KING RICHARD, BRUISED, and THE HUMANS on Episode #385

Will Smith as Richard Williams stands on one side of a tennis net talking coaching his Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney who play Venus and Serena Williams in the movie King Richard

The film’s amazing performances are KING RICHARD’s greatest strength

This week just in time for the holiday, we kick off our show with Stephen Karam’s Thanksgiving family drama THE HUMANS (1:41), which underwhelms despite its stacked cast. Next we discuss Halle Berry’s directorial debut BRUISED (16:32) a formulaic sports film about a down on her luck queer MMA fighter trying to find redemption. Then we review KING RICHARD (34:45), Reinaldo Marcus Green’s engaging sports biopic, which looks at how Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard (Will Smith) propelled them into tennis superstardom from birth. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our November film noir poll, Robert Altman’s 1973 film THE LONG GOODBYE, starring Elliott Gould!

Check out this week’s episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre!

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SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, THE FEAST, and JULIA on Episode #384

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

This week we picked two VERY different movies about food to discuss. First, we cover Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s delightful documentary JULIA (2:12), about chef Julia Child, which is chock full of great interviews, insights, and shots of food. Next, we review Lee Haven Jones’s Welsh foreboding, slow-burn folk horror film THE FEAST (15:12), starring Annes Elwy, which features some gruesome moments that we have varying reactions to. To completely change gears, we close with Destin Daniel Cretton’s entertaining Marvel Asian American superhero movie SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (35:40), in honor of its arrival on Disney+, starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, and Michelle Yeoh. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about David Fincher’s 2002 home-invasion thriller PANIC ROOM, starring Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, and Forest Whitaker.

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THE HARDER THEY FALL, NIGHT RAIDERS, and BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (BJFF) on Episode #383

Regina King stands with her hand on her gun while Zazie Beetz stands behind her guarded by two men who also have guns drawn in the Western The Harder They FallThis week we start by reviewing Tal Michael’s BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (3:59), a fascinating documentary playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival about three Jewish brothers who were pioneers of Egyptian animation. Next, we discuss Danis Goulet’s NIGHT RAIDERS (16:41), a smart Indigenous sci-fi film about a mother (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) trying to rescue her daughter (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) from a fascist state. After that we review Jeymes Samuel’s THE HARDER THEY FALL (32:25), a bold Black Western with a stacked cast. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Lou Adler’s 1982 film LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS!

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Hanukkah Bonus: 2021 Boston Jewish Film Festival Shorts

Orthodox Jewish comedian Daniel Finkelstein holds a microphone in the documentary A Jew Walks into a Bar

A JEW WALKS INTO A BAR was one of our favorite shorts from the 32 Minutes or Less! block at this year’s Boston Jewish Film Festival

Happy Hanukkah! This year the holiday is coming early in real life and on the show. Our gift to you is a bonus episode where Evan and his co-host in life, Shauna, review the shorts programs from the 2021 Boston Jewish Film Festival. First up is the FreshFlix block, where they concentrate on THE MOHEL (1:25), PARADISE (10:46), and THE BINDING OF ITZIK (17:42), with brief comments on DEVEK, GANEF, SCUM BOY, and IMMERSION. Next they discuss Shorts Made in Quarantine with a focus on TANGLED UP IN JEWS (27:13), LONG DISTANCE (29:15), and DIALOGUES AND MONOLOGUES (32:07), and brief nods to VOICES FROM THE BALCONIES and YOM KIPPUR IN LOCKDOWN. They wrap up with the In 32 Minutes or Less! block, engaging in discussions about NEVER AGAIN / PARA NADIE (39:11), BECOMING NAKUSET (47:55), MOM’S IN TOWN AND SHE DIDN’T TELL ME (47:55), and A JEW WALKS INTO A BAR (51:15), while briefly mentioning THE COLLECTION and ZAIDA. Hopefully these reviews inspire you to check out the shorts at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, which runs virtually through November 20, 2021.

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FINCH, PASSING, and BEANS on Episode #382

We get a good laugh about how the one-word titles we’re reviewing form a sentence, but after that we get serious about this week’s movies. First, we discuss Tracey Deer’s BEANS (2:22), a layered coming-of-age drama set against the real-life 78-day standoff between the Mohawk community and government forces in 1990 Quebec. Next, we cover Rebecca Hall’s PASSING (22:39), a compelling 1920s drama about race and class starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Lastly, we review FINCH (42:21), Miguel Sapochnik’s moving post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama about a man (Tom Hanks) who builds a robot that he must teach to take care of his dog. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Penny Marshall’s 1992 baseball film A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, and Tom Hanks! 

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HORROR NOIRE, CHAMELEON STREET, and IFFBoston’s Fall Focus on Episode #381

Horror Noire poster 2

Praise be that film festivals are back! To kick things off, Megan talks about IFFBoston’s Fall Focus, and her experiences watching Pablo Larraín’s biopic SPENCER (2:03), starring Kristen Stewart; Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical dramedy BELFAST (6:12), starring Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan; Audrey Diwan’s French drama HAPPENING (8:32), starring Anamaria Vartolomei; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s international drama-fantasy MEMORIA (10:31), starring Tilda Swinton. Evan joins her to talk about Céline Sciamma’s French fantasy-drama PETITE MAMAN (14:21), Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, and Joachim Trier’s Norwegian drama THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (20:52), starring Renate Reinsve. Then Evan (with an assist from Megan) takes everyone through Shudder’s HORROR NOIRE (30:25), an entertaining horror anthology film with six stories from Black filmmakers: director Kimani Ray Smith and screenwriters Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaVelle, and Al Letson. Lastly, Dave and Evan review the 4K restoration of Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s CHAMELEON STREET (44:13), which won the 1990 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and has been hard to find since. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we feature the monthly poll winner – We asked you to choose from FRANKENSTEIN films and the winner is THE BRIDE, starring Sting and Jennifer Beals. We had a blast talking about it, so check it out and consider becoming a patron!

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MADRES, SOUTH OF HEAVEN, and THE MANOR on Episode #380

Tenoch Huerta comforts Ariana Guerra sitting at a table in the movie Madres

Tenoch Huerta and Ariana Guerra are great as a married couple in MADRES

Welcome to the Blumhouse isn’t just a horror series on Amazon, it’s also a song Dave is singing on this week’s episode, because we’re discussing two more films from the series. First, we review Axelle Carolyn’s unsettling horror film THE MANOR (2:19), about a older woman (Barbara Hershey) who enters a nursing home, only to discover supernatural forces are killing off her fellow residents. Next, we cover Aharon Keshales’ incredibly tense crime thriller SOUTH OF HEAVEN (15:56), starting Jason Sudeikis as a recently released ex-con trying to do right by his cancer-stricken girlfriend (Evangeline Lilly). After that we review Ryan Zaragoza’s sharp and surprising horror film MADRES (33:08), about a Mexican couple expecting their first child, who find out terrifying things are happening to pregnant women in the town they just moved to. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Michael Dougherty’s 2007 horror anthology TRICK ‘R TREAT

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DUNE, KNOCKING, and TILL DEATH on Episode #379

Timothee Chalamet looks pensively in Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of DuneWe start off this week with S.K. Dale’s entertaining thriller TILL DEATH (2:37), which stars Megan Fox as a woman who must outwit two men trying to find her…while handcuffed to her dead husband. Next we discuss Frida Kempff’s thriller KNOCKING (19:10), an effective commentary on gaslighting about a woman tortured by knocking sounds in her apartment. Finally, we review Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic DUNE (30:25), the first part in a proposed two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi novel, starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. We dig its scope, its cast, and its take on the story. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Adam Wingard’s YOU’RE NEXT, a 2011 home invasion horror film we all enjoy!

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THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, NO TIME TO DIE, THE GUILTY, and BINGO HELL on Episode #378

Billy Magnussen, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, and Alessandro Nivola stand in a doorway looking out angrily in the movie The Many Saints of Newark

What do we think about THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK? Fahgettaboudit!

To kick things off, Dave offers his brief take on Cary Joji Fukunaga’s NO TIME TO DIE (2:30), Daniel Craig’s satisfying final outing as James Bond. Next, we all review BINGO HELL (11:55), Gigi Saul Guerrero’s brief, yet heavy-handed horror comedy that’s part of Amazon’s 2021 WELCOME TO THE BLUMHOUSE series. After that we cover Antoine Fuqua’s THE GUILTY (22:41), a frustrating and problematic thriller about a 911 operator played effectively by Jake Gyllenhaal. Finally, we dig into THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK (40:49), Alan Taylor’s extremely disappointing Sopranos prequel about the rise of Tony Soprano. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we have a blast discussing Joe Cornish’s 2011 sci-fi comedy ATTACK THE BLOCK, starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker. 

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V/H/S/94, I’M YOUR MAN, and NIGHTBOOKS on Episode #377

An Asian man with glasses laughing maniacally as he's being recorded through a video camera display in the horror anthology V/H/S/94

“The Subject” is a brutual segment in V/H/S/94 but it held our attention.

It’s October, so of course we start off this week by reviewing NIGHTBOOKS (2:19), David Yarovesky’s surprisingly enjoyable Netflix horror film, about a boy (Winslow Fegley) who must tell scary stories to survive after he’s imprisoned by a witch (Krysten Ritter). Next, we discuss Maria Schrader’s delightful and layered German sci-fi romance I’M YOUR MAN (21:40), starring Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens (yes, THAT Dan Stevens). Lastly, we cover V/H/S/94 (37:31), the uneven fourth film in the V/H/S horror anthology franchise. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our train movie poll, Sang-ho Yeon’s 2016 horror film TRAIN TO BUSAN!

Listen:

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