We have a bumper crop of movies on this week’s show (have we used that description before?)! First, it’s a bout of RIEDEL’S RECAPS, with James Bridges’ BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY (3:57) and John McTiernan’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (10:03). Then we’re KEEPING UP WITH THE JENSON’s and his take on MEMINO (14:32) (not to be confused with MEMENTO or former Boston mayor Tom Menino). Evan takes one for the team and watches REBEL IN THE RYE, which is NOT about Rebel Wilson, but J.D. Salinger (27:00). Then it’s THE WOMEN’S BALCONY (36:02), an Israeli film that Evan missed at the Boston Jewish Film Festival but is making up for it now. Lastly, it’s AMERICAN ASSASSIN (42:33), which Kris and Dave saw together against their better judgment (Evan took a pass – kudos to him).
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.
This week Kris shares the unusual tale of his 10 year high school reunion. The guys carry their silliness from that story over into their intro, where they ask, you the listener, which 60 Minutes anchor you think they are. It’s a good thing they get to the movies, because there are several to cover. Kris starts with a segment of “Keepin’ up with the Jensons,” where he talks about why he liked SWISS ARMY MAN (at 6:00) more than he expected. Then he and Dave join forces for a recap of HELL OR HIGH WATER (at 18:04), where they joke about the title, discuss the score, and dissect its Western elements. They get to new movies with their review of THE HANDMAIDEN (at 28:09), a three hour movie that flies by due to a layered story and perfect performances, set design, and camerawork. Next, Evan quickly reviews KRISHA (at 42:23), a tough film about a woman spending Thanksgiving with her estranged family that’s shot and edited in an unsettling way. Lastly, he and Kris review MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (at 48:32), an effective examination of grief that also reveals how frustrating it is to drive in Massachusetts.
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.
Somehow a conversation about moving on this week’s show turns into a digression about sippy cups where Evan shares why he needs them. The episode opens with a first ever joint segment of “Riedel’s Recaps” and “Keepin’ up with the Jensons,” where Kris and Dave talk about MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (at 4:26), one of Dave’s all-time favorite movies. They fill in some blanks left by Charlie’s exploration from the previous episode and use the segment as an opportunity to discuss Robert Altman in general. Then Kris reviews THE BFG (at 18:30), a movie that is neither Disney nor Steven Spielberg’s best work, but it does contain very very very good motion capture. After that Dave covers EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS (at 36:22), a talking head documentary that only contains one talking head—Frank Zappa himself. He ends up talking about the Zappa family’s recent drama for a bit before Evan wraps up with OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, a bromantic and tedious spy flick featuring Stellan Skarsgard with a BFM (Big Fuckin Mullet) and a silly Russian accent.
Dave shares songs he has sung with Henry’s name in them, which gives Kris the chance to suggest something extremely clever. After that, Kris reveals his strategy for seeing movies at IFFBoston (also happening this week). Then he quickly follows that up with a segment of “Keepin’ up with the Jensons” where he describes how Evan’s spoilerpiecing of GREEN ROOM allowed him to notice impressive things about its storytelling techniques. Talking about GREEN ROOM’s use of animals lets the guys easily move on to KEANU, the film they all saw this week. KEANU has the cutest fucking cat you’ve ever seen, and it covers comedic territory that has been mined before, although it’s very funny thanks to Key and Peele. Plus it has connections to NEW JACK CITY and George Michael that are hilarious. Finally, Evan wraps up by reviewing the Asghar Farhadi picture FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY. This Iranian drama about the difficulties of marriage was such an engrossing piece, that he struggled to break away from it when he had to leave for work. He finished it later though, and thought it was fantastic, even after it rambled on for a bit.
This week Kris takes the floor for his very first segment of “Keepin’ up with the Jensons,” where he fills Evan and Dave in on the remainder of HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS, a movie he started to talk about last week. Kris thinks the film is based on a lot of contrivances, but he forgives them because Sally Field is great in it and director Michael Showalter seems to know exactly what to focus on. Following brief baby poop tangent, Kris also shares his take on PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY. He agrees with Dave and Evan about it, although he spends a little more time comparing and contrasting it with PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, which he also watched. Then the guys dig into HARDCORE HENRY the one movie they all saw this week. Sadly it’s not about Baby Henry, but it is an intense action flick shot entirely in first person. Kris compares it to BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY meets CALL OF DUTY, while Evan says it’s a cross between CRANK and SHOOT EM UP. All three of them admit that it has its entertaining moments and characters (like the ones played by Sharlto Copley), but that there’s only so good it can be given how it’s shot. Finally, they wrap up by delivering a sneak peek of the movies they’ll be talking about next episode. Kris is looking forward to discussing the Don Cheadle/Miles Davis film MILES AHEAD, while Evan is anxious to talk about GREEN ROOM.