THE WAY BACK, THE LODGE, ONWARD, and Video Game Adaptations on Episode #295

Ben Affleck stands with his hands on a basketball player's shoulders giving advice in the movie The Way Back
Ben Affleck gives some profanity-filled advice to one of his players in THE WAY BACK

Dave’s on vaca one last week, so Kristen Halbert fills in to discuss a panel about video game to film adaptations (4:05) that she and Evan attended at PAX East. After they explore ideas for future adaptations, Megan reviews the new Pixar film ONWARD (21:23), a heartwarming family tale. Next she and Evan discuss THE LODGE (29:30), a creepy horror flick they’re split on. Finally, everyone digs into THE WAY BACK (47:35), a Ben Affleck film about addiction that leaves one host feeling less than enthusiastic.

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LIVE BY NIGHT, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, and THE BYE BYE MAN on Episode #131

Zoe Saldana and Ben Affleck in LIVE BY NIGHT

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.

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THE ACCOUNTANT, THE DYBBUK, and A MAN CALLED OVE on Episode #118

the-accountant

THE ACCOUNTANT: Who knew that taxes and number crunching could be exciting?

This week Dave recalls a random middle school experience that struck a chord with him for very middle school reasons. Following his hilarious anecdote, the guys all review the Ben Affleck thriller THE ACCOUNTANT (at 4:36), which has good solid killing, a scrappy Anna Kendrick, and a story that’s delightfully narrow in scope, however it does fall victim to clunky exposition in its second act. Next, Kris reviews THE DYBBUK (at 45:16), a really good pre-World War II Polish movie in Yiddish about possession and conjuring Satan (which make it so metal). Lastly, Dave covers with the Swedish picture A MAN CALLED OVE (at 55:24), a story you’ve seen a million times about an old guy with a dead wife. Its characterization of this perpetual grump’s interactions with young people and his botched attempts at killing himself are charming in a way that only a non-American filmmaker could pull off.

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BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2, and KUNG FURY on Episode #89

Batman v Superman

Ben Affleck’s concerned expression in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is the same one we had while we watching the movie.

Dave couldn’t make it at the last minute, so frequent guest Charlie Nash steps in to help out this week. After the guys discuss an idea Kris has for a movie, that he definitely shouldn’t be the one to write, they delve into the zany short film KUNG FURY. Charlie hasn’t seen it, so Kris and Evan convince him to check it out by spoilerpiecing how its hero acquires his kung fu powers. Then it’s up to Evan to describe MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2, or as he calls it, MY BIG FAT SEQUEL. He’s annoyed by how hypocritical it is, which leads to a tangent about another hypocritical movie: I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY. Once he finishes sharing all the reasons why MBFGW2 wasn’t good, all three guys tear into BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Charlie describes how it looks like shit (dark, murky, and brown) and explains why Batman and Superman are wrong in their worldviews. Evan craps on it too for its poor direction and editing. Kris is no fan either, but he provides interesting context for the movie in relation to comic book storylines and describes the few things he did actually like about it.

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THE JUDGE AND GONE GIRL on Episode #13

The Judge 1

It’s time to talk Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall and THE JUDGE, and so much of the movie works but even more of it doesn’t. How many subplots can one film have? Well, how often can we break off into tangents (covering Van Halen, David Fincher’s body of work, how watching THE BIG LEBOWSKI is kind of like watching THE JUDGE except better, and the pros of having Evan AND Kris on this week’s episode) when discussing GONE GIRL? HOW MANY, WE ASK YOU? And somehow ANNABELLE snuck in for a moment this week, but that’s what evil dolls do.

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