FREE FIRE, THE PROMISE, and I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE on Episode #145

Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley in FREE FIRE

The fully loaded cast of Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley

This week the guys discuss the narrative differences between Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and film adaptations of her tale at the start of the show. Then Evan reviews Macon Blair’s directorial debut I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE (at 5:01), which has a title that sounds like a Facebook status Kris would have written if it had existed in 1995. Blair borrows stylistic elements from director Jeremy Saulnier, but his film lacks the intensity, excitement, and payoff of Saulnier’s movies. Next Dave spoilerpieces Evan and Kris into never seeing THE PROMISE (at 27:22), which is like PEARL HARBOR with more death, and a less interesting love story. If you’re looking for context or history behind the Armenian genocide depicted in the movie, you won’t find it. Lastly, Kris closes with Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE (at 47:30), a short, stylized action flick with an outcome that is not as funny as its set up. Kris talks about how Wheatley seems more interested in color, movement, and brutality than getting you to care about what his characters are saying, and why that’s disappointing as a viewer.

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Episode #144: “The Fate of the Furious” and “Your Name”

Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

Vin Diesel goes rogue with Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

It’s been a while since the guys have done some singing, so they decide to make up for it at the start of the episode. There are just two films on their docket this week?one is animated, and one live action that’s also an action movie. First, Evan reviews YOUR NAME (at 4:00), a touching anime tale about two teenagers who mysteriously start swapping bodies. Dave tries to compare it to other body-swapping films like VICE VERSA and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM with moderate success, while Kris realizes he’s into it for reasons he doesn’t fully understand. Then all three of them set their sights on FATE OF THE FURIOUS (at 20:04), a loud action movie that’s almost unbelievable even by franchise standards, but boy is it still fun to watch, because it surprised them with some of its new tricks with cars.

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Episode #143: “The Assignment” and “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul”

Michelle Rodriguez in THE ASSIGNMENT.

Michelle Rodriguez deserves better than THE ASSIGNMENT.

This week during a conversation about the new Domino’s commercials that parody FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, Dave shares a seemingly small aspect of the movie that really gets under his skin. Next he and Evan review THE ASSIGNMENT (at 7:56), a truly awful film by Walter Hill about a hitman (Michelle Rodriguez) who undergoes forced gender reassignment surgery, and seeks revenge on her mad scientist tormentor (Sigourney Weaver). They pick apart its terrible makeup, its endless exposition, its uninteresting revelations, and its nonsensical plot, which they argue no one could be good in. After that, Kris spoilerpieces ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (at 36:30), a German film he was inspired to watch by Roger Ebert’s “The Great Movies.” He reveals why it’s worth watching, as he describes how the movie’s poignant, complicated love story addresses racism without sensationalizing it.

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THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE and the Boston Underground Film Festival on Episode #142

Jessica Chastain in THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE

Jessica Chastain in THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE

A sing-along of songs from camp veers into unexpected territory for the guys this week. Before they get into any movies though, they turn their attention to television, as Evan explains his mad quest to watch as many X-FILES episodes as possible for before the show leaves Netflix streaming. After that Kris recaps his time at the Boston Underground Film Festival aka BUFF (at 9:14), where he highlights a number of notable films including PREVENGE, DARK SONG, BUSTER’S MAL HEART, SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS, THE VOID, and DAVE MADE A MAZE. Lastly, the guys tackle THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (at 20:00), a movie about a couple played by Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh who smuggle Jews in Poland to safety during the Holocaust, which does all the things you’ve seen before and wraps them in a story you haven’t. The guys compare the film to others about the Holocaust like SCHINDLER’S LIST, and are disappointed with familiar aspects of those pictures that seep into this movie, but they still laud its moving performances and excellent cast.

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Episode #141: “Life” and “Wilson”

Jake Gyllenhaal being very un-Jake Gyllenhall in LIFE.

Jake Gyllenhaal being very un-Jake Gyllenhall in LIFE.

This week the guys attempt to answer the age old question, “Who’s the luckiest person in show business?” with mixed results. Each of them have some catching up to do on movies that they’ve seen, so they do some quick recaps (starting at 4:26) before they dive into these week’s movies. Kris shares short takes on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and PERSONAL SHOPPER, prior to Evan offering brief thoughts on 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, and Dave revealing what he took away from the rest of OJ: MADE IN AMERICA. After that Kris and Evan discuss WILSON (at 19:32), a film based on a Daniel Clowes graphic novel, where Woody Harrelson plays a guy walking through life telling everyone bullshit and acting like an asshole. Then all three guys discuss the sci-fi horror movie LIFE (at 41:11) which has great actors giving mediocre performances. They compare various parts to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and ALIEN, however they describe why it gets dumber the more you think about it.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PERSONAL SHOPPER, and O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA with Movie Bob on Episode #140

Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in the blow by blow remake BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Kris is on a tight deadline and can’t make it this week, so Movie Bob Chipman joins Evan and Dave to discuss logistical questions about day to day operations of the Death Star. Bob shares insights into one of his upcoming videos before being their guest, i.e. reviewing BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (at 6:08). After some tangents about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and other live action Disney adaptations, Bob describes why BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a tribute to itself; a fine, blow by blow remake of the animated movie. Next, all three of them discuss the Oscar-winning documentary O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (at 22:24), by revealing how it provides deep context into O.J.’s successful athletic career and his abusive past, which leads the guys to ruminate on other celebrities with abusive histories. Finally, Evan and Dave tackle PERSONAL SHOPPER (at 42:26), an Olivier Assayas/Kristen Stewart film that’s oozing with esoteric weirdness and needlessly confusing plot points. Fear not, the show isn’t entirely without Kris! Stay tuned after the closing credits for a brief message from him.

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KONG: SKULL ISLAND and “Riedel’s Recaps” on Episode #139

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson looking puzzled in KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson looking puzzled in KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Are movie theaters a safe place for children to play? The guys weigh in with their thoughts on this week’s episode. Following their discussion, Dave offers his latest segment of “Riedel’s Recaps,” where he recounts the shocking, gruesome violence in LOGAN (at 4:27), and describes why he found the film to be a statement against hate. Following some tangents about their favorite comic book movies, and whether there are plot holes in DIE HARD, the guys arrive at the week’s main event, KONG: SKULL ISLAND (at 17:52). They share some serious laughs as they critique the film’s huge cast, its epic carnage, and its wide range of callbacks to other movies. They lament how confused it is about what type of picture it wants to be, however they celebrate its special effects, its long monster takes, and its perfect casting of John C. Reilly.

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