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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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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INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY and other stuff (Tarantino rumors, the TRUTH OR DARE trailer, yada yada) on Episode #182

Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

Insidious: The Last Key. Yes, this moment is super creepy.

After discussing the trailer for the upcoming TRUTH OR DARE and a rumored long-lost Clint Eastwood movie, Evan, Kris, and Dave get down to answering some questions posed by a listener about Quentin Tarantino and rumors of his possible attachment to a new STAR TREK movie (5:00). Then they answer more questions and Kris fills the guys in on his return to letterboxd.com (15:45). Finally, it’s off to the main event, the new Leigh Whannel-written INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (18:30), and what the hell it all means in the context of the INSIDIOUS series. Stay warm, New England.

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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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