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October 15, 2019
After winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes, soaring to international box office success, and riding a wave of extraordinary festival buzz, Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' has finally hit U.S. theaters. Donnie Kwak joins Amanda and Sean to break down Bong's career, what makes his latest so special, and the movie's chances come Oscar time (1:52). Then, Sean and Amanda break down the evolving conversation around 'Joker,' two unusually bad trailers that premiered over the weekend, and the complex race for Best International Feature Film (28:56). Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Donnie Kwak
October 11, 2019
As Ang Lee's hyperreal new action movie 'Gemini Man' hits theaters, Sean and Amanda look back at the long, fascinating career of rapper, sitcom star, screen legend, and Instagram icon Will Smith. They discuss the flaws and innovations of Lee's work with 120 frames per second 3-D 4K and the future of how we see movies (0:50). Then, they share their top five Will Smith performances and whether or not he will ever win an Oscar (21:33). Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
October 7, 2019
Todd Phillips's 'Joker' is one of the year's biggest hits and most controversial films. Chris Ryan joins Sean and Amanda to talk about the film's success and whether all the hubbub was worth it (1:07). Then they take a close look at Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar chances, the Best Actor race, and Martin Scorsese's comments about Marvel movies (32:20). Then, Sean is joined by The Ringer's Shea Serrano to talk about his new book, 'Movies (and Other Things)' (55:08). Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Shea Serrano
October 4, 2019
Todd Phillips's 'Joker,' a gritty homage to '70s films like 'Taxi Driver,' has become one of the year's most anticipated and controversial movies. Sean and Jason Concepcion explore the long history of the Batman supervillain, in comic books and on screen (1:30). Then, they take a close look at the new Joaquin Phoenix–starring movie, its societal ramifications, and what it means for the superhero movie genre at large (41:20). Finally, Sean is joined by writer-director Noah Hawley to discuss his feature film debut, 'Lucy in the Sky' (75:18). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Jason Concepcion and Noah Hawley
October 1, 2019
Marty back! 'The Irishman' premiered at the New York Film Festival to rapturous reviews over the weekend, so Sean and Amanda look at the film's chances at the Oscars. Is Martin Scorsese's latest the new front-runner (1:40)? They also discuss Robert De Niro's hilarious comments on cable, look at Eddie Murphy's return to the screen in Netflix's 'Dolemite Is My Name,' and analyze a quietly shifting Best Documentary category (39:07). Then, Oscar-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia joins to discuss the making of his new film, 'Diego Maradona' (57:16). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Asif Kapadia
September 27, 2019
Sean and Amanda break down a busy news cycle, including Jennifer Lopez's Oscars-related decision to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show and Marvel guru Kevin Feige turning his attention to the 'Star Wars' franchise (1:20). Then, they look at Renée Zellweger's comeback vehicle 'Judy,' a biopic that feels too familiar despite its star's best efforts (29:03). Then director Daniel Scheinert stops by to talk about his poignantly weird ode to a pair of dumbasses living in Alabama (59:40). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Daniel Scheinert
September 24, 2019
Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan to break down the phenomenon of turning TV series into movies after the box office success of 'Downton Abbey.' Then, the trio discuss the shows they'd like to see extended into new movies, explore Maggie Smith's chances at a third Academy Award, and rank their favorite awards shows in the aftermath of a lackluster Emmys ceremony (1:00). After that, 'Downton' director Michael Engler swings by to talk about supersizing the costume drama into one of the year's most surprising movie hits (57:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Michael Engler and Chris Ryan
September 20, 2019
Sean and Amanda dive deep into the career of Brad Pitt by sharing their top five favorite performances and examining his work in two of the year's best movies, 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood' and James Gray's new space drama 'Ad Astra' (0:38). Then, Gray joins Sean to talk about his long career, working on a bigger canvas than ever before, and the perilous future of movies (48:47). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: James Gray
September 17, 2019
After winning the Audience Award at TIFF, 'Jojo Rabbit' is likely to follow in the footsteps of past winners like 'Green Book' and 'Three Billboards,' straight to the Oscars. Sean and Amanda break down its chances and the post-festival discourse (0:51) before examining the box office success of 'Hustlers' and the failure of 'The Goldfinch' to reassess what we talk about when we talk about "Oscar Bait" (9:55). Then, documentary filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer joins to discuss his latest, 'Where's My Roy Cohn?,' a close look at the controversial lawyer and political operator who brokered power for everyone from Joseph McCarthy to Donald Trump (62:31). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Matt Tyrnauer
September 13, 2019
With the release of 'Hustlers,' a stripper-criminal saga, Sean and Amanda take a close look at the movie career and unusually persistent superstardom of Jennifer Lopez, who has received the best reviews of her career for the film (1:04). Then, Sean is joined by 'Hustlers' writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about how she translated a New York magazine feature story into one of the year's most exciting movies (46:56). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Lorene Scafaria
September 10, 2019
'The Oscars Show' returns to read the tea leaves out of Venice and TIFF, including the shocking Golden Lion win for 'Joker'; the divisive reaction to 'Jojo Rabbit'; and the glorious rise of Jennifer Lopez, 'Hustlers' star and Academy Awards contender (1:09). Then Sean digs into this weekend's smash hit, 'It Chapter Two,' with a conversation about the making of the Stephen King saga with director Andy Muschietti (32:04). Finally, Jason Concepcion joins to talk about the challenges of adapting King's work and what 'It Chapter Two' had to sacrifice to make it to the big screen (69:46). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Andy Muschietti and Jason Concepcion
September 6, 2019
Ringer contributor Adam Nayman joins Sean to break down the films he's most looking forward to at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (1:10). Then, ahead of the release of 'It Chapter Two,' Sean and Adam share their favorite adaptations of Stephen King novels, including the classics you'd expect along with a few curveballs (7:30). Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Adam Nayman
September 4, 2019
Sean has returned from Telluride bearing takes on the very best that the Colorado film festival had to offer, among them 'Marriage Story,' 'Ford v. Ferrari,' Uncut Gems,' 'Waves,' and (yes, seriously) 'The Two Popes.' Then, Sean and Amanda take a close look at where the Oscar race stands after Venice and Telluride, what to look forward to at the Toronto International Film Festival, and how a very competitive Best Actor race is shaping up. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
August 29, 2019
Awards season is nearly upon us, and Netflix has landed on a rollout strategy for its big movies, among them the Eddie Murphy vehicle 'Dolemite Is My Name,' Noah Baumbach's 'Marriage Story,' and Martin Scorsese's hugely anticipated (and also quite long) 'The Irishman' (0:45). Then, with the esteemed Venice, Telluride, and the Toronto film festivals approaching, Sean and Amanda share the movies they're most looking forward to and what their festival showings will mean for the coming Oscar race (33:53). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
August 27, 2019
Disney’s D23 Expo brought with it a lot of news about the near and far future of streaming (1:00). Plus, we hand out awards for a slow summer in movies (18:00), and Sean talks to the writer and director of ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon,’ Paul Downs Colaizzo (54:35). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Paul Downs Colaizzo
August 22, 2019
A public, corporate feud between Marvel and Sony could spell the end of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—are we stuck caring about this forever, and will we ever return to the days of movie stars (0:45)? Then, Ben Berman joins the show to discuss his strange and postmodern documentary on magician and comedian “The Amazing Johnathan” (74:51). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Wesley Morris and Ben Berman
August 20, 2019
‘Blinded by the Light’ struggled in what was another slow weekend at the box office, while ‘Good Boys’ broke the trend of superhero and franchise-IP movies dominating 2019. We discuss that, the late-breaking news that Annapurna’s debt will be paid off by Larry Ellison, and ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’—Richard Linklater’s latest film (2:00). Then, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella—collectively known as Radio Silence—join the show to share their collaborative creative process in making their ‘Ready or Not’ (41:31). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella
August 16, 2019
With the release of the Springsteen-inspired coming-of-age film 'Blinded by the Light,' Sean welcomes Chris Ryan to share their five favorite songs from The Boss. They also discuss the recent cancellation of the controversial thriller 'The Hunt,' debate the trailers for 'Little Women,' 'A Hidden Life,' 'Parasite,' and more (1:00). Then Gurinder Chadha, writer-director of 'Blinded by the Light,' swings by to share her journey and explain why Springsteen has been so pivotal to her creative life (51:00). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Gurinder Chadha and Chris Ryan
August 13, 2019
We open the mailbag to answer some of our listeners’ most-pressing questions: What films are we most looking forward to for the rest of the year? Is Adam Driver our best working actor (and is he hot)? What are Sean’s guilty-pleasure movies? And more. Host: Sean Fennessey
August 9, 2019
We attempt to have a nuanced conversation about the complicated reception to Quentin Tarantino’s new film. (0:00) Then, we break down the latest shakeup in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' leadership, and how it will affect the Oscars' future (2:00). Plus: Oscar-nominated writer-director Andrea Berloff joins the show to talk about ‘The Kitchen’—her crime drama about 1970s New York, starring Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, and Melissa McCarthy (1:06:34). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Andrea Berloff
August 5, 2019
Sean and Amanda finally cave and watch each others’ beloved films after months and months of refusing (1:00). Then, director Avi Belkin joins the show to talk about his motivation for diving into a subject like Mike Wallace (1:13:23). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Avi Belkin
August 2, 2019
‘Hobbs and Shaw’ director David Leitch joins to talk about the challenges of adapting a successful franchise, his work on 'John Wick,' and the state of the action-comedy genre. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: David Leitch
July 26, 2019
We gather to discuss Quentin Tarantino’s ninth—and allegedly penultimate—film, ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.’ We break down everything from Leonardo DiCaprio grappling with the end of his career in the leading role, to Brad Pitt’s quiet charisma, to the way historical accuracy competes with fantasy. Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan
July 23, 2019
The ‘Cats’ trailer set fire to Twitter, and Marvel extinguished the flames by announcing its next decade of IP dominance—what are we looking forward to most (1:00)? Then, we finally hash it out: We debate the top five Quentin Tarantino movies (16:15). Lastly, producer Cameron Crowe, director A.J. Eaton, and titular star David Crosby join the show to discuss ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name,’ the long-in-the-works documentary about Crosby’s legendary life and music career (1:22:45). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Jason Concepcion, Chris Ryan, David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, A.J. Eaton
July 19, 2019
Disney is in the midst of a nostalgia churn, and the latest installment is a remake of ‘The Lion King,’ the iconic 1994 peak of the Disney golden era. Have we reached a dark place with live-action remakes, and are there more to come? Plus, does the 2019 all-star cast live up to the original voice performances? Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
July 16, 2019
The slow box office summer continued this weekend as ‘Stuber’ failed to make a real impact in theaters. Is streaming going to put an end to the big-budget action comedy (0:37)? Plus, a long conversation with Lulu Wang about her path to becoming a filmmaker, the deeply personal experience of making ‘The Farewell,’ and what wider success means for a Sundance darling (42:30).  Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Lulu Wang
July 12, 2019
David Shoemaker joins the show to talk about how action stars are minted in the post–The Rock era of filmmaking, Dave Bautista’s rise to legitimate actor, and who is primed to make the leap from WWE to the big screen (0:45). Then, ‘Stuber’ director Michael Dowse comes in to talk about the role of improvisation in his films, working with Bautista and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, and what his future in directing looks like (25:07). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: David Shoemaker, Michael Dowse
July 9, 2019
We take an early survey of the alleged frontrunners in the 2020 Oscars—a slim list of movies that are already getting negative buzz—before discussing the live-action remake trend that Disney is employing in its latest effort to dominate the financial landscapes of moviemaking (1:00). Then, Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Stearns join the podcast (previously recorded at SXSW) to discuss their partnership in making ‘The Art of Self-Defense’ (54:17). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Stearns
July 3, 2019
Chris Ryan joins to discuss ‘Midsommar,’ Ari Aster’s shocking Swedish nightmare follow up to his debut horror hit ‘Hereditary’ (1:00). Then, Aster comes by to talk about the challenges of making a horror film set exclusively in the daylight, the pressure of following ‘Hereditary,’ and what he’s doing next (14:47). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Chris Ryan and Ari Aster
July 2, 2019
Friendly neighborhood MCU fan Micah Peters joins the show to discuss ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ the Marvel movie tasked with following ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ the wonders of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, and how the movie stacks up to last year’s smash hit ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.’ Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Micah Peters
June 28, 2019
In this double episode, Sean and Amanda review ‘Yesterday,’ a movie that delivered in Beatles nostalgia but came up short in plot payoff (1:00). Then, Adam Nayman calls in from Toronto to share his top five movies of a slow year so far (42:50). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Adam Nayman
June 25, 2019
The horror genre spent decades as the lowbrow stepchild of the movie industry, but now it’s the vehicle for exciting young filmmakers like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele. Chris Ryan joins the show to help make sense of how we got here (1:00). Then, Gary Dauberman stops by to discuss his path from writing spec scripts to becoming the director of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’—the latest movie in the 'Conjuring' universe, a series he helped grow (21:31). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Chris Ryan and Gary Dauberman
June 21, 2019
Despite the threat of sequel fatigue, Pixar has managed to create classics. 'Toy Story 4' is the latest example, a fascinating portrait of identity that doubles as a treatise on trash. Rob Harvilla joins Sean Fennessey to talk about the new film, what it means to kids and parents, and how the studio has persisted for 25 years (1:36). Then, they share their top five Pixar movies (28:43).
June 18, 2019
'Men in Black: International' is yet another in a series of disappointing and drab sequels to hit this summer. What went wrong with the alien comedy relaunch? And should young stars like Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson count on shaky franchises to brighten their careers (1:15)? Then, we examine what makes a great summer movie slate, and what—if anything—we can learn from the lineups of the past 10 years (36:40). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
June 14, 2019
We dive deep on ‘The Snyder Cut’—the unreleased director’s cut of ‘Justice League’—and the activism surrounding it from DCEU fans, before reviewing the Netflix Bob Dylan mockumentary ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ (1:00). Then, indie film pioneer Jim Jarmusch joins the show to discuss his new film 'The Dead Don’t Die,' his first foray into the zombie genre (37:55). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Rob Harvilla, Jim Jarmusch
June 11, 2019
We go over Mindy Kaling’s feature screenwriting debut, ‘Late Night, before reviewing the box office flop of ‘Dark Phoenix,’ the most recent and final release of this generation of the X-Men franchise (1:00). Then, ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ director Joe Talbot joins to talk about his directorial debut—a picturesque examination of his hometown in the face of rapid gentrification (55:45). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Amanda Dobbins and Joe Talbot
June 7, 2019
Sean is joined by Chris Ryan to dive deep on the existing X-Men franchise, a two-decade-long series of movies that have seldom delivered but still grabbed our attention. Then, the two review the newly released “Dark Phoenix” and speculate over the direction Disney will take with X-Men’s intellectual property. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Chris Ryan
June 4, 2019
Sean is joined by Mallory Rubin to react as fans to HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’—a science-laden docudrama that snuck up as one of the best shows on television this year (1:00). Then showrunner Craig Mazin comes to the studio to talk about making the jump from film to TV and how writing for feature-length comedy prepared him for conveying a real-life tragedy on screen (37:00). Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Mallory Rubin and Craig Mazin
May 31, 2019
We give our immediate reactions to ‘Rocketman’—Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic, starring Taron Egerton. How is Egerton’s singing? How does the film handle John’s sexuality in comparison to a film like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody?’ Is “Elton John is good” the first thing Sean and Amanda have ever agreed on? Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
May 29, 2019
The discourse around ‘Booksmart’ blew up on Twitter over the long weekend, but the film still disappointed at the box office. What, if anything, is there to make of the reaction (1:15)? Then we discuss the breakout movies from the Cannes Film Festival, the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,' and early Oscar favorites (25:41). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
May 24, 2019
Disney is releasing its third live-action remake of a beloved animated classic this year alone—is this overflooding the market or is it a smart strategy for bolstering their incoming streaming platform? Plus, we examine how Will Smith’s career led him to be a charming (if lacking) Genie, and the perplexing decisions of an ultimately interesting filmmaker in Guy Ritchie. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
May 21, 2019
We preview ‘Booksmart,’ Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut out this weekend, and the latest in a long tradition of what we call “high school movies"—of which we share our top five lists (1:10). Then (recorded previously at SXSW), Sean is joined by Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Katie Silberman, and Billie Lourd to talk about making ‘Booksmart’ and what it takes to make a successful high school comedy in 2019 (49:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Katie Silberman
May 17, 2019
Chad Stahelski, the mind behind John Wick, joins the show to discuss some of the unique difficulties of shooting one of the most action-packed franchises in Hollywood, his relationship with Keanu Reeves, and the converging arts of stunt making and directing (2:11). Then, Shea Serrano calls in to wax poetic about the Wick universe and what ‘Parabellum’ means for its future (50:42). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Chad Stahelski, Shea Serrano
May 14, 2019
You asked and we answered—sort of. In a year dominated by superheroes, it's been hard to find a common theme at the movies for just about anything else. So we share some of the weirdest movies of the year so far, like 'Serenity,' 'Under the Silver Lake,' and 'Wine Country.' Then we break down some of our favorites, including Olivier Assayas's 'Non-Fiction' and Claire Denis's 'High Life.' Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Amanda Dobbins
May 10, 2019
Micah Peters joins the show to make sense of the public’s obsession with Pokémon and the release of ‘Detective Pikachu’ (1:30). Then, Werner Herzog comes by the studio to discuss his new documentary, ‘Meeting Gorbachev,’ and the scope of his long and successful career (26:30). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Micah Peters and Werner Herzog
May 7, 2019
We discuss the continued dominance of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at the box office and the ramifications for wide-release movies and smaller festival darlings alike (1:30) before analyzing Zac Efron’s portrayal of Ted Bundy (26:40) in Netflix's ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.’ Then the film's director, Joe Berlinger, joins the show to discuss his documentary work, his second narrative film, and its companion documentary (31:40). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Joe Berlinger
May 3, 2019
We examine Charlize Theron’s arc on the big screen—from prototypical roles that leaned heavily on her sexuality to her turn toward action stardom, ultimately leading to her role as secretary of state in Jonathan Levine’s new comedy, ‘Long Shot’ (0:45). Then, Levine joins the show to talk about working with Theron, Seth Rogen, and what types of films he sees himself making in the future (49:15). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla, Jonathan Levine
April 30, 2019
We discuss the high-wire act that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was trying to pull off—stitching together over a decade of films into one neat, fan-serviceable, creative ending—and if it ultimately worked (1:00). Then, we take a step back and look at some of the numbers ‘Endgame’ put up at the box office, and whether it spells total domination for the mid-budget movie (23:40). Finally, we look ahead to a summer full of non-Marvel movies and share which ones we’re most excited for (40:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Chris Ryan
April 26, 2019
‘Avengers: Endgame,’ the culmination of more than a decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is finally here. We discuss how the long-running arcs of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and many others have been strung together and resolved in ‘Endgame.’ Plus, we break down the movie’s complex ideas about time travel, character deaths, and, ultimately, its stakes. Finally, we take stock of where this leaves the MCU, and what could be in store for Phase 4 and beyond. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Mallory Rubin
April 24, 2019
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is just days away, and with that comes the final installment in our Marvel Month series: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’ We discuss our relationships with Spider-Man as a cinematic figure, Tom Holland’s portrayal of a character who hadn’t been quite nailed down by other talented actors like Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and where the character is headed as the Marvel story drifts further into space—decidedly different than the high school setting of this film. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Adam Nayman
April 19, 2019
We go over the week in the movie world: Beyoncé’s documentary ‘Homecoming,’ the Oscars happening two weeks earlier, and the movies we’re anticipating will enter the Best Picture conversation (1:40). Then Andrew Garfield joins the show to talk about his new film ‘Under the Silver Lake,’ an L.A.-based noir film that is a change of pace from his career arc thus far (33:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Andrew Garfield
April 17, 2019
In the penultimate episode of our Marvel Month preview series, we sit down to discuss ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ How does AI function as a villain in the Marvel universe? Does the movie jump from location to location too frequently? Is this movie better now than when it actually came out? Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Micah Peters
April 12, 2019
As ‘Avengers: Endgame’ inches closer, we continue our Marvel month with one of the most effective, influential, and surprising movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ We review the original ‘Guardians’ comics, then examine the movie’s star-making ability, its use of music, and its long-lasting impact on the MCU. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: David Shoemaker
April 11, 2019
We go over some of the most iconic rock star movies ever made and review the recent slew of films in that vein—including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Vox Lux,’ and more (1:30). Then, Elisabeth Moss and Alex Ross Perry join the show to talk ‘Her Smell,’ their recent installment in the trend (31:00). Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Lindsay Zoladz, Elisabeth Moss, Alex Ross Perry
April 8, 2019
Sean is joined by Miles Surrey to assess the landscape of DC films after the breakout success of ‘Shazam!' (2:00). Then, 'Shazam!' director David F. Sandberg swings by to talk about how he turned his terrifying short, 'Lights Out,' into a feature-film career in Hollywood, the movies that inspired him, and his future in the DCEU (13:30). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: David F. Sandberg and Miles Surrey
April 5, 2019
We break down Joss Whedon's 'Marvel’s The Avengers’—a landmark in the cinematic universe that established the rapport between the tentpole superstars and set the tone for the films going forward. How has the MCU changed our relationship with movie stars, and does that make Marvel the most important force in Hollywood right now? Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Chris Ryan
April 2, 2019
With Harmony Korine’s latest film ‘The Beach Bum’ now in theaters, Sean, Amanda, and Rob take a look back through Matthew McConaughey’s mercurial career—including his breakthrough moments, peaks and valleys, and where his stardom stands today. Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla
April 1, 2019
In a rotating-guests episode of 'The Big Picture,' Sean is first joined by Bill Hader to discuss how filmmaking played into the conception of his HBO show ‘Barry’ (2:15). Then, Mary Kay Place and Kent Jones join the show to discuss Jones’s first narrative feature, ‘Diane,’ which stars Place as a mother trying to bond with her drug-addicted son (41:10). Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Bill Hader, Mary Kay Place, and Kent Jones
March 29, 2019
In the first episode of our Marvel Cinematic Universe series—dropping once a week in the lead-up to ‘Avengers: Endgame’—Sean and Amanda go deep on the first Captain America movie. How did this movie set the tone for patriotism in superhero movies? Did it succeed as a period piece/spy drama? Why don’t Avengers have more sex? Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Amanda Dobbins
March 26, 2019
Now 20 years removed, we convene to discuss and share our top five movies from 1999—the year many believe was the greatest year of movies ever (1:00). Then, a conversation with ‘Running With Beto’ director David Modigliani from SXSW (1:08:00). Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan, and David Modigliani
March 22, 2019
We react to ‘Us,’ Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to the social thriller ‘Get Out.’ We give a spoiler-laden explanation of the ending, analyze Peele leveling up as a filmmaker, and parse some of the cultural (but largely personal) themes that peek through in the film. (Disclaimer: there are spoilers in this podcast.) Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
March 19, 2019
Oscar-winning director and writer Jordan Peele joins the show—the day after the premiere of his new film ‘Us’ at SXSW—to discuss following up ‘Get Out,’ working with stars like Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, and Winston Duke, and tackling complex themes within the horror genre. Hosts: Sean Fennessey Guest: Jordan Peele
March 15, 2019
With ‘Triple Frontier’ now streaming on Netflix, we launch the first episode in a series of career retrospectives on Hollywood’s biggest stars. From ‘Good Will Hunting’ to ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Armageddon’ to ‘The Town,’ ‘Justice League’ to the "Jenny From the Block" video, we identify Affleck’s breakthrough moments and peak performances before breaking down his latest movie. Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla
March 12, 2019
Sean, Chris, and Amanda convene to talk about their favorite movies from the SXSW Film Festival—including Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated directorial follow-up to ‘Get Out’ (1:05). Then, Sean sits down with ‘Gloria Bell’ director Sebastián Lelio to discuss working with Julianne Moore and John Turturro and the calculus behind remaking one of your own films (55:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Chris Ryan and Sebastián Lelio
March 8, 2019
Brie Larson stars as ‘Captain Marvel’ in the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its first stand-alone female superhero movie. We react to what it means for the forthcoming ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and how directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck incorporated elements of the 1990s into the Marvel machine. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
March 5, 2019
Steven Spielberg is waging war against Netflix—what does this mean for the Academy Awards (0:57)? Then, Rob Harvilla joins the show to discuss ‘Leaving Neverland,’ the new Michael Jackson documentary on HBO, and its potential ramifications for the future of writing about music (18:08). Finally, Sean and Amanda share the best movies they’ve seen so far in this year and preview some of ones they’re anticipating most in March (40:15). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Rob Harvilla
February 28, 2019
Amanda and Sean put a bow on the 2019 Oscars by answering the burning questions they didn’t have time for on Sunday night (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by writer-director Neil Jordan to discuss his latest film, ‘Greta’ (48:06). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Neil Jordan
February 25, 2019
We react to what we feared might happen all Oscars season—a ‘Green Book’ Best Picture victory—by weighing the power of the old Academy vs. the new Academy. Plus, reactions to Spike Lee's long-awaited Oscar win, Alfonso Cuarón’s coronation, and Olivia Colman's shocking Glenn Close in Best Actress. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
February 22, 2019
Sean sits down with ‘Masked Man’ host David Shoemaker to discuss the evolution of pro wrestling on the big screen (0:31). Then Stephen Merchant joins to talk about his relationship to wrestling, working with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and turning Florence Pugh into a believable professional wrestler (21:28). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Stephen Merchant, David Shoemaker Wrestling film recommendations: The Big Show Off Night and the City The Foul King
February 20, 2019
A host of Ringer staffers join Sean and Amanda to break down the narratives that have emerged in the lead-up to the 2019 Oscars. Why does Netflix want an Oscar so badly? What happened to our beloved ‘A Star Is Born'? Plus, we make the case for each Best Picture nominee, do our best to see into the future and predict next year’s Oscars, and more. To see this podcast in video form, go to The Ringer’s YouTube page! Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Mallory Rubin, Jason Concepcion, Chris Ryan, Alison Herman, Micah Peters, Kate Halliwell
February 19, 2019
The Academy has flip-flopped again, saying they would reinstate the four categories they cut from the telecast just last week. Is that the right decision, an indication of a true crisis, or both (0:39)? Plus, an exhaustive breakdown of every Oscars category, including who will (and should) win (36:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins
February 15, 2019
Micah Peters and Rob Harvilla join the show to make the case for why ‘Black Panther’ transcends the Marvel Cinematic Universe and should be taken more seriously as a Best Picture nominee (1:00). Then Ruth E. Carter, the film’s costume designer, joins to detail the unique demands of designing for a comic book movie, her work with Spike Lee, and her path from Broadway to Hollywood (21:38). Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Ruth E. Carter, Rob Harvilla, Micah Peters
February 12, 2019
We sift through what’s real and what’s just British after the BAFTAs this weekend, and whether or not the ‘A Star Is Born’ media blitz is helping or hurting its stock at the Oscars. Then we wonder what might happen if the Oscars telecast is as much of a disaster as it’s shaping up to be. Finally, Sean sits down with Nicholas Britell—the composer of the ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Moonlight,’ and ‘Succession’ soundtracks—to talk about the process of conceiving a score and working with a director to execute their vision. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Nicholas Britell
February 8, 2019
With today’s Netflix release of Steven Soderbergh’s newest film, ‘High Flying Bird,’ we sit down to list and discuss the top five movies he’s made in a prolific career. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Chris Ryan
February 7, 2019
We take stock of a Best Documentary Oscars race that doesn’t include ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ and ‘Three Identical Strangers’—two of the most commercially successful documentaries of the year (0:40). Then ‘Free Solo’ directors Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi join the show to talk about the challenges of filming a climber in a life-or-death situation (18:22). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guests: Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi
February 5, 2019
We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about ‘The Wife,’ Glenn Close’s latest film that will likely net her her first Best Actress win at the Oscars (1:09). Then we assess the stock of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ and ‘Roma’ after the Directors Guild Awards (40:30). Finally, Sean sits down with ‘BlacKkKlansman’ editor Barry Alexander Brown to discuss working with Spike Lee and the role of an editor in the filmmaking process (59:15). Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins Guest: Barry Alexander Brown
February 1, 2019
Dan Gilroy joins the show to talk his Netflix-backed horror-thriller art-world satire, directing Jake Gyllenhaal, and the commercialization of creativity. Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Dan Gilroy
January 30, 2019
This week we break down a big win for ‘Black Panther’ at the SAG Awards and whether it will improve its Best Picture chances (2:20). Then Sean shares his Academy Award nomination frustrations, and we examine how the telecast could be headed for disaster (16:00). Finally, we take a long look at the Best Director race, ‘Roma,’ and Netflix’s standing in the Oscar conversation (45:26). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins How Does Netflix Make Money? | Ringer PhD
January 22, 2019
Our instant reactions to the 2019 Oscar nominations pose as many questions as answers: Is 'Roma' the new favorite? Is ‘A Star Is Born’ doomed? And why couldn’t the Academy get it together for Ethan Hawke? Then we turn to the never-ending 'Green Book' saga in Stock Up/Stock Down and examine the Best Picture betting odds as they stand on January 22. Hosts: Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan
January 21, 2019
We react to ‘Glass,’ veteran director M. Night Shyamalan’s final installation in an almost-two-decade-long trilogy that includes ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split.’ Where does the movie, which stars a cast of James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis, fit into a catalogue that includes home runs like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and lows like ‘The Happening?’ Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Justin Charity
January 18, 2019
Rob Harvilla calls in to make sense of the release of two Fyre Festival documentaries in the same week by Netflix and Hulu. Then, ‘Minding the Gap’ director Bing Liu talks about navigating the complicated and personal themes in his documentary. Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Bing Liu, Rob Harvilla
January 15, 2019
This week, we explore how the various guild awards can tell us who is in the best position to bring home Oscars (0:53). Then, we try and digest the deluge of ‘Green Book’ controversies (25:21). Finally, we try and place our finger on an answer to the existential question hanging over our show: What does 'Best Picture' even mean (32:42)? Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Links: This Is the Most Wide-Open Best Picture Race in Years, Sean Fennessey Green Book Director Used to Flash His Penis As a Joke, Anna Silman
January 11, 2019
Chris Ryan joins the show to break down the latest news that the Oscars will be hosted by committee and share his top five Los Angeles films. Then, director Karyn Kusama joins the show to discuss ‘Destroyer’—her second movie with a distinct take on L.A. Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Karyn Kusama, Chris Ryan
January 7, 2019
We unpack a shocking night as the Golden Globes crown ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Rami Malek, Glenn Close, and ‘Green Book’ — and ‘A Star Is Born’ comes away with only one award. What does it mean going forward for Oscars front-runners Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and more? Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins
January 4, 2019
‘Vice’ writer-director Adam McKay joins the show to talk about his relationship to the politics of Dick Cheney, learning to take criticism from his days in comedy, and whether ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Vice’ are a better indication of his future than ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Anchorman.’ Host: Sean Fennessey
January 2, 2019
We share our ballot picks for all 14 movie categories ahead of Sunday’s Golden Globes and preview whether ‘A Star Is Born’ is the juggernaut we think it is (0:50). Then Sean sits down with ‘Cold War’ writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski to discuss how he crafted a detailed, memory-driven film about characters modeled after his parents (54:00). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
December 27, 2018
We examine and dissect the backlash against Adam McKay’s ‘Vice,’ starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney (0:55). Then we touch on ’Black Panther,' ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ and ‘Cold War’ in Stock Up/Stock Down (32:53), before closing out with a Best Picture race odds breakdown (59:43). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
December 21, 2018
Sean Fennessey and David Shoemaker take a trip into the cinematically gorgeous — but ultimately average — world of the latest DC Universe release, 'Aquaman.'
December 19, 2018
Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, and Juliet Litman discuss ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ the sequel to the classic Disney film, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
December 18, 2018
The debate over how to watch ‘Roma’ is starting to obscure actual conversations about ‘Roma’ (1:15), and ‘The Mule’ doesn’t quite make the Oscars cut (9:15). Plus, a mailbag full of questions about ‘A Star Is Born,’ up-and-coming actors, and the future of Netflix’s influence on theaters (13:19). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
December 14, 2018
Sean Fennessey and Micah Peters recap the surprising highs of the latest installment of the ‘Spider-Man’ universe — an animated film that's also a major achievement in the genre.
December 13, 2018
Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins returns to 'The Big Picture' to discuss his life and work since ‘Moonlight’ won Best Picture at the Oscars and the unique challenge of recreating 1970s Harlem for his adaptation of James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’ Host: Sean Fennessey Guest: Barry Jenkins
December 11, 2018
Kevin Hart is out as host of the Academy Awards after a bungled non-apology tour. What happens next (0:50)? Plus: What the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards mean for ‘Roma,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ and the Best Picture race (11:45), and a conversation about the best acting performances of the year with The New York Times’ Wesley Morris (19:30). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins Guest: Wesley Morris
December 7, 2018
We break down which movies made the final cut for our top 10 lists this year — including everything from ‘Black Panther’ and ‘A Star Is Born’ to ‘Burning,’ ‘Support the Girls,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ and more. Host: Sean Fennessey Guests: Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman
December 6, 2018
Reacting to the Golden Globes nominations, including surprising love for ‘Vice,’ chaos in the category definitions, pleasant surprises and alarming snubs, and why we love Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg as hosts. Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
November 29, 2018
Actor, writer, and director John Krasinski joins the show to talk about how he became not just the star, but also the writer-director of the box office smash ‘A Quiet Place,’ how he evolved after ‘The Office,’ and where he’s going next.
November 27, 2018
Can 'Black Panther' and 'A Star Is Born' power through an onslaught of smaller, highly regarded films like 'Roma,' and 'The Favourite'? (0:57); stock up/stock down for 'Green Book' and 'Widows' (22:00); and a close look at an unusually competitive Best Actress race (34:45). Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins
November 21, 2018
‘Creed II’ director Steven Caple Jr. joins the show to talk about Sylvester Stallone’s influence on his filmmaking and the 'Creed' franchise as well as the unique challenges of the 'Rocky' legacy. Host: Sean Fennessey
November 19, 2018
Academy Award–winning director Steve McQueen stops by to discuss his new film, the Viola Davis–starring heist drama ‘Widows.’ Host: Sean Fennessey
November 16, 2018
'Binge Mode' meets 'The Big Picture' as Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion join Sean Fennessey to react to the second film in Harry Potter’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series.
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