RAMPAGE, TRUTH OR DARE (HORROR!), LEAN ON PETE and rapid-fire recaps of THE DEATH OF STALIN, CREEP 2, and HAPPY DEATH DAY on Episode #196

Dwayne Johnson with the giant ape George in RAMPAGE.

Dwayne Johnson stars in RAMPAGE, a ridiculous video game movie that plays things straight.

This week’s episode begins with another installment of Keepin’ Up with the Jensons (2:43), in which Kris dives into his cinematic weekend with three very different movies that he recommends nonetheless: THE DEATH OF STALIN, CREEP 2, and HAPPY DEATH DAY. Then it’s Dave with LEAN ON PETE (16:51), a very well made sad-animal-sad-people saga about a runaway teen with nothing but his horse. Then it’s back to Kris with RAMPAGE (27:40), another movie about the bond between beast and man, this time between a monster gorilla and The Rock as they battle obstinate military men, evil corporations, and the other monsters they produced. It’s as good as this movie can conceivably be, and really, what else can you ask for? Closing out this episode is TRUTH OR DARE (43:20), yet another risky endeavor from Blumhouse that capitalizes on a clever story and terrific cast to make its flaws of secondary concern so the audience can just focus on having a good time.

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A QUIET PLACE (HORROR!), FINDING YOUR FEET, and THE INSULT on Episode #195

Emily Blunt hiding in a bathtub in A Quiet Place.

Emily Blunt seeks shelter in a bathtub to avoid the frightening monsters in A QUIET PLACE.

On this week’s show, three good movies with nary a stinker among them! First up is Dave with FINDING YOUR FEET (3:31), a totally predictable, utterly cliche English comedy-drama that will nonetheless reel you in with its sincerity. Next up, Dave and Kris dig into THE INSULT (19:26), this year’s Best Picture nominee from Lebanon, a film in which a minor dispute between a Christian mechanic and a Palestinian engineer in Beirut threatens to reopen wounds of the Civil War. It boasts phenomenal performances and a raw emotional core that carry it past some conventional narrative choices. Last up is A QUIET PLACE (37:58), John Krasinski’s new horror film in which a family’s only hope of survival is to remain completely silent among monsters who hunt by sound. It’s tense from the very first moments, genuinely inventive with its premise, and utterly gripping.

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PACIFIC RIM UPRISING and UNSANE with a smidgen of Boston Underground Film Festival preview Episode #193!

A robot from Pacific Rim Uprising.

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING swaps Idris Elba for John Boyega and Guillermo del Toro for Steven S. DeKnight. The results are so-so.

Hey gang! It’s a big week on Spoilerpiece! Before our awesome theme music kicks in, Evan, Kris, and Dave have a big announcement about the new Spoilerpiece Patreon! (Cue music?) But before launching into this week’s flicks, Dave asks that you please please PRETTY GODDAMN PLEASE go to his Twitter page and vote for “Chronological Coens” or “Chronological Cronenberg” (3:37). And yes, that means he’ll watch the Coen brothers’ movies from BLOOD SIMPLE to HAIL CAESAR! or STEREO to MAPS OF THE STARS, depending on which you choose, dear listeners. Poll closes at roughly 5 p.m. ET Friday, March 23, 2018. As for the big movies this week, it’s Steven Soderbergh’s UNSANE (9:38), which Kris and Dave more or less agree on with one important difference. Then everyone talks PACIFIC RIM UPRISING (35:03), the next chapter in the PACIFIC RIM series. Plus, Kris and Evan talk a little bit about the upcoming Boston Underground Film Festival (31:06)! Stay tuned after the closing music for (very) brief silliness.

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TOMB RAIDER, VERONICA (HORROR!), and 7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE on Episode #192

Alicia Vikander poised to fire an arrow in TOMB RAIDER.

Alicia Vikander is great, but TOMB RAIDER is not.

Hello from snowy Boston, MA! This week’s show begins with the very solid VERONICA (3:40), a horror movie from Paco Plaza, director of REC. It’s on Netflix now and people are buzzing about its atmosphere and terrifying set pieces. They’re mostly right, according to Kris, except that the scares stop halfway through once you become invested in the story in its own right. Next up, Dave saw 7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE (21:54), a new thriller based on a true story involving Israel, Uganda, and a hijacked plane. Despite a few interesting side characters, there’s nothing keeping ENTEBBE in the air. Last up is TOMB RAIDER (33:08), starring Alicia Vikander in the role of Lara Croft. She’s great, as are other members of the cast, but the movie around her is not for its go-nowhere plot, strange self-contradictions, and pointlessly preposterous twist.

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RED SPARROW, MUTE, and ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. on Episode #190

Jennifer Lawrence wearing red in RED SPARROW.

J-Law looking like Dave and Kris felt after seeing her latest movie RED SPARROW.

After some discussion of weather, moods, and major singing in the cold open, the guys get down to tha movies. ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is the focus of this week’s installment of “Keeping Up with the Jensons” (3:59). (Kris is trying to see all the Oscar nominees before Academy Awards ceremony.) Then Evan regales everyone with his breakdown of MUTE (12:39), Duncan Jones’ new weirdo flick starring Alexander Skarsgård as a mute guy trying to find his girlfriend. Note: Paul Rudd is the heavy in this one. Lastly, Kris and Dave talk about RED SPARROW (27:30), the new Jennifer Lawrence/Francis Lawrence collaboration with an ending you should see coming, but the preview audience was totes surprised.

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GAME NIGHT, THE LEISURE SEEKER, LOVING VINCENT, THE BOSS BABY, and PACIFIC HEIGHTS on Episode #189

JASON BATEMAN as Max and RACHEL McADAMS as Annie lay in the middle of the street in GAME NIGHT.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams take cover in the surprising action comedy GAME NIGHT.

Hello there! On this week’s episode, Evan and Dave run us through quintessential early ’90s psycho stalker flick PACIFIC HEIGHTS (5:04) that lets Keaton be Keaton. Next up, Dave unleashes his disdain for the pointless and needlessly infuriating THE LEISURE SEEKER (17:19), which thankfully no one is going to see anyway. Then it’s on to Kris, who watched two films nominated for Best Animated Feature, THE BOSS BABY (24:41) and LOVING VINCENT (30:48). He hated one and tolerated the other. Guess which is which — then flip that guess, and that’s the correct answer. Last up is the main event, GAME NIGHT (33:55), which has massively undersold just how funny and exciting it is through awful, horrendous trailers. It’s the rarest of all movies: an action-thriller-comedy where all three components work!

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Episode #186: “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero,” “Private Benjamin,” and “The Last of the Mohicans”

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After wondering what kind of person show up to a movie 15 minutes late, the guys get into an oldie-but-goodie kinda week on Spoilerpiece. Evan breaks down PRIVATE BENJAMIN (3:25), a funny feminist-ish Army-ish comedy starring Goldie Hawn as a woman who joins up because she really doesn’t have anything else to do. Then Dave gets into THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (13:27), the Michael Mann-directed Daniel Day-Lewis-starring French and Indian War epic. Technically, BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO (23:27) is new to the United States, but it’s been out overseas quite a while. Kris and Evan discuss its flaws (many) and virtues (also many), and how it features stories outside the normal American purview.

Check out this week’s episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre!

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