The M&M Report: “Win It All” and the State of the Movie Industry


Win It All is the latest gripping drama from writer-director Joe Swanberg and writer-star Jake Johnson; you can stream it on Netflix now. It’s good.

Meanwhile, what does the recent explosion of content coming from streaming services mean for more traditional creators and distributors of pop culture? We don’t have all the answers, but we make a few guesses.

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The M&M Report: “Colossal”

On our latest episode, Devin and I had some thoughts on Colossal, a monster movie of sorts starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. But before that, we introduced a new segment! It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s a “quick hit,” if you will, on a current pop culture news topic of our choosing. This time, it’s the impending threat of a Writers’ Guild of America strike.

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0:00-10:35: Possibility of a writers’ strike

10:35-End: Colossal


The M&M Report: Pop Culture in the Age of Trump


Devin and I gathered our thoughts on the role of pop culture going forward in an era when the truth is a lie, facts are fiction and Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Plus: It’s our 100th episode! Quite a milestone for us.

Further reading: Alyssa Rosenberg on the importance of representation; Caroline Framke on Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers’ shows since the election; Todd VanDerWerff on the perils of overly simplistic pop culture criticism; Ira Madison III on Get Out; Mikael Wood on Lady Gaga.

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The M&M Report: Instant Reaction to the 2017 Oscars


Devin and I just finished watching the 2017 Oscars. Here are our instant reactions to the highs and lows. (Holy &!S(!(*&G&&!()!))!**!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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The M&M Report: “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Manchester by the Sea”

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin and I discuss two movies we both really enjoyed — well, perhaps that’s a strong word. Both tackle tough subjects in unsentimental fashion. But we found plenty to recommend in both.


The Edge of Seventeen: 0:00-12:55

Manchester by the Sea: 12:55-End (Spoilers a few minutes in)

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: We’ve made a behind-the-scenes change. If you haven’t done so already, you need to RE-SUBSCRIBE to the podcast on iTunes or the podcast provider of your choice in order to receive new episodes in your feed. We know this extra step is, but we’re excited about what it means for the future of the podcast. Tell your friends! (And if you’ve already done it once, no need to do it again.)

Things I Loved This Year: A Worthy Tribute to a Soul Legend

Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: a documentary that foreshadowed the death of its subject and offered a moving tribute in the process.

Sharon Jones.jpg

Anyone who sees Barbara Kopple’s documentary Miss Sharon Jones after reading this recommendation will have a very different experience with it than I did in August. The movie’s title subject, an unflappable soul singer and cancer survivor, died last month from another bout of pancreatic cancer. Her perseverance, like everyone’s, had limits.

You might not get that sense from seeing the movie, though. Jones is energetic and ebullient throughout, even when she’s waiting on pivotal news in a doctor’s holding room or lying on the couch recovering from surgery. On stage, she’s a beast, backed by her band and proto-family of Dap-Kings. Offstage, she’s fiercely opinionated, never failing to speak her mind when she feels her bandmates are neglecting her or offer thanks when family friends help ease the pain of her illness.

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Things I Loved This Year: “Drive It Like You Stole It” from “Sing Street”

Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: a showstopper from Sing Street that doesn’t stop the show, but deepens it.

Sing Street.jpg

Enjoyed on its own, “Drive It Like You Stole It” is a rollicking slice of 80s rock-tinged power pop, complete with an opening blast of synthesizers, a mid-song guitar breakdown and passionate vocals. It’s as catchy as actual songs from that time period, thanks in part to its credited writer Gary Clark, the frontman of 80s band Danny Wilson and a veteran producer.

Paired with visuals in writer-director John Carney’s exuberant musical Sing Street, the song takes on an even grander sweep. The scene pays loving homage to the finale of Back to the Future, in which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) straps on a guitar and introduces a crowd of unsuspecting 50s kids to the raw power of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” In this movie, lead singer and recent public school convert Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) has a simpler goal in mind than reversing the decline of the time-space continuum: He wants to impress a girl, Raphina (Lucy Boynton). The spectacle of Cosmo and his band of diminutive but prodigal teens seems like a no-brainer route to romance.

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