Jurassic World Review: Where Equality in the Workplace Means We’ll All Get Eaten (E10)

In this episode, we take a bite out of the newest film in the Jurassic Park franchise, which has garnered bigger audiences and better reviews than perhaps any of the sequels. Jurassic World is also perhaps the loudest in the series to date, but continues the familiar themes of the ramifications of capitalist man’s ignorant attempts to play god, and the forces of nature that win out in the end. Alexis takes issue, though, with some of the more regressive gender politics in the movie and is very invested in the dinosaur-on-dinosaur rumble at the end, while Chepe is worried about workplace safety and has suggestions for a change-of-pace in the inevitable fifth Jurassic film.

You can also listen to our episode on iTunes or Stitcher, and we’d love to see your reviews and feedback.

You can rent or buy Jurassic World on iTunes.

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Mad Max Fury Road Review (E09)

Mad Max Fury Road

One of the summer’s big hits was Mad Max Fury Road, adored by critics and lambasted by Misogynist Rights Activists (MRA). This movie was loud and really chaotic, but had some really interesting feminist themes that we hope sunk in with a lot of its intended viewers. On a film level, this may not really have been our type, but we love the themes. Alexis wonders if they are delivered with too much of a sledgehammer, while Chepe hopes it will be the right kind of delivery system to some of the video game generation.

You can also listen to our episode on iTunes or Stitcher, and we’d love to see your reviews and feedback.

You can rent or buy Mad Max on iTunes.

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Ghostbusters Review — I ain’t afraid of no environmental regulators (E08)

Criticize After Dinner reviews the original ghostbusters

Excited at the news of a revamped Ghostbusters will an all-female starring cast, we brushed off the dust on our old VCRs, and gave the original a whirl. The constant sexism made for a difficult watch, but we split heavily on if the movie stood the test of time. The movie also offered a warped perspective on environmental regulators, academia, and the 1980s’ love affair with the entrepreneurial spirit. We closed out with our list of dos and don’ts for the new movies.

You can also listen to our Ghostbusters review on Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Ghostbusters on iTunes.

Divergent and Insurgent Review

Criticize after dinner's DIvergent and Insurgent review

Returning to our key tween demographic, we had a conversation to explain the ins and outs of Divergent and Insurgent, for both the hardcore fans and those who’ve wisely skipped these movies. The trilogy they came from is almost a response to Hunger Games, though despite a strong female lead, these movies miss the mark on questions ranging from gender to class to identity. So join in to see if the erudite & candid Alexis and amiable & abnegating Chepe can set aside their identities and come to some agreement on this dystopic young adult series for the all-too-easily entertained Reagan fan club.

You can also listen to our Insurgent review on Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Divergent and Insurgent on iTunes.

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Foxcatcher Review — The Capitalist Owns YOU (E06)

Criticize after dinner's Foxcatcher review

In our Foxcatcher review, we delve into the politics of class, patriotism and masculinity that are so well critiqued in this Oscar-nominated film. A quiet movie, there are a lot more motifs and a lot of the film’s thought-provoking ideas go left unsaid. So, we’re here to get that conversation rolling, as Alexis starts us off on the class dimensions of the film, while Chepe points out analogies made between the treatment of working class wrestlers and that of the Du Pont’s horses. We also take it to the Bechdel Test, and this class is pass or fail.

You can also listen to our Foxcatcher review on Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Foxcatcher on iTunes.

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Selma Review — An Organizer’s Movie

criticize after dinner reviews selma

In our Selma review, we discuss this movie from the perspective of those who organize for social change. We also examine the movie’s relationship with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other organizing in Jim Crow Alabama. And we take on some historical inaccuracies (but not the ones white liberals have been complaining about), like the fact that SNCC’s James Forman was actually older than Dr. King, and that Diane Nash isn’t depicted as a member of SNCC. We offer context to SNCC’s base-building in Selma, the armed self-defense of Black people in neighboring Lowndes County, and Johnson’s less-than-reputable “legacy.” Most of all, we look at Selma as a dynamic narrative about often complementary strategies to achieve victories for popular struggles.

You can also listen to our Selma review on YouTube, Stitcher or iTunes.
You can rent or buy Selma on iTunes.

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Birdman Review — Fame, Brands, Self-Absorption (E04)

In our Birdman review, we look at the film’s treatment of women, discuss its take on consumerism and commodification, and ask if the film is anti-consumerist, anti-elite, anti-intellectual… or something else entirely. We examine the film’s ending, its quoting of Macbeth, and ask what the film has to say about the quest for attention and fame under capitalism.

You can also listen to our Birdman review on YouTube, Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Birdman at iTunes or Amazon.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review — Protest Songs and Radical Symbols

The Podcast Criticize After Dinner reviews "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1"

In our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, we examine the role of song in the film as a tool for dissent, the role of heroes and radical symbols, and how Katniss fits into that. We also explore how District 13 uses mass media as a revolutionary strategy, and discuss the different ways the Capitol and District 13 wage war. Finally, we talk through how Mockingjay gives us a stark, real-world look into what it’s like to be a refugee, what real-world regions we’re reminded of as we learn more about District 13, and how…boring and artless District 13 seems, and why that disappoints us.

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