TCMP #82 – Moonlight (w/ Justin Bell)

My good buddy Justin and I recently took a trip to Seattle. He lives in Michigan now, so we took this rare opportunity where we were in the same room to get something on wax. Moonlight was what was showing at the Egyptian, so we took a chance on that. It paid off beautifully. It’s a very wonderful movie. It feels like darn near a documentary, the way it portrayed the life of Chiron. It has a bevy of deep topics, and all are wonderful for conversation. We also talk about the coming-of-age tradition of kids checking out each others’ junk.

TCMP #81 – Arrival (w/ Josh Ellis)

Movies about aliens are the best, and Arrival is a good one. There’s a lot to think on. It does a good job of illustrating many of the mind-boggling elements that would feature into any actual contact scenario. We try to walk through some of those angles. It also really gives some room for those elements to breathe. When I say ‘we,’ I’m talking about myself and Josh Ellis. He is a big fan of alien movies as well. Somehow we ended up talking about child-rearing a lot. Something for everyone.

TCMP #79 – American Pastoral (w/ Skyler Thiot)

We took a chance this week, rolling the dice on an Ewan McGregor vehicle showing at the Angelika. It kind of paid off in that the movie touches on a lot of deep topics that spark plenty of talk. The look at parenting and how much it can be blamed when a child goes wrong is interesting, and the backdrop of the Vietnam War adds depth. The gamble also kind of went bust in that this is a crap movie. The acting is terrible, and the writing doesn’t make the acting any easier. Skyler Thiot is back again to pick out the bad and try to appreciate the good along with me.

TCMP #78 – The Prestige (w/ Mike Williams)

When I started this podcast, I made a list of my favorite movies that I’d like to get to one day. The Prestige was on the list. It’s about as well-crafted a movie as you can see. Mike Williams agrees. He is an actual magician who performs around Dallas. The first half of the conversation centers around that, asking how one becomes a magician and what that looks like in DFW. Then we settle in to agreeing that this is one of the real all-time movies.

TCMP #72 – Sling Blade (w/ Josh Campbell)

After several weeks in the new movie bin, we reach again for a classic. This is one I have not seen. It was certainly not age appropriate for me when it came out. Then I just never made the time to go back for it until this week. Co-host Josh is in the same boat. We agree it holds up. We think there are a lot of compelling reasons why. Josh also shocks me by telling me what other movies the little kid was in.

TCMP #70 – Hell Or High Water (w/ Russell Kirk)

This is a good movie, and a thought-provoking movie. In my opinion, it leads to one of the best kinds of episodes. We spend a good deal of time examining what seems to us like the central question of the movie: is there a situation a man can be in where bank robbery becomes justifiable? The makers of this one certainly concoct a scenario that makes it as plausible as it’s going to get. Combine that with some very solid acting, some very superior writing… You get a movie that is quite enjoyable to talk about.

TCMP #69 – War Dogs (w/ Justin Bell)

War Dogs is one of my five favorite movies I’ve seen this year. It has a sizzling energy to it, an A+ performance from Jonah Hill. It keeps you wrapped around its figurative finger for all 2 full hours. Or at least that’s what I think. My friend Justin thinks it’s a piece of crap. To him, it’s working in a disgustingly cavalier way around topic material that should be taken considerably more seriously. It’s not especially well written. And it bores for long stretches. How will we resolve the tension between these differing viewpoints????

TCMP #68 – Coherence (w/ Harper Weaver)

This movie was on the list of movies I wanted to review when I started the podcast. I saw it in theaters in 2013 and thought of it pretty often since then. It is a movie that certainly makes you think about it. On to think about it with me is Harper Weaver. He is one of the smartest dudes I know and a skilled podcaster who is one half of the Rangers podcast PTBNL. We were hanging out last weekend, and quantum mechanics came up. I recommended this movie to him, and then we were able to coordinate and talk about it. I think the result is something you’ll want to hear.

TCMP #63 – Michael Collins (w/ Wade Gill)

Every couple months I get real obsessed with Irish history. It’s got a lot of crazy stories. This Brexit stuff kind of sparked it for me this time. Any time I do get into it, I always tell myself I need to watch Michael Collins again. The movie does a nice job of telling that period of history pretty accurately. With the caveat that their portal of De Valera seems to be quite shaded by the fact they needed the story to have a villain. This time I did get around to a re-watch and had the chance to talk about it with my friend Wade. We talk about the movie some and other Irish history things totally unrelated to the movie.

TCMP #59 – Fight Club (w/ Brad Folsom)

This one is a good example of what I’d ideally like the podcast to sound like. Lots of good talk about ideas and themes. The movie is certainly full of them. Previous guest host Brad Folsom is back to talk about Fight Club. We talk about why this movie has the long-lasting impact it does. We talk about to what degree a Project-Mayhem-like group could have success. And we talk about whether this is movie contains any viable suggestions for how to live your life.

TCMP #58 – Hello Gangster (w/ Matt Barron, Simon Cardoza and Richard Krause)

This might be the coolest podcast of the 58 done so far. It’s certainly different from the other 57. Hello Gangster is a movie made by 3 guys from Dallas. They contacted Central Track looking for a review, and I got introduced to them that way. Since then we’ve had dinner and Simon was on an earlier episode of the podcast. That and their chemistry with each other laid the way for a nice conversation about how this movie was made, how shitty the film festival process is and many of life’s other big questions. This is the rare no-spoiler episode, so you can see the movie before or after. But you should definitely see it. It’s available at

TCMP #55 – Money Monster (w/ Josh Ellis)

Money Monster looked potentially tantalizing in trailers but turns out to be an overwhelmingly average movie. Given that and the numerous times the movie pointedly side-steps engaging in serious conversations, it is a challenge on paper to talk about it for long. I believe we overcame that challenge comfortably and had quite the pleasant chat. We talk some about stocks. We don’t know much about stocks. And we do outline some ways the movie avoided greatness.

TCMP #51 – The Invitation (w/ Josh Campbell)

This week we took a gamble, seeing a movie having only the vaguest idea of its plot. It paid off big-time. The movie is spectacular. It’s available on iTunes and other such services, so I very strongly suggest you check it out if you have not yet. Then once you do, I think you’re going to dig this podcast. We focused a lot on that plot and the crazy things that happen in that movie. But we also go in some other directions. There are some theological ruminations. And we want to know how many dates you need to go on before you’re obligated to save your girlfriend.

Josh Campbell is the cohost. He is in the band I’m The One Who’s Fighting, but mainly, he is a good dude who I’ve known awhile.

TCMP #50 – Midnight Special (w/ Dan McDowell)

I’ve been looking to get Dan on since starting the podcast. This movie came up when we were talking last week. We agreed we were intrigued by the trailer, and I punched on the opportunity. The result is something I’m really happy with. We talk about the movie, but talk as much about topics adjacent to the movie. Like parallel universes. And I love talking parallel universes.

TCMP #46 – 10 Cloverfield Lane (w/ Austin Guttery)

This is a tremendous movie, and I’m excited to tell you why I feel that way. They make a lot of choices different from most movies with this kind of story. And the story isn’t that common, you have to take a wide definition to include other movies in “this kind of story.”

I am talking about it with Austin Guttery, a (kind of former) Ticket coworker and very talented guy. In addition to giving his thoughts on the movie, he lets you know what kind of boss Cash Sirois really is.

TCMP #39 – Spotlight (w/ Chris Vognar)

This completes the Oscar coverage planned for the podcast. Because Brooklyn looks terrible. This is a splendid movie that probably deserved to be featured when it came out, but it’s been a real hot time for new releases. This tends to be the case for Oscar season. On as guest co-host is Dallas Morning News movie critic Chris Vognar. He lends a lot of great insight into the movie and also gives perspective on the life of a movie critic at a big time paper.

TCMP #38 – Room (w/ Skyler Thiot)

This is a fine example of the kind of movie this podcast was started to discuss. Now 3-time guest Skyler Thiot is on to do the discussing. Room suggests a lot of thinking on a lot of questions. How would living in one room affect your perception of the world? How much can removing one bad thing in your life actually fix your life? What is the value of a dedicated parent? It’s a great movie to talk about. It also kind of abutted up against something I’d always wanted to ask Skyler about, which is his Mormon mission. So that is a neat talk, too.

TCMP #37 – The Revenant (w/ Brad Folsom)

You may know it as the “bear rape movie.” We didn’t really get a chance to talk about the actual bear encounter. So let me just say. It’s not a rape, but it’s intense and has sure sexual overtones. We talked about a lot of other stuff from the movie. The ‘we’ in this instance is myself and UTA history professor Brad Folsom. He knows a ton about history and the basis for the movie. We also talk about Star Wars.

TCMP #36 – Joy (w/ Ryan Maffei)

Joy is not a masterpiece. The degree to which that is true is something that returning guest co-host Ryan Maffei and I differ on, but it’s definitely not a great movie. But it is a movie about something—ambition–that is always interesting to talk about. I wanted to have this chat with Ryan because he is someone of a similar bent to me. Since we were kids, I think we both thought of ourselves as people who hoped to make an above-average impact on the world. So we talk about that, and we talk about lots of other things.

TCMP #30 – The Secret In Their Eyes (w/ Megan Fleming)

Why does everything have to be about 9/11? We kind of wait until the end of the podcast, but we get into that a little. This movie is about a lot of things, 9/11 being just one. It’s also about guilt and what things people hold with them. Personally, I kind of doubt too many people process guilt like depicted, but it’s interesting to watch this movie about people who do. We disagree on whether Ray is an SOB or not, so if that’s a debate you’d like to have, give it a listen.

TCMP #29 – Carter High (w/ Donovan Lewis)

The 1988 Carter Cowboys are one of the All-Time sports stories in Dallas history. There is a new movie out that tells their story. Donovan Lewis picked this to make his appearance on the podcast, and we talk about his recollections of the situation. some of the acting may be a little over-the-top, but the movie is worth your time for portraying some very interesting moral conflicts. We talk about those, and we also just talk about what we remember school to be like. A quality episode!

TCMP #27 – Truth (w/ Josh Ellis)

This podcast is generally done with an imagined audience of people who have seen the movie, but just to make sure we don’t leave you completely in the dark: Truth is a movie about the 2004 60 Minutes piece that led to Dan Rather stepping down from the CBS Evening News. It focuses more on his producer, Mary Mapes. The movie does a good job of comprehensively showcasing the process for putting together the infamous segment and the fight that followed. Guest co-host Josh Ellis studied journalism at Ole Miss, so he has a nice background in this kind of stuff and made for a great conversation partner. We talked about the many worthy topics in the movie but also about how much the way we take in news has changed and stuff like that.

TCMP #26 – Bridge Of Spies (w/ Russell Kirk)

Back for to talk about the new Steven Spielberg movie is Russell Kirk. You know him from the Rear Window episode. This is a movie right up his ally. It’s about history, which he and I are both into. The first part of the movie deals a lot with lawyers and the law, and Russ graduated from law school. It is just a good fit.

The movie and its themes provided a lot to talk about. And seeing this movie also spurred me on to a lot more reading about Berlin and its Cold War history. That has to be one of the more insane situations of the 20th century, and I share all the details that really blew my mind.

TCMP #25 – Steve Jobs (w/ Daniel Fleming)

The Steve Jobs movie is amazing, and here to talk about it is my brother Daniel. He is my only sibling and a fellow person with a good amount of interest in the history of Apple. He’s also a lot more conversant in the World Of Business. He subscribes to Fast Company. Regularly uses the word “synergy” in conversations. That kind of stuff that is outside my sphere but totally relevant to the movie.

We had a lot of good talks about the very big ideas expressed very well in the movie. It is a movie with a lot to say that it says very well, and it was a delight to continue the conversations the movie starts.

TCMP #23 – The Martian (w/ Kip Mooney)

Kip Mooney is back to co-host. He did the Central Track review of The Martian, and he talks about it here. We both like the movie a lot. It’s cool to see smart people at the top of their game pushing themselves to solve some of the most complicated problems. And that’s something cool about space movies: that is our most complicated subject matter.

If there’s anything bad to say about the movie, it’s that the structure doesn’t exactly match up with the themes. But that’s probably not judging the movie for what it is. That’s just wishing it was something else. And that’s not especially fair. What it is is wonderful.

TCMP #22 – Sicario (w/ Mike Marshall)

This is a movie that is obviously very much bout he drug war. And one of the best ever done about the drug war. But it’s also about how tough experience teach you things about yourself that are very hard to learn. There also aren’t easy answers about who is right in the disagreement between by-the-book Emily Blunt and by-any-means Benicio Del Toro. It’s a wonderfully complicated movie. It’s beautiful to look at. It’s great to watch and great to talk about.

TCMP #21 – Black Mass (w/ Danny Balis)

On to talk about the story of notorious Massachusetts criminal Whitey Bulger is Massachusetts native Danny Balis. Despite–or perhaps because of–his interest in the real-life story, he found the movie severely lacking. I think he makes a pretty convincing case that will ring true to anyone who has seen it. There were a couple diamonds in the cow poopoo, and I do try to appreciate those. The movie is mostly garbage, but it still generates some good talk.

TCMP #19 – Digging For Fire (w/ Ryan Maffei)

This was kind of a random movie selection. I just picked from the movie Central Track had reviewed recently. It’s a so-so movie, but it does bring up a lot of subject matter that was very easy to talk about. Talking about it with me is my longtime friend Ryan Maffei. You may remember him from the It Follows episode. HE had a deep background with the people involved in the movie, and we both had a lot of thoughts about things they might do to make the movie a little better.

TCMP #16 – Straight Outta Compton (w/ Austin Shockley)

Talking about a music movie with a music person. My childhood buddy Austin Shockley agrees it’s an unexpectedly good movie. Rap biopic’s don’t have a great record and we do have a suggestion or two for this one, but this one certainly overcame those long odds. It did so in part because it used the NWA story to say some larger things, and we talk those over. What they didn’t include in the story also says something, and we give that full treatment as well. This movie also did fall into one of the problems most movies show these days, and I used this as a fine opportunity to rail against that.
It was cool talking about this with Austin. We have known each other for a long time but run in different spheres currently. He’s coming from a different perspective with a different set of information, and that’s always cool.

TCMP #15 – The Gift (w/ Nick Brooks)

This is a movie and podcast where it seems worth reminding you at the outset: we do a lot of spoilers. We hope the episodes can be enjoyed by anyone, but they’re made with the person who has already seen the movie in mind. I say that because the movie does have a pretty sick ending. It’s also got the sort of psychology-based plot material that makes it a perfect place to start a conversation. For that reason, I think this is one of the best one’s we’ve done. I had on my lifelong friend Nick Brooks (it seemed appropriate since the movie is about people who went to school together meeting again in the real world). He’s had brushes with this kind of situation, and he shared that. We both had thoughts on how adults often can be pretty unrecognizable from their high school selves. We had thoughts on how much you can really know a person. We had thoughts on a ton of things. It’s pretty rich subject material.

TCMP #10 – Rear Window (w/ Russell Kirk)

When I set out to do this here movie podcast, I saw us doing a nice mix of new and classic movies. Because we’re in Summer Movie Season at the moment, it makes a lot of sense to lean on new at the moment, but I did want to mix in one classic if possible. I also wanted to make sure I did one with my buddy Russell Kirk. I asked him for a classic movie he’d be passionate talking about, and he threw out Rear Window. Turns out to be a great suggestion. First, it is an amazing time-travel-esque experience to watch a movie made in 1954. What has changed and what has remained the same are interesting in equal measure. Beyond that, the movie is great by itself. It led to a ton of thoughts, and it was a very fun time to record this.


TC’s Movie Podcast is conducted in a discussion format. So yeah, there are a lot of spoilers.

TCMP #8 – Dope (w/ Megan Fleming)

The old lady and I are just back from a week vacation in Los Angeles. The best movie we saw there was Dope. Right from the start, we have pretty different takes on it. I was into the aspirational part of it, she was struck by the lack of outside support for said aspirations. We also debate if it ends too tidily. In the end, I think we mostly agree on that, we just have to explore the specific terms. The movie got me thinking about guns, so that’s in there, too.

TC’s Movie Podcast is conducted in a discussion format. So yeah, there are a lot of spoilers.

TCMP #2 – Ex Machina (w/ Skyler Thiot)

After the first podcast, a ton of people said that a movie that got into AI a lot is Ex Machina. Little did they know, that was already slotted for the second one. We also talk about the movie Moon, since they deal with some similar things. The co-host this week, Skyler Thiot, is the dude who so graciously designed the logo for TC’s Movie Podcast and is an all-around good dude to talk to.

TC’s Movie Podcast is conducted in a discussion format. So yeah, there are a lot of spoilers.