Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson’s Broadway stage musical, Dear Evan Hansen, already felt a few years past its due date in 2016. Ben Platt, who starred in the original run and returns for this new film adaptation, already felt a little too old for the role in 2016. Live theater does wonders to mask sappy, dated material with the illusive immersion of being there, in the moment and right in front of the actors. Dear Evan Hansen isn’t a Cats-level misfire, but it’s certainly not deserving of an encore.
Don’t worry, these are tears of joy. Why? In this packed episode of Cinnamonholics, we dish on TIFF 2021, catch up on The Card Counter and Blue Bayou, then review some movies. First, there’s Clint Eastwood’s new western, Cry Macho, starring himself, which just hit theaters and HBO Max. Then we get into The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, and Jon’s personal, childhood memories (just wait). Then we have a special surprise celebrity guest (Nicolas Cage?!) on the show to help us review his new movie Prisoners of the Ghostland.
Special guest Ryan Oliver joins us for a review of Malignant, a giallo-esque horror thriller from James Wan that just hit wide release and HBO Max. The movie is so scary, in fact, Ryan Oliver cusses one time! We also talk about Kate, the latest action movie on Netflix about revenge (another one!) this time starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Woody Harrelson. We open the show with a brief check-in on the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and some brief thoughts for Petite Maman from Celine Sciamma and The Voyeurs on Amazon Prime Video.
Special guest Adonis Gonzalez returns for an action-packed review of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. No, this isn’t an arthouse remake of one of those Sonic movies, though the rings do look suspiciously familiar. This is the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their first Asian-led superhero flick, in fact. Later in the show, we also review Cinderella, a new musical adaptation of the classic story directed by Kay Cannon and starring Camila Cabello, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Then we cover the new 9/11 awards-bait drama, Worth, a Sundance 2020 release that is now available to stream on Netflix, which stars Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, and Amy Ryan.
You haven’t heard from us in a few days, yes, but what can you do, we’re on vacation! Making friends! Speaking of, here’s our belated review of Vacation Friends, a new buddy comedy on Hulu starring Lil Rel Howery, John Cena, Meredith Hagner, and Yvonne Orji as a group of strangers who become friends while on vacation. Vacation friends! We also talk about the current state of wrestlers who become actors, then the problem with streaming-only movies having little-to-no pop cultural impact, so we might’ve made some vacation enemies after this.
Special guest Adonis Gonzalez joins us to review Candyman, a horror legacy sequel to the iconic 1992 slasher. Directed and co-written by Nia DaCosta with Jordan Peele as producer and co-screenwriter, this new take on the urban legend stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Colman Domingo. We open the show with a brief review of He’s All That, the new Netflix teen rom-com based on the late 90s “classic,” She’s All That. And we finish the show with an announcement!
Don’t forget to lock your doors. This week we take a trip to The Night House, and it’s quite an inviting horror film starring Rebecca Hall. Later in the show, we check out Sweet Girl, the new Netflix thriller starring Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced. Then Reminiscence on HBO Max and in theaters, a sci-fi […]
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a film canon cluttered with familiar formulas and diminishing returns. So it’s genuinely exciting to see the newest MCU film, Shang-Chi, bucking expectations with viscerally engaging fight choreography and trope reversals of other origin stories (mainly Doctor Strange). But then it’s all the more disappointing to see Shang-Chi subsequently revert to some of the most glaring and gaudy Marvel missteps.
It’s gametime. We’re back this week to review Free Guy, a new action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a non-playable character in a video game who becomes self-aware. We also review the new Netflix political thriller Beckett, which stars John David Washington as an unwitting fugitive in Greece. And then CODA, the Sundance Grand Jury winner about the child of deaf adults, which is now in select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+.
Special guest Kathia Woods joins the show this week for a bonus review of Respect, which stars Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in this musical biopic covering the highs and lows of the late Queen of Soul’s early career. The cast also includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige. The film was directed by Leisl Tommy in her feature debut, with a screenplay by Tracey Scott Wilson.
So, what, we’re reviewing some new Suicide Squad movie? Close. It’s The Suicide Squad, this time, a standalone sequel and/or soft reboot of 2016’s Suicide Squad, now directed by James Gunn. But this isn’t your stepdad’s PG-13 Marvel space jam. Nope, this is an R-rated action comedy featuring a massive ensemble cast, which includes the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, but also new characters played by Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian, and the voice of Sylvester Stallone. Later in the show, we also review Leo Carax’s new arthouse musical Annette, which stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. Then Vivo, a Netflix animated musical from Sony starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Some people say this isn’t a “bolder” movie. But it does star the Rock. It’s hard to follow the dialogue. But at least it’s Blunt. No listener, you haven’t stumbled upon some pun-infested hell. No, you’ve found yourself on the Cinemaholics cruise with Jon and Will, as they review Jungle Cruise, the long-awaited adaptation of the Disney theme park ride starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Delayed twice since its original intended release in 2019, the movie is now available to watch in theaters and on Disney+ through Premiere Access.
Special guest Alisha Grauso joins our roundtable to discuss The Green Knight, a new A24 fantasy epic from director/screenwriter David Lowery (A Ghost Story). The film stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, who embarks on a dark, existential, anti-hero’s journey to his own doom. The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, Kate Dickie, and Ralph Ineson. And it’s loosely based on the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
It turns out there’s still plenty of creativity and emotional stakes to be mined from the furiously picked over lore of King Arthur and his roundtable. The Green Knight openly advertises itself as a loose adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an anonymously-written poem that has long been considered an uncomfortable sticking point for religious authors and perhaps filmmakers who aren’t all that interested in tackling the spiritual politics between Christianity and the pagan roots of British folklore. Thank god (or gods?) for David Lowery.
Special guest Kimber Myers joins the show this week to review M. Night Shyamalan’s latest mind-bending horror thriller, Old, which stars Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott, and Kathleen Chalfant. Here’s the real twist. We keep getting older, but Shyamalan’s movies stay the same. Intro Music: “Main Title Theme […]
Yo, Joes, we know the G.I. Joe film franchise has been on leave since 2013, but the wait is finally over. Paramount just deployed Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, a reboot prequel centered around everyone’s favorite silent ninja, played here by a not-silent Henry Golding. Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red) with a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Charlie’s Angels), this new origin story resets the character with his own solo feature. The cast includes Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Takehiro Hira, and Iko Uwais.
Snake Eyes, also known as Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, is at constant war with itself, particularly over whether or not it wants to go full tilt into that clumsier, bulkier title connecting it to Paramount’s reboot of the G.I. Joe franchise, which fizzled out after just two tries, both of them colorful and surprisingly engaging for what they are, but ultimately too forgettable for audiences to collect ’em all.
Sit down for a spell and enjoy a meal with us. That’s right, we’re doing a special bonus review of Pig, a new psychological drama from Neon starring Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, and Adam Arkin. Directed by Michael Sarnoski in his directorial debut, Pig is definitely not your average film, and we definitely have a lot to go full ham about with this one.
Special guests Matt Serafini and Chris Sheridan join us for a 2-on-2 matchup over Space Jam: A New Legacy, the long-awaited sequel to the 1996 millennial fave, Space Jam. LeBron James steps into Michael Jordan’s sneakers, but not everyone on the show agrees he can fly in this massive, Warner Bros. commercial that at times features the Looney Tunes.
We’re back for a bonus episode covering Gunpowder Milkshake, a new action thriller now streaming on Netflix. Borrowing inspiration from a whole slew of movies like John Wick, Drive, Kill Bill, and many more, the film stars Karen Gillan as a bare-knuckle assassin on the run. The cast also includes Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Chloe Coleman, and Paul Giamatti.
Special guest Emily Tannenbaum joins us to review Black Widow, the long-awaited Marvel action spy film starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz. We open the show with early buzz for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, then some quick catchup on other movies and shows we saw this week. Will briefly shares his thoughts on I Think You Should Leave Season 2 on Netflix, Emily teases the first several episodes of the Gossip Girl reboot on HBO Max, and Jon covers Fear Street Part 2: 1978 on Netflix, Till Death starring Megan Fox, and Monsters at Work on Disney+.
July 4th weekend passed, and we spent it doing (what else?) watching a ton of movies. In addition to our in-depth review of The Tomorrow War, the new Chris Pratt sci-fi blockbuster on Amazon Prime Video, we kicked off the show with a conversation about the Purge franchise, thanks to The Forever Purge (which we didn’t see). We also briefly went over Fear Street Part 1: 1994 on Netflix and The Boss Baby: Family Business. And finally, we did the reviews, which include Zola from A24, Summer of Soul from Searchlight, and No Sudden Move from Warner Bros.
Fasten your seatbelts, and yes, “F” is for family. That’s right, we’re talking F9: The Fast Saga this week, which is the ninth film in Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise. Once again starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, plus newcomer John Cena, F9 is now in theaters and running laps around the box office. Also in this week’s show, we talk about False Positive, a new horror movie starring Ilana Glazer that is currently haunting Hulu. And we finish out this long and winding episode with The Ice Road, a new Netflix action thriller starring Liam Neeson.
The “hey, isn’t pregnancy pretty scary?” genre gets an all-new entry with A24’s False Positive, a deliriously bold and visually unflinching psychological horror from writer and director John Lee, who helmed a few episodes of “Broad City” with this film’s star, co-screenwriter, and co-producer Ilana Glazer. As an obvious homage to the chilling paranoia of Rosemary’s Baby, where a young woman suspects her neighbors might have dastardly plans in store for her unborn child, False Positive takes these similar themes, such as the plight of female agency in a male-dominated world, and adds even more contemporary topics like gaslighting in its effort to give this sub-genre a bit of a rebirth.
The second episode of “Loki” has been out for some time now, and I’ve got to tell you, this is the hardest time I’ve had writing about one of these shows. Not because there isn’t anything to write about. Quite the contrary. After only two episodes, “Loki” has a lot of tricky, deep themes up its sleeve.
Our heads are finally above water this week, because we’re reviewing Luca, a new Pixar movie about two young sea monsters who explore an Italian coastal town during an unforgettable summer. We also discuss The Sparks Brothers, Edgar Wright’s music documentary about “your favorite band’s favorite band.” Then we get into Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the action comedy sequel to the action comedy you probably didn’t see or remember. And we finish out the show with a breezy review of Summer of 85, a coming-of-age indie romance about two young men exploring their mortality and sexuality.
Our sueñito this week is to review In the Heights, the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical from 2008, directed by Jon M. Chu with a screenplay from Quiara Alegría Hudes. Now in theaters and on HBO Max for a limited time, this massive spectacle of a Nuevo York musical stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Jimmy Smits, and many more. We kick off this week’s show with some mini reviews for George A. Romero’s lost film The Amusement Park and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. And we finish this extra-long show with reviews for Wish Dragon, Holler, Censor, and The Misfits.
Okay guys, I know it. You’re tired of hearing about how good Marvel is. After thirteen years of existence, the MCU has produced hit after hit, with only the occasional Thor: The Dark World to leave a mark.
Special guest Cory Woodroof joins the show for an in-depth conversation about Bo Burnham: Inside, an experimental comedy special (and film, sort of?) that just hit Netflix. Burnham spent a year, alone, developing a one-man show set in just one location, where he uses original music and complex staging to comment on social media, pop culture, and mental health issues.
No one made us review The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the third entry in the main horror series of Conjuring films and eighth overall film in the “Conjuring Universe.” This time directed by Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona), the supernatural film once again stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigative duo tasked with solving a spooky conspiracy involving demonic possession, a murder trial, and even an evil cult. Also in this week’s show, we briefly discuss “Mare of Easttown” spoiler-free and review All Light, Everywhere, a new documentary from Theo Anthony about the abstract challenges of using body cameras to hold police officers accountable.
‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ conjures up an ambitious entry that just barely misses the mark
Do you remember the classic horror franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street? Remember the first film? An imaginative, ambient slasher with a strange but horrific premise? Remember when the third film, Dream Warriors, was announced? How bizarre it was to see the classic Krueger story transformed into a fantasy-horror-team-up film with a tone akin to that of a teen superhero movie? Because I don’t, I wasn’t born when those movies came out and I stopped my retro viewings after the second one. But I do imagine the feeling must have been pretty similar to how I felt walking out of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
Celebrating 55 years since its release in 1966, Au Hasard Balthazar is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, and yes, we’ve been long overdue to tackle a film from the one and only Robert Bresson, whose work has influenced filmmakers of all stripes for over half a century. The film stars Anne Wiazemsky a young French woman who develops a striking bond with a donkey she’s known since its birth, and we see a chronicling of her hardships as they parallel the inhumane treatment of Balthazar, a creature representing innocence in its rawest form.
Relax, darling, we’re working overtime this holiday weekend to bring you our in-depth thoughts of Cruella, the latest Disney live-action reimagining, this time focusing on the delirious origins of Cruella de Vil, portrayed here by Emma Stone in a sprawling crime comedy directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara. We also discuss Amazon’s acquisition of MGM and what that might mean for the future of the movie industry, plus some extra thoughts on the other films we saw this past week.
In the original animated movie (and, by extension, the 1996 live-action remake), Cruella is a dashing, fittingly devilish fashion obsessive who craves to skin the coats of Dalmatians because, well, she’s cruel and narcissistic. Cruella, from director Craig Gillespie, mostly buries this aspect of the villain’s psyche by giving more time to explaining her ascent (or descent?) to becoming a fashion superstar from extraordinarily humble beginnings.
Not sure if this one will get a director’s cut, but whatever the case, Army of the Dead is the latest film from Zack Snyder, harkening back to his undead roots in a subversive “zombie heist” action film starring Dave Bautista and now streaming on Netflix. We also discuss Riders of Justice, an action, revenge dramedy (seriously) from acclaimed Danish screenwriter and director Anders Thomas Jensen, which stars Mads Mikkelsen. And we finish out the show with a gushing review of Neon’s latest indie drama, The Killing of Two Lovers, which is from first-time director Robert Machoian and stars Clayne Crawford.
Be careful what you wish for. And that doesn’t just apply to our mini review of The Djinn from IFC Midnight. Nope, our main review this week is Those Who Wish Me Dead from Taylor Sheridan and starring Angelina Jolie, which just hit theaters and HBO Max. We also briefly discuss the “screen life” or “screen share” movie Profile, the latest Amy Adams Netflix movie The Woman in the Window, and a French sci-fi on Netflix called Oxygen, which stars Mélanie Laurent.
Angelina Jolie. The most household of household names. You won’t find anyone in the world who doesn’t know who Jolie is by name and name alone. Before we even get to her actual credentials — roles like Lara Croft in the original Tomb Raider movies, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, and Maleficent — she boasts accolades that include several Humanitarian awards and Oscars, and she even became a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She’s got a heavy business card, is what I’m getting at here. And it’s exactly that kind of star power and genuine, groundbreaking talent that serves not only as the shining light over Those Who Wish Me Dead from Warner Bros., but also the biggest obstacle standing in the way of an otherwise plain neo-western thriller.
Profile is caught in a curious frame. Inspired by Anna Erelle’s 2015 memoir, In the Skin of a Jihadist, director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) crafts a Facebook-focused thriller that was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2018, is based in the year 2014, and finally arrives in theaters nationwide in 2021. What we have, then, is a screen-share narrative that’s both forward-thinking when it comes to bridging the ever-shrinking cap between computer screens and the silver screen and an outdated hand-wagging parable about the terrors of technology and the ever-present dangers of social media (what a concept).
Even if Cinemaholics isn’t your main stream, we hope you join us for our review of Mainstream, a new indie satire from IFC Films starring Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Nat Wolff, and Jason Schwartzman. Also on the show, we’re covering a few mini reviews, including “Jupiter’s Legacy” on Netflix and David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut, The Water Man. And we finish things up with some discussion of the new Netflix drama Monster starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. and coming-of-age 90s dramedy Pink Skies Ahead from first-time director Kelly Oxford.
Special guest Isaac Feldberg joins the show for a review of the new action crime thriller Wrath of Man, directed and co-written by Guy Ritchie and starring Jason Statham as a cash truck driver out for revenge. This is a remake of the 2004 French film Cash Truck from Nicolas Boukhrief, and the cast includes Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonso, and Scott Eastwood.
Imagine you’re a full-time film critic. Fun, right? You’ve got a YouTube channel. Nice! You have fans who will harass anyone for even the blandest criticisms against you. Um…hm, well…oh, and you’re bad at your job, despite all this success.
It’s Negroni vs. Ashton on this week’s episode of Cinemaholics. That’s right, we’re reviewing The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the latest Sony Animation movie, now being released on Netflix. Most critics are loving this animated sci-fi family film, but the real fur is about to fly over the podcast airwaves. Also on the show, we’re covering Without Remorse, the latest Tom Clancy adaption, this time starring Michael B. Jordan and coming straight to Amazon Prime Video. There’s also Limbo from director Ben Sharrock, The Outside Story starring Brian Tyree Henry, and finally The Disciple, an Indian festival darling that just dropped on Netflix.
As we’re typically reminded by today’s news cycles, the immigrant experience is fraught with hardships and humility. The act of separating oneself from their homeland, their family, and sometimes their heritage causes one to drift between one nation to another, caught between two lands but never feeling connected to either — sometimes for a grueling sense of time. You’re caught in a perpetual state of limbo, which is befitting of sophomore writer/director Ben Sharrock’s BAFTA-nominated movie of the same name. To try to mine comedy from such a difficult experience can seem like a dangerous proposition, especially these days.
Our film anniversary this month belongs to the romantic drama Charlie Chaplin once called “the greatest movie ever made about America.” That’s right, we’re diving into A Place in the Sun, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters, with supporting turns from Anne Revere and Raymond Burr. Directed by George Stevens and written by Harry Brown and Michael Wilson, this awards-heavy favorite among classic film lovers celebrates 70 years since premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1951, and it was the second film adaptation of the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, which was also a place of the same name.
So, we’re finally here. Last week was the finale of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” a Marvel/Disney limited series that for the last six weeks has been absolutely dominating my television screen as much as it has my mind. Being a fan of Marvel’s live-action superhero ventures since I was a kid in 2008, it wasn’t hard for TFATWS to catch my eye. But while I came for the heroics, action, and quippy one-liners, what really compelled me (and many viewers) to stay were the mostly poignant and deep conversations about race, status, and the humanity of our favorite, godlike heroes. Key word: “mostly.”
Get over here? More like get over it! Anyway, this week on the show we talk about Mortal Kombat, a reboot of the film franchise based on the series of video games that just hit HBO Max and is now playing in theaters. We also review Stowaway, a new sci-fi thriller on Netflix. And we finish the show with a review of Together Together, a quirky Sundance comedy that is now in limited release. And if you’re curious what we thought of the Oscars 2021 ceremony, we open the show with some of our brief thoughts.
Special guest Alisha Grauso joins the show for a bonus discussion of “Shadow and Bone,” a brand new dark fantasy series that just hit Netflix. We chat about how the show measures up to the first book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, plus how newcomers to the story might get instantly hooked on this intriguing and unique world filled with “magic” (or small science?) and swashbuckling thieving crews.
The fifth and penultimate episode of TFATWS is called “Truth,” and that’s certainly no accident. After leaving us for an entire week with the final image of Cap’s blood-soaked shield stuck in our minds, TFATWS replaces it with even more memorable scenes and heavy imagery. Each of them are arguably just as hard to swallow as John Walker’s closing scene from the week prior.
Come fly to Greece with us for a weekend of reviews we’ll never forget. This week our main review is the new romance dramedy Monday, which stars Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough as two self-destructive lovers. We also have some brief Oscars talk and quickly review Ben Wheatley’s new sci-fi indie, In the Earth. Last, […]
A few years ago, I did a frequent column called “Snarcasm,” where I would break down a ridiculous piece of film writing using both snark and sarcasm (I’ve never been a creative person). Well, lately, I’ve been meaning to bring the format back again, because let’s face it, the internet seems to just be getting worse.
Roughly 13 years have gone by since the release of Iron Man, the film that introduced us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — that may not seem like a long time, but keep in mind that last year (2020) counted as at least five. This, mixed with the fact that currently 23 movies and two limited series have come out since, proves it’s pretty impossible to undermine the legacy and longevity of the MCU. But as time goes on, this sprawling superhero franchise has seen quite a few major changes. The Avengers ushered in a “Heroic Age” of superhero films, but we now see Marvel attempting to dissect those very heroic ideals that previous films were built on.
The teens aren’t all right on this week’s show. Our first review of the week is Voyagers, a new sci-fi drama from Neil Burger starring Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, and Colin Farrell, which just launched in theaters. We also discuss Thunder Force, Netflix’s superhero action comedy from Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, who co-stars in the film alongside Octavia Spencer. Last, we hit the slippery slopes of Slalom, a festival indie skiing drama from up-and-coming French director Charlène Favier.
The third episode of TFATWS ushers us into the halfway point of the series. With just three episodes left after it, Episode 3 strives to reveal as much as it can about the secrets of the Super Soldier serum, which has oft been alluded to since the beginning of the show. “Power Broker” delivers on this goal using seedy locales, lurking threats, and an unlikely alliance between Sam, Bucky, and Helmut Zemo (the villain from Captain America: Civil War, portrayed once again by Daniel Brühl).
Our main review this week is Shiva Baby, a new festival darling dark comedy written and directed by Emma Seligman in her feature film debut. In addition to discussing that film, along with Netflix’s Concrete Cowboy and Hulu’s WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, we discuss the new trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy and debate whether or not Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is good. Plus we go on a weird rant about streaming services as high school cliques.
It’s Jon vs. Will on this week’s bonus episode of Cinemaholics. Who will prevail? Hard to say. But they do their best to battle out their differing takes on not only Godzilla vs. Kong, but Legendary’s overall “MonsterVerse” to date. Their latest effort comes to us from director Adam Wingard and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir.
Godzilla vs. Kong comes packaged with an easy enough proposition for monster movie fans who’ve been craving something larger than life to hit their screen this year. It’s the culmination of several films all building upon one another since Gareth Edwards’ reboot of the central character in 2014, but the irony is that you don’t really need to see any of those films (or remember what happened in them, honestly) in order to get the full experience of this globe-trotting, city-smashing, Kaiju death match.
Bob Odenkirk is an unlikely action hero in Nobody, a new thriller from Ilya Naishuller, the director of Hardcore Henry. We discuss the film and Odenkirk’s surprising turn in it as a seemingly mediocre guy who goes full John Wick when a mob of Russians begins to target him and his family. Afterward, we discuss Bad Trip on Netflix and The Courier, which recently hit theaters.
Heroes are often defined by their actions. In the immortal words of Uncle Ben: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” We’ve had that saying hammered into our minds to the point of exhaustion, but there is a reason why it’s such an iconic saying. Whenever it comes time for our favorite comic book characters to […]
Special guest Mekishana Pierre joins us today for a bonus review of “Invincible,” a new animated superhero show created by Robert Kirkman and adapted from his 2003 comic book series. We discuss our general, spoiler-three thoughts on the first three episodes of the series, which you can watch right now on Amazon Prime Video. And the show features a stellar voice cast: Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Walton Goggins, and many more.
This month on Extra Milestone, we jump back in time 75 years to discuss Gilda, a cult classic film noir starring Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, and George Macready. Directed by Charles Vidor and co-written by Jo Eisinger and Marion Parsonnet (with an uncredited contribution from Ben Hecht), the story is adapted from the work of E.A. Ellington, and it centers around gambling con man Johnny Farrell (Ford), whose amoral casino boss Ballin (Macready) surprises him with the revelation of his new, striking wife Gilda (Hayworth). We discuss the film’s resonant themes all these years later, its impact on the noir genre, and how the film relates to other iconic dramas from the era.
Don’t worry, this shouldn’t take four hours. Special guest Adonis Gonzalez joins us to review Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the epic “Snydercut” or director’s cut of the 2017 superteam movie dud, which has just premiered on HBO Max. We discuss the legacy of Zack Snyder’s filmography, his work on the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), and the potential future of DC superheroes on the big screen.
South By Southwest 2021 was held virtually this year, and its film festival portion certainly had plenty to offer all you Cinemaholics. We get into some of our general thoughts of the festival and discuss common themes between the premieres. Plus we dig into our favorite films, from indie headliners like The Fallout and Violet to crowd-pleasing darlings like Language Lessons and Best Summer Ever. And finally we touch on some of the buzziest narrative features and documentaries of the fest, which include Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, Alone Together, and plenty more.
Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo star in Cherry, a new heavy drama on Apple TV+ from the Russo Brothers. We discuss the film and its interesting…perspectives on this week’s show, along with reviews for Yes Day, Kid90, and The Last Right. We open the show with a quick, super-serious crossover with Biff and Marty from Collision Movie Smackdown, in which they interview “Tom Holland.”
There’s nothing quite like Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a film that feels more like a big-budget HBO mini-series in terms of format, but with all the whiz bang pop of a billion dollar summer blockbuster. It’s certainly bloated, though it’s coming out at a time when audiences are more starved than ever when it comes to cinematic spectacle. It’s about as ambitious in its labrynth of costumed subplots as something like Captain America: Civil War, but it’s a far more coherent and narratively rewarding picture than a lot of what Snyder has produced before, particularly compared to the mess of misery that was Dawn of Justice.
It’s been a week since the exciting conclusion to “WandaVision” graced our screens. The Disney+ original series captured the attention of new and old MCU fans alike with its first bizarre and eye-catching premiere on January 15, and not much has changed eight episodes later. Every episode was wrought with fan theories, speculation, and nail-biting anticipation for the next week. And now, it’s over. The sun has set on yet another chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and “WandaVision” certainly went out with a bang. The finale featured some of the best action sequences and most crushing emotional moments in the entire (limited) series. The stellar acting from the cast, including Elizabeth Olsen, Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris and Paul Bettany, only helped catapult the positive reception of the finale, and it helped cement “WandaVision” as one of the must-watch shows of the year.
Special guest Matt Serafini joins us this week for a bonus review of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which is now available to stream on Paramount+. In addition to discussing this third movie about everyone’s favorite undersea sponge, we also wax poetic about the ongoing legacy of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and its impact on pop culture over the last 20 years.
The undersea adventures of SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom-dwelling fans have been going on since 1999, entertaining multiple generations and sparking that age-old debate about which era of the sea sponge’s escapades is the best. Well, it’s not much of a debate per se, it’s more like the original generation of viewers (now fully-grown adults) yelling at the younger generation, who don’t seem to be paying much attention because they’re too busy trying to watch “SpongeBob.”
We’re going on an adventure this week in our review of Raya and the Last Dragon, a new action-adventure film from Walt Disney Animation featuring the voice talents of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, and Daniel Dae Kim. Later in the show, we also review Coming 2 America, Sophie Jones, and Moxie. And we open the episode with a quick tribute to our cohost Abby Olcese, who will be departing Cinemaholics starting next week.
It’s not often we get a memoirist’s perspective on film. There are plenty of instances where directors write autobiographies, certainly. And there are plenty of novelists who’ve made the leap into screenwriting and directing. But it’s pretty rare for an author known for his best-selling life story to make the jump behind-the-camera. Of course, Eddie Huang hasn’t lived an ordinary life. The Fresh Off the Boat writer is an attorney, producer, television host, food personality, chef, and restaurateur, complete with his own gua bao eatery in Lower Manhattan, which gives you a glimpse into his wide-ranging skill set. This is a guy who really knows how to expand his reach.
Unlike Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse, we actually speak in this week’s show, as we discuss the new live-action family comedy Tom & Jerry, which just hit HBO Max and puts the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters into New York City with a host of human characters you definitely won’t care about. We also review The United States vs. Billie Holiday on Hulu and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry on Apple TV+. Plus, we do a quick mini review of The Mauritanian and play some listener voicemails.
Special guest Amanda the Jedi joins the show for a bonus review of “Behind Her Eyes,” a new psychological-thriller limited series from Netflix created by Steve Lightfoot and based on Sarah Pinborough’s novel of the same name. The story follows Louise, a single mother played by Simona Brown, who sparks a love affair with her new boss David, a psychiatrist played by Tom Bateman. She only later realizes however that he is already married to a woman named Adele, played by Eve Hewson. And before Louise knows it, she’s begun a secret friendship with the wife of the man she’s pining for.
This month’s Extra Milestone discussion is The Silence of the Lambs, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. We discuss the ongoing legacy of this perennial classic from director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ted Tally (adapted from the novel by Thomas Harris), including how it shaped the modern landscape of true crime filmmaking and left a lasting impact on perceptions of the transgender community. We also discuss the iconic performances of Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Ted Levine, who portray Clarice Starling, Hannibal Lecter, and Buffalo Bill, respectively. Then finish with a deep dive on the film’s ending.
If you care a lot about all the new releases this week, then you’ve come to the right place. This week we discuss the new Netflix dark comedy thriller I Care a Lot, which stars Rosamund Pike as a ruthless con artist (Con Girl?) who meets her match when crossing a gangster (Peter Dinklage) and his mother (Dianne Weist). We also review Minari, Flora & Ulysses, and a few other films that just hit theatrical and on demand. And toward the beginning of the show we discuss our preferred way of watching TV shows and play some listener voicemails.
Yuh-Jung Youn is a legendary Korean actor whose film and television work spans over 55 years. In the new A24 film, Minari, she stars alongside Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, and Will Patton as the grandmother of an immigrant family trying to achieve the American Dream in 1980s rural Arkansas. The film was directed and written by Lee Isaac Chung, and Yuh-Jung is now the first Korean actress to ever be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. I spoke with Yuh-Jung about Minari, the current state of the entertainment industry, and why this film will hopefully resonate with people of all backgrounds.You can listen to the full interview as a podcast (above) or read the edited transcript (below).
After a few weeks apart, the Cinemaholics trio is back together again! And our main review discussion this week is Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, a buzzy awards-level movie on HBO Max starring Daniel Kaluuya as the iconic Black Panther Fred Hampton and Lakeith Stanfield as the “Judas” who betrayed him in late-60s Chicago. We also continue our discussion about movie trailers from last week and review To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, and The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.
Special guest Chris Vognar joins us for a bonus review of “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” a new 4-part, true-crime documentary series on Netflix from Joe Berlinger. It gives a comprehensive account of Elisa Lam’s tragic disappearance in 2013, and how it may or may not be related to the eery, notorious, infamous, and downright spooky Hotel Cecil located in downtown Los Angeles.
Throughout a nearly four-decade acting career, Robin Wright has capably channeled characters who carry a patient, dutiful sense of longing and/or silent dignity. Be it The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump, The Congress, or Netflix’s House of Cards, to name only a few notable movies and shows, Wright has often demonstrated a great talent for playing patient, mature women with complicated feelings and careful thinking.
Hey all, welcome back to your favorite weekly recap of your favorite Marvel streaming series. I’m not sure if either of those statements is true, but if you’re reading this then you probably have some emotional investment in “WandaVision” and my long-winded rambling related to it.
If you’ve ever overhead an argument between Jon and Will right here on Cinemaholics, you’re pretty much prepared for Malcolm and Marie, a new Netflix film directed and written by Sam Levinson. This enclosed black-and-white drama stars Zendaya and John David Washington, and critics are pretty split on this film about relationships and, well, critics. Also in the show, we play some listener voicemails about the state of movie trailers and review several other new films, which include A Glitch in the Matrix, Little Fish, and more.
Special guest Kimber Myers joins Abby this week to talk about The Little Things, a neo-noir crime thriller on HBO Max starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, and Natalie Morales. They also discuss Palmer, which just came out on Apple TV+ and stars Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple.
For our first official milestone of 2021, we’re discussing Charlie Chaplin’s classic silent film City Lights, which this month celebrates its 90th anniversary since release. This long-celebrated romantic comedy was of course written, directed, and produced by Chaplin, who also stars in it as his iconic character, the Tramp. Along for the ride is Virginia Cherrill as the blind girl who wins the Tramp’s heart, Florence Lee as her grandmother, Harry Myers as the drunken millionaire, and plenty more.
Start spreading the news. The Cinemaholics are back this week to discuss the latest Tom Hanks movie directed by Paul Greengrass, which just happens to be a western set in post-Civil War Texas. Fun! We also review The White Tiger, In & of Itself, Our Friend, Some Kind of Heaven, and The Marksman.
We’re only a third of the way through “WandaVision,” but if this recent episode is any indication, we can expect an avalanche of strange occurrences and sudden twists to occur every single week. Episode 3 of “WandaVision,” aptly titled “Now in Color,” comes to Disney+ with another 40 minutes of laughs, love, and absolute madness. The show starts off how the second episode ended, in brand spanking new technicolor!
For those unaware, “WandaVision” is the newest project from Marvel Studios, and it’s the first in a long line of miniseries that all share a connection to each other and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. It follows everyone’s favorite odd couple — Wanda Maximoff and Vision (last name not included) — after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Back when this idea was first announced, it was met with excitement from some and exhaustion from others. I’m only a little bit ashamed to admit that for a while, I landed on the latter.
One afternoon on a Sunday, the Cinemaholics got together to review Regina King’s debut feature film, One Night in Miami, which stars Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr, Eli Goree, and Aldis Hodge. Also in this episode, you’ll hear some mini reviews for “WandaVision,” The Ultimate Playlist of Noise, and more. And some extended discussion over Locked Down and Herself.
OK, “reel” talk. 2020 was…interesting. It was definitely the most unique year of film in the last century of moviegoing. But throughout all the weirdness, we here at Cinemaholics found ourselves captivated by no small number of great projects from veteran filmmakers, first-time directors, and plenty of independent voices. In our annual “best of the year” show, we each discuss our general thoughts on 2020, our honorable mentions, and of course, our respective Top 10 choices. Plus, we share voicemails from some of you listeners discussing your favorite films of 2020.
We’re celebrating the new year with some tonally different new movies this week. First up is Pieces of a Woman, a new melodrama hitting Netflix this week, which stars Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf. Then we get into Sylvie’s Love, a new throwback romance on Amazon Prime starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. Finally, Will and Abby discuss The Midnight Sky on Netflix, directed by George Clooney, who also stars in the film alongside Felicity Jones. We also cover a few mini reviews in Off-Topics, which include “Cobra Kai” Season 3, We Can Be Heroes, Shadow in the Cloud, and News of the World.
To officially conclude this year’s Extra Milestone lineup, Jon Negroni and Will Ashton of the Cinemaholics podcast joined forces with me one last time to discuss two distinct (and oddly holiday-centric) auteur-driven classics. We start our conversation by digging through the muck of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, a bureaucratic odyssey of madness often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. After that, we jump forward to Edward Scissorhands, an intensely personal story from Tim Burton that is both lighthearted and melancholy, and which has affected us all at one point or another.
We had an out-of-body experience over the holidays checking out some major blockbuster films that hit streaming instead of theaters. There’s Pixar’s Soul, the latest from Pete Docter, which stars Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. And we also cover the controversial Wonder Woman 1984 from Patty Jenkins, which stars Gal Gadot, Christ Pine, Kristen Wiig, and Pedro Pascal. Finally, we end the show with review of Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, another controversial film that was a hit on the festival circuit, and it stars Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham.
We love watching movies around Christmastime, but we all have our favorite “unconventional” picks for the holiday season. Julia Teti joins us for a bonus discussion to discuss some of the best alternative Christmas movies, from recent favorites like Hustlers to perennial classics like The Apartment (which Julia contends is a New Year’s Movie for some reason).
Promising Young Woman is mad. Damn mad. And it damn well should be. The feature screenwriting and directorial debut of Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) is a consciously, thoughtfully thorny and confrontational revenge story, driven boldly by its star performance from Carey Mulligan. It tensely and intently examines the #MeToo era with a bold disregard for what anyone might think or say. Filled with simmering rage, and a film that’s often eager to examine the layers of hypocrisies through which a “boys will be boys” culture has been formed in institutions over the course of generations, this cinematic takedown is a vibrant effort to dispel “nice guys” and dismantle a society that often sides with men while disrupting women’s futures in the process.
Welcome to (perhaps) the largest Extra Milestone yet! In an Anyway, That’s All I Got reunion for the ages, I’m joined by Anthony Battaglia, Guy Simons Jr., and Jason Read to discuss three of the biggest epics of the 21st century! First up is Barry Lyndon, the passion project of Stanley Kubrick released in 1975, and a film that’s quite well-loved among hardcore cinephiles. After that, we circle back to Spartacus, an earlier Kubrick film that is rarely discussed in the context of his filmography, and perhaps for just reason! Finally, we jump forward to another one of the great directors with Ran, Akira Kurosawa’s massive and operatic masterpiece from 1985, and which only one of us had seen!
We’re sounding off this week for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the new Netflix film that has Oscars in its sights for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. We also cover Nomadland, a Best Picture frontrunner from writer/director Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand. And there’s also Greenland, the newest Gerard Butler disaster flick that is surprisingly decent! Last, we do a retrospective of Small Axe, a collection of five films from director Steve McQueen, which you can now stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Emily Kubincanek makes her welcomed and triumphant return to Extra Milestone, and this week’s selections are among the most varied yet! We begin by celebrating the 95-year anniversary of Sergei Eisenstein’s magnum opus Battleship Potemkin, a film more fundamentally significant than almost any other when it comes to the art form of editing and propaganda storytelling. After that, we take a lighthearted and melancholy stroll into the world of Henry Koster’s Harvey, a rich and complex comedy featuring one of the best performances by the great James Stewart. Finally, we get to the bottom of Jonathan Lynn’s Clue, a cult-classic murder mystery that neither of us had seen before, and were delighted to discover was great!
Colman Domingo stars alongside Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which hits Netflix on December 18 after its limited theatrical release. In addition to his acting work in films like If Beale Street Could Talk, Assassination Nation, Zola, and the upcoming Candyman, Domingo brings a wealth of experience as a writer, director, producer and actor on the stage, making him an obvious choice for Ma Rainey, which is based on the August Wilson play. I talked about the film with Domingo over Zoom, as well as his acting influences, his camaraderie with the late Chadwick Boseman, and what film lovers might get out of George C. Wolfe’s latest directorial effort.
Cinemaholics Podcast #198 – The Prom, I’m Your Woman, Let Them All Talk, Wolfwalkers, Wander Darkly, Songbird
The holiday season is upon us, so you know what that means! Time to celebrate the…prom? Well, OK, we’re really celebrating the annual big-budget December movie musical, which this year is Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, now streaming on Netflix and starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Keegan-Michael Key. We cover several other movies as well, which include Julia Hart’s new indie noir drama I’m Your Woman on Amazon Prime Video starring Rachel Brosnahan, Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk (also starring Meryl Streep) on HBO Max, the hand-drawn animated film Wolfwalkers on Apple TV+, the time-bending indie Wander Darkly starring Diego Luna and Sienna Miller, and Songbird, which stars KJ Apa and Sofia Carson.
Cinemaholics is now doing a live stream! It’s called The Big Stream, and it’s our new destination for all things movie industry news and extra off-topics we don’t have time to cover on the main show. Yesterday, I kicked off a conversation about Disney Investor Day, and how these massive show/movie announcements for Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Animation signal a new streaming strategy for Disney+, Hulu, and…Star?
This week on Extra Milestone, I’m joined by returning guest and fellow cinephile Andrew McMahon to break down an enticing double feature spanning numerous decades and genres. First up is a cinematic and musical appetizer in the form of Gimme Shelter, the iconic Rolling Stones documentary directed by Charlotte Zwerin and the Maysles Brothers, chronicling the doomed Altamont Speedway concert outside of San Francisco in December of 1969, a tragic failure that swiftly signaled the downfall of the Counterculture Movement. After that, we jump forward to Michael Mann’s Heat, a stylish and captivating crime drama featuring the first onscreen collaboration between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and which has maintained its legacy as one of the best films of its kind.
Monday, the latest film from director Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Suntan), is a splashy and sensationalized effort, one that’ll possibly turn some folks off its intentional, unabashed abrasiveness. The response to the film’s debut appears to be divided, and understandably so. Seemingly by design, Papadimitropoulos’ latest film is a claustrophobic and unsettled viewing experience, and it matches the restless, unbridled feelings of our lovestruck, then lovelorn characters. If you don’t care for these characters, essentially, then you’re gonna have a hard time falling for this movie. Especially since the filmmakers seemingly don’t care if you like them or not. They’re not the most endearing duo, but they’re certainly amusing to watch in their debauchery. Well, at least, until they aren’t. Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself already.
If you told me there was a movie being made about Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer who inspired the likes of Bessie Smith and Langston Hughes, I’d sit back and buckle in for a jazz-filled good time. If you told me the movie was based off a play written by August Wilson of Fences fame, I would immediately unbuckle myself to go and grab a pair of tissues.
Cinemaholics is what you Mank of it. Which is why we’re reviewing David Fincher’s latest film, Mank, now streaming on Netflix and starring Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Charles Dance. Manks in advance for listening. We also review Sound of Metal starring Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke, Black Bear starring Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbot, and Godmothered starring Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, and June Squibb.
The films of David Fincher tend to obsess over the genius of severely tragic and damaged characters. So it’s no surprise that Mank, a period biopic now on Netflix about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, has been on Fincher’s cinematic to-do list for many years. His father, Jack Fincher, wrote the screenplay decades ago, but he passed before ever having a chance to see the film brought to the big screen. Now, arguably still at the peak of his filmmaking career, David Fincher returns to deliver this biting treatise on the making of Citizen Kane, without ever really exploring the classic film’s most fascinating details.
This week on Extra Milestone, I’m joined once more by my good friend Guy Simons Jr. to dissect a pair of (relatively) recent classics that have garnered acclaim over the years, and which have almost nothing whatsoever to do with each other! First up is Pixar’s groundbreaking debut feature Toy Story, the first-ever wholly computer animated movie that has gained a reputation as an indispensable landmark in special effects and storytelling. After that, we jump ahead to M. Night Shyamalan’s unconventional superhero story Unbreakable, a grounded deconstruction of the genre that arrived before cinema as a whole had become swept up in comic book storytelling, and which has amassed a sizable (and well-earned) cult following.
It’ll take some time before we really come to terms with the depths of COVID-19’s devastation. It’s hard to grapple with the severity of a disaster when you’re still caught in the eye of the storm. We haven’t seen the last of this deadly and debilitating disease, and it’s hard to know when we ever will. A year ago, you hardly heard a single soul utter the word “coronavirus.” Now, it’s hard to have a conversation where it’s not mentioned in the first few seconds. We’re in a new normal for the time being, and we shouldn’t take it lightly. Because at least for the United States, the worst is yet to come, unfortunately.
Not all of us are in love with Clea DuVall’s latest film, Happiest Season, which is a Christmas romantic comedy on Hulu starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, and many more. Will and Abby take some time to review the latest “Small Axe” film from Steve McQueen on Amazon Prime Video: Lovers Rock. The whole gang joins the fun of The Twentieth Century, Matthew Rankin’s absurdist festival indie that might’ve stolen all our hearts. We also cover our mixed feelings on Alan Ball’s latest film since 2007, Uncle Frank, which boasts strong performances from Paul Bettany, Peter Macdissi, and Sophia Lillis. And last, Jon discusses Zappa, Alex Winter’s eclectic new documentary about the life of the infamous guitarist Frank Zappa.
Even in the midst of a year as hectic and unconventional as this one, Oscar season is still in full swing when it comes to this week’s selection of heavy hitters. Joining me once again for the first time in nearly three years is Maria Garcia, my former partner in crime from such shows as Now Conspiring and Part-Time Characters, and we’re discussing two films often hailed as being among the greatest of all time! We begin with Raging Bull, the morally complex sports biopic that saved Martin Scorsese’s life and has developed a widely varied legacy, and which one of us isn’t especially fond of! From there, we rewind the clock to visit Miloš Forman’s award season darling One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a wholly unique classic within film history that holds up wonderfully to this day.
Cinemaholics Podcast #195 – Run, Mangrove, The Last Vermeer, Collective, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
It’s just Will and Abby on the show this week, so you know what that means. No rules! No Jon to tell us, “No, you can’t review Aneesh Chaganty’s new film Run, his follow-up to Searching.” It doesn’t matter that it stars Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen in her breakout role, or that the film is now streaming on Hulu. That’s right, Will and Abby are going all out. They’re talking about the best and worst Ron Howard movies. They’re discussing some under-the-radar films you might want to look into, plus a holiday special they break down brick by brick. So until Jon gets back, it’s a momentous — nay classic — Will and Abby shenanicast.
To close out the month of October, we’re reviewing two of the best films of the 1950s, and also trying out a new format for the show! First up is my conversation with Rob Wilkinson on Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, an all-star drama with a record-breaking number of Oscar nominations, and which happens to be a fantastic exploration of the unforgiving theater world. After that, I chat with my Anyway, That’s All I Got cohost Anthony Battaglia about Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without A Cause, a landmark teen drama featuring an indelible posthumous performance by James Dean, and which is also fantastic!
The Cinemaholics are having an out of body experience covering the latest films this week, which include a new comedy horror from Happy Death Day director Christopher Landon. In addition to our main reviews, we briefly discuss some new shows we’ve been catching up on and ask the listeners what their favorite (and least favorite) Ron Howard movies are.
We’ve finally hit a dud! The local drunkard in an Old West town receives a surprising visit from fate one day, and what happens next may change his own life – and the lives of others – for good. It’s the third proper episode of The Twilight Zone, it’s one that just doesn’t function at the end of the day, and we’re here to figure out why. Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear our analysis of the episode’s various thematic leanings, the reason why this one feels so darn weird compared to the others, how it fits into the greater Twilight Zone lore, and more!
Extra Milestone – Dances With Wolves (1990), The Magnificent Seven (1960), To Sleep With Anger (1990)
Adonis Gonzalez, my cohost on A Nice Place to Visit and Game Over, Man!, is back on the show to discuss a trio of movies that have nothing to do with each other…or do they? Tune in to hear our conversation on Kevin Costner’s Oscar-Winning epic Dances With Wolves, John Sturges’ iconic western remake The Magnificent Seven, and Charles Burnett’s engrossing family drama To Sleep With Anger!
Fables are the fabric through which we weave our hopes, our morals from past failures, and our burning idealism into the consciousness of future generations. In the grand tradition of passing down stories and sharing grand memories to young and impressionable minds, Cartoon Saloon and Mélusine productions’ Wolfwalkers, the new animated movie from directors Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea) and Ross Stewart, is a lovely and winningly sincere 2D tale of friendship, acceptance, and the rapid dangers of societal mistrust.
Adonis and Sam are back after an unexpected hiatus to continue the Alien/Predator saga with Stephen Hopkins’ sequel to John McTiernan’s introduction to the Predator, Predator 2! It’s a film that has received a mixed reaction over time, and the two of us certainly have some words for this film. Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear what we had to say!
The success of 2011’s Bridesmaids proved female comedies featuring the kind of bawdy, scattalogical humor typically seen in male-led comedies could lead to box office gold. In its wake came a wave of Bechdel-test-passing, R-rated comedies of varying degrees of success, including the smash hit Girls Trip in 2017. Chick Fight feels like the product of Bridesmaids-effect. The women of Chick Fight don’t give a damn about being “ladylike.” They’re badasses! They’re sexual like Melissa McCarthy in that plane scene! The romance is a side plot! But the movie lacks what set Bridesmaids and Girls Trip apart: authenticity.
Cinemaholics Podcast #193 – The Dark and the Wicked, The Queen’s Gambit, Let Him Go, Kindred, Come Play, Time
Election week is over, but that doesn’t mean we took a break from catching up on new movies. Our reviews this week include The Dark and the Wicked, a new horror film from Bryan Bertino that is now streaming on demand. We also discuss the new Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Marielle Heller. Plus, we cover Let Him Go starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, Kindred starring Tamara Lawrance and Fiona Shaw, Come Play starring Gillian Jacobs and Azhy Robertson, and finally Time, Garrett Bradley’s new Amazon Studios documentary that premiered at Sundance 2020.
Will Ashton returns to Extra Milestone yet again to chart an unusual cinematic path across the 1980s and 1990s! We begin with an examination of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, including our thoughts on the story’s emotional core, trivia on why the film is significant to the history of the academy, our impressions of David Lynch, and more! From there, we return to the films of Martin Scorsese with After Hours, an unusual and underseen comedic outing from the acclaimed director, and we close out the show by bringing the films of Abbas Kiarostami into focus with Close-Up, a hybrid documentary exploring the very nature and function of cinema.
In this house, we review the new Netflix horror film His House, the feature debut of writer/director Remi Weekes starring Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, and Matt Smith. We also discuss the soft reboot/sequel The Craft: Legacy, which is now on VOD. There’s Holidate, an unexpectedly R-rated rom-com on Netflix that might win some hearts. And last, Glen Keane’s feature directorial debut, Over the Moon, an animated family film from the same studio that made last year’s Abominable.
I’m not exactly sure how to sell you on Frederick Wiseman’s City Hall. This sweeping, sprawling, four-and-a-half-hour documentary is a massive, city-wide examination of the inner workings of Boston’s government and public services. It’s an elaborate, expansive look at what makes a city the way it is, how its citizens and political leaders work hard to keep everything running, and the seemingly endless hurdles that poor and marginalized individuals often need to go through in order to make their voices heard. It’s a bulky, burgeoning enterprise of a documentary that’s as interested in watching town hall officials speak to the masses as it is watching the local garbagemen take out the trash on their regular circuits.
Guy Simons Jr. (of Anyway, That’s All I Got fame) joins me for the first time on Extra Milestone for a special Halloween episode devoted to two of the greatest serial killer movies of all time! Kicking off our conversation is Alfred Hitchcock’s game-changing masterpiece Psycho, including the unique and revolutionary distribution of the film, the ways in which it insidiously sets itself apart from every other movie, whether or not it should be considered a ‘slasher,’ and more! After that, we jump forward to David Fincher’s haunting detective thriller Se7en, a movie which one of us had somehow never seen until now! We also discuss the film’s somewhat troubled legacy, the ways in which it has infiltrated the internet consciousness, and even some valuable insight on whether or not it should be viewed as an optimistic film!
Cinemaholics Podcast #191 – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, On the Rocks, The Witches, Rebecca, Bad Hair
It time for very nice episode of Cinemaholics. First American movie is Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, great success. Rashida Jones and Bill Murray have weird marriage problem in On the Rocks, not nice. New streaming service HBO Max ruin day with The Witches, my wife Anne Hathaway make big impression. Rebecca on Netflix make no sense, but Lily James in it, high five. Bad Hair on Hulu scare all children, not appropriate for babies under 3, now official favorite movie of Cinemaholics Halloween.
It’s the second official episode of The Twilight Zone, and it may be one of the best! A traveling salesman (Ed Wynn) is visited by the specter of death (Murray Hamilton), and the two of us have some (many) questions! Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear why we connect to this episode so heavily, the ways in which it encapsulates everything that makes the show awesome, and even our incredibly bizarre idea for an entire series that could spin off from this episode!
Cinemaholics host Jon Negroni returns to Extra Milestone for a double feature of two of the greatest films of all time! We start by discussing Sidney Lumet’s 1975 crime thriller Dog Day Afternoon, a revolutionary and dynamic film that remains just as relevant 45 years later, if not even more so. From there, we move on to Martin Scorsese’s career-defining classic Goodfellas, which we believe may potentially hold the title as the greatest gangster film of them all, in addition to being expertly crafted in every way.
Cinemaholics Podcast #190 – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Love and Monsters, American Utopia, Spontaneous, The Kid Detective
This week, we call Aaron Sorkin to the stand for his latest film The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is now on Netflix and stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and many more. We also find some time for love, or Love and Monsters to be specific, which stars Dylan O’Brien and Jessica Henwick. We discuss Spike Lee’s concert film, David Byrne’s American Utopia, which is now on HBO Max. Plus Spontaneous, a high school “sci fi black comedy” starring Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer. And finally, The Kid Detective, a dark comedy starring Adam Brody and Sophie Nélisse.
There comes a point in many people’s lives when they realize they’re not going to live up to their past potential. Whatever bright promise they once showed grows dim in the recesses of time, and the gradual steps toward the mediocrity and bitter acceptance of a middling adulthood come heavily. This is not autobiographical; I had little-to-no potential growing up, and I’m certainly not living up to it now! But it’s the tortured and tormented existence of Abe Applebaum, the former child protigee-turned-sad-sack protagonist of writer-director Evan Morgan’s dark noir dramedy The Kid Detective, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month before making its unexpected theatrical release (at least, for me) this weekend.
We’ve met the Aliens, but the time has come at last to face the Predators. This week on Game Over, Man!, Sam and Adonis are taking their first departure from the Alien series to take a look back at John McTiernan’s sophomore feature Predator! If that weren’t enough, one of the hosts isn’t a fan of the movie, making this our first major disagreement! Tune in to the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear how James Cameron serendipitously influenced the design of the Predator, why the hosts are of two different minds, who they actually think would win if a Predator and a Xenomorph were to face off, and more!
Babysitter’s Guide, directed by Rachel Talalay (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare), is based on a three-part book of the same name, written and adapted for the screen by Joe Ballarini. The movie takes place in Rhode Island where teen Kelly is a math whiz and social pariah, dubbed “Monster Girl” by her peers who still mock her for claiming to be have been attacked by a monster at age five. On Halloween night, Kelly learns monsters are, in fact, very real when Jacob, the boy she is babysitting, is kidnapped by the boogeyman himself. Kelly is joined by an underground society of monster-hunting babysitters to rescue Jacob and stop the boogeyman from releasing his army of nightmares on the world.
Emily Kubincanek returns to Extra Milestone at last, and in no small fashion! We’re diving headfirst into the most Classic of Cinema with two brilliant films that connect to the Silent Era! First up is Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, a dramatic comedy featuring Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ that cemented many dramatic traditions while simultaneously telling a heartfelt and humorous story! From there, we jump forward to Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, which examines the world of showbusiness, the remnants of the Silent Era, and the widespread sacrifices found in Hollywood living through a melancholy lens steeped in Film Noir tradition.
A man with no memory of his identity wakes up near a small town that’s completely abandoned…or is it? It’s the very first *actual* episode of The Twilight Zone, and we’re joined by our longtime friend and podcast collaborator Bridget Serdock to discuss it! Is it an effective introduction to the series at large? How does this unusual scenario tap into universal anxieties? Does it actually make scientific sense once the twist is revealed? And what would we do with an entire town to ourselves? Find out in the dimension which we call: A Nice Place to Visit.
Cinemaholics Podcast #189 – Hubie Halloween, The Wolf of Snow Hollow, The 40-Year-Old Version, Charm City Kings, The Lie
It’s a little spooky how positive we are on Hubie Halloween, the newest Netflix film starring Adam Sandler and a whole host of other recognizable actors and comedians. We keep the horror comedy vibe going with our review of The Wolf of Snow Hollow, the final film starring Robert Forster. Then we go back to Netflix to watch The 40-Year-Old Version, a Sundance hit starring Radha Blank, who also directed the film. On HBO Max, there’s Charm City Kings, a fun dirt bike racing drama starring Jahi Di’Allo Winston and Meek Mill. And finally, Will welcomes us to “Welcome to the Blumhouse,” a new Amazon Prime Video slate of horror movies starting with The Lie.
The pairings keep getting stranger and stranger every week, and this week’s show is no exception! Special guest Ryan Oliver joins Sam and Jon to tackle two very different classics, starting with Akira Kurosawa’s massively influential 1950 arthouse classic Rashomon. We discuss everything from our differing experiences with the film, how multiple viewings have yielded different interpretations, and why the film has remained so meaningful even after 70 years. After that, we take a huge left turn toward Transylvania to examine the legacy and power of Jim Sharman’s 1975 genre-defining cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which one of us doesn’t like! It’s another collection of varied experiences complete with a litany of recommendations to go along with both films!
By now, you’re likely familiar with Greta Thunberg, a 17-year-old Swedish environmental activist who’s drummed up heaps of international press over her ongoing efforts to bring serious awareness to the increasing dangers of climate change, global warming, and the depletion of our global resources. It’s a problem impacting all of us, young and old. In fact, it’s the youth in particular who will need to live with the consequences of their elders if we don’t do something to prevent the aching calls of distress from our dying planet. It’s been noted several times by now that we’re currently at the brink of irreversible damage, and if something isn’t done imminently, we’ll suffer greatly from the extreme consequences of our inaction.
We had an out-of-body experience trying to review Brandon Cronenberg’s trippy new sci-fi horror film Possessor, which stars Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbot, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sean Bean. After that, we dive into the endless charms of Kirsten Johnson’s new documentary Dick Johnson is Dead. And since it is October, why not add another horror film, Scare Me, which is now on Shudder. Last, there’s Save Yourselves! — a new indie comedy starring Sunita Mani and John Paul Reynolds.
In our first Patron-Exclusive podcast, we’re continuing the Alien franchise with James Cameron’s Aliens, the pluralized sequel that shook the world! Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley in an Oscar-nominated role that pits her, a team of memorable space marines, and a young orphaned girl against an entire hive of deadly Xenomorphs, and it’s even better than the original! Tune in on the Cinemaholics Patreon to hear us discuss the brilliant character interactions, effective and efficiently-produced scares, and even the deeper implications on the potential of humanity!
To officially commence the Milestone month of August, Will Ashton and Andrew McMahon make their long-awaited returns to help break down a unique and unexpected triple feature, the likes of which the podcast world may have never seen before. We begin with an analysis of Barbara Loden’s Wanda, the first film to be written, directed, and led by a female filmmaker. We follow this up with a look back at Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, the iconic feature debut of Tim Burton. Finally, we dive into the work of the great Agnès Varda with an observational look at her acclaimed and influential film Vagabond.
Matt Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band shocked mainstream audiences when it opened Off Broadway in 1968. It tells the story of seven gay men at a birthday party in a New York City apartment, which was groundbreaking at the time in how it pioneered representation of gay life. Now, the story is being brought to life once again in a new movie from Netflix and a team of producers that includes Ryan Murphy — as part of his $300 million deal with the streaming service.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen, directed by McG and starring pretty much the exact same cast as the first film, was released exclusively on Netflix earlier this month and is described by the service as a “teen comedy horror…sequel.” Thanks to the sequel’s release, the original went from a cult-favorite film to the first in a cult-favorite franchise. Much like the majority of its cast and crew, The Babysitter: Killer Queen is more of the same kind of material we got from the first movie. Yet, for whatever reason, I enjoyed this one a lot more.
As always, we don’t have a clue what to review this week. But we’ll start with Enola Holmes, a new YA Netflix film starring Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, played by Henry Cavill. We also discuss Miranda July’s latest indie favorite, Kajillionaire, which stars Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins, and Debra Winger. Last, there’s a new Disney+ movie made with the Disney Channel called Secret Society of Second Born Royals and, um, yikes.
Apples, the feature directorial debut of Christos Nikou, isn’t a horror film, though it does grapple with something that’s terrifying to think about. In the midst of a nationwide pandemic, where people instantly and inexplicably suffer from acute cases of severe amnesia, Number 14842, a.k.a. Aris (Aris Servetalis), is the latest patient who winds up in the Disturbed Memory Department, a mental rehabilitation center for people who cannot remember their identities, their past, their loved ones, or where they live.
Welcome to the very first episode of A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, the *other* Patreon exclusive podcast hosted by Adonis Gonzalez and Sam Noland! This is the show where we’re going to be reviewing every episode of The Twilight Zone, and to kick things off we’re talking about…a different show entirely?! Before Rod Serling’s vision officially came to fruition in 1959, the show’s concept was introduced in a 1958 episode of the anthology series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, and was introduced by none other than the great Desi Arnaz! Starring William Bendix and Martin Balsam, The Time Element tells the story of a man haunted by a recurring dream that may be more supernatural than anyone thinks. Does this episode properly establish the tone of The Twilight Zone? Does it even make sense in spite of that? What recurring dreams have Adonis and Sam had? And how would we react to traveling through time? Find out in the dimension which we call: A NICE PLACE TO VISIT.
I want to believe that most movies are made with good intentions. I have a hard time believing that a group of people would spend a year (or more) of their time working on something for shallow or potentially even cynical reasons. Yes, we live in a very cynical world, as Jerry Maguire once said. I understand that people are not always driven by pure desires and good deeds. But when it comes to art, especially art that is meant to be as emotionally engrossing as Good Joe Bell, the newest film from director Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), I would believe — or, at least, hope — that the motivations behind this project were noble and good, as its dutiful title would suggest. Nevertheless, movies don’t give out prizes for good intentions.
Things are getting real heavy this week, because Adonis Gonzalez is here to talk about the two best movies of 1985, which happen to be radically different from one another! We start with a harrowing exploration of Elem Klimov’s Come and See, an anti-war film depicting the Nazi invasion of Belorussia through the eyes of a young boy. We discuss the history of the film’s reputation, the drama associated with the production, the way that it emerges as (potentially) the only War movie that actually matters, and why we find it so difficult to even recommend. After that, we were happy to cleanse our palate with a discussion on Robert Zemeckis’s iconic Sci-Fi Family Comedy Back to the Future, covering its deft narrative construction, effective antagonist, and curious soundtrack decisions, as well as a deserved commendation for the recently deceased Ron Cobb.
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival has just ended, but we’re just getting started covering and even rediscovering the best and worst of this virtual event. From awards favorites like Nomadland and One Night in Miami to noteworthy standouts like Wolfwalkers and City Hall, we discuss up to 33 films you’ll likely hear even more about as we move into the winter film season.
Enola Holmes is based on the YA book series The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer. It tells the story of Enola Holmes, the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, the former of whom is already famous by the time our story starts in 1884. After her father dies and her brothers leave home, Enola is left with her beloved but eccentric mother, Eudoria, at the family’s country estate. Then, on the morning of Enola’s sixteenth birthday, Eudoria disappears. Enola must follow her trail of clues and set out on an adventure to find her. The plot thickens when she meets Viscount Tewksbury, a runaway Marquess pursued by a mysterious assassin in a bowler hat. The game is afoot.
Directed and written by Sean Durkin in his latest film since 2011, The Nest tells the story of Rory O’Hara, portrayed by Jude Law, who after a seemingly successful life of entrepreneurism in the States, moves back to London in the late 1980s so he can work for his old company. Along with his loving wife Allison (Carrie Coon) and their children Samantha and Ben (Oona Roche and Charlie Shotwell), the family moves into a luxurious, countryside house, and as this summary might hint, things begin to take a “twisted turn” once they arrive.
On this week’s episode, we’re hitchhiking all the way to West Virginia and Ohio for the latest Netflix original film, The Devil All The Time starring Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson. We also discuss The Nest starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, Antebellum starring Janelle Monáe, and The Way I See It, a new documentary about the Obama administration from the perspective of his official White House photographer.
Welcome to the very first episode of a new limited podcast series hosted by Sam Noland and Adonis Gonzalez! The two of them have decided to celebrate the spookiest time of year by reviewing every Alien and Predator movie, and they’re starting at the very beginning with none other than Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 Sci-Fi Horror Classic Alien. Tune in to hear them discuss their experience and familiarity with the film, why it still easily lives up to the hype, behind-the-scenes information, and even a fun scenario on how they would introduce someone to the film for the first time! Give it a listen, and then be sure to sign up for the Cinemaholics Patreon, where the remainder of the episodes will be exclusively available.
In theory, there’s something quite lovely about David Oyelowo’s directorial debut, The Water Man. It’s a celebration of the power of storytelling and the ways in which we can use our imaginations to understand the intricacies of our realities. The execution is completely earnest and sometimes charming, particularly with a strong lead performance from newcomer Lonnie Chavis. The storybook quality, while not especially novel, certainly makes it an accessible film for young audiences, even when it deals with heavy subject matter. Despite its warm presentation, likable sincerity, and all its good intentions, there’s also a cold irony to how familiar and rudimentary it can be in its narrative structure.
Sam Noland is back on Extra Milestone after a week’s respite to take on, along with friend and coworker Robert Wilkinson, two radically different classics. First up is Charles Laughton’s gothic thriller The Night of the Hunter, which stars Robert Mitchum as a psychopathic priest hunting down two children during the Great Depression. Next up on our itinerary is the landmark spoof comedy Airplane!, the laugh-a-minute lampooning of pop cinema celebrating 40 years of making the world howl with laughter.
Viggo Mortensen makes his screenwriting and directorial debut with Falling, a heavy (and sometimes heavy-handed) family drama in which Mortensen also stars as John, a mild-mannered pilot who takes a week off from work in order to spend time with his critical, outspoken, set-in-his-ways father (Lance Henriksen), a brittle senior who is never afraid to yell, demean, and belittle anyone and everyone around him. John and his family, including his husband (Terry Chen), his adopted daughter (Gabby Velis), and his sister (Laura Linney), all try their best to put up with the old man’s endless torments. After all, it’s not looking good for his future. He’s a relic of the past who haunts his family — even as he’s still among the living (if only for so long). His disgruntled children do everything they can to keep their decades-spanning feelings of anguish, remorse, and frustration toward their father to themselves, but Mortensen’s moody movie is unafraid to turn up the dial until it’s almost unbearable for anyone (them or us) to want to spend even a minute longer in this man’s narrow-minded company.
Enemies of the State, from director Sonia Kennebeck (National Bird), doesn’t need to do too much to make audiences feel an unnerving sense of dread over the dangers of government surveillance in our current technological era. We, the people, are growing ever more aware of the uncovered truths in an age of Wikileaks and other online methods of taking off masks and discovering previously undisclosed secrets. But ironically enough, in an age where information can often be at the click of the button, what is actually true and what is being constructed by our government can become foggy in an age of post-truth and “fake news.” Are we sometimes too quick to assume what is true and what is fabricated? Are government figures merely looking out for their own interests, or do they have more specific agendas? At a time where we know more about the activities of the U.S. government than ever, we might have even more questions than ever regarding their activities and what they seek to find in American homes.
Director Antonio Campos wastes no time setting the tone of The Devil All the Time, his adaptation of the 2011 novel by Donald Ray Pollack. Within the first few minutes, Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgård), an American soldier in the South Pacific during World War II, finds the fly-ridden body of a marine crucified on a cross. The scene is the first of many bloody acts in the bleak film, and the theme of violence and sacrifice is explored even further throughout its 139 minutes.
‘The Way I See It’ Tells a New Story about the Obama White House—From the Perspective of its Photographer
No matter their political persuasion, most people can probably agree that there is a stark difference between the Obama presidency and the current one. Because this is an election year, we’ve been inundated with a seemingly endless stream of new documentaries reminding us of this fact and expanding upon various calls to action leaning one way or the other on who should run the country for the next four years. Perhaps the most unconventional of these recent docs is The Way I See It from director Dawn Porter, which showcases archived stills taken by President Obama’s White House photographer, Pete Souza, who also worked for the Reagan administration.
When I started Holler, the first feature film written and directed by Nicole Riegel and based on her short film of the same name, I had this ringing feeling. Its sense of place, warm authenticity, and bittersweet emotional core were all burning bright just as this homey small-town indie began. Aided by a bristling, genuine lead performance from Jessica Barden (The Lobster, The End of the F****** World), I was already feeling energized and enthusiastic about the wondrous possibility that I might be watching one of the finest debuts of this year’s highly unorthodox Toronto International Film Festival.
Cinemaholics Podcast #185 – Unpregnant, The Social Dilemma, Cuties, #Alive, All In: The Fight For Democracy
The Cinemaholics are going on a road trip! Metaphorically, at least. Our first pit stop this week is an in-depth review of Unpregnant, a buddy road trip comedy streaming exclusively on HBO Max, and it stars Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira. Next, we travel all the way to the internet for The Social Dilemma, a new Netflix documentary about how social media is basically ruining society. Fun! After that, we head to France to discuss yet another Netflix film, Cuties, which has been caught in a maelstrom of controversy considering its sexual content. But that’s not all, we go on a detour out east for #Alive, a new South Korean zombie movie on (you guessed it) Netflix! Last, we head on home for an American documentary on Prime Video called All In: The Fight For Democracy, which is about voter suppression in these United States.
When it comes to psychological horror, there is one unwritten but common and maybe even obvious imperative: you have to mess with your audience’s mind. The true horror doesn’t come from a man in a papier-mâché Halloween mask or a creepy-crawly creature from the fifth dimension like you’ll see in other scary movies. It comes from mystery, the feeling that you never have any idea what is actually going on in the film you’re watching, as well as the sense of dread that confusion might entail. So I guess you could say Rent-A-Pal is a pretty good psychological horror — one certainly deserving the genre label.
Hey there, buddy-boys and buddy-gals! This week, we might just have the key to your next favorite movie, The Apartment, which recently celebrated 60 years since its initial release. Widely considered to be one of Billy Wilder’s true masterpieces, this romantic dramedy stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred McMurray. We discuss the film’s impact on our own movie-going lives, play some of our favorite clips, and have a spirited debate about this either being a “Christmas movie” or a “New Year’s” movie.
In our first official episode with new Cinemaholics co-host Abby Olcese, we discuss the honor and honor that is to be found honorable in Mulan, the latest live-action Disney remake, which stars Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Gong Li, and Jet Li. Plus, we review Charlie Kaufman’s new mind-bending film I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which is now on Netflix and stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.
If you search the name “Ellis Haizlip” in your preferred search engine of choice today, you won’t get a lot of results. There is no Wikipedia page, and his IMDB spotlight is slim, to say the least. Most of what you’ll get are stories and reviews about Mr. Soul, the documentary detailing the life and career of Haizlip and his time as the producer and host of “Soul!” from 1968 to 1973. A documentary, I might add, that most people wouldn’t even know to search the name of because much like the person it’s analyzing, it wasn’t massively advertised. Still, Mr. Soul is just as important to American life and TV as the man himself was.
In any other year, it wouldn’t be a question of whether or not you should see writer/director Christopher Nolan’s latest visual extravaganza on the big screen. It would just be a matter of how quickly you should go.
This week’s Extra Milestone is so iconic that we may just need a bigger boat. Anthony Battaglia reunites with Sam to discuss two immensely significant blockbusters that have irreparably shaped the cinematic landscape. We start with a discussion on Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, including our differing experiences with the movie, our appreciation for the writing and acting, differences from Peter Benchley’s novel, a confession as to our shared fear of open water, and even an extremely hot take involving the infamous sequels! After we dry off from that conversation, we take an isolated look at Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back and how it changed Star Wars (and sequels in general) forever, why it maintains its effectiveness after dozens of viewings, why we can never view the Dagobah sequence the same way again, whether or not it contains the best lightsaber battle ever, and the dichotomy between good and evil that was solidified in this film.
As a business model, Disney’s years-long effort to re-capitalize its most iconic animated films of yesteryear into big-budget, live-action (or live-action-esque in the case of last year’s The Lion King) reimaginings has been nothing short of a financial masterstroke, not too far below the juggernaut success of their Marvel and Star Wars acquisitions just a decade ago. In some ways, Mulan represents both the highs and lows of Disney’s trip down memory lane, from family favorites like The Jungle Book to more critically shrugged replicants like Beauty and the Beast. Either way, Mulan is sure to leave some audiences clamoring for more, while others might end up feeling somewhat cheated by what could’ve been.
She’s a litigator who spends her days in court defending the little man pro bono and her nights alone with nothing but Chinese takeout for comfort. He’s handsome, wealthy, and charming but totally incapable of falling in love — or so it seems. It’s the perfect setup. By the time the title card appears, accompanied by Tiffany’s 80s pop anthem “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Netflix’s Love, Guaranteed has laid out all the standard rules for the romantic comedy. The next 90 minutes won’t do much to challenge those rules, but it’s a fun 90 minutes nonetheless.
Cinemaholics Podcast #183 – The New Mutants, Bill & Ted Face the Music, The Personal History of David Copperfield
Special guest Charlie Ridgely joins the show for our long-awaited review of The New Mutants, the final X-Men comic-book movie made by Fox…which was shot three years ago. We also discuss Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the beloved franchise starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. And last we tackle The Personal History of David Copperfield, a new adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, and this one stars Dev Patel and was directed by Armando Iannucci.
On August 28, 2020, the world stood still. As I sat in a diner, patiently awaiting my “breakfast for dinner,” I did what every person nowadays does when there’s nothing else to do: I checked my phone. The first thing I saw when I opened Twitter and looked at my timeline was the most shocking and heartbreaking news I never knew I wasn’t prepared to hear. Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther, was dead at 43. Boseman passed away peacefully, surrounded by his wife and family, according to the statement made on his official Twitter account. I sat there in shock and disbelief, hoping and praying that this might be some sort of joke. That maybe his account had been hacked, or I was stuck in some sort of lucid dream. It didn’t take long for the swarms of tweets and replies full of the same amount of disbelief to come in, as well as the responses from those who knew him or wished to know him more. Then I realized it was real.
I’ll never claim to be a great source of knowledge when it comes to the works of Charles Dickens. My familiarity with his words derive through other sources, mainly various adaptations of varying faithfulness or stylistic-to-bombastic re-imaginings of his material that may or may not honor the “spirit” of his original scribbles. Therefore, I cannot tell you whether or not The Personal History of David Copperfield is a fitting adaptation, nor if it properly honors Dickens’ long-standing legacy and cultural relevance. But here’s what I can tell you.
The new Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, reflects on the history and impact of the Paralympic Games while telling the stories of several of its elite athletes. The first lines of the documentary draw a parallel between Marvel’s Avengers and Paralympians. Like comic book superheroes, each of the featured competitors has an origin story; a tale of facing obstacles, beating the odds, and unlocking great strength. As an introductory voiceover puts it, “The Olympics are where heroes are created. The Paralympics are where heroes come.”
It’s all play and no work on this week’s Extra Milestone, because Jason Read has returned to the show to discuss a trio of very different movies. We begin with a detailed exploration of Stanley Kubrick’s Horror masterpiece The Shining, complete with reflections on why the terror of it is so effective, analyses of the movie’s themes and mysteries, a discussion of why method acting is a flawed and unnecessary process, and even a few personal stories that relate to the movie. Afterward, we take on Joe Dante’s Gremlins, stopping along the way to discuss its implementation of cinematic language, its historical significance, and all of the darkly comedic chaos that comes with it. Finally, we cap off the show with a fittingly sporadic look at Dante’s oft-overlooked sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which is one of the most entertaining movies either of us have ever seen, as well as being a knowing satire of culture stuffed with enough cameos and mania to last a lifetime.
Wait, video review? For a TV show? I thought this was a Cinema podcast! For all the holics out there! Well, dear listener, guess what. “The Boys” Season 2 is about to hit Amazon Prime Video, and I recorded a video review on our YouTube Channel. Youtube Channel?! That’s right, we have a YouTube Channel. Been a thing for a minute.
Thanks to Disney’s Star Girl, I already know a movie like this — in which some poor young woman shows up from another town and sweeps a completely featureless guy off his feet — can still be made in 2020, but Chemical Hearts somehow takes this worn idea to another level.
The two and only Cinemaholics are back to review The One and Only Ivan, a new Disney+ family feature starring Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Angelina Jolie, and many more. We also go back in time in a fun way with our discussion of Tesla, the Sundance biopic from IFC Films starring Ethan Hawke. And we finish the show with a review of Words on Bathroom Walls, the new YA teen romance starring Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell.
Tesla stars Ethan Hawke as the titular inventor who navigates life in the 1800s, one of America’s most “brainstormy” times. Around him are a handful of equally inventive and enigmatic characters, such as Anne Morgan, portrayed by Eve Hewson, and George Westinghouse, portrayed by Jim Gaffigan. And of course, you can’t have a Tesla movie without his famous frenemy and rival in the electricity circuit, Thomas Edison; a role that is perfectly performed by Kyle MacLachlan in small doses. Edison isn’t in the film a whole lot, but he manages to steal the show in a manner accurate to how his real-life inspiration repeatedly stole Tesla’s thunder.
In what is certainly the most comedically inclined Extra Milestone yet, I am joined by my very close personal friend Tyler Chambers to discuss a pair of classics within the genre. We begin with a lengthy rundown of Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam’s 1975 cult favorite Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with behind-the-scenes stories, details we’ve noticed over the years, our personal experiences with the movie, analyses of the film’s comedic stylings, and revisits of our favorite sequences. Then we move on to John Landis’s 1980 musical road comedy The Blues Brothers. We discuss the film’s story structure, cast, presentation, and deadpan sense of humor, as well as how all of those things compare and contrast surprisingly well with Holy Grail. Afterward, we both give a recommendation to pair with each movie, some much more unexpected than others!
It wasn’t too long ago that young adult coming-of-age movies started to multiply in number upon the box office success of The Fault in Our Stars, which injected the usual teen drama formula with a high-stakes catch. What if you fell in love with someone who has terminal cancer?
This film trend has slowed down somewhat, with the exception of sappy imitators like last year’s Five Feet Apart, and now Words on Bathroom Walls, which rests its central premise on a new question for the genre: what if you fell in love with someone who has schizophrenia?
Personally, I believe the horror genre doesn’t get nearly enough credit these days. I’ve struggled to figure out just why that is. Perhaps it’s because of the over-saturation of the genre, the fact that there are quite literally hundreds of films to choose from, many of them admittedly not exactly something to write home about. Maybe it’s because even when horror was at its peak, when the big monsters like Dracula or Jason Voorhees spooked audiences during the Halloween season, horror was advertised as something of a niche genre; meant only for those who could truly appreciate the shock, schlock, and gore of a scary movie. Or maybe it’s because no on-screen jump scare could ever compare to the horrors of reality that many of us have to live through on a daily basis. Either way, the horror genre is pretty underappreciated and often times overlooked when awards season comes around.
Good news, we don’t need a superpower pill to put on a powerful episode of Cinemaholics, which this week covers Project Power, now on Netflix and starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback. We also discuss Boys State from A24, a documentary about Texas students who learn about politics by building a government of their own, which is now streaming on Apple TV+. Will describes the less magical elements of Magic Camp, a family comedy that just hit Disney+ starring Adam DeVine and Gillian Jacobs. And last, we have a heated debate about the controversial documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy, which is about the making of Nickelodeon’s pioneering ’90s cartoon “Ren and Stimpy” and the complicated legacy of its problematic show runner.
Jon Negroni makes his long-awaited return to Extra Milestone to investigate Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, one of his very favorite films. For 60 years, the film has gained a reputation of being one of the most insightful and layered journeys of World Cinema, and I had a wonderful time learning about its many rich cinematic attributes from Jon. Tune in to hear the two of us break down the film’s cinematography, the way it uses the city of Rome to help tell its story, the many exciting chapters that comprise the plot, and more!
We’ve gotten ourselves into yet another…fermented cucumber. This week we’re reviewing An American Pickle, the new Seth Rogen comedy now streaming on HBO Max. We also discuss David Ayer’s latest directorial/screenwriting effort The Tax Collector, which stars Bobby Soto and Shia LaBeouf. And last is Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for the Barbarians, a slow burn frontier drama starring Mark Rylance, Robert Pattinson, and Johnny Depp. Of course, we open up the episode with a brief, but satisfying check-in with Christopher Nolan, himself.
Settle in, listeners, because Julia Teti is back for this week’s Extra Milestone, and it’s for an undertaking of very subtle, methodical proportions. Julia and I have decided to touch on the most famous work of the late, great Chantal Akerman with her three-hour 1975 art house classic Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Celebrating 45 years this past May, the film has been revered by nearly all who have seen it, and continues to signify a wholly unique exploration of a day-to-day life seldom seen to this extent in cinema. With a legacy almost as impressive as its title and runtime, the two of us had plenty to say about this monolithic milestone that continues to have a tremendous impact today.
The Cinemaholics gang is finally getting existential. Our featured review this week is She Dies Tomorrow, a new indie horror from Amy Seimetz. We also discuss Beyoncé’s Disney+ visual album Black is King, which sort of ties into last year’s The Lion King remake. Also, Host is a new horror film shot and produced during the pandemic, and it’s about a Zoom call that goes horribly wrong. Fun! And last is a new political documentary called The Fight, which is about recent ACLU cases fighting various human rights cases in the United States. We also talk briefly about “Umbrella Academy” Season 2, the future of Netflix sitcoms without “Friends” or “The Office,” and the latest release date news for Tenet.
The summer is about to conclude with a creeping, atmospheric, gory bang, because Emily Kubincanek is back on The Extra Milestone to discuss a trio of Horror Classics! We start with a look at Sean S. Cunningham’s iconic slasher Friday the 13th, and how it sets itself apart from other such films, as well as the excitement of it all that still plays today. We continue with a discussion of James Whale’s sequel Bride of Frankenstein, including the similarities to Mary Shelley’s novel and how Universal crafted a new narrative around the characters. Finally, we dive into the hellish effects showcase that is the late Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator!
Special guest Abby Olcese joins us for a review of the new horror thriller The Rental, Dave Franco’s directorial debut starring Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, and Jeremy Allen White. We also discuss Yes, God, Yes starring Natalia Dyer and the recent documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble.
Hold on to your helmets, listeners, because the illustrious Julia Teti is back on the Cinemaholics feed! And not a moment too soon, because the two of us are joined by the scintillating Will Ashton to make Extra Milestone history by tackling our second Best Picture Winner, our second 1930s Film, and our first War (and Anti-War) Film with Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front! Celebrating 90 years this past April, the film has built a deserved legacy of being one of the most effective condemnations of combat and warfare in cinema history, and the three of us have plenty to say to support that. The film’s storied production, its unique and controversial release, its eternal relevancy, and much more are discussed, and we even take the time to recommend some complimentary films! You’re not gonna want to miss this one.
No Tenet? No problem. In addition to our featured review this week, we briefly discuss the new streaming service Peacock, including its flagship original series “Brave New World,” which boasts an impressive cast. Plus, Will shares his thoughts on the recently released indie The Sunlit Night, which stars Jenny Slate. Finally, we get into an in-depth discussion of Relic, an Australian horror film starring Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, and Bella Heathcote.
In what will likely go down as the nerdiest and most esoteric Extra Milestone yet, I am joined by my good friend and fellow hardcore cinephile Andrew McMahon to discuss a pair of significant, influential, and all-around great films. We begin with a lengthy discussion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s reflective 1975 thriller The Passenger, in addition to Antonioni’s career as a whole that we’re familiar with, followed by a look at Michael Powell’s career-ending 1960 horror film Peeping Tom. We get into a lot of exciting history and interconnectivity to the greater cinematic art form over the course of both conversations, and we hope it’s just as fun to listen to as it was to record.
Cinemaholics Podcast #176 – The Old Guard, Palm Springs, Greyhound, First Cow, Family Romance LLC, Sometimes Always Never
Special guest Emily Kubincanek joins us for a marathon of reviews this week, starting with the new Netflix action blockbuster, The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne. Then we loop into Hulu’s time-bending rom-com Palm Springs, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. Tom Hanks writes and stars in the new Apple TV+ WWII epic, Greyhound, which just released this week. We slow things down for the meditative First Cow from writer/director Kelly Reichardt. Oh, and Werner Herzog made a new Japanese-language film called Family Romance, LLC. Last, we finish things off with a wordy scramble of a review for the British quirk-film Sometimes Always Never, which stars Bill Nighy and Sam Riley.
Extra Milestone – The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975), How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Promises are being fulfilled left and right on this week’s Extra Milestone, in which the long-awaited debut of podcast veteran Adonis Gonzalez finally takes place! Adonis and I have a trio of dramatically contrasting movies to discuss, starting with a lengthy exploration of John Ford’s depression-era adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. We continue with a discussion of Ishirō Honda’s character-defining Kaijū film (as well as Godzilla’s Shōwa Era as a whole) with Terror of MechaGodzilla, and we conclude with a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Dreamworks’s How to Train Your Dragon. It was great to podcast with Adonis once more, and we hope to unite even more in the future. Enjoy!
Special guest Emily Kubincanek joins us for a double milestone feature of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, which just celebrated 80 years since its release, as well as Jacques Becker’s final film Le Trou (or The Hole), which recently had its 60th anniversary. As always, we lay out the context for what makes these films so memorable all these years later, plus there’s a little contention between the Cinemaholics on both films, so stay tuned to hear where we all land.
Is Jon Stewart’s sophomore feature film irresistible? Is Dave Bautista our kind of spy? Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga? Find out on this week’s episode of Cinemaholics Z.
When it was announced that Jon Stewart would return with his sophomore feature film, since titled Irresistible, it made sense that folks assumed it would be the scathing satire that would criticize and bring damnation to the hotheaded personalities who take rotating chairs in the Big House. But Stewart’s new movie, his first directorial effort since 2014’s overlooked Rosewater, may not be what some folks expect. Indeed, this is not a takedown of the narcissistic, hypocritical right. Stewart isn’t here to put some right-leaning personalities into their place.
In what will go down as the very first triple header in Extra Milestone history, I am joined once again by Anyway, That’s All I Got veteran Jason Read! Jason and I take a look at both the French New Wave and the work of Jean-Luc Godard with Breathless (1960), explore a fantastic and somewhat lesser-known horror classic with Eyes Without A Face (1960), and round out the show with an exploration of the Giallo subgenre and the work of Dario Argento with the fiendishly frightening Deep Red (1975). Although we went heavily into detail with Breathless, we took special care not to give too much away about the latter two films, so feel free to listen to those segments whether they are old favorites or completely new to you. It’s a delightful series of conversations that traverses a broad section of the cinematic landscape, and we hope it’s just as fun to listen to as it was to record!
This week, we’re kicking the show off with a brief conversation about The Last of Us Part II, plus some listener feedback about political ideologies informing our film reviews. Then we kick off the week’s new releases with Miss Juneteenth, a recent Sundance family drama starring Nicole Beharie. We also fasten our seatbelts for a review of 7500, a claustrophobic hijacking thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his first film role since 2016. Will shares his thoughts on the new Netflix spy thriller Wasp Network, which has a huge cast including Penélope Cruz, Ana de Armas, Édgar Ramirez, and more. And we finish the show out with a drive-in feature called Infamous, which stars Bella Thorne and Jake Manley.
The Extra Milestone crew has so far been “silent” when it comes to covering silent films, and for that, we have no excuse. But consider this deep dive of Buster Keaton’s comedic classic Seven Chances to be our comeuppance! That’s right, the screwball romantic comedy that helped define the genre recently celebrated 95 glorious years, making this the oldest film we’ve ever covered on the show. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (from laughing), and just maybe you’ll fall in love with one of the greatest actor-directors in all of film history.
If anything, curating a list of 2020’s finest films feels more necessary and useful than ever. While many film lovers have used their time sheltering at home to catch up on classic cinema (as we all should), I’ve spent the last several months trying to see at least 4 or 5 new movies a week via screeners and the aforementioned avenues. Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of this bizarre, unpredictable year, I want to share the 25 films that have left the deepest impact on me, whether they be a festival indie from last year just now getting a bigger release, a more mainstream feature from the first block of the year, or somewhere in between, I hope there’s at least one positive recommendation in this list for everyone.
Special guest Charlie Ridgely of Comicbook.com joins the show for a death-defying review of Spike Lee’s new joint Da 5 Bloods, which is now streaming on Netflix. We also answer a listener question, rant about Artemis Fowl (now on Disney+), and finish things out with a balanced discussion of Judd Apatow’s new dramedy The King of Staten Island starring Pete Davidson and Bill Burr, which just came out on VOD.
We haven’t left our cabin for two months, but the good news is we have an internet connection, which means we just watched Shirley on Hulu! After a brief discussion of HBO Max and our current efforts to support causes related to the Black Lives Matter movement, we review some of the notable film releases of the last week, including Shirley from director Josephine Decker starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg, Becky starring Lulu Wilson and Kevin James, Deerskin from French director Quentin Dupieux, and Tommaso from director Abel Ferrara starring Willem Dafoe.
When you wish upon a Pod, doesn’t matter which host you are. When you wish upon a Pod, your streams come true. That’s right. We’re celebrating the 80th anniversary of Pinocchio this month on Extra Milestone. But first, a quick word from our good friend, Willt—I mean Walt Disney. Also, be sure to stick around toward the end of the show for a major announcement concerning the Extra Milestone podcast!
This past week may not have opened on a, ahem, high note, but that doesn’t mean the Cinemaholics are tuning out on the latest batch of film releases. After a quick birthday shoutout for our favorite movies ever and a mini review of “Space Force” on Netflix, we jump into our in-depth review of The High Note, a new feel-good comedy-drama starring Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. We also discuss Body Cam starring Mary J. Blige and Nat Wolff, the new Netflix documentary mini-series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, and Hope Gap starring Annette Bening and Bill Nighy.
Cinemaholics Podcast #169 – The Lovebirds, The Vast of Night, The Painter and the Thief, To the Stars
The Lovebirds just hit Netflix, so Jon and Will are hitting the mic to talk about it. Does this new action rom-com starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, which was originally planned for a theatrical release, scratch our itch for a studio comedy hitting the early ebbs of summer? Also, stay tuned for some extra reviews this week, including The Vast of Night, an indie sci-fi movie that just hit Amazon Prime Video and drive-in theaters. Jon gets a chance to express his love for The Painter and the Thief, a recent Sundance documentary that’s now available via VOD. And the Cinemaholics finish the episode with a more topical discussion about black and white films, tied in with a review of To the Stars, another VOD release.
Special guests Dan Murrell and Sam Noland are here to chat about Zack Snyder’s recently announced director’s cut of Justice League, which came out in 2017 to mostly negative reviews (from us, included). We break down this big news, explain what it means for the movie industry, and speculate about what the cut might look and feel like and what other director’s cuts we’re hoping to see someday.
Zoinks! Like, we’re finally reviewing Scoob! man! I’m Mathew Lillard, the real voice of Shaggy, and Jon and Will hired me to write this episode description for them. Those guys really know how to make a dude like me feel welcome. So like, special guests Matt Serafini and Chris Sheridan are totally here to help out, man! But I gotta be honest, why can’t we ever review, like, a Burger King or something? Anyway, you enjoy this review of Scoob! while I stay in the van and enjoy this chocolate pizza. What do you think, Frank—er, I mean Scoob? RUH-ROH RAGGY! What is it, Scoob? Wait, is that a…a…P-P-P-ODCAST JUMP THE SHARK MOMENT?! (running away sound effects)
Cinemaholics Podcast #167 – Valley Girl, Capone, Driveways, Spaceship Earth, Becoming, The Wrong Missy
Like, we’re totally traveling to the 80s, man! Will our review of Valley Girl starring Jessica Rothe be as bitchin’ as the original from 1983? As if! But we go even further back in time to discuss Josh Trank’s new biopic Capone starring Tom Hardy, and something smells with this movie, dude! Let’s slow down a bit and relax by the driveway in Driveways, which is a super chill indie drama, don’t have a cow! Forget the 80s, though, let’s go to the 90s in Spaceship Earth, a new Sundance documentary about some radical hippies who lived in a Biosphere back in 1991. Far out, man! On Netflix, we got Becoming, a new doc about Michelle Obama, so like hail to the former chief’s ex-ce-llent first lady. And last, Jon asks Will, “where your beef?!” with The Wrong Missy, a new Netflix comedy starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus. Guess that one gagged Will with a spoon!
Cinemaholics Podcast #166 – Beastie Boys Story, The Half of It, Hollywood, Dangerous Lies, Clementine
Hit it! Yo it’s Jon and Will and they’re here to chat, CINEMAHOLICS IS WHERE IT’S AT. A podcast, a film show, reviews galore. If you’re not into it, there’s the DOOR. It starts with Beastie Boys and here’s their Story, an Apple TV doc about all their glory. On Netflix we stan, Alice Wu’s romance, it’s THE HALF OF IT, and you stand no CHANCE. We go to Hollywood, the big Ryan Murphy joint, again on Netflix, so yeah what’s the POINT. Of watchin’ what else, like Dangerous Lies, BUT THAT’S ON NETFLIX TOO, man time flies. So if you’re quite unsure, about what to watch, we got one more cure, CLEMENTINE on VOD kicks it up a NOTCH! notch…notch…notch…notch…notch.
I saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on opening night, and I doubt I could’ve been less excited for it. So much venom had been spewed at the Star Wars brand by this point, so even mentioning the name of certain chapters came at the risk of actually losing friendships. What’s more, its release signaled the start of what all of my work supervisors assured me would be the most hectic few weeks in our theater’s short history — now, of course, I would practically kill for those days — and my sense of dread was simply too powerful to ignore.
Special guest Emily Kubincanek joins us for a bonus review of The Plot Against America, a new HBO mini-series starring Zoe Kazan, Winona Ryder, John Turturro, and many more. From David Simon (creator of The Wire), this alternate history drama follows a Jewish family in 1940s New Jersey trying to grapple with the presidency of Charles Lindbergh, who wins on a platform of staying out of World War II and has a history of antisemitism.
Cinemaholics Podcast #165 – Bad Education, The Willoughbys, True History of the Kelly Gang, Extraction, Normal People
Hey folks, Coach here. Ready to tell you all about our Bad Education review this week. Now on HBO. Ya gotta trust your teachers, but what if your superintendent was secretly Hugh Jackman? What if Allison Janney was his right hand? Don’t worry. I got my eye on both ’em. Anyway, we also got you folks covered on The Willoughbys, the new Netflix animated film. Time for a history lesson with True History of the Kelly Gang, which just hit VOD. Extraction is on Netflix too, and I gotta say, I love me an action flick with Chris Hemsworth. Finally, we get a little sappy and romantic, what’s new, with Normal People, which just dropped its first season on Hulu. If it’s anything like the season I got comin’ up in the fall, it’s a doozy. Anyway. Coach, OUT!
Well, the news is out. Jon and Will’s parents just got married, which means Cinemaholics has a brand new intro to mark the occasion. Once that’s out of the way, the bruthas get down to business reviewing Sergio, the new Netflix film starring Wagner Moura and Ana de Armas. After a quick chat about their favorite flicks of 2020 so far, the mismatched duo discuss the new sci-fi horror thriller Sea Fever, high school indie Selah and the Spades on Prime Video, Abe starring Noah Schnapp of “Stranger Things” fame, and Endings, Beginnings from Like Crazy director Drake Doremus starring Shailene Woodley, Sebastian Stan, and Jamie Dornan.
Cinemaholics Podcast #163 – Trolls: World Tour, Tigertail, Vivarium, Love Wedding Repeat, Impractical Jokers: The Movie
We may not be allowed to explore the world right now, but a mere quarantine won’t stop these Trolls from rocking out. In this action-packed episode of Cinemaholics, we open with an extended Off-Topics section covering all the latest shows we’ve been watching, including Quibi, for some reason. After a quick PSA, we discuss DreamWorks and Universal’s surprise straight-to-streaming sequel, Trolls: World Tour. Then we slow things way down to discuss Tigertail, a new original Netflix drama starring Tzi Ma. Looking for a weird sci-fi indie starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots? Look no further than Vivarium. There’s also Love Wedding Repeat, another new Netflix movie, but this one is a multiverse rom-com starring Sam Claflin and Olivia Munn. Finally, Will Ashton gets a bit serious for our detailed, practical review of Impractical Jokers: The Movie, based on the truTV show.
Eight complete strangers sectioned off into four curiously matched pairs awaken in various rooms of an unfamiliar suburban house. None of them can recall how they may have gotten there, nor is there any apparent method of exit. For the foreseeable future, they’re trapped, and none of them are alone. So describes the events of The Doors Between Us, a micro-indie film produced in Lakewood, Colorado, which held its one-night-only premiere on a single, exciting evening back in December.
Harmony is a utopia. But at what cost? The denizens of Trolls: World Tour, a sequel to the well-received DreamWorks Animation film from 2016, begin this self-examination in segregated exile. What is the world of Trolls if not a watermark of our own “United” States? Because these are trolls are a lot of things, but united is certainly not one of them.
Special guest Sam Noland joins us for a weird review of the new weird western Bacurau, now available through some streaming platforms and maybe your local arthouse theater. The gang also discusses a new sci-fi horror flick called The Platform on Netflix, the HBO documentary mini-series McMillion$, yet another sci-fi horror flick called Swallow starring Haley Bennett, and stoner buddy comedy Coffee & Kareem on Netflix starring Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson.
From rednecks to orange chests, we’ve to you covered this week on Cinemaholics. First we dive into the insanity of Joe Exotic in the new Netflix documentary series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Then we really kick into gear for our review of Bloodshot, a Vin Diesel action movie that only briefly appeared in theaters before getting blasted into VOD. Last, we discuss a pair of more inspiring documentaries, which include Crip Camp on Netflix from Higher Ground Productions (owned by Barack and Michelle Obama) and Slay the Dragon, a documentary about gerrymandering from Magnolia Pictures.
The cinema may be closed, but not Cinemaholics! We’re covering some of the most notable new streaming releases hitting your WiFi router, which include a Sundance indie on Hulu starring Pete Davidson, a would-be Oscar contender on Apple TV+ starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, a Disney+ original music drama starring Grace VanderWaal, and a crime drama on Netflix starring Amy Ryan.
The time has come yet again for you, our most loyal and dedicated of listeners, to do the hardest part of our job for us by deciding which film to delve into on the next Extra Milestone! February yielded a fascinating and varied selection, and it was hard enough to narrow it down to a measly seven. But now is the time to select the ultimate winner. You may choose from the following:
Here’s the big scoop! For our February Extra Milestone, we’re getting down and dirty with His Girl Friday, see. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy (as himself?), and many others, we discuss how this 1940 film was made and what we think of it today, 80 years later.
Special guest Amanda the Jedi joins us all the way from YouTube to review a host of controversial new films most of us can’t see in theaters right now, including The Hunt starring Betty Gilpin, Guns Akimbo starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving, I Still Believe starring Britt Robertson and her boyfriend Archie (fine, KJ Apa), and Never Rarely Sometimes Always starring Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder.
Special guest Charlie Ridgely joins us for a cinematic quest from the fantastical suburbia of Pixar’s Onward to the Los Angeles basketball courts of The Way Back, and even further to the debutante affairs of Emma. Whatever your poison (Spenser Confidential, anyone?), the Cinemaholics have you covered this week.
Cinemaholics Podcast #157 – The Invisible Man, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Wendy, The Call of the Wild
Special guest The Invisible Man comes on the show to talk about his own movie The Invisible Man, which was directed by Leigh Whannell and stars Elisabeth Moss. So stay tuned to hear our thoughts on the latest Blumhouse horror movie, which has most audiences and critics pleasantly spooked. The Cinemaholics also have a chance to discuss the other new releases of the week, including Wendy, Shaun the Sheep 2, and more.
Special guests Julia Teti and Emily Kubincanek join Jon and Will for an in-depth review of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, one of the most universally acclaimed new films from the last year. Directed by Céline Sciamma, this sweeping romantic drama centers around an intense love affair between a young painter (Noémie Merlant) and the woman she is secretly painting a portrait of (Adèle Haenel).
Vote For Our Next Extra Milestone: His Girl Friday, The Shop Around the Corner, Tremors, Before Sunrise (And More!)
Here on Cinemaholics, we don’t just stop with current realms of cinema. Once a month, we take a trip back in time to look at a film that has gone the extra mile to remain relevant all these years later. But selecting that film isn’t always easy! Welcome to this month’s Extra Milestone Poll, in which YOU get to decide what we break down on our next episode.
It’s been over four decades, and Mel Brooks still has us laughing. As we mark the 45th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, Jon and Sam discuss the spooky comedy’s legacy as one of our latest “Extra Milestone” films. Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, and many more familiar faces, Young Frankenstein proves that even a parody film can be just as thrilling and satisfying as a bonafide sequel in the Universal Monsters canon.
Cinemaholics Podcast #155 – Sonic the Hedgehog, The Photograph, Downhill, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Did audiences have a real need for speed this Valentine’s Day? Jon and Will review Sonic the Hedgehog, which premiered this weekend to huge success despite its release delay, alongside other new wide releases like The Photograph and Downhill, plus the new Netflix rom-com sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.
Cinemaholics Podcast #154 – Birds of Prey, Horse Girl, BoJack Horseman, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Ready to be emancipated from January movie season? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) just flew into theaters, and the Cinemaholics are ready to discuss. Stay tuned for reviews of the new Netflix film Horse Girl starring Alison Brie, our quick Season 6 discussion of BoJack Horseman, and the surprisingly good new Disney+ original movie Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.
It’s that time of year again, when Jon goes to see way too many movies in Park City, Utah, then comes back to tell us all about them. In addition to giving an overview of the Sundance Film Festival, Jon joins Will for in-depth reviews of the new Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana, The Rhythm Section starring Blake Lively and Jude Law, and the dark fantasy reimagining Gretel & Hansel.
This week, a couple of gents got together to discuss The Gentlemen, the newest film from writer/director Guy Ritchie. With Jon Negroni still shivering in the cold at the Sundance Film Festival, Will Ashton and special guest Sam Noland go across the pond to see what is being considered a return-to-form for the British filmmaker by some and a regressive piece of work by others. Where do these two lads land? Listen to this week’s episode to find out, in addition to hearing our thoughts on Richard Stanley’s H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, Color Out of Space, starring Nicolas Cage, Tyler Perry’s Netflix Original, A Fall From Grace, Clemency starring Alfre Woodard, and a lot more.
It’s survival of the fittest this week on Cinemaholics, which means special guest Cory Woodroof has stepped up to fill in for Jon while he’s away at Sundance. Cory and Will dive into some catch-up reviews, plus they react to the Oscars 2020 nominations before reviewing the two wide releases this week: Dolittle and Bad Boys for Life.
We’re taking our latest film takes to court this week with Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson. We review the other big releases of the week, plus a second opinion on A Hidden Life and a catch-up discussion on Varda by Agnès.
The Skywalker Saga as we know it has been over for the better part of a month now, so Jon and I decided that it would be a fun idea to go over the 42-year-old (and counting!) history of the Star Wars Galaxy. The two of us spent nearly three hours presenting our carefully constructed individual rankings of the films (ALL of them), making plenty of stops along the way to justify our varied positions.
2019 was filled with era-defining blockbusters, emotionally compact dramas, and just about every other type of exciting feature in between. Many of these films were true gems, but others might’ve gotten a little lost in the shuffle of weekly big screen releases and an onslaught of new content championed by burgeoning streaming services. Despite all the chaos, 29 of our contributors were able to pinpoint their absolute favorite releases of the year.
Special guest Sam Noland joins us for a countdown of our favorite films this year, as well as our general reflections on 2019. You’ll also hear voice recordings from Cinemaholics contributors all across the globe who picked vastly different films for their own lists, which all factor into our definitive Top 25 rankings, which you’ll hear at the end of the episode along with outliers and honorable mentions. This is our longest episode of Cinemaholics yet, but we hope you give the whole episode a listen as we deep dive into a wide variety of films that made this past year just a little better.
We have a bad feeling about this episode. This week, Jon and Will return from their holiday break to catch up on the biggest December releases you may have already seen. From far away galaxy of The Rise of Skywalker to the even more alien city in Uncut Gems and Bombshell (New York), this is an episode you don’t want to miss.
Time for an Extra Milestone of Biblical proportions. Sort of. This month, Jon and Sam explore Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which celebrates 40 years this past November.
We saw Cats. Is it purrfect, or should audiences catnip this in the bud? We saw Cats. Directed and co-written by Tom Hooper, Cats is based on the long-running 1981 musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber. It stars James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Ray Winstone, […]
It’s playtime for the Cinemaholics, as we get sucked into Jumanji: The Next Level. We catch up on a ton of other films, too, including Black Christmas, Richard Jewell, 6 Underground and a whole lot more in our Off-Topics segment. Grab a controller, press play, and join us.
With The Rise of Skywalker, we now have a definitive conclusion to the latest official trilogy from the official kingmakers at Disney, who set out to construct a brand new direction for a boundless franchise. As a capper to this corner of stories, The Rise of Skywalker is an incredible finale, no question. But like its central opposing forces, it’s filled with all the bad and only most of the good there is to be found in blockbuster cinema’s most beloved — and scrutinized — canon.
It’s the most cinematic time of the year…for the cinemaholics, at least! Jon and Will discuss the films they’re most excited about watching from now until the end of February, along with some dark horse picks that have them more curious than ever about the upcoming winter season.
If you’ve been following Cinemaholics closely over the last year, you’ll know I’ve been an outspoken proponent of Kelvin Harrison Jr. as one of the best actors of the year, first due to his landmark performance in Luce from this past summer (which is still on my Top 10 movies of the year list), and now in Waves, a slow burn A24 indie that has a real chance at scoring some Oscar nominations.
Cinemaholics Podcast #145 – Knives Out, 1917, Noelle, Mickey and the Bear, 21 Bridges, Let it Snow, By the Grace of God
This week, every movie is a suspect. Jon and Will discuss the latest releases, including Rian Johnson’s modern whodunnit-murder-mystery ensemble, Knives Out, which stars way too many people to mention. We also talk Christmas movies on streaming, catch up on recent flicks we missed, and cover a few indies you might want to add to your ever-growing radar.
It’s game night for the Cinemaholics, as we play Cinephile on this week’s bonus show, featuring special guests Sam Noland and Cory Woodroof. The gang competes to recall the filmographies of John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Penelope Cruz, and Greta Gerwig. Plus, a few rounds of “six degrees of separation,” where we attempt to link two actors at random through their associated roles with other actors!
Director Trey Edward Shults has a clear interest in the tools needed for families to survive whatever dangers may come their way. His sophomore film from 2017, It Comes at Night—also an A24 film—explored a heightened metaphor for the terrors parents inflict upon their children just as easily as they themselves fear it, and in Waves, Shults presents a far more grounded, but equally as harrowing tale about the fragility of success in modern America.
Cinemaholics Podcast #144 – Frozen 2, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Irishman, The Two Popes
The hot takes never bothered the Cinemaholics anyway. This week, Jon and Will review Frozen 2, the latest animated Disney film, along with the other big releases of the week. They also read your answers to the question of the week, catch up on what they’ve been watching, and discuss the Three Rivers Film Festival.
This week, Jon and Will enter the fast lane for an in-depth review of Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. They kick things off with some mini reviews for The Irishman, Parasite, and Doctor Sleep. Plus some full reviews for Charlie’s Angels, Klaus, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
Special guest Brandon Katz joins us for a bonus episode of Cinemaholics. We dive into Waves, the new A24 drama starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, and Sterling K. Brown. After that, we review Honey Boy from Amazon Studios, which stars Shia LaBeouf as his own father in a semi-autobiographical drama about his life as a child actor coming of age.
Special guest Cory Woodroof joins Will Ashton for an in-depth review of Doctor Sleep, a spiritual sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, but also an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson. In addition to reviewing Last Christmas and Playing with Fire, Cory and Will answer the question of the week, offer second opinions of Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story, and briefly review Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby.
This is the episode we’ll be remembered for. This month on Extra Milestone, Jon, Sam, and Will discuss Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, which celebrates its 25th anniversary of release. We discuss how the film got made, its legacy over the years, and what we really think about it after all this time.
This week, Jon and Will explore the bright spots of Terminator: Dark Fate, the newest Terminator film directed this time by Tim Miller (Deadpool). They also discuss Marriage Story from director Noah Baumbach, which stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. As well as Harriet, the new biopic centering around Harriet Tubman starring Cynthia Erivo, and […]
A biopic about American historical figure Harriet Tubman has been long overdue. You can’t go through American history without reading or hearing her name and yet filmmakers have steered away from her story until now. Finally, Kasi Lemmons brings the legendary abolitionist’s life to the big screen in her biopic Harriet, and while her story is one every American should know, the way the film tells it is not without fault.
Consider our timbers shivered. This week, Jon and Will review The Lighthouse, which is the newest indie freak flick from Robert Eggers, director of 2016’s The Witch. Later in the show, Jon reviews Jojo Rabbit from Taika Waititi, and Will talks about the new Netflix film Dolemite Is My Name, as well as The Current […]
Gregory Allen Howard has been working on bringing the story of Harriet Tubman to the screen for over 20 years. Despite Hollywood’s dismissal of his script, Howard continued to persist in getting his film made and he finally found a partner in director-writer Kasi Lemmons. We talked to the legendary screenwriter about what it took to get the story of such a historical figure to the new biopic Harriet.
Cinemaholics Podcast #139 – Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Zombieland: Double Tap, El Camino, Parasite
We’ve let the movies pile up over the last few weeks, which means it’s time for a CINEMAHOLICS REVIEW-ATHON! We start off with the big Disney wide release, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, then dive into Zombieland: Double Tap and catch up on El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. From there, we get into some mini reviews that range from stellar indies to major new shows hitting streaming. This is a packed episode, so be sure to check out the show notes below to see everything we covered.
This week, we’re seeing double. Jon and Will review Gemini Man, a new action-thriller-spy-clone film starring Will Smith from acclaimed writer and director Ang Lee. Known for its off-kilter shooting style and aggressively high frame rate, Gemini Man has critics and audiences torn, but where do the Cinemaholics stand? Also in the show, Will shares his thoughts on two other new films: Mister America and In the Tall Grass. And Jon briefly discusses his experience playing Borderlands 3 for Playstation 4.
A couple jokers reviewing Joker? What could go right? Jon and Will discuss the controversial new film starring Joaquin Phoenix from director Todd Phillips of The Hangover series and other 2000s comedies your dad probably loves. They also dive into some discussion around In the Shadow of the Moon, The Kill Team, The Politician, and more. But the real killing joke is that theme music, which is “Smile” by Jimmy Durante.
Since his first appearance in 1940, the Joker as a comic book villain (and later TV/Film/Video Game villain) has been an ever-evolving enigma, much like his darkly heroic counterpart. So it makes perfect sense for the films to continuously reinvent a character like the Joker, who serves a litany of important functions as an antagonistic presence.
It’s no secret Hollywood loves Hollywood (see: La La Land’s 14 Oscar nominations). A biopic about a beloved star of the Hollywood Golden Age? Singing? My first thought upon viewing the Judy trailer was Oscar. Fodder. But Renée Zellweger’s performance as Judy Garland ultimately transcended my cynicism.
We like to think of ourselves as contenders, so for August and September, Sam and Will are doing a double review of On the Waterfront from director Elia Kazan and Rear Window from Alfred Hitchcock. Both films came out in 1954 and are thus celebrating 65 glorious years at the cinema.
Special guest Sam Noland returns for a packed episode filled with movie news and reviews you can only find at Cinemaholics, or perhaps somewhere over the rainbow. That’s right, after some movie news chat about The Irishman and Spider-Man returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sam and Will review Judy, a new biopic about the legendary actress and singer, Judy Garland, starring Renée Zellweger. Also, Will briefly shares his thoughts on Abominable, the latest animated film from DreamWorks.
Cinemaholics Podcast #135 – Ad Astra, Rambo: Last Blood, Downtown Abbey, Tigers Are Not Afraid, One Cut of the Dead, In Fabric
Special guest Sam Noland joins us for a galaxy-sized episode of the show this week with more reviews than stars in the sky (or so it might feel). We covered the wide releases of the week, including Ad Astra of course as our featured review toward the end of the show, but we also tackled […]
Do Jon and Will float by on charm, too? Or…TWO?! This week on Cinemaholics, Jon and Will discuss It Chapter Two, the followup to the wildly successful 2017 horror film/Stephen King adaptation. They also talk about Where’d You Go Bernadette, Luce, The Nightingale, Dave Chapelle: Sticks & Stones, American Factory, and Brittany Runs a Marathon.
After recapping the summer movie season and discussing 2019’s best films thus far, Jon and Will dive into a full preview of what’s coming out this fall, including their most anticipated films, a few dark horses, and even some flicks they’ve already seen ahead of time.
This week’s episode of Cinemaholics isn’t a game. We’re reviewing Ready or Not, a new horror thriller/comedy starring Samara Weaving, plus we’re diving into some of the biggest announcements coming out of Disney’s D23 Expo, which includes updates about Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and of course, Disney+. We also tackle a few mini reviews, which […]
A TON of movies have come out in the last few weeks, so with Jon and Will back from vacation, they take on a supersized episode of reviews that include Dora and The Lost City of Gold, The Angry Birds Movie 2, and plenty more, including our featured review of Good Boys, Luce, Peanut Butter Falcon, Blinded by the Light, and Sextuplets.