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Rank #2 in Film Reviews category

TV & Film
Film History
Film Reviews

Filmspotting

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #2 in Film Reviews category

TV & Film
Film History
Film Reviews
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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.

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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.

iTunes Ratings

3227 Ratings
Average Ratings
2311
769
52
44
51

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

3227 Ratings
Average Ratings
2311
769
52
44
51

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.
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.

Rank #1: #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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Rank #2: #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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Rank #3: #638: Wonder Woman / Top 5 Movie Religious Experiences / Trey Shults

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As the first superhero movie directed by and starring a woman, WONDER WOMAN went into its opening weekend with more baggage than its male-centric peers. It came out of the weekend with critical raves and record box office - and at least one member of the Larsen household practicing Diana-inspired high-kicks. On this week's show, Adam and Josh - bound by the Lasso of Hestia - share their takes, then confess their Top 5 Movie Religious Experiences. Plus, Adam's conversation with "Krisha" director Trey Shults, whose new film "It Comes At Night" opens this weekend.

0:00-1:56 - Billboard

1:56-31:17 - Review: "Wonder Woman"

Secret Sisters, "You Don't Own Me Anymore"

34:06-46:43 - Notes / Massacre Theatre

46:43-1:14:27 - Interview: Trey Shults

Secret Sisters, "Tennessee River Runs Deep"

1:17:36-2:03:20 - Top 5: Movie Religious Experiences

2:03:20-2:05:55 - Close

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Jun 09 2017

2hr 5mins

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Rank #4: #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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Rank #5: #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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Rank #6: #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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Rank #7: #640: The Beguiled / Top 5 Sofia Coppola Scenes

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Almost 15 years after its release, "Lost in Translation" remains Sofia Coppola’s best-known and best-loved film. But with the four films she's made since then, she's compiled one of the most distinctive filmographies of the 21st century. THE BEGUILED is a very Coppola remake of the 1971 Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood collaboration set during the Civil War at a Virginia girls' school. It stars Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell and Coppola regular Kirsten Dunst, and it won Coppola the Best Directing Prize at Cannes back in May. This week, Coppola skeptic Angelica Jade Bastien (Vulture) joins Josh for a review of the film along with their Top 5 Sofia Coppola Scenes.

0:00-1:25 - Billboard

1:25-28:25 - Review: "The Beguiled"

Siouxsie & The Banshees, "Hong Kong Garden"

29:30-38:46 - Notes / Massacre Theatre

38:46-1:07:41 - Top 5: Sofia Coppola Scenes

1:07:41-1:11:13- Close / Outtake

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Jun 30 2017

1hr 15mins

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Rank #8: #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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Rank #9: #500 Live: Rian Johnson / Top 5 Films of the Filmspotting Era

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Nine years, four months and 20 days in the making... Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune, Slate's Dana Stevens and — via Skype from San Francisco — the newly anointed writer/director of STAR WARS VIII, Rian Johnson, join Adam and Josh for this special LIVE edition of Filmspotting recorded at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on Saturday, July 26. Plus, choices by David Wain, Richard Linklater and more!
This episode is presented by Harry's (code FILMSPOTTING).
0:00-2:03 - Billboard / Harry's
1:41-14:19 - Top 5: Films of FS Era
14:19-21:23 - Polls
"My Rifle, My Pony and Me"
22:37-25:17 - Sponsor: Harry's
25:17-35:39 - Massacre Theatre
35:39-54:13 - Interview: Rian Johnson
"Fare Thee Well"
55:24-56:46 - WBEZ Promo
56:47-58:26 - David Wain's Top 6
58:27-1:36:23 - Top 5: Films of FS Era cont.
1:36:23-1:41:28 - Close
MUSIC
- Rio Bravo, Inside Llewyn Davis
NOTES
- MT winner: Ian Keiser
LINKS
- Top 5 of Filmspotting Era
- Zoller Seitz on Cinephiliacs

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Aug 01 2014

1hr 43mins

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Rank #10: #506: Top 5 David Lynch Scenes / Eraserhead / Skeleton Twins

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It's Sociopath Week at the Filmspotting Lounge... half off Pabst Blue Ribbons and nitrous oxide chasers! The perfect combo to put you in the proper frame of mind for Josh and Adam's Top 5 David Lynch Scenes. Plus, a discussion of Lynch's creepy 1977 debut ERASERHEAD — just out in a Criterion Collection Blu-Ray — and a review of THE SKELETON TWINS, starring SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.
This episode is presented by Shutterstock (FILM914), Harry's (code FILMSPOTTING) and Varidesk.
0:00-2:56 - Billboard / Shutterstock-Harry's
2:56-27:33 - Blindspotting: "Eraserhead"
Peter Ivers, "In Heaven"
28:02-30:55 - Harry's-Shutterstock
30:55-41:05 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
41:05-52:24 - Review: "Skeleton Twins"
Roy Orbison, "In Dreams"
53:21-58:54 - Varidesk-Donations
58:54-1:37:34 - Top 5: Lynch Scenes
1:37:34-1:40:52 - Close / Outtake
BONUS CONTENT
- Pre-CGI Scenes Feedback
MUSIC
- Soundtracks: Eraserhead, Blue Velvet
NOTES
- MT winner: Melissa Maillett
LINKS
- CIFF Critics' Picks Event
- Josh on Eraserhead
- Josh on Skeleton Twins

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Sep 19 2014

1hr 43mins

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Rank #11: #674: Isle of Dogs / Top 5 Wes Anderson Scenes / FS Madness Final Four

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In 2007, Wes Anderson took his act overseas to India for "The Darjeeling Limited," and was accused by some of cultural insensitivity. Anderson's latest - the stop-motion animated ISLE OF DOGS - is set in Japan, and some of those same criticisms have resurfaced. While acknowledging its critics, Josh deems the setting "crucial" to the film's power and anoints it an early front-runner for his film of the year. But does (relative) Anderson-skeptic Adam follow his co-host's lead? A review of "Dogs," Josh and Michael Phillips' Top 5 Wes Anderson Scenes (from 2014) and the Filmspotting Madness: Best of the '90s Final Four revealed.

0:00-2:05 - Intro

3:00-37:24 - Review: "Isle of Dogs"

Jack White, "Why Walk a Dog?"

39:58-49:07 - Next Week / Notes

49:07-1:01:11 - Filmspotting Madness: Final Four

1:01:11-1:16:39 - Top 5: Wes Anderson Scenes (2014)

The Ramones, "Judy Is a Punk"

1:17:24-1:36:48 - Top 5: Anderson Scenes cont.

1:36:48-1:39:04 - Close         

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Mar 30 2018

1hr 42mins

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Rank #12: #676: A Quiet Place / Top 5 Quiet Scenes / FS Madness Champ

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It's a little surprising to see nice guy "Office"-alum John Krasinski directing a monster movie, but Adam and guest-host Michael Phillips agree that his A QUIET PLACE is a tense, finely-crafted film that feels a little like a Western and a well-observed family drama – even as it's scaring the pants off you. Krasinksi's movie also exploits its smart premise to potent effect: its monsters hunt by sound, so everyone - including the audience - is on aural high alert. For this week's Top 5, Adam and Michael look to films from icons like Kubrick, Hitchcock, Coppola and Spielberg for scenes that make effective use of silence. Plus, your 2018 Filmspotting Madness Champion.

0:00-1:42 - Intro

2:26-32:07 - Review: "A Quiet Place"

Wye Oak, "The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs"

34:10-41:52 - Notes / Next Week

41:52-56:20 - Filmspotting Madness Champion

56:20-1:11:45 - Top 5: Quiet Scenes

Dave Shire, "The Conversation" (Main Theme)

1:13:43-1:36:01 - Top 5: Quiet Scenes cont.

1:36:01-1:39:57 - Close

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Apr 13 2018

1hr 41mins

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Rank #13: #617: Top 10 Films of 2016 (Pt. 2)

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2016 was a tough year. We lost icons like Prince, David Bowie and just days ago Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. And how about that not-divisive-at-all campaign season? So we’re due for a little silver lining. This week, with The Next Picture Show's Scott Tobias and Genevieve Koski, Adam and Josh celebrate the good that 2016 brought us with part two of the Top 10 Films of 2016 countdown.

0:00-1:08 - Billboard

1:08-1:03:55 - Top 10 of 2016: #5-3

"The Middle of the World," Moonlight

1:05:27-1:15:22 - Massacre Theatre

1:15:22-1:57:47 - Top 10 of 2016: #2-1

1:57:47-2:00:17 - Close

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Dec 30 2016

2hr 5mins

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Rank #14: 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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Rank #15: #600 w/ Chuck Klosterman: Top 5 Movies Future Historians Will Remember

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Citizen Kane, Vertigo, The Godfather. 200 years from now, will anyone even remember these movies? Or are we currently overlooking the classics of the future? Writer Chuck Klosterman joins Adam and Josh on this special 600th episode to discuss his new book "But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were The Past" and to take part in possibly the most challenging Top 5 in the history of the show: Movies Future Historians Will Remember. Plus, listeners help us celebrate #600 with favorite memories from our first 11+ years.

0:00-3:23 - Billboard / Donations

3:23-34:47 - Movies Future Historians Will Remember

"I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always"

35:44-1:13:59 - Top 5, cont.

"Last Night I Dreamed My Birthday"

1:15:18-1:49:20 - Defining Show Moments

1:49:20-1:52:39 - Close

MUSIC

-Luke Winslow-King

LINKS

-"But What If We're Wrong"

-"Which Rock Star Will Historians...."

-Filmspotting Reviews: The Complete List

-The Cinephiliacs Episode #83

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Aug 26 2016

1hr 57mins

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Rank #16: #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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Rank #17: 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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Rank #18: #675: Ready Player One / Top 5 Movie Homages / FS Madness Final

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Is there a four-hour cut of READY PLAYER ONE? Adam and guest host Tasha Robinson (TheVerge.com, Next Picture Show) have no idea, but it would help explain some of the narrative shortcuts in Spielberg's visually impressive adaptation of the Ernest Cline bestseller. The good news about the story's leap to the big screen is an improvement on the fun, but slight source material and some electrifying moments of nostalgia-fueled fun. Adam and Tasha also go on an Easter Egg hunt of sorts, with their Top 5 Movie Homages (that is, movies referencing other movies), including a movie-length Tarantino homage that gobsmacks Adam when Tasha points it out. All that, plus the championship round of Filmspotting Madness.

0:00-2:44 - Intro

3:30-41:25 - Review: "Ready Player One"

The Blow, "Get Up"

44:30-49:41 - Next Week / Notes

49:41-58:56 - Filmspotting Madness: Final

58:56-1:23:04 - Top 5: Movie Homages

The Blow, "The Greatest Love of All"

1:25:06-1:57:43 - Top 5: Movie Homages, cont

1:57:43-2:01:03 - Close      

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Apr 06 2018

2hr 1min

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Rank #19: #670: Annihilation / FS Madness (Best of the '90s)

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Adam and Josh exchange theories about "Ex Machina" director Alex Garland's latest mind-bender, ANNIHILATION, which continues Garland's sci-fi exploration of what it means to be human. (That's one theory, anyway.) After giving the movie a thorough, spoiler-free working over, they dive into some spoiler talk and discuss the movie's ending in detail. (Fear not! They give you plenty of warning - and a music break - before getting spoiler-y.) Then it's into the mouth of madness as they walk you through the 32 opening round matchups in this year's Filmspotting Madness: Best of the '90s Edition.

0:00-2:04 - Intro

2:58-29:39 - Review: "Annihilation"

29:39-43:25 - "Annihilation" Spoilers

Loma, "Relay Runner"

46:33-52:50 - Larsen Recommends: "Killer of Sheep"

52:50-1:08:49 - Next Week / Notes

1:08:49-1:37:05 - Filmspotting Madness: Opening Round

Danny Elfman, "Ice Dance" (Edward Scissorhands)

1:40:13-2:12:38 - Filmspotting Madness, cont

2:12:38-2:24:04 - Close / Hot Mics

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Mar 02 2018

2hr 25mins

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Rank #20: #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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