Movie Date is a weekly podcast produced by The Takeaway in cooperation with Public Radio International and WNYC. It's hosted by Takeaway culture producer Kristen Meinzer and Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman.
Each podcast includes movie reviews, trivia, listener mail, and lots of banter.
Occasionally, celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, James Franco, Clive Owen, and Joss Whedon stop by, as do experts from the worlds of male stripping, zombie studies, ghost hunting, and tribute bands.
For listeners who prefer not to get dressed and leave the house in order to be entertained, Rafer and Kristen also offer weekly Sweatpants picks.
And at least once a month, Rafer and Kristen administer Movie Therapy (listeners write and call in seeking help with their life issues; Rafer and Kristen respond with a prescription of movies to help them through what ails them).
As co-hosts of the podcast, Rafer and Kristen appear live on The Takeaway every Friday; and on Soundcheck, BK Live, and the New York broadcast of All Things Considered several times a year. They've also appeared on The Brian Lehrer Show and Uptown Radio.
Movie Date has been written up by the Wall Street Journal, WomenInPodcasting.org, Babes of NPR, and other notable publications. It's been selected twice as the iTunes podcast of the day and was ranked by Stitcher as one of the top four podcasts covering The Hunger Games.
You can also listen on-demand through Stitcher.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at two movies focused on best friends who always have each others' backs: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "22 Jump Street." Helping them mull over the debatably homophobic humor of the latter is Eric Sasson, columnist behind the Wall Street Journal's CTRL-ALT column. Rafer and Kristen also dedicate some time to a listener in need of some Father's Day related Movie Therapy. And, as always, there's trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen explore the theme of survival: against aliens and time (in "Edge of Tomorrow"), against cancer and first love (in "The Fault in Our Stars"), and against the awfulness of high school (in "Palo Alto"). Gia Coppola, writer and director of "Palo Alto," joins them, and shares some strange stories about navigating Hollywood as a Coppola, being a first-time director, and first coming into contact with James Franco (whose collection of short stories is the basis for the film).
What makes a hero and hero and a villain a villain? And are the two really so different? Rafer and Kristen mull over these questions as they look at this week's big releases: "Maleficent," "A Million Ways To Die In the West," and "Words and Pictures." And bonus! The very talented and handsome Clive Owen, star of "Words and Pictures," joins Rafer and Kristen in studio!
Have we been here before? Because Rafer and Kristen are feeling some serious deja vu. It's all due to the release of the third Sandler-Barrymore romantic comedy ("Blended") and the seventh film in the X-Men franchise ("X-Men: Days of Future Past"). Helping Kristen and Rafer to cope wit their deja vu this week is John Ottman, composer and editor of "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at the theme of immigration on film through three of this week's big releases: "The Immigrant," "Godzilla," and "Million Dollar Arm." They also talk with Mark Ciardi, who, in addition to being a former professional baseball player, is the producer of "Million Dollar Arm."
It's an odd mix of adult humor, faith-based comedy, indie food porn, and animated family fair in this week's Movie Date podcast, as Rafer and Kristen review "Neighbors" (starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron), "Moms' Night Out" (starring Patricia Heaton and Trace Adkins), "Chef" (starring Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, and Scarlett Johansson), and "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" (starring Lea Michele and Dan Aykroyd).
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen enlist the help of a real comic book enthusiast as they review "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Scott Rosenberg, in addition to loving superheroes, is the entertainment editor of AM New York. Rafer and Kristen also review two smaller movies: "Locke," a one-man movie starring Tom Hardy; and "Belle," a historical drama starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, and Emily Watson.
This week's Movie Date podcast is all about revenge, as Rafer and Kristen review "Brick Mansions" and "The Other Woman." "Brick Mansions" centers on a good cop (Paul Walker) who's out to kill the man who murdered his father. "The Other Woman" centers on several women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) who've all been wronged by the same man, and set out to punish him. Additionally, Rafer and Kristen administer some Movie Therapy to a listener who needs help with an upcoming journey. And, as always, there's trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen grapple with two very different interpretations of life after death, in "Heaven is For Real" and "Transcendence." The first is a faith-based film based on a real memoir, starring Greg Kinnear. The second is a sci-fi thriller about the melding of mind and computer, starring Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall. One of them has Rafer yelling about it being the worst movie of the year. The other has Kristen wondering whether Jesus really has blue-green eyes. Also on the podcast: A look at the new FX series, "Fargo," which is based on the 1996 film of the same name; listener mail about films with social messages; and, as always, trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at three very different films: "Rio 2," which brings the message of eco-terrorism to children; "Draft Day," which attempts to do for football what "Moneyball" did for baseball; and "Oculus," a movie about a haunted mirror that brings far more than seven years bad luck. Helping them to dissect "Oculus" is scholar Mark Pendergrast, author of "Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection."
This week's Movie Date podcast is all Scarlett Johansson all the time! From their review of "Captain American: The Winter Soldier," to an accented audio trivia question, to a very special interview in person with the star herself, Rafer and Kristen are in a Scarlett mood!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen take a closer look at some of the not-so-literal elements of the new movie "Noah." Among those elements: rock monsters, magical wizards, bazookas, and alcoholism? Helping them to mull it all over, and giving his own take on the new Darren Aronofsky movie is Christian blogger Brian Godawa. Rafer and Kristen also review the new biopic "Cesar Chavez," answer an unusual movie therapy question, and, of course, offer up some movie trivia.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen talk everything from doppelgangers to dystopia to sex addiction. It's all in honor of the new films "Muppets Most Wanted," "Divergence," and "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1." Helping them understand the intricacies of "Nymphomaniac" is one of the film's stars, Stellan Skarsgard. Warning: this podcast includes some adult content, including references to a certain sex act with an avian nickname.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the video game-turned-movie "Need for Speed," the latest Wes Anderson confection, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and the fan-funded movie, "Veronica Mars." Along the way, they talk with one of the Veronica Mars fans who made the film possible, Cindy Au. They also get a whopper of a Movie Therapy question, spanning six decades and even more films. And, as always, there's movie trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen hop into the WABAC machine for a trip to the rebooted world of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and the sword and sandal past of "300: Rise of An Empire." And bonus: to help them better understand the true identity of Mister Peabody, they are joined by Sarah Montague, WNYC's resident dog expert, who covers, among other dog-related events, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
In this very special Movie Date bonus podcast, listeners have a chance to re-listen to Rafer and Kristen's Oscar predictions from earlier in this year. Also, all three parts from The Takeaway series "Real People / Best Pictures" (produced by Kristen and hosted by John Hockenberry) are here, with some voices we don't normally hear on Oscar night (but maybe should).
This week's Movie Date podcast looks at the newest attempt to put the life of Jesus Christ on film, in "Son of God." The movie takes content from a ten-hour History Channel miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett (of "Survivor" fame). Does it work as a feature film? Is it a successful proseltyzing tool? Kristen and Rafer also review "Non-Stop," the newest Liam Neeson-led action flick, which asks listeners to "listen very carefully," and maybe shows you how to smoke in an airplane toilet. All that, plus a love letter to Rafer and some biblical movie trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen discuss how, if they were in a Hollywood blockbuster, they'd most want to be killed. The options: volcano ('Pompeii'), middle aged assassin ('Three Days to Kill'), or sinister lovers ('In Secret'). Rafer and Kristen also discuss the controversy around this year's Oscar nominees for best original song. And, as always, there's trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, the 1980s are back in full force, as Kristen and Rafer review three remakes of 80s movies and one adaptation of an 80s novel. On the chopping block: 'Endless Love' (based on 1981's 'Endless Love'), 'Robocop' (based on 1987's 'Robocop'), 'About Last Night' (based on 1986's 'About Last Night'), and 'Winter's Tale' (based on the 1983 novel 'Winter's Tale). Also, Rafer and Kristen offer some movie therapy to a listener who wants some Valentine's Day films that aren't sickeningly sweet. So cozy up, and grab your chocolate, because there won't be any sugar in this week's Movie Date podcast!
This week's Movie Date podcast includes some heavy matters as well as some livelier ones. On the heavy side, Rafer and Kristen give a recap on the recent Woody Allen / Dylan Farrow drama (warning: if you're looking for them to come down on one side or the other, you're going to be disappointed). They also remember the brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, with the help of Hoffman's friend and former high school English teacher, John Baynes, of Fairport High School in Rochester, NY. On the livelier side, they review the star-packed WWII film, "Monuments Men," and the animated action adventure, "The Lego Movie." And, as usual, there's also listener mail and trivia.