THE UPSIDE, BANDERSNATCH, and Sean Baker films with special guest Greg Vellante on Episode #235!

Bryan Cranston sits in the passenger seat looking out an open window with Kevin Hart in the driver's seat also looking out in the film The Upside.
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart try their best in THE UPSIDE

This week we’re joined by friend of the show Greg Vellante! Greg kicks things off with a recap of Sean Baker’s career. Best known for recent successes like TANGERINE and THE FLORIDA PROJECT, there are some real gems early in his filmography, in particular TAKE OUT (3:57). Stay tuned for Greg’s piece in Spectrum Culture! Next up, all three guys spent some time with BANDERSNATCH (18:37), the standalone BLACK MIRROR film where the viewer decides what happens next — or is it simply the illusion of choice?! Closing out the episode is THE UPSIDE (31:12), which is a very misleading name. There are no upsides to this movie.

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GREEN BOOK, SUSPIRIA, ASSASSINATION NATION, and VOX LUX with guest Robyn Bahr on Episode #230

Natalie Portman singing in futuristic makeup in the film Vox Lux
Natalie Portman sure is something in Vox Lux.

This week, we’re joined by BOFCA member and Hollywood Reporter contributor Robyn Bahr! She and Evan kick things off with GREEN BOOK (4:06), a not-terrible but treacly and episodic look at racial tension containing nothing new (especially in a year with so many strong offerings tackling the same material). Then, Kris and Evan examine SUSPIRIA (15:24) and marvel at how not-fun they managed to make dance-school witches by bogging things down with extraneous characters and a go-nowhere sideplot. Then it’s ASSASSINATION NATION (34:52), a powerhouse of a film with style to spare that’ll leave you energized and hopefully optimistic. Last up, the crew is divided on VOX LUX (42:06), a brutal examination of what it means to be a pop star in the world we currently inhabit. Is it good? Listen to find out!

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CREED II, THE OUTLAW KING, and SIMON AND THEODORE with Sean Burns on Episode #228

Wood Harris and a team in warmup suits escort Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed wearing a red boxing robe in the film Creed II.
Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed in CREED II (aka ROCKY IV – PART III).

Kris laments the dangers of tweeting niche puns and searching for yourself on Twitter with Evan and special guest Sean Burns before they dig into this week’s movies. They kick things off with a “Crewind,” where Sean finally satisfies his curiosity about whether Paul Schrader’s FIRST REFORMED (3:30) really is an “Evan movie” or not. Then he and Kris describe the utterly dull OUTLAW KING (13:00), a forgettable movie that covers similar cinematic material to BRAVEHEART without any of its showmanship. Next Evan wraps up his coverage of the Boston Jewish Film Festival (21:00) by reviewing their entertaining Israeli TV binge and the cute French film SIMON & THÉODORE. And finally, by the time the bell sounds for this week’s main event CREED II (32:00), one of the guys finds himself on a different side of the ring than the other two, and who it is might surprise you.

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WIDOWS, BOY ERASED, PRIVATE LIFE, and more with special guest Megan Kearns on Episode #226

Viola Davis stands in a trenchcoat holding a Post-it note, while Cynthia Erivo stands leaning against a punching bag in workout clothes in the Steve McQueen film Widows

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo are incredible in Steve McQueen’s heist film WIDOWS

This week, our friend Megan Kearns returns to the show! She kicks things off with PRIVATE LIFE (3:02), a frank and moving depiction of a couple’s attempts to conceive. Next is Evan with LIFE WITHOUT BASKETBALL (7:37), a documentary about a Muslim American woman who faces discriminatory rules regarding dress, preventing her from advancing her basketball career. Then, Kris runs us through SALEM’S LOT (11:31), the classic spooky miniseries based on the Stephen King story, as well as Orson Welles’s THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (15:33), a film forty years in the making. It’s a true masterpiece, argues Kris, and you should all see it on Netflix now. Then, Kris and Evan look at BOY ERASED (21:48), Joel Edgerton’s film about  gay conversion therapy, with some good qualities but an unfortunate amount of overlap with THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Last up, all three get less and less enthusiastic about Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS (40:11).

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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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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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HALLOWEEN, ROSEMARY’S BABY, and THE STEPFORD WIVES with special guest Sean Burns on Episode #223!

Jamie Lee Curtis looking worried pointing a revolver at the camera in the 2018 film Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis goes into full in survivalist mode David Gordon Green’s very entertaining HALLOWEEN.

This week, Sean Burns returns to the Spoilerpiece guest chair! First up, Evan continues his adventure through film classics with ROSEMARY’S BABY (3:25) and THE STEPFORD WIVES (8:09) — both coincidentally based on Ira Levin novels. Then it’s on to HALLOWEEN (11:10)! Sean has been working his way through many of the series entries ahead of the new film by David Gordon Green (!!), so we pick his brain about what the hell that was all about before zeroing in on the surprisingly effective entry that is worthy of its title.

Listen:



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