THE WAY BACK, THE LODGE, ONWARD, and Video Game Adaptations on Episode #295

Ben Affleck stands with his hands on a basketball player's shoulders giving advice in the movie The Way Back
Ben Affleck gives some profanity-filled advice to one of his players in THE WAY BACK

Dave’s on vaca one last week, so Kristen Halbert fills in to discuss a panel about video game to film adaptations (4:05) that she and Evan attended at PAX East. After they explore ideas for future adaptations, Megan reviews the new Pixar film ONWARD (21:23), a heartwarming family tale. Next she and Evan discuss THE LODGE (29:30), a creepy horror flick they’re split on. Finally, everyone digs into THE WAY BACK (47:35), a Ben Affleck film about addiction that leaves one host feeling less than enthusiastic.

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TALL GIRL, HER SMELL, LATE NIGHT, AND RAUL JULIA: THE WORLD’S A STAGE on Episode #271 with Charlie Nash

Elisabeth Moss in the movie Her Smell grinning and looking away covered in sweat and glittery makeup
Elisabeth Moss stars in HER SMELL, a movie totally unrelated to that Lynyrd Skynyrd song

Kris out on his mini-moon this week so guest Charlie Nash joins Dave and Evan to share his results for the meme “Your Gender Studies Thesis.” After they each get a good chuckle sharing the titles of their fictional papers, Evan reviews TALL GIRL (6:57), a Netflix movie about vertically advantaged high schooler that barely scratches the emotional surface of its main character’s life. Then Dave and Evan recount their experience watching RAÚL JULIÁ: THE WORLD’S A STAGE (18:18), a PBS documentary about the late actor that celebrates his talent, his authenticity, and his inspirational status to Latinx performers everywhere. Next Charlie and Dave delve into HER SMELL (28:50), Alex Ross Perry drama starring Elisabeth Moss that explores the life of a rock star in the throes of addiction. Lastly, Evan and Dave cover LATE NIGHT (44:20), the Mindy Kaling comedy that’s funny and poignant without being preachy.

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GOOD BOYS, LUZ, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, and Fantasia Highlights with Dede Crimmins on Episode #266

Keith L. Williams, Jacob Tremblay, and Brady Noon try to pilot a drone in the movie Good Boys
GOOD BOYS don’t, but they do

This week, returning guest/friend of the show/current Chicagoan Dede Crimmins returns via Skype to give us her top picks from this year’s Fantasia Festival in Montreal (3:35). Following that is LUZ (18:30), the German surrealist exorcism/hypnotism flick that everyone should see.  Dede then runs us through SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (29:14), based on the series of books that scared you silly as a kid. And the good news is, this one is also pretty dang creepy! The episode then closes with our take on tween coming-of-age comedy GOOD BOYS (43:00).

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THE KITCHEN, THE PERFECTION, THEM THAT FOLLOW and MIDSOMMAR revisited on Episode #265

Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish stand seriously in the movie The Kitchen
Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish deserve better than THE KITCHEN

This week Kris recounts the time he couldn’t go to Lenin’s Tomb because it was “closed for inventory,” leaving Evan and returning guest Megan Kearns completely confused. Megan leads off the episode by describing two films she saw recently THEM THAT FOLLOW (4:11), a somber film about religion and snake charming, and THE PERFECTION (10:00), a more engaging movie about classical musicians that takes some fascinating twists and turns before spiraling into body horror. Then Evan shares his experience watching Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR (14:05), which may or may not be “an Evan movie.” Lastly, all three of them dissect THE KITCHEN (28:50), a disappointing kitchen-sink crime drama chock full of critical themes about gender, race, and class that it only superficially addresses, and thinly drawn characters whose motivations don’t make any sense.

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NON-FICTION, BRIGHTBURN, MEETING GORBACHEV, and GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS with special guest “MovieBob” Chipman on Episode #255

On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are joined by our friend, colleague, and returning guest Bob “MovieBob” Chipman! Kicking things off, Dave recaps Olivier Assayas’s new film, NON-FICTION (4:10), which if nothing else, is certainly French. Then Bob fills us in on BRIGHTBURN (14:46), the alternate take on superhero origin stories that imagines a Clark Kent-like character as a sociopath and killer. It’s essentially a B movie with a big budget and star power, but is interesting enough to seek out. Next up is Kris with Werner Herzog’s MEETING GORBACHEV (23:07), which is exactly what it sounds like, and is exactly why you should go see it. Closing out this episode is Bob and Kris barely containing their excitement for GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (39:41), a drastic improvement on its predecessor that impresses in several ways — visuals, sound, just the right amount of lore, and putting the focus back on the monsters themselves.

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BONUS: Sam Jones and Lisa Downs talk about LIFE AFTER FLASH

The poster for the documentary Life After Flash with a stylized image of Sam Jones in black and white with half his face in shadow.
The documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH played at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival.

In this very special bonus episode, Evan talks with Flash Gordon star Sam Jones and filmmaker Lisa Downs about their documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH, which opened the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. His conversation with Sam about the highs and lows of his career covers a range of topics including the value of forgiveness, what it was like opening himself up on camera, and even his preferred ways to workout. Next, his chat with Lisa covers how she met Sam and decided to do the documentary, the things she learned working on a feature-length doc, and how she snagged her memorable interview with Queen member Brian May. 

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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.

Listen:

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