SUBURBICON, TOO FUNNY TO FAIL, and G.I. JANE on Episode #172

Left to right: Julianne Moore as Margaret and Matt Damon as Gardner in SUBURBICON, from Paramount Pictures and Black Bear Pictures.

Julianne Moore and Matt Damon in SUBURBICON, a movie that would have been better if the Coen Brothers made it in the 80s.

This week the guys reminisce about long-gone insults of yesteryear before Kris offers a unique barb of his own design. For the movies, Evan delivers a “Crewind” of G.I. JANE (5:00), the Ridley Scott picture where Demi Moore is a badass Navy SEAL in training trapped in a story that gets a little muddled with conspiracy plots. Next Dave covers TOO FUNNY TO FAIL (17:17), a rollicking documentary on Hulu about the short-lived DANA CARVEY SHOW that explains that the inspiration for some of the show’s best sketches while reflecting on its failure. Then the guys take on SUBURBICON (28:35), a George Clooney film that borrows an old Coen Brothers script, but fails to imitate them effectively. While they chide it for being too heavy-handed and trying to cover too much narrative ground, they can all agree that Oscar Isaac injects much-needed vitality into his brief scenes.

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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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X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, HIGH-RISE, LOUDER THAN BOMBS, and A BIGGER SPLASH on Episode 96

X-Men Apocalypse

Oscar Isaac looks like a Power Rangers villain as Apocalypse in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Dave has some stern words for Mother Nature on this week’s show, which features returning guest Bob Chipman. Bob leads off with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE or as Dave calls it, “X-MEN: APOCALYPTO.”  In the process, he discusses how Bryan Singer can’t direct an action scene to save his life and how everything good from the last X-MEN movie happens twice in this one so it’s no longer surprising. Next, Bob and Evan discuss Ben Wheatley’s HIGH-RISE, a dystopian concept film where “everything goes to shit” in completely unsubtle ways. Following their review, Dave delivers his commentary on LOUDER THAN BOMBS, a very male movie about the death of a woman that he describes as a Norman Rockwell piece, if Rockwell dropped acid and got mugged. Finally, Evan covers A BIGGER SPLASH, which is more than just a film about yuppies who hang around a pool. He spoilerpieces Bob and Dave into wanting to see the movie by revealing its sharp humor, its complicated drama, and its unanswered mysteries.

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THE FINEST HOURS, MOJAVE, and #OscarsSoWhite in Episode #81

The Finest Hours

Chris Pine’s lazerbeam eyes in THE FINEST HOURS.

Dave starts out by sharing good things about his new outlet, which makes his transition into Riedel’s Recaps quite easy. This time he offers his take on THE MARTIAN, which he really liked despite some miscasting and misacting. It also scored bonus points because it didn’t wake Baby Henry. After a tangent on INTERSTELLAR, Evan jumps in with his opinion about MOJAVE (pronounced MO-JAYVE according to Dave), a movie starring Garrett Hedlund (not Charlie Hunnam) and Oscar Isaac, where pretentious people talk about pretentious things. It’s a shitty movie that actually caused Evan to root against its asshole protagonist. Following tangents about THE DEPARTED, EX MACHINA, and STAR TREK IV, the guys discuss their thoughts on #OscarsSoWhite and the new changes the Academy is making to promote diversity (hint: they like them). Finally, Dave and Kris review THE FINEST HOURS, a B-movie with an A-budget, where only three things happen. Even though nothing happened, it was long enough to make Kris regret not peeing beforehand, so that was something.

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Episode #42: Adam Sandler, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, EX MACHINA, and IFFBoston

Poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron

This is an accurate representation of the number of enemies the Avengers fight in AGE OF ULTRON

This week the guys all agree that they would be better off never seeing another Adam Sandler movie after discussing Dave’s op ed on Sandler’s project THE RIDICULOUS 6. Then they move on to talking about AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, which Evan forgets to refer to by its full name. Dave likes the film a lot, but Evan and Kris have some issues with it. Next, Dave fills them in on Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA, leading Kris to wonder aloud “Why does a robot have a butt?” No one really has a good answer other than sexism. Finally, Kris wraps up by talking about stuff he caught at IFFBoston like WELCOME TO LEITH, CALL ME LUCKY, and THE TRIBE. One of these films almost made Kris lose his burrito dinner because it was “astounding, gripping, and holy shit disturbing.” Tune in to find out which one it is.
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Episode #29: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR and BLACK OR WHITE

“Baby, I love you, but quit talking to me like we’re in a 1950s gangster picture.”

As the Beastie Boys said, “Another plane, another train, another bottle in the brain, another girl, another fight, another drive all night.” What does that have to do with Spoilerpiece? IT’S MIDNIGHT, WHO KNOWS, DON’T JUDGE US. What we do know is that we got through 24 inches of snow (that’s twice the length of “Informer,” as far as we know) and convened for a late episode discussing the Mike Binder-directed Kevin Costner vehicle BLACK OR WHITE and J.C. Chandor’s third flick, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. We also got into tangents about parking, abandoning cars, and Kris had a great story about drunk wasps. Evan didn’t leave his house for two days and there are birds in Dave’s bedroom. It was, as Dave’s college R.A. would have said, a fuggin’ week.

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