NO SUDDEN MOVE, FALSE POSITIVE, and THE ICE ROAD on Episode #365

Don Cheadle talks on the phone from a phone book while Benicio del Toro waits anxiously outside it in the movie No Sudden MoveIn this week’s edition of “We Should Have Known Better,” we cover Liam Neeson’s latest Old Man Neeson actioner, THE ICE ROAD (3:05), this year’s early winner of the “It Wants to be ‘The Wages of Fear’ or even ‘Sorcerer’ but it’s Really Just a Turd” award. Perhaps that’s harsh, but as scary as Canadian ice roads are in April, even scarier is the prospect of a movie filled with half-baked ideas, crummy special effects, and a villain who has more lives than the Energizer bunny. It’s just wretched. But man, was it fun to talk about! Next is FALSE POSITIVE (19:12), which star Ilana Glazer wrote with its director, John Lee. Who doesn’t love pregnancy horror? (Actually, one of us loves pregnancy horror, but sadly, not this film.) In this case, two of us. As Dave puts it, this is a movie that offsets each good idea it has with a bad one. But one of us liked it! (And though he didn’t mention it in the episode, Dave likes Pierce Brosnan’s beard.) Lastly, it’s NO SUDDEN MOVE (40:20), the new Steven Soderbergh thriller starring lots of his favorite people, including Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro. It has a little bit of everything, and screenwriter Ed Solomon is a loooong way from Bill & Ted. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

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BLACK WIDOW, THE TOMORROW WAR, and THE FOREVER PURGE on Episode #364

Scarlett Johansson squints into the distance as wreckage smolders around her in the movie Black Widow
We were excited to see Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow’s long-overdue standalone film.

Kicking things off this week, we review Everardo Gout’s THE FOREVER PURGE (5:58), the latest entry in the PURGE franchise! It stars Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, and Josh Lucas. Megan and Dave discuss its relevance to recent American political events and why they really dug its political commentary. Next, we all talk about Chris McKay’s long and disappointing sci-fi flick THE TOMORROW WAR (23:54), which has decent action, but a lot of bad writing and acting (especially from Chris Pratt). We wrap up with Cate Shortland’s much anticipated movie BLACK WIDOW (40:48), starring Scarlett Johansson in the second female-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of us loved it, but two of us had some mixed feelings about its performances and pacing. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we tackle Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody’s 2009 horror comedy JENNIFER’S BODY

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F9: THE FAST SAGA, WEREWOLVES WITHIN, I CARRY YOU WITH ME, and ZOLA on Episode #363

Vin Diesel drives while Michelle Rodriguez holds onto a hook on the passenger side in the movie F9

Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez living life a quarter mile at a time in F9

This week, we kick off by reviewing ZOLA (2:15), Janicza Bravo’s road trip-crime drama-dark comedy starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough, which is based on a viral series of tweets. Next, we cover I CARRY YOU WITH ME (17:48), Heidi Ewing’s beautifully moving queer hybrid narrative/documentary film about an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) who leaves his love (Christian Vazquez) in Mexico for a better life in New York City, but must make serious sacrifices along the way. Then we talk about F9: THE FAST SAGA (34:10), Justin Lin’s latest entry in the FAST & FURIOUS franchise, which is ridiculous but a lot of fun and finally makes good on a long-running fan prediction. Finally, we wrap up with WEREWOLVES WITHIN (49:02), Josh Ruben’s horror comedy mystery starring Sam Richardson and Milana Vayntrub, about eccentric townsfolk trying to figure out which one of them may be a werewolf. And in this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we talk about the winner of our LGBTQIA+ poll, Desiree Akhavan’s 2018 film THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST!  

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LUCA, LES NÔTRES, and PLAN B on Episode #362

Disney Pixar's LUCA, an animated film about two boy sea monsters

This week, we review our second Natalie Morales film of the year, PLAN B (1:54), a hilarious road trip comedy on Hulu about best friends (Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles) trying to track down emergency contraception in middle America. Next, we discuss LES NÔTRES (24:38), Jeanne Leblanc’s difficult to watch yet excellent French Canadian drama about a pregnant teen (Émilie Bierre), which prompts us to issue a trigger warning about the sexual abuse depicted in the film. Then we cover Pixar’s LUCA (45:55), Enrico Casarosa’s animated Italian adventure-fantasy on Disney+ about sea monsters (Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer) who enter the world of humans and find friendship along the way. As part of our conversation, we delve into whether we also feel like movie is a queer allegory or queer love story, like others have interpreted. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Theodore Witcher’s 1997 romance LOVE JONES, starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate, in honor of Black Music Appreciation Month!

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IN THE HEIGHTS, HOLLER, CAVEAT, and THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES on Episode #361

Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera in film In the Heights

On this week’s show, we open with THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES (2:28), a wild, quirky, and charming animated movie, written and directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, featuring a regular ol’ American family struggling to save humanity from a robot apocalypse. It’s a hoot. Next up is CAVEAT (18:12), Damian Mc Carthy’s eerie and unsettling Irish horror film that says, “Oh, you’re not afraid of rabbits? Get a load of this shit” (Dave watched it in broad daylight if that tells you anything). Then there’s HOLLER (34:36), an excellent drama written and directed by Nicole Riegel, about a high school senior (Jessica Barden) who joins a sleekly scummy scrap metal crew while trying to decide whether she’s going to stay in her hit-by-hard-times Ohio hometown or go to college. Finally, we wrap up with IN THE HEIGHTS (45:28), the long-awaited adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ musical, with a screenplay by Hudes directed by Jon M. Chu. One of us loved it, one of us enjoyed moments, and one of us was kind of “eh.” Free scoop of ice cream if you guess correctly! And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about one of Megan’s favorite sci-fi films, Douglas Trumbull’s SILENT RUNNING, starring a young and super intense Bruce Dern. It’s a first-timer for Evan and Dave.

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ARMY OF THE DEAD, UNDINE, CHANGING THE GAME, and THE AMUSEMENT PARK on Episode #360

Dave Bautista in Zack Snyder's zombie heist film ARMY OF THE DEAD

This week, we open by discussing George A. Romero’s recently restored long-lost film, THE AMUSEMENT PARK (2:21), an extremely unsettling commentary on aging and ageism. Next, we review CHANGING THE GAME (13:01), Michael Barnett’s compelling Hulu documentary about trans athletes in the U.S. Then we dig into UNDINE (27:48), Christian Petzold’s moving and tragic modern fairy tale, starring Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski. We wrap up with Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist film ARMY OF THE DEAD (39:38), starring Dave Bautista leading an ensemble cast, which offers us plenty of bones to pick. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about a Patron’s choice, Miloš Forman’s 1996 film THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT!

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CRUELLA, RIDERS OF JUSTICE, SEANCE, and SKULL: THE MASK on Episode #359

Emma Stone as Disney villain Cruella de Vil in film CRUELLA

This week, we start by reviewing Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman’s SKULL: THE MASK (2:09), a Brazilian slasher film that can’t decide on its tone. Then we cover SEANCE (13:04), Simon Barrett’s boarding school-set horror flick starring Suki Waterhouse that has us split. Next, we discuss RIDERS OF JUSTICE (26:24), Anders Thomas Jensen’s thoughtful and endearing action film starring Mads Mikkelsen, which Evan caught at IFFBoston. Finally, we wrap up with CRUELLA (40:46), Craig Gillespie’s Disney villain origin story starring Emma Stone, which we have very different opinions about. And in this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we talk about the winner of our STAR WARS poll—the 2016 Gareth Edwards film ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.

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THE DRY, THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, and PSYCHO GOREMAN on Episode #358

Eric Bana in Robert Connolly's Australian murder mystery THE DRY

We start this week by reviewing Steven Kostanski’s strange yet uneven horror sci-fi comedy PSYCHO GOREMAN (2:08). Next, we cover Joe Wright’s derivative and inert Netflix mystery thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (13:22), which wastes Amy Adams and a great supporting cast. Then we discuss Taylor Sheridan’s THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD (28:43), an Angelina Jolie neo-Western forest fire thriller that really divided us. Lastly, we review Robert Connolly’s Australian murder mystery THE DRY (41:20) from IFFBoston 2021, which features a compelling lead performance by Eric Bana. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review Peyton Reed’s 2000 cheerleading film BRING IT ON, starring Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, and Eliza Dushku.

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THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS, THE DJINN, and THE RECKONING on Episode #357

Clayne Crawford stands by himself with his hands in his pockets in the movie The Killing of Two Lovers

Clayne Crawford gives a compelling performance in THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS

This week Megan is on vacation so we’re joined by guest Lady Wan from the Screen Run podcast! First, we review Neill Marshall’s torturous period horror film THE RECKONING (2:24) about a woman falsely accused of being a witch. Next, we cover David Charbonier and Justin Powell’s tense horror film THE DJINN (16:44), about a mute boy who asks a dark entity to grant his wish. Then, we wrap up with Robert Machoian’s claustrophobic relationship drama THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS (24:58), about a couple trying to work through their marriage. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review Alex Cox’s 1984 cult classic REPO MAN

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MORTAL KOMBAT, SILO, and GOLDEN ARM on Episode #356

Ludi Lin as Liu Kang and Max Huang as Kung Lao in film Mortal Kombat

Dave is off this week, so Megan and Evan talk about the movies. First, we review Marshall Burnette’s sporadically intense thriller SILO (2:31) about the frantic attempt to rescue a teenager who’s stuck in a grain silo. Then we discuss Maureen Bharoocha’s charming comedy GOLDEN ARM (16:01), about a trucker (Betsy Sodaro) who trains her timid friend (Mary Holland) to compete in the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Tournament. Finally, we test our might with MORTAL KOMBAT (29:59), Simon McQuoid’s adaptation of the famous video game, which we have very different opinions about. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss Albert Brooks’s 1991 unconventional rom-com, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE.

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