Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) voices everyone’s favorite awful Christmas hater, The Grinch. Supported by Keenan Thompson (The Smurfs 2) and Angela Lansbury (Magnum, P.I.), this re-imagining of the holiday classic packs on an additional 65 minutes or so. Bring your kids.
Director Bryan Singer (Jack the Giant Slayer) delivers (some of? most of? either way, he got fired before finishing the film) the world a quasi-biopic of Freddie Mercury and his band Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami Malek (Battleship) stars as Mercury and dials up both the glam rockstar posturing and the loneliness. The music is fun and there are flashes of a more exciting picture here. Audiences are loving it, so your parents will probably dig it.
Writer/Director Woody Allen (Casino Royale) earned his first Oscar love for 1977’s Annie Hall starring him and Diane Keaton (The Godfather Part III). It also went on to define a “Woody Allen movie” for the next forty or so years. This film is responsible for romantic comedies, New York stories starring curmudgeons like Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a brief fashion trend in the late 1970s which Diane Keaton continues to rock these days.
Michael Myers is back forty years after he last terrorized Laurie Strode in Halloween (unless you include a few of the eight sequels now ignored by this latest installment in the Halloween saga) looking for opportunities to brutally attack people, lurk quietly in the back of the frame, and to rock a mask and coveralls. This new, John Carpenter-approved sequel delivers on the promise of the original and features a bookend performance by Jamie Lee Curtis who made her screen debut in Halloween forty years ago.
Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) delivers a non-musical (!) biopic of Neil Armstrong in First Man. Played by Ryan Gosling (Murder by Numbers), Armstrong is, apparently, half-robot, half space hunk. Claire Foy (Season of the Witch) offers a portrayal of Janet Armstrong as Neil’s closed-off, half-robot wife. They are perfect for one another, although you may not know it from seeing this movie. The technical details and production values are stellar.
Director/Star Bradley Cooper (All About Steve) joins superstar Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel) in the fourth film version of A Star is Born. The film surprised the guys, as both of them liked it more than they expected. Check out the episode here.
Director/Academy Awards Magnet Frank Capra (It Happened One Night) picked up his second Best Picture and third (!) Best Director Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards back in 1939 for 1938’s You Can’t Take It With You. Starring a young Jimmy Stewart (Vertigo) and an impressive cast of misfits and anarchists this screwball comedy is full of energy for about two thirds of its running time. Check out the episode and hear what the guys thought of this classic film.
Writer/Director Paul Schrader (Dog Eat Dog) takes a break from helping Nicolas Cage repay his back taxes to bring a small, quiet film about a disillusioned pastor battling with his health, his faith, his work, and his belief in his fellow man. First Reformed stars Ethan Hawke (White Fang) who brings the monotone voiceover in a performance earning him a lot of attention.
Writer/Director/Star John Krasinski (Leatherheads) brings us a world filled with bare feet, organic produce, and quality family time in A Quiet Place. Also monsters that will eat you if you make a peep or belch accidentally. This also stars Krasinski’s real-life wife Super Star Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).
It’s the movie release dead zone of September which means we are looking for films you may have missed earlier in the year or that you can find on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, or other streaming services (or your public library). Natalie Portman (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) stars in Annihilation, the new film from Alex Garland (28 Days Later). It’s trippy, wild, visually impressive, and was adored by critics upon its release earlier this year. Audiences? Not so much. We had to check it out to see why there was such a division between the popular and critical reception. Check it out.
Writer/Director Bo Burnham (The Big Sick) delivers a fresh, raw, and unflinching look at the pressures and anxieties facing today’s 8th graders in Eighth Grade. The film is funny, sad, powerful, and provocative. It’s worth seeing - without your kids in the room. Be very glad that you grew up and moved beyond 8th grade.
Director Danny Boyle (127 Hours) took home the Academy Award for Best Director when helming the Best Picture from 2008 - Slumdog Millionaire. The film won 8 Oscars and is the highest domestic box office grossing Best Picture winner since 2003's Lord of The Rings: Return of the King. The film was praised by nearly every film critic alive in 2008 but is probably best known for being the film which won Best Picture instead of The Dark Knight. Check it out.
Director Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon) teams up for a fourth time with his favorite leading man - Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes) - for action thriller Mile 22. Their hopes of launching a franchise here are, if there is any decency left in the world, hopelessly dashed. In this episode, the guys dialogue with the manager of Flix Brewhouse to discuss the current state of the movie theater experience and to learn which beer to pair with Mile 22. Check it out.
Tom Cruise returns for the sixth (!) installment of the 22-year old (!) Mission: Impossible franchise with Fallout. This franchise is known for it's impressive practical stuntwork, intense action sequences, and ridiculous triple- and quadruple-crosses, all of which are on display in Fallout.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced changes to their annual Academy Award ceremony this week. The changes were not met with much enthusiasm by the entertainment industry. In this special episode, Danny and Mike react to the bizarre changes announced this week.
Writer/Director Boots Riley delivers a critically-adored film about a man who discovers a unique talent and has to decide if he will use that talent to enrich himself at the expense of his fellow men, or subvert his skill and speak truth to power. Also, there are half-human/half-horse people. Seriously. Mike loved it.
Dwayne Johnson (The Scorpion King) saves his family and some of a burning building from destruction and terrorists in the nearly incoherent thriller Skyscraper. We really don't have much more to say about this movie.
Holy cow! They really made interesting movies back in 1931! Cimarron, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture that year, is really something to see. Wild, unbelievably racist, hilarious in all the wrong ways, this is one to revisit.
Josh Brolin (Goonies) and Benicio Del Toro (Heinekin salesperson) return to the gritty, dark worlds of Sicario in Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado. The film sets up a dark premise, provides intense action, and plenty of dark-world intrigue and skullduggery. Mike really enjoyed it, Danny less so. Check out the episode for the dish.
Hollywood has struggled to connect audiences with a hit comedy in some time. 2018 has seen several comedies, headlined by known stars with successful track records, fall flat. Will Tag, starring Jeremy Renner (Wind River) be the film to break that streak and get audiences back to the theater for a mainstream comedy? No. No it will not. Is the film fully devoid of charms? No. Not it is not. It has John Hamm (30 Rock), Jake Johnson (Drinking Buddies), and Ed Helms (The Office). This movie just doesn't know what it wants to be or what it is trying to be about.