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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
On a special bonus episode of Cinemaholics, we pick our own winners for the 2020 Oscars ceremony. Inspired by the Siskel and Ebert classic format, we go through the nominees of almost every category and explain our favorites.
Special guest Cory Woodroof joins us for a quick Oscars 2019 recap, plus we dig into the recent controversy surrounding Steven Spielberg and Netflix. Our main review is Greta, a new thriller from director and co-writer Neil Jordan starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, and Maika Monroe. We also discuss the new IMAX documentary Apollo 11, which just hit limited release along with Gaspar Noé’s dance horror Climax. Last up is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind on Netflix, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut, which he also stars in alongside Maxwell Simba.