CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH, GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE, and HALFTIME on Episode #414

Cooper Raiff stands looking at Dakota Johnson who looks at him smiling as her hand rests on a doorway in the movie Cha Cha Real SmoothWe open this week with Amanda Micheli’s HALFTIME (2:31), a moving Netflix documentary that follows Jennifer Lopez as she reflects on her career and starts to navigate the second half of it, leading up to her halftime performance at the 2020 Super Bowl. Next, we discuss Sophie Hyde’s GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE (22:56), a poignant dramedy about a widow (Emma Thompson) who hires a sex worker (Daryl MacCormack) to help her expand her sexual horizons. We wrap up with Cooper Raiff’s CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH (44:11), a charming dramedy about a recent college grad who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a mother and her autistic daughter while he’s working as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party starter. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our Studio Ghibli poll, Hayao Miyazaki’s 1989 film KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE!

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CHIP ‘N DALE: RESCUE RANGERS and THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON on Episode #413

A computer animated Dale and a traditionally animated Chip look over a railing in the movie Chip 'n Dale: Rescue RangersWe have two movies for you this week! First, we discuss Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott’s film THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON (3:34), a Shudder documentary about found footage horror that contains some fascinating insights on the subgenre, but can also be tedious. Second, we review CHIP ‘N DALE: RESCUE RANGERS (27:32), Akiva Schaffer’s extremely disappointing Disney+ mashup of animation and live-action starring Andy Samberg and John Mulaney. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Jonathan Demme’s zany 1986 film SOMETHING WILD starring Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta! 

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EMERGENCY, FIRESTARTER, and HOLD YOUR FIRE on Episode #410

RJ Cyler, Sebastian Chacon, and Donald Elise Watkins are driving in a car and looking worried in the movie EmergencyMegan is back from vacation so the whole Spoilerpiece team is together again! She and Evan start by reviewing Keith Thomas’s FIRESTARTER (3:35), a remake of Stephen King’s famous story, which they both agree and disagree about. Next, everyone covers Stefan Forbes’s HOLD YOUR FIRE (15:51), a disappointing documentary about a 1972 crisis in New York City that helped create modern hostage negotiation teams and techniques. They wrap up with Carey Williams’s EMERGENCY (37:49), an engaging dark comedy that offers poignant social commentary as three college students of color weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when they encounter an unexpected emergency. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Garry Marshall’s 1990 rom-com PRETTY WOMAN starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

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THE INNOCENTS and THE AUTOMAT on Episode #409

A little blond girl in a yellow jacket looks frightened in the Norwegian movie The Innocents.The pandemic ain’t over folks. Dave has COVID and it sucks but he does his best to manage it in this week’s episode. Megan’s on vacation again, so he and Evan tackle two movies. First up is Lisa Hurwitz’s documentary THE AUTOMAT (3:26), a short, but interesting chronicle of the once-popular restaurant chain in New York City and Philadelphia that offered fresh-cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery. Next, they discuss Eskil Vogt’s disturbing horror film THE INNOCENTS (19:07), which is about a group of children who develop dark powers that they wield against each other and the adults around them. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, Evan and Dave talk about Elaine May’s 1976 crime drama MIKEY AND NICKY, starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes!

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WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR, TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF, and THE TALE OF KING CRAB on Episode #405

Anna Cobb is covered in glow in the dark paint and holds a plastic eye in front of her eye in the movie We're All Going to the World's FairEvan kicks things off this week by reviewing Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis’ THE TALE OF KING CRAB (2:57), an Italian adventure film split in two parts with one that’s much more interesting than the other. Next, everyone reviews Sam Jones’ HBO documentary TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF (11:42), a comprehensive film about the life and career of skateboarder Tony Hawk, which has us split. We wrap up with Jane Schoenbrun’s horror film WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR (30:39), a spooky, ambiguous film about a teen who plays an online horror game and documents the strange changes she goes through afterward. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Gareth Evans’ 2011 Indonesian action flick THE RAID aka THE RAID: REDEMPTION!

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BOOK OF LOVE, A GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURE, and BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER on Episode #395

Sam Claflin and Veronica Echegui sit next to each other on steps in the movie Book of Love. He is smiling at her and she looks more serious.

As Evan describes it, BOOK OF LOVE is better than your average bad rom-com

This week it’s documentary full of rom-coms! First up, is Thomas Hamilton’s doc BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER (2:22), which offers fascinating facts, but distractingly bad production values. Next, we cover a movie that has us split, Joan Carr-Wiggin’s rom-com A GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURE (20:18), which is about a recently retired woman who falls for the man playing the Romeo to her Juliet in her drama class. Then we review another film that has us split, Analaine Cal y Mayor’s rom-com BOOK OF LOVE (36:40), which is about two writers (Sam Claflin and Veronica Echegui) who connect with each other during a book tour in Mexico. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our January poll: the 2018 Claire Denis film HIGH LIFE, starring Robert Pattinson and Juliet Binoche!

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Our Top 10 Films of 2021 on Episode #391

A graphic which says: Top 10 Films of 2021We didn’t get a chance to share our top 10 films from 2021 last week, so we’re doing it this week! We each dig into our individual top 10 films from our 2021 Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards ballots, discussing the overlap between our lists, and the unique films that made our respective ballots. First up, is Dave (2:47), whose ballot includes a documentary, comedies, and dramas. He’s followed by Evan (33:20), whose list includes dramas, comedies, and horror. After that is Megan (47:09), whose list includes horror, dramas, and one comedy. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we decided to review a film with the number 10 in the title, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger! 

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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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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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WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING, BOB ROSS: HAPPY ACCIDENTS, BETRAYAL & GREED, and ON BROADWAY on Episode #373

John James Cronin, Pat Healy, Sierra McCormick, and Vinessa Shaw stand next to each other covered in blood and looking down at something disgusting in the movie We Need to Do Something.

We couldn’t stand watching John James Cronin, Pat Healy, Sierra McCormick, and Vinessa Shaw trapped in a bathroom together in WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING.

Two out of the three of us give our regards to Broadway as we review Oren Jacoby’s ON BROADWAY (2:59), a talking head documentary about the history of Broadway, from its lowest point in the early 1970s through its revival and renaissance in the 80s and 90s to present day. Next, we discuss BOB ROSS: HAPPY ACCIDENTS, BETRAYAL & GREED (22:17), Joshua Rofe’s salaciously titled documentary, which sweetly chronicles the life of beloved painter Bob Ross, through interviews which reveal how his son was unfairly cut out of his father’s legacy. We wrap up with Sean King O’Grady’s WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING (41:13), a frustrating and agonizing horror film about a family that gets trapped together after seeking shelter from a storm. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we’re excited to talk about Ida Lupino’s 1953 film noir THE HITCH-HIKER.

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