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Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s

Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s

?...affable, insightful film analysis since 2005."?NY Times / New + classic reviews and top 5s. Also on WBEZ Chicago.


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#778: Top 5 Trip Series Scenes / Trip to Greece

With Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon taking their fourth and final trip abroad with the new TRIP TO GREECE, Adam and Josh consider the series' most memorable reflections on mortality, family obligations, career insecurity?oh yeah, and all those hilarious impressions. Plus, thoughts on the late Lynn Shelton. 0:00 - Billboard 1:02 - Top 5: Trip Series Scenes Brett Shady, "Let Your Burden Be" 26:37 - RIP Lynn Shelton 36:01 - Next Week / Notes 43:46 - Polls 58:00 - Review: "The Trip to Greece" 1:06:33 - Trip Series Scenes, cont. 1:30:46 - Outro / Outtake Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#777: The Dark Knight Trilogy (Nolan #4)

After scoring $2B and change at the box office and near-universal praise from audiences and critics, the only black mark on Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY is its dubious influence on the superhero movies that followed in its wake. For the fourth installment of the Nolan "Oeuvre-view," Adam and Josh revisit the trilogy, starting with a 15th anniversary consideration of "Batman Begins." Plus, Massacre Theatre and a new Golden Brick nominee: Lara Gallagher's "Clementine." 0:00 - Billboard 1:11 - "Batman Begins" The Jam, "Batman Theme" 30:34 - JL recommends "Clementine" 34:01 - Next Week/Notes 42:10 - Massacre Theatre 49:06 - "The Dark Knight" / "Dark Knight Rises" 1:30:18 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#776: Ghostbusters v Gremlins (8 From '84) / Bette Davis #4 - Now, Voyager

Back in '84, GHOSTBUSTERS was a bigger hit than GREMLINS (#2 and #4 at the box office, respectively), and it's got the more memorable cast?and quotes ("dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!"); but is it the more interesting film? Adam and Josh agree that Joe Dante's darkly funny creature feature works as a clever satire of consumerism and American exceptionalism, disagreeing only over the movie's aesthetic, which Adam at one point refers to as "rinky dink." (Josh is having none of it.) And the Bette Davis Marathon comes to a conclusion with 1942's NOW, VOYAGER, starring Davis as a deeply repressed Boston woman with serious mommy issues ("Psycho" meets "She's All That" according to Adam). Plus, "The Peepers," the Davis Marathon Awards. 0:00 - Billboard 1:11 - 8 From '84: "Ghostbusters" v "Gremlins" Ray Parker, Jr., "Ghostbusters" 55:48 - Next Week/Notes/Poll 1:07:33 - Davis #4: "Now, Voyager" / Davis Awards 1:47:56 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#775: Top 5 Moviegoing Experiences

With movie theaters shuttered and many of us housebound, Adam and Josh look back over a lifetime of going to the movies with their Top 5 Moviegoing Experiences?from big screen introductions to Han and Indy to formative encounters with the works of Spike Lee, Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. Listeners, too, contribute their own favorite moviegoing memories. 0:00 - Billboard 1:00 - Top 5: Moviegoing Experiences The Drifters, "Saturday Night at the Movies" 46:17 - Next Week/Notes 52:34 - Massacre Theatre 1:00:34 - Top 5: Moviegoing Experiences, cont. 1:27:08 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#774: Nolan #3 - Insomnia / Blow the Man Down / True History of the Kelly Gang

Expectations were high back in 2002 for Christopher Nolan's INSOMNIA, the follow-up to his mind-bending breakthrough "Memento." But despite solid reviews and decent box office, the film has been largely forgotten by Nolan fans?including Adam and Josh. They revisit the director's third feature this week as part of their Nolan Oeuvre-view, finding a film with lots of familiar Nolan touches?and a somewhat divisive lead performance by Al Pacino. Plus, reviews of three new films: Justin Kurzel's TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, Tayarisha Poe's SELAH AND THE SPADES, and Danielle Krudy & Bridget Savage Cole's BLOW THE MAN DOWN?one of which gets both Adam and Josh's blessing as a 2020 Golden Brick candidate. 0:00 - Billboard 1:06 - Reviews: "Kelly Gang," "Selah and the Spades," "Blow the Man Down" Disq, "Daily Routine" 26:28 - Next Week/Notes 50:20 - Nolan Oeuvre-view #3: "Insomnia" 1:18:54 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#773: Top 5 Things We're Streaming During Quarantine / Bette Davis #3 - Dark Victory

With Adam and Josh cooped up at home and spending lots (and lots) of quality time with their families in front of the tv, this week's Top 5 is devoted to highlights from their Adventures in Streaming. Plus the third film in their Bette Davis Marathon, 1939's DARK VICTORY. 0:00 - Billboard 1:09 - Top 5: Things We're Streaming During Quarantine "Give Me Time For Tenderness" (from "Dark Victory") 57:15 - Next Week/Notes 1:09:01 - Massacre Theatre 1:11:35 - Bette Davis Marathon #3: "Dark Victory" 1:31:07 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#772: Never Rarely Sometimes Always / Nolan #2 - Memento / Madness Champion

Eliza Hittman's second feature, "Beach Rats," got the director some attention in 2017, but her latest - NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS - came out of Sundance this year as one of the fest's most celebrated titles. In their review, Adam and Josh talk about the movie's patience and attention to detail along with the subtle brilliance of star Sidney Flanigan's performance. Christopher Nolan's breakout film was also a Sundance hit. 2001's MEMENTO, the director's second feature, went on to become a box office success and an Oscar nominee. Continuing their Nolan "Oeuvre-view," Adam and Josh revisit the film that put the director on the map and find it just as surprising and astonishing as they did almost 20 years ago. Plus, the winner of this year's Filmspotting Madness: Best of the 2010s. 0:00 - Billboard 1:33 - Review: "Never Rarely Sometimes Always" Waxahatchee, "Can't Do Much" 30:40 - Next Week / Notes 35:22 - Filmspotting Madness: Champion 50:31 - Patreon / New Poll 1:02:12 - Nolan "Oeuvre-view" #2: "Memento" 1:41:21 - Outro 1:42:57 - "Never Rarely..." Spoilers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#771: Nolan #1 - Following / Bette Davis #2 - Jezebel / Madness Finals

Christopher Nolan?s films are events?smart, ambitious and original. But before he made "Interstellar," "Dunkirk" or his "Dark Knight" trilogy?even before "Memento"?Nolan made the 70-minute indie thriller FOLLOWING. This week, Adam and Josh start their Nolan "Oeuvre-view" with Nolan's '99 debut, which gives tantalizing clues of the director he'll become and the stories he'll go on to tell. Bette Davis won a much-deserved Oscar for her performance in 1938's JEZEBEL. The William Wyler-directed drama set in ante-bellum New Orleans is the second film in our Davis Marathon. Plus, Filmspotting Madness: Best of the 2010s comes down to the final two. 0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - Nolan "Oeuvre-view" #1: "Following" Ernie Hendrickson, "Dystopian Dreams" 32:39 - Next Week/Notes 35:08 - Filmspotting Madness Finals 55:37 - Bette Davis #2: "Jezebel" 1:31:10 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#770: Purple Rain - Spinal Tap - Stop Making Sense (8 From '84) / Madness Final 4

PURPLE RAIN was one of the highest-grossing films of 1984, but Prince's semi-autobiographical screen debut hasn't aged as well as its music has. The opposite is true of THIS IS SPINAL TAP and STOP MAKING SENSE, which were only modestly successful at the time of their release but have become two of the most celebrated rock films of all time. Adam and Josh continue their 8 From '84 series with a look at the rock trio?plus Filmspotting Madness: Best of the 2010s gets down to the Final 4. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Filmspotting Madness Final 4 20:25 - 8 From '84: "Stop Making Sense" "This Is Spinal Tap" Prince, "Purple Rain" 40:28 - Next Week/Notes 43:46 - 8 From '84: "Purple Rain" 1:13:14 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#769: 1930s Starter Pack / Bette Davis #1 - Of Human Bondage / Madness Elite 8

Chaplin, Cagney, Garbo and Grant all make Adam and Josh's 1930s "Starter Pack," 10 films to introduce you ? or get you better acquainted with ? arguably the greatest movie decade. Plus, the first film in our four-film Bette Davis Marathon, 1934's OF HUMAN BONDAGE, and the Elite 8 of Filmspotting Madness: Best of the 2010s. 0:00 - Billboard  1:04 - Top 5: 1930s Starter Pack Fred Astaire, "Cheek to Cheek" 43:40 - Notes  52:28 - Filmspotting Madness Elite 8 1:06:51 - Bette Davis Marathon #1: "Of Human Bondage" 1:26:33 - Outro / Outtake Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Process: Guillaume Rocheron (1917)

This episode is presented by the Academy Award-Winning film 1917. Available now on Digital streaming and on Blu-ray and DVD March 24th. Sam Mendes' acclaimed WWI film was a hugely ambitious undertaking for all involved, including Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron ("Ad Astra," "Life of Pi"). In this edition of Filmspotting: The Process, Rocheron describes the unique challenges that the film's "single-shot" approach created, and how his VFX team collaborated with Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins to bring some of the film's most memorable scenes to life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#768: First Cow / Onward / Madness Sweet 16

With FIRST COW, Kelly Reichardt returns to the 19th century Oregon Territory of her most acclaimed film, "Meek's Cutoff." An early film of the year candidate, Adam and Josh praise Reichardt's parable about capitalism and self-invention for its detail, its performances and its mouth-watering "oily cakes." Plus: where Pixar's ONWARD lands in a ranking of the studio's features; Filmspotting Madness continues with a (Coen-less) Sweet 16; and the next Filmspotting Marathon is announced. 0:00 - Billboard 0:59 - Review: "First Cow" U.S. Girls, "4 American Dollars" 30:15 - Next Week/Notes 42:00 - Filmspotting Madness, Sweet 16 1:03:53 - Review: "Onward" 1:17:52 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#767: Top 20 Films of the 2010s (Pt. 2) / Invisible Man / Madness Rd. 2

PTA. Wes. Malick. The Coens. Of course they made the cut. But who else? This week, Adam and Josh complete a task a decade in the making with their top 10 films of the decade. Plus, quick reviews of THE INVISIBLE MAN and WENDY, and Rd. 2 of Filmspotting Madness: Best of the 2010s. 0:00 - Billboard  1:13 - #6-10 Films of the 2010s 15:59 - Filmspotting Madness, Rd. 2 39:13 - Notes Nicholas Britell, "The Middle of the World" 49:01 - Reviews: "The Invisible Man," "Wendy"  1:03:24 - #1-5 Films of the 2010s 1:55:27 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#766: Top 20 Films of the 2010s (Pt. 1) / Madness Rd. 1

Work from Abbas Kiarostami, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee ? and a couple of former Golden Brick winners ? all make the cut as Adam and Josh start their countdown of the top 20 films of the last decade. Plus, Filmspotting Madness 2020: Best of the 2010s kicks off with 32 ("How dare you!!!" "Why???") first-round matchups. 0:00 - Billboard 1:06 - Films of the 2010s ? #16-20 22:06 - Filmspotting Madness Rd. 1 43:18 - Notes Nicholas Godin, "What Makes Me Think Of You" 59:52 - Films of the 2010s ? #11-15 1:49:43 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#765: Top 10 Performers of the 2010s

It was the decade we discovered Jennifer Lawrence, Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong'o. The decade we watched actors like Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix realize their full potential. The decade we continued to be blessed by the existence of Tilda Swinton. As a prelude to their Top 20 films of the decade, Adam and Josh consider their Top 10 Performers of the 2010s. 0:00 - Billboard 1:11 - Top 10 Performers of the Decade Beach Bunny, "Cuffing Season" 46:12 - Next Week/Notes 1:03:07 - Top 10 Performers of the Decade, cont. 1:52:45 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#764: Live in Chicago / Oscars / Birds of Prey / The Assistant

Filmspotting celebrated its 15th anniversary over the weekend with a 35mm-screening of Howard Hawks' RIO BRAVO at Chicago's venerated Music Box Theatre. After singing the praises of Dude, The Duke, Feathers and Stumpy during their post-film talk, Adam and Josh, along with Michael Phillips and producer Sam Van Hallgren, took questions from the audience that ranged from the practical to the philosophical. Also on the show, Josh recommends the "rotten cotton candy" aesthetic of the new HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY and Adam praises the sinister hush of THE ASSISTANT. Plus, thoughts on "Parasite's" big night at the Oscars. 0:00 - Billboard 1:11 - "Parasite's" historic night 12:33 - JL: "Birds of Prey" / AK: "The Assistant" Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson "My Rifle, My Pony & Me" 25:21 - Kirk Douglas / Notes 38:20 - Filmspotting Madness 2020: Play-In Round 53:26 - Live in Chicago 2:10:00 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#763: Top 5 Jeff Bridges Scenes / Starman (8 From '84)

Since his breakout in 1971's "The Last Picture Show," Jeff Bridges has been nominated for seven Oscars and won one. Among his credits is one of the most beloved film characters of the past couple of decades ("The Dude"). And yet, do we still underappreciate him? On this week's show, Adam and Josh consider the incredible variety of the actor's work through the lens of their Top 5 Bridges Scenes. And they kick off the 8 From '84 series with John Carpenter's STARMAN, featuring the Best Actor-nominated Bridges and Karen Allen. *Filmspotting has launched on Patreon* 0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - 8 From '84 Review: "Starman" Jeff Bridges, "Hold On You" (from "Crazy Heart") 32:01 - Filmspotting on Patreon 46:59 - Next week / Notes 56:40 - Polls [Best of '84 / 2010s Acting Duos] 1:07:03 - Top 5: Jeff Bridges Scenes 1:51:09 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#762: 2020 Oscars Special with Michael Phillips

Will the Academy choose to remember 2019 as the year of PARASITE, MARRIAGE STORY and LITTLE WOMEN ? or of 1917 and JOKER? The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips joins Adam and Josh for a preview of the 2020 Oscars, with picks for who will win, who should win and who should have been nominated. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Oscar picks: Supporting / Screenplays Jessie Buckley, "Glasgow (No Place Like Home)" 1:00:04 - Next Week/Notes 1:08:48 - Massacre Theatre 1:12:00 - Donations 1:12:51 - Oscar picks: Lead / Director / Picture 1:51:07 - Outro / Outtakes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#761: 2020 Movie Preview

We ignore rumor and speculation and confine our 2020 Movie Preview to the current movie year (see you in 2021, Joel Coen's "Macbeth"!). New stuff from Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, Wes Anderson and other high-profile directors will ? we hope ? help us deal with a relative lack of 2019 MVPs Adam Driver and Florence Pugh. And we announce the follow-up to last year's 9 From '99 series: 8 From '84. 0:00 - Billboard 1:14 - 2020 Preview Bombay Bicycle Club, "Is It Real" 29:43 - 8 From '84 / Notes 43:16 - 2020 Preview cont. 1:30:18 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#760: Best Scenes of 2019 / Oscar Nominations / Golden Brick Winner

It's tradition here on Filmspotting to devote the first episode of the new year to all the stuff we loved about last year. It's the annual Wrap Party, with Adam and Josh sharing their picks for the best opening scene, the funniest and most moving scene, the best music moment and scene of the year. Plus, reaction to this week's Oscar nominations, Josh's thoughts on the new anime film WEATHERING WITH YOU, and the winner of the 2019 Golden Brick Award. 0:00 - Billboard 1:22 - Opening Scene / Funniest Scene Michael Nyman, "Musique à Grand Vitesse: 1st Region" 26:42 - Oscar Nominations 34:41 - Next week / Notes 40:27 - Josh recommends: "Weathering With You" 42:48 - Golden Brick Winner 52:52 - Donations 54:16 - Moving Moment / Music Moment / Scene of the Year 1:40:41 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#759: (Pt. 2) Top 10 Films of 2019

Was the last year of the decade also its best? Martin Scorsese's THE IRISHMAN. Terrence Malick's A HIDDEN LIFE. Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. All works that rate among those directors' best. No slouch himself, Noah Baumbach arguably made the best film of his career with MARRIAGE STORY. Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele ? the breakout directing stars of 2017 ? returned with sophomore efforts, LITTLE WOMEN and US, that somehow managed to not just meet but exceed expectations. And no amount of hype prepared audiences (including critics) for Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's PARASITE. Yeah. 2019 was a good year. On this week's show, Adam and Josh along with Michael Phillips and Tasha Robinson talk through their consensus* picks for the best of 2019, including their choices for the best film of the year. (*Consensus except for some fighting over Tarantino.) 0:00 - Billboard  1:06 - Top 10 of 2019: Consensus Picks  Sturgill Simpson, "The Dead Don't Die" 1:01:50 - Top 10 of 2019: Consensus cont. 2:11:25 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#758: (Pt. 1) Top 10 Films of 2019

The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips and Tasha Robinson from The Next Picture Show are back for this year's Best of '19 roundtable, and in part one it's the panel's "outlier" picks ? films which only made a single Top 10. And with divisive titles like James Gray's "Ad Astra" and Taika Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit" making the cut, there's plenty of lively debate to go along with the praise. 0:00 - Billboard 1:18 - Top 10 of 2019: The Outliers Randy Newman, "What I Love About Charlie" (Marriage Story) 1:16:07 - Notes 1:19:43 - Top 10 of 2019: Outliers, cont. 2:13:26 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#757: The Rise of Skywalker / Safdie Brothers ("Uncut Gems")

With the critically adored but audience-divisive "Last Jedi" behind them, JJ Abrams and his team set out to deliver a Star Wars finale that satisfied everyone. And according to Adam and Josh at least, they mostly pulled it off. Fresh from their screening, Adam and Josh give THE RISE OF SKYWALKER a "still processing" review ? plus some end-of-show spoiler talk. Also on the show: the four finalists for the 2019 Golden Brick Award and Adam's interview with Josh and Benny Safdie, writer/directors of the new UNCUT GEMS starring Adam Sandler. 0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - Review: "The Rise of Skywalker" The Voidz, "Did My Best" 29:52 - Golden Brick Finalists 34:03 - Next week / Notes / Massacre Theatre 39:55 - Interview: Josh and Benny Safdie ("Uncut Gems") 1:08:45 - Outro / "Rise of Skywalker" Spoiler Talk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#756: The Phantom Menace at 20 / 9 From '99 Awards

A long-time defender of the Star Wars prequels, Josh has rarely been given a platform on the show to actually do the work of defending them. That changes this week as he and Adam revisit THE PHANTOM MENACE, the final film in the 9 From '99 series. Plus, Adam and Josh award "The Plastic Bags," their favorite performances, scenes and surprises from the series. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Review: "Star Wars, Episode I - The Phantom Menace" John Williams, "Duel of Fates" 34:41 - Next Week/Notes 47:58 - 9 From '99 Awards 1:28:22 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#755: Little Women / Knives Out / A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#754: 2019 Golden Brick Nominees

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  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#753: Marriage Story / Top 5 Movies About Marriage

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  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#752: Magnolia at 20 / Jojo Rabbit / The Report / The King

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    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#751: The Irishman / Contemporary Chinese #4 - Ash Is Purest White

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#750: The Lighthouse / Contemporary Chinese #3 - Our Time Will Come

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#749: Parasite / Pain and Glory / Contemporary Chinese #2 - The Midnight After

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#748: American Beauty at 20 / Contemporary Chinese Cinema #1 - Let The Bullets Fly

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#747: Joker / Chicago International Film Festival Preview

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#746: Ad Astra / Top 5 Steppenwolf Member Movie Performances

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#745: Top 5 Judy Garland Moments / Hustlers

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#744: Eyes Wide Shut at 20 / Top 5 Kubrick Scenes

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   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#743: IT Chapter Two / Fall Movie Preview

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#742: Being John Malkovich at 20 / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #4 - The Scarlet Empress

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#741: Where'd You Go, Bernadette / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #3 - Shanghai Express

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#740: The Nightingale / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #2 - Morocco

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#739: The Blair Witch Project at 20 / Dietrich-Von Sternberg #1 - The Blue Angel

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#738: Hobbs & Shaw / Top 5 Fast & Furious Moments

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        Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#737: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Top 10 Tarantino Characters

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Interview: Riley Stearns ("The Art of Self-Defense")

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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#736: Midsommar / Top 5 Horror Movie Performances

Guest critics Tasha Robinson (The Next Picture Show, The Verge) and Angelica Jade Bastién (Vulture) join Josh for a lively debate over of Ari Aster's MIDSOMMAR (or is that MidsommAR?) and the Top 5 Horror Movie Performances.  0:00 - Billboard 1:44 - Review: "Midsommar" 28:58 - "Midsommar" Spoilers Magnet, "Maypole" 38:20 - Review: "The Farewell" 43:52 - Next Week / Notes 46:34 - Massacre Theatre 53:56 - Next Picture Show / Best of the Year So Far 58:55 - Top 5: Horror Movie Performances 1:45:29 - Close / Outtake ("Jag ar doden") Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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FS Revisited: Top 5 Classic Rock Moments in Movies

Whether used ironically or to provide insight - or just to make characters look really, really cool - classic rock has been memorably employed by some of the best directors of the rock era. Joining Adam and Josh for their Top 5 Classic Rock Moments in Movies is writer and critic Steven Hyden, author of the book "Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock."  0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - Top 5: Classic Rock Moments Donovan, "Atlantis" 25:02 - Top 5: Classic Rock Moments cont. 1:02:03 - Close Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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FS Revisited: Pulp Fiction / Top 5 of 1994

Back in 2012, Josh was only a couple months into his role as new co-host, when Adam suggested the Best of '94 Top 5. The reconsideration of PULP FICTION was an after-thought - and something new: the first Sacred Cow review. Adam and Josh agree that Tarantino's iconic sophomore effort is the best film of '94, but quibble over whether there's any real substance to the film's dazzling style. 0:00 - Billboard 1:10 - Sacred Cow: "Pulp Fiction" The Statler Brothers, "Flowers on the Wall" 30:35 - Top 5 of 1994 57:30 - Close Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#735: Top 5 Films of 2019 So Far

Marvel is ? again ? dominating the box office with "Avengers Endgame" and "Captain Marvel," but for the Top 5 Films of 2019 So Far, Adam and Josh dig a little deeper. Plus, a (spoilers!) mini-battle over Woody's soul and the ending of "Toy Story 4," a terrible accents edition of Massacre Theatre edition and more. This episode is presented by CNN's Original Series The Movies. Tune in starting Sunday, July 7 at 9 pm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#734: Toy Story 4 / Top 5 Toy Story Scenes w/Griffin Newman

With Josh on vacation,, Adam recruits Toy Story super-fan Griffin Newman (Blank Check podcast, Amazon's "The Tick") for a review of the Forky-tastic TOY STORY 4 and the Top 5 Toy Story Scenes. Plus, some Best of the Year (So Far) talk, and Griffin shows off his acting chops in Massacre Theatre. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Review: "Toy Story 4" 32:38 - Spoilers: "Toy Story 4" Robert Goulet, "You've Got a Friend in Me" 50:20 - Next Week / Notes 58:04 - Griffin talks "Blank Check" 1:05:59 - Polls (Toy Story + Best of the Year So Far) 1:13:29 - Top 5: Toy Story Scenes 2:07:51 - Close / Outtake ("Forky") Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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#733: The Dead Don't Die / Last Black Man in San Francisco / Rocketman

Jim Jarmusch has made a surreal, existential western ("Dead Man"), a Zen samurai/mobster movie ("Ghost Dog") and a meditation on art disguised as a vampire movie ("Only Lovers Left Alive"). And now... zombies. With his new THE DEAD DON'T DIE, Jarmusch again exploits genre conventions as a means to explore his fears and obsessions. And this time, those fears and obsessions are pretty explicitly America in the age of Trump. Also on the show, a conversation with Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails, the director and star of Sundance award-winner ? and early Golden Brick frontrunner ? THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO. Plus, Adam weighs in on ROCKETMAN. 0:00 - Billboard 1:20 - Review: "The Dead Don't Die" Bill Callahan, "Young Icarus" 24:58 - Adam on "Rocketman" 34:57 - Next Week / Notes / Madness 2020 46:46 - Massacre Theatre54:02 - Interview: Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails 1:28:02 - Close Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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