Ep. 47: Hot Tub Time Machine

Lucy and Jenny and Token Guy Alastair agree this is great comedy and great bromance and then part company on the craft (who is the protagonist anyway?). Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ Hot Tub Time Machine is everything the title makes you think it isn’t; smart, funny, and well-written. There are areas where a little focus and clarity would have helped, but overall, this is a fun, well-written movie with a lot to love. Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ This is a tightly written comedy in which the jokes are smart and complex, and everything pays off. The structure is a little loose and the ending is problematical, but only if you look too closely, so don’t look.
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Alastair says: 4 Pops ~ My inner craft geek gets tangled up in the structural problems, but the rest of me is entirely charmed.  Smarter, sweeter and much funnier than I could have expected.  Proof, if proof were needed, that gross-out comedies are best when they have a heart, and know what they are.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: Four men, bored with their lives, accidentally travel back to the eighties because of a malfunctioning hot tub.   Release Date: March 26, 2010.  Writers: Josh Heald, Sean Anders, John Morris

Ep. 46: The Hangover

Lucy and Jenny have to drink just to get through talking about this turkey.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 1 Pop ~ A schizophrenic movie with no structure, no consistency in character and too few charming, funny moments. There was a hint of a great story in there, but it never got off the ground.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 2, (B)Romance: 1

Jenny says: 2 Pops ~ Part of this were funny, parts of this were awful, it started in the wrong place and ended on a dumb note. It’s a Frankenstein plot, a bunch of miscellaneous parts from different writers stitched together in with the mantra “as long as it’s funny, nobody will notice there’s no protagonist or antagonist or pacing, just a lot of . . . parts.” Bleah.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 2, Comedy: 2, BRomance: 2

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here.

Movie Info:

Story: Three groomsmen go looking for the groom they lost during a drunken celebration.   Release Date: June 5, 2009  Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

Ep 45: Dodgeball


A heartwarming movie for the whole family that shows that Stephen Root is never ever bad in anything, and that everybody needs to throw a little wrench sometimes.
Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ One of my favorite feel-good movies of all time, and it even stands up to our gimlet eye. Wonderfully structured, incredibly funny (with the exception of some stuff that was tonally off), and oddly warm. Fabulous movie.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 4, Romance: 5

Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ I love this movie the way I love my poker-playing clams from Florida. Sometimes something is so right you don’t care that other people think it’s wrong. Loses a comedy point for mean-spirited fat jokes because they break the tone of the story. And because they’re awful.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 4, BRomance: 5

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Click here to read the chat!

Movie Info:

Story: A group of losers vow to defeat their rivals in a dodgeball tournament.  Release Date: June 18, 2004  Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Ep 44: Weekend at Bernie’s

Lucy and Jenny discover that audacious comedy requires strong craft to hold it up. The people who put together this movie must have missed that memo. As a side note, this 44th episode of the podcast runs exactly 44 minutes and 44 seconds, completely without manipulation from us. We’re taking that as a sign that the Universe loves PopD. Good to know.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 2 Pops ~ I laughed out loud a lot in this movie, considering what an unholy mess the story was. A great lesson in what not to do with your protagonist. Don’t make him a lying ass and a wet blanket. Don’t make the best friend more interesting and fun and heroic. Do give him a goal, and a personality. Maybe they’ll bring back just Larry for another sequel. That movie, I’d watch.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 3, BRomance: 2

Jenny says: 2 Pops ~ Some really funny physical comedy and even funnier character interpretation by Andrew McCarthy cannot disguise the fact that the structure in this story is about as consciously present here as Bernie is for most of it. You need a protagonist with a goal and an antagonist even if you are writing about dragging a dead guy around the Hamptons.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 3, BRomance: 2

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the Transcript!

Movie Info:

Story: Two guys have to keep up the pretense that their mob-murdered boss is alive.  Release Date: July 5, 1989.  Writer: Robert Klane

Ep. 43: Killers


A movie that would have benefited greatly from the writers knowing what story they were telling. Still, Catherine O’Hara makes it worth watching.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 2 Pops ~ Again, I have to say – “I’m hot, you’re hot” does not a romance make. Ashton Kutcher is much better in this than he typically gets credit for, but the dialogue was so leaden and the heroine written with such antipathy that even the good stuff – and there is some good stuff here, love the suburban neighborhood turning into a mass of killers – gets weighted down with the crap.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Craft: 2, Romance: 1, Action: 2, Comedy: 3

Jenny says: 2 Pops ~ Ashton Kutcher deserves better than this and so does Catherine O’Hara. I’m coming around to Lucy’s argument that the first half hour is prologue and the story really starts half an hour in, and it’s the hitman’s story again as assassins come out of the woodwork to take a $20 mill bounty on him. Unfortunately he’s married to a mostly-bubble-head and even once the shooting starts, his goal is muddled beyond trying to stay alive. Very like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, it’s a good premise bobbled.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Craft: 1, Romance: 1, Action: 2, Comedy: 4

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat here!

Movie Info:

Story: A vacationing woman meets her ideal man, leading to a swift marriage. Back at home, however, their idyllic life is upset when they discover their neighbors could be assassins who have been contracted to kill the couple. Release Date: June 4, 2010. Writers: Bob DeRosa and Ted Griffin