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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HORROR NOIRE, CHAMELEON STREET, and IFFBoston’s Fall Focus on Episode #381

Horror Noire poster 2

Praise be that film festivals are back! To kick things off, Megan talks about IFFBoston’s Fall Focus, and her experiences watching Pablo Larraín’s biopic SPENCER (2:03), starring Kristen Stewart; Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical dramedy BELFAST (6:12), starring Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan; Audrey Diwan’s French drama HAPPENING (8:32), starring Anamaria Vartolomei; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s international drama-fantasy MEMORIA (10:31), starring Tilda Swinton. Evan joins her to talk about Céline Sciamma’s French fantasy-drama PETITE MAMAN (14:21), Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, and Joachim Trier’s Norwegian drama THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (20:52), starring Renate Reinsve. Then Evan (with an assist from Megan) takes everyone through Shudder’s HORROR NOIRE (30:25), an entertaining horror anthology film with six stories from Black filmmakers: director Kimani Ray Smith and screenwriters Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaVelle, and Al Letson. Lastly, Dave and Evan review the 4K restoration of Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s CHAMELEON STREET (44:13), which won the 1990 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and has been hard to find since. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we feature the monthly poll winner – We asked you to choose from FRANKENSTEIN films and the winner is THE BRIDE, starring Sting and Jennifer Beals. We had a blast talking about it, so check it out and consider becoming a patron!

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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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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!

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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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