This week James and Teal have two big 2020 year-end films for you, Promising Young Woman and News of the World. We promise to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but be warned: there are some spoilers mentioned for both movies. For News of the World it probably doesn’t matter as much, but if you want to be 100% surprised by Promising Young Woman, you may want to skip Podcast town at about the 45min mark.
Did you catch the recent dustup between Russell Crowe and a young non-fan of Master and Commander? Some little punk touted on twitter that Master and Commander was boring. Well, our mate from down under, Russell Crowe was having none of that, and put this little film novice in his place. Coincidentally, James just rewatched the film with his nine-year-old who thought it was fantastic. So, at the start of the show James took a moment to remind people of all the ways Master and Commander kicks ass.
Japanese Noir on The Criterion Channel
This month Criterion is featuring 17 Japanese Noir films. The first one that caught James’ eye was Youth of the Beast, and the visual style of this film simply wowed him. Will we be hearing more about this collection of films on a future episode? You can bet on it.
Not All Films Playing on Criterion are Winners
Sometimes a film playing on the Criterion Channel simply disappoints. And that is the case with Always Shine, a small independent pseudo-thriller starring Caitlin Fitzgerald and Mackenzie Davis. James is a fan of both these actors, and their performances are good, but they are underserved by a weak script that goes nowhere after the first sixty minutes of its brief 85 minute runtime. It felts as if this was a short film that the filmmakers tried to stretch into a feature. Too much stretching!
But the main event is the one-two punch of Paul Greengrass’ latest feature starring Tom Hanks, News of the World, and the debut film by actor, writer, showrunner, director Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman. Which of these two films gets high praise from James and Teal, and which one is just a fair night in front of the television set? You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out.