Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders do a lot of running in JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
This week Kris is caught completely off-guard by Evan’s response to his Russian joke. Once Kris recovers from shock, he and Dave spoilerpiece JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK (at 5:12), which features Tom Cruise doing a lot of running and making a lot of phone calls. Its plot is rushed, and you can see everything coming, so the guys assure Evan that he didn’t miss much. Following tangents on END OF DAYS and as-seen-on-TV products, Evan reviews OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (at 34:42), the reason he wasn’t at JACK REACHER. Unfortunately he didn’t do much better since this horror flick is only 2/3 of a good movie. There is genuine tension, production value, and artful shots, but everything falls apart in the final act, when it rushes to a hasty and nonsensical conclusion. Lastly, Evan covers 12 ANGRY MEN (at 52:32), a movie he just got around to seeing. He praises Sidney Lumet’s picture for its narrow scope, superb acting, great dialogue, and fantastic blocking. The discussion then opens up to a larger one where the guys talk about other Lumet films they love.
THE ACCOUNTANT: Who knew that taxes and number crunching could be exciting?
This week Dave recalls a random middle school experience that struck a chord with him for very middle school reasons. Following his hilarious anecdote, the guys all review the Ben Affleck thriller THE ACCOUNTANT (at 4:36), which has good solid killing, a scrappy Anna Kendrick, and a story that’s delightfully narrow in scope, however it does fall victim to clunky exposition in its second act. Next, Kris reviews THE DYBBUK (at 45:16), a really good pre-World War II Polish movie in Yiddish about possession and conjuring Satan (which make it so metal). Lastly, Dave covers with the Swedish picture A MAN CALLED OVE (at 55:24), a story you’ve seen a million times about an old guy with a dead wife. Its characterization of this perpetual grump’s interactions with young people and his botched attempts at killing himself are charming in a way that only a non-American filmmaker could pull off.
Emily Blunt transforms herself into an alcoholic in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.
In this very special episode, the guys welcome their first celebrity guest – actor Robert Davi! Mr. Davi miraculously heard last week’s episode, so he is anxious to talk with them about his elevator encounter with Dave, as well as other things he has going on, like his new documentary DAVI’S WAY. After chatting with Mr. Davi, the guys jump into this week’s films. Evan leads off with AMANDA KNOX (at 12:22), at Netflix documentary that proves police investigatory techniques are flawed all over the world. Next Dave talks all about THE GREASY STRANGLER (at 20:34), one of the least pleasant experiences he has ever had watching a movie. Then Kris and Dave explore THE BIRTH OF A NATION (at 32:36), a loaded movie with a lot of issues worthy of discussion, including the director’s past. Finally, Evan and Dave close with THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (at 58:10), a mediocre thriller that’s great for its central female characters and their performances, but disappointing for its narrow focus on baby-related-drama.
Kurt Russell looking super serious as Mr. Jimmy in DEEPWATER HORIZON.
A conversation about celebrity encounters on this week’s episode leads to an anecdote about Kris’s brief run in with James Taylor. Then the guys jump into the one movie they’re allowed to talk about: DEEPWATER HORIZON. Since other films they’ve seen don’t come out until next week, Kris and Evan go in-depth with this Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg disaster flick. The picture’s character development is stupid and it doesn’t know which plot points should be explained, but it does a good job playing up the enormity of the events, and Mark Wahlberg is solid as an average guy who rises to the occasion in a way that’s not annoying. Following that conversation, Dave caps off this short episode with an accidental spoilerpiece of the Bond movie LICENCE TO KILL, as he shares his story of meeting Robert Davi.
QUEEN OF KATWE hits all the right notes as a fun, inspirational Disney sports movie.
This week the guys get in on the game of using three fictional characters to describe themselves. Then Evan and Kris talk about the 70mm and Widescreen Festival at the Somerville Theatre (at 7:04), where they TRON and SLEEPING BEAUTY. While discussing how beautiful these films look, they each share new elements that they discovered by watching them on the big screen. After that, Dave provides a “Riedel’s Recap” of GREEN ROOM (at 15:56), which offers specific comparisons to Jeremy Saulnier’s previous movie BLUE RUIN. Next, Kris delivers a “Keeping up with the Jensons” about DEMON (at 21:32), where he offers a very different take on the picture than Evan. Dave transitions into THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (at 29:57), a Ron Howard documentary that attempts to whitewash tensions between the band’s members. Finally, Kris and Evan close out with QUEEN OF KATWE (at 39:10), a Disney sports movie about chess, which is carried by good humor and cute kids learning about life.
BLAIR WITCH is not nearly as scary as this photo makes it seem.
This week Kris shares how he learned to separate reality from movies as a child, before he reveals his reaction to Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix show THE GET DOWN (at 4:22). Next Evan talks about the Polish/Israeli horror film DEMON (at 11:11), which has Polish, English, and Yiddish, but no sign language. It’s not particular scary, yet Evan still captures Kris’s interest anyway with his description of it. Following some tangents about a Jewish themed X-FILES episode and Gary Gulman’s stand up, the guys reach their main movie, BLAIR WITCH (at 25:50), which miraculously they have all seen. Evan never saw THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT so he thinks this sequel is okay, but Dave and Kris have, so they share their experiences seeing it for the first time, before they launch into their critique of the new movie, which they find redundant and needlessly confusing.
Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart as his trusty co-pilot Jeff in SULLY.
This week Kris shares the advantages to playing board games with Canadians, before he reviews Clint Eastwood’s latest movie SULLY (at 2:38). The mediocre film has a lot in common narratively with Eastwood’s last effort AMERICAN SNIPER, especially since the same things work well (a focus on the effects of trauma) and the same things don’t (artificially created villains). After Kris explains how the movie ends awkwardly on a joke, Dave delivers a quick “Riedel’s Recap” of DON’T BREATHE (at 19:57). Following the segment, Evan describes the coming-of-age film MORRIS FROM AMERICA (at 20:58), which has great music, and features the fantastic Craig Robinson in a rare dramatic role. Finally, the guys arrive at their main event: the ‘80s horror flick SLEEPAWAY CAMP (at 30:32). They describe its weird flashbacks, its endearing incompetence, and the craziness that runs in its blood as they dig into this time capsule, which 2/3 of them agree is good for what it is. Be sure to stick around post-credits for a completely unrelated bonus story.