BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER and SOMETHING IN THE DIRT on Episode #435

Letitia Wright in Black Panther wearing a white robe, mourning the passing of T'Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.This week we start by reviewing Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s sci-fi, horror, buddy comedy mashup SOMETHING IN THE DIRT (3:46), which is about two friends (Benson and Moorhead) making a documentary about the paranormal phenomenon in their apartment building. We wanted to like it so much more than we actually did, and we’re pretty much on the same page about our issues with it. Next, we discuss Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER (25:15), the highly-anticipated sequel to 2015’s BLACK PANTHER, which mourns and celebrates the late Chadwick Boseman, while attempting to advance with the franchise. We have some disagreement about how well it does that, but we have a spirited and spoiler-filled discussion. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Jonathan Lynn’s 1992 legal comedy MY COUSIN VINNY, starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei! 

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SISSY and VESPER on Episode #429

Aisha Dee sits banged up with blood her clothes looking worriedly at her phone in the movie Sissy.We kick off the show this week by discussing Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper’s VESPER (2:27), a slow, dense dystopian sci-fi film about a 13-year-old girl trying to survive in a world where the Earth’s ecosystem has collapsed. Next, we cover SISSY (27:47), Kane Senes, and Hannah Barlow’s problematic horror movie about a twentysomething who finds herself face-to-face with a childhood bully during a bachelorette weekend. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our true crime poll: David Fincher’s 2007 film ZODIAC!

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RUBIKON, SPIDERHEAD, and THE FORGIVEN on Episode #416

George Blagden, Julia Franz Richter, and Mark Ivanir stand in space suits bathed in red light looking ahead worriedly in the movie RubikonBefore the show this week we offer a PSA about Roe v. Wade being overturned. Then we delve into our first movie THE FORGIVEN (2:36), John Michael McDonagh’s drama about a couple (Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain) who deal with the fallout of hitting and killing a young man with their car in Morocco. Next, we tackle Joseph Kosinski’s SPIDERHEAD (21:11), a frustrating movie where the only good things we can say about it is that it has a great soundtrack and supporting performance by Chris Hemsworth. After that, we review Magdalena Lauritsch’s RUBIKON (39:42), a disappointingly derivative sci-fi film about three astronauts caught in a moral dilemma after a climate disaster strikes Earth. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film WESTWORLD

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A BANQUET, STRAWBERRY MANSION, and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE on Episode #397

Jessica Alexander stands in the woods with her mouth agape staring at something above her in the movie A BanquetThis week we have strong opinions about all the movies we cover. First up, is Josephine Decker’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE (1:43), a surreal romance none of us could stand about a teen coping with the death of her older sister. Next, we cover Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s colorful sci-fi romance STRAWBERRY MANSION (19:08), a story that’s stylized and smart, but becomes way too weird for one of us. Lastly, we review A BANQUET (30:50), Ruth Paxton’s tense psychological horror film, which we all agree falters in one key area. And in honor of Black History Month, this week we talk about Spike Lee’s biopic MALCOLM X starring Denzel Washington for our Patreon exclusive audio

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THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS on Episode #390

Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity and Keanu Reeves as Neo in Lana Wachowski's film THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS

We’re taking the red pill for our last show of 2021 so we can discuss THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS! We had so much to say we felt that the movie deserved a whole episode worth of conversation. Lana Wachowski’s fourth entry in the franchise stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. We delve deep into the sci-fi film’s themes, particularly its humorous meta commentary on its own existence; its continuation of the Matrix story as a trans allegory; its exploration of trauma, romance, control, and free will; and the many exciting ways it both builds on the Matrix mythology and takes a hammer to it. We also talk about how the movie fits into the context of the franchise as a whole and briefly talk about our experience revisiting the previous films as a primer for this one.

And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we go a completely different direction by talking about the winner of our Christmas heist movie poll, Daryl Duke’s 1978 film THE SILENT PARTNER starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer!

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THE HARDER THEY FALL, NIGHT RAIDERS, and BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (BJFF) on Episode #383

Regina King stands with her hand on her gun while Zazie Beetz stands behind her guarded by two men who also have guns drawn in the Western The Harder They FallThis week we start by reviewing Tal Michael’s BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (3:59), a fascinating documentary playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival about three Jewish brothers who were pioneers of Egyptian animation. Next, we discuss Danis Goulet’s NIGHT RAIDERS (16:41), a smart Indigenous sci-fi film about a mother (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) trying to rescue her daughter (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) from a fascist state. After that we review Jeymes Samuel’s THE HARDER THEY FALL (32:25), a bold Black Western with a stacked cast. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Lou Adler’s 1982 film LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS!

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FINCH, PASSING, and BEANS on Episode #382

We get a good laugh about how the one-word titles we’re reviewing form a sentence, but after that we get serious about this week’s movies. First, we discuss Tracey Deer’s BEANS (2:22), a layered coming-of-age drama set against the real-life 78-day standoff between the Mohawk community and government forces in 1990 Quebec. Next, we cover Rebecca Hall’s PASSING (22:39), a compelling 1920s drama about race and class starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Lastly, we review FINCH (42:21), Miguel Sapochnik’s moving post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama about a man (Tom Hanks) who builds a robot that he must teach to take care of his dog. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Penny Marshall’s 1992 baseball film A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, and Tom Hanks! 

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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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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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CANDYMAN (2021), THE GREEN KNIGHT, and REMINISCENCE on Episode #372

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II holds his hand up looking terrified at the camera in the movie Candyman

One of our favorite aspects of CANDYMAN is its use of mirrors.

This week we start by discussing Lisa Joy’s platitude-filled sci-fi noir REMINISCENCE (2:14), starring Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, and Thandiwe Newton. One of us enjoyed it, one thought it was “meh,” and one found it utterly insufferable. Next, we cover David Lowery’s epic fantasy film THE GREEN KNIGHT (18:29), starring Dev Patel as Gawain from Arthurian legend. Overall, we dug this gorgeous film that both honors the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Next, we tackle Nia DaCosta’s CANDYMAN (38:23), a sequel to the 1992 film starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, which features lots of visually stunning and unsettling moments. But two of us thought it didn’t dig as deep into social commentary as it could have. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our amusement park movie poll, Herk Harvey’s 1962 horror film CARNIVAL OF SOULS.

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