The M&M Report: “Set It Up” and “First Reformed”

Reformed

Devin and I have returned from a long hiatus with discussion of Set It Up (0:00-21:00), First Reformed (21:00-End), Pete Davidson + Ariana Grande, BDE and a largely silent but ever-present guest.

Listen here. And please subscribe!

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The Oscar Nominations: Outside “Llewyn Davis,” Little to Complain About

Hemsworth

First, some obligatory awards season perspective: the Oscars don’t matter to you. You’re allowed to like a movie whether it was nominated for Best Picture or not. You are your own Oscars.

If that’s the case, why do we get so worked up about snubs and surprises and predictions and hopes and dreams? We want to see quality work recognized. The Academy Awards are one of the most common starting points for someone looking at the films of a particular year. If the awards don’t reflect the best movies, they’ll provide an inaccurate reflection of what we thought about film in 2013.

Nonetheless, complaining about the Oscar nominations is futile. It’s better to look at them as a starting point for discussions about the merits of movies. In that spirit, I’ve chosen four nominated-related things that made me happy this morning, and four that made me less than happy. Let’s use this list as a way of talking about movies, not awards.

(For more of my thoughts on the subject, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The M&M Report, in which Devin Mitchell and I will talk in depth about the year in movies.)

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The M&M Report, Episode 16: Battle Howl

Wolf of Wall Street


This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I talked at length about one of 2013’s last movies and one of 2014’s first. It was a study in contradictions, with the excesses of debauchery followed by the simplicity of combat.

The Wolf of Wall Street has gotten lots of acclaim, as you would expect from a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, but it hasn’t been immune to controversy, including allegations that it glorifies the despicable character at its center. Devin and I debated this issue and praised the movie’s performances even as we struggled to decide whether the movie is profound or merely compelling.

Lone Survivor is perched high atop this week’s box office, and it’s not hard to see why: established box-office draw Mark Wahlberg, solid supporting cast (Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana), respect and admiration for the American military. We talked about the movie’s grotesque highs and jingoistic lows.

Next week, we’re going to take a deep dive into the best movies of 2013, spurred by tomorrow’s Golden Globe Awards and this Thursday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations. Expect return visits from previous podcast topics like 12 Years a Slave and Inside Llewyn Davis plus our thoughts on other favorites like American Hustle, Nebraska, Her and Dallas Buyers Club.

We talked about several articles during this week’s show. Here’s a helpful list:

  • Devin’s review of The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Steven Perlberg’s Business Insider piece detailing bankers’ reactions to Wolf
  • Devin’s article about Jordan Belfort’s American University visit
  • My review of Lone Survivor

Until next week…thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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