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.
Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.
Dave is feeling under the weather so fan favorite Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week. She and Kris lead off by discussing the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival (at 5:02). They share a few of their favorite films, before Dede transitions into COMPLETE UNKNOWN (at 11:41). Dede finds Rachel Weisz’s character fascinating in it, but she wishes there was more to the movie’s simple plot. Next, Kris talks about how war leaves scars long after hostilities end in THE INNOCENTS (at 21:32), a heavy post-World War II film about rescuing babies. Then Evan and Dede review THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (at 35:46), a long, slow drama about babies and post-war tensions that also stars Rachel Weisz and features Michael Fassbender as a brooding lighthouse hunk. Dede wraps everything up with MORGAN (at 54:16) a mashup of SPLICE, EX MACHINA, and BLADE RUNNER that has the most wasted cast she has ever seen and an ending that thinks it’s clever without actually being clever.
Kris’s reaction after being disgusted by DON’T BREATHE.
This week Kris reveals what he would do if he had precognitive powers like Christopher Walken in THE DEAD ZONE. After that, he reviews DON’T BREATHE (at 3:28), a horror movie that he was really into for an hour until it disgusted him. Next, Evan explains the intellectually and emotionally engaging documentary THE WITNESS (at 27:21) opening at the Regent Theatre, which follows Kitty Genovese’s brother Bill on a decade long journey to investigate her murder. Then Dave lightens things up by spoilerpiecing MAN UP (at 36:06), a charming, if not great romantic comedy where Simon Pegg plays vulnerable and Lake Bell does a convincing British accent. Finally, Evan concludes with INDIGNATION, a 1950s drama that impressed him with its patient camerawork and pleasantly surprised him by going some unexpected places. His description provokes strong reactions from Dave and Kris, who want to see it, but are convinced they’ll either love it or hate it.
Miles Teller and Jonah Hill wheeling and dealing as arms dealers in WAR DOGS.
The show opens this week with a conversation about director Werner Herzog’s very unique perspective on life. Following a shout out to one of Dave’s favorite YouTubers and a discussion about Evan’s book, Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living, the guys dig into the week’s new releases. First up is Kris, who discusses Herzog’s documentary LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD (at 9:09). The filmmaker is more aware of his personal brand, so he features himself prominently in it, but it’s still a fascinating piece about the integration between humans and machines. Next, Evan reviews WAR DOGS (at 19:32). Even though it obviously rips off of GOODFELLAS, the movie is worth seeing because it’s funny, has great music, and showcases a tremendous lead performance by Jonah Hill. Lastly, Kris concludes with KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (at 36:20), which captivates with its stop motion animation and its take on ancient religion. Every place the characters go in the film and everything they do is enjoyable to watch, even if you’re aware the journey that they’re on.
Ben Foster and Chris Pine are smarter than they look here in HELL OR HIGH WATER.
On this week’s episode a Fine Young Cannibals karaoke session somehow turns into a Weezer takedown, but one fan isn’t having it. Dave leads off with WOULD YOU RATHER (at 3:31), a horror movie that’s bad, although not bad enough to be super entertaining. At least it has interesting casting, and Jeffrey Combs chowing down on the scenery. After that, Evan talks about the crime drama HELL OR HIGH WATER (at 26:32), which is about brothers played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster, who rob banks to save their family’s home. His rousing description of its tense action, thorough character development, and smart bank-robbing plan spoilerpiece Dave and Kris into really wanting to see it. Lastly, Kris and Evan conclude with PETE’S DRAGON (at 48:20), a cute remake that’s touching, but the good kind of touching. Despite its dead parent motif, they spoilerpiece Dave into wanting to see the film with their recap of the dragon’s expressiveness, the antagonist’s depth, and its overall statement about unconventional families.