Episode #185: MY LEFT FOOT, MOONSTRUCK, MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE, MUDBOUND, HOSTILES

hero_Mudbound-2017

Lotsa movies on this week’s episode! First up is Dave with MY LEFT FOOT (4:21), the film that arguably sealed Daniel Day-Lewis’s reputation as the world’s most committed screen actor. Next, Evan runs us through MOONSTRUCK (12:45), a romantic romp with folks who just can’t stop getting hit in the eye by amore. Dave then perseveres through his disdain for the MAZE RUNNER series by explaining how it limps along into its third installment, THE DEATH CURE (20:25). Dave and Evan then dive into Academy Award-nominated MUDBOUND (33:08), before Kris and Dave wrap things up with HOSTILES (47:09), two very different movies that confront America’s inability to confront its own history of racism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Episode #184: MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (Stephen Frears with Daniel Day-Lewis), DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (book vs. adaptation), and FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER (Angelina Jolie)

MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE

MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE

This week’s episode starts with Dave fresh off of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (6:30), which he saw as part of Coolidge Corner Theatre’s series dedicated to Daniel Day-Lewis, “I’m Finished!” It’s all over the place with a million plot threads and an impossibly large cast, but boasts a terrific grit and excellent performances. Next up is Kris, who just finished reading Boris Pasternak’s DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and rewatched David Lean’s adaptation starring Omar Sharif (21:17). Kris wishes he were more impressed with the film after reading the novel, but is he breaking his own rule of separating films from source material by lowering his opinion of a movie he enjoyed? Maybe, and he’s the first to admit it. The episode then close things out with a recap of FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER (36:42), Angelina Jolie’s film about life under the Khmer Rouge. The guys are split — Dave and Kris enthusiastically in favor, with Evan on the fence as to whether it’s a success in its own terms.

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MOLLY’S GAME, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, and THE POST with special guest Charlie Nash on Episode #180

The Post

This week, friend of the show (and the hosts!) Charlie Nash returns to the guest seat in Dave’s absence. The first review of the night is Evan and Charlie with MOLLY’S GAME, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. The famed writer of A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WEST WING, and THE SOCIAL NETWORK, known for his tight and layered dialogue, would have benefited from applying the same discipline to his camerawork and pacing, as a worthwhile story with good performances gets buried under its own weight (and penchant for mansplaining). Next up is Charlie with a captivating recap of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age tale love story starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. It boasts lush visuals and a deep exploration of discovering sides of ourselves we neither understand how to express nor contain. Wrapping things up is THE POST, Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece — yes, it really is — about the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. With a top-notch cast and a clear understanding of the stakes, it’s a must-see for history buffs or anyone who cares about valuing truth  and accountability above comfort and stability.

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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!

Halloween Horror Round-up, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, LBJ, and THOR: RAGNAROK on Episode #173

Chris Hemsworth in THOR: Ragnarok

Chris Hemsworth looking like he’s having a lot less fun than he does in the rest of THOR: RAGNAROK.

This week starts with Dave’s recap of the all-night Halloween Marathon at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre (2:30) featuring some of the best in classic zombie flicks. Next up, Kris recounts his spooky double feature, LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH and MESSIAH OF EVIL (16:09), both of which are great slices in 1970s weirdness. Dave runs us through THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (28:32) and does not buy into the hype. Dave and Evan team up for LBJ (34:39), the latest take on the president with a complicated legacy. Last up, all three talk about the surprisingly delightful THOR: RAGNAROK (44:37) from Taika Waititi.

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ONLY THE BRAVE, BIG MOUTH, and THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE on Episode #171

"Supe" Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) berates Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller) during training in Prescott National Forest in Columbia Pictures' ONLY THE BRAVE, THE TRUE STORY OF THE GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOTS.

Josh Brolin berates a seemingly eyebrowless Miles Teller in ONLY THE BRAVE.

This episode begins with epic tales of Dave’s film school smoking habits, which were quite epic. Then it’s on to the main event, where Kris tells of his recent Netflix adventures with BIG MOUTH (5:45), the new animated show featuring Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, and a host of guest stars. It cuts deep with the preadolescent awkwardness, but it’s worth your time. Next up is THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (11:35), an atmospheric, psychological horror film about two friends: one who is having a slow psychotic break where he can’t trust anything he sees or hears, and the other whose entire existence is a facade erected to protect is insecurity. It’s great, and Kris convinces Dave and Evan to see it right away. Last up is ONLY THE BRAVE (32:37) a true-ish story about the Granite Mountain Hotshots, whose heroism deserves a much more thoughtful, intelligent, and coherent movie than the one they got.

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TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, WAR MACHINE, THE JOURNEY, and THE BAD BATCH on Episode #154

Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

Optimus Prime goes bad in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

This week the guys muse about pugs before they dive into their full slate of movies. First Kris deals with TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (3:20), a movie that feeds into Marky Mark’s savior complex with a story dating back to medieval times. Beaten, a little bruised, and exhausted by its stupidity, Kris passes the baton to Evan, who tackles the Netflix film WAR MACHINE (19:57), a glacially-paced bore with a strangely stacked cast led by Brad Pitt, and a narrator that doesn’t show up until halfway through the picture. Dave enters the fray next with THE JOURNEY (34:14), a decent Irish drama with light comedy and two leads using very different acting styles. Kris wraps everything up with THE BAD BATCH (46:00), a gritty post-apocalyptic Western with Jason Mamoa, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey?! Before signing off, Evan gives a shout out to Max Covill and John Gilpatrick for having him on their show It’s the Pictures to talk about 80s films and his book.

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