UPGRADE, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, ADRIFT, and DEAD CALM (briefly) on Episode #203

Logan Marshall-Green cries out in pain from stabbing his own hand in the sci-fi movie Upgrade.

Logan Marshall-Green stars as Grey, a paraplegic man given a second chance to walk so he can avenge his wife’s death in the sci-fi flick UPGRADE.

This week kicks off with a special edition of Riedel’s Crewind, as Dave and Evan talk WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (4:12), the Mr. Rogers documentary that has been charming critics and audiences the world over. Next up, Kris talks ADRIFT (14:18), a true story starring Shailene Woodley as a young woman left to fend for herself and her injured partner after a hurricane destroys their boat. It’s a tad uneven, but the sheer physicality of Woodley’s performance and the fascinating focus on just how taxing survival can be. This leads Dave to quickly recap DEAD CALM (25:08), before Dave and Evan wrap things up with gritty, violent, and inventive sci-fi flick UPGRADE (31:02).

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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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Episode #144: “The Fate of the Furious” and “Your Name”

Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

Vin Diesel goes rogue with Charlize Theron in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS.

It’s been a while since the guys have done some singing, so they decide to make up for it at the start of the episode. There are just two films on their docket this week?one is animated, and one live action that’s also an action movie. First, Evan reviews YOUR NAME (at 4:00), a touching anime tale about two teenagers who mysteriously start swapping bodies. Dave tries to compare it to other body-swapping films like VICE VERSA and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM with moderate success, while Kris realizes he’s into it for reasons he doesn’t fully understand. Then all three of them set their sights on FATE OF THE FURIOUS (at 20:04), a loud action movie that’s almost unbelievable even by franchise standards, but boy is it still fun to watch, because it surprised them with some of its new tricks with cars.

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Episode #141: “Life” and “Wilson”

Jake Gyllenhaal being very un-Jake Gyllenhall in LIFE.

Jake Gyllenhaal being very un-Jake Gyllenhall in LIFE.

This week the guys attempt to answer the age old question, “Who’s the luckiest person in show business?” with mixed results. Each of them have some catching up to do on movies that they’ve seen, so they do some quick recaps (starting at 4:26) before they dive into these week’s movies. Kris shares short takes on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and PERSONAL SHOPPER, prior to Evan offering brief thoughts on 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, and Dave revealing what he took away from the rest of OJ: MADE IN AMERICA. After that Kris and Evan discuss WILSON (at 19:32), a film based on a Daniel Clowes graphic novel, where Woody Harrelson plays a guy walking through life telling everyone bullshit and acting like an asshole. Then all three guys discuss the sci-fi horror movie LIFE (at 41:11) which has great actors giving mediocre performances. They compare various parts to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and ALIEN, however they describe why it gets dumber the more you think about it.

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GOLD, 2017 Oscar Nominations, and Dede Crimmins on Episode #133

Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez in GOLD

Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez bromancing in GOLD

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Baby Henry is under the weather, prompting Dave to quarantine himself – so guest Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week to talk about the ‘90s and lots of film-related topics. Dede fills the guys in on her latest adventures, which include recording a DVD commentary, and participating on panels at the Arisia science fiction convention. Following some philosophical discussion about horror, Dede shares three movies to look out for this year (at 13:00): RAW, THE BAD BATCH, and COLOSSAL. After that, she and the guys discuss the 2017 Oscar nominations (at 21:52), revealing surprises and disappointments in the major categories. Finally, all three of them review this week’s new release GOLD (at 33:50), the Matthew McConaughey gold prospecting movie that Kris describes as AMERICAN HUSTLE on NyQuil. Evan and Dede find it charming for McConaughey’s spirited performance as a balding, overweight, drunk, but they admit that they’ll probably forget it in a week.

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ASSASSIN’S CREED, JULIETA, PASSENGERS, and FENCES on Episode #128

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in PASSENGERS

Chris Pratt as an awful human being in PASSENGERS.

So much Spoilerpiecing to do this week! We lead things off with a call from a friend in France, and then we get down to spoiling the snot out of ASSASSIN’S CREED. Evan follows that up with Almodovar’s JULIETA, and then Kris uses all his strength to get through PASSENGERS, which sounds like it was an ordeal and a half. Finally, Evan and Dave talk FENCES, Denzel’s latest directorial effort (an adaptation of August Wilson’s renowned play).

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ARRIVAL, LOVING, MOONLIGHT, and THE ORIGIN OF VIOLENCE on Episode #122

Alex R. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in MOONLIGHT.

Alex R. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in MOONLIGHT.

On this week’s episode, Dave gripes about his record club’s inability to send him records he wants, before discussing his burgeoning November beard and his latest Baby Henry story. After the guys get some good laughs in to compensate for their election sadness, Kris gets things going with ARRIVAL (at 6:10), a sci-fi film starring Amy Adams as a linguist that speaks heptapod. Adams plays the same character she always does, but it does some very interesting things Kris doesn’t expect and really turns out to be the kind of high concept sci-fi he enjoys. Next, Evan and Dave keep the good movie momentum with their description of LOVING (at 21:26), an emotional drama based on a true story with amazing performances by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. Kris follows with his take on MOONLIGHT (at 33:32) a three-party story of a gay man’s life that’s not revolutionary, but so well-assembled that it kind of is. Evan closes out the show with THE ORIGIN OF VIOLENCE (at 48:36), a French film playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival that turned out to be more about the Holocaust than he expected, although not in a bad way, since the film uses it to tell a compelling story.

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