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.
Rafer and Kristen answer just a few of the many letters they've received in recent weeks from Movie Date listeners, including questions about "The Hobbit," "Les Miserables," and "Django: Unchained." Plus, Kristen and Rafer talk about "On the Road," "The Impossible," and "Promised Land."
It's Christmas 2012, one of the most highly anticipated movie release days of the year, and Rafer and Kristen are prepared to throw down over two of the big ones: "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained."
It's the week before Christmas, when a lot of movies hit the big screen. Of course, some of them are better than others, and Rafer and Kristen each have their favorites. On the chopping block: the new Kathryn Bigelow film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, "Zero Dark 30"; the mother-son road trip comedy starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan "The Guilt Trip"; Judd Apatow's follow up to "Knocked Up," "This is 40"; and the movie that turns Werner Herzog into an action star "Jack Reacher."
In this week's podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the highly anticipated "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Along they way, they do their best Gollum imitations, contemplate the greatness of Benny Hill's humor, and recognize the similarities between "The Hobbit" and "The Smurfs."
This week, Rafer admits to being a player, Kristen admits to wanting more handcuffs in the movies, and they both mull over why every person from Europe or the past in Hollywood films speaks with a British accent. Along the way, they also give their thoughts on "Playing for Keeps" (starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Uma Thurman) and "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" (starring and directed by Edward Burns).
Alfred Hitchcock was an imperfect man, and the new movie "Hitchcock" puts many of those imperfections on display. From his fixations on young blondes to his work obsessions to his heavy reliance (both professionally and personally) on his wife, Alma.
But is the movie telling the whole story? Is it embellishing?
Kristen and Rafer wanted to find out, and so they decided to turn to an expert.
For this Thanksgiving's box office releases, the movie date team reviews four movies; 'Rise of the Guardians', 'Silver linings Playbook', 'Life of Pi', and 'Red Dawn.'
In this week's podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the highly anticipated final installment of the Twilight saga. "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2" is expected to be one of the highest grossing movies of 2012. Vampire lovers prepare to be awed in one way or another.
In this week's podcast, Rafer and Kristen catch up after more than a week of being derailed by Hurricane Sandy. On the menu: Denzel Washington's booze-filled suspense flick "Flight," the long-awaited Daniel Day-Lewis-led "Lincoln," and "Skyfall," the new James Bond movie that has Rafer wondering if nobody does it better...and Kristen wondering if something fishy is going on with her local multiplex.
Spanning four hundred years, and featuring an all-star cast of award-winning actors (most of whom play multiple characters), the new film "Cloud Atlas" is big, ambitious, and divisive.
Not surprisingly, Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer find themselves disagreeing about whether it's any good, whether it makes any sense, and whether it's worth ...
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Kristen finds one new movie comparable to "Scooby Doo" and another to be comparable to the tea cup ride at Disneyland. Meanwhile, Rafer confesses to some bad behavior at a certain movie screening, and admits that he likes Madea.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Kristen shares her memories of the Ayatollah Khomeini and waterbeds while Rafer reminisces about Dr. Demento and parody music. It's all in honor of the new Ben Affleck-directed movie - based on real events - "Argo." They also talk a bit about "Seven Psychopaths" and Mahatma Gandhi.
Rafer and Kristen have learned a lot from movies over the years. But it's quite possible that no movie will ever teach them more than this weekend's big release, "Taken 2," starring Liam Neeson. In this week's podcast, Rafer and Kristen go over ten of the lessons they learned from the action thriller.
This week, Rafer and Kristen remember their favorite teachers and their favorite teaching movies. It's all in honor of "Won't Back Down," the new movie that pits teachers against parents against student unions. To help them get a grasp of the subject matter, Rafer and Kristen are joined by Kitty Crowley, a real veteran teacher from a failing New York City public school.
Kristen doesn't know much about baseball. Rafer knows even less. But they do know this: when it comes to baseball movies, even the most well-researched one won't hit a home run unless it also hits the heartstrings. Does Clint Eastwood's "Trouble With the Curve" hit those stings? Did Rafer cry when he watched it? And (most important to Kristen), dies Clint Eastwood talk to a chair in the movie?
From "The Innocence of Muslims" to "The Master," it's a big week for religion and movies, with one inciting violence overseas and another inciting audiences to ask if L. Ron Hubbard and a character named Lancaster Dodd are the same man. Rafer and Kristen discuss both films, and along the way, ask a lot of questions, express a lot of confusion, and share their favorite Scientology memories.
It's been a mediocre movie summer, but Rafer and Kristen are trying to look on the bright side. Fall is officially here, and with it, some pretty leaves and promising entertainment. From the story of a big-hearted butter sculptor in Iowa to the real mission of a fake movie crew during the Iran hostage crisis to an a capella chick flick smackdown, there's something for everyone.
Sometimes Rafer and Kristen hate movies. Sometimes they love movies. And sometimes they love movies in a way that other people hate them. This is one of those weeks. On the roster: 'Oogieloves,' 'The Possession,' and 'Lawless.'
By popular demand, Rafer and Kristen talk about their favorite documentaries of the summer. From a look at someone who's stolen 500 identities to a pair of elderly identical twin prostitutes getting by to a couple that's managed to live way beyond their means, the films are stranger than fiction in some cases...and hit awfully close to home in others.
This week, Rafer finds a certain movie too stupid to enjoy, and Kristen considers the same movie not quite stupid enough. Also, is the world ready for a children's horror movie? And the Movie Date team gives their verdict on Whitney Houston's final swan song: "Sparkle."