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.

Episodes

November 26, 2021 80 min
'Tis the season for awards-bait movies based on real lives, so for this week's holiday review roundup, Adam and Josh discuss Ridley Scott's true-crime drama HOUSE OF GUCCI (aka House Of Accents), the Lin-Manuel Miranda biographical musical drama TICK, TICK...BOOM!, Kristen Stewart's turn as Lady Di in Pablo Larrain's biopic-as-horror-film SPENCER, and the new bio-doc KURT VONNEGUT: STUCK IN TIME. Plus, the final...
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For her debut as a director, actor Rebecca Hall takes Nella Larsen’s 1929 novella about race and identity and turns it into a meditation on the many ways that people “pass” as a means of denying or disguising the truth. Adam and Josh praise the film as a showcase for stars Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson, and for Hall's emergence of a gifted new filmmaker. Adam wasn’t able to make the weekend’s big release, Marvel’s ETERNALS, but...
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Edgar Wright's latest, LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, is another opportunity for the director of "Baby Driver" and "Shaun of the Dead" to bring his visual panache, comic verve, and impeccable musical taste to a genre he clearly adores. Like the films that inspired it, Wright's time-hopping giallo picture – set in both contemporary London and the city in its swinging '60s heyday – takes some nasty turns. But Adam an...
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Welcome to the Wes Anderson deep end. Adam and Josh sit down to discuss Anderson's latest, THE FRENCH DISPATCH, the densest, most intricate, and maybe most melancholy of his career. There's also that cast, with standout performances from Jeffrey Wright, Benecio del Toro, and Bill Murray. Adam and Josh also share their Anderson Ranked lists and revisit their 2017 Sacred Cow review of RUSHMORE. 0:00 - Billboard 1:03 - Review...
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October 22, 2021 76 min
The worst kept secret about Denis Villeneuve's DUNE is that it's only half a movie. Or half a story, anyway. Villeneuve split Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel in two, with part one offering a stunningly detailed and impressively cast setup to a conclusion we may not see for years. Adam and Josh admire the film's craft, but they were left with more questions than answers about how the new adaptation will reckon w...
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In five films over 15 years, Daniel Craig has established himself as the pre-eminent Bond. But will he also prove to be the final 007? The 60-year-old franchise has its work cut out for it, finding someone to fill Craig's shoes and bringing the iconic, if archaic, character firmly into the 21st century. Adam and Josh agree that the new NO TIME TO DIE does right by Craig—but does that make it a good Bond film? They take their re...
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“I hear what you’re saying, but you’re completely wrong.” Adam has employed his favorite catchphrase many times over the years, but never on himself. On this week’s show, as part of the Jane Campion Oeuvre-View, he revisits the director's Oscar-winning (and beloved by Josh) THE PIANO for the first time since his lukewarm first encounter with the film in 2013—and this time he comes away from the film singing a very different tun...
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Director Julia Ducournau wants to shake her audience to the core. And she more or less accomplished that feat - for Josh, anyway - with her 2016 debut "Raw." Her latest, TITANE, falls into several genre categories—body horror, revenge picture, deeply black comedy—none of which quite prepare you for the experience of watching it. While Ducournau proves herself a filmmaker of great talent, Adam and Josh debate whether the 202...
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Ahead of Daniel Craig's final outing as 007 in "No Time To Die," Adam and Josh revisit Craig's 2006 debut, CASINO ROYALE, a film both agree remains a high-water mark for the franchise. Plus, the Jane Campion Oeuvre-view kicks off with the New Zealand director's funny, harrowing, and utterly assured first film, 1989's SWEETIE. 0:00 - Billboard 1:06 - Review: "Casino Royale" at 15 Cate Le Bon, "Sis...
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The 50th anniversary of the ’71 movie year provided Adam and Josh an excuse to give Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" the Sacred Cow treatment earlier in the year and, with this week’s TOP 5 FILMS OF 1971, to celebrate the movies that introduced iconic movie characters and performances like Richard Roundtree’s John Shaft, Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and Ruth Gordon’s Maude. Also on the show, Josh recommends the new THE EYES ...
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A gambling movie that only Paul Schrader could make, THE CARD COUNTER has the "First Reformed" director meditating on weighty subjects like redemption and absolution in his tale of an ex-con (Oscar Isaac) trying to make amends for past deeds. Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan co-star. Along with that review, Adam and Josh wrap up the World of Wong Kar Wai Marathon with "The Tonys," their favorite performances and mom...
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The coming fall movie season is less a slate of titles than it is a promise fulfilled, with loads of big films coming to the big screen, some of which have been delayed for a year or more: “No Time To Die,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” and Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” to name just a few. For their FALL MOVIE PREVIEW, Adam and Josh have questions about some of those long-anticip...
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Wong Kar Wai’s IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE had no shortage of acclaim on its 2000 release (2001 in the U.S.), but its stature has only grown in the past two decades and is now considered by many to be one of the great achievements of the 21st century. Adam and Josh offer no arguments to the contrary in their 20th-anniversary revisit of the film, part of their World of Wong Kar Wai Marathon. And not that you asked for it, but the review al...
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French director Leos Carax isn't very well known here in the States, but his films are always something of an arthouse event, coming as they do about once a decade. His 2012 film, "Holy Motors" showed up on several best-of-the-2010s lists, and his latest, ANNETTE, premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival to a 20-minute ovation (along with a smattering of boos). An L.A.-set rock musical starring Adam Driver and ...
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Like many an auteur before him, David Lowery ("A Ghost Story", "The Old Man and the Gun") brings his obsessions to whatever material he's working with—even if that material is over 600 years old. Lowery's THE GREEN KNIGHT delivers some of the seduction and swordplay that the 14th-century source material "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" promises, but it also serves as another Lowery riff on mortality...
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Getting Nic Cage for your debut feature is a risky move. On the one hand, Cage is both a big name and a singular talent. On the other hand, Cage's eccentric on-screen persona can send a movie reeling into camp. PIG director Michael Sarnoski rolled the dice and won, bringing real pathos to his missing truffle pig saga, and getting Cage's most subtle and moving work in at least a decade. Adam and Josh also continue the World ...
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Inspired by M Night Shyamalan's "Old," Adam and Josh take a trip to the shore for their TOP 5 BEACH SCENES. As a place of transition–between land and sea, and as a point of no return?the beach has long offered filmmakers an evocative setting for tales both hopeful and despairing. Also: romantic, elegiac, and deranged. Plus the second film in the World of Wong Kar Wai Marathon, 1990's DAYS OF BEING WILD. 0:00 - Billb...
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With its provocative mix of giddy, nihilistic violence, social satire, and formal audaciousness, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE has been a cinephile rite of passage for decades. For their Sacred Cow revisit, Adam and Josh find a film that is both more philosophical than they remember–and perversely funny. Just how funny, however, is a matter of some debate. Also up for debate: how to read the film's memorable ending. Plus, the first film i...
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Marvel's BLACK WIDOW returns the MCU to theaters for the first time since 2019, but despite the more than capable cast and some provocative ideas, Adam and Josh agree that director Cate Shortland ("Lore") doesn't always find the right balance between the traumatic and the comedic. They have nothing but praise for Questlove's SUMMER OF SOUL, which sees the Roots-founder bringing a keen curatorial eye and potent h...
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Back in September 2012, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was back in theaters for a limited IMAX run on the heels of its 30th anniversary. Adam and Josh took the opportunity to give the film the Sacred Cow treatment, making the dubious decision to invite noted "Raiders" skeptic Michael Phillips to join them. Luckily, this is a podcast, so there's no risk of getting your face melted off due to Michael's hot take. Plus, Michae...
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