It’s January, normally a moviegoing dead zone, but this week sees the wide releases of JUST MERCY (3:02), an anti-capital punishment picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, and Jamie Foxx. Yay for prestige flicks opening for the masses! Then it’s 1917 (22:53), the much-written-about Sam Mendes pseudo one-shot movie sort-of based on his grandfather’s experiences fighting for England in WWI. And please check out our Patreon! (patreon.com/spoilerpiece) The exclusive audio content this week is on the much-beloved ROBOCOP, which one of our Selectpiece patrons chose for us.
This week the guys wonder how the heck RoboCop ended up in a KFC commercial before they tackle the two movies on their docket. First, Kris and Evan review CAPTAIN MARVEL (4:35), the Brie Larson superhero flick that’s a pretty mixed bag. Really it’s no worse than any other mediocre Marvel movie, but they take the time to dissect the good things (like the chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson), as well as the bad things (like its heavy reliance on momentum-killing exposition). Next, Dave, joins in to cover LORDS OF CHAOS (28:57), an in-your-face film about the Norwegian black metal scene and the rise of the band Mayhem, which lived up to its name. That’s all for the regular show – but if you sign up to support us on our Patreon – you’ll also have the chance to hear exclusive audio of us discussing Evan’s double feature of THE FUGITIVE and U.S. MARSHALS, two very different entries in the same franchise.
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.
Are movie theaters a safe place for children to play? The guys weigh in with their thoughts on this week’s episode. Following their discussion, Dave offers his latest segment of “Riedel’s Recaps,” where he recounts the shocking, gruesome violence in LOGAN (at 4:27), and describes why he found the film to be a statement against hate. Following some tangents about their favorite comic book movies, and whether there are plot holes in DIE HARD, the guys arrive at the week’s main event, KONG: SKULL ISLAND (at 17:52). They share some serious laughs as they critique the film’s huge cast, its epic carnage, and its wide range of callbacks to other movies. They lament how confused it is about what type of picture it wants to be, however they celebrate its special effects, its long monster takes, and its perfect casting of John C. Reilly.
Unfortunately Dave can’t make it for a full show, but he is able to squeeze in a segment of “Riedel’s Recaps.” All is not lost though, since fan favorite Sean Burns fills in. He and Evan start out by talking YOUTH, a film that they don’t agree on. Evan hates how disjointed it is, while Sean digs how bonkers it is. Then they toss it over to Kris, who breaks down Spike Lee’s CHI-RAQ, which has a happy Wesley Snipes, a surprising John Cusack, and characters speaking in verse. It’s got a lot of super-Spike-Lee stuff that makes Sean super excited to see it. After that Evan and Sean tackle ROOM, another movie they can’t agree on. Sean isn’t a fan of its inconsistent style, but Evan thinks Brie Larson is fantastic and finds its escape scene riveting. Finally, Kris and Sean discuss LEGEND, a crime movie with Tom Hardy that has structure problems and brothers who seem like they’re from different planets. It all ends with tangents about Universal awards season screeners and drunk dialing. Stay tuned though until the very end for a sultry post-ending song surprise.