Special guest host Dan, a serious Bruce Springsteen fan, joins us to discuss the well-reviewed but little-seen film Blinded by the Light. Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham), this film is a love letter to Springsteen and the power of his prose to cross cultural divides and shine a light on the common human experience. Or something. Also, it may or may not be a musical. But it’s a period piece which also examines the economic woes of Thatcher-era Britain and features a violent race riot. But it’s also about finding young love, or following your dreams, or fighting with your dad? I don’t know anymore. There’s a lot going on here…
Once upon a time a new film from Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof) was a big deal. Love him or hate him, Tarantino (writer of True Romance) was never boring. That is, until he decided to give us his newest film Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Celebrity), Brad Pitt (The Devil’s Own), and Margot Robbie (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) along with a slew of Hollywood has-beens, notable character actors, and Tarantino regulars. This overly long, unnecessary film delights in getting all the period details of late 1960s California exactly right without giving any of the interesting characters anything interesting to do.
1933’s Cavalcade packs in decades of drama, melodrama, intrigue, war, love, drama, more melodrama, overacting, Stiff Upper Lips, and a pinch of drama. It’s a lot.
Director Jon Favreau (Zathura) delivers his second Walt Disney “re-imagining” with an updated animated version of The Lion King. The cast includes Donald Glover (The Muppets), Beyonce (Austin Powers: Goldmember), James Earl Jones (Scary Movie 4), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012). Blurring the line between animation and photorealism, this film will confound you as your friends call it “live action.”
Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) tries to inject his typical visual flair and kinetic energy but cannot keep up with the complete joy and immense power of the Beatles’ catalog. Himesh Patel (Aeronauts) and Lily James (Downtown Abbey) star in this fun film which could have been INCREDIBLE. Both guys liked it. Check out the episode below.
Pixar returns to the characters who started it all with Toy Story 4. Adding a chapter to their nearly-perfect trilogy was either gutsy or an enormous act of hubris. Your call. The movie is fun, though your favorite character likely receives little screen time as old characters get pushed aside for new friends. Visually stunning and surprisingly philosophical.
Writer/star Mindy Kaling (Ocean’s 8) and co-star Emma Thompson (Junior) headline a comedy about a comedy legend who nobody finds funny who spent decades warming America’s hearts in hilarious interviews but who struggles to connect with almost any human on almost any level. Sound funny?
Writer/Director Oliver Stone (U-Turn) won the Academy Award for Best Director and the award for Best Picture for his Vietnam nightmare Platoon. The films asks the audience to take Charlie Sheen seriously. Does it work? Does it hold up? Did the Academy get it right in 1986? Check out the episodes to hear what the guys thought.
Director Guy Ritchie (Swept Away) brings yet another live action version of a beloved Disney classic to life. Featuring Will Smith (After Earth) filling the shoes of the late Robin Williams as the Genie, this one is actually a little more fun than you would expect.
Director Chad Stahelski (John Wick) and star Keanu Reeves (Replicas) return to the shadowy, yet blood-soaked world of John Wick in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. Starring Reeves, Halle Berry (Catwoman), Ian McShane (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Laurence Fishburne (TMNT), and Asia Kate Dillon (Hitting the Wall), this film packs a punch (and a kick, and a headshot, and a groin chomp).
Mike couldn’t wait to see this one. It checks every box for him: Diane Keaton, retirement homes, evil Southern Belles, cheerleading, and Bruce McGill. This movie may have been perfectly engineered for him. Who else was supposed to like it is hard to imagine.
Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet) and Charlize Theron (A Million Ways to Die In the West) star in Longshot, and improbable new romantic comedy which aims to please everyone in the theater - and maybe ends up pleasing none? Critics liked it, audiences largely missed it, what with Avengers and all. Check it out.
The Russo Brothers deliver the ultimate capstone to 22 MCU films with Avengers: Endgame which is already a multiple record breaker for box office results with less than a week in theaters. This means that most of your friends and ALL of their friends on Instagram have already seen this movie at least once. You really should head out and see it right now before someone mentions something and ruins it for you!
Peter O’Toole (King Ralph) headlines David Lean’s epic tale Lawrence of Arabia which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1962. Starring Sir Alec Guinness (Murder by Death), Omar Sharif (The 13th Warrior), and Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero), this film won 7 Oscars. Nearly every scene will take your breath away.
DC comics ups the young-adult quotient and takes on the 1980s body-switching genre with Shazam! (the original Captain Marvel for all you purists out there) starring Zachary Levi (Thor: The Dark World) and Mark Strong (Green Lantern).
Tim Burton (Planet of the Apes) takes another stab at a relatively unnecessary live-action Disney remake with Dumbo. Burton puts his own twist on things and brings Michael Keaton (Jack Frost), Danny DeVito (Death to Smoochy), Colin Farrell (Fright Night), and Eva Green (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For)to the mix.
Academy Award winning writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out) returns to deliver a new, original horror film with Us starring Lupita Nyong’o (Non-Stop) and Winston Duke (Black Panther). Filled with self-referential images and packed with subtext and meaning, Peele crams this thriller with a lot of extra weight to bear. Some viewers will marvel at the complex multi-level narrative and the social commentary. Others will wonder why it isn’t scarier.
Director Steven Soderbergh (Bubble) whips out an iPhone to shoot, edit, and direct a new, direct-to-Netflix feature High Flying Bird starring Andre Holland (Bride Wars). Featuring a buzzy cast of supporting actors (including Bill Duke!) and intercut with documentary interviews (why?), this is an interesting sit.
Brie Larson (Short Term 12) and Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane) headline a 1990s-set buddy-cop picture for Marvel Studios to introduce one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU - Captain Marvel. The 21st entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the first female-centered Marvel Studios release and is is heavy on mid-1990s music cues, pagers, CD-roms, and slightly awkward computer-aided reverse aging technology.
Independent Spirit Award Nominee and film festival darling The Rider wows the guys with verisimilitude, grit, beauty, and honesty. A slow, raw, touching, and moving independent film worth your time and attention.