CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, AT ETERNITY’S GATE, and an update from Dave on Episode #229

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in the movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? are sitting at a bar holding up their glasses of liquor asking for more.
Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant are hilarious as oddball pals in Marielle Heller’s CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Kris recounts a bizarre run-in he had some naked bike riders in college before he and Evan put on their critic hats this week. Dave is still on paternity leave, but he didn’t let that stop him from recording a special update about what he has been doing and the movies he has been watching. Buckle up for some “Riedel’s Recaps” baby! Kris leads off the main show with a half review of AT ETERNITY’S GATE (8:55), the Willem Dafoe Vincent Van Gogh picture that he was really getting into before recording the show. Then Evan serves up a “Crewind” where he talks about CRAZY RICH ASIANS (17:20), which he liked a lot, and A STAR IS BORN (20:43), which he absolutely hated. After he and Kris spend some time dissecting exactly why he hated it, they tackle this week’s main film, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (27:53), an entertaining Melissa McCarthy drama based on a true story. Its direction is terrific, McCarthy is fantastic, and the unusual friendship at the movie’s center is a joy to watch.

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BLADE RUNNER 2049, GERALD’S GAME, DUNE, and the Online New England Film Festival on Episode #169

Ryan Gosling looking to Harrison Ford for answers in BLADE RUNNER 2049.

Ryan Gosling looking to Harrison Ford for answers in BLADE RUNNER 2049.

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.

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AMERICAN ASSASSIN, REBEL IN THE RYE, THE WOMEN’S BALCONY, MEMINO, and more on Episode #166

Dylan O'Brien doing god knows what in AMERICAN ASSASSIN.

Dylan O’Brien doing god knows what in AMERICAN ASSASSIN.

We have a bumper crop of movies on this week’s show (have we used that description before?)! First, it’s a bout of RIEDEL’S RECAPS, with James Bridges’ BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY (3:57) and John McTiernan’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (10:03). Then we’re KEEPING UP WITH THE JENSON’s and his take on MEMINO (14:32) (not to be confused with MEMENTO or former Boston mayor Tom Menino). Evan takes one for the team and watches REBEL IN THE RYE, which is NOT about Rebel Wilson, but J.D. Salinger (27:00). Then it’s THE WOMEN’S BALCONY (36:02), an Israeli film that Evan missed at the Boston Jewish Film Festival but is making up for it now. Lastly, it’s AMERICAN ASSASSIN (42:33), which Kris and Dave saw together against their better judgment (Evan took a pass – kudos to him).

Listen:

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QUEEN OF KATWE and THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS on Episode #115

queen-of-katwe-chess

QUEEN OF KATWE hits all the right notes as a fun, inspirational Disney sports movie.

This week the guys get in on the game of using three fictional characters to describe themselves. Then Evan and Kris talk about the 70mm and Widescreen Festival at the Somerville Theatre (at 7:04), where they TRON and SLEEPING BEAUTY. While discussing how beautiful these films look, they each share new elements that they discovered by watching them on the big screen. After that, Dave provides a “Riedel’s Recap” of GREEN ROOM (at 15:56), which offers specific comparisons to Jeremy Saulnier’s previous movie BLUE RUIN. Next, Kris delivers a “Keeping up with the Jensons” about DEMON (at 21:32), where he offers a very different take on the picture than Evan. Dave transitions into THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (at 29:57), a Ron Howard documentary that attempts to whitewash tensions between the band’s members. Finally, Kris and Evan close out with QUEEN OF KATWE (at 39:10), a Disney sports movie about chess, which is carried by good humor and cute kids learning about life.

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SULLY, MORRIS FROM AMERICA, and SLEEPAWAY CAMP on Episode #113

sully

Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart as his trusty co-pilot Jeff in SULLY.

This week Kris shares the advantages to playing board games with Canadians, before he reviews Clint Eastwood’s latest movie SULLY (at 2:38). The mediocre film has a lot in common narratively with Eastwood’s last effort AMERICAN SNIPER, especially since the same things work well (a focus on the effects of trauma) and the same things don’t (artificially created villains). After Kris explains how the movie ends awkwardly on a joke, Dave delivers a quick “Riedel’s Recap” of DON’T BREATHE (at 19:57). Following the segment, Evan describes the coming-of-age film MORRIS FROM AMERICA (at 20:58), which has great music, and features the fantastic Craig Robinson in a rare dramatic role. Finally, the guys arrive at their main event: the ‘80s horror flick SLEEPAWAY CAMP (at 30:32). They describe its weird flashbacks, its endearing incompetence, and the craziness that runs in its blood as they dig into this time capsule, which 2/3 of them agree is good for what it is. Be sure to stick around post-credits for a completely unrelated bonus story.

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THE BFG, OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, and EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS on Episode #103

The BFG

Some of the very very very good motion capture in THE BFG that Kris describes.

Somehow a conversation about moving on this week’s show turns into a digression about sippy cups where Evan shares why he needs them. The episode opens with a first ever joint segment of “Riedel’s Recaps” and “Keepin’ up with the Jensons,” where Kris and Dave talk about MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (at 4:26), one of Dave’s all-time favorite movies. They fill in some blanks left by Charlie’s exploration from the previous episode and use the segment as an opportunity to discuss Robert Altman in general. Then Kris reviews THE BFG (at 18:30), a movie that is neither Disney nor Steven Spielberg’s best work, but it does contain very very very good motion capture. After that Dave covers EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS (at 36:22), a talking head documentary that only contains one talking head—Frank Zappa himself. He ends up talking about the Zappa family’s recent drama for a bit before Evan wraps up with OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, a bromantic and tedious spy flick featuring Stellan Skarsgard with a BFM (Big Fuckin Mullet) and a silly Russian accent.

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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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