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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keanu Reeves has his work cut out for him in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2.
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.
Zoe Saldana and Ben Affleck in the beautiful, but weird LIVE BY NIGHT
Strange things are afoot this week at Spoilerpiece Theatre, and we’ll just leave it at that. Kris leads off by reviewing THE BYE BYE MAN (at 3:48), a horror movie where the villain has no goal other than to mess with people until they die, so his dog can eat them. Just like with THE FOREST, Kris almost spoilerpieces Dave into wanting to see it, although thankfully Dave comes to his senses when he realizes how stupid it is. Evan follows with 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (at 26:48), a Mike Mills movie set in 1970s Santa Barbara with good bones, great camerawork, and charming performances, but annoying stream of consciousness storytelling like Mills’s film BEGINNERS. Then Kris and Dave wrap up with LIVE BY NIGHT (at 41:39), the Ben Affleck gangster picture where people do a lot of living by day. Sienna Miller blends in, Brendan Gleeson goes too soon, and Chris Messina is the only one who belongs in this story with lots of clothed sex and heavy involvement from the KKK. The guys reveal that it looks great despite being weird, even though they agree that you should probably live by not seeing it.
Chris Pratt as an awful human being in PASSENGERS.
So much Spoilerpiecing to do this week! We lead things off with a call from a friend in France, and then we get down to spoiling the snot out of ASSASSIN’S CREED. Evan follows that up with Almodovar’s JULIETA, and then Kris uses all his strength to get through PASSENGERS, which sounds like it was an ordeal and a half. Finally, Evan and Dave talk FENCES, Denzel’s latest directorial effort (an adaptation of August Wilson’s renowned play).