Hello all. Mark here.
When you hear the name Nicholas Sparks I’m pretty certain you will groan, scoff or say “I loved The Notebook!” His 10 book adaptations have grossed $862 million worldwide and provided Kleenex thousands of new customers. However, the romantic films have taken a nose dive in quality since he took over producing and screenwriting duties. The genre he helped create (Sparksian) has now become predictable and each now feels like a paint by the numbers retread of the prior movie. Just look at the posters.
The first five differed slightly but then it became all about the face palms. Check out the poster breakdown here.
Why have I decided to rank these movies? I have a strange fascination with these tear jerkers because they are critic proof, really weird and always cast big name talent. Their quality has slowly declined (or was it ever there?) yet some are better than others. People keep coming back for more and must find the unabashed melodrama satisfying. Do people find enjoyment in untimely death, cancer, lost love, mom jeans, poster face grabbing and ghosts? I do know that when watching The Notebook 87% of the people in the packed theater were crying their eyes out. It actually took me out of the movie because I had never been surrounded by so many crying people.
Sidenote: Sparks said he was a better writer than Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men, Blood Meridian, The Road) and thinks his books are Greek Tragedies. Just had to add that in there.
Along with the ranking I’ve included the “Sparks Meter.” I compiled 15 of his most repeated elements in an effort to figure out what is the most “Sparksian of all the Sparks movies. Here are the 15 elements.
Boats, Widowed, Divorced, Only child, Death of a love interest, Two love stories taking place during one film, Cancer, Water smooching, Beach scene involving cuddling, frolicking, swimming etc…, Letter writing, Moving to new town, Secrets, Pickup truck. Love triangle, Angry parents
The Average “Sparksian” score is 8.
1. A Walk To Remember
Roger Ebert sums up this movie perfectly.
A Walk to Remember is a love story so sweet, sincere and positive that it sneaks past the defenses built up in this age of irony. It tells the story of a romance between two 18-year-olds that is summarized when the boy tells the girl’s doubtful father: “Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different. Better.” After all of the vulgar crudities of the typical modern teenage movie, here is one that looks closely, pays attention, sees that not all teenagers are as cretinous as Hollywood portrays them. A Walk to Remember is a small treasure.
6 of 15 Sparkisms. (Widowed, Only Child, Death of a Love Interest, Cancer, Secrets, Angry Parent)
2. The Notebook
The Notebook was incredibly passionate and super bonkers (They die at the same time!) Rachel McAdam’s character is by far the most three-dimensional of Spark’s ladies (she literally fought for her character) and Ryan Gosling became a megastar overnight because of this movie. The Notebook is by far the most popular of the nine films because of the commited acting, passion, and all around care spent on the script.
8 out of 15 Sparkisms. (Widowed, Only Child, Death of a Love Interest, Angry Parent, Smooching in Rain, Boat, Letter writing, Pickup truck)
3. The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride is the least manipulative of all the Spark’s films. It tells the story of two couples who compromise, love and get all emotional. Jack Huston, Brit Robertson, Oona Chaplin (granddaughter of Charlie) and Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) do a fine job of playing the good looking people who fall head over heels in love. The Longest Ride defeated all of my skepticism and left me sort of liking the movie despite the ham-fisted storytelling and cliches. The best part is that nobody dies at the end via a flash mudslide!
10 out of 15 (Boat, Only Child, Widow, Smooching in water (X2), Letter writing, Pickup truck, Beach frolicking, Two love stories taking place at once, Secrets)
4. The Last Song
Greg Kinear is my homeboy. The Last Song is a teenager tear maker but it helps sea turtles and Justified’s Nick Searcy makes an appearance so it isn’t all bad. The Last Song is not good but poor Greg Kinnear acts his face off in order to create some emotional resonance.
7 out of 15 (Cancer, Divorce, Water Kissing, Boat, Beach, Secrets, Moving to new town)
5. Safe Haven
Lady on the run finds a nice family and talks to a ghost. Did I mention the ghost was her love interests dead wife? The twist comes so from a place so far off that is miles behind left field. If I had taken a sip of water before the twist reveal I would’ve spit it out from humor shock. Safe Haven is bonkers and the How Did This Get Made crew covered it perfectly.
7 out of 15 (Beach, Moving to new town, Secrets, Widow, Pickup truck, Water Smooching, Letter Writing)
6. Message in a Bottle
So…….Kevin Costner plays a widow who is tricked by a reporter for a story. Eventually, the two fall in love and as he is going to visit her he dies in a freak storm. Basically, everything that happens in this film is unnecessary. I love me some Paul Newman though.
Paul Newman was in this movie!
8 of of 15 (Widow, Secret, Beach, Boat, Death of a love interest, Letter writing, Pickup truck, Angry parents)
7. Dear John
Entertainment Weekly sums up this film perfectly
John (Channing Tatum) and Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) find themselves in a How I Met Your Mother situation when Savannah breaks up with John for Tim (Henry Thomas)—only for Tim to die of lymphoma, giving Savannah and John the opportunity to rekindle their love. The twist comes off as insensitive and implausible: ”Let’s celebrate this really nice dude’s death and how it conveniently made it possible for John and Savannah to hook up!” Poor Tim.
11 out of 15 (Death of a love Interest, Angry Parents, Widow (X 2), Boat, Letters, Water smooching, Love triangle, Pickup truck, Beach cuddling)
8. The Lucky One
Nope. The whole thing is based on an unnecessary lie (just tell that lady) and features the stock drunk husband who will inevitably do something dumb and hurt his family. Both Zac Efron and Taylor Shilling have proven they have personalities but The Lucky One sticks them so far in the muck there is zero enjoyment.
7 out of 15 (Boat, Secrets, Only Child, Divorce, Water Smooching, Moving, Pickup Truck
9. Nights in Rodanthe
Never put Diane Lane in mom jeans. Don’t kill Richard Gere in a flash mudslide. James Franco is in this movie. It is all very weird. It dedicated a five minute scene to Gere and Lane throwing canned goods into a waste basket. If they filmed this as a way to take a beach vacation I applaud them.
5 out of 15 (Beach, Loss of a loved one, Divorce, Water smooching, Letter Writing)
10. The Best of Me
Dumb, manipulative and wastes all of its talent. The Best of Me has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (lowest of all the Sparks films) and the screenplay was written by Sparks (bad idea). I have never watch a more underwritten lame fest and it kinda sucked because James Marsden and Michelle Monoghan are fantastic actors.
11 out of 15 (Water Smooching (X2), Loss of a loved one, Divorce, Pickup truck, Secrets, Two love stories at once,
John’s Horror Corner: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), exploring Clive Barker’s Labyrinth and Cenobite upgrades.
NSFW NSFW NSFW NSFW NSFW
This article is rich with images you do not want your boss to see when he’s looking over your shoulder at work. View at your own risk.
NSFW NSFW NSFW NSFW NSFW
MY CALL: This is one of the more interesting horror movies of its decade—second only to its franchise predecessor. Gory, dark, exploratory and with an engaging story, this is not a movie to miss. MOVIES LIKE Hellraiser: Hellraiser (1987), Re-Animator (1985), Lord of Illusions (1995), Nightbreed (1990) and The Thing (1982).
The movie opens with a something of a highlights reel of the best and grossest scenes from part 1. Continuing immediately from where Hellraiser (1987) ended, we find Kirsty (Ashley Laurence; Hellraiser, Warlock III) in a mental hospital where her account of what happened to her father, uncle Frank and stepmother Julia (Clare Higgins; Being Human) is received as more than a little hard to swallow.
Whereas Hellraiser (1987) delivered credible character reactions to an incredible evil force, Hellbound takes a nosedive into bonkersville in terms of plot believability. I, in no way, mean this as a complaint…I LOVE this movie. But this “movie” is the point in the franchise when we stop using the word “film.” Clive Barker’s infernal art and brilliant storytelling are behind us now. It seems that perhaps our new director Tony Randel (Amityville: It’s About Time, Fist of the North Star) was trying a little too hard to fill Horror Master Clive Barker’s (Nightbreed, Hellraiser) shoes. The gore–which was already heavy, sloppily gross and pleasurably unique in part one–is now turned up to an “11” and the plot elements seem to have shifted from credible to nonsense. Almost every event in the story evidences this mania—not that the horror genre is known for its storytelling. In fact, as bonkers as it is, this story is told more eloquently than most horror (especially in the late 80s).
Now in a mental hospital, the doctor in charge of Kirsty’s case just happens to be an amateur expert and collector obsessed with all things occult, especially the Puzzle Box and its history. In other words, coincidence has been pushed to the extreme as Kirsty’s caregiver has been waiting for this! After Kirsty warns police to destroy the mattress on which Julia died in part 1 (because Kirsty somehow understands exactly how coming back from Hell works all the sudden), Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham; Hot Fuzz) somehow gets the police to deliver this murder case evidence to his private residence with the intentions of summoning Julia. For a blood offering he checks out a deeply disturbed patient from the screaming basement ward of his mental hospital–it’s what you’d expect from an 1800’s mental hospital…in a horror movie…on steroids…and then more extreme!!! Dr. Channard seems to frequently bring disturbed patients to his home without restriction.
So clearly, this movie has gone to comicbook lengths to bring something crazy to the screen. But you know what? It remains crazy awesome!!! I haven’t read Clive Barker’s books (on which this is very loosely based), but I think we can safely assume that these actions would all much more carefully explained and tactfully justified in his detailed pages. As it turns out, the book on which Hellraiser was based (The Hellbound Heart) was quite short and only minorly addressed Pinhead and his Cenobites–so already the films have taken their own path. Meanwhile, in Hellraiser movieland, no one seems concerned with the disappearance of several patients.
It may sound like I’m slamming the plot. I’m not. In fact, overall the story itself remains elegantly unique. After all, whatever liberties this director took in making this film, it is still based on Barker’s refined writing.
After Julia’s “resurrection,” she sexually beguiles Channard–even though she hasn’t any skin–to help fully restore her with more victims. He obliges and we get to enjoy a room full of life-drained corpses. But this isn’t enough for Channard. He wants to know and see the secrets of the Hell that is The Labyrinth. So he brings a mute patient with a knack for puzzle-solving to open the gate to Hell with the Puzzle Box.
Things get yet crazier as Channard and Julia wander the corridors of Hell. He gets transformed into a Cenobite himself (simply referred to as “the Channard Cenobite”) by the God of Hell Leviathan and is for some reason way tougher than Pinhead and his Cenobite gang. He kills loads of people with his stop-motion bladed hand tentacles, so Kirsty gets Pinhead to see his inner child and wears Julia’s skin as a suit. A lot of cool stuff is happening, FOR SURE!
Whereas part 1 was entirely based on illustrating one man’s escape from Hell and the temptations required to accomplish the task, this sequel addresses that component just in the first act and then moves on to exploring the Labyrinth and witnessing various personal Hells while being swiftly introduced to how Barker’s Hell works and is ruled. Despite the busy plot of this movie (it does cover a lot), it remains very dark and creepy and, more importantly, the plot makes sense. We can’t say that about a lot of horror. Its gore-pleasing effects are abundant, the story pushes the Hellraiser franchise into a new dimension, and we learn more about the background of the Cenobites and the mythology behind Barker’s Hellish Labyrinth.
This movie is buckets of cool (and blood) and one of the more interesting horror installments (along with part 1) of its decade.
Watch it! Love it! Buy it! Watch it again!
The found footage world is a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. For every Blair Witch and Troll Hunter we get hundreds of The Gallows and Devil’s Pass movies. Occasionally, a weird little film climbs its way out the found footage wasteland and distinguishes itself via an original story, all-in performances and creepy masks that look great in movie trailers.
Creep is a semi-improvisational horror hybrid about a camera man answering a Craigslist ad. He will be paid $1,000 to film a man’s final moments before cancer and a brain tumor kill him in a few months. The final product will go to his unborn child and will provide a glimpse into his daily life. Things go wrong (of course) but the direction of Creep is never predictable. The dark humor, paranoia and performance by Mark Duplass create an immensely watchable 80 minute horror hybrid.
What makes this film work is that it doesn’t seem to be a cash grab or more of the same. Mark Duplass (The League, Safety Not Guaranteed) and director Patrick Brice started filming with a five-page outline and over the course of a year it evolved into a tight little thriller. Here is what Duplass had to say about it.
In the case of Creep, there was no stress at all. We never were attached to this movie being released. This was an arts and crafts experiment from the beginning. This was the most unprepared we’ve ever been going into a movie — or I’ve ever been — and we just put it together as we went. Then we promised ourselves, if it sucks we just won’t put it out there. So that was very freeing and stress-free. Where the stress does start to come in is when your movie starts testing well and you realize you do have something but it’s not quite there yet. Then you feel the responsibility to make it good, and that’s the point where we brought in Blumhouse as a partner and really employed our smart director friends to help us figure it out. That was a little stressful, but totally worth it.
Creep has a grounded realism that focuses on two very lonely people. One person resorts to answering craiglist ads for money while the other has obvious mental problems. Together they form a weird duo brought together by loneliness. Their day filming spirals into a controlled chaos in which clues are unraveled and the term “Chekhov’s axe” takes new meaning.
Creep doesn’t reinvent the found footage wheel but it doesn’t go flat either. The footage isn’t nausea inducing and the video diary brings an organic vibe to a man holding a camera for way too long. If you are a horror hound looking for blood and guts you will be disappointed but you might be inspired by the nature of the movie. It is a tiny little thing that is getting national press. It doesn’t feature CGI and the locations are scarce but it features a good idea and enough vision to get it in front of audiences.
If you are looking for inspiration and want to create something in the film world I totally recommend you watch this film. It is simple, smart and builds to a brutal conclusion. Let me know what you think when you watch it!
Trainwreck (2015), Amy Schumer proves herself in this cameo-filled raunchy, over-sexed romantic comedy in which EVERYONE is hilarious.
MY CALL: This is The 40-Year Old Virgin of the present decade, folks. Don’t miss this. MOVIES LIKE Trainwreck: The Change-Up (2011), What’s Your Number (2011), Wedding Crashers (2005), That Awkward Moment (2015), The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005), This is 40 (2012), My Best Friend’s Girl (2008), Good Luck Chuck (2007).
I am one of perhaps millions of people who fell in love with Schumer’s brutally honest and often limit-pushing humor specializing in relationships and sex. Her Comedy Central Roast work was always top notch and her stand-up pleases crowds and creates a powerful female presence shining through the overtly provocative comedic shadows cast by Dave Attell (who cameos in Trainwreck), Daniel Tosh, Louis CK, Jim Jeffries and Dane Cook. That’s not to say there aren’t some equally provocative “R-rated” female comedians out there, but they haven’t become as popularly mainstream as Schumer.
In her first major role as Amy, a well-educated writer for a trashy magazine, Schumer breaks gender barriers and basically plays the female version of a womanizing, overindulgent “bro.” It’s like a frat house version of Sex in the City. She drinks in excess, sleeps with everyone, has a “rule” about never spending the night, takes the longest walk of shame ever (even involving a Ferry from Staten Island), and assumes that if a guy calls her the next day that it’s either a butt-dialing accident or that he’s a psychopath.
The story is simple. The perpetually single and aloof Amy is assigned to write a story about an orthopedic surgeon (Bill Hader; Superbad) to sports stars. They have drinks, click, sleep together and, well, it turns out to be something more meaningful than a one-night stand. Of course, Amy is confused, repulsed and scared by this and from these emotions emerge the resistance and humor that synthesize this story of Amy becoming romantically “sensitized.” Much more interesting than the story, however, are its characters, which include too many cameos to mention. Most comedies have one or two people drawing our laughter, but here we have a dozen!
The film opens with a great scene in which Amy’s father (Colin Quinn; Grown Ups 2, That’s My Boy) rationalizes divorce and infidelity to his two young daughters using Teddy Bear analogies to convince them of the non-existence of happy monogamy. Quinn is delightfully brutal and always on point, stealing every scene in which we find him as he claims that “every 12-year old in the Dominican Republic is better than Babe Ruth” or that his nursing home is basically a Viagra-fueled sex house after lights out.
Likewise, Schumer and Dave Attell (cameo) bombard us with numerous comedic nuggets regarding sex with strangers (or even objects) and overindulgence. Schumer is always “on” but, much to my pleasure and very loud laughter, so is everyone else. As her boss, Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer, Only Lovers Left Alive) steers clear of her typically serious roles to play a soulless, shallow, quick-witted magazine editor whose every line is a memorably cutting one-liner.
However, among all of the shallow sex jokes we encounter some softer, even touching moments. Amy gives a most memorably sweet yet honest eulogy at a funeral (like in This is Where I Leave You), LeBron James (as himself) steals the show with funny but heartfelt commentary about being romantic and splitting checks and how Cleveland is as awesome as Miami, and Bill Hader brings the voice of reason to the entropy of Amy’s otherwise romance-free life. As Aaron, Hader plays his role straight and dramatic, which works our fantastically.
Most shocking was John Cena (The Marine) as Amy’s perhaps sexually confused boyfriend. Their dirty-talking sex-scene is hilarious, seeing Cena nearly naked is (speaking from a male perspective) equally horrifying and intriguing (at 255 lbs, the dude is gigantic for 5’9”), Cena getting taunted in the movie theater is awkwardly genius, and all of his dialogue is shockingly well-written. By the way, Schumer did an AMAZING writing job penning this–her first script!
Directed by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year Old Virgin, This is 40), this is exactly the raunchy romantic comedy for anyone in their 30s-40s with a history of partying, serial dating or at least a couple one-night stands…or even someone with a close friend or sibling like that. The film is formulaic in general plot points, but excellent in comedic execution. A few scenes feel like they run long, but they account for all but maybe 5-10 total minutes that I wasn’t laughing out loud.
This is The 40-Year Old Virgin of the present decade, folks. Don’t miss this. It is comic brilliance and I can’t wait to see what Schumer does next.
The stapler is a very important tool. It keeps paper together, works as a weapon and when an alien is surgically removed from your stomach staples are used to close your belly back up. It is an underrated tool that has played a part in some fantastic cinematic scenes. The following post examines my favorite usage of staples/staplers and proves that little metal things shaped like a U can make a difference.
1. Office Space and the beautiful red Swingline stapler.
I own a red swingline stapler and would be pissed if somebody from upper management stole my prized possession. The red stapler has become an iconic tool and a hot item to own. It seems like an act of rebellion to own the red stapler in the cubical world and as the Office Space cult grows so does Swingline’s sales. The Wall Street Journal chronicled the red stapler phenomenon and concluded with this.
Office Space” has turned out to be one of the more effective, if unusual, recent examples of product placement in films. The movie didn’t just spark sales for Swingline: It invented the whole idea of a bright-red stapler. Now, the sleepy Midwestern company that made the first top-loading stapler more than 60 years ago has discovered a new approach to marketing office products to younger generations. Best of all, the “Office Space” plug didn’t cost Swingline a dime.
2. Drag Me to Hell and the stapling of doom.
What do you do if a gypsy woman attacks you in your car? You find whatever you can and hit her in the face with it. In Drag Me To Hell our hero uses a stapler to perfection and Sam Raimi’s direction and camera do the rest. It is a beautifully gonzo fight that comes out of nowhere and isn’t afraid to stick a staple in an old woman’s eye.
3. Home Alone 2 and the nose stapling of pure pain
Marv and Harry take an inhuman amount of pain in the Home Alone movies. The fact that they keep going almost makes me think they are Terminator rejects who somehow found their way to a life of crime. In Home Alone 2 poor Marv takes three staples that would drop anybody on this planet. Sure, he sets himself up but nobody wishes anybody the pain of a massive staple to the nose, butt and crotch.
4. Christmas Vacation: When staples meet clothes
The Christmas light scene in Christmas Vacation is beyond iconic. It was a masterclass in over doing it and the results where pretty amazing. However, the unsung heroes of the scene were the staples. The staple gun made Clark Griswold’s life easier and because of this he wasn’t careful. In true Clark fashion he staples his jacket to the house and hilarity ensues. Where did Clark get the staples because they are strong enough to rip off his sleeve?
5. Mickey Rourke gets stapled while wrestling
The Wrestler is fantastic film that features some grueling wrestling scenes. During a particularly violent hardcore match Randy The Ram takes some painful staples to the body. The scene was so visceral it made the audience hurt as the once helpful household appliance was used as a torture device. Whatever happened to leg drops and those chest slaps?
6. The Rock staples a piece of paper to David Koechner’s forehead.
When people annoy The Rock what does he do? In Get Smart he staples a piece of paper to a guy’s head. It gets the point across and it is an easy way to make sure pieces of paper are read. Milton must love this scene.
7. Prometheus and the surgical staples of doom
So…..You’ve just had an alien pulled from your guts and the only way to close up the gaping wound is via futuristic staples to the belly. I don’t know what they were made of but they healed the wound pretty quickly and Noomi Rapace was able to make her escape and live through the terrible alien attack. Future staples will save people from aliens. That is a fantastic advertisement for future staples.
Hello all. Mark here.
Some movies get lost in the shuffle and slip through the theaters without you knowing. We humans are busy and can’t possibly watch all the vampire mockumentaries and absurdest westerns that are released in the theaters. In order to catch you up on some of the films you might have missed I’ve compiled five films that are totally worth your time.
These five movies differ greatly in subject matter but all bring something original to a cinematic world that relies on recycling. These beauties offer something for everyone and feature burgeoning talent, confident directorial debuts and sexy dancing.
What We Do in the Shadows (Redbox,VOD)
What We Do in the Shadows is a glorious comedy/horror mockumentary that centers around four vampires who live in New Zealand. The horror hybrid blends comedy with lots of gore and features some of funniest characters of the last several years. It is a creative blast of niceness and violence that will most certainly become a cult classic. The 85 minute film is so full of one-liners, sight gags and hilarious characters you need to watch it more than once.
Ex-Machina (Redbox, VOD) Check out our Ex-Machina pod here.
Ex Machina is the rare “intelligent” film that is actually intelligent. It is a fantastic science fiction film that does wonders with a $15 million budget (AKA Avengers craft service budget). Director and writer Alex Garland (The Beach, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go, Dredd) continues his hot streak and proves he is one of the best in the business.
Ex Machina revolves around two humans, one very special AI creation and a whole lot of booze. It is a character heavy movie that feels like a chess match played by three people. You kinda need to watch this film.
’71 (Redbox, VOD)
After Starred Up and Unbroken poor Jack O’Connell can’t seem to escape movies that put him through the wringer. 71 is no different. It tells the tale of a young British soldier cut off from his ranks and trapped behind enemy lines in Belfast. If you are familiar with the Catholic/Protestant battles of Irish history then you will be fully invested in this tense tale. I also recomend you watch the Paul Greengrass directed Bloody Sunday. I love the film and I think James Nesbitt pulls off a performance for the ages.
It Follows (Redbox, VOD) Check out the MFF It Follows pod here.
It Follows has a unique style that blends a lurking sense of dread with absolute urgency. It isn’t afraid to mess with the genre while sticking to well-worn tropes. If you combined All the Real Girls withNightmare on Elm Street and threw in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Elephant and The Sixth Senseyou would have something sorta resembling the film.
Director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) takes my favorite aspects of horror (urgency, dread, patience) and combines them with a beautifully simple story about the dangers of sex. Mitchell lets the film breath and this allows the rabbit and hare story to unfold organically. The teens sleepless state creates a dreamy atmosphere that is captured nicely by the lingering camera and patient editing. The film moves at a methodically slow pace yet you have a hard time catching your breath.
Slow West (Redbox, VOD)
Slow West is a beautifully shot, well-acted western that has its own distinct personality. It blasts off the screen with personality and lingers in your memory long after viewing (which is a good thing because I pretty much forget about movies after I’ve watched them). Michael Fassbender is always good. Rory McCann gets to do something other than play Game of Throne’s The Hound. Ben Mendelsohn wears a massive fur coat. Watch it.
Hello all. Mark here.
Do you love horror films? Do you love incredibly random horror films that feature crossbows, overalls, pastries and squids? If you said “yes” to both of these questions you will love this pod.
Sidenote: The Merman from Cabin in the Woods makes an appearance.
We combined ten categories (Villain, Method of Killing, Harbinger, Hero, Setting, Skeptic, Victim, Twist, Ending, Sidekicks) and broke them down in order to create something glorious. In this pod you will be transported to a new world featuring prison islands, an 18-year-old hero named Mason Jar and Pure Bulgarian Miak.
If you get a chance please REVIEW, RATE and SHARE the pod!