Episode #197: IFFBoston Preview with Nancy Campbell

Eighth Grade - Still 1

Elsie Fisher in Bo Burnham’s directorial debut EIGHTH GRADE, which opens IFFBoston 2018.

On this week’s episode, Kris and Evan are joined by Nancy Campbell, Program Director for IFFBoston and staff manager for the legendary Coolidge Corner Theatre. IFFBoston begins next week (!!), so after a brief discussion of a repertory series inspired by R. Lee Ermey, the three discuss the fest’s history, highlights, and much, much more. If you’re familiar with IFFBoston, get a behind the scenes glimpse at one of Boston’s greatest gatherings of cinephiles. If this is the first you’re hearing about it, give a listen and learn more at iffboston.org.

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The trailer for BLINDSPOTTING, which will be playing at IFFBoston 2018 on Sunday, April 29. Co-Writers/Actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are expected to appear.

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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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PACIFIC RIM UPRISING and UNSANE with a smidgen of Boston Underground Film Festival preview Episode #193!

A robot from Pacific Rim Uprising.

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING swaps Idris Elba for John Boyega and Guillermo del Toro for Steven S. DeKnight. The results are so-so.

Hey gang! It’s a big week on Spoilerpiece! Before our awesome theme music kicks in, Evan, Kris, and Dave have a big announcement about the new Spoilerpiece Patreon! (Cue music?) But before launching into this week’s flicks, Dave asks that you please please PRETTY GODDAMN PLEASE go to his Twitter page and vote for “Chronological Coens” or “Chronological Cronenberg” (3:37). And yes, that means he’ll watch the Coen brothers’ movies from BLOOD SIMPLE to HAIL CAESAR! or STEREO to MAPS OF THE STARS, depending on which you choose, dear listeners. Poll closes at roughly 5 p.m. ET Friday, March 23, 2018. As for the big movies this week, it’s Steven Soderbergh’s UNSANE (9:38), which Kris and Dave more or less agree on with one important difference. Then everyone talks PACIFIC RIM UPRISING (35:03), the next chapter in the PACIFIC RIM series. Plus, Kris and Evan talk a little bit about the upcoming Boston Underground Film Festival (31:06)! Stay tuned after the closing music for (very) brief silliness.

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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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The Oscars and A WRINKLE IN TIME with guest Kristen Halbert on Episode #191

Oprah in A Wrinkle in Time

Oprah the All-Powerful is fantastic in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME.

Things are a bit different this week at Spoilerpiece as technical glitches force us to employ some improvised recording methods, so please excuse any changes in pacing/audio quality! Dave couldn’t be here, so Evan and Kris are joined by special guest critic Kristen Halbert of Forces of Geek, who describes some rather unique experiences at Comic-Con. Kris fell short of his goal to watch everything nominated for an Oscar in every category — 51 out of 59 films — and gives his thoughts on some of the categories he felt were a bit off (5:23). Then it’s on to the main event, A WRINKLE IN TIME (14:02), Ava DuVernay’s valiant and heartfelt attempt to adapt the unadaptable and beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle. All three hosts were touched in some way, and though it occasionally suffers from odd pacing and other issues, it can be quite dazzling and powerful when it works. A definite see!

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And of course, for your viewing pleasure, Evan and Kris sharing a microphone after some technical difficulties.

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RED SPARROW, MUTE, and ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. on Episode #190

Jennifer Lawrence wearing red in RED SPARROW.

J-Law looking like Dave and Kris felt after seeing her latest movie RED SPARROW.

After some discussion of weather, moods, and major singing in the cold open, the guys get down to tha movies. ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is the focus of this week’s installment of “Keeping Up with the Jensons” (3:59). (Kris is trying to see all the Oscar nominees before Academy Awards ceremony.) Then Evan regales everyone with his breakdown of MUTE (12:39), Duncan Jones’ new weirdo flick starring Alexander Skarsgård as a mute guy trying to find his girlfriend. Note: Paul Rudd is the heavy in this one. Lastly, Kris and Dave talk about RED SPARROW (27:30), the new Jennifer Lawrence/Francis Lawrence collaboration with an ending you should see coming, but the preview audience was totes surprised.

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