Podcast: '300: Rise of an Empire' Review, Oscars vs. MTV Movie Awards and More

Playing some games and answering questions on this Friday in early March

Rope of Silicon PodcastToday we're reviewing 300: Rise of an Empire, discussing the differences and similarities between the MTV Movie Awards and Oscars, answering your questions, playing some games, listening to voice mail and answering all of life's important questions.

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I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-BNL-POD. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly.

An alternative to that option is a new way of leaving us a voicemail directly from your computer. Just click here and no matter where you live in the world, all you need is a microphone and Internet connection and you can leave us a voicemail. Look forward to hearing from you!

As always, I have broken down this episode on a minute-by-minute basis if you would like to skip ahead and below I have featured the information on how to download the podcast, find us on iTunes or merely just listen in your browser.

  • 00:00-2:45 - Introduction
  • 2:46-3:52 - Show notes
  • 3:53-7:23 - [Listener Question] Any advice for someone petrified of flying? [AlmostFilmCritic]
  • 7:24-10:56 - We won some trivia and Laremy's trip to the theater
  • 10:57-12:33 - Ali G is back on TV
  • 12:34-12:55 - [Listener Question] Will Richard Linklater's movie Boyhood becomes a Criterion Collection release? [Quique Smith]
  • 12:56-26:15 - Oscars vs. MTV Movie Awards (one of Laremy's live blogs here)
  • 26:16-27:24 - [Listener Question] What are your thoughts on going on dates to the movies? I just don't see anything romantic about sitting in a dark room and not talking. [TheOneWhoKnocks]
  • 27:25-30:38 - [Listener Question] What do you think about Kevin Hart hosting the Oscars? Do you think the Academy will ever invite him to host? I can just imagine an incredibly hilarious show for the entire time and the Academy can probably also see a huge ratings boost with him. [Nav]
  • 30:39-34:59 - [Listener Question] As a species, why are we so interested in scandal, gossip and bad news? [andyluvsfilms]
  • 35:00-39:49 - [Listener Voicemail] Shanda - Taylor Lautner
  • 39:50-43:25 - Box-Office Challenge Update (chart below)
  • 43:26-55:53 - 300: Rise of an Empire review (read Brad's review here)
  • 55:54-1:02:21 - Over / Under
    • .4 more Oscar nominations for Lupita Nyong'o [AlmostFilmCritic]
    • 19.5 Oscar categories Brad gets right next year [TheOneWhoKnocks]
    • 4 seasons of "True Detective" get made [robotsrule]
    • 20 more times this year you guys talk about how dark everything is [Hudsucker]
    • 5 years until Annapurna Entertainment has a film that wins Best Picture
  • 1:02:22-1:10:23 - Buy or Sell
    • Much as with Her and Django Unchained, Brad's favorite film of 2014 wins Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars
    • Mel Gibson ever gets to do his viking movie [Hudsucker]
    • With the rise of VOD and Netflix, sometime in the next 10 years, the Academy will begin to recognize movies not released in theatres [Magill Foote]
    • Phillip Seymour Hoffman is nominated for an Oscar (acting) at next year's Academy Awards [EPayneDDS]
    • Two of the following will NOT be nominated for Best Director next year: Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson. [AlmostFilmCritic]
    • JUPITER ASCENDING will be the biggest bomb of the summer. [AlmostFilmCritic]
  • 1:10:24-1:14:20 - Playing the Percentages
    • % chance Noah Baumbach's "While We're Young" gets released in the US in 2014 [Roland]
    • % chance of a Back to the Future remake, reboot, sequel or prequel being made in the next 20 years [Magill Foote]
    • % chance that in a population of 8 billion that there's at least one alien amongst us [andyluvsfilms]
  • 1:14:21-1:16:42 - The Quotes Game
    • "I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there."
    • "You ever listen to K-Billy's "Super Sounds of the Seventies" weekend?"
    • "What a horrible young man you are. This is acting like an animal. A dirty animal that eats it's own feces when hungry."
  • 1:16:43-1:18:43 - Randomness
  • 1:18:44-1:20:30 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:20:31-1:23:59 - Closing

Finally, I do have one quick request. If you could give us a review on iTunes it would be greatly appreciated.

You can listen below, on Stitcher, download the audio in .mp3, iTunes format by right-clicking here and saving it to your computer or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It's up to you.

NOTE: Apple's iTunes randomly checks for updated episodes, so sometimes the latest episode may not be immediately available in iTunes.

You can find Laremy's writing here on RopeofSilicon.com and also at Film.com, Laremy.com and on Twitter at @Laremy.

Winter 2014 Box-Office Draft
Brad vs. Laremy

Laremy's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Jack Ryan: Shadow RecruitJan 17$60m$131.7m-$18.2m
I, FrankensteinJan 24$68m$69.2m-$100.7m
RoboCopFeb 14$100m$188.4m-$61.5m
3 Days to KillFeb 21$28m$22m-$47.9m
300: Rise of an EmpireMar 7$100m  
Mr. Peabody & ShermanMar 7$145m  
Need for SpeedMar 14   
DivergentMar 21   
NoahMar 28   
A Haunted House 2Mar 28   
OculusApr 11   
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Paranormal Activity: The Marked OnesJan 3$5m$86.3m$73.8m
The Legend of HerculesJan 10$70m$39.4m-$135.5m
Devil's DueJan 17$7m$29.7m$12.2m
That Awkward MomentJan 31$8m$25.3m$5.3m
The LEGO MovieFeb 7$60m$334m$184m
Non-StopFeb 28$50m$55.1m-$69.8m
The Grand Budapest HotelMar 7   
Muppets Most WantedMar 21   
Captain America: The Winter SoldierApr 4   
Rio 2Apr 11   
TranscendenceApr 18   

The Winter 2014 Movie Box-Office Draft competition involved both Brad and Laremy "drafting" ten films each in hopes of scoring the largest net total by taking a film's worldwide gross subtracting two-and-a-half-times the reported budget. The film must be released in January through April 2014. The draft took place on December 13, 2013 during the RopeofSilicon Podcast which you can listen to right here.

Listed above is all the most recent data as of this post. Budgetary information is not necessarily accurate and will most likely not be accurate until closer to or after each film's release.

  • Kyle Lewis

    It's Nadine Velazquez guys. NOT Genesis Rodriguez. Not all latinas are Eva Mendez fellas.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/zm/ zm

      That "start" of something special joke though... Gold

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    One more Oscar note: does anyone else hate the fact that they only have pizza to the famous people? I mean, forget Emmanuel Lubezki and the sound people; they don't need to eat.

  • http://www.the-back-row.com Magill Foote

    Listener Question:
    If Vin Diesel is the new Sly Stallone, who is the new Arnold Schwarzenegger? I submit Dwayne Johnson for consideration. [Magill Foote]

    - B+ for Richard Ayoade's The Double [Magill Foote]
    - 2 more movies from Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg before their spoof films stop making money [Magill Foote]
    - A- score for Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive [Magill Foote]

    Buy or Sell:
    - Christopher Nolan directs another superhero movie [Magill Foote]
    - A Best Documentary Feature nomination at the next Oscars for Jodorowsky's Dune [Magill Foote]
    - The Oscars stop having a new "theme" every year, within the next decade [Magill Foote]

    - % chance of Sin City 3 [Magill Foote]
    - % chance Laremy's childhood dream was to be a professional athlete or sports star [Magill Foote]
    - % chance of an internet meme or viral video being made into a movie (documentaries count) that is released in theatres within the next five years (Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat, Star Wars Kid, Scumbag Steve, Charlie Bit My Finger, etc.) [Magill Foote]

    • Hudsucker

      Wasn't there a documentary about the "Leave Brittany Alone!" guy?

    • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

      I'd have to say that Dwayne Johnson is far more talented than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • Ryan Jayden

    Buy or Sell:

    Either Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth gets nominated for an Oscar (Actor or Supporting Actor).

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com Mr_Mercury

    Listener Question:
    What movies do you guys have on your list of shame ie. films that are highly regarded, iconic, or pop culturally significant that one might be surprised that you haven't seen?

    Playin Dem Percents:
    % chance a writer, director, producer wins best screenplay, best director, and best picture Oscars for the same film in the next 5 years. The last ones to do this was the Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men.

    Buy or Sell:

    Buy or Sell: The Steve Jobs biopic which may be directed by David Fincher is better than the Social network?
    Buy or Sell: Hoyt Van Hoytema; the DP Nolan got to replace Pfister leads to better work?

  • andyluvsfilms

    Can a director become a prisoner to his own style? I thinking Wes Anderson here and his latest lukewarm effort [andyluvsfilms]

    • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

      I don't think Brad would agree with your "lukewarm" assessment, given his review.

      • andyluvsfilms

        I'm sure he'll come round to my way of thinking by the morning.

  • zotje

    Just a clarification on the Twilight wins and Breaking Dawn "snub" at the MTV Movie Awards: For a couple of years the nominations were also decided by the public. The first year they changed back to a "nomination commitee" is the year Breaking Dawn wasn't nominated. It's said that this change was specifically made as the Twilight sweeps were ruining their reputation.

  • http://twitter.com/tonypdl tonypdl

    On your 300 sequel chronology talk: I'm pretty sure Paranormal Activity 2 takes place about 3/4ths before AND 1/4th after the first one. So a prequel/sequel as well.

    On True Detective: It's become a hit so I don't see this happening but why not just make one season of the show? Is it that bad of an idea? Does more money NEED to be mad--Never mind. Answered my own question there.

    - Why is Godzilla (1998) considered a flop? Going by you guys' box office draft rules, it made back its budget and then some. Was it mainly its poor domestic performance (which seems okay now that I look at it)? Or poor critical reaction? [tonypdl]

    Buy or Sell:
    - Godzilla (2014) makes more than Godzilla (1998)'s $136 million domestically. [tonypdl]

    - % chance either of you guys see "Bad Words" [tonypdl]
    - % chance "Divergent" lands at #1 two weeks in a row at the box office [tonypdl]

  • Hudsucker

    2.5 Fs this from Brad this year [Hudsucker]
    Fox Searchlight has an Oscar campaign for Brendan Gleeson's performance in Cavalry [Hudsucker]
    Dem' %s
    % chance Warren Beatty's untitled Howard Hawkes project is his last film [Hudsucker]

    What is your favorite directorial debut? [Hudsucker]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RV/ Roland

    Playing The Percentages
    % chance Jason Reitman's next movie "Men, Women & Children" gets released in the US in 2014 [Roland]

  • robotsrule

    Buy or Sell: Jlaw gets nominated for an Oscar for the fourth time this year. [robotsrule]

    Over/Under: 4 more films written and directed by Woody Allen in his career. [robotsrule]

    Playing dem percents: Carry over from last week. Percent chance Brian Cranston gets an Oscar nom in his career. [robotsrule]

  • http://Cinemaborn.com Colton Anderson

    Listener Question:
    Do you guy's think Disney animation will once again rise to the excellence it once had in the early 90's?

  • Marcel M

    Listener Question:
    Why does a film have to gross 2.5 times its budget just to break even? I don't understand the financial side of the business too well.

    Buy or Sell:
    - Paul Thomas Anderson has already made his best film
    - Grand Budapest Hotel earns Best Screenplay nomination

    - A grade for Magnolia

    • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

      "Why does a film have to gross 2.5 times its budget just to break even?"

      Advertising, promotion, profit sharing with the theaters, other overhead.

      • Nardog

        Exactly, but why 2.5?

        • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

          It's just a way to roughly estimate the cost. The studios will never release actual figures, so we're left to guess.

          You can sometimes get a sense for how much a studio is spending on advertising, because sometimes a number will slip here or there. And there is some general information regarding profit sharing available. So, based on that, 2.5 times budget seems to be a decent way to estimate the true cost of a film. It's obviously not wholly accurate, but in the absence of anything better...

          • Nardog

            I guess so, but I just wonder if there's some reason or study behind that number.

            • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

              It just seems like a good rule of thumb, based on what information is available.

              • Nardog

                Someone must have initiated it though! Anyway it's useless when you wanna compare Paranormal Activity and 47 Ronin.

              • https://twitter.com/tonyl Tony L

                I think B&L have talked about how they arrived at that number (2.5) but I don't remember when.

                But you're right...it's an imperfect science.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

                There is no perfect science considering you couldn't even compare 47 Ronin to films with a similar budget since Universal did very little to market it. Best way to tackle the process is to set a flat number, especially considering reported budgets are never the actual budgets.

              • Nardog

                "There is no perfect science considering you couldn't even compare 47 Ronin to films with a similar budget since Universal did very little to market it."
                Well that was kind of the point of my comparison.

                I know it's often used and thus probably helpful, but the thing I'm curious about is who brought that up first and what he or she based on.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

                Brought what up first? The 2.5 multiplier? Because that's just something Laremy and I use, not sure about other people. It takes into account theater splits, marketing (which even Soderbergh says studios spend about $60m to market a $100m film) not to mention the fact that just because a movie makes money overseas doesn't mean the studio that made it gets all that cash. They only get a cut.

              • Nardog

                Maybe "the masses" was a little bit of an exaggeration... yet I've seen people use it as a rough break-even point (or as criteria for greenlighting a sequel). Of course it depends on a whole lot of factors, so it might just be a speculative number someone came up with and eventually spread.

  • Nardog

    Listener question:
    What's the difference between sound mixing and sound editing? [Nardog]

    Playing the Percentages:
    % chance Brad declares Boyhood Linklater's best film ever [Nardog]

    Buy or Sell:
    Slumdog Millionaire is the least controversial BP winner in the past 10 years [Nardog]

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man


    Do you think it's harder to go from writing novels to writing screenplays, vice-versa, or the transition from one to the other largely just depends on the person. [G-Man]

    Whenever a new Marvel movie comes out, I feel like I always see headlines that read "Early buzz is that XYZ movie is fantastic"? Do they tend to only invite comic book junkies to these screenings? Are people overly enthusiastic since they were treated to an early screening? I tend to like the Marvel films, but feel like the early praise gets blown out of proportion. [G-Man]

    Over / Under:

    0.5 - Seattle Sounders games Brad or Laremy attend this year [G-Man]

    Movie Quotes:

    "Wheee...what a predicament." (this could easily be used in conjunction with an Oscars soundbyte)

    "Movies don't create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative!"

    "According to the map we've only gone four inches."

    "The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last."

  • Mykael

    Over/Under -
    $150m domestic gross for Neighbours, starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron. [Mykael]

    Buy/Sell -
    Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West tanks. [Mykael]