#167 Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Decision To Leave
This weeks’ triple feature review are stories told by three distinct visionaries. With Avatar: The Way of Water, we see James Cameron double down what he began in 2009 with big spectacle, familial strife, a new way of thinking and an old villain return. The Banshees of Inisherin is a tale told as a parable and/or cautionary tale about two best friends that essentially, break up. What comes from a strange social interaction among all of humanity, escalates towards oblivion. Decision To Leave is Park Chan-wook’s dark chocolate film noir about a detective falling for the primary suspect of a murder case. Only that plot detail is the norm; everything else surprises.
#166 The Menu, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
This weeks’ triple feature are or were in theaters simultaneously. The Menu aims to wreck the lives of the unappreciative elite with expensive and vacuous meal courses. Yes, it’s delicious. The Fabelmans is Spielberg’s near-autobiographical picture; a roller coaster of family and school dilemmas that shapes the life of a young kid as he makes making movies into more than a hobby. Solid enough but flawed. Lastly, The Glass Onion is the latest Rain Johnson murder mystery sequel to Knives Out, which works like gangbusters. No spoilers till you listen.
#165 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Clerks III, Gangs of New York
Today’s show hits some nostalgic notes. Clerks III is the culmination of Kevin Smith’s work since the 1990’s, ending his convenience store saga with a story that’s referential and odd. Gangs of New York is nostalgic for the three of us, loving the film 20 years ago and still to this day. A harsh and Shakespearean tale about vengeance and the Civil American War. Lastly, we review Wakanda Forever; dealing with the passing of the previous Black Panther and the many plot points that lead to another hidden society.
#164 Armageddon Time, Athena, About A Boy
This weeks’ show is brought to you by the letter ‘A.’ A is for Armageddon Time, the latest film by James Gray; a coming-of-age tale set in NY in 1980. A is also for Athena; a story of three brothers entrenched in a modern politically violent setting that is fueled by small logic and big passion. Lastly, A also happens to stand for About A Boy; 2002’s unlikely rom-com that hides behind a beautiful and comical friendship between a child and a man-child.
#163 Triangle of Sadness, Watcher, The Bourne Identity
Halloween winds down with a hefty dose of horror flicks in Recent Discoveries and our review of a thriller. Watcher is about the unnerving feeling of being watched and becoming a watcher yourself as an American tourist; as a serial killer is on the loose, beheading women. Triangle of Sadness is a tearing down of the social order and class structure set on a yacht first, then on an island. Does power always corrupt? The Bourne Identity celebrates its 20th anniversary as a stellar and unique action film with a cool ‘amnesia’ premise.
#162 Amsterdam, Blonde, Silver Linings Playbook
This week, we tackle the loud and opinionated Blonde; a films about the late star Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean. We also look into the films’ controversy, bombastic style and how and what it chooses to fictionalize a real person. We also dig into a double feature of David O Russell’s films. The first is his latest, Amsterdam; a period piece about a group of friends mired in a crazy conspiracy. We look back to ten years ago when Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook came out and we take stock in how good of a romantic comedy it is.
#161 Don't Worry Darling, Samaritan, Beasts of the Southern Wild
This week, we follow the POV’s of a 1950’s housewife, an inner city boy and the queen of The Bathtub. Don’t Worry Darling provides some controversy but overall has a cool concept, good acting and a lackluster finale. Samaritan, the script stuck in the 90’s, has a 70-something year old Stallone repenting a possible superhero past life. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the indie darling of a decade ago; a film rife with style and muddy glamour as we see life in a post-Katrina landscape through the eyes of a powerful little girl.
#160 Barbarian, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, Django Unchained
This week, we begin volume two of the Anniversaries. Going back ten years three times, each of the hosts will get a chance at choosing one film to highlight a 10, 20 and 30th year anniversary. Django Unchained draws first blood, with large squibs included. Barbarian is a sleeper horror hit involving a house in the middle of nearly nowhere with a dark underbelly. Finally, Paws of Fury is a remake of the classic Blazing Saddles, which leads to an unfortunate blend of a movie that is too mature for kids and too infantile for adults.
#159 Seoul Vibe, We Met In Virtual Reality, The Batman
We begin this week with what feels like Korea’s answer to the Fast and Furious franchise. Seoul Vibe is a period piece set in the 1980’s about stylish criminals involved in way over their heads with police inspectors and drug lords and several car chases. We Met In Virtual Reality is a new type of film. It’s a documentary that follows the lives of several people; exclusively shot in virtual reality, specifically VR Chat. Lastly, we end our ‘Batathon’ with 2022’s The Batman; a true crime murder mystery for the soul of Gotham. Part Se7en and part Nolan: all cool.
#158 Bullet Train, The Sea Beast, The Lego Batman Movie
This week, we travel to Japan, to Gotham City and the open sea. The Sea Beast brings heavy How to Train Your Dragon vibes with a more pronounced focus on history and equal in friendship-bonding. As part of the almost-over Batman marathon, The Lego Batman Movie is a force of comedic nature that rattles jokes at high speed and tears down the Batman/Bruce Wayne persona with ease. Finally, Bullet Train brings all the action to the yard with a colorful characters and layers of fun plot and choreography.
#157 Nope, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Batman: The Killing Joke
As late show due to a much needed vacation. This week’s show catches up on July with an in-depth review of Nope, heralding the latest in a very short list of great alien-horror films. Marcel the Shell is the character we may have wanted but needed. A mockumentary of the highest and cutest order with a wholesome wave of surprising humanity. As we approach the homestretch of our Batathon, we delve into The Killing Joke: a quintessential look into the Joker we know and unwisely love to this day.
#156 Thor: Love and Thunder, The Princess, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The final dreaded hump of the bloated Snyder-era Batman films comes to an end. While we did enjoy Ben Affleck’s rendition of both the caped crusader and Wayne, the severe over-plotting makes watching the film difficult. The Princess was a fun action romp that takes place primarily in a castle; using the urgency of the plot to drive nifty action scenes. The latest Thor wasn’t as great of a hit as its predecessor but we enjoyed the new one-off villain and some of the universe-building.
#155 The Black Phone, Petite Maman, Justice League: Doom
Continuing our Batman marathon, we review a film where Batman isn’t the main player, but a part of an ensemble. Justice League: Doom involves a doomsday scheme of turning weaknesses onto the heroes; simultaneously. Petite Maman is a wonderful tale of a young girl hanging out with her mom at the age of 8 and figuring out family dynamics, death; with an emotionally mature core. The Black Phone is the latest horror hit in theaters featuring a Stephen King-like setting, time period and supernatural flairs. While the film is ok, it did make us want to see and understand more on the killer.
#154 Lightyear, Crimes of the Future, Nolan's Batman Trilogy
In the latest of our ‘Batathon’ we embark on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. We cover all three in succession and enjoy the realistic merits of this superhero retelling as well as scoff at some of the errors. Lightyear, Pixar’s latest, is a movie that exist in the world of Toy Story; which is a cool sci-fi premise all its own. While the adventure is fun (equipped with a memorable montage), it doesn’t meet the level of the production company’s top tier films. Crimes of the Future marks the latest and return of David Cronenberg; a bleak future where pain is gone and surgery is the new sex. Need I say more?
#153 Top Gun Maverick, Men, Batman: Year One
Our “Batathon” continues this week with the second animated feature review of Batman: Year One. This time around, we see an inexperienced Batman, learning the ropes and a deeper look into Jim Gordon, commissioner-to-be. Men is a supernatural horror film about a woman surrounded by men that look the same, want or expect different things from her, and shed light into what’s haunting and betraying her waking life. Finally, we have Top Gun Maverick; a “legasequel” that shouldn’t be half as fun and memorable as it is. Tom Cruise avionics kills it.
#152 Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, Bubble, Batman: Under the Red Hood
This week, we travel the infinite multiverse with a kinetic vibe of action and macabre magical incantations with Doctor Strange. Then, we head over to a bubbled-over Tokyo city in Bubble as kids parkour their way to freedom. Finally, we find one of the true flaws of Batman as he deals with a new villain that is closer to his life than he thinks in Under the Red Hood.
#151 The Northman, Windfall, Batman Forever & Batman and Robin
This week, we have a roller coaster of different tales and emotions. The Northman marks the third film from a detailed indie filmmaker that specializes in the brutal aspects of life in a time and space mixed with legend and myth. Windfall is a possible dark comedy about a break-in that turns into an interesting but ultimately disappointing hostage situation. The third entry of the Batman Marathon (Batathon) lies in the worst aspects of the 90’s with Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies; the bad poses and action set pieces and infinite usage of puns.
#150 Everything Everywhere All At Once, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Batman(1989) & Batman Returns
This week, we encounter the work of the Daniels; their sophomore effort, Everything Everywhere All At Once shows just how different a high-concept movie can be. Magical, hilarious and tender only begin to describe the experience. Sonic 2 opens the world up to the lovable characters of the games with Tails and Knuckles and while it doesn?t hold the same quality as its predecessor, Jim Carey?s Robotnik remains entertaining. Lastly, we delve into Tim Burton?s Batman films; the gothic splendor and ridiculous characters that somehow works and is held in high esteem over the decades. Have you heard the soundtrack lately?
#149 Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Fresh, Batman (1966)
This week, we bring you the Strat of our “Batathon” by discussing the late great Adam West starring in Batman, fully integrated with one-liners and too much makeup. We also talk about one of Hulu’s latest films, Fresh, which begins as a fast romance but escalates to very dark appetites. Finally, the US release of Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes brought us a great sci-fi indie film about a cafe owner experience time-travel jet lag with great energy and clever filmmaking.
#148 Recent Discoveries, Academy Awards Nominations
We’re back! We begin with a lengthy discussion on some of the many films we’ve been watching during our vacation. Blockbusters critical darlings and genre-indie flicks. The rest of the show is devoted to a discussion of the Academy awards nominations; each of the categories, minus some of the smaller ones. We choose what we think will win and our picks as well. Just in time for the ceremony this weekend.
#147 The Best Discoveries In 2021
It’s simple. Anything discovered in the year that is new to us are eligible for this countdown. From personal events to albums, books, movies and TV shows, etc., this countdown is always personal and always different and fun to compile. We will come back in a month with our take on the Academy Award nominations and resume our schedule.
#146 The Best TV Shows of 2021
While films suffered significantly still from the pandemic, television seems to have kept the same big quantity and quality pace. So much television programming that there’s four co-hosts with particular countdowns. We have our part-timer Luke this week and annual guest host Matt that each watch television that Ralf and Oscar rarely do. Don’t forget to check the show notes for appropriate time stamps and to check our website for each Top Ten list.
#145 The Best Films of 2021
We’re back once again to discuss the very best films, we believe are, of 2021. This is a two-man show that covers some interesting picks and a few doubles; guess which. Also, we discuss how 2021 fared in the quality and quantity overall in films, especially when taking into account the pandemic. We delve into Missed Opportunities, Honorable Mentions, Disappointments and more. It was a fun time making the list as it was recording the episode. Stay tuned for next weeks’ countdown show and don’t forget to check the time stamps if necessary.
#144 The Matrix Resurrections, The Power of the Dog, The Hand of God
We ring in the new year with the last show pertaining to last year. The Matrix Resurrections has a bit more cynicism, a bit more meta fun and still a lot to say in the mind-bending genre. The Power of the Dog has a lot to say about masculinity, regret, success and more in the style of a period Western set on a ranch and two particular men that come head to head. The Hand of God is a coming of age tale set in the 1980’s in Italy; possibly autobiographical in nature due to the cinematic dreams the young boy and his fledgling sexually arise.
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