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The Filmlosophers

The gentleman's post-credits discourse. Enthusiastic and tactful, hosts Eddie Villanueva, Spencer Williams and Chad Riley offer candid observations about current events in the movie industry, film reviews and various other movie buff sundries. When the lights come up, the conversations goes down.
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The Filmlosophers
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Sep 19, 2018

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!

 

Sep 19, 2018

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?

Sep 12, 2018

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.

Sep 5, 2018

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.

Aug 29, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, welcome back guest host Laura Sirikul and live like a bunch of multi-billionaires with this week’s review of Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Based on the popular novel by Kevin Kwan, the film adaptation boasts an all-Asian cast and appears to mark the return of the contemporary romantic comedy genre. Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Nico Santos, the film provides a lavish look at one of the wealthiest locations on earth: Singapore.

After claiming the top spot at the North American box office two weeks in a row, Crazy Rich Asians may be hard for new films to beat now that we’ve hit the post-summer slowdown in ticket sales.

Aug 22, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, dive into hot bag of time-hopping crazy with this week’s review of The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018). The popular made-for-TV movie series, which has been delivering B-movie laughs and eye rolls every year since 2013, pulls out all the stops for a shark-infested cameo-fest that spans history and strains the nearly invisible veneer of believability that has characterized the entire series.

Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and a boatload (no pun intended) of guest performers, Sharknado 6 chums the philosophical waters with cringe-worthy moments you’ll likely binge for days (assuming the level of ridiculousness hasn’t turned you off after the first few minutes). Is it truly the last installment in the franchise? Only time will tell...

Aug 15, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, take a fresh tour of Oakland, California, with this week’s review of Blindspotting (2018). Filmed in 2017 in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhoods of West Oakland, Blindspotting stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal as lifelong friends who wrestle with personal challenges and societal ills as they try to come to grips with the changes that are transforming their home turf. Bursting with angst at a variety of levels, the film manages to blend timeless themes and traditional pacing with contemporary spurts of spoken word verse, rap and vivid cinematography.

Directed by Carlos López Estrada, the film delivers a series of emotional moments by synthesizing “ripped from the headlines” elements of racially motivated police brutality with a beautifully balanced, almost Shakespearean plot progression. The film also stars Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Ethan Embry.

Aug 9, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, stick to the shallows for this week’s review of The Meg (2018). The Meg stars Jason Statham as a deep sea rescue diver who tangles with a prehistoric super-shark called the megalodon more than 200 miles off the coast of China. Billed as a modern-day thriller in the same vein as Jaws (1975), the film features an international cast and borrows heavily from some of its predecessor’s most beloved moments. The question remains, however, whether it will stand the test of time or sink quickly.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub, the film is based off a series of adventure novels by Steve Alten. Some liberties have been taken in converting the story from page to screen, although it’s difficult to say whether the final product is stronger or weaker for the changes. The film also stars Ruby Rose, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Robert Taylor, Page Kennedy, Masi Oka, Winston Chao, and Jessica McNamee.

Aug 8, 2018

It's been awhile, but we're back! In this bonus episode, we discuss whether or not B-movies are actually worth watching, and why Spencer loves them so much. 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 125, where this bonus episode steals its most prized possession from!

Aug 3, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, get a little sentimental with this week’s review of Christopher Robin (2018), the latest in a series of live action adaptations of famous Disney cartoons. Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell and a slew of famous voices including Jim Cummings, who has voiced Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for more than 30 years. Whether you’ve followed the ongoing adventures of Pooh and his friends for years or you’re just now getting to know the characters, there’s a lot to appreciate in this tale of friendship and family.

Directed by Marc Forster, the film features all of the classic characters including Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo. It’s also bound to inspire a whole new generation of fans with some adorable stuffed animals for Christmas.

Jul 25, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, race against time to face a series of challenges head-on with this week’s review of Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018). Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt in the film franchise’s sixth installment, alongside a slew of returning performers including Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin. The action thriller is filled to the brim with breathtaking stunt sequences and features only a few new faces - Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, and Henry Cavill’s mustache - but it may just be too full with a runtime of nearly two and a half hours.

How does Fallout fare in comparison with the previous five films, and does it succeed in extending the narrative of the franchise in a meaningful way? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to listen in and find out. This message will self-destruct in five seconds...

Jul 18, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, face the towering inferno and come out the other side for this week’s review of Skyscraper (2018). Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chin Han and Neve Campbell, the story centers on a private security contractor hired to certify the safety of the world’s tallest building, the fictional Pearl in Hong Kong, and its suitability to house new residents. Featuring numerous death-defying moments for Johnson’s character, the story pushes the boundaries of logic and challenges even the most gullible audience member’s ability to suspend disbelief.

A raging inferno, kidnapped loved ones, crime syndicates, wind turbines and henchmen - this movie does absolutely the most. We smelled what The Rock was cookin’ - and not even his trademark charisma was enough to hold our interest beyond the inciting incident.

Jul 11, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, hop on the Neighborhood Trolley for a trip down memory lane with this week’s review of the feature length documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018). Directed by Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, the film chronicles the career of Fred Rogers, creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. Utilizing a collection of archival footage and in-depth interviews with family and friends, Neville weaves a winsome tapestry of the motivation and mission of one of American television’s pioneering voices.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? offers a heartfelt glimpse of the behind-the-scenes humor, sincerity and passion that went into Rogers’ often-countercultural phenomenon, including insights into his critical view of most entertainment programming. The film takes a candid look at how Mister Rogers Neighborhood tackled heavy subjects and serious psychological topics with curiosity and dignity, and it may come as some surprise to hear that some members of the audience may appreciate having tissues handy.

Jul 4, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, embark on a subatomic rescue mission in this week’s review of Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). Directed by Peyton Reed, this is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to drop since Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Fittingly, it explains what the size-shifting protagonists (played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly) were doing as the rest of the MCU heroes chased down the Infinity Stones and battled against Thanos. The film also provides audiences with our longest look yet at the quantum realm, a layer of reality that Kevin Feige admits will be a key factor in future films.

The film also stars Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas and Hannah John-Kamen. And yes, it will answer the long-brewing questions of what happens to these characters when Thanos snaps his fingers.

Jun 27, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, try to come alive inside again after this week’s viewing of Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018). Brutal and emotionally taxing, the sequel to Sicario (2015) sees the return of Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro as two members of a government-supported black ops group that is sent to tangle with the Mexican cartels and initiate a gang war to stop terrorists from entering the United States through the border with Mexico.

Directed by Stefano Sollima, the film also stars Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Catherine Keener. Fans of the Denis Villeneuve-directed original will find several parallels in terms of tonality, themes, visuals and sound editing. Whether or not that makes the sequel as memorable as its predecessor is worth questioning.

Jun 20, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, brave the volcano of uncertainty with this week’s review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Now that the franchise has reached its fifth installment and expectations are high, how unique and thrilling can a theme park full of formerly extinct creatures truly be? Listen in and see if we’re ready for another trip to the genetic wonderland anytime soon...or think the franchise should call it quits.

Featuring performances from Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, BD Wong, Toby Jones and Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the first film in the Jurassic Park franchise to be directed by J.A. Bayona. A protege of Guillermo del Toro, Bayona recently directed the adaptation of A Monster Calls (2017).

Jun 13, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, exercise a few new superpowers with this week’s review of Incredibles 2 (2018) from Disney Studios and Pixar Animation. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and many have been wondering if this long-awaited sequel would live up to the stature of the original film released in 2004. We’re happy to report that Mr. Incredible, Elasti-Girl, Violet, Dash, Jack Jack and Frozone are all back in action as if nary a moment has passed...and it’s an absolute delight.

Incredibles 2 features returning vocal cast members Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner and director Brad Bird who also voices the enigmatic Edna Mode. Joining the family for this installment are new characters voiced by Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Bill Wise.

Jun 6, 2018

In this bonus episode, we discuss whether or not Ocean's 8 (2018) actually needs to be associated with the Ocean's franchise. 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 116, where this bonus episode steals its most prized possession from!

Jun 6, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, hatch a plot to make a lot of money with this week’s review of Ocean’s 8 (2018). The fourth installment in Steven Soderbergh’s revitalized Ocean’s franchise, the film features an all-female take on the heisty storyline and stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, who served as the ringleader in the previous three films. Directed by Gary Ross, the film also stars Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage and James Corden.

Ocean’s 8 is most recognizably cut from the same cloth as the prior films thanks to its cool soundtrack and ensemble-focused plot. Its ensemble, though, is where the film breaks from its predecessors and offers a more tightly balanced team where each member shines in her own way. Will it woo the crowds on opening weekend? We’re pretty sure it “con.”

May 30, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, attempt the second-fastest Kessel Run ever recorded with guest host Travis Cook in this week’s review of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). The film was embroiled in controversy as it completed principal photography, with Ron Howard taking over directorial duties from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller after a series of alleged creative differences, and many worried that the final product wasn’t going to be good. Listen in to find out if those concerns proved valid on opening weekend.

Starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo alongside a supporting cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke and Paul Bettany, the film contains glimpses of how a pair of famous friendships began within the Star Wars universe: see how Han meets Chewbacca and, together, they encounter Lando Calrissian.

May 23, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, assembles a stronger team with guest host Corey Hunt in this week’s review of Deadpool 2 (2018). Ryan Reynolds returns in the title role as the crew from Fox and Marvel Studios rounds out the evolving cast with Thanos performer Josh Brolin as the time-hopping mutant named Cable, Zazie Beetz as lucky number Domino and numerous celebrity cameos. Keep in mind that this episode includes SPOILERS, so don’t listen until you’re ready to know all the secrets about who’s in the film and what happens.

How does it stack up against the uber-popular original film, and what might the future hold now that its first weekend in the box office has gone well?

May 16, 2018

In this bonus episode, we unveil a special giveaway we have planned, but you have to listen to find out what it is! And we promise, it's not a half eaten chimichanga.

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 113, where this bonus episode breaks the fourth wall from!

May 16, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, wear their red shirts and brown pants for this week’s review of Deadpool (2016). The long-in-development action comedy stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, the titular “Merc with a Mouth,” in an unapologetically crass performance that makes good on the film’s R rating. With a sequel right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to revisit this crudely entertaining spectacle of violence, vulgarity and fourth-wall-breaking humor.

Directed by Tim Miller, the film also stars Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, and Stefan Kapičić. The sequel, Deadpool 2 (2018), bows in theaters this weekend.

May 9, 2018

In this bonus episode, we weigh the options -and recent experience- towards the conversation of whether or not reboots should be made.

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 112, where this bonus episode washes in from!

May 9, 2018

The Filmlosophers, Eddie Villanueva, Chad Riley and Spencer Williams, get rich for a few days with this week’s review of Overboard (2018). This retelling of the classic Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn comedy reverses the dynamic between its leading man, Eugenio Derbez, and leading lady, Anna Faris, by having Kate (Faris) take advantage of privileged Leonardo’s (Derbez) amnesia to teach him a lesson about the values of hard work and family, albeit deviously and for selfish reasons.

Directed by Rob Greenberg, the film also stars Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Swoosie Kurtz and several others. And yes, it will make you want to spend an extended amount of time on a multimillion dollar yacht.

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