In this episode, Tiny and I review Ad Astra. We also discuss some controversies surrounding Joker, the Shane Gillis/SNL fiasco, Beautiful Boy, Stephanie Wittels-Wachs’ heartbreaking memoir about her brother, Parks & Rec writer Harris Wittels.
In this episode, Fekkes and I review It: Chapter Two. We also debate the merits of single entry franchise storytelling in the era of peak TV/storytelling, Disney+ trailers, Apple TV+, and the “Streaming Wars.”
In this bonus episode, Tiny and I review Rapid Response, a documentary about the origin and evolution of motorsport medical science. It’s an interesting documentary currently in theaters that we both recommend.
Premise: A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind.
A young black girl stares up at a man in a hazmat suit while a street preacher rants and raves about the contaminated water poisoning the residents. This is the introduction we get to Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) and Monty’s (Jonathan Majors) version of San Francisco in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”; far from the trolleys, five-star restaurants and tech headquarters of the city. The Golden Gate Bridge is off in the distance, but it’s far enough away that you may forget that it exists. Reality is certainly heightened here, but not so much to seem unbelievable. The film is loosely based on the true-life story of Jimmie Fails, who shares a story credit with first-time director and his childhood friend, Joe Talbot. Jimmie and Monty- both young, under-employed black men with dreams of bigger and better things- share a crowded bedroom in Monty’s blind grandfather’s house on the outskirts of the city. At night, when Jimmie isn’t working at a nursing home, the three watch old movies as Monty lovingly describes the action. On occasion, the two skate into the city to look after and fix up an old Victorian home in the Mission district that’s currently owned by an elderly white couple. Why is Jimmie so immersed in the upkeep of the home? He explains early on (to a Segway tour full of white people, of course) that the house was designed and built by his grandfather with his own two hands after World War II. Soon, the couple moves out and the home is abandoned, so Jimmie and Monty take over and renovate as they believe it should be, preserving as many details as Jimmie’s grandfather intended.
In this week’s episode, I welcome Patreon supporter, returning guest, and new contributor Ben Sears back to the podcast. We review Toy Story 4 and A24’s The Farewell. We also talk about several upcoming movies and both of our histories working in movie theaters.
Premise: The film follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the live-broadcast ecosystem who built his following on wide-eyed optimism and teen girl lust, as he tries to escape a dead-end life in rural Tennessee.
What is the American dream, if not to get rich and famous? In 2019, the quickest and easiest way to get rich and famous is to make it big on social media. Such is the subject of Liza Mandelup’s newest documentary, “Jawline”. The film splits its time focusing on two groups of influencers at various stages of success. First there’s Austyn Tester, a 16-year old high school dropout from rural Tennessee who wants to use his good looks, sunny disposition, and rabid online fan-base to “get famous, so then I can change the world.” The second half goes to a group of interchangeable teen boys (we’re never given their ages, but at best, they’re fresh out of high school) living together in an LA home under the iron fist of their manager Michael Weist. Theirs is a tightly regulated lifestyle where any time not spent posting, tweeting, live-streaming, etc. any branded content is met with Michael’s scorn. At one point, an argument ensues about whether or not to open a video with “hey guys”, lest they alienate their non-female fans. Even though it’s not as well done as the Tennessee portions, the LA half of the film mostly serves as a distant warning to Austyn: this is the fate that awaits the rich and famous in 2019. Thankfully, the amount of time spent between the two is more heavily weighted to Austyn and his struggles.
Whew, what a tense movie. The Safdie Brothers create in Howard Ratner a hustler who's consumed by his own addiction to the game he plays (and gambling, obviously). Adam Sandler, by far, gives his best performance to date. He's so good in this that I was honestly angry that he keeps making horrible comedies. What impressed me most about Uncut Gems w […]
I was a big fan of Lady Bird, so Greta Gerwig's sophomore effort was definitely on my radar. Though I've not read the novel, Little Women had tons of heart and chemistry. The performances across the board are really phenomenal. The exception being a couple of scenes where Amy is acting bratty or otherwise obnoxious. Maybe it's because Florence […]
Good animation, particularly when it comes to the evil Queen's witch disguise. But I was surprised how much fluff there was in the plotting. The middle section is basically just a string of scenes of the dwarfs and Snow White doing random things. It just didn't hold my attention all that well.
Pretty dry procedure-heavy retelling of an important piece of our recent history. Driver and Bening are solid in a movie that I just didn't find very compelling. The timeline jumping to bring us up to speed on the use of torture felt like the script was just covering its bases in a cliff notes way rather than packaging the story in an interesting way. […]
Incredible in its emotional resonance, Waves blew me away with its superb acting and intoxicating style. The film can be broken into a couple standalone parts, each telling a significant story through the respective section's lead character.Tyler is an 18 year old kid being pushed to achieve greatness by an overbearing father. This relationship bleeds i […]