THE TRIP TO GREECE, THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF, and MILITARY WIVES on Episode #306

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan at a restaurant table by the water talking to each other in the film The Trip to Greece

This week is Cerealpiece Theatre before we talk about movies! First up is MILITARY WIVES (5:15), a cozy yet predictable film about sparring military spouses (Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan) trying to manage a choir when their husbands are deployed. Next is THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF (18:47), a moving documentary about a painter and a thief’s fascinating relationship. Then, it’s THE TRIP TO GREECE (38:40), the funny but somber final film in The TRIP series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. On our Patreon bonus episode we discuss the winner of our tearjerker poll: DEAD POETS SOCIETY.

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JOKER, 5B, and selections from the Boston Women’s Film Festival with new co-host Megan Kearns Episode #273!

Joaquin Phoenix in the movie Joker wearing his makeup in a suit pondering something in an elevator
JOKER may be a dud, but Joaquin Phoenix’s performance definitely isn’t.

It’s a new era of Spoilerpiece Theatre as new co-host Megan Kearns joins Evan and Dave! Megan kicks things off this week, talking about five films from the BOSTON WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL (5:15): PARADISE HILLS, THE AWAKENING OF THE ANTS, ENDZEIT, GOOD POSTURE, and FAST COLOR. (Of note: There are John Candy, Kevin Bacon, DEAD SNOW, and LAST OF US tangents. That’s right! Tangents return!) Evan talks about the Paul Haggis-Dan Krauss documentary 5B (34:05), and then Evan and Dave team up to talk about JOKER (40:55), the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker origin story. Be sure to check out our Patreon page where we talk about some psycho stalker movies!

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THE LION KING, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, and FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY Episode #262

A male lion standing on a hilltop majestically with a lion cub in the 2019 movie The Lion King
It’s time to find out what happens when animals stop being nice and start being photo-real

This week Spoilerpiece celebrates 5 years of existence! Yay! And of course because it’s a special occasion, the guys hit some technical difficulties, which forced them to re-record the episode. Fortunately they don’t let it get in the way of a good time. Kris is up first to review THE LION KING (3:21), which he describes as more of a reenactment than a remake, mimicking jokes and set pieces without contributing anything new. Then Evan fills him in on FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (19:20), a funny and charming movie directed by Stephen Merchant about a young British wrestler (Florence Pugh) trying to hack it in the WWE. Then Dave drops in remotely to cover THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING (30:55), a limited release documentary about gender discrimination in the film industry, that hits hard with statistics and interviews featuring just about every important woman in Hollywood (seriously, see it on July 22).

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TOY STORY 4, ALL THAT WE DESTROY, ECHO IN THE CANYON, and WAR AND PEACE on Episode #258

Woody and Forky being held by an adult in TOY STORY 4
Toy or trash? Who would have thought this would be a central question in TOY STORY 4?

This week’s episode starts with Evan recapping ALL THAT WE DESTROY (3:48), the latest entry in Bumhouse’s INTO THE DARK anthology series. There have been some highs and lows in the series, but this one is unfortunately one of the lowest. Then it’s Dave with ECHO IN THE CANYON (13:41), a fun and informative look at the origins of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960s with interviews conducted by Jakob Dylan. Then it’s Kris with his experience marathoning WAR AND PEACE (19:54) at the Brattle where he says “big” and “massive” a lot. The episode wraps up with TOY STORY 4 (37:30), which is way more fun, tearjerking, and overall effective than anyone might have expected.

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BONUS: Sam Jones and Lisa Downs talk about LIFE AFTER FLASH

The poster for the documentary Life After Flash with a stylized image of Sam Jones in black and white with half his face in shadow.
The documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH played at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival.

In this very special bonus episode, Evan talks with Flash Gordon star Sam Jones and filmmaker Lisa Downs about their documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH, which opened the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. His conversation with Sam about the highs and lows of his career covers a range of topics including the value of forgiveness, what it was like opening himself up on camera, and even his preferred ways to workout. Next, his chat with Lisa covers how she met Sam and decided to do the documentary, the things she learned working on a feature-length doc, and how she snagged her memorable interview with Queen member Brian May. 

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MORTAL ENGINES, MONSTERS AND MEN, INCREDIBLES 2, BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY, SUPPORT THE GIRLS and a Riedel’s Recap on Episode #231

Hera Hilmar wearing a red scarf for a mask and looking intently in front of some stairs and machinery in the movie Mortal Engines
Hera Hilmar stars in MORTAL ENGINES.

Lots to cover on this week’s show as award season races toward the finish line for BOFCA! First up, we hear from Dave who calls in with his thoughts on BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (2:00). Then Kris makes a hard case for SUPPORT THE GIRLS (8:25), which was a hit on the festival circuit but ought to be way more widely seen. Evan then walks us through MONSTERS AND MEN (19:07), a pretty good take on a story that has nonetheless been covered in more interesting and absorbing ways by other films this year. Kris saw BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY (28:56), a delightful story about one of the oddest phenomena in American entertainment: the industrial musical. Evan saw INCREDIBLES 2 (35:23) — surprise surprise, it’s good — and Kris wraps things up with MORTAL ENGINES (41:57) — surprise surprise, it’s not.

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Boston Jewish Film Festival & RIDM roundups, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, ROMA, and THE FRONT RUNNER on Episode #227

A scene from LOST WARRIOR a documentary that played at RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival)

This week, Kris kicks things off with his recent rewatch of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (5:03) directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s wacky and well worth your eyeballs. Meanwhile, Evan’s been busy! He recaps some highlights from the Boston Jewish Film Festival (13:47), everything from documentaries to found footage horror flicks. Then it’s back to Kris for ROMA (22:30) from Alfonso Cuarón, his best film in years. See it in theaters if you can, Netflix if you must. Then Evan runs us through his favorites from RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival) (32:36), highlighting a trilogy focusing on the judicial system in Brazil. Kris closes out the show with THE FRONT RUNNER (46:10), which has a couple of interesting ideas buried way too deep beneath intolerable self-satisfaction.

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WIDOWS, BOY ERASED, PRIVATE LIFE, and more with special guest Megan Kearns on Episode #226

Viola Davis stands in a trenchcoat holding a Post-it note, while Cynthia Erivo stands leaning against a punching bag in workout clothes in the Steve McQueen film Widows

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo are incredible in Steve McQueen’s heist film WIDOWS

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).

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Mini Episode: 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival Preview with Ariana Cohen-Halberstam

A black and white still of a woman looking at a man in an old Bollywood movie from the documentary Shalom Bollywood

A still from SHALOM BOLLYWOOD a documentary playing at the 2018 Boston Jewish Film Festival

In this special mini episode Evan talks with Boston Jewish Film Festival (now Boston Jewish Film) Artistic Director Ariana Cohen-Halberstam about the festival’s exciting plans for this year (its 30th). Ariana teases their Israeli film festival coming in 2019, as well as their Israeli TV show binge at the festival, which features SHABABNIKIM, SLEEPING BEARS, and YOUR HONOR. She also promotes notable films paired with performances like SHALOM BOLLYWOOD, SATAN & ADAM, and SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I GOTTA BE ME. Be sure to check out the festival, which runs November 7 – November 19. Learn more at http://www.bostonjfilm.org/.

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THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS and A PRIVATE WAR on Episode #225

Tim Blake Nelson on a horse wearing white playing a guitar and singing in front of a picturesque landscape in the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Kris was so enthralled by THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS that he could barely Spoilerpiece it

This week Kris proposes a new tactic for disposing of excess Halloween candy that involves a door-to-door Australian accent. Dave is still on paternity leave so Kris and Evan ride duo for this episode, but they keep a chair open in Dave’s honor. Before they get into the movies, Evan gives his quick impressions of the 80s musical ROCK OF AGES (4:34), discussing differences between the current tour and the 2012 film. Then Kris reviews THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (8:31), the miniseries turned anthology film by the Coen Brothers, which lets you know that everything is on the table with its funny, violent, and tragic short stories. Kris is so captivated by them that he barely even spoils them, encouraging you to take everything in for yourself in theaters or when the film hits Netflix soon. After that both Kris and Evan cover A PRIVATE WAR (26:46), a compelling drama about real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin played by the incredible Rosamund Pike. The film directed by documentarian Matthew Heineman makes a compelling case for the value of journalism by embedding you with Colvin and exploring the impact of PTSD on journalists like her who report on the horrors of war.

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