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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ARRIVAL, LOVING, MOONLIGHT, and THE ORIGIN OF VIOLENCE on Episode #122

Alex R. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in MOONLIGHT.

Alex R. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in MOONLIGHT.

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.

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