This week we start by recapping our thoughts on the 2021 Oscars! We talk about he winners we loved, the nominees we wished won, the ceremony’s unconventional format, and the heartfelt acceptance speeches that moved us. Next, we discuss Rodrigo García’s FOUR GOOD DAYS (22:47), a challenging and raw mother/daughter drama about addiction, starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis. After that, we review LIMBO (37:11), Ben Sharrock’s disarmingly moving, poignant, and compelling drama about a Syrian refugee (Amir El-Masry) stuck in rural Scotland while he awaits his asylum request. We wrap up with TOM CLANCY’S WITHOUT REMORSE (49:37), Stefano Sollima’s disappointing action flick starring Michael B. Jordan. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review the winner of our hair poll: Paddy Breathnach’s 2001 film BLOW DRY.
Friend of the show Charlie Nash returns to Spoilerpiece! This week kicks off with the highs, lows, and low-lows of this year’s Oscars (1:39). The show benefited from no host and some deserving folks got some trophies, but unfortunately ended with the worst Best Picture winner in at least a decade. Then, Charlie takes us through CLIMAX (22:15), a true spectacle from Gaspar Noé. It’s everything you expect from the French boundary-pusher, condensed into his most compelling — and least forgiving — experiment yet. The gang wraps things up with GRETA (31:20), a campy, trashy good time from Neil Jordan starring the immortal Isabelle Huppert.
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.
This week’s episode kicks off with, what else those effin’ Oscar nominations (2:17), recognizing outstanding achievement in male mediocrity. There are some deserving nominations — BLACK PANTHER, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, BLACKKKLANSMAN — but c’mon already. From there, Kris recaps STAN & OLLIE (11:55), a well-meaning film about Laurel and Hardy in the last year of their joint career. It has some great attributes but never gathers enough momentum to explore the more interesting or entertaining dimensions of its plot. Last up is DESTROYER (21:13), a meandering neo-noir that has some good things going for it but it could have done with a bit — or a lot — of streamlining.
Oprah the All-Powerful is fantastic in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME.
Things are a bit different this week at Spoilerpiece as technical glitches force us to employ some improvised recording methods, so please excuse any changes in pacing/audio quality! Dave couldn’t be here, so Evan and Kris are joined by special guest critic Kristen Halbert of Forces of Geek, who describes some rather unique experiences at Comic-Con. Kris fell short of his goal to watch everything nominated for an Oscar in every category — 51 out of 59 films — and gives his thoughts on some of the categories he felt were a bit off (5:23). Then it’s on to the main event, A WRINKLE IN TIME (14:02), Ava DuVernay’s valiant and heartfelt attempt to adapt the unadaptable and beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle. All three hosts were touched in some way, and though it occasionally suffers from odd pacing and other issues, it can be quite dazzling and powerful when it works. A definite see!
Lotsa movies on this week’s episode! First up is Dave with MY LEFT FOOT (4:21), the film that arguably sealed Daniel Day-Lewis’s reputation as the world’s most committed screen actor. Next, Evan runs us through MOONSTRUCK (12:45), a romantic romp with folks who just can’t stop getting hit in the eye by amore. Dave then perseveres through his disdain for the MAZE RUNNER series by explaining how it limps along into its third installment, THE DEATH CURE (20:25). Dave and Evan then dive into Academy Award-nominated MUDBOUND (33:08), before Kris and Dave wrap things up with HOSTILES (47:09), two very different movies that confront America’s inability to confront its own history of racism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez bromancing in GOLD
Baby Henry is under the weather, prompting Dave to quarantine himself – so guest Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week to talk about the ‘90s and lots of film-related topics. Dede fills the guys in on her latest adventures, which include recording a DVD commentary, and participating on panels at the Arisia science fiction convention. Following some philosophical discussion about horror, Dede shares three movies to look out for this year (at 13:00): RAW, THE BAD BATCH, and COLOSSAL. After that, she and the guys discuss the 2017 Oscar nominations (at 21:52), revealing surprises and disappointments in the major categories. Finally, all three of them review this week’s new release GOLD (at 33:50), the Matthew McConaughey gold prospecting movie that Kris describes as AMERICAN HUSTLE on NyQuil. Evan and Dede find it charming for McConaughey’s spirited performance as a balding, overweight, drunk, but they admit that they’ll probably forget it in a week.
Ginnifer Goodwin plays police officer Judy Hops in ZOOTOPIA, a bunny cop movie.
This week the guys talk about bread (yeah, that’s right, bread) before Evan shares some BIG news. Then Kris starts things off by talking about ZOOTOPIA, a hard-PG Disney film about racism. His commentary leads to an odd tangent about Tom Selleck and a brief tangent on politics. Afterward, he, Dave, and Evan discuss BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, one of their favorite dumb movies. The guys comment on how fast-paced and lean it is with its perfect dialogue, while sharing visual gags and suspect editing they didn’t notice in previous viewings. In the process of reviewing it, they delve into BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY and the BILL & TED cartoon too. In the final part of the show, they express their gripes with this year’s Oscars. They also get into lengthy discussions about the Best Original Screenplay category by way of EX MACHINA and the Best Original Song category by way of Sam Smith. Speaking of songs, stick around after the closing credits for Dave’s fresh take on a Beatles classic.
Dave starts out by sharing good things about his new outlet, which makes his transition into Riedel’s Recaps quite easy. This time he offers his take on THE MARTIAN, which he really liked despite some miscasting and misacting. It also scored bonus points because it didn’t wake Baby Henry. After a tangent on INTERSTELLAR, Evan jumps in with his opinion about MOJAVE (pronounced MO-JAYVE according to Dave), a movie starring Garrett Hedlund (not Charlie Hunnam) and Oscar Isaac, where pretentious people talk about pretentious things. It’s a shitty movie that actually caused Evan to root against its asshole protagonist. Following tangents about THE DEPARTED, EX MACHINA, and STAR TREK IV, the guys discuss their thoughts on #OscarsSoWhite and the new changes the Academy is making to promote diversity (hint: they like them). Finally, Dave and Kris review THE FINEST HOURS, a B-movie with an A-budget, where only three things happen. Even though nothing happened, it was long enough to make Kris regret not peeing beforehand, so that was something.
Nothing like tripping balls in church. Take it from Seth Rogen in THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Somehow, saucy puppet shows and Clippy from MS Word are topics of discussion heading into this week’s episode. Evan and Kris lead things off by talking about THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2, which neither of them is particularly enthused about or invested in. As people who aren’t really into the series, they can admit that it’s good for what it is, and that fans will probably enjoy it as a conclusion to the franchise. Then Dave and Kris talk TRUMBO, which Dave claims is a sequel to DUMBO. This HBO movie looks and feels like it belongs on TV. It’s too long and fairly one note, although it does have some good things going on. Lastly, Evan spoilerpieces THE NIGHT BEFORE, a Christmas comedy starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie as childhood friends looking for one last epic holiday blowout. Its dramatic elements don’t work and JGL isnt’ believable as the group’s loser, but it does make use of great comedians in small roles. Michael Shannon is its surprise MVP.