It’s hard to get any two people to agree on a movie. It’s even harder for Takeaway culture producer Kristen Meinzer and Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman. Join them in the weekly Movie Date podcast as they make the case for why you should or shouldn’t see a movie. And on the rare occasion, you might hear them agree.
Read Kristen's blog posts here, follow Kristen on Twitter, subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).
Heavy stuff this week. "October Baby" tells the story of a woman's discovery that her mother almost aborted her. Intended or not, the movie's politics — see what happens when you don't have an abortion? — align comfortably with those of the religious Right. Likewise, the recent film "The Lorax" and 2006's "Happy Feet" decry the ills of global warming in a quintessentially liberal parlance. But not all movies have agendas, right?
The Titanic sank 100 years ago this month. To mark the anniversary, James Cameron is re-releasing his mega-blockbuster "Titanic" in 3D, prompting some critics to say its strictly a marketing ploy while others cheer the innovation.
Will "Titanic 3D" burn a hole in your wallet, or will it blow your mind? This week, Rafer and Kristen put that question to Daniel Engber, senior editor at Slate. Listen to find out what he's got to say.
This week, Kristen and Rafer watched "Bully," the new documentary from the Weinstein Company that takes on the controversial topic of grade school ridicule. "Bully" was in the news this week for hitting theaters unrated after the MPAA promised an R rating. The hype has certainly drummed up support for the movie, but does "Bully" do its subject justice? Or is "The Hunger Games" actually a better tool for teaching kids about violence?
The long-awaited 'The Hunger Games' is finally here! If you wanted to like the Twilight movies but thought Bella was kind of a wimp, this movie is for you. Protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) leads a cast of young adults through a fictional reality TV show in which children battle to the death. It's an awesome take on the teen movie genre, but is this sci-fi flick about homicidal adolescents a good date movie?
Listen to this week's podcast to find out what Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway, think about this long-awaited and super-hyped blockbuster.
This week, Movie Date is heading back to high school. And so are Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as a couple of young-looking rookie cops in "21 Jump Street," a remake of the 80s TV show. Listen to find out what grade Kristen and Rafer give this revisited classic.
Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends with Kids" asks an important question: do I really have to have kids? When two single friends realize that all of their friends are parents, they ditch bachelor life to have a baby of their own. "Friends with Kids" has an all-star comedic cast, but it's also rife with some language you might not want your own kids to hear. As always, Movie Date is brought to you by Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
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Remember those crazy parties in high school? Well, our Movie Date podcasters do. This week the Todd Phillips movie "Project X" rages into the movie theaters. The director of "Hangover" and "Old School" takes on teenage rebellion when three buddies decide to throw the party of their lives. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
Excitement about the red carpet heats up as the 84th Annual Academy Awards will take place on Sunday. Will "The Artist" walk away with best film? And will the Academy take "Bridesmaids" seriously and make Melissa McCarthy the victorious underdog? Find out who our Movie Date podcasters think will go home with a little statuette. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
This week our Movie Date podcasters talk about the most unlikely movie story of the year: Jeremy Lin and his rapid rise to stardom in the NBA. As a script, the Jeremy Lin story is perfect. Beyond breaking down the aspects of the Lin story, our team looks at the most lin-spired movies. What movies remind you of the Jeremy Lin story? As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
Like "Snakes on a Plane" before it "Man on a Ledge" tells you exactly what to expect out of this thriller. There's a man, of course, and he is on a ledge. But what he's doing there, how he will get off, and what happens in between? We won't spoil the plot for you but our Movie Date podcasters will put this movie in context of other "literal-title movies" and let you know if it is a good date or not. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
In Steven Soderbergh's latest movie, the "Ocean's Eleven" director recruits mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano to play the heroine in the action-packed "Haywire." Both the director and actor joined The Takeaway to talk about their unlikely pairing for Carano's first movie. Now we hear about the movie from Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
After the December onslaught of Oscar-hopefuls and arthouse faire, two star-powered crowd-pleasers open this week: "Contraband" and "Joyful Noise." The latter sees the big-screen return of Dolly Parton after a decade, and the former promises big-budget CGI thrills from Mark Wahlberg. But whether or not the year's first popcorn flicks deliver on their excitement and laughter remains to be seen.
Chic Flicks and Dude Flicks released on the same day? It happens this week as Mark Wahlberg packs heat and battles bad guys in the new thriller "Contraband." Also being released is "Joyful Noise," a musical starring the dynamic duo of Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah. Which movie will please both genders, and more importantly, which makes a good movie date? Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer tell us about what movies you might want to take your spouse to, and which one you should see alone.
Ticket sales were down this year. But was this due to a bad economic climate? Or, were the movies in 2011 just awful? Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer take a look into the abyss of terrible movies. From "Margin Call" to "The Smurfs" and "Tree of Life" — did these movies take down the entire industry? It was probably just a coincedence.
You can always go home — but it probably won't be the same. In 'Young Adult' Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, the ghost author of a series of teen books who decides to return to her small home town of Mercury, Minnesota. But when she finds out the man she was looking for is married, she acts on her petulant impulses and tries to steal him away for his domestic bliss. Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer tell us what is so endearing about this character, with all her flaws.
There are two kinds of people: those who love Christmas movies and those who hate them. Rafer and Kristen are each one of those kinds of people. Can you guess who is the Grinch and who is little Susan Walker? Either way, both have their holiday favorites — even if they don't all have to do with Christmas. Take a listen and add your own favorites in the comments!
Yes, it's finally here; the first part of the last installment of the "Twilight" movies. And it's got everything the others didn't: vampire marriage, sex, pregnancy, baby monsters. Kristen and Rafer talk about the latest (and possibly greatest?) movie that all the tweens are talking about. What do a couple of grown adults think? They kind of liked it! Find out why in this week's podcast.
As Kristen says in this latest podcast, "It's Oscar season." And if there's a movie out that hopes to bring a few of those statues in, it's "J. Edgar." But does the Leonardo Dicaprio-starring film deliver the goods? Not quite. Listen to this week's Movie Date podcast to find out why Kristen and Rafer are looking forward to some of the other assumed contenders and perhaps trying to forget this one.
What does Brett Ratner's new movie "Tower Heist," have to do with Occupy Wall Street? You don't necessarily have to turn to Ben Stiller, Tea Leone, Casey Affleck, and Eddie Murphy; our intrepid movie-going podcasters have already watched the movie for you. But if you want to know whether the now-spurned Oscar producer's movie is any good, you'll have to listen! The two also discuss "Harold and Kumar: 3D Christmas," and some prescient Occupy Wall Street imagery.
Mindy Kaling's character on "The Office," Kelly Kapoor, somehow walks the line between annoying and sympathetic. And Kaling, who also writes and produces for the hit comedy, surely meant it that way. The actress and writer has a new book out called "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Kristen Meinzer interviewed Kaling about her TV personality, portraying a South Asian "ditz," and her new book.