HIS HOUSE, COME AWAY, and the Boston Jewish Film Festival on Episode #331

Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu stand next to walls with peeled-off wallpaper in film His House

This week we discuss the results of the presidential election before the movies. We start with the 2020 Boston Jewish Film Festival at (7:32). Evan talks about the shorts, features (THOU SHALT NOT HATE), and documentaries (THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME and SYNDROME K) he saw solo, before he and Megan dig into movies they’ve both seen: queer coming-of-age comedy TAHARA (18:01), romantic drama THE END OF LOVE (25:10), and queer comedy SHIVA BABY (36:44). Then, Megan and Dave discuss COME AWAY (43:48), a fantasy film starring Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo as the parents to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Finally, Evan and Megan wrap up with HIS HOUSE (53:07), a Netflix haunted house horror film about a married couple who are refugees from South Sudan. On this week’s Patreon bonus audio, we discuss a Patron’s choice: the 2014 German horror film DER SAMURAI.

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BONUS: 2020 Boston Jewish Film Festival Preview

They Aint Ready for Me

Tamar Manasseh, the subject of the documentary THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME, playing at the 2020 Boston Jewish Film Festival.

In this bonus episode, Evan chats on the phone with Ariana Cohen-Halberstam, Artistic Director of Boston Jewish Film. She reveals how the pandemic shaped this year’s virtual Boston Jewish Film Festival and how her team is trying to go “beyond the screen” with classes and musical performances. She also talks about exciting filmmaker Q&As, important films in the lineup about Jews of color, and this year’s Israeli TV binge, where viewers can watch an entire season of the show UNCHAINED. Other films discussed include SAUL & RUBY’S HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR BAND, IN YOUR EYES I SEE MY COUNTRY, ASIA, HONEYMOOD, SHARED LEGACIES, and THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME.

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KNIVES OUT, FROZEN 2, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, 21 BRIDGES, and AFTER CLASS on Episode #280

Daniel Craig gestures with his hand laying out his theory while Ana de Armas sits by a throne of knives in the movie Knives Out.
Daniel Craig explains his theory, real slow with his hilarious Southern drawl in KNIVES OUT

This week Evan shares some of his favorite French film titles seen in Montreal before Megan reviews FROZEN 2 (4:30), a sequel with meaningful themes. Next Dave covers 21 BRIDGES (14:35) a predictable film far beneath its talented lead Chadwick Boseman. After that Megan discusses A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (23:55), the poignant movie about Mr. Rogers starring Tom Hanks. She and Evan have disagreements about the following film AFTER CLASS aka SAFE SPACES (37:58), which played at this year’s Boston Jewish Film Festival, although they still appreciate a lot of the same scenes. To wrap up, everyone chats about KNIVES OUT (49:02), a hilarious whodunit that could have been tighter and more loaded with twists.

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THE IRISHMAN, CHARLIE’S ANGELS, THE GOOD LIAR, and the Boston Jewish Film Festival on Episode #279

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro standing together wearing shirts ties and jackets in Martin Scorsese's movie The Irishman
Pacino and De Niro are back together again in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN

It’s a bountifully loaded week at Spoilerpiece! First, Megan talks about THE GOOD LIAR (3:00), starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen as two olds locked in a battle of rapidly aging wits. Is it good? Or is it just that Mirren and McKellen are good in an otherwise lackluster flick? Moving on to the Boston Jewish Film Festival, Evan talks briefly about the Tovah Feldshuh-starring GOLDA’S BALCONY (11:59). Then he and Megan share thoughts on MY POLISH HONEYMOON (14:40) and FLAWLESS (21:52). Finally, Megan and Dave deconstruct Elizabeth Banks’ CHARLIE’S ANGELS (29:29) reboot before getting into the Martin Scorsese opus THE IRISHMAN (41:03).

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CREED II, THE OUTLAW KING, and SIMON AND THEODORE with Sean Burns on Episode #228

Wood Harris and a team in warmup suits escort Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed wearing a red boxing robe in the film Creed II.
Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed in CREED II (aka ROCKY IV – PART III).

Kris laments the dangers of tweeting niche puns and searching for yourself on Twitter with Evan and special guest Sean Burns before they dig into this week’s movies. They kick things off with a “Crewind,” where Sean finally satisfies his curiosity about whether Paul Schrader’s FIRST REFORMED (3:30) really is an “Evan movie” or not. Then he and Kris describe the utterly dull OUTLAW KING (13:00), a forgettable movie that covers similar cinematic material to BRAVEHEART without any of its showmanship. Next Evan wraps up his coverage of the Boston Jewish Film Festival (21:00) by reviewing their entertaining Israeli TV binge and the cute French film SIMON & THÉODORE. And finally, by the time the bell sounds for this week’s main event CREED II (32:00), one of the guys finds himself on a different side of the ring than the other two, and who it is might surprise you.

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Boston Jewish Film Festival & RIDM roundups, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, ROMA, and THE FRONT RUNNER on Episode #227

A scene from LOST WARRIOR a documentary that played at RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival)

This week, Kris kicks things off with his recent rewatch of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (5:03) directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s wacky and well worth your eyeballs. Meanwhile, Evan’s been busy! He recaps some highlights from the Boston Jewish Film Festival (13:47), everything from documentaries to found footage horror flicks. Then it’s back to Kris for ROMA (22:30) from Alfonso Cuarón, his best film in years. See it in theaters if you can, Netflix if you must. Then Evan runs us through his favorites from RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival) (32:36), highlighting a trilogy focusing on the judicial system in Brazil. Kris closes out the show with THE FRONT RUNNER (46:10), which has a couple of interesting ideas buried way too deep beneath intolerable self-satisfaction.

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Mini Episode: 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival Preview with Ariana Cohen-Halberstam

A black and white still of a woman looking at a man in an old Bollywood movie from the documentary Shalom Bollywood

A still from SHALOM BOLLYWOOD a documentary playing at the 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival

In this special mini episode Evan talks with Boston Jewish Film Festival (now Boston Jewish Film) Artistic Director Ariana Cohen-Halberstam about the festival’s exciting plans for this year (its 30th). Ariana teases their Israeli film festival coming in 2019, as well as their Israeli TV show binge at the festival, which features SHABABNIKIM, SLEEPING BEARS, and YOUR HONOR. She also promotes notable films paired with performances like SHALOM BOLLYWOOD, SATAN & ADAM, and SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I GOTTA BE ME. Be sure to check out the festival, which runs November 7 – November 19. Learn more at http://www.bostonjfilm.org/.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE, LAST FLAG FLYING, IN BETWEEN, KEEP THE CHANGE and special guest Sean Burns on Episode #175!

(L-r) JASON MOMOA as Aquaman, GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman, EZRA MILLER as The Flash and RAY FISHER as Cyborg in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure

JUSTICE LEAGUE….ASSEMBLED…minus Superman and Batman.

This week our good friend and co-host Kristofer Jenson is sidelined by the plague, so honorary fourth member Sean Burns fills in. He gets things started off (3:40) with a special guest segment, “Burned Out with Sean Burns,” in which he tells Dave and Evan what he thinks of THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. Evan follows things up with IN BETWEEN and KEEP THE CHANGE (8:50), which are showing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival. Then Sean and Dave weigh in on Richard Linklater’s LAST FLAG FLYING (18:00), the spiritual sequel to THE LAST DETAIL. Finally, it’s superhero time as Evan and Dave discuss JUSTICE LEAGUE (28:55) and Sean more or less correctly guesses the plot even though he hasn’t seen it.

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LADY BIRD, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI, and Boston Jewish Film Festival on Episode #174

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf riding in a car together in the coming-of-age movie LADY BIRD.

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are fantastic as a mother and daughter constantly at odds in the Greta Gerwig-directed coming-of-age movie LADY BIRD.

Big week at Spoilerpiece! Lotsa movies. Evan fills us in on the Boston Jewish Film Festival (3:45) with the four shorts (JOIN THE CLUB with Ari Graynor, WIG SHOP with Emily Mortimer, BLACK SWELL with Richard Kind, and THE CHOP, about a Jewish butcher who gets a job in halal shop), and one feature (WINTER HUNT) he watched in anticipation of the festival’s run from November 8-20. Dave follows at 17:20 with Frances McDormand in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, which he characterizes as one of the best films of 2017. Next up is Kris and Dave with Kenneth Branagh’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at 30:00. Lastly, all three guys saw Greta Gerwig’s masterful LADY BIRD and take turns gushing about how much they love it.

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FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, and More on Episode #123

fantastic-beasts

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (i.e. inside Eddie Redmayne’s suitcase)

We’ve got movies coming out the wazoo this week! First, Dave and Kris tackle the ambitious Harry Potter prequel FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (at 4:00), which tries to cram five movies into one. Much to their annoyance, only three of those five movies are good. Next, Dave explores NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (at 24:56), writer/director/fashion designer Tom Ford’s sophomore film. It has two stories about toxic masculinity that don’t add up to a whole movie, so during the review Kris develops a new segment called “Dr. Kris, Medicine Man,” where he shares how he’d fix the film. Following that segment, Dave offers his brief thoughts on the music documentaries OASIS: SUPERSONIC and RUSH: TIME STAND STILL, which only seem to be for diehard fans. Evan bats cleanup with three more movies from the Boston Jewish Film Festival (at 51:00): the mediocre crime thriller A GRAIN OF TRUTH, the emotionally compelling documentary FREEDOM TO MARRY, and the thought-provoking comedy doc THE LAST LAUGH.

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