It’s our 400th episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre, so we’ve cooked up something extra special for you, Spoilerpeeps! After some thank yous and very special announcements (hello Spoilerpiece merch), original Spoilerpiece co-host Kris Jenson stops by (16:00) to talk about Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 Western, HIGH NOON from the AFI Top 100 list! Then we have previous guests and friends of the show stop by to talk about spoilers in some of their favorite films. We chat with Max Covill from It’s the Pictures (49:03), Andy Crump (56:32), Dede Crimmins (65:48), Charlie Nash from Almost Major (1:12:31), J.C. from Screen Fix (1:21:24), Kristen Halbert (1:34:44), and The Lady-Wan from ScreenRun (1:49:15). And if that wasn’t enough, this week’s Patreon bonus audio, where we talk about Robin Hardy’s 1973 horror film THE WICKER MAN is available for everyone to hear!
Frequent guest Charlie Nash stops by this week to fill in for Megan. He offers a quick plug for his new podcast, Almost Major, before he reviews Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of WEST SIDE STORY (6:09), which despite his admitted bias against a particular actor in it, offers great spectacle and inspired tweaks to the original story. Next, we all discuss Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER (16:30), an intense tale about trauma and guilt starring Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe. After that we delve into Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI (39:28), a movie about wealth and manipulation that we have polarized reactions to. One thing we do agree on: Lady Gaga is great in it. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about a Patron’s request, Ted Demme’s 1994 dark Christmas comedy, THE REF, starring Denis Leary!
Dave is still on vacation so friend of the show Charlie Nash fills in for him this week. First, Megan reviews THE PHOTOGRAPH (3:43), a delightful romance that celebrates black lives. Then she and Charlie delve into THE ASSISTANT (13:57), a timely, anger-inducing movie about a day in the life of a harassed Hollywood assistant. Lastly, everyone talks about THE INVISIBLE MAN (33:48), a horrifying film with a gripping lead performance that’s incredibly triggering for the way it sensationalizes abuse.
Kris out on his mini-moon this week so guest Charlie Nash joins Dave and Evan to share his results for the meme “Your Gender Studies Thesis.” After they each get a good chuckle sharing the titles of their fictional papers, Evan reviews TALL GIRL (6:57), a Netflix movie about vertically advantaged high schooler that barely scratches the emotional surface of its main character’s life. Then Dave and Evan recount their experience watching RAÚL JULIÁ: THE WORLD’S A STAGE (18:18), a PBS documentary about the late actor that celebrates his talent, his authenticity, and his inspirational status to Latinx performers everywhere. Next Charlie and Dave delve into HER SMELL (28:50), Alex Ross Perry drama starring Elisabeth Moss that explores the life of a rock star in the throes of addiction. Lastly, Evan and Dave cover LATE NIGHT (44:20), the Mindy Kaling comedy that’s funny and poignant without being preachy.
Friend of the show Charlie Nash returns to Spoilerpiece! This week kicks off with the highs, lows, and low-lows of this year’s Oscars (1:39). The show benefited from no host and some deserving folks got some trophies, but unfortunately ended with the worst Best Picture winner in at least a decade. Then, Charlie takes us through CLIMAX (22:15), a true spectacle from Gaspar Noé. It’s everything you expect from the French boundary-pusher, condensed into his most compelling — and least forgiving — experiment yet. The gang wraps things up with GRETA (31:20), a campy, trashy good time from Neil Jordan starring the immortal Isabelle Huppert.
Dave is on vacation, so Charlie Nash joins Evan and Kris to discuss Ed Sheeran’s distracting GAME OF THRONES cameo before they dig into this week’s movies. Before they get into any new ones, Kris shares his most recent experience with ALTERED STATES (4:25), and his invigorating trip to a sensory deprivation chamber that inspired his viewing. Then Charlie and Evan cover GIRLS TRIP (14:23), a comedy that’s way funnier and raunchier than they expected, with many scene-stealing moments by Tiffany Haddish. After that, Kris and Charlie attempt to review VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (28:26), a colorful Luc Besson sci-fi film that’s bloated, convoluted, and predictable despite its endearing silliness. Finally, all of them tackle Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK (48:55), a World War II film that blew them away with its massive scale, pulse-pounding score, and breakneck pacing.
It’s been a rough year, but 2016 has finally come to a close, and not a moment too soon given all of the beloved celebrities who have left us! Unfortunately neither Dave nor Kris could make it for this week’s episode, so special guest stars Charlie Nash and Sean Burns join Evan to put the year to bed. They join forces to tear PATRIOTS DAY a new one (at 4:39). All three of them delve into the reasons this Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg vehicle about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing is insulting to Bostonians — like Walhberg’s made up character, its exploitative shots of grisly carnage, its selective focus on victims, and its hard-on for authoritarianism. Not surprisingly, there is an overlap between that segment and the next one, where the guys discuss the Worst Movies of 2016 (at 33:54). Several films come up that have been mentioned on the show before, although the most spirited debate occurs between Charlie and Sean over ARRIVAL and CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, which make them feel very emotions.
This week Evan and Kris explain what “Rick Rolling” is to Charlie Nash, who is filling in for Dave. Then all three of them speculate why they think INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (at 5:28) wasn’t screened for the press before its release. After some discussion about Jeff Goldblum, SAN ANDREAS, and Roland Emmerich disaster movies like 2012, they jump into this week’s films. First up is Nicolas Winding Refn’s THE NEON DEMON (at 13:44), a sick, twisted picture that the guys love, even though it’s fucked up and vile in every sense of the word. Their conversation about a particularly jarring scene involving a dead body allows for a convenient transition into Charlie’s take on SWISS ARMY MAN (at 50:22), a movie where Paul Dano learns to survive on a desert island with Daniel Radcliffe’s farting corpse. Charlie admits that it feels very Sundancey for its story about a nerdy guy trying to get back to a girl, but he is surprised by how much he likes it. Finally, he wraps up with his quick thoughts on MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (at 58:32), which is playing in Boston at the Brattle Theatre. Charlie shares why it’s one of his top five westerns of all time, and why Robert Altman’s film immerses you in a world that feels lived in.
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.
This week Charlie Nash makes his second Spoilerpiece appearance to share his experiences at the Coolidge Corner Halloween Horror Movie Marathon and the New York Film Festival with Evan and Kris. At the 12-hour movie marathon, which he dubs “a cinephile’s wet dream,” Charlie saw horror films that stimulated his overactive imagination like HALLOWEEN, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, THE CHANGELING, and THE HITCHER. Also, at the New York Film Festival he watched CAROL and SON OF SAUL, two important movies that he breaks down. Charlie and Kris then take on SPECTRE, the James Bond picture that Kris dubs “more of a postscript than an epilogue” to Daniel Craig’s entries in the franchise. It’s overly long, self-congratulatory, and worst of all—it has a shitty theme song. Thankfully all three of the guys saw SPOTLIGHT, a tremendous film that chronicles the Boston Globe’s report that exposed sexual scandal in the Catholic Church. Not only is it a better Boston movie than BLACK MASS, but SPOTLIGHT is elegant, subtle, and gripping based on its story and the performances by its leads.