June 29, 2023
Paul, June, & Jason try to avoid a migraine while attempting to break down the 2023 Ben Affleck thriller Hypnotic directed by Robert Rodriguez. LIVE from Largo in LA, they ask is this movie Dumb Inception or Dumb Manchurian Candidate? What’s the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotic? Are we in the construct or out of the construct? WHAT IS A CONSTRUCT?! WHAT WAS THE DIVISION’S PLAN?!? AHHHHH! All this and not much more, on this week’s How Did This Get Made?
HDTGM is going on tour in August! Buy tix at hdtgm.com
Follow Paul on Letterboxd https://letterboxd.com/paulscheer/
HDTGM Discord: discord.gg/hdtgm
Paul’s Discord: https://discord.gg/paulscheer
Check out Paul and Rob Huebel live on Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/friendzone) every Thursday 8-10pm EST
Subscribe to The Deep Dive with Jessica St. Clair and June Diane Raphael here: listen.earwolf.com/deepdive
Subscribe to Unspooled with Paul and Amy Nicholson here: listen.earwolf.com/unspooled
Check out The Jane Club over at www.janeclub.com
Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/hdtgm
Where to Find Jason, June & Paul:
@PaulScheer on Instagram & Twitter
@Junediane on IG and @MsJuneDiane on Twitter
Jason is not on Twitter
322 — Hypnotic LIVE!
Paul Scheer [00:00:00] Are you ready for dumb Inception? We saw Hypnotic, so you know what that means.
Music [00:00:13] [Intro Song]
Paul Scheer [00:00:58] Hello people of Earth, and hello people of Largo! We are live here in Los Angeles to talk about a movie that just came out a mere few weeks ago. As millions of people raced to see Book Club 2. A handful of people scattered themselves into a theater to see Robert Rodriguez’s Hypnotic or Hypnotic? Probably hypnotic. And here is the plot. It’s complicated. I’ll give you what maybe they would say on the poster. Ben Affleck is a sad cop trying to find his little girl who loves braids in her hair. That’s where it starts. It goes off the rails and very quickly. There’s a bank robbery. There’s a psychic. There’s something called hypnotics. And there’s something about Ben Affleck that allows the hypnotics not to affect him. Everyone’s turning on everyone until the movie turns on us, the audience. 95 minutes of twists and turns. Some people say you need to watch it again. And I say, Why? But we are going to break down every little twist, every little turn, and get to the bottom of why Ben Affleck does the Batman voice for 45 minutes. But to help me break this down, I’m going to need my co-host. Please welcome to the stage, Jason Mantzoukas.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:03:01] What’s up, Jerks?! How we doing, Largo? Oh. Holy cow. Watching a movie that asks What if the sad Ben Affleck meme became a character in a movie?
Paul Scheer [00:03:18] The only thing this movie is missing is a cup of Dunkin Donuts and a pack of cigs.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:03:24] Truly, Truly. He appears to be miserable in this movie.
Paul Scheer [00:03:33] You know what? But you know who’s never miserable with a twist and turn? My other co-host, Miss June Diane Raphael. Hello, June. How are you?
June Diane Raphael [00:03:49] I’m okay. How are you, Paul?
Paul Scheer [00:03:50] I’m well, thank you for asking. June, I heard you laugh out loud while watching this movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:04:01] I just said to Jason backstage, and you said it earlier. You said Hypnotics. And I want to spend roughly the next 2 hours just talking about the language that this movie.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:04:15] The jargon.
June Diane Raphael [00:04:16] Landed on and has forced us to accept.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:04:18] The division.
Paul Scheer [00:04:19] Well, you want to maybe talk about the constructs that make you see what the hypnotics want you to see. But some people have psychic locks.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:04:26] Yup.
Paul Scheer [00:04:27] Yeah. Which is the hypnotic’s worst nightmare.
June Diane Raphael [00:04:30] But wait a second. But I guess. But let’s start here, though, because to be a hypnotic. Is it that you are hypnotist who’s insane?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:04:40] No. It’s as if you’re a hypnotist who is, whose powerset is this? There is like a. I feel like there’s an X-Man who has this powerset that basically hypnotic can just by saying it’s hot in here without any previous hypnosis, hypnotic suggestion or anything, convince you it’s hot. And so they have it’s almost a superpower.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:05:02] But but no, but the hypnotics in this movie will say it’s hot in here and not make you think it’s hot, make you think that you are on fire and then cause a traffic accident like what they say one thing is like it’s the afternoon, welp, quittin time.
June Diane Raphael [00:05:16] What I’m trying to understand, though, is what is the difference exactly, between a hypnotist and the hypnotic?
Paul Scheer [00:05:25] A hypnotist.
June Diane Raphael [00:05:26] Yes.
Paul Scheer [00:05:29] Needs a buy-in from the person to like. They’re going to give you a suggestion.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:05:34] They need to work with you prior.
June Diane Raphael [00:05:36] Prior to what?
Paul Scheer [00:05:37] Look like. You would have to be open to it. Hypnotic. I think the idea of a hypnotic is.
June Diane Raphael [00:05:42] You have to have consent. It’s like you have to have enthusiastic consent.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:05:46] So this movie is like The Manchurian Candidate, right? Except the Manchurian Candidate needs to be reduced to nothing, built back up and then given a trigger word that they can activate. They are then in the thrall of somebody else. But in this movie, William Fichtner can just be like, Go kill that guy. And you’re like, Okey doke.
Paul Scheer [00:06:06] William Fichtner could go like this. Your suit is tight. Then the guy is like, I’m going to go kill that guy. Yeah. Like it never. It never was the direct thing.
June Diane Raphael [00:06:15] I see what you’re saying. It was.
Paul Scheer [00:06:16] Like you got the wrong guy.
June Diane Raphael [00:06:17] I see what you’re saying. So you’re saying that if a hypnotist wanted that to happen, a hypnotist would have to work for multiple sessions.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:06:25] Oh, very long time.
June Diane Raphael [00:06:26] On that trigger.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:06:28] A hypnotist is doing something. A hypnotic is like the superhero version of a hypnotist.
June Diane Raphael [00:06:34] Okay, so it’s not like, Oh, I’m a psychologist and I’m working through your trauma, and then now I’m a psychiatrist. I’m giving you a pill.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:06:43] They have a truly, I believe that movie is trying to suggest clumsily so that they have like a super, truly a superpower that they can.
Paul Scheer [00:06:52] They are genetically prone to hypnotize you. They are like X-Men. Yes, they are. But here, let’s hear the explanation of the movie gives.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:07:01] Which one?
June Diane Raphael [00:07:03] Which one?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:07:04] Poor Alice Braga? Poor Alice Braga has to do so at least six full exposition dumps, all of which contradict each other.
June Diane Raphael [00:07:13] Absolutely.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:07:14] And are infuriatingly opaque.
Paul Scheer [00:07:18] Here is one. Maybe the first one.
Movie Audio [00:07:21] Are you familiar with the concept of hypnotic constructs?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:07:26] Oh, can you pause for a second? Sorry. One of the other things that’s wild about the movie is that the hypnotics that’s the rules of the movie, even with all the exposition dumps, are infuriating. What they Not only can the hypnotics compel you to do things or believe things and and basically take control of your entire persona or personality. They can also convince you of an artificial world that you’re currently living in. I want to talk for an hour about the fact that the division is basically a shitty production company. You know, I’m full of shit, but that half of these people in the division are memorizing the lines.
Paul Scheer [00:08:15] They look like executives who worked at Target in their red jackets.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:08:19] I wrote down target too! And then I was like, No, I’m boycotting this joke.
Paul Scheer [00:08:24] Wait. I do want to break down the reveal, but let’s just. Can we just listen to that?
June Diane Raphael [00:08:29] Sure. Sure.
Movie Audio [00:08:31] First, it’s a fortune telling and now hypnosis.
Movie Audio [00:08:37] Hypnotics have abilities far beyond anything we have a name for.
Movie Audio [00:08:41] Hypnotics?
Movie Audio [00:08:42] People with the ability to actually influence the brain over a psychic bandwidth.
Movie Audio [00:08:47] Like telepathy?
Movie Audio [00:08:48] Telepaths just read the mind. Hypnotics reshape its reality. The guy at the bank. You said he spoke for words to a woman and she undressed.
Movie Audio [00:08:59] She was in on it.
Movie Audio [00:09:01] No. Those were cues. Sound, voice, locking eyes. Hypnotics use them to make you see a version of the world that doesn’t exist. Your behavior conforms with this hypnotic construct. So everything that you see and do. Feels perfectly normal.
Movie Audio [00:09:22] How is it that you know so much about these hypnotics?
Movie Audio [00:09:27] Because I am one.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:27] Boom.
Paul Scheer [00:09:28] Bam.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:30] Affleck is borderline inaudible. This movie borrows and steals so much from Christopher Nolan movies. So much so that Affleck’s voice is inaudible in the mix. He is basically very close to the brown note.
Paul Scheer [00:09:48] I would say that this. I did shit myself four times.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:57] You guys slept on it at first. That one rippled through.
Paul Scheer [00:10:02] I described this movie to myself, because I wrote it down, as the state that you’re in when you are not yet asleep but not fully awake. It’s like that moment. I’m almost asleep. It just has.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:17] It’s not even that interesting.
Paul Scheer [00:10:19] No.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:20] This movie thinks it’s fascinating and it’s a moron.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:25] Yeah. There’s something that really felt like I was back in the pandemic. Like, I felt.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:32] It is a pandemic movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:33] Pandemic movie. And I just when I was watching it, I was like, it’s lockdown. Like, it’s just.
Paul Scheer [00:10:40] Just so you know.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:40] No toilet paper.
Paul Scheer [00:10:41] It isn’t truly a pandemic movie. It was going to be shot before the pandemic. They shut down. And when the pandemic lifted, they went into production. So this is post pandemic. This might have been, we’re wearing some masks on set, but this is we’re back in the world. People are happy.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:59] Okay.
Paul Scheer [00:11:01] Although, I think the big switch is it was supposed to be shot in L.A. and then they had to shoot it in Texas. And maybe that’s what we’re getting from Ben.
June Diane Raphael [00:11:09] Maybe.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:10] Well, I would assume it would be Texas, because this is clearly Robert Rodriguez’s whole set setup. Right? This is his, what’s it called? His is he’s got a whole like studio outside Austin that.
Paul Scheer [00:11:22] Like Rebel Productions. But I mean, ketchup production is producing it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:26] I did notice Ketchup productions as well.
June Diane Raphael [00:11:28] So you’re saying that studio has like a bank and that studio has this a police department and that studio has like.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:35] A backlot, the division has a backlot.
June Diane Raphael [00:11:38] But here, okay, here’s the crazy thing. Why was that.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:43] Why does the division have a backlot? Of like a New York City street?
June Diane Raphael [00:11:47] Okay. So if you’re the division, have you built all of that just for Ben Affleck?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:56] Just for Ben Affleck.
Paul Scheer [00:11:57] Over the last four years.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:58] Here’s the meeting. Here’s the meeting. Guys, were pulling you off of all your active so sowing world chaos missions. We’ve got everybody’s got roles. They are like places everybody places. Everything they do is like they’re doing they’re doing like a play.
June Diane Raphael [00:12:17] At one point there were two adults in red blazers throwing a ball to each other.
Paul Scheer [00:12:22] That was my, I wrote that down. The basketball guys. Well, but this is what doesn’t make sense for some things like when they go into the bank, the bank is later revealed to be like two pieces of PVC piping with.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:12:36] With the word bank on it. Right.
Paul Scheer [00:12:38] But then the Mexico City is fully built like a full. Like why did they need to fully build that? And then like the truck is fully real.
June Diane Raphael [00:12:47] I had to justify that because it was so crazy. And I felt like, you know, what happened? There were some red blazers who were like, I want to spend some time in Mexico City. I want, because because they all have to be skilled to a certain degree at set design.
Paul Scheer [00:13:05] Mental set design.
Paul Scheer [00:13:09] No, the division is like a black ops operate, they are mercinaries.
June Diane Raphael [00:13:15] I’m just saying as a side hobby some of them are artistic.
Paul Scheer [00:13:17] No, I’m with June, I’m with June, every one of them. Those two guys playing basketball, they’re going basketball, basketball, basketball and Ben Affleck’s going basketball. That like they’re imposing their will.
June Diane Raphael [00:13:30] To some degree, they have to be creative and artistic to get across a semblance of basketball.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:13:38] This is where the movie falls. Okay. One of the things that’s very important that we’ve just jumped straight to and have not explained at all is that for so much of the movie, we are watching a police procedural where Ben Affleck and Alice Braga are being chased by Bill Fichtner and the division and blah, blah, blah.
Paul Scheer [00:13:58] His daughter was kidnaped.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:13:59] Yes. And it’s all related.
Paul Scheer [00:14:02] It’s all relate related, but is it? I mean, because, like, he wants to get, like his daughter’s kidnaped. First of all, he has a relationship with a therapist who calls him by his last name Rourke. Hey, Rourke. I think that that’s pretty like I think that that seems rough.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:18] My therapist calls me Zoox.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:22] I imagine that he must have introduced himself as Rourke because I do feel like we see that a lot in movies with cops. Like it’s too feminine to have a first name. They only go by their last names.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:36] Just to return to the kidnaping that we opened up with. That was the fastest kidnaping I ever did see, and.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:42] Because it didn’t exist.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:43] Now I know that.
Paul Scheer [00:14:46] He looked at a pinwheel and she was gone.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:48] And turned back.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:49] The movie is so clumsy because the and it’s so the, because the reveal happens so late in the movie that the entirety of the movie you’ve watched so far is one of these imaginary constructs.
Paul Scheer [00:15:03] Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:04] These constructs that the division has created, they’re all in in his imagination. And he’s just walking around a parking lot in the back of the division where everybody’s scurrying around in bright red jackets like fucking assholes.
June Diane Raphael [00:15:22] Okay, but why did they have to be in red jackets?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:26] No, no, no, no reason.
Paul Scheer [00:15:29] It actually seems like an aggressive color. Red.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:32] They looked like cater waiters and they looked like an entire fleet of people who are like, Do you need to valet? I was like, Why was this choice made?
June Diane Raphael [00:15:42] Was the strangest choice. Because it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t, it didn’t feel like, oh, they’re blending into the background somehow, or it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:51] It made them feel less threatening. I was like, These fucking idiots? When River was wearing an eyepatch and his crazy gear. I was like, Oh, this guy is crazy. When he’s wearing his red blazer and red tie. I was like, Fuck this idiot.
Paul Scheer [00:16:06] I feel like this movie was made on a budget. And someone said, Hey, Robert, we can get you 250 red jackets. He’s like, Perfect, Let’s do it. He still has that indie Rebel without a crew spirit. Get me red jackets. I’ll figure out a way to use them. Here’s the thing. There is something. So I guess, you know, what’s hard about this movie is you watch it for the first hour and 20 minutes and you’re like, Haha, this sucks. And then. And then they go, No, we know it sucks and you suck because you fell for it, asshole. Yeah, cause like, you’re like, What’s this voice Ben Affleck is doing? It’s like it was a choice. He thinks he’s in a noir.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:16:51] Yeah.
June Diane Raphael [00:16:52] I know. And then it was like, Okay, I guess joke’s on me. I’m in a construct, like, okay, But what I couldn’t get out of or what I could never find my way out of is like, why can’t, why is the division going to these lengths? I am confused and I do want, I want you to explain this to me, but I am confused as to why, understand he can’t be easily hypnotized. Okay. That’s okay. Why did they, what do they think they are doing in that construct to get him to reveal where his daughter is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:17:29] They’ve put him into a situation where he’s a policeman trying to find his kidnaped daughter. Right. So he will lead them to her by finding the clues.
June Diane Raphael [00:17:43] Okay. So when he goes to find that clue, that’s a real clue.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:17:49] Real quick.
June Diane Raphael [00:17:50] That he actually put in the bank? But where’s the bank that he put that in?
Paul Scheer [00:17:55] No. See what I think what they’re trying to do is.
June Diane Raphael [00:17:58] No, I know that it’s in the construct!
Jason Mantzoukas [00:18:00] No, no. You’re right there. That is not, that is a parking lot at the division.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:06] But. But in real life. Not a construct.
Paul Scheer [00:18:11] This chest of drawers is just a guy in a red jacket.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:13] I know.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:18:17] And when he’s like, he’s putting a key in a guy’s midsection. And the guy’s like, the movie. I wish. I want, you know, what? Gauntlet thrown. Robert Rodriguez. I want a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead style movie from the point of view of the division. I want to see all these scenes but with no artifice.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:44] Okay because what we know to be true.
Paul Scheer [00:18:46] I want to hear you finish this thought.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:48] Yeah. Okay. So what we know to be true as people not in the construct, we know that Ben Affleck, as a hypnotic, has placed a trigger for himself in the Bank of Austin, correct?
Paul Scheer [00:19:01] Well, yes. So can I just.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:03] I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
Paul Scheer [00:19:04] Wait, June, hold on. I have an idea. Let me. I think I can see what’s going on in the beginning is he believes he’s chasing Bill Fichtner, who is essentially standing in for him. They’re saying he.
June Diane Raphael [00:19:19] Yes, I understand that..
Paul Scheer [00:19:21] Erased his memory and Bill Fichtner has put this thing in there. So I think what they’ve done is they followed him around. They found one piece, which was the photo, and they.
June Diane Raphael [00:19:31] Where did they find that?
Paul Scheer [00:19:32] Well, maybe.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:33] They say it at one point. Who remembers? Oh, that’s right. That’s the daughter’s trigger. At the.
Paul Scheer [00:19:40] Oh, okay.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:42] So there’s there’s a final exposition dump because at the end of the movie, everybody’s like, what the fuck just happened? And so, okay, so there is a full like, I’m going to say nine and a half minute exposition dump that explains the movie you just saw, which was this.
June Diane Raphael [00:19:58] Okay.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:59] At a certain point, Ben Affleck and Alice Braga are like, Our daughter is being turned into a weapon by the division because she can control people. Great. We have to save her from this. The only way to do that is to kidnap her, hide her, erase our own memories. Yeah. So that she. But we’re going to have to wait three plus years for her to get powerful enough and get control of her powers, at which point she will begin a series of events that lead to the events of this movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:27] Wait, wait, wait. She will?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:29] Yes, by sending that picture.
Paul Scheer [00:20:30] Because she is the most powerful.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:33] So. Okay, So that picture, that Polaroid that he finds.
Paul Scheer [00:20:38] Is the domino that starts to unlock his memory.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:40] Where? Okay, so you’re telling me that the girl from that safehouse.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:46] The little girl.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:47] The little girl.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:48] Who’s now four years older.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:50] Has put that photograph in.
Paul Scheer [00:20:55] Lana Del Rey photograph.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:57] In a bank?
Paul Scheer [00:20:58] No, no, no, no, no. The bank vault is a part of the construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:01] She sent it to the division.
June Diane Raphael [00:21:03] Yes, she sent it? That’s such a bad idea for her.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:07] No, because she wants them to inevitably come to her.
Paul Scheer [00:21:12] It’s the first domino. So she starts the chase.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:15] She’s basically ready to destroy the division.
Paul Scheer [00:21:19] Okay, I am in the construct and I’m now out of the construct. I got it.
Paul Scheer [00:21:21] By the way. This is. This is. You and June are reenacting Robert Rodriguez pitching this.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:27] Yeah. And somebody being like somebody being like, well, I don’t know, maybe when I read the script, doesn’t matter. No script. We don’t got a script. It’s all in the back yard. The whole movie takes place in the back yard. What about the safety? There are no banks.
Paul Scheer [00:21:42] By the way. Can we just look at what the hypnotics have done? They have created violent uprisings that shake Wall Street. They are anti-government forces.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:50] I don’t know that they’ve done any of this.
Paul Scheer [00:21:52] It says, a coordinated attack.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:54] This is River’s version of. He says he’s reporting on them. He’s part of them.
June Diane Raphael [00:22:00] He is a hypnotic, babe.
Paul Scheer [00:22:02] But I think part of it is half truth, half lie. Right?
June Diane Raphael [00:22:09] I think you’re in a construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:10] I want to just say this, and I know because we can pick apart a lot of this and it’s the fault of the movie for not making sense. We’re trying to make sense out of it. And the movie is constantly being like, don’t look too close at that. Look over here, Look over here.
Paul Scheer [00:22:26] Right. If you say it quick enough, you might just forget it. Like you might not question Why does Ben Affleck say, I want to get a safety deposit box? They go in, he’s like, Oh, I forgot my paperwork. All right.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:39] No, that’s not what happens. He’s he’s I want to get a safety deposit box. They go in, the guy says, I forgot my keys. But Ben Affleck had stolen his keys so that he could open the safety deposit box. This is the eight, the division again, getting him to.
Paul Scheer [00:22:53] To to get this spot. I understand they have to get there, but there are some things that are clunky.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:58] Oh, yes the whole movie is.
Paul Scheer [00:23:00] Right like it’s not a smooth operation.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:23:03] The whole movie is right angle.
June Diane Raphael [00:23:04] And you have to imagine though, Paul, if you are, I know it seems clumsy, but if you’re a hypnotic, your job is not actually to like, create a movie set, right? And do your acting like I think they’re doing a wonderful job.
Paul Scheer [00:23:20] Well, And I want to I want to tip my hat to some of the odd choices. There’s at one point where he is recollecting how him and his wife were so distraught when his child was kidnaped and figuring prominently in the frame is just a margarita glass, like a comically large one. Like like it’s like, Oh, I can’t believe our daughter’s missing. Two frozen margs please. Use the Jimmy Buffett machine, please. Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:23:47] I want to be crystal clear just so I think everybody’s on the same page. The totality of this movie takes place at two locations. The division’s backlot.
Paul Scheer [00:24:00] Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:01] And the farmhouse where it looks like a quarry or something. That’s the only two places people really are ever.
Paul Scheer [00:24:11] Yes.
June Diane Raphael [00:24:12] Yeah, that’s true.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:13] There is no banks. There’s no city, no Mexico.
Paul Scheer [00:24:16] There’s no elevators.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:17] There’s no elevators. There’s.
Paul Scheer [00:24:18] Why does the elevator have to have, like, a little one button?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:22] What? What do you need? And what do you not need? What? Why?
Paul Scheer [00:24:27] You can create a fucking train yard with fucking cars. And you can’t. You can’t just imagine an elevator button?
June Diane Raphael [00:24:33] So, like what I would love is to have seen, like all of our hypnotics, the red the red blazers like get to decide like, are they cast in those roles? Do they?
Paul Scheer [00:24:46] How do they fucking?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:48] Do they have to audition? Yeah, I want to be his partner. Make me.
June Diane Raphael [00:24:51] I want to be the woman who runs across the street and it’s incredible.
Paul Scheer [00:24:56] But I don’t. Well, first of all, it would have been great if they revealed the head of the hypnotics was like Max from Rushmore. The main character’s like, This is his main. Like, you know, he used to build the sets?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:25:07] Yeah, that would be very funny.
Paul Scheer [00:25:10] Because he was wearing a red blazer, too, right?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:25:12] And what I really wanted, what I really, blew my mind, was so much of the movie you spend primarily with William Fichtner, but then also Alice Braga, with two people who are consistently using this hypnotic power, a power they have over people to command them, to get them to kill each other. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay. And so you’re like, okay, I live in a world in which at least very clearly this is a power set that exists. But once the twist happens, all those people that have been killed are now alive so nobody was hypnotized by a hypnotic Bill Fichtner didn’t successfully do any of that stuff. All of those examples of what hypnotics can do were fake.
June Diane Raphael [00:26:01] Wow, Jason.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:26:02] That really.
Paul Scheer [00:26:04] No. No.
June Diane Raphael [00:26:05] Yes, yes, Paul.
Paul Scheer [00:26:06] Hold on.
June Diane Raphael [00:26:07] That was all acting. People acting.
Paul Scheer [00:26:10] But yes, I understand. But it’s like it’s like saying Death of a Salesman is fake. Yes. But salesmen exist and then they get depressed that they don’t sell enough stuff and they kill themselves. Like that is true. So I think what they’re doing is writing a play based on their own experiences.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:26:33] Wait, whoa, whoa. Can we rewind that?
Sound FX [00:26:38] [Rewind Effect]
Paul Scheer [00:26:41] Hypnotics are creating a play, but it’s based on the things that they can and can do. Like the way that we wrote the play Death of a Salesman. A Salesman is a concept that we all understand that exists. And sometimes you’ll get depressed if you don’t sell enough stuff, and then you’ll kill yourself. That’s the thing.
June Diane Raphael [00:27:03] Paul. What you’re saying it’s a little different, if I may, than Death of a Salesman. We all understand what the American Dream is, which is what that play is about. And we all have an understanding. So when we watch that, we all understand whether we’re salesmen, whether we’re anything, whether whatever we want to do in our lives, we understand the pain of not being able to take care of our families, that the world feeling outside of a world moving faster than we can and that we can’t keep up and making those difficult decisions and being having personally failed ourself.
Paul Scheer [00:27:40] I don’t know I haven’t seen it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:27:43] I haven’t seen it? He just said he hasn’t seen it. What the hell’s going on?
June Diane Raphael [00:27:53] All what I’m saying, Paul, is that we all understand the idea of the American dream. We all have that cultural understanding. We don’t have a cultural understanding and an understanding of what it is to be hypnotic. So what Jason is saying is absolutely true.
Paul Scheer [00:28:09] And June, I do hear what you’re saying, and I appreciate you explaining it to me, but I think you’re missing my point, which is this: death of a salesman.
June Diane Raphael [00:28:18] He’s going to say the same exact thing.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:28:21] Let him go. Let me let him go. Can he get a spotlight?
Paul Scheer [00:28:30] Death of a Salesman is a play for who? The American audience or worldwide audience who understand what the American dream is. Ben Affleck is a hypnotic. This is a play for one person. He understands what the hypnotics are. So the way that an American audience understands the American dream, that play is for them. This play is for a hypnotic. He understands, Oh, right. I can mentally control this shit like so. Yes. Wait, wait, wait. But when Fichtner’s not actually doing it. But he can do it because in that reality, he’s just kind of going like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, he’s triggering his mind. Remember? Remember? It’s remember time.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:29:09] I agree. That’s the t shirt, it’s remember time. It’s remember time. It’s remember time somewhere. You want to drink? It’s remember time somewhere. My point, though, Paul, is a movie that spends so much time with so many people exhibiting a superpower that you then say at the midway or further than the midway point. Actually, they’ve never done any of this. They they can, believe me, you they can but everybody we’ve seen in their thrall is acting like they’re in there now.
June Diane Raphael [00:29:52] I can’t believe this, but I have a different theory. Not yours and not yours. Paul. You’re just absolutely wrong. Like, there’s no. First of all, there’s. That makes no sense. Well, you had the idea that they would create a movie for one of the characters in the movie?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:08] They did.
Paul Scheer [00:30:09] That’s what they did do!
June Diane Raphael [00:30:10] That’s what happens. But what I am saying is I, I believe that everybody in the construct, every red blazer, is probably actually being hypnotized within the construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:28] I don’t think so.
June Diane Raphael [00:30:30] Well, I do. Because I do think they’re killing themselves and I do think that they are getting erased multiple times. So if you are a red blazer and you’re there, like your mind is not your own.
Paul Scheer [00:30:47] So Bill Fichtner is controlling everybody fully?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:50] I don’t think so.
Paul Scheer [00:30:51] No, definitely not. Because Alice Braga has the, look, the reason why Ben Affleck has the power of a hypnotic, right? Alice Braga has the power of Hypnotic. They fuck. They make a baby who is super powerful. That’s the whole thing. So everyone in that red blazer is a hypnotic this is a small grouping of people who put on plays, also create Brexit and do whatever.
June Diane Raphael [00:31:17] It’s not that small of a group.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:18] That’s my thing is I can’t. I don’t think they are ever. This is why the movie’s bad. In their like, let’s jump back before all the events of this movie, right? Let’s say the events prior to the events of this movie, when Ben Affleck and Alice Braga are themselves agents within the division. Right. What is the division doing then? Are they bringing people in the Mexico City backlot to do stuff?
Paul Scheer [00:31:45] No, no, no, no.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:46] No. They’re out in the world. James Bonding stuff. Right.
Paul Scheer [00:31:49] But they are. But they lost their most powerful weapon, correct? The girl Right? So they have to take a break from all of them going out there. Come back.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:59] This is what I’m saying. They’re taking all of these field agents out. It’s like the CIA being like, we’re pulling you back, here is this script. You’re going to be a police partner, you’re going to be a bank teller, you’re going to.
Paul Scheer [00:32:11] It probably takes 12 hours. They’ve done it like.
Paul Scheer [00:32:13] They’ve done it. This is a fucking nightmare.
June Diane Raphael [00:32:14] Here’s my question.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:32:18] The girl aged four years, this is what they’ve been doing for four years.
Paul Scheer [00:32:23] I, no, no. I think they started doing this when she got the. When they got the photo.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:32:29] Yes. But they’ve been in pre-production for three years. These motherfuckers are building sets. Yeah. They’re learning lines. They’re auditioning for the. I don’t want to be the teller. Can’t I be the partner? Why? Why?
Paul Scheer [00:32:41] They’re clearly playing multiple roles.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:32:43] Why do they have to say the same lines every time? Why does he have to say like, did you wipe your shoe before you got in? The golf cart?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:01] [Indiscernible].
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:04] Did anybody go back and rewatch to see if any of the same actors were being used as background in the other scenes like the dinner people?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:15] Hundreds of people in Mexico City. Hundreds.
Paul Scheer [00:33:18] Everyone can construct a couple more.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:19] Dozens.
Paul Scheer [00:33:20] No, there’s like ten of them together.
June Diane Raphael [00:33:22] Mexico City please, Paul.
Paul Scheer [00:33:24] Together hold each other by the waist. And that’s a train.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:29] Well, that’s the thing is. That’s the thing is they can get you to imagine is there is and there are no rules. And that’s what’s hard. Even though there’s so much exposition that they can they can build a construct, they can build a house, but they can’t put people inside of it. They need breathing, living people to be. They can’t make you imagine a conversation with someone. You have to have the conversation, right? They can make you imagine.
Paul Scheer [00:33:52] Well, that’s the way this makes it even more confusing, because Jackie Earle Haley seems to be an ally who then is revealed to be Bill Fichtner. But like it would have been better if Bill Fichtner didn’t reveal that he was, he killed him.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:08] Well, but but they figure it out. Alice Braga figures it out and she’s like, Wait a minute.
Paul Scheer [00:34:13] It wouldn’t have been better for the story.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:16] Oh, absolutely.
Paul Scheer [00:34:16] Ben Affleck’s character like a real movie. That would have been cool to figure it out. But what the hypnotics are doing seems like, Oh, why are you upending your own? Like, you.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:28] Here’s what’s really confusing. Okay, so let’s talk about the post-credits scene, because.
Paul Scheer [00:34:33] Post-credits.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:34] So at many points, the movie people seem to be jumping into each other’s bodies and just taking over physical space. And then at points, other people are jumping into each other’s bodies and are right there when another person was there. Now, once we realize what’s going on, as much as we can understand it, it’s clear that, oh, that was all a part of a construct and they were just hopping in and hopping out to their parts, except for that last scene. So in the last scene we see the dad is on is walking, and then all of a sudden the scene changes and the camera moves and we realize he’s actually dead. Now, my question is this: At that moment, what we are no longer in the construct. So how are they switching bodies?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:24] Okay. So they. Okay. So there is no body switching in this movie. No.
Paul Scheer [00:35:31] It’s just full mental.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:34] Hold on. Hold on. Full stop. There is no body switching. What there is is masking. They are convincing you. I look like the person.
Paul Scheer [00:35:47] We’re having this conversation. But I am. I look like Jason.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:53] Yes. There. The hypnotics are using their power to make you think you’re seeing a different person.
June Diane Raphael [00:35:56] Wait a second.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:58] It’s like a different person.
June Diane Raphael [00:35:59] Okay. But in the construct.
Paul Scheer [00:36:05] Take the construct out because that’s what, they don’t need to be in a construct. The construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:10] Is just for Ben affleck.
Paul Scheer [00:36:12] Yes.
June Diane Raphael [00:36:12] We are only ever in the construct in the movie.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:15] Well, no, no.
June Diane Raphael [00:36:16] When are we out of the construct?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:18] In the post-credits scene for one. In the backlot.
Paul Scheer [00:36:23] I guess the idea is that hypnotics create a construct. So if I wanted to create a construct for you that I was Jason and you were talking to Jason, that would be a construct that I the hypnotic would be creating for you. So you don’t need to be anywhere. You don’t have to be on the backlot. I am all powerful. These people, the 36 of them, are all around the country doing that all the time. It’s like, Oh, I thought I was in a bathroom. No, you’re at Walt Disney World. You know, like that.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:50] So basically, Bill Fichtner has gotten here first, killed Jackie Earle Haley. And but he’s he’s.
June Diane Raphael [00:36:57] This scene, yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:59] And then when they arrive, he’s making it appear to them as if he is. But, Jack, you’re.
Paul Scheer [00:37:06] But hold on, Jason.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:37:07] He’s not in Jackie Earle Haley’s body. He’s just. It’s as if he’s wearing a mask of this person.
June Diane Raphael [00:37:12] How do you know that he’s killed him? He says it?
Paul Scheer [00:37:15] Yeah, but. But you’d have to also. But you’d also have to say.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:37:21] This is clumsy. To be clear, this is not.
Paul Scheer [00:37:25] You have to say is Bill Fichtner got there first. But then Alice Braga also. I don’t think that you need to, like, kill somebody to take over. I think Alice can be on the other side of the door and do that fist pump and then become the woman who makes the tamales.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:37:39] Oh, yeah. Who’s then in a closet. Right.
June Diane Raphael [00:37:42] Now that I have questions.
Paul Scheer [00:37:43] I don’t know how she.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:37:45] How did she get her in the closet right in front of Jackie Earle Haley?
June Diane Raphael [00:37:50] She was making tamales?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:37:51] She had laundry.
Paul Scheer [00:37:53] And he said there’s tamales in the fridge. And I don’t think Jackie Earle Haley is making tamales.
June Diane Raphael [00:37:57] But when she was in the closet and they opened the door, she was like, she.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:01] Once again, this is all construct.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:03] She’s making a sandcastle?
Paul Scheer [00:38:05] Yeah. She said that she’s on a beach making a sandcastle.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:08] Alice Braga, again, that’s in a construct. They’re in a con. That’s where the movie is a real fuck you.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:16] So now we’re cutting to the end. Because the end we’re not in a construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:20] Correct.
Paul Scheer [00:38:21] No everything is. Any time a hypnotic uses their power, it is a construct.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:27] No, I don’t think that’s true.
Paul Scheer [00:38:29] What?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:30] I don’t think that’s true.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:32] I don’t think that’s true either. Just because to say that would mean what you were implying that that last scene they’re making a construct for no one. For who? For the audience at home?
Paul Scheer [00:38:44] Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:45] Yeah, that’s part of it. Part of it is that they’re cheating all the time in the movie for us, the viewer, they’re cheating the rules of the movie so that we don’t. The movie is joyless in the sense that each time I was like, Oh, I guarantee it this. And it was, I was like, Yeah, because it’s dumb. It’s not satisfying. You’re not, it’s not satisfying to be ahead of it or figure out.
Paul Scheer [00:39:06] But do you believe that a construct, like I believe that hypnotic. This is my understanding of it. A hypnotic creates a construct.
June Diane Raphael [00:39:16] I feel utterly insane.
Paul Scheer [00:39:17] Certain reality. They rewrite your reality. That’s. That’s what the hypnotic power is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:39:23] Okay. So I think I see what you’re saying. And I think you’re right. I think.
Paul Scheer [00:39:27] Terminology.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:39:28] I think I thought of construct as this reality that they occupy that they are inside of. But I do think the hypnotics can convince you you’re you are someone else, make you sign something, walk away. I don’t think that’s a construct. I think that’s just a hypnotic power. They are able to convince you of something else. The construct is the immersive world they have him inside of.
Paul Scheer [00:39:51] Okay.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:39:52] But I think the two are absolutely linked.
Paul Scheer [00:39:55] So we can we can tomato, tomato. But we can agree that hypnotics can do multiple things. They can make you do anything. They can make you see anything, and they can make you believe that you’re in a place that you’re not. In the sense that the young girl, the most powerful, the second most powerful is Bill Fichtner. Right. But the most powerful girl has made them believe that they flew their helicopters to a small farmhouse and saw this. Now, that’s not a construct because they didn’t build a fake farmhouse. They were just in a a abandoned house where she was.
June Diane Raphael [00:40:30] Well, I think it is the construct they.
Paul Scheer [00:40:33] Oh, so they need to build.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:40:34] The construct is like it’s almost like the AI or something, you know, like.
Paul Scheer [00:40:38] Okay, so whatever they.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:40:40] A what’s it called? A mind palace.
Paul Scheer [00:40:43] Okay. So whenever they want to do a bigger.
June Diane Raphael [00:40:45] Construct, you need like you need some scaffolding, some real life scaffolding, and then you can make people really believe they’re somewhere. Yeah, that’s what I think a construct is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:40:59] I think that’s it. It’s really like you are putting a skin on the on the reality and saying, I’m this person or you’re in this other place. Yeah. When in reality what was interesting it’s a real it’s almost a total recall. This movie is almost a total recall in the what’s real and what’s not. Is he really is he still at recall or.
Paul Scheer [00:41:20] It’s like The Matrix. I was trying to see if anyone had written anything about constructs and hypnotics. No, surprisingly.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:41:27] Why would they?
June Diane Raphael [00:41:30] But so too. I’m sorry to head back to the last scene again.
Paul Scheer [00:41:34] The Matrix. Everybody is in the pot of goo, but they are like, Oh, I’m working. I’m going to the club. Someone’s knocking on my door.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:41:43] I loved when, the movie would have made so much sense, so much more sense if Ben Affleck was only in the white Room. If if he if he only exists in the white Room and everything else is a construct for him to mentally engage with, that’s not what this movie does. This movie says we need him up and moving around and as a result, we have to build an infrastructure around him.
Paul Scheer [00:42:11] I don’t know if I ever made you go on this thing, but it’s like that Star Wars VR thing where you put on these VR goggles and you you have to fucking fight Darth Vader and you’re walking. Over Firepits. But if you sneak a peek under your VR glasses, you’re just in a little room and there’s this little squishy part and then, you know, it feels hot.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:42:30] That would make more sense. And you’re right. The Matrix is the absolute gold standard of what that is. This is a movie that is essentially a simulation, a construct is a simulation.
Paul Scheer [00:42:40] Create, but the human computer is controlling. Yes. Yeah. The mind.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:42:51] Death of a Salesman.
Paul Scheer [00:42:55] And that’s the death.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:42:58] And cut all of what we just did out.
June Diane Raphael [00:43:03] This is really something.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:43:04] Yeah. When you think about actually how much work went into so little act like, well, movie is driving in car chases and gunfights and bank robberies and it’s like full and rooftop executions and all of this adventure. And then when you realize all of it just took place in a hundred square foot back the parking lot in the back of an industrial facility, right by the division where everybody is an actor. I was like, I can’t handle this. There’s so many I wrote, there’s so many sets and so much acting. It makes this movie and the division seem absurd. The division immediately became not a threat to me when I realized most of what they were doing was bad acting. I was like, Oh, these guys aren’t bad at all. I don’t like these guys are going to be easily beaten between the blazers in their acting and the fact that they just exist on set.
June Diane Raphael [00:43:58] See, I actually thought they were pretty good actors.
Paul Scheer [00:44:01] I did too. But like that whole that whole idea, when they put the young girl when she was, I guess how old we want to say she is now? Seven.
June Diane Raphael [00:44:10] I think she’s around seven or eight now.
Paul Scheer [00:44:12] So say she was like three or four when they did that. Like that, remembering where she was in that room and she had all the dominoes lined up. Just a blink, punk blink. And, you know, like their hands are going up, they’re falling over. She’s killing people with her mind, like that whole thing. Everyone’s like, Whoa. She’s so good at three. We had to go the back lot for a couple of months and work on our characters. Like, I feel like that’s, like, you know, like, that’s like. It’s like. It’s like watching Michael Jordan. You’re like, that’s basketball. Like, that’s.
June Diane Raphael [00:44:46] What she’s doing is not acting like that’s where the disconnect is for me.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:44:50] I don’t think I don’t think the division is about acting except for this one case where they need information from Ben Affleck.
June Diane Raphael [00:45:05] It’s all about acting, though.
Paul Scheer [00:45:07] When they’re creating Brexit, they are acting.
June Diane Raphael [00:45:11] But no, they’re not. They’re not acting.
Paul Scheer [00:45:14] Then what is the division doing?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:45:17] We don’t know! That’s where the movie’s a failure.
June Diane Raphael [00:45:22] Paul, they’re not doing Brexit by, I hope you don’t think that they’re they’re sowing chaos worldwide by creating these little sets and doing it that way. That’s not what.
Paul Scheer [00:45:34] No, I think they would go up to like Donald Trump and be like.
June Diane Raphael [00:45:38] Yes, that’s with their mind control. Yeah, but they’re not acting. They’re they’re doing their hypnotic work. This acting stuff is like they’re doing despite the fact that.
Paul Scheer [00:45:49] Draw the line. Draw the line for me, because here’s what I’m saying. If if you are, okay.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:45:57] If you are Willy Loman and Paul is Biff, Paul, you know, the play. Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead. What were you going to say?
Paul Scheer [00:46:09] I would say this. The idea that they can do masking in my mind means that they’re always acting. Because if I’m telling you that you’re talking to Jason, but you’re talking to me, I’m acting like Jason. Yes, I’m using parts of your memory, but I’m also going to go, you know, like, I’ll use my body and I’m in my body.
June Diane Raphael [00:46:35] I don’t think that’s true.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:46:37] What I’m going to say. I disagree. And again, I believe we’re parsing very thinly a movie that is clunky and clumsy. So we’re doing work for the movie that I don’t think the movie has really examined. So that being said, I don’t think the hypnotics are acting at all. They’re making you think them hypnotic by placing their in your mind, Charles Xavier style, making you think you’re having a conversation with June, even though I’m the one doing it. I’m not acting like, I don’t have to act like June.
Paul Scheer [00:47:12] So you just you’re just triggering her memories, okay? And you’re manipulating the memories. Okay? Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:47:19] Be what you want them to be. You can make anybody do it. When? When a hypnotist.
Paul Scheer [00:47:24] So they’re all Charles Xavier. That’s different, but they’re not Mystique.
June Diane Raphael [00:47:28] The difference is I don’t know who. All Yeah. Good.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:47:31] Yeah. Good, good, good.
June Diane Raphael [00:47:32] I don’t know about any of that, but I know that. But I know that they are, though that is their job as hypnotics. However, Ben Affleck can’t be hypnotized.
Paul Scheer [00:47:47] Well recently because he has a mental block because he first of all, he.
June Diane Raphael [00:47:52] Till recently. That’s right. But but I guess what I’m saying is they must show up as actors in that construct. So they are not the, all of the red. This is where it gets so slippery. All of the red blazers are just performing.
Paul Scheer [00:48:06] Like Death of a Salesman.
June Diane Raphael [00:48:07] Oh my God.
Paul Scheer [00:48:08] I need to go to the audience here. I need to hear what the audience has to say about this. We go out there.
June Diane Raphael [00:48:13] I don’t know what we’ve talked about.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:48:14] This is the kind of movie that like we spend all of our time arguing what it is rather than like we’ve talked about zero plot.
Paul Scheer [00:48:23] Well, because it’s a movie. It’s a movie that actively tells you if you have any issues with the plot, it doesn’t make. Doesn’t matter. It didn’t happen. Yeah, and that sucks. I just want I want going to get to a bunch of questions, but I just want you to put your hand up If you think you can succinctly explain it better than what we have done. Okay. Yeah. Here we go. Your name again? Jose. Jose. Okay. This is your chance. It’s your moment. Don’t be nervous. He’s going. I’m not even going to. Let’s hear him out. And then we can.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:48:54] Take your time.
Paul Scheer [00:48:55] Take your time. Here we go. Go for it.
Audience Member [00:48:58] Okay, so they have to start.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:00] How dare you?
Audience Member [00:49:05] So every time they restart, they have to start from base zero where he doesn’t remember anything. So he doesn’t remember how powerful he is. But they have to trigger him to remember that he does have this power. So that’s why they have these small little instances to break with the continuity of the scenario that they’re creating.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:25] Like, oh.
Paul Scheer [00:49:25] So they need the moment of of the Mexico switcheroo because, Oh, he’s getting he’s getting his power.
Audience Member [00:49:33] Yes. So then he starts to remember that he has powers, so then he can start turning and then gaining power so that he can tell them where the daughter is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:44] Respectfully, Jose, I think.
June Diane Raphael [00:49:46] With so much respect.
Paul Scheer [00:49:48] So much so much respect.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:50] The division doesn’t want Ben Affleck to remember he’s a hypnotic because then that’s closer to him realizing, Oh, I hid her and I don’t want you to find her. They want him to think he’s just a detective finding his daughter.
June Diane Raphael [00:50:07] But how could he ever find her?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:50:08] He has the one clue, which is the photo.
June Diane Raphael [00:50:11] But that clue is going to lead him back to his actual reality, which is that he hid her.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:50:16] Which is the daughter’s, which is his own plan, which is Ben Affleck’s plan.
June Diane Raphael [00:50:22] All right. Next question.
Paul Scheer [00:50:24] Shona here from Discord. Did you ever ask did you already, no you didn’t. Okay, This is a good question. I think it feeds right into this. All right. You submitted your question on discord, so I could know that this is going to be a good question. Here we go. Go for it.
Audience Member [00:50:36] Yeah. So what would cause more childhood trauma to a young girl? Yeah, The scenario where she becomes a psychic weapon for the just the people, or she doesn’t grow up with her parents and then kills.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:50:59] She knows exactly what’s going to happen that day. He’s like, Are you ready? And she’s like, Yup. I’m wearing my black and white polka dot domino dress, and I’m ready to cause a bunch of people to kill each other.
Paul Scheer [00:51:13] I like when when Ben Affleck looked at his partner is like, and the guy’s like, what a terrible way to go. But then I thought that was terrible. But then Bill Fichtner shoots himself in the belly is like.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:51:27] And what’s sad is that that’s actually Jeff Fahey, which is heartbreaking.
Paul Scheer [00:51:32] So sad. But when did the switch happened? We’ll never know.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:51:34] This, but is bolstered so much by an incredible supporting cast of some of our greatest characters. Bill Fichtner, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeff Fahey. This is homerun city.
Paul Scheer [00:51:48] Obviously, we have opinions about this movie, but there are people out there with a different opinion. It is now time, I hope, for second opinions. Does anyone have second opinions? You got it. All right. There we go. All right. What’s your name, sir?
Audience Member [00:52:02] I’m Hassan.
Paul Scheer [00:52:02] Hassan, Welcome. Okay. Oh, yeah.
Audience Member [00:52:04] Well, I’ve been a fan since I was in the eighth grade, and I’m 25 now.
Paul Scheer [00:52:09] Wow. I love it.
Audience Member [00:52:23] Thank you for entertaining me.
Paul Scheer [00:52:25] The best. I am so excited.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:52:30] Well, that is chilling.
June Diane Raphael [00:52:33] Wow. I can’t imagine listening to a podcast in eighth grade.
Paul Scheer [00:52:38] Ladies and Gentlemen, Hassan!
Audience Member [00:52:42] I believe I’m a cop, but in reality, I’m really not. I think about my daughter every night and day. Oh, God. Where did she go away? Oh, wait. I just had a thought. She’s not kidnaped at all. I had her hidden away, for this very special day where I can kill the division. And that is my second opinion.
Paul Scheer [00:53:15] Yeah!! Hassan!
Jason Mantzoukas [00:53:21] Hassan!
Paul Scheer [00:53:26] A listener since eighth grade comes up with a second opinion song on the spot. We should be required reading. Required curriculum. Not that stupid death of a Salesman. All right. Do you have one? You don’t want to follow it? Okay.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:53:48] You can bail if you want, but we’ll support you regardless.
Paul Scheer [00:53:52] You could do it. Come on, folks. We will not.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:53:57] How old were you when you started listening? Gray haired man.
Audience Member [00:54:04] I don’t know. 35?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:06] 35? GROSS.
Paul Scheer [00:54:09] What’s your name?
Audience Member [00:54:10] My name is Ned.
Paul Scheer [00:54:11] Ned. All right, Ned.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:14] Ned or Nick? Ned.
Paul Scheer [00:54:16] I’m excited for this because the amount of self-awareness that you felt like, I don’t know if I can follow that means that you’re a good person. Most people don’t care. Like, Fuck, Mike, let’s go.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:32] I wrote three verses in six choruses. Let’s do this.
Paul Scheer [00:54:37] So already, Ned, you’re good in my book. So obviously people have a different opinion. It’s now time for second opinions. Please welcome Ned.
Audience Member [00:54:49] Ben Affleck can’t recall, a single thing at all. Like his powers. Alice Braga tries to help. But she’s an easy act, too, about everything. Is is a fake Domino’s greenbacks jacket. This is just scanners without exploding heads. And we don’t care. We don’t care. But maybe someone thought that this movie was genius just because it was made by Robert Rodriguez. But we don’t care. We don’t care. And why did I decide to spend $20? Maybe this movie hypnotized all of us. I’m like, Wow, we need a second opinion now. All the salesmen are dead.
Audience Member [00:55:49] Yes! Give it up for Ned!
June Diane Raphael [00:55:53] Amazing.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:55:59] [Chanting Ned].
Paul Scheer [00:56:01] All right.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:56:02] Drop dead, Ned.
June Diane Raphael [00:56:05] Honestly, If only if only. Team Fred. If only the division had Hassan and Ned to write their little plays.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:56:21] I just want to be like, I wish the movie had featured a scene at division HQ where they were like, I think we should put a song in there. Wait, what? I want to go to a karaoke bar.
June Diane Raphael [00:56:34] Maybe there’s new music out. I could sing in a song.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:56:37] Because you want to sing?
Paul Scheer [00:56:39] I would have liked to see the people who played the newscasters. All right. We combine some reviews. Some are from Amazon, some are from a letter box. My favorite social media site here, But I’ll give you the stats so far. Like I said, this is a pretty new movie right now on Amazon. There are 109 reviews and 49% are five star. All right. So there you go. And the average rating on letter box of 12,000 reviews. 52% are five star. All right. So there we go. Wow. And this one started by Moussa Chaudhry. “I know this movie doesn’t deserve five stars, but this dumb movie made me cry. Cry because of its genuine sincerity as it unravel the mystery that doesn’t matter to unlock the emotional truth of the human experience and crashes with that filmmaking process in ways that it just did something to my soul. Rodriguez is having a blast as he piles on twist upon twist, which he distorts reality on a whim and then waits for a house of cards to topple. It’s a meathead inception, but I prefer this low budget, weirdly textured attempt over Nolan’s self-serious pretension on explaining itself but there’s no ambiguity left. Rodriguez doesn’t give a shit if it makes sense. He just wants to make something weird and interesting while dissecting the filmmaking process and intersecting that with a genuine narrative arc that really works. I love this. Five stars.”.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:13] I mean, yeah. That person is right in the sense that I don’t think Robert Rodriguez is examining it at all to the degree that we have tried tonight.
Paul Scheer [00:58:24] He wrote it and one weekend it was like, let’s shoot it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:28] In the parking lot behind my house.
Paul Scheer [00:58:32] Frank Post 611 writes, “This movie was terrific from start to finish. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The film was confusing, but you will understand it by the end. The plot twists are crazy and unexpected. It was so well-written. The acting was superb, I suggest watching it high.”.
June Diane Raphael [00:58:50] Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:55] I can’t disagree with that.
Paul Scheer [00:58:57] “There’s a mid-credits scene that effects the entire movie, and my friend and I were the only ones in our theater who saw it. Five stars.” And then this one. This one from Eagles fan. It says, “This was a really good movie. Very unexpected plot twists and turns. I do wish it was a bit longer, though. I believe there will be a sequel. Five stars.” Wow. And then this one, I just want to read the title. “I expected less, but I was given more. Stand up claps.” Five stars.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:59:43] Wow.
Paul Scheer [00:59:44] There it is. I mean, people love this movie. I’ll give you just a little bit of quick research on it. This movie came out May 11th, 2023. The budget was $65 million.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:59:57] No. Where?
Paul Scheer [01:00:01] Ben Affleck. Opening weekend, $2 million.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:00:08] I’m serious. Where is that money?
Paul Scheer [01:00:12] Computer screens? Worldwide gross $6 million so far. A little rough. A little rough. The screenplay was something that Robert Rodriguez came up with in 2002, so it was one of his favorite stories and just came back to it. And in some of the translations of this movie in different countries, dormant mutiny, construction, mind hunting, hypnotic attack and manipulators, those are some of the titles. And I guess the question is to both of you, would you recommend it?
June Diane Raphael [01:00:51] Huh? It’s something to see. All right. I mean, it’s $20. Paul and I purchased it separately.
Paul Scheer [01:01:04] What? You bought it, too? We talked about this last night. I only didn’t rent it because if we both ugh.
June Diane Raphael [01:01:15] You were on a phone call. I had to start watching it and I had only my computer with me and yeah, I bought it.
Paul Scheer [01:01:23] We’re on a family share plan. I know, because I pay for your dateline.
June Diane Raphael [01:01:28] Hey.
Paul Scheer [01:01:28] I don’t know why all of a sudden, everything you buy, I have to put on my credit card. I see every house wives. I’m like, we have Hulu.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:01:36] You guys want us to step out? We can step out if you want.
June Diane Raphael [01:01:41] The movie was so shocking to me that I do recommend it because it was I couldn’t believe when I, when those golf carts came out. I mean, I laughed so hard, literally, because it just it’s like it’s one thing to reveal it on a backlot. It’s another thing to put all those people in golf carts like.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:03] And red blazers.
June Diane Raphael [01:02:03] And red blazers. But you can’t not look a fool in a golf cart. There’s no way to ride in one where you you’re just foolish.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:11] Especially when you see the first scene where they’re cops and his partner pulls up and he’s like, Hey, did you wipe your shoes? And they’re doing cop banter. And then you see the whole scene play out again. Except his partner is in a red blazer and they’re in a golf cart. And you’re like, you’re telling me an hour into this movie. It’s less cool?
June Diane Raphael [01:02:31] Yeah, it was just hilarious. So I would recommend it for that reason. It’s pretty shocking.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:37] Yeah, I, I am a fan of Robert Rodriguez. I mean, Really incredible. And as someone who has whose entire career has unfolded during the period of time in which I was paying attention to movies, you know, And so his whole story from from making the El Mariachi and all that stuff, his his story is interesting. The El Rey Network, this story, the show he had where he interviews directors, I love it. I think he’s an incredibly interesting, incredibly inventive filmmaker. And there’s a lot of that at play in here. And that’s what makes it worth. I feel like all the effort we’ve gone to to try and figure this movie out is because there is a movie in this movie. Yeah, there’s something here. Well, just so, forgive me, Robert Rodriguez. It’s so dumb that it just I couldn’t get it just is, like, insurmountable the slightest degree. But, boy, I had fun watching it. And I 100% think people should watch.
Paul Scheer [01:03:43] And I’ll just say this to just to go on the Robert Rodriguez train. I agree with everything you said. I think that the interesting thing about him is he is actively not taking a part in the Hollywood system at all. Right. And the movies he makes are in the vein of like a Roger Corman. We like he’s he’s still doing the weird shit. And I feel like that’s. And but he’s doing it on his own terms. And I do love it. And he’s made some great kid movies that are.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:04:14] Speaking of, connection between tonight and last night, do we know it? Julie Corky is the star of Spy Kids.
Paul Scheer [01:04:21] Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:04:22] A Robert Rodriguez directed series. So, yeah, like there there is a connection there. But I think yeah, the kid stuff he does is interesting.
Paul Scheer [01:04:29] We can Be Heroes is legitimately great.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:04:31] I think Alita Battle Angel was really good.
Paul Scheer [01:04:34] Oh, I love that.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:04:34] I think Robert Rodriguez is fascinating. And this movie, even though we spent all of this time trying to make it make sense, it still was a blast. I wrote in my notes so often. Ha ha ha. This is fun. Yeah. I feel like I’m having a great time.
Paul Scheer [01:04:53] I don’t know if Robert Rodriguez smokes weed, but I will say this. I loved Alita Battle Angel. I saw that in a half empty theater in IMAX and 3D, and I was like, Yes, but I could see him directing that and like looking around at like scaffolding and being like, What if that was a movie? And that’s what it feels like. The guy who directed Alita Battle Angel going like.
June Diane Raphael [01:05:22] So here’s I just want to say, I want to say one thing about the backlot before we wrap it up because. Okay, So the backlot, some of the scaffolding and the infrastructure there, it said like police bank, but not all of those fonts and signs corresponded to what he saw. So were those signs just for our actors?
Jason Mantzoukas [01:05:49] Maybe. Honestly, what it really is is for us, the audience at home, so much of what’s being shown to us is not for the people in the movie. It’s for the audience at home, whether to misdirect you or whether to clue you in to and make a connection that the movie itself hasn’t made.
Paul Scheer [01:06:10] What a dangerous game to play for an hour and 20 minutes to be like you’re watching a shitty movie. Yeah, like.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:06:16] Are you about to show the?
Paul Scheer [01:06:20] I don’t have. I don’t have.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:06:22] You don’t have any backlot?
Paul Scheer [01:06:23] No, sadly, no. But yeah, I mean, that’s the dangerous game in a time of streaming, just to be like, I’m gonna wait for an hour or so before I let them in on this. There’s not even, like, a matrix-y, like.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:06:39] Like that reveal. It happens in the middle of act two, and it absolutely should have happened at the beginning of act two. Yeah, that reveals so that the rest of the movie was a sprint through. Because what basically happens is it happens so late as to when they put him back under, he immediately comes back out. Right. And we don’t get to enjoy every.
June Diane Raphael [01:07:04] Him figuring it out and trying to rescue himself from that reality.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:07:08] And let’s say 20 pages, imagine 20 pages where he’s out. It’s like lucid dreaming, where he’s aware of the construct inside of the construct and monkeying with it. That’s a that’s a set piece that would be really interesting. But the movie doesn’t do that. And that’s too bad because I.
June Diane Raphael [01:07:26] But that’s also a lot of acting for Ben Affleck to do.
Paul Scheer [01:07:31] And that’s our show. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming out. That’s our show live from Largo. If you want to remember this show for the rest of your life, well, then head on over to Teepublic.com to get your own hypnotic T-shirt. That’s right. We made one from that live show. It’s a sad Ben Affleck with the title “it’s Remembering Time”. You can pick that up right now. It is on sale. Check out all of our designs which can be made into coffee mugs and t shirts and hoodies and whatever you want. Teepublic. They’ve been doing us right for a very long time and a couple of big announcements. You know, the How Did This Get Made is going on the road. The Balcony Monster tour is on the East Coast in August, but we’ve added a show. We’ve added a show to New Jersey. We’ve never been in New Jersey. We’re going to be live in Red Bank on August 11th. I want to say something to everybody out there in Jersey. We are finally coming to Jersey. We haven’t even gone to Long Island. We respect you more than Long Island and June and I are from Long Island. But if you have any connections to the Smart Castle Cinemas, let me know, because maybe we can figure out a way to screen the movie that we are going to do at that show before. We can have a little synergy or something. I don’t know. Get your tickets now. They are selling out very quickly. One Boston show has already sold out. We have a special guest for the eighth. That’s right, a special Boston guest. You don’t want to miss it. Also, How Did This Get Made all star. So what I’m saying is this come to one show, come to all the shows every night. It’s completely different. We can’t wait to see you there. We have so much in store we don’t even know yet. That’s how much we have in store. Anyway, make sure that you are following us all on social media. That’s where we release all the good info. And you follow me on YouTube to see all the matinee Monday information that you need. And we’ll have an update about Stitcher Premium very shortly. Right now, we’re just getting our ducks in a row. I am bummed that Stitcher premium’s not there. I don’t know what we’re going to do with our back catalog yet, but as soon as we have an official answer, I will let you know. And now let’s get into our big thank you’s. I’m talking about the amazing producoreal work of Scott Sonne, Molly Reynolds, and our movie picking producer Avril Halley. People, they make the trains run and we love them. So we will see you next week for Last Looks. And until then, bye for now.
September 17, 2023
Guest Kulap Vilaysack
Kulap Vilaysack (Add to Cart podcast) joins Paul, June, and Jason to discuss the 2002 family musical comedy The Country Bears.