ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ., COCO, and Keepin’ Up with the Jensons: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER on Episode #176

Disney-Pixar COCO

Dead Can Dance.

On this week’s episode, Dave and Kris are still in the process of recovering from various plagues (Apologies for the occasional coughing!), but that doesn’t slow them down from getting to the bottom of this week’s releases. First up is Kris with an installment of Keepin’ Up with the Jensons, revisiting THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (4:50). Rather than rehash the plot, Kris ponders the point of it all, with some unsatisfying conclusions. Next up, Evan walks through ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. (9:24), the new film from NIGHTCRAWLER director Dan Gilroy featuring Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. It’s not necessarily a bad film and it boasts some fine performances, but it ultimately suffers from a terminal case of not having a firm grasp on its own point, leading to an uneven tone and baffling plot twists. Last up is Dave and Kris with COCO (30:09), the new Pixar film guaranteed to make you cry. It’s a delight to behold that is gorgeous and heartfelt despite some issues of predictability, and is a welcome addition to the Pixar tradition of finding worthwhile, emotional stories in just about anything.

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TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, WAR MACHINE, THE JOURNEY, and THE BAD BATCH on Episode #154

Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

Optimus Prime goes bad in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

This week the guys muse about pugs before they dive into their full slate of movies. First Kris deals with TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (3:20), a movie that feeds into Marky Mark’s savior complex with a story dating back to medieval times. Beaten, a little bruised, and exhausted by its stupidity, Kris passes the baton to Evan, who tackles the Netflix film WAR MACHINE (19:57), a glacially-paced bore with a strangely stacked cast led by Brad Pitt, and a narrator that doesn’t show up until halfway through the picture. Dave enters the fray next with THE JOURNEY (34:14), a decent Irish drama with light comedy and two leads using very different acting styles. Kris wraps everything up with THE BAD BATCH (46:00), a gritty post-apocalyptic Western with Jason Mamoa, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey?! Before signing off, Evan gives a shout out to Max Covill and John Gilpatrick for having him on their show It’s the Pictures to talk about 80s films and his book.

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ROUGH NIGHT, THE BOOK OF HENRY, 47 METERS DOWN, and HELL HOUSE LLC on Episode #153

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Ilana Glazer, and Kate McKinnon in ROUGH NIGHT.

ROUGH NIGHT is pretty rough. Too bad it’s not funnier.

We begin episode 153 with a brief discussion of annoying T-shirts. Then it’s on to the annoying ROUGH NIGHT (3:35). More like ROUGH MOVIE, AMIRITE? Anyspray, it has Kris saying more than once, “I wish it were funnier.” Then Evan regales Kris and Dave with the truly fucked-up sounding THE BOOK OF HENRY (31:38), a movie that feels as if it’s actually 14 different movies crammed into one. Kris takes us down to the basement for a recap of the creepy HELL HOUSE LLC (43:45), and Dave chomps at the bit to get into 47 METERS DOWN (56:32), a Mandy Moore movie that features some sharks, some blood, and the incomparably not-great Matthew Modine. Stay tuned after the closing credits for extra silliness.

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WONDER WOMAN, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, and FAST FIVE Revisited on Episode #151

Gal Gadot in WONDER WOMAN.

Gal Gadot kicks ass in WONDER WOMAN.

While exploring the etymology of the word “sweater” this week, Evan and Dave learn a little more about Kris than they bargained for. Before the guys get to the week’s new release, they offer fresh takes on films they watched a second time. Dave starts with his thoughts on David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (at 3:38), which is still longer than it needs to be, but has three powerful set pieces and a bleak narrative where Laura Palmer looks freaked out a lot. Evan is up next, with his insights on FAST FIVE and FURIOUS 6 (at 11:44), two movies that stacked up very differently for him upon second viewing. Then all three guys take on WONDER WOMAN (at 17:50), a picture that’s far better than others in the DCU because it’s funnier, lighter on its feet, and takes itself seriously without going overboard. Their conversation gets slightly heated though, when Evan brings up several gripes he has with it. Wrestling matches are threatened, yet thankfully avoided, brother.

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BAYWATCH and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES on Episode #150

The cast of BAYWATCH looking way cooler in this photo than they do in the movie.

The cast of BAYWATCH looking way cooler in this photo than they do in the movie.

Hi, kids! Welcome to episode 150 of Spoilerpiece Theatre! It’s a totes spesh episode! So special, in fact, that we forgot to mention it was a special episode until the closing credits. In fairness, our brains were so fried this week by the convoluted plots of the movies we watched, we weren’t able to retain any other information. But we were able to discuss the DUCKTALES theme song before Dave launches into his take on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (3:51). Then we get into BAYWATCH (34:13), which everyone saw (even if they all didn’t see each other at the screening). Please make sure you listen after the closing theme song!

Check out this week’s episode of Spoilerpiece Theatre!

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ALIEN: COVENANT, THE WEDDING PLAN, and BUSTER’S MAL HEART on Episode #149

Something really gross is about to happen in ALIEN: COVENANT.

Something really gross is about to happen in ALIEN: COVENANT.

After 148 episodes, Evan suddenly airs his distaste for poetry, and in explaining his rationale, he unwittingly realizes the one exception to his rule. Then it’s onward to the week’s movies. First, Dave and Kris go deep on ALIEN: COVENANT (at 6:17), a film that takes the worst ideas of its predecessor PROMETHEUS, and capitalizes on them, by following a group of characters that are morons. Next, Evan covers the Israeli movie THE WEDDING PLAN (at 41:32), where a bride dumped a month before her wedding decides to go ahead with the ceremony anyway?the kind of tale that’s worth watching for its unique story, even though it’s a little slow and long. Evan and Kris close with BUSTER’S MAL HEART (at 53:03), a weird, crazy flick starring MR. ROBOT’s Rami Malek, and a charismatic conspiracy theorist played by DJ Qualls, that has the exact sense of irony that Kris appreciates.

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FREE FIRE, THE PROMISE, and I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE on Episode #145

Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley in FREE FIRE

The fully loaded cast of Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley

This week the guys discuss the narrative differences between Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and film adaptations of her tale at the start of the show. Then Evan reviews Macon Blair’s directorial debut I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE (at 5:01), which has a title that sounds like a Facebook status Kris would have written if it had existed in 1995. Blair borrows stylistic elements from director Jeremy Saulnier, but his film lacks the intensity, excitement, and payoff of Saulnier’s movies. Next Dave spoilerpieces Evan and Kris into never seeing THE PROMISE (at 27:22), which is like PEARL HARBOR with more death, and a less interesting love story. If you’re looking for context or history behind the Armenian genocide depicted in the movie, you won’t find it. Lastly, Kris closes with Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE (at 47:30), a short, stylized action flick with an outcome that is not as funny as its set up. Kris talks about how Wheatley seems more interested in color, movement, and brutality than getting you to care about what his characters are saying, and why that’s disappointing as a viewer.

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