Episode #244: LEAVING NEVERLAND, SURVIVING R. KELLY, AFTER LIFE, AND BORDER

We’ve been busy at Spoilerpiece! After doing a not-so-deep dive into the power of cocaine in 1980s rap-rock fusions, Evan, Kris, and Dave get down to what they saw this week. First is Dave with Ricky Gervais’ Netflix series “After Life” (2:32). (Note: Dave makes reference to Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST at about the 11:30 mark, but mistakenly calls it THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST which is Martin Scorsese’s hot take on whether Jesus was a hippie.) At 15:47, Evan covers SURVIVING R. KELLY and LEAVING NEVERLAND, two documentaries about accusations of abuse by R. Kelly (the answer’s in the title) and Michael Jackson. We’re not really a podcast for trigger warnings, but it’s heavy, heavy stuff. Lastly, Kris talks about BORDER (36:30), a Swedish movie about a customs agent who can smell fear, and that’s just the beginning. To end things, the guys have a quick discussion about how to tell non-critics whether to see a particular film (45:40).

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CAPTAIN MARVEL and LORDS OF CHAOS on Episode #243

Brie Larson in the movie Captain Marvel dressed in plain clothes in an office looking off to the right.
CAPTAIN MARVEL might not be great, but Brie Larson is great in it.

This week the guys wonder how the heck RoboCop ended up in a KFC commercial before they tackle the two movies on their docket. First, Kris and Evan review CAPTAIN MARVEL (4:35), the Brie Larson superhero flick that’s a pretty mixed bag. Really it’s no worse than any other mediocre Marvel movie, but they take the time to dissect the good things (like the chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson), as well as the bad things (like its heavy reliance on momentum-killing exposition). Next, Dave, joins in to cover LORDS OF CHAOS (28:57), an in-your-face film about the Norwegian black metal scene and the rise of the band Mayhem, which lived up to its name. That’s all for the regular show – but if you sign up to support us on our Patreon – you’ll also have the chance to hear exclusive audio of us discussing Evan’s double feature of THE FUGITIVE and U.S. MARSHALS, two very different entries in the same franchise.

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POLAR, DOWN, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD on Episode #241

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) rides a dragon with a fleet of dragons and riders behind him in the animated film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Dragons, dragons everywhere in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

This week, Dave recaps POLAR (2:52), clarifying last week’s confusion over ARCTIC. Very different films! Next, Evan and Dave recommend DOWN (17:15), an entry in Blumhouse’s INTO THE DARK series on Hulu, full of lean, holiday-themed horror flicks. This one is a Valentine’s Day creepfest that is well worth your time. Then, Evan and Kris talk HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (23:28), a fine conclusion to a great family-friendly series.

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Festival Roundup, ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, ARCTIC, HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U, and RUSSIAN DOLL on Episode #240

Jessica Rothe screaming angrily in the movie Happy Death Day 2 U
Jessica Rothe is a riot in the sci-fi comedy sequel HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U.

On this week’s show, Evan runs us through his week in festivals: Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Boston Israeli Film Festival (3:43). Then Kris makes the case for why you should take ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (10:25) seriously and see it this weekend — prove the pundits wrong! Dave recaps ARCTIC (21:08), a strong film featuring Mads Mikkelsen in a grueling, survivalist role. Kris and Evan then wrap up with HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U and RUSSIAN DOLL (34:25), which arguably have similar plots but take them in radically different — and both extremely entertaining — directions.

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Episode #238: The FYRE FESTIVAL documentaries on Netflix and Hulu, and Adam McKay’s VICE

Fyre

Because everyone is talking about the Fyre Festival documentaries on Netflix (FYRE) and Hulu (FYRE FRAUD), Kris, Dave, and Evan dive headlong into the two competing flicks (5:14). Think there isn’t enough Fyre disaster to support two documentaries? Think again! Then it’s onto Adam McKay’s VICE starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. Why is it Kris’ nomination as the worst movie to ever receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination? Explanations begin at 26:11. On our exclusive Patreon audio segment this week, we have a chat about how much we love the late Bill Paxton, and whether it’s possible to get the clap in space.

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THE UPSIDE, BANDERSNATCH, and Sean Baker films with special guest Greg Vellante on Episode #235!

Bryan Cranston sits in the passenger seat looking out an open window with Kevin Hart in the driver's seat also looking out in the film The Upside.
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart try their best in THE UPSIDE

This week we’re joined by friend of the show Greg Vellante! Greg kicks things off with a recap of Sean Baker’s career. Best known for recent successes like TANGERINE and THE FLORIDA PROJECT, there are some real gems early in his filmography, in particular TAKE OUT (3:57). Stay tuned for Greg’s piece in Spectrum Culture! Next up, all three guys spent some time with BANDERSNATCH (18:37), the standalone BLACK MIRROR film where the viewer decides what happens next — or is it simply the illusion of choice?! Closing out the episode is THE UPSIDE (31:12), which is a very misleading name. There are no upsides to this movie.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, AT ETERNITY’S GATE, and an update from Dave on Episode #229

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in the movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? are sitting at a bar holding up their glasses of liquor asking for more.
Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant are hilarious as oddball pals in Marielle Heller’s CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

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.

Listen:

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