Frequent guest Charlie Nash stops by this week to fill in for Megan. He offers a quick plug for his new podcast, Almost Major, before he reviews Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of WEST SIDE STORY (6:09), which despite his admitted bias against a particular actor in it, offers great spectacle and inspired tweaks to the original story. Next, we all discuss Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER (16:30), an intense tale about trauma and guilt starring Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe. After that we delve into Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI (39:28), a movie about wealth and manipulation that we have polarized reactions to. One thing we do agree on: Lady Gaga is great in it. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about a Patron’s request, Ted Demme’s 1994 dark Christmas comedy, THE REF, starring Denis Leary!
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!
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.
This week Dave reveals something he feels like he has done right as a parent before any movies are discussed. Since Kris caught VICTORIA AND ABDUL (3:09), he leads off by explaining why Dave is right about it, before expressing some insights of his own. After that, Evan covers the Online New England Film Festival (6:02) by sharing the festival’s award winners and some of his favorite shorts. Next, Dave talks about David Lynch’s DUNE (13:52), raising several questions, including, ‘Who thought it was a good idea to let Toto do the score?’ Following this “Riedel’s Recap,” Kris spoilerpieces the Netflix film GERALD’S GAME (23:08), getting into grisly detail about why it made him want to throw up. Finally, Dave and Evan review the week’s big movie BLADE RUNNER 2049 (44:35) by discussing its atmosphere, aesthetic, and length in comparison to Ridley Scott’s original.
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.
Bob Chipman aka The Movie Bob fills in for Dave, who is unfortunately absent due to dental work this week. Bob reminisces with Evan and Kris about movies named after job titles before jumping into conversation about THE MARTIAN. All three of them saw it, and all three agree it’s a great film. Evan’s a bit disappointed by some aspects of the book that were cut, but Kris loves that it lets scientists be scientists and Bob hopes that it inspires a million kids to go to space camp. Then Bob and Evan discuss THE WALK, a film that features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a cartoonish Frenchman. Both thought they might hate it, so they were pleasantly surprised by how much they dug its playful nature. And last but not least, Evan briefly reviews Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND, which makes a great statement about homelessness, even though nothing really happens in it.
Sadly, Dave is away this week, which means we had to record at Evan’s and he had to edit, so hopefully we sound okay. And if we don’t, too bad! Anyway, Dede Crimmins joins us again as we talk about Chris Rock’s TOP FIVE and Ridley Scott’s EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS. We also talk about Cards Against Humanity’s Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa, our top five rappers, Jean Claude Van Damme’s poetic turns of phrase, and films we watched at home before voting on our awards for BOFCA.