Evan and Megan start this week by reviewing Mamoru Hosada’s moving anime drama BELLE (2:06) about a shy young woman who escapes to a virtual reality world where she becomes a pop star. Next, everyone discusses Asghar Farhadi’s heartbreaking drama A HERO (17:19), about a man on leave from debtor’s prison trying everything he can to keep himself from going back. We wrap up with ETERNALS (33:33), Chloe Zhao’s Marvel superhero epic about a group of ancient heroes, which feels both too long and too short at the same time. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Michael Curtiz and William Keighley’s 1938 swashbuckler THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
This week we discuss obnoxious drink orders before we delve into our three movies. First, is the disappointing Netflix romcom/murder mystery THE LOVEBIRDS (2:31), which squanders Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s chemistry. Next is the entertaining dark comedy LUCKY GRANDMA (16:49), about a hilarious chain-smoking Chinese grandma (Tsai Chin). Then, we cover the sprawling Dakota Johnson/Tracee Ellis Ross music industry drama, THE HIGH NOTE (33:56), which divides our co-hosts. Over on our Patreon exclusive audio we review Justin Lin’s BETTER LUCK TOMORROW in honor of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. Both our main episode and Patreon segment were edited by Otto Klammer.
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!
Ansel Elgort doing his best Ray Charles impression in BABY DRIVER.
Before the guys get to their movies, Kris shares a story about an unconventional spice that he accidentally added to a friend’s coffee at the start of this week’s episode. First, Dave covers IT’S US (6:00), a painful, awkward drama with Eliza Coupe that’s one of the strangest relationship movies he has ever seen. Next, Evan reviews THE BIG SICK (15:45), a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy with Kumail Nanjiani that’s funny, sweet, and offers poignant thoughts on familial relationships. After that Dave tackles Sofia Coppola’s THE BEGUILED (28:06), a remake of the 1971 Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood film, where one of the noticeable differences is that Colin Farrell is purposely Irish. To wrap up, all of the guys take on BABY DRIVER (42:40), the latest Edgar Wright action flick, which has a lot less driving than they expected, but some entertaining moments and performances none the less. And in case you’re wondering, here are the links to the animation for Dave’s Ray Winstone reading “Are You My Mother” and Evan’s interview with Kumail Nanjiani.
Matt Damon fights alongside the Chinese in THE GREAT WALL
At the show’s outset, the guys wonder what a wiki site run by Kris would be like, before they dive into this week’s movies. First, Kris regales Dave and Evan with his thoughts on the cinematic implications of the Chinese/American collaboration THE GREAT WALL (at 3:06), an action film with Matt Damon in a non-white savior role that has great creature design, but ultimately is really dumb. Then Evan spoilerpieces FIST FIGHT (at 26:43), a completely nonsensical, failure of a comedy, that has bloopers funnier than its entire hour and a half runtime. Lastly, he and Dave explore I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (at 45:42), the Oscar-nominated documentary that describes what it’s like to be black in America through the words of author James Baldwin. The brilliant insights Baldwin reveals really resonate with them intellectually and emotionally, although the documentary’s dense content prompts them to recommend more than one viewing, to take in all of its poignant commentary.