This week, friend of the show (and the hosts!) Charlie Nash returns to the guest seat in Dave’s absence. The first review of the night is Evan and Charlie with MOLLY’S GAME, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. The famed writer of A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WEST WING, and THE SOCIAL NETWORK, known for his tight and layered dialogue, would have benefited from applying the same discipline to his camerawork and pacing, as a worthwhile story with good performances gets buried under its own weight (and penchant for mansplaining). Next up is Charlie with a captivating recap of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age tale love story starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. It boasts lush visuals and a deep exploration of discovering sides of ourselves we neither understand how to express nor contain. Wrapping things up is THE POST, Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece — yes, it really is — about the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. With a top-notch cast and a clear understanding of the stakes, it’s a must-see for history buffs or anyone who cares about valuing truth and accountability above comfort and stability.
The fully loaded cast of Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley
This week the guys discuss the narrative differences between Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and film adaptations of her tale at the start of the show. Then Evan reviews Macon Blair’s directorial debut I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE (at 5:01), which has a title that sounds like a Facebook status Kris would have written if it had existed in 1995. Blair borrows stylistic elements from director Jeremy Saulnier, but his film lacks the intensity, excitement, and payoff of Saulnier’s movies. Next Dave spoilerpieces Evan and Kris into never seeing THE PROMISE (at 27:22), which is like PEARL HARBOR with more death, and a less interesting love story. If you’re looking for context or history behind the Armenian genocide depicted in the movie, you won’t find it. Lastly, Kris closes with Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE (at 47:30), a short, stylized action flick with an outcome that is not as funny as its set up. Kris talks about how Wheatley seems more interested in color, movement, and brutality than getting you to care about what his characters are saying, and why that’s disappointing as a viewer.
Emily Blunt transforms herself into an alcoholic in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.
In this very special episode, the guys welcome their first celebrity guest – actor Robert Davi! Mr. Davi miraculously heard last week’s episode, so he is anxious to talk with them about his elevator encounter with Dave, as well as other things he has going on, like his new documentary DAVI’S WAY. After chatting with Mr. Davi, the guys jump into this week’s films. Evan leads off with AMANDA KNOX (at 12:22), at Netflix documentary that proves police investigatory techniques are flawed all over the world. Next Dave talks all about THE GREASY STRANGLER (at 20:34), one of the least pleasant experiences he has ever had watching a movie. Then Kris and Dave explore THE BIRTH OF A NATION (at 32:36), a loaded movie with a lot of issues worthy of discussion, including the director’s past. Finally, Evan and Dave close with THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (at 58:10), a mediocre thriller that’s great for its central female characters and their performances, but disappointing for its narrow focus on baby-related-drama.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer during one of the best scenes in THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Dave is back again on this week’s Spoilerpiece (which makes two weeks in a row)! The fellas talk about silly t-shirts they wish they could own, including one in particular that Kris wanted as a kid. Then the guys take on a bumper crop of movies. Kris and Evan are up first with their thoughts on Guy Ritchie’s hyper-styled adaptation of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., which has a great performance by Armie Hammer and one of the worst car chases Kris has ever seen. Dave delivers praise for PHOENIX, while wondering what the plural of the word is (phoenices?). Once he’s done talking up the film’s perfectly composed photography, interesting post-World War II story, and its Hitchcock-ian flavor, Evan and Kris round things out with STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Both of them discuss why they love the movie (because fuck the po-lice) and how its casting is fantastic.