WIDOWS, BOY ERASED, PRIVATE LIFE, and more with special guest Megan Kearns on Episode #226

Viola Davis stands in a trenchcoat holding a Post-it note, while Cynthia Erivo stands leaning against a punching bag in workout clothes in the Steve McQueen film Widows

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo are incredible in Steve McQueen’s heist film WIDOWS

This week, our friend Megan Kearns returns to the show! She kicks things off with PRIVATE LIFE (3:02), a frank and moving depiction of a couple’s attempts to conceive. Next is Evan with LIFE WITHOUT BASKETBALL (7:37), a documentary about a Muslim American woman who faces discriminatory rules regarding dress, preventing her from advancing her basketball career. Then, Kris runs us through SALEM’S LOT (11:31), the classic spooky miniseries based on the Stephen King story, as well as Orson Welles’s THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (15:33), a film forty years in the making. It’s a true masterpiece, argues Kris, and you should all see it on Netflix now. Then, Kris and Evan look at BOY ERASED (21:48), Joel Edgerton’s film about  gay conversion therapy, with some good qualities but an unfortunate amount of overlap with THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Last up, all three get less and less enthusiastic about Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS (40:11).

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THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS and A PRIVATE WAR on Episode #225

Tim Blake Nelson on a horse wearing white playing a guitar and singing in front of a picturesque landscape in the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Kris was so enthralled by THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS that he could barely Spoilerpiece it

This week Kris proposes a new tactic for disposing of excess Halloween candy that involves a door-to-door Australian accent. Dave is still on paternity leave so Kris and Evan ride duo for this episode, but they keep a chair open in Dave’s honor. Before they get into the movies, Evan gives his quick impressions of the 80s musical ROCK OF AGES (4:34), discussing differences between the current tour and the 2012 film. Then Kris reviews THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (8:31), the miniseries turned anthology film by the Coen Brothers, which lets you know that everything is on the table with its funny, violent, and tragic short stories. Kris is so captivated by them that he barely even spoils them, encouraging you to take everything in for yourself in theaters or when the film hits Netflix soon. After that both Kris and Evan cover A PRIVATE WAR (26:46), a compelling drama about real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin played by the incredible Rosamund Pike. The film directed by documentarian Matthew Heineman makes a compelling case for the value of journalism by embedding you with Colvin and exploring the impact of PTSD on journalists like her who report on the horrors of war.

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, MID90S, and HOLD THE DARK with special guest Megan Kearns on Episode #224

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody singing at Live Aid with one arm in the air

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in the biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

This week special guest and fellow BOFCA member Megan Kearns returns to join Kris and Evan on the show. She starts off by reviewing HOLD THE DARK, Jeremy Saulnier’s latest film about a man searching for a couple’s son in the Alaskan wilderness, which sadly doesn’t pack the same punch as his previous movies GREEN ROOM and BLUE RUIN. Next, Kris and Evan travel back in time to their youth for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90s, a coming-of-age movie with some really strong elements like its eclectic music and camaraderie between its cast of skateboard teens that make it good, but some shortcomings that prevent it from being great. Lastly, all three of them review BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (31:21), the long-awaited Freddie Mercury biopic, which attempts to do the late Queen frontman’s life justice and mostly succeeds.

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HALLOWEEN, ROSEMARY’S BABY, and THE STEPFORD WIVES with special guest Sean Burns on Episode #223!

Jamie Lee Curtis looking worried pointing a revolver at the camera in the 2018 film Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis goes into full in survivalist mode David Gordon Green’s very entertaining HALLOWEEN.

This week, Sean Burns returns to the Spoilerpiece guest chair! First up, Evan continues his adventure through film classics with ROSEMARY’S BABY (3:25) and THE STEPFORD WIVES (8:09) — both coincidentally based on Ira Levin novels. Then it’s on to HALLOWEEN (11:10)! Sean has been working his way through many of the series entries ahead of the new film by David Gordon Green (!!), so we pick his brain about what the hell that was all about before zeroing in on the surprisingly effective entry that is worthy of its title.

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THE HATE U GIVE, FIRST MAN, THE OATH, and JOLLY FELLOWS on Episode #222

Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith in the reddish glow of a party looking at each other and smiling in the film The Hate U Give

One of the few lighthearted moments in THE HATE U GIVE.

First things first: Congratulations to Dave and Joan on the birth of their son Edward (aka Teddy)! Special guest Kristen Halbert sits in for Dave this week, and thankfully Kris and Evan have their own microphones this time. After they all have a good laugh about the technical difficulties during Kristen’s last visit, Kris leads off with JOLLY FELLOWS (3:10), an absurdly joyful Russian film from the ’30s. Then Kristen covers THE OATH (8:55) a social satire from Ike Barinholtz that attempts to emulate GET OUT, but ends up more like SCARY MOVIE 4. Next Kris reviews FIRST MAN (15:20), the Damien Chazelle drama about Neil Armstrong that inspires him to make space puns left, right, and center. Lastly, everyone discusses THE HATE U GIVE (29:38), a gripping, layered drama that tactfully tackles issues of race, class, and police brutality through one brave young woman’s experience.

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A STAR IS BORN, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, THE SISTERS BROTHERS, and more with Sam Cohen on Episode #221

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the film A Star is Born standing next a microphone smiling and preparing to sing in front of a crowd.

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.

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THE NUN, SEARCHING, MOM AND DAD, SORCERER, POINT BREAK, and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE on Episode #217

Taissa Farmiga dressed as a nun holding a lantern in a dark hallway while a ghost of anun with no face walks behind her in the movie The Nun

Get ready for jump scares in THE NUN, you’ll be seeing a lot of them.

Somehow DMX comes up again in conversation this week, but this time it’s in the context of an animated show! Kris kicks off the episode’s movies by talking about POINT BREAK (3:40), which he and his fiancé accidentally watched on Keanu Reeves’ birthday. After the guys gush about Kathryn Bigelow’s directing and Reeves’ general awesomeness, Kris moves on to MOM AND DAD (11:38), Brian Taylor’s madcap thriller where Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair play homicidal parental units. Next, Dave covers SORCERER (21:00), one of the all-time great movies with one of the all-time most confusing titles, and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (28:00), a Scorsese period piece that Dave forgot is really funny, yet also really sad. Evan jumps in to rave about SEARCHING (30:43), a smart, tense thriller starring John Cho as a father searching (see what they did there?) for his missing daughter. And finally to wrap everything up, the guys review THE NUN (42:00), a toothless, glacially paced horror movie brimming with bizarre accents and equally bizarre plot choices.

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