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.
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.
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.
On this week’s episode, Dave gripes about his record club’s inability to send him records he wants, before discussing his burgeoning November beard and his latest Baby Henry story. After the guys get some good laughs in to compensate for their election sadness, Kris gets things going with ARRIVAL (at 6:10), a sci-fi film starring Amy Adams as a linguist that speaks heptapod. Adams plays the same character she always does, but it does some very interesting things Kris doesn’t expect and really turns out to be the kind of high concept sci-fi he enjoys. Next, Evan and Dave keep the good movie momentum with their description of LOVING (at 21:26), an emotional drama based on a true story with amazing performances by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. Kris follows with his take on MOONLIGHT (at 33:32) a three-party story of a gay man’s life that’s not revolutionary, but so well-assembled that it kind of is. Evan closes out the show with THE ORIGIN OF VIOLENCE (at 48:36), a French film playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival that turned out to be more about the Holocaust than he expected, although not in a bad way, since the film uses it to tell a compelling story.
On this week’s episode the guys ponder the strange variety of foods available in New York City diners before they dive into movies. Kris kicks everything off with his rundown of HACKSAW RIDGE (at 4:50), Mel Gibson’s World War II film about a conscientious objector who volunteers for military service. The first half has a delicate touch, while the second half is standard Mel Gibson, which Kris emphasizes with enthusiasm. Evan jumps in next to talk about The Boston Jewish Film Festival (at 26:57). He comments on four films playing there; two documentaries (DISTURBING THE PEACE and WOMEN IN SINK) and two narrative shorts (AND THEN, VIOLENCE, and JEWISH BLIND DATE). He discusses the things that each do well, and the reasons why they’re all worth watching. Dave and Kris close out by recapping the 16th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre (at 41:40). They share brief reactions to the films they saw there, which include SCREAM, SCREAM 2, THE FOG, THE HOWLING, CREEPSHOW, and GHOST STORY.
Apparently Erik Estrada doesn’t just play a cop on TV anymore. He’s one in real life too, as the guys learn in this week’s episode. After they speculate about what would happen if Ponch was charged with police brutality, Evan reviews the first movie of the week: THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (at 5:48). According to him, this cute animated film, which features an all-star voice cast, is strongest when it’s cracking jokes about animal clichés and making you feel genuine danger for its characters, but becomes increasingly predictable as it goes on. Next Kris reveals why FREE STATE OF JONES (at 21:11) is a dry film that turns a story about Reconstruction into a VH1 biography. This conversation leads to a tangent on why GONE WITH THE WIND shouldn’t be held in such high regard, before Evan wraps up with THE MAN IN THE WALL (at 42:48), an Israeli thriller that keeps you guessing with its tale of a missing husband and a wife who might have something to do with his disappearance. He eagerly plugs its screening at the Somerville Theatre on July 12 by the Boston Jewish Film Festival and recommends checking it out on Netflix streaming.