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Reel Underdogs

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We give movies second chances. Did the weekend's lowest-grossing film fare deserve a little more love? That's what we're here to find out. Join the three of us as we see the lowest-grossing new movie from each weekend and give a full rundown and review, helping you sort the clunkers from the hidden gems. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new episode every Thursday!

We give movies second chances. Did the weekend's lowest-grossing film fare deserve a little more love? That's what we're here to find out. Join the three of us as we see the lowest-grossing new movie from each weekend and give a full rundown and review, helping you sort the clunkers from the hidden gems. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new episode every Thursday!
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United States

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We give movies second chances. Did the weekend's lowest-grossing film fare deserve a little more love? That's what we're here to find out. Join the three of us as we see the lowest-grossing new movie from each weekend and give a full rundown and review, helping you sort the clunkers from the hidden gems. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new episode every Thursday!

Language:

English

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ReelUnderdogs


Episodes

Reel Rewind: The Streaming Debate

9/12/2019
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Due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to record a discussion of It Chapter Two this week. Instead, given the potentially streaming-heavy awards race this year, we thought it'd be timely to republish a discussion John and former panelist Karlyn Chen had back in March on whether the streaming revolution is helping or hurting cinema. Read John's review of It Chapter Two for the Loudoun Times-Mirror here:...

Duration:00:56:12

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

9/5/2019
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Despite its title, this week's Underdog has nothing to do with your favorite sandwich spread or birds of prey. Rather, it's a very sweet story about the family you choose. We discuss SXSW Audience Award winner "The Peanut Butter Falcon!" Plus, we retread old ground — twice — and break the fourth wall a *lot* for our Watches of the Week. Read John's review for the Loudoun Times-Mirror here:...

Duration:01:19:41

READY OR NOT

8/29/2019
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This week we discuss the new horror film Ready or Not, starring Samara Weaving. Plus, zombies on a train, not-so-woke jokes and good boys gone bad? Sounds like our Watches of the Week! Read John and Trent's blog post 'Faith, Horror and Ari Aster: where do we draw the line?' here: http://www.reelunderdogs.com/2019/07/faith-horror-and-ari-aster-where-do-we.html Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent Neely and Justin Redman. Catch a new discussion every week! Reel Underdogs on Twitter:...

Duration:01:35:31

Back-to-School Special: Netflix Stand-Up

8/23/2019
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We're loving our special discussions lately! This time around, we tackle stand-up comedy on Netflix — how it's helped change and mould our relationships to performers, what our favorite specials are, and where stand-up fits in with the future of entertainment. Featuring special guest and improv performer Amita Rao (@amitawow)! Watch Amita's improv group, Blue Collard Greens, perform here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5EXc5czdgA Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent Neely and Justin...

Duration:01:28:08

HOBBS & SHAW

8/8/2019
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The Fast & Furious franchise takes a slight detour with Hobbs & Shaw, a spin-off in which Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham take center stage. The two travel the globe to neutralize a deadly manmade virus but struggle to overcome their many differences, all while facing a villain who’s essentially a superhuman cyborg. Does Hobbs & Shaw have lasting thrills, or does it run out of gas way too fast? Plus, we share our Watches of the Week, ranging from Netflix originals to Coen Brothers classics!...

Duration:01:06:07

ONCE UPON A TIME ... IN HOLLYWOOD

8/1/2019
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Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated new film, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, has arrived. It throws us back to 1969 Los Angeles, where a fading Western star, his trusty stuntman, and the up-and-coming actress next door are all coming to terms with their place in the rapidly changing film industry. It’s been three years since Tarantino’s last venture; is this movie worth the wait? (SPOILERS from 42:42 to 1:03:23.) Plus we dig into ballots, blind kids and bad times for our Watches of the...

Duration:01:22:10

Summer Special: Reboot Culture

7/25/2019
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We figured talking about The Lion King would be a moot point, as it’s been the subject of widespread discussion and criticism for the last two weeks. Instead, we’re going to spend this week’s episode talking about the modern cinematic paradigm of endless reboots and remakes. Is it the death of cinema that some lament it to be, or is there something to be said for telling classic stories through a new lens? Plus, we discuss our Watches of the Week! Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent...

Duration:01:16:41

STUBER

7/18/2019
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Stu is just your average Uber driver who is desperate to keep his job. But when he gets stuck with the passenger from hell — a hulking, cantankerous cop with an agenda — he gets thrown into an adventure where there’s much more on the line than his four-star rating. This week, we review Stuber, discuss the trailers for Mulan and Hustlers and share our Watches of the Week. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent Neely and Justin Redman. Catch a new discussion every Thursday! Reel Underdogs on...

Duration:01:20:36

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

7/12/2019
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Everyone’s favorite web-slinger returns in Spider-Man: Far from Home, the first new movie from Marvel Studios since Avengers: Endgame. Peter Parker hopes to take a break from his responsibilities as Spider-Man on a high school class trip to Europe, but inevitably, that plan doesn’t last very long. Did this movie give us hope for the future of the MCU? Listen to find out! (WARNING: spoilers from 43:18 to 1:04:38) Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent Neely and Justin Redman. Catch a new...

Duration:01:21:03

SHAFT (06/20/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded June 20, 2019) After nearly two decades, Shaft is back. We follow the young and naive John Shaft, Jr. as he reconnects with his estranged, free-wheeling father to investigate his best friend’s death. Does this installment do its predecessors justice, or does Hollywood need to finally let Shaft retire? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Trent Neely and Justin Redman. Catch a new discussion every Thursday! Reel Underdogs on Twitter: @ReelUnderdogs John Battiston on...

Duration:01:12:56

TOLKIEN (05/16/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded May 16, 2019) Tolkien tells the story of the young man who would become the acclaimed author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Orphaned at a young age, J.R.R. Tolkien’s vast imagination and love for language, as well as the influences of friendship, romance and war, combine to birth his vision for the now-classic tales of Middle Earth. Does Tolkien do its subject justice for both fans and newcomers to his work? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and...

Duration:00:58:36

EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE (05/09/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on May 9, 2019) Zac Efron, once a teen heartthrob featured in movies like High School Musical and 17 Again, takes a drastic turn for the sinister as famed serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix’s new original biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. We watch through the eyes of both Bundy and his longtime girlfriend over a span of two decades as the list of accusations against him grows too long to ignore. Does the film do justice to the sensationally horrifying...

Duration:01:01:45

AVENGERS: ENDGAME — Spoiler Discussion

7/11/2019
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We dive deep into spoilers for Avengers: Endgame! Featuring Josh Gann, host of the Gann the Fan sports podcast, as a guest panelist. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new discussion every Thursday! Reel Underdogs on Twitter: @ReelUnderdogs John Battiston on Twitter: @JB3Writes Trent Neely on Twitter: @TrentHNeely Visit us on Facebook or email us at reelunderdogs@gmail.com!

Duration:01:13:40

BREAKTHROUGH (04/25/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on April 25, 2019) Breakthrough follows the true story of fourteen-year-old John Smith, who miraculously showed signs of life after falling into a frozen lake and drowning. As John fights for his life, his mother, Joyce, endures a test of faith as she hopes for God to restore her comatose son back to health. We’re here to find out: does Breakthrough do its source material justice, and is it a worthwhile watch for anyone from any religious background? Reel Underdogs are...

Duration:01:02:39

MISSING LINK (04/18/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on April 18, 2019) The Oscar-nominated animators at Laika has returned with Missing Link, a stop-motion adventure tale. Despite its top-notch visuals and voice talent, it came in ninth during a very disappointing weekend at the box office. We’re here do find out: Does Missing Link have the substance to match its style? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new discussion every Thursday! Reel Underdogs on Twitter: @ReelUnderdogs John...

Duration:01:01:33

THE BEST OF ENEMIES (04/11/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on April 11, 2019) The Best of Enemies documents the historic rivalry between an African-American civil rights advocate and the local President of the Ku Klux Klan in 1970s Durham, North Carolina. Through a lengthy debate and voting process, they work to resolve an educational crisis and, some hope, toward long-overdue school integration. Though it struggled at the box office, we gave the story of Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis a shot — but does it get our vote of...

Duration:00:49:43

THE HIGHWAYMEN (04/04/2019)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on April 4, 2019) We decided to do things a little differently this week. Instead of our usual trip to the theater, we spent a night watching The Highwaymen, Netflix’s new film starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the Texas Rangers who tracked down Bonnie and Clyde. Listen on to our thoughts on the new crime drama — plus, we give our recommendations for underappreciated films available for you to stream right now. Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen...

Duration:01:14:27

US (03/28/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on Us, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the 2017 smash-hit Get Out, follows a family whose summer vacation is thrown out of control when they are harassed by their malicious doppelgangers. It was the only new movie given a wide release over the weekend, making it this week’s underdog by default. We’re here to find out: what’s all the fuss about Us? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a new discussion every Thursday! Reel Underdogs on Twitter:...

Duration:01:10:03

CAPTIVE STATE (03/21/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on March 21, 2019) Captive State, the new science fiction film from director Rupert Wyatt, takes place in a futuristic Chicago ten years into a totalitarian alien occupation, and follows mankind’s attempt at an uprising. It didn’t exactly rise up against the box office competition, opening at number seven. We’re here to find out: Does Captive State captivate, or will it leave you itching for escape? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a...

Duration:01:06:03

Spring Break Special: The Streaming Debate (03/14/19)

7/11/2019
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(Originally uploaded on March 14, 2019) We here at Reel Underdogs are currently on spring break, which means we won’t be discussing a new movie today. Instead, we decided to turn our attention to a topic that has been subject to recent debate within the film community: Streaming. Karlyn and I discussed the effects the streaming revolution has on cinema and television, and ask the big question: Is it helping or hurting? Reel Underdogs are John Battiston, Karlyn Chen and Trent Neely. Catch a...

Duration:00:49:53