The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, run without scissors for this week’s review of A Simple Favor (2018). The film centers on Connecticut mommy vlogger Stephanie, played by Anna Kendrick, and her unusual friendship with a crass, Manhattan-based PR director played by Blake Lively. Directed by Paul Feig, the film also stars Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Rupert Friend and Jean Smart.
Beyond this, there’s little to relay coherently from a meandering plot that attempts, unsuccessfully, to balance intrigue and comedy. As the episode title suggests, this film didn’t impress the Filmlosophers crew...but you should still take some time to hear why, if only to know the mess we’ve helped you avoid.
HEY YOU GUYS! We're back! In this bonus episode, we discuss how incredible Marvel's Captain Marvel trailer looks, and why we may think it holds some key elements to what the future MCU will look like. What do you think? Listen in to hear our thoughts!
Stick around and join the conversation as we are barely able to contain ourselves! So pull up a chair, and prepare for some bonus hilarity in "Extra Credit!"
If you're wanting a bit more context, head over to our main episode, Lesson 131, where this bonus episode crash lands into a Blockbuster at!
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, prepare for the worst with this week’s double feature review of two recent Netflix-distributed films: How It Ends (2018) and Extinction (2018). Both films explore themes of connection and loss against a backdrop of catastrophe, and they each fit broadly within the sci-fi subgenre of dystopic futures. Flavored with tinges of Mad Max mixed with The Road, How It Ends stars Theo James and Forest Whitaker in a story about two men traveling cross-country to save a woman they both love. Alternatively, Extinction stars Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan as concerned parents trying to ensure their family’s survival in the face of a military invasion from the stars.
What sort of storytelling DNA do these films share, and how do they treat their subjects differently? Most importantly, does either film do enough to keep your attention?
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, work on ways to disappear into their surroundings with this week’s review of The Predator (2018). The latest film in the 31-year franchise is directed by Shane Black and leans heavily on comedic beats from its ensemble - including Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown - to balance the bloodier moments that punctuate certain scenes and sequences. Which begs the question: in playing up the levity angle, does it cause the franchise to finally lose its balance?
With additional subplots revolving around PTSD, mental health and Asperger’s-related behaviors, the film also dances around issues that deserve more attention than they receive here. Instead, these character traits are leveraged to transform the sci-fi horror film into a pseudo-action/comedy, and the presumed entertainment value of these choices will be polarizing to those who don’t believe in making light of such intense personal struggles.
The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, try to steal back a few wasted minutes with this week’s review of Kin (2018). Adapted and expanded from the short film Bag Man (2014), Kin follows a meandering plot that loosely supports the idea of family bonds that transcend blood connections. Starring Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, and newcomer Myles Truitt, the film centers on a pair of unlikely brothers who go on the run from thugs in Detroit and set off across the country with a powerful weapon of otherworldly origin and immense destructive power.
Aside from an intriguing collection of elements that pay homage to 80s sci-fi films, there’s little to distinguish Kin as a project worth the price of a movie theater ticket. Though the premise shows promise and certain technical elements move in the right direction, the end result never proves to be more than the sum of its parts.