Megan’s on vacation (and we miss her), so we invite a very special guest to join us this week: former Spoilerpiece co-host Kris Jenson! We’re excited to have Kris back for an episode, but feel bad about the movies we made him watch. At least we have some great discussions about them! First up is Michael Pearce’s muddled sci-fi film ENCOUNTER (4:26), starring Riz Ahmed as a father trying to protect his two sons from an alien invasion. Then we cover Camille Griffin’s uneven mix of sci-fi and dark comedy, SILENT NIGHT (31:17), which is about old friends who get together on Christmas as one last hurrah before their imminent demise. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk with Kris about Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi action film TOTAL RECALL, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Yes, you read that correctly – after five years as cohost, Kris is leaving the show, but not before he shares some memories of his wedding with Dave and Evan. Then it’s on to the movies! First up, Kris recaps AD ASTRA (17:51), the James Gray film featuring Brad Pitt as an astronaut wrestling with his identity after discovering the true fate of his father. It’s worth a watch, even if it’s not your kind of movie, and may win you over with its great lead performance, excellent visuals, and good intentions. Then it’s ABOMINABLE (29:13), a family movie about a yeti. It’s good, and you won’t hate yourself if you bring your child/niece/nephew/babysittee to kill a few hours. Dave and Evan close things out with MONOS (39:40), a brutal film about child soldiers that is well made, but fails to resonate beyond its fine performances and excellent score.
Stress balls, yay! Also, this week we’re talking SWORD OF TRUST (3:30), a laid back-ish comedy directed by Lynn Shelton, written by Shelton and Mike O’Brien, and starring Marc Maron as a pawn shop owner who happens upon a potentially big money maker. Then it’s the big fuggin’ movie of the week, FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (18:30). Testosterone? You bet. Larfs? Sure. And, of course, kicks in the balls aplenty. Strap in.
Good news, everyone! Evan watched the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston Netflix flick MURDER MYSTERY (6:03) so you don’t have to! And is it good? Well…it’s not terrible. That’s something. Kris caught the new Dave Bautista/Kumail Nanjiani vehicle (ha) STUBER (18:43), a comedy with better action scenes than comedy scenes. Then it’s time to keep up with the Jensons, as Kris re-watched THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (30:15) and has some new insight into the opening 15 minutes that kind of drove all three guys nuts. Then in a sort-of Riedel’s recap, Dave talks about Ridley Scott’s SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (32:35), a forgotten thriller in the director’s canon. Finally, because it’s a slow new-release week, Evan, Kris, and Dave watched Alfred Hitchcock’s TO CATCH A THIEF (37:40), which none of them had seen before. Spoiler alert: Lesser Hitchcock is still pretty fun. Patrons! Thank you for your patronage and don’t forget to vote in our poll!
Unclear restaurant hours can really throw a wrench in your morning, as Dave discovered this week. Once he finishes airing his grievances, he thanks Kris for his inspirational review of WAR AND PEACE from the previous episode, and proceeds to rip into Michael Mann’s MIAMI VICE (6:00), which takes the worst elements of the show and translates them into movie form. Next Kris breaks down MIDSOMMAR (15:11), the new film by Ari Aster, writer/director of HEREDITARY. According to Kris, this movie is very different, but also *not* very different from Aster’s previous work (i.e. he dug it). Lastly, everyone digs into ANNABELLE COMES HOME (39:45), a reasonably tense haunted house movie that throws several monsters at the wall to see what sticks.
This week’s episode starts with Evan recapping ALL THAT WE DESTROY (3:48), the latest entry in Bumhouse’s INTO THE DARK anthology series. There have been some highs and lows in the series, but this one is unfortunately one of the lowest. Then it’s Dave with ECHO IN THE CANYON (13:41), a fun and informative look at the origins of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960s with interviews conducted by Jakob Dylan. Then it’s Kris with his experience marathoning WAR AND PEACE (19:54) at the Brattle where he says “big” and “massive” a lot. The episode wraps up with TOY STORY 4 (37:30), which is way more fun, tearjerking, and overall effective than anyone might have expected.
After debating whether Janis Joplin wanted a pizza your heart, Kris, Evan, and Dave get down to the diverse slate of movies this week on Spoilerpiece. First up is festival-favorite THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (3:50). Then it’s SHAFT (16:12), which is not another reboot of SHAFT, but a sequel to SHAFT. Did that make sense? Yeah, SHAFT doesn’t either. Then Dave and Evan get into I AM MOTHER (33:45), a new Netflix flick about a robot that may or may not be evil. Then it’s ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE (45:48), with Ali Wong and Randall Park.
On this week’s episode, Kris sells Dave on BED AND SOFA (3:36), made in the USSR in 1927, and his favorite of his recent dive into classic Russian/Soviet film. It’s often described as “scandalous” but it’s so much more than that, and well worth your time whether or not you’re familiar with the era. Then Dave recaps AMERICAN WOMAN (16:58), a film that can get mired in melodrama but is anchored by good direction from Jake Scott and a phenomenal performance by the underappreciated Sienna Miller. Kris wraps things up with DARK PHOENIX (31:09), which sucks.
On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are joined by our friend, colleague, and returning guest Bob “MovieBob” Chipman! Kicking things off, Dave recaps Olivier Assayas’s new film, NON-FICTION (4:10), which if nothing else, is certainly French. Then Bob fills us in on BRIGHTBURN (14:46), the alternate take on superhero origin stories that imagines a Clark Kent-like character as a sociopath and killer. It’s essentially a B movie with a big budget and star power, but is interesting enough to seek out. Next up is Kris with Werner Herzog’s MEETING GORBACHEV (23:07), which is exactly what it sounds like, and is exactly why you should go see it. Closing out this episode is Bob and Kris barely containing their excitement for GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (39:41), a drastic improvement on its predecessor that impresses in several ways — visuals, sound, just the right amount of lore, and putting the focus back on the monsters themselves.
(NOTE: This show opens with the music, so be warned that it’s a little louder than usual.) Welcome to a diverse week of movies on Spoilerpiece! As Kris notes, there couldn’t be four more different flicks featured on the show. First, Kris talks a little about WHITE CROW (2:20), which Dave recently saw (and wanted to hear Kris’ opinion), then Dave dives into Olivia Wilde’s feature-directing debut BOOKSMART (7:16) and his interview with Wilde. Then Evan covers EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL, AND VILE (18:16), the Ted Bundy movie starring Zac Efron and directed by Joe Berlinger (and it features some serious stunt casting). Finally, Kris talks the Disney live-action remake of ALADDIN (32:30) and blue Will Smith. Why is 38 minutes longer than the animated version? Kris tells you why!