On this week’s episode, the guys stumble onto a question for actor Ken Marino that they never knew they had, while discussing DVD menus. After briefly reviving their time-honored hey-o gag during some pre-show shenanigans, they delve into the week’s movies. First, Kris briefly shares the adrenaline rush he felt watching John Woo’s FACE/OFF (at 5:51) with a very appreciative crowd on the big screen following a Nicolas Cage-themed burlesque show. Next, Dave describes the documentary RISK (at 12:05), which fortunately isn’t from the people who brought you BATTLESHIP. Instead it’s a sparsely narrated chronicle about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with more lawyers on screen than you can count. Lastly, Evan and Kris review the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy SNATCHED (at 32:04), an uneven film that pulls back in strange places and doubles down in what the heck ways. As a special treat, stay tuned after the closing for a mini sing along the guys had when they got on the mic this week.
Kris is on a tight deadline and can’t make it this week, so Movie Bob Chipman joins Evan and Dave to discuss logistical questions about day to day operations of the Death Star. Bob shares insights into one of his upcoming videos before being their guest, i.e. reviewing BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (at 6:08). After some tangents about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and other live action Disney adaptations, Bob describes why BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a tribute to itself; a fine, blow by blow remake of the animated movie. Next, all three of them discuss the Oscar-winning documentary O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (at 22:24), by revealing how it provides deep context into O.J.’s successful athletic career and his abusive past, which leads the guys to ruminate on other celebrities with abusive histories. Finally, Evan and Dave tackle PERSONAL SHOPPER (at 42:26), an Olivier Assayas/Kristen Stewart film that’s oozing with esoteric weirdness and needlessly confusing plot points. Fear not, the show isn’t entirely without Kris! Stay tuned after the closing credits for a brief message from him.
At the show’s outset, the guys wonder what a wiki site run by Kris would be like, before they dive into this week’s movies. First, Kris regales Dave and Evan with his thoughts on the cinematic implications of the Chinese/American collaboration THE GREAT WALL (at 3:06), an action film with Matt Damon in a non-white savior role that has great creature design, but ultimately is really dumb. Then Evan spoilerpieces FIST FIGHT (at 26:43), a completely nonsensical, failure of a comedy, that has bloopers funnier than its entire hour and a half runtime. Lastly, he and Dave explore I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (at 45:42), the Oscar-nominated documentary that describes what it’s like to be black in America through the words of author James Baldwin. The brilliant insights Baldwin reveals really resonate with them intellectually and emotionally, although the documentary’s dense content prompts them to recommend more than one viewing, to take in all of its poignant commentary.
We’ve got movies coming out the wazoo this week! First, Dave and Kris tackle the ambitious Harry Potter prequel FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (at 4:00), which tries to cram five movies into one. Much to their annoyance, only three of those five movies are good. Next, Dave explores NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (at 24:56), writer/director/fashion designer Tom Ford’s sophomore film. It has two stories about toxic masculinity that don’t add up to a whole movie, so during the review Kris develops a new segment called “Dr. Kris, Medicine Man,” where he shares how he’d fix the film. Following that segment, Dave offers his brief thoughts on the music documentaries OASIS: SUPERSONIC and RUSH: TIME STAND STILL, which only seem to be for diehard fans. Evan bats cleanup with three more movies from the Boston Jewish Film Festival (at 51:00): the mediocre crime thriller A GRAIN OF TRUTH, the emotionally compelling documentary FREEDOM TO MARRY, and the thought-provoking comedy doc THE LAST LAUGH.
In this very special episode, the guys welcome their first celebrity guest – actor Robert Davi! Mr. Davi miraculously heard last week’s episode, so he is anxious to talk with them about his elevator encounter with Dave, as well as other things he has going on, like his new documentary DAVI’S WAY. After chatting with Mr. Davi, the guys jump into this week’s films. Evan leads off with AMANDA KNOX (at 12:22), at Netflix documentary that proves police investigatory techniques are flawed all over the world. Next Dave talks all about THE GREASY STRANGLER (at 20:34), one of the least pleasant experiences he has ever had watching a movie. Then Kris and Dave explore THE BIRTH OF A NATION (at 32:36), a loaded movie with a lot of issues worthy of discussion, including the director’s past. Finally, Evan and Dave close with THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (at 58:10), a mediocre thriller that’s great for its central female characters and their performances, but disappointing for its narrow focus on baby-related-drama.
This week the guys get in on the game of using three fictional characters to describe themselves. Then Evan and Kris talk about the 70mm and Widescreen Festival at the Somerville Theatre (at 7:04), where they TRON and SLEEPING BEAUTY. While discussing how beautiful these films look, they each share new elements that they discovered by watching them on the big screen. After that, Dave provides a “Riedel’s Recap” of GREEN ROOM (at 15:56), which offers specific comparisons to Jeremy Saulnier’s previous movie BLUE RUIN. Next, Kris delivers a “Keeping up with the Jensons” about DEMON (at 21:32), where he offers a very different take on the picture than Evan. Dave transitions into THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (at 29:57), a Ron Howard documentary that attempts to whitewash tensions between the band’s members. Finally, Kris and Evan close out with QUEEN OF KATWE (at 39:10), a Disney sports movie about chess, which is carried by good humor and cute kids learning about life.
This week Kris reveals what he would do if he had precognitive powers like Christopher Walken in THE DEAD ZONE. After that, he reviews DON’T BREATHE (at 3:28), a horror movie that he was really into for an hour until it disgusted him. Next, Evan explains the intellectually and emotionally engaging documentary THE WITNESS (at 27:21) opening at the Regent Theatre, which follows Kitty Genovese’s brother Bill on a decade long journey to investigate her murder. Then Dave lightens things up by spoilerpiecing MAN UP (at 36:06), a charming, if not great romantic comedy where Simon Pegg plays vulnerable and Lake Bell does a convincing British accent. Finally, Evan concludes with INDIGNATION, a 1950s drama that impressed him with its patient camerawork and pleasantly surprised him by going some unexpected places. His description provokes strong reactions from Dave and Kris, who want to see it, but are convinced they’ll either love it or hate it.