see Wanka and I've been singing all of
those songs, but in a much different way. We've gone
back to where a song can really enhance a movie.
And you hear this song and you associated with the movie.
That's something we don't really get a whole lot in
filmmaking right now. So I think that was powerful for
me to seek out a song after watching a movie

is a great thing. So many amazing things I can
say about this movie, and I hope it'll definitely be
in the Best Picture category. I don't think that zach Efron, however,
is at the level to achieve a Best Actor win.
I think he should definitely get a nomination, but I
think it comes down to how he decided to play

the character, which I think he nailed. But sometimes when
this voting comes around for Best Actor, you have to
have this almost outburst moment to even be considered. You
have to be the guy yelling and being over dramatic.
Doesn't really have a whole lot of that in this movie,
but I thought almost what he did was even harder

to do to play this character who they show you
how he wasn't the best behind the mic. He's the
brother who was great in the ring. He had the
physique and he had all that going for him, but
when it came to the flashiness of what it's like
to be a wrestler, he wasn't the best brother at that.

But that is exactly what zach Efron was showing of
how a brother like that can struggle with knowing that
some of his other brothers are better at him at
different things, and just their internal struggle of not only
trying to make their dad happy, but in turn being
pitted against their brothers to achieve the same goal, which

was a whole other interesting plot point in this movie.
So I love this movie. Cannot recommend it enough. It's
still not streaming, so you still have to go see
it in theaters as of now, but as soon as
it hits streaming, definitely check out this movie. And like
I said earlier, if it just had that one moment
to really bring all the brothers together in one more win,

it would have hit that five for me. And also
when you look at the fact that they left out
an entire brother from the story and then didn't mention
a whole lot about the youngest brother who died in
a really tragic way. And the director has said that
he didn't think that audiences could take another hit like that,
could take more sadness in a movie, and I think

maybe he was right. And some people have said that
too big of a story was fit into one movie.
I don't think that's the case. It did leave me
wanting more, but I think that would have been more
effective then if you took this story and split it
into like a mini series. I think that would have
taken away from the power of everything. And yes, they

did change some things as far as the timeline of
when things happened to make them so dramatic, because in
the movie it's like hit after hit after hit, when
in reality there were some years in between there. So
I think if you spread that at a little bit more,
it wouldn't really have that same sucker punch to the
gut in the emotions that it had. So yes, it

does leave you wanting more and you think, oh, if
this movie had a little bit more time to breathe,
maybe ten more minutes is all I would give you.
I don't think this is the case where a movie
would have been more effective as a mini series. But
for The Iron Claw, I give it four point five
out of five Championship Belts. It's time to head down

to movie. Mike Traylor, Paul, we have the first look
at the Sandman as the Spaceman Adam Sandler in a
role we really haven't seen him do before. And Adam
Sandler is an actor who's or started in comedy and
then later he started doing dramatic roles and everybody was like,
oh my gosh, Adam Sandler in a dramatic role. I

don't want to see that. But Adam Sandler has never
done a bad dramatic role, which is something to say
about the Sandman because I really think when it comes
down to his career, he is an impeccable businessman. He
knows his audience so well, and he delivers the movies

that his audience wants to see, and you may not
always be a fan of them, and sometimes I feel
like it has the ncis effect of who is watching
and loving some of these Adam Sandler movies that are
so over the top and so ridiculous, and they usually
get drugged through the mud by critics, and I think

that is a lot of what he has suffered through.
And then every now and then he comes out with
the uncut gems and everybody's like, oh my gosh, I
didn't know that that was the same guy who did
Don't Mess with the Zohan. But here he is now,
as a part of his two hundred and fifty million
dollar Netflix deal, doing a movie called Spaceman, and it's

about his character who heads into space for you six
month mission and then realizes that his marriage is failing.
He receives unexpected help from a timeless creature played by
Paul Dano, who is one of my favorite actors, and
his character has been hiding on Adam Sandler's ship. This
movie is coming out on Netflix on March first, and

this isn't even a full on trailer. It is just
a little teaser before I get into all that. Here's
just a little bit of the Spaceman trailer. Just like you,
I flat my planet through galaxies, through black calls, through time,
and then I found you. So what you hear in

that teaser is actually Paul Dano's voice, which the first
time I saw it, I thought it was Sandler doing
a different type of impression. And then I read more
about the plot and the characters and the actors in
this movie, and I realized that's Paul Dano, and I
guess at some point he is hiding on his ship
and has been observed him. So in this movie, we

find Adam Sandler six months into this mission where it
looks like he goes on it alone to the edge
of the Solar System. He's in this astronaut suit, and
then he realizes that his wife might not be waiting
for him back at home whenever he returns back to Earth.
So he is trying to fix things with his wife,
who is played by Carrie Mulligan. And then he finds

this creature voiced by Paul Dano who has been hiding
deep inside of Adam Sandler's ship. So this mysterious creature
played by Paul Dano is going to help out Adam
Sandler to make sense what went wrong before it's too late. Now.
Adam Sandler, like I said, is no stranger to a
dramatic role, even just recently his Netflix movie Hustle, which

is kind of that in between of what he knows
his audience wants from him and also him showing more
of his acting ability. I think that role in particular
is like that fine line of giving audiences both which
he has done more recently. Even with this movie You're
So Not Invited to My bar Mitzvah, which start his

real life daughters, I feel like even that was more
of an in between the line of delivering comedy but
also delivering more of the dramatic side and showing more
that he is a three dimensional actor. But this movie
Spaceman is based on a twenty seventeen book called Spaceman
of Bohemia, and it is directed by the same person

behind the miniseries Chernobyl, which that is kind of the
vibe I got while watching this teaser, and at the
same time it reminded me of one of my most
hated movies of last year, sixty five, which I had
the same impression after watching that trailer that I did
after watching this one. For Spaceman. You got a dude
on a mysterious planet in a space suit, out there

all alone, and I thought to myself, Oh, no, is
it gonna happen again. The reason I think this movie
will be different is because it doesn't look like it's
trying to be an action movie. It actually looks like
it's gonna be a serious space movie. So I'm not
saying it's one of my most anticipated movies of the year,
which I will do that episode next week, But as

far as Netflix movies go, it feels to me like
they're actually taking a little bit of a risk here
When it seems like they're just putting everybody in big
action movies that to make it feel like you're going
to the movies at home. This is more of the
realm of movie that I want and I love that
they're allowing him to do every type of genre, the
family comedy, the animated movie, the coming to age movies.

And if he can put out this movie and be successful,
which really on a Netflix scale means has the most
minutes of people watching it posting about it on social media,
I can't wait to see what he could do next.
So again, this movie is coming out on Netflix on
March first, and it is called Spaceman AD. That was
this week's edition of Movie Live Frame or Bar and

that is gonna do it for another episode of the podcast.
But before I go, I gotta give my listeners shout
out of the week, and this week I'm shouting out
Rebecca Martinez who posted last week's episode in your Instagram
story tag me in it. Oh that's my favorite thing
to see me getting tagged in your Instagram story. Oh
and you put the link in there so other people

could just click through and listen to the episode. Thank
you to everybody who shared last week's episode, so most
specifically Rebecca, who is the listener shout out of the week.
But that was one of my most shared episodes in
a long time, so that really meant a lot to me,
and that really helps out the whole algorithm here. I
even made the top ten movie podcasts of the week
on Apple because of you guys sharing it. So shout

out to the Monday Morning Movie Crew, and shout out
to you Rebecca Martinez for sharing this in your Insta story.
Thank you for listening to another episode of the podcast.
And until next time, go out and watch good movies
and I will talk to you later
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