On this special episode of Piecing It Together, Kris Krainock joins me to discuss our predictions, as well as our picks and movies we think were left out of this year’s Oscar Nominations. For the sake of time we only did 9 categories (which kind of makes us worse than the Academy themselves who were planning on not showing all the categories on the air this year)… But we’re only doing this episode out of obligation anyway.
On the 39th episode of Piecing It Together, Kris Krainock joins me for a second time in a row to discuss Green Book. The fantastic true story of Jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his Italian driver (Viggo Mortenson) in the 1960s shines a light on a familiar story of racial tensions that’s perfectly balanced by comedy-director Peter Farrely. Puzzle pieces include Driving Miss Daisy, The Blind Side, Little Miss Sunshine and A Bronx Tale.
On the 38th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host Kris Krainock and I get into what was apparently Steve McQueen’s life-long passion project, the female heist thriller Widows. Written by Gillian Flynn and featuring buzz-worthy performances from Viola Davis and Daniel Kaaluya, Widows has not disappointed many in the film community. But it disappointed us. Puzzle pieces include the Ben Affleck trio of Gone Girl, The Town and Live By Night, as well as Set It Off.
On the 35th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host Kris Krainock and I discuss a24’s mid90s, the directorial debut from Jonah Hill. mid90s is a slice of life… 1990’s skateboarder life to be precise. With virtually no known actors except Lucas Hedges, it shows the life of a young kid as he tries to make friends with a bunch of skaters. The authenticity on screen is somewhat of a nostalgia overload, but Jonah Hill does an amazing job of balancing it into a touching, funny film. Puzzle pieces include Kids, Clerks, Barry Lyndon and the NES Classic.
On the 2nd episode of the special episode series called Breaking It Apart, co-host Kris Krainock and I take a look NOT at a new movie and what movies inspired it, but at a classic movie and what movies were inspired BY it… And this time we’re looking at the classic Stanley Kubrick feature 2001: A Space Odyssey. Somehow depicting outer space before we even made it out there, and with some of the most breathtaking visuals ever put to film, 2001 recently had an IMAX re-release which really let the amazingly unique and trippy views of outer space and wormholes shine. Narrowing down the influences on this one were especially difficult as the film clearly laid the groundwork for all of sci-fi from when it was released in 1968 to today. Puzzle pieces include Star Wars, The Tree of Life, Adaptation and The Simpsons.
On the 1st episode of a special episode series called Breaking It Apart, co-host Kris Krainock and I take a look not at a new movie and what movies inspired it, but at a classic movie and what movies were inspired BY it… And the first one we’re doing is the cult classic Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski. The Dude. Walter. Donny. The Jesus. The Nihilists. Bunny. So many classic characters in such a beautifully complicated yet ridiculous story that blends dark comedy, modern film noir and stoners. The Big Lebowski has inspired countless films, and on this first Breaking It Apart special episode, we get into a bunch of them and what makes this film and the Coen Brothers themselves so special. Puzzle pieces include The Nice Guys, Observe and Report, Brick and In Bruges.
On the 19th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host Kris Krainock and I discuss Skyscraper, the new action movie from The Rock that definitely doesn’t have Die Hard as a puzzle piece. Just kidding, of course it does, it’s the first one we discuss, but the movie absolutely wears its inspirations on its sleeve with The Rock needing to find a way to scale and enter a burning super-tower to rescue his family from terrorists. It’s ridiculous, it’s fun (but maybe not as fun as we’d have liked), and it made for a great conversation about action movies in general. Puzzle pieces (other than Die Hard) include The Dark Knight, King Kong, The Rock and True Lies.
On the 14th episode of Piecing It Together, returning co-host Kris Krainock and discuss two movies (a first for this show) that not only happen to be two of the best movies of the year so far, but they both share a very important puzzle piece in the classic film Taxi Driver. First Reformed was written & directed by Paul Schrader (who of course also wrote Taxi Driver) and deals with a pastor played by Ethan Hawke who begins to spiral out of control from the pressure of trying to balance the political desires of the church and what he knows in his heart God would think is the right way to live in this world. You Were Never Really Here was written & directed by Lynne Ramsay and follows a man played by Joaquin Phoenix whose life has been defined by violence as he attempts to rescue a young girl from a life of sex trafficking while the effects of all that violence begin to take a toll on him. Aside from Taxi Driver, other puzzle pieces include Diary of a Country Priest, mother!, A History of Violence and Ordet.
On the 9th episode of Piecing It Together, co-host Kris Krainock and I discuss the 9th film from Wes Anderson, the writer/director behind The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. A return to the stop-motion animation style he explored previously in Fantastic Mr. Fox, this film follows a pack of previously domesticated dogs who have been exiled to Trash Island off the coast of Japan in the near future. When a 12 year old boy crashes his plane on the island, they team up to help him find his dog. Puzzle pieces include the films of Akira Kurosawa, The Jungle Book, Saturday Morning Cartoons and Wes Anderson’s own filmography.