JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, and FLASHDANCE on Episode #135

Keanu Reeves in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Keanu Reeves has his work cut out for him in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2.

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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.

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SULLY, MORRIS FROM AMERICA, and SLEEPAWAY CAMP on Episode #113

sully

Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart as his trusty co-pilot Jeff in SULLY.

This week Kris shares the advantages to playing board games with Canadians, before he reviews Clint Eastwood’s latest movie SULLY (at 2:38). The mediocre film has a lot in common narratively with Eastwood’s last effort AMERICAN SNIPER, especially since the same things work well (a focus on the effects of trauma) and the same things don’t (artificially created villains). After Kris explains how the movie ends awkwardly on a joke, Dave delivers a quick “Riedel’s Recap” of DON’T BREATHE (at 19:57). Following the segment, Evan describes the coming-of-age film MORRIS FROM AMERICA (at 20:58), which has great music, and features the fantastic Craig Robinson in a rare dramatic role. Finally, the guys arrive at their main event: the ‘80s horror flick SLEEPAWAY CAMP (at 30:32). They describe its weird flashbacks, its endearing incompetence, and the craziness that runs in its blood as they dig into this time capsule, which 2/3 of them agree is good for what it is. Be sure to stick around post-credits for a completely unrelated bonus story.

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WAR DOGS, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, and LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD on Episode #110

War Dogs

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill wheeling and dealing as arms dealers in WAR DOGS.

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.

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THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT – Part 1 and WORKING GIRL on Episode #88

Allegiant

This image is way cooler than anything that actually happens in THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT – Part 1.

The guys stumble onto their new band name this week before they talk about Evan’s vacation to LA, which involved lots of decadent eating. After a Garfield tangent, Evan and Kris ponder why so many people seem to get shot in the back during THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT – Part 1, a story they didn’t realize would be told in two parts. Kris then describes how Jeff Daniels is like his character in THE MARTIAN only evil, and about why he’s “one of those bad guys who has an adjective.” With all the film’s issues, Evan shares why he still prefers the series to THE HUNGER GAMES. Following a tangent about westerns, specifically YOUNG GUNS, the episode transitions into Dave and Evan discussing another 80s movie: WORKING GIRL. Evan has no idea how much Dave loves the film, and is totally unprepared for how well Dave can quote it. The two of them enjoy spoilerpiecing it for Kris with talk about Harrison Ford’s grimace, its memorable lines, and its portrayal of workplace politics.

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Episode #58: AMERICAN ULTRA, THE GIFT, CALL ME LUCKY, and PEOPLE PLACES THINGS

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Steward in American Ultra

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.

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