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Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s

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

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When reviews started trickling in for IN THE HEIGHTS earlier this year, anticipation for the already much-hyped adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical started to reach a feverish pitch. Adam and Josh agree that the movie largely delivers on those expectations. If director Jon M. Chu's ambition occasionally overwhelms the film, the talented ensemble and star-making lead turn by Anthony Ramos keeps things grounded, and the movie offers the kind of visceral pleasure that moviegoers have been conspicuously missing. Plus, listeners name their favorite 21st-century movie musical, and Adam and Josh wrap up the 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series with cult comedy–and almost musical–CAR WASH. 0:00 - Billboard 1:14 - Review: "In The Heights" Rose Royce, "Car Wash" 34:36 - Next Week / Notes / "Raiders" Contest 1:01:26 - Polls (21st-Century Musicals; Car Movie Sequels We Need) 1:20:10 - 7 From '76: "Car Wash" 1:45:10 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Director Christian Petzold ("Phoenix," "Transit") returns with UNDINE, a romance haunted by German history and politics–and loosely inspired by a European fairy tale. Stars Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski sell the romance, and Adam and Josh praise the director for the provocative questions he leaves unanswered. Plus Babara Kopple's Oscar-winning HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A., a film that offers a vivid–and surprisingly musical–portrait of coal country in the early '70s. Part of the 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series. 0:00 - Billboard 1:14 - Review: "Undine" 25:23 - Next Week / Notes 39:54 - Massacre Theatre 49:43 - 7 From '76: "Harlan Country U.S.A." 1:15:29 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Back in 2018, John Krasinksi's "A Quiet Place" was a novelty: the rare box office hit that didn't belong to an existing franchise or property. Fast forward to 2021 and "A Quiet Place" has itself become a franchise, with a third installment already in the works. This week, Adam and Josh talk about the ways that A QUIET PLACE PART II delivers on the promise of the original and also the ways that it tests the limits of an audience's ability to suspend its disbelief. Plus, they revisit 2018's Top 5 Quiet Scenes, with Josh contributing his picks to a list Adam and guest host Michael Phillips shared along with a review of the first "Quiet" film. 0:00 - Billboard 1:13 - Review: "A Quiet Place Part II" Juan Carlos Rodriguez & Iker Gastaminza, "Salsa Brava" 28:22 - Next Week / Notes 35:43 - Polls 46:42 - Top 5: Quiet Scenes w/Michael Phillips 1:29:16 - Pantheon Induction: "Jeanne Dielman" 1:32:40 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Yes, this summer promises pleasures like the return of the MCU, a new Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, and Dev Patel in David Lowery's "The Green Knight"; but, in their SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW, Adam and Josh invite you to consider less conspicuous summer releases like a Fellini-inspired animated film; a new doc from the director of 2016's "Rat Film;" a resurrected concert film from Questlove; and a tweet-thread-inspired road trip comedy. Plus, the '40s Noir Awards ("The Savages") and Josh's Golden Brick-spotting recommendation of Emma Seligman's SHIVA BABY. 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Summer Movie Preview Tim Garland, "Brush With The Law" 27:37 - Golden Brick-spotting: "Shiva Baby" 31:08 - R.I.P. Charles Grodin 34:54 - Next Week / Notes / Massacre Theatre 48:33 - '40s Noir Marathon Awards ("The Savages") 1:14:27 - Summer Movie Preview, cont. 1:29:51 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Historically set but featuring flourishes of magical realism, Barry Jenkins's adaptation of Colson Whitehead's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is not quite what it first appears to be. All ten parts come to Amazon Prime this weekend. This week, Adam and Josh review the series' first couple of episodes, full of admiration for the Jenkins aesthetic, the cast and the score from regular Jenkins collaborator Nicholas Britell. Plus a conversation about 1949's WHITE HEAT, the final film in the '40s Noir Marathon, which features a dynamic performance from James Cagney as a psycho crime boss with a mother complex. 0:00 - Billboard 1:22 - Review: "The Underground Railroad" Nicholas Britell, "Bessie" 36:18 - Next week / Notes 45:25 - Poll 53:13 - '40s Noir #6: "White Heat" 1:16:23 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sandwiched between the '60s sexual revolution and the reactionary conservatism of the '80s, the '70s was an anxious decade, and as that anxiety played out on movie screens, it did not spare mothers. This week, Adam and Josh–sons of '70s moms themselves–share their TOP 5 '70s MOVIE MOMS and continue the 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series with Chantal Akerman's NEWS FROM HOME. Plus, Josh's thoughts on the new WRATH OF MAN, starring Jason Statham, and ABOUT ENDLESSNESS from Swedish auteur Roy Andersson ("Songs From The Second Floor"). 0:00 - Billboard 1:27 - Top 5: '70s Movie Moms 31:51 - Next Week 36:49 - Josh reviews "Wrath of Man," "About Endlessness" 46:07 - Olympia Dukakis / Notes / Massacre Theatre 57:49 - 7 From '76: "News From Home" 1:15:01 - Top 5: '70s Movie Moms, cont. 1:38:54 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's a pair of uneasy couples on this week's show: first up, comedian Patti Harrison as a 20-something surrogate mom to Ed Helms' single 40-something dad in Nikole Beckwith's TOGETHER TOGETHER; and then real-life couple Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in the '47 noir THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, with Welles as an Irish drifter who gets caught up in a murder plot when he falls for the seductive Hayworth. Beckwith's movie - her second - is smarter and more satisfying than its high concept suggests; and Welles' formal invention almost makes up for the lack of heat between the married stars, its confounding plot, and its ill-treatment of Hayworth's troubled Elsa. Plus, Josh fills Adam in on what he missed with the Soderbergh-produced Oscars. 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Oscars 9:35 - Review: "Together Together" Anita Ellis, "Please Don't Kiss Me" 28:52 - Next Week / Notes / Poll 47:06 - '40s Noir #5: "The Lady From Shanghai" 1:11:54 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Will Oscar night 2021 see Chloé Zhao crowned Best Director for "Nomadland"? Does anyone have a chance against the late Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor? And what about the Best Actress race? Will former winners Viola Davis and Frances McDormand take another statue home, or could Carey Mulligan or Andra Day surprise with the win? Adam, Josh and guest Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune don't really have the answers, but that doesn't stop them from taking some guesses, along with making a few final cases for 2020 films and performances that the Academy failed to recognize. (This should have been your year, Kelly Reichardt!) 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Oscars: Supporting Actor/Actress 34:05 - Oscars: Lead Actor/Actress Anthony Willis, "Toxic" 59:26 - Next Week / Notes 1:22:57 - Massacre Theatre 1:26:05 - Oscars: Documentary/Director 1:37:12 - Oscars: Picture 1:51:27 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Whatever backlash ROCKY has received over the years for beating out the likes of "Taxi Driver," "All The President's Men" and "Network" for the 1977 Best Picture Oscar, it has largely faded as people discover - or rediscover - that the populist hit that spawned a mostly forgettable (and occasionally ridiculous) franchise has more in common with its gritty '70s peers than it gets credit for. Among those who remain unconvinced, however, is Josh. Thankfully, Adam comes to Rocky's defense and the two go 15 rounds before ending the review in a split decision. Plus, raves for the nasty '45 Noir DETOUR - part of the '40s Noir Marathon - and the winner of Filmspotting Madness—Best of the '80s. 0:00 - Billboard 1:24 - 7 From '76—Best Year Ever: "Rocky" Bill Conti, "Gonna Fly Now" 43:45 - Josh: "Godzilla vs. Kong" 49:01 - Next Week / Poll / Notes 54:29 - Filmspotting Madness '80s Champion 1:05:13 - 40s Noir #4: "Detour" 1:29:08 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the new "Godzilla vs. Kong" bringing some much-needed spectacle to long-suffering theatre chains, Adam and Josh take the opportunity to settle the question of which classic monster movie has the most to offer audiences today, the mournful and metaphor-rich GODZILLA (1954) or the effects-driven adventure of the landmark KING KONG (1933). (Tease: it's a split decision.) Plus, results from the Final 4 round of Filmspotting Madness. 0:00 - Billboard 1:17 - Review: "Godzilla" ('54) vs. "King Kong" ('33) Blue Oyster Cult, "Godzilla" 33:49 - Next Week / Notes 45:20 - Filmspotting Madness: Final 4 46:15 - "Godzilla" vs. "King Kong", cont. 1:30:18 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam and Josh skipped the harrowing PIECES OF A WOMAN last fall in the lead-up to end-of-year awards, but with star Vanessa Kirby nabbing an Oscar nomination last week, they couldn't put it off any longer. (At least one of them couldn't, anyway.) They did both play biopic bingo with the U.S. VS BILLIE HOLIDAY, a film which largely fails its talented star Andra Day, who also received a nomination. Plus thoughts on the Oscar-nominated docs MY OCTOPUS TEACHER and THE MOLE AGENT. 0:00 - Billboard 1:15 - "The United States vs Billie Holiday" 18:35 - "Pieces of a Woman" Billie Holiday, "Everything I Have Is Yours" 22:36 - Next Week / Notes 34:14 - Filmspotting Madness: Final 4 49:24 - "My Octopus Teacher," "The Mole Agent" 1:14:15 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A primal scream from the post-Watergate American malaise, NETWORK is a movie entirely of its time that manages to speak directly to ours. Adam and Josh continue their 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series with Sidney Lumet's Best Picture nominee, debating the effectiveness of Paddy Chayefksy's bracing, if occasionally overwritten, script and praising the extraordinary cast (which received five Oscar noms). Plus, Otto Preminger's LAURA, the third film in the '40s Noir Marathon; and Filmspotting Madness Elite 8 matchups. 0:00 - Billboard 1:31 - 7 From '76—Best Year Ever: "Network" "San Simeon Waltz" (from "Mank") 49:43 - Oscar Nominations 57:46 - Next Week / Notes / Giveaways 1:11:55 - Filmspotting Madness, Elite 8 1:28:46 - '40s Noir #3: "Laura" 1:48:13 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Inspired by the visually striking - and slyly funny - new documentary THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS, Adam and Josh consider the greatest meals they've ever seen on screen. Plus, Josh's thoughts on Marvel's recently-concluded WANDAVISION and the Sweet 16 round of Filmspotting Madness—Best of the '80s. 0:00 - Billboard 1:22 - "The Truffle Hunters" 7:23 - Top 5: Movie Meals 37:47 - Josh reviews: "WandaVision" 42:42 - Next Week / Notes 52:12 - Filmspotting Madness Sweet 16 1:10:27 - Top 5, cont. 1:32:41 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Set post-Vietnam in a Big Apple at its filthiest, Martin Scorsese's Best Picture-nominated TAXI DRIVER is very much of its time, but the film's troubled anti-hero, "God's lonely man" Travis Bickle, is a figure we've become all too used to—on social media, at political rallies, or storming the U.S. Capitol. Adam and Josh continue the 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series with a 45th-anniversary review. Plus, Rd. 2 of Filmspotting Madness and the second film in the '40s Noir Marathon, THIS GUN FOR HIRE starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. 0:00 - Billboard 1:13 - 7 From '76—Best Year Ever: "Taxi Driver" Bernard Herrmann, "Thank God For The Rain" 47:57 - Next Week / Notes 55:53 - Filmspotting Madness, Rd. 2 1:17:44 - '40s Noir Marathon: "This Gun for Hire" 1:36:30 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A five-time Oscar nominee, Anthony Hopkins has played a Pope, a psychopath and the most loyal of butlers. He's also killed vampires, fought a bear and banished the God of Thunder from Asgard. In fact, there's little Hopkins hasn't done over his six decades of movie acting—and he's done it all with a rare combination of delicate subtlety and volcanic power. This week, Adam and Josh share their Top 5 Hopkins Performances, along with a review of THE FATHER, which features another career-best turn from the actor. Plus, Rd. 1 of Filmspotting Madness—Best of the '80s. 0:00 - Billboard 1:03 - Top 5: Anthony Hopkins Performances 24:06 - Next Week / Notes / Massacre Theatre 35:26 - Filmspotting Madness—Best of the '80s, Rd. 1 58:18 - Review: "The Father" 1:07:55 - Top 5, cont. 1:37:02 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Based on Thomas Harris's grisly 1988 bestseller, Jonathan Demme's THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was, on its February 1991 release, an immediate critical and box office success. It ran for eight months and went on to be nominated for seven Oscars, winning five—for Demme, Hopkins, Foster, screenwriter Ted Tally, and Best Picture. This week on the show, Adam and Josh dig into the technical sophistication - and the humanist touch - that Demme and company bring to the lurid material. Plus, Filmspotting Madness gets underway with the play-in round, and Josh recommends the new BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR. 0:00 - Billboard 1:20 - Sacred Cow: “The Silence of the Lambs” (30th Ann.) 35:46 - Review: “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar” 40:08 - Next Week / Notes 50:51 - Madness: Best of the ’80s (Play-Ins) 1:19:04 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The new Fred Hampton biopic JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH gives as much time to the FBI informant (Lakeith Stanfield) who infiltrates his Black Panthers as it does to Hampton himself (Daniel Kaluuya). Adam and Josh debate the effectiveness of that decision, which recalls atypical biopics like “Amadeus,” “Hamilton” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Plus the first film in the six-part '40s Noir Marathon, William Wyler’s THE LETTER, with Bette Davis as a conniving murderer; and Josh anoints the new religious horror movie SAINT MAUD with a Golden Brick nomination. 0:00 - Billboard 1:06 - Review: "Judas and the Black Messiah" 24:09 - Next Week 29:48 - Brickspotting: "Saint Maud" 33:55 - Giveaways / Notes 40:46 - Massacre Theatre 48:17 - '40s Noir #1: "The Letter" 1:16:57 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It doesn't take the investigative powers of a Woodward or Bernstein to pick up on the giddiness that Adam and Josh bring to their review of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, the first film in the 7 From '76—Best Year Ever series. Long a favorite of both hosts - and an early entry in the Filmspotting Pantheon - they revel in the opportunity to praise the film's unmatched acting ensemble and exquisite, if subtle, craft. Their good mood carries over to their review of the divisive MALCOLM & MARIE (new to Netflix), a volatile, two-hander relationship drama starring Zendaya and John David Washington. 0:00 - Billboard 1:00 - 7 From '76—Best Year Ever: "All The President's Men" David Shire, "All The President's Men 45:16 - Polls / Notes 1:02:02 - Review: "Malcolm & Marie" 1:23:32 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#811: 2021 Movie Preview

#811: 2021 Movie Preview

2021-01-2901:22:121

As goes Bond, so goes the rest of the movie year. With Bond 25 "No Time To Die" recently moving to October - along with several other high-profile spring '21 releases - the new movie year is getting off to a disappointing start. But with lots of holdovers from 2020 - "Dune"! "Maverick"! "Ghostbusters"! - and some very promising new titles on the horizon, it is, at the very least, an exciting year to contemplate. Adam and Josh preview 2021 with their Top 5 Movie Questions of the Year — and lay out current plans for this year's Marathons, Sacred Cows, Oeuvre-view and the '70s edition of the Best Movie Year Ever series. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - 2021 Preview Lin-Manuel Miranda, “In The Heights” 31:17 - 2021 Show Plans 47:30 - Next Week / Notes 52:33 - Massacre Theatre 59:15 - 2021 Preview, cont. 1:18:04 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It goes without saying that the best movies also have their share of great movie moments, so this year’s Wrap Party allows Adam and Josh to share more thoughts about some of their favorite 2020 films. But it also gives them a chance to celebrate memorable moments in movies that didn’t crack their Top 10s - like “Promising Young Woman,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “On The Rocks” and “Borat Subsequent Movie Film.” Plus the winner of the 2020 Golden Brick Award. Welcome to the party. “Silly Games” sing-a-long at midnight. 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Opening Scenes / Funniest Scenes / Moving Moments Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou, “Mother’s Love” 48:12 - 2020 Golden Brick Award 59:01 - Brickspotting: “Identifying Features” 1:02:39 - Next Week / Poll / Notes 1:08:02 - Music Moments / Scenes of the Year 1:37:10 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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