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.
We begin episode 153 with a brief discussion of annoying T-shirts. Then it’s on to the annoying ROUGH NIGHT (3:35). More like ROUGH MOVIE, AMIRITE? Anyspray, it has Kris saying more than once, “I wish it were funnier.” Then Evan regales Kris and Dave with the truly fucked-up sounding THE BOOK OF HENRY (31:38), a movie that feels as if it’s actually 14 different movies crammed into one. Kris takes us down to the basement for a recap of the creepy HELL HOUSE LLC (43:45), and Dave chomps at the bit to get into 47 METERS DOWN (56:32), a Mandy Moore movie that features some sharks, some blood, and the incomparably not-great Matthew Modine. Stay tuned after the closing credits for extra silliness.
Although Boston meteorologists predicted that Snowmageddon would decimate the area this week, the guys were still able to record their episode before disaster struck. The show starts with a first, Kris spoilerpiecing vinyl album covers, before Evan shares his experience watching the touchstone ‘80s film FLASHDANCE (at 5:20) for the very first time. He agrees that it’s crazy he hadn’t seen it before, as he discusses how impeccably lit it is, how fantastic its music is, and how sultry its epic dance numbers are under the direction of Adrian Lyne. Next, Dave reviews THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (at 18:10), which is exactly what you think it would be. Will Arnett is perfect as Batman and the movie is chock full of one-liners, but it doesn’t quite have the same impact as THE LEGO MOVIE. After that Dave and Kris join forces to review JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (at 26:50), a movie that they both loved, and not just because it fulfilled one of three big criteria for good films declared by Dave’s uncle. It compellingly continues mythology established in the first picture without retconning, and features dynamite action scenes, as well as Keanu Reeves speaking multiple languages. Lastly, before they completely wrap, the guys take a moment to thank a fan for her kind email.
You want movies? We’ve got your movies this week! The episode opens with a segment of “Catching up with Crean,” aka “Crewind,” where Evan shares his issues with THE HANDMAIDEN (at 6:18) before he covers the sharp Netflix documentary 13TH (at 9:24), which has a well-formed argument about the exploitation of minorities by US lawmakers and the prison industrial complex. After that Evan tackles THE DRESSMAKER (at 13:32), a zany movie that’s overstuffed with plot, yet funny and engaging, with one hell of an ending. Starting at 24:00, Kris and Dave provide very brief recaps of several films including THE LITTLE PRINCE, RED TURTLE, THE FITS, DE PALMA, ZOOTOPIA, and MORRIS FROM AMERICA. Once they get tired of recapping, they move on to this week’s two main events. Dave shares the excruciating agony that is WHY HIM? (at 32:42), or as he calls it “Why Me?”. Then finally, he and Kris review LA LA LAND (at 42:24), a musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, which they really disagree about.
Dave is feeling under the weather so fan favorite Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week. She and Kris lead off by discussing the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival (at 5:02). They share a few of their favorite films, before Dede transitions into COMPLETE UNKNOWN (at 11:41). Dede finds Rachel Weisz’s character fascinating in it, but she wishes there was more to the movie’s simple plot. Next, Kris talks about how war leaves scars long after hostilities end in THE INNOCENTS (at 21:32), a heavy post-World War II film about rescuing babies. Then Evan and Dede review THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (at 35:46), a long, slow drama about babies and post-war tensions that also stars Rachel Weisz and features Michael Fassbender as a brooding lighthouse hunk. Dede wraps everything up with MORGAN (at 54:16) a mashup of SPLICE, EX MACHINA, and BLADE RUNNER that has the most wasted cast she has ever seen and an ending that thinks it’s clever without actually being clever.
The show opens this week with a conversation about director Werner Herzog’s very unique perspective on life. Following a shout out to one of Dave’s favorite YouTubers and a discussion about Evan’s book, Your ‘80s Movie Guide to Better Living, the guys dig into the week’s new releases. First up is Kris, who discusses Herzog’s documentary LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD (at 9:09). The filmmaker is more aware of his personal brand, so he features himself prominently in it, but it’s still a fascinating piece about the integration between humans and machines. Next, Evan reviews WAR DOGS (at 19:32). Even though it obviously rips off of GOODFELLAS, the movie is worth seeing because it’s funny, has great music, and showcases a tremendous lead performance by Jonah Hill. Lastly, Kris concludes with KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (at 36:20), which captivates with its stop motion animation and its take on ancient religion. Every place the characters go in the film and everything they do is enjoyable to watch, even if you’re aware the journey that they’re on.
This week the guys talk about bread (yeah, that’s right, bread) before Evan shares some BIG news. Then Kris starts things off by talking about ZOOTOPIA, a hard-PG Disney film about racism. His commentary leads to an odd tangent about Tom Selleck and a brief tangent on politics. Afterward, he, Dave, and Evan discuss BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, one of their favorite dumb movies. The guys comment on how fast-paced and lean it is with its perfect dialogue, while sharing visual gags and suspect editing they didn’t notice in previous viewings. In the process of reviewing it, they delve into BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY and the BILL & TED cartoon too. In the final part of the show, they express their gripes with this year’s Oscars. They also get into lengthy discussions about the Best Original Screenplay category by way of EX MACHINA and the Best Original Song category by way of Sam Smith. Speaking of songs, stick around after the closing credits for Dave’s fresh take on a Beatles classic.