Tenet Review, Schoolyard Pick of Christopher Nolan Films

Time seems to move slower during a pandemic, but Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” certainly helps reset our momentum on screen and off. Join Cam & Kirk as they navigate their first video stream episode (audio only here folks), digest some scary “The Batman” news (RPatz!), breakdown a spoiler-free review of the first Blockbuster of 2020, and walkthrough Nolan’s filmography before time runs out.

Also: Don’t miss the boys beautiful faces on our first full review video!

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Chadwick Boseman Tribute, DC Fandome Recap, The New Mutants Review

On today’s episode of Popcorn for Breakfast, and with heavy hearts, we say goodbye to the late Chadwick Boseman. We talk about his impact on film and the world at large before giving our final thoughts on his tragic passing. After our tribute, we dive into the latest news from DC Fandome and beyond before wrapping up our show with our review of The New Mutants. Thanks for listening. Rest in power, King T’ Challa.

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Project Power Review, DC News, Spider-Woman News, Schoolyard Pick of Worst Super Powers

If you like superheroes, then you will love this super-packed superhero-centric episode! Our show starts with What’s Poppin’ which this week includes tons of DC Comics News Marvel News including The Batman, The Suicide Squad, Spider-Woman, Black Adam, Wonder Woman 1984, and more. Next, we follow up what’s poppin’ with our review of the quasi-superhero movie Project Power (exclusively on Netflix). Finally, this week’s show wraps up with our Schoolyard Pick of Worst Super Powers. Grab your cape, and pull your underpants over your jeans. It’s time to get super!

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Palm Springs Review, John Wick 5, Mulan on Disney+, Schoolyard Pick of Time Loops

Being in quarantine due to a pandemic can make it feel like the days run together or never end. You might even say it starts to feel like a… time loop. (See what we did there) This week, the PFB guys reviewed the Hulu Original Film Palm Springs. The guys also take time to discuss Mulan arriving on Disney+ in September, the big Captain Marvel 2 news, and John Wick 5. To wrap up the show, Kirk and Cam face off in the Schoolyard Pick of Time Loops and discuss which situations they’d like to be stuck in FOR. EV. VER. (Any Sandlot fans in the house?) You won’t want to miss this one!

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The Old Guard Review, Star Wars, Marvel, and DC News, Schoolyard Pick of Movie Weapons

We’ve officially been around for 1 year, thank you all for listening through it all! But here at PFB, we don’t look back, we only move forward. So, rather than celebrating our anniversary, we decided to keep on movin’! On this week’s episode, we reviewed Netflix’s The Old Guard starring the incomparable Charlize Theron and Chiwetel Ejiofor. In addition to our movie review, we have two whole weeks of movie news to catch you up on in What’s Poppin’. This week we cover, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s recent relationship revelations, the new Star Wars show “The Bad Batch,” Black Widow, Fast 9, Tom Holland’s Uncharted movie, and much more. Finally, we wrap the show by paying homage to the great signature weapons of film history with our Schoolyard Pick of Signature Movie Weapons. Thanks for listening and be sure to subscribe, download, rate, review, like, comment, share, and follow!

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Week 4: ‘Babe’ (1995)

Overview

Not to be forgotten under the enormous shadow of #hamilfilm, we are in week 4 of the 52-Week Movie Challenge. Okay, but in all seriousness, I did sort of forget about it with all of the #hamilfilm content we’ve been putting out. I joked on this week’s pod that I will indeed watch all 52 movies for this challenge, I may just do it over 70 weeks. But that doesn’t mean that I am not stoked about this week. In all honesty, this was the challenge I was most dreading in the early going: “A film starring an animal.” I mean, that prompt doesn’t exactly conjure up images of great films right away. And let the record show that I threw all of us, myself included, a soft ball by choosing an absolute gem of a film in ‘Babe.’ I could’ve just as easily chosen an ‘Airbud’ sequel or ‘Snow Dogs,’ but I am not that cruel. I’ve got a caffeinated beverage and the background of my 8-week old son cooing and laughing at me as I sing him songs from “Hamilton,” so I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s get to it.

Film Details

Based on the 1983 children’s novel by Dick King-Smith titled The Sheep-Pig, ‘Babe’ tells the story of a young pig who is won by a sheep farmer during a “Guess the Weight” challenge at the local fair. Farmer Hogget’s initial plan was to roast the pig for Christmas dinner, but his fondness for Babe softens his heart and causes him to spare the pig. Under the guidance of Fly, a female border collie and matriarch of the Hogget animals, Babe learns the ropes of sheep herding (shepherding?). Using his kind demeanor to build relationships with the sheep and earn respect from both Fly and her mate, Rex, Babe is able to become one of the greatest “Sheep Dogs” in the country and earns a perfect score for Farmer Hogget at the world Sheep Dog challenge.

Thoughts

If you’ll indulge me, I am going to start this review with a personal note. In fact, this is my blog so I am not even sure why I am asking for your permission in the first place (MUAHAHAHA). There are two reasons why I chose ‘Babe’ for week 4. The first is that, again, it is just difficult to find a film that you could stomach in this category. The second reason, is that this movie means so much to me. I loved this movie as a child. LOVED. IT. I watched it constantly. When I was younger, I had some respiratory issues that landed me in many an uncomfortable medical situation. Finger pricks, IVs, blood work, you get the picture. Through all of that, movies were a comfort, this movie more than most. I can specifically remember being 7-years-old and in the midst of a week-long hospital stay for pneumonia. It must’ve been late because my mom was folded up in one of those terrible hospital chairs asleep but I had woken up for some reason. I would’ve probably felt completely alone at that moment if it had not been for ‘Babe.’ I suspect that is why my mom put it on before catching a quick nap in between vitals checks. I was scared and uncomfortable, but ‘Babe’ was there. And it wasn’t the first time or the last time that this movie was there for me in my time of need.

In many ways, hearing the overture and watching the opening credits roll, felt like reacquainting with an old friend. I felt guilty for not staying in touch as much as I should, but it took just a few moments to pick back up where we left off. And this time, I had my two-year-old son with me, which made the experience all the richer. To prove that I am a true OG, check out this sick dvd two-pack.

All of that said, I want to be very clear: ‘Babe’ is an incredible film. You may not remember but it was actually nominated for Best Picture at the 1995 Academy Awards. What I find amazing about that is that film was trending more cynical in the mid- to late-90s. So, for a film as wholesome and quaint as this one to capture the attention of fans and critics alike is really quite remarkable.

But when you really start to analyze the movie, it makes sense. First of all, I cannot imagine that directing a cast of animals as diverse and wide ranging as this one is an easy task. And they have these animals working OVERTIME. Not to mention, the effects they use to make the animals appear to speak holds up much better than I would’ve ever thought.

From a storytelling perspective, ‘Babe’ is the definition of “short, sweet, and to the point.” At a runtime of 92 minutes, this movie is expertly paced without losing any depth. I mean, the scene where they dig into Rex’s backstory is a perfect example of this. All in, it takes maybe 3 minutes and it deepens our understanding of Rex so much. That’s efficient!

The themes in ‘Babe,’ while familiar and not particularly groundbreaking are sharp and effective. The score is unique and memorable. The voice acting is excellent and the production design is beautifully coordinated.

Overall

If you hadn’t seen ‘Babe’ before embarking on this movie challenge, I hope you agree with me that you are better for seeing it. If there is a purer movie that’s as effective, I don’t know it. I am thankful for the movie challenge as it was nice to be reintroduced to this film. I certainly plan on making it a part of my children’s lives in hopes that it has a similar effect on them.

Kernel Score: 9.2/10

Next Week

Our next challenge is “An Early Film of an Actor.” I legitimately can’t decide so I am taking Kirk’s advice and putting it to a vote. Keep an eye on PFB social media pages for more details. Thanks for reading!

-Cam

 

Opinion: HBO’s “Watchmen” is the series we need right now

The following blog does not contain spoilers for HBO’s “Watchmen.” So, feel free to read and enjoy whether you’ve seen it or not. 

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Flashing red and blue lights.

A short siren chirp.

A routine traffic stop.

One man white, the other black.

One man armed, the other not.

If you’re like most people in our country right now, you’re probably sick to your stomach because you know exactly where I’m going with this. But what if I said you didn’t? What if, this time, the suspect was white and the cop was black? What if, this time, it was the cop who was unarmed? What would you think? And then, what if I went on to tell you that, despite those facts, the altercation ended the same way as you originally thought, with an unarmed black man dead at the hands of a racist white man? Would it discourage you? Would it make you feel hopeless? Like nothing we do will keep black people from being senselessly murdered in this country? I’m not sure. I can’t say. What I can say for certain is that the scenario presented above made you think. It may have even caused you to self-reflect.

Thankfully, the scenario above is not a news story that you missed. It’s not even a story from our reality. It’s a scenario presented in the first episode of HBO’s “Watchmen,” from showrunner Damon Lindelof (“Lost,” “The Leftovers”). Watchmen is a sequel to Alan Moore’s 1986 comic masterpiece of the same name and, much like its predecessor, it acts as a stark social commentary on the time in which it was created. Though instead of criticizing the war-happy U.S. of the 70s and 80s, it focuses on racial inequality. HBO’s “Watchmen” aired in 2019, the same year in which the show takes place albeit in a reality both similar and unfamiliar in comparison to ours. If you’ve listened to our podcast, you’ve undoubtedly heard me sing the praises of this show for the better part of the last 6 months. But I am watching it through for a second time and not just because of its exquisite narrative, inspiring performances by Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Tim Blake Nelson, and pulse-pounding score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. No, this time I watching for the scenes just like the one outlined above. The scenes that make me think.

Thinking is good because thinking inspires action. And if there is one thing we are in desperate need of right now, it is action. Because we must eliminate wide-spread racism AND systemic racism in our country. To be clear, I’m not talking about just the confederate flag-waving, n-word saying, George Zimmerman brand of racism. I’m also talking about the subconscious, passive racism. The kind that causes white people like me to walk on the other side of the street when we see a black man walking toward us, to move into less diverse neighborhoods, and to mostly hang out with people who look like us. It takes deep, introspective thoughts to eliminate that kind of racism. And it takes a show like “Watchmen” to inspire those thoughts.

See, movies like ‘Selma,’ ‘Malcolm X,’ and ‘The Help’ (which are all good by their own merit and please don’t think I am knocking them at all) while they are excellent representations of the harsh realities of the Civil Rights Movement, they do not require us to think or reflect. We are taught about those events in school. We are even taught how to feel about those events. So, they act as unconditioned stimuli, eliciting a response but not one that requires any real thought or genuine feeling. It may make the more flamboyant racists living among us to cringe but for the passive, subconscious type that I talked about earlier, we need a different kind of stimulus. Something like a whistle or a dog clicker, something that makes us snap out of it or think “how do I feel about that? and what does that say about me?” “Watchmen” has an unending supply of those dog clicker moments.

For that reason, “Watchmen” is exactly the show we need right now. I’d love to go deeper into my analysis of the rich themes and immaculate storytelling, but I can’t risk spoiling the show and its effect. So, I’ll leave you with this. Watch “Watchmen.” You’ll be better for it.

– Cam