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Rank #49 in TV & Film category

TV & Film
Film History
Film Reviews

Filmspotting

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #49 in TV & Film category

TV & Film
Film History
Film Reviews
Read more

Weekly film podcast and WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen.

Read more

Weekly film podcast and WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen.

iTunes Ratings

3243 Ratings
Average Ratings
2322
771
54
44
52

Consistent, great sound

By LoganKen - Aug 13 2019
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Nice listening to passionate filmgoers.

Best movie review podcast

By calbearfan - Nov 23 2018
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Thoughtful, entertaining, consistently great.

iTunes Ratings

3243 Ratings
Average Ratings
2322
771
54
44
52

Consistent, great sound

By LoganKen - Aug 13 2019
Read more
Nice listening to passionate filmgoers.

Best movie review podcast

By calbearfan - Nov 23 2018
Read more
Thoughtful, entertaining, consistently great.

Listen to:

Cover image of Filmspotting

Filmspotting

Updated 5 days ago

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Weekly film podcast and WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen.

#525: 2015 Oscar Picks / Sacred Cow: Unforgiven

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With the divisive "American Sniper" a surprise awards season success, Filmspotting takes a trip back a couple of decades - back to the mythic Old West - for a Sacred Cow review of Clint Eastwood’s Best Picture-winning UNFORGIVEN. Plus, the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips drops by to help us handicap the 2015 OSCARS.
This episode is brought to you by MUBI.com and Shutterstock (code FILM215).
:00-3:05 - Billboard / Sponsors
3:05-44:47 - Sacred Cow: "Unforgiven"
Shakey Graves, "Dearly Departed"
45:59-48:59 - Shutterstock
48:59-57:01 - Notes / Polls
57:01-1:10:27 - Oscar Picks
Shakey Graves, "Hard Wired"
1:11:36-1:16:33 - Donations
1:16:33-1:45:20 - Oscar Picks, cont.
1:45:20-1:50:09 - Close
BONUS
- More Oscar picks
MUSIC
- Shakey Graves
LINKS
- Josh's review of "Unforgiven"
- Dissolve Movie of the Week: "Unforgiven"
- "Oscars 2015: Video Evidence"

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Feb 13 2015

1hr 52mins

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#749: Parasite / Pain and Glory / Contemporary Chinese #2 - The Midnight After

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Steering clear of plot details for one of the most praised films of the year is no easy task, but Adam and Josh managed to pull it off ahead of their screening of Bong Joon-ho's PARASITE. The subject of rave reviews since its Palme d'Or-winning debut at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, Bong's film tackles class warfare as only Bong can – with social commentary mixing freely with black comedy and even a little horror.

That review and the second film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon, 2014's THE MIDNIGHT AFTER from Hong Kong's Fruit Chan.

0:00 - Billboard

1:42 - Review: "Parasite"King Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard, "Mars for the Rich"

31:35 - Josh recs: "Pain and Glory"

35:20 - Next week / Notes

39:28 - Polls [Movie Mentors / Favorite Scorsese]

49:52 - Chinese Marathon #2: "The Midnight After"

1:15:22 - Outro / Credits

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Oct 25 2019

1hr 22mins

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#737: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Top 10 Tarantino Characters

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Why am I Mr. Pink?

Adam and Josh sift through the rogues' gallery of memorable QT creations for their Top 10 Tarantino Characters and discuss the director's latest, the surprisingly melancholic ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

0:00 - Billboard

1:23 - Review: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Nancy Sinatra, "Bang Bang"

36:07 - Next week / Notes

46:45 - Poll results ("Favorite Tarantino") / New Poll ("MCU Phase 4")

1:00:27 - Top 10: Tarantino Characters

1:49:58 - Close

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Jul 26 2019

1hr 56mins

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#678: Avengers: Infinity War / Top 5: Filmspotting's Avengers

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With the first decade of the MCU coming to a close with AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (and its 2019 sequel), Adam and Josh are forced to reckon with the fact that 19 films into Marvel's uneven series, they've developed some affection for many of its Chrises, er, characters. And, oh my, are there so many characters. And while Josh at various points refers to the film as "exhausting" and "a long con," Adam defends directors Anthony and Joe Russo ("Captain America: Civil War") for bringing discipline and sound storytelling to their massive undertaking. Also on the show, the Top 5 "Filmspotting Avengers," which has Adam and Josh assembling their own teams of cinematic heroes. (Yes, of course this Top 5 has inspired a t-shirt design contest.)

0:00-2:07 - Intro

2:44-27:25 - Review: "Avengers: Infinity War"

Waxahatchee, "No Question"

30:04-36:14 - Next Week / Notes

36:14-42:16 - Massacre Theatre

Waxahatchee, "Recite Remorse"

43:57-46:34 - Donations

46:34-1:14:55 - Top 5: Filmspotting's Avengers

1:14:55-1:17:46 - Close

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Apr 27 2018

1hr 19mins

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#710: (Pt. 1) Top 10 Films of 2018

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Indie horror, broad comedy and, yes, Marvel, all among the "outlier" picks in part one.

With guests Michael Phillips and Tasha Robinson filling out the roundtable, Adam and Josh start their conversation about the best films of 2018 with their "outlier" picks - films that, for the most part, only made one of their lists. Plus, Best of '18 voicemails from the directors of two of last year's best films, and the three finalists for the 2018 Golden Brick Award are announced.

0:00-1:11 - Intro

1:11-46:53 - Top 10: The Outliers

Mowg, "Burning"

47:33-48:33 - Donations

48:33-53:17 - Notes

53:17-1:02:40 - Golden Brick Finalists

1:02:40-1:32:34 - Top 10: The Outliers, cont.

1:32:34-1:37:02 - Close

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Dec 21 2018

1hr 40mins

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FS Fix: Her / Inside Llewyn Davis

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Reviews of Spike Jonze's HER and the Coen Bros. latest, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS.

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Jan 02 2014

58mins

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#499: Snowpiercer / Top 5 Magic Realism Moments / Mood Indigo

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If Filmspotting builds a Top 5 Magic Realism Moments in movies, will you come? With director Michel Gondry’s MOOD INDIGO currently in theatres and available on demand, Josh and Adam devote this week’s Top 5 to a subject that Gondry exploits to great effect, those moments when a director allows the rules of nature to be unseated by the fantastic. Plus, a review of Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER, along with Josh’s take on Gondry's latest.
This episode is presented by Shutterstock (FILM714).
0:00-1:41 - Billboard / Shutterstock
1:41-24:50 - Review: "Snowpiercer"
Caleb Hawley, "Would You Even Try"
25:56-27:50 - Shutterstock
27:50-47:08 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
47:08-51:02 - Larsen Recs: "Mood Indigo"
Caleb Hawley, "Crying Wolf"
51:52-56:44 - Donations / WBEZ Promo
56:44-1:29:09 - Top 5: Magic Realism Moments
1:29:09-1:36:41 - Close / Outtake
MUSIC
- Caleb Hawley
NOTES
- MT Winner: Tad Hildum
UPCOMING
- Filmspotting #500 Live
- MUCH ADO at Illinois Shakes
LINKS
- Josh on "Snowpiercer"
- Josh on "Mood Indigo"
PARTNERS
- Backstory

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Jul 18 2014

1hr 38mins

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#567: Top 10 Films of 2015 (Pt. 1)

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End of year movie talk is usually dominated by a few prestige pictures, but does anyone care about prestige with a new STAR WARS in theaters? Sure you do. Michael Phillips and Scott Tobias join Adam and Josh for the Top 10 Films of 2015 roundtable - and ok, a little Star Wars talk.
This episode is brought to you by Squarespace (code FILM), Vermont College of Fine Art MFA and MUBI.
0:00-3:57 - Billboard / Sponsors
3:57-33:54 - Top 10 of 2015
"Rohan," The Assassin
34:57-36:10 - Squarespace
36:10-47:57 - "The Force Awakens" / Notes
47:57-55:38 - Polls
"We Used To Dance," While We're Young
56:08-57:49 - VT MFA
57:49-1:37:44 - Top 10 of 2015 cont.
1:37:44-1:41:40 - Close
MUSIC
- Doudou N'Diaye Rose / James Murphy
LINKS
- Michael Phillips
- Scott Tobias (Full Top 10)
- 2015 Wrap Party Live tickets
- Golden Brick Finalists
- Village Voice Critics Poll
- Indiewire Critics Poll
- Chicago Film Critics Winners

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Dec 18 2015

1hr 43mins

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#481: Grand Budapest Hotel / Top 5 Wes Anderson Scenes

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Wes Anderson takes such care with each frame that it would be easy to choose five favorite moments from any one of his films. But Josh and Michael Phillips gave themselves a much bigger challenge: they strolled the grounds of Rushmore, walked the halls of the Tenenbaum mansion, and went five fathoms deep in Steve Zissou's sub to come up with their TOP 5 WES ANDERSON SCENES. Plus, a review of the director's latest, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.
This episode is presented by Shutterstock (FILM314) and Squarespace (FILM3).
00-3:26 - Billboard / Squarespace
3:26-29:03 - Review: "Grand Budapest Hotel"
Nico, "These Days"
29:54-31:58 - Shutterstock
31:58-37:51 - Alain Resnais
37:51-41:55 - Massacre Theatre
41:55-1:00:18 - Top 5: Anderson Scenes
Ramones, "Judy is a Punk"
1:01:15-1:01:49 - Filmspotting: SVU Promo
1:01:49-1:24:58 - Top 5: Anderson Scenes cont.
1:24:58-1:27:58 - Close
MUSIC
- Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack
NOTES
- MT winner: Sam Birchman
LINKS
- Josh on "Grand Budapest"
- Adam on "Grand Budapest"
- Anny Gomes' website
PARTNERS
- Backstory

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Mar 14 2014

1hr 29mins

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#616: Top 10 Films of 2016 (Pt. 1)

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A lot of usual suspects at the top of the box office charts in 2016: Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and Harry Potter. And a lot of those movies? Not bad actually. But what are the year’s great films? The Next Picture Show's Scott Tobias and Genevieve Koski join Adam and Josh for part one of the Top 10 Films of 2016 Roundtable.

0:00-1:17 - Billboard

1:17-48:03 - Top 10 of 2016: #10-9

"Heptapod B," Arrival

48:56-1:51:54 - Top 10 of 2016: #8-6

1:51:54-1:55:51 - Close

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Dec 23 2016

2hr

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#642: Dunkirk / Top 5 Films of 2017 (So Far) / War For The Planet of the Apes

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Christopher Nolan films are many things, but they are rarely straightforward (or short). So DUNKIRK - based on the legendary WWII rescue effort - comes as something of a surprise. Clocking in at a tidy hour 49 minutes, Nolan's latest is a lean, (sort of) old-fashioned war picture. Still vibrating from Hans Zimmer's score, Adam and Josh share their post-screening thoughts on the film and - live from a small town Wisconsin bookstore - reveal their Top 5 Films of 2017 (So Far). Plus, Josh's take on WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, and we note the passing of George Romero and Martin Landau.

0:00-2:03 - Billboard

2:03-47:54 - Top 5: Films of 2017 (So Far)

Pieta Brown, "Stopped My Horse"

51:22-1:08:24 - Notes / Massacre Theatre

1:08:24-1:16:52 - Larsen Recs: "War for the Planet of the Apes"

Pieta Brown, "Once Again"

1:17:52-1:39:44 - Review: "Dunkirk"

1:39:44-1:43:16 - Close / Outtake 

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Jul 21 2017

1hr 44mins

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#690: Top 5 Films of 2018 (So Far)

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At the halfway point of the year in movies, Adam and Josh agree on their two favorite movies, but share some surprising and diverse picks to round out their Top 5 Films of 2018 (So Far). Plus, listeners weigh in with their picks for the best of the year so far, and the new Filmspotting poll gives you just two options for best superhero movie... of all time. 

0:00-4:34 - Billboard

5:19-36:33 - Top 5: Films of 2018 (So Far)

Chance the Rapper, "Work Out"

37:53-44:47 - Next Week / Notes / New Poll

44:47-1:11:39 - Top 5: Films of 2018 (So Far), cont.

1:11:39-1:13:44 - Close

*Correction: Simon Russell Beale plays Lavrenti Beria in "The Death of Stalin" not Nikita Kruschev (who is played by a very good Steve Buscemi).

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Jul 27 2018

1hr 13mins

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#624: Get Out / Filmspotting Madness / Top 5 Pantheon Contenders

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Who needs to be told how great The Godfather is? Or Citizen Kane? Or, um... Midnight Run? That was the logic back in the early days of the show - in 2005 - when Adam and original co-host/current producer/Midnight Run-lover Sam established the Filmspotting Pantheon: an eccentric mix of movie greats and personal favorites. For the show’s 12th anniversary, Adam and Josh dust off the Pantheon for Filmspotting Madness - a month-long tournament that will leave only one film reigning supreme. That, plus a review of surprise box office hit GET OUT.

0:00-1:49 - Billboard

1:49-43:42 - Top 5 Pantheon Contenders

Spoon, "Can I Sit Next To You"

46:51-1:03:10 - Notes

1:03:10-1:24:29 - Filmspotting Madness

Spoon, "Can I Sit Next To You"

1:25:42-1:30:59 - Donations

1:30:59-1:47:53 - Review: "Get Out"

1:47:53-2:00:38 - Filmspotting Madness, cont.

2:00:38-2:03:51 - Close / Outtake

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Mar 02 2017

2hr 6mins

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#723: Top 5 Overlooked Films of the 2000s / Madness Final / Assassination of Jesse James

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As the 2019 edition of Filmspotting Madness comes to a close, Adam and Josh share some favorite titles that didn't make the 64-film bracket. Their Top 5 Overlooked Films of the 2000s features some under-seen comedies starring Jack Black, Seann William Scott and Mark Duplass; docs and "docu-fantasias" from Steve James and Guy Maddin; and less familiar titles from A-list directors like Ridley Scott and Robert Zemeckis. Plus, the Madness championship matchup is revealed, and a Sacred Cow review of Andrew Dominik's 2007 meditative western THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD.

0:00-1:16 - Billboard

1:16-39:11 - Review: "Assassination of Jesse James..."

Hembree, "Culture"

39:53-49:48 - R.I.P Agnes Varda / Next week / Notes

49:48-1:02:52 - Madness: Final 4 Results / Championship

Hembree, "Almost"

1:03:35-1:07:31 - Donations

1:07:31-1:54:22 - Top 5: Overlooked Movies of the 2000s

1:54:22-1:58:22 - Close

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Apr 05 2019

2hr 3mins

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Blade Runner 2049

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Thirty-five years after the original “Blade Runner” brought its influential tech-noir vision of the future to movie screens, the highly anticipated sequel has finally arrived. Michael Phillips joins Josh for a review.

0:00-3:58 - Billboard

3:58-34:21 - Review: "Blade Runner: 2049"

34:21-36:20 - Close

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Oct 04 2017

38mins

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#518: Top 10 Films of 2014 (Pt. 1)

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- 10-9-8-7-6... It's part one of Filmspotting's Top 10 Films of 2014 countdown, featuring special guests Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune and The Dissolve’s Scott Tobias. Plus, Mr. Brick himself, Rian Johnson, announces the winner of this year’s Golden Brick award.
:00-2:28 - Billboard / Donations
2:28-31:15 - Top 10 of 2014: #10-9
"Canto At Gabelmeister's Peak," Grand Budapest...
31:47-45:09 - Polls / Golden Brick Winner
"The Rest Of My Life," Mood Indigo
46:19-1:26:21 - Top 10 of 2014: #8-6
1:26:21-1:29:28 - Close
MUSIC
- Scores curated by Sam Smith
BONUS CONTENT
- Worst Movies of 2014
LINKS
- Michael Phillips
- Scott Tobias
- Melissa's "Under the Skin" theory
- Sam Smith's posters podcast
- Slate's 25 Best Podcast Episodes
- Golden Bricks Page
- Scott on "Wolf of Wall Street"

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Dec 19 2014

1hr 31mins

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#532: It Follows / Top 5 21st Century Horror Movies / Mark Harris

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Coming to you from an old, abandoned orphanage... Adam and guest host Michael Phillips discuss IT FOLLOWS, the new indie horror movie that has garnered a lot of buzz for its handling of familiar material – sex, teens and a supernatural killer. Plus, the Top 5 21st Century Horror Movies and a conversation with pop culture writer Mark Harris about 'what scares us now'.
This episode is brought to you by MUBI.com and Audible.
:00-3:03 - Billboard / Sponsors
3:03-28:26 - Review: "It Follows"
Laura Marling, "Howl"
29:40-31:47 - Audible
31:47-47:41 - Notes / FS Madness
47:41-59:42 - Interview: Mark Harris
Laura Marling, "False Hope"
1:00:33-1:01:28 - SVU Promo
1:01:28-1:44:23 - Top 5: 21st Century Horror Movies
1:44:23-1:47:32 - Close
MUSIC
- Laura Marling
NOTES
- Audible recs: Silver Screen Fiend, Girl in a Band, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War
LINKS
- Michael Phillips
- Mark Harris
- "Scared Senseless: The Indie Horror..."
- Playlist: Best Horror Films...
- Criticwire Survey: Best Horror Film...

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Apr 03 2015

1hr 49mins

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#648: It (2017) / Top 5 Stephen King Scares

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Stephen King’s first book - “Carrie” - came out in 1974. Brian DePalma's film followed two years later. Then came Kubrick's "The Shining" in '80. Since then, there’s hardly been a year without a King movie adaptation, including two prominent ones this year - THE DARK TOWER and this weekend’s IT, featuring one of King’s most memorable creations: Pennywise the Clown. This week, fresh from a screening, Adam and Josh offer thoughts on IT, and share King-induced childhood traumas with their Top 5 Stephen King Movie Scares. Plus a (sort of) Musical Massacre Theatre and another new Golden Brick nomination - director Kogonada's COLUMBUS.     

0:00-1:55 - Billboard

3:37-34:23 - Review: "It" (2017)

EMA, "I Wanna Destroy"

40:29-45:08 - Next week / Argentine Marathon / Correction

45:08-52:50 - Massacre Theatre

52:50-1:04:15 - Brickspotting: "Columbus"

EMA, "Blood and Chalk"

1:05:12-1:48:59 - Top 5: Stephen King Movie Scares

1:48:59-1:58:59 - Close / Hot Mics    

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Sep 06 2017

1hr 58mins

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#700: A Star Is Born / Top 5 Movie Duets

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Bradley Cooper's A STAR IS BORN is the fourth adaptation of the tale - fifth if you count 1932's George Cukor-directed "What Price Hollywood." The story of a hard-drinking industry veteran discovering and grooming a young starlet (or singer) also has a strong awards pedigree, with those previous incarnations accumulating a total of 19 Oscar nominations. For his directing debut, Cooper isn't dabbling, and it seems like the gamble has paid off. Early reviews have been strong, including for Cooper's star: acting novice (if legit superstar) Lady Gaga. On this week's show, Adam and Josh join the new Star's fan club, but do they love it enough to satisfy the movie's most ardent fans? Also: the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips comes aboard for a preview of the Chicago Int'l Film Festival (Oct 10-21) and the Filmspotting Top 5: Movie Duets.       

0:00-1:41 - Billboard

2:57-38:40 - Review: "A Star Is Born"

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, "Shallow"

42:51-56:07 - Next Week / Notes

56:07-1:05:00 - Polls [Musical Dramas / Horror Sequels & Remakes]

1:05:00-1:23:09 - Preview: Chicago Int'l Film Festival

Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd, ""What's Up Doc?"

1:23:54-2:32:05 - Top 5: Movie Duets

2:32:05-2:37:55 - Close 

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Oct 05 2018

2hr 37mins

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#747: Joker / Chicago International Film Festival Preview

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Between its late-August premiere at the Venice Film Festival (where it won the festival's top prize) and its release in theaters here in the States, Todd Phillips' JOKER has provoked every possible response, with some calling it among the best films of the year and others calling it the absolute worst – not to mention the much-discussed fears that the movie was "dangerous." No surprise then that when Adam and Josh finally got around to seeing it, they split – not just on the film itself, but on everything from the film's score to star Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic villain.

That review, plus listeners weigh in on their favorite Phoenix performances and a preview of the upcoming Chicago International Film Festival.

0:00 - Billboard

1:00 - Review: "Joker"

Dehd, "Pushing the Crowd"

36:13 - Next week / Notes

42:00 - Polls (J. Phoenix Performances / 2010s Movie Mentors)

50:43 - Preview: Chicago International Film Festival

1:03:07 - Close

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Oct 10 2019

1hr 11mins

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#755: Little Women / Knives Out / A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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Costume dramas, biopics, elite directors and their passion projects: the prestige movie season is upon us. But if Greta Gerwig's new LITTLE WOMEN adaptation and Marielle Heller's Fred Rogers biopic A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD could be considered Oscar bait, they are also among the best films of the year according to Adam and Josh. And they've got praise to spare for Rian Johnson's star-studded – and politically potent – whodunit KNIVES OUT.

0:00 - Billboard

0:57 - Review: "Little Women"

Haim, "Hallelujah"

27:51 - Next Week/Notes

35:06 - Best of '19 Poll / Massacre Theatre

46:06 - Reviews: "Knives Out," "A Beautiful Day..."

1:15:55 - Outro / Outtake

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Dec 06 2019

1hr 23mins

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#754: 2019 Golden Brick Nominees

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Adam and Josh talk through the shortlist for this year's Golden Brick award, plus conversations with the creators behind two Brick nominees: Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails ("The Last Black Man in San Francisco") and Riley Stearns ("The Art of Self Defense").

0:00 - Billboard

1:09 - Interview: Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails ("Last Black Man...")

Anna of the North, "Thank Me Later"

33:40 - 2019 Golden Brick Nominees

50:06 - Interview: Riley Stearns ("Art of Self-Defense")

1:16:36 - Outro 

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Nov 29 2019

1hr 22mins

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#753: Marriage Story / Top 5 Movies About Marriage

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Noah Baumbach has grown up. The director's last movie about divorce - 2005's The Squid and the Whale - took the perspective of the kids. For his latest - the acclaimed Marriage Story - Baumbach explores the bitter remains of a once loving partnership. Adam and Josh debate whether the film plays favorites, but praise the performances from leads Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson and an ensemble featuring memorable turns from Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Julie Hagerty, and Ray Liotta.

Plus, the wisdom we can glean from the Top 5 Movies About Marriage.

0:00 - Billboard

1:12 - Review: "Marriage Story"

Chanele McGuinness, "Powerless"

31:33 - Next Week/Notes

35:27 - Polls [Hanks / 9 From '99 Performances]

46:15 - Top 5: Movies About Marriage

1:30:18 - Outro 

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Nov 22 2019

1hr 37mins

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#752: Magnolia at 20 / Jojo Rabbit / The Report / The King

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Paul Thomas Anderson followed up his breakout hit "Boogie Nights" with 1999’s MAGNOLIA, a 3+-hour ensemble film featuring a treatise on coincidence and frogs falling from the sky. It was nominated for three Oscars, but in the 20 years since, it has earned a reputation in some quarters as messy, melodramatic and overlong (an opinion that PTA himself appears to share). This week on the show, Adam and Josh are much more forgiving of Anderson's ambitious third film when they revisit it for its 20th anniversary, part of the 9 From '99 series.

Also on the show, a review of Taika Waititi's JOJO RABBIT and Adam's thoughts on David Michôd's THE KING and THE REPORT with Adam Driver. Plus, the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon Awards.

0:00 - Billboard

1:08 - 9 From '99 Review: "Magnolia"

Aimee Mann, "Save Me"

42:19 - Next Week/Notes

48:21 - Massacre Theatre

54:42 - Adam on "The Report"

59:52 - Review: "Jojo Rabbit"

1:08:19 - Adam recommends "The King"

1:13:20 - Chinese Cinema Marathon Awards

1:36:26 - Outro   

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Nov 15 2019

1hr 42mins

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#751: The Irishman / Contemporary Chinese #4 - Ash Is Purest White

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A new film from Martin Scorsese is always an event, but THE IRISHMAN is one that, for many, won’t happen at a movie theatre. After a short theatrical run in select cities, Scorsese's latest - which reunites the director with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, and adds Al Pacino to the mix - will show up on Netflix. Adam and Josh, fresh from their own theatrical screening, consider the film in the context of Scorsese's work, specifically his career-spanning gangster movies. Plus, a review of Jia Zhangke's ASH IS PUREST WHITE (2019), the fourth and final film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon.

0:00 - Billboard

1:09 - Review: "The Irishman"

Steve Earle, "The Last Gunfighter Ballad"

32:52 - Donations

35:36 - Next Week / Notes

41:27 - Polls [Scorsese / Hanks]

53:48 - Chinese Cinema #4: "Ash Is Purest White"

1:15:15 - Outro

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Nov 08 2019

1hr 24mins

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#750: The Lighthouse / Contemporary Chinese #3 - Our Time Will Come

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In 2014, director Robert Eggers brought 17th century Puritan New England to frighteningly vivid life in THE WITCH. For his follow-up - THE LIGHTHOUSE - Eggers skips ahead to the late 19th century and the results are no less unnerving. Adam and Josh debate the effectiveness of Eggers' formal gambits - black and white photography, immersive sound design, boxy aspect ratio - and the all-in performances from stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Plus, the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon continues with 2017's OUR TIME WILL COME, a historical drama set in WWII-era Hong Kong. 

0:00 - Billboard

1:19 - Review: "The Lighthouse"

30:45 - “Lighthouse” Spoilers

Jamie Drake, "When The Tide Comes In"

37:41 - Next Week/Notes

44:02 - Massacre Theatre

50:40 - Chinese Cinema #3: "Our Time Will Come"

1:12:27 - Outro / Outtake

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Nov 01 2019

1hr 24mins

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#749: Parasite / Pain and Glory / Contemporary Chinese #2 - The Midnight After

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Steering clear of plot details for one of the most praised films of the year is no easy task, but Adam and Josh managed to pull it off ahead of their screening of Bong Joon-ho's PARASITE. The subject of rave reviews since its Palme d'Or-winning debut at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, Bong's film tackles class warfare as only Bong can – with social commentary mixing freely with black comedy and even a little horror.

That review and the second film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon, 2014's THE MIDNIGHT AFTER from Hong Kong's Fruit Chan.

0:00 - Billboard

1:42 - Review: "Parasite"King Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard, "Mars for the Rich"

31:35 - Josh recs: "Pain and Glory"

35:20 - Next week / Notes

39:28 - Polls [Movie Mentors / Favorite Scorsese]

49:52 - Chinese Marathon #2: "The Midnight After"

1:15:22 - Outro / Credits

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Oct 25 2019

1hr 22mins

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#748: American Beauty at 20 / Contemporary Chinese Cinema #1 - Let The Bullets Fly

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Back in '99, the trailers and movie posters for AMERICAN BEAUTY implored us to "look closer." For their 9 From '99 review, Adam and Josh give the divisive Best Picture winner the closer look it asked for, but they don't always like what they see. Is the movie hypocritical and mean-spirited? Is it merely an overwrought sitcom? Or is it redeemed by its sincerity and the strength of its supporting cast?

Also on the show, Adam's conversation with Godfrey Cheshire, author of the new book "Conversations with Kiarostami." Cheshire's book is a companion to a 25-film Abbas Kiarostami retrospective currently touring the U.S.

And the first film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon, 2010's LET THE BULLETS FLY, a furiously paced action comedy directed by Jiang Wen.

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Oct 18 2019

1hr 39mins

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#747: Joker / Chicago International Film Festival Preview

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Between its late-August premiere at the Venice Film Festival (where it won the festival's top prize) and its release in theaters here in the States, Todd Phillips' JOKER has provoked every possible response, with some calling it among the best films of the year and others calling it the absolute worst – not to mention the much-discussed fears that the movie was "dangerous." No surprise then that when Adam and Josh finally got around to seeing it, they split – not just on the film itself, but on everything from the film's score to star Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic villain.

That review, plus listeners weigh in on their favorite Phoenix performances and a preview of the upcoming Chicago International Film Festival.

0:00 - Billboard

1:00 - Review: "Joker"

Dehd, "Pushing the Crowd"

36:13 - Next week / Notes

42:00 - Polls (J. Phoenix Performances / 2010s Movie Mentors)

50:43 - Preview: Chicago International Film Festival

1:03:07 - Close

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Oct 10 2019

1hr 11mins

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#746: Ad Astra / Top 5 Steppenwolf Member Movie Performances

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It's always good news when an acclaimed director announces a new project, but it's somehow especially thrilling when that project is set in space. We started 2019 with two highly anticipated space missions: Claire Denis' HIGH LIFE with Robert Pattison (reviewed back on ep. 724) and James Gray's AD ASTRA, which has Brad Pitt traveling across the solar system to locate his missing father - and save the planet. In their review, Adam calls it the best film of the year, while Josh calls it "the most visually arresting session of talk therapy you can imagine." That's good... right?

Also on the show, a celebration of Chicago theater with the Top 5 Steppenwolf Member Movie Performances. 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the venerable Chicago company, whose ensemble boasts the likes of John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Sinise and Joan Allen, among many others. Also inspiring the Top 5 is a newly published oral history of Chicago theater - Ensemble - by Chicago writer Mark Larson.

0:00 - Billboard

1:17 - Review: "Ad Astra"

Greg Felden, "Take You Back Home"

27:20 - Next week / Notes

36:11 - Massacre Theatre

41:26 - Donations

42:45 - Top 5: Steppenwolf Member Performances

1:27:35 - Close

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Sep 27 2019

1hr 34mins

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#745: Top 5 Judy Garland Moments / Hustlers

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50 years after Judy Garland's death at the tragically young age of 47, the movie musical legend is largely remembered for one iconic film role - Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. But Garland appeared in - and often starred in - nearly 40 films in her 30-year career; a career Adam and Josh attempt to come to terms with - along with the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips - for their Top 5 Judy Garland Moments.

Plus, Adam and Michael spend a few minutes on HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. And listeners weigh in with their picks for the directors who need to follow in the footsteps of High Life's Claire Denis and Ad Astra's James Gray and make their own space movie.

0:00 - Billboard

1:18 - Top 5: Judy Garland Moments

Judy Garland, "Americana"

35:21 - Review: "Hustlers"

43:34 - Next Week / Notes

55:52 - Polls [Space Movies / Joaquin Phoenix]

1:06:39 - Top 5 Judy Garland Moments, cont.

1:46:29 - Close

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Sep 20 2019

1hr 54mins

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#744: Eyes Wide Shut at 20 / Top 5 Kubrick Scenes

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Back in 1999, it was hard to watch EYES WIDE SHUT without thinking about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a real-life married couple participating in some sadistic form of therapy. Twenty years later, it's maybe still a little distracting, but it's easier to see the pair's performances in the greater contexts of their respective careers – and, in particular, how effective the casting of the cocky, entitled Cruise is as Dr. Bill Harford, a man who sees his confidence reduced to rubble by the end of the film. For their 9 From '99 review of Kubrick's final, controversial masterpiece, Adam and Josh talk about the brilliance of Kidman's few, powerful scenes, and the film's subtle formal brilliance. And how about that orgy scene, huh?

Plus, Adam finally gets to share his Top 5 Kubrick Scenes six years after a late-breaking case of dysphonia kept him from joining Josh and Michael Phillips for their Kubrick picks (back on episode #459).

0:00 - Billboard

1:17 - 9 From '99: "Eyes Wide Shut"

Chris Isaak, "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing"

54:36 - Next Week / Notes

1:05:30 - Massacre Theatre

1:12:11 - Donations

1:13:56 - Top 5 Kubrick Scenes

1:33:42 - Close  

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Sep 13 2019

1hr 41mins

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#743: IT Chapter Two / Fall Movie Preview

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Adam and Josh left 2017's blockbuster IT at least mildly curious for more, but is the sequel film's almost three-hour running time and the addition of A-listers like Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader enough to satisfy that curiosity? This week, Filmspotting returns to Derry and to director Andy Muschietti's epic - or at least epic in length - IT CHAPTER TWO. Plus, the Fall Movie Preview in the form of Adam and Josh's Top 5 Questions About the Fall Movie Season.   

0:00 - Billboard

1:21 - Review: "It: Chapter 2"

Bleached, "Hard to Kill"

22:38 - Next Week / Notes

30:02 - Polls [TIFF / Unlikely Space Movies]

40:06 - Fall Movie Preview

1:21:09 - Close / Outtake

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Sep 06 2019

1hr 28mins

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#742: Being John Malkovich at 20 / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #4 - The Scarlet Empress

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In 1999, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH marked the auspicious debut of two geniuses: screenwriter Charlie Kaufman ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Synecdoche, NY") and director Spike Jonze ("Where the Wild Things Are," "Her"). 20 years later, the movie remains surprising and innovative, and its concerns - artistic fulfillment and artistic exploitation - feel as current as ever. Adam and Josh revisit MALKOVICH as part of their 9 From '99 series, and wrap up their Marlene Dietrich-Josef von Sternberg Marathon with 1934's (preposterous? preposterous on purpose?) THE SCARLET EMPRESS and the marathon awards, "The Boas."

0:00 - Billboard

1:26 - 9 From '99: "Being John Malkovich"

Jay Som, "Nighttime Drive"

35:16 - Next Week / Notes

38:45 - Josh on "Honeyland" / Adam on "American Factory"

47:19 - Massacre Theatre

54:31 - Donations

57:05 - Dietrich-Von Sternberg #4: "The Scarlet Empress"

1:20:41 - Dietrich-Von Sternberg Awards

1:44:09 - Close

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Aug 30 2019

1hr 50mins

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#741: Where'd You Go, Bernadette / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #3 - Shanghai Express

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Initial critical response to Richard Linklater's WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE was not great, earning some of the worst reviews of his 30-year career. But Adam and Josh find plenty to recommend in both Linklater's direction and star Cate Blanchett's performance. Listener feedback has them crunching numbers to determine this decade's defining actress, plus a look ahead to September's Toronto International Film Festival and the third film in the Marlene Dietrich-Josef von Sternberg Marathon, 1932's SHANGHAI EXPRESS.

0:00 - Billboard

1:13 - Review: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette"

Lillie Mae, "You Got Other Girls For That"

27:39 - Next Week / Notes / Peter Fonda

41:21 - Polls (Decade-Defining Actress / TIFF)

56:40 - Dietrich-Von Sternberg #3: "Shanghai Express"

1:23:02 - Close

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Aug 23 2019

1hr 30mins

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#740: The Nightingale / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #2 - Morocco

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Making a film that details the violence – specifically, the sexual violence – that colonialism wrought in places like Tasmania in the early 19th century is an honorable endeavor that also makes for a very difficult viewing experience. Adam and Josh find lots to admire in Kent's THE NIGHTINGALE, but question whether the director's decision to make the film so explicit makes it a better one. That review, plus Dietrich in drag and some tough notes for a young Gary Cooper in 1930's MOROCCO, the second film in the Marlene Dietrich/Joseph von Sternberg Marathon.

0:00 - Billboard

1:04 - Review: "The Nightingale"

Marlene Dietrich, "When Love Dies"

33:40 - Next Week / Notes

41:59 - Massacre Theatre

50:01 - Dietrich/Von Sternberg Marathon #2

1:17:41 - Close

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Aug 16 2019

1hr 26mins

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#739: The Blair Witch Project at 20 / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #1 - The Blue Angel

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Benefiting from an ingenious viral marketing campaign, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT wasn't just a massive hit at the box office in 1999, it was a cultural phenomenon – two things that made it difficult to reckon with as a work of art at the time. But 20 years later, the myth that shrouded the movie has lifted, and Adam and Josh discuss the merits of a film that relies on some of our most fundamental fears to generate its scares. That review part of the 9 From '99 series.

Plus, the first film in our Marlene Dietrich/Josef von Sternberg Marathon: 1930's THE BLUE ANGEL, with Dietrich as a cabaret temptress, and silent movie veteran Emil Jannings as the scolding professor who falls for her.   

0:00 - Billboard

1:20 - 9 From '99: "The Blair Witch Project"

Marlene Dietrich, "Falling in Love Again"

43:54 - D.A. Pennebaker / Facets' Milos Stehlik

48:52 - Next Week / Notes

54:10 - Polls [MCU Phase 4 / Decade-Defining Actresses]

1:06:00 - Dietrich-Von Sternberg #1: "The Blue Angel"

1:38:02 - Close

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Aug 09 2019

1hr 45mins

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#738: Hobbs & Shaw / Top 5 Fast & Furious Moments

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The Fast & Furious franchise has come a long, long way since its street-racing origins, and its latest entry, HOBBS & SHAW (from "John Wick" co-director David Leitch), continues the series' evolution into a James Bond/Jason Bourne/Avengers hybrid. And Adam and Josh are mostly on board for Jason Statham's and Dwayne Johnson's comic bickering and Idris Elba's "Black Superman." But when the movie makes a play for sentimentality late in the film, one host feels the movie comes to a screeching halt and never recovers.

That review, plus a revisit of 2015's Top 5 Fast & Furious Moments.

0:00 - Billboard / Donations

2:35 - Review: "Hobbs & Shaw"

The Beths, "You Wouldn't Like Me"

27:50 - AK Recommends: "Love, Antosha" and "Between Me and My Mind"

32:32 - Next Week / Notes

38:09 - Massacre Theatre

44:59 - Top 5: Fast & Furious Moments

1:27:03 - Close / Outtake       

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Aug 02 2019

1hr 34mins

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#737: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Top 10 Tarantino Characters

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Why am I Mr. Pink?

Adam and Josh sift through the rogues' gallery of memorable QT creations for their Top 10 Tarantino Characters and discuss the director's latest, the surprisingly melancholic ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

0:00 - Billboard

1:23 - Review: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Nancy Sinatra, "Bang Bang"

36:07 - Next week / Notes

46:45 - Poll results ("Favorite Tarantino") / New Poll ("MCU Phase 4")

1:00:27 - Top 10: Tarantino Characters

1:49:58 - Close

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Jul 26 2019

1hr 56mins

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Interview: Riley Stearns ("The Art of Self-Defense")

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THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE is director Riley Stearns' second film. His first - 2014's FAULTS - concerned a man (Leland Orser) hired to de-program a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) after she joins a cult. SELF-DEFENSE continues Stearns' fascination with groupthink and charismatic leaders by moving the action to a karate dojo led by Alessandro Nivola's eccentric sensei. Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots also star.

Stearns talks about his own experience with martial arts and the importance of being able to laugh at yourself. And he submits to the Filmspotting 5, the interview-concluding Q&A.

0:00 - Intro

1:42 - Interview: Riley Stearns

27:29 - Outro

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Jul 25 2019

31mins

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