Praise be that film festivals are back! To kick things off, Megan talks about IFFBoston’s Fall Focus, and her experiences watching Pablo Larraín’s biopic SPENCER (2:03), starring Kristen Stewart; Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical dramedy BELFAST (6:12), starring Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan; Audrey Diwan’s French drama HAPPENING (8:32), starring Anamaria Vartolomei; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s international drama-fantasy MEMORIA (10:31), starring Tilda Swinton. Evan joins her to talk about Céline Sciamma’s French fantasy-drama PETITE MAMAN (14:21), Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, and Joachim Trier’s Norwegian drama THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (20:52), starring Renate Reinsve. Then Evan (with an assist from Megan) takes everyone through Shudder’s HORROR NOIRE (30:25), an entertaining horror anthology film with six stories from Black filmmakers: director Kimani Ray Smith and screenwriters Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaVelle, and Al Letson. Lastly, Dave and Evan review the 4K restoration of Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s CHAMELEON STREET (44:13), which won the 1990 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and has been hard to find since. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we feature the monthly poll winner – We asked you to choose from FRANKENSTEIN films and the winner is THE BRIDE, starring Sting and Jennifer Beals. We had a blast talking about it, so check it out and consider becoming a patron!
This week, Dave fills us in on the two pieces that kept him busy last week: what he’s most looking forward to in 2019, and a look at some Oscar-nominated performance in films that premiered at Sundance. Next, Dave and Evan tell us about the woefully unfunny and directionless LAST LAUGH (9:45). Wrapping things up is Evan and Kris with GLASS (26:50), which is not a total waste but fails to effectively channel what was good about either of its predecessors, UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT.
Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, and Forrest Goodluck walk down a lonely road in THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
This week on Spoilerpiece Theatre: All the way from Ireland, we thank listener and friend of the show Rory for his takes on ANT MAN & THE WASP (4:15) and CABIN IN THE WOODS (5:35)! (If you want our take on a film you saw, listen to the end of the show for the best way to reach us!) From there, it’s Crewind with the bold, stylish, and heart-wrenching BOYZ N THE HOOD (8:57). Then, Dave runs us through what makes Steve McQueen in PAPILLON (1973) (20:35) worth a revisit. Closing out the show, Kris recaps THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (36:10), a movie about one of the worst abominations against developing minds that continues to be legal: so-called “gay conversion therapy.”
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.
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.
Kris says Johnny Depp’s peformance is good DESPITE his makeup in BLACK MASS
Dave is back this week to offer his take on GRANDMA, which echoes Sean’s sentiments about the film. Then he goes back to hating on Joe Swanberg for DIGGING FOR FIRE and derides Mumblecore movies in general, before Evan and Kris review the Johnny Depp Whitey Bulger film BLACK MASS. Kris thinks Depp’s performance is good despite his makeup and Evan agrees since he found several scenes chilling. Overall they spend a lot more time discussing better gangster movies like THE DEPARTED and GOODFELLAS, which should tell you something. Dave wraps everything up by talking about the documentary THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION, which he says is a bit one-sided, but totally watchable and really well-done.
Zac Efron doesn’t play a young Robert Loggia in WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS, but that would be much better than this movie.
The guys open this week’s episode with a discussion on Deez Nuts’s candidacy for president. Then Kris and Evan rip into WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS, which they agree does NOT star Zac Efron as a young Robert Loggia. Their agitated commentary is enough to leave Dave “slack-jawed and open-mouthed.” After Kris expresses confusion over more celebrities (this time Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering), Dave takes over to share his thoughts on two fucking horrible movies. First up is TEN THOUSAND SAINTS, where the most interesting character dies 15 minutes in and Ethan Hawke plays almost the same character he did in BOYHOOD. Second is DIGGING FOR FIRE, one of the whitest movies Dave has ever seen. Joe Swanberg’s film is about dull white people with dull white people problems, and it’s so bad that it makes Dave’s soul die a little bit.
This picture is way cooler than anything that happens in AMERICAN ULTRA.
Movies like woah on this week’s Spoilerpiece. First, Evan teases the book about ‘80s films that he’s been working on with his friend Bryan Krull, prompting a deeper conversation on ‘80s movies. Then Dave shares his thoughts on THE TRIBE because he finally saw it. Evan’s up next to talk about how THE GIFT subverts expectations, before Dave goads him into spoiling the movie’s big twist. After that, Evan and Kris discuss why they weren’t fans of AMERICAN ULTRA (hint: it’s about a stoner secret agent and plotted like a stoner wrote it). Dave follows up by quickly exploring why PEOPLE PLACES THINGS is so sluggish and by-the-numbers. And last, but not least, Kris reviews CALL ME LUCKY, a great documentary by Bobcat Goldthwait about Boston comedian and activist Barry Crimmins.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer during one of the best scenes in THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Dave is back again on this week’s Spoilerpiece (which makes two weeks in a row)! The fellas talk about silly t-shirts they wish they could own, including one in particular that Kris wanted as a kid. Then the guys take on a bumper crop of movies. Kris and Evan are up first with their thoughts on Guy Ritchie’s hyper-styled adaptation of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., which has a great performance by Armie Hammer and one of the worst car chases Kris has ever seen. Dave delivers praise for PHOENIX, while wondering what the plural of the word is (phoenices?). Once he’s done talking up the film’s perfectly composed photography, interesting post-World War II story, and its Hitchcock-ian flavor, Evan and Kris round things out with STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Both of them discuss why they love the movie (because fuck the po-lice) and how its casting is fantastic.
Sophia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon covered in “flour” aka cocaine in HOT PURSUIT
This week Kris starts off by recommending a title for Dave’s autobiography. Dave gets a good laugh out of that before explaining why he doesn’t watch bad ’80s John Travolta movies (except URBAN COWBOY) and why Debra Winger is one of his least favorite onscreen presences. After that he talks about how HOT PURSUIT tries to subvert buddy comedy cliches and fails. In the process, Kris describes how he got accidentally hooked on THE NEW GIRL. Then he and Evan talk about the layers and complexity in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD that make it such an enjoyable film. Finally, Dave wraps things up with his take on PLAYING IT COOL, a romantic comedy which has some decent moments, but mostly gets demerits from him for “being dumb as shit.”