KING RICHARD, BRUISED, and THE HUMANS on Episode #385

Will Smith as Richard Williams stands on one side of a tennis net talking coaching his Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney who play Venus and Serena Williams in the movie King Richard

The film’s amazing performances are KING RICHARD’s greatest strength

This week just in time for the holiday, we kick off our show with Stephen Karam’s Thanksgiving family drama THE HUMANS (1:41), which underwhelms despite its stacked cast. Next we discuss Halle Berry’s directorial debut BRUISED (16:32) a formulaic sports film about a down on her luck queer MMA fighter trying to find redemption. Then we review KING RICHARD (34:45), Reinaldo Marcus Green’s engaging sports biopic, which looks at how Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard (Will Smith) propelled them into tennis superstardom from birth. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our November film noir poll, Robert Altman’s 1973 film THE LONG GOODBYE, starring Elliott Gould!

Check out this week’s episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre!

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THE HARDER THEY FALL, NIGHT RAIDERS, and BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (BJFF) on Episode #383

Regina King stands with her hand on her gun while Zazie Beetz stands behind her guarded by two men who also have guns drawn in the Western The Harder They FallThis week we start by reviewing Tal Michael’s BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (3:59), a fascinating documentary playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival about three Jewish brothers who were pioneers of Egyptian animation. Next, we discuss Danis Goulet’s NIGHT RAIDERS (16:41), a smart Indigenous sci-fi film about a mother (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) trying to rescue her daughter (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) from a fascist state. After that we review Jeymes Samuel’s THE HARDER THEY FALL (32:25), a bold Black Western with a stacked cast. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Lou Adler’s 1982 film LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS!

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FINCH, PASSING, and BEANS on Episode #382

We get a good laugh about how the one-word titles we’re reviewing form a sentence, but after that we get serious about this week’s movies. First, we discuss Tracey Deer’s BEANS (2:22), a layered coming-of-age drama set against the real-life 78-day standoff between the Mohawk community and government forces in 1990 Quebec. Next, we cover Rebecca Hall’s PASSING (22:39), a compelling 1920s drama about race and class starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Lastly, we review FINCH (42:21), Miguel Sapochnik’s moving post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama about a man (Tom Hanks) who builds a robot that he must teach to take care of his dog. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Penny Marshall’s 1992 baseball film A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, and Tom Hanks! 

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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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DUNE, KNOCKING, and TILL DEATH on Episode #379

Timothee Chalamet looks pensively in Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of DuneWe start off this week with S.K. Dale’s entertaining thriller TILL DEATH (2:37), which stars Megan Fox as a woman who must outwit two men trying to find her…while handcuffed to her dead husband. Next we discuss Frida Kempff’s thriller KNOCKING (19:10), an effective commentary on gaslighting about a woman tortured by knocking sounds in her apartment. Finally, we review Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic DUNE (30:25), the first part in a proposed two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi novel, starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. We dig its scope, its cast, and its take on the story. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Adam Wingard’s YOU’RE NEXT, a 2011 home invasion horror film we all enjoy!

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THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, NO TIME TO DIE, THE GUILTY, and BINGO HELL on Episode #378

Billy Magnussen, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, and Alessandro Nivola stand in a doorway looking out angrily in the movie The Many Saints of Newark

What do we think about THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK? Fahgettaboudit!

To kick things off, Dave offers his brief take on Cary Joji Fukunaga’s NO TIME TO DIE (2:30), Daniel Craig’s satisfying final outing as James Bond. Next, we all review BINGO HELL (11:55), Gigi Saul Guerrero’s brief, yet heavy-handed horror comedy that’s part of Amazon’s 2021 WELCOME TO THE BLUMHOUSE series. After that we cover Antoine Fuqua’s THE GUILTY (22:41), a frustrating and problematic thriller about a 911 operator played effectively by Jake Gyllenhaal. Finally, we dig into THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK (40:49), Alan Taylor’s extremely disappointing Sopranos prequel about the rise of Tony Soprano. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we have a blast discussing Joe Cornish’s 2011 sci-fi comedy ATTACK THE BLOCK, starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker. 

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V/H/S/94, I’M YOUR MAN, and NIGHTBOOKS on Episode #377

An Asian man with glasses laughing maniacally as he's being recorded through a video camera display in the horror anthology V/H/S/94

“The Subject” is a brutual segment in V/H/S/94 but it held our attention.

It’s October, so of course we start off this week by reviewing NIGHTBOOKS (2:19), David Yarovesky’s surprisingly enjoyable Netflix horror film, about a boy (Winslow Fegley) who must tell scary stories to survive after he’s imprisoned by a witch (Krysten Ritter). Next, we discuss Maria Schrader’s delightful and layered German sci-fi romance I’M YOUR MAN (21:40), starring Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens (yes, THAT Dan Stevens). Lastly, we cover V/H/S/94 (37:31), the uneven fourth film in the V/H/S horror anthology franchise. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our train movie poll, Sang-ho Yeon’s 2016 horror film TRAIN TO BUSAN!

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN, CRY MACHO, and SMALL ENGINE REPAIR on Episode #376

Ben Platt looking bewildered standing in the spotlight on stage with cards in his hand and a cast on his wrist in the movie Dear Evan Hansen

Ben Platt looking way too old for a high schooler in DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Megan is on vacation, so Dede Crimmins, the Alec Baldwin of Spoilerpiece, is back to fill in! Before we talk about this week’s movies though, Dede has a bone to pick with Dave about MALIGNANT. After that we review John Pollono’s gritty New England drama SMALL ENGINE REPAIR (6:32), about three lifelong friends (Pollono, Jon Bernthal, and Shea Whigham) faced with an ethical dilemma inside a small engine repair shop. Next, we discuss Clint Eastwood’s slow period drama CRY MACHO (25:40), which follows an old cowboy who heads down to Mexico to retrieve his boss’s son. Lastly, we dig into DEAR EVAN HANSEN (44:23), the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical that everyone’s talking about. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we cover Clint Eastwood’s 2008 drama GRAN TORINO

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MALIGNANT, DATING & NEW YORK, and MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY on Episode #375

We open the show by reviewing Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s compelling documentary MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY (2:01). The film celebrates the life of Pauli Murray, a non-binary lawyer, poet, and priest, who you’ve probably never heard of, but definitely should have because of their enormous impact on civil rights in the U.S. Next, we take on Jonah Feingold’s DATING & NEW YORK (20:04), a disappointingly derivative rom-com that’s neither rom nor com to any of us. Lastly, we cover James Wan’s MALIGNANT (38:48), a bonkers film that we all had a blast watching, and have just as much fun spoiling, but has us arguing whether it qualifies as “horror” or a “psychological thriller.” And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the 2009 Richard Curtis film PIRATE RADIO aka THE BOAT THAT ROCKED. 

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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!

Listen:

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