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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ARMY OF THE DEAD, UNDINE, CHANGING THE GAME, and THE AMUSEMENT PARK on Episode #360

Dave Bautista in Zack Snyder's zombie heist film ARMY OF THE DEAD

This week, we open by discussing George A. Romero’s recently restored long-lost film, THE AMUSEMENT PARK (2:21), an extremely unsettling commentary on aging and ageism. Next, we review CHANGING THE GAME (13:01), Michael Barnett’s compelling Hulu documentary about trans athletes in the U.S. Then we dig into UNDINE (27:48), Christian Petzold’s moving and tragic modern fairy tale, starring Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski. We wrap up with Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist film ARMY OF THE DEAD (39:38), starring Dave Bautista leading an ensemble cast, which offers us plenty of bones to pick. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about a Patron’s choice, Miloš Forman’s 1996 film THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT!

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CRUELLA, RIDERS OF JUSTICE, SEANCE, and SKULL: THE MASK on Episode #359

Emma Stone as Disney villain Cruella de Vil in film CRUELLA

This week, we start by reviewing Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman’s SKULL: THE MASK (2:09), a Brazilian slasher film that can’t decide on its tone. Then we cover SEANCE (13:04), Simon Barrett’s boarding school-set horror flick starring Suki Waterhouse that has us split. Next, we discuss RIDERS OF JUSTICE (26:24), Anders Thomas Jensen’s thoughtful and endearing action film starring Mads Mikkelsen, which Evan caught at IFFBoston. Finally, we wrap up with CRUELLA (40:46), Craig Gillespie’s Disney villain origin story starring Emma Stone, which we have very different opinions about. And in this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we talk about the winner of our STAR WARS poll—the 2016 Gareth Edwards film ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.

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THE DRY, THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, and PSYCHO GOREMAN on Episode #358

Eric Bana in Robert Connolly's Australian murder mystery THE DRY

We start this week by reviewing Steven Kostanski’s strange yet uneven horror sci-fi comedy PSYCHO GOREMAN (2:08). Next, we cover Joe Wright’s derivative and inert Netflix mystery thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (13:22), which wastes Amy Adams and a great supporting cast. Then we discuss Taylor Sheridan’s THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD (28:43), an Angelina Jolie neo-Western forest fire thriller that really divided us. Lastly, we review Robert Connolly’s Australian murder mystery THE DRY (41:20) from IFFBoston 2021, which features a compelling lead performance by Eric Bana. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review Peyton Reed’s 2000 cheerleading film BRING IT ON, starring Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, and Eliza Dushku.

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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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TOGETHER TOGETHER, CONCRETE COWBOY, THE BANISHING, and films from Wicked Queer on Episode #354

Ed Helms and Patti Harrison stand together in the movie Together Together

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.

 

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JAKOB’S WIFE, MONDAY, VOYAGERS, and TINA on Episode #353

Barbara Crampton wearing sunglasses inside pushing a shopping cart at a grocery store in the horror movie Jakob's Wife

Barbara Crampton does some unusual shopping in JAKOB’S WIFE

We start the show this week with TINA (1:41), the comprehensive HBO Max documentary about music icon Tina Turner, who we all love, but one of us much more than the others. Next, we review VOYAGERS (16:07), Neil Burger’s LORD OF THE FLIES on a spaceship, a sci-fi thriller that gets us all extremely riled up. Then we discuss MONDAY (31:23), the Argyris Papadimitropoulos romantic drama starring Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, which two of us HATE and one of us likes. Lastly, we dig into JAKOB’s WIFE (45:46), the delightful Travis Stevens horror comedy starring the always entertaining Barbara Crampton. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Billy Wilder’s quintessential film noir DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

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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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THE COURIER, SLAXX, LUDI, and OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL on Episode #349

Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch glance furtively as they talk quietly at night on a city street in the movie The Courier

Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch try to keep things on the down-low in the Cold War spy thriller THE COURIER

Dave and Megan kick off this week’s episode by discussing LUDI (2:09), Edson Jean’s drama about a Haitian nurse chasing the American Dream. Next, everyone reviews Chris Smith’s Netflix documentary OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL (12:38), which delves into the notorious scheme by celebrities and wealthy individuals to sneak their kids into prestigious universities. Then, we cover SLAXX (22:58), Elza Kephart’s horror-comedy about a killer pair of pants…yeah that’s right, pants. We wrap up with THE COURIER (37:45), Dominic Cooke’s Cold War thriller about a British spy (Benedict Cumberbatch) who works with a Russian source to help stop the Cuban Missile Crisis. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, the winner of our women-directed horror movies poll.

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