Friend of the show Charlie Nash returns to Spoilerpiece! This week kicks off with the highs, lows, and low-lows of this year’s Oscars (1:39). The show benefited from no host and some deserving folks got some trophies, but unfortunately ended with the worst Best Picture winner in at least a decade. Then, Charlie takes us through CLIMAX (22:15), a true spectacle from Gaspar Noé. It’s everything you expect from the French boundary-pusher, condensed into his most compelling — and least forgiving — experiment yet. The gang wraps things up with GRETA (31:20), a campy, trashy good time from Neil Jordan starring the immortal Isabelle Huppert.
After wondering what kind of person show up to a movie 15 minutes late, the guys get into an oldie-but-goodie kinda week on Spoilerpiece. Evan breaks down PRIVATE BENJAMIN (3:25), a funny feminist-ish Army-ish comedy starring Goldie Hawn as a woman who joins up because she really doesn’t have anything else to do. Then Dave gets into THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (13:27), the Michael Mann-directed Daniel Day-Lewis-starring French and Indian War epic. Technically, BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO (23:27) is new to the United States, but it’s been out overseas quite a while. Kris and Evan discuss its flaws (many) and virtues (also many), and how it features stories outside the normal American purview.
This week, friend of the show (and the hosts!) Charlie Nash returns to the guest seat in Dave’s absence. The first review of the night is Evan and Charlie with MOLLY’S GAME, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. The famed writer of A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WEST WING, and THE SOCIAL NETWORK, known for his tight and layered dialogue, would have benefited from applying the same discipline to his camerawork and pacing, as a worthwhile story with good performances gets buried under its own weight (and penchant for mansplaining). Next up is Charlie with a captivating recap of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age tale love story starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. It boasts lush visuals and a deep exploration of discovering sides of ourselves we neither understand how to express nor contain. Wrapping things up is THE POST, Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece — yes, it really is — about the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. With a top-notch cast and a clear understanding of the stakes, it’s a must-see for history buffs or anyone who cares about valuing truth and accountability above comfort and stability.
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.
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.
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.
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.