We start this week by reviewing Duncan Birmingham’s WHO INVITED THEM (3:32), an unsettling horror movie about a couple (Ryan Hansen and Melissa Tang) whose housewarming party takes an alarming turn after they realize some unexpected guests have crashed it. Then we review Ben Park’s BURIAL (23:45), a surprisingly tense World War II thriller about a group of Russian soldiers tasked with transporting Hitler’s remains to Stalin. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we review a Patron’s choice, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2004 French romance/war drama A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT!
Sally Hawkins romancing a manfish in THE SHAPE OF WATER.
We kick off this week’s Spoilerpiece with a Crewind — also known as Evan Can Wait and God Save the Crean — in which Evan recaps his experiences with LOGAN (eh), BATTLE OF THE SEXES (good), and LAST FLAG FLYING (wow) (4:02, 9:30, 15:29 respectively). Next up is Dave with THE DARKEST HOUR (20:11), in which Gary Oldman portrays Winston Churchill in the earliest days of Britain’s involvement in World War II. It’s a bit of a recitation of well-established facts, but Oldman doing anything can never be totally boring, making this a mixed bag. Last up is all three guys with Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER (32:11). If you like del Toro, you know what to expect. If you don’t, well, you also know what to expect, only moreso.
John Boyega looking about as happy as the guys were watching DETROIT.
This week Dave admits why he’s way too excited about his car getting detailed, before Kris declares that his beard might be magical. Prior to the week’s main event, the guys serve up a heaping helping of recaps. Evan leads off with a segment of “Crewind,” where he offers his take on PHOENIX (6:06), a film that Dave spoilerpieced many moons ago. After he talks about his reaction to the German film’s incredible ending, he tackles SHINING THROUGH (10:35), the Melanie Griffith picture where she’s a sharp half-Jewish woman who spies on the Germans with Michael Douglas during World War II. Then Dave takes over with “Riedel’s Recaps” of I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE (20:43), a movie he liked more than Evan, who spoilerpieced it earlier this year, and THOR (24:41), which he was not impressed by. Finally, all three gents delve into DETROIT (34:01), Kathryn Bigelow’s chronicle of the brutality and murder at the Algiers Motel during the 1967 Detroit riot. In their commentary, the guys address criticisms leveled by other critics that the film is exploitative, while also sharing their personal reactions to it.
Soldiers attempting to take cover during the fray in DUNKIRK.
Dave is on vacation, so Charlie Nash joins Evan and Kris to discuss Ed Sheeran’s distracting GAME OF THRONES cameo before they dig into this week’s movies. Before they get into any new ones, Kris shares his most recent experience with ALTERED STATES (4:25), and his invigorating trip to a sensory deprivation chamber that inspired his viewing. Then Charlie and Evan cover GIRLS TRIP (14:23), a comedy that’s way funnier and raunchier than they expected, with many scene-stealing moments by Tiffany Haddish. After that, Kris and Charlie attempt to review VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (28:26), a colorful Luc Besson sci-fi film that’s bloated, convoluted, and predictable despite its endearing silliness. Finally, all of them tackle Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK (48:55), a World War II film that blew them away with its massive scale, pulse-pounding score, and breakneck pacing.
On this week’s episode the guys ponder the strange variety of foods available in New York City diners before they dive into movies. Kris kicks everything off with his rundown of HACKSAW RIDGE (at 4:50), Mel Gibson’s World War II film about a conscientious objector who volunteers for military service. The first half has a delicate touch, while the second half is standard Mel Gibson, which Kris emphasizes with enthusiasm. Evan jumps in next to talk about The Boston Jewish Film Festival (at 26:57). He comments on four films playing there; two documentaries (DISTURBING THE PEACE and WOMEN IN SINK) and two narrative shorts (AND THEN, VIOLENCE, and JEWISH BLIND DATE). He discusses the things that each do well, and the reasons why they’re all worth watching. Dave and Kris close out by recapping the 16th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre (at 41:40). They share brief reactions to the films they saw there, which include SCREAM, SCREAM 2, THE FOG, THE HOWLING, CREEPSHOW, and GHOST STORY.
Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.
Dave is feeling under the weather so fan favorite Dede Crimmins joins Evan and Kris this week. She and Kris lead off by discussing the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival (at 5:02). They share a few of their favorite films, before Dede transitions into COMPLETE UNKNOWN (at 11:41). Dede finds Rachel Weisz’s character fascinating in it, but she wishes there was more to the movie’s simple plot. Next, Kris talks about how war leaves scars long after hostilities end in THE INNOCENTS (at 21:32), a heavy post-World War II film about rescuing babies. Then Evan and Dede review THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (at 35:46), a long, slow drama about babies and post-war tensions that also stars Rachel Weisz and features Michael Fassbender as a brooding lighthouse hunk. Dede wraps everything up with MORGAN (at 54:16) a mashup of SPLICE, EX MACHINA, and BLADE RUNNER that has the most wasted cast she has ever seen and an ending that thinks it’s clever without actually being clever.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer during one of the best scenes in THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Dave is back again on this week’s Spoilerpiece (which makes two weeks in a row)! The fellas talk about silly t-shirts they wish they could own, including one in particular that Kris wanted as a kid. Then the guys take on a bumper crop of movies. Kris and Evan are up first with their thoughts on Guy Ritchie’s hyper-styled adaptation of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., which has a great performance by Armie Hammer and one of the worst car chases Kris has ever seen. Dave delivers praise for PHOENIX, while wondering what the plural of the word is (phoenices?). Once he’s done talking up the film’s perfectly composed photography, interesting post-World War II story, and its Hitchcock-ian flavor, Evan and Kris round things out with STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Both of them discuss why they love the movie (because fuck the po-lice) and how its casting is fantastic.
Evan’s face while he watched the nuclear bomb LITTLE BOY
It’s fan mail day on Spoilerpiece Theatre. Dave reads a letter his editors received at the Santa Fe Reporter, and the writer, in admonishing Dave for using foul language, swears more than Dave ever does in print. Evan rips LITTLE BOY a new one, Kris gets into history with his review of Russell Crowe’s THE WATER DIVINER (and Evan and Dave do a lot of talking with Australian accents), and Dave is on board with THE AGE OF ADALINE’s magical realism. Please forgive the audio problem we had at the end of the recording. One of the mic cords went dead and a few of Kris’ final thoughts are at low volume; it’ll be fixed by the next episode.