Mini Episode: 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival Preview with Ariana Cohen-Halberstam

A black and white still of a woman looking at a man in an old Bollywood movie from the documentary Shalom Bollywood

A still from SHALOM BOLLYWOOD a documentary playing at the 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival

In this special mini episode Evan talks with Boston Jewish Film Festival (now Boston Jewish Film) Artistic Director Ariana Cohen-Halberstam about the festival’s exciting plans for this year (its 30th). Ariana teases their Israeli film festival coming in 2019, as well as their Israeli TV show binge at the festival, which features SHABABNIKIM, SLEEPING BEARS, and YOUR HONOR. She also promotes notable films paired with performances like SHALOM BOLLYWOOD, SATAN & ADAM, and SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I GOTTA BE ME. Be sure to check out the festival, which runs November 7 – November 19. Learn more at http://www.bostonjfilm.org/.

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THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS and A PRIVATE WAR on Episode #225

Tim Blake Nelson on a horse wearing white playing a guitar and singing in front of a picturesque landscape in the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Kris was so enthralled by THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS that he could barely Spoilerpiece it

This week Kris proposes a new tactic for disposing of excess Halloween candy that involves a door-to-door Australian accent. Dave is still on paternity leave so Kris and Evan ride duo for this episode, but they keep a chair open in Dave’s honor. Before they get into the movies, Evan gives his quick impressions of the 80s musical ROCK OF AGES (4:34), discussing differences between the current tour and the 2012 film. Then Kris reviews THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (8:31), the miniseries turned anthology film by the Coen Brothers, which lets you know that everything is on the table with its funny, violent, and tragic short stories. Kris is so captivated by them that he barely even spoils them, encouraging you to take everything in for yourself in theaters or when the film hits Netflix soon. After that both Kris and Evan cover A PRIVATE WAR (26:46), a compelling drama about real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin played by the incredible Rosamund Pike. The film directed by documentarian Matthew Heineman makes a compelling case for the value of journalism by embedding you with Colvin and exploring the impact of PTSD on journalists like her who report on the horrors of war.

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, MID90S, and HOLD THE DARK with special guest Megan Kearns on Episode #224

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody singing at Live Aid with one arm in the air

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in the biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

This week special guest and fellow BOFCA member Megan Kearns returns to join Kris and Evan on the show. She starts off by reviewing HOLD THE DARK, Jeremy Saulnier’s latest film about a man searching for a couple’s son in the Alaskan wilderness, which sadly doesn’t pack the same punch as his previous movies GREEN ROOM and BLUE RUIN. Next, Kris and Evan travel back in time to their youth for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90s, a coming-of-age movie with some really strong elements like its eclectic music and camaraderie between its cast of skateboard teens that make it good, but some shortcomings that prevent it from being great. Lastly, all three of them review BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (31:21), the long-awaited Freddie Mercury biopic, which attempts to do the late Queen frontman’s life justice and mostly succeeds.

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THE HATE U GIVE, FIRST MAN, THE OATH, and JOLLY FELLOWS on Episode #222

Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith in the reddish glow of a party looking at each other and smiling in the film The Hate U Give

One of the few lighthearted moments in THE HATE U GIVE.

First things first: Congratulations to Dave and Joan on the birth of their son Edward (aka Teddy)! Special guest Kristen Halbert sits in for Dave this week, and thankfully Kris and Evan have their own microphones this time. After they all have a good laugh about the technical difficulties during Kristen’s last visit, Kris leads off with JOLLY FELLOWS (3:10), an absurdly joyful Russian film from the ’30s. Then Kristen covers THE OATH (8:55) a social satire from Ike Barinholtz that attempts to emulate GET OUT, but ends up more like SCARY MOVIE 4. Next Kris reviews FIRST MAN (15:20), the Damien Chazelle drama about Neil Armstrong that inspires him to make space puns left, right, and center. Lastly, everyone discusses THE HATE U GIVE (29:38), a gripping, layered drama that tactfully tackles issues of race, class, and police brutality through one brave young woman’s experience.

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A STAR IS BORN, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, THE SISTERS BROTHERS, and more with Sam Cohen on Episode #221

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the film A Star is Born standing next a microphone smiling and preparing to sing in front of a crowd.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga grin in A STAR IS BORN because they know how many Oscars they’ll be nominated for.

This week, we welcome our old friend Sam Cohen back on the show! Things kick off with two Crewinds: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (4:09) and CITIZEN KANE (7:23), both of which Evan saw on Filmstruck. If you have classic films that have been on your watchlist for years, FilmStruck is here to help (not a sponsored message, we just dig the service). Next up, Kris (pardon his scratchy post-illness voice) catches up with an old Soviet classic WALKING THE STREETS OF MOSCOW (12:30), a film by Georgiy Daneliya that brings the heart and soul of the French New Wave to 1960s Russia. Sam then talks BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (21:16), bad times that were unfortunately had by the audience as well. Kris gets everyone excited for A STAR IS BORN (31:41) which is going to win a whole bunch of Oscars and that’s okay. Evan then finishes things off with THE SISTERS BROTHERS (44:20), the latest stark, brutal Western about the lawlessness of the early American Frontier.

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NIGHT SCHOOL and NAPPILY EVER AFTER with guest Shauna Harris on Episode #220

Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish standing in a high school hallway talking to Taran Killam in the movie Night School.

Given its all-star cast of comedians NIGHT SCHOOl should be much funnier.

It’s Dave’s last week on Spoilerpiece for a while, as his family is about to expand by one person and he’s preparing for massive sleep deprivation. Kris couldn’t make the show (because he had to attend a screening) and Dave couldn’t do a late show, so the excellent Shauna Harris sits in. She and Evan saw all of NAPPILY EVER AFTER (3:52) and Dave saw half of it. The entire gang saw NIGHT SCHOOL (27:59), the new Kevin Hart vehicle. One movie everyone is on board with, and one movie everyone is not. Be sure to check our Patreon for extra audio at patreon.com/spoilerpiece.

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MANDY, LIZZIE, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, PREDATOR (1987), and GREY’S ANATOMY on Episode #219

Nicholas Cage looking angry, covered in dried blood in the film Mandy

Nicolas Cage becomes Nicolas RAGE when he sets out for bloody revenge in MANDY.

Welcome to Episode 219! This week: the unnaturally watchable GREY’S ANATOMY (4:03); the immortal PREDATOR (1987) (12:35); the surprisingly charming THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (20:30); the slowest ax murderer movie ever made in LIZZIE (32:13); and the gorgeously gruesome yet respectful MANDY (42:24).

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