53 - American Hustle

Christian Bale's combover. Amy Adams' accent. Bradley Cooper's perm. Jennifer Lawrence singing "Live or Let Die". Yes, on paper, AMERICAN HUSTLE is a comedy. On the screen? It's an experience so excruciating, Alex and Julio needed help from Down Under to get through it. Chas Fisher, host of the podcast DRAFT ZERO, returns to the show to discuss David O. Russell's lack of regard for sensible storytelling, wonder what dark secrets Russell knows about all these talented actors and, of course, be horrified by how this movie treats women.

All this, plus: some spoilery LAST JEDI talk and a super cute cameo by Chas' daughter in the post-credits clip.

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52 - Righteous Kill

Pacino. DeNiro. Sharing the screen for a full 90 minutes, because Jon Avnet is fifteen times the director Michael Mann is. RIGHTEOUS KILL has it all: slick violence, slicker sex and the slickest final twist this side of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It also has a dismal 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes, proving once again that you can't trust that website for nothing. Listen to Alex and Julio marvel at Pacino's hair, argue about whether this Carla Gugino performance tops the one she gave in WATCHMEN, and lament the fact that Pacino's death whisper hasn't been memified for some reason.

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51 - Sing Street

Behold: an Irish film that's too scared to go Full Irish. No real heavy drinking, no real swearing, no real violence. Only lots of 80s musical numbers and one of those girl-totally-takes-advantage-of-boy love stories. Recently appointed Austin Critic, Eddie Strait, returns to the podcast to join Alex and Julio in dissecting SING STREET - and long for the days of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS and its sequel.

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Bonus! - 200 Cigarettes

MTV was way ahead of their time when they cast a bunch of future Oscar nominees, future Oscar winners and all around future superstars to travel back in time and celebrate New Year's Eve in The 80s. Critics and audiences dismissed them as a bunch of nobodies who didn't even know how to party - now we can appreciate them as complex individuals who share the same issues we people from the 2000s suffer from. Listen to Alex and Julio untangle the multiple storylines that make up 200 CIGARETTES and marvel at how much we all have in common with young Martha Plimpton and young Kate Hudson, how Jay Mohr is always a weasel no matter the decade and how Ben Affleck became a man after this movie flopped.

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Bonus! - Mixed Nuts

Steve Martin, Rita Wilson and a buffet of past and future comedy stars, all directed by Nora Ephron in a Christmas tale set around a crisis hotline. What's not to love there??? And yet, MIXED NUTS got the cruelest Rotten Tomatoes treatment and stands at a miserable 7%. Were the suicide jokes too much for Early-90s America? Or was it the foxtrot dance number between Martin and a transvestite Liev Schreiber? And what about young Adam Sandler and his ukulele? Alex and Julio are joined by Christmas enthusiast (and singer of the punk band HANS GRUBER AND THE DIE HARDS) TJ Robinson, as they explore this hidden holidays classic.

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50 - Cloud Atlas

How much Tom Hanks is too much? Is there a justification to white-face Halle Berry and Asian-face Jim Sturgess? Did The Wachowskis peak with SPEED RACER? And who's that other guy listed in the directing credits? Alex and Julio celebrate their 50-episode milestone by battling it out on their fifth Gray Area Episode! Is CLOUD ATLAS an overstuffed mess or is it a clever labyrinth of themes and transitions? One thing's for sure: it will take you less time to listen to this podcast than it'd take you to watch the movie again.

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49 - Big

What's the deal with Tom Hanks in BIG? He doesn't behave like an adult, but he doesn't behave like a kid either! Could it be that maybe Penny Marshall, an adult woman, had no idea what thirteen year old boys were really like? What's Hanks' excuse though? And will we stop beating around the bush and address the incredibly inappropriate elephant in the room? The one that hooks up with a teenage elephant? Special guest Lillian Mattis joins Alex and Julio in the final installment of the Female Filmmakers Arc! 

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Bonus! - Home for the Holidays

The equivalent of somebody killing the mood by telling a joke that starts somewhat humorous and ends awkwardly personal and with no punchline, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is Jodie Foster's attempt at directing a comedy. Listen to Alex and Julio celebrate Thanksgiving by squirming through a movie that miscasts Steve Guttenberg as a grump, Dylan McDermott as someone who's supposed to be charismatic, and a coked-out Robert Downey Jr. as someone who's not supposed to be coked-out. Not even the unstoppable charm of Holly Hunter on pure loser mode can salvage a project that seems determined to portray the Ultimate American Family Gathering as a relentless nightmare. #NotMyThanksgiving.

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48 - Loser

As much a time-traveling machine to the year 2000 as it is an inspiring tale of resilience in the face of the worst New York Higher Education can offer, LOSER doesn't deserve its bad rep. Neither does its star, Jason Biggs, who has proved in the years since that his can-do attitude isn't something he saves only for when the camera is rolling. And then there's Amy Heckerling, delivering a masterful spiritual sequence to her big hit FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and being as misunderstood by the industry as Biggs is by the big city.

Join Alex and Julio as they relish a delicious Evil Greg Kinnear performance, witness the birth of future stars Thomas Sadowski and Jimmi Simpson and are shocked by some really dark stuff happening to Mena Suvari. The Contrarians' Female Filmmakers Arc continues!

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Bonus! - Third anniversary

Three years! Almost 50 movies, not counting bonus episodes. And, once again, Alex in Julio hand out the prestigious Embryies and Caanies (named after Ethan Embry and Scott Caan) as well as an exciting new award created this year: THE GAD.

Eligible movies: THAT THING YOU DO!, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, THE PLAYER, REINDEER GAMES, ENTOURAGE, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, A CHORUS LINE, GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING, THIS IS 40, JUNO, THIS MEANS WAR, THE WILD BUNCH, AEON FLUX, GLOW (the Netflix show), LOST IN TRANSLATION, BEWITCHED and ZERO DARK THIRTY.

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