JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM, and Zhang Yimou’s SHADOW on Episode #253

Pick up the pace, Mr. Wick. You’re only safe for an hour!

Lots of action on the show this week. First up, Kris and Evan talk about Zhang Yimou’s latest, SHADOW (3:30). Plus, they both have tips on how to NOT watch certain types of movies (in this case, action). Then it’s the main event, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 — PARABELLUM (16:30). First, Evan catches us up on the first two John Wicks (he watched them for the first time over the weekend), and then it’s talk of fightin’ and killin’ as Keanu Reeves more or less turns every assassin in the world into mincemeat. Plus, Kris breaks down whether the linguistics of JOHN WICK hold up.

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THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME on Episode #212

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon take cover on the floor with their bags in the film The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon take cover in the funny, but surprisingly violent comedy THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME.

Hey, gang! Short show this week because we all had a lot of stuff to do outside the podcast. After a brief discussion of the merits of DMX, we get right into our one movie: THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Let’s put it this way: Our reactions may surprise you (in a good way?)! And we all saw it! Yay!

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ATOMIC BLONDE and HIS GIRL FRIDAY on Episode #159

Charlize Theron smoking a cigarette in ATOMIC BLONDE

Charlize Theron between ass-kicking scenes in ATOMIC BLONDE

This week Dave recounts his unique experience living in Annie Lennox’s old apartment before the guys talk about movies. Then he leads off with a recap of HIS GIRL FRIDAY (5:03), a film he’d seen before, but didn’t remember a thing about, other than it being a prime example of everyone involved with it at the height of their power. Next, the guys cover the week’s big release, ATOMIC BLONDE (13:55), an aggressively okay, hyper-stylized action film with Charlize Theron, where you’re either bored or you know what’s going to happen. You can totally see its big twist coming, unlike the Kevin Costner picture NO WAY OUT, which becomes the subject of a relevant tangent at 22:25. Lastly, Dave wraps things up with his quick thoughts on DUNKIRK (51:17), which he lauds for its flawless direction.

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TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, WAR MACHINE, THE JOURNEY, and THE BAD BATCH on Episode #154

Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

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.

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THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS and YOUR NAME on Episode #144

Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

Vin Diesel goes rogue with Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

It’s been a while since the guys have done some singing, so they decide to make up for it at the start of the episode. There are just two films on their docket this week?one is animated, and one live action that’s also an action movie. First, Evan reviews YOUR NAME (at 4:00), a touching anime tale about two teenagers who mysteriously start swapping bodies. Dave tries to compare it to other body-swapping films like VICE VERSA and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM with moderate success, while Kris realizes he’s into it for reasons he doesn’t fully understand. Then all three of them set their sights on FATE OF THE FURIOUS (at 20:04), a loud action movie that’s almost unbelievable even by franchise standards, but boy is it still fun to watch, because it surprised them with some of its new tricks with cars.

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KONG: SKULL ISLAND and “Riedel’s Recaps” on Episode #139

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson looking puzzled in KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson looking puzzled in KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Are movie theaters a safe place for children to play? The guys weigh in with their thoughts on this week’s episode. Following their discussion, Dave offers his latest segment of “Riedel’s Recaps,” where he recounts the shocking, gruesome violence in LOGAN (at 4:27), and describes why he found the film to be a statement against hate. Following some tangents about their favorite comic book movies, and whether there are plot holes in DIE HARD, the guys arrive at the week’s main event, KONG: SKULL ISLAND (at 17:52). They share some serious laughs as they critique the film’s huge cast, its epic carnage, and its wide range of callbacks to other movies. They lament how confused it is about what type of picture it wants to be, however they celebrate its special effects, its long monster takes, and its perfect casting of John C. Reilly.

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THE GREAT WALL, FIST FIGHT, and I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO on Episode #136

Matt Damon in THE GREAT WALL

Matt Damon fights alongside the Chinese in THE GREAT WALL

At the show’s outset, the guys wonder what a wiki site run by Kris would be like, before they dive into this week’s movies. First, Kris regales Dave and Evan with his thoughts on the cinematic implications of the Chinese/American collaboration THE GREAT WALL (at 3:06), an action film with Matt Damon in a non-white savior role that has great creature design, but ultimately is really dumb. Then Evan spoilerpieces FIST FIGHT (at 26:43), a completely nonsensical, failure of a comedy, that has bloopers funnier than its entire hour and a half runtime. Lastly, he and Dave explore I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (at 45:42), the Oscar-nominated documentary that describes what it’s like to be black in America through the words of author James Baldwin. The brilliant insights Baldwin reveals really resonate with them intellectually and emotionally, although the documentary’s dense content prompts them to recommend more than one viewing, to take in all of its poignant commentary.

Listen:

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