Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
Zach and I met at the AMC Empire 23 Theatre, which is just a fancy way of saying we went to Times Square in the middle of the day to watch a mediocre movie. This showing was all the way on the top floor which meant we had to navigate the convoluted escalator setup to reach our seats. After “breaking in” and then “breaking out” 90 minutes later, we walked west a few blocks to St Kilda Coffee, on 44th St between 8th and 9th Ave to talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of your kids.
Dan: Hi Zach! Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. It's a beautiful spring day here in New York and before we get started I only have one question: How far are you willing to go to save your kids?
Specifically, are you willing to break into a house? How about out of that same house?
Zach: Hi Dan, thanks for having me on the podcast. I don't have kids, and honestly, for a large portion of this movie I was wondering how I would react if I did have kids. I think there is a decent chance that I would walk away and call the police and then it wouldn't have been a movie.
Dan: Breaking In has an infatuation with cell phones. People are constantly taking them out, leaving them places, talking about how much service they have, how little service they have, and who they talked to recently. I guess what I'm saying is, if no one in the movie called the police, I don't think you would have either. They are professionally in this movie and you aren't so what chance do you stand?
Zach: What chance do I stand at calling the police? I haven't ever called the police, so I guess I don't really know. But I've never failed to place a phone call that I wanted to place. I would even go as far as walking into a pizza place and asking if I could use their phone.
Dan: Maybe this is a tangent, but maybe not since it is about my Dad and this is a movie about a Mom. My dad, when his car was in the shop would walk to a local pizza place or Chinese food place and order delivery to his house and then ask the delivery guy for a ride and they would say no and he would get mad at them.
And then later he would tell me this story and imply that I should be on his side.
Zach: No comment.
Dan: Okay so let's get this pizza party started! Take it from the top: What happens in this movie? Since I missed the opening scene I am more than happy to guess what happens in it, as I assume it filled out all the missing pieces that subsequently left me confused over the next 90 minutes. For example, I assume the opening scene went through low level details of the rules regarding this crazy smart home security system, as well as a detailed psychological profile of all the crazy bad guys and why they act the way they do.
Zach: Hi Dan, thanks for having me on. Did we start yet?
The first scene of the movie went as follows:
An old man looks at an ipod, and a pair of headphones. We don't know who this old man is yet. We can tell he is old based on visual cues, and our knowledge of the human aging process (Outside of the movie. Just context from regular life stuff). He goes for a run. And there is music playing. I personally assumed that the music we were hearing was also playing in his headphones, but there was nothing to explicitly indicate that.
Dan: Like, an ipod ipod? Or an ipod touch? Or an iphone? Or a zune ipod?
Zach: Then he gets hit by a car and a man with a chain wallet steps on his head and murders him. Didn't catch the model, but I think it was actually an off brand mp3 player. But don't quote me on that.
Dan: Okay great, thanks for this. Now I understand the important chain wallet scenes later in the movie. After that we cut to the road trip that I walked in for?
Zach: Yeah, then it cuts to Gabrielle Union and her two kids going to their dead father/grandfather’s house to sell it. They have to go there to sell it. And Grandpa was really rich.
Dan: Perfect, yeah on this Long Drive we learn a few things. 1) Gabrielle Union is the mom. 2) Daughter is the teen daughter. 3) Son is the precocious middle school son.
Zach: Just to be clear, It is the children’s Grandpa and Gabrielle Union's dad. But i will call him Grandpa from here on out.
Dan: Eventually everyone pulls up to Grandpa's house and it's really big and has horses. The kids seem surprised by all of this and it is implied that Gabrielle / Shawn (sp?) was not close with her father and thus the kids had no idea he was a horse owner.
Zach: That's true, it does have horses but they never appear later in the movie. The horses don't come up later. We also learn that the daughter loves cell phones and the son is a big tech head.
Dan: I thought that at one point Gabrielle would remotely unlock the stables with an app and send the horses crashing through the foyer. Also, maybe this is too personal, but do you have any family members that are secretly rich that you don't know about?
Zach: Hi Dan, thanks for having me on. No comment. And yes I do have a rich family member i don't know about.
Dan: That's cool so you probably relate to these kids. Also because of your cell phone.
Zach: One cool thing about this movie, that isn't really discussed enough, in the media, and also in the movie, is that it essentially takes place in real time. It's like an episode of 24 but for only 90 minutes. Except for the ipod scene.
Dan: That's true. The bad guys (spoiler alert: there are bad guys and they will show up) make a big point of saying that the police will show up in 90 minutes, and then later 60 minutes, and so on. During the closing credits, some sirens show up in the distance. This is called The Payoff.
Zach: Hey Dan, have we started the podcast yet? If we haven't, do you do spoilers on your show?
Dan: Hi Zach thanks for joining me today. We do spoilers here but only after the podcast starts.
Zach: Okay so now that they are at Grandpa's house. Gabrielle union does a few things, that all seem like setups, but not all of them pay off. She orders a pizza, breaks a wine glass, and takes her shoes off. Meanwhile her kiddoes are exploring the house. Oh, also the alarm for the house was OFF when they walked in because the power was out. This is important later because none of the hi-tech security stuff has any rules that make sense.
Dan: I think you nailed the description of the kiddoes but just to be perfectly clear, we will repeat: Daughter: loves her phone and has recently had her phone privileges restored. Son: Expert drone pilot and computer security expert. Also Mom: Loves her kids and is underestimated.
These opening scenes of exploring the house are all set up, visually and musically. Lots of spooky music for things that didn't seem that spooky to me? Like, at one point the coffee maker is blinking 12:00. This was accompanied by spooky music.
Through it all we come to learn that Dad/Grandpa was a bit of crazy security freak but the kind that doesn't password protect or lock any of his security systems.
Zach: Spoiler alert. I thought this movie had a lot of squandered potential but it was trying to do a little bit too much. All the set up was too complicated. I think it could've been really simple, like John Wick is a mom that needs to break INTO her hi-tech house to save her kids. Do you know if Drake responded to Pusha T yet?
Dan: I think the Drake / Pusha T feud is on hold because of Kate Spade, who recently was found dead. I realize this really dates this episode.
Zach: I don't know what day it is.
Dan: But I think that sense of time and place is important to our fans.
Zach: No comment. So speaking of time and place. Before the pizza arrives (actually before she even completes the order) 4 dudes grab Gabrielle Union (who is outside on the phone with the pizza place) and her kids (who are inside, flying drones and looking at phones).
Dan: Oh yeah but Zach, you skipped an important detail.
Zach: ALSO we hear a conversation with her husband saying "The DA was investigating grandpa."
Zach: This comes up 7 or 8 more times. Multiple characters say "The DA was investigating."
I just sneezed.
Dan: Salud. Not only do we find out that the DA was investigating grandpa, we also have the first instance of a character that has pockets in their pants place their phone down somewhere instead of in their pocket. This time, it’s Mom.
Zach: Another recurring theme, people leave their phones everywhere.
Dan: While Gabrielle is sneaking around the garage, a Geek Squad employee grabs her and tells her not to run. Lifehack: If you don't want someone to run, don't tell them not to run maybe. Like, maybe say, hey run if you want, I don't care either way. You catch more flies with honey.
Zach: To summarize the rest of the movie. The bad guys are looking for four million dollars that is hidden in a safe inside the house. They don't really seem to have a plan. One of them is the leader, one is the coward, one is the psycho, and one is the tech guy. They tell Gabrielle to help them get the money or her kids will die.
Then basically she kills all of them twice, and sometimes the house is locked, and sometimes it isn't, and sometimes she can control the music and locks, but sometimes she can't, and sometimes one of them is dead but then is fine.
Dan: Sometimes she is trying to break into the house, and does a reverse Home Alone. Sometimes she is trying to keep the bad guys out of the house, and she does a regular Home Alone.
Zach: Yes, it has a few different angles on Home Alone. The things that were set up earlier, sometimes pay off. She stabs a guy with the wine glass! She uses her son’s drone!
Dan: There is a twist where Christa Miller shows up for one scene and then gets punched in the head and killed. I am confident that this movie had more scenes of women getting punched in the head than I've ever seen on the big screen.
Zach: And she (Christa Miller) shows up and says "Hi it's Maggie" and Gabrielle Union says out loud "Maggie!" but from what I recall, we were never introduced to Maggie until that moment. But the entire movie behaved as if she was a character we should know.
Also mostly, her son's tech skills don't show up, the horses don't show up, the pizza place doesn't show up.
Dan: Every friend group has a Maggie,Ii think is the point. But you know who does show up? The Loud Teens.
Zach: Yes, to be fair to the movie we missed probably 11-18 minutes of the movie, spread evenly throughout because our theater had about 15 loud teens. They were actually okay for the most part, occasionally making loud jokes, and shushing each other. But then they threw popcorn on a woman who stood up and threatened to beat the shit out of them and was genuinely scary. Also somehow her friend had snuck out of the movie BEFORE the popcorn incident and notified the staff who arrived quickly and made the teens leave, and then they shouted at each other as they left.
Dan: My favorite joke the Loud Teens made was when one of the Bad Guys grabbed the daughter and they shouted "Gimme that ass."
Zach: No comment. Also at one point the woman who threatened to beat the shit out of all of the teens asked if they would pay for her clothes. And someone else in the audience made a tssk noise and she yelled "Suck your teeth. You aren't the one with popcorn on you."
Another part of the audience experience that was confusing (somewhat like the film) was that a couple showed up 50 minutes into a movie that was 90 minutes long.
Dan: We were one row in front of the popcorn covered woman and I did NOT want to be a Loud Teen when that was all going down. I retroactively learned my lesson from when I was a Loud Teen.
Zach: Yeah, she really seemed like she mostly didn't want to watch the movie and just REALLY wanted to beat the shit out of some Loud Teens.
Dan: After the movie you told me that you thought one of the Loud Teens called his mom to come to the theater and beat up the popcorn lady.
Zach: Haha yes, at one point a woman stormed into the theater, right up to the popcorn lady, and I was worried it was a mom going to say "I'm the only one who beats the shit out of my Loud Teen" but it was her friend letting her know that the theater staff was on their way.
Also to the Loud Teens’ credit, none of them talked back to her, and one of them even said "Just say you are sorry.” But none of them would admit who threw the popcorn and I heard someone say "Sorry isn't gonna do anything. Why did you do that?"
Dan: "Sorry won't do anything now she has popcorn on her."
Dan: It's like Justin Bieber says: Is it too late now to say sorry? Yes, she has popcorn on her.
Zach: Yes, the famous Bieber verse. I will say, as someone who has shared a theater with loud teens on many occasions, the groups are always made up of:
1-3 very loud teens
2-3 teens who are somewhat loud
5-9 perfectly quiet teens
and then 1-2 teens who are embarrassed by the loud teens but are even louder than them in their disapproval
and me 🙂
Dan: So that's a total of 9-17 teens and one Zach per movie.
Zach: On average, yes. Giver or take 1 or 2 from each group. Including Zach.
Dan: The exact moment the popcorn happened, the Coward Bad Guy was looking around for Gabrielle Union outside. By the time the popcorn incident ended, everyone had a gun and people were crawling around on the roof or something? Also Gabrielle must have told her daughter where the hidden safe was because later on she has that information.
Zach: Yes, we also missed a drone flight i think. Also there was one genuinely surprising twist in this film.
Dan: What was the twist? That Gabrielle wasn't really an extraordinary woman, but rather Just a Mom?
Zach: The twist is, they set up one of the bad guys as the ONLY one who could unlock the safe. He was the tech master safecracker. Gabrielle Union captures him and is holding him hostage in front of the leader bad guy and is like "Hey if you don't let my kids go I'm going to kill this guy and you can't get the money!"
Dan: Oh hell yeah. He does the classic shoot his own henchman move. Ice cold.
Zach: Yes then the main bad guy just shoots him! I was surprised. We find out later, that this twist was only possible by dumbass logic.
Dan: Zach you screeched and threw your popcorn at a woman.
Zach: Shhhh, don't tell the teens.
Dan: That's right it turns out they didn't actually need the expertise of Geek Squad as a safe cracker they just needed the USB stick embedded in his...dog tags?
Zach: Yea he just had a USB in his dog tags that they needed! It was so silly, why didn't they just bring 4 of them? Why leave it with one guy (who we learn earlier refuses to carry a cell phone). Bad twist.
Dan: It doesn't make a ton of sense but then they plug the usb stick into...something...and the safe unlocks and they get their loot.
Really quickly, I want to talk about the 4 bad guys because they made the least sense of everything in this crazy movie, besides I guess the rules of the house and also how many times everyone dies.
Zach: Yeah let's break down the team. So you had Leader Nan (and I actually don't even remember if they had names). Leader Man has some loose grasp of psychology because he is always saying stuff like "Moms don't leave their kids when the nest is at home."
Then you have Psycho, who, in extremely tone deaf casting, is the only hispanic member of the bad guys (everyone else is white). He just wants to murder everybody.
Dan: Leader Man is a combination of Keanu Reeves and Gary Cole and definitely has had corporate management training. Psycho has a Big Knife and Crazy Eyes and Tattoos. And Brown Skin.
Zach: Also it's never really clear how they met. Dog Tag Dead Guy (who dies twice), is scared of the NSA, that's all we ever learn about him.
Dan: Dog Tag also "doesn't have a cell phone."
Zach: Then there is coward who doesn't really want to participate, and Leader Man tells us he found him in jail "on his knees in the shower" which is referenced like 3 more times.
Dan: His main thing is he has blonde hair, and is soft and gets put down for being Gay-ish.
Zach: I guess also he isn't a coward so much as a reasonable person with SOMETHING of a moral compass. Psycho thinks he's a coward, I've been influenced by psycho's narrative on that.
Dan: This is a truly ragtag crew that has no plan or cohesion or teamwork. I wanted to root for them but they kept punching women in the head. Also it honestly felt like many times everyone could just walk away happy: Gabrielle with her kids, Bad Guys with the DA's money.
Zach: I mostly wanted Keanu Reeves to be Leader Man.
Dan: Right, keep it uncomplicated like John Wick. Just have Keanu be the main guy.
Zach: Yeah the specifics of the plan never made sense. At one point they are going to cover their tracks by burning down the house with the kids tied up in their beds and they say "just another family tragedy" but that ignores that they also killed the real estate agent?
Also I'm just realizing this now, but I don't think the bad guys even had a car. The only cars we saw are the real estate agent’s, Gabrielle Union’s, and later (spoilers) her husband’s.
Dan: That explains a few things, like why they make a big deal of chopping up the real estate agent's (Maggie's) body but not her car. Or maybe they rode the horses?
Zach: Yes perhaps their plan was to ride the horses. Also they mention that the way they even found out about the $4 million is that the sensitive bad guy was having sex with Grandpa's secretary, and she even was able to sort of tell them how to hack the safe, but I feel like Grandpa would not have told her that.
Dan: Not only not told her but not given her a usb stick with the password on it.
Anyway at some point everyone in Gabrielle's family reunites in the house and then escapes the house but then they crash their car and have to run back into the house and now the bad guys are trying to get into the house and then they get into the house and now Gabrielle and family have to escape the house again but then her husband shows up and they have to break back into the house again.
I think the movie ends when they are on the front steps of the house, so half in / half out, which is poetic.
Zach: Yes, and they kill all the bad guys and it ends with her saying "I'm okay."
Dan: She brains two different guys on two different trees and stabs one in the gut over and over again.
Zach: Crazy as it all was, I actually did enjoy the viewing experience. And I really think it if was just a little simpler i would've loved it! Like imagine if Grandpa wasn't involved, and it was just her house and she actually knew a lot about the security system. And she just owned their asses. Like Taken basically, or reverse Die Hard. All the stuff with the houses security was hard to track, and so were all the bad guys.
Dan: Agreed! I also think that it's weird to have these 4 guys be literal randos who not only have no relationship or personal context with Gabrielle but also have no relationship with Grandpa beyond just knowing he has 4 million dollars.
It would actually make things easier if they were just like, his old partners or someone who had a better reason - I feel like these randos would care a lot less if the plan was going to shit than someone who actually needed to steal a dinosaur embryo or something. (Her dad is also a paleo-geneticist in my version).
Zach: Yeah or like something implicating them in a crime, that way they would actually need to get it.
Dan: Oooh I like that. Like it's an embryonic clone of a dinosaur that witnessed a murder and was going to testify against them.
Zach: Yes comment.
Dan: Well in the end, she is a Mom and she gets her kids back. The End! Did we miss anything important? Any details or thoughts you want to bring up before we get to the big closing questions? I know you wanted to talk about Deadpool.
Zach: Yeah, I kept waiting for Deadpool to show up. That's what's bullshit about Deadpool. He gets all this credit for breaking the 4th wall, but never shows up in a random non-Deadpool movie.
Dan: I guess there is nothing punk rock about Deadpool showing up in Deadpool 2. Or in commercials.
It would be punk rock if he showed up at the end of Breaking In and delivered a pizza and said "Holy cocknuggets who killed Lumbergh?"
Dan: "Like from Office Space." He could add that.
Zach: Ok so what are the "big questions?" Who what when where what is your favorite curse word?
Dan: Me. This Podcast. Now. Here in Times Square. Cocknuggets. I have a small question first: Do you like home invasion movies, as a rule? Like, I'm trying to think of the classics. Firewall? Panic Room? The Purge?
Zach: I remember liking Panic Room, but I think I'm usually disappointed in them, like this one. I'm like oh man so close!
Dan: Yeah I think a good home invasion movie needs to have a house with Rules. This house had Rules That Were Meant To Be Broken / Ignored. Okay, Big Question #1: What were your three favorite things about Breaking In? That's the name of this movie right?
Zach: My favorite things were:
1) When Gabrielle Union stabbed a guy in the heart with a wine glass, and then smashed his head into a rock, and then later he was alive and fine, and then he got shot like 10 times.
2) When Gabrielle Union ran over a guy in a truck twice, and then later he was alive and fine and then HE died from a stab wound.
3) When the main bad guy announced loudly that if Gabrielle Union got within 15 feet of the house the sensors would pick her up, and then she constantly walked close to the house and no sensors went off.
Dan: For me:
1) I like that this movie was either an ad for the benefits of the smart home or a cautionary tale about the dangers of the smart home. Only time will tell which!
2) I forgot that many times throughout this movie, Gabrielle Union is sneaking around and literally hanging by her fingertips up in trees and around banisters like classic Jackie Chan. Did the opening scene establish that she is / was a gymnast? That was a good choice.
3) I love that when Husband shows up he gets punched in the head too!
Okay, next Question! If you could change one thing about this movie what would it be?
Zach: I'd just simplify it, like we discussed. Less moving parts, less complicated. John Wick with Gabrielle Union plus Home Alone.
Dan: I would probably add a scene where the Son gets access to the DA's Mainframe via hacking. He digs up the files on his grandfather's case and not only has his case posthumously dismissed but also he creates new cases against the 4 bad guys. The next time they come to see him in his locked room he holds up an ipad and says, check your bank accounts boys and he shows them a screen where their accounts are being drained into an offshore account in his name. Then he stabs them with a piece of glass, carried by the drone.
Zach: That would be dope! I'll use that answer, and you can use mine.
Dan: Fair! Okay Final question! If you could rename this movie, what would you call it?
Zach: Gabrielle Wick
Dan: I'd go with either: Stop! Or My Mom Will Stab, or Home Adrone
Well Zach, I know it's still early and you have lots more movies to see in Times Square today and you've kept the teens waiting long enough. Any last words for your fans out there in podcast land?
Zach: Yes. Have we started the podcast yet?
Dan: No comment.
Zach: Oh yeah wait I do have one thing. If you see this movie there IS an after credits scene, where the popcorn lady does beat the shit out of those teens.
Dan: Worth the extra escalator wait! Thanks for your time and remember: "I'm your [podcast host,] it's my job to worry about you, not your job to worry about me!"
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Zach Cherry is a comedian and actor based out of America. He did not want to give me a bio, but instead told me to make a joke about how he is Bane, like from Batman? I'm not really sure what he meant. I will make one up a bio instead, based on my own memory. I think he was in the most recent Spider-Man movie, the TV Show Search Party, and most importantly, he is my best friend and calls me every night to tell me before bed. He also refused to give me a link to any plugs, so instead please call your senators on his behalf.