THE SHAPE OF WATER, THE DARKEST HOUR, and Crewind on Episode #178

Sally Hawkins staring at amphibious creature in THE SHAPE OF WATER.

Sally Hawkins romancing a manfish in THE SHAPE OF WATER.

We kick off this week’s Spoilerpiece with a Crewind — also known as Evan Can Wait and God Save the Crean — in which Evan recaps his experiences with LOGAN (eh), BATTLE OF THE SEXES (good), and LAST FLAG FLYING (wow) (4:02, 9:30, 15:29 respectively). Next up is Dave with THE DARKEST HOUR (20:11), in which Gary Oldman portrays Winston Churchill in the earliest days of Britain’s involvement in World War II. It’s a bit of a recitation of well-established facts, but Oldman doing anything can never be totally boring, making this a mixed bag. Last up is all three guys with Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER (32:11). If you like del Toro, you know what to expect. If you don’t, well, you also know what to expect, only moreso.

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THE DISASTER ARTIST, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, and more on Episode #177

Dave Franco laughing in a movie theater with James Franco in THE DISASTER ARTIST.

James Franco goes for broke as Tommy Wiseau in THE DISASTER ARTIST.

After Evan tells Kris and Dave about his exploding sofa cushions, they delve into the week’s movies. First there’s THE DISASTER ARTIST (6:30), the absolutely wonderful making-of-THE-ROOM movie directed by James Franco and starring Franco as Tommy Wiseau and his brother Dave Franco as Greg Sestero. Then there’s Sean Baker’s THE FLORIDA PROJECT (22:07), which all three guys saw and have lots of opinions about.

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ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ., COCO, and Keepin’ Up with the Jensons: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER on Episode #176

Disney-Pixar COCO

Dead Can Dance.

On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are still in the process of recovering from various plagues (Apologies for the occasional coughing!), but that doesn’t slow them down from getting to the bottom of this week’s releases. First up is Kris with an installment of Keepin’ Up with the Jensons, revisiting THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (4:50). Rather than rehash the plot, Kris ponders the point of it all, with some unsatisfying conclusions. Next up, Evan walks through ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. (9:24), the new film from NIGHTCRAWLER director Dan Gilroy featuring Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. It’s not necessarily a bad film and it boasts some fine performances, but it ultimately suffers from a terminal case of not having a firm grasp on its own point, leading to an uneven tone and baffling plot twists. Last up is Dave and Kris with COCO (30:09), the new Pixar film guaranteed to make you cry. It’s a delight to behold that is gorgeous and heartfelt despite some issues of predictability, and is a welcome addition to the Pixar tradition of finding worthwhile, emotional stories in just about anything.

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Check out this week’s episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre!

SUBURBICON, TOO FUNNY TO FAIL, and G.I. JANE on Episode #172

Left to right: Julianne Moore as Margaret and Matt Damon as Gardner in SUBURBICON, from Paramount Pictures and Black Bear Pictures.

Julianne Moore and Matt Damon in SUBURBICON, a movie that would have been better if the Coen Brothers made it in the 80s.

This week the guys reminisce about long-gone insults of yesteryear before Kris offers a unique barb of his own design. For the movies, Evan delivers a “Crewind” of G.I. JANE (5:00), the Ridley Scott picture where Demi Moore is a badass Navy SEAL in training trapped in a story that gets a little muddled with conspiracy plots. Next Dave covers TOO FUNNY TO FAIL (17:17), a rollicking documentary on Hulu about the short-lived DANA CARVEY SHOW that explains that the inspiration for some of the show’s best sketches while reflecting on its failure. Then the guys take on SUBURBICON (28:35), a George Clooney film that borrows an old Coen Brothers script, but fails to imitate them effectively. While they chide it for being too heavy-handed and trying to cover too much narrative ground, they can all agree that Oscar Isaac injects much-needed vitality into his brief scenes.

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MARSHALL, LUCKY, RAW, and THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE on Episode #170

Chadwick Boseman in MARSHALL.

MARSHALL: another movie that proves Chadwick Boseman should have his own Oscar category for great performances as historical African Americans.

Evan, Kris, and Dave are joined by special guest (and Evan’s fiancee) Shauna Harris! As a practicing attorney, she sits in to expound on MARSHALL (34:06), the new biopic about the first African-American Supreme Court justice (before he was on the Supreme Court) Thurgood Marshall. Before that, Evan and Shauna Crewind to RAW (18:15), the 2016 flick about French-Belgian cannibals, which, we’re not ashamed to say, leads to “Cannibalismpiece Theatre” at 31:09, when the gang names a bunch of let’s-eat-people movies. But to kick things off, Kris relays his feelings about THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (4:23) in a fresh segment of “Keeping up with the Jensons,” and Dave waxes philosophic (not really) about LUCKY (9:48), the last movie Harry Dean Stanton appeared in before his death in September.

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THE DARK CRYSTAL Tom Cruise Triple Feature (RAIN MAN, DAYS OF THUNDER, AMERICAN MADE), VICTORIA & ABDUL, and BATTLE OF THE SEXES on Episode #168

Tom Cruise in a the cockpit of a plane turning and smiling.

Tom Cruise at his best, smirking his way through AMERICAN MADE.

This week begins with a discussion of bad movies, and why video game adaptations are particularly egregious. Evan then kicks things off with a recap of his experience at Somerville Theatre’s 70mm Festival, featuring THE DARK CRYSTAL (4:47). The Crewind continues with Evan’s “Triple Cruise” where he watched two classics — RAIN MAN (11:30) and the under-recognized DAYS OF THUNDER (15:17), before being joined by Dave to dissect AMERICAN MADE (21:55). The short version: it’s awesome. Dave then Spoilerpieces no one into wanting to see VICTORIA & ABDUL (37:35), the latest example that director Stephen Frears should take it easy on the aristocracy for a while. It’s finely made with a great turn by Eddie Izzard, but totally familiar. Last up, Dave and Kris are excited to talk about the many victories of BATTLE OF THE SEXES (42:02), both in the narrative and the filmmaking. It’s good, funny, thoughtful, and entirely necessary.

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STRONGER, MOTHER! and YEAR BY THE SEA on Episode #167

Tatiana Maslany and Jake Gyllenhaal making a cute couple in STRONGER.

Tatiana Maslany and Jake Gyllenhaal making a cute couple in STRONGER, a more human take on the effects of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

This week the guys talk about the wacky world of Colorado marijuana dispensaries before they delve into three very different movies. Dave and Kris lead off with STRONGER (3:18), the David Gordon Green/Jake Gyllenhaal film about one man’s struggle to overcome the trauma of losing his legs in the Boston Marathon Bombing, while he deals with the pressure of living in the public eye. Then Evan reviews YEAR BY THE SEA (30:38)*, a tale about an older woman who finds herself by moving to Cape Cod. And last, but certainly not least, all three guys discuss MOTHER! (42:49), the polarizing Darren Aronofsky picture that they have completely different opinions about.

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*YEAR BY THE SEA opens in the following Boston-area theaters:

  • West Newton Cinema (West Newton, MA)
  • Dedham Community Theatre (Dedham, MA)
  • Capawock Theatre (Vineyard Haven, MA)
  • Martha‚Äôs Vineyard Film Center (Vineyard Haven, MA) (9/27 & 9/28 only)