Get ready for a singing animated kinkajou, a ragtag group of antiheroes blowing up a fake Latin American country, and a clueless American getting the crap kicked out of him in Greece! We start this week with Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords’s sweet but saccharine Netflix animated film VIVO (0:55), starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, and Gloria Estefan. Next, we discuss James Gunn’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD (15:36), not to be confused with that other awful DC movie about a task force of supervillains, starring an ensemble cast including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, and Viola Davis. Gunn’s adaptation is much better, but still has us split. And lastly we review Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s Netflix thriller BECKETT (37:11) starring John David Washington, which has some strong action, yet weak writing. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Sam Raimi’s 2009 horror film DRAG ME TO HELL!
Ed Helms and Patti Harrison are charming in TOGETHER TOGETHER
We start this week by covering films from Wicked Queer, Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival (1:46). Evan reviews the Israeli picture KISS ME KOSHER, and Megan offers quick takes on drama SEE YOU THEN, werewolf horror film BLOODTHIRSTY, and Taiwanese psychological thriller NINA WU. Then, we all discuss Christopher Smith’s horror film THE BANISHING (10:53), a disappointingly by-the-numbers haunted house story. Next, we talk about Ricky Staub’s moving Netflix Western coming-of-age tale CONCRETE COWBOY (26:08) starring Caleb McLaughlin and Idris Elba. We wrap up with Nikole Beckwith’s TOGETHER TOGETHER (42:29), a charming dramedy about platonic love and surrogacy starring Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review a patron’s choice, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz’s 1973 horror film MESSIAH OF EVIL.
This week, friend of the show (and the hosts!) Charlie Nash returns to the guest seat in Dave’s absence. The first review of the night is Evan and Charlie with MOLLY’S GAME, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. The famed writer of A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WEST WING, and THE SOCIAL NETWORK, known for his tight and layered dialogue, would have benefited from applying the same discipline to his camerawork and pacing, as a worthwhile story with good performances gets buried under its own weight (and penchant for mansplaining). Next up is Charlie with a captivating recap of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age tale love story starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. It boasts lush visuals and a deep exploration of discovering sides of ourselves we neither understand how to express nor contain. Wrapping things up is THE POST, Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece — yes, it really is — about the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. With a top-notch cast and a clear understanding of the stakes, it’s a must-see for history buffs or anyone who cares about valuing truth and accountability above comfort and stability.
Thoughtful hipster Vin Diesel in THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
The guys have something to say about BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II this week, but it’s not what you’d expect. Once they get that out of their system, Evan covers VICTORIA, which gets Dave speaking German and Franch, yes that’s right, Franch. After a brief tangent on ALIEN and confusion about who is in the movie 88 MINUTES, Evan talks about how VICTORIA takes a while to get going, becomes super tense, and then overstays its welcome. Then Dave jumps in to describe Idris Elba’s cockswagger in Cary Fukunaga’s BEASTS OF NO NATION, a good film also that overstays its welcome, on top of being heavy and horrifying. After that, Kris talks about THE LAST WITCH HUNTER’s magical dismemberment and why he loves Vin Diesel so much. Lastly, Dave stars in a new segment called Riedel’s Recaps, where he offers counterpoints to Kris and Evan’s previous reviews of STEVE JOBS and DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD.
“I don’t give a crap about your opinion, Tris. Just be glad I’m not grabbing you by the wrist again.”
“He marries her vindictively? Let’s analyze that statement.” In what kind of film does someone get married vindictively? In a film like THE GUNMAN (or in this case, specifically THE GUNMAN). Kris hated it so much he could barely get through spoilerpiecing it for Dave and Evan. They didn’t do much better with INSURGENT; Evan liked it. Dave didn’t. It’s YA action, adventure, and romance at its most bland (that’s what Dave thinks, anyway). And Kris touches briefly on Godard’s GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE. Tangents this week include reality TV shows that we wish existed so we could watch them; old-guy-killin’ movies; Dave’s dislike of Ray Winstone performances; the old, fat villain in COMMANDO; and we break down what Kris means when he says, “Sean Penn has made movies before?”