Merry Christmas, Spoilerpeeps! This week we start off by discussing David Fincher’s Netflix film MANK (3:18), which tells the story of how screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) wrote CITIZEN KANE. Then it’s onward to SOUL (14:37), Pixar’s latest movie about a jazz musician (Jamie Foxx) who must help an infant soul (Tina Fey) learn about herself. Next, we discuss Eugene Ashe’s period romance SYLVIE’S LOVE (27:59), which stars Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. We close with WONDER WOMAN 1984 (41:43), Patty Jenkins’s 1980s-based sequel to 2017’s WONDER WOMAN, starring Gal Gadot as the iconic superhero and co-starring Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Chris Pine. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss the winner of our December poll: Brian Henson’s 1992 film THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL!
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.
Oprah the All-Powerful is fantastic in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME.
Things are a bit different this week at Spoilerpiece as technical glitches force us to employ some improvised recording methods, so please excuse any changes in pacing/audio quality! Dave couldn’t be here, so Evan and Kris are joined by special guest critic Kristen Halbert of Forces of Geek, who describes some rather unique experiences at Comic-Con. Kris fell short of his goal to watch everything nominated for an Oscar in every category — 51 out of 59 films — and gives his thoughts on some of the categories he felt were a bit off (5:23). Then it’s on to the main event, A WRINKLE IN TIME (14:02), Ava DuVernay’s valiant and heartfelt attempt to adapt the unadaptable and beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle. All three hosts were touched in some way, and though it occasionally suffers from odd pacing and other issues, it can be quite dazzling and powerful when it works. A definite see!
Ben Foster and Chris Pine are smarter than they look here in HELL OR HIGH WATER.
On this week’s episode a Fine Young Cannibals karaoke session somehow turns into a Weezer takedown, but one fan isn’t having it. Dave leads off with WOULD YOU RATHER (at 3:31), a horror movie that’s bad, although not bad enough to be super entertaining. At least it has interesting casting, and Jeffrey Combs chowing down on the scenery. After that, Evan talks about the crime drama HELL OR HIGH WATER (at 26:32), which is about brothers played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster, who rob banks to save their family’s home. His rousing description of its tense action, thorough character development, and smart bank-robbing plan spoilerpiece Dave and Kris into really wanting to see it. Lastly, Kris and Evan conclude with PETE’S DRAGON (at 48:20), a cute remake that’s touching, but the good kind of touching. Despite its dead parent motif, they spoilerpiece Dave into wanting to see the film with their recap of the dragon’s expressiveness, the antagonist’s depth, and its overall statement about unconventional families.
The late Anton Yelchin and Zachary Quinto working together in STAR TREK BEYOND
A conversation about the trailer for XxX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE takes an entirely different turn once the guys start talking about other short videos they’d like to see with Vin Diesel. Then Kris leads off by reviewing STAR TREK BEYOND (at 4:29). Due to a last-minute screening, he is the only one who could see it, but he has good things to say about its story, its characters, and its action scenes between Dave and Evan’s jokes about “Captain’s Logs.” Following a quick Baby Henry story, Evan and Kris discuss ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE (at 28:52). They reveal why they enjoy the movie’s absurdist British humor even though they never really watched the show it’s based on. Finally, the guys arrive at the episode’s main event, where they dig into HEAVEN’S GATE (at 39:00), a film they’ve promised to take on for a while. They delve into detail about why it’s underwritten and overproduced, while still being an amazing spectacle to behold. Their commentary on its phenomenal technical feats and depressing themes add color to this expensive flop that ruined United Artists and marred the late Michael Cimino’s career.
Dave starts out by sharing good things about his new outlet, which makes his transition into Riedel’s Recaps quite easy. This time he offers his take on THE MARTIAN, which he really liked despite some miscasting and misacting. It also scored bonus points because it didn’t wake Baby Henry. After a tangent on INTERSTELLAR, Evan jumps in with his opinion about MOJAVE (pronounced MO-JAYVE according to Dave), a movie starring Garrett Hedlund (not Charlie Hunnam) and Oscar Isaac, where pretentious people talk about pretentious things. It’s a shitty movie that actually caused Evan to root against its asshole protagonist. Following tangents about THE DEPARTED, EX MACHINA, and STAR TREK IV, the guys discuss their thoughts on #OscarsSoWhite and the new changes the Academy is making to promote diversity (hint: they like them). Finally, Dave and Kris review THE FINEST HOURS, a B-movie with an A-budget, where only three things happen. Even though nothing happened, it was long enough to make Kris regret not peeing beforehand, so that was something.
“This is a crap movie but I’ll put my heart and soul into it because I’m Meryl Streep.”
Merry Christmas! Happy (belated) Hanukkah! And, DUDE: Dave goes OFF on an epic anti-musical rant before we even get to INTO THE WOODS. Plus, Kris takes ANNIE apart, and Evan was pulled in two directions by UNBROKEN. We make some Marky Mark jokes, and the ending is a little looser than normal, but that’s because we all wanted to get home for tha holidays. Hope you got everything you wanted this year, from world peace to THE INTERVIEW On Demand!
Happy Thanksgiving! Before you head off to the movie theater after turkey, check out the gang’s thoughts on HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, Tommy Lee Jones’ THE HOMESMAN, and the goofiness of PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR. Evan, Kris, and Dave all offer thoughts on the reasoning behind the latest HORRIBLE BOSSES debacle, there’s a lengthy debate over the merits of THE HOMESMAN, and the penguins? Well, penguins are cute, damn it!