This week’s episode kicks off with, what else those effin’ Oscar nominations (2:17), recognizing outstanding achievement in male mediocrity. There are some deserving nominations — BLACK PANTHER, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, BLACKKKLANSMAN — but c’mon already. From there, Kris recaps STAN & OLLIE (11:55), a well-meaning film about Laurel and Hardy in the last year of their joint career. It has some great attributes but never gathers enough momentum to explore the more interesting or entertaining dimensions of its plot. Last up is DESTROYER (21:13), a meandering neo-noir that has some good things going for it but it could have done with a bit — or a lot — of streamlining.
Happy New Year Spoilerpiece fans! This week the guys start out by revealing their unconventional New Year’s Eve plans. For films, there are three on the docket, and everyone has seen them, which makes for lively discussion! First, the guys review THE FAVOURITE (4:48), a period piece by Yorgos Lanthimos that Kris and Dave loved, but Evan couldn’t stand. Next they cover IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (17:37), the beautiful Barry Jenkins movie they all agree is fantastic because the theme of love permeates it. Lastly, the guys take on the much-discussed Sandra Bullock Netflix original BIRD BOX (30:17), a tense horror flick with good performances that is stunted by numerous flaws. If all that’s not enough, you can also hear exclusive audio of the guys discussing New Year’s Eve movies if you sign up and support them this week on Patreon.
Dave makes his Spoilerpiece return just in time for the last show of 2018! And it’s a fitting too because the guys use the episode to discuss their top 10 films of the year. Dave kicks things off by revealing his picks (5:10) – bold movies like FIRST REFORMED and BLACKKKLANSMAN, as well as documentary selections like WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? and DISTANT SKY – NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS LIVE IN COPENHAGEN. Next, Kris shares his top movies (22:35) – an eclectic mix of films like AT ETERNITY’S GATE, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, and HEREDITARY with a surprise underdog in his #10 slot. Finally, Evan wraps things up with his list (35:27), delving into meaningful stories about race like THE HATE U GIVE and MY NAME IS MYEISHA, in addition to technologically driven tales like SEARCHING and EIGHTH GRADE. For Patrons, the guys also recorded a special extended segment on Christmas movies, so if you want to hear it, be sure to check out the Spoilerpiece Patreon and sign up to support the show!
Kris recounts a bizarre run-in he had some naked bike riders in college before he and Evan put on their critic hats this week. Dave is still on paternity leave, but he didn’t let that stop him from recording a special update about what he has been doing and the movies he has been watching. Buckle up for some “Riedel’s Recaps” baby! Kris leads off the main show with a half review of AT ETERNITY’S GATE (8:55), the Willem Dafoe Vincent Van Gogh picture that he was really getting into before recording the show. Then Evan serves up a “Crewind” where he talks about CRAZY RICH ASIANS (17:20), which he liked a lot, and A STAR IS BORN (20:43), which he absolutely hated. After he and Kris spend some time dissecting exactly why he hated it, they tackle this week’s main film, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (27:53), an entertaining Melissa McCarthy drama based on a true story. Its direction is terrific, McCarthy is fantastic, and the unusual friendship at the movie’s center is a joy to watch.
First things first: Congratulations to Dave and Joan on the birth of their son Edward (aka Teddy)! Special guest Kristen Halbert sits in for Dave this week, and thankfully Kris and Evan have their own microphones this time. After they all have a good laugh about the technical difficulties during Kristen’s last visit, Kris leads off with JOLLY FELLOWS (3:10), an absurdly joyful Russian film from the ’30s. Then Kristen covers THE OATH (8:55) a social satire from Ike Barinholtz that attempts to emulate GET OUT, but ends up more like SCARY MOVIE 4. Next Kris reviews FIRST MAN (15:20), the Damien Chazelle drama about Neil Armstrong that inspires him to make space puns left, right, and center. Lastly, everyone discusses THE HATE U GIVE (29:38), a gripping, layered drama that tactfully tackles issues of race, class, and police brutality through one brave young woman’s experience.
This week, we welcome our old friend Sam Cohen back on the show! Things kick off with two Crewinds: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (4:09) and CITIZEN KANE (7:23), both of which Evan saw on Filmstruck. If you have classic films that have been on your watchlist for years, FilmStruck is here to help (not a sponsored message, we just dig the service). Next up, Kris (pardon his scratchy post-illness voice) catches up with an old Soviet classic WALKING THE STREETS OF MOSCOW (12:30), a film by Georgiy Daneliya that brings the heart and soul of the French New Wave to 1960s Russia. Sam then talks BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (21:16), bad times that were unfortunately had by the audience as well. Kris gets everyone excited for A STAR IS BORN (31:41) which is going to win a whole bunch of Oscars and that’s okay. Evan then finishes things off with THE SISTERS BROTHERS (44:20), the latest stark, brutal Western about the lawlessness of the early American Frontier.
With Evan is back from his Florida honeymoon (!!), the guys have some catching up to do. First Dave gives us his take on ANNIHILATION (3:25), then it’s a whole heaping helping of Creancaps (7:42): CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, DR. STRANGE, PATTI CAKE$, and COCO. Then it’s on to this week’s new releases, both of which are surprisingly radical: THE FIRST PURGE (17:30), which exceeds all possible expectations, and SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (38:27), which complete laughs at the entire notions of expectations. Both are worth your time!