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Screen Thoughts - Movie & TV Reviews
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Screen Thoughts - Movie & TV Reviews

Author: Christine Merser

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Hollister & Wilder review all things on the screen ... every week. Not to be missed.

266 Episodes
May December

May December


"May December," featuring a star-studded cast including Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, is much more than the torrid story of a seventh-grade teacher who ensnared her student, went to prison for it, and married him upon her release. It transcends that narrative, offering a profound exploration of complex themes. Don't miss the discussion on the film's production, including the techniques employed by Todd Haynes. His interpretations consistently delve deeper than the obvious. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
High schooler Addie Tedrow, a lover of all things Hunger Games, joins Christine Merser to discuss the latest in the series, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, as well as the other stories in the iconic Hunger Games franchise. Don't miss their interesting, intergenerational discussion of this film. Christine's fear of snakes coils around the difficulty of some of the scenes. P.S. we do include some spoilers in this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
"The Holdovers," bringing back 70s and 80s boarding school films, heads toward awards season with Paul Giamatti finding his way to front-page news. Why hasn't he had more starring roles when he's such a strong actor? We have our theories. And "NYAD", where Annette Bening and Jodie Foster save the day. NYAD's swim is an amazing feat, no question about that. How they made it into a movie is up for discussion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Burial

The Burial


Who knew that the movie The Burial on Amazon Prime was as fabulously brilliant and fun and compelling as it is? Don’t watch the trailer. Just listen to this podcast and go watch. Better yet? They agree! Hollister and Wilder are both huge fans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry


This week it's all about Lessons in Chemistry on AppleTV+. It should not come as a surprise to regular listeners of Screen Thoughts that Hollister and Wilder hold differing opinions on the show, on pretty much every front. And, just in time for Halloween, Hollister shares some insider information on the 25th anniversary of "Practical Magic," starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Hollister welcomes the writers back to work and comments on the opening line of the new contract, which is something out of Star Wars to be sure. First up is 'The Super Models,' the documentary (Hollister takes offense that it's even in that category) surrounding the four super models of the eighties; Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista and how they found their way to superstardom. But the highlight is the discovery of John Carney's Flora and Son, the story of a single mother, trying desperately to connect with her son. Hollister says it should be headed for awards season, although she doesn't think it's getting enough leverage to be seen enough to find its way there.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Merser and Wilder talk The Morning Show, reviewing this new season and commenting on the past two seasons, all the while discussing women's increasing power in the making of film & television and what an exciting time it is for our ability to showcase women in film and history. Such a great show this week. Part of the strike is still on, but hope springs eternal that the role of women will continue to grow! **This podcast was recorded before the writer's strike had ended. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit



Christine and Wilder speed through their review of the three hour Oppenheimer, singing its praises, its importance and so many behind the scenes extras. Is it about Nolan, the director? The acting acumen of everyone, from Cillian Murphy to Robert Downey? The cinematography tricks? So many things to consider. One of Christine’s recommendations is to watch Fat Man and Little Boy, the 1989 film about the Manhattan Project before you see this. Or read American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the more than 600 page book it’s based on. Oppenheimer makes us want to go to the movies again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Christine (AKA Hollister) and Wilder dissect Apple’s the Crowded Room, and address Christine’s POV around the futility of the writer’s strike, while Wilder defends it. And, Somebody Somewhere, season two on HBO? Christine speaks to the enormity and importance and talent of Bridget Everett’s hit. Golda, Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Golda Meir, comes out in August and Screen Thoughts has tickets for the preview and video of an interview with Mirren, which will be offered to Screen Thoughts' viewers. And, the Morning Show comes out in early September … and, and, and, so many things discussed, so little time.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The names of many of the heroes of the Civil Rights movement are well known to us today: MLK, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers—the list goes on. But there were unsung heroes of the movement as well. Among these were white men of the cloth in rural towns and small cities of the American South, whose congregations might be wearing white cloaks on Saturday night before attending services the next morning, believing that they could both be good Christians as well as racist segregationists. Some of these pastors took a stand against the views of their own parishioners, welcoming Black people to join them in the pews and worship with them on Sunday mornings. Taking this position wasn’t always easy. Sometimes it was dangerous; sometimes, it cost these men their jobs. As a child, Carolyn Crowder, filmmaker and self-described “bred racist,” struggled to reconcile what she learned from her pastors and her parents’ commitment to the belief that whites were superior to their Black neighbors. Eventually, she moved north to seek communities with views more in line with her own. Years later, using money left to her by her father, she made At the River, a feature-length documentary featuring interviews with dozens of pastors who stood up for their belief that all of God’s children should be welcomed as equals, exploring what they felt at the time, what this belief cost them, and how the struggled to defend it. While the film is not currently available to the public, Carolyn joined Hollister to speak about the film and some of the stories behind its production. We will update our event section with the details of any future screenings, so that you can have the opportunity to see this important film featuring some of the unsung heroes of the fight for racial equality. And consider following the Damariscotta, Maine’s Lincoln Theater for events and showings of some fabulous films. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Talking The Diplomat

Talking The Diplomat


On a very special episode of Screen Thoughts, Christine Merser, Bryan Cohen and Shanette Barth Cohen give a review of Netflix's The Diplomat, kicking the episode off with praise for the show's creator Debora Cahn. They are chock full of admiration and talk about the comparisons to so many past TV shows; The West Wing, Grey’s Anatomy, Homeland, all of whom Debora wrote for. Some say it’s the best series on television. Don’t miss this review. One of the best from Screen Thoughts! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What a week it was chatting about Mario’s amazing box office receipts, Mafia Mama (look for no lovers on this podcast), and Renfield. We finish up with Jennifer Garner, and her talent often unseen by the choices she has made in the films she has chosen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Tim Miller is back, guest co-hosting with Hollister and this podcast is chock full of film. They don’t agree on Air at all, with comparison’s by Hollister to Jerry Maguire versus Tim’s comparison to Moneyball. Some interesting takes on the new surge of Hollywood remakes. What do Spielberg and Tim have in common? A lot actually, and recommendations - quick ones for what is coming in April and what Tim and Hollister saw in March. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Lena Dunham’s latest creation is out and ready to be seen by mothers and daughters all across the land. Brave girl, that Lena Dunham. No one tackles the Medieval Ages in film. Recipe for failure is the reason why, but she goes forth, fearless in her quest to bring her favorite childhood book to life. Don’t miss this review. And according to Hollister, don’t miss the film. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Join Hollister and Wilder as they explore their favorite Halloween films. Spoiler alert: not all are about Halloween. They are, however, classics and it’s a great list of what to watch to get in that dark, scary place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
House of the Dragon. Game of Thrones. Don’t get Wilder started on the fantasy appeal for both. But she even won Hollister over with the need to at least give House of the Dragon a try. Plot. Cinematography. Acting. Special Effects. And, and, and. The plot line is amazing and one of the things Wilder points out is that unlike Game of Thrones, this might, just might, put women on the map as the great leaders they can be. Hollister and Wilder debate the redeeming value of having rape-laden shows on the screen and whether they have a ‘right’ to be there. Interesting. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Bad Sisters. “If those are bad sisters, I want to be one!,” said Hollister. Mixing comedy with drama (tragedy?) is a good combination according to Hollister and with some exceptions in approach, Wilder agrees. Don’t miss their review of this new series by Sharon Horgan of Catastrophe fame and fortune. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Amazon Prime’s A League of Their Own Series: Join Wilder and Hollister as they celebrate and evaluate the new Amazon Prime series, A League of Their Own. Hollister takes us back to 1992’s A League of Their Own with Penny Marshall, and some of the highlights. Don’t miss out on this series, or their review. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Among Peacock's stream of new programming we found 'The Resort.' Hollister & Wilder are both fans of this show, where you're not quite sure where it's going as time goes on. Wilder found the relationship between the two main characters very relatable and loved Nick Offerman's contribution to the show. Hollister poses the question: do you ever wonder what people would think if they found your cell phone? For fans of Palm Springs, we think you'll like this. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Recommended by so many and for such good reason. "One of the best series ever,” sang Hollister. Wilder is right there with her. They agreed on everything including the exceptional writing, acting and general approach to showing the truth behind how very hard it is to work in a restaurant. Hulu's The Bear touches on everything from family dynamics to suicide to money to the idea of striving for excellence. Hollister says you can’t binge, Wilder said, “watch me!” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit