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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BLACK WIDOW, THE TOMORROW WAR, and THE FOREVER PURGE on Episode #364

Scarlett Johansson squints into the distance as wreckage smolders around her in the movie Black Widow
We were excited to see Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow’s long-overdue standalone film.

Kicking things off this week, we review Everardo Gout’s THE FOREVER PURGE (5:58), the latest entry in the PURGE franchise! It stars Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, and Josh Lucas. Megan and Dave discuss its relevance to recent American political events and why they really dug its political commentary. Next, we all talk about Chris McKay’s long and disappointing sci-fi flick THE TOMORROW WAR (23:54), which has decent action, but a lot of bad writing and acting (especially from Chris Pratt). We wrap up with Cate Shortland’s much anticipated movie BLACK WIDOW (40:48), starring Scarlett Johansson in the second female-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of us loved it, but two of us had some mixed feelings about its performances and pacing. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we tackle Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody’s 2009 horror comedy JENNIFER’S BODY

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LUCA, LES NÔTRES, and PLAN B on Episode #362

Disney Pixar's LUCA, an animated film about two boy sea monsters

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!

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IN THE HEIGHTS, HOLLER, CAVEAT, and THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES on Episode #361

Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera in film In the Heights

On this week’s show, we open with THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES (2:28), a wild, quirky, and charming animated movie, written and directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, featuring a regular ol’ American family struggling to save humanity from a robot apocalypse. It’s a hoot. Next up is CAVEAT (18:12), Damian Mc Carthy’s eerie and unsettling Irish horror film that says, “Oh, you’re not afraid of rabbits? Get a load of this shit” (Dave watched it in broad daylight if that tells you anything). Then there’s HOLLER (34:36), an excellent drama written and directed by Nicole Riegel, about a high school senior (Jessica Barden) who joins a sleekly scummy scrap metal crew while trying to decide whether she’s going to stay in her hit-by-hard-times Ohio hometown or go to college. Finally, we wrap up with IN THE HEIGHTS (45:28), the long-awaited adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ musical, with a screenplay by Hudes directed by Jon M. Chu. One of us loved it, one of us enjoyed moments, and one of us was kind of “eh.” Free scoop of ice cream if you guess correctly! And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about one of Megan’s favorite sci-fi films, Douglas Trumbull’s SILENT RUNNING, starring a young and super intense Bruce Dern. It’s a first-timer for Evan and Dave.

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THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS, THE DJINN, and THE RECKONING on Episode #357

Clayne Crawford stands by himself with his hands in his pockets in the movie The Killing of Two Lovers

Clayne Crawford gives a compelling performance in THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS

This week Megan is on vacation so we’re joined by guest Lady Wan from the Screen Run podcast! First, we review Neill Marshall’s torturous period horror film THE RECKONING (2:24) about a woman falsely accused of being a witch. Next, we cover David Charbonier and Justin Powell’s tense horror film THE DJINN (16:44), about a mute boy who asks a dark entity to grant his wish. Then, we wrap up with Robert Machoian’s claustrophobic relationship drama THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS (24:58), about a couple trying to work through their marriage. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review Alex Cox’s 1984 cult classic REPO MAN

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MOFFIE, THE POWER, and THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS on Episode #352

Kai Luke Brummer looks off into the distance as Nicholas in Oliver Hermanus’ MOFFIE

Kai Luke Brummer gives a soulful performance in MOFFIE

This week we kick off with THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (1:39), a beautifully shot documentary about the quirky men and their beloved dogs who hunt rare white Alba truffles in Northern Italy. Next, we discuss THE POWER (15:45), Corinna Faith’s compelling albeit predictable horror film about a rookie nurse (Rose Williams) in 1974 London, who encounters a terrifying spirit while working at a hospital during a planned blackout. After that, we review MOFFIE (36:02), Oliver Hermanus’s moving and brutal period drama about a closeted South African soldier (Kai Luke Brummer) trying to survive his military service in the face of severe homophobia and racism. And for our Patreon bonus audio, we discuss the 1940 Howard Hawks screwball comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.    

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GODZILLA VS KONG, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, WOLFWALKERS, and WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR on Episode #351

Godzilla and King Kong fight each other above a city in the movie Godzilla vs Kong

Godzilla squares off with King Kong in GODZILLA VS. KONG

Dave keeps knives in his microwave?! Find out why this week. We kick off our reviews with ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (4:21), a four-hour cut of the 2017 superhero film, which for better and worse, represents its original director’s vision. Next, we talk about the heartwarming Oscar-nominated animated fantasy tale WOLFWALKERS (20:04) by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart of Cartoon Saloon. After that, we cover Kier-La Janisse’s three-hour documentary WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR (28:59), which screened at SXSW and offers a fascinating dissection of folk horror films. Our main event is GODZILLA VS. KONG (43:00), a kaiju movie directed by Adam Wingard with some entertaining fights that’s, unfortunately, lacking in many other departments. And for our Patreon exclusive audio, we follow up on our recent PRETTY IN PINK discussion by talking about the John Hughes/Howard Deutch film SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL

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MOXIE, SOPHIE JONES, JUMBO, and films from the Boston Israeli Film Festival on Episode #348

Hadley Robinson stands in the rain angrily holding her zine Moxie in the movie Moxie

Moxie. Hadley Robinson as Vivian in Moxie. Cr /NETFLIX © 2020

Evan starts this week by recapping two feature-length films he saw from the Boston Israeli Film Festival (1:29). He talks about Nir Bergman’s HERE WE ARE, a drama about a father’s changing relationship with his autistic son, and Yohanan Weller’s LOVE IN SUSPENDERS, a rom-com about finding love again later in life. Then Megan and Dave review Zoé Wittock’s JUMBO (13:04), romantic drama about a woman who falls in love with an amusement park ride. Next, we all discuss Jessie Barr’s SOPHIE JONES (28:25), a coming-of-age story about a teenager processing the grief of her mother’s death. Lastly, we cover Amy Poehler’s MOXIE (44:52), a dramedy about a teenager who takes on sexism at her high school by starting a feminist zine. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of PRETTY IN PINK with an in-depth discussion about the Howard Deutch/John Hughes 80s classic.

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MINARI, FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS, SHOOK, and SATOR on Episode #345

Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, and Youn Yuh-jung in Lee Isaac Chung's MINARI

We kick off this week’s show with SATOR (2:01), Jordan Graham’s atmospheric horror film about a demon pursuing multiple generations of a forest-dwelling family. Then Megan and Evan review SHOOK (14:09), Jennifer Harrington’s social media-infused horror movie on Shudder. Next, everyone discusses the documentary FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS (25:49), an episode of THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS series that focuses Britney Spears, the conservatorship controlling her life, and the sexism and misogyny in media that has impacted her life and career. We wrap up with Isaac Lee Chung’s poignant drama MINARI (42:25), which follows a Korean American family’s attempt to start a farm in 1980s Arkansas, starring Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, and Youn Yuh-jung. And on this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we review a Patron’s choice: Walter Hill’s 1979 action film, THE WARRIORS.

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Sundance 2021 on Episode #343

Sundance Film Festival 2021

SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE! We cover the Sundance Film Festival for the first time so we have a LOT of movies to discuss. We kick off with films we saw individually and would recommend: FIRST DATE (3:25), FLEE (6:14), and PASSING (9:21). Then we move on to movies at least two of us have seen: MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE (15:05), HOW IT ENDS (20:47), BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE (27:24), and THE WORLD TO COME (37:46). We end with discussions of films all three of us have seen: STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET (48:29), and CODA (59:07), a movie which takes places here in Massachusetts. And on this week’s Patreon bonus audio, it’s even more Sundance! We cover all the other films we’d recommend, but couldn’t squeeze into this episode.

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