MTR Network

It's a very special UDPod as we have somehow tricked TheFinacee to join us this week. That's right, the future Mrs. DPalm has done the favors and graced the podcast with her presence. We talk about how you can play sports, but not love watching, and track her journey from a non fan to someone STILL broken up about the Falcons losing to the Patriots. Plus, we celebrate the return of America's 5th Major Professional Sport as MTV's The Challenge is BACK!

Topics:

Guests:

Susan!!!

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Direct download: Unanimous_Decision_53__Learning_to_Love_it.mp3
Category:Sports -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

I know I know, we weren't supposed to have any more Insanity Check episodes this month. But then Buzzfeed dropped an article about what one of America's most infamous serial pedophiles is up to currently and well, fuckery happened. It's no secret that R Kelly is a pedophile but the way he's able to not only get away with it but thrive financially from it is sickening. And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the defenses of him. I'm tired of him being able to get away with it. I'm tired of the blame going solely to black women. I'm tired of people acting like R Kelly is able to be a sexual predator because of the enablers around him.

So that's why there's a show. Its just me (Kriss) with a bit of a rant. But I needed to get this shit out of my head before I fly out to San Diego. Don't need this bullshit to follow me to the West Coast.

For those that can stomach it, the Village Voice article on all the claims against R Kelly.

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Direct download: Insanity_Check_Extra_-_The_R_Kelly_Situation_1.m4a
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

*there was an audio issue at the 29 minute mark where the sound went out. The new audio fixes this so if you had issues listening before, please redownload*

Last Insanity Check before the break and it's a good one. We've been avoiding the politics talk for the last few episodes but its back this week with guest L Joy Williams. We spend most of this episode talking to L Joy about her new show, #SundayCivics and what's needed to change the discussion around getting involved in politics. So much of our politics has become binary and marked in terms of "winners and losers". But the reality is, we need to get back to basics and talk about how the educational system in this country, has eroded our foundation. People don't know what it means to be involved with civic action or how to even begin.

Topics:

Guest:

L Joy Williams - @LJoyWilliams - SundayCivics.org

Sponsors:

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Direct download: Insanity_Check_576__Education_is_the_Key_1.m4a
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

Phenom and Ashley review The Book of Henry.

With instructions from her genius son's carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather.

 

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Direct download: MTR-BookOfHenry.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:02am EDT

What could be worse than yet another Final Destination movie? How about an even lazier Final Destination knockoff? Wish Upon is what happens when you want to make another Final Destination movie but get told “No” so you try to find a way to make it happen anyway.

Now to be fair, going in, you probably already knew this movie wasn’t going to be good. Trailers for this film looked like the boilerplate, half-thought out teen horror film that we’ve seen before. But it didn’t have to be. Wish Upon could have bucked the norms but instead it just doubles down on the problems teen horror films always seem to have. Characters that the audience has no connection to are killed but their deaths are supposed to have impact. The film breaks its own rules halfway through about who dies. But most egregious of all the problems, the lead character is not only stupid but completely unlikable. Joey King plays Clare Shannon who quickly goes from a character you have some sympathy for, to a character you absolutely despise for how selfish and stupid she is.

The plot goes like this, after her mother’s suicide (which comes back later in the most obvious “twist” ever put to film), Clare is raised by her father Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe). Her father gives her a “wish box” not knowing what it is. Clare’s first two wishes are accidents that she thinks are just coincidences along with the deaths of two “people” (people is in quotes for a reason) close her. But by the third wish, Clare knows the box is real. By the 4th or 5th wish, she learns what the price of a wish is (the death of someone close to her….kinda). But she keeps making wishes. Not only does she keep making wishes but…her wishes are stupid, even for a young teenage outcast girl. And that’s why this film is just so terrible. It uses stereotypical tropes about teens and how they interact with each other (as friends and in relationships) that is just eye rolling bad. At one point she wishes that her dad would be less embarrassing. Yes. That is the wish she makes that costs someone their life. To have a less embarrassing parent.

The film feels like it was written and directed by the same baby boomers who write articles about how millennials are destroying the very fabric of reality. You have to start wondering if they've ever spent any significant time with anyone under the age of 30. 

Listen to our full review on iTunes/Stitcher/Google Play Music or stream/download the full review above.

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Direct download: Wish_Upon_Review_1.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 5:59am EDT

We’ll be blunt: You’re not going to like A Ghost Story. Don’t waste your time or money for this film. It’s not made for you. David Lowery’s film falls into the same category as It Comes At Night. It’s not made for audiences to go and be entertained. Rather its made to give pretentious critics the opportunity to use a lot of words to heap praise and a ridiculous and boring movie.

A Ghost Story reminds me of those jokes about pretentious people in an art gallery looking at a stain on a wall and trying to one-up each other with what the “stain” really means. Then in walks a janitor with a rag and wipes away the stain saying “its not a piece of art, it was just throw up from a kid who walked by earlier”.

There’s nothing wrong with directors and cinematographers making movies that highlight certain artistic forms or allow them to “get weird” without feeling pressure to appeal to a broad base. But those experiments really don’t belong in the theater. Films like this are like tech demos video game studios make to show off cool new graphics. They have a specific technical purpose but everyone knows they lack the meat and potatoes to be actual games. That’s what A Ghost Story is. As a film, there can be some artistic quality to this that can spark conversations among film makers over techniques. But as a film for audience consumption, it’s insulting. Despite what some critics will have you think, there's nothing intriguing, thoughtful, intense about watching Rooney Mara eat an entire pie on the floor for 5 minutes while a man in a  sheet watches. It’s a child’s boogers smeared on the wall of an art gallery that people are trying to convince themselves is art.

The overall concept of this film is better suited for a short 10 minute film, not 92 minutes of mostly silence where you're stuck watching scenes where absolutely nothing happens. Yes, the film is about the enormity of time and how we conceptualize that. Yes, its an interesting concept to think about life/death/time from the perspective of a ghost/spirit and what that means. But execution matters here. Too many times film makers get caught up in their high level concepts or the technical accomplishments and forget about the simple purpose of: Will anyone want to actually watch this?

And for A Ghost Story? The answer is simple: No.

Stream/download the full review.

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Direct download: A_Ghost_Story_Review_1.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 5:58am EDT

The third film in the Planet of the Apes rebooted series is by far the most emotional and best looking out of the bunch. War for the Planet Apes is so emotional and looks so good that at times you will forget that the main characters and actors are "apes". This series has slowly moved away from the humans and towards Caesar and the apes being the main characters with each progressing film. 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes introduced us to Caesar but still had James Franco carrying a heavy load. In 2014, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes put more responsibility on Andy Serkis and the actors playing the apes, but still had heavy human character influences. But War for the Planet of the Apes moves the humans to side characters. Almost every emotional scene in this film is carried by actors in motion capture portraying apes.

This film is truly a masterpiece. It will catch you off guard by how emotional it is and how much acting is done between the actors portraying apes. This film wraps serious discussions about revolution, slavery, war and racial dynamics into an entertaining film involving primates. One word of warning, the trailers were cut to purposely mislead and tell a completely different story than the one actually shown in film. And that's for the better.

Listen to Kriss & Tim break down this film (no spoilers). Stream or download from the audio player above.

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Direct download: War_for_the_Planet_of_the_Apes_Review_2.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT


We're back. Kriss is joined in studio by Jaxx (@JaxxDynamite). Jaxx will be bringing his new podcast to the MTR Network and we need your help to decide on the name: Boom Goes the Dynamite or Ratchet & Drank. There will be a poll on Twitter soon and you can also email us what you think.

As for topics, we're able to avoid politics (for the most part) for the second week in the row. We talk about killing Nazis (in the virtual video game world), the word Blerd and the negativity sometimes surrounding it, nerds using being bullied to justify being terrible people, self driving cars and more.

Topics:

  • The Wolfenstein games are great (Plus you get kill Nazis)
  • The problem with "Blerds"
  • Smart black people who turn on other black people because they got picked on
  • Black male nerds who parrot the same problematic views of white nerds
  • Fox suspends Charles Payne for sexual harassment claims
    • That time Charles Payne whined about the black community to Glenn Beck
  • The Breakfast Club gets space for Dr Wesley Muhammed's idiocy
  • Do You Even Sci-Fi Bro
  • Great Moments In White Privilege
  • Black Woman Shoutout

Guest:

Jaxx - @JaxxDynamite

Sponsors:

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The Poole Law Firm - "Solutions, not excuses..."

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Contact Us:
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Twitter – @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork

Direct download: Insanity_Check_575_-_Special_Snowflake_Syndrome_1.m4a
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 4:24pm EDT

We like to save our wrestling podcasts for special occasions, but the current landscape calls for it. Thankfully, we've got real live wrestling media personality Rich Fann in the rolodex, and he took some time to chat with us. From the card this coming Sunday to the last 6 months of Kenny Omega to even celebrating the most reliable scammer of all time, we tackle it all.

Topics:

  • Rich Fann - hardest working man in sports entertainment!
  • Jeff Jarrett: Generational scammer.
  • NJPW comes to California.
  • Okada might be the best wrestler on the planet...
  • ...not named Kenny Omega.
  • Smackdown Live dropping the ball with the Women's Division.
  • Rap battle + Pro Wrestling = surprisingly lit.
  • Great Balls of Fire is a badly named event with a helluva card.

Guests:

Rich– @Rich_Fann – Buffalo Wins – PWTorch East Coast Cast

Sponsors:

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Contact Us:

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Direct download: Unanimous_Decision_52__Big_Fight_Feel.m4a
Category:Sports -- posted at: 5:33am EDT

Our review of Spider-Man Homecoming is finally here. We've been sitting on this review for over a week now and we can finally release it. Marvel has gotten Sony back in the win column with Spider-Man Homecoming. We don't look forward to the nostalgia debate by those still holding onto Spider-Man 2 but to us, Spider-Man Homecoming is the best live action Spider-Man film to date. Tom Holland captures the essence of teenage Peter Parker perfectly. Robert Downey Jr. isn't overused as Tony Stark in this film (no, its not even close to Iron Man 4). And Michael Keaton is the perfect villain in this film.

The rest of the supporting cast is just as good. And the best part, its diverse. I know there has been some talk about the diverse characters in this movie being only supporting characters but I think there's a lot of room for them being elevated to bigger roles.  Also keep an eye out of a lot of cameos by characters that are known in Spider-Man lore, particularly his early years (Listen to our Teenage Peter Parker Character Corner for a heads up).

Our spoiler review of this movie will go into more details and will hopefully be out next week.

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The Poole Law Firm - "Solutions, not excuses..." 

Contact Us:
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Check us out on Youtube
Twitter – @InsanityReport, @Phenomblak & @TheMTRNetwork

Direct download: Spider-Man__Homecoming_Review.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT