The M&M Report: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “The Post”

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West Coast correspondent Erin Vail returns to nerd out with me and Devin over Star Wars: The Last Jedi (0:00-23:20). Then they poke gentle fun at The Post for being, well, not unsubtle (23:20-38:50). Before she leaves, Erin drops a few pop culture recommendations of her own (38:50-end).

For more Erin content, check out her podcast, writing for The Prompt and consistently delightful Twitter feed.

Listen here and subscribe on iTunes and Spotify.

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The M&M Report: 2015 in Review

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I look back on our favorite movies, TV, music, cultural moments and more from the past year. Listen for Devin’s passionate-ish defense of Ballers and my emotional reaction to the triumphant rise of Oscar Isaac, as well as our choices for favorite movie, SNL episode and late-night TV development.


Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

Golden Globes 2016: My Slapdash Predictions

Each year, a collection of fewer than 100 international journalists known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association choose their favorites in film and television from the past year. The awards are delivered at a raucous, booze-infused ceremony televised on NBC in January. This year, they’re coming just four days before the Oscar nominations.

Precedent suggests the HFPA doesn’t put a ton of rigorous thought or intellectual judgment into its decisions for the winners, so I’ve followed suit and cobbled together a list of predictions based entirely on instinct. Any time I wavered or waffled, I forced myself to pick a nominee and move on. Take this list as seriously as you do the average Golden Globe choice — which is to say, not much at all. Check back tonight to see how well I did.

MOVIES

Best Motion Picture, DramaSpotlight

Best Actress in a Drama: Brie Larson, Room

Best Actor in a Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Motion Picture, ComedyThe Big Short

Best Actress in a Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Best Actor in a Comedy: Matt Damon, The Martian

Best Animated Motion PictureInside Out

Best Foreign Language Motion PictureSon of Saul

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Best Screenplay: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl

Best Original Song: “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, Furious 7

TELEVISION

Best Drama SeriesEmpire

Best Actress, Drama: Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Best Actor, Drama: Wagner Moura, Narcos

Best Comedy SeriesCasual

Best Actress, Comedy: Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens

Best Actor, Comedy: Rob Lowe, The Grinder

Best Limited SeriesFargo

Best Actress in a Limited Series: Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel

Best Actor in a Limited Series: Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero

Best Supporting Actress: Judith Light, Transparent

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

“Star Wars”: The Franchise Awakens

BB-8I’m not the right age to have Star Wars imprinted on my DNA. I’m too young to have seen the original movies when they stormed theaters from 1977 to 1983, and too old to look past the tonal and narrative flaws of the prequels. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a movie I wasn’t particularly clamoring for and didn’t really need. I like the originals just fine and found the prequels interesting as a fill-in-the-blanks exercise, but the cultlike devotion to the franchise has always eluded my grasp.

That’s not to say I wasn’t swept up in the multimillion dollar hype machine for this decade-in-the-making sequel, the first Star Wars movie produced without the guiding hand of creator George Lucas. I’d have to be made of stone not to feel some enthusiasm the sight of the movie’s young stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega parading across the late-night talk shows or the typically taciturn Harrison Ford grinning from ear to ear at the climax of the teaser trailer. But I watched approvingly from the margins, regarding the entire spectacle as another uncomfortable mix of creativity and commerce. I never fully engaged with the excitement, even as I recognize, respect and appreciate that others did.

(Avoid reading the rest of this review until you’ve seen the movie. I spoil some things.)

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The M&M Report, Episode 17: The Year’s Best Movies

12 Years a Slave


 

Welcome to The M&M Report! This week, Devin and I broke down the Oscar nominees in the major categories, offering our thoughts on the nominees, as well as some alternatives who we would have enjoyed seeing on the list. We closed by listing our five favorite movies of 2013. (For further reading, check out my thoughts on the Oscar nominations.)

Devin and I are proud to announce that The M&M Report will be moving to TheEagleOnline.com beginning next week. We’re very excited to bring a podcast presence to our student newspaper, and we hope that you’ll join us in our transition. Our shows will be very much the same, though perhaps a little shorter – we know firsthand that college students have busy schedules. We’ll start the new era of The M&M Report with a discussion of one of our favorite shows, The West Wing. Plus, the triumphant return of Devin Doesn’t Like Things.

Until then…thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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The M&M Report, Episode 12: Here a Cat, There a Cat

Inside Llewyn Davis

Listen to Episode 12 here.

Welcome to the M&M Report once again! This week, Devin Mitchell and I are experimenting with a new recording format in preparation for our monthlong break from the rigors of academia. I went to one room, Devin went to the next, and we recorded a nice Skype conversation. Next week, we’ll do the same – from opposite sides of the country. (No pressure.)

We started out this week summing up our thoughts on roughly the first half of the 2013-2014 TV season. Between the two of us, we’re watching Trophy Wife, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Sleepy Hollow. Most of the other new shows failed to strike our fancy.

After that, we talked about how the broadcast networks can survive in the rapidly evolving television landscape. This season’s new shows have been largely unsuccessful in the ratings, but we don’t think networks are dead just yet.

Finally, we’re unveiling a conversation we recorded a few weeks ago: an in-depth review of the Coen Brothers’ new musical drama Inside Llewyn Davis. It’s a terrific movie and we had thoughts about Oscar Isaac, folk music and cats.

Keep an eye out for discussions of the best pop culture of 2013 in future podcasts. Until then…thanks for listening!

Keep reading for the time breakdown.

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“Inside Llewyn Davis”: Folk Magic

Inside

Art is all about timing. It’s not enough to be talented or creative or passionate or hungry. As much as art is an expression of an individual, it’s produced to be appreciated by others, and others have fickle tastes. The most successful artists apply their talents to some sort of hunger for the work they’re creating. When the timing isn’t just right, though, artists struggle.

Llewyn Davis struggles. The title character in the Coen Brothers’ beautifully crafted, quietly hopeless Inside Llewyn Davis chases after cats, slums for hitmakers, treks across the country, incurs the wrath of his female companions, and sings, softly and loudly, forcefully and listlessly, energetically and exhaustedly, in the hopes that someone, anyone, will see what he sees in himself: a man with a voice that freezes time. But again and again, he runs up against one of life’s most frustrating truisms: sometimes, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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