ONLY THE BRAVE, BIG MOUTH, and THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE on Episode #171

"Supe" Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) berates Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller) during training in Prescott National Forest in Columbia Pictures' ONLY THE BRAVE, THE TRUE STORY OF THE GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOTS.

Josh Brolin berates a seemingly eyebrowless Miles Teller in ONLY THE BRAVE.

This episode begins with epic tales of Dave’s film school smoking habits, which were quite epic. Then it’s on to the main event, where Kris tells of his recent Netflix adventures with BIG MOUTH (5:45), the new animated show featuring Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, and a host of guest stars. It cuts deep with the preadolescent awkwardness, but it’s worth your time. Next up is THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (11:35), an atmospheric, psychological horror film about two friends: one who is having a slow psychotic break where he can’t trust anything he sees or hears, and the other whose entire existence is a facade erected to protect is insecurity. It’s great, and Kris convinces Dave and Evan to see it right away. Last up is ONLY THE BRAVE (32:37) a true-ish story about the Granite Mountain Hotshots, whose heroism deserves a much more thoughtful, intelligent, and coherent movie than the one they got.

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IT, THE TRIP TO SPAIN, and GOOD BURGER on Episode #165

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in IT with a balloon near his head.

Bill Skarsgard is creepy AF as Pennywise in Andy Muschietti’s IT.

This week the guys marvel at technology’s ability to be accidentally stupid before they discuss movies. Kris starts off the show with a segment of “Keepin’ Up with the Jensons” where he describes his experience watching TWIN PEAKS (3:06), before he reviews GOOD BURGER (7:46), a super 90s movie starring Kenan (Thompson) and Kel (Mitchell), he found charming, funny, and very inoffensive. Next, Dave reviews THE TRIP TO SPAIN (19:50), the third installment in Michael Winterbottom’s travel-themed series, which has a lot fewer impressions and very confusing ending. Then the guys arrive at their main event, IT (30:05), the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel that’s creative and creepy with a great cast and special effects, even if it does have some flaws. Stay tuned after the credits for a bonus conversation from this week.

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GET OUT, Psycho Stalker Weekend, and “Keepin’ Up with the Jensons” on Episode #137

David Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's fantastic directorial debut GET OUT.

David Kaluuya is hypnotized in Jordan Peele’s fantastic directorial debut GET OUT.

This week Evan learns the meaning of the term “hippie lettuce” and the results are mind blowing, well to him anyway. Kris opens with a segment of “Keepin’ up with the Jensons” (at 4:40) where he talks about how great the performances in FENCES are and why he didn’t mind the Google Earth portions in LION as much as other people. Next, Evan shares his psycho stalker weekend. No he didn’t stalk anyone. He just watched THE BOY NEXT DOOR, FATAL ATTRACTION, and SINGLE WHITE FEMALE within two days and dug them all for their unhinged villains and insane plot twists. Lastly, the guys review the horror film GET OUT (at 30:38), Jordan Peele’s tremendous directorial debut, which they all had the privilege of seeing. They have so much fun spoilerpiecing their screening’s engaged audience, the sense of terrifying dread that Peele creates, and all of the subtle foreshadowing Peele lays down for the frightening events that follow, that they end up running a little longer than usual.

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GOLD, 2017 Oscar Nominations, and Dede Crimmins on Episode #133

Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez in GOLD

Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez bromancing in GOLD

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Baby Henry is under the weather, prompting Dave to quarantine himself – so guest Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week to talk about the ‘90s and lots of film-related topics. Dede fills the guys in on her latest adventures, which include recording a DVD commentary, and participating on panels at the Arisia science fiction convention. Following some philosophical discussion about horror, Dede shares three movies to look out for this year (at 13:00): RAW, THE BAD BATCH, and COLOSSAL. After that, she and the guys discuss the 2017 Oscar nominations (at 21:52), revealing surprises and disappointments in the major categories. Finally, all three of them review this week’s new release GOLD (at 33:50), the Matthew McConaughey gold prospecting movie that Kris describes as AMERICAN HUSTLE on NyQuil. Evan and Dede find it charming for McConaughey’s spirited performance as a balding, overweight, drunk, but they admit that they’ll probably forget it in a week.

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LIVE BY NIGHT, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, and THE BYE BYE MAN on Episode #131

Zoe Saldana and Ben Affleck in LIVE BY NIGHT

Zoe Saldana and Ben Affleck in the beautiful, but weird LIVE BY NIGHT

Strange things are afoot this week at Spoilerpiece Theatre, and we’ll just leave it at that. Kris leads off by reviewing THE BYE BYE MAN (at 3:48), a horror movie where the villain has no goal other than to mess with people until they die, so his dog can eat them. Just like with THE FOREST, Kris almost spoilerpieces Dave into wanting to see it, although thankfully Dave comes to his senses when he realizes how stupid it is. Evan follows with 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (at 26:48), a Mike Mills movie set in 1970s Santa Barbara with good bones, great camerawork, and charming performances, but annoying stream of consciousness storytelling like Mills’s film BEGINNERS. Then Kris and Dave wrap up with LIVE BY NIGHT (at 41:39), the Ben Affleck gangster picture where people do a lot of living by day. Sienna Miller blends in, Brendan Gleeson goes too soon, and Chris Messina is the only one who belongs in this story with lots of clothed sex and heavy involvement from the KKK. The guys reveal that it looks great despite being weird, even though they agree that you should probably live by not seeing it.

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HACKSAW RIDGE, The Boston Jewish Film Festival, and Coolidge Corner Horror Movie Marathon on Episode #121

Andrew Garfield in HACKSAW RIDGE

Andrew Garfield in HACKSAW RIDGE

On this week’s episode the guys ponder the strange variety of foods available in New York City diners before they dive into movies. Kris kicks everything off with his rundown of HACKSAW RIDGE (at 4:50), Mel Gibson’s World War II film about a conscientious objector who volunteers for military service. The first half has a delicate touch, while the second half is standard Mel Gibson, which Kris emphasizes with enthusiasm. Evan jumps in next to talk about The Boston Jewish Film Festival (at 26:57). He comments on four films playing there; two documentaries (DISTURBING THE PEACE and WOMEN IN SINK) and two narrative shorts (AND THEN, VIOLENCE, and JEWISH BLIND DATE). He discusses the things that each do well, and the reasons why they’re all worth watching. Dave and Kris close out by recapping the 16th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre (at 41:40). They share brief reactions to the films they saw there, which include SCREAM, SCREAM 2, THE FOG, THE HOWLING, CREEPSHOW, and GHOST STORY.

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JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, and 12 ANGRY MEN on Episode #119

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders do a lot of running in JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK

This week Kris is caught completely off-guard by Evan’s response to his Russian joke. Once Kris recovers from shock, he and Dave spoilerpiece JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK (at 5:12), which features Tom Cruise doing a lot of running and making a lot of phone calls. Its plot is rushed, and you can see everything coming, so the guys assure Evan that he didn’t miss much. Following tangents on END OF DAYS and as-seen-on-TV products, Evan reviews OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (at 34:42), the reason he wasn’t at JACK REACHER. Unfortunately he didn’t do much better since this horror flick is only 2/3 of a good movie. There is genuine tension, production value, and artful shots, but everything falls apart in the final act, when it rushes to a hasty and nonsensical conclusion. Lastly, Evan covers 12 ANGRY MEN (at 52:32), a movie he just got around to seeing. He praises Sidney Lumet’s picture for its narrow scope, superb acting, great dialogue, and fantastic blocking. The discussion then opens up to a larger one where the guys talk about other Lumet films they love.

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