This week we have but one film – it’s the January dead zone, after all – Guy Ritchie’s THE GENTLEMEN. Are the men gentlemanly? Are there twists and turns? Are there lots of rhymes and non-sequiturs? If you’ve seen any of Ritchie’s gangster pictures, you’ll know what you’re getting and how much you like it depends on how much you like Ritchie’s other London crime underworld movies. We had a lot of fun with this one, and in addition to THE GENTLEMEN, we talk about getting old, Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN series, Clark Kent and Superman, WINTER SOLDIER, and Dave feeling dumb in school.
This week, our friend Megan Kearns returns to the show! She kicks things off with PRIVATE LIFE (3:02), a frank and moving depiction of a couple’s attempts to conceive. Next is Evan with LIFE WITHOUT BASKETBALL (7:37), a documentary about a Muslim American woman who faces discriminatory rules regarding dress, preventing her from advancing her basketball career. Then, Kris runs us through SALEM’S LOT (11:31), the classic spooky miniseries based on the Stephen King story, as well as Orson Welles’s THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (15:33), a film forty years in the making. It’s a true masterpiece, argues Kris, and you should all see it on Netflix now. Then, Kris and Evan look at BOY ERASED (21:48), Joel Edgerton’s film about gay conversion therapy, with some good qualities but an unfortunate amount of overlap with THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Last up, all three get less and less enthusiastic about Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS (40:11).
On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are still in the process of recovering from various plagues (Apologies for the occasional coughing!), but that doesn’t slow them down from getting to the bottom of this week’s releases. First up is Kris with an installment of Keepin’ Up with the Jensons, revisiting THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (4:50). Rather than rehash the plot, Kris ponders the point of it all, with some unsatisfying conclusions. Next up, Evan walks through ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. (9:24), the new film from NIGHTCRAWLER director Dan Gilroy featuring Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. It’s not necessarily a bad film and it boasts some fine performances, but it ultimately suffers from a terminal case of not having a firm grasp on its own point, leading to an uneven tone and baffling plot twists. Last up is Dave and Kris with COCO (30:09), the new Pixar film guaranteed to make you cry. It’s a delight to behold that is gorgeous and heartfelt despite some issues of predictability, and is a welcome addition to the Pixar tradition of finding worthwhile, emotional stories in just about anything.
This week starts with Dave’s recap of the all-night Halloween Marathon at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre (2:30) featuring some of the best in classic zombie flicks. Next up, Kris recounts his spooky double feature, LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH and MESSIAH OF EVIL (16:09), both of which are great slices in 1970s weirdness. Dave runs us through THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (28:32) and does not buy into the hype. Dave and Evan team up for LBJ (34:39), the latest take on the president with a complicated legacy. Last up, all three talk about the surprisingly delightful THOR: RAGNAROK (44:37) from Taika Waititi.
Before the guys get to their movies, Kris shares a story about an unconventional spice that he accidentally added to a friend’s coffee at the start of this week’s episode. First, Dave covers IT’S US (6:00), a painful, awkward drama with Eliza Coupe that’s one of the strangest relationship movies he has ever seen. Next, Evan reviews THE BIG SICK (15:45), a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy with Kumail Nanjiani that’s funny, sweet, and offers poignant thoughts on familial relationships. After that Dave tackles Sofia Coppola’s THE BEGUILED (28:06), a remake of the 1971 Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood film, where one of the noticeable differences is that Colin Farrell is purposely Irish. To wrap up, all of the guys take on BABY DRIVER (42:40), the latest Edgar Wright action flick, which has a lot less driving than they expected, but some entertaining moments and performances none the less. And in case you’re wondering, here are the links to the animation for Dave’s Ray Winstone reading “Are You My Mother” and Evan’s interview with Kumail Nanjiani.
This week Kris reveals an ad campaign that makes him irrationally angry. Then it’s onward to four movies! Dave finally watched TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINY (at 4:11), so he’s nervous to talk about with two “D-heads” like Kris and Evan. He shares why it’s objectively not great, while also digging into the parts of it that are fuckin’ hilarious. Evan delivers on a promise as well, by reviewing NEW JACK CITY (at 23:24), which he LOVES for its energy and the way its action scenes are shot. He admits that it’s heavy handed with its messaging and inconsistent in tone, however he lauds it for its important social commentary on race and class. After that Kris jumps in to spoilerpiece THE LOBSTER (at 41:04), which he wasn’t expecting to take him for such a ride. It’s framed, paced, and costumed like an awkward Sundance comedy riffing on Wes Anderson, yet more brutal than unrelenting horror movies. Lastly, Evan concludes with POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING (at 52:25). This movie by The Lonely Island is mostly “eh” with a few jokes that hit and a lot of jokes that miss. Plus, in the realm of showbiz mockumentaries it doesn’t really have anything new to say.