Podcast

Filmspotting

“...affable, insightful film analysis since 2005."–NY Times / New + classic reviews and top 5s. Also on WBEZ Chicago.

Episodes

  • #890: Top 5 Movie Queens / The Woman King / Moonage Daydream

    Sep 23 2022

    With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in the news and Her Majesty Viola Davis currently on screens in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s THE WOMAN KING, Adam and Josh devote this week’s Top 5 to a consideration of movie monarchs. Making the cut: film royalty like Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn and a certain teen queen who wants us all to eat cake. That Top 5, plus reviews of “The Woman King” and the trippy new Bowie doc “Moonage Daydream.”0:00 - Billboard1:08 - Top 5 Movie Queens32:33 - Review (AK): “M...more

  • #889: Blonde / Double Indemnity (Stanwyck #6) / Hockeyland

    Sep 16 2022

    Andrew Dominik's long-in-the-works Marilyn Monroe tale BLONDE (based on the 1999 novel by Joyce Carol-Oates), offers a nightmarish portrayal of the actress and icon that avoids some of the pitfalls of celebrity biopics (thanks in part to its impressive formal approach) while running headlong into others. Mostly in agreement on the film, Adam and Josh remain divided on a few things, including the central performance by Ana de Armas. Also on the show, the sixth and final film in the Summer of Stan...more

  • #888: Three Thousand Years of Longing / Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul / Ball of Fire (Stanwyck #5)

    Sep 02 2022

    When George Miller's THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in the year, it was met with some pans, some shrugs, and some raves (including a six-minute standing ovation). Most agreed, however, that it was an unexpected departure from a director whose previous film was "Mad Max: Fury Road." An intimate and intellectual dialogue-driven drama between stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba for much of its runtime, it occasionally blossoms into a fantastic, millenni...more

  • #887: Top 5 Fall Movie Questions

    Aug 26 2022

    The fall movie season has lots of intriguing titles that raise all sorts of questions. De Armas as Marilyn. Black Panther without Chadwick Boseman. Spielberg in autobiographical mode. This week, it's a Fall Movie Preview in the form of Adam and Josh's five most pressing questions. Plus, their picks for the 5 Most Anticipated Films of the Fall.0:00 - Billboard1:07 - Top 5: Fall Movie Questions18:04 - Next Week / Notes37:11 - Polls42:41 - Top 5 Questions, cont. / Top 5 Most Anticipated1:06:25 - Ou...more

  • #886: Bodies Bodies Bodies / Meet John Doe (Stanwyck #4)

    Aug 19 2022

    If Dutch director Halina Reijn's BODIES BODIES BODIES doesn't remain the definitive snapshot of Zillennial life in the early 2020s, that won't be the fault of the ace ensemble, featuring standout performances from Rachel Sennott ("Shiva Baby"), Maria Bakalova ("Borat Subsequent Movifilm"), or Amandla Stenberg ("The Hate You Give"). Josh and guest critic Marya E. Gates praise the cast along with the film itself for its incisive observations about the chronically online generation. Later in the sh...more

  • #885: A24 10th Anniversary Draft / Prey

    Aug 12 2022

    Indie distributor A24 started memorably, if modestly, back in 2012 and 2013, with titles like Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" and Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring." Within the next couple of years, they'd launched the directing careers of Alex Garland ("Ex Machina") and Robert Eggers ("The Witch"). Then in 2016, they went ahead and - very memorably - won the Oscar for Best Picture with Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight." And they haven't slowed down since. David Lowery's "A Ghost Story," Greta Gerwig'...more

  • #884: Top 5 Brad Pitt Performances / Bullet Train

    Aug 05 2022

    When Brad Pitt arrived on screen 30+ years ago, he was a pretty face with a surprising sinister side. That brief turn in Ridley Scott's "Thelma and Louise" proved to be a template for the actor's diverse and increasingly accomplished film career. For proof of Pitt's growth as an actor, look no further than the very existence of this week's TOP 5 PITT PERFORMANCES, featuring long-time Pitt skeptic Adam's mea culpa. And for proof of the high quality of the Pitt filmography, consider that Adam and ...more

  • #883: Nope / The Gray Man / The Lady Eve (Stanwyck #3)

    Jul 29 2022

    With their potent mix of horror, comedy, and social satire, the films of Jordan Peele are the rare Hollywood films that succeed in entertaining while also puzzling, sending audiences out of the theater sifting through clues in an attempt to find meaning. Peele's latest - NOPE - is no exception, with Adam and Josh sharing their own theories about the director/prophet's wild west sci-fi that's loaded with themes of trauma, spectacle, race, and the movie industry's complicity in all those things. A...more

  • #882: Thor: Love & Thunder / Top 5 Chris Power Ranking

    Jul 15 2022

    Taika Waititi helming another Thor movie was always going to mean a great deal of silliness along with whatever planetary crisis the MCU brain trust cooked up, but with THOR: LOVE & THUNDER, the question has become: how much silliness is too much? Put another way: how many goats is too many goats? Adam defends his 1-star Letterboxd review and Josh (sort of ) defends Waititi. With its two movie Chrises (Hemsworth and Pratt), "Love and Thunder" also gives us an opportunity to revisit 2018's TO...more

  • #881: Stanwyck #2 - Stella Dallas / Marcel the Shell With Shoes On / Top 5 Movie Mother-Daughters

    Jul 08 2022

    As a social climber turned selfless mother in the heartbreaking 1937 melodrama STELLA DALLAS, Barbara Stanwyck earned the first of her four Oscar nominations. And two films into their Stanwyck Marathon, Adam and Josh remain in awe of both the actress's power and her subtlety. The film itself offers a still-potent critique of class as its heroine is forced to choose between her own identity and her beloved daughter. It also gives us an opportunity to revisit 2013's Top 5 Movie Mother-Daughters, w...more

  • #880: Stanwyck #1 - Baby Face (1933) / 1930s Starter Pack

    Jul 01 2022

    The frank sexuality of 1933's BABY FACE has made it one of the defining films of Hollywood’s precode era, with new Filmspotting marathon subject Barbara Stanwyck as Lily Powers, a young woman who escapes the abuse and exploitation facing her at home for the big city, where she acquires money and status by exploiting her own sexual power. Adam and Josh agree that Stanwyck is electrifying and the movie’s precode directness is a lot of fun while considering how successfully it pulls off its balance...more

  • #879: Top 5 Movie Summers / Elvis / Lightyear

    Jun 24 2022

    The summer movie season offers the promise of a special kind of escape. With our brains and bodies fried from the heat, we go to the multiplex less for the subtlety of great cinema and more for big pleasures: belly laughs, impossible action sequences, jump scares, and explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. But which movie years best delivered on that promise? This week, Adam and Josh break out the spreadsheets to determine the Top 5 Movie Summers of all time (or at least since 1975), and Josh ...more

  • #878: Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth) / Hustle / Top 5 Toy Story Moments w/Griffin Newman (2019)

    Jun 17 2022

    Cooper Raiff's debut film, 2020's "Sh*thouse," put the young writer/director on the map with a tale of collegiate malaise, and was made not long after Raiff himself left college. His follow-up, the new CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH, sees Raiff exploring the existential restlessness that awaits college grads. As with his debut, Raiff is back in a starring role, this time with a legit movie star as his co-star, Dakota Johnson. Adam interviews Raiff, who talks about crying in movies, his mentor Jay Duplass, ...more

  • #877: Top 5 Films of the Year So Far / Keaton Marathon Awards (Live in Chicago)

    Jun 10 2022

    At the midpoint of the movie year, Adam and Josh come to the show with several titles big and small vying for their Top 5 Films of the Year So Far, along with a shared number one that Josh describes as "the standard that cinema 2022 will have to meet." Plus, highlights from last weekend's live event at Chicago's Music Box Theatre, which featured a screening of Buster Keaton's THE CAMERAMAN, and Slate's Dana Stevens joining Adam and Josh for "The Porkpies," the end-of-Keaton-marathon awards.0:00 ...more

  • #876: Top 5 Movies For Graduates

    Jun 03 2022

    For their TOP 5 MOVIES FOR GRADUATES, Adam and Josh choose tales of hardship, uncertainty, letting go, and finding fulfillment from Hayao Miyazaki, Cameron Crowe, Agnes Varda, Akira Kurosawa, and others. Plus thoughts on the gone too soon Ray Liotta, listener picks for the best high schoolers in transition movies, and Pixar’s best of the last decade.0:00 - Billboard1:51 - Top 5 Movies for Graduates34:51 - Remembering Ray Liotta39:42 - Next Week / Notes52:50 - Polls1:03:08 - Top 5 Movies for Grad...more

  • #875: Top Gun: Maverick / Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Keaton #5)

    May 27 2022

    Scrubbed of nostalgia, 1986's "Top Gun" is, let's be honest, a big slab of '80s cheese. But there's that star-making turn by Tom Cruise; some flashy direction from Tony Scott; the rousing, synth-heavy score; and a memorable supporting cast led by the never more intense Val "Iceman" Kilmer. Could TOP GUN: MAVERICK, the long in the works sequel, justify its return? Adam comes to the sequel as a "Top Gun" fanboy, with the '86 original a seminal film of his bike-riding preadolescence. Josh, though, ...more

  • #874: Men / The General (Keaton #4)

    May 20 2022

    Do you have to understand a movie to love it? And if so, how much do you have to understand a movie to love it? This, more or less, is what constitutes “The Garland Scale,” which Josh introduces as a means of talking about the work of Alex Garland, the brainy, provocative writer/director behind the new MEN and earlier efforts like “Ex Machina” “Annihilation” and the limited series “Devs.” As it turns out, Adam and Josh position Garland’s films at different points on the scale, including his late...more

  • #873: Summer Movie Preview

    May 13 2022

    With new films from Jordan Peele, Alex Garland, and Claire Denis, not to mention the latest from Marvel, Pixar, and the long-awaited return of Tom Cruise's Maverick, the fifteen or so weekends that make up the summer movie season gives us plenty to look forward to. Adam and Josh's Summer Movie Preview comes in the form of their Top 5 questions about the upcoming movie season.0:00 - Billboard1:49 - Summer Movie PreviewIgor Dvorkin, "Golden Summer"24:37 - Next Week / Notes33:14 - Massacre Theatre3...more

  • #872: Spider-Man at 20 / Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    May 06 2022

    Back in 2002, the superhero genre was still finding its feet. Tim Burton's "Batman" had been huge in '89, but the franchise it spawned had fizzled out by the end of the '90s. The first "X-Men" film did decent box office in 2000, but failed to become a culture-defining event like the Burton film had. Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN changed all that. A massive success at the box office when it opened in May 2002, it acted as a bridge between the self-aware, still campy comic book movies of the past two dec...more

  • #871: The Northman / Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton #3)

    Apr 29 2022

    With obsessive attention to historical detail and a fascination with lore, language, and ritual, there is no mistaking THE NORTHMAN for the work of anyone but Robert Eggers (“The Witch,” “The Lighthouse”). But despite a bigger budget and a much bigger canvas, does the director’s new Viking revenge epic add up to anything but a bloody good time? Along with that review, Adam and Josh return to the Buster Keaton Marathon with the actor/director’s first masterpiece, 1924's SHERLOCK, JR.0:00 - Billbo...more