MOFFIE, THE POWER, and THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS on Episode #352

Kai Luke Brummer looks off into the distance as Nicholas in Oliver Hermanus’ MOFFIE

Kai Luke Brummer gives a soulful performance in MOFFIE

This week we kick off with THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (1:39), a beautifully shot documentary about the quirky men and their beloved dogs who hunt rare white Alba truffles in Northern Italy. Next, we discuss THE POWER (15:45), Corinna Faith’s compelling albeit predictable horror film about a rookie nurse (Rose Williams) in 1974 London, who encounters a terrifying spirit while working at a hospital during a planned blackout. After that, we review MOFFIE (36:02), Oliver Hermanus’s moving and brutal period drama about a closeted South African soldier (Kai Luke Brummer) trying to survive his military service in the face of severe homophobia and racism. And for our Patreon bonus audio, we discuss the 1940 Howard Hawks screwball comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.    

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GODZILLA VS KONG, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, WOLFWALKERS, and WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR on Episode #351

Godzilla and King Kong fight each other above a city in the movie Godzilla vs Kong

Godzilla squares off with King Kong in GODZILLA VS. KONG

Dave keeps knives in his microwave?! Find out why this week. We kick off our reviews with ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (4:21), a four-hour cut of the 2017 superhero film, which for better and worse, represents its original director’s vision. Next, we talk about the heartwarming Oscar-nominated animated fantasy tale WOLFWALKERS (20:04) by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart of Cartoon Saloon. After that, we cover Kier-La Janisse’s three-hour documentary WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR (28:59), which screened at SXSW and offers a fascinating dissection of folk horror films. Our main event is GODZILLA VS. KONG (43:00), a kaiju movie directed by Adam Wingard with some entertaining fights that’s, unfortunately, lacking in many other departments. And for our Patreon exclusive audio, we follow up on our recent PRETTY IN PINK discussion by talking about the John Hughes/Howard Deutch film SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL

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SXSW 2021: LANGUAGE LESSONS, DEAR MR. BRODY, and SOUND OF VIOLENCE on Episode #350

In a split-screen from the movie Language Lessons, Mark Duplass stretches his face in a funny way, while Natalia Morales laughs

Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass are both wonderful in LANGUAGE LESSONS

This week we open with a statement in support of the Asian American community. Then we discuss some movies that played at this year’s SXSW. Evan and Megan cover SOUND OF VIOLENCE (2:52), Alex Noyer’s brutal horror film about a college student (Jasmin Savoy Brown) who sees euphoric colors when she hears violent sounds and finds herself chasing a synesthetic high at all costs. Next, we talk about Keith Maitland’s uneven yet intriguing documentary DEAR MR. BRODY (14:30), which tells the story of Michael Brody Jr., who inherited $25 million (an heir to a margarine fortune) in 1970 and publicly offered to give anyone money who asked him for it. Last, but certainly not least, we review the delightful Natalie Morales directorial debut, LANGUAGE LESSONS (27:37), about a Spanish teacher (Morales) and her student (Mark Duplass) who have remote classes over video chat and form a surprising bond. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss this year’s Oscar nominations, including our favorites and some films we wish had been nominated.

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THE COURIER, SLAXX, LUDI, and OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL on Episode #349

Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch glance furtively as they talk quietly at night on a city street in the movie The Courier

Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch try to keep things on the down-low in the Cold War spy thriller THE COURIER

Dave and Megan kick off this week’s episode by discussing LUDI (2:09), Edson Jean’s drama about a Haitian nurse chasing the American Dream. Next, everyone reviews Chris Smith’s Netflix documentary OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL (12:38), which delves into the notorious scheme by celebrities and wealthy individuals to sneak their kids into prestigious universities. Then, we cover SLAXX (22:58), Elza Kephart’s horror-comedy about a killer pair of pants…yeah that’s right, pants. We wrap up with THE COURIER (37:45), Dominic Cooke’s Cold War thriller about a British spy (Benedict Cumberbatch) who works with a Russian source to help stop the Cuban Missile Crisis. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, the winner of our women-directed horror movies poll.

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MOXIE, SOPHIE JONES, JUMBO, and films from the Boston Israeli Film Festival on Episode #348

Hadley Robinson stands in the rain angrily holding her zine Moxie in the movie Moxie

Moxie. Hadley Robinson as Vivian in Moxie. Cr /NETFLIX © 2020

Evan starts this week by recapping two feature-length films he saw from the Boston Israeli Film Festival (1:29). He talks about Nir Bergman’s HERE WE ARE, a drama about a father’s changing relationship with his autistic son, and Yohanan Weller’s LOVE IN SUSPENDERS, a rom-com about finding love again later in life. Then Megan and Dave review Zoé Wittock’s JUMBO (13:04), romantic drama about a woman who falls in love with an amusement park ride. Next, we all discuss Jessie Barr’s SOPHIE JONES (28:25), a coming-of-age story about a teenager processing the grief of her mother’s death. Lastly, we cover Amy Poehler’s MOXIE (44:52), a dramedy about a teenager who takes on sexism at her high school by starting a feminist zine. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of PRETTY IN PINK with an in-depth discussion about the Howard Deutch/John Hughes 80s classic.

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RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, LUCKY, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY, BOOGIE, and shorts from the Boston Israeli Film Festival on Episode #347

Raya looks at Sisu the dragon smiling in the movie Raya and The Last Dragon

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina are delightful together in Disney’s RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

This week, Evan opens with a plug for the Boston Israeli Film Festival, where he briefly mentions some moving shorts he saw from it (1:56). Then, Dave shares quick thoughts about the ending of I CARE A LOT (3:57). Megan starts the new movies with BOOGIE (7:58), Eddie Huang’s coming-of-age story about a Taiwanese American high school basketball player (Taylor Takahashi). Next, everyone discusses Lee Daniels’ Hulu film THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (17:16), a story about singer Billie Holiday’s turbulent life (starring Andra Day) and the FBI’s targeted campaign to harass her. After that we dig into LUCKY (31:35), Natasha Kermani and Brea Grant’s horror film about a woman (Grant) stalked by the same killer every night. We wrap up with Disney’s RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON (47:36), an epic post-apocalyptic fantasy animated film starring Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. For our Patreon bonus audio, we continue our James Cameron kick by digging into his 1984 film THE TERMINATOR.

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CHERRY, I CARE A LOT, THE VIGIL, and BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY on Episode #346

Tom Holland in the movie Cherry pointing a revolver right at the camera over a bouquet of flowers

Tom Holland takes aim at a more serious role, but CHERRY is a miss

Dave kicks off this week’s episode with a brief review of R.J. Cutler’s Apple TV+ documentary BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY (1:43), which examines the singer-songwriter’s life on the road and at home while she creates her debut album. Next, everyone reviews J Blakeson’s Netflix crime drama/dark comedy I CARE A LOT (8:20), where Rosamund Pike plays a queer woman con artist, a legal guardian whose scheme to take advantage of her elderly wards hits a snag when one of her marks turns out to be more than she seems. Then we talk about Keith Thomas’s unique Jewish horror film THE VIGIL (23:35), about a shomer (Dave Davis) who encounters a demon while providing overnight watch to a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community. We wrap up with Joe and Anthony Russo’s Apple TV+ drama CHERRY (37:04), where Tom Holland is a soldier suffering from PTSD who turns to bank robbing after his drug addiction puts him in serious debt. And in this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we talk about John Landis’s 1988 Eddie Murphy film COMING TO AMERICA, in anticipation of its sequel, which comes out next week.

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MINARI, FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS, SHOOK, and SATOR on Episode #345

Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, and Youn Yuh-jung in Lee Isaac Chung's MINARI

We kick off this week’s show with SATOR (2:01), Jordan Graham’s atmospheric horror film about a demon pursuing multiple generations of a forest-dwelling family. Then Megan and Evan review SHOOK (14:09), Jennifer Harrington’s social media-infused horror movie on Shudder. Next, everyone discusses the documentary FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS (25:49), an episode of THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS series that focuses Britney Spears, the conservatorship controlling her life, and the sexism and misogyny in media that has impacted her life and career. We wrap up with Isaac Lee Chung’s poignant drama MINARI (42:25), which follows a Korean American family’s attempt to start a farm in 1980s Arkansas, starring Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, and Youn Yuh-jung. And on this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we review a Patron’s choice: Walter Hill’s 1979 action film, THE WARRIORS.

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SAINT MAUD, MALCOLM & MARIE, THE WANTING MARE, and A NIGHTMARE WAKES on Episode #344

Morfydd Clark looking directly at the camera in a creepy way in the horror movie Saint Maud

Morfydd Clark is supremely creepy in SAINT MAUD.

This week Dave can’t make it, so Dede Crimmins, the Alec Baldwin of Spoilerpiece, fills in! After discussing cats on Zoom, we dive into this week’s movies. First up is Shudder’s A NIGHTMARE WAKES (3:25), Nora Unkel’s period horror flick which follows Mary Shelley as she writes Frankenstein. Next, we review THE WANTING MARE (13:00), Nicholas Ashe Bateman’s surreal fantasy about dreams, longing, and yes, a mare. Then it’s Netflix’s MALCOLM & MARIE (26:43), Sam Levinson’s movie starring Zendaya and John David Washington about a couple’s volatile night of arguments. Finally, we cover SAINT MAUD (46:38), Rose Glass’s outstanding horror film about a pious nurse (Morfydd Clark) who becomes unhealthily obsessed with trying to save her patient’s soul. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss James Cameron’s 1992 film TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY.

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Sundance 2021 on Episode #343

Sundance Film Festival 2021

SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE! We cover the Sundance Film Festival for the first time so we have a LOT of movies to discuss. We kick off with films we saw individually and would recommend: FIRST DATE (3:25), FLEE (6:14), and PASSING (9:21). Then we move on to movies at least two of us have seen: MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE (15:05), HOW IT ENDS (20:47), BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE (27:24), and THE WORLD TO COME (37:46). We end with discussions of films all three of us have seen: STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET (48:29), and CODA (59:07), a movie which takes places here in Massachusetts. And on this week’s Patreon bonus audio, it’s even more Sundance! We cover all the other films we’d recommend, but couldn’t squeeze into this episode.

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