This week’s episode kicks off with, what else those effin’ Oscar nominations (2:17), recognizing outstanding achievement in male mediocrity. There are some deserving nominations — BLACK PANTHER, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, BLACKKKLANSMAN — but c’mon already. From there, Kris recaps STAN & OLLIE (11:55), a well-meaning film about Laurel and Hardy in the last year of their joint career. It has some great attributes but never gathers enough momentum to explore the more interesting or entertaining dimensions of its plot. Last up is DESTROYER (21:13), a meandering neo-noir that has some good things going for it but it could have done with a bit — or a lot — of streamlining.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga grin in A STAR IS BORN because they know how many Oscars they’ll be nominated for.
This week, we welcome our old friend Sam Cohen back on the show! Things kick off with two Crewinds: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (4:09) and CITIZEN KANE (7:23), both of which Evan saw on Filmstruck. If you have classic films that have been on your watchlist for years, FilmStruck is here to help (not a sponsored message, we just dig the service). Next up, Kris (pardon his scratchy post-illness voice) catches up with an old Soviet classic WALKING THE STREETS OF MOSCOW (12:30), a film by Georgiy Daneliya that brings the heart and soul of the French New Wave to 1960s Russia. Sam then talks BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (21:16), bad times that were unfortunately had by the audience as well. Kris gets everyone excited for A STAR IS BORN (31:41) which is going to win a whole bunch of Oscars and that’s okay. Evan then finishes things off with THE SISTERS BROTHERS (44:20), the latest stark, brutal Western about the lawlessness of the early American Frontier.
Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson looking puzzled in KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Are movie theaters a safe place for children to play? The guys weigh in with their thoughts on this week’s episode. Following their discussion, Dave offers his latest segment of “Riedel’s Recaps,” where he recounts the shocking, gruesome violence in LOGAN (at 4:27), and describes why he found the film to be a statement against hate. Following some tangents about their favorite comic book movies, and whether there are plot holes in DIE HARD, the guys arrive at the week’s main event, KONG: SKULL ISLAND (at 17:52). They share some serious laughs as they critique the film’s huge cast, its epic carnage, and its wide range of callbacks to other movies. They lament how confused it is about what type of picture it wants to be, however they celebrate its special effects, its long monster takes, and its perfect casting of John C. Reilly.
Spoilerpiece Theatre turns 100 this week, so the guys do something special to thank their fans! Since it’s the 100th episode that also means Dave has finally seen WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY. Does he appreciate it as emphatically as Kris? Find out starting at the 4:00 mark. Next Evan and Kris cover THE CONJURING 2 (at 17:53), a super long James Wan horror movie with a lot of jump scares and a lot of little annoying things that make Evan very angry. After his anger cools, Evan reviews NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (at 42:38), which has some great magic scenes, but a convoluted plot that relies too much on you remembering information from the first movie. Lastly, Kris discusses TALE OF TALES (at 54:54), a messed up Italian anthology film that confuses the heck out of Dave and Evan with its interwoven tales that have no connection. Kris uses the conversation as an opportunity to state his case about why there should be more anthology films and television shows.