RED SPARROW, MUTE, and ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. on Episode #190

Jennifer Lawrence wearing red in RED SPARROW.

J-Law looking like Dave and Kris felt after seeing her latest movie RED SPARROW.

After some discussion of weather, moods, and major singing in the cold open, the guys get down to tha movies. ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is the focus of this week’s installment of “Keeping Up with the Jensons” (3:59). (Kris is trying to see all the Oscar nominees before Academy Awards ceremony.) Then Evan regales everyone with his breakdown of MUTE (12:39), Duncan Jones’ new weirdo flick starring Alexander Skarsgård as a mute guy trying to find his girlfriend. Note: Paul Rudd is the heavy in this one. Lastly, Kris and Dave talk about RED SPARROW (27:30), the new Jennifer Lawrence/Francis Lawrence collaboration with an ending you should see coming, but the preview audience was totes surprised.

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GAME NIGHT, THE LEISURE SEEKER, LOVING VINCENT, THE BOSS BABY, and PACIFIC HEIGHTS on Episode #189

JASON BATEMAN as Max and RACHEL McADAMS as Annie lay in the middle of the street in GAME NIGHT.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams take cover in the surprising action comedy GAME NIGHT.

Hello there! On this week’s episode, Evan and Dave run us through quintessential early ’90s psycho stalker flick PACIFIC HEIGHTS (5:04) that lets Keaton be Keaton. Next up, Dave unleashes his disdain for the pointless and needlessly infuriating THE LEISURE SEEKER (17:19), which thankfully no one is going to see anyway. Then it’s on to Kris, who watched two films nominated for Best Animated Feature, THE BOSS BABY (24:41) and LOVING VINCENT (30:48). He hated one and tolerated the other. Guess which is which — then flip that guess, and that’s the correct answer. Last up is the main event, GAME NIGHT (33:55), which has massively undersold just how funny and exciting it is through awful, horrendous trailers. It’s the rarest of all movies: an action-thriller-comedy where all three components work!

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BLACK PANTHER and sports movies with special guest Matt Goisman on Episode#188!

Black Panther movie poster

With great visuals, performances, and subtext, Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER has it all.

It’s a one-movie show this week, but boy what a movie! The guys are joined by Cape Cod Times sportswriter and lifelong comics enthusiast Matt Goisman, who gives his view of what makes a worthwhile sports movie before they all jump into the main event. BLACK PANTHER (13:15), Ryan Coogler’s mighty impressive statement on the long-term effects of colonialism that asks if it is possible for utopia to exist, should it? And oh yeah, it’s a superhero movie to boot. With amazing visuals, rich performances, and thoughtful subtext wrapped in an entertaining package, BLACK PANTHER is one to see whether you’re into Marvel movies or not.

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FIFTY SHADES FREED and THE 15:17 TO PARIS on Episode #187

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey at their wedding in FIFTY SHADES FREED.

Marriage is the least insane thing to happen to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in FIFTY SHADES FREED.

This week starts with the guys yakking about the READY PLAYER ONE trailer, since Dave and Evan were forced to watch it twice in one sitting. The rest is about two new pictures coming to theaters. First, Kris reviews FIFTY SHADES FREED (3:41), the final chapter in the franchise, which he says redefines the term “captive audience.” Kris laughs at its batty kidnapping plot and explains how it connects to FIFTY SHADES DARKER, a movie that recently made him subscribe to HBO, just so he didn’t have to buy it on Amazon. Next, Evan and Dave take on Clint Eastwood’s THE 15:17 TO PARIS (29:22), a film so bad it actually makes Evan jealous of Kris. They rail against Eastwood’s decision to use real people instead of actors, its terrible dialogue, and its boring focus on minutiae.

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Episode #186: “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero,” “Private Benjamin,” and “The Last of the Mohicans”

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After wondering what kind of person show up to a movie 15 minutes late, the guys get into an oldie-but-goodie kinda week on Spoilerpiece. Evan breaks down PRIVATE BENJAMIN (3:25), a funny feminist-ish Army-ish comedy starring Goldie Hawn as a woman who joins up because she really doesn’t have anything else to do. Then Dave gets into THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (13:27), the Michael Mann-directed Daniel Day-Lewis-starring French and Indian War epic. Technically, BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO (23:27) is new to the United States, but it’s been out overseas quite a while. Kris and Evan discuss its flaws (many) and virtues (also many), and how it features stories outside the normal American purview.

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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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