It’s movies-that-studios-are-pushing-for-awards week on Spoilerpiece! First up, Evan and Dave talk about Mike Mills’ C’MON C’MON (1:48), a funny drama starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny, who steps in to take care of his nephew Jesse (Woody Norman) while Jesse’s mother Viv (Gaby Hoffman) tends to her husband, Jesse’s father, who has bipolar disorder. That’s a clunky description, but don’t hold that against us because it’s a great conversation about a movie that’s firmly plugged into its emotional arc. Next, everyone saw THE TENDER BAR (22:03), director George Clooney’s coming-of-age drama, about JR (Daniel Ranieri as a kid and Tye Sheridan as a young adult), who moves with his mother (Lily Rabe) to her childhood home. Good news: Her brother, JR’s Uncle Charlie, is Ben Affleck. The bad news? Not enough Ben Affleck. Lastly, we talk about RED ROCKET (39:15), Sean Baker’s alternatingly funny yet uncomfortable comedy-drama. A washed-up porn star (a terrific Simon Rex) returns to his working class Texas hometown, crashing into his estranged wife’s life, and striking up a creepy romance with a 17-year-old (Suzanna Son), whom he’s trying to groom into a porn career that he hopes will restart his own.
Over on our Patreon, we talk about FARGO, the Coen brothers’ comedic thriller starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, and Steve Buscemi. If you join our $5 tier, you’ll get immediate access to that conversation and more than 200 bonus episodes!
This week, we review our second Natalie Morales film of the year, PLAN B (1:54), a hilarious road trip comedy on Hulu about best friends (Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles) trying to track down emergency contraception in middle America. Next, we discuss LES NÔTRES (24:38), Jeanne Leblanc’s difficult to watch yet excellent French Canadian drama about a pregnant teen (Émilie Bierre), which prompts us to issue a trigger warning about the sexual abuse depicted in the film. Then we cover Pixar’s LUCA (45:55), Enrico Casarosa’s animated Italian adventure-fantasy on Disney+ about sea monsters (Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer) who enter the world of humans and find friendship along the way. As part of our conversation, we delve into whether we also feel like movie is a queer allegory or queer love story, like others have interpreted. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Theodore Witcher’s 1997 romance LOVE JONES, starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate, in honor of Black Music Appreciation Month!
Dave is off this week, so Megan and Evan talk about the movies. First, we review Marshall Burnette’s sporadically intense thriller SILO (2:31) about the frantic attempt to rescue a teenager who’s stuck in a grain silo. Then we discuss Maureen Bharoocha’s charming comedy GOLDEN ARM (16:01), about a trucker (Betsy Sodaro) who trains her timid friend (Mary Holland) to compete in the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Tournament. Finally, we test our might with MORTAL KOMBAT (29:59), Simon McQuoid’s adaptation of the famous video game, which we have very different opinions about. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss Albert Brooks’s 1991 unconventional rom-com, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE.
Ed Helms and Patti Harrison are charming in TOGETHER TOGETHER
We start this week by covering films from Wicked Queer, Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival (1:46). Evan reviews the Israeli picture KISS ME KOSHER, and Megan offers quick takes on drama SEE YOU THEN, werewolf horror film BLOODTHIRSTY, and Taiwanese psychological thriller NINA WU. Then, we all discuss Christopher Smith’s horror film THE BANISHING (10:53), a disappointingly by-the-numbers haunted house story. Next, we talk about Ricky Staub’s moving Netflix Western coming-of-age tale CONCRETE COWBOY (26:08) starring Caleb McLaughlin and Idris Elba. We wrap up with Nikole Beckwith’s TOGETHER TOGETHER (42:29), a charming dramedy about platonic love and surrogacy starring Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review a patron’s choice, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz’s 1973 horror film MESSIAH OF EVIL.
It’s not a first, but it doesn’t happen often. We can recommend all the movies we watched this week! First up is the Netflix documentary MISS AMERICANA (4:45) starring Taylor Swift. Megan successfully spoilerpieces Dave and Evan into wanting to see it. Following is the French film LES MISÉRABLES (19:26), which is NOT a musical about a bunch of poor French people who stole loaves of bread and spent years in prison. Finally, Megan and Dave talk about HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY (36:30), a movie that is a vast improvement over its predecessor, SUICIDE SQUAD, which, not coincidentally, is the subject of this week’s exclusive audio content at patreon.com/spoilerpiece. And please make sure you watch our Oscars live stream on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at 8 PM ET. Download the FREE HotMic app for Apple or Android or at http://hotmic.io and use the promo code RIEDEL.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, joyous Festivus for the rest of youse, and all the other holidays! It’s the final Spoilerpiece of the year with three movies to check out after you’ve opened presents…or three movies you can see to hide out from the peeps you don’t want to see. We make no judgments; live your life. First, it’s HONEY BOY (2:34) starring (and written by!) Shia LaBeouf. He plays a version of his own abusive father! WHAT! Next it’s A HIDDEN LIFE (14:17), Terrence Malick’s latest, and his first movie with something resembling a story since THE NEW WORLD in 2005 (or THE TREE OF LIFE in 2011 depending on your point of view). Finally, everyone saw Great Gerwig’s adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN (28:05), and it’s a wonderful way to end the year – a sort-of Christmas movie on a sort-of Christmas episode. See you in 2020, everyone!
Stress balls, yay! Also, this week we’re talking SWORD OF TRUST (3:30), a laid back-ish comedy directed by Lynn Shelton, written by Shelton and Mike O’Brien, and starring Marc Maron as a pawn shop owner who happens upon a potentially big money maker. Then it’s the big fuggin’ movie of the week, FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (18:30). Testosterone? You bet. Larfs? Sure. And, of course, kicks in the balls aplenty. Strap in.
Good news, everyone! Evan watched the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston Netflix flick MURDER MYSTERY (6:03) so you don’t have to! And is it good? Well…it’s not terrible. That’s something. Kris caught the new Dave Bautista/Kumail Nanjiani vehicle (ha) STUBER (18:43), a comedy with better action scenes than comedy scenes. Then it’s time to keep up with the Jensons, as Kris re-watched THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (30:15) and has some new insight into the opening 15 minutes that kind of drove all three guys nuts. Then in a sort-of Riedel’s recap, Dave talks about Ridley Scott’s SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (32:35), a forgotten thriller in the director’s canon. Finally, because it’s a slow new-release week, Evan, Kris, and Dave watched Alfred Hitchcock’s TO CATCH A THIEF (37:40), which none of them had seen before. Spoiler alert: Lesser Hitchcock is still pretty fun. Patrons! Thank you for your patronage and don’t forget to vote in our poll!
On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are joined by our friend, colleague, and returning guest Bob “MovieBob” Chipman! Kicking things off, Dave recaps Olivier Assayas’s new film, NON-FICTION (4:10), which if nothing else, is certainly French. Then Bob fills us in on BRIGHTBURN (14:46), the alternate take on superhero origin stories that imagines a Clark Kent-like character as a sociopath and killer. It’s essentially a B movie with a big budget and star power, but is interesting enough to seek out. Next up is Kris with Werner Herzog’s MEETING GORBACHEV (23:07), which is exactly what it sounds like, and is exactly why you should go see it. Closing out this episode is Bob and Kris barely containing their excitement for GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (39:41), a drastic improvement on its predecessor that impresses in several ways — visuals, sound, just the right amount of lore, and putting the focus back on the monsters themselves.