THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS on Episode #390

Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity and Keanu Reeves as Neo in Lana Wachowski's film THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS

We’re taking the red pill for our last show of 2021 so we can discuss THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS! We had so much to say we felt that the movie deserved a whole episode worth of conversation. Lana Wachowski’s fourth entry in the franchise stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. We delve deep into the sci-fi film’s themes, particularly its humorous meta commentary on its own existence; its continuation of the Matrix story as a trans allegory; its exploration of trauma, romance, control, and free will; and the many exciting ways it both builds on the Matrix mythology and takes a hammer to it. We also talk about how the movie fits into the context of the franchise as a whole and briefly talk about our experience revisiting the previous films as a primer for this one.

And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we go a completely different direction by talking about the winner of our Christmas heist movie poll, Daryl Duke’s 1978 film THE SILENT PARTNER starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer!

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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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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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EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, KATE, and MARTYRS LANE on Episode #374

Max Harwood kneels on a fashion runway in a bright blue blazer during a musical number in the musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie

We loved the choreography, costumes, and cinematography as well as Max Harwood’s lead performance in EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE

We head over to MARTYRS LANE (2:14) to learn the meaning of the word “vicarage” and to discuss Ruth Platt’s eerie and allegorical horror film (now on Shudder), about a girl who visited nightly by another girl who slowly reveals shocking secrets about her family. Next, we delve into Cedric Nicolas-Troyan’s bloody and entertaining Netflix action film KATE (18:25), which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as poisoned assassin trying to get revenge on the gangsters who betrayed her before she dies. Lastly, we review Jonathan Butterell’s charming and glamorous Amazon musical EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (35:26), a queer coming-of-age tale about a teenager who wants to be a drag queen. And in this week’s Patron exclusive audio, we cover Norman Jewison’s 1987 rom-com MOONSTRUCK starring Cher and Nicolas Cage!

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BECKETT, THE SUICIDE SQUAD, and VIVO on Episode #370

John David Washington in Ferdinando Cito Filomarino's thriller BECKETT

Get ready for a singing animated kinkajou, a ragtag group of antiheroes blowing up a fake Latin American country, and a clueless American getting the crap kicked out of him in Greece! We start this week with Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords’s sweet but saccharine Netflix animated film VIVO (0:55), starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, and Gloria Estefan. Next, we discuss James Gunn’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD (15:36), not to be confused with that other awful DC movie about a task force of supervillains, starring an ensemble cast including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, and Viola Davis. Gunn’s adaptation is much better, but still has us split. And lastly we review Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s Netflix thriller BECKETT (37:11) starring John David Washington, which has some strong action, yet weak writing. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Sam Raimi’s 2009 horror film DRAG ME TO HELL!

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JUNGLE CRUISE, NINE DAYS, and FEAR STREET: PART THREE – 1666 on Episode #368

Dwayne Johnson is Frank and Emily Blunt is Lily in Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE.

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are fun to watch, but don’t have much chemistry in JUNGLE CRUISE

What if souls had to interview to be born? That’s the premise of the first film on our docket this week, Edson Oda’s moving drama NINE DAYS (1:59), starring Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz. Next, we review FEAR STREET: Part Three – 1666 (16:14), the satisfying conclusion to Leigh Janiak’s Netflix horror trilogy, which we’ve really enjoyed discussing over the past two episodes. We wrap up with Jaume Collet-Serra’s JUNGLE CRUISE (37:18), the latest Disney ride turned movie starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson that borrows too heavily from other adventure films, including some of Disney’s. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss the winner of our video game movie poll: the 2006 Christophe Gans film SILENT HILL

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FEAR STREET: PART TWO – 1978, OLD, SETTLERS, GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE, and Our 7th Anniversary on Episode #367

Emily Rudd and Sadie Sink stand facing each other mid-argument in the movie in FEAR STREET: PART TWO - 1978

Emily Rudd and Sadie Sink play sisters constantly at odds in FEAR STREET: PART TWO – 1978

Spoilerpiece celebrates its 7th anniversary this week! After we all offer a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, Megan leads off with a review of M. Night Shyamalan’s OLD (5:52), a horror movie about people aging rapidly, which is exactly what we expected in the worst way. Next, we talk about Navot Papushado’s GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (17:44), a stylized Netflix action film with a stacked cast (Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Yeoh), that isn’t used to its fullest. After that, we dig into SETTLERS (33:47), Wyatt Rockefeller’s brutal sci-fi Western that we struggled through. We wrap up with FEAR STREET: Part Two – 1978 (44:04), the second film in Leigh Janiak’s Netflix horror trilogy, which we were all excited to see (it doesn’t disappoint). And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Robert Luketic’s 2001 rom-com LEGALLY BLONDE starring Reese Witherspoon! We have a blast talking about this movie, which recently marked its 20th anniversary.

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NO SUDDEN MOVE, FALSE POSITIVE, and THE ICE ROAD on Episode #365

Don Cheadle talks on the phone from a phone book while Benicio del Toro waits anxiously outside it in the movie No Sudden MoveIn this week’s edition of “We Should Have Known Better,” we cover Liam Neeson’s latest Old Man Neeson actioner, THE ICE ROAD (3:05), this year’s early winner of the “It Wants to be ‘The Wages of Fear’ or even ‘Sorcerer’ but it’s Really Just a Turd” award. Perhaps that’s harsh, but as scary as Canadian ice roads are in April, even scarier is the prospect of a movie filled with half-baked ideas, crummy special effects, and a villain who has more lives than the Energizer bunny. It’s just wretched. But man, was it fun to talk about! Next is FALSE POSITIVE (19:12), which star Ilana Glazer wrote with its director, John Lee. Who doesn’t love pregnancy horror? (Actually, one of us loves pregnancy horror, but sadly, not this film.) In this case, two of us. As Dave puts it, this is a movie that offsets each good idea it has with a bad one. But one of us liked it! (And though he didn’t mention it in the episode, Dave likes Pierce Brosnan’s beard.) Lastly, it’s NO SUDDEN MOVE (40:20), the new Steven Soderbergh thriller starring lots of his favorite people, including Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro. It has a little bit of everything, and screenwriter Ed Solomon is a loooong way from Bill & Ted. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

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BLACK WIDOW, THE TOMORROW WAR, and THE FOREVER PURGE on Episode #364

Scarlett Johansson squints into the distance as wreckage smolders around her in the movie Black Widow
We were excited to see Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow’s long-overdue standalone film.

Kicking things off this week, we review Everardo Gout’s THE FOREVER PURGE (5:58), the latest entry in the PURGE franchise! It stars Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, and Josh Lucas. Megan and Dave discuss its relevance to recent American political events and why they really dug its political commentary. Next, we all talk about Chris McKay’s long and disappointing sci-fi flick THE TOMORROW WAR (23:54), which has decent action, but a lot of bad writing and acting (especially from Chris Pratt). We wrap up with Cate Shortland’s much anticipated movie BLACK WIDOW (40:48), starring Scarlett Johansson in the second female-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of us loved it, but two of us had some mixed feelings about its performances and pacing. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we tackle Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody’s 2009 horror comedy JENNIFER’S BODY

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F9: THE FAST SAGA, WEREWOLVES WITHIN, I CARRY YOU WITH ME, and ZOLA on Episode #363

Vin Diesel drives while Michelle Rodriguez holds onto a hook on the passenger side in the movie F9

Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez living life a quarter mile at a time in F9

This week, we kick off by reviewing ZOLA (2:15), Janicza Bravo’s road trip-crime drama-dark comedy starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough, which is based on a viral series of tweets. Next, we cover I CARRY YOU WITH ME (17:48), Heidi Ewing’s beautifully moving queer hybrid narrative/documentary film about an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) who leaves his love (Christian Vazquez) in Mexico for a better life in New York City, but must make serious sacrifices along the way. Then we talk about F9: THE FAST SAGA (34:10), Justin Lin’s latest entry in the FAST & FURIOUS franchise, which is ridiculous but a lot of fun and finally makes good on a long-running fan prediction. Finally, we wrap up with WEREWOLVES WITHIN (49:02), Josh Ruben’s horror comedy mystery starring Sam Richardson and Milana Vayntrub, about eccentric townsfolk trying to figure out which one of them may be a werewolf. And in this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we talk about the winner of our LGBTQIA+ poll, Desiree Akhavan’s 2018 film THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST!  

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