CinemaJaw 247, Maria Finitzo – Best Movie Coaches

Reviewed This Episode: In The Game, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Gift
I for and I: No Escape
CinemaWAR: Which is the better movie stoner duo – Harold & Kumar or Cheech & Chong?
Trivia: Owen Wilson Movie Trivia
Sponsored by: Utter Nonsense, Sarantos, Sentient Chronicles,  Immortal Fear

As Ringo once cleverly pointed out, we all need a little help from our friends. The teamwork and friendship that can be felt among sports teams can run especially deep, and those feelings are bolstered and nurtured by the coach. Someone who not only calls the plays but is a mentor, a leader, and a guru. This week on CinemaJaw we take a look at the coach in movies. There have been many great examples.

Who better to help us out than two time Peabody Award winner, and documentarian, Maria Finitzo? No one. Especially because her latest doc film is partially about this very subject. Maria has been producing and directing documentary films for network television, public broadcasting, cable TV and the Internet for more than 25 years. Her body of work has been honored by every major broadcast award granted to documentary films. Ms. Finitzo’s films demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise, tackling a wide variety of subjects including the controversial science of stem cell research, the command and control of nuclear weapons on an international level, and the complex psychology of adolescent girls.


From 1995 to the present, Ms. Finitzo has been an associate of Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films, an award-winning media arts organization with a 45-year history of producing social issue documentaries. In 2007, the company was awarded the International MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions honoring the body of work produced by all of the associates at Kartemquin Films. What a great guest! It was an honor to speak with Maria!

So go ahead and run some laps, put your earbuds in and get a good movie coaching! Listen:

CinemaJaw 246, Best Airplane Scenes

Reviewed This Episode: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Ex Machina
I for and I: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
CinemaWAR: Is Guy Ritchie a Top Tier Director?
Trivia: Writers Movie Trivia
Sponsored by: Bit Bash ChicagoMoviepass, GuruSwipes

This week on CinemaJaw we fly solo (no guest this week) and in honor of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, we cover the top 5 Greatest Airplane Scenes. See what I did there?


This is a great chance for you to get to know we three on Team ‘Jaw a little better. So please extinguish all smoking material, and make sure your tray and seat back are in their full upright position as we descend into your destination… CinemaJaw!

CinemJaw 245, Franklin Leonard – Best Screenplays of the Past 25 Years

Reviewed This Episode: The Wolfpack
I for and I: Straight Outta Compton
CinemaWAR: Is there hope for the Fantastic Four franchise or is it dead in the water?
Trivia: Charlize Theron Movie Trivia
Sponsored by: Cards Against HumanityMoviepass, GuruSwipes, Three Link Directory

A movie is like a tree, go with me here. Many constituent parts make up the tree, the trunk is the photography, the bark is set, the branches are the actors, and the leaves are the crew. When we back up and observe it for the whole we can say “there is a tree”, and can appriciate it on its overall quality. If you’ll allow the analogy one more step, then the screenplay is the seed, the tiny acorn from which the mighty oak of a film will grow. It all begins with a script.

When considering the Best Screenplays of the Past 25 Years you need to get yourself an expert. Perhaps someone who created the industries hippest arbiter of unproduced script gems. Perhaps someone who hosts a podcast wherein popular actors record a live table read of said hidden gems. Perhaps you get yourself Franklin Leonard, and that is exactly what we did. It began as a survey. In 2005, Franklin Leonard surveyed almost 100 film industry development executives about their favorite scripts from that year that had not been made as feature films. That first list – many of which have been made since – can be viewed here.


As alluded to earlier, Franklin is also the host of new, and very popular (for good reason) podcast The Blacklist Table Reads on which the best screenplays Hollywood hasn’t yet made are turned into movies… for your ears. It has been included on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” and described by podcast review website The Timbre as “positively groundbreaking.”  Featuring performances by actors including Paul Scheer (“The League”), Lauren Lapkus (“Orange is the New Black”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Jerry Adler (“The Sopranos”), Darren Criss (“Glee”), and Emmy winner and two time Tony nominee Tammy Blanchard, it’s the perfect way to spend a commute or a Saturday evening at home… Aside from CinemaJaw of course.

So please take a listen, lots to be learned!

CinemaJaw 244, Chuck Bryant – Movies You Should Know… But Don’t

Reviewed This Episode: Pixels, End of the Tour, Irrational Man
I for and I: Fantastic Four
CinemaWAR: Since 1996 which is the better spy series: Mission Impossible or Bond?
Trivia: Vacation Movie Series Trivia
Sponsored by: Jackbox GamesMoviepass, GuruSwipesBoom Boom Girls of Wrestling

There are movies that you know, and movies that you don’t know, then there are movies that you should know but don’t.  These could be hidden gems, obscure treasures, or stuff that has been forgotten over time. This week we are recalling these films in grand fashion. Joining us is a man who we consider podcasting royalty! One half of the on-mic talent behind one of the best podcasts in the world (consistently ranked among iTunes Top 10 Podcasts) Stuff You Should Know. Hence our topic du jour.


If you listen to Stuff You Should Know, chances are good that you have heard Chuck mention his love of movies. Though they have explored the topic on his show in various ways, we thought it was high time that he let his film flag fly and get to have an unbridled discussion about his favorite flicks! And, oh did we!

It was a genuine treat to talk to Chuck Bryant. We hope you enjoy our chat!

CinemaJaw 243, Wish Come True Movies w/guest Brian Babylon

Reviewed This Episode: Ex Machina, Amy
I for and I: Southpaw
CinemaWAR: Who is the second best boxer from the Rocky franchise?
Trivia: Boxing Movie Trivia
Sponsored by: Moviepass, Basecamp, Tom Slatin, Sofa King Podcast

When you wish upon a star. Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires. Will come to you. Or so Jiminy Cricket had led us to believe. There is no doubt that the silver screen is a magical window into a world were anything is possible. Talking teddy bears can smoke pot, genies appear from magic lamps, and little wooden boys have noses that grow when they lie. Wishes can come true, jut be careful what you wish for… unless you wish for guest Brian Babylon. Then you are in the clear!


Multi talented, chicago native, Brian babylon is a stand-up comic, radio host and self-proclaimed “Prince of Bronzeville,” and eight-year veteran of Chicago Public Media, Babylon hosted and produced “The Morning AMp” from its inception in 2011 until last month and has been named social media producer for “Why? With Hannibal Buress,” a new weekly series on Comedy Central, to be produced in Los Angeles and set to debut in July. Not to mention that he is an alum of popular show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! This guy is awesome, and we were stoked to talk movies with him.

Have a listen!


CinemaJaw 241, Best Movie-going Experiences w/guest Matt Pais

Reviewed This Episode: Jurassic World, Inside Out
Interested or Ignore: Ted 2
Trivia: Talking Animal Movie Trivia 

CinemaWAR: Is Bryce Dallas Howard a leading lady now after Jurassic World?
Sponsored by: Moviepass

Magical memories are made inside the movie palaces. Perhaps your first kiss, or the first time it dawned on you that movies were more than some fleeting entertainment, “this is art”…

Most likely it was that kiss though.


This week on CinemaJaw we are joined by movie critic and Chicago RedEye writer, Matt Pais. Matt is a very busy guy! In addition to the aforementioned, he covers movies and oversees RedEye’s music coverage, both local and national, not to mention seeing 2 films a day! Whew!

So enjoy our talk with Matt Pais. It was a very good and funny one! Listen:

CinemaJaw 240, Festival Darlings w/guest Jordon Hodges

Reviewed This Episode: Spy
Interested or Ignore: Inside Out
Trivia: Pixar Movie Trivia

CinemaWAR: Is Cameron Crowe finished?  
Sponsored by: Moviepass, SarantosBlue Collar Glomeration

Many movies come out of the festival circuit. It’s almost like our minor league, if you will. Some films get championed first by the judges at the big film festivals, and go on to collect Oscars come award season. This week on CinemaJaw we take a look at some of these break out success stories… Festival Darlings!

Joining us is a man who knows well the topic, Jordon Hodges. Jordon is the programmer at the River Bend Film Festival, Actor and Producer and is also known for his role as Noah Daly in the 2014 drama film Sand Castles. So he knows a thing or two about festival darlings!


So sit back and relax, have another popcorn, we are going to the festival in your head!

CinemaJaw 238, Movies About Hollywood w/guest Jensen Karp

Reviewed This Episode: Tomorrowland
Interested or Ignore: Spy
Trivia: Cameron Crowe Movie Trivia

CinemaWAR: Which is the better rapper turned actor Mark Wahlberg or Will Smith?
Sponsored by: The Natter Cast, 21st Century Auto InsuranceMoviepass

Hollywood is obsessed with itself. This is a statement of fact.

Don’t get me wrong. It should be! While, it’s true, there is a seedy underbelly that eats up and spits out young hopefuls, leaving them shells of human beings, Hollywood is also a nigh magical place where dreams are made and the impossible becomes reality. But mostly the former.

One thing that cannot be argued is that Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood. They tend to do great at award shows, and with critics. We, at CinemaJaw, will admit that we tend to like them too. “The Movies” are a transcendent and enchanted thing (Obviously we think so. We do a podcast about them!), and when handled correctly the subject matter is rife with potential. What better topic this week than Movies About Hollywood?

And we have a great guest, who happens to lives near there!

Welcome to the show rapper, art dealer, podcaster, writer, polymath, Jensen Karp. You may be familiar with Jensen’s breakout run on the Roll Call freestyle competition on Los Angeles radio station Power 106, where he lasted a record 45 days on air to become the show’s all-time champion. More recently he is the host, along with Matthew Robinson, of a popular podcast about emerging trends called Get Up On This that has been on both the Smod and EarWolf networks. Jensen is an impressive guy with tons of creative energy, and we get to know his story from the Hot Karl days to art dealing, epic Twitter battles, writing and more! Happy to have him on the show.


So sit back JawHeads and put in your earbuds. Get ready to fill up your queue with stories of Hollywood telling stories about Hollywood telling stories about Hollywood, and so on…

CinemaJaw Supersode 1 – Happy 35th Birthday Pac-Man, Our Top Video Game Movies and More!

This is a special episode.

In honor of Pac-Man turning 35 today, we are celebrating and stitching together our best video game related content of the past five years!


You will hear an interview with a man who made what is arguably one of the best video game movies of all time, Tron himself, Mr. Bruce Boxleitner. His voice is like quarters plinking into coin receptacles.  At that time Bruce was making a press tour for Lantern City, which has since been launched as a comic book series.


Then an episode from WAY BACK, Adam Fendleman of hollywood Chicago joins us to deliver out Top 5 Video Game Movies!


Last, but you’d better believe not least, Steven Ogg (AKA Trevor from the Grand Theft Auto 5 video game) joins us on the phone to chat it up.

Get yourself a roll of quarters, cause we are going to Mortal Kombat a friendship on your eardrums.

CinemaJaw 237, Actors Who Have Reinvented Themselves w/guest Steve “Capone” Prokopy of AICN

Reviewed This Episode: Maggie, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Interested or Ignore: Tomorrowland
Trivia: George Clooney Movie Trivia

CinemaWAR: Which is better – Practical effects or CGI?
Sponsored by: The Natter Cast, Evorath Book Series, Moviepass

Spring is the time for rebirth, and hay fever. Annually the “Summer” movie season kicks off with a glut of action and sci-fi films with vastly varying quality. A not-too-uncommon trend is seeing old mostly washed up stars reemerge to try something new.  That old action hero is suddenly crying in an indie picture, or (vice versa) yesterday’s favorite comedian is suddenly doing a horror film. Actors and actresses seem to take this opportunity to reinvent themselves. To break free of the egg shell their career has been, fairly or otherwise, stuffed into. Again results are mixed here. Some are quite successful and go on to have a much broader range in their acting arsenal. Others fail, and return tail tucked back to the genre from whence they came. This week on CinemaJaw we are taking a look at some who have made the transition both successfully and not-so-much, as  we examine Actors Who have Reinvented Themselves.


Joining us is a man who early on reinvented himself (sort of) as a film critic back in the early days of the internet, over at Ain’t It Cool News, Mr. Steve “Capone” Prokopy. Ain’t It Cool News or simply AICN was a prototypical and early internet movie news site, and garnered lots of attention early on. That attention largely had Batman to thank. Steve has been there since nearly the beginning and continues on to this day with Harry Knowles. All you critics and would be critics who are wondering how to break into the industry will be very interested in Steve’s story.

So please, reinvent yourself as a CinemaJaw listener, or if you already are, reinvent yourself as someone who shares this on Facebook.