Bill Harts and Justine Hollister review all things on the screen ... every week. Not to be missed.
James Bond. Yep, might be the last time we see James as we have known him for sixty years. Christine (Hollister) and her friend from across the pond, Louise Lloyd get us excited about both the history of the franchise and this film in particular. Don't miss it and do not worry; they do not spoil anything.
Do not miss this podcast. Short, but filled with insight and great review of the new Netflix series, Maid. Hollister compares it to Unbelievable and some of the other strong series in the past few years focusing on women's issues. It's a great watch and a great listen.
Taking the fall film festival circuit by 'storm,' Storm Lake is the story of a small town newspaper in Iowa (albeit a paper whose Editor is a Pulitzer Prize winner), as it struggles with the political divide of its readership, and a pandemic-driven loss of advertising revenue. "Freedom is not free," and our local papers might be the ticket to keeping this country the republic it was meant to be. Beth Levison gives us insights and thought-provoking questions as she discusses her film. Christine thinks its on its way to the award circuit. Thanks to Sarah Minardi, from Saunders Real Estate in the Hamptons, for sponsoring this conversation.
Hollister and Wilder review HBO's new five-part series, Scenes From a Marriage, which is based on Ingmar Bergman's original from the early seventies. Don't miss the show is the take away, and don't miss this podcast, which brings together the differences between the original and the latest, with Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, who everyone agrees have a kind of connection that make this all the more compelling. Did you know they went to school together twenty years ago and are close friends? And, guess who had the part and was replaced by Jessica late in the game. Our podcast ends with a List of Six marriage films.
This week? We are reviewing the story of Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton in Impeachment: American Crime Story. It follows the story of Bill, who wishes all of this would go away, and Monica, who was a producer on the FX drama. So many takeaways and Hollister brings in different age groups and their take on the first two episodes. Do we need this show? And, returning to the infamous List of Six started by O'Toole and Hollister years ago, Wilder and Hollister provide a List of Six around Political Films.
Hollister's nose is out of joint around why, oh why would there be a need for another Cinderella film (yes, there are more than 100 films that tell that story), and Wilder accuses her of being incapable of having fun. Ouch. It's a heated discussion and they are still friends but do not agree even one bit on the worth and the production of this film.
The twenty year anniversary of 911 is upon us and the release of Netflix's Worth, walks through the difficult process of determining compensation for the families of the victims. "Worth is really all about what a life is worth," more than the attacks that hit America on 911," Hollister surmises. It's an interesting look at what was behind the film and Hollister reading the lawyer's review of America's attitude during the years following the attack is worth the podcast.
Hollister and Wilder delve into Nine Perfect Strangers, the week after The White Lotus, which is a double dose of white privilege and despair. And, to give some perspective, Hollister questions Wilder on her love of Super Hero films with her mini review of The Suicide Squad. Don't miss it.
Hollister and Wilder go over The Chair, with the fabulous Sandra Oh, and then Hollister brings in Lori Rutter, a friend and Harvard Alum, who brought it to the attention of Wilder and Hollister. And, Lori adds a request at the end to have Hollister and Wilder review We Are Lady Parts. Don't miss Sandra Oh's much talked about series. .
This week Hollister and Wilder take on The White Lotus, the HBO six-part controversial satirical series, dealing with white privilege, written by a white man, Mike White (yes, we know the last name fits the bill), and is not to be missed. Hollister falls in love with the critic, @BrookeObie, who helped unveil a point of view that she missed around the film's hubris. Don't miss this conversation around the series, and the times in which we live.
Hollister and Wilder take on Dr. Death, the eight episode series launched by Peacock around the Texas doctor, Christopher Duntsch, who butchered 33 patients before being incarcerated for the rest of his life. What a cast! Christian Slater (Hollister says she never recognizes him in a film/series until she thinks about it), and Alec Baldwin take on the system in a grueling story that will make you go to physical therapy one more time before going under the knife. And, Hollister takes on Vogue Magazine for their article around film 'makeovers' (seriously?!) Don't miss this week's Screen Thoughts.
According to Hollister, Physical has enlightening moments for those women struggling with emotional issues. Wilder gets right to the point of eating disorders, anxiety and a relatable woman in the enormously talented Rose Bryrne. You remember Rose; Hollister says she rocked being Gloria Steinem in Mrs. America, but her claim is the two Emmys for her work on Damages. Hooray for Scarlett Johansson, who is taking Disney on with the fierceness of Cruella. Wilder gives some insight into the entire case, and both Wilder and Hollister agree that Amanda Knox's editorial on Medium, where she calls out the world for using her name and persona without permission (Stillwater is the film and Matt Damon is the star) and leaves her without agency. All in all, much ado is doing on this week's podcast.
This week Hollister and Wilder review Ted Lasso; the series that has everyone in America laughing, and according to Hollister, perhaps it is working because of this moment in time in which we live, rather than it being funny. And, Wilder gives you some 'if you liked Ted Lasso, you will like" ideas. Hollister will be on a panel at the Wood's Hole Film Festival, and some write in comments around last week's Black Widow.
Hollister was not a fan of Black Widow until Wilder enlightened her and now she's going back to revisit. Don't miss Wilder's insightful take on the first Marvel film to have a female lead. And, of course, a bit about the Emmy nominations and what should or shouldn't have been.
Join Hollister and Wilder as they review Steven Soderbergh's No Sudden Move, a combination film noir, comedy, drama around so many pillars of plot; racism, Detroit in the 50's, crime families, and so much more. And for a little blast to the past, a reminder that The Bird Cage is celebrating its 25 year anniversary, and there are so much wonderful inside scoops to uncover.
Hollister and Wilder review Season Four of The Handmaid's Tale, with an added review of the 1990 film, which Wilder had no idea existed. Roger Ebert's review of the 1990 film shows how far we have come in understanding the issues that The Handmaid's Tale highlights. Or not? Don't miss this episode; but beware, there are spoilers for the finale if you haven't watched it yet.
Oslo, HBO's new film around the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, based on the play by J.T. Rogers, is a must see in this challenging moment in time almost thirty years later. Watch with your family, your class, your whatever. And, talk about it. And if you are a biz person, watch it to learn about the art of negotiation. Brilliant story. Both Hollister and Wilder had strong words around both the message and the methods used to film it.
Hollister and Wilder dig deep into Mare of Easttown and Shadow & Bone. Dark forces from fantasy land with Shadow & Bone and dark forces in the shadows of Philadelphia take over. Both are worth a watch if you ask Hollister and Wilder.
Hollister and Wilder take a look at HBO’s The Nevers series, which premiered to the largest audience in HBO history. Yes, it takes place in the Victorian era, where women were corseted, but according to the series, they also had special powers. Wilder is all in. Hollister? Not so much.
Wilder and Hollister welcome Tim Miller, film critic extraordinaire, for the annual "Best of" end of year podcast. Our discussion starts with the difficulty for the film industry in Covid-2020, and moves into some not-to-be-missed viewing from this past year. First Cow. Promising Young Woman. I May Destroy You. Collective. Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always (great name right?!). And others as well. What did we miss? Let us know and here's to 2021, with hope.
This week Hollister focuses on Meryl Streep’s Let Them All Talk on HBO while Wilder brings in Selena, the Series. Hollister is wondering if there really needed to be three renditions of the Selena story, and Wilder explains why there just might be a need. Selena, the Series is for the family to enjoy together—something for everyone—and Let Them All Talk for those women that have get togethers with friends from college decades later. And, of course, there is always discussion about Steven Soderbergh and his use of improvisation in his latest film.
First time ever that Hollister reviews a thriller like Run, staring Sarah Paulson, and Kiera Allen, who the camera loves and we hope to see in more films in the future. Mother daughter issues that go beyond the pale, but because they are both so good at their craft, it is well done and worth the watch. Hollister quotes from Jeannette Catsoulis, and her review, which begins, “if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” Hollister and Wilder also present their holiday films for viewing year after year, although Hollister laments that her picks are so dark compared to what she is reading others chose. You decide.
Ron Howard’s, Hillbilly Elegy, has been panned and heralded in the reviewer’s corner. It has a paltry 25 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Doesn’t get much worse than that. But Hollister thinks it is under appreciated and one of the finest films Ron Howard has directed. Wilder isn’t so sure. Don’t miss their critique, which is different from what most reviewers are pitching. And, Hollister tuned into Hulu’s Happiest Season because she was curious why Kristen Stewart would do what appeared to be a Hallmark holiday film. She found the answer.
Hollister and Wilder touch on the feminist issue in The Crown around Thatcher and Queen Elisabeth. Women not playing well in the sandbox together? Then it’s The Undoing, HBO’s six part mini series with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. So much to discuss, cast to die for (yes there is a murder) and some consider a mirror version of Big Little Lies; there are lots of similarities in those that are involved with both. And, Wilder recommends Whose Line Is It Anyway on HBO, a rerun of the show.
The Social Dilemma is discussed by Wilder & Hollister ... "When you don't pay for something like Facebook, you become the product." Techies from many of the platforms come together to discuss how the unsuspecting users are being 'used' and sold and ... don't miss it.
Move over Bobby Fischer and Gary Kasparov—there is a new chess prodigy on the scene; Beth Harmon, chess player extraordinaire who redefines the Queen’s Gambit, which for those of you not on the chess circuit is an opening move that has a lot of history. Netflix’s #1 show, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the fictional Beth Harmon, provides yet another vehicle for a strong woman’s plot. Merser and Bassin walk us through the many moves that make this one of the best series of 2020. And, bringing back The List of Six that was a Hollister O’Toole centerpiece, they give us all six movies or series episodes to watch before election results start pouring in on Tuesday. Don’t miss this week’s Screen Thoughts’ episode.
Christine Merser (aka Hollister) invites fellow The West Wing lover, Elizabeth Bassin, herself in the film industry in Los Angeles to review The West Wing Reunion ... Everyone agrees that the much awaited reunion of the finest cast ever assembled for a series, comes together in order to support the 2020 election.
There are documentaries that need to be seen so you can educate yourself to injustice and this is one such documentary. Shame on Coca Cola. Shame on the United States of America, which is most likely not the first time we have been given reason through film to get angry at our country’s commercialism and what it has done to other countries around the globe. But the other reason to see this is for the beauty of the people, and the culture, and the art of Mexico. The opening five minutes at the death festival will calm your nerves around dying, which we all need right now and it will awake the senses around flowers and colors in such a lovely way. I was grateful to have seen the film. Ashamed of my country and Coke, and hopeful that it can be fixed moving forward. Hope you will have a listen, then watch the film and pass to a friend. - Hollister
Hollister bids a fond farewell to Claire Danes and Carrie Mathison after the finale. She recounts her discomfort with the character and the need to have her be flawed kick ass rather than just fabulous kick ass but also recognizes that all things come with time. What an ending. What a series.
Tim Miller, Movie Critic for the Cape Cod Times, joins Hollister on a walk through the last ten years of excellent film. You will hear about some films you never knew were available, as well as some old favorites. Don't miss this year end review.
Hollister, who grew up with a father who was likely one of the actors in the room at Ford Headquarters in the movie, brings in her high school girlfriends, whose fathers also worked at Ford, to review the movie and to shre anecdotes about being a teenage girl during that time of male dominance at Ford. And, do you know whether the FordGT40, the car in the movie, was a replica or the real thing?
Hollister introduces Lalu to podcasting as they both gush over the Netflix sensation, Unbelievable. Hollister has some comments about Harriet as well, including how twenty-five years ago, the suits in Hollywood wanted Julia Roberts to play Harriet. You won’t believe that story. And, lastly, Hollister walks us through the Preppy Murder from 1986 and how the press made the victim out to be in question, rather than the John Kennedy Jr. look alike. You can’t make it up.
Join Hollister and Frances Pearson for a rousing review of Booksmart, the much talked about film about not so cool girls graduating from high school. But really it’s about friendship and no one does friendship on the screen, we decided, like our fabulous gender. Anyone agree with Hollister that Kaitlyn Dever, who plays Amy, is a mini me version of Jodi Coming from Killing Eve? In addition, Hollister saw a early viewing of Late Night, with Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson. She reviews it on this podcast as well.
Hollister and Harts review HBO’s complex film, Brexit, where we all find out about the new way to win elections, based on data and targeting specific messaging that will resonate with a voter and send him or her running to pull a lever even if what got them to show up is not exactly the 'truth'. And, they also do a mini-me review of The Kaminsky Method, for those of us who are a little older.
Hollister and Harts return this week to discuss what they've been watching in preparation for the Academy Awards including Best Picture-nominated BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee. Hollister reviews Abducted in Plain Sight and may never get over it.
Hollister begins with her usual Academy Awards rant. Nothing changed on that score, but she has some interesting comments from Screen Thoughts Producer Lalu around some of the data. We move on to Harts & Hollister's review of the two Fyre Music Festivals docs but Hulu and Netflix and the sad commentary around our present culture of smokes and mirrors.
Hollister and Harts don’t totally agree on this one – the narrative of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rise to stardom. But they do agree that between the documentary RBG that came out last summer, and narrative, the woman is a force of nature. Everyone should know more about her. Hollister thinks grandmothers and mothers should take their tweens see this film.
Hollister is dragged to Creed ll by Harts and begrudgingly sings softly its praises, while bringing in a little Rocky nostalgia. Harts suggests They'll Love Me When I’m Gone streaming now on Netflix. Comments from listeners on the Green Book Podcast, and Hollister reflects on her moderator role at the Vincent Van Gogh premier, At Eternity's Gate.
Hollister and Harts examine McKay’s Vice within the new Fake News umbrella of storytelling versus documentary reporting. And Hollister sings the praises of Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan with a quick review of past Jack Ryan casting as icing on the cake. Hart’s counters with a shout out for The Romanoffs, also from Amazon Prime? Where in the world is Netflix you ask?
Both Hollister and Harts agree that Green Book is the film to see this holiday season. In fact, Harts compares it to It’s a Wonderful Life. Filled with hope around the 60’s disturbing racist past and that it is not going to be our future, but also recognizing that our country is still struggling with the ingrained racism of our long, storied history. Great film. Great review.
A different take on the huge hit, A Star is Born. Hollister and Harts not so sure it’s as deserving as everyone else thinks. Did you know how many other people were almost stars in this film? Should there be a fourth remake of this classic? Harts reads a Roger Ebert review that has legs even today. Much to discuss - fun insider information. And, Hollister mentions the final season of House of Cards, where the new President’s cabinet is so very pleasing to Hollister. Harts is touting The Last Tycoon.