Dave starts the show by reviewing Ti West’s PEARL (2:09), a prequel to his horror film X. It also stars Mia Goth, but is surprisingly different, in a good way. Next, we all discuss Tom George’s 1950s whodunnit SEE HOW THEY RUN (11:01), a disappointing meta send-up to Agatha Christie that at least has fun performances by its leads Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan. Then we cover the Julian Higgins slow-burn thriller GOD’S COUNTRY (23:35), a layered, emotionally complex film about a professor (Thandiwe Newton) caught in an escalating battle with hunters who trespass on her property. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Steven Spielberg’s 1977 sci-fi film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND!
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!
There’s a lot of show this week on Spoilerpiece. First, Dave updates everyone on CHRONOLOGICAL COENS (4:05). Then Kris and Evan share their experiences covering lots of movies at the Boston Underground Film Festival (5:58), beginning with MY NAME IS MYEISHA (9:00), and followed by PIN CUSHION (13:36), THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD (15:30), LET THE CORPSES TAN (18:32), THE RANGER (21:58), TOP KNOT DETECTIVE (27:47), MEXMAN (28:40), REVENGE (30:05), TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID (30:54), and BAD MANNERS (31:49), the only movie Kris and Evan reeeeeeeally disagree on. Dave gives a quick rundown of the new IMAX movies PANDAS (35:00). Finally, it’s Steven Spielberg’s big-ass adaptation of READY PLAYER ONE (36:33). There’s serious ’80s regression during this section, kids. Thanks to our patrons! Some exclusive audio from this episode will be out by Saturday!
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.
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.
Dede Crimmins sets a new record with her fourth appearance as a Spoilerpiece guest. Fresh off her trip to Fantastic Fest, she fills Evan and Kris in on her favorite films from the fest: THE LOBSTER, HIGH-RISE, GREEN ROOM, and SOUTHBOUND. Then the three of them talk about CRIMSON PEAK, which is beautiful, creepy, and fully-conceived. After that Dede shares her thoughts on GOOSEBUMPS, a movie for kids and big kids like Evan who read the books growing up. Next Kris tackles STEVE JOBS, which is directed by Danny Boyle, the first person to direct at the speed Aaron Sorkin writes. Finally, Evan and Kris close out the show with BRIDGE OF SPIES, a picture that’s tense, good-humored, and committed to its character.